2019.04.12 the spell of the union

Spring. It really is trying hard to take hold, welcome developments around here and other places is a swath of northern latitudes where this is happening in places where, realistically speaking, Winter is about half of the year.

There is a certain amount of cabin fever that takes hold of many people, although it is much different than in the past eras of human history where the same kind of indoor entertainment diversions did not exist.

In the early months of the year, here in the USA, we have the Super Bowl. This has become a vast epic that consumes the entire day for many people, for a game that in theory is played for an hour, virtually bringing the entire United States to a standstill, including vast numbers of people with no real interest in the sport involved, but wishing to be seen as liking what people around them like. That, in itself, is a sign. Aside from all the endless hours of chatter on television surrounding the game, people get all wound up with the halftime entertainment, usually something not very interesting that gets blown up into some showbiz epic of hype and flashy emptiness, and, even stranger, a fascination with, of all things, the television advertising associated with the game broadcast. That is fitting, and not exactly inexplicable, in a country where appalling numbers of people have been successfully trained and programmed that they have actually adopted the habit of referring to themselves and other human beings not as people, but consumers.

The Daytona 500 comes in February, with its own hype. That amuses me a little, as I have an interest in motorsports that goes back to my childhood as a young boy, and regard the NASCAR world as motorsports for people with no interest in motorsports. Skipping a lot of detail about the history of the machines involved, I think it tells us something to notice the way people still play along to an amazing degree with the pretense of “stock” car racing, when the cars involved have no relationship at all to production road cars, and that has been the case for decades.

After that we get the showbiz spectacle of the Academy Awards, including more marathon television that includes people sitting and watching these ridiculous “Red Carpet” shows.

Somehow, it seems fitting that right on the heels of these events comes the annual State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress by the President of the United States. This is, of course, supposed to be a serious report and commentary by the President to Congress and the American people in the status of the nation, but, for a long time now, has become a ridiculous and useless dog and pony show piece of theater, a characteristic that just seems to get worse and worse.

I had not intended to watch this farce, but I wound up sort of watching it, for a while, via a web stream from The Jimmy Dore Show channel on YouTube, where Jimmy Dore and friends showed the performance in picture-in-picture format while commenting, pretty much treating it as Mystery Science Theater 3000 presented really awful old movies, which seemed much more appropriate, all things considered, than the ridiculous and utterly useless treatment you get from supposedly serious news operations on the television networks.

I have thought for some time that it might be an interesting exercise to get a video recording of one of these events and edit, taking out everything except the actual speech. By that, to be clear, I mean removing all the extended breaks for ovations following some rhetorical cheap-applause line, all the interludes where the President introduces what, these days, will probably be a whole array of different guest stars sitting in the viewing gallery of the House chamber, all of that. Just the actual speaking of the President. Much like the Super Bowl, the whole thing is now an extended television entertainment special, with endless babbling from a host of characters before and after the main event, with the actual main event not really being worth the time. All the American television networks with any kind of news operation suspend programming for this show, and it is a show. I find it interesting that the C Span network is probably found on virtually every cable television system around the country, and also shows the speech, but, without commentary, and I suspect that a small percentage of the viewing audience watches it there, without anybody telling them what to think.

One thing that you not find very much is, you know, that whole idea that the purpose of this pomp and circumstance is a report from the President of the United States, as the highest ranking servant of the people directing the executive branch of the United States government, about the state of the nation.

Now and then I see a quote attributed to the late Frank Zappa, who, aside from his huge body of musical work, was an incisive and candid human being, saying politics is the entertainment division of the military-industrial complex. I have never been sure about the original source of that, but it certainly has the ring of truth. It has probably never been more true than it is today.

I think about the question of when was the last time a US President actually spoke honestly and in a completely candid way about what the people need to know. Over 40 years ago, President Carter gave a televised speech to the nation talking about the reality of oil consumption and depletion, and hydrocarbon fuels in general, which happened to be just a few years after the US had reached and passed the characteristic part of a curve known as Hubbert’s Peak, referring to the findings of studies by former Shell Oil geophysicist M. King Hubbert.

I have written a lot of material about that subject in the past here, so I won’t repeat a lot of what I have covered already several years ago, that you can go back and read. Another former oil business technical fellow who worked for decades in the field of studying and working in the enterprise of oil resource exploration and extraction, Colin Campbell, coined the term “Peak Oil” to summarize the issues raised by Hubbert’s studies. Unfortunately, that term has become a kind of “buzzword” phrase that is often completely misunderstood by people who have had their heads filled with confusion generated by people who either completely misunderstand its meaning and have no idea what they’re talking about, or possibly deliberately confuse the matter. A common bit of confusion I find is that people think that term means “we’re almost out of oil”, which is not what it means at all, but the actual meaning is not something that can be summarized in a few words, leading to a very common problem- people who miss the distinction in meaning between the words “simple” and “simplistic”.

I have already written a large amount of text about all the above, along with other subjects that have had extended attention, like what happened in Ukraine, five years ago now, and the extended madness I have been calling bipolar political disorder.

The latter two have become inextricably linked in a mass of tangled confusion and pervasive lying. I will not completely rehash the Ukrainian farce, as I covered that at length in the past with loads of links to news about it actually telling the truth. The political cult known as the ‘neoconservatives”, the “neocons”, banded together in an organization called the Project for the New American Century, which declared openly, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, that with that event, the United States (presumably controlled by the neocons) was now the undisputed ruler of the world, and, more to the point, was to declare any nation with a government that might challenge that idea in any way as an enemy to be destroyed. The repercussions of that have continued ever since, with a whole list of nations falling into the crosshairs of that bunch. That quietly disbanded, the organization I’ll abbreviate as PNAC, but never went away, only reorganizing, and even though the website with policy papers they openly published saying exactly what their intentions were just quietly went away, it was archived on the web so you can still read it.

The neocon cult was rightly reviled by many people for their part in driving the US government to send the military to attack and invade and destroy Iraq, and yet, many of the same people pointing at the Iraq war as the egregiously wrong thing that it was somehow still play right along with the same neocon cult today.

In Ukraine, the elected President suddenly decided against signing some economic agreement with the EU that was wanted by the Washington crowd, coming to a conclusion that it was very bad for his country. Suddenly, surprise surprise (heavy on the sarcasm here), there was a “people’s uprising” in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev and he was overthrown in a coup d’etat. One of the main players was the US (deep breath) Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland. That would be the wife of PNAC cofounder and neocon advocate Robert Kagan, also a former employee of Vice President Cheney, and who was appointed to her job by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Right at this point is where you lose some people afflicted by the selective blindness caused by bipolar political disorder, who think “but Hillary Clinton isn’t a neocon, she has a D after her name!”.

There was a big story about the recorded phone chat between Nuland and the US ambassador to Ukraine, discussing who they chose as the new leadership of the Ukrainian government, before the elected President had been overthrown. The big issue? That Nuland had uttered the phrase “fuck the EU!”, regarding the idea that some leaders of European governments might not agree with her choices. It was reported and seen as a faux pas of etiquette, a rude disrespect of European leaders, and bad language. Never mind the actual subject, of these people discussing who they would choose to be the leaders of the government of another nation, replacing the elected leader who they were evidently helping to overthrow in a coup, which, I remind you, had not yet happened.

The coup did happen, of course, with the US government immediately recognizing the new gang taking over as the new government of Ukraine, who just happened to be exactly the people chosen by Nuland and company. People in Crimea and eastern Ukraine wanted nothing to do with this, and when they objected, they immediately came under attack from the new bunch. The parliament in Crimea, which was apparently a semi-autonomous body, called a referendum vote in Crimea on a resolution to ask Russia to adopt Crimea as a part of Russia, again, as it had been until the mid-fifties, almost exactly 60 years before this trouble, when some Soviet Union political games resulted in Crimea being given to Ukraine, which was part of the USSR then.

The result of that vote was a huge voter turnout, so much larger in participation than US elections these days that it is almost comical in contrast, with over 90% of the vote in favor of the resolution, which was then taken up and Crimea officially became part of Russia again, with one benefit for the people there being that now the Russian military was going to defend them against the new regime taking over in Kiev who wanted to wipe them out and crush them into submission. Part of this was the presence of the Russian naval base in Crimea on the Black Sea coast, which has been there for about 200 years, and the only Russian naval base on the Black Sea, which includes a section of Russian coastline, where you find Sochi, for example, the home of the winter Olympics happening right around that time, and the current Russian Grand Prix on that site in Formula One racing.

We did not hear anything about that, any of that, in the usual US news, instead only hearing nonsense about “Russian invasion and seizure of Crimea”, and noise about “Russian invasion of eastern Ukraine attacking “Ukraine’s brave new democracy standing up to Russian aggression”, and “fighting Russian-back rebels” and “terrorists”, ignoring the reality, that the new gang taking over was launching the Ukrainian military at the people in eastern Ukraine who just wanted the President they actually elected back.

I have already written loads about that, as I already said, with piles of extended news story links, with people doing real journalism about what was happening there, with extended facts and analysis, even as we were fed “news” here that was full on propaganda, telling us the narratives I just described, with tales of “Russian aggression” and invasion backed by, basically, statements from the US neocon faction and government saying, essentially, “of course this is all true, because we say so!!”. Any of the reporting based in reality like was I was showing in links to dozens of articles was all dismissed as “Russian propaganda!”, and, to this day, anything you try to show to many people about all this will meet with ugly reactions, talking about Russian propaganda, suggesting you might even be some Russian agent, or, at best, some poor misguided fool tricked by that Russian propaganda.

Now, almost inevitably, we have all the noise about Venezuala, with some formerly obscure character, coincidentally educated in the US, with US connections, finding himself as the leader of the National Assembly in Venezuala, who suddenly declared that the elected President of Venezuala, who coincidentally was not favored by the US government because he would not follow orders from Washington, was not the legitimate President, but, rather, he was now the new President of Venezuala… because he said so. From what I gather, the Venezuelan constitution apparently says that if the President is no longer serving in office for some reason, the head of the National Assembly then takes over. So, hey, presto! “He’s not the real President anymore, because I said so, so, now, I’m in charge!”. This, obviously, is the kind of thing we refer to as a coup d’etat, or at least, an attempted coup, and yet, with no surprise at all here, the US government instantly declared official recognition of this guy as the new “legitimate government” of Venezuala, with the extra appalling obvious absurdity of making noises about the US standing up for “democracy in Venezuala”. Part of that insane obvious absurdity was coming straight from President Trump’s recently appointed new “National Security Adviser, none other than the infamous John Bolton, one of the main top level neocon characters.

This seems to be getting more bizarre, and dangerous, as it keeps looking like the neocon faction keeps pulling the strings, pushing to send the US military into another country to act as some imperial guard enforcing the will of the masters of the empire (rather than guarding and protecting the country), this time in Venezuala. All this makes me think of a statement I read somewhere, I cannot recall who said it now, which basically says, one of the main lessons of history is that people do not learn the lessons of history. In the specific case of what is happening in Venezuala, just sit back and consider what is happening, again, for a few minutes. A somewhat minor figure finds himself in the head seat in the national legislature, and suddenly declares that he is now the “real” President of the country, because he says so, apparently based on a provision in the country’s constitution that the person in his position becomes President if the current President is no longer in office, and according to him, the elected President, still there, is just not the legitimate President, because he says so. The US government, especially neocon John Bolton, immediately declares that the new guy declaring himself President is in fact the “legitimate” President, and declaring this official recognition and support for any means to put him in office is standing up for democracy, while the elected President in Venezuala is a dictator.

Orwell could have written this stuff. Of course, the standard routine now is loads of propaganda. In some cases, the leader of whatever national government is involved, where somebody is not following orders from Washington (“ignoring the will of the international community” is pretty standard verbiage) becomes a Bond movie villain of pure evil, and then, of course, we, the US (as if the people of the US have any control) have to go remove the bad man and take over, to save those people over there, because we’re The Good Guys for Freedom and Democracy.

A point that gets lost is asking who made anybody the ruler of the world who decides who is in charge anywhere in the world. Moving on to the secondary item, sometimes it is very questionable when you examine the supposed Bad Guys. There certainly are some evil bastards ruling governments in the world. Saddam Hussein in Iraq was certainly one, but people seem to forget that he was regarded as “friend and ally of the United States”, when he was just as much of an evil bastard, until, according to some accounts, he started making noises about selling Iraq’s oil in transactions not using US dollars. In Libya, Ghaddaffi (or however you spell his name in the English alphabet), did appear to be very much a dictator, and a bit of a nutball, but from what I gather, before he was deposed (after “NATO action” bombarding the country with flying explosives) living conditions in Libya were supposedly better than maybe any other African nation, and better than many places in the world. But, then, it appears (well obscured in the “legit” news) that his trouble started when he started discussing the idea of a banking system for his part of the world independent of the US dollar and US controlled international banking, including the transactions of selling Libyan oil.

At some point we started hearing declarations about “Assad must go!” calling for the overthrow of Bashir al-Assad in Syria, which just happened to come after Assad had refused to allow the construction of a natural gas pipeline through Syria carrying gas from Qatar, mainly, which, naturally, Washington wanted. The predictable noise about the evil dictator began, and at some point, strangely, suddenly there was a declaration from President Obama saying that if Assad used chemical weapons in the “civil war”, against his own people, it would be “crossing a red line” and be dealt with harshly. Why? Not long after that, surprise again, we suddenly are being bombarded with horror story news reports about Assad attacking Syrian civilians with chemical weapons. To make a long story shorter, this kind of thing then happened more than once. Longtime investigative reporter Seymour Hersh was just one of the people doing serious journalism who looked into this and found that the entire narrative of Syrian chemical attacks was, to be blunt, a massive pile of complete bullshit, and an article by Hersh on that, and what he found to be the actual story, of a classic “false flag operation”, was published in obscurity in the London Review of Books, of all places. Why it only showed up there should be a alarming indicator of the state of what we are fed as “news” these days, but many other articles (which I have provided via links here in the past) addressed all this, largely ignored. Even an article from Newsweek (you know, the “real news”) showed official Washington military officialdom admitting there was no evidence Assad had used chemical weapons on his people, yet I have witnessed all sorts of online commentary, including from people I know, screeching about Assad the evil monster dictator who gasses his own people.

Trying to sort out all the factions and parties involved in what invariably keeps being called “the civil war in Syria” is impossibly complex, but what is clear from an objective view is that it is not a civil war, that all the trouble involves people from outside of Syria coming in trying to overthrow the government, mainly what would simply be summarized as terrorist groups. Even worse, at least part of the terrorists groups doing this are evidently funded and supported by the US government, even while, in a bizarre twist, we keep being fed noisy propaganda about “fighting the War on Terror”, told that the US military is in Syria “to fight ISIS!”, while supporting ISIS, and while the US government noise keeps openly declaring that “Assad must go” (and even, at one point, sending US warplanes to bomb a Syrian air force base), and Assad and the Syrian government keep saying the obvious, that the US military in Syria is a hostile invading and occupying force.

In a bizarre twist added to bizarre twists, a while back, President Trump declared that the US military would be pulled out of Syria, an astonishing case of something right actually coming out of the surrealistic dumpster fire that is the Trump presidency, and, absolutely predictably, there was an immediate uproar protesting this. Incredibly, I watched as people thinking of themselves as Liberal, Left, Democratic party people, shouted in protest, insisting that the US military must stay there, incredibly joining the neocon warmonger cult, simply because in their minds, they were “The Resistance”, whose entire purpose in being was “oppose Trump!”. That raises a whole terrible subject of absurdity, prompting the question about how things can go, if your entire mode of thinking and acting is “oppose Trump!”, what crazy things will happen if, somehow, Trump actually tries to do something right?

That one was a bit of a moot point, as the neocons asserted their control, and the idea of Trump’s declaration about pulling the military out of Syria quietly disappeared as the churn of “the news cycle” moved on.

The whole churning chaos of “the news cycle” and what we get as news, with our supposedly free press, is crucial in the whole epic of the idea of the spell of the nation.

Looking back again at the Ukraine horror show, as people in Crimea were outraged by the turn of events in Kiev, reporters from operations like the BBC and CNN were doing live reports from Crimea, showing the enthusiastic crowds cheering for the resolution to separate from Ukraine and rejoin Russia. A large factor was that as people in Crimea protested the coup, gangs of violent goons from the new gang regime were literally attacking them and people within southern Ukraine but outside Crimea. Look up the horrific events in the city of Odessa for example.

Those televised reports from Crimea showed the vast support for rejoining Russia, rejecting the coup, and the massive majority vote in favor of this. All that was quietly swept aside, even as people back in US TV news studios kept up a constant barrage of chatter telling Americans that there was a Russian invasion and seizure of Crimea. Secretary of State John Kerry would make righteous statements declaring the Crimean referendum as “a sham election”, and then virtually in the next breath declare that the US supported the new gang seizing the Ukrainian government and rejected the “sham” Crimean referendum, and this was all about US support for “freedom and democracy” and “the Ukrainian people’s right to self-determination”. It was so insanely absurd I watched this barely able to comprehend that it was even possible. To this day, you can read endless “news” articles casually tossing in statements about “Russia’s invasion and Putin’s forcible seizure of Crimea” as if these were obvious references to well established fact, when it’s all complete bullshit. As I have said, all this has been well covered here in the past, including loads of stories of real journalism with extended examinations of what was going on, including excruciating detail of the factions involved in the overthrow of the Ukrainian government including actual Nazis, hardcore fascists, whose roots went back to factions in northwestern Ukraine during World War II who supported Nazi Germany, as Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union, and Nazi Germany was attacking the Soviet Union. Watching some documentary on the History Channel a few years ago on the Nazi concentration camps, they covered the history of these factions actually going and putting on German army uniforms and then being placed on duty as guards in German concentration camps in southern Germany near Ukraine, freeing up German soldiers to go fight the Soviet Union on the eastern front.

All that was dismissed as “Russian propaganda” any time any information about it appeared. Another government somewhere in the world was overthrown with megalomaniacs controlling our own government pulling the strings, and incredibly, masses of people among the American public bought a load of propaganda covering it over with diversions of noisy nonsense and fiction about “Russian invasion”.

In the twisted and confused and absurd and complicated world of current American political lunacy, the neocon stream of propaganda of “Russian aggression” to cover their underhanded manipulations in eastern Europe just piled up masses of kindling and fuel for another epic of political insanity. After the incredible shock of the election of Donald Trump as President (still hard to comprehend as even being possible), masses of people shocked and even traumatized by this stunning state of affairs, struggling to understand this… failed to understand this. For an appalling number of people, in this area of life, at least, all sense of reality and reason went out the window. Some are less badly deranged, but suffering from all kinds of problems. It might be a bit beyond me to try to analyze all that, but part of it definitely stems from a lot of severe misinformation (loads of propaganda), and lack of information, and, unfortunately, a common predilection these days for too many people to just not even bother to try to get a handle on what’s happening in the world, and just swallow whatever bite sized chunks of pseudo-information and outright propaganda manipulation they can gulp down in a few seconds being fed to them like baby birds.

One old and repeating topic here has been what I call bipolar political disorder, a problem that seems to be just getting worse.

The 2016 presidential election was a complete horror show, theater of the absurd, and it looks to me like millions of people have suffered severe psychological damage from it. One factor that is staring us in the face is the way that people have completely accepted the complete domination of power of two political parties, and then lined up blindly to punch whatever button is set up to cast a vote for a name with “R” or “D” after it, and believing the manipulative programming incessantly telling them that there can be no other. Anybody outside that is set up to be destroyed one way or another, including training people to regard them as a joke, invalid, “throwing away your vote”, et cetera.

When that arrived at a point where people believed they could only choose between Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton to be the next President, it’s like there was some mass-scale psychotic break across the USA. Some portion of the populace, somehow, managed to convince themselves that either Trump, for some, or Clinton, for others, would actually be a good choice to be President, which I find absolutely bizarre, witnessing these two people, possibly two of the worst characters to ever seek the office.

Out of all this was born the whole idea in some people’s minds that the only possible explanation for Donald Trump winning the election, not Hillary Clinton, was… Russians! So it began, and apparently, it all began with the Hillary Clinton camp deciding that Trump collusion with Russia to attack our democracy and make Trump President to be a kind of Manchurian Candidate tool or conscious Russian agent serving the evil Putin and Russia so Putin could take over the world was a perfectly reasonable explanation to plant in the American psyche.

A nice diversion, apparently, to keep people’s minds off another thought much more grounded in reality and sense- that Hillary Clinton lost the election to a candidate regarded by so many people for so many years as either an absurd comical figure, completely repulsive and amoral, or both, and also virtually guaranteed to have no idea what he was doing in the White House, simply because Hillary Clinton was just that bad as a choice to be President.

The notion of “Russian collusion” and all the variations of this people thought up is especially ironic in watching how many people who firmly plant themselves in the Democratic party camp (anybody with a D after their name!), describing themselves as Left, and Liberal, bought into it all wholesale, swallowing hook, line, and sinker, while somehow completely failing to realize that they were completely buying into the propaganda narratives foisted on the American public (and the rest of the world, for that matter) telling us all that anybody in the world not following their orders was an enemy of America, Freedom, Democracy, and “the international community” (with the “international community” being not so subtly implied to be nations where the government dutifully follows their orders from the Washington neocons).

This, alone, continues to baffle and horrify me.

In that, of course, Vladimir Putin and Russia made it right on to their enemies list as soon as it became apparent they were not “playing ball” and watching while the US neocons worked on total world domination, joining a seemingly endless list.

The twists and turns get more bizarre as you look back and realize that the Clinton camp evidently commissioned a guy said to be a former British intelligence agent to create what became known as “the Steele Dossier”, which is a subject all its own, as it appears to be largely a load of bullshit from what I can gather, and went about doing so by contacting people with some sort of connections or positions of power in Russia to try to gather “dirt” on Trump related to activities in Russia, to create some major bad PR for candidate Trump to help turn voters to Hillary Clinton.

Which, strangely enough, sounds like something that has the vague aroma of something like “collusion with Russia to influence our election“.

Hillary Clinton, I suspect, along with Donald Trump, will be the subject of many books by future historians that will be, let’s say, extremely unflattering.

One thing that grabbed my attention in the endless circus of the 2016 presidential election was the frequent recurrence of references to a phrase that I had never before heard or read about a presidential election, about people “holding their nose and voting”. That went either as people saying they “held their nose” and cast a vote for Hillary Clinton because, oh my gawd, I can’t vote for Trump or let him get elected because I didn’t vote, or “held their nose” and voted for Donald Trump, because, oh my gawd, I can’t vote for Hillary or let her get elected because I didn’t vote.

Obvious, yet, so massively ignored, is the incredibly simple fact that these were not the only options. Gary Johnson and Jill Stein were most notable. But, suggest that, and immediately, some people, notably people who are invested in maintaining control under the R/D duopoly, or hypnotized by those people, will do everything they can to mock, ridicule, dismiss and even destroy anyone outside that system. (Right off the top of my head, do you recall any of the noise accusing Jill Stein of also being one of an apparently endless cast of Russian agents?)

If I say that Hillary Clinton lost the election to somebody as spectacularly unsuitable and just incredibly awful as Donald Trump because she was an incredibly bad candidate, I do not mean that as a criticism suggesting that her campaign management strategy was poor. I mean, she was an incredibly bad choice to become President. This woman should never again be anywhere near any position of power or any kind of influence. Many books might be written about why, and not “Republican right-wing propaganda”, which is one standard response to anything revealing the truth about her.

However, if you do want to restrict the scope to that, consider how Mrs. Clinton did campaign for the office. First, we know, thanks to the revelation to the American people and the world of a lot of covert subterfuge that had been kept hidden by Hillary and associates, that among the gross misdeeds was the effective takeover of the Democratic party management by Hillary Clinton and the activity to sabotage anybody else who might prove a threat to her getting the party nomination to be President, and then the presidency itself. So it came to be that it was Mrs. Clinton on the national ballot with the “D” after her name, even after all the scenes where we saw 5000 seat or larger sports arenas filled with people wildly enthusiastic about the appearance of Bernie Sanders to speak, while Hillary Clinton could be seen in some high school gym while maybe 200 people or so might mill around listlessly with their Clinton campaign buttons and signs with the basic attitude looking like it was something like, oh, well, we’re for Hillary, I guess, because I guess It’s Her Turn.

We found out about quite a lot about how Mrs. Clinton and associates operate, what they did and a lot of clues about why, mainly because of the revelations of a large batch of information from email communications that were released by Wikileaks. At this point, many of the people suffering from the problems I have mentioned go nuts. I think “apoplectic” would be a good word choice in some cases, although generally, even those who don’t go quite that far are absolutely beyond reach of any attempt to tell them that the Wikileaks revelations were not the deeds of Russian agents, and that Julian Assange and Wikileaks were doing us all a public service, doing what our supposed American “free press” is supposed to do, reveal truth about the conduct of government and people in power. That sort of thing isn’t just about the “Clinton emails”, it’s also about things like revealing hellish war crimes in Iraq, a place, you will remember, the US military was sent to attack and invade a country that was not attacking us.

It absolutely appalls me to see how many people I respect, generally decent good and intelligent people, have fallen like complete idiots for the narratives describing the things mentioned as espionage, treason, attacks on our democracy, endangering our national security, and so on, which constantly reminds me of a saying that has come up in recent years-

if revealing a crime is treated as committing a crime, you might be ruled by criminals.

That would probably be a good end point, but, of course, there is more recent news. For a long time now, many people have waited anxiously on the findings of “the Mueller investigation”, you know, to unearth that Russian collusion and treason. I have been amazed and astonished by so many people, including some of the people I know, praising the virtue and goodness of loyal honest honorable public servant Robert Mueller, who is going to rescue us from Trump, apparently completely flushing away all memory of, say, FBI Director Mueller, about a decade and a half ago, sitting testifying before a congressional committee lying to Congress about the supposed certainty of the evil Saddam Hussein having the dreaded weapons of mass destruction, so obviously any good right-thinking people would understand that we simply must attack and invade Iraq!

Remember the bit about the main lesson of history being that people do not learn the lessons of history?

How about the part above about people falling right in line with the neocon megalomaniacs and their manipulation?

The recent news brought the announcement that the Mueller investigation was finished and there were no more recommendations to the US Attorney General for criminal indictments, and no evidence of “Russian collusion”. Instead of feeling a bit silly about the McCarthy like frenzy they had completely wound themselves up in, many people have just doubled-down, almost immediately shifting into howling things like “Mueller and the Attorney General are in on the cover-up!”. And throughout this, the people wrapped up in all the insanity and screaming about “Russian collusion! treason! Trump is a Russian agent!” completely ignore things like loads of people asserting that businessman Trump has a decades long history of allegedly questionable business practices and behavior. Investigate that, perhaps.





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