• ottogrendel commented on the blog post Kiev’s Military Campaign In East Ukraine Collapses

    2014-04-17 13:52:33View | Delete

    Sorry. That should have been “worried about their position.”

  • ottogrendel commented on the blog post Kiev’s Military Campaign In East Ukraine Collapses

    2014-04-17 13:41:21View | Delete

    My guess is that it was about both, but probably more about the latter.

    I’ve found two things useful in making sense of this issue. One, is that WWII was primarily a contest between the competing socioeconomic systems of fascism and communism. And while the militaries of Germany, Japan and Italy may have ostensibly lost, fascism–which is to say corporatism (Mussolini’s prefered term)–came out on top. It is relatively revealing to look at the changing US relationships to Russia from about the turn of the 20th century to the beginning of the atomic age, especially how the USSR went from being portrayed in the US media during WWII as full of wonderful, American-esque peasants to utter subhuman demonization by the late 1940s. How and why did that happen?

    Second, Russia already had an empire. It was the US that had just come into its own in this regard, and it was intent on taking expansive advantage of the situation. The outcome of WWII and the US monopoly on the atomic bomb sealed this status (this also helps explain why The Greatest Generation are the new Founding Fathers–see also changes in Constitutional interpretation since then). What Russia wanted after WWII, having fought fascists for the last two generations, was primarily not an expansion of their empire but an Eastern European bulwark against yet another attack from the West. Part of the evidence that it was in fact the US and not the USSR that was mainly intent upon expanding empire after WWII is how the US intrusively behaved after the Warsaw Pact and the USSR fell apart as well as how it continues to behave now but with instruments like the IMF and multinational banks and corporations instead of A-bombs and armies.

    It may also be worth considering that corporatism, with its essential need to constantly increase the extraction of excess profit, must expand or die.

    To be fair to Ukrainians, I suspect many find themselves caught between a rock and a hard place, with a neofeudalistic Russia on one side and a rapacious corporatism on the other with the IMF and its ilk salivating to gets its exploitive meathooks into the country. Hardly a win-win situation. But if the track record of countries that have been poor, weak, or desperate enough to sign a deal in their own blood with the IMF is any indication, who can blame many Ukrainians for wanting to side with the lesser of two evils.

  • ottogrendel commented on the blog post Kiev’s Military Campaign In East Ukraine Collapses

    2014-04-17 13:07:28View | Delete

    Great article. Thanks.

    The Russian Revolution was probably one of the very few times in the age of nation states when the ruling class was genuinely about their position.

  • ottogrendel commented on the blog post U.S. States Revive Debtors’ Prisons

    2014-04-17 11:35:54View | Delete

    Of course the US is full of Christians. And the point you are missing is that I was not defending Christianity, but pointing out its essential hypocrisy and its utter inability to perform in accordance with the dictums of its supposed originator–dictums in direct contrast to not only the behavior of its adherents, but also in contrast to the inescapable irresponsible amorality of its monotheistic god. The logical fallacy of “no true Scotsman” is a useful vehicle for conveying this inconsistency, whereas you mistook it for an expression of my belief

  • ottogrendel commented on the blog post Kiev’s Military Campaign In East Ukraine Collapses

    2014-04-17 11:08:42View | Delete

    Owing to the shock wave in the West from the Russian Revolution and the standoff between fascism and communism, I suspect that there is almost nothing reliable about Russian history in US popular imagination or textbooks. Russian simply must be despised for the sake of our empire. That is all. The current round of US and UK “news” coverage of events in Ukraine are a perfect example of this.

  • ottogrendel commented on the blog post U.S. States Revive Debtors’ Prisons

    2014-04-16 15:19:30View | Delete

    Unfortunately, there are almost no Christians in the US, so almost no one takes that book seriously. If there were, then the richest nation on the planet wouldn’t have poor people to begin with.

  • ottogrendel commented on the blog post U.S. States Revive Debtors’ Prisons

    2014-04-16 15:11:37View | Delete

    I suspect that part of the “why” here is that the socioeconomic system in the US is predicated on the ever-increasing extraction of excess profit. More money must always be squeezed from the populace and the environment. When such an imperative gets coupled with a pervasive authoritarian mindset that makes punishment a near fetish within a nation that has evolved into a financed-based economy, then perhaps debtors’ prisons should be no surprise.

  • ottogrendel commented on the blog post What the Human Barbie Really Says About Us

    2014-04-11 07:44:33View | Delete

    Indeed. The psychological mechanism by which Consumerism works: “You are flawed and your life is inadequate. Fortunately, there is a product you can buy to fix that.” Talk about completely insane.

  • ottogrendel commented on the diary post Torture Report Controversy: Is the CIA beyond accountability? by Nat Parry.

    2014-04-04 19:18:05View | Delete

    That’s a rhetorical question, right? Of course the executive branch’s private army is beyond accountability. Otherwise, what’s the point of having one?

  • Perhaps. I would like to think so. But how, because we are unique or special?

  • “Yes, human civilization is facing one of the greatest threats it has ever faced and no, we aren’t going to do anything about it.”

    All species–like all individuals–are doomed to extinction. Not even the sun gets to live forever. Having overcome most of our natural predators, perhaps it is fitting that humans become their own worse enemy?

  • Best and most bizarre punchline of the day: Exxon is concerned with “lifting much of the world’s population out of poverty.”

  • ottogrendel commented on the blog post One Tweet Which Shows Why Obamacare Has Been a Hard Sell

    2014-04-02 06:59:45View | Delete

    “it’s amazing this got pushed through (between the naming of post offices)in the first place.”

    What is amazing about it? For example, Baucus, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, got more money from the health care industry than any other member of Congress. Those interests that would most benefit paid for and wrote the law.

  • ottogrendel commented on the blog post One Tweet Which Shows Why Obamacare Has Been a Hard Sell

    2014-04-02 06:51:58View | Delete

    “Radical leftists”?! What “radical leftists”? Politically, those types don’t exist in the US.

  • ottogrendel commented on the blog post One Tweet Which Shows Why Obamacare Has Been a Hard Sell

    2014-04-02 06:50:50View | Delete

    Yup. A method to move wealth upward any way you slice it. :)

  • ottogrendel commented on the blog post One Tweet Which Shows Why Obamacare Has Been a Hard Sell

    2014-03-31 08:26:48View | Delete

    The ACA has one primary, overriding goal: To increase profits for those companies that wrote the law. That is all. When looked at from this motivation, the supposed inadequacies of the ACA make perfect sense. High deductibles–perhaps so high that many citizens won’t even seek some treatments–plus forced payments under penalty of law? Perfect!

    If ACA were ever–ever!–about real health care, why would it need to be forcibly consumed even to the point of twisting the Constitution to make that happen? No one needs to be forced to buy a good product.

    To criticize Dems for not making ACA about actual, affordable health care so far misses the point of this law as to be inappropriate.

  • ottogrendel commented on the diary post Generals Say Troops Understand Need for Pay Cuts by spocko.

    2014-03-27 08:43:49View | Delete

    “Senior Pentagon officials told Congress on Tuesday that troops are willing to sacrifice portions of their pay and benefits if it means keeping and improving the training and equipment needed to do their jobs.” . . . said no enlisted personnel ever. After one has decided that someone else’s life is no more valuable than [...]

  • But there are “clear American interests at stake”: Imperial hegemony; control and profit of energy resources; and justification for perpetual war. These were the same interests that were behind US violence in Vietnam, Latin America, the Balkans, Iraq, Afghanistan, much of the rest of the Middle East, etc.

    Whether US citizens think they have a responsibility is not a factor for consideration by those that instigate war. Sixty-one percent of US citizens may not think that their country has a responsibility to do something about Crimea, but that is nothing that another month or so of TV can’t change–just like it did for all the examples above.

  • ottogrendel commented on the blog post Putin Signs Treaty Making Crimea Part Of Russia

    2014-03-18 10:18:55View | Delete

    The US is a loaded gun masquerading as a nation.

    Putin states the obvious. The US has always followed the rule of the gun. It is what made it a nation and what made it an empire. The US has only ever followed international law when it got to write it.

  • “At a rally in 2010, Obama told the public, “We have put in place the toughest ethics laws and toughest transparency rules of any administration in history.”

    Whatever is said in public, the opposite is true. Always.

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