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Health Care & Environment

07.21 Greta Thunberg: ‘They see us as a threat because we’re having an impact’ [We love a sane smarty-pants! Trump, you won't understand any of this, so just go off and tweet or chant, or whatever...]

07.20 Until Emissions Drop, Nothing Has Been Accomplished: The Climate Resistance Handbook Is Here. [Trump can't be bothered as the world turns into a large cinder. His laser focus is on personal greed.]

07.20 Cargo ships are emitting boatloads of carbon, and nobody wants to take the blame [1:19 video; Governments must commission to fight deadly shipping emissions, previously omitted in climate summit agreements....]

07.20 Babies Born Near Oil and Gas Wells Are Up to 70% More Likely to Have Congenital Heart Defects, New Study Shows

07.20 Giving 'Upper Hand to Corporate Polluters,' EPA Drops Surprise Inspections

07.20 With Petition to Congress, 100,000+ People Demand Green New Deal 'That Fixes Our Food System' [Realtime proactive response to reality—now and threatening—doesn't get attention in this greed focused administration]

07.19 Trump administration won't ban pesticide tied to childhood brain damage [There is no truth to the persistent rumor that chlorpyrifos pesticide was heavily used at Trump's childhood home in Queens]

07.19 'Unprecedented' Decline of Plants and Animals as Global 'Red List' Reveals Nearly One-Third of Assessed Species Under Threat

07.17 ‘Off-the-charts’ heat to affect millions in U.S. in coming decades

07.17 Planned Parenthood president Leana Wen forced out by board [Given that states have lost abortion rights on political grounds recently, Wen's philosophical approach to protect abortion rights based on ‘health care’ was smarter – therefore it was that smarter strategy that was killed at the secret meeting.]

07.17 Billions of air pollution particles found in hearts of city dwellers

07.17 What is happening in America's Cancertown is tragic, immoral and evil [Niggardly white government policies could change to produce better students, better jobs and net revenue instead of costs. But it seems they enjoy more cruelty—like Trump.]

07.16 US aid cuts to UN agency will hurt vulnerable women and children, critics say

07.16 Trump abortion restrictions in effect for taxpayer-funded clinics

07.15 The response to DRC’s Ebola crisis isn’t working. Here’s what we need to do

07.15 Extinction Rebellion protests block traffic in five UK cities [Non-corporate human animals make their annoying bleating sounds...]

07.14 A Glacier the Size of Florida Is Becoming Unstable. It Has Dire Implications for Global Sea Levels [The willfully ignorant needn't read more, Trump]

News Media Matters

07.19 Fox News’s star names excuse the inexcusable after Trump's latest racist attack

07.18 In Sinclair's New 'Must-Run' Segment, Former Trump Adviser Tries to Defend Racist Attacks on 'the Squad'

Daily: FAIR Blog
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US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

07.21 Of course Donald Trump is a racist – and his Wall Street enablers know it

07.21 A court ruled it was legal for guards to strip search female inmates and force them to remove their tampons in front of male officers for a 'training exercise' [The frequency and degree of immorality and degradation being reported in the media is very disturbing, as if society has been reprogrammed overnight to be more like the worst behavior of Nazi Germany]

07.21 THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY IS GETTING CRUSHED IN FUNDRAISING: “THEY NEED TO GET THEIR SHIT TOGETHER” [Since so-called moderate Democrats will prostitute themselves in many conceivable ways (offering that special quid pro quo) they have effectively become competitively ANTI-PUBLIC, like Republicans. Whereas progressive Democrats must promise not to take corporate donations at all as an effective litmus-test. The DNC refuses to raise funds for moderate and progressives separately, and thus donations fall short. Which is it to be: 1) Will the DNC change? or 2) Must progressive Democrats become corporate whores too? or 3) Maybe you don't need corporate contributions at all if your policies are fantastic?]

07.21 State and Local Taxes Are Worsening Inequality

07.21 State and Local Taxes Are Worsening Inequality

07.21 We're no longer in Brave New World. We're back in 1984. [1:35 video; Our despicable President is at it again]

07.21 BALTIMORE'S FILTHIEST HOODS [7:38 video. Ask your governments, why are our cities so much worse than Europe's? Why is our healthcare worse and so much more expensive? And why are our Billionaires so much richer? Ask if those results of bad government are all related, and why? Are they all caused by a power-elite with greed-obsessed immorality?]

07.21 Nancy Pelosi's Dem Socialist Challenger Shahid Buttar: "We're Gonna Win" | Full Interview [5:43 video]

07.21 Jon Stewart goes viral excoriating Rand Paul after blocking vote [9:02 video]

07.21 Nicolle Wallace Refuses to Broadcast Trump Live [5:43 video]

07.21 Sassy Bernie Sanders Sh*ts on Jeff Bezos on His Home Turf... Numerous Times [17:22 video]

07.20 Puerto Rico: top US politicians join chorus calling for governor's resignation

07.20 Fact check: Trump says Puerto Rico got $92 billion. They've seen only a fraction [If he opens his mouth, Trump's lying.]

07.20 "Trump Says Go Home, Ilhan's Community Says Welcome Home": Rep. Omar Greeted With Cheers of Love and Support in Return to Minnesota

07.20 WATCH: Amid Extreme Anti-Refugee Push, Trump Displays Neither Interest Nor Knowledge of Asylum Seekers' Plight in Oval Office Meeting

07.20 Trump Denies Being at North Carolina Rally [Not sure if Trump supporters 'get' satire, but here goes....]

07.19 Are progressives working on a climate plan for 2021? You bet.

07.19 House Democrats demand Hope Hicks clarify testimony after Cohen document dump

07.19 The 51 most outrageous lines from Donald Trump's repugnant North Carolina rally

07.19 The Real Meaning of ‘Send Her Back!’

07.18 Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Breaking up Homeland Security

Justice Matters

07.19 UN urged to act over 'purge' of Turkey's lawyers by Erdogan

07.19 DOJ Releases Strong Evidence of Trump’s Campaign Finance Violations But No Explanation of No Charges [The statement]

High Crimes vs. Human Rights

07.19 Conscientious objectors of first world war – their untold tales [The record proves they were morally right by avoiding violent early deaths of their cousins and themselves]

Economics & Corrupt Capitalism

07.18 Corporate tax cuts blocked at least 15,000 affordable homes in California. Here’s how

International & Futurism

07.21 Millions face hardship as Zimbabwe comes close to ‘meltdown’

07.21 Spain set for socialist-led government after Iglesias deal [Some loaded drama going on here...]

07.20 US to deploy troops to Saudi Arabia in face of 'credible' regional threats [Working with Osama bin Laden's godfathers, Trump wants to profit like Erik Prince (for-profit education secretary Betsy DeVos' brother) of Blackwater infamy (hurriedly renamed ‘Academi’), the U.S. taxpayer to pay inflated costs while Trump siphons off long-term emolument largesse]

07.20 Iran on 'dangerous path' with seizure of Stena Impero, says UK [Which is this, a tit or a tat?]

07.20 'Dark satanic mills': Tony Abbott continues his crusade against wind turbines [Too much CO2 air pollution makes you stupid, and turns your country into an “Idiocracy” (1:36 video clip)]

07.20 Bolsonaro declares 'the Amazon is ours' and calls deforestation data 'lies' [Lazy and willfully stupid whenever it serves his purpose, just like Trump. “And the rest of you can all go to hell.” Again, just like Trump. Has your country turned into an “Idiocracy”? (1:36 video clip)]

07.19 U.N.'s Bachelet says Congresswomen opposing Trump are 'fantastic'

07.19 Iran makes 'substantial' nuclear offer in return for US lifting sanctions [Was barbaric Saudi Arabia—whose citizens were more involved in the 9-11 attacks—the wrong ally all along?]

07.19 “The Task Ahead Is Enormous, and There Is Not Much Time” [Read this and learn. Or read Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) | Twitter and/or President Trump (@POTUS) | Twitter. Are you serious? Or are you in hideously criminal denial?]

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  Hell is Murky: Lady MacBeth and the Evil Beyond Torture
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AMERICA'S IMPERIAL OLIGARCHS ACT LIKE TALIBAN:

Hell is Murky: Lady MacBeth and the Evil Beyond Torture

by Chris Floyd
Monday, 27 April 2009
Torture has been and remains an inevitable and necessary part of the American project as envisioned and directed by the ruling class. It was only that Bush-Cheney explicitly made it US "policy" which was too crude and cannot be allowed; "our" sort of people just don't do this sort of thing (wink wink).
Here's the smell of the blood still: all the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. Oh, oh, oh! -- Lady Macbeth

Arthur Silber is back, after another long, health-induced hiatus, and, as you might expect, he brings a unique and powerful perspective to bear on the "torture debate." (Yes, in some far-distant future our much-evolved descendants will marvel -- with wonder and revulsion -- that our species was once so primitive and barbaric that it actually had "debates" about the practice of inflicting pain and suffering on captive fellow creatures. Or perhaps this puzzled wonderment will come from alien visitors sorting through the lifeless rubble of our self-destroyed planet.)

In any case, Silber has launched what promises to be a landmark series examining the deeper impact and broader implications of the current brouhaha over America's most recent use of heinous atrocities to work the imperial will of its masters and managers. In the first part, he comes to what he acknowledges might seem a surprising and counterintuitive conclusion: that prosecuting the Bush Regime's admittedly "monstrous crimes" would not only be useless but also, ultimately, harmful. Why? Because even trials of the highest and mightiest perps would only paper over the fact that "torture is an inevitable and necessary part of the American project as envisioned and directed by the ruling class."

As usual, Silber brings in and links to a rich trove of supporting detail and analysis; excerpting the post risks reducing the full force of its argument. However, the passages below will give a taste of the essay, and bring out some important points. But do yourself a favor, and read the whole thing. (And while you're there, do us all a favor and contribute to Arthur's site, to help keep this important and powerful voice in play.)

From "Against Prosecution (I): A Vicious Fury -- With Nukes" [many more links in the original]:

At present, we are in the midst of a heated debate over whether and to what extent the crimes committed by the Bush administration should be investigated; over what means would be best employed if it is determined that an investigation should proceed, and which particular individuals should ultimately be prosecuted, if any. Considering the above excerpts from my earlier analysis of this subject, my own view on this question might surprise you: Given the prevailing realities of American politics and culture, I am unalterably and unequivocally opposed to investigation and prosecution of these monstrous crimes...

As I contemplate the continuing crackup of the American State and the American imperial project, a disintegration that occurs with a rapidity and comprehensiveness that few would have predicted as recently as a decade ago, it often occurs to me that we are to be spared nothing. On the domestic front, the authoritarian-surveillance state continues to expand its reach, destroying what small vestiges remain of the foundation of liberty identified by Brandeis, "the right to be let alone -- the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized men." (In addition to the more recognized forms of the authoritarian-surveillance state, please always keep in mind other programs that escape notice and comment almost entirely. The InfraGard program is a prime example of what I mean; I still see almost no discussion anywhere of that monstrosity.) Simultaneously, the United States descends into unapologetic, full-fledged oligarchy-kleptocracy, as monumental debt piles up higher and higher, ensuring that this and future generations will be reduced to a desperate hope that a lifetime of debt servitude will be the worst fate to befall them....

[Silber's reference to InfraGard is indeed a pertinent one, and, as he notes, the rapacious growth of this sinister program has been almost entirely ignored. I urge you to read his earlier piece on the program, and its ramifications.]

As I have discussed at great length, torture represents an immense evil. Yet the current obsessive focus on torture constitutes only another facet of the same overall pathology. In the manner of a Lady Macbeth compulsively washing her hands, almost all of our ruling class and those who support them believe that if only they can remove this single "damn'd spot," all of their and America's sins will thus be purified. As with Lady Macbeth, this is the route to a final, irrevocable break with reality, and to ultimate destruction.

For close to none of our politicians and almost none of our prominent national voices will offer a serious challenge to the view that America is entitled by right to be God on Earth. In the context of this pervasive national denial of the truth of the American State and its explicitly proclaimed goal of worldwide dominance, the preoccupation with torture is another manifestation of the identical denial, just as it profoundly misidentifies the nature of the evil involved and reverses cause and effect. For torture is not some aberrational addition to the American polity; it is not a localized barnacle that can be scraped off an otherwise strong and healthy hull.

The truth is precisely the opposite: Torture is an inevitable and necessary part of the American project as envisioned and directed by the ruling class. The American government's systematic use of torture long predated the Bush administration, just as America's foreign policy of endless, aggressive intervention abroad took shape over more than a century, often most zealously directed by Democrats prior to the arrival of the detestable Bush. And more than this, and as we shall shortly see, torture was a foundational element of the American State itself. (On the bipartisan roots and development of America's foreign policy of worldwide hegemony, see my "Dominion Over the World" series... and progressives might pay special attention to Part VIII, for some "welcome history." Links to all the installments will be found at the conclusion of Part IX.)

But our ruling class and those who call for anything less than the most radical of reforms refuse to acknowledge any of this. By seeking to localize the evil in only one aspect of the much broader and more fundamental evil involved and within a falsely delimited period of time, the torture obsessives would thus whitewash the American project as a whole. And until our foreign policy of the last hundred years is uprooted entirely, torture will never be eliminated. As I have analyzed in detail... the primary objection to the vile reign of Bush, to the extent such objection made itself known, was not to the substance of his foreign policy or to the nature of his actions. The rejection of Bush arose because Bush and his fellow criminals committed the one unforgivable sin: they stated explicitly, without apology and in an especially crude way what America's goals and methods had been all along. This cannot be allowed; "our" sort of people just don't do this sort of thing, after all. America's genocidal murderers are nothing if not well-mannered.

So the selective pursuit and possible prosecution of a few of those who devised, directed and implemented the U.S. torture policies, but only those of recent vintage and not any of those that went before or are yet to come, will conveniently provide the United States with a clean slate upon which to write new chapters of crime. And to those who insist that we must pursue investigations because they may finally allow the entire web of evil to be unraveled, I can only say that such people ought to grow up one of these days. Short of massive, sustained civil unrest, even of the nonviolent kind, the ruling class will not allow it. When in the history of humankind has a ruling class, particularly one which has amassed to itself the kind of power now enjoyed by the American elites, ever fundamentally reformed itself and relinquished a significant part of the power it has obtained through many decades of unrelenting, diligent effort? Only if you answer, "Never," are you correct.

We will examine all these issues in more detail. For now, keep in mind the nightmare vision of Lady Macbeth in the last stages before her final destruction. Tragically, we must revise even Shakespeare's powerful imagination. For our Lady Macbeth is not yet a pathetically broken, largely helpless figure, moaning and whimpering as madness consumes her.

No, the Lady Macbeth of our time -- a figure who ought to terrify you to the roots of your being -- is very different from that. For America today is broken, but she refuses to acknowledge it. In addition, and this is where the terror takes root, she possesses the most fearsome arsenal of weaponry ever seen in history.

This, then, is the waking nightmare that confronts us: America is a hollowed-out hag desperately trying to maintain a fragile, weakening toehold on sanity -- a vicious fury, with nukes.

Silber makes a very important point in his conclusion, one that is almost universally ignored. I often receive messages or comments to the effect that this or that development will force the American elite to mend their ways, or rein in their horns, or curtail in some way their relentless drive for domination. For some, it's the Chinese calling in their T-bills, or some alliance of world powers forming a bloc against American hegemony, or ignominious defeat in some imperial sortie, or economic collapse at home, or any number of scenarios, plausible or otherwise. And I am always surprised that people seem to forget that the American elite is backed by a fearsome, unstoppable arsenal whose global reach and destructive power are almost unimaginable. And equally unimaginable is the thought that the American elite would not -- if ultimate push came to ultimate shove -- use that arsenal rather than give up their dominance. As they have demonstrated time and again over the course of many decades, our elites are always willing to go to war if necessary to advance their agenda and protect their position. And as every American leader -- Republican, Democrat, conservative, progressive -- tells us repeatedly, "all options" are always "on the table" when it comes to imposing Washington's will.

As Silber notes, our well-mannered genocidists -- who can watch the murder of a million innocent people and call the operation "an extraordinary achievement" -- will never relinquish their dominance voluntarily. They will not bow to reason, to sympathy, to morality, to outside forces, to public opinion -- and certainly not to the "rule of law." And no power now on earth can force them to -- not as long as they possess the power to ravage the earth "even till destruction sicken."


Chris Floyd at his deskChris Floyd has been a writer and editor for more than 25 years, working in the United States, Great Britain and Russia for various newspapers, magazines, the U.S. government and Oxford University. Floyd co-founded the blog Empire Burlesque, and is also chief editor of Atlantic Free Press. He can be reached at cfloyd72@gmail.com.

This column is republished here with the permission of the author.



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This story was published on April 27, 2009.

 



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