The Revenge of the Lower Classes and the Rise of American Fascism (from @Truthdig)

Now, I found this to be a very rational, but somewhat depressing analysis of current political events, but with enough truth and common sense to it to make it worth reading and pondering, so I urge everyone to read it.

trump-hitler

College-educated elites, on behalf of corporations, carried out the savage neoliberal assault on the working poor. Now these elites are being made to pay. Their duplicity has brought them—and the rest of us—Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. – 2016/03/02

Source: The Revenge of the Lower Classes and the Rise of American Fascism (from @Truthdig)

FROM 9/11 To 11/11

This is  a reposting of an article by Dennis and Elizabeth Kucinich on The Blog. Seems worth reading to me.

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Elizabeth Kucinich Headshot Elizabeth Kucinich, Policy Director, Center for Food Safety

Dennis J. Kucinich Headshot Dennis J. Kucinich, former 16-year member of the U.S. Congress and two-time U.S. presidential candidate

American Journey From Terror to Peace, 9/11 to 11/11

Posted: 11/11/2014 12:30 pm EST Updated: 11/11/2014 12:59 pm EST
AMERICAN FLAG
 This day commemorates both Veterans Day in the US and Armistice Day abroad, marking the end of the First World War, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 1918. This year of 2014 is particularly poignant as it also commemorates the 100th anniversary of the beginning of WWI.

Originally, Armistice Day was celebrated in the US, as an homage to peace and solidarity with the nations of the world who paid a terrible price in WWI, including 116,576 Americans who died. In 1954, the day became Veterans Day in the US.

In Europe, the centennial of the four-year period of the First World War, 1914-1918, is being observed with solemn ceremony, remembering the bravery and courage of 10 million soldiers and nearly 7 million civilians who perished. One million people died in a series of battles across the River Somme, France, in just four months.

Remembered, too, are the failures and foibles of the leaders of governments who precipitated the war, a “march of folly” well-chronicled by historian Barbara Tuchman in the Guns of August.

While Armistice Day signals a renewed interest in Europe in the practicality of peace and reconciliation and unity, here at home we observe Veterans Day still riveted to the narrative of deep fear derived from September 11, 2001.

9/11 was that searing day which was the genesis of the “War on Terror,” a perpetual war now in its 14th year, predicted by Washington insiders to last perhaps another 30. We rightly honor those who answered the call of the nation and recall our obligation “to care for those who have borne the battle.” How much better would the honor we accord the valorous be if it included guarantees for physical and emotional security after one’s service?

9/11 to 11/11 are now the parentheses of our national experience, from terror to war to tributes for those we send to fight. Is America fated to draw a straight line from 9/11 to 11/11, more veterans of more wars? Can we take an evolutionary journey away from terror and toward the peace and reconciliation implicit in Armistice Day?

How do we break the mind-forged bars of fear that presently keep us on the treadmill of war, annihilating our Constitution, eliminating our civil liberties, and dismissing any hope for a domestic economy in which everyone has an opportunity to survive?

Since September 11, 2001, America has gone abroad in search of enemies to slay. Thousands of our men and women have been killed, tens of thousands permanently injured. The ensuing civilian casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan number in the millions.

As America exercises a titanic power of destructiveness we have unwittingly created more enemies. Occupations fuel insurgencies and give legitimacy to those rebel groups who would otherwise be shunned by the societies for which they allegedly fight.

The Middle East is being radicalized by the wars, strengthening resistance; nationalism, sectarianism and jihadism are rising; retribution brings more violent suppression, which in turn creates more enemies and more resistance.

And as if we do not have our hands full in the Middle East, the US military looks west to the South China Sea for relevance, i.e., future conflicts. If that fails, our aging cold war apparatchiks, using NATO cat’s-paw, are renewing a cold war with Russia.

This Veterans Day, we are locked into a maddening, deadly cycle of perpetual war led on by our home-grown sorcerers’ apprentices of rigid ideologies, the flag-waving war profiteers and shadowy foreign powers who are happy to stay behind the scenes. As long as the US does the blood-letting and our taxpayers foot the bill, now in trillions of dollars.

We return to 9/11. On the day of September 11, 2001, and the months that followed, the heart of the world was open to the United States, including expressions of support from Iran and Russia. Flowers adorned American embassies in all countries.

At our point of greatest anguish and pain, the world was there for us. Calling for reconciliation. Calling for a new approach to international relations. Hoping for a moment of reflection and historical perspective.

Our leaders took us in a very different direction. Eleven years ago, in 2003, millions of Americans and citizens world-wide took to the streets to protest the onrushing war against Iraq; a war that used 9/11 as a cover. A war against a nation with absolutely no connection to the 9/11 attacks.

Washington today is a convergence of civic celebration of veterans, and the anticipation that Congress will soon vote to give the President new war-making authority and approve more money for more War in Iraq and Syria.

The last authorization for war against Iraq was obtained fraudulently. But with the upcoming authorization and war appropriations, our civic narrative, deprived of memory, requires no consequence, only the plodding towards more war.

This new request rests not on fraud, but on hubris — the vainglorious notion that we will, at last, “stabilize” (remake) Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria, that US military might trumps culture, religion, history.

Outside the beltway bubble, another America exists. Here people struggle with an economy where wealth is accelerating upwards, where unemployment, underemployment, low wages, limited opportunities for higher education, the high cost of housing and health care and precarious retirement conditions daily impose physical suffering and mental anguish.

Washington needs a re-evaluate America’s role in the world. What makes us safe and secure at home?

In the past month, we have held listening sessions with groups of people in Iowa, New York, Oregon, Washington State, Northern and Southern California, and Colorado, inquiring what “National Security” really means to them.

What we are finding is that some Americans define national security not in terms of military prowess or foreign invasions, but in terms of true human security for America, including food security and economic security.

The recent elections and polls reflected this too, with the state of the economy weighing on people’s minds, and foreign policy way down the list.

Washington, D.C., on the other hand, has created a grim equation. National Security = more war. National Security = less freedom. National Security = the hemorrhaging of taxpayer money to war in sacrifice of the domestic economy.

We can report from those meetings, there is another America stirring.

Unlike Capitol Hill, the other America has been shaken, but still holds fast to ideals and to the Constitution. It is an America restless for change, keenly aware of promises not delivered, and resentful of a system which profits the few while keeping the many fearful and at war.

America’s future may well be described by whether we can successfully navigate the path from terror to peace, a path from 9/11 to 11/11 and the spirit of Armistice. It is a path that requires truth, reconciliation, commitment and courage. War-weary Americans are ready for a new direction, whether official Washington is ready or not.

Let us take this four-year period, from 2014 to 2018, the 100th anniversaries of the global battle of WWI to the Armistice of November 11, 1918, to bring our own great transition from entrenched commitment to perpetual war.

THERE IS DEATH I CANNOT FEEL

I grew up believing in peace, opposing war, all war. I accepted non-violence as the way to go. I was, however, impressed by the Students for a Democratic Society splinter group, The Weathermen. They advocated “bring the war home,” because too many people seemed not to care how many died, when it was elsewhere.
The destruction of the twin World Trade Center Towers was certainly bringing war home. It was hard to reconcile the feelings of anger and revenge with non-violence and peace. I started writing that day, and didn’t stop for weeks. I only wrote a few lines a day. I finished after September 20, 2001, because that is the day President Bush declared war on a thing: terror, and before October 7, 2001, because that is the day the current war in Afghanistan became official. (See: Afghanistan prior to 9/11)

THERE IS DEATH I CANNOT FEEL

Denial.
A plane crashing into a building. New York. I’m late for work. I’ll find out what this is about later. At work there is a TV on across the hall in the office. Pictures of a building burning, a plane smashing into a building. World trade center. I’ve been there. Delivered packages in the ’70’s. Toured New York in the ’90’s.  Walked the observation deck. Pictures of that building collapsing. Pictures of another building collapsing.  Unreal.  Surreal. I see but don’t believe. Nonsense. Thousands of people in those buildings, as many as 50,000. It can’t be happening. The eyes take it in, but the mind is numb.
Awakening.
I want to know what happened; how, when, why?  I turn on the radio; alternate listening,  wandering across the hall to the TV.  I see it happen over and over.  I want to know how many people were killed, as if it matters how many thousands.  The radio brings fresh reports: two planes, three planes, four!  It’s too incredible.  Hijackers.  Terrorists.  Religious fanatics.  Muslims.  Islam.  Terrorists.  Hijacked. The usually loquacious media commentators repeat the same things over and over.  Pictures from the Pentagon.  The Pentagon?  How in hell do you hit that?  Images in my head of protests at the Pentagon.  Hated object of military mistakes, military arrogance. Smoke and fire.  How many dead?  No one knows.  Plane down in Pennsylvania.  Pennsylvania?  No word from the President yet, he’s on Air Force One, circling, traveling.  He’s in an underground bunker.  His life could be in danger.  Who speaks for the U.S.?  Who did this?  Why?  No one claims responsibility.  This is real terror.  The apocalypse?  I’m alert.  I’m awake.
Anger.
It’s stopped.  All news is an endless replaying of the same images, the same destruction, the same death.  No more.  I don’t want to see any more.  I don’t want to hear anymore.  Kill them.  Kill the people who did this.  Flay them; draw and quarter them.  Stop them.  Yes, that’s it.  We must destroy them before they destroy us.  Us?  The U.S.  My country.  The country I  live in.  The country I share with millions of others.  We’re under attack.  We must defend ourselves.  We must, we must, we must retaliate; we must kill, destroy.  Adrenalin pumping; I can’t sleep.  How do we answer?  Who do we attack?  When?
Grief.
Death.  Death on a massive scale.  People grieving.  There are people grieving around the world.  People who were not involved, strangers.  They build altars, bring flowers.  I see them crying, grieving, and the tears flow down my face uncontrollably.  My face is soaked in empathy with people who cry in empathy with the grief of the families of the victims.  My emotions pour out.  My spirit returns.


Acceptance.
No more killing.  If we kill innocents, we are no better than the killers.  No country has declared war.  The terrorists are spread throughout the world.  They have declared war against the most powerful nation on our planet.  Backfire!  The nations of the world express their solidarity with us, with the U.S.  Our President declares a war on terrorism.  There will be action.  We will hunt the terrorists down.  We will exact justice.  But who will be killed?  Poor Afghans?  Goat herders and camel riders?  They did not do this.  A government is in power that says it did not do this, but, but, they’re not sorry about it either.  So, do we kill them?  Their own people fight against them.  Civil war.
Healing.
Afghans dying already from malnutrition, hunger, disease.  The country is impoverished.  The borders are closed to the Red Cross, to any foreign aid.  The country is sick, maybe dying.  Should we help it along?  Or, or, or perhaps we should try to help those people.  Drop food supplies.  Drop newspapers.  Drop letters from Muslims around the world who denounce terrorism, who denounce killing as anathema to their religion, to the core of their beliefs.  There is no holy war.  The terrorists want us to attack Muslims, want us to attack Muslim countries.  They expect to split the world into warring religious camps.  We cannot play their game. We must not play their deadly game.  We must show the world that we are the strongest nation in the world, that we do have the best people.  We believe in tolerance, respect for each other.  We may not practice our beliefs all the time, but we try.  We try.  Let us find ways to heal.  Let us find ways to defend ourselves without killing others who cannot defend themselves from us.  Revenge is sweet, but revenge goes on and on, and on.   There have been centuries of revenge already.  If we act alone, if we destroy and bomb and kill; if we take one innocent life in the name of  revenge, then we will be alone.  Terrorism will go on; people around the world will suffer.   Let us work with the nations of our world to solve this crime, to stop it from ever happening again.  Let us unite with former enemies, with Libya and Cuba and Russia, and China, and all of our friends and allies in the world.  Together we can stop terrorism once and for all.  Together we can root out the causes of terror: the distrust, the injustice, the fear, the poverty, and the unreasoning hatred of those who are different.  It is our world.  We are the people of the Earth.  We are one.

We are one.

We are one.

Insight, sort of

paranoia.jpg You know, the first step in overcoming paranoia is realizing that “they” are not out to get you, at least to my understanding. When you see someone behind you for awhile, is it reasonable to assume they are following you? or is that paranoia? Self-preservation demands that we be vigilant. Sometimes people do follow us. Sometimes they want our wallet or purse. Sure. Be aware of our surroundings; be aware of where we are, what we see, who we see. Self-preservation. Useful. Sometimes people are only going the same way too.
Conspiracy theories. Useful? or not? I don’t think they are useful. There are no vast government conspiracies, no world bank conspiracies, no religious conspiracies, no capitalist or socialist or communist conspiracies, and no plan by a single person or group to control us or the world. Understanding that is key to self-preservation. If we think there is a conspiracy, we might lash out at a religion, an economic theory, a single government, a single country, even a single person, and think we’re right. We might target multiple things. Useless. paranoia-2.jpg And, we are easily manipulated in such a state.

We might think we can wipe out a government, or at least uncover its machinations, expose it to the world, but that is the error of such thinking: it misdirects us. Vigilance is always key. Awareness of what’s going on around us, where we are, who we are. There are no enemies to defeat, no conspiracies to uncover. We control, we direct, we lead, we follow. We will get what we deserve. We can have whatever we want, anyway we want it. There is no other, no saviour, no enemy. At the root of paranoia is oneself. At the root of all of the problems we have, and sometimes only think we have, is ourselves. We can solve every problem that needs solving, and recognise that some things are not even problems.

But first, we have to discard the idea that “they” are out to get us. “They” is us. We are “them”. The sooner we recognize that, the sooner we simply open our awareness of all that is around us, who we are, what we are, and perhaps, how we are, the easier we will find our world to be. There are cultures on the Earth that have sayings, teachings, proverbs, holy scripts, whatever, that say: “All things come to he who waits,” or something close to that. Why is that? Perhaps it is because the waiter observes, is vigilant, is aware of all around him. Being aware means you can be at the right place at the right time, for example. It is the philosophy of the inside trader. Be there when the stock splits, the company grows, or be there just before the company folds. Inside traders are driven by greed, however, not self preservation. They actually wish to take advantage of their awareness of unfolding events in order to have an advantage over other people, for the sole propose of enriching themselves monetarily. That’s just greed.

We can, however, take that as a sort of philosophy. Be aware of things that are happening, things unfolding, things unraveling in the world. Be aware of who we are, who we are becoming. How do we think? What is it we think about? Why? What do we want? Why?

We might just survive, if we can couple our basic human curiosity with awareness, not fear, not judgment, not power over others. Who are we all? Why do we want? What is happening? Where? Why? Are there patterns? Are there vortexes of activity or inactivity? Where? Why? How?

What is being created? What is being destroyed? What is simply changing? What is growing? What is dying? Why? Where? How?

Somehow, I think we can survive if we do not feel fear. If we feel wonder at our understandings, if we feel wonder at all that occurs, and try to understand it all, even one thing at a time, I think we will like the world that results. Conspiracy be damned. It is us, always was and will be.

paranoiacvision.jpg awareness.jpg