I agree with Spocko, and I’ll dial it up a notch. Liberals will tolerate (and sometimes celebrate) monsters in their midst as long as they remain civil and ‘legal,’ i.e. as long as their monstrosity is inflicted beyond the reach of said liberals and their bourgeois privileges. I could offer a litany of proof, but [...]
SamHolloway commented on the blog post Death of Saudi King Abdullah Brings Reverence From US Establishment
More accurately, Johnny, it’s an attribute of the USian psyche to imagine oneself a king, and to get pissy at those who threaten the delusion.
SamHolloway commented on the blog post Taken For Granted At Davos That US Government Run On ‘Legalized Corruption’
We haven’t ‘fallen’ anywhere. No matter how putrid and foul the water, it seeks its own level.
Other than that, good article.
In the conception of the nation’s founders, ‘happiness’ was ‘wealth and property.’ That hasn’t changed.
Just as a caveat: civil disobedience is an effective tool, but only inasmuch as it is intended to move the public toward changing policy. If the body politic is effectively disconnected from the making of policy, then civil disobedience is reduced to moralistic spectacle.
In the Civil Rights struggles that reached their peak in the late 1960s, there was evidently a sense among a sufficient number of legislators– at least at the federal level– that there would be repercussions for failing to address the issues that had brought millions of citizens into the streets to confront the muscle of the status quo at various levels. In the case of the Vietnam War, even the muscle itself began to turn against the status quo. So the war was ended before true disaster evolved, and we got some legislation that purported to address the systemic inequities in the system.
Times have changed, if only in a practical sense. The ruling elites have come to understand their successes and failures in containing the revolutionary energies of the Civil Rights Movement, and have put those lessons into practice. What’s more, the most prominent and effective revolutionaries from that time were slaughtered, imprisoned, exiled, or co-opted by the rising corporate state. Beneath all that, of course, the body politic almost unanimously accepts without question the soulless national culture of pathological self-involvement and material consumption (i.e. ‘liberty’ and ‘the pursuit of happiness’). It’s unrealistic to expect collective action to result in substantial change with this lot.
The corporate state has upgraded the muscle– primarily by blurring the legal and operational lines between imperial shock troops and domestic enforcers– and has successfully weighted in its favor the nation’s already antidemocratic electoral and legislative processes. If this elite activism were in direct opposition to the values of the body politic, it could not succeed. This matrix, however, is not designed to fool the unwilling masses; it is designed to further enrich the elites and provide a bulwark against that inevitably violent moment of upheaval when the majority of the body politic can no longer deny that its practiced values are bankrupt, and that it must suffer the dire consequences of its deep complicity in its own demise.
In short, the game is rigged and we’re getting clobbered, but we wouldn’t have had it any other way.
SamHolloway commented on the diary post Francois Hollande to Drop Russian Sanctions. Says Putin “doesn’t want to annex eastern Ukraine.” by Pluto.
Thanks for the update, Pluto, and thanks to you, wendydavis, for the informative conversation. I’ve been getting another view of Ukraine from Dmitry Orlov’s blog, as well. He looks at the situation with a Russian expat’s eye and with a dry sense of humor, of course, but it’s always helpful to have multiple alternatives to [...]
SamHolloway commented on the blog post Let’s All Do Something Useful Today: Write to Manning and Kiriakou
Thanks for the suggestion, Mr. Van Buren, and for the information.
SamHolloway commented on the blog post Death penalty cases are won or lost during jury selection
Mason, thanks for this exhaustive and comprehensive explanation. If nothing else, it provides me with a guide for any post-grad plans. I just completed my bachelor’s, and I was considering law. Among many other things, my experiences of being consistently sent home from jury service (being, as I was, a young black man) gave me a strong suspicion that the game was rigged. However, I still think it’s the best system of justice that piles of filthy money can buy.
SamHolloway commented on the blog post Over Easy: Who Hacked Sony? Maybe Not North Korea!
In this situation, the burden of proof must be on the accuser. Obama blamed North Korea based on what has proven to be laughably unconvincing evidence, the preponderance of which more heavily suggests a disgruntled insider (perhaps working in concert with skilled hacker or hackers, or skilled in her own right). Obama’s original stance counts as saber-rattling, albeit of the more equivocal, mealy-mouthed, liberal-friendly kind. It follows that the knuckle-dragging GOP would be compelled to out-macho Obama and immediately call for a bombing campaign, but that doesn’t absolve Obama of his cynical and transparent opportunism.
Also, reflexive distrust of the FBI is not exactly a caveat. It’s a sign of sentience.
Amen, hektor. For that matter, we have only the word of ‘anonymous U.S. officials’ that this cyber attack originated from North Korea. How do we know some SonyUSA exec didn’t hire a hacker to help generate ass-covering buzz for what is looking like a huge embarrassment of a film? Given the arrogant stupidity of the executives in question, that’s more plausible than the currently implied narrative.
Whatever the case, all this diaper soiling and pearl clutching over ‘endangered freedom’ is yet another example of how liberals can be just as reactionary and jingoistic as right-wingers.
South Korea is a Western imperialist creation, much like ‘South Vietnam.’ It’s primarily the U.S. military presence, along with successive corrupt puppet regimes, which has kept up the destructive division between two parts of the same nation. So from the Korean perspective, the North’s ‘invasion’ was merely an attempt to rid the South of imperialist influence. Everything that has developed since then flows from that reality.
BoxTurtle, I’m amused at how much your comment reads like projection. Consider how much of the world sees the U.S. as ‘an insecure, paranoid, and megalomaniacal’ nuclear power “with a collapsing economy and huge army” spread all over the world. It’s convenient to poke self-righteous fun at North Korea, but North Korea has never invaded another country; neither has it ever assassinated a foreign leader and left his country in blood-drenched shambles. When North Korea uses one of its nukes to vaporize a heavily populated city, I’ll consider it a legitimate existential threat. To my knowledge, only one country has ever done that.
On the other hand, I think your theory about Sony using this to recoup their losses from an expensive, ill-advised release sounds pretty good.
SamHolloway commented on the blog post Police who act like members of an occupying army deserve no respect
‘America’ is most definitely not “better than this.” The festering raw sewage is merely seeking its own level. This country was founded on genocide and chattel slavery, and at every turn it has depended on economic, political, and physical brutality to achieve its ends. The laws are written by craven, self-dealing elites– with the full complicity of the ignorant, avaricious masses– and the enforcers do an able job of maintaining the desired order.
In short, brutalizing and degrading brown people is what built this country, and it’s in the national DNA. In that vein, the cops are performing their expected duty. When treating brown people worse than animals no longer does the trick, expect the violent impunity to metastasize into the pristine, innocent flesh of the ostensibly white bourgeoisie.
And if any ‘libertarian’ types out there believe that there is a significant number of cops and former military willing to oppose this trend, consider the following:
Oath Keepers Guard Ferguson’s Streets and Rooftops, Drawing Police Opposition
When the crap really hits the fan, the fricking racist, fascist pukes will line up to form the death squads right along with the rest of them.
I scoff at the notion that the Executive House Negro is going to do anything constructive for constituencies for which he has clearly expressed his sneering disdain. As wendydavis illustrates, Obama’s actions from Day One have demonstrated that he is committed to servicing the white-male-dominated power structure at every level.
McKinney/Clemente ’08; Stein/Honkala ’12: I Told You So.
FYI, this is just the sort of blatant, provincial miscarriage of justice that federal civil rights statutes are intended to address. If POTUS were anything other than a high-ranking house negro*, we might see some action along those lines. Maybe the president will invite the murderer to have a beer with Michael Brown’s parents. *for [...]
SamHolloway commented on the blog post What Is the Point of an Individual Mandate if You Don’t Talk About the Mandate?
“The Obama team has the duty to” help insurance companies and investors line their pockets.
There; fixed that for you.
This is a country founded by greedy, bloodthirsty, and self-dealing settler-colonialists. This country was built and expanded upon genocide, theft, and abuse. Its self-aggrandizing declarations and anthems try but fail miserably to hide the stain and stench of innocent blood, even as it keeps the blood flowing. What’s with all this gauzy nostalgia? When was [...]
SamHolloway commented on the diary post The Democratic Party’s Performance in the 2014 Election by Synoia.
If one doesn’t acknowledge anything else, one must acknowledge that injustice is fungible. If you are willing to support a regime that deals death and immiseration to innocents abroad, then you are a special kind of stupid for expecting a fair shake at home. You will also have the government you deserve, no matter how [...]
SamHolloway commented on the blog post Jonathan Gruber Admits the Plan to Sell Obamacare Was a Long Con
You can’t get blood from a turnip, and you can’t get single payer health care from political operatives who are completely beholden to corporate interests. If you want policies that put people ahead of wealth, at the very least you have to vote for representatives who don’t take corporate money.
Examples: McKinney/Clemente ’08; Stein/Honkala ’12
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