Environmental crisis

The Bipartisan Campaign to Make America Hate Again

But First Some Unfinished Business...

1970 Portfolio (fire survivors)-13 - Copy      Here's the photo I tried to run on 31 May but couldn't due to what blog-server Typepad  apologetically says was a software breakdown: from the 1967 Memorial Day Police Riot in Manhattan's Tompkins Square Park. (Photo by Loren Bliss © 1967, 2011, 2022, 2023; thanks to Publisher Scott Orr, this work was resurrected last year by an NYC art journal, BSceneZine, Volume 1, issue 9.)

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TO UNDERSTAND HOW “Make America Great Again” is in horrible truth a euphemism for “Make America Hate Again,” it is necessary we recognize why the New Deal was so thoroughly despised by the USian1 ruling class and why its few enduring vestiges remain under such relentless attack today.

From the perspective of those who consider themselves our masters, the New Deal threatened the ethos of racial, ethnic, gender and class hatred they have imposed on the North American working class2 since colonial times. Were the New Deal to fulfill its potential of universal socioeconomic security, it would end  the dog-eat-dog competition for survival that fuels identity politics. It would thereby deny the ruling class its most effective weapon for preserving and expanding its own dictatorial power. No longer could the aristocracy keep us powerless by imposing  austerity, limiting the availability of jobs, housing, food and healthcare,  and weaponizing the resultant hardships to ensure we remain divided against ourselves in life-or-death competition for survival.3    

In this context, let us not forget two pivotal facts: firstly, that the primary purpose of both the Italian Fascist Party and the German Nazi Party was to exterminate any and all forms of socialism – to destroy beyond any possibility of resurrection the one and only ethos in our species’ history that openly seeks global working-class solidarity by proclaiming it the only effective defense against the ecogenocidal consequences of capitalist moral imbecility; secondly, that the New Deal had the selfsame purpose of staving-off socialist revolution and preserving capitalism,  though it sought to do so not by the brute force of fascism or nazism, but by humanitarian concessions universal enough to ameliorate capitalism's infinite malevolence. Thus the New Deal began nullifying capitalism's  traditional, self-protective compulsions to intra-working-class racial, ethnic and gender conflicts. To eliminate the need for revolutionary transformation into Soviet-style proletarian dictatorship -- a need widely recognized in an era in which the Communist Party had grown to be the third largest political organization in USian history -- the New Deal offered working-class solidarity via unionism and pledged to control capitalist greed by a combination of collective bargaining and progressive legislation.

But the capitalist aristocracy clearly understood such concessions would radically reduce and perhaps permanently eliminate their ability to maintain maximum power, which they had repeatedly done by fostering enough hateful conflict amongst the races, ethnicities and genders within the working class to ensure we remain disunited -- and therefore hopelessly defenseless against whatever outrages or atrocities they might  choose to inflict. On the rare occasions the USian working class managed to transcend identity politics and unite in a common front, as at Blair Mountain and the battle that ensued, as we momentarily achieved on the Lower East Side of Manhattan during the Countercultural '60s -- thus the post-Memorial-Day relevance of the above photograph and the report linked in its cutlines -- or as we briefly attempted via Occupy, we were soon subjugated by brute force. Though in Occupy -- where I revealed myself to be a near-lifelong Marxian and was welcomed as an elder activist -- we were also beset internally by the solidarity-smashing self-obsessed egotism in which so many younger USians have been relentlessly conditioned literally from birth.      

Like their penchant for violence, the aristocrats' identity-politics strategy is at least as old as Rome: divide et impera; divide and rule.

And the USian ruling class -- no doubt with the savvy assistance of some the Original (NSDAP) Nazi war criminals infiltrated into USian society by the government -- it has weaponized it as never before.

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A DAMNING PATTERN of historical facts, a vast, 90-year body of circumstantial evidence far stronger than what would be necessary to win convictions in any U.S. criminal court, tells us the present-day effort by the “Republican” (sic) Christonazi/Neoconfederate Party to transform the U.S. into a white-male-supremacist theocracy  -- this thoroughly enabled by the mainstream-media-obscured, post-JFK function of  the “Democratic” (sic) Party as the Republicans’ Fifth Column --  dates back to the failed Bankers’ Plot of 1933 and the federal government’s millionaire-mandated decision in 1934 to drop its congressional investigation of the plotters, thereby granting these ruling-class perpe-traitors de facto immunity.

Forced by the exposure and defeat of their plot to reckon with the fact the nation could not be nazified overnight, the fathers and grandfathers of today’s ruling class conceived a clandestine, far-more-diabolical strategy of three parts. First they began the slow-motion process of co-opting fundamentalist Christianity and turning it into a dependably obedient, ldeologically lockstep, politically formidable, less publicly violent variant of the Sturmabteilung. Next they cemented a permanent Nazi/Wall-Street alliance by enabling the International Business Machines corporation (IBM) to organize Hitler’s genocide program. Lastly – after the Red Army’s sweeping victory at Stalingrad made it obvious Germany would loose the war – they ordered their governmental lackeys to begin recruiting vast numbers of upper echelon Original (NSDAP) Nazi war criminals as U.S. government advisors and comrades-at arms.

With the murder of Medgar Evers as its prelude -- say his name --  then came, as predictably as night follows day, the kill-the-New-Deal-forever coup of 22 November 1963 – the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, its cover-up by the Warren Commission and all the horrors that relentlessly followed:

  • The Vietnam War;
  • The attack on the USS Liberty, which is now revealed (see below) as the false-flag opener in the Johnson Regime’s failed attempt to justify a thermonuclear Pearl Harbor against the Soviet Union;
  • An entire decade of obviously political martyrdom: (say their names: Malcolm X, Michael Schwerner, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, Viola Liuzzo, Martin Luther King Jr., Sen. Robert Kennedy, Fred Hampton, Mark Clark, Allison Krause, Jeffrey Glen Miller, Sandra Lee Scheuer, William Knox Schroeder, Philip Lafayette Gibbs, James Earl Green, Karen Silkwood -- and remember there are no doubt many more such martyrs  unnamed and lost to history);
  • The Nazi-war-criminal advised Central Intelligence Agency's concurrent, near-total suppression of the Counterculture;
  • The subsequent imposition of the USian socioeconomic variant of nazism cleverly euphemized as "neoliberalism," perfected by the University of Chicago's economics department in the torture-lab of Pinochet's Chile,  vectored into USia by the Carter Regime,  brought to full malignancy by the so-called Reagan Revolution and further metastasized by`its Fifth Column of Democrat collaborators led by the Clintons and Obama (with Barack the Betrayer no doubt also chosen specifically to inflame the white electorate's always-simmering, post-Katrina-proven racism);
  • The ongoing, ever-more-overt nazification of the nation and the simultaneous rise of Neoconfederate fanaticism  rendered unstoppable by Trump’s racist/misogynist victory over the (deliberately?) ill-advised Hillary Clinton in 2016;
  • And finally the dark undertow of cumulative consequences turned fatal to the solidarity of the federal union  -- and probably deadly to any last lingering vestiges of USian democratic process --  by the combination of Biden's election, Trump's attempted putsch against him on 6 January 2021 and the ever-more-violent, ever-more-irreconcilable hostilities so aroused. 

Now we suffer a presidency so "change-we-can-believe-in" treacherous to progressives and nevertheless so infuriating to the Christonazis and Neoconfederates, its chronic unpopularity remains unprecedentedly constant at around 55 percent. And with the Beguiler's compulsory, no-choice-allowed reelection candidacy rammed down our proverbial throats by the political puppets of the ruling class, it is almost certain to hand these biological and/or ideological descendants of the Bankers' Plot perpe-traitors their  final, forever end-of-the-U.S.-as-we-knew-it triumph next year -- this as the mainstream media's propagandistic complicty approaches the level of an undisguised atrocity.

When we view all these bits of  circumstantial evidence as a totality, as a logical sequence of cause-and-effect, we have a story that  reads like a sequel to Mein Kampf -- or an indictment written from the Rise chapters of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, William Schirer's epic history of Nazi Germany.

Which brings us back to MAGA – “Make America Great Again” – as a diabolically clever euphemism for MAHA – Make America Hate Again: the only way our self-appointed masters can guarantee our far greater numbers remain irrelevant, especially now that our ever-more-desperate struggles to survive are increasingly targeted as acts of revolutionary defiance.

Here then are three recent betrayals in which the Democrats prove beyond any possibility of denial their ultimate function as the Christonazi/Neoconfederate Fifth Column:

Betrayal Number One: The Biden Regime’s Federal Bureau of Investigation -- part of the secret-police apparatus commanded by the Department of Homeland Security --  is now serving the Christonazis by denouncing abortion-rights activists as a new domestic terror threat and hunting them accordingly. This terrifying disclosure follows Intercept’s revelations of how Biden the Beguiler sicced the feds on pro-choice Jane’s Revenge – a story completely suppressed by the mainstream media propaganda apparatus in its function as the world’s first privately owned, for-profit version of Josef Goebbels’ Reich Ministry for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda -- and a decision in 100-percent opposition  to Biden’s allegedly “evolved” pro-choice stance, but -- of course -- entirely in keeping with his anti-choice history as documented by The Guardian and by Rolling Stone.

Betrayal Number Two (quoted text from Common Dreams): “The details of a debt ceiling/spending deal between President Biden and Speaker Kevin McCarthy include a number of provisions that...fast-track new fossil fuel development, including swift actions to bolster approval of the controversial Mountain Valley Pipeline, weakening of the National Environmental Policy Act, and freezing of the budget for the Environmental Protection Agency.” Obviously the Democrats' pledge to protect the life-sustaining remnants of our ever-more-toxified earthly enviroment is but another example of "change we can believe in," the most outrageous Big Lie ever fed the tragically gullible USian electorate.  

Betrayal Number Three (quoted text from Just Security):For months, environmental and racial justice activists in Atlanta have challenged the destruction of a local forest for a police training facility. Following an extended draconian crackdown, the Atlanta Police Department on May 31 arrested three people who operated a bail fund providing legal support to demonstrators. This escalatory action directly targeted constitutional rights to free speech and legal representation, drawing widespread criticism from civil rights groups such as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, which called the arrests a ‘discretionary misuse of law enforcement’ to intimidate activists.” To justify these unprecedented arrests, the Georgia authorities cited the characterization of the Atlanta activists as terrorists by the Biden Regime’s Department of Homeland Security, essentially already behaving as if it were the USian equivalent of the Third Reich’s Reichssicherheitshauptamt (RSHA).  Wake up, people;  the de facto Fourth Reich is already upon us.

As Winston Churchill is credibly said to have privately commented on the eve of the Battle of Britain, "only a miracle can save us now." 

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Five More News Reports That Reflect How MAGA Means MAHA

Swatstika-brandishing Nazis, other DeSantis supporters rally outside Disney World in Orlando, Florida. An ever-more-common expression of genocidal hatred legitimized by Trump and his Christonazi/Neoconfederate Republicans. “As usual, the Florida governor and Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis has refused to denounce his Nazi supporters.”

Unknown sadists target children by pouring muriatic acid on playground slides; several kids suffer burns.This is another, especially wrenching manifestation of the hatred that increasingly typifies USia since the Trump candidacy legitimized its expression. (To put this atrocity in its proper perspective, note that thanks to MAHA, the definitively capitalist ethos of infinitely selfish moral imbecility now rules, its hateful ubiquity proven by the fact that as of 14 June, USia’s burgeoning legions of moral imbeciles have run amok with guns to confirm their ultimate suitability for jobs in maximum-profit upper-management by murdering 351 humans and wounding 1,032 more in 272 mass shootings already this year.)

Muslim-governed Michigan city bans LGBTQ Pride flags on all public property. Thanks to the lifetime Christonazification of the Supreme Court, USian religions can now be as openly hateful as they want. (Note Grover Norquist’s assertion fanatical Muslims and fanatical Christians share the same values and the implicit belief they should therefore unite to impose anti-Jewish theocracy on USia.)

Which already exists in misogynistic form as proven by the hateful Southern Baptist declaration women are biblically unfit to serve the church in any pastoral office. (NOTE: I had not heard of TrendyDigest before seeking a detailed report on this example of MAHA-in-action, but after nearly an hour of online research, its work and this Aljazeera dispatch were by far the best, most contextually detailed stories I could find. My special thanks to TD for a chronology that suggests the fanatically patriarchal Baptists regard the disempowerment of women as the final solution to the denomination’s innumerable sex-abuse scandals.)

Last but not least, and most assuredly echoing the Original (NSDAP) Nazi declaration of genocide against “life unfit for life,” we have the newest Chrisionazi/Neoconfederate declaration of potentially deadly hate against elderly and disabled people.

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And Five MAHA-Relevant Comment-Thread Posts from Other Websites

How LBJ Tried to Start World War III; Massive Cover-Up Continues After 55 Years. Evidence suggests the Israelis were ordered to attack the USS Liberty as part of a false-flag operation intended to justify a U.S. invasion of Egypt to oust Nasser, thereby provoking a Soviet response LBJ would use to justify a thermonuclear first strike aimed at destroying the Soviet Union and giving the USian Empire Hitler’s ultimate goal of dictatorship over all the world’s nations and peoples.

My comment: Actually I think future historians -- if indeed our species has a future (which I gravely doubt) -- will cite 22 November 1963 as the permanent end of the United States as a democratic republic, much as 30 January 1933 (the date of Hitler's appointment as chancellor by von Hindenburg) marks the end of the Weimar Republic. I also suspect LBJ's criminally treasonous conspiracies so ruthlessly compromised the "Democratic" (sic) Party, it can never again be anything other than the Fifth Column of the "Republican" (sic) Christonazi/Neoconfederate Party. As to how those crimes were facilitated, I suspect the true enablers were the legions of diabolically clever upper-echelon Original (NSDAP) Nazi war criminals the USian government and ruling class embraced as advisors and comrades-at-arms, though the plutocrats’ passion for nazifying the U.S. is readily traceable to the 1933 Bankers' Plot and the federal grant of de facto immunity to its perpe-traitors in 1934.

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"The use of domestic terrorism charges against the environmental and animal liberation movements set important precedents for the repression Atlanta’s ‘Stop Cop City’ movement faces today.

My comment: Two points:

(1)--Anyone who (still) doubts 9/11 was the Reichstag Fire of the USian Empire and de facto Fourth Reich is either clinically deranged or hopelessly stupid.

(2)--Quoth Lev Bronstein, c. 1905: "In every gathering of three revolutionaries, there is at least one agent of the Okhrana."

Truly, nothing else need be said.

Later on the same thread, in supportive response to Nylene 13’s comments about the ruling class: Not just evil, but ecogenocidally Evil, planet-killing Evil, potentially solar-system and galaxy destroying Evil, bottomlessly Evil, infinitely Evil,  more Evil than any known language can possibly describe. But to our endless disadvantage, they are most assuredly not  stupid; instead, like their idols Hitler and Pinochet, they are malevolently cunning,   serial-killer malicious, vindictively sadistic moral imbeciles utterly without empathy or compassion, our dying world's true apex predators, omnipotent until they are brought down by some apocalypse,  whether self-inflicted or not, that will most likely be the end of our entire species. 

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"If the Police Can Decide Who Qualifies as a Journalist, There Is No Free Press. Where’s the outcry? Mainstream media have been strangely silent following the arrest of two reporters in North Carolina.”

My comment: USian so-called "mainstream media" is in fact the world's first privately owned, for-maximum-monopoly-profit version of Hitler's Reichsministerium für Volksaufklärung und Propaganda (Reich Ministry for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda), which was headed by Propaganda Minister Josef Goebbels and overseen by the Sicherheitsdienst -- the state security service also known as the SD --  in much the same way the USian mainstream media apparatus is overseen by the CIA.

Given the federal government's wholesale embrace of German Nazi war criminals as advisors and comrades-at-arms -- a process that began in 1944 (soon after the Red Army's sweeping victory at Stalingrad made it clear Germany would lose the war) -- it is clearly no coincidence the USian Empire developed deep-state institutions so similar to those of Nazi Germany.

The persecution of the two Asheville journalists and the persecution of alternative media in general, the latter dating to the clandestine suppression of the Counterculture that began shortly after the murder of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, is thus among the more obvious consequences. 

Though that assassination and its subsequent decade of political murders was its enabling coup, the methodically relentless nazification of USia and its Empire actually dates to 1934, when the perpe-traitors of the pro-nazification Bankers' Plot -- the fathers and grandfathers of the plutocracy that now owns all USian politicians and controls them as puppets -- were granted federal immunity.

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The New York Times published...a column by Paul Krugman dismissing the role of Ukranian fascists in the mass murder of Jews and Soviet citizens during World War II and minimizing as mere ‘shadows’ their prominence in the present NATO proxy war against Russia. Krugman’s comment, ‘The Eyes of the World are Upon Ukraine,’ is a thoroughly dishonest and cynical apology for Ukrainian fascism, past and present.” 

My comment: Comrade Maclaman's welcome report on Paul Krugman's latest deceptions provides us with an exceptionally instructive example of how USia's so-called "mainstream media is in fact the world's first privately-owned, for-(maximum)-profit version of Hitler's Reichsministerium für Volksaufklärung und Propaganda (RMVP), the notorious Reich Ministry for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda headed by the equally notorious Josef Goebbels.

That its USian successor is a cluster of a half-dozen rigidly policed capitalist monopolies – The New York Times most assuredly included – enables it to march in purposefully fascistic lockstep even as it maintains a deceptive charade of superficial ideological differences.Thus in terms of their underlying messages of national exceptionalism and what amounts to divine-right global hegemony, there is ultimately no difference between The Times and Fox News.

And the apology for nazism that is the essence of the cited Krugman piece unquestionably makes that similarity undeniable. 

Not surprisingly given the legions of Original Nazi war criminals the USian government embraced as advisors and comrades-at-arms -- the "mainstream media" apparatus is closely monitored by the CIA, much as its Nazi forefather was monitored by the Sicherheitsdienst (SD), the state security agency of which the Gestapo was the most notorious part.

Also in Krugman's lies we again glimpse the far more devious USian variant of the blueprint for nazification provided by Hitler in Mein Kampf, a wretchedly written, unpleasantly tedious read which should nevertheless be studied closely by anyone who takes to heart Sun Tzu’s dictum of thoroughly knowing our enemy as the vital foundation of effective response.

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Why Did Trump Keep Classified Documents?

My comment: Given what we know of Trump's character and personality -- that is to say, his moral imbecility -- my guess is he was hoping to use classified, probably top-secret investigative material to blackmail his enemies, thereby turning them into his puppets. Nor would I put it past him to peddle military secrets for profit, as Mr. Vaill suggests.

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Plus One Comment Suppressed by The New York Times:

Is It Wrong to Bring a Child Into Our Warming World? (The magazine’s "Ethicist" columnist on personal responsibility and climate change.)

My (censored) comment: Seems to me in this instance the Ethicist misses the point. The ultimate question about bringing children into the world today is whether we have the right to create life we know will be subject to the unmitigated horrors -- ever-worsening environmental disaster and ever-more-tyrannical governance -- that now inescapably define our species' future. That's why every millennial I know -- and I know at least a dozen -- says they intend to remain childless. As one young woman memorably said in a group discussion about this very question: "I'm not an (expletive deleted) hereditary billionaire aristocrat -- and those are the only people left on this planet who can actually guarantee their children will not either die homeless or in some prison or concentration camp."

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And, in Closing, Three Random Glimpses of Reality:

FIRST THE TRULY BAD NEWS: as I have been hypothesizing at least since the beginning of the Ukraine War, Biden the Beguiler’s escalation of global thermonuclear terror to hitherto-unimaginable intensity is ultimately the declaration by his plutocratic puppet-masters they and their favored vassals now believe themselves sufficiently well-bunkered to survive whatever ecogenocidal horrors they choose to command their political puppets to inflict on us. And – yes – here thanks to The Guardian is irrefutable proof I read the evidence correctly.

THEN SOME (PARTIAL) GOOD NEWS: obviously – as indicated by other reports of a stunning, globally authenticated increase in wild-animal attacks – Nature has begun avenging herself against the perpetrators of what should properly be described as terminal climate change. (The good-news part is that here is still more solid proof of the Gaia Hypothesis – the scientific restatement of the core premise of the goddess-centered paganism that was our species’ first and longest-lasting religion – that our Mother Earth is alive, conscious and self-regulating.)

More darkly, Jackson Browne’s prophetic, wantonly disregarded warning of “the magnitude of her fury” is again confirmed.

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Though I'm Sorry I've Still No More Attempts at Writing Fiction

After emotionally, intellectually and journalistically coping with this week's news content, I'm admittedly tempted to dismiss my effort to write fiction as nothing more than psychological avoidance -- or at the very least, a wasteful distraction from tracking MAHA. But I'm nevertheless of two minds: one tells me fiction is by far the most effective way to disseminate a message -- witness George Orwell; the other tells me that if our species has a future at all, it will be in a world so constrained, fiction will be useless and therefore irrelevant. Obviously, what applies here is an ancient cliche: "time will tell."

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Three footnotes, with an apology Typepad's software won't allow them posted as such:

1As a matter of linguistic principle I refuse to libel the non-U.S. residents of the two American continents by applying the name of their larger homeland to the most ecogenocidally malignant nation in human history. Hence I have derived "USia" and "USian" from "United States" and "U.S." It is  a usage I am gratefully delighted to note others are adopting as their own, for it also recognizes the fact any notion of  "united" states is proven an ever-more-colossal Big Lie by the ongoing self-division of USia's  peoples into two separate nations that have already become mutual enemies and will in all probability eventually go to war with one another.  One of these nations, which includes my home state of Washington, is a federation of approximately 14 mostly coastal states  in which human rights remain meaningful and the quest for improved social services including universal health care therefore remain viable causes. The other nation is a 36-state Christonazi/Neoconfederate dictatorship  hell-bent on imposing a zero-tolerance theocratic white-supremacist male tyranny openly modeled on Hitler's Third Reich.  (As always, language is a reflection of reality, and the reality expressed by the USian appropriation of the labels "America" and "American" is the intent of the USian ruling class -- the .01 Percenters -- to greedily expand their already inconceivably vast fortunes by conquering the entire two-continent landmass, subjugating and enslaving all its peoples and looting its natural resources until its environment is nothing more than a continent-sized version of the poisonous barren this obscene aristocracy is already making of the West Virginia coalfields and the Mississippi Delta region of the Gulf of Mexico.) 

2"Working class" as used herein is defined as any and all of us dependent upon regular paychecks for survival – that is, the entire 99.9 Percent of the population.     

3Beneath the media hype and Hollywood hullabaloo, the books and films of the Hunger Games anthology provide an excruciatingly accurate portrait of capitalism reductio ad absurdum; its great irony is the fact it is being peddled for maximum profit in a nation apparently already too dumbed-down to recognize the real-life USian counterparts of the fictional circumstances that legitimize its revolutionary message. As an unflinching caricature of present conditions, parts of it may well be the best such USian work ever. Despite some less-than-convincing performances in the films, its content is so apt, it leaves me questioning how it got past the normal mainstream-media censorship apparatus, which controls theater, film and book-publishing media as tightly as it controls print and broadcast news. I cannot but wonder -- especially given the USian Empire's adoption of so many Nazi war criminals who brought with them their party's  unprecedented skill at manipulating public opinion -- if the widespread dissemination  of the Hunger Games material might then be in part a ruling class attempt to measure the extent to which we are already so numbed by the horrors of neoliberal existence, we have become indifferent to atrocity and injustice and are thus psychologically too paralyzed to ever again effectively rise up against it. Nor can I doubt Madison Avenue's many disciples of Josef Goebbels and Edward Bernays would eagerly agree to such an experment. And I say this in the sure knowledge any such notion will be poo-pooed by the moronic minions who suicidally refuse to recognize the bottomless moral imbecility -- the infinitely ecogenocidal Evil -- by which our doomed species is now ruled. 

LB/16-18 June 2023

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Post-JFK Betrayals Shrank Our Political Parties to Corporations Fighting Over Profits of Governance

PRESENT-DAY POLITICS make it obvious neither of the two major parties give a flying rat-fuck about majority opinion. The "Republican" (sic) Christonazi/Neoconfederate Party is fanatically waging ever-escalating warfare against a burgeoning coalition of ever-more-legitimately infuriated women, people of color, sexual minorities, social democrats and socialists.  Meanwhile the so-called Republicans' post-JFK Fifth Column, the so-called "Democratic" (sic) Party,  is meanwhile dead set on re-sodomizing the electorate with the most rightfully unpopular president in modern memory -- thus enabling the final slaughter of the (very) few remnants of our former pretense of "liberty and justice for all."  But -- at least to my knowledge -- not even Thom Hartmann has dared so much as speculate how this actually came about. 

My own belief, based entirely on the body of circumstantial evidence provided by our own political history -- evidence that in any other circumstance would prove more than sufficient for conviction -- is that both the major parties were ruinously compromised by their collaboration in covering up the anti-New-Deal conspiracy that prompted the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy on 22 November 1963. In all probability,  this meticulously camouflaged coup was the lynch-pin -- pun intended -- of a multi-generation project that began with the overtly fascist Bankers' Plot of 1933-34. Its tyrannical purpose was unquestionably furthered by the gradual conversion of Christianity to the plutocrats' original Fifth Column (now effectively their sturmabteilung), a process of subversion that began in the 1930s, quite possibly -- given the thorough nazification of Seattle -- with guidance from Nazi Germany. It was almost certainly bolstered to omnipotence by the plutocrats' gleeful embrace of the unprecedented  capability for infinite evil obtained by the government's post-Stalingrad adoption of legions of Original Nazi war-criminals as advisors and comrades-at-arms in a seductively propagandized, cleverly disguised and infinitely financed sequel to Hitler's campaign for world conquest. That something very much like this hypothesized scheming took place is  proven by the relentless reversal of every progressive gain we of the USian 99.9 Percent ever achieved. Significantly, the multi-decade campaign of nazification is as demonstrably bipartisan as the Banksters' original scheme:  note  the Democrats' collaboration with the Republican Nixon in what should be termed "the Powell-Memo affair" (scroll down for the "smoking gun"). Note too the patient, diabolical cunning of the campaign's revised  Mein Kampf methodology, the  subversion that destroyed the Weimar Republic in less than a decade slowed to a multi-generation regimen of psychological conditioning -- the one sure guarantee of nazification's unassailable permanence.  Only now -- and far too late -- is there a general awakening to  its irremediable destruction of our liberty, a process ever-more-obviously scripted to culminate in the ultimate Final Solution, the election of another Hitler. The intended result is obviously the conversion of the USian Empire to the de facto Fourth Reich, complete with global re-commencement of the German Nazis' Holocaust,1 thus to ensure the eternal planetary supremacy of the Aryan (non-Semitic/non-Hispanic) Caucasian race and its sadistically misogynistic Christian theocracy.  

Though Hartmann deceptively ignores the Democrats' pivotal role in putting Lewis Powell on the Supreme Court, he does touch upon how the plutocratic conquest of the two parties begun by Powell and completed by Citizens United has transmogrified both parties (and thus all USian governance at every level)2 into the capitalists' one-hundred-percent-reliable weapons of socioeconomic oppression. But Hartmann -- and as far as I know every other widely published USian journalist -- repeatedly refuses to scoop the world on what might well be the most telling expression of realpolitik in our national history: the (now undeniable) fact the two parties have themselves each become predatory capitalist corporations. Both are bastions of moral imbecility, their defiant betrayals of popular will proving them as indifferent to our well-being as the executives of the Tokyo Electric Power Company are to global ecology and human survival or Union Carbide's executives were to the health of Bhopal residents.  Republicans and Democrats no longer compete to serve their constituents; they battle only to monopolize the spoils of governance, the wealth to be amassed through the full spectrum of unchecked individual and collaborative corruption,  an inconceivably obscene span of incalculable profiteering ranging from the clandestine malfeasance that tolerates Boeing's murderous abandonment of safety principles to the defiantly public bribery of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and his Christonazi/Neoconfederate ilk.  In which context note the fact -- often repeated by Hartmann -- that Congress could readily outlaw all these outrages. Though here Hartmann also fails us all; he does so  by his refusal to report that Congress is now too incurably addicted to bribery to ever again prohibit the outrages by which our enslavement -- I say again enslavement -- is financed. 

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1That this carefully choreographed mass murder has already begun is irrefutably proven by the USian Empire's Post-World-War-II military history, specifically its ongoing series of wars and proxy-wars -- Iran, Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Lybia etc. (and no doubt eventually Israel/Palestine and the Ukraine too). These conflicts methodically destabilize the targeted realms, purposefully  reducing their populations to the eternally inescapable victimhood of perpetually fragmented,  irremediably deadly socioeconomic chaos -- the most plausibly deniable form of induced ecogenocide. The constant imposition of this ultimate form of  divide et imperā by our species' most cunning, most indomitably powerful imperial military reveals its clandestine intent. It also proves the USian ruling class -- especially since its post-Stalingrad reinforcement by war criminals who had been the direct disciples of Hitler -- was never the fumbling band of morons the rigidly conformist, self-defeatingly arrogant USian  left would have us suicidally believe. Contrary to the resultant misconceptions, we are ruled by the most evil-minded, diabolically skilled, technologically omnipotent, ecogenocidally ruthless cabal of tyrants in all human experience -- those who dare wage knowingly apocalyptic war against our Mother Earth herself and thereby jeopardize our species' very existence.

 

2Local, state and federal examples of methodical tyrannization include, respectively, the following: 
how the Tacoma city government does everything in its power to ensure occupants of rental dwellings remain ignorant of dramatically expanded tenants' rights;
how Chicago is prohibiting protest at this year's "Democratic" (sic) National Convention;
how Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina and Oklahoma -- each gerrymandered to permanent  Christonazi theocracy -- are combining drug-war laws with "fetal personhood" to radically expand the reproductive re-enslavement of women;
how the Texas war against immigrants has escalated to de facto secession;
how federal officials routinely dupe the voters by promising politically impossible humanitarian and environmental reforms;
how Obama's campaign slogan, "change we can believe in," was later proven the most brazen deception in U.S. presidential history, the reasons here, here and here I long ago dubbed him "Barack the Betrayer";
how the feds out-source their biological-warfare experiments, with U.S.-funded labs in both the Ukraine and the People's Republic of China now credibly exposed, the latter the primary focus of the increasingly bitter, ever-more-politicized dispute over the origin of the ongoing but ever-more-officially denied pandemic inflicted by the inexplicably fast mutation of the Covid virus. (See also "Lessons from the Great Covid Cover-Up," which the rigidly conformist USian left damns as rabid conspiracy theory, but which -- despite my infinite contempt for Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul in response to his fanatical embrace of Ayn Rand's disguised nazism -- I nevertheless regard as worthy of consideration.)     

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Relevant Contributions to Other Websites
AS I'VE SAID before, I am limiting re-publication of my comment-thread remarks to those I believe add new perspectives to the unprecedented horrors of our apocalyptic era. 

***

Kentucky Bill Aims to Criminalize Homelessness
These sorts of laws are increasingly popular everywhere in the U.S. Given the ecogenocidal bias of the Christonazi/Neoconfederate cabal that tyrannizes the U.S. via the Supreme Court, even the most murderous such measures are sure to be ruled constitutional. And once Trump is führer-for-life, there's no doubt the extermination of unsheltered people will become national policy. Socialist revolution is thus ever-more-obviously humanity's most essential survival measure.  

***

A Trumpite Triumph in 2024?*
Apparently Mr. Englehardt is having an exceptionally difficult time adjusting to the three irremediable realities of 2024: that we humanitarians have by our submissiveness allowed ourselves to be robbed -- permanently (that is, with no possibility of humanitarian restoration) -- of literally everything we ever managed to achieve; that by submission to patriarchy, we humans have doomed our species to extinction and our Mother Earth to reduction to a bug planet; and that by these two now-irreversibly apocalyptic failures, we humans have proven the notion of history exhibiting a "moral arc...that bends toward justice" to be the most ruinously deceptive Big Lie of all time. I empathize, of course. Hence I respectfully remind Mr. Englehardt the Kubler-Ross stages of dying are as applicable to human societies as they are to individual humans, which means he too will eventually reach the final stage of the process, which is often defined as "peaceful acceptance," but which in fact is the benumbed resignation to the inevitable that allows us to make productive use of whatever time we might have left.
__________________
*Yes I changed the original headline; “Trumpite” is more properly predatory than “Trumpian,” and Bacchus -- one of my favorite gods -- is most assuredly among the innumerable non-Abrahamic deities the fanatically Trumpite Christonazis ignorantly damn as incarnations of Satan.

***

Five Years Prison for Revealing How the Rich Avoid Taxation
That an official of the Biden Regime, Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicole Argentieri, applauds the conviction and (probably deadly) five year prison sentence imposed on whistle-blower Charles Littlejohn for revealing that our Masters are exempt from taxation is a "smoking gun" laying bare the terrible truth there is absolutely no economic difference between the "Democratic" (sic) Party and the "Republican" (sic) Christonazi/Neoconfederate Party it serves as a Fifth Column.

And this lack of economic difference -- this relentlessly support for the de facto restoration of slavery variously euphemized as "Reagonomics" or "neoliberalism" -- tells us there is ultimately no difference in the two parties' predatory intent. The apparent difference is therefore merely an illusion created by the parties' competing schedules: the Christonazi/Neoconfederats want immediate, shock-doctrine imposition of nazification, while the Democrats want to continue imposing it by the stealth of boiled-frog conditioning.

The ultimate smoking-gun of the Democrats' post-JFK transition to the Christonazi/Neoconfederate Fifth Column is of course the Powell Memo: Powell was a Democrat -- do the research -- and his appointment to SCOTUS by a Nixon-backing Democrat majority was the first post-JFK collaboration-for-nazification between the two parties.

Since then, the fact homelessness is skyrocketing far beyond its all-time high is merely the latest proof we the people of the 99.9 percent have been permanently reduced to absolute powerlessness.

***

Special Counsel Slams Biden’s “Limited” Memory
Let us not forget that Robert K. Hur is Trumpite, appointed by a "Democratic" (sic) Party that is in fact nothing more than the Fifth Column of the "Republican" (sic) Christonazi/Neoconfederate Party. 

Thus it should surprise no one that Hur's report (intentionally) dooms Biden to certain defeat. 

Meanwhile the Democrats -- exactly like any other cabal of capitalists under attack for toxic products and environmental ruin -- have  of course already made it clear they will not replace their CEO (Biden) under any circumstances. Instead they will merely change their advertising. 

The Democrats'  destructive determination thus underscores the two most apocalyptic truths of present-day  USian political and socioeconomic reality. 

One of these fatal truths -- the looming climax of the slow extermination of any USian pretense of democracy -- is the ever-more-obvious extent to which the post-JFK Democrats serve as the Christonazi/Neocionfederate Fifth Column.  

The other fatal truth -- less obvious but ultimately far more deadly --  is the extent to which mainstream USian "politics" (sic) has been reduced to  a war between two corporate-owned de facto corporations  fighting over the spoils --i.e., the profits -- of governance; the well-being of the public be damned. Were it otherwise, the Sanders campaign would not have been methodically crushed (thus to enable Trump's 2016 victory), and Biden would have been replaced long ago.

Recognition of such colossal malfeasance makes our de facto enslavement undeniable. Too bad the combined seductions of trinket materialism, racism and the hatreds implicit in prosperity-gospel theocracy blind so many USians to the fact  socialism is obviously our only route to manumission. 

*********

Personal Deathwatch Update
THE MOST RECENT diagnostic tests inform me it is now a race between kidney failure and congestive heart failure to determine which will kill me first. As previously reported, my bout with Covid last summer radically worsened my hitherto-medication-stablized CHF,  intensifying a 10 percent loss of atrial-valve function to a 90 percent loss, so that now a mere walk of about 15 feet leaves me as short of breath as running 50 yards to catch a bus would have left me pre-Covid. And now -- ironically -- the massive increase in doses of diuretics necessitated by the Covid damage is destroying my kidneys. Thus it no longer matters I am denied the option of heart surgery by a mostly dormant but nevertheless incurable fungus  I brought home from Korea in 1962; even were there no fungus, my failing kidneys render any sort of cardiac repair pointless. In September my cardiologist told me I had at the most two years to live. The onset of kidney failure no doubt radically shortens that estimate, though thanks to our Masters' deliberately genocidal profiteering from reduction of   the national health-care staff, I will not know the magnitude of the revision until 5 June, which is the soonest I can see a nephrologist.

As I've said before, I find it metaphysically significant the three oracles I consulted at the beginning of the pandemic -- the I Ching, the Tarot and the Viking Runes -- all predicted Covid would kill me. Though by last year I was convinced the oracles had erred (or I had read them incorrectly), the aftermath of the disease proves they spoke the truth. Meanwhile my circumstances prove beyond dispute that vaccination against Covid -- I am vaccinated and four times boosted -- is ultimately no defense for elderly persons with other afflictions, a quality of the vaccines I cannot doubt is deliberate, in which context note the rapidly accumulating evidence of our Masters'  weaponization of Covid to exterminate a substantial portion of the 99.9 Percent.  Thus  Covid is added to all the other weapons in capitalism's arsenal for intentional but plausibly deniable genocide: homelessness, joblessness, health-care denials, welfare cutbacks, food-stamp reductions, environmental toxins, death-dealing flaws in products ranging from toys to aircraft, and let us not forget the potentially deadly anxiety inflicted by the ever-more-terrifying threat to Social Security and Medicare. In response to which,  the ever-deluded Moronic Majority predictably re-affirms its eternal subjugation by (again) cravenly submitting to our Masters' sadistic greed.  Fortunately though, an increasing number of activist-minded folks are at long last recognizing what we Marxians have always known:  that under capitalism -- particularly under its fanatically zero-tolerance Christonazi variant -- survival itself is revolutionary defiance.

Be assured I will  continue writing as long as  I can set fingers to keyboard.

LB/15 February 2024

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To Die Amidst the Murder of Our Nation Is to Perish in Bottomless Hopelessness

REGULAR READERS  KNOW I am slowly dying from the aftermath of Covid, which has so intensified my geriatric medical problems, my doctors told me last September I have no more than two years to live, and I suspect it will be far less than that, as I am already reduced to  breathlessness merely by walking through my ground-floor apartment.  But the real-world blessing implicit in such circumstances seems to far outweigh its imagined accursedness, for -- at least in my case -- it compels a self-honesty and clarity of vision more inescapably imperative  (and often more unabashedly brutal) than anything I have ever experienced, no doubt as the final evaluation before my lifetime's experience is, as my dialectal-materialist left brain believes, reduced to nothingness (and therefore to meaninglessness), or, as my unabashedly superstitious right brain contends, is launched to bear its karmic seasoning into yet another reincarnation,  though admittedly I cannot but wonder what form that incarnation might take in a world climate change is reducing to a bug planet.   

Whatever,  I began learning in 1943, my third year,  how beyond the urban Northeast and its tiny sanctuaries of relative enlightenment, the  violently bigoted underbelly of U.S. politics irresistibly dictates all the decisive circumstances of our lives, and 13 years later I began focusing my life accordingly. My intent was adult application of the Boy Scout mandate to always leave the campsite in better condition than we found it, which  is why at age 16 I began building a career in journalism. But then the events of 22 November 1963 revealed our national masters as the actual source  of what I had hitherto supposed was a merely regional malevolence. Now, having been schooled both as a journalist and an activist by the subsequent six decades of murders and betrayals -- the forcible suppression of literally every potential I had ever seen in this now-obviously disintegrating realm -- I have no doubt the United States as I once imagined it and fiercely loved it is in fact as inescapably doomed as I myself am post-Covid. 

Neither can I forget the fact our nation dies on  a doomed planet fatally wounded by our own national excesses, and that the death of the United States is therefore most likely to be  preview -- a pre-hearse'l (if I may be permitted a morbid pun) -- of the fate to which its global command of patriarchy's misogynistic war against our Mother Earth has condemned our entire species. Though on that dismal topic, I have no (present) inclination to say much more than what I've said already

Our masters fanatically insist "a healthy society requires patriarchy." But we of the 99 Percent increasingly recognize patriarchy as the cultural and socioeconomic equivalent of smallpox-contaminated blankets. We are awakening to the fact it has robbed our species (and probably all non-insectoid life) of any long-term legacy beyond extinction. Patriarchy has  nullified our 200,000-plus years of collective experience, squandering all human creation, reducing all our exquisite  arts and breathtaking science to the meaninglessness of wind-blown debris amidst abandoned ruins.  We cannot un-know this. Consciously or not, it burdens us more heavily than many of us can bear -- the obvious but relentlessly downplayed reason for our increasingly suicidal hopelessness and its murderously hateful expression in our skyrocketing plagues of mass shootings and traffic deaths.1

Of course we will never be granted widespread public acknowledgement the  horror that understandably overwhelms so many younger folk  when they contemplate the fact they have no rationally conceivable  future is probably the ultimate human trauma, a realization akin to an 18-year-old's last thoughts while dying in combat, a uniquely terrible truth perhaps even more toxic in subconscious form.  While alcohol or drugs may temporarily minimize its anguish, it is like any other psychological trauma in that it's only lasting amelioration is therapeutic acknowledgement.  But the so-called "mainstream media" -- the collaboration of a half-dozen of our billionaire masters' corporations in the world's first privately owned, for-(maximum)-profit version of Josef Goebbels' Reichsministerium für Volksaufklärung und Propaganda  (Reich Ministry for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda) -- will never allow such a  bandaging to take place. To do so would be to admit that patriarchy and its theocratic and capitalist derivatives are precisely what I said above: the cultural and socioeconomic equivalent of smallpox-contaminated blankets.  

Nor are we told the real reason for  the stock market's all-time highs -- the vindictively triumphant glee with which our masters anticipate the now-unstoppable ascent of Donald Trump as lifelong führer, the final death-spasm of the murdered U.S. republic,  the birth of  the de facto Fourth Reich.2 

Just as I've no doubt the murder of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was the murder of our republic, so am I now painfully convinced Trump, who is Adolf Hitler's chief 21st Century disciple,  will be the republic's tombstone. History's circumstantial evidence tells us Trump is the fulfillment of a bipartisan, multi-generation plutocratic conspiracy that surfaced in 1933 as the Bankers' Plot3 and became invincible in 1944 when its unprosecuted  perpe-traitors unabashedly embraced absolute Evil by compelling the federal government's adoption of thousands of Nazi war criminals as their advisors and comrades-at-arms. As proven by the irresistibly total Nazification of fiercely progressive Weimar Germany in a mere six years and the fact only the Red Army had the might to stop the Third Reich's unprecedentedly genocidal military, these morally imbecilic monsters were the most diabolically cunning plotters our species ever spawned.  Nevertheless, despite our masters' methodical reversal of every progressive measure ever enacted,  and despite their  de facto reversal of the (first?) Civil War's triumphant conclusion,  the USian Empire will never be the thousand-year reich the Nazi war criminals intended to make of the United States. Terminal climate change guarantees the empire's demise by the end of  this century and our species' extinction no later than the end of the next. But with the deadliest, most powerful military in human history to enforce the empire's  absolute control over global finance,  it will most assuredly be the final befouler of our planetary nest. 

Given the lifetime-appointed and therefore effectively permanent dual roles of the Supreme Court's majority as oberst-gruppenführers in the capitalists' restoration of de facto slavery and zero-tolerance ayatollahs in Christianity's relentless jihad against sexual freedom, the fact that this time there is no Red Army to rescue  us means our sociopathic masters'  hateful regime of gleefully sadistic theocratic ecogenocide is literally forever -- the concluding chapter of humanity's permanent record.  And the evidence of the Supreme Court's intent is irrefutable: note its obvious endorsement of matricide, its eagerness to terminate the federal government's ability to protect us against predatory masters and its reluctance to block the nation's most notorious criminal from his inevitable ascendance to dictatorship.

Note too how the court's endless betrayals of our nation's (former) progressive intent are enabled by the "Democratic" (sic) Party's post-JFK function as the "Republican" (sic) Christonazi/Neoconfederate Party's Fifth Column. Let us not forget the infamous Powell Memo, the USian plutocracy's equivalent of Mein Kampf, was authored by a Democrat, Lewis F. Powell Jr., who was then -- in obvious collaboration with wanna-be führer Richard Nixon -- voted onto the U.S. Supreme Court by the Senate's "Democratic" (sic) majority. Cunningly disguising the Christonazi/Neoconfederate purpose of his economic rulings behind a socially progressive facade,  Powell began the court's slow-motion transformation to the pluto/theocratic cabal of sadistic despots it is today, a judiciary whose rulings are but stepping-stones to Trump's imposition of terminal tyranny.     

I have spoken with enough younger folk to know that what I describe above  -- the absolute certainty of early doom inflicted on millennial and post-millennial generations by the  incurably metastasized, inescapably apocalyptic cancer of patriarchy and its capitalist and theocratic progeny -- is the sole reason for the skyrocketing rates of suicide and mental illness. But as I said, our masters will never allow its therapeutic acknowledgement, for that would be tantamount to admission they are in fact our murderers. While I will die knowing everything for which I lived and struggled has been abolished forever, at least I was born in a time of universal hopefulness,  and it is undoubtedly my recollection of that too-brief era -- my angry knowledge of all that has been stolen from us -- that will keep me doing what (little) I can to vex our thieving conquerors  until I am no more.  But the younger folk are denied the poignant memory that fuels such anger; they know only that they have been born to a doomed species that is murdering its planetary mother, and whether that terrible knowledge is conscious or not, they know with absolute certainty they are inescapably cursed with permanent imprisonment in irreversible futility and utter hopelessness, which is why they increasingly ask themselves, "why bother to live at all?"

Yes, thanks to our masters' malfeasance,  it truly is as Churchill said on the eve of the Battle of Britain: "Only a miracle can save us now."

 __________________
1See also  "Reckless Driving as Possible Suicidal Ideation," a courageous analysis that comes very close to breaking the capitalist taboo against acknowledging motor vehicles are deadly weapons, statistically as dangerous as firearms. 
2
My pessimism is shared by both  the World Socialist Web Site and The New York Times. (The latter analysis is pay-walled but theoretically accessible by any non-subscriber who has not exceeded the limit of 10 reports per month.)
3See also "The Plot to Overthrow FDR," particularly my comment, for which scroll down.

 

 LB/22 January 2024

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The Moronic Majority's Submissive Silence Is Tacit Approval of Our Species' Intensifying Extermination

Solstice Greetings:  May Our Mother Earth Prevail 

20230515_190611 - CopyPhoto by KD ©2023

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MY APOLOGY FOR for my long absence. As I stated in my 14 October post, Covid fatally intensified my congestive heart failure. My atrial valve's loss of function was formerly medication-stabilized at about 10 percent but has now, thanks to Covid,  skyrocketed to an 85 or 90 percent loss, which leaves me short of breath after merely walking the approximately 20 feet from one end of my apartment to the other,  and which my cardiologist tells me shortens my life expectancy to no more than two years at most, probably a lot less due to looming kidney failure ironically induced by massive doses of allegedly "life-sustaining" diuretics. Thus it took me a while to decide whether to terminate this blog with 14 October as my final word or continue posting as I voyage toward the final lesson that is death.

And what might I learn thereby? It seems to me death is either the irrevocable reduction to nonexistence my agnostic, dialectical-materialist left brain suspects proves consciousness to be no more than a meaningless electro-chemical coincidence, or, alternatively,  death is the passage to reincarnation my right brain suspects might prove consciousness to be the product of an ongoing process of electro-chemical evolution, with an unrecognized but nevertheless implicit evolutionary dynamic of inertial momentum  toward consciousness  the  defining characteristic of any and all forms of material existence.    

Obviously I've decided to continue writing as I await whatever lesson the terminable teachable moment provides, though it surely grieves my journalistic soul I won't be able to file a last report. Meanwhile I'll  post both here and on sundry comment-threads.

I've also vowed to never again indulge in the pseudo-politeness of pretending a personal optimism about our nation's  potential. To my mind, whatever positive potential  we might have possessed was rendered gravely doubtful  by the unredressed assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy on 22 November 1963 and eradicated forever by the subsequent, still more outrageously unredressed murder of his brother, U.S. Senator Robert Francis Kennedy on 5 June 1968. Indeed I now argue the former date will eventually be chosen by the more competent historians -- if indeed any such exalted occupations survive our undoubtedly apocalyptic future -- as the USian Empire's equivalent of 4 September 476, the day the Western Roman Empire died.

*********

A BROOKLYN-BORN, Manhattanite-by-choice, gentrification-exiled son of a Boston-accented, British-Canadian-parented, first-generation father, I was, as many of you know,  condemned by familial dysfunction to spend most of my boyhood years in the South. I have also written in detail about the mass-arrest perpetrated by the University of Tennessee and Knoxville's daily newspapers in a racially motivated, existentially nazi effort to ideologically "cleanse" the campus and the city in general.  What I have not fully acknowledged in print is the magnitude of violent hatefulness I endured  in the South and Middle West during  my K-12 years and later as an adult in the Pacific Northwest,  targeted in each locale because I "talked funny" -- that is, spoke grammatically proper English with an unmistakably Northeastern accent which (in combination with my greenish-brown eyes, curly dark-brown hair,  ebony eyebrows and the equally coal-black whiskers I sprouted after puberty) -- all convinced my detractors I was a sneaky Jew trying to pass myself off as an Aryan. 

I should note here that by the year of my birth, 1940, male circumcision in the United States had lost its religious significance and become a routine medical procedure  rationalized by concerns for cleanliness and health in general. Nevertheless I -- and as I would later learn, many members of my generation -- were left with intact penises specifically because our parents feared we might otherwise be mistakenly identified as Jewish and thus exterminated once the German Nazis completed their conquest of the world, an outcome that was then rationally feared by a global majority.  Obviously I need not add that, though the German military effort failed, global capitalism is on the brink of omnipotently achieving a comparable result mostly by stealth, thereby dooming not just the traditionally targeted minorities but our entire human species.       

My memorably traumatic encounters with an existential nazism I once naively  dismissed as "Southern Hospitality" but long ago came to recognize as our one true national ethos began during my first weeks on the protectively fenced playground of an exclusive St. Johns River apartment complex, where three older kids tried to kill me by holding me upside-down and burying my head in a sandbox, an incident I describe in the third section of "The Long-Promised Eulogy for My Father."  To reiterate, thanks to my birthmother's malicious disruption of my father's career, he had been demoted from an acting corporate vice-presidency, and we had been exiled from New York City to Jacksonville, Florida,  where during the latter part of 1943 and the first half of 1944, he was  tasked with  solving various manufacturing problems  related to the war effort. Similar responsibilities transferred him to Roanoke, Virginia, where  we lived during the remainder of 1944 and into the late summer of 1945; there the hostility I had encountered in Florida as a "yankee" and suspected Jew  continued, albeit mercifully diminished by private-school discipline, at a kindergarten on Rosiland Avenue. My father's appointment to the War Production Board brought us back to  Jacksonville,  where we dwelt in a neighborhood called Lake Forest Park until 1948. My murder-minded birthmother was by then out of our lives. My father had wed the woman who had been his executive secretary in Roanoke, and in a few short months she had shown me more love than my  birthmother would express for me in all her 84 years. 

Beginning in September 1946, I attended first and second grades at Jacksonville's Norwood Elementary School, where  at recess I was repeatedly assaulted and once knocked unconscious by bigoted students, always those from my own grade, often those from a grade or two above me. But Norwood's public-school teachers, notably unlike their private- kindergarten counterparts, always refused to intervene.  (In retrospect, I've no doubt the Jacksonville teachers knew they were encouraging my foes' brutality; obviously these so-called "educators" shared their students' incipiently nazi bigotry.) My plight had become so dire, my  father, who had boxed for sport in boarding school, had begun teaching me  the rudimentary skills of pugilism, though at Norwood I was never able to successfully employ his lessons, as I was always overwhelmed by multiple assailants.

But eventually my tormentors undid themselves by the intensity of their own collective hatefulness. Their self-inflicted denouement occurred on a cloudy, uncomfortably humid summer-shirt afternoon probably halfway through the second semester of the 1948 school year.  It had started a month or so earlier when a half-dozen slightly older Norwood kids began threatening to  ambush me and beat me to death if I dared to continue getting off the school bus at its  John Paul Jones stop, which was named for the residential street that ended at  nearby  Saratoga Street, present-day Saratoga Boulevard.     

At this point I should explain that in  1948, the Lake Forest area was far less developed than it is now.  Despite its name, the school-bus stop was actually on the north side of Saratoga  Street.  Beyond that was a substantial  tract of deciduous forest, a jungle that, if I remember correctly,  stretched all the way to  the Trout River,  ending there at a beach or city park.  The site of the school-bus stop also remained in a quasi-natural state, accidentally marked by a small, seemingly mysterious  and therefore always fascinating pool of clear water. Vaguely amber-hued with what my stepmother said was proof of stagnancy, this roughly oval-shaped  miniature pond extended its perpendicular reach eight or nine feet into the forest's tropically tangled trees and underbrush. Whatever its water's  source, it was roughly three feet wide and probably half that measure deep. As I recall, we students were always perplexed by its seemingly permanent size and never-changing absence of aquatic life,  and -- as if in childish anticipation of some transformation or emergence we lacked the words to verbalize -- we were always peering into it as  we waited  for our morning transport to school. Probably 100 feet west of the pool and its bus stop,  John Paul Jones Street,  today's Paul Jones Drive,  terminated in its T-shaped intersection with Saratoga. From there it was an easy walk to my address,  a one-story, two-bedroom structure with a red-brick-veneer front; though I don't recall its number, it was on the eastern side of John Paul Jones,  I'm guessing maybe 600 or 700 yards south of the Saratoga intersection. 

The aforementioned relentless deluge of ambush threats soon poisoned my homeward bus trips with bottomless dread. There was no alternative school-bus stop within rational walking distance of  my dwelling;  I knew it would be impossible to successfully defend myself against so many simultaneous attackers, and I had found the bus drivers to be as indifferent to my safety as were the teachers. Attempting to spot ambushers in the hope of giving myself enough advance warning to flee,    I always rode on the forest-side of the afternoon bus and was always the last student to debark at the requisite stop.    Fearfully scanning the surroundings for lurking foes,  I'd scurry to John Paul Jones Street. Peering apprehensively over my shoulder, I'd then turn southward on its concrete sidewalk and start homeward at a near trot.  I'd let myself begin to relax only after I'd briskly walked  maybe 100 yards without incident. 

Despite the continuing verbal abuse,  the attacks didn't  materialize, and after more than a month of the same threats, I began suspect they were naught but bluff. But just about the time I had convinced myself I was safe,  the six wanna-be stormtroopers attacked. Earlier in the day, they'd hidden themselves in the dense underbrush beyond the little pond, and now they boiled toward me in a triumphant frenzy. I will never forget the machine-gun clatter  their shoes hammered from  the Saratoga Street pavement. The boy who had persistently proven himself my most sadistic adversary, a way-too-big-for-his-age third-grader, led their assault; he clutched to his chest a  jagged-edged chunk of  gravel-reinforced concrete so large and heavy it required  both his arms to keep it in place,  his snarls of  homicidal invective underscoring his deadly purpose.   Though the others were visibly unarmed, their savage yowling made it clear they were equally eager to participate in my demise.   Terrified, I snatched up a fallen tree-branch, realizing the best I could do was try to fend them off as they closed in,  but the leader two-handedly catapulted his missile directly into my face. The impact knocked me senseless and dropped me face-first on the sidewalk.

Schoolyard scuttlebutt eventually told me they briefly circled my fallen form, jeering, cackling at the blood pooling around my head, gleefully congratulating themselves because they thought the bloodshed proved they'd killed me. Then they fled back into the woods.

My memories of what happened next  have always been muddled, no doubt because I was moderately concussed.  I lay sprawled  on  the walkway,  bleeding profusely from a gaping wound in my right eyebrow, unconscious for what I later learned I was close to five minutes. But the only two friends I ever made at Norwood School, fellow second-graders who were typically the first kids off the bus at the John Paul Jones stop,  had witnessed the attack, and though they'd been afraid to intervene, they hastened to my aid afterward. At this distance -- 78 years --  I find  to my dismay I  am unsure of their names, an uncertainty  I sorely regret, because  I would love to be able to thank them in print.  One, a boy whose last name may have been Townsend, dashed to my family's house to fetch  my stepmother; the other, a girl whose first name may have been Bunny,  seems to have bandaged my wound with her handkerchief and thereby significantly slowed my loss of blood; I am certain she helped me to my feet after I regained consciousness and no doubt ensured I remained upright as I staggered toward my stepmother, who had run to meet me and was so shocked and horrified by my blood-drenched clothing -- this I remember clearly -- she turned white as the proverbial ghost. I don't know how I got the rest of the way home, whether I walked or my stepmother carried me. I remember hearing her telephone my father,  telling him she needed him forthwith because I'd been badly injured in a brawl.  (In those pre-dial days, extended telephone conversations were tabooed by the technology;  you lifted the receiver; waited for an operator to say "number please"; told her what that number  was; waited while she plugged in the wires that connected you to the intended recipient's phone; waited still more to hear the connection  ring; and then -- if and when someone answered -- you spoke your message as quickly as possible; you were allowed a limited amount of conversational time each month, and if you exceeded that limit, your bill skyrocketed accordingly.)   Responding immediately to my stepmother's plea,  my father sped from work to drive me to the St. Luke's Hospital emergency room. I don't remember if my two friends remained with us to await his arrival or if they departed for their own homes; the girl's house was directly across the street from ours, and the boy's was in our immediate neighborhood.  I seem to remember my stepmother accompanying us to the hospital, but I have no recollection of her there after our arrival, so I may be confusing elements of my 1945 trip to that same hospital for a tonsillectomy with the 1948  post-assault ER visit. In any case, at the time of the attack,   my stepmother was focused on caring for my infant half-sister Deborah, born the previous December, and she undoubtedly would have remained at home had she been unable to find an emergency baby-sitter. As  I said, these memories have always been fuzzy.  But I vividly recall I was nearly as frightened by the certainty of a tetanus shot and the probability of stitches as I had been by the onslaught itself, though to my enormous relief, the ER doctor concluded the wound was shallow enough for bandaging alone to prompt its healing. My father told me later the doctor chose to avoid stitches because they'd enlarge the inevitable scar.  For that I am thankful; though I will bear the scar until I am no more, it is mostly hidden beneath the hairs of my right eyebrow. 

Also, as best I recall, I never learned what punishments -- if any -- the Norwood Elementary School principal imposed on my assailants. But my father was a fairly powerful federal official then, a War Assets Administration executive equivalent to what today would be a deputy regional director.   To whatever extent he and my stepmother intervened -- and I know they met several times with the principal -- it sufficed to stop the overt bigotry for the remainder of my time in second grade. After that -- because my father had been purged from the government in retaliation for his Marxian politics -- we moved to Michigan.  Though the same nazified venom would confront me there, its expression  was far more limited, and the two times it escalated into violence, in early 1949 and autumnal 1956, I won the resultant fights, in the first instance by breaking my adversary's nose, in the second by brandishing a shotgun to discourage a pair of  burly teens who had shifted the focus of their nazi-minded violence from me to my  physically enfeebled 78-year-old  maternal grandfather.1 

Decades later, I found two Washington state cities to be veritable cesspools of such bigotry, first Bellingham (c. 1971-72) then  Seattle (c. 1972-1978). Seattle is by far the most existentially nazified realm I have ever encountered, though the business community in Bellingham was no better. Daily-newspaper managing editors in both cities mistook me for Jewish and rejected my job-applications with identical warnings:  "you don't belong here; go back where you came from."  In Seattle, quite possibly the most xenophobic, self-righteously hateful city in the United States,  that same nasty "down-with-Jew-York"  vindictiveness  was the unifying ethos of the local art scene, expressed by the malicious and probably fatal theft of a beloved dog, frequent acts of vandalism including slashed tires accompanied by explanatory notes  ("We Don't Want You Here")  and the ultimate insult of being physically attacked during a gallery-opening party at which I was one of the honorees. That fight was a draw, though only because a quartet of pacifists managed to restrain me.  By contrast, Tacoma -- strongly unionized and bolstered by a defiantly working-class ethos --  is one of the two most welcoming cities I've encountered. That's why I moved there in 1978 and in 2004 returned there in retirement. The other most-welcoming city was of course Manhattan, not the oppressively gentrified plutocracy it is today, but as I knew it in the '60s, the aesthetically revolutionary realm James Baldwin celebrated as Another Country.         

It was nevertheless during my third through eighth years was I most unforgettably schooled in the darker truth of our "sweet land of liberty," a course of instruction that -- whenever I was beyond Manhattan or urban New Jersey -- would continue until my 48th year. In that context, I cannot overlook the portents of doom  implicit in how the U.S. Government  condemned an entire shipload of Jewish children, women and men to death in the German Holocaust or  how it refused to prosecute IBM for   organizing and managing the industrialized German mass-murder apparatus;  and I cannot ignore how the national transformation that followed the assassination of President Kennedy reveals his murder to have been a coup.  I cannot un-learn the lessons that  convince me this nation's ruling ethos is (and probably always has been) a self-obsessed, morally imbecilic, terminally toxic amalgam of racial, ethnic, sexual, religious, political and socioeconomic hatreds.   I am terrified by how that  ethos is now omnipotently manifest in Donald Trump and the irrevocable Republican conversion to  Christonazi  theocracy and   Neoconfederate tyranny.  I can no longer doubt it will be this nation's doom.    

Nor will I politely pretend any further optimism about the future of our species; the "catastrophic" failure  of COP28 proves beyond dispute our impregnably bunkered, technologically omnipotent, vindictively patriarchal Masters whether capitalist or communist and (maybe) extraterrestrial have all secretly agreed to maximize terminal climate change as the  final solution in their clandestine program of  ecogenocide -- its intended extermination of the global 99 Percent already evident in the deadliness of austerity and the "herd immunity"  response to the ongoing Covid pandemic. In this context -- just as silence is sociopathic submission not only to the atrocities against our species but to the unnatural and therefore suicidal misogyny of total war against our Mother Earth -- so has empathy replaced ideology as the wellspring of revolutionary defiance. 

And I can no longer doubt what Winston Churchill said in private on the eve of the Battle of Britain -- "only a miracle can save us now" -- has become the one irrefutable truth of our entire species, the sole remaining determinant of the human condition.

________________
1By way of clarification, the 1949 incident occurred while I was attending East Grand Rapids Elementary School and living with my father, stepmother and younger half-sisters; the 1956 incident marred the year, summer '56 through summer 1957, I lived with my birthmother and her parents while starting my journalism career and working toward a potential Naval ROTC scholarship at  the University of Michigan, an effort terminated by my grandparents' decision in August of '57 to evict me from their household, which forced me to return to my father's infinitely  more intellectually productive, psychologically comfortable household in academically backward, economically oppressive, professionally restrictive Tennessee.    

 

*********

THOUGH I HAVEN'T indulged in the tragicomic self-deception of new year's resolutions since I  successfully completed eighth grade and purposefully traded the forcibly chaste academic superiority of parochial education for the academically inferior but more sexually promising realm of public high school   -- this in 1954, an age-14 act of lustfully self-inflicted intellectual damage I would later profoundly regret -- I will make exception for 2024, repeating as my one new year's resolution  my above pledge to never again soften my admittedly harsh opinions with lies of optimism. In fact, what follows is the  comment I posted on a recent Popular Resistance comment thread and afterwards realized was my initial declaration of intent, here slightly amended for clarity: 

Recognizing our Masters' ecogenocidal intent -- too bad for us their intended, often academically expressed, ever-more-obvious 90-percent reduction of the global human working-class population (aka the "99 Percent") is dismissed as right-wing "conspiracy theory" -- I long ago began (occasionally) daring to label the mechanism of our doom "terminal climate change." I do this now because "terminal" is precisely its purpose -- proven so not only by our (infinitely evil)  Masters' deception-camouflaged refusal to abate it, but by their employment of the corollary mass-extermination weapons of mandated "herd immunity," the slower-motion deaths inflicted by denial of health care and social services, and now also by their skyrocketing quest to replace us with "artificial intelligence" robots.

Nor is there any escape for those of us excluded from the impregnable bunkers of the technologically omnipotent ruling class and thus abandoned to a planet they are deliberately reducing to an open-air death camp; by their diabolical cunning, our Masters  -- whomever (or whatever) they might be -- have ensured we will never again either evolve the solidarity or acquire the technology necessary to overthrow their ever-intensifying tyranny. Nevertheless I suspect our Mother Earth will have the last word -- that our present-day Masters will find they have underestimated her much as the Weimar ruling class underestimated Hitler -- and that if any of our species survives, it will be only by reverting to the Gaian-centered ethos that sustained our pre-patriarchal ancestors through the first  approximately 194,000 years of our species's existence. 

To do so, we of course first must learn to despise Gaia's chief usurper, the ecogenocidally misogynistic, sadistically patriarchal god of the Abrahamic religions, the monstrously perverted divinity that despite all efforts at reform and/or liberalization forever lurks beneath even the most benign forms of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The blood-drenched, torture-mangled histories of these theologies and the irresistible undertow of apocalyptic death-cult  fanaticism they exert even now prove them and the patriarchal ethos they  sustain to be our species' most elemental  Evil. The repetitive proofs of their malignancy span sat least five millennia and are therefore irrefutable. Whether implicitly or explicitly, their creeds are forever poisoned by our species' only genuinely unnatural act -- that is, the eternally irrevocable tripartite condemnation of femaleness from which patriarchy originates and from which its theologies are fabricated, propagated and sustained:

  • the hateful, clitoris-envying process exemplified by the scriptural reduction of Eve -- originally the Great Goddess, the Mother of All Being (and therefore the Mother of our Mother Earth) -- to an infinitely despised and therefore monstrous caricature of the first human woman;
  • the vindictively pornographic redefinition of femaleness -- the gender originally honored as the source of life and the wellspring of empathy -- to naught but the embodiment of  insatiable lust  exemplified by the scriptural tale of an Eve who defies a self-proclaimed Lord God of the Universe, eats of a "forbidden fruit," implicitly sates herself on  the alleged god's alleged adversary's loquaciously serpentine penis and so seduces her mate Adam to join her in alleged sinfulness;
  • the vengeful legitimization and encouragement of rape. femicide and collective punishment implicit in the scriptural tale's conclusion, the alleged god's alleged double-pronged curse in eternal retribution for "Original Sin,"  all females including the Great Goddess and our Mother Earth forever damned for their alleged lustfulness, all males forever damned for their alleged weakness thereunto, with our species' only salvation thus allegedly the unconditional embrace of the credos mandated by the paramount patriarchal propagandists, Moses, Jesus or Muhammad.   

Surely one need not hold a doctorate in psychology to recognize the allegedly "insatiable lust" for which the patriarchy relentlessly denounces females as a clinically classic projection of the murderously sadistic egotism and insatiably self-obsessed avarice that defines the ever-more-apocalyptic morally imbecility of our  Masters. Originally documented as the psychopathic fuel of serial killers, it is increasingly recognized as the ecogenocidally terminal ethos by which the .01 Percenters desecrate our planetary womb, methodically reducing it to the mechanism of our species' doom and thus to our evolutionary tomb. (A pair of informatively thought-provoking  essays on the toxins of patriarchy are here and here.) 

Quoth the Apostle Paul, a patriarchal con-man sufficiently cunning to portray himself as a paragon of honesty:

And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.  So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.  (2 Corinthians 11: 14-15; English Standard Version)             

Let us therefore acknowledge the death-camp patriarchy is making of the world and recognize the Christian doxology as an ultimate summation of the Abrahamic Big Lie, that were it truthful would:        

  Curse god from whom all misery flows
  Curse him ye victims here below
  Curse him above ye suffering host
  Curse father, son and holy ghost.

*********

SEVERAL FRIENDS AND comrades have asked me how I foresee the forthcoming presidential election. The following LA Progressive  comment-thread post, slightly expanded for inclusion here, says it best:

With all due respect, Messers. Solomon and Cohen need to stop ignoring the pivotal horrors of our national history. The Bidencrats' de facto surrender to Trump and his seemingly inevitable inauguration-day declaration of the U.S. as the de facto Fourth Reich is the conclusion of a bipartisan multi-generation plutocratic coup first approved and enabled by the immunity Congress granted the nazified Bankers' Plot conspirators in 1934. The plotters immediately began enabling Germany's campaign of Aryan global conquest by forcefully promoting U.S. neutrality, and in 1938 they initiated their methodical conversion of Christian fundamentalism into the formidable sturmabteilung it has since become. When the battle of Stalingrad proved the Red Army would strike German Nazism its death-blow, they sought to guarantee the invincibility of nazism's USian variant by recruiting the evil genius of the German Nazi war criminals they embraced as comrades-at-arms c. 1944-1947. They demonstrated their omnipotence on 22 November 1963, in the aftermath permanently reducing the "Democratic" (sic) Party to the "Republican" (sic) Fifth Column. Meanwhile, with Nazi-guided, Goebbels-caliber cunning, they had already begun the stealthy reconditioning of the entire electorate to accept the Christonazi/Neoconfederate ethos that is the modern variant of the original, pre-New-Deal "Democratic" (sic) ideology and which had secretly become the core "Republican" (sic) ideology during the powerfully Ku-Klux-Klan-influenced years of the Harding/Coolidge/Hoover era. Its pivotal postwar metastases include the union-busting Taft-Hartley Act; Joseph McCarthy's witch-hunts; the declaration of Christian theocracy implicit in Eisenhower’s addition of "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance; the subsequent betrayals implicit in LBJ’s Vietnam War, Nixon's Watergate crimes, Carter's Hyde-Amendment misogyny, Reagan's innumerable socioeconomic atrocities and their brazenly relentless continuation by Clinton and every president thereafter. Biden is merely the last comma – or coma – before the victorious Trumpite exclamation point that concludes the apocalyptic imposition of the ecogenocidal agenda originally formalized by our Masters' one true Messiah, Adolf Hitler himself. Such are the circumstances from which only a miraculous national awakening (might) yet save us.

And yes, I find it grievously astounding such an historically obvious sequence of cause and effect is yet belittled as  "conspiracy theory."  

*********

THOUGH I SEE no reason to continue reminding us of how our dire our circumstances have become, I am nevertheless linking the following three reports as both significant warnings of what is to come and accurate examples of the logical reasons for our entirely rational, inevitably depressing sense of collective hopelessness. These are  all from the World Socialist Web Site,  one exposing a Pinochet-type  trial run of the genocidal austerity by which  our Masters at the International Monetary Fund intend to further subjugate us all, the next documenting  the deliberate U.S. reduction of its younger female population's health, the last revealing how an 86-year-old (not a typo) Fed Ex employee was crushed to death in the sort of workplace "accident" that increasingly defines our economic circumstances.

                                                *********                                                

May the waxing light and dwindling darkness of the Sun's Winter-Solstice turn onto its northward path be a comfort us all. Blessed be.

LB/13-20 December 2023

                                                      -30-                                                     

 


Forbidden Thoughts on Taboo Topics: Are We Already Conquered by Interstellar Invaders? Was the Counterculture Our Mother Earth's Last Gesture of Defiance?

MY RECENT BOUT with Covid, 21 June to 9 July – this despite vaccination and three boosters – has robbed me of any expectation of longevity beyond the immediate present. My illness – exemplary both of “long Covid” and of “herd immunity” fulfilling its genocidal intent – has radically worsened my (hitherto-stable) congestive heart failure; the doubled and quadrupled medications so necessitated have set me on an inescapable path to kidney failure and agonizingly reactivated my decades-dormant esophageal re-flux problems. Long Covid has also permanently inflamed my osteoarthritis severely enough I am now so painfully crippled, I am often effectively bedridden; and three months after the fact, it is obvious the virus has slain forever my senses of taste and smell. As many of you know, I am 83 years old; while my doctors refuse to estimate how much longer I might live, there is now no question my departure is looming. At the beginning of the pandemic, three oracles, I Ching, runes and tarot, predicted Covid would kill me, and though eventually I came to believe I had misread their messages, now I know I did not. These days when I dream, it is almost always either of conversations with dead people, usually my father, or of activities in which I am companioned by long-dead favorite dogs. Thus when I fall asleep, I am never sure I will awaken. But as dreadful as all this may sound, it is also a liberation, for now I am free to lift my social-fingers to the arsonist(s) who destroyed my life’s work and write without any concern my words will precipitate my disappearance or the more commonplace removal by alleged accident or suicide.

=========

HERE THEN, AS a prelude to all that follows, is a list of eight present-day horrors that views their known-to-be-deadly effects as cleverly disguised expressions of intent:

Covid-19 – a lethal virus most likely engineered for biological warfare. Regardless of the pandemic's origin, the fact it mutates too rapidly to be controlled by immunization makes “herd immunity” a clever euphemism for deliberately inflicted genocide. Statistically, most victims are members of the working class, aka the 99.9 Percent. Pivotal question: who (or what) is served by the resultant extermination of millions of humans?

Climate change – a modern apocalypse inflicted on our species and planet by patriarchal ignorance and now deliberately, continuously worsened, allegedly by political paralysis imposed by capitalist greed and associated bribery, but in terrifying truth by our masters’ definitively ecogenocidal choices. Pivotal questions: why are the owners of this planet destroying its ability to support life as we know it? Who (or what) benefits from Earth’s reduction to lifeless twinship with forever-barren Mars?

Abandonment of infrastructure – a modern crisis that seems to have begun in the USian Empire but has since metastasized throughout the globe. Typically dismissed as the unavoidable consequence of “neoliberal austerity,” it is the cause of soaring fatalities due to train wrecks, structural collapses and other such disasters. Pivotal question: why are the world’s governments –  the executive agencies that serve the de facto owners of these properties (i.e., the ruling class) – abandoning their investments? Hint: why are factories abandoned and left to rot?

Unprecedented escalation of warmongering – the risk of our species’ extinction by chemical, biological and thermonuclear warfare is at an all-time high; indeed, its terrifying magnitude may be taken as the ultimate declaration the global ruling class now considers itself well-enough bunkered to survive whatever ecogenocidal horrors it inflicts on the rest of us. Pivotal questions: why is this happening now? Apart from the smirkingly bunkered aristocracy, who (or what) benefits from such an ecogenocidal event? And how do the aristocrats benefit if there are no (enslaved) humans to serve them?

Replacement of humans with robots and artificial intelligence – the skyrocketing replacement of workers with machines is creating an ever-expanding “surplus” of unemployed workers who have no real possibility of ever again finding living-wage jobs. Pivotal question: why do our masters so despise humans they are literally sentencing millions of us to death by poverty, disease, homelessness and starvation?

De-educating the working class – aka “dumbing down” the citizenry. Astronomer Carl Sagan defines the problem, and Psychiatrist Niall McLaren analyzes its deliberately toxic economics. Pivotal questions: why do our masters rob us of the intellectual tools we need to thrive as humans? What do they gain from such atrocities?

Destruction of social services – aka “austerity,” in truth slow-motion genocide targeting women and the neediest members of the 99.9 Percent. Pivotal questions: who (or what) benefits from this policy? How is genocide on such scale beneficial to our masters?

Prohibition (or destruction) of health care as a human right – another process begun by USian malevolence in this instance by its relentless insistence health care remain a privilege of wealth – but now, disguised as “austerity,”  metastasizing rapidly throughout Europe and the rest of the world. (The foregoing data is somewhat dated, though the deadly trends obviously continue both in the U.S. and Europe.) Pivotal question: who (or what) benefits from this growing tsunami of sickness and death?

Ultimate question: what do all these atrocities tell us? What singular purpose does the ruling-class-induced atrocity of global warming – that is, ecogenocidal climate change – have in common with the (other) ecogenocidal atrocities of ruling-class-induced austerity? What terrible truth does that purpose suggest?

Note that universal education and health care are investments in our species’ future, and that their methodical reduction – like the abandonment of infrastructure – is a message from our masters they believe we no longer have a future worthy of investment.

What we see in the above – though it is a truth too terrifyingly painful for most of us to acknowledge (one therefore rendered “plausibly deniable” by the boiled-frog pace of our terminal subjugation) – are eight aspects of a total war against our species and against our Mother Earth’s ability to support human life, the latter possibly aimed at reducing her to irremediably barren twinhood with Mars.

*****

I SHOULD PREFACE this next section by stressing I have no prior history as a devotee of the unidentified-flying-object cult. Moreover I remain profoundly antagonistic to the notion all of our species’ ancient achievements were fostered by extraterrestrial visitations, which I regard as an especially devious means of vilifying the matrifocal, probably matriarchal potlach-communism that characterized our collective history until the decidedly curious, unquestionably violent imposition of patriarchy some six-or-seven-thousand years ago. Though I have heard many credible UFO stories, especially during my years in the working press, I always ranked them among the many seemingly inexplicable anomalies of modern life, and never until now felt any compulsion to write about UFOs or even give them much more than momentary thought.

Also there’s the fact that in all the time outdoors (often in the back country and some of it at sea) that characterized the best of my 83 years, I myself witnessed only one genuinely UFO-ish phenomenon, this in 1959, as best I recall in May or June, just past sunset while sitting outside with friends quietly chatting as we routinely awaited the scattered pinpoints of gracefully floating green and amber light that are the opening movements of suburban  Knoxville’s  breathtakingly exquisite seasonal choreography of fireflies. Instead there was suddenly a bright orange fireball maybe a hand-span above the north-northeast horizon; it was astonishingly big, about a quarter the size of the full moon at its smallest mid-heaven zenith; it glided eastward for maybe 10 degrees almost parallel to the surface of the earth, wobbled violently, showered sparks, descended in a shallow curve, briefly ascended, again wobbled and spewed sparks, then plunged out-of-sight behind the silhouetted peaks of the Great Smokies. It left us startled and muttering exclamations. I immediately telephoned a friend, WKGN News Director Tom Combs, and reported what we had seen. He said he’d already received a half-dozen calls about it. He told me the next day it had been witnessed by at least a hundred persons; that because of its erratic flight, some had feared it was a crashing airplane. All a University of Tennessee astronomer would tell Combs – note the wording – is “we can say it was a meteorite,” and like so many other incidents of its kind, it was soon consigned to official oblivion. But it stuck in my mind because even then I had sufficient background in astronomy to know meteorites do not momentarily gain altitude in their descent from outer space.

Now, given the combination of newly acknowledged UFO incidents with the undeniably apocalyptic perpetuation of the eight atrocities I described above, I am compelled to suspect it is probable we’ve already been conquered by interstellar predators – and that the global ruling class, capitalist and communist alike, is merely functioning as the invaders’ own obscenely recompensed SS-Totenkopfverbände, its present task the reduction of our world to a planet-sized Auschwitz.

Indeed, per Occam’s Razor, this is the only hypothesis that explains all of today’s afflictions – most especially the self-imposed pseudo-paralysis by which the global ruling class, capitalist and communist alike, relentlessly attempts to excuse its ever-more-apocalyptic refusal to reduce the causative abuses, much less its refusal to ameliorate their disastrous results. Mind you, I’m not saying extraterrestrial conquest is the final, definitive truth of our species’ increasingly hopeless present-day circumstances. But the unprecedented solidarity of malevolent cunning the global ruling class exhibits in the success of its universal promotion of the originally USian ethos of self-obsessed moral imbecility and in the veritable omnipotence demonstrated by its diabolical skill at co-optation and/or suppression of any and all forms of organized humanitarianism most assuredly suggest an equal capability for beneficence -- the glaring absence of which is therefore both infinitely damning and all the more suggestive of purposeful choice.

There is also the fact the present-day plague of atrocities is entirely the function of patriarchy and is therefore arguably the final revelation of  its unspoken purpose. Note too how the imposition of patriarchy is biblically attributed to talking snakes, divine apparitions, flaming wheels in the sky and loquacious brush-fires underscored by the (thermonuclear?) destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. With its misogynistic war against our Mother Earth, against all femaleness and implicitly therefore against all being, patriarchy is increasingly recognized as a death cult. Dialectic-materialist efforts to define patriarchy as a logical outgrowth of the agricultural revolution not withstanding, it is not unthinkable to suppose it to be a  long-term interstellar expression of the same strategic scheming evident in smallpox-infected blankets.

At the very least, the body of evidence demands the probability of our terminal victimization by extraterrestrial conquerors ought to be given serious consideration and thorough investigation.

Investigated or not, the likelihood we are already the powerless subjects of some conquering alien species becomes obvious when we examine the undeniably anti-human, sometimes undeniably genocidal or ecogenocidal consequences of the afflictions in question. Though it is clear there is no longer any rational hope we might yet save ourselves, at least we would then be able to correctly identify our executioners and thus yet retain some minimal authority over the courses of our individual lives.  

In this context, let us now consider the likelihood the burgeoning official acknowledgment of unknown aerial and oceanic phenomenon is – in much the same way European acknowledgment of Nazi German technological superiority was the prelude to psychological acceptance of defeat, enslavement and extermination – the precursor to admission we are a conquered species. Note how we are being methodically robbed of all our former freedoms – and more importantly of even any expectation of freedom – literally everywhere on the planet. It is thus at least arguable our minds are being conditioned for enslavement. Is it then mere coincidence that, after denying the reality of UFOs and their underwater counterparts for at least 80 years often ridiculing and even slandering as mentally ill anyone who dared admit encountering UFOs   the world’s governments are now finally acknowledging such things are real? Or that the propaganda apparatus which serves the global ruling class now deluges us with documentaries that claim humans are routinely kidnapped and used as lab rats by extraterrestrials?

Typical of the aliens-as-conquerors documentaries is “Alien Endgame,” an hour and 25-minute film available on Max that claims a “massive military cover-up” of the fact “our very existence is at risk.” It includes testimony about incidents in which UFOS rendered nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) unlaunchable, notes that UFOs operate with speed and maneuverability far beyond human capabilities, that they can become invisible and are sometimes undetectable by radar. The film also describes naval encounters with unidentified submerged objects that demonstrate the same seemingly inexplicable characteristics. “If the aliens decide to attack,” the film concludes, “we don’t stand a chance.”

Significantly, the aliens’ oberführers – the terrifying medical-experiment sadism associated with their kidnappings prompts me to describe them with the terminology of nazism – are often said to look like bipeds descended from giant preying mantises. This brings to mind a 1974 or 1975 comment by a prominent astrophysicist that only exoskeletal creatures can survive the gravitational forces generated by right-angle turns at mach 10 and other such astounding maneuvers even then attributed to UFOs. I’m sorry I don’t remember the astrophysicist’s name, but I do remember his comment generated a lively, mostly apprehensive discussion midway through the astronomy course I was then taking as an overage undergraduate. Now, knowing how insect biology is a prime inspiration in robotics and artificial intelligence, I find the notion of insectoid conquerors horrifying beyond words. Is our obviously methodical reduction to moral imbecility the beginning of our replacement by dependably emotionless machines? And let us not forget that female mantises, like female spiders, eat their mates, nor that a large enough plague of locusts – or greedy patriarchs – could leave our Earth as barren as present-day Mars. Are we humans being bred to be our masters' Soylent Green? Might irremediably desolate Mars exemplify the ecogenocidal ruin Earth too is now fated to become?

Even so, a few documentaries present the invaders as benign. “Encounters,” a four-episode program on Netflix, describes the extraterrestrials as claiming “the environment is our first priority,” warning us our species is “actually making harm on the world,” that “technology is not going to do humans any good” and urging us to care for nature. It also quotes Japanese sources who describe the aliens as “kind and comforting,” which echo many First Nations accounts of encounters with beneficent “Star People.”

The notion of benevolent and malevolent extraterrestrials and their implicit competition for human allegiance is obviously the newest variant of the ancient traditions, common to all cultures, of cosmic warfare between the forces of good and evil. From any such perspective of universal dualism, the pivotal question becomes the one poised by the coal miners’ anthem, “Which Side Are You On?” But the oft-demonstrated omnipotence of the ruling class – specifically its uncanny genius at deception and co-optation (which history shows us is at least as old as patriarchy itself) – makes any such discernment impossible. Note the paradox of Christianity: is it, as the late and oft-persecuted Jesuit Fr. William Bischel believed and practiced, a benevolently revolutionary credo of peace, humanitarian love, social liberation and the harmonious healing of Nature? Or is its equally documented function as the credo of ecogenocidal hatred embraced by capitalists, Trumpists, prosperity-gospel fanatics, Ku Klux Klaners, Nazis, witch-burners and other misogynistic moral imbeciles the true expression of its essence? The same functional schizophrenia – and thus the same (unanswerable) question – seemingly applies to every religious or political movement our species has generated. Nor is it mooted by the growing suspicion many of our most iconic figures – Moses, the Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad, Our Lady of Fatima – may have themselves been extraterrestrials. Quoth St. Paul (2 Corinthians 11:14, New International Version): “Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.” And despite its apparent absurdity, let us not overlook the claim Hitler's Nazis and now their USian successors – achieved power as the willing puppets of extraterrestrial masters.

=========

MY ARSON-DESTROYED  and thus forever lost “Glimpses of a Pale Dancer” hypothesized via approximately one hundred photographs and some  one-hundred-fifty-thousand words of extensively footnoted text that the 1960s Counterculture was simultaneously the resurrection of the Great Goddess,  our species first and oldest deity, and – as demonstrated by the aesthetic solidarity that underlay the dissonance of its politics – the first wave of a global revolution against patriarchy. Another writer's parallel work, The Return of the Goddess (Edward C. Whitmont, Crossroad Publishing: 1984), offered a kindred but less obviously revolutionary  hypothesis based on Jungian psycho-analytic analysis of dreams. But as proven by the flames that burned "Dancer" like a witch slain in obvious retaliation for her alleged heresies,  my bluntly expressed conclusions which noted in passing the Goddess-worship origins of Marxism’s red star and hammer-and-sickle symbols were obviously tabooed as too dangerous for public consumption. "Dancer"  was thus destroyed just as it seemingly approached mainstream publication. Nor is it insignificant its would-have-been editor, the late Cicely Nichols, regarded "Dancer" as potentially one of the "most influential books of the 20th Century";  indeed the arsonist(s) lit the fire at the very moment Cicely and I began the meeting intended to finalize our working agreement.     

“Dancer” defined  the '60s Counterculture in its broadest sense; it sidestepped the obvious self-indulgence of the white petite-bourgeois faddists who later proved their proto-nazi moral imbecility by their votes for Ronald Reagan; it focused specifically on the aesthetic solidarity of feminism, environmentalism and the back-to-the-land movement as demonstrated by its music, visual art, literature and science, including the folk renaissance, the Whole Earth Catalog and – perhaps most importantly – the Gaia Hypothesis, which in essence is the modern scientific restatement of the inconceivably ancient pagan core-belief our Mother Earth the Great Goddess who was our species' first and longest-lasting deity is a living being, conscious, self-regulating and thus at least arguably invocable.

What “Dancer” omitted – this in the admittedly selfish interest of preserving my journalistic credibility – was a pair of decidedly curious events that seemed to confirm not just the project's  relevance and validity but its cosmic/karmic necessity. These incidents there were also a half-dozen lesser events easily dismissable as coincidence are the childhood experience I describe in the essay “Abutments” (note the element of missing time, which today might be taken as indicative of a UFO encounter), and  the brief but profoundly moving vision I experienced during an absolutely intoxicant-free moment of reflection in 1970: this occurred in the Cascade foothills beneath the August full moon of 1970, almost exactly 18 years after the 1952 incident. As I described in an earlier essay:

I had walked alone and lonely into the Innis Creek water meadow, an unkempt span of lowland maybe thirty yards wide that was now dry but was annually drenched by the creek's vernal floods. It was at least four times that distance beyond the corn fields, buildings and gardens of the Wickersham, Washington agricultural commune where I was then a long-term guest who contentedly paid my way by contributing a full share of physical effort to the requisite daily labor, and now I stood amidst Nature's shadowy harbingers of early Autumn: blown thistles, bright clumps of pearly everlasting, iridescent cobwebs bejeweled with dew. The communards were meeting in their main building but were ensnared in psychodrama intensified by the unresolvable ideological disputes that invariably arise from caste differences, and I had left the session in disillusioned bitterness and disgust. Seeking to restore my inner peace, I sprawled face-upward on the weedy ground and gazed at the zenith-high improbably brilliant moon as if it were some mandala of last resort.

Then to my astonishment there was a decidedly strange kind of jolt, as if albeit eerily without the physical reality   I had heard and felt some unseen door burst open, and all in the same breathtaking instant the moon spiraled into a rainbow that expanded to fill the entire sky, contracted to a vortex of flowing bands of color, plunged tornado-like to earth and shaped a magnificently ageless woman pale and translucent as mist yet undeniably real. She was majestically naked but loosely wrapped in the lunar blonde infinity of her own hair; she smiled, reached out her hands as if to embrace me and then like some impossibly magical dancer swirled her endless mane into rainbow hues that swept her aloft, dissolving herself back into rivers of color that expanded once more from horizon to horizon and shrank into the moon again – a millisecond's vision, a mere glimpse so brief and so ephemeral I could scarcely believe I had seen it and yet so vivid it could not be denied.  But now as if nothing at all had occurred there was only the commonplace moon again, the midnight sky and its diamond constellations, the fragrant crush of wild chamomile beneath my head, the vast nocturnal stillness of Pacific Northwest woods so unlike the firefly-bright insect-rowdiness of the fields and forests in which I'd spent the summers of my boyhood and adolescence.  When the night's chill finally urged me to my feet, I remember there were faint tendrils of fog rising from the creek, and for a moment, just once, it seemed I heard the clear cold water chuckle.

There is also the matter of the carefully disguised remnants of pagan liturgy that scholars including Olaf Nygard and Robert Graves argued are preserved in much of traditional folk music, most assuredly including that which was re-popularized by the folk-music renaissance that immediately preceded and obviously helped mother the advent of the Counterculture.

Though it may seem something of an aside, the mechanics of such disguises – Graves calls it “riddling” – are obscure enough to exemplify here. The following is from an explanatory note I recently sent a dear friend:

All true pagans should know how to decode the liturgy of the Goddess that is hidden in so many traditional ballads, disguised to protect singers and celebrants from being burnt at the stake as witches.

Firstly we should remember most of these stories began as seasonal celebrations, the feasts that mark the turns of the year, specifically the Winter Solstice (Yule, Midwinter’s Day); 1 February (Imbolc or the feast of the Goddess as Brigit, originally the first day of spring); the Vernal Equinox (Ostara); 1 May (Beltane, originally the first day of summer); the Summer Solstice (Litha or Midsummer’s Day); 1 August (Lughnassadh or Bron Trograne, originally the first day of autumn); the Autumnal Equinox (Mabon); and Hallowe’en or Samhain (the night the year dies, originally the first day of winter).

Secondly we should remember the two primary seasons, winter and summer, were anciently personified as the domains of male twins, the king/god of summer and the king/god of winter, perpetual rivals for the love of the Goddess, their mother and the “mother of all being,” personification of earth and cosmos. The Summer King died on the Summer Solstice, slain by his winter twin; the ballad John Barleycorn describes his fate. But he was reborn on the Winter Solstice. Eventually this anthropomorphization became a single god – aka “the dying god” and “the once-and-future king” representing the entire year, hence Samhain as “the night the year dies” and Midwinter’s Day as his rebirth. Hence too the Christianization of this ancient story, with Jesus as the year god and Satan as his rival. (Note that in the Celtic Church, violently suppressed by the Roman Papacy, Jesus was the newest incarnation of the dying god, while his mother – “Mary mother of god” – was the newest incarnation of the Goddess.)

The following is a ballad entitled Willy o’ Winsbury as sung by Pentangle’s Jacqui McShee, with my apology for the extremely infuriating fact TypePad does not allow the normal, line-by-line formatting of poetry:

The king had been a prisoner/ And a prisoner long in Spain/ And Willy of the Winsbury/ Has lain long with his daughter at home

From earthly perspective in the northern hemisphere, the sun turns south at Summer Solstice, then turns north again at Winter Solstice. Spain is to the south of Scotland, the source of this ballad. In other words, the sun is again traveling northward. According to The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition,  “Willie” is not just a foreshortened version of William the name means strong-willed protector but is also an archaic euphemism for penis.

"What ails you, what ails you, my daughter Janet?/ Why you look so pale and wan?/  Oh, have you had any sore sickness/ Or yet been sleeping with a man?"

Janet means “gift of god”; it is the time of Ostara; the land is pregnant with spring,

"I have not had any sore sickness/ Nor yet been sleeping with a man/ It is for you, my father dear/ For biding so long in Spain"

"Cast off, cast off your berry-brown gown/ You stand naked upon the stone/ That I may know you by your shape/ If you be a maiden or none"

Such songs as these were originally danced amidst the standing stones that often encircled stone altars. “Berry-brown gown” symbolizes our Mother Earth's bare brown winter soil and its winter cloak of dead brown leaves.

And she cast off her berry-brown gown/ She stood naked upon the stone/ Her apron was low and her haunches were round/ Her face was pale and wan

"Oh, was it with a lord or a duke or a knight/ Or a man of birth and fame? Or was it with one of my serving men/ That's lately come out of Spain?"

"No, it wasn't with a lord or a duke or a knight/ Nor a man of birth and fame/ But it was with Willy of Winsbury/ I could bide no longer alone"

And the king has called on his merry men all/ By thirty and by three/ Says, "Fetch me this Willy of Winsbury/ For hanged he shall be"

Significant math here: 30 by 3 yields a digital root of nine, as in “the nine-fold Muse.” another name of the Goddess. And the Vernal Equinox is three months – approximately 90 days – after the sun turns north at Winter Solstice.

But when he came the king before/ He was clad all in the red silk/ His hair was like the strands of gold/ His skin was as white as the milk

"And it is no wonder," said the king/ "That my daughter's love you did win/ For if I was a woman as I am a man/ My bedfellow you would have been

And will you marry my daughter Janet/ By the truth of your right hand?/ Oh, will you marry my daughter Janet?/ I'll make you the lord of my land"

"Oh yes, I will marry your daughter Janet/ By the truth of my right hand/ Oh yes, I will marry your daughter Janet/ But I'll not be the lord of your land"

In other words, he’ll not be the lord of winter.

And he's mounted her on a milk-white steed/ And himself on a dapple gray/ He has made her the lady of as much land/ As she shall ride in a long summer's day

Thus the "long summer's day" proclaims the solar supremacy of Janet, and the rule of the Goddess as a cosmic deity rather than merely the Earth Mother is again affirmed, albeit in a manner that conceals her ritual invocation from the Christians, thereby protecting the pagans from the unimaginable agony of death at the stake.

Another key fact, one that “Dancer” repeatedly implied but carefully avoided stating outright, is  the hitherto-unacknowledged extent to which the folk-music renaissance was obviously among the primary cultural influences that psychologically mothered both second-wave feminism and the Counterculture in general.

The related conclusion I dared not even suggest is that what might be termed “Goddess-magic” remained powerful even in its most thoroughly disguised forms. Magical or not, the archetypal woman of the traditional ballad – examples here, here and here – is the diametrical opposite of the oppressive archetypes of empty-headed, athletic-hero-dependent prom queens and submissive housewives that USian females of the 1950s and postwar ‘40s were relentlessly conditioned to believe were their gender’s only acceptable norms. And we should never overlook the fact the private-schooled, Ivy-League-graduate aristocrats who serve the ruling class as its intelligence analysts were unquestionably well-educated enough to recognize the spontaneous and often unwitting resurrection of the Goddess by an entire generation as a burgeoning threat to patriarchy – no doubt the underlying reason for Operation CHAOS (caps as in original). If I could see it all with nothing more than journalistic curiosity shaped by a solidly proletarian education bolstered by supplemental reading, there's no doubt an aristocracy carefully spoon-fed a vastly superior quality and depth of learning could do likewise.

Not surprisingly, the girls and women of allegedly extra-terrestrially inspired Nazi Germany were subjected to misogynistic conditioning notably similar to that which was (temporarily) overthrown here in USia by feminists and elsewhere on the planet by Marxians and democratic socialists.

But that brain-warping oppressiveness is now being everywhere restored with such vengeful permanence it is obvious the Goddess-centered anti-patriarchal revolution I joyfully predicted in "Dancer" will never be allowed. Here in USia, it was in fact slain in its infancy by the government and its nazi-minded auxiliaries. And now, a half-century later, every humanitarian effort our species ever attempted anywhere on the planet is methodically targeted for suppression. 

Thus it should surprise no one the Christonazis and their Neoconfederate allies are re-imposing maximized misogyny as a key part of their MAGA scheme. Their overseas allies are doing likewise in their own domains. Prohibiting abortion, banning birth control and formal persecution of alleged violators are just the opening atrocities of USian encouragement in  what amounts to a globally expanding pogrom against women.  

Nor have the Counterculture’s once-promisingly beneficent legacies remained unbesmirched by the aforementioned good/evil dichotomy that sooner or later seems to contaminate all mass movements with venomously contradictory identities which ultimately kill or at least neutralize a movement simply because they are too impossibly confusing for most humans to resolve. Once-presumably species-saving environmentalism has thus evolved an academic sub-cult that claims our only salvation is genocide, specifically the extermination – probably by bio-weaponry – of 90 percent of the human population, a thoroughly documented conviction that nevertheless remains unspeakable outside the hard right, never mind it has simmered in USian environmental colleges at least since the early ‘80s. Feminism has meanwhile fallen prey to what might be termed the Valerie Solanas virus, to which I no doubt over-react because – just as Solanas would have murdered Andy Warhol and an associate – so would my birthmother have slain my father and me.

Both women were well educated and academically accomplished; in 1933 or ‘34 – I’ve forgotten which – my birthmother was one of the first three women to graduate from Michigan State with a BA degree in urban planning and landscape architecture. But while Solanas chose a day of no particular cosmic significance for her crimes – it was 3 June 1963 – my birthmother selected the Summer Solstice Eve of 1945 for her premeditated effort at post-partum abortion and her spontaneous attempt to murder my father when he intervened to save my life. The best evidence indicates she planned my slaying to pay the Satanic debt she believed she had acquired by bargaining with a demon to ensure the pregnancy by which she ensnared my father in marriage.

Alleged supernatural elements aside, my birthmother’s thwarted but always potentially murderous anti-male hatred clearly mirrors the ideology of the Valerie Solanas faction of feminists which my birthmother would surely have publicly embraced had she been less fanatical in her vindictively hypocritical struggle to preserve her lifelong lies of psychological normalcy and socioeconomic superiority. A recognizably similar constancy of broad-spectrum hatred fuels the wanna-be mega-holocaust deadliness of the salvation-by-genocide cult of environmentalists and the mass murders that are becoming part of everyday human life. Its apocalyptic intensity, of a magnitude seemingly without peer in our species’ experience, parallels the cannibalistic behavior of over-stressed and underfed lab rats. I believe it is a symptom of the global pandemic of self-obsessed moral imbecility that increasingly infects our entire species, the same affliction that enables the entire global ruling class – literally every .01 Percenter no matter whether capitalist or socialist – to justify waging their war of ecogenocidal extermination against our entire species. I've no doubt its truth is to be found in how imperialism perpetuates the morally imbecilic dynamics of patriarchy: just as some tribal chieftains and their modern-day quisling counterparts guaranteed their own survival by serving as their conquerors’ slavemasters, so might our masters seek to perpetuate their survival by functioning as vassals of extraterrestrial insectoid or reptilian masters, thus volunteering as the commanders, overseers, executioners and guards of slave-plantation/death-camp earth.

When I consider the impending loss of all human achievement atop the nullification of untold millennia of evolutionary advancement, I am left with a grief so bottomless no language can describe it. Nor can any quantity of tears relieve it. The Goddess herself that is, our Mother Earth is obviously dying;  the atrocities and disasters that increasingly beset us are undeniably both her proclamations of our irreversibly  looming extinction and as she twitches and spasms like any other victim of rape and murder her own increasingly violent agonies of death.  

LB/25 September-13 October 2023

-30-

 


'Herd Immunity' Response to Covid Denounced as Modern Nazi Eugenics

(Even so, let us preface our reading by contemplating the blessings given us by our Mother Earth, whom survival commands us to defend; thus may Her radiance empower us to forever dispel the patriarchal darkness.)  

20230515_194233(Photo by KD ©2023)

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ORIGINALLY I HAD intended to lead this edition of Dispatches by exposing an outrageous example of the moral imbecility that fuels gentrification --  specifically a report on how the vindictively capitalist Tacoma mayor and city council back-stabbed the municipality's lowest-income renters, with the proverbial knife a provision  deliberately hidden in the deceptive wording of an alleged “tenant rights” ordinance.

But then the World Socialist Web Site led its 1 September edition with an analytical report that – citing Dr. Anthony Fauci’s endorsement of “herd immunity” – noted how his statement included implicit praise of letting Covid run amok to exterminate those of us deemed economically burdensome, which in turn reveals the weaponized virus as "a form of homicidal eugenics, reminiscent of the Nazi regime's policy of murdering handicapped people.”

Thus I moved the Tacoma story to second place, below. At first I mistakenly  regarded it as a separate issue, an especially outrageous demonstration of the lengths to which capitalist politicians will go in their efforts to further multiply the  wealth they and their bribe-masters forcibly extract from the rest of us.

Now, in the context of Fauci's statement, I recognize the Tacoma episode as a legitimate part of the pandemic story -- that reducing people to homelessness is merely another way the ruling class ensures our vulnerability to extermination by Covid.    

Quoth WSWS: ‘...Fauci, the former director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases...declared that older people, the ill and disabled “will fall by the wayside” in the current surge of COVID-19. Fauci was not warning about what would happen unless urgent action was taken. Rather, he was seeking to justify the Biden administration’s policy of inaction and cover-up in the face of a new surge of the disease.’

‘Fauci’s comments reiterate the declaration in January 2022 by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky that the fact that COVID-19 predominantly kills people who are “unwell to begin with” is “encouraging news.”’

The global death-toll inflicted by the virus now exceeds 22 million persons. Though WSWS has steadfastly refuted as anti-Chinese propaganda any hypotheses that attempt to define the still-raging but relentlessly downplayed Covid pandemic as anything other than an evolutionary  product of Nature, a report by the internationally prestigious New England Journal of Medicine analyzes all the competing hypotheses. It notes the evidence for laboratory origin, though limited,  nevertheless remains compelling; it also includes, in its fifth paragraph, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs accusation that U.S.  scientists designed the virus as a biological warfare weapon -- that it was vectored to Wuhan during an official visit by U.S. Army personnel. And we all know that just as the USian Empire is the global oberkommando  of world capitalism's ecogenocidal game of thrones, so is the U.S.  military capitalism's global goon squad. 

While both NEJM and WSWS note how politicization of the question has gravely hampered the search for the pandemic’s origin, contextual elements suggest its deliberate employment as an USian bioweapon is by no means an unthinkable possibility:

  • Firstly there is the fact the capitalist ruling class has long lamented a surplus of workers as its primary 21st Century problem. But the New-Deal-sized public-infrastructure project the linked article proposes as a solution is prohibited by the global triumph of  neoliberal austerity. Thus  the proposal was  never more than "change we can believe in," yet another colossal deception intended to convince us the present-day ruling class is anything other than infinitely evil. Moreover, though the plutocrats seldom acknowledge it in public, their greatest common fear is of a 99.9 Percent united in revolutionary purposefulness,  and the working-class solidarity potentially growing from  any such  mega-project -- note how the New Deal's public works invariably bolstered organized labor -- is thus anathema to their long-range intent. And what is that? It is the ecogenocidal agenda ever more obvious in their radical escalation of the struggle they formerly sloganized as "better dead than Red," which they have shaped into  an all-out war for ruling-class  omnipotence structured to end only one of two ways: either with their victorious imposition of everlasting zero-tolerance tyranny, or with the extinction of our entire species and the reduction of our Mother Earth back to a bug planet. 

  • Secondly there is the fact plutocrats and environmentalists are again joining hands in proclaiming the 21st Century’s greatest problem is not just too many workers but too many people. The more radical environmentalists argue the only (final) solution is the forcible extermination of 90 percent of the human population. Unfortunately the Mainstream Media propaganda machine belittles this appalling truth by treating it as right-wing conspiracy theory – note the politics of the linked source – but I know from interpersonal contacts it was favored by the vindictively petite-bourgeois majorities of students at Western Washington State University’s Huxley College of Environmental studies in the ‘70s, ‘80s and early ‘90s. In other words, the targeted victims would surely all be members of the working class – which in post-Marxian terms is each and every one of us in the global 99.9 Percent.

  • Thirdly there is the oft-proven fact the USian Empire has never hesitated to reduce us to involuntary lab-rats for biological warfare experiments. These atrocities include testing known pathogens on urban populations in New York and San Francisco – the choice of targets surely not coincidental given these cities’ histories as epicenters of anti-capitalist and anti-patriarchal rebellion, likewise the obviously white-supremacist targeting of Blacks described in the same linked report.

The problem with such disclosures is that a fatal majority of propaganda-zombified USians refuse to believe them. Any time I dare mention anywhere outside Manhattan that the army conducted germ-warfare tests in the New York City subway system, the vast majority of those with whom I am conversing – never mind how presumably well educated they might otherwise be – damn me as a liar.

And I have some regretful personal knowledge of this atrocity too. In late 1968 or early 1969, when I was the news editor of Morristown, New Jersey’s Daily Record, I was approached by relatives of an elderly man killed by pneumonia in late June 1966; they claimed his doctor said he was a victim of the subway tests and begged our journalistic investigation. To my eternal shame I refused their request, answering that without more evidence than a lone doctor’s say-so, I could not assign a reporter to pursue the story. Fortunately the editors at Newsday took the opposite position and ferreted out confirmation the tests had occurred. Then in 1995, Newsday reporter Dennis Duggan, a fellow Lion’s Head regular I knew from my own NYC working-press years, resurrected the story as noted in the "testing known pathogens" link.

Nor was airborne dispersal the only method the USian Empire used for testing bacteriological warfare on its unsuspecting citizenry. The government also employed the experimental use of insects as disease vectors

And let us not forget the governmental use of smallpox-infected blanks as but one of the many weapons, tactics and strategies in the (ongoing) 600-year campaign to exterminate the First Nations peoples.

All of which combine to bolster the hitherto-unspeakable possibility implicit in my “Dr. Anthony Fauci says” comment-thread assertion: that regardless of how it was vectored into an ever-more-obviously unstoppable pandemic, Covid-19 is designed as a modern, publicly acceptable substitute for Zyklon B, engineered both for maximum deadliness and maximized plausible deniability.

*****

Capitalist Viciousness Exemplified: Tacoma City Council's 'Tenant Rights' Bill Secretly Shafts Lowest-Income Renters

AS TOM WAITS sings in “Step Right Up,” a basic truth of capitalism is “the large print giveth and the small print taketh away” -- which is precisely how the less-than-impeccable Tacoma City Council sought to back-stab lowest-income renters by hiding its dagger in an alleged tenants’-rights ordinance. The large print of the measure, Substitute Ordinance 28894, imposes a 120-day-notice requirement on rent hikes, but the small print denies it to tenants in any sort of subsidized housing – impoverished persons who often need such notice more than anyone else.

Quoth Page 11 of the ordinance: “A landlord is required to provide at least 120 days’ the minimum written notice, as outlined in Chapter 59.18.140 RCW, as it currently exists or is hereinafter amended, whenever the periodic or monthly housing costs to be charged a tenant will increase by any amount charged the same tenant for the same housing unit, except as provided by RCW 59.18.140(3)(b) as it exists or is hereinafter amended for subsidized tenancies and for deed-restricted affordable housing.”

But note the take-away  in the cited chapter of the Revised Code of Washington: “If the rental agreement governs a subsidized tenancy where the amount of rent is based on the income of the tenant or circumstances specific to the subsidized household, a landlord shall provide a minimum of thirty days' prior written notice of an increase in the amount of rent to each affected tenant.”

The city’s website continued the deception perpetrated by the wording of the ordnance, omitting any mention of its retention of the 30-day notice for Tacoma’s neediest tenants. Local media did likewise, yet another troubling example of how today’s so-called “journalists” – the very antithesis of the working-class-minded reporters of my generation – are too smug in their petite-bourgeois arrogance to trouble themselves with the less-than-five-minutes of online research necessary to  discover the betrayal lurking within “except as provided.”

Such elitist negligence demonstrates the utter contempt for impoverished people and paycheck-dependent folks in general that defines bourgeois moral imbecility. It is all the more glaring given Tacoma’s demographics. A (formerly) working-class-affordable city of about 220,000 persons, its population is still defined by a (shrinking) majority of 99.9 Percenters, about half of whom, myself included, are definitively lower income, with approximately 13 percent of us officially poor. By freight volume, it is the third largest seaport on the nation's west coast, which contributes to the city’s relatively muscular union presence. (Disclosure: I have lived here twice, 1978 to 1982, and now since 2004, each time by choice; Tacoma's friendliness marks it as the sociological antithesis of maliciously elitist, vindictively xenophobic Seattle, and I am admittedly fond of it, as I have been since I moved here during 1978's Labor Day Weekend. In many ways -- diversity, solidarity and an ability to laugh at itself  included -- I find Tacoma reminiscent of the Lower East Side I knew in the '60s and more generically of Brooklyn, where I was born.)  

The city council’s deception came to light in an ongoing, fiercely fought local example of the class-war battles triggered by the nation’s runaway housing prices. Soaring housing costs elsewhere began metastasizing into Tacoma during the second decade of the new century, and by 2019 the city was declared the nation’s “hottest real estate market.” Though anti-inflationary interest hikes have hiked mortgage rates enough to exclude all but the more wealthy buyers, this has actually worsened the victimization inflicted by gentrification. Tacoma real estate values are in the stratosphere, forever beyond working-class reach; rents and homelessness have skyrocketed, the former by 43 percent in the past five years, the latter by 54 percent during the same period in Pierce County, with about 74 percent of these victims of capitalism inside the Tacoma city limits.

As a manifestation of the city’s working-class consciousness, the housing crisis and how it is literally flinging people into the street sparked a successful initiative campaign to put a strong tenants-rights measure on the November ballot. The city council – officially nonpartisan but dominated by the so-called “moderate” (i.e., closet-Republican) wing of the “Democratic” (sic) Party – attempted to sandbag the initiative by enacting Ordinance 28894 and then placing it as a competitive measure on the same ballot.

This bewilder-the-voters ploy was pioneered locally in 2015 by Marilyn Strickland to kill a $15-minimum-wage initiative when she was Tacoma’s mayor. Strickland was also, of course, a key perpetrator in the city's gentrification. When she left the mayor's office in 2018, her success was rewarded by appointment as president and chief executive officer of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, allegedly with a seven-digit salary package the actual amount of which has remained a closely guarded secret. But this time the scheme failed; the tenants’-rights group sued, and the court ordered the city’s measure deleted from the ballot.

Meanwhile about 15 percent of Tacoma’s homeless persons – approximately 1,046 human beings – remain unsheltered, prime targets of the Zyklon-B variant known as “herd immunity.”

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From the Comment Threads of Other Websites

On Dr. Anthony Fauci Says Many Will “Fall by the Wayside” in New Covid-19 Surge (also linked above; what follows is the complete text of my original comment)

Given the context of Dr. Fauci's statement -- that is, the relentless claims by the ruling class the world has too many workers and too many people in general -- it becomes entirely logical to assume the Covid virus is  a modern substitute for Zyklon B, designed  (of course) for both maximum deadliness and maximum plausible deniability.

Hence the unprecedented relevance of Comrade Damon's  breathtakingly courageous  analysis that capitalism's decision to let the virus run amok is indeed "a form of homicidal eugenics, reminiscent of the Nazi regime's policy of murdering handicapped people.” 

Hence too the bravery demonstrated by the World Socialist Web Site in publishing Comrade Damon's work irrefutably proves   the Fourth International is the only  remaining defender of the working class -- the 99.9 Percent -- on this gravely afflicted planet. 

Those of us who have the requisite skill and technological access should therefore disseminate this report as widely as is humanly possible. 

*****

On Vox’s Student Loan ‘Expert’ Is Paid By Debt Collectors

While it is good to see Vox and Carey exposed for what they are, I  am quite frankly appalled to see Biden's student-loan proposal treated as anything more than another "change we can believe in" -- that is. another of the innumerable bait-and-switch betrayals by which the "Democratic" (sic) Party serves the "Republican" (sic) Christonazi/Neoconfederate Party as its Fifth Column. 

Authoritative analyses of the original form of Biden's loan-relief promise made it obvious it was purposed to seduce younger voters even as it was designed to fail.

Old enough to know the overwhelming proof the Democrats were forever nullified as anything more than a Republican Fifth Column by their complicity in the coup  of  22 November 1963 -- note their treachery ranging from Vietnam to  their refusal to protect abortion rights -- I cannot doubt they will continue their betrayals of student debtors. And every other member of the 99.9 Percent as well.   

*****

On 21st Century Socialism: What It Will Become and Why?

My thanks to Ms. Fraad and Mr. Wolff for what I suspect will prove to be one of the most thought-provoking essays ever published on the Internet. This is because -- implicit in its focus on human relationships within families and enterprises (and its pivotal analysis of how socialism undermines itself by tolerating their patriarchal structure and thereby perpetuating the anti-socialist/pro-capitalist/ultimately pro-nazi conditioning that is the essence of patriarchy) -- is the dire necessity to at long last acknowledge the true magnitude of the gender warfare patriarchy has inflicted on our entire species.  As the ultimate expression of misogyny -- fear, hatred and contempt   of femaleness beginning with our Mother Earth (the real reason for the climate crisis) and reaching outward to include not only any creature or object defined as female, but also any creature or object lacking definitively male identity -- patriarchy gives modern males the same theoretical workplace and household omnipotence it gave to the emperors, kings, nobility and slave owners of earlier ages. And just as innumerable wars and atrocities measure the refusal of these older categories of oppressors to relinquish the governmental versions of their privilege without bloodshed, so is the refusal of  modern males to give up its household,  workplace and on-the-street versions measured by the skyrocketing incidence of domestic violence, sexual harassment and rape. Men of this ilk, rabid with a condition that should be recognized as "clitoris envy" -- the reaction to multi-orgasmic female consciousness with the limitless fear, hatred and contempt at present euphemized as "toxic masculinity"-- are probably incurable.  And it is their in-curability that is violently, often murderously obstructing the very transformation Ms. Fraad and Mr. Wolff recognize is essential if socialism is to fulfill its potential as our species' (only) means of surviving the present, otherwise inescapably terminal crisis. (Footnote: I doubt it a coincidence that Weimar Germany, the scientists of which led the world in re-discovering the orgasmic superiority of women, was also the birthplace of nazism, the U.S. manifestations of which are ever-more-obviously fanatical expressions of male refusal to accept scientific truth.)            

*****

On “Left-wing Vitriol is Unwarranted”: Jacobin Defends Ocasio-Cortez and Denounces Socialist Criticism of DSA

Let us not forget that to be assailed by the forces of capitalism with such undisguised venom is a most encouraging measure of our burgeoning success. It proves  the growing effectiveness of the World Socialist Web Site in fostering widespread recognition of the "change-we-can-believe-in" deceptions promulgated by the "Democratic" (sic) Party and its allegedly "socialist" (sic) puppets as they serve the "Republican" (sic)  Christonazi/Neoconfederate Party as its Fifth Column. Let us hope this awakening is but the precursor to the far more pivotal understanding that the treachery of the Democrats and their DSA assets is every bit as deadly a weapon of national nazification as  the outspoken campaign for zero-tolerance Christian white male supremacy led by Trump and his ideological kindred.    

*****

On The Origins of Pabloite Revisionism, the Split Within the Fourth International and the Founding of the International Committee

Listening to Comrade Kishore, I realize the  entire capitalist world, the "People's Republic" (sic) of China included, has – by its deliberately ecogenocidal combination of de facto enslavement, zero-tolerance sociopolitical oppression and defiantly continuing environmental destruction – weaponized the originally USian slogan "Better Dead Than Red"  into a globalized mechanism of intentional apocalypse. Thus our choice is not "socialism or barbarism"; it is instead quite literally socialism or extinction. And I cannot thank you enough for this vital insight.

*****

On The Trump Indictments Are an Indictment of America (this comment rejected by The New York Times; the story and its thread may be pay-walled)

Given the evidence a substantial number of Trump supporters are also admirers of Hitler -- himself a notorious liar -- it seems obvious they regard lying as a vital weapon in achieving for Trump what Leni Riefenstahl zieg-heil'd as Triumph of the Will.

As for why the Trumpites and the Original Nazis share this particularly venomous brand of moral imbecility, I have no doubt it is because of their common recognition that lying -- the more sensationally the better -- is the only 100-percent-certain method for inflaming bigotry to genocidal intensity.

*****

On The Last Time A Foreign Military Threat Was Placed Near The US Border, The World Almost Ended

One of the little-known details of the Cuban Missile Crisis is the international magnitude of the Soviet preparations for war. As I was returning from Korea in August 1962 via the USNS Sultan, we were shadowed by a Soviet submarine from the moment we left Pearl Harbor – I don't recall the date -- until we entered San Francisco Bay early in the morning on 4 September 1962. Initially we saw only the Soviet sub’s periscope, but as we drew closer to the U.S., it would surface to charge its batteries and run along our port side maybe 1000 yards distant. Eventually we were waving to one another, the sub's crew on deck for a breath of fresh air and those of us going home aboard the Sultan behaving as if we were on a sea cruise. Years later, when the entire timeline of the crisis was declassified – when it became clear the Soviets were installing the missiles in August -- I realized why that sub was there. Had the proverbial balloon gone up, they'd have torpedoed us -- somewhat more than 4,000 trained and service-seasoned officers and enlisted personnel aboard an unarmed (and therefore utterly defenseless) WWII troop transport -- which would no doubt have killed us all and given them a pivotal (and utterly demoralizing) naval victory.

Timmy Taes: Given the classified Military Occupational Specialties of many aboard the Sultan, had she surrendered, the United States would have no doubt blown us out of the water, blamed the Soviets and turned the incident into a propaganda coup. In those days, it wasn't just infantry and artillery traveled by troop transport. It was every enlisted MOS and officers from captain down (though the commissioned officers and warrant officers were of course spared the tides of vomit that defined the troop bays). However it obtained, it would have been a substantial victory for the Soviets, because in 1962, all our senior NCOs were WWII and/or Korean War combat veterans, and even amongst troops who have never been tested by live fire, there is a vast difference in combat-readiness between raw recruits and those of us who have already completed most if not all of our active service (two years for draftees and; three years for Regular Army enlistees, as I was; I don't remember the active-duty requirements for warrant officers or Reserve Officers Training Corps [ROTC] and Officer Candidate School [OCS] graduates with reserve commissions, but I think it was three years). Plus in '62, those of us on the Sultan homebound from Korea, nominally a 13-month tour of duty, had been extended there in place at least three months (in some instances, depending on MOS, as much as twice that) due to the Berlin Crisis. So none of us were FNGs, i.e., greeenies. In other words, the loss of those aboard the Sultan would have been comparable in impact to the losses of seasoned personnel at Pearl on 7 December 1941.

*****

On Why America Deserves Donald Trump

Firstly, apropos Mr. Fancher's love-the-enemy-to-(our)-death nonsense, World War II proved decisively the only real antidote to nazism -- and the Trumpites are most assuredly nazis even if they are too cunning (or too ignorant) to lay claim to the name  -- is the Red Army antidote. Secondly, that's precisely why Adameran's quotation from Thomas Greene is last-word, terminal-election, apocalyptically  accurate: "Trump will not be defeated by educating voters...Workers now sense that economic justice...is permanently out of reach."  Apropos which, note that when workers in the Weimar Republic reached the same conclusion, they turned to Hitler and the Original (N.S.D.A.P.) Nazis.  Thirdly, in response to jdt7385, I voted Green in 2016, when I realized the "choice" between Hillary and Trump was a choice between World War III (triggered by the former's Goldwater-Girl apocalyptic hatred of Russia) or a new Holocaust (triggered by the latter's ecogenocidal hatred of everything female [our Mother Earth included], all Jews, all people of bolor and all sexual minorities. Now of course it is obvious the Greens, like the DSA, have been co-opted by the "Democratic" (sic) Party, which in post-JFK truth is -- and forever shall remain -- naught but the Fifth Column of the "Republican" (sic) Christonazi/Neoconfederate Party.  Because I suspect jdt7385 and I both recognize the importance of voting to preserve the franchise, I urge jdt to find a suitable alternative other than Trump, even if it is but to write in "None of the Above" merely to -- as I said --  sustain the franchise; I say that because for a person of conscience to vote for Trump will surely inflict the lifelong guilt that plagues many Germans who joined the NSDAP only because they felt they had no other alternative -- a guilt I know from German-born friends many of their children bear as well.   

LB/1-5 September 2023

-30-


Doorways: Nine Takes on How 'They' Killed the Back-to-the-Land Movement (a Memoire)

(That estimated reading time is for the full 12,689 words; the longest of these nine pieces, Part VIII,  is 2,138 words; the shortest, Part I, is 231 words. The entire text is sectionalized to be read like a book, a part or two at a time.  )

Abandoned commune 2a - Copy

The second of two ruined A-frame dwellings at the wildly overgrown site of a wrecked and long-abandoned Back-to-the-Land commune I discovered while grouse hunting with my dog LeeRoy during a fall afternoon in 1992. The violence done to the communal structures before their abandonment and the extent to which they had already been reclaimed by nature suggest they were destroyed during the Vigilante War two decades earlier. Note the yellow Top can, inverted, as if in a final metaphor of the violence that sent so many of the rural Counterculture's unarmed pacifists fleeing back to the cities they had sought to escape. (Top was the era's universal choice for the most inexpensive tobacco and best dual-purpose rolling papers.) The density of the surrounding underbrush, nearly impenetrable even after it was stripped of foliage by frost, suggested no other human had visited the place since it was vacated.  Scroll to Part IX for more pictures of the ruins and the vaguely eerie story of how LeeRoy seemed to lead me to them.  (Photograph by Loren Bliss copyright 2023.)  

*****

Prelude: a Premature Expostulation

(I wrote the following in 2010 and have since revised it only with minor editing for clarity.)

SORRY I DROPPED out of sight: first there was the numbing despair of recognizing Obama truly is Barack the Betrayer, then there was an unforeseen frenzy including two all-nighters to meet a 24 May deadline, finally the four-day recovery mandated by old age.

The deadline problem was my fault, a classic example of the folly of assumption: Fairhaven College – of which I'm involuntarily a 1976 alumnus (long story for another time) – requested five submissions for a special edition of its lit mag to celebrate the school's 40th anniversary.

Without much thought I planned to send five photographs – the social documentary stuff I know I do well enough for inclusion in such a self-consciously artistic medium. Nobody of influence in this ever-more submissively fascist nation – least of all the academic bourgeoisie – gives a damn about the poor anymore, but if nothing else such work goads the local Ansel Adams zealots to heights of fury by its fuck-you retort to their morally imbecilic exclusion of the human condition from their Zone System cult of usable light.

But then when I queried the lit mag's editor for submission guidelines (jpeg vs. tif, pixel count etc.), I was told to my horror the magazine no longer has the capabilities to print photography at all – that it was text or nothing. 

This created  two immediate sets of problems: technical and psychological.

Though I have no doubts about my abilities as a visual artist – I was a painter before I was a photographer and have a strong (albeit pre-computer) design and graphics background too, and though my photographic ability was repeatedly confirmed by gallery shows and publication credits – I have always felt myself something of an impostor as a writer.  Never mind three-quarters of my lifetime income is from writing and editing: photography is my passion -- "choreography of light sculpted in alchemical silver" – while writing is never more than an intellectual exercise, personally compelling, yes, often even an obsession, but always tainted at its core by the fact I'm dyslexic. Just as photography for me is often a wild and Zenlike sled-ride on the Tao, at its very best a face-to-face encounter with the Muse, writing -- because of its implicit battle against dyslexia -- is in large measure a war against myself. 

As a result the whole “lit mag” concept with its oppressive hierarchy of values – “fine” art versus “commercial” art; “literary excellence” versus “mere journalism” – became again as hugely intimidating as it had been in my long-ago undergraduate years.

Plus atop this was as miserable a technological chore as I have ever experienced: the struggle to transform hyperlinks into footnotes without locking the result into formats unsuitable for transmission as manuscript: the necessary trial-and-error (which never really yielded the results I wanted) combining with other computer problems to burn up at least 60 of the approximately 80 hours eaten by this project.

The resultant rage of frustration lingers yet as elevated blood pressure, and once again I am reminded why the ruling class was so cottonmouth-quick to impose computers on journalism: computers reduced the intricate crafts of typographers, lithographers and stereotypers to the mind-numbing repetitiveness of minimum-wage clerical tasks, flung thousands of workers into permanent joblessness and afflicted us – editors, reporters and photographers – with oppressive doses of the insurance-office tedium we'd gone into journalism to avoid.

This was probably the greatest and most oppressive forcible workload increase in U.S. employment history – you either accepted it or got fired – and it was imposed without a penny's raise in editorial pay: its result not just the reduction of journalism to its present-day meaninglessness but a genuinely obscene boost in profits to the pigs who own the papers.

Here of course is the reason I so utterly despise computers and the clerical duties they inflict on writers – I am not a stenographer or clerk-typist nor do I have even a trace of the mandatory occupational submissiveness – and the fact I have to spend at least two hours wrestling with word-processing minutiae for every one hour of genuinely productive work never ceases to infuriate me. Nor is this 2:1 ratio even slightly exaggerated: I typically spend four to six hours writing my blog essays, then twice that time fighting the technology to post via my server: no doubt my neighbors have radically improved their vocabularies of vulgarity merely by listening to me bellow at my computer monitor.

So went most of last week, the entire weekend and all of this week through Tuesday morning.

But now I'm finally finished: four excerpts from Outside Agitator's Notebook revised into the lit-mag format plus something entitled “Doorways,” a condensation of experiences from several places into a text that evolved from a long piece of journalism, the result exhibited here if only to prove that even at age 70 one can encounter new dimensions of the creative process – or perhaps of new dementia to display one's utter foolishness – a possibility I cannot ever dismiss because I know as surely as nightfall that once we get into the lit-realm I am as hopelessly lost as London's doomed protagonist in “To Build a Fire.”

*****

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My first recognition of the Back-to-the-Land Movement and its role in the resurrection of the Goddess was of course visual rather than textual. I made this sandwich in 1968 or 1969, I suspect the latter, though I no longer remember which; it was to have been one of the key illustrations in "Dancer" and escaped the fire only because it was with me in my portfolio in Manhattan. (Photo by Loren Bliss ©1969, 2923)

*****

I. A Door Slammed in My Face

THE BEGINNING OF  “Doorways” in its submitted lit-mag variant is essential for context, and so I have included it here. But it and its companion submissions were never so much as acknowledged by Fairhaven College; they were neither published nor returned, and thus were rejected and apparently destroyed without notice or explanation.

Abandoned farms always seem like cries of sadness arising from the chaos of their overgrown landscapes, most no doubt harboring ghosts and nearly all inviting photographic exploration, but none I ever visited were more haunted by palpable despair than the remnants of rural communes that had been emptied in such terror the communards had forsaken all their possessions – undeniable testimony to the relentless malevolence of the Christian vigilantes who played such a huge but plausibly deniable and therefore subsequently concealed part in the war against the Counterculture.

Most of those monuments to ruling class savagery are gone now, mercifully reclaimed by nature or buried as if in shame beneath sprawling development, but for maybe a decade after the suppression of the Back to the Land Movement, which was mostly dead by 1973 (though a few die-hard communes would linger into the very early '80s), I'd occasionally find such places in the back country and whenever possible I'd not only photograph them but speak my impressions into a tape recorder as I worked.

*****

II. Breaking It Down

(Note: I slightly revised everything beyond this point in 2012, and now in 2023 I have expanded it well beyond its original pre-lit-mag form.)

AS THE NOW-forever-lost “Glimpses of a Pale Dancer” took on its final form c. 1978-1982, the Back-to-the-Land material I had thus far collected became the core of its last chapter. Its sources included my research notes, photographs and tape-recorded  impressions of the histories of five abandoned rural communes in Western Washington and similar material about urban or suburban communes in locales as far removed from one another as Seattle and Madison, N.J. It was supplemented by notes on others' descriptions of at least a half-dozen more such endeavors including the story of how a  commune in the Cascade Mountain back-country preserved itself against repeated vigilante attacks in a night-long firefight that ended with the vigilantes captured and left in the custody of  local law enforcement, an incident that initially seemed destined to become countercultural legend but was instead quickly suppressed by pacifists -- a telling example of how despite its claims of humanitarian intent, pacifism most often serves the oppressors by minimizing or eliminating reports of successful resistance to oppression. Particularly notable in this context is the fact there is now good reason to suspect the vigilantes who terrorized the rural Counterculture during the late 1960s and early-to-mid 1970s were among the paramilitary forces of Operation CHAOS (capitalization as in original).

I cannot over-stress  that because “Dancer” with all its 24 years of notes and tapes and nearly all its photography was destroyed, the pre-1983  material in this work is of necessity reconstructed almost entirely from memory, with small portions of it confirmed by  papers that had accompanied me back to Manhattan and thus escaped the flames.  Its credibility has already been challenged in response to the condensations for lit-mag brevity and the disguises of locales  to protect the privacy of the present-day property owners that characterized its initial public presentation via this blog. Nevertheless each of these modifications -- disguising geography and shortening lengthy recitations of detail by condensation -- are forms of what might be termed truthful fictionalization, and when their use is announced to readers in advance, as indeed they were, they are therefore  legitimate journalistic techniques.

The protective rationale for disguise is so obvious it need not be repeated;  the rationale for condensation is usually brevity in the reporting of an event or series of events, and its journalistic success -- that is, its veracity -- is determined by how accurately it mirrors whatever actually obtained. In this regard, I cannot fault the lit-mag form in which I originally published this work via Outside Agitator's Notebook, as Dispatches was titled in 2010. I merely combined my experiences at several places and presented them as if they occurred in a single locale, itself a composite of their original venues. Essentially the same technique is often used without controversy by sportswriters in seasonal wrap-ups, as I know from my own sports-writing years, 1956-1959 and 1962-1964.

I can and do, however, severely fault myself for my failure to recognize the potential historical and perhaps biographical value of the Back-to-the-Land Movement material in its un-condensed form. For that I am most regretful. Thus, to make the amends demanded by any such act of contrition, the following restores as many of the omitted or disguised details as is possible given that its original sources no longer exist.

The result, even with my post-1983 discoveries included, is an admittedly far-from-complete chronology of a very small part of  the history of the  Back-to-the-Land Movement and the Counterculture in general. It is centered on events known to its local veterans as "the Vigilante War,"   a conflict since banished from public recollection primarily by two groups of ideologically motivated censors: the first group includes the disciples  of patriarchy, capitalism and Christian theocracy who also suppress the Counterculture's  often unwitting resurrection of the Great Goddess, its spontaneous embrace of Gaian paganism and its role as the first wave in a burgeoning global revolution against patriarchy and all its ecogenocidal offspring; the second group is made up of the pacifists and forcible civilian-disarmament fanatics  outraged by the lesson implicit in the local triumphs of armed Back-to-the-Land communards against the Ku-Klux-Klan-minded bands of  vigilantes.  That lesson -- the fact armed self-defense is sometimes our only effective antidote to right-wing terrorism --  is why the pacifists likewise scheme to eradicate historical memories of the Battle of Blair Mountain and the Deacons for Defense. Fortunately these histories are now documented by publicly available text and film; Blair Mountain is also defiantly immortalized in song so poignantly powerful its first hearing often evokes tears.

I began documenting the vigilante terrorism in Western Washington with still-photography and text, mostly the latter,  after the agricultural commune on which I was a long-term guest-participant permanently fended off a gang of vigilantes by armed resistance in the summer of 1970, a series of events in which I played a pivotal role, an intimidating but non-injurious display of rifle marksmanship.  Before year's end, I would come to recognize the anti-commune effort was genuinely nation-wide, targeting not just the Back-to-the-Land communes that were taking shape throughout the rural U.S., but also -- and with equal vindictiveness --  attacking their ideologically kindred non-agricultural urban and surburban counterparts. In retrospect, what we were witnessing was exemplary capitalist viciousness against any and all forms of collectivism --  against any effort by the working class, 99.9 Percent of our species' population, to socioeconomically achieve effective solidarity -- even on the most limited local basis. Years later, long after the commune on which I was a guest had fallen victim to internal political conflicts,  a man who had been a leading member of its ownership collective would publicly thank me for my vigilante-discouraging skill.

The significance of this work is thus that the fate of a single Countercultural commune -- whether a Back-to-the Land endeavor, a suburban housing enterprise or an urban collective of writers, visual artists and musicians  -- is quite literally a microcosm of the fate of our entire species.     

I should note too this is by no means my first attempt to compensate  as best I can for the fire's destruction of the relevant material.  I took it up first in 1985 while I was still in Manhattan, writing about the Vigilante War in a long poem the first line of which -- "It was that doorway, I guess" -- obviously shaped the present text. Much to my surprise, the poem, itself entitled "Doorways,"  was effusively praised by my Agence France-Presse friend Susan May Tell;  nevertheless I eventually abandoned it (and all attempts at poetry) as a foolhardy effort to tread in a realm I know now I am neither intellectually nor spiritually fit to occupy save via the alchemy of silver emulsion.  Later that same year I attempted it in prose, but abandoned that too in dyslexic despair, a reaction no doubt intensified by looming but then still unacknowledged post-fire depression. Though even at the depression's most miserable depth, my compulsion to write about the Vigilante War, however sporadic, retained its relentlessness. It was resurrected yet again by my apparently accidental yet pivotal  finding of the ruins of  another former commune, a place  not so isolated it escaped the vigilantes but back-country remote-enough I did not happen on its remnants until I was hunting grouse there in 1990. 

This (dare-I-say-it) Muse-driven process  -- my 1990 discovery and my equally unsought, unanticipated  discovery of another such out-of-the-way place during a 1992 grouse hunt -- often seems to have been so eerily guided, it still sometimes gives me a chill. In 1992 it led me to write a  free-form riff to accompany a quartet of pocket-camera images including the photograph above (Kodak Gold 400 exposed in the Olympus RC that served me so long so well), and it thus became the embryo of a belated eulogy for the Back-to-the-Land Movement. It is also testimony to the vigilantes' methodically pitiless  destruction of the  pacifist, foolishly unarmed, anti-gun and thus utterly defenseless faction of the Counterculture's self-proclaimed eco-agrarian revolutionaries. That in turn was the basis of the lit-mag composite I wrote in 2010, the rejection of which merely confirms the extent to which the once-educationally revolutionary impulses of my alma mater have since been utterly suppressed by the forces of national nazification. I therefore hope what follows will fulfill the imperative so often implicit in my discoveries. 

*****

III.  A House Filled with Pain 

WERE I TO CHOOSE the one detail that convinced me to explore and photograph the abandoned farmhouse and its tragedy-haunted environs, I would have to say it was the structure's doorway – its gaping darkness a rectilinear equivalent of Edvard Munch's Scream.

For years I felt drawn to the old place – I drove past it whenever I went north or south on the two-lane blacktop of the state highway, but it was a good 75 yards up a steep slope away from the road, and for most of the decade I resisted its summons. Now though, southbound in mid-July of  1978,  I saw how little time it had left: its cedar-shake roof half blown away by last January's blizzard and further deconstructed by April's storms, too many of its rafters already bare, some obviously broken, its walls striving ever more desperately to remain upright, their glass-less windows like eyes emptied by disaster – a perfect tableau of terminal urgency, as if before yielding to entropy the late Victorian structure demanded one last witness to its endurance.

I saw too that since I had driven past it two years before -- that is, since the last time Interstate 5 traffic was so unnervingly congested I chose to journey to or from Bellingham via the relative tranquility of back roads --  someone had built a one-room cedar-shake cabin on the far side of the yellow dirt road that seemed to promise access to both structures, its passage maybe 35 yards to the immediate north of the long-abandoned dwelling. Ascertaining the emptiness of the highway behind me, I braked, reversed and turned my red Honda Civic off the blacktop onto a roughly eroded, obviously mostly jeep-traveled two-rut climb into the wooded hills beyond. I downshifted to first gear for the ascent; noted by the cabin's  open-door condition it too had been abandoned; turned left into the adjacent and rapidly fading trace of the house's driveway, drove no more than five yards before my passage was  blocked by an outburst of blackberry brambles and exclamations of brash young alder; parked; dismounted; performed a just-in-case confirmation of the loaded-chamber condition of the .45-caliber M1911 Colt Government Model I legally carried concealed in a belt holster beneath my forest-green bush jacket; shrugged into a worn and faded World-War-II-surplus musette bag containing camera and tape recorder; cautiously and with upraised arms navigated another 25 or 30 yards through an overgrown plot that had obviously once been a substantial garden but was now a chest-high jungle of stinging nettle, thistles, the emphatic thorns of still more blackberries and of some aggressively ankle-grabbing species of vine I had not previously encountered.

Soon standing in the weedy clearing that contained the ruin of the house itself, I saw now that its entire front porch  had collapsed, that the rest of its structure was in far worse condition than I had seen from the highway. Long without paint, much of its exposed wood had weathered bone gray. Its  gaping, hollowed-out combination of  door and windows  suddenly reminded me of bleached skulls at backwoods crime scenes and left me wondering what dreadful memories it might contain. Reflecting on the skull image and the botanical obstructions provided by the thorns and nettles, I briefly wondered if this was the sort of place that preferred to retain its secrets undisclosed and was thus better left unexplored.

But I am journalist enough -- and agnostic enough -- to set aside such apprehensions, as indeed I did.  Wary of the fallen porch's  many protrusions of tetanus-rusty nails, I carefully stepped up over its rubble and through the doorway onto the erratically slumping remnants of the floor within. There I paused, fearing the planking might collapse even beneath the relative slenderness that was mine at age 38. To my left, most of the flooring in what had obviously been the living room was already gone, rotted, fallen into the crawl-space below; from between its ominously sagging joists the fungus-blackened corpse of a sofa protruded diagonally like a horror-movie creature climbing out of a grave,  its leather upholstery reduced to shreds of putrescence. To my right, the floor seemed intact, sturdy enough to support a huge rain-sodden mound of litter so diverse it suggested the malicious dumping of all the household's possessions in a single heap, perhaps as the prelude to  a somehow-thwarted plan for arson. The pile was waist-high; it filled nearly half of what had obviously been the dining room and seemed to beg for investigation. 

Thus curiosity once again overcame reluctance; I tested the surviving floor-boards by pressing them with my feet, carefully stepped further inside and began to mentally catalogue what I saw: a shattered Buddha, a cast-off sandal, a faded black silken slip with an East Coast label, other garments that suggested the place had housed at least two women and two men, a sodden, moldering pile of books obviously hurled from adjacent shelves – The Whole Earth Catalog shredded dead center by a close-range shotgun blast, Kahlil Gibran ripped apart at the spine –   contents that quickly identified the place as the former commune I had always assumed it to have been. Its walls were violently axe-marked, the windows likewise, their panes reduced to tooth-like shards in broken frames, the magnitude of rage that had fueled its destruction undeniable. The kitchen had been similarly trashed, its floor intact but its plumbing sledge-hammered into uselessness. I had never seen a dwelling that had been so hatefully wrecked, its devastation all the more grotesque in the happy-face afternoon sunlight shining through the remnants of its roof, a fury yet so residually frightful I felt a momentary surge of relief I was armed and a lingering sense of gratitude I could find no evidence there had been children amongst the victims of such undeniable terrorism.

For most of the next two hours I explored the ruined house and grounds; at some point  I fetched my 35mm-Summicron-lensed M2 Leica from my shoulder bag and began recording the heart-wrenching evidence on Tri-X I would push to 800 ASA; I shot one 36-exposure roll of film, what in those days we called "a heavy take." And heavy it was, in every sense of the word; though I had a half-dozen more rolls of film in my canvas shoulder-bag, one was not just all I needed to document what had happened here; it was also all I could emotionally bear to shoot.

Then I was done; I departed through the back doorway that led outside from the kitchen, climbed  further up the forested hillside to bypass the obstructive botany of the former garden and descended to cross the road and explore the tiny cabin. It was barely big enough to serve as a one-person bedroom. Its cedar-shake walls were yet new enough to yield a faint trace of their original perfume, but its contents -- a scattered stack of newspapers -- told me nothing about its builder or its occupant. The newspapers' dates indicated the place had not been occupied since mid-1977. I wondered if perhaps one of the ousted communards had sought to reclaim the land.

Back in my automobile I  groped my cassette recorder from a separate pocket I had sewed inside the musette bag's sturdy government-issue canvas, ascertained the recorder's  electronic  readiness, switched it on, placed it on the Honda's passenger seat  and -- as I resumed my drive south toward a blessedly lake-fronted dwelling near Seattle I would soon exit in the sad aftermath of a relationship destroyed not by incompatibility or spite but by the clash between my own scoop-the-world reportorial ferocity and my lover's equally fierce commitment to the feminist notion only women should be allowed to expose the misogynistic atrocities of Christian theocrats -- I began speaking unabashedly into its auxiliary microphone,  preserving without shame or any other self-censorship  my impressions of what I had documented on film and what I felt the ruin and the contents of its rubble-heap were telling me, a process that twice prompted floods of tears so dangerously blinding they forced me off the road to wait for my eyes to clear.

That night in my temporary dwelling I carefully stashed the tape in the filing cabinet that contained two drawers of research and the first but unintentionally final draft of a proposed Fairhaven College senior thesis I had written two years earlier -- a work ostensibly rejected in retaliation for my allegedly ignorant assertion the era's rock-festivals and be-ins should be viewed as rudimentary rituals -- but more likely because I had not realized the feminist members of my concentration committee felt I was trespassing in a realm that should be reserved for women. My ex-lover felt the same way about my latest scoop -- an investigative report that had ended a local Christian hospital's decades of bigoted, women-get-what-they-deserve  misogyny self-righteously inflicted as zero-tolerance refusal to treat rape victims in its emergency room. Even if a victim were dying of injuries, the hospital's Christian fanaticism demanded she (or he) be sent someplace else -- and the nearest elsewhere was a potentially fatal 20 miles away. Thanks to excellent sources in the police  and ambulance services, I had exposed the hospital's theocratic malevolence via a story banner-headlined across the top of Page One; within a day, the resultant public outrage forced the hospital to reverse its policy and secure rape-treatment training for its emergency-room doctors and nurses, bringing to a triumphant conclusion a hitherto-hopeless battle a feminist group led by my former lover had been fighting for at least five years. But for her and her fellow gender-warriors, the fact I was male rather than female turned victory to defeat; the astounding vindictiveness of their anger included the retaliatory termination of our relationship. Such was my eye-opening encounter with the identity politics by which our capitalist masters ensure the perpetual disunity of the 99.9 Percent -- and which, given the psycho-anthropological accuracy of my definitions of Woodstock and its related events as ritual, in all probability revealed the real reason my thesis was rejected. All of this -- facts, hypotheses, impressions, emotions -- would eventually coalesce into the final text of "Dancer."

*****

IV. Sorting the Debris

THE SOCIOECONOMIC RESEARCH  that became part of the contextual footings  of "Dancer" had already taught me how many of our nation's abandoned farms and rural dwellings had been confiscated by local governments for accumulated unpaid taxes dating back to the Crash of 1929 or even to the fatalities of the First World War;  given the stable, relatively inflation-free dollars that existed before Nixon destroyed U.S. currency by severing it from the guaranteed worth of its gold standard and thus reducing it to the implicitly inflationary fiat-money by which we of the 99.9 Percent have since been socioeconomically subjugated, these properties could often be bought for mere down-payments on the tax debt, which made them attractively easy purchases for  money-pooling collectives of otherwise-relatively impoverished young adults. Abandoned buildings in many cities and towns, including the gold-rush-era structures that became countercultural enterprises and a Back-to-the-Land community center in Bellingham's Fairhaven District,  were similarly obtained.       

On the formerly abandoned farms so purchased, the communards often built A-frame cabins to live in while they resurrected the land's long-fallow agricultural capabilities and restored abandonment-damaged but traditionally built and therefore structurally sound houses into their communal halls, often transforming them into  compellingly bright and comfortingly airy spaces for meeting space, kitchens, dining rooms, libraries and offices -- each project an assertion of their healthiest dreams and aspirations.  From the litter I found in the hate-savaged interior of the state-highway place,  I cannot doubt  this was the purpose of those who were ousted from it. But the vigilantes reduced it all to desolation, and so it had remained, every year slumping further into midden.

The relics in the isolated ruin I discovered while searching Cascade Mountain foothills for archeological anomalies in 1977 likewise revealed a former commune the violent denouement of which was indicated by the bones that shone palely in the obviously polluted waters of its antique well; killing communards' ubiquitous goats and chickens, then weaponizing the corpses to poison their wells was a favorite vigilante tactic

Maybe in 1975 -- I am no longer certain of the year, and the fire-loss makes it impossible to confirm -- I drove to a place colloquially known as "Hippie Hydro," where enterprising communards had dammed a creek and installed a water-powered dynamo to generate their own electricity, creating a notably troutly pond some eight or ten feet deep. A few friends and I had standing permission to (easily) catch that era's six-fish limit from the pond and afterwards feast accordingly, just as I intended doing on this particular day. But, as I would soon discover to my astonishment and dismay, the pond had vanished; now as if in lamentation the creek gurgled somberly between the steeply barren banks of its former depths,  and the adjacent house, though intact, was abandoned. The dam, I soon learned, had been dynamited by vigilantes, and its communal foursome had retreated back east to the more familiar oppressions they had sought to flee.

Urban communes and many related countercultural enterprises often suffered similar fates, inflicted not by vigilantes per se, but by vigilante-minded cops or so-called "developers" who often inexplicably acquired impossibly huge sums of money sufficient to enable their seizure of tax-indebted properties by paying the full balances owed and thus nullifying the time-payment agreements Counterculture folks had negotiated with the taxation authorities. This is how the countercultural enterprises of Bellingham's Fairhaven District were destroyed; a Bellingham police officer memorably informed me in 1972 much of this money came from "secret" sources. 

Given the combination of my Marxian politics, my professional background and my recognition of the revolutionary implications of the resurrection of the Great Goddess implicit in countercultural aesthetics, I was never  surprised by the ubiquity of anti-Counterculture  atrocities. In 1969, near the end of my two-year tenure as news editor of the Morristown, N.J.,  Daily Record, I supervised the coverage of the irreparable destruction inflicted by local police to make a Victorian-era mansion occupied by an emphatically drug-free housing collective permanently uninhabitable. During my first years as the founding photographer of The Seattle Sun, 1974 and 1975, star reporter Bruce Olson and I twice visited abandoned single-family Victorian-era houses that had housed urban communes shut down by mass arrests and vandalized by police to ruins fit only for demolition. Bruce and I also wondered if the perpetrators of such destruction had been bribed to do so by developers who wanted the properties as sites for more profitable housing, though neither of us ever unearthed any evidence of such scheming.   

Less obvious forces also plagued the communards. The Oyster Creek Commune south of Bellingham thrived on its commercial oyster-harvest until 1981 but was bankrupted by an unprecedented outbreak of red tide, an environmental affliction to which the Sailish Sea had hitherto been immune and which some folks thus suspected may have been environmental warfare. Other communes, including the one in which I was a guest-participant, were rent asunder by early manifestations of the carefully conditioned, self-obsessed egotism I would in 1972 label "terminal communitis" -- typically the irreparable divisions fostered by the bottomless contempt with which the class-traitors who cling to petite-bourgeois moral imbecility view those of us -- often Marxians -- who properly acknowledge membership in the 99.9 Percent is also membership in the working class. In its present-day, methodically intensified identity-politics form, I would watch the same conflict repeatedly undermine the potential solidarity of the Occupy Movement.  But just as there is no doubting the magnitude of the brute-force and secret-police campaigns the ruling class unleashed against Occupy, neither is there any doubt the vigilantism that destroyed so many avowedly pacifist  Back-to-the-Land communes was part of a much broader national assault against the entire Counterculture. See again the above link (in Section II) to Mae Brussell's disclosures about the aesthetic and spiritual warfare  implicit in Operation CHAOS; note also the more conventionally focused COINTELPRO (caps as in original). And for a potential shocker, contemplate in the context of Richard Belzer's disclosures in Hit List the number of feminist activists who have been slain by cancer.     

Since we are now briefly venturing into realms typically tabooed as outré, I should mention the Vigilante War was not without its psychic after-effects. In 1980, still a member of the working press,  I chanced to spend maybe 18 hours at a former commune as the   guest of a Tacoma woman, a social-worker friend with whom I shared a 1940 birth-year and an abiding interest in sociology. She had inherited the house, land and attendant outbuildings; they were accessed by a short drive off a graded dirt road just outside the western border of a Washington national forest. The dwelling was a well-maintained 1930s-vintage cottage beside a troutly creek and shaded by a pair of cottonwoods,  its good condition all the more surprising given how its communal occupants had been  terrorized into permanent departure by local vigilantes on a rainy June night seven years beforehand. My hostess's benefactor was the commune's founder, a close relative -- let's call him Huber -- whom she said had died under mysterious circumstances soon after he announced his intention to press charges against the vigilantes; the woman believed he'd been murdered. She said she had never been a member of the collective but was their guest "almost every weekend" and now as a kind of memorial to their efforts hoped to make the  house her vacation refuge. But she was well aware of the vindictive sadism of the white Christian fundamentalists who were the majority of the area's sparse population, and she wanted to be careful not to do anything that would attract more hostility. That's why, she said, she'd never invite more than one or two friends to accompany her to the place.  In fact I was the first man she'd ever brought there.

I thought her vacation-refuge plan a good idea, not the least because I enjoyed her company and relished the notion of fishing the creek. During our initial hours in the house, the warm glow of its fireplace and the comforts of its furnishings seemed to welcome us and encourage our already established intimacy, but as night came on,  we were each increasingly troubled by an ever-more-intensely eerie ominousness, its consequence one of the most fretfully sleepless nights I've ever experienced, after which she admitted she  never dared occupy the place alone because she believed it haunted by Huber's less-than-friendly ghost. But she'd hoped it was just her "over-active" imagination; she'd invited me, she said, not only because of our mutual fondness, but because she knew my agnosticism included sufficient open-mindedness and sensitivity to things unseen I'd let her know if anything was actually psychically amiss. Needless to say, I  warned her accordingly, admitting I'd glimpsed the ghostly figure of a child -- a boy maybe age six or seven -- pass through the kitchen when I'd gotten out of our bed to get us a glass of water.

Stunned and tearful, she told me something I could not have known; another of the communards, a divorced man,  had a seven-year-old son who'd spent most of July here the year before the vigilantes came. The boy "dearly loved the place," she said; "loved us all; we loved him too." But a couple of years later, she'd heard the boy had died.  "I never knew how," she said, explaining his father had moved "someplace back east" and she'd never met the boy's mother, who "lived in one of the big mid-western cities, Minneapolis or maybe Chicago."  

"So it's not just haunted by Huber," she concluded. "There's more than one ghost here. That's really what I was afraid of..."          

The next morning, before we left to return to Tacoma, the woman showed me the former commune's garden-space; a fenced square maybe 50 feet per side. She said its productivity had been "mind-blowing," its companion-planted beans, corn, pumpkins and squash had yielded three times the anticipated harvest; its tomatoes had remained free of the late blight that so plagues Pacific Northwest gardens; its beets and carrots had resisted both insects and moles. "Tastiest vegetables I ever ate," she said. But now every inch of it had been overwhelmed by nightshade beneath which, half hidden by its foliage,  were scattered chunks of jagged-edged white stone. I asked; the woman said the garden's centerpiece had been a concrete pedestal  topped by a marble statue of Venus, placed there "because, well...it just felt right." She hesitated, tossed her shoulder-length blonde hair, raised her sky-blue eyes to mine; "actually, it felt protective.  Powerfully protective. That's why we danced around it naked to celebrate the harvest" -- yet another commonplace example of the Counterculture's typically spontaneous  role in the often-unwitting resurrection of the Goddess and her ancient rituals. But the vigilantes -- "so very glad I was at a conference in California when they attacked," she said -- had sledge-hammered the statue to rubble. For a moment the anguish conveyed by the Venus-fragments seemed almost audible, stifled whimpers, pleas for help silenced by the red-berried toxins of poisonous green vines. I thought again of the violent hatred evident in the destruction of the state-highway abode;  such was the fury of patriarchal vengeance, agitated to maximum viciousness by a ruling class educated well enough in its private universities to be terrified by the revolutionary potential of the Goddess's return.  Quoth a then-favorite Pacific Northwest bumper-sticker: Goddess Is Coming and She Is Pissed.

*****

V. Once More Locked Out

BY 1987, I WAS essentially hiding in the rural Pacific Northwest; the previous autumn, post-fire depression had encroached to the point it was impossible for me to continue my work in Manhattan as the editor-in-chief of Art Direction, a top-quality magazine that had begun its multi-decade life as advertising's primary international trade-journal, dedicated to the learned exploration of the aesthetics and techniques of visual communication. Despite its history of excellence, it was in danger of  drowning in the ever-expanding extermination of print media that is one of the many apocalyptic  consequences of the intentionally fatal undertow of capitalism-cum-nazism's  methodically imposed ignorance and electronic-media-inflamed self-obsession and moral imbecility. The magazine's owner and publisher had together paid me the supreme compliment of hiring me to attempt its resuscitation, and I had at least been able to re-energize it enough to stop its circulation loss. Meanwhile the metastasizing intellectual and emotional malignancy of the wounds inflicted by the fire -- no doubt precisely as those who commanded the arson intended -- were making it increasingly difficult for me to sustain anything approaching the responsive mindfulness that had originally so impressed both the magazine's principals. Rather than fire me, in October of 1986 they had mercifully abolished my position. Though I did not know it at the time, it would be the finale of my 30-year working-press career. The magazine itself would die in 1993.

Now, surviving on New York State's uniquely non-retributive unemployment compensation, I was living in subsistence-gardening poverty as I sought to somehow patch my faculties back together enough to either turn my successful 1982-83 tenure as engineer/deckhand aboard a 96-foot seiner into another fishing-boat job or -- as I would unsuccessfully attempt two years later -- gain acceptance to a vocational-rehabilitation program I had learned was desperately seeking applicants to train as sonar operators to do salmon-counts and off-season bottom-studies for the state fisheries patrol; apparently most potential applicants were repelled by the job's requirement of two or three weeks per month at sea, a condition by which I would not have been the least bit troubled. 

Meanwhile the local economy remained so traumatized by Ronnie-the-Nazi's shock-doctrine Reagonomics, the former annual turnover in the fishing fleet had become nonexistent. And the venomously anti-male, anti-military-veteran bigotry of a feminist-dominated welfare bureaucracy was -- as a state superior court judge would reveal via The Seattle Post-Intelligencer in 1993 -- methodically excluding substantial numbers of eligible men from many of the government-managed rehab opportunities.

*****

VI. Summoned Through Another Doorway

Companions -LeeRoy and I  Gillies Road 1988 self-portrait LeeRoy and I c. 1988; born on the vernal equinox of 1987, in this picture he's a year-and-a-half old. A selfie made with the Olympus RC on a tripod. (Photo by Loren Bliss © 2023) 

ON THE 1990 AFTERNOON of what would become my penultimate discovery in the depressing series of violence-savaged communes I chanced to explore between 1969 and 1992 -- eight such places in all -- I was subsistence-hunting grouse with my beloved dog LeeRoy. It was mid September; LeeRoy was three years and six months old. Raising him from puppyhood, I had quickly discovered him to be an irrepressibly intelligent and perceptive creature with a playful sense of humor and so strong an impulse for voluntary helpfulness, he learned by observation to unload  groceries, laundry and many other such items from my vehicles. He was a half-Rottweiler/half-Golden retriever boarding-kennel accident; in his prime he weighed a muscular 110 pounds. He looked like a Rottie with an intact tail -- I consider tail-docking a form of sadism --  and somehow as if by seeming telepathy he had taught himself to flush birds and rabbits and fetch their carcasses as reliably as any hunting dog I've ever known.  

By then the ruin beside the state highway had vanished, its acreage cleared, graded, re-contoured and seeded with a carefully tended lawn to accommodate an attractively tidy manufactured house. Witnessing its transformation as I had driven past the site on the way back from a trip to Seattle the week previous, it  seemed to me the land itself had become forgetful, that perhaps what had happened there was such an accurate  microcosm of the apocalypse that now afflicts us all,  an event so dreadful, Nature herself had chosen to purge it from memory as quickly as possible, and as she sometimes does -- as she is so obviously doing in tolerating the 6,000-year-old patriarchal revolution and thus fostering capitalism's methodical extermination of our species by its relentless destruction of our habitat -- she enlisted human assistance. 

Even so, the fate of that one commune had come to represent for me -- as it yet does and probably always will -- the methodical destruction of an entire generation's solarium of dreams.   

And with LeeRoy I soon discovered fate would not allow me to abandon the story; my grouse-quest hauled the Vigilante War  back into sharp focus; our search for birds  brought us to a scarcely discernible former clearing surrounded by a stand of mixed Big-Leaf maples and Douglas firs on a hilltop that contained a mostly overgrown rectangle of charred and crumbling masonry and heat-cracked stones  I would later learn were the fading remnants of a Victorian farm-house that had been a communal dwelling when it was torched by vigilantes in 1968 or 1969.

Its communards -- about whom I could learn nothing (as 20-odd years later, my sources could recall only the scantiest details of the commune's fate) --  were thus probably among the Vigilante War's first Western Washington victims.   

The sad remnants of their endeavor were in the middle of a much larger tract of older second-growth mixed deciduous and coniferous forest near the Canadian border. I had driven my yellow 1981 Datsun pickup truck maybe a mile into its woods along one of the region's ubiquitous unpaved logging road and parked where the road ended at an earthen barrier; I had then  followed LeeRoy's eager nose-to-the-ground leadership along what I thought was a game trail northward through the roadside  underbrush and into the potentially grouse-productive forest beyond. Probably 15 minutes from the road, we emerged from the deeply shaded density of old second-growth timber to discover a surprisingly open-sky area of firs and maples  so  widely spaced they appeared to have been formally landscaped;  by their size they were probably at least a century old. Now  I could see what I had assumed to be a deer-and-elk trail was actually  the trace of a road so  long unused it  remained visible only as a slight linear depression through the curiously low-growing underbrush of its surroundings; the only traces of any structure's former presence were the foundation and a small, obviously ancient, grotesquely unkempt orchard, three pear trees and three apple trees  crouched over a  densely thriving patch  of weedy sod on the down-slope beyond the charred masonry and crowded together in a tangled embrace, their horror-show branches begrudgingly displaying a few specimens of prematurely rotten fruit, the area ominously silent and strangely  devoid of the  tracks and scat that normally evidence the irresistible attractiveness of pears and apples to wildlife of all breeds and sizes.

Suddenly the place felt not just forlorn but somehow malevolently so. My mind brought up repugnant images of the commune's demise that took shape much as D-76 would have retrieved them from photographic paper; I have no idea whether these were products of imagination or an actual reading of the site's history, though I have long suspected many of our so-called hauntings are the non-supernatural product of the environment's yet-unexplored ability to somehow record and spontaneously reveal pivotal events -- witness the more blatant examples of so-called psychic phenomena associated with Gettysburg or British highways built over Roman roads -- in any case a process in which individual belief (or non-belief) is seemingly irrelevant. 

Soon the elongation of  shadows as  the mid-September sun sank toward an adjacent ridge intensified the locale's aura of hostility; I briefly wondered if one of the communards had been murdered there, though I could find no evidence -- and believe me I searched for it -- of slayings committed during any of Western Washington's vigilante raids; there were said to be beatings aplenty, yes, and a few rapes, but no killings. Pondering what in the era's lexicon were called "bad vibes," I noted LeeRoy also seemed to feel the sense of menace, and I had learned in my boyhood never to dismiss canine perceptiveness. Now LeeRoy glared at me; reading the urgency in his eyes -- "nothing for us here but danger, boss; let's move on while we still can" -- I let him lead me back to more welcoming surroundings. We returned to the road, crossed it, found another path or game-trail through the woods, no doubt the trace of yet another long-forgotten route for hauling timber, its margins edged by bracken, blown thistles  and pearly everlasting.   

We continued our hunt, pausing at a tiny brook, crystal-clear water that bubbled from a nearby spring, murmured soothingly through rounded clusters of moss-greened boulders,  pooled briefly in a moss-free circular depression atop a flat gray slab as if to offer passers-by a refreshingly cold drink, then crossed the path in a colorfully pebbled passage scarcely a child's step wide and continued on its boulder-marked way to the river a quarter-mile distant. LeeRoy lapped the water as I mentally immersed myself in the wild beauty of the place. Looking about in the notably golden-hued late-afternoon light, it brought to mind poignant  memories from 1970; at that time, an emigrant from regions long ago settled, I had never before witnessed such prophetic autumnal color, so new and yet so eerily familiar, coniferous greens turned stygian by their stunning contrast with the implausibly bright yellow of the Big-Leaf maples, a cautionary vision of the encroaching magnitude of winter darkness, a summer-god's last warning before yielding the land to that vague sense of  post-Hallowe'en emptiness that annually declares the inevitable victory of his winter twin. Such was  my first autumn in the Pacific Northwest and the conclusion of  those blessed months I spent on the commune -- days gardening or fishing or cutting firewood or hunting, evenings conversing with my comrades, with Robert Graves' White Goddess as my bedtime reading and early morning  meditation.  Now a decade later I was momentarily startled by an eerie sense of having suddenly fallen backwards in time. I remember I glanced to see how LeeRoy was reacting and was profoundly relieved to note his demeanor was unchanged; he had finished his drink, gazed at me as if perplexed I too hadn't drank from the brook, impatiently awaited my signal to resume our quest. Which we did: by the end of legal hunting hours he had flushed two birds and we had scored a two-grouse feast.

*****       

VII. Inside a Tiny Sanctuary

THE FOLLOWING SUMMER, driving from Bellingham to my rented cabin near Nooksack on the Sumas River, I passed the more recently abandoned structures of a commune to which my comrades and I had sometimes transported hitch-hiking pairs of women during that oh-so-promising summer of 1970. I knew the place had survived the vigilante war, which prompts the supposition its members were armed, though I have no specific knowledge to confirm that; our conversations with the women were typically exchanges of information about subsistence gardening, places to cut firewood, that sort of thing.  

Wondering what its vacant buildings might tell me, I turned my Datsun pick-up truck into its still readily accessible driveway, left LeeRoy behind to guard my truck or alert me to any unanticipated arrivals and proceeded to explore. The main house was locked; there was nothing I could spot through its un-curtained windows save the uncommunicative barrens of empty wallboard walls and equally mute plank floors, and of course I had no intention of breaking and entering.

But a smaller dwelling behind it -- a place I vaguely remembered had been erected by some of the women to whom we had given rides --  remained accessible, and inside were a few indicative items that identified its former occupants as female but offered no clue to the reasons for their departures. One of these items was a white enameled crescent-moon earring made of some metal I could not identify, the sort of Goddess-symbol so many countercultural women had instinctively acquired and worn despite their conscious-mind's unawareness of its ancient significance. Recognizing it as a genuine relic, I plucked it from the floor and pocketed it,  cherishing it as a memento of a genuinely blessed time, thinking I would include it in the medicine bag I was contemplating making as a gift to myself, a private celebration of my discovery my mostly Celtic genes are seasoned by a long-ago First Nations ancestor, a maternal foremother who was most likely a Mohawk.  I did just that. Today, 32 years later, I am again wearing that same medicine bag, a comforting talisman that sometimes seems to ease this writing.      

Though it has no particular relevance to the conclusion of this story, eventually I would discover the property where I found the earring had been sold after a multi-year vacancy, that its structures were being remodeled by an obviously yuppoid man and wife  who had no notion of its history or of the women who had dwelt there in harmony eventually interrupted by the hostile forces that assailed us all. Remembering their smiles, their fearlessness in the company of fellow communards, the body language that spoke so clearly of so many female Back to the Landers'  characteristic combination of freedom and sense of obligation to our Mother Earth, I wondered what had become of them. For an instant my mind's eye saw them as they had been in 1970, clothed  in brightly colored  ankle-length homemade dresses reminiscent of far more ancient times and laughing in the heartfelt joy that follows the banishment of patriarchal shame. I wish them well; they and I and everyone like us shared that revolutionary  ethos first expressed by Nat King Cole in the 1948 song entitled "Nature Boy," its lyrics written by Eden Ahbenz and decades later performed more fetchingly by Cher, a seemingly secular incantation that  assures  us "the greatest thing you'll ever learn/ is just to love and be loved in return."  Some of us, myself among them, yet hold to it as our species' ultimate truth, wondering with no small degree of awe how a commercial enterprise in a capitalist world dared popularize a message so profound.

*****     

VIII. Back to the Land

I WAS AGAIN grouse hunting with LeeRoy when I found what would be the last of the abandoned communes I would discover. As I said,  this was in 1992, and the place yielded four telling photographs including the one with which this memoir opens. It was, I remember,  an encouragingly  sunny, comfortingly cloudless, emphatically azure-sky afternoon in early October when I  turned my yellow Datsun  southward up an unpaved,  sometimes steep but annually graded logging-truck route the era's topographical maps showed bore a name suggestive of suburban development and which climbed deep into the aged second-growth deciduous and coniferous forest on the northern end of one of the more westernmost Cascade mountains.  (Though the troubling fact the forest road  had been named suggested the region's potential reduction into the environmental toxicity of suburban housing, I write this in the past tense because by '93 it had been gated closed, seemingly permanently, and present day satellite imagery suggests it is no more.) But this was '92, when some of the mountain's northern heights were still being cleared  of timber and the road was regularly traveled on workdays by loggers, though we were there on a Saturday or Sunday, when there were no logging trucks to raise choking clouds of yellowish dust from its unpaved surface or crowd me off its single lane as they thundered past, the drivers often blasting their air-horns and jeering, cursing me for daring drive a rationally sized, responsibly fuel-conserving import into a realm presumably reserved for limitless consumption, run-amok xenophobia and triumphant anti-environmentalism. Perhaps two miles beyond the beginning of the road's ascent, it angled abruptly eastward to cross a bridge that spanned the five-foot width of a clear, cold, swift and dependably troutly creek; then the road abruptly turned due south again to continue its climb.  Just before the road veered onto the bridge, the deeply rutted remnant of an older, pre-bridge, west-side-of-the-creek version of the same route continued south but abruptly ended within 50 yards, permanently closed where a section of the  steep-sided valley's slope had collapsed into an already overgrown  barrier.

There I parked and locked the Datsun. The size and shape of the blockage indicated a smallish landslide,  a minimally disruptive example of much more ruinous disasters, substantial sections of barren slopes and sometimes entire mountainsides collapsed by the symbiotic combination of the region's sometimes-torrential winter-monsoon rains with the environmental ruin heedlessly inflicted by clear-cutting,  crippling highways and railroads for however many days, weeks or months it took to reconstruct them and occasionally obliterating entire communities. The height of the fir and alder saplings that had sprung from the obstruction suggested it was at least a decade old. Beyond the barrier, the old road had closely paralleled the creek for several hundred yards upstream, but now the mixed forest and its encroaching underbrush had  shrunk it to a path so overgrown I doubted even a dirt bike could have traveled it. With abundant deer and elk tracks evident in its few remaining bare spots,  it  seemed well on its way to becoming  a mere game trail, a common evolution for the region's abandoned roads, and -- no surprise --  its first maybe 300 hundred yards had  proven so dependably productive, we had never explored it further; LeeRoy and I had taken a half-dozen grouse  there in September, October and early November of '90 and '91, and this year it had already given us two birds and a rabbit. But in his eagerness, LeeRoy sometimes ignored my repeated reminders to "stay close." Today he'd flushed a grouse out of a path-side blackberry bramble too far ahead of me to shoot, and now -- as if in embarrassment and by way of apology -- his body-language made it clear he intended to find the bird again and this time flush it close enough for me to bag it.   

***

For those unfamiliar with firearms, I should digress a bit to explain that the effective range of a shotgun is determined by a quality called "choke," which controls how much its shot spreads sideways -- how it "patterns" -- in its passage down-range; that's why open-bored shotguns loaded with bird shot are useless much beyond 25 yards. I was 13 years old when my father began teaching me to hunt quail, grouse and pheasant with his traditional side-by-side double, a 12-gauge Fox Model B he'd mail-ordered from Montgomery Wards, which sold this excellent gun under its Western Field house-brand name; its right-hand barrel was choked slightly ("improved cylinder") and its left barrel moderately ("modified"); at 25 yards the right barrel patterned most of its shot into a 30-inch circle, the left into about 20 inches, and I quickly learned not to shoot at any bird flying much beyond that approximate range.  

Apart from a 1830s-vintage Hudson's Bay trade-musket I bought for  $15 in 1955 and often used during my high-school years simply because a couple of dollars worth of powder and shot would provide me the same season's hunting as $10 or $15 worth of modern ammunition, and a $50 Savage Model 24 over-under combination gun I used in rural Washington when I was an impoverished undergraduate c. 1971-1976  -- it had a modified-choke 20-gauge barrel surmounted by a .22 magnum barrel, the latter especially useful for shooting grouse perched in backwoods trees  --  I never carried anything but traditional side-by-side doubles on bird hunts.

Of all the shotguns I would own, the percussion Pedersoli 10-gauge with which I routinely hunted c. 1990-2003 was undoubtedly the most dependably accurate and versatile; charging it with genuine (never replica) black powder, I loaded it with number eight shot to (reliably) bust clay pigeons during wing-shooting practice; with number six shot for (reliably) taking grouse and/or rabbits;  and when both deer and small game were in season or news of local bear or cougar emergencies suggested LeeRoy and I might find ourselves on somebody's menu, I loaded the un-choked ("cylinder bore") right barrel with its usual charge of number six, but loaded the slightly choked left barrel (equivalent of modern "improved cylinder") with a 72-caliber, 1.25-ounce lead hollow-base slug cannibalized from modern shotgun ammunition or a .75-caliber, 630-grain patched lead "pumpkin ball"; the former projectile expanded to fit the bore, and paper-target work proved it usefully accurate out to about 75 yards; the latter was less accurate, and I'd not have attempted a shot beyond 50 yards. Though I never took a deer or slew an attacking predator with either load, comparative testing on  water-filled one-gallon milk jugs backed by seasoned fir planks indicated the slugs from the Pedersoli were every bit as devastating as comparable projectiles fired from  modern guns; the patched round balls were notably more so.

*** 

It was the obvious hope of flushing that same grouse again, this time within my shotgun's limited range, that seemingly prompted LeeRoy to urge me  much further up the mountain into an area I had not hitherto explored. Following the path another few hundred yards, I discovered the creek had cut itself a trench five or six feet deep, probably its response to the environmental disruption of a clear-cutting maybe a half-century earlier; the path that had evolved from  the road-remnant continued in close parallel until it reached the two-foot-diameter trunk of a fallen conifer that conveniently spanned the trench;  here, though a depression in the overgrown terrain indicated the abandoned road had proceeded upstream on the west side of the creek, the path itself now zigged eastward across the gully via the log. We followed its route; LeeRoy backed up a few paces for the running start of what became a breathtakingly graceful eight-foot leap; I crossed far more cautiously, balancing apprehensively on the barkless, treacherously slick surface of the log, using my shotgun like a tightrope-walker's balance pole. The path, here so frequently traveled by elk and deer it was suddenly  mostly bare earth, then zagged south again, once more paralleling the creek. 

Maybe another hundred yards up the mountain the path dwindled to its end amidst a stand of alders on a curious little hillock, a plateau  perhaps 50 yards wide and no more than twice that distance long. The creek at this point was in an open meadow maybe 75 yards to the west, flowing through a slight depression in a more serpentine version of the same sort of trench it had eroded for itself parallel the abandoned road, all traces of which had now vanished.

The alders seemed no more than three or four decades old; beneath them was a tiny pond, a near-perfect oval  maybe 10 feet long, four feet wide and no more than two feet deep, remarkably clear water with what its outer margins indicated was an always constant level; its depth apparently regulated by its source, as are some spring-fed pools I had known in Appalachia, it had no discernible outflow and was thus oddly well-like. Nor could I see any visible life-forms therein.  Its bowl-shaped bottom was coated by the same crop of brown leaves that uniformly carpeted the entire grove, its covering everywhere thick enough to prohibit the growth of any underbrush,  obviously several years' undisturbed accumulation of the foliage shed by these alders.

To my surprise I realized I could not dismiss a feeling this place had some unique significance, as if it were trying to tell me something I was yet too dense to comprehend. I repeatedly circled the little pond, wondering what its message might be and how it might appear or if I were merely being a foolish old man. The clear, slightly copper-hued depth of the pond evoked fond memories of how in the vernal months of my East Tennessee school-years, such realms were invariably the trysting-place of frogs, loudly loquacious subspecies that ranged from inch-long spring peepers to 18-inch bullfrogs and sang at truly astonishing volume,  their waters soon brimming with gooey tell-tale strings of frog eggs, then with tadpoles we caught and kept in Mason jars as they matured into frogs, which the peepers did in two or three months. I recollect I was vaguely disappointed this tiny body of water held no discernible traces of life at all. 

LeeRoy, nose to the ground,  moved down the slight slope into the dense underbrush that resumed east of the clearing; obviously he had not forgotten our quest for the grouse he had prematurely flushed beyond the range of my shotgun. And there amidst the brush just a few yards beyond him was the visual surprise of a ruined truck cab that appeared to have been painted in colorful psychedelic anarchy, an exclamatory relic I soon identified as the fully stripped remains of a full-sized 1940s-vintage pickup truck -- a vehicle I vaguely remembered as a driveable restoration proudly shown me by some Back-to-the-Landers in 1970. It was deeply perplexing too; search as I might, I could not find so much as a single trace of any passage to explain its presence. Then I discovered the collapsing A-frame I would soon realize had been deliberately wrecked; beyond it in even more dense underbrush I would find the second A-frame and the evidence it too had been trashed,  the pair defined by their contents as the former dwellings of communards. I groped into my shotgun bag for the Olympus RC I had adopted as an always-carry pocket camera; I photographed what I saw, silently cursing myself for having neither cassette recorder nor notebook and pen to preserve my impressions of the place.

LeeRoy watched me, obviously pleased, and when I shot the last of 24 frames and cranked the 35mm film back into its container -- the only film I had that day was the roll within the camera -- he turned about as if to go home, looking over his shoulder as if to ensure I followed.

Abandoned commune 3 - Copy

Abandoned commune 4 - Copy

Abandoned commune 1 - Copy

The truck-cab to which I was led by fate manifest as LeeRoy's quest for a prematurely flushed grouse and what I then saw beyond it; forcing my way through the underbrush I encountered the first of the two vigilante-destroyed A-frames I would discover that sunny fall day in 1992.  (Photos by Loren Bliss © 2023)

As we returned to the Datsun, it occurred to me the fact the commune was adjacent to a named road -- that it probably had been accessed by that same road's earlier, landslide-obstructed route (which at the commune-site was merely so overgrown I could find no visible trace of it) -- suggested tracts of land along its length were already the properties of individual owners. As I said earlier, the fact a logging road has been given a name is often the harbinger of suburban development -- which means the communards may well have owned the property from which they were ousted. Whatever; Nature had made her message  undeniable: the land does not wish to remember. 

*****

IX. Epilogue

WRITING THIS AS I recover all-too-slowly from Covid in the summer of 2023 resurrects poignant recollections of all for which we yearned and all that was so hurtfully stolen from us.

As soon as I can muster up the determination to endure the gravely vexing tedium of typing it into electronic space, I will post here an intra-Dispatches link to the (foolishly) optimistic essay I wrote for Northwest Passage in July 1970. (Yes, "gravely vexing" is an understatement: for me, severely dyslexic, writing on a keyboard is relatively easy, but copying an existing manuscript by typing or longhand is an hour-per-page fight against genetic inferiority that invariably rekindles the conditioned self-loathing imposed by the capitalists'  hatred and contempt for any working-class person whose exploit-ability promises less-than-maximum profits -- which, dear readers, is precisely why the moral imbecility at the core of capitalism mandates we be taught from birth to despise disabled persons and culturally less-exploitable exploitable minorities.) Meanwhile, those of you who wish to undertake the chore of searching Western Washington University's public archives can find it here by scrolling to Page 16.  By-lined "Aengus L. Forsythe" -- a pseudonym I chose to honor my heartfelt empathy with the protagonist in Yeat's "Song of the Wandering Aengus" (here performed by Judy Collins) -- it is the only (serious) writing in which I  protected myself by a nom-de-guerre, which I did  because my creation of a fictional, more-dangerous-than-Weatherman, "crypto-radical Seismology Faction" intent on faulting the bedrock of patriarchy was a ploy to aggravate the omnipresent plague of federal secret-police agents into intensifying their already oppressive efforts and maybe thereby accidentally exposing themselves, and I preferred not to invite the reprisal of an alleged "heart attack," being given a lesson in terminal ballistics by some asset-vigilante or "accidentally" drowning while wearing a cement life-jacket.     

Recalling the above  brings to mind the incident I briefly referenced above in "Breaking it Down." The story as repeatedly told in the Bellingham area c. 1970-71 was a band of vigilantes recruited from fanatically evangelical churches  had attacked a commune of a dozen members -- six couples who'd bought substantial acreage deep in the backwoods near the vicinity so named. They had cleared it for a soon-thriving subsistence garden and a raised a communal cabin that included lumber hewn from the trees cut for the garden; the men were said to have all fought in Vietnam as members of the same U.S. Army Special Forces team, and like so many of their fellow veterans, they had returned convinced it was not only the wrong war in the wrong place, but that we were on the wrong side. They were also said to be so disgusted by the atrocities they'd been forced to commit and the additional horrors they'd witnessed, they'd adopted an Amish-like mode of living, rejecting modern equipment and appliances and even weapons, arming themselves with replicas of Civil-War-vintage muzzle-loaders and traditional archery gear instead.

It was the communards' choice of antique armament, or so the story goes, that prompted the vigilantes to assume they'd be easy targets and jeeringly attack them on a July night in 1970. But the response -- the lethal whimper of .58-caliber Minié balls, the splatter of buckshot, the rapidity of fire achievable with percussion revolvers and the flights of broadhead arrows the women arced from behind the dense clouds of white smoke generated by their men's firearms quickly convinced the vigilantes to attempt retreat -- only to discover they'd been trapped in what I've always supposed, assuming the tale were true, was a classic ambush formidably executed with well-known Special Forces skill. Then the smallest of the male communards called out the biggest, burliest vigilante, challenged him to a weaponless, man-to-man fight and gave him an ultimate "ass-whupping," the most merciless non-lethal thrashing of his life. 

The next morning, or so it was said, the local sheriff found the vigilantes on a grassy shoulder of a state highway; they'd been stripped naked and roped together neck-to-neck like prisoners of war, their hands bound uncomfortably behind their backs. Their clothing was supposedly nowhere to be found, their nakedness said to be vengeance for the vigilantes' forcible stripping of communards. The stories differed as to whether there were any wounded; most said the communards deliberately shot to frighten not wound or kill, but a couple of the versions claimed some of the vigilantes were wounded but all had been given emergency medical treatment adequate to preserve their lives, a skill in which Special Forces soldiers were in fact trained. 

While I was never able to authoritatively confirm  the story's details,  I've no doubt it is at least partially true, as I know from personal experience the vigilantes had by that year's August adopted a policy of carefully scouting the communes to determine whether we were armed,  and if we were, devising methods to test our skills with weapons. Hence the sequence of midnight alerts where I was a guest, our dogs warning  of multiple prowlers invading the commune's 33 acres and rousing us to arms.  A few days later a stranger showed up at a community-solidarity gathering we were hosting and challenged us to a shooting match the commune's men and women quickly won, my own display of rapid-fire accuracy with a straight-stocked  Marlin .30-30 Texas carbine a pivotal part of the victory. Afterwards, with our guns back on their racks and the stranger's .348 Winchester Model 71 returned to the trunk of his grotesquely tail-finned mildew-green 1959 Plymouth  sedan, he promised to buy us all a case of beer, then drove away supposedly bound for a local store. Of course he never returned. But neither did the midnight intruders. 

Too many other communes -- those that were denied the means of self-defense by pacifism or urban innocence -- were not so fortunate. While the .01 Percenters and their political puppets damned all communes as doorways to communism, I cannot doubt they were particularly terrified by the Back to the Land Movement, for there the resurrection of the Goddess was taking shape within a definitively communal agrarian context, which foretold the eventual coalescence of its seemingly disparate elements into not just the secular eco-socialism already embryonic in the cities, but a genuinely revolutionary eco-socialism rooted in the real-world spirituality of our species' oldest and and most spontaneously enduring religion. And if I, a largely self-educated journalist, could recognize what thus obtained, surely the far-more-officially educated members of the aristocracy could do likewise, especially those who served in the analytical branches of the national  secret-police forces, typically advised by Original (N.S.D.A.P.) Nazi war criminals. It is therefore highly probable the Vigilante War was agitated from somewhere on high -- and quite possibly commanded from the same level. The jargon of the anti-commune vigilantes identified them as fanatical Christian fundamentalists, their mentality that of the southern "Saturday Night Men's Bible Study Class," aka the Ku Klux Klan, metastasized throughout the nation.  And we already know the ruling class, having failed to nazify the nation via the 1933 Bankers' Plot, began in 1938 to co-opt white protestant fundamentalism as its future sturmabteilung. Thus the great likelihood the anti-Back-to-the-Land-Movement decrees I photographed on the reader-board of a Western Washington church originated from the same venomously nazi sources. "God Hate Hippies" was already a national proclamation; "Organic Is Satanic" and "Environmental Means Of The Devil" were merely the next logical iterations in the methodical weaponization of the fundamentalists' lynch-mob hatefulness. And that dreadful ruin I explored in 1978 --  a shattered Buddha, a cast-off sandal, a faded black silken slip with an East Coast label, a sodden, moldering pile of books obviously hurled from adjacent shelves, The Whole Earth Catalog shredded dead center by a close-range shotgun blast, Kahlil Gibran ripped apart at the spine -- is an unforgettable example of its intended outcome. Thus too the destruction of "Dancer" and all its source material, the aforementioned reader-board photos included; the tip of that particular dagger, which will pain my heart until it beats no more, is the undeniable message conveyed by the fact the fire was ignited at the exact moment I was meeting with Cicely Nichols, the book-editor friend who -- believing the manuscript potentially "the most influential work of the 20th Century" --  had pledged to mother it to mainstream publication. 

Cicely died of cancer in 2008. Perhaps curiously, though I often photographed her -- she regarded one of those pictures as the best portrait anyone ever made of her -- it is not her I see when I reflect on how the burning of "Dancer" was perhaps the final chapter in the destruction of the Counterculture and the suppression of its genuinely revolutionary significance. It is instead a total stranger, the young white woman whose image emerged in my mental vision as I examined that faded black slip I found in the wreckage of her Back-to-the-Land dream. I do not know whether she is a creation of my imagination or the photographically accurate product of an archiving process and mechanism of communication we have yet to discover. But my brain-cells have borne her  portrait since that moment in 1978, and it is always the same:  she crouches in midnight darkness on the grassy shoulder of a two-lane blacktop rural road; I see her only in glimpses  illuminated by the lights of passing vehicles. She has hooded and cloaked herself with an olive-drab wool army blanket, and she clutches it tightly in  desperate hope of concealing the bruised nakedness I somehow know is beneath its itchy comfort. She trembles; her face is Modigliani beautiful, but now it is rouged  with dust and streaked with tears; her nose has bled; her upper lip is split; her eyes are like windows emptied by disaster; her mouth gapes like the doorway that summoned me to the corpse of her aspirations;  she is the Goddess as addressed by Tim Buckley in “Phantasmagoria in Two,”: “If you tell me of all the pain you've had/ I'll never smile again”; for a dreadful instant I know her anguish as the personification of Edvard Munch's Scream.

And as always, as it has been from the moment I departed that roadside ruin, I hear her cry out to me: “O do not let our love be lost. O please...”

I have hitherto remained silent, and in my silence, her plea has become an albatross about my neck.  But now I answer:

"Yes," I say; "yes I will be your witness, yes until this land is healed of its anguish, yes until the time be ours again. Yes. Your witness. Yes."

 

--LB/28 May 2010 (revised 29 December 2011 and completed 18 August 2023) 

 

(-30-)

 


Republican Legalization of Christonazi/Neoconfederate Bigotry Is a New Dred Scott Decision -- an Irrefutable Declaration of Secession with Ecogenocidal Intent

(Even so, let us preface our reading by contemplating the blessings given us by our Mother Earth, whom survival commands us to defend; thus may Her radiance empower us to forever dispel the patriarchal darkness.)  

IMG_20230516_203847_582Photograph by KD ©2023: from a work-in-progress, an unabashedly worshipful embrace of our environment.

******************

THROUGH NO FAULT  of our own, most of us in the 99.9 Percent are unaware that white supremacists have  been attacking our constitution's 14th Amendment -- which overturned the Dred Scott Decision by granting U.S. citizenship to African Americans and anyone else "born or naturalized" in the USian states or territories -- since its ratification in 1868.  Nor are we to blame for not immediately recognizing the impending reversal of the 14th Amendment implicit in the undoubtedly permanent cancellation of our constitutional right to abortion by the literally limitless Christonazi vindictiveness enabled by the Supreme Court's lifetime appointments .  

We are deliberately imprisoned in  ignorance of such matters by a regimen of national censorship   -- about which more below -- that is so effective it is veritably invisible. Operating primarily in K-12 education, it long predates the malignant, publicly declared war against learning legitimized by the Hitler-disciple Donald Trump and metastasized throughout USia by the fanatically hateful rabble who believe him to have been "anointed by god" to  rule the USian Empire and conquer the world as their new führer.

Meanwhile Trump's "Republican" (sic) Christonazi/Neoconfederate Party is working overtime -- this with the ever-more-brazen assistance of its "Democratic" (sic) Party Fifth Column and a bipartisan, persons-of-color cabal of Clarence-Thomas emulators -- to enable the nation's white-supremacist electorate to restore the U.S. Supreme Court's Dred Scott decision to the viciously exclusionary, implicitly genocidal definition of "we the people" intended by Chief Justice Roger Taney, his six concurring justices and all their pro-slavery supporters in 1857.

Quoth Taney, in what is formally known as Dred Scott v. Sandford: "The question is simply this: Can a negro, whose ancestors were imported into this country, and sold as slaves, become a member of the political community formed and brought into existence by the Constitution of the United States, and as such become entitled to all the rights, and privileges, and immunities, guarantied by that instrument to the citizen?"

[...]

"The words ‘people of the United States’ and ‘citizens’ are synonymous terms, and mean the same thing. They both describe the political body who, according to our republican institutions, form the sovereignty, and who hold the power and conduct the Government through their representatives. They are what we familiarly call the ‘sovereign people,’ and every citizen is one of this people, and a constituent member of this sovereignty. The question before us is, whether the class of persons described in the plea in abatement compose a portion of this people, and are constituent members of this sovereignty? We think they are not, and that they are not included, and were not intended to be included, under the word ‘citizens’ in the Constitution, and can therefore claim none of the rights and privileges which that instrument provides for and secures to citizens of the United States. On the contrary, they were at that time considered as a subordinate and inferior class of beings, who had been subjugated by the dominant race, and, whether emancipated or not, yet remained subject to their authority, and had no rights or privileges but such as those who held the power and the Government might choose to grant them…" (emphasis added).

In other words, Taney and his six adherent justices ruled that if it's not expressly stated in the Constitution, it is neither defensible -- or even legislatively obtainable -- as a constitutionally protected right. Which is precisely the so-called "originalism"  the Christonazified court weaponized  to revoke Roe v. Wade and -- often in a less obvious manner -- routinely employs in its relentless restoration of other white-supremacist, misogynistic, theocratic, homophobic, transphobic and aristocratic tyrannies we the gullible people of the 99.9 Percent foolishly imagined had been banished forever.   

It is therefore of utmost importance to note the not-in-the-constition parallels to the 19th Century exclusionary racist bigotry that spawned the Dred Scott decision are being imposed not only openly via the Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization cancellation of a half-century of abortion rights,  but less obviously in both the Biden v. Nebraska prohibition of relief for student-loan debtors and in the potential imposition of nationwide racial segregation implicitly permitted by the awkwardly named, intentionally homophobic 303 Creative LLC et al v. Elenis et al decision.  (For revelation of the ruling-class financial hypocrisy revealed by the anti-student ruling and additional analysis of the total repeal of civil-rights legislation permitted by Creative v. Elenis, go here.)     

Here too are six more examples of the ongoing, already ruinously successful Christionazi campaign to nullify the 14th Amendment, again making the Dred Scott ruling the (permanent) de facto determination of who is -- and who is not -- (theoretically) entitled to the rights and privileges of USian citizenship:

  • School Board in Missouri Revokes Its Anti-Racism Policy. The significance of this brazenly anti-Black decision is underscored by the Associated Press report: "The Francis Howell district is among Missouri’s largest, with 17,000 students, about 87% of whom are white...The vote...came during an often-contentious meeting...Racial issues remain especially sensitive in the St. Louis region, nine years after a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, fatally shot 18-year-old Michael Brown during a street confrontation."
  • Black Alabama Voters Prep for Another Fight after Christonazis Flout SCOTUS Ruling. See also Black Lawmakers Say Alabama GOP’s Proposed New Congressional Map Insults the Supreme Court AP quotes Rep. Prince Chestnut, a Democrat from Selma, as saying. “We’re  fighting the same battles that they were fighting 100 years ago, 50 years ago, 40 years ago, right here today,” Chestnut said. “Once again the (Republican) super majority decided that the voting rights of Black people are nothing that this state is bound to respect." In other words, Roger Taney lives.
  • Did Trump Let 500,000 USians Die of Covid to Cut Them from the Voter Rolls? Thom Hartmann thinks so: "The most unreported story of the pandemic, the one that seems destined to be overlooked as histories are being written, is what Trump did when he learned the Covid coronavirus was largely killing Black and Hispanic people and mostly sparing whites. The moment he came to that realization, he completely altered the US response to the pandemic, leading to the unnecessary death of 300,000 to 500,000 Americans. Deaths that he and his advisors apparently believed (correctly) would be, outside of nursing home residents, disproportionately Black and Hispanic people. (Emphasis as in original.)
  • An Overview of the Taney-Inspired White Supremacist Campaign to Purge Blacks from the Voter Rolls.  "Greg Palast estimates there were at least 4 million fully legal and appropriately registered voters purged just in 2022, although the history Pew documented from 2016-1018 suggests the number may have been over ten million. And (Republican-controlled) states are, as you read these words, vigorously purging voters from the rolls, predominantly in (Democrat-controlled) cities and among Black populations, which vote more than 80 percent Democratic."
  • Jihadist-Dominated Hamtramck City Council Ousts Oust Two LGBTQ-Defenders from Its Human Rights Commission. (No, unfortunately this is not a scare-story. It's an AP report that perilously downplays the fact Muslim fanatics are every bit as hatefully dangerous as their Christonazi counterparts -- and that, in Creative v. Elenis,  the Christonazi cabal that rules SCOTUS for a lifetime allows jihadists the same rights of hateful exclusion it allows Christians, again targeting any minority not specifically protected by the USian constitution.)
  • These Christian Nationalists Want to Stone Adulterers to Death. Think it can't happen here in USia? Please reconsider; that sort of self-inflicted delusion is  identical to the suicidal denial by which modern-minded Afghans  hoped for tolerance from the conquering Taliban. But now they know better; see for example,  Taliban Bans Beauty Salons in Afghanistan. In truth there are no limits to the sadism legitimized  by Abrahamic religion, the most vindictive forms of which are theocracies based on fundamentalist interpretations of Jewish, Christian or Muslim theology. Never forget: the selfsame hatred of women and sexual minorities that rules USian Christonazism  and Jihadist Islam also rules the most extreme forms of orthodox Judaism, which is a major (albeit mostly unreported) fear fueling the widespread Israeli opposition to  Netanayu's efforts to impose de facto theocracy.   
The above  reports show how the  Christonazis and their Neoconfederate allies are using Taney's not-specified-in-the-constitution argument not only to rob Blacks of citizenship, but to likewise subjugate other peoples of color, sexual minorities, religious minorities and eventually even women, no doubt ultimately  by revocation of these peoples' USian citizenship. Which would make them all stateless persons. And as Timothy Snyder, whom I am usually loathe to quote because he is so fanatically anti-socialist,  documents throughout Black Earth: the Holocaust as History and Warning (Tim Duggan Books: 2015), the imposition of official statelessness -- which Hitler inflicted on so many Jews and Roma -- is invariably a primary precursor to genocide.
 
But we dare not take comfort in the fact official statelessness for minorities and women is an atrocity that at present remains beyond immediate reality; history repeatedly demonstrates USian genocide has never needed any justification beyond hatred itself,  a terrifying truth thoroughly documented both by James Q. Whitman (Hitler's American Model; Princeton University Press: 2017) and Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States; Beacon Press: 2014).
 
Furthermore, racist and/or religious genocide is already well underway against refugees from the USian Empire's relentless wars and global capitalism's ever-more-obviously deliberate engineering of terminal climate change. For now, the most brazen mass-murderer seems to be Greece, which of course has been a reliable USian-Empire puppet since a joint USian/British campaign of extermination slew most of its Marxians, socialists and intellectuals in the Greek Civil War c. 1946-49. (See also "From Greece to Ukraine: 75 Years of the Truman Doctrine.)
 
*****

But Why Are We So Oblivious to What Is Being Done to Us?

There are two reasons, and -- as I said above -- neither is our fault.

By far the most crippling reason for our national plague of passivity is the ruinous extent to which we are deliberately robbed of our species' history -- the basic knowledge of our own nation and of every other nation born of our Mother Earth, which is precisely the knowledge we need to make sense of the events that impact our lives.

The ignorance so inflicted is by far the worst in the world; no other people on this planet are as methodically deprived of the study of history. The deprivation begins in our primary and secondary schools, where most of us are taught to despise the study of history as nothing more than a repugnant, wearisome ordeal of learning to recite from memory otherwise meaningless lists of names, dates and places.

Nor is it an accident the most pridefully ignorant, aggressively anti-intellectual teachers -- that is, the athletic coaches -- are typically chosen to teach civics, history, sociology and government. Having history taught by such hopeless dullards hides the dynamic interplay of cause-and-effect and dramatic personal histories that underlie the epic story of our species' experience; it is the deliberate concealment of those fascinating elements --  the vivid interplay of peoples, ideologies and events that reveal history as equivalent to a never-ending epic film or novel -- that reduce its study into an odiously dreary chore. And it is that very odium by which the .01 Percent seek to guarantee we will never, for example, recognize their slow-motion resurrection of all the dreadfulness formerly legitimized by the Dred Scott decision.

Here then are a couple of examples of history as it should be studied:

The suppressed facts of the Scottsboro Boys atrocity: how the USian Communist Party's lawyers fought to free the boys, which explains the origin of the  fascist meme of civil rights as a "Communist plot."  Includes information on how the USSR ensured the success of the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa and aided African liberation movements in general.

One Woman’s Mission to Rewrite Nazi History on Wikipedia: on the scary perniciousness of pro-Hitler, pro-Third-Reich propaganda amongst the nurdish elite. 

But as I indicated above, that is only half the story. The second reason most of us remain unaware of the widespread, de facto  resurrection of the U.S. Supreme Court's most notoriously racist edict is because the  six obscenely wealthy tyrants who own and control USia's so-called "mainstream media" -- in brain-policing truth the world's first privately owned, for-(maximum)-profit version of Josef Goebbel's infamous Reich Ministry for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda -- have an obvious need to downplay the skyrocketing nazification of the failed and crumbling  federal union whether they themselves are nazis or not.

That's because at the epicenter of our national failure is the deliberate contraction of at least 27 of USia's 50 states into the internal socioeconomic conditions the ex-president, accused felon and Hitler-wannabe Trump says define a "shithole country." (Never mind Trump was using the term as a brazenly racist slur against Haiti, El Salvador and the nations of sub-Saharan Africa, while each of the USian shithole states are white-male-supremacist despotisms ruled by the "Republican" (sic) Christonazi/Neoconfederate Party.)

Unfortunately the USian/capitalist variant of Reichsministerium für Volksaufklärung und Propaganda does an excellent job of minimizing the appalling truth that the most malignant sorts of USian misogyny, white-supremacist racism, religious bigotry and homophobia  -- extremes once pretty much limited to the 11 vindictively traitorous, defiantly theocratic states of the Old Confederacy -- have now metastasized into at least 16 more states. Apart from Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin, the entire Middle West is solidly Christonazi, and the four exceptions are in grave jeopardy. Michigan has already been targeted by at least one Christonazi plot to assassinate its governor. And despite Wisconsin's widely celebrated vote for a pro-choice state supreme court, I suspect its voters will soon be deluded into embracing the role of shithole state number 28. Support for female reproductive rights says nothing about support for broader 99.9 Percent rights, especially racial equality; let us not forget how in 1946 and 1952 landslide-majorities of Wisconsin voters elected the vindictively anti-socialist, anti-intellectual, pro-Nazi Joseph McCarthy to the U.S. Senate and in 2018 came within a mere 29,227 votes of re-electing Scott Walker, McCarthy's sadistically misogynistic, homophobic, anti-mass-transit, anti-union and anti-welfare-recipient political reincarnation, to a third term as governor -- this after also granting his gubernatorial gruesomeness  the unprecedented endorsement of a 53-percent recall-election victory in 2012. Note too the change-we-can-believe-in betrayal inflicted by Wisconsin's  victorious "Democratic" (sic) governor, who  just signed into law the largest funding boost for (implicitly white-supremacist) private schools in the state's history.

Looking a few years ahead -- and factoring in the Christonazis' terrifying, German-Nazi-schooled skill at subversion and conquest -- I cannot doubt they and their Neoconfederate allies will have conquered not only all the states of the Old Confederacy, Virginia included, but all the inland states as well; by then -- if our species has not yet exterminated itself by war and the ultimate misogyny of environmental ruin -- the United States will have completed its self-destruction and will no longer exist save perhaps in name only.  Moreover, the presence of a violently aggressive, avowedly ecogenocidal Christonazi realm in North America will probably have altered the world's politics beyond present-day recognition.     Only Hawaii, the three western coastal states and the 10 northeastern coastal states will remain as relatively free domains. And those will retain their independence only by the intervention of foreign powers. In Hawaii's case, that would probably be either Japan, China or possibly Korea; given the island's dominant ethnicities, I'd guess most likely Japan, though the defense of Hawaii against Christonazi invasion could indeed foster the first-ever genuinely willing Sino-Japanese-Korean alliance.  For the 13 remaining non-Christonazi states -- Washington, Oregon, California, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine -- the most likely protection would come from merger with Canada, which would no doubt find economic advantage both in the acquisition of additional seaports and natural resources, and which with its own huge natural-resource base and solidly stable parliamentary governance might by then have already emerged as the dominant power in the Americas.  

Alaska in this formulation is a wild card -- and in all probability would be the cause of at least one major war. That's because the Christonazi reich -- probably calling itself something like the "Confederate Christian States of America" --  would want to rape Alaska for its wealth of resources. But an already growing union of its First Nations and settler populations -- the latter far more anarchist than nazified -- would no doubt fight to the death to preserve their beloved Alaskan wilderness. Merger with Canada? Re-merger with Russia? Survival as an independent republic protected by mutual defense  treaties with Canada and the emergent Sino-Russian alliance? I'd suspect the third alternative as most likely, but your guess is probably as good as mine.

*****

From the Comment Threads of Other Websites

New York City Mayor Adams' tantrums demanding "respect" -- that is, his vindictively racist, misogynistic and implicitly anti-Jewish bullying of an 84-year-old Holocaust survivor -- are most clearly understood as an extension of his oft-repeated claims to divine-right rule.

Obviously too, as USia becomes ever more tyrannically theocratic -- as its politicians become ever more obviously puppets of the plutocracy and ever more sadistically vicious toward the 99.9 Percent -- the tyrants' claims of divine right will again become central to their rationalizations of unmitigated savagery, just as they were in ages past.

Which is the real horror manifest by Adams' vicious expressions of slave-master contempt toward a legitimate critic, that -- like the Trumpite normalization of unabashed bigotry -- it is a precedent-setting public assertion of the theocratic, prosperity-gospel self-righteousness that increasingly defines the entire USian ruling class, plutocrats and puppets alike.

(My apology for my tardy response; four times vaccinated, I am nevertheless home abed with a very stubborn case of Covid. and I am therefore reading the contents of my inbox far less frequently than normal.) 

*

NOTE: I got sick on 22 June and posted the above comment on 6 July; as of 9 July, I finally tested negative, though even now -- 29 July -- I have no sense of taste or smell, am still so weak I cannot climb a single flight of stairs and am sleeping 12-14 hours per day.

***

Our Ever-More-Feverish Mother Earth Sets New Global Temperature Record. Given that the Kubler-Ross stages of death and dying would seem to be as applicable to our species as to its individual members, I wonder how long it will take us to realize capitalism is a terminal disease --  a fatal illness so hopelessly metastasized  there is no longer any possible cure -- and that it has already doomed our species to extinction, likewise doomed every other evolutionarily advanced species and doomed our Mother Earth to reduction back to a bug planet.

Nor can I doubt that is precisely the realization already manifest collectively in the now-unprecedented international rush toward thermonuclear apocalypse and individually both in the skyrocketing incidence of mass murder and the infinitely increasing cases of often-suicidal depression amongst our species' youth.

Thus -- even to our children (who are far more perceptive than most adults dare acknowledge) -- it seems ever-more-obvious our only remaining, genuinely pivotal "what-shall-I-do-with-my-life" question is, "how shall I cope with my looming death." (Disclosure: I am 83 years old, and I suspect mine is the very last of our species' generations that will ever be allowed anything even approaching such longevity.)      

***

On the (Lifetime) Christonazification of SCOTUS. Well said. Once again, Black Agenda Report proves itself by far the most relevant website of the US-based True Left, analytically the domestic equivalent of the Fourth International's World Socialist Web Site.

***

Democrat Honchos Ignore Biden’s Unpopularity. Face it, Mr. Rall, and said with all due respect; this is not mere "pigheaded obliviousness." It is yet (another) undeniable proof of the "Democratic" (sic) Party's one true post-JFK function: serving as the Fifth Column of the "Republican" (sic) Christonazi/Neoconfederate Party.

***

Vote on House NDAA Proves Dems Lie about Support for Abortion. Writing as the news editor I once was (Morristown, N.J. Daily Record, 1968-69), it seems to me the real story here is the House vote's irrefutable proof the "Democratic" (sic) Party's claim to support abortion rights is but another example of "change we can believe in," the most malicious election-campaign Big Lie ever pimped to USian voters.

Three of the four Democrats who declared their hateful misogyny and homophobia by voting for the "Republican" (sic) Christonazi/Neoconfederate version of the National Defense Authorization Act -- Representatives Marie Glusenkamp Perez (WA), Jared Golden (ME) and Gabe Vasquez (NM) -- each claim via their websites to be staunch supporters of abortion rights.

Rep. Dan Davis (NC) seems to avoid any website reference to the abortion issue, though he implies support for women's reproductive rights by claiming to be "working hard to strengthen health...assistance for our service members, veterans and their families."

But their votes for the vindictively misogynistic, homophobic and transphobic Christonazi/Neoconfederate NDAA say these self-proclaimed "Democrats" are in truth no different in this regard from the so-called "Republicans" they claim to oppose.

Thus again we witness either the "Democratic" (sic) Party in its (only) genuine post-JFK function as the Christonazi/Neoconfederate Fifth Column, or a new, far-more-alarming development, the Democrats' radical escalation of their "change-we-can-believe-in" deceptions to actually cloaking Christonazis with "Democratic" disguises.

Whichever is true -- and it could be either alternative or both -- the votes of the four Christonazi/Neoconfederate collaborators once again demonstrate our desperate need for a militant socialist party to organize the 99.9 Percent and thus unify the entire USian working class in the global struggle for real democracy.

***

RFK Jr.'s Racism and Antisemitism. I suspect what this junior Kennedy is doing is embracing Christonazism as the ultimate guarantee against being murdered as were his father and uncle.

The object lesson implicit in his wholesale embrace of tyranny is its backhanded revelation of the most probable reason underlying the nation's politicians' relentlessly bipartisan effort to make the USian Empire the de facto Fourth Reich: the plutocratic cabal that rules USia allows no alternative conduct.

Moreover -- as proven by the decade of political murders that followed the 1963 slayings of Medgar Evers and President Kennedy and the often-deceptive obedience of every successful politician since -- these tyrants obviously will never again tolerate even minimal deviance from their mandates.

Meanwhile -- if I may be permitted a terrible cliche -- I cannot doubt JFK and Robert Senior are rolling over in their graves at the submissive cowardice of their descendant.

***

Images from Nazi Occupied Eastern Europe c.1941-1942. "Russia is to be reduced to the level of a nation of peasants, from which there is no return." This quote from an earlier  WSWS report, Part One of Comrade Clara Weiss's superb 2015 documentation of "The Nazi War of Annihilation against the Soviet Union" (linked in Footnote 1 of today's "Images from occupied Eastern Europe"), is no doubt also the Nazi-war-criminal-advised USian Empire's post-World-War-II policy toward all the nations it has destroyed or is destroying in its allegedly "lost" wars.

Indeed I cannot imagine a more devious way to permanently destroy a nation than by disguising its intentional destruction as a "lost" war -- precisely the sort of deception that results from combining the Original (N.S.D.A.P.) Nazi policy of global conquest (aka USia's "full-spectrum dominance") with Madison Avenue's bottomless USianazi skill at manufacturing ultimate Big Lies and pimping them to a citizenry deliberately bound in helplessly gullible ignorance.

In bitter truth, such is but another manifestation of the regimen of deception the "Democratic" (sic) Party immortalized as "change we can believe in."

Such too is capitalism itself -- ever-more-obviously our species' most relentlessly terminal illness -- in its fully metastasized ecogenocidal toxicity. Again -- in this tragically unrecognized merger of the Machiavellian cunning of Hitler's disciples of Aryan supremacy with the serial-killer moral imbecility manifest in the USian ruling-class shibboleth of divine-right "exceptionalism" -- we see why for the entire global working class it's literally socialism or death.

***

On German Militarism: Given the psychological importance of symbolism, particularly in a military context, it is no doubt relevant to note the Bundeswehr has quietly brought back the traditional jackboot, and now does a momentary goose-step at directional changes in marches, for both of which see the  footage entitled "Yorck'scher March + Prussia's Glory 01/19/2023 Bellevue Palace" on YouTube.

***

About the Political Issues in Trump’s Imminent Indictment: Given the "Democratic" (sic) Party's damnable (and utterly damning) record of functioning as the Fifth Column of the "Republican" (sic) Christonazi/Neoconfederate Party, the urgent warning issued by Comrades Grey and Martin -- that "the working class cannot entrust the defeat of fascism and defense of democratic rights to the Democratic Party and the courts" -- can be minimized, belittled, ignored or dismissed only at the greatest peril to the USian working class.

Indeed I suspect the Democrats will grant Trump and the cabal of upper- echelon Trumpites who are the present-day  führers of the so-called "Republican" party the long-perfected de facto acquittal of clandestinely fumbling the prosecutions of the Christonazi leadership even as they continue to make examples of its rear-rank followers.

Thus will the Democrats continue their efforts to maintain the "strong Republican Party" as a vital puppet-partner in the USian ruling-class scheme for "full-spectrum dominance" (i.e., relentless global conquest) and continued subjugation of the 99.9 Percent in the prison of gullibility, deception and induced ignorance typified by the slogan "change we can believe in."

***

Agent Zelensky. Thank you for this. Given the USian Empire's political history -- specifically its adoption during and after WWII of thousands of upper-echelon Nazi war criminals as advisors and comrades-at-arms,  (also given the now-mostly suppressed histories of fanatically pro-Nazi elements in both the hereditary British aristocracy and the USian financial aristocracy) – note how a Jewish head of state facilitates "plausible denial" of Ukrainian nazification (spook terminology intentional).    

It also helps conceal the purposeful weaponization of the Ukraine as the newest spearhead in an effectively  endless Occidental war to conquer "lebensraum" in Russia. Originally rationalized by the Great Schism of 1054 CE (the final, irremediable split between the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches),  it began in earnest with a declared Crusade, the invasions of Russia by the Teutonic Knights in 1240 CE and 1242 CE, each of which were defeated by the Russian hero Alexander Nevsky. By Hitler's time this had become both a crusade against socialism and a campaign of anti-Slavic genocide much like the genocidal wars against the First Nations of the Americas: exterminating the people to finalize the theft of their land.  

Today it is (still) a genocidal war for land and resources, but thanks to the near-complete global metastasis of the capitalist ethos of moral imbecility and the near-total subjugation of the 99.9 Percent, the ruling class no longer feels any need to justify such conquest much beyond declarations of want.       

LB/26-31 July 2023

-30- 

 

 

 

 

 

 


We of the Ever-More-Destitute 99.9% Are Ever-More-Obviously Ruled by History's Greediest, Most Cunning Tyrants, which Ever-More-Undeniably Defines the Imperial US as Our Planet's Ultimate 'Shithole Country'

 (But let us first contemplate the Mother our survival commands us to defend; may Her radiance empower us to forever dispel the patriarchal darkness.)   

IMG_20230304_135802_103Photograph by KD ©2023: from a work-in-progress, an unabashedly worshipful embrace of our Mother Earth.

******************

I CANNOT REMEMBER, in all the decades I've followed such matters, a more relentlessly disturbing -- and not infrequently terrifying -- outpouring of news reports, whether from within the USian imperial homeland and its European colonies or from an oft-provoked Russian Federation that appears increasingly on the brink of precisely the sort of internal chaos that could make a world-ending, human-species-exterminating thermonuclear apocalypse unavoidable.

Meanwhile political conditions here in the Disunited States have deteriorated to such a depth of vindictively inflicted hopelessness that Hitler Wannabe Donald Trump's infamous characterization of non-white nations as "shithole countries" unquestionably now applies at least as accurately to the alleged "land of the free," wherein working-class existence is ever-more-obviously defined by a methodically engineered and maliciously imposed regime of  steadily intensifying socioeconomic and political oppression. Thus our tragically afflicted nation becomes a toxic variant of  the "rough beast, its hour come round at last" foretold by William Butler Yeats in "The Second Coming," revealing itself to be a relentlessly sadistic remake of Caligula’s Rome, Marie Antoinette’s France and Nicholas II’s Russia in which bottomless moral imbecility and irremediable corruption grant an infinitely evil aristocracy the absolute freedom to do whatever it goddamn well pleases to any and all of the rest of us.

Here – each of these reports chosen specifically for the fact it has seemingly managed to escape the ever-more-oppressive USian censorship apparatus – are 13 examples of the atrocities we now accept as the defining aspects of our daily routine, the most recent afflictions in an ever-metastasizing plague of horrors that in a just and mindful world would have long ago provoked revolution:

Though the case is admittedly mostly circumstantial, it cannot be said too often that 90 years of evidence proves far beyond judicially required certainty our plight dates from the 1933 Bankers' Plot, the collaborative effort in which the Wall Street aristocrats conspired with Hitler and Mussolini to nazify the nation into what their genetic and/or ideological descendants have made it today, the de facto Fourth Reich, the ultimate model of patriarchy as a theocratically brain-policed slave state, the global arsenal for terminal apocalypse and the ecogenocidally misogynistic reduction of our Mother Earth back to a bug planet.

*****

From the Comment Threads of Other Websites:

As cited above, on Skyrocketing State Terror in the Age of Counterterrorism.

Thank you, Mr. Gould-Wartofsky and LA Progressive, for this superbly analytical report. Meanwhile those who claim there is anything genuinely "leftist" about the present-day "Democratic" (sic) Party -- which in post-JFK operational truth has repeatedly proven itself to be nothing more than the Fifth Column of the "Republican" (sic) Christonazi/Neoconfederate Party -- are either tragically ignorant of genuinely leftist ideologies or are obediently parroting a Trumpite Big Lie.

***

As cited above, on   Supreme Court strikes down Biden’s partial student loan forgiveness plan, 43 million borrowers denied debt relief.

Predictably, Biden the Beguiler's intentionally fraudulent pledge of student-loan debt relief has proven itself yet another classic example of "change we can believe in" -- the most malevolent Big Lie ever fed the terrifyingly gullible USian electorate.

The pivotal, ultimately damning fact in this ongoing charade -- in which the "Democratic" (sic) Party desperately seeks to maintain its ever-more-transparent disguise as something other than the "Republican" (sic) Christonazi/Neoconfederate Party's Fifth Column -- is there is no possible way even the most delusional of the Beguiler's advisors could have imagined the Christonazi cabal that now tyrannizes the nation via the Supreme Court would let any student-debt-relief plan stand. 

Precisely as Comrade Grey points out, the Beguiler ensured  the Christonazis had -- and have -- "the best conditions for them to block the program," which they will obviously continue to exploit to maximum ruling class advantage.

At least as important as the financial considerations cited by Sebouh80 is the political fact any truly effective debt relief would be tantamount to manumission from the lifetime wage slavery that effectively prohibits any and all meaningful anti-capitalist resistance by the debtors. It does so by the constant threat of retaliatory job loss underscored by the fact student loans cannot be discharged via bankruptcy.

This method of prohibiting any such activism, which dates to the Johnson and Nixon regimes' efforts to suppress opposition to the Southeast Asian War, is in fact the original, underlying purpose of runaway higher education costs.

***

Wisconsin’s “Democratic” (sic) Governor Signed Largest Private School Voucher Boost in 30 Years

This is merely additional (irrefutable) proof the post-JFK "Democratic" (sic) Party is nothing more than the Fifth Column of the "Republican" (sic) Christonazi/Neoconfederate Party.

(Don't forget it was Wisconsin also spawned Sen. Joseph McCarthy, purgemaster of the c. '50s-'60s persecution not only of Communists but -- in truth -- anyone whose politics were to the left of fascism, all intellectuals especially included.)

***

“Twitter Files” Journalist Matt Taibbi Claims IRS and FBI Retaliation

How many times must it be said? The USian "mainstream media" propaganda machine -- social media included -- is the world's first privately owned, for-maximum-profit version of Josef Goebbels' Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda.

And exactly like the Third Reich's Reichsministerium für Volksaufklärung und Propaganda (RMVP), its present-day descendant in the Nazi-war-criminal abetted de facto Fourth Reich is ultimately under the command-and-control of the respective nation's secret police, in each instance weaponized to serve the infinite evil of the ruling tyrants.

***

Of Course Greta Met with Zelinsky

I wonder if Ms. Thunberg realizes the tragic extent to which she has been co-opted by the USian imperial brain-police apparatus -- or if she does not, how she will respond when she awakens to the bitter truth of our now-eternal powerlessness. (Because I have enormous respect for her passion, I see her as an innocent in the same way we of the old '60s Counterculture were innocents, smug [and therefore utterly vulnerable] in the foolish belief our righteousness protected us from contamination by the Infinite Evil that has threatened the world since the advent of patriarchy and which -- with the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki -- achieved the terminally misogynistic ecogenocidal omnipotence over our Mother Earth and all her children that was always the patriarchs' ultimately apocalyptic purpose.)

***

5 Elements of Fascism and Their Exact Expression in Trump, the White Christian Nationalist Movement He Leads and the “Republican” (sic) Christonazi/Neoconfederate Party He Rules

With respect to Mr. Reich -- he is definitely cognizant of the threat implicit in today's "Republican" (sic) Christonazi/Neoconfederate Party -- I believe he errs in labeling its ecogenocidal toxicity "fascism." Instead -- especially given the admiration today's so-called "Republicans" express for Hitler -- it is clearly an USian variety of nazism (lower-case "n") -- particularly given its notion of Western-European ancestry/non-Jewish whites as the planet's master-race. There is also the fact it has been credibly reported Trump's favorite book is Mein Kampf -- reports surely confirmed by how the strategies and tactics employed not only by Trump but also by his rivals within the party's dominant like-minded faction are obviously so derived. In this context, it seems to me a grave downplaying of the threat to call our adversaries and their lethal intent as anything other than nazis and nazification.

***

Cormac McCarthy (1933-2023): Chronicler of American carnage

I knew McCarthy in East Tennessee at the University of Tennessee c. 1959 and c. 1962-1964 while he was living in the Sevier County back country and writing The Orchard Keeper.

Though nominally he denounced any and all intellectually focused  conversation as mere "holding forth," in what I recall as our one genuinely "serious" chat, he repeatedly and emphatically cited Rachel Carson's Silent Spring as the most important (and most infinitely damning) text  our species would ever publish. When I replied that Carson's disclosures might be for what was then called the conservation movement what Uncle Tom's Cabin had been to abolitionism,  he  said that could never happen because our species was too pridefully ignorant and too sociopathically self-obsessed.

Point being, if we are to understand his extreme negativity -- which most assuredly is not to justify it -- I believe we have to look at Carson's influence (which has since morphed into the ruling-class-environmentalists' academic  demand for exterminating 90 percent of the working class population), and the fact that concurrent with the publication of Silent Spring, the Tennessee Valley Authority, his father's pride and joy (and my own father's favorite, sometimes tears-in-his-eyes example of beneficent socialism), TVA was already under relentlessly savage attack from the Neoconfederate and proto-Christonazi right. Meanwhile the "Democratic" (sic) Party's alleged efforts to defend and preserve TVA -- especially after the coup of 22 November 1963 -- were ever-more-obviously nothing but charades.

Utterly deprived of humanitarian resources by Nazi-war-criminal-abetted capitalist   censorship, terrorism and weaponization of religion, McCarthy's work thus exemplifies the only aesthetic tolerable to the USian ruling class. 

Afterthoughts: (1)-I should have added that McCarthy’s apocalyptic negativity – albeit far more lyrically expressed than the prideful ignorance and methodically shrunken vocabulary of the Moronic Majority nominally permit– is precisely the helplessly subjugated, ever-more-forcibly conditioned hopelessness by which our self-anointed divine-right masters seek to guarantee no one will ever again dare rise up to challenge their ecogenocidal patriarchal omnipotence; (2)-While the bourgeois environmentalists demand for extermination of 90 percent of the global working class has since been trivialized as a right-wing conspiracy theory, it is in fact anything but. See for example the full text of one of Eric Pianka's speeches and the accompanying commentary as cited by Wikipedia, here. There is also the fact a few of the wealthier students at Huxley College, Western Washington State University's  environmental-science school, were already openly advocating such a final solution c. 1982-83, when I was living in Bellingham. (3)-I err in attributing the call for genocidal reduction of the 99.9 Percent exclusively to the influence of Silent Spring; Carson’s work is actually one of two such goads. The other is The Population Bomb, by Paul and Anne Ehrlich, which was published in 1968. A third factor is of course the sneering, Marie-Antoinette-caliber contempt with which the USian aristocracy – the academic elite most assuredly included – regards the 99.9 Percent, particularly our caste-sisters and caste-brothers who lack college degrees and/or work in fields wherein higher education is not required.

LB/30 June-2 July 2023

-30-

      


An Anxiety-Ridden Anthology of Outside Agitation

Three Utterly Terrifying News Reports

Biden Shows His True (Christonazi) Colors on Abortion: This past winter, the Biden Regime appeased the far right by leveling severe charges against abortion rights defenders. Now, the activists targeted in the federal crackdown are also facing legal attacks from an anti-abortion group and Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis. In addition to the federal criminal charges — which carry a sentence of 12 years in prison — Florida’s attorney general sued two of the activists for damages. Heartbeat of Miami, a “crisis pregnancy center,” is also absurdly alleging that all four activists were engaged in a conspiracy. The purported crime, the conspiracy, the federal charges? Spray painting.

COMMENT: once again – this time by disclosing the hatred of women it shares with its pretend opponents– the “Democratic” (sic) Party reveals its post-JFK function as the Fifth Column of the “Republican” (sic) Christonazi/Neoconfederate Party. Note too how this story was completely suppressed by the mainstream media propaganda apparatus. Now we know why the Democrats refused to protect abortion rights when they had the congressional power to do so.

*****

Drone Attack on Moscow Aims to Escalate US-NATO War with Russia. On Tuesday, Ukraine launched its second drone strike on Moscow to date and the first targeting civilian homes. Eight fixed-wing drones were launched, of which at least one crashed into an apartment building. Tuesday’s attack on the capital city of Russia is a signal that, following last week’s G7 meeting—at which the US announced it would send F-16 fighters—the imperialist powers have decided to bring the war ever more directly into Russian territory. These attacks are aimed at provoking a retaliatory response by Russia, which could then be used to justify a further escalation by NATO, including the potential entry of NATO troops directly into the conflict.

COMMENT: I fear this thrusts the threat of thermonuclear apocalypse well beyond that posed by the 1962 Cuban missile crisis.

*****

U.S. Wars Since 2001 Have Killed 4.5 Million People. The Cost of War Project at Brown University estimates that at least 4.5 million people have died as a result of the wars launched by the United States since the 9/11 attacks in 2001.

COMMENT: tyrannical empires are ultimately defined by their body counts, and with its genocidal campaigns against First Nations tribes and peoples of color, the USian Empire has already murdered multitudes more than Hitler;s Third Reich.

*****

In Tacoma as Everywhere Else in the Empire: No Escape 

Tacoma Art Museum board opts for more union-busting. WSLC vows continued solidarity with TAM Workers United: ‘We have defeated these tactics before, and we will defeat them again.’ It’s been seven months since the workers at Tacoma Art Museum (TAM) announced that they have formed a wall-to-wall union (TAM Workers United), as part of AFSCME Council 28. They are seeking livable wages, safe working conditions, transparency and accountability from management, and respect on the job. But despite support from all departments and 90 percent of union-eligible staff, the museum’s administrators have refused to recognize the union.

COMMENT: the aristocratic, anti-working-class vindictiveness of USian art patrons – something I know all too well from my years in New York City – should surprise no one. Hence my most heartfelt support for the TAM workers’ efforts to unionize.

*****

An Exceptionally Vital Report on the True Origin of Capitalism 

Origins of debt: Michael Hudson reveals how financial oligarchies in Greece & Rome shaped our world. Economist Hudson discusses the origin of Western debt-based societies and the research in his book, The Collapse of Antiquity: Greece and Rome as Civilization’s Oligarchic Turning Point (Islet: 2023).

COMMENT: based on this interview, the best explanation I’ve yet found of the origins of capitalism, and therefore a book I intend to buy.

*****

Nine Comment-Thread Posts from Other Websites:
(Some unavoidably repetitive due to the stubborn permanence of the crises that afflict us.)

We Are In for 19 Months of Relentless, Insultingly Transparent Spin

NOTE: Popular Resistance and Patrick Lawrence of Consortium News err gravely (and in Lawrence’s case perhaps deliberately try to deceive us) by equating Biden to the Soviet Union’s Yuri Andropov and Konstantin Chernenko; a far more politically accurate comparison of Biden is to the Weimar Republic’s senile president, Paul von Hindenburg, who appointed Hitler as chancellor and thereby enabled all the horrors that followed. I lead with this comment because – given that the USian Empire remains the global hegemon, by far the most ecogenocidally powerful tyrant in our species’ existence – it is pivotal in explaining all that obtains.

History -- the one subject we USians are methodically conditioned to avoid as if it were a no-antidote poison -- proves the "Democratic" (sic) Party's only (post-JFK} functions are preserving the Big Lie of USian democracy while serving the "Republican" (sic) Christonazi/Neoconfederate Party as its Fifth Column. Thus Biden the Beguiler's combination of bottomless corruption, geriatric senility and now-closeted racism make him the capitalist ruling-cabal's perfect choice to ensure the 2024 elections complete the Empire's nazification.

Those who dare examine the (ever-more-irrefutable) historical evidence will discover our final passage to that now-inescapable denouement began in 1934 when the Bankers' Plot perpe-traitors -- many of them fathers and grandfathers of the Empire's present owners -- were granted federal immunity for their treasonous conspiracy to make USian industry and natural resources the enabling elements for world conquest -- today's "full-spectrum dominance" -- by what would become the Rome/Berlin/Tokyo Axis.

Failing that -- and no doubt inspired by the infinitely evil genius of Hitler and Josef Goebbels -- our relentlessly misogynistic white-supremacist rulers seized Madison Avenue's mass-marketing techniques to fuel their retaliatory scheme of slow-motion, multi-generational nazification. In 1938 they began co-opting fundamentalist Christianity, reconditioning it into a reliably nazified auxiliary. By 1944 they were adopting upper-echelon Original (N.S.D.A.P.) Nazi war criminals as advisors and comrades-at arms. Then, "as the night the day," followed the 1963 coup and all that has come after, including the sparks of white Moronic Majority racism cunningly blown into unquenchable conflagration by the Obama presidency's innumerable "change-we-can-believe-in" betrayals and thus exploding into Trumpite Christonazism.

Yes, especially because of its implicit premeditation, this is an utterly terrifying hypothesis. But as Sun Tzu tells us, it is suicide to underestimate our enemy. Yes, most of the evidence is circumstantial. But USian juries routinely impose death sentences on far less. And this is the only  hypothesis that fully explains both the Republican conversion to unabashed nazism and the enabling Democrat paradox of progressive promises repeatedly asserted yet infuriatingly broken -- the ultimate form of the Big Lie weaponized to impose terminal nazification -- terminal not just to our nation, but to our entire species as well.

*****

US Announces Plans to Send F-16 Fighter Jets to Ukraine

Like the “Democratic” (sic) Party itself, Biden the Beguiler always lies to the citizenry.

The hopelessly gullible Moronic Majority reliably behaves as if the lies were truths, then does no more than whimper in craven submission when the falsehoods are overturned by obviously premeditated socioeconomic atrocities or apocalyptic escalations.

Indeed such lying is a pattern that -- with the post-JFK Democrats now functioning solely as the Fifth Column of the "Republican" (sic) Christonazi/Neoconfederate Party -- has become as predictable as sunrise.

That's why -- just as we now know the Beguiler lied with his implicit promises not to escalate the Ukraine War into a greater conflict (and thus most likely into a thermonuclear apocalypse that will exterminate our species and reduce our Mother Earth back to a bug planet), we know he's also lying when he pledges the debt-limit fight won't be weaponized to further savage the working class.

***

Zelensky’s Wartime Visit to Berlin and Germany’s New “Drive to the East”

Apropos the defiant resurrection of German militarism, it is undoubtedly of great semiotic significance the Bundeswehr has already brought back the traditional jackboots -- albeit modified by a cynically labeled "democracy buckle" -- as their parade-uniform footwear. Hence the goose-step will no doubt soon follow. As my long-dead paternal grandmother, a Scot, so often said, "the Germans are a fine people -- as long as you don't allow them military uniforms."

Hence my clenched-fist salute to Comrade Stern, though he omits the historical fact the already nazified USian ruling class made its wholly owned U.S. government a de facto puppet of German foreign policy by its eager adoption of legions of Nazi war criminals as advisors and comrades-at-arms -- the premeditated post-World-War-II atrocity for which not only our entire species but our Mother Earth herself will soon pay Hitler's terminal, better-dead-than-defeated price.

Unless, of course, there is a truly global uprising by the working class…

*****

Inflation Drives US Household Debt to Record $17 Trillion

And our potentially deadly plight -- that is, the plight of the entire USian working class, 99.9 percent of the domestic population -- will become infinitely worse once Biden the Beguiler completes the "Democratic" (sic) Party's cunningly pre-scripted debt-limit betrayal, thereby  enabling the "Republican" (sic) Christonazi/Neoconfederate Party to complete the genocidal destruction of the socioeconomic "safety-net" remnants long targeted by the ruling-class.

But it's really nothing new; it's just another (terminal) example of "change we can believe in" -- the most malevolently destructive Big Lie ever pimped to the hopelessly gullible USian Moronic Majority.

*****

Manufactured Crisis over US Debt Ceiling Sets Stage for Bipartisan Assault on Social Security and Medicare 

NOTE: see updates at US Budget Deal Will Accelerate Savage Cuts to Public Education and Biden-McCarthy Austerity Debt Ceiling Bill Moves to Vote in Congress, also background at  White House Debt Limit Talks: a Manufactured, Bipartisan Conspiracy to Make Workers Pay for War

Given that the capitalist nations are now ruled by a cabal that amounts to a de facto nazi international, we dare not dismiss the possibility a carefully scripted USian default is intended as weapon of economic genocide -- that is, to deliberately inflict murderous  hardship of genocidal magnitude on the entire global working class. This would at least partly accomplish the stated ruling class goal of eliminating "surplus workers" even as  the inconceivably obscene wealth of the .01 Percent and their vassals would, precisely as intended, insulate the ruling class from any collateral damage. I dearly hope I am wrong -- that this is not the ruling-class plan --  but history is unequivocal in its proof there is absolutely no limit to the horrors the ruling class will inflict on us in its quest for eternal omnipotence.

***

Biden’s Debt Ceiling Betrayal Is a Democratic Party Tradition

This analysis by Margaret Kimberly exemplifies why Black Agenda Report should be regular reading for every real leftist in the USian Empire. It is, hands-down, the best (domestically written) political reporting on the Internet, its courageous accuracy and fearless truthfulness a powerful antidote to the Big Lie propaganda in which we would otherwise be drowning. Qualitatively, it is equal to the international reporting and analysis provided by the World Socialist Web Site -- thus my heartfelt gratitude to PR for regularly reprinting BAR's material.  

*****

Atlanta: We Do Not Need a School for Assassins

This is excellent, courageous reporting that is not available in USia's so-called "mainstream media," which -- let us not forget -- is actually the world's first privately owned, for-maximum-profit version of Josef Goebbels' Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, serving the de facto Fourth Reich of the USian Empire in exactly the same way the Goebbels group served Hitler's Third Reich.

As a near-lifelong professional journalist -- my sometimes award-winning career on newspapers and magazines began in my 16th year (and I remain somewhat active in the field even now at age 83) -- I recognize reportage of that quality and social-documentary photography produced with equal skill and fearlessness have become the defining qualities of the by-lined group's work.

Moreover, such top-notch journalism is desperately needed by the USian 99.9 Percent. That's why I dearly wish the news collective that radically demeans and discredits itself as a "Unicorn Riot" would dump its self-pitying, implicitly powerless,  Sesame-Streetish name and replace it with a label that would prompt a vastly larger number of people to take its vital work seriously.

*****

Myths and Reality: the Power of Nonviolence

Ms. Morrow speaks a truth, but history proves it is only partially true, entirely conditional on the ability of our foes to regard us as fellow humans.

The primary exception -- as relevant in today's USian Empire as it was in yesteryear's Weimar Germany -- is that non-violence is useless against nazis, whether Original N.S.D.A.P. Nazis,  their many Franco/Pinochet variants. or the USian Christonazis who disguise themselves as members of the "Republican" and "Democratic" parties. 

Let us not forget that nazism -- too often euphemized as "fascism" to downplay its horrors -- is the ultimate fulfillment of both the capitalist ethos of omnipotent greed and the patriarchal ethos of misogynistic omnipotence from which capitalism is directly descended.

All nazis are thus serial-killer-minded moral imbeciles who revel in the ecogenocidal embrace of infinite evil. As Neville Chamberlain learned at Munich, as the White Rose Society learned in the Third Reich, as the martyrs of the Civil Rights Movement learned in the USian fatherland and as Harry Turtledove pointed out in the short story entitled "The Last Article" (for which google), nonviolence actually encourages the nazis to ever more deadly atrocities.

Thus too, the only historically proven antidote to nazism was the Red Army, the permanent absence of which most likely damns the 99.9 Percent to lifelong slavery, dooms our entire species to greedy self-extinction and condemns our Mother Earth to reduction back to a bug planet.

*****

SCOTUS Case May Slash Regulation of Everything

I am not certain which is more ecogenocidally terminal  to ourselves, our species and our Mother Earth -- the Christonazi  judicial cabal that is dutifully following the Mein Kampf blueprint in reducing the USian Empire to the de facto Fourth Reich (much as Hitler's N.S.D.A.P.- nazified judiciary reduced the Weimar Republic to the Third Reich), or the pseudo-left's cowardly pretense there remains any doubt at all about our morally imbecilic Masters' malevolent intent.  

Each -- Christonazi activism and the pseudo-left's cravenly pacifist fraudulent indecisiveness  --  is a pivotal factor in the terminally apocalyptic destruction of  USian democratic process the Empire's clandestinely nazified  owners have been slowly but methodically  imposing since they were given free reign by the coup of 22 November 1963.

The third factor in our nation's permanent reduction to an electronically policed open-air death camp, our own reduction to inescapable slavery and the ultimate, ultimately misogynistic reduction of our Mother Earth back to a bug planet by the USian reich's wars of global conquest is of course the U.S. Moronic Majority, which is already hopelessly subjugated to unquestioning submissiveness and thus is no more to be blamed than its 1930s German counterpart.

Nevertheless the circumstantial but infinitely damning evidence remains obvious to the dwindling few of us -- mostly the tiny remnant of USia's once-thriving Marxian community -- who yet dare look: first the immunity granted the nazification-minded perpe-traitors of the Bankers' Plot; then the .01 Percent's infiltration,  co-optation and conversion of white fundamentalist Christianity into a fanatically nazified auxiliary; next the recruitment of innumerable Original Nazi war criminals as advisors and comrades-at-arms;  finally the murder of our president and all that -- "as the night the day" -- relentlessly follows.

What dooms us is the absence of Lev Bronstein and Vladimir Ulyanov, without whom it is ever-more-obvious there can never again be a working-class awakening.

*****

Continued Fiction? Yes, But Not This Time. (Sorry)
I’ve been so overwhelmed by our ever-more-wretched political reality -- not to mention a passel of surprise medical bills -- I haven’t been able to get the next installment past the conceptual phase. But I promise it's taking shape.

LB/31 May 2023

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New Cellphone-Friendly Format; New Approach; My Promise I'll No Longer Resist Writing About Politics

FIRST, MY APOLOGY FOR AN UNAPOLOGETIC CONCLUSION: As regular readers know, I have struggled for some time – years, actually – with my desire to move this blog “beyond” politics, with the explanation for my sarcasm quotes in this passage's concluding paragraph. I was motivated by the psychological nausea inflicted by the fact today’s politics are overwhelmingly those of the relentless capitalism-inflicted apocalypse, utterly hopeless and therefore infinitely depressing, a condition for which I had hoped to evolve textual and photographic antidotes for myself that would also serve those of you who regularly read this blog.

But now at long last I realize there are three reasons I cannot – indeed could never – do as I wanted. Each is existential. One is that a political journalist – no more, no less – is what I am. As a member of the working press, politics was what I thought about and wrote about most often. Two is that in the privacy of my own thoughts, and sometimes in revealing conversations with lovers or closest friends, I admitted I conceived of politics in the broadest possible socioeconomic sense, as for viewing crime as the consequences both of our national ethos of self-obsessed of moral imbecility and of the desperate poverty resulting from the deliberately murderous systemic malfeasance that ultimately defines capitalism as a form of nazism. By my late 20s I had come to recognize capitalism as the direct offspring of patriarchy, which in turn I had come to recognize as our species’ methodically ecogenocidal war against our Mother Earth, thus a suicide pact – and thus too an ultimately unnatural act, the one truly mortal sin that not only dooms us all but seeks to exterminate all other life (and even the possibility of life) as well. Three – of course (and with heartfelt thanks both to my Marxian father and the maternal aunt who was mindful both spiritually and intellectually) – is that I was long ago awakened to the necessity of not just socioeconomic revolution but metaphysical and aesthetic revolution as well. Though as a member of the working press what I most often wrote about was not the disease of patriarchy but immediate examples of its diverse symptoms, I realize now I have somehow been granted the freedom to do both simultaneously -- that is, to put the symptoms in their proper context (which was the ultimate purpose of the photographic and textual revelations of anti-patriarchal rebellion that were the conceptual backbone of the burned and forever-lost “Glimpses of a Pale Dancer”) -- and that I have been working toward an analogous clarification-of-post-fire-purpose throughout a retirement that at age 83 has already extended, seemingly as if by magick, far longer than ever I expected to live.

While the thinking outlined above began in my childhood, its present form owes a great deal to the Gaia Hypothesis, which restates in scientific terms the core belief of our pre-patriarchal ancestors and cousins, amongst them the First Nations peoples, that our planet is herself a living being, “conscious and self-regulating.” Thus I have come to recognize patriarchy as total war against all being and the present USian plague of mass shootings not only as a microcosm of the Empire’s definitively nazi policy of massive retaliation, but – exactly as in Islamic suicide bombings – a microcosmic fulfillment of patriarchy’s terminal misogyny, its intent to assert its alleged supremacy of male over female by literally destroying anything and everything born of Nature. Indeed, the patriarchal intent of destroying the planet to “save” it is ever-more-evident in our Masters’ refusal to act against self-induced terminal climate change.

Which brings us to my promised explanation of the sarcasm quotes around “beyond”: in this darkest of all human ages, there is literally nothing for us, whether as individuals or as a species, “beyond” the mandate for responding to the apocalyptic threat posed by patriarchy. Since politics is either the mechanism by which we rescue ourselves and ensure our species’ survival or the weapon by which we destroy all that is within reach – the notion of anything “beyond” politics is as absurd as the medieval notion of transforming lead into gold. More to the point, now that mere survival has thus become a form of revolutionary defiance, politics is the pivot upon which we live or die, about which I shall henceforth write without apology for anything save the limitations of my own vision.

**********

FORMAT NOTE: I have used Typepad’s catalogue of formats to redesign Dispatches to accommodate reception by cell-phone users. This will transform previously published headlines into text that sometimes either overflows its original spacing or leaves great voids in it and does likewise with previously published photographs, flaws that are anathema to me as a former (award-winning) news-and-picture editor, though after a long delay I have come to accept the resultant graphic ugliness as an unavoidable surrender to present-day technology essential for increased readership.

**********

THREE COMMENT-THREAD POSTS FROM OTHER WEBSITES:

On the debt-limit crisis (and why I am so utterly terrified of its looming consequences): We should fear a “compromise” that sells out seniors, kids, and the disabled.

I am 83 years old, a mostly retired, sometimes award-winning print journalist whose newspaper career began at age 16 in 1956. Since the economic debacle of 2008-2009, which cost me nearly 70 percent of my annual income and forced me into bankruptcy, my sole source of pay has been Social Security.

The most telling lesson of my career is therefore the certain knowledge all USian politicians -- whether members of the "Democratic" (sic) Party or of the "Republican" (sic) Christonazi/Neoconfederate Party -- are slavishly obedient puppets of the plutocracy, wholly owned and controlled by that tiny cabal of obscenely wealthy, fanatically neoliberal aristocrats who rule the United States and its global Empire with the same morally imbecilic omnipotence that hitherto defined only history's most notorious tyrants.

Their core principle -- here stated in the English translation of its original assertion in Hitler's Mein Kampf -- is that anyone too impoverished or disabled to thrive under capitalism is "life unworthy of life." Thus the only real distinction between the Democrats and the Republicans is the extent to which the former are infinitely more skilled at deceiving the Moronic Majority that functions as the national electorate. Thus too neoliberal "austerity," the slow-motion genocide by which our Masters have replaced death camps.

In fact the present crisis is but a repetition of recent history. Barack the Betrayer -- who campaigned successfully on "change we can believe in," the most ruinously brazen lie ever fed the Moronic Majority -- conspired with the Republicans to savage food stamps in 2011, using a carefully choreographed debt-limit fight to disguise the treachery of the "Democratic" (sic) Party, afterward lying to the public he had "saved" food stamps even as he radically cut food stamps for singles and elderly people, slashing my monthly allocation from $130 to $16.

Today's bitterly damning truth is the Democrats refused to raise the debt limit when they had the votes to do so. In other words. they deliberately engineered the present crisis by handing the Christonazis and Neoconfederates the tools to compel whatever socioeconomic savagery our Masters mandate. Despite his lies, Biden the Beguiler is obviously using the same strategy and tactics his predecessor the Betrayer employed.

Thus the political harlots who cater to our Masters' every plutocratic whim cunningly facilitate ever-worsening tyranny even as they dupe the Moronic Majority by preserving the Big Lie -- and that is precisely what it is -- of a troubled but nevertheless still functional democratic republic.

While I have no idea how deliberately murderous the looming socioeconomic savagery will be, experience tells me it will indeed be another step in the .01 Percent's effort to reduce the numbers of the 99.9 Percent, which means it will be as genocidal as our Masters believe they can achieve without sparking actual revolution.

Meanwhile my gratitude to Mr. Eskow for daring tell the truth, and my thanks to LAP for daring publish it.

*****

Ukrainian attack on Kremlin is a criminal provocation

Whether the drone-bombing of the Kremlin is as claimed by the Ukrainians or the Russians, its ultimate message is, again, that the global ruling class believes itself well-enough bunkered to survive not only a chemical, biological and thermonuclear apocalypse but the decade or so of nuclear winter that's bound to follow it.

And given the ongoing ruling-class refusal to take meaningful action against global warming, it is entirely possible our Masters see nuclear winter as the final solution to that problem too.

Meanwhile turncoat Putin's restoration of Russian Orthodoxy is methodically returning the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics to Tsarist tyranny, even as the USian Empire -- no doubt following the advice of the legions of Original (N.S.D.A.P.) Nazi war criminals it embraced as comrades-at-arms during and after the final year of World War II -- employs a Jewish puppet to re-nazify the Ukraine.

Exactly as Comrade Zaremba says in her comment, "This attack could get us all killed" -- as in the extermination of the entire global working class and the destruction of Earth as a habitable planet.

*****

Forest Defenders Appear For Preliminary Hearings

Actually -- this in supportive response to mwildfire -- Atlanta is infinitely more malevolent (and therefore infinitely more terrifying) than "an outpost of the Third Reich"; it is instead an embryo of the de facto Fourth Reich, the USian Empire, advised into being c. 1944-1968 by the legions of Nazi war criminals gleefully adopted from the defeated Third Reich and secretly resurrected to far greater ecogenocidal murderousness by the United States government and its capitalist owners.

So advised, the Empire's owners and their governmental vassals have since granted themselves irreversible omnipotence by fully weaponizing technology to fulfill their intent of "full-spectrum dominance" -- conquest of the entire world followed by universal zero-tolerance tyranny enforced by inescapable total surveillance. Their ethos is bottomless sadism and smirking moral imbecility. They will co-opt and exploit all human knowledge, either to fulfill Hitler's dream of subjugating all the peoples of the world or to fulfill the global version of Hitler's final stated wish, for which google Hitler's Nero decree and last will. Thus -- proclaiming of our world as they did of a village in Vietnam, "we had to destroy it to save it" -- they will exterminate our species and reduce our Mother Earth back to a bug planet rather than suffer genuine defeat.

That, my comrades, is the true unmitigated horror of our present circumstances, and that is what the "full-spectrum dominance" of the oppression that is ever-more-appallingly evident in Atlanta should be telling us. But -- alas and to our eventual doom -- far too many of us yet have our heads up that dark and smelly place I dast not mention lest this entire comment be censored.

************

SURPRISE, SURPRISE: The New York Times Publishes My Correction:

For those who’ve already spent their non-subscriber limit of 10 stories per month or otherwise cannot get past the NYT paywall:

All the four questions are from multiple-choice eighth-grade history tests. The question I addressed is, “Which of the following changes took place in Southern states immediately after the Civil War?”

The choices are:

(1)-Access to education became more available to African American people.

(2)-Most African Americans quickly switched from agricultural work to employment in manufacturing.

(3)-African American women were given the right to vote.

(4)-State governments were required to have African American people in legislative and executive offices.

Though I recognized options 1 and 4 were each correct, I answered option 4 as the more important – and my answer was marked wrong. According to The Times, the only correct answer was option 1.

Hence my comment and the comment in response:

Given my background in history -- a near-lifelong interest and a major part of my interdisciplinary BA -- I would debate the stated correct answer on the history question about the results of the Civil War. While it is indeed true the end of slavery enabled African-Americans legal access to education, it is also true the presence of federal troops throughout the secessionist states compelled the acceptance of African-Americans elected to local, state and federal government. (And of course it is equally true that by withdrawing federal troops in 1877, the U.S. government tacitly endorsed the re-emergence of the genocidal white supremacy that methodically purged African-Americans from the political system and radically curtailed their access to education.)

Loren Bliss (Tacoma, May 3)

(42 recommended)

In response:

@Loren Bliss my first thought was where were these black children going to school in 1866. My own state of Florida had no constitutional requirement for providing education until 1868 and we didn’t fully integrate until 1970. We did have black representation in congress during reconstruction though.

Alexander (Sunshine State, May 3)

(5 recommended)

As one of my Tacoma comrades said in response, “Good show! No wonder most USians are so ignorant about history. The media continues to peddle fables.”

**********

FICTION, MAYBE AS PROPHECY, working-titled “A Thing So Simple and So Huge,” a first draft of something, of course subject to constant revision:

Source of title:

And when the sand was gone and the time arrived
In the naked dawn only a few survived
And in attempts to understand a thing so simple and so huge
Believed that they were meant to live after the deluge

– Jackson Browne, “Before the Deluge

***

THE STORY-KEEPER was awakened by a frighteningly improbable clamor of ravens. His name was Matthew Drusillason; he was a black-bearded, brown-skinned, olive-eyed  schoolteacher, a student of theocracy-forbidden subjects, a refugee from  the religious wars that yet raged beyond the Dead Lands. Three years ago he had been the sole survivor of a badly crewed sailing vessel fatally overcrowded with desperately hopeful emigrant escapees, a leaky, rot-weakened coaster storm-sunk amidst the always-treacherous rip-tides  of the  Sailish Sea. The Potlatch People had found him dying on Sanamo Island's Eastward Beach, and when he confessed to them his bewildered astonishment at having been borne  to the shallows by a pod of dolphins, they had nursed him back to health with their native medicines and afterward, relishing his unapologetically truthful stories of the tyrannies that characterized Before, they had adopted him both as a tribal member and as the keeper of the newest episodes of their struggle for survival in the relentlessly deadly wake of the Before's attempted murder of the formerly vengeful but now-gradually recovering  Mother Earth. His adoption was 14 moons ago; since then, guided by Potlatch  teachers, he had learned much of the locale's plants and animals,  and for a moment or two, knowing ravens do not ordinarily transform the late-night skies with cacophonies of rage, he thought he was dreaming.  But now he realized he was fully awake and the avian uproar he first believed imaginary was in fact happening in reality, and it was occurring at such uncanny loudness it seemed each of the thousand or so ravens he knew dwelt in the island's coniferous forest had taken wing in gratingly loquacious protest. Perhaps he had slept through an earthquake. Perhaps a quake was looming. Perhaps the volcano they called KomaKulsh was again erupting or was about to explode as she was said to have done three decades past. Perhaps a giant tsunami had flooded past the Sailish Sea's mountainous barriers and  was coming to drown Sanamo and obliterate all traces of its residents’ already unlikely survival. Ravens, he had learned, are magickal; they are also among the Earth Mother's chosen messengers; they would know of such events long before humans awakened to the dangers. Troubled by an ever-more-compelling sense of incipient disaster, a seasoned veteran of many post-Before horrors and thus haunted by a looming sense of more potentially terminal possibilities than he could envision, Matthew rolled out of his bed, silently cursed the surprising coldness of the early-autumn air, rebuked himself for not having fed an overnight-sized log into the stone fireplace, seized one of the three cherished red wool Before blankets that had warmed his slumber, wrapped his naked flesh against the now-presumed chill of the Fifth Hinge, stepped barefoot onto the  stones of the cabin porch and thence into the yet chillier dew-damp grass as the corvid clamor continued and yes grew louder, more insistent, more alarmed and therefore more alarming. The swooping, soaring birds had risen in such numbers they reduced the overhead starlight to fast flickers and darted ominously eerie black silhouettes across the round yellow face of the Three Sisters Moon seasonably low and already sinking beyond her eighth-lunation zenith in the southern sky. He had never seen its like, not even in the vast regional musterings of carrion birds that cleansed the post-apocalyptic battlefields of their reeking gore and stripped to bare-bone heaps of weathering skulls the mounds of severed heads that marked the territorial borders of the warring states beyond the Dead Lands. 

Fifty yards from the closely adzed and gray-mud-chinked cedar-log walls of Matthew’s cabin and the clustered, nearly identical dwellings of his immediate neighbors, his fellow Sanamo dwellers were hastily gathering in the village Round, children, adolescents and adults alike, most of the adolescents and adults already visibly armed, all gazing skyward in fearful bewilderment, their upturned faces dimly silhouetted against the slowly waning flicker of the Thanksfire they had kindled to greet the rising moon seven sand-glasses earlier. The Three-Sisters Harvest would begin at dawn today; that’s why the celebration had not continued until sunrise. But why these outraged ravens? What was so dreadfully amiss? No doubt gray-haired Wanda Wolfwise, the Potlatch People’s eldest teacher and the leader of this small band of racially indistinct human survivors, would soon arrive to interpret the ravens' message and – or so Matthew and his gathered neighbors dearly hoped – help them all discern their best options. Now knowing his presence both as story-keeper and warrior was essential, he hastened back inside, exchanged blanket for early-autumn buckskins and elk-hide moccasins, belted on pistols and throwing axe, shrugged into his boomer’s bag, grasped the ancient but meticulously cared-for Before rifle he had been given by the elders as an adoption gift, lifted it off its wooden bedside pegs,  donned his woven-reed hat and strode to join his neighbors at the Round. By now nearly everyone of fighting age who dwelt on the island, 203 adults and adolescents, had mustered, bringing their younger children to the safety of the cedar-log parenting hall as the caw, caw, caw continued  to fill the night sky, seeming even louder and more grating than before, its alarm so intrusive Wanda had brought a hastily improvised birch-bark megaphone to make herself heard above the din.

“It’s an invasion by rats,” she shouted. "Legions of rats swimming up from the south. Rats riding clusters of flotsam at least as wide as three adult armspans. The rats aboard the debris pushed toward us by as many more rats swimming. And when these rats exhaust themselves in the water, only a few drown; the rest change places with the riding rats. The South Shore Kayak Patrol spotted them, sent a lantern signal to the Shore Watchers, who sent a rider to me. Then the ravens started up. But the rats are still a glass away, which means thanks to our warriors and the ravens, we’ve just enough time to organize a defense. Everybody and all our dogs to the Southward Beach. Get ready to ignite the fire boats. Goddess knows what sickness these rats carry. Goddess help us keep them off our island.”

The ravens continued their enraged denunciations; the Potlatchers did as Wanda directed. Eleven family groups of five or six boomers and as many as 12 archers jogged along the packed-earth trail out past the seasonably red-leafed vine maples that grew like natural hedges around the village with its familial clusters of log cabins and its broad surrounding span of black-soil communal gardens bountifully pregnant with harvest-ready corn, beans and pumpkins. Moccasined feet padded a soft rhythm not unlike that of the previous evening's ceremonial drums. Then the joggers slowed to a quieter, more erratic pace, hiking with carefully placed feet down the trail's abruptly steep and hazardously rocky slope through an agedly high-branched stand of Douglas Fir to the Southward Beach, the boomers laden with spare ammunition for flintlock rifles already primed and loaded with trade-powder and bear-greased projectiles of scavenged lead home-cast from cherished Before molds and dependably deadly out to 300 yards, the archers laden with bundles of goose-feather-fletched, salvaged-iron-bladed arrows for their recurve bows, which were effective to only half the rifles' range but able to loose as many as 10 arrows to every boomer’s one painstakingly loaded round of powder and conical ball. The tide was in; small waves lapped softly on wetly gleaming moonlit pebbles; above the incessantly ranting riot of ravens the night sky suddenly flared with serpentine bands of bright green light; the Spirit Dance was reaching way further south than usual; another omen; the Dancers' message yet to be determined. Matthew was momentarily entranced, already thinking how he might describe what he was hearing and seeing and feeling, how he might later record the details of the astounding strangeness that had already occurred, how he might document it with his newly learned expertise in the Potlatchers' traditional mnemonic shorthand, blackberry ink on tanned buckskin...

(To [maybe] be continued, Muse inspiring. )

**********

LB/12 May 2023

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