V I D E O
When M.A.D. Failed As Deterrence
"Bright prospects for global recovery" just released in Beijing
First IMF report issued after the nuclear war | by Branko Milanovic |
On 28 October 2016, foreseeing the possibility of a nuclear war between the US and Russia because of Ukraine, I wrote this dystopian mock-IMF Press Release to give the readers a feel of how such a destroyed world might look, as expressed in the dry words of an international organization's report.
The Press Release is issued by the IMF and by the Bank for the Reconstruction of the Formerly Belligerent Areas (FBA), both located in Beijing. The Bank for the Reconstruction of the FBAs can be seen as a successor to the World Bank. As its name says, its purpose is to help the reconstruction of the FBA (Russia, Europe, US). It is modeled after the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (aka the World Bank) whose original purpose was the reconstruction of the post-World War II Europe. The Press Release has a distinct Chinese feel (I hope readers will catch these details), as might be expected from the fact that the organizations are now located in Beijing.
Note too that the FBAs (which is a strictly legalistic term) are still not on peaceful terms even if the shooting war has ceased. IMF and the Bank for the Reconstruction of the Formerly Belligerent Areas needed to conduct their negotiations separately with each belligerent (this is underlined a couple of times in the Press Release). Note also that Russia is split into Russia, Tatarstan, and the Siberian Republic. US capital has moved to Bismarck, North Dakota (Washington DC having presumably been made uninhabitable). I thought that the Dakotas would be spared the worst and the new administration may be able to function there. I thought it fitting that the US capital remain named after an important political leader. The new G7 is composed of China, India, Indonesia, Brazil, Vietnam, Nigeria and South Africa. African countries are shipping food to prevent starvation in Europe where the situation is particularly dire. Europe is also receiving (free) technical assistance from Somalia. The rest can be, I think, relatively easily understood, even if the reading is not particularly amusing.
Building the narrative for confrontation with Russia ...
British Spooks Exploiting Populist Insurgency for Anti-Russia Campaign | June 7, 2018 |
From my diary ...
Stop Blaming Outside Forces For Our Ills
MLK On Freedom (1963)
Excellent read by Jerome a Paris in 2007
As a companion to Barack Obama's own article on the topic (which I discussed yesterday on the big orange - with 1,100+ comments...), Foreign Affairs has a parallel text written by Mitt Romney about his vision on foreign policy. Cutting to the chase, I'd say that he raises interesting questions, but provides really, really nasty and scary answers (from my perspective).
Okay, let's deal quickly with the one thing I liked in Romney's text: the prominent feature of energy policy, and the (indirect) acknowledgement that it is a foreign policy issue. Of course, he talks only about the dependency aspects, and not abouyt how oil influences US policies.
The Right Finds Virtue in Extremism | by Real History Lisa | Mar 26, 2010 |
During his acceptance speech at the 1964 Republican convention, presidential candidate Barry Goldwater famously said, "Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice." But was he correct?
Last weekend, those words were wrapped around a brick and thrown through the window of the Monroe Democratic Committee headquarters office in Rochester, New York.
Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-New York, whose Niagara Falls office also received a brick through a window, reported that someone left a voicemail message that referenced "snipers." Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Arizona, provided a photograph to the Associated Press showing a cracked window in her Tucson office.
Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Michigan, one of the few anti-abortion voices in the Democratic Party, was called a "baby-killing mother f***er" on his office's voicemail. The brother of Rep. Tom Perriello, D-Virginia, had a gas line cut after the brother's address was mistakenly listed on a Tea Party site as belonging to the congressman.
Rep. James Clyburn, D-South Carolina, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, received a faxed image of a noose. Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said that at least 10 Democratic members have been targeted.
Clearly, extremism, even in the defense of a certain perception of liberty, is still extremism, and a vice worthy of serious punishment. That people are resorting to such playground bully tactics only underscores the lack of leadership on the Right.
The Right would do better to take a page from the Left in this regard.
During the 1960s, when Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was leading marches for civil rights, King preached the necessity of modeling the movement's behavior on the nonviolent actions of Mahatma Gandhi. In his book Stride Toward Freedom, King wrote that nonviolent resistance was not passivity in the face of evil, it was active love in the face of evil.
King explained that "nonviolence ... does not seek to defeat or humiliate the opponent, but to win his friendship and understanding. ... The aftermath of nonviolence is the creation of the beloved community, while the aftermath of violence is tragic bitterness."
Full article published at Consortium News ...
The Right Finds Virtue in Extremism | by Lisa Pease - March 2010 |
Editor's Note: As crazy as it might seem to any rational observer, many on the American Right have been persuaded that a reform law - setting limits on what health insurance companies can do to their customers and requiring some coverage for other Americans - is a secret totalitarian plot to deprive the nation of its liberties.
Yet, in whipping up this frenzy, right-wing talkers and Republican leaders are risking a resurgence of violent extremism like the militia movement of the 1990s, which reached a crescendo with the Oklahoma City terror bombing in 1995, a history that Lisa Pease hopes doesn't need repeating:
During his acceptance speech at the 1964 Republican convention, presidential candidate Barry Goldwater famously said, "Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice." But was he correct.
Conservative extremists are calling for vandalism and assassinations of legislators kids. Louise Slaughter's children among them.
Over the last sixty years or so, I see far more continuities than discontinuities in what the rightward twenty or thirty percent of Americans believe about the world. The crazy things they believed and wanted were obscured by their lack of power, but they were always there - if you knew where to look. What's changed is that loony conservatives are now the Republican mainstream, the dominant force in the GOP. [Source: Rick Perlstein]
Freed From Enslavement
Franklin Roosevelt's opponents called him a communist and a fascist, sometimes at the same time. But in truth, FDR's greatness stemmed from his indifference to ideology. Spurred by Eleanor, who told him of her wanderings through Depression-ravaged America.
Lyndon Johnson was a child of the New Deal. The Great Society was born, in part, from his experience as a young man watching how the Texas Hills Country was transformed when FDR "brought the lights."
In the 1960s, Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan said that giving the poor and elderly health care violated the American creed. But LBJ, who had seen his Hill Country neighbors bent and broken by arthritis as the result of decades of near-medieval labor, wasn't interested in what Friedrich Hayek said. He knew that in the real world, government-funded subsidized health care, like government-subsidized electricity, didn't enslave people; it freed them.
1966 Anti-Student Demonstration of Willard @Stanford U. | Aug. 2012 |
David Harris was mentor of Mitt Romney and lived on the same floor, had many discussions. Harris became a leader in the anti-Vietnam War protest movement at Stanford. The students protested the cooperation of the University in participating in classified contracts with the military, assistance in supplying exam results and grades for the Selective Service as the 2-S deferment rules changed and launched a protest against the use of napalm. Harris was surprised when Mitt Romney positioned himself in opposition to the student protests in an anti-demonstration,
Without saying anything to his fellow students, Mitt Romney dropped out of Stanford in or after his first year and avoided the draft by enlisting himself as a Mormon missionary and traveled to France to deepen his faith.
America's Greatness Ended With the Statue of Liberty | by Oui on Jan 29, 2017 |
Indeed America was a beacon of freedom for peoples facing religious persecution or utter economic disaster as the Irish and failure in agriculture (potato famine). America was a nation for immigrants during the 19th century, white Europeans seeking the opportunities of America's expansion westward into the vast wasteland, empty except for roaming bisons and red-faced indigenous peoples. Indeed, these "savages" were wasted and the West was won by the law of the gun.
Proponents designed the Immigration Act of 1965 primarily as a symbolic gesture, aimed at various audiences. For American citizens, they expected passage of this act, along with the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts, to signal an end to government-sanctioned Anglo-Saxon supremacy in the United States.
For people both in and outside the United States, they wanted an act to reflect the country's growing "role of critical leadership in a troubled and constantly changing world," as the Secretary of State put it (Rusk, House, July 2, 1964). Given the Cold War and civil rights activity, the United States needed to be seen as a fair and meritocratic society, not one that judged people and nations through a lens of "bias and prejudice" (Rusk, House, July 2, 1964).
Senator Sam Ervin of North Carolina was the only member of the Subcommittee on Immigration defending the national origins system during hearings. Ervin met every administration witness with the argument that you could not draft any immigration law in which you did not "discriminate," in that you favor some over others. Why not then discriminate, as the McCarran-Walter Act did, in favor of national groups who historically had the greatest influence in building the nation?
The McCarran-Walter Act takes effect and revises U.S. immigration laws. The law was hailed by supporters as a necessary step in preventing alleged communist subversion in the United States, while opponents decried the legislation as being xenophobic and discriminatory.
To put all the earth's peoples on the same basis as prospective immigrants to the U.S., Ervin argued, was to discriminate against the "people from England . . . France . . . Germany . . . Holland" who had first settled and shaped the country.
On the Senate floor, Senator Robert Byrd (among others) supported Ervin: "Every other country that is attractive to immigrants practices selectivity (in favor of their founding nationalities) and without apology," including Australia, Japan, and Israel, Byrd said. Our system is "just and wise," since "additional population" from western European countries is "more easily and readily assimilated into the American population . . . . Why should the U.S. be the only advanced nation in the world today to develop a guilt complex concerning its immigration policies?"
Conservatives owe much to Goldwater's presidential bid | AZ Central - 2014 |
Barry Goldwater's insurgent presidential bid 50 years ago was a spectacular failure as a political campaign.
In the emotional aftermath of President John F. Kennedy's assassination and against a backdrop of Cold War nuclear brinkmanship and domestic racial unrest, Goldwater, a blunt-speaking conservative from Arizona, won the GOP nod by railing against moderates within his own party.
In turn, opponents — in his party and out — cast the senator, then 55, as an extremist who was too wedded to far-right ideology to address drastic shifts in society and global politics.
On Election Day, Nov. 3, 1964, Goldwater carried only his home state — by 1 percentage point — and the Southern states of Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina. The popular vote was equally lopsided: 61 percent to 38 percent.
The dismal showing at the polls would seem to render the campaign as a political footnote. Instead, Goldwater's run has resonated for the way it shifted control of the Republican Party to an upstart conservative movement that valued principled stands on its key issues, even if that meant losing in the short term.
Goldwater's impact on the Republican Party was immediate and irreversible, said Rick Perlstein, author of "Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus."
"What 1964 did was put the conservative movement in the driver's seat of the Republican Party," he said.
Goldwater's Republican libertarianism continues to be reflected in emerging GOP figures such as Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., a possible 2016 presidential candidate who emphasizes individual rights as he rails against National Security Agency surveillance and other big-government intrusions.
"I believe what you do on your cellphone is none of their damn business," Paul said with a dash of Goldwater saltiness in a recent speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference.
And although she long ago took a different political path, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is considering a 2016 presidential run, has acknowledged her role as "a Goldwater girl" in 1964. She later wrote that she admired Goldwater as "a rugged individualist who swam against the political tide."
Tom Cotton Threading On Hot Coals of War
Nuclear warmongering not seen since Barry Goldwater in 1964! Back to the future of oblivion? Clock is set one minute to midnight.