Category Archives: Idiocracy

Biden Will Be America at Her Best

“…Donald Trump, a psychopathic bumbler with low normal intelligence and a penchant for drawing to him the angry, the fearful and the hate ridden.”
journal-neo.org
Author: Gordon Duff

09.11.2020

BDV341211

For four ugly years, world organized crime, acting through its stranglehold on American government and partner leaders, virtual “capos” around the world, has spiralled the world into madness.

Behind it all, a “perfect storm,” Donald Trump, a psychopathic bumbler with low normal intelligence and a penchant for drawing to him the angry, the fearful and the hate ridden.

For four ugly years, the world has been subjected to a denial of science, a denial of basic human rights and freedoms, economic warfare, continual threats of nuclear war and an America guided by incompetence.

For four ugly years, the level of human suffering around the world has risen at the hands of a cabal lead by American leaders who have hidden behind a veil of fake Christianity while pursuing policies ridden by bigotry and racism.

For four ugly years, the world’s media, social and otherwise, has been infected with cults manufactured by rogue intelligence agencies and their criminal partners, the bizarre mythology of Qanon, supported by Donald Trump, promising a “new tomorrow.”

That tomorrow, and this cult has spread around the world, is dime store fascism of the ilk that infected the planet nearly a century ago.

For four ugly years, up was down, right was wrong, good was bad and too many, drowning in a sea of weakness, sought not only to push the world into conflict but to do so on behalf of principles based not on human progress or social justice but on a return to slavery.

For four ugly years, the United States stood as an example of how a people could lose their souls.

There is a new sheriff in town. From the New York Times:

“ President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. is poised to unleash a series of executive actions on his first day in the Oval Office, prompting what is likely to be a yearlong effort to unwind President Trump’s domestic agenda and immediately signal a wholesale shift in the United States’ place in the world.

In the first hours after he takes the oath of office on the West Front of the Capitol at noon on Jan. 20, Mr. Biden has said, he will send a letter to the United Nations indicating that the country will rejoin the global effort to combat climate change, reversing Mr. Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord with more than 174 countries.

Mr. Biden’s afternoon will be a busy one.

He has vowed that on Day 1 he will move rapidly to confront the coronavirus pandemic by appointing a “national supply chain commander” and establishing a “pandemic testing board,” similar to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s wartime production panel. He has said he will restore the rights of government workers to unionize. He has promised to order a new fight against homelessness and resettle more refugees fleeing war. He has pledged to abandon Mr. Trump’s travel ban on mostly Muslim countries and to begin calling foreign leaders in an attempt to restore trust among the United States’ closest allies.”

Addressing climate change is a first step for the United States to rejoin the world community, the community of responsible and respected nations. Denial of climate change is only one of the ugly policies embraced as America descended into rule by conspiracy theory, bizarre theories that always enriched Trump’s powerful friends in the fossil fuel pollution business.

Those overseas, subject to deeply censored or carelessly incompetent new media, seldom saw the devastation wrought by Trump and his gangster goons, what they did to the United States and its people.

It was far more than a few thousand children who would spend months, now years, living in cages. 545 of those children no longer have parents anyone can find. Are they dead, deported to the ends of the earth, imprisoned in some hole, nobody knows?

What also became clear to Americans is that the cults that grew up in the 19th century such as the Ku Klux Klan or the Black Legion of the 20th century could somehow rise out of the ashes under the guise of populism and reform, at the hands of the powerful spin masters of Google and Facebook.

Thirty percent or more of America’s population were, to an extent, criminalized and diminished while those who still knew right from wrong were stripped of any voice at all.

That ship has sailed.

Americans learned so much, now a majority of decent Americans, that the law enforcement community inside the United States is utterly corrupt, not just racist, but partnered now, decades, maybe longer, with criminal elements.

The regional fiefdoms set up by what is called “courthouse gangs,” a local sheriff, the public prosecutor and judges chosen by special interest groups, rule rural America on behalf of a blend of privileged elites and traffickers, narcotics, human beings, anything that pays.

Police in not just dozens, but hundreds of communities across the United States embrace membership in fascist gangs while enriching themselves on payoffs from drug cartels and brothel owners.

To an extent, this has always gone on in the United States as corruption is endemic where force without reason rules.

However, for four ugly years, the world of America became the rule of law, supported by daily tweets and endless pronouncements, not just by Donald Trump but by those around him, a cabal of the like the world hasn’t seen since 1933 Germany.

Kushner for Ribbentrop, William Barr for Himmler, two sons vie for the role of Goering with the rest of the cast of the Nuremberg Trials soon to be cast out as well, a litany of small and ugly men and unnatural women.

For four ugly years, lies, so many they are counted and jested about, became the norm. These were not innocent lies, not hardly.

For four ugly years, the rights of Americans were stripped away by “presidential dictates” that should never have been possible, stripping away the authority of courts and the legislative authority. The people lost every role in government, every role in securing and safeguarding their own lives.

Anyone could be targeted news. With a very few minor changes, the famous quote from Martin Niemoeller became an everyday reality for more than 100 million Americans targeted by the Trump regime:

First, they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist

Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist

Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist

Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew

Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me

Yes, as predicted, they even came for the Jews, as QAnon’s bizarre ramblings settled into blaming the Jews for the world’s wrongs while Trump’s followers migrated from symbols of the slave-owning Confederacy to the ever so predictable swastika.

The world is now looking to Biden, Pakistan, Syria, Iran certainly, Yemen, nation after nation waking up to uncertainty as to how to deal with a United States no longer controlled by criminals.

Can Netanyahu survive without Trump’s protection, both drowning in accusations of financial misconduct and, worse still, manipulating events for profit?

How will Russia deal with an America after Trump, a leader superficially friendly to Moscow while also dragging Russia into a nuclear arms race?

Here is the deal; just perhaps things can change and that America waking up may well be a catalyst. The American people have, to the extent allowed, drained their own swamp.

With America turning away from dictatorship, what now can be done elsewhere? There are other hard questions as well, first among them as to how the world allowed the United States to take control, both militarily and economically, of the planet while descending into anarchy at home?

Balance disappeared. Will balance be restored?

Gordon Duff is a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War that has worked on veterans and POW issues for decades and consulted with governments challenged by security issues. He’s a senior editor and chairman of the board of  Veterans Today, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”

Schrödinger’s President

 

Right-wing pundit Ann Coulter went on a surprisingly vitriolic anti-Trump rant the other day, calling the president a “complete blithering idiot”, an “actual retard”, and “the most disloyal human God ever created” for his treatment of Jeff Sessions and his failure to build the border wall per his campaign promise.

“Coulter is right,” comedian Tim Dillon tweeted in response. “Trump doesn’t really care about immigration or the wall, it was just the way to win. He likes winning. You don’t live your entire life being a Hollywood star who hangs with the Clintons and Jeffrey Epstein and then decide you actually like people from Ohio.”

Which is true. Trump and his handlers understood that rising anti-immigration sentiment in America was a key to winning the presidency, but he never cared about immigration and never had any intention of going out of his way to do anything about it (which is why even his deportation numbers are still below Obama’s). Just one of the many ways where the popular narrative about Trump–the story everyone’s telling about him–differs wildly from the reality.

Tim Dillon

@TimJDillon

Coulter is right. Trump doesn’t really care about immigration or the wall, it was just the way to win. He likes winning. You don’t live your entire life being a Hollywood star who hangs with the Clintons and Jeffrey Epstein and then decide you actually like people from Ohio.

604 people are talking about this

It is normal to have multiple contradictory mainstream narratives running about a president at the same time, and for none of those narratives to be accurate. Obama was simultaneously a progressive champion of sanity and a socialist Muslim from Kenya hell bent on America’s destruction, none of which was true but both of which were believed with equal fervor by either side of the illusory partisan divide.

What’s unusual about Trump is that there are multiple contradictory narratives running about him at the same time, within the same political factions. His own base is able to hold the belief that Trump is a brilliant strategic mastermind who is commanding a covert counter-coup to overthrow the Deep State, for example, while simultaneously excusing all the many, many establishment capitulations that he makes as being beyond his control. Much like Schrödinger’s proverbial pet Trump exists for them in two mutually contradictory states at once: a skillful hero who is taking down the Deep State, and a hapless victim who can’t control what happens in his own administration because it’s all being controlled by the Deep State.

On the other side of the imaginary partisan divide, Democrats spent years advancing the mutually contradictory narratives that Trump is at once (A) idiotic, (B) mentally ill, and (C) running a covert operation to sabotage America in the interests of Russia–but cleverly evading detection under intense scrutiny. They also hold him as simultaneously presenting an unprecedented threat to American democracy and also perfectly safe to keep voting in support of continuing and expanding his military and surveillance powers.

None of these narratives have anything to do with reality, yet they consume an immense amount of oxygen in US political discourse while Trump continues and expands the many depraved agendas of his predecessors.

Consortium News@Consortiumnews

Biden Can’t Return US to Normal, Because Trump is a Normal President https://consortiumnews.com/2020/05/22/biden-cant-return-us-to-normal-because-trump-is-a-normal-president/ 

Biden Can’t Return US to Normal, Because Trump is a Normal President

Wanting America to go back to how it was before Trump is like rewinding the same horror movie, writes Caitlin Johnstone. By Caitlin Johnstone CaitlinJohnstone.com “I am with Joe Biden all the way-…

consortiumnews.com

53 people are talking about this

Trump is not a populist champion of the little guy, nor a closet Nazi working to establish a white ethnostate, nor a Kremlin asset, but is in fact nothing other a miserable rich man from a miserable rich family who did what it takes to get elected to the presidency of a racist, corrupt, bloodthirsty empire and remain there for a full term. Everything else is narrative which is wholly divorced from reality.

The reason we can have wildly popular narratives dominating mainstream political discourse for years on end without their containing a shred of actual reality is because human experience is dictated by mental stories far more than most people realize. Establishment power structures, who have their hands in both parties of America’s two-handed political sock puppet show, stand everything to gain and nothing to lose by using narrative control to keep the public debating fake nonsense instead of the actual horrible things this administration is doing like imprisoning Julian Assange for journalism, vetoing attempts to save Yemen, inflicting starvation sanctions on Iran and Venezuela, and initiating cold war escalations against two nuclear-armed nations.

If people truly understood the extent to which mental narrative dominates their experience of life, propaganda, advertising and all other forms of psychological manipulation would be regarded by our society similarly to physical assault or property theft. For anyone who is interested in the pernicious ways narrative manipulation is used to keep people confused and conflicted while powerful people roll out toxic agendas, Trump is a very interesting case study indeed.

If humanity is to survive, people are going to have to evolve beyond the sticky relationship with mental narrative which enables establishment spinmeisters to keep an entire nation transfixed by fake stories about a very conventionally evil president instead of pushing for the real changes we’ll need to make if we’re to overcome the existential hurdles looming on our horizon. Learning to distinguish reality from narrative will send the whole prison crashing down.

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Ex-Trumpist Ann Coulter Trashed Online as She Rips ‘Disloyal Actual Retard’ Trump in Twitter Rant

Conservative author Ann Coulter
sputniknews.com
by 
May 26, 2020

Ann Coulter picked up on Donald Trump’s weekend dig at Jeff Sessions, his former attorney general, frothing at the mouth with rage saying he “had to recuse” himself due to the president’s actions.

Former Trump defender and author of the book “In Trump We Trust” Ann Coulter has gone on an anti-Trump Twitter tear, trashing POTUS, who she had initially endorsed during his 2016 campaign, as the “most disloyal actual retard that has ever set foot in the Oval Office”. However, netizens were quick to turn the rampage back on Coulter.

She started her multi-post rant in response to the president’s Friday tweet in which he called for Alabama voters to “not trust Jeff Sessions”, his former attorney general, and instead put their support behind Sessions’ Republican Senate seat rival, football coach Tommy Tuberville.

Further branding Trump a “moron” and “lout”, Coulter fumed that the raging healthcare crisis provided an opportunity for him to be “or pretend to be a decent and compassionate human being” – “but he couldn’t even do that”, she said.

Coulter, who has since Trump’s election distanced herself from him over immigration issues, stood up in defence of Sessions, Trump’s first attorney general, asserting – addressing POTUS – he “had to recuse himself you complete blithering idiot”.

Coulter rounded off her online rampage affirming the issues that Trump propagated as a candidate were ditched as soon as he entered the White House.

“The ONE PERSON in the Trump administration who did anything about immigration was Jeff Sessions”, she emphasised, having lines above stated the president hadn’t cherished any plans to build the border wall from the start.

The conservative commentator, who published her “In Trump We Trust” in 2016, added that she regrets once believing in “this shallow and broken man” and his pledges.

It is not the first time Coulter has attacked Trump like that: in February 2019, as POTUS declared a national emergency at the Texas border, she responded by saying that “the only national emergency is that our president is an idiot”.

The detail has been taken note of my multiple netizens: “she’s been ‘mad’ before”, one states, with many more mocking her rage over the fact “Trump didn’t build the wall”:

“Ann Coulter you didn’t keep your word to give President Trump a chance to keep his promise”, another fumed, with many openly jeering at the former Trump associate:

“Ann Coulter has borderline personality disorder”, one giggled, while others tried to figure what she is actually after:

“Using Trump’s name for clout again”, one suggested, in tune with many others’ tweets.

“Build a wall around ann coulter [sic]”, another said.

Covid-19: Cuba’s people-before-profit approach pays off as capitalism proves a bitter pill for the US

Source

rt.com
By Pablo Vivanco, a journalist and analyst specializing in politics and history in the Americas, who served as the Director of teleSUR English. Recent bylines include The Jacobin, Asia Times, The Progressive and Truthout. Follow him on Twitter @pvivancoguzman
Havana has punched above its weight for decades when it comes to health. But never have the differences between its socialist system and the market-based system of its strongest detractor, America, been so apparent.

Even before it reported novel coronavirus cases of its own in March, Cuba’s fingerprints were all over the efforts to stem the global pandemic, from China’s use of antivirals developed on the island to treat the infected, to the docking of a British cruise ship in Havana in order to allow the 1,000 people on board – including five Covid-19 carriers – to return home.

The MS Braemar, filled mostly with British citizens, was refused permission to disembark at several ports it approached. According to some reports, the US – a principal British ally – was one of the countries that turned it down. The ship’s operator, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, has not commented on the US specifically, saying they explored a number of options and would not disclose the details of those negotiations. The fact that the vessel ultimately found refuge on Cuba’s shores serves to illustrate the difference in approaches to this pandemic.

Despite considerable risk factors, including a high percentage of people over the age of 60 and a high number of visitors to the country, Cuba has been able to keep Covid-19 cases to just under 1,370 as of April 27, with just 54 deaths.

This is largely due to the fact that the Caribbean island not only has the highest ratio of doctors to population in the world, but also a free, universal health system based on proactive, community response.

ALSO ON RT.COMEcuador’s Covid-19 catastrophe is man-made disaster — because for political elites ordinary Ecuadorians are just disposablesThe country’s socialist government has been tempered by decades of crisis management – from the devastating Special Period of the 1990s to the almost annual mobilization for hurricane season – and quickly responded to minimize damage and, most importantly, loss of life.

The measures that began in January included training and preparation for medical professionals and facilities, but by March these extended into other sectors and included a virtual shutdown of the tourism industry – a huge chunk of Cuba’s economy.

Still, authorities maintained that Cuban doctors would continue to go to countries that needed support in controlling the spread of the virus. These same medical brigades were instrumental in supporting African nations in curbing and controlling the Ebola outbreak that began in 2014.

ALSO ON RT.COMThe Covid-19 pandemic exposes deep flaws in America’s broken healthcare system

But now, for the first time, Cuban doctors have been received with open arms in European countries like Italy and Andorra, and they have even been welcomed back by some of the very same US-allied governments in Latin America that vilified and kicked them out just months ago.

The number of Cuban-trained doctors working in other countries is even higher when you count the graduates from Havana’s Latin American School of Medicine, which has provided free education to 35,000 doctors in 138 countries since 1999.

All of this has been accomplished under the severe limitations and resources that are the intentional consequence of barbaric US sanctions, which were recently intensified by the Trump administration.

ALSO ON RT.COM‘Immoral & inhumane’: Russian FM denounces US sanctions hampering worlds’ efforts against Covid-19 pandemic

Exporting its doctors and nurses abroad is a vital revenue-earner for Cuba. It brings in around $11 billion each year – a bigger source of income than the island’s tourism industry. At any one time, there are around 50,000 Cuban doctors working across 67 countries, an ‘army of white coats’, as officials describe them.

But while Cubans have put themselves in harm’s way to support people and countries all over the planet, the US has been doing the exact opposite.

In an audacious demonstration of hypocrisy, Washington has pressured countries to not accept Cuban doctors, while offering little support of its own, and has also deliberately (and perhaps illegally) seized shipments of medical equipment meant for other countries, including some of its closest allies.

To be fair, even if it had the will, the US government is not in a position to lend much support to anyone at the moment.

The weaknesses of America’s health system, which paradoxically has the highest per capita funding in the world by far, were laid bare even before the pandemic, as Democratic presidential hopefuls outlined their plans to provide adequate healthcare to the more than 70 million Americans who lack it.

Just a few weeks into this crisis, the picture is even bleaker, with millions more losing access due to job losses, and hospitals lacking proper equipment for patients and staff.

To make matters worse, the discrepancy in measures at the state and local level demonstrates that the country’s overall response is nothing less than schizophrenic. Meanwhile, decisions from the White House – including having tapped a dog breeder to lead the pandemic response and suggesting people inject disinfectant – have become increasingly indiscernible from satire. It’s like ‘Tiger King’, but on healthcare.

In this tragic and farcical situation, the differences between the healthcare systems and approaches in the US and Cuba have become more apparent.

Cuba has long prioritized healthcare as a right that all people should have, while America believes that the market should dictate who has access and who doesn’t. Cuba has exported its doctors across the globe to help stem the pandemic’s tide, while the US has tightened the stranglehold on the island in a futile attempt to stop it from doing so.

ALSO ON RT.COMCuba enraged over ‘cruel & genocidal’ US blockade impeding anti-coronavirus efforts

The schism between the two is less a matter of money than a matter of philosophy. Cuba, for all its shortcomings, has maintained an indomitable commitment to the health and lives of people, and it has been vindicated during this pandemic.

Meanwhile, its wealthy neighbor to the north sinks deeper into a death spiral, intent on proving the superiority of the capitalist orthodoxy its government wants applied to every sphere of life, in every part of the planet.

China Slams Hostile US Actions, America’s Failed System

Source

 

In pursuit of its imperial aims, the US needs enemies. None exist so they’re invented.

Iran is US public enemy No. 1 in the Middle East, China considered Washington’s leading adversary globally — despite no threat posed by either country.

Demeaning China is all about its growing economic, industrial, and technological development, its political influence, and military strength able to defend against US aggression if occurs.

The world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism USA consistently blames other nations for its own high crimes.

Operating as press agents for wealth and power, establishment media repeat false accusations against targeted nations with disturbing regularity.

For weeks after COVID-19 outbreaks emerged, Trump falsely claimed they’d “disappear” on their own.

As they increased to the present day, he, hardliners surrounding him, and Congress have been indifferent toward the health, rights and welfare of ordinary Americans.

They failed to provide states with personal protective equipment, funding to combat outbreaks, or treatment for infected individuals.

Despite advance warning of what could happen, they let a public health crisis fester, focusing almost entirely on handing favored business interests trillions of dollars of free money.

They delayed in authorizing nationwide testing that remains woefully inadequate.

All along, Trump praised his response that remains dismal for ordinary Americans he’s indifferent toward.

Instead of correcting flawed policies, he blames China for his failures, a nation on top of the problem swiftly, able to bring it under control in about two months while the US continues to struggle.

China’s official People’s Daily broadsheet responded to unacceptable Trump regime accusations.

It slammed Pompeo, calling him one of China’s “most radical critics,” ignoring the country’s achievements while “the coronavirus ravages the country he serves,” adding:

“A leaked Republican strategy memo tells the GOP to ‘attack China’ over coronavirus.”

“(A) top Republican strategist advis(ed) party candidates to address the coronavirus crisis by aggressively attacking China.”

Beijing stressed that the GOP strategy is doomed to fail, including claims that China caused COVID-19 and its spread to other nations.

China’s Global Times (GT) slammed the US notion that Beijing is responsible for spreading COVID-19 outbreaks.

At a time when world community cooperative relations are needed to address and contain a common problem, US hardliners focus on shifting blame for its failures onto others, notably China.

On Sunday, a GT editorial slammed the Trump regime for unacceptably “scapegoating China” to distract attention from its own failures in dealing with coronavirus outbreaks.

Its epicenter is in the US, not China or other countries. While outbreaks are largely contained in China, they remain a major problem in the US and West.

As for Pompeo, GT called him “sinister…a political hooligan, (an) an enemy (of) world peace…playing with fire…steering the US State Department into becoming the” CIA, operating as an anti-diplomat, not the other way around.

He’s not alone. The Trump regime and Congress are infested with like-minded extremists.

Trump and others like him are unfit for any public office, Biden no better.

US-led Western-style predatory capitalism “can’t be repaired, economist Richard D. Wolff stressed, calling how it operates structurally flawed, asking:

“Are we experiencing capitalism’s historic decline?”

“For the 21st century, the most popular slogan on socialists’ banners will likely be “Democratize the Enterprise.”

US economic collapse at a time of an inadequately addressed public health crisis brought to light the inequities of how the US-led West operates — serving privileged interests exclusively at the expense peace, equity, the rule of law and justice.

Ordinary Americans are protesting against failed public policies at the federal and state levels, including against unacceptable conditions for workers on the job.

Hundreds of Amazon workers staged sick-outs for lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) and overall unsafe working conditions.

Whole Foods workers walked off the job over similar complaints, the company owned by Amazon.

Instacart workers called for strike action for lack of PPE and hazard pay. So did Detroit and Birmingham Alabama bus drivers, Pittsburgh sanitation workers, Kroger warehouse employees, and others in the US for similar reasons.

Growing numbers are not showing up for work, calling in sick, and staging wildcat strikes.

On May 1, a first of the month US general strike action is set to begin, involving workers, students, and other segments of society.

Achieving vitally needed social justice that eroded to a shadow of its New Deal/Great Society status depends on how widespread and sustained actions become.

Current US conditions reflect a failed system. Resistance against inequity and injustice is the only chance for responsible change.

With growing mass unemployment and indifference toward public health and welfare by US ruling authorities, now is the time for large-scale public actions for restoration and enhancement of vital social programs.

Ordinary people have power when mobilized to use it. Positive change requires sustained struggle.

Former Supreme Court Justice William Douglas said “(p)ower concedes nothing without a demand.”

Social movements can be pivotal forces. Disruptive activism works when ordinary people challenge what’s unacceptable.

Electoral politics doesn’t work. Changing names and faces assures continuity.

America’s political system reflects how power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Scattered reforms are woefully inadequate and won’t work, major change needed.

The late Doug Dowd called the US “a sick and dangerous nation run by a handful of the politically powerful” — serving the country’s privileged class by exploiting most others at home and abroad.

Equitable transformational change is the only acceptable option.

At a time of overwhelming public duress, the moment is now to challenge authority for responsible change — collective defiance and disruption the way to go.

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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Fintan O’Toole: Donald Trump has destroyed the country he promised to make great again

THE WORLD HAS LOVED, HATED AND ENVIED THE U.S. NOW, FOR THE FIRST TIME, WE PITY IT
By Fintan O’Toole
April 25, 2020

 

What many Americans already know is spreading throughout the World. What do they see when they look at the USA now? Here’s what Ireland’s most respected mainstream political writer says.

Over more than two centuries, the United States has stirred a very wide range of feelings in the rest of the world: love and hatred, fear and hope, envy and contempt, awe and anger. But there is one emotion that has never been directed towards the US until now: pity.
However bad things are for most other rich democracies, it is hard not to feel sorry for Americans. Most of them did not vote for Donald Trump in 2016. Yet they are locked down with a malignant narcissist who, instead of protecting his people from Covid-19, has amplified its lethality. The country Trump promised to make great again has never in its history seemed so pitiful.
Will American prestige ever recover from this shameful episode? The US went into the coronavirus crisis with immense advantages: precious weeks of warning about what was coming, the world’s best concentration of medical and scientific expertise, effectively limitless financial resources, a military complex with stunning logistical capacity and most of the world’s leading technology corporations. Yet it managed to make itself the global epicenter of the pandemic.
As the American writer George Packer puts it in the current edition of the Atlantic, “The United States reacted … like Pakistan or Belarus – like a country with shoddy infrastructure and a dysfunctional government whose leaders were too corrupt or stupid to head off mass suffering.”
It is one thing to be powerless in the face of a natural disaster, quite another to watch vast power being squandered in real time – willfully, malevolently, vindictively. It is one thing for governments to fail (as, in one degree or another, most governments did), quite another to watch a ruler and his supporters actively spread a deadly virus. Trump, his party and Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News became vectors of the pestilence.
The grotesque spectacle of the president openly inciting people (some of them armed) to take to the streets to oppose the restrictions that save lives is the manifestation of a political death wish. What are supposed to be daily briefings on the crisis, demonstrative of national unity in the face of a shared challenge, have been used by Trump merely to sow confusion and division. They provide a recurring horror show in which all the neuroses that haunt the American subconscious dance naked on live TV.
If the plague is a test, its ruling political nexus ensured that the US would fail it at a terrible cost in human lives. In the process, the idea of the US as the world’s leading nation – an idea that has shaped the past century – has all but evaporated.
Other than the Trump impersonator Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, who is now looking to the US as the exemplar of anything other than what not to do? How many people in Düsseldorf or Dublin are wishing they lived in Detroit or Dallas?
It is hard to remember now but, even in 2017, when Trump took office, the conventional wisdom in the US was that the Republican Party and the broader framework of US political institutions would prevent him from doing too much damage. This was always a delusion, but the pandemic has exposed it in the most savage ways.
Abject surrender
What used to be called mainstream conservatism has not absorbed Trump – he has absorbed it. Almost the entire right-wing half of American politics has surrendered abjectly to him. It has sacrificed on the altar of wanton stupidity the most basic ideas of responsibility, care and even safety.
Thus, even at the very end of March, 15 Republican governors had failed to order people to stay at home or to close non-essential businesses. In Alabama, for example, it was not until April 3rd that governor Kay Ivey finally issued a stay-at-home order.
In Florida, the state with the highest concentration of elderly people with underlying conditions, governor Ron DeSantis, a Trump mini-me, kept the beach resorts open to students traveling from all over the US for spring break parties. Even on April 1st, when he issued restrictions, DeSantis exempted religious services and “recreational activities”.
Georgia governor Brian Kemp, when he finally issued a stay-at-home order on April 1st, explained: “We didn’t know that [the virus can be spread by people without symptoms] until the last 24 hours.”
This is not mere ignorance – it is deliberate and homicidal stupidity. There is, as the demonstrations this week in US cities have shown, plenty of political mileage in denying the reality of the pandemic. It is fueled by Fox News and far-right internet sites, and it reaps for these politicians millions of dollars in donations, mostly (in an ugly irony) from older people who are most vulnerable to the coronavirus.
It draws on a concoction of conspiracy theories, hatred of science, paranoia about the “deep state” and religious providentialism (God will protect the good folks) that is now very deeply infused in the mindset of the American right.
Trump embodies and enacts this mindset, but he did not invent it. The US response to the coronavirus crisis has been paralyzed by a contradiction that the Republicans have inserted into the heart of US democracy. On the one hand, they want to control all the levers of governmental power. On the other they have created a popular base by playing on the notion that government is innately evil and must not be trusted.
The contradiction was made manifest in two of Trump’s statements on the pandemic: on the one hand that he has “total authority”, and on the other that “I don’t take responsibility at all”. Caught between authoritarian and anarchic impulses, he is incapable of coherence.
Fertile ground
But this is not just Donald Trump. The crisis has shown definitively that Trump’s presidency is not an aberration. It has grown on soil long prepared to receive it. The monstrous blossoming of misrule has structure and purpose and strategy behind it.
There are very powerful interests who demand “freedom” in order to do as they like with the environment, society and the economy. They have infused a very large part of American culture with the belief that “freedom” is literally more important than life. My freedom to own assault weapons trumps your right not to get shot at school. Now, my freedom to go to the barber (“I Need a Haircut” read one banner this week in St Paul, Minnesota) trumps your need to avoid infection.
Usually when this kind of outlandish idiocy is displaying itself, there is the comforting thought that, if things were really serious, it would all stop. People would sober up. Instead, a large part of the US has hit the bottle even harder.
And the president, his party and their media allies keep supplying the drinks. There has been no moment of truth, no shock of realization that the antics have to end. No one of any substance on the US right has stepped in to say: get a grip, people are dying here.
That is the mark of how deep the trouble is for the US – it is not just that Trump has treated the crisis merely as a way to feed tribal hatreds but that this behaviour has become normalised. When the freak show is live on TV every evening, and the star is boasting about his ratings, it is not really a freak show any more. For a very large and solid bloc of Americans, it is reality.
And this will get worse before it gets better. Trump has at least eight more months in power. In his inaugural address in 2017, he evoked “American carnage” and promised to make it stop. But now that the real carnage has arrived, he is reveling in it. He is in his element.
As things get worse, he will pump more hatred and falsehood, more death-wish defiance of reason and decency, into the groundwater. If a new administration succeeds him in 2021, it will have to clean up the toxic dump he leaves behind. If he is re-elected, toxicity will have become the lifeblood of American politics.
Either way, it will be a long time before the rest of the world can imagine America being great again.

COVID-19: MSM China Hysteria Gets Way Crazier and Dumber

consortiumnews.com

It is never a good sign when the political/media class all across the aisle begins loudly trying to out-hawk one another, says Caitlin Johnstone. 


Hysteria about China has been kicked into high gear by the political/media class who are responsible for manufacturing support for the cold war escalations which will be necessary to prevent the U.S. from being surpassed on the world stage as a unipolar superpower.

Fox News’ Jeanine Pirro has aired a fire-and-brimstone monologue on China that looks like a fictional news clip from some kind of film noir-style movie adaptation of a really ham-fisted dystopian graphic novel. It really needs to be seen to be believed, so give it a view here when you get a chance:

Acyn Torabi@Acyn

This seems more unhinged than normal

11.9K people are talking about this

“China is the one that’s out of control,” Pirro spat, punching the word ‘China’ like she was speaking a profanity at someone she despises. “We’re not going to let you destroy this country or our way of life. We’ve fought too hard and we’ve fought too long to lose it to a Wuhan – that’s what I said, a WOO-HAN virus!”

“You want to control people? You politicians want to flex your muscles?” Pirro asked, referring to government lockdowns. “Well start working on how you’re gonna punish, ostracize, alienate, and financially sanction, and make China accountable for what they did to us and the rest of the world!”

It’s a legitimately scary segment with an unbelievable amount of vitriol, and Pirro isn’t the only Fox News pundit ramping up the anti-China hysteria.

Tucker Carlson recently had on “former” CIA officer Bryan Dean Wright to tell his massive audience about the danger posed by the Chinese menace, and pitched him a question clearly geared to set up Wright to claim without evidence that leaders of the Democratic Party may in fact be members of the Chinese intelligence agency MSS.

Caitlin Johnstone ⏳@caitoz

“Former” CIA officer @BryanDeanWright tells Tucker Carlson (who has also tried to join the CIA) that some Democratic Party leaders may in fact be secret intelligence agents working for China. This is easily as deranged as anything we’ve seen on MSNBC about Russia.

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“We reached out to Senator Feinstein and a number of other elected officials today and asked ‘Have you had contact recently since the outbreak with Chinese officials?’, and not a single one responded. What do you think we should infer from that?” asked Carlson, who is known to have himself tried to join the CIA in the past.

“I think that they’re nervous,” Wright replied. “I think there are a bunch of people who, because they’re either useful idiots, or they have some degree of knowledge and and relationships behind the scenes with the Chinese government. Some of them in fact could be Chinese agents of the MSS, their intelligence service, God forbid. They’re nervous.”

“We’ve got a lot of very nervous folks in the Democratic Party,” Wright added.

This is easily as unhinged as even the most cartoonishly ridiculous Russia hysteria we’ve seen uncorked by Rachel Maddow or anyone on MSNBC, and is not at all different in tone or content; even the use of the term “useful idiots” is right in line with the same reprehensible Russiagate rhetoric we’ve been hearing for the last four years.

The claim that rival parties have been infiltrated by communists has a very long and ugly history in US politics, and now that it’s being weaponized by the American right-wing in such a shameless way we can expect it to get a whole lot uglier.

Ben Norton

@BenjaminNorton

Welcome to the new cold war. Biden’s new ad is just unhinged anti-China propaganda.

Biden will attack Trump for supposedly being “too soft” on China, and Trump will do the same to Biden.

The 2020 election will be nonstop bipartisan scapegoating of China.

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Not to be outdone the Democrats are now working to out-Trump Trump, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi demanding that Trump “swiftly begin implementing the Hong Kong Human Rights & Democracy Act”, and a new Biden campaign ad attacking the president for being too soft on China for its handling of the Covid-19 virus.

The ad attacks Trump for failing to force Beijing to allow US government officials into Wuhan to monitor the governing of a sovereign nation during a pandemic outbreak.

“Trump praised the Chinese 15 times in January and February as the coronavirus spread across the world,” says the ad’s narrator in a menacing voice. “Trump never got a CDC team on the ground in China. And the travel ban he brags about? Trump let in 40,000 travelers from China into America after he signed it. Not exactly airtight.”

Attacking Trump from the right on foreign policy has become standard practice for the Biden campaign, with whoever runs his account recently tweeting “Donald Trump says he’s a wartime president — it’s time for him to act like one.”

This is the guy that American progressives still say can be moved to the left? Hilarious.

Nancy Pelosi

@SpeakerPelosi

Even as the world confronts the coronavirus crisis, democracy and human rights continue to be attacked in Hong Kong. @RepMcGovern is right — @realDonaldTrump must swiftly begin implementing the Hong Kong Human Rights & Democracy Act. https://twitter.com/RepMcGovern/status/1251539677204623360 

Rep. Jim McGovern

@RepMcGovern

1/ In the midst of a global pandemic, it is unconscionable that the witch hunt has continued against #HongKong pro-democracy leaders. Human rights & rule of law abuses in HK are worsening & the Trump Admin needs to robustly implement & enforce the HK Human Rights & Democracy Act. https://twitter.com/hongkongfp/status/1251510995341565959 

13.6K people are talking about this

It is never a good sign when the political/media class all across the aisle begins loudly trying to out-hawk one another about a nation which refuses to be absorbed into the US-centralized world order. And make no mistake, this is all this is actually about.

It’s not a coincidence that the two nations the US political/media class has been shrieking the loudest about lately are the two strongest nations which have refused to be absorbed into the US empire. It’s never been about “collusion” or a virus, it’s about stopping multipolarism. This has been obvious for years, but partisan narrative control masks it. More than two years ago I was writing about how Russiagate isn’t about Trump or even really just about Russia, but about hamstringing the Russia-China tandem to stop China’s rise.

Ever since the fall of the Soviet Union and the rise of neoconservatism, the prevailing orthodoxy in the U.S.-centralized power alliance has been to preserve the unipolar world order at any cost. All U.S. foreign policy has been a direct or indirect result of this agenda ever since.

Joe Biden

@JoeBiden

Donald Trump says he’s a wartime president — it’s time for him to act like one.

30.7K people are talking about this

It’s not about Covid-19. It’s not about Uighurs. It’s not about a Putin pee tape. It’s not about terrorists. It’s not about weapons of mass destruction. It’s about world domination, plain and simple. And the oligarch-owned political/media class who controls the dominant narrative is helping to facilitate that.

I never voted for a world order where one powerful government is constantly attacking, destroying and sabotaging any nation that threatens its hegemony. I’m pretty sure you never did either. And yet here we are, forced to accept this insane paradigm, even when the targeted nations in question are nuclear armed and anything could go drastically wrong at any moment as a result of miscommunication or technical malfunction in the heat and confusion of escalated aggression.

This will continue to be foisted upon us whether we like it or not, until this way of life is locked in forever, or until we all die in a nuclear holocaust, or until we force them to stop. It’s that third option that they are working to cut off during the rapid increases in government surveillance and internet censorship we’ve seen implemented during this pandemic, so we’re going to have to want to live a lot more than the empire does.

Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium. Follow her work on FacebookTwitter, or her websiteShe has a podcast and a book, Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers.” 

This article was re-published with permission.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

America isn’t just a failing state, it is a failed experiment

Source

http://www.aljazeera.com

by

April 20, 2020

And the mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic is just another proof.

People protest against a state-at-home order issued by Colorado Governor Jared Polis to curb the coronavirus outbreak on April 19, 2020 in Denver, US [AP/David Zalubowski]
People protest against a state-at-home order issued by Colorado Governor Jared Polis to curb the coronavirus outbreak on April 19, 2020, in Denver, US [AP/David Zalubowski]
 

Sometime in the future, maybe two or three centuries from now, when historians and other social scientists begin to write the first books about the failures of the defunct American experiment, they will all confront a basic truth: That despite American proclamations of freedom and equality, the realities of racism, misogyny, homophobia, xenophobia and gross economic inequalities as practised in American society constantly belied these ideals.

Future experts will have to consider whether America’s ultimate virtues really ever had a chance to flourish, or were simply myths meant to soothe the American ego.

These future researchers will have a list of events to point to that signaled the death knell of America as a superpower, a nation-state, and as an idea worth pursuing. And that list is long:

The squandering of trillions of dollars from 1945 through the 1980s on the Cold War, Vietnam and the nuclear arms race. The presidency of Richard Nixon, Watergate, and craven government corruption. The disinvestment from the American social safety net and the massive deregulation of corporations that began during President Ronald Reagan’s rule in the 1980s – all while proclaiming “it’s morning in America again” – and continued unabated under Presidents Bill Clinton, George W Bush and Barack Obama. The First Gulf War in 1990-91 and the new US commitment to endless, preemptive wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere in the decades since. The 2008 housing bust and the Great Recession that only further benefitted corporations while grinding millions down into poverty and the gig economy.

All this has led the US to its current calamity, the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic, one that at publication, has claimed more than 40,000 American lives and sickened at least 700,000 others. It is an epic crisis which America’s leaders from President Donald Trump down could have blunted by heeding advanced warnings from the World Health Organization, from the Centers for Disease Control, and from the Obama administration, making preparations and taking action.

Trump could have mitigated the crisis but he failed miserably, opting first for denial, declaring the COVID-19 warnings the Democrats’ “new hoax”.

The COVID-19 outbreak has highlighted another epidemic that has plagued American society –  American narcissism, a disease that has been growing since the founding of Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in North America, in 1607.

America’s narcissism was and remains more infectious than any virus, as the attraction of presumed wealth and unlimited success has been a salve for many Americans for generations, no matter how fantastical.

Let us look at how the US has responded to the coronavirus since the first reports of patients dying of severe pneumonia came out of the city of Wuhan in China in early January. The federal government never mobilised its authority and resources to provide kits for testing the potentially and actually infected here within the US (but apparently sent respirators, masks, and other medical supplies to China in early February).

Once the virus infected Americans in Washington State in late January, little was done to immediately take its spread across the US seriously. It was all business as usual for the White House, for Congress, and for so many elected officials until the beginning of March, with the impeachment trial now but a blip on this election year’s calendar.

Once it became apparent that American leadership would fail to be proactive in preventing the spread of COVID-19, the nation’s me-first instincts kicked in. Toilet paper, bottled water, rubbing alcohol, liquid soap, surgical face masks, hand sanitizers, paper towels, orange juice, and thermometers all began to disappear off supermarket and drug store shelves. Some Americans thought it a good idea to corner the market in these items as part of an attempt to profit from panic and deadly tragedy. Trillion-dollar businesses like Amazon did nothing to stop the hoarding, the panic, and the exploitation.

The big corporations and the smaller businesses also did little to protect their employees before mid-March, even though every credible immunologist and epidemiologist urged social isolation and shelter-in-place orders days and weeks earlier.

It took the shutting down of face-to-face classes at Harvard and the NBA postponing the remainder of its 2019-2020 season before other universities, the sporting world, and other institutions began to shut down en masse. And that was mostly because both academia and professional sports are global in nature, an advantage and a liability when it comes to a pandemic.

America’s 50-plus states and jurisdictions, and Washington, DC have had 50-plus separate responses to the crisis, from a general lockdown in New York, Illinois, New Jersey, and California to barely any precautions at all in Alabama, Florida, and Texas until well into the pandemic’s impact on their states.

Even so, many Americans have violated even the most basic rules of social distancing, frolicking at beaches and attending public gatherings as if this crisis is one big national summer vacation.

In March, some, like Dan Patrick, Lieutenant Governor of Texas, went into amateur eugenicist mode, opting for despair over government action. Patrick’s message on FOX News? “Let’s get back to work, let’s get back to living. Let’s be smart about it, and those of us who are 70-plus, we’ll take care of ourselves, but don’t sacrifice the country.”

The lives of the elderly are apparently less important than the American economy’s stability. Trump, Patrick, and other government officials have declared people rendered vulnerable by ageism, ableism, sexism and racism exploitable and expendable.

Governor Tate Reeves of Mississippi for his part signed an executive order that temporarily rescinded local bans on opening non-essential businesses and on social distancing, essentially ordering most state residents back to life as normal.

Meanwhile, Jerry Falwell Jr, the president of Virginia’s Liberty University and its evangelical leadership thought it wise to reopen for face-to-face classes again as the numbers of infected climbed by the thousands every day.

The need for profit over protecting the citizens of Mississippi? Jerry Falwell Jr’s blind evangelical faith over science and the welfare of thousands of students? Seriously?

But, just like with American narcissism, American racism has grown from the same toxic soil that combines greed and a craving for power with a total disregard for whole swaths of humanity. America’s narcissism and racism work hand in glove. Why else would Trump deliberately scratch out the word “corona” in his talking points and replace it with the “Chinese virus” for a press briefing in mid-March?

Why else have there been over 1,100 anti-Asian and anti-Chinese incidents and attacks in the past month in the US? How could there be any other explanation for hacking online classes and disrupting them with racist rhetoric?

Without a doubt, the penchant for narcissism and racism and the othering of so many as exploitable and expendable are interconnected, both historically and in the COVID-19 crisis in the US.

All the while, America’s most vulnerable have hardly been given a thought. The patchwork nature of the US healthcare system means that millions living with poverty, homelessness, incarceration, disabilities and psychological illnesses will likely be exposed to the coronavirus in the next weeks and months.

They will represent a disproportionate number of the 200,000 experts predict will die from the virus in the next 12 or 18 months. They will not have the benefit of medical care necessary to keep them alive. They will not partake in the $2 trillion Congressional stimulus package mostly meant to shovel more money down the throats of the nation’s corporate monopolies.

For so many who are not immediately vulnerable, the pittance of funds from this stimulus meant for ordinary Americans will be way too little and come way too late. So many more will join the ranks of the unemployed, the underemployed, the permanently and temporarily homeless, as well as the jailed, the sick and the dead.

America’s lack of leadership at home and abroad during this pandemic has been stunning. But its populace’s denial of these facts is simply gobsmacking.

The truth is, many Americans barely care about other Americans, especially those who are black and brown and especially during this pandemic. This is what 400 years of racism and narcissism have led to. Most Americans either do not care that much of this allegedly natural devastation stems from globalisation and climate change, or act as if there is nothing that can be done about it. The COVID-19 crisis is yet another log on the stack of America’s enduring shame as the world’s most powerful and yet most do-nothing nation.

Is America really over? Yes, it will remain a superpower and a rich nation for the foreseeable future, but with so much of that power and wealth ever more consolidated into the hands of rich whites and the corporations.

The coronavirus pandemic will not plunge the US into darkness. But this crisis is an omen, a truly horrifying sign that the US as both a stable nation-state and a symbol of freedom and goodness is a bald-faced lie.

Anyone who believes otherwise or who fights for such ideals while also hoping to preserve America as it currently stands is not only promoting American narcissism and racism but also guaranteeing future calamities. They will ultimately be as responsible for America’s failure to fulfill its fanciful experiment as every president since Lyndon Johnson.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial stance.


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