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Brief note on a bleary post-election morning

You’d think that if you woke up after an election to find one candidate leading by two million votes, with the millions of votes yet to be counted almost certainly going heavily in his favor, that would be it: “Well, the result seems clear: you had a race and the voters chose one guy over another. That’s democracy in action!” But we are dealing with the United States and its Electoral College: the 18th-century contraption of slave-owning elites who had already restricted the right to a vote to limited categories of white men. Yet even with this truncated electorate, they

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“Lost Americans”: A national ballad of history and tragedy

We came across the ocean fighting through the stormy waves We carved out our dominion And planted it with graves We built a mighty nation on the backs and blood of slaves And sang our praise unto the Lord for the blessings that He gave In a covered wagon rolling cross the endless plain the earth was dark with carcasses of the buffalo we’d slain We sent our soldiers out to make the Indians feel the pain And swore our souls were white as snow without a crimson stain We’re the lost Americans The lost Americans We came into a

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Lords of Misrule: UK Elites and the Rise of Global Feudalism

I darkly suspect that the UK is entering a long winter of discontent and widespread upheaval, which will likely end with the replacement of the hapless opportunist Boris Johnson by someone even worse: the hardcore, inhumane, hard-right true believer Michael Gove, with the equally inhumane, sinister crank Dom Cummings still running the show. (Cummings, remember, has long been Gove’s man, not Johnson’s.) Together they will use the chaos and suffering to keep pushing their brutal agenda of “disruption” and “reform” to destroy the ability of government to act for the greater common good. Instead they will continue turning over its

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Power not Piety: Trump Foes Falling for False Narrative on SCOTUS Pick

I see the GOP is successfully manipulating the narrative once again, drawing in even Trump opponents their web of falsehood that paints the Supreme Court pick as a “religious” issue instead of what it is: the installation of a rightwing hack who, having already helped kill one election, will spend decades entrenching the power of rapacious elites. The objection to Amy Barrett is not that she’s a Catholic. This a fake-news trope being drummed up by Trumpists. Joe Biden is a Catholic. There is a Catholic on the Supreme Court appointed by Democrats. The objection is to the legal positions she’s

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The Surrendered Land: US Institutions Won’t Fight for Democracy

I follow the novelist A.R. Moxon on Twitter, where his political takes routinely bring genuine insight, wit and moral rigor to the increasing beserkery of our times. But he recently posted an observation, or prediction, that I found I couldn’t agree with, much as I would have liked to. It prompted some thoughts in response that I put up – on Twitter, where else? – not so much in refutation of his point but more as a wider-angle lens on the possibilities that face us in a post-election meltdown. Below are Moxon’s comment and my response, which has been edited and

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Keepers of the Condor: US Role in Evil Network Shown in Soft Light

Operation Condor: the illegal state network that terrorised South America (Guardian) Even an otherwise excellent, thorough, damning article on the ghastly horrors of Operation Condor has to paint US involvement in its Nazi-level atrocities in the very best light. The reason the US funded, armed, trained and protected the torture-lords of  murderous rightwing dictatorships was, we’re told here, is because poor little American leaders were traumatized by the Cuban Missile Crisis and felt “existentially threatened” by any “leftist” (i.e., non-rightwing) movements in South America. It was only out of this quaking fear that successive bipartisan US administrations backed the overthrow of

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The Malevolent Malarkey of Biden’s Big “Law and Order” Push

Biden to Air Nationwide Law-and-Order Ad Condemning Rioters and Looters (NYT) This is so monumentally, stunningly, agonizingly stupid. Biden is adopting Trump’s false narrative about the protests, adopting Trump’s language and fighting on Trump’s turf, the very issue Trump WANTS to be the focus of the campaign, instead of his own manifold crimes and failures. I can’t even process how self-defeating this is. Thousands of Americans are dying needless deaths every week due to Trump’s mishandling (and deliberate exacerbation) of the pandemic. Tens of millions are out of work, facing homelessness, ruin and desperation. The Postal Service upon which so

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Show Them the Money: The Respectable Media Enablers of Trump’s Monstrous Lies

Activist Ady Barkan tells top Republican to apologise over doctored video (Guardian) There is simply no way for any of us to comprehend or adequately prepare for the amount of utterly depraved falsehood that is coming our way in the next two months. It is going to surpass anything that any of us has ever known, anything we can imagine right now. And please remember: almost all of it will be brought to you by some of the most powerful corporations in modern America: the media conglomerates, national and local, who are eagerly taking Trump money to disseminate his arrant,

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Kenosha Goddam: The Rot at the Top Goes All the Way Down

This is the boy who drove to a town he didn’t live in, joining many other armed extremists from outside, with the specific intent of confronting American citizens protesting the shooting of an unarmed man seven times in the back, leaving him paralyzed. This boy and his fellow armed extremists — who were “violating curfew” just as the protestors were — mingled with the police before the protest began. The police gave water to this boy and his fellow extremists, praised them, thanked them for coming (and breaking the curfew, which was the excuse for the police to move against

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Touch of Evil: The Democrats Embrace War Criminals While Ignoring Millions Seeking True Hope and Change

Colin Powell to Appear at Democratic Convention (NYT) I’m sorry, but this is absolutely unconscionable. Colin Powell was a chief architect and abettor of a monstrous war crime that murdered tens of thousands of innocent human beings for no reason. The evidence is overwhelming that he knowingly, deliberately lied in his famous UN testimony about Iraq’s non-existent WMD that convinced so many moderates and Democrats to support the mass murder in Iraq. (This is aside from his direct collusion in covering up mass-murder atrocities by American troops in Vietnam, which is where he made his bones as a “safe pair of

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