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Echoes Past and Future: Helsinki Goon Show Masks the Real Rot That Bedevils Us

“There’s the cue: an echo from the future…” Boris Pasternak, “Hamlet,” from Doctor Zhivago I. It’s true Trump behaved like a chump and a lackey with Putin during their press conference on Monday. But if Don really has done a deal with Vlad — as opposed to, say, simply acting out his deeply disturbed need to be stroked by tough-guy daddy figures who have killed people — then Trump has also treated the Russian leader the same way he’s treated everyone he’s ever made a deal with: he’s cheated him. Putin has gotten very little of real substance from Trump’s

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Even the hapless saps of Weimar put up a better fight than this

  Imagine living in this universe — much less being an actual politician working in DC today — and thinking that Donald Trump would ever, under any circumstances, make a “centrist” choice for the Supreme Court. Just imagine being that naive, that jejune, that blind, that clueless, that completely and utterly, wilfully ignorant of reality. A newborn kitten has more political insight and savvy than this “heavyweight” of the Democratic “opposition.” Even the hapless saps of Weimar put up a better fight than this.

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The Gates of Hell are Closing Behind us: US-Saudi Horror Show Heats up in Yemen

So here we are. The Saudis — their brutal aggression armed, funded and guided with “target intelligence” by the United States and Great Britain — have finally begun their assault on the Yemeni port of Hodeidah. This is where almost all humanitarian aid — and indeed, 70 percent of the nation’s food, medicine and other supplies — enter Yemen. The assault on the port — which has suffered from partial blockades supported by the US and UK — will plunge millions into famine and likely lead to at least 250,000 deaths in the short run, according to the UN. This in

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Pulling Strings But Losing the Thread: All Day Permanent Red

The title of one of poet Christopher Logue’s series of translations/transformations from the Illiad struck me long ago as the best description of our age of endless anxiety and emergency: All Day Permanent Red. Its salience and relevance grows more hideously apt with each passing day, as deliberately stoked strife and fear blend with seething changes and murky forces that not even the stokers themselves can foresee or comprehend. In a world that cannot sustain its current state but seems spellbound and paralyzed by its spiralling trajectory toward ruin, the shattering disequilibrium pervades not only the howling circus of the

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Alchemical Reactions: Transmuting Death-Dealing Dung Into PR Gold

One simple point: if the US/UK/France really believed the building they targeted (and hit) in a heavily populated civilian area of Damascus was actually making chemical weapons, what do they think would have happened if all that toxic material had been dispersed by explosions throughout the surrounding neighborhoods? Hundreds if not thousands of civilians would have died. So either the “Western powers” knowingly risked killing thousands of innocent people — or else they knew the building was not actually a chemical weapons facility. Thus we are left with two possible conclusions: either they are “gas-killing animals” happy to murder untold

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Stumbling Blocks: Tim Kaine and the Bipartisan Abettors of Atrocity

I’ve written a lot about Yemen over the past few years. And I knew the US Senate would never vote to end our direct participation in the Saudi war crime there that has led to the worst humanitarian crisis since WWII. I knew they – like 60 Minutes and the rest of the US — would kowtow to the extremist religious autocrats who rule over the most repressive regime on the face of the earth (with the possible exception of North Korea). I knew our leaders were bought and sold by Saudi money, which has also helped finance and arm

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Unbrinkmanship: Even Dubious Chance of Peace Rattles Militarist Elites

Compiling a few tweets (with an additional paragraph) on Trump’s announcement of his intention to meet Kim Jong-un: It’s funny  to watch the Establishment freak-out about Trump’s meeting with Kim (which might never actually take place, of course). For months, they’ve been saying we’re on the edge of apocalypse; but when something happens that might move us back a few inches, they go nuts.  I’m also enjoying the earnest, savvy analyses of Trump’s decision, as if it were part of some considered strategy (either wise or foolish) which will result in some kind of predictable consequences (either good or bad), instead

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Tell Ol’ Bill: Conservative Goons Gunning for Student Survivors

Noted sex pest Bill O’Reilly has now joined the chorus of conservative tongue-waggers denouncing the high school students who are seeking some mild gun control measures that might reduce in some small measure the likelihood of their being shot to death while going to class. Some conservatives, like Trump’s friend and adviser Alex Jones, are even claiming that the young people speaking out aren’t really survivors at all, but “crisis actors” hired by nefarious secret forces whose sole aim is to make soft and paunchy white guys like Alex Jones feel all wiggly and emasculated because they might not be

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Return of the Repressed: The Roots of a Resurgent Racist Notion

I. In recent years, we have seen a resurgence — and great expansion — of a sinister trope that has always simmered near or just below the surface of many a Southerner’s thoughts: to wit, that slavery was not really all that bad for the slaves, that most enjoyed a decent enough life, supplied with food, shelter and security. Indeed, for the most part, black Americans lived better under slavery than they did after they were freed. To be sure, slavery had not been a good thing in itself, but its horrors had been exaggerated and its benefits neglected by

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