Misogyny

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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Was the Tarot an Ancient Astronomical Calculator? Also, Eight Comment-Thread Posts from Elsewhere

AS BEFORE, I am still at work on a (very) lengthy and emotionally difficult anthology of essays and photographs, this in preparation for my death, the approach of which is radically accelerated by severe post-Covid complications that have already reduced me to an invalid, and which -- since I was fully vaccinated -- strongly suggest at least some of the vaccines given us old folks were useless pacifiers, a probability most assuredly in keeping with the genocidal intent of  patriarchy and ever-more-nazified capitalism.  Assuming I live so long, when I am able, I will resume "normal" blogging (and yes, I trust the quotation-marks will excuse the malapropism).  Beyond that, for those who might be interested in speculative archaeology and anthropology, here  -- slightly modified -- is an excerpt from a note I sent to a fellow pagan just before the Summer Solstice:  

Apropos the probable original function of the Fool and the Tarot in general, what follows is an analysis in keeping with what -- if memory serves -- is one of Colin Wilson's hypotheses in his epic work The Occult -- specifically his supposition that many of the items used by present-day psychics originated anciently as practical tools the original functions of which are suppressed by patriarchal theocracy as "heretical" knowledge. (My apology for the lack of  a more precise bibliographical reference; my copy of Wilson's  book and several pages of associated notes were destroyed by the 1983 arson fire.) Nevertheless, if I remember Wilson's theory correctly, and if it does indeed apply to the Tarot deck, its present-day role as a popular tool of clarification and accurate prophecy may well have evolved from a Cargo-Cult-like folk-memory of its ancient use as a mathematically precise predictor of solar and lunar eclipses.   

The card known as the Empress signifies feminine power of such magnitude it resoundingly refutes the pseudo-scholarship that strives to associate the deck with the Hebrew alphabet, which would enhance its marketability by binding it to the ecogenocidal misogyny that defines the scriptural cores of the Abrahamic religions and is the doctrinal anchor that invariably -- and despite courageous efforts at reform -- drags Judaism, Christianity and Islam  back to modern repetitions of their murderous histories of patriarchal fanaticism.1  Thus after a dream focused my mind on the riddle posed by Wilson's hypothesis, I began questioning how the Tarot might have originated  as a portable tool for answering two riddles posed by the breathtakingly ancient “Song of Amergin”:  

Who (but I) can tell the ages of the moon?
Who (but I) can tell the place where the sun rests?

That was in September 1972; the subsequent essay of maybe a dozen typewritten pages -- a relatively brief chapter in the arson-destroyed “Glimpses of a Pale Dancer” – focused on the abundant but then mostly ignored evidence indicating the Tarot is a carefully disguised relic of the age of the Goddess. Thus, like much of the traditional balladry rediscovered by the folk renaissance of the 1940s and ‘50s, the cards were a then mostly unrecognized but nevertheless still powerful invocation of her return. That chapter was  therefore part of the extensively footnoted material I cited in “Dancer,” which was a 150,000-word redefinition of the 1960s Counterculture as the first wave of the resurrection of the Goddess and the beginning of global revolution against patriarchy. Illustrated by about 100 photographs, "Dancer" was burned just it was on the brink of major publication. The fire also destroyed all my other significant work. Nevertheless, I remember enough of the Tarot piece to summarize it here, for whatever paths of contemplation it might suggest .

Because the Fool is the one unnumbered card in the 22-card Major Arcana, I took it as one of four marker-cards in what I believe was originally a late Neolithic or early Bronze Age pocket calculator a traveling priestess or priest might have used to keep track of the astronomical calculations done at Stonehenge. (Irish tradition dates “The Song of Amergin” to 1268 BCE2)  Eighteen of the remaining 21 cards through which the Fool journeys I took as representatives of an Ogham calendar-alphabet (rather than the Hebrew alphabet to which they were then typically assigned), and I sorted them into the appropriate 13 consonant/months and five vowel/seasons. (Alas, I no longer remember which cards I assigned to what months, and I do not have the spare time it originally took -- about a month of evenings and weekends --  to restore the destroyed work.)  I assigned the five obviously female cards – Priestess, Empress, Strength, Justice and Death – to the seasons; the fifth season of these ancient calendar-alphabets was the season of the new year, which added five days to the 360-day lunar year to make it approximately synchronous with the 365¼-day solar year.3    And I took the Star, Moon and Sun as additional markers, these to be used in conjunction with the Minor Arcana’s 56 cards because – thanks to research at Stonehenge – we had learned from its prehistoric builders that 56 is the lowest common denominator of eclipse cycles, and three the minimum required number of its movable indicators.4
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1Despite their propagandists' claims to the contrary, the history of Old Testament Judaism -- like histories of Christianity and Islam -- are defined primarily by expression of the misogyny and ecogenocide mandated by their core scriptures.  See for example  Monica Sjöö & Barbara Mor, The Great Cosmic Mother, Harper San Francisco: 1987;  pgs. 230-234.

2Robert Graves, The White Goddess, Farrar, Straus and Giroux (amended and enlarged edition):1966; pgs. 205-206.  

3Ibid., pg. 274 ff.

4Gerald S. Hawkins and John B. White, Stonehenge Decoded, Barnes and Nobel Books: 1993; pgs. 140-146. (My original source, part of the personal library destroyed by arson,  was the Doubleday edition published in 1968.) 

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Agitation Via Other Websites' Comment-Threads: 

Trump or Biden on Israel? I am daily more astonished so few of us see what history should have long ago made obvious to anyone with the proverbial lick-of-sense: that the Biden candidacy is merely the "Democratic" (sic) Party's most "plausibly deniable" way of throwing the election to Trump, thereby completing its post-JFK function as the Fifth Column of the "Republican" (sic) Christonazi/Neoconfederate Party.

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Biden Should Blame Corporate Monopolies for Higher Prices. Love your anti-inflation video, Mr. Reich; it's a superbly explosive and properly saturating piece of work, puns obviously intended. But when oh when will you acknowledge the ever-more-excruciatingly obvious truth the Biden candidacy is the "Democratic" (sic) Party's "plausibly deniable" means of completing its post-JFK role as the Fifth Column of the "Republican" (sic) Christonazi/Neoconfederate Party and throwing the election to Trump.

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Trump Will Not Accept Election Results. I salute Mr. Reich's courage and admire his persistence, but it is increasingly obvious Trump's victory -- and with it a new Holocaust -- is unavoidable.  Anyone with the proverbial lick-of-sense has already awakened to the terrifying truth there's no stopping  the  "Democratic" (sic) Party's "plausibly deniable" scheme to use the Biden candidacy to throw the election to Trump. .

Meanwhile, The New York Times'  latest disclosure of the Democrats' innumerable  treacheries reveals the obviously premeditated pro-Trump shenanigans of Biden's appointee at the Federal Election Commission. (Though most of the mainstream-media propaganda machine is suppressing this story, there are a couple of exceptions.  If you're not an NYT subscriber, google "federal election commission deregulation" without the quotation marks.)

Thus the Democrats move ever closer to fulfilling the final obligations of their  post-JFK, 100-percent-compromised function as the Fifth Column of the "Republican" (sic) Christonazi/Neoconfederate Party.

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California YIMBY Joins Corporate Landlords to Kill Rent Control. I had not known of the YIMBY movement until I read Mr. McDonald's report,  for which many thanks. But I have long been aware of the aggressive, self-obsessed, Ayn-Rand-spawned moral imbecility -- actually a variant of nazism (white supremacy and misogyny included) -- that seems to be the required ethos of high-tech professionals. I encountered it years ago, as a member of the working press, when the technofascists -- and that is precisely what they are -- began gleefully destroying newspaper editorial and mechanical departments with computerization.  I realized at the time they are all Josef-Goebbels-caliber liars, peddling their inventions as a great benefit to humanity when in fact their wholesale elimination of jobs proves them to be the most socioeconomically destructive force on the planet. I witnessed their vindictive self-obsession again in Occupy; though few in number, they functioned quite successfully as anti-solidarity agents, a Fifth Column that subverted us from within as we were being assaulted from without, and I could not but wonder if this was their clandestinely assigned role. Then a couple of years later came GamerGate, within which they shamelessly revealed their infinite malevolence. Thus YIMBY is no surprise. When combined with all the other evidence, it suggests the technofascists might be a new subspecies, genetically sociopathic, utterly devoid of empathy, and that the manifest cruelty of YIMBY is, like the boundless misery inflicted by their technology, the deliberate expression of their contempt and hatred for us all.

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TikTok Bans Video Demanding Bogdan Syrotiuk's Freedom. While I initially agreed with Comrade Zaremba apropos China's arguably pro-Russian, anti- UkraiNazi interest, on second thought I see the censorship of Tic-Tok as predictable for two reasons. It is (A), exemplary of the magnitude of China's concern over the looming (and obviously unstoppable) USian Empire ban of Tic-Tok. And it is therefore (B), irrefutable proof China's state capitalism is as neoloberal -- that is, as incipiently nazified -- as any other form of capitalism. In which context note also the unmistakable echoes of the Hitler-Stalin Pact.

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Electric Trains Are the Powerhouse Electric Vehicles. Unfortunately we'll never get adequate national rail transport -- no matter how it is powered -- for the same reason USia ranks last in the developed world for local mass transit: the bottomless hatred of socioeconomic benefits that is unquestionably the deadliest venom of white-supremacist racism. (Doubt this? Google "racism vs. mass transit," without the quotation marks. And it isn't conjecture or refutable as "conspiracy theory"; it is long-proven, eternally unchanging fact.)

Indeed it is at least arguable we on the (real) left should be thanking Trump for revealing the extent to which The New York Times' breathtakingly courageous 1619 Project is unequivocal truth: that the infinite malice of race hatred is not only the definitive characteristic of U.S. history, but that it remains the sole unifying ethos of about 73 percent of the Caucasian population. It is an apocalyptic malignancy so uniquely potent in the U.S., that here -- unlike in any other nation -- race-hatred long ago replaced class-hatred as the core dynamic of socioeconomic strife.

(Additional educational references for those who still have their heads in the proverbial sand are, Hitler's American Model: The United States and the Making of Nazi Race Law; James Q. Whitman, Princeton University Press: 2017; and An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States; Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Beacon Press: 2014.)

=========

And two from The New York Times:

New Report Underscores the Seriousness of Long Covid. Long Covid is literally killing me. Fully vaccinated, I was nevertheless felled by the virus a year ago. I will never again have any sense of taste or smell; it has intensified my osteoarthritis to the extent I am naught but a cripple; and it has worsened a hitherto-medication-stabilized atrial-valve deficiency of 10 percent to a deteriorating and therefore fatal failure last cardiogramed at 90 percent. Merely hobbling on my arthritis-mandated walker the 10 feet from my living room to my kitchen now leaves me breathless. An incurable fungus infection I brought back from extended military service in Korea c. 1961-1962 denies me valve-replacement surgery. My cardiologist told me last September that, thanks to Long Covid, I have at the most two years to live, probably somewhat less.

Apropos the virus itself, its rapid mutation makes it uncontrollable, an apocalyptic threat that fills me with a difficult to describe mixture of anger and the most profound sadness I have ever known. At age 84, I have no fear of death; I have lived long enough to be exempt from the rightful fury of the younger people whose lives it has stolen and destroyed. But the shameful lack of easily accessible treatment as a classic example of how we the people are so often victimized. Nor can I overlook how the characteristics of the virus make it perfect for socioeconomic and military purposes, which suggests why the facts of its origin remain so difficult to ascertain. (My comment got 80 "Recommends.")

===

Men Fear Me, Society Shames Me, and I Love My Life. Ms. MacNicol...as an 84-year-old, anti-patriarchal, Marxian, Gaian-pagan male photographer and writer who ultimately refused submission to the soul-killing, spirit-obliterating, mind-destroying oppression of capitalism and its theocratic facilitators, I most wholeheartedly salute you and applaud your assertions. (My comment got 22 "Recommends.")

LB/22 June 2024

--30--

 


Biden Is the Plutocrats' Most "Plausibly Deniable" Way to Ensure Trump Wins; Christonazi Victory'd Make 2nd Civil War Inevitable; 5 More Posts from Elsewhere

STILL WORKING ON updating essays, a project that has morphed into preparation of an anthology for my post-mortem beneficiaries.  Nevertheless -- journalist to the end -- I spend the first hour or so of every day reading the (real) news, and when a report, analysis or disclosure moves me to do so, I post a comment on the associated thread. (Sometimes, as did the last three comments below, these get rejected, at which point the uplifted-social-finger portion of my alleged mind insists they too be published here.)

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Major Trump trials delayed until after election

Biden is merely the most "plausibly deniable" of the ruling class options for throwing the election to Trump, thus guaranteeing the perpetuation of capitalism by permanently reducing the U.S. to a zero-tolerance Christonazi theocracy. But how many more times must this be said before the Moronic Majority awakens to its looming subjugation?

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Two Americas: the Slow Divide

Unfortunately, Mr, Reich, the Christonazis' core belief -- that they have a divine mandate to conquer the world and exterminate all of us who refuse to declare for their demon Jesus -- is bound to overcome the Neoconfederates' isolationism. This will make a second Civil War unavoidable. Which leaves three questions:

(1)-Will the so-called Blue States be able to overcome their anti-gunowner pacifism enough to train and mobilize an effective defense against Waffen-SS-minded Christonazi fanatics? 

(2)-Will the Blue States be able to react fast enough to seize and utilize the military assets within their boundaries?

(3)-Given that the destruction of the United States is in the interest of its  primary global opponents  -- these are Russia and China; probably India; depending on the time-frame, perhaps also a pan-African union -- where will the Blue States (which, thanks to outsourcing by capitalist profiteers, lack the manufacturing capabilities essential to winning even a small war) -- find the allies essential to their victory?

Apropos my use of the "so-called" adjectival prefix in question (1), as someone who's aware of psycho-linguistics, I am infuriated by the Orwellian, silence-dissenters-by-destroying-our-vocabulary methodology obvious in assigning red -- the color (as in the Red Army), of liberation from the Original Nazis, and the color (as in "yeah damn right I'm a Red") of socialism  in general  -- to the permanently Christonazified regions of the "United" (sic) States.

A more truthful color assignment would be derived from our (first?) Civil War: blue for the states remaining true to the best of our founding principles, gray -- or better yet the feldgrau  of Hitler's Wehrmacht -- for the states of the Christonazi Neoconfederacy.

By the way, the same psycho-linguistically malicious subversion of meaning is evident in Trump's theft of socialism's clenched-fist salute.

As to what will actually obtain, I'm sure I'll never get to find out, which admittedly vexes my journalistic curiosity. But there's no escaping the fact I am 84 years old and terminally ill, so I may not even get to find out who wins in November, though I cannot doubt it will be Trump and the final triumph of the permanent nazification that's been underway – mostly by the diabolical cunning of the boiled-frog method – since our plutocratic masters embraced those legions of Original Nazi war criminals as advisors and comrades-at-arms. 

Biden? He's merely the plutocrats' most plausibly deniable method of throwing the election to their new Führer.

A near-lifelong student of history -- also part of the working press c. 1956-1959, 1962-1986 and 2004-2009 --  I've always recognized the murder of President Kennedy as a coup. I recognized the murder of his brother as the end, forever,  of any possibility of a counter-coup; I saw the 1976 election as a final act of surrender; and I recognized the 1980 election as the beginning of the inevitable post-coup national "cleansing," prefaced as it was by the decade of additional political murders that began in 1964. Thus I have long argued that -- assuming our species has  enough future to produce historians (which I gravely doubt) --  22 November 1963 will by the U.S. Empire's equivalent of 4 September 476, the latter the date the Roman Empire died. 

As to which side will win our second Civil War, that  will undoubtedly be determined by who gets the nukes. Which will also determine whether the war stays within the boundaries of the original U.S. or morphs into the apocalypse that exterminates our species and reduces our Mother Earth back to the bug planet she was four million years ago.

*********      

Then and Now: 1968 and 2024
(Second paragraph slightly revised here to correct the error I made by too hastily editing the original.)

I must respectfully disagree with the definitive portion of Mr. Albert's attempt to define what killed the revolutionary potential of the 1960s. While his overview is (superficially) correct – what might be loosely termed "poor choices" did indeed help facilitate the Counterculture's extermination -- those (alleged) “choices” were not caused by any absence of self-sustaining "reason and evidence." Nor were they the sole factor in its destruction. As a near-lifelong professional journalist and an activist in the post-Sputnik Education-Reform, Civil Rights, Anti-Vietnam-War, Alternative-Press, Back-to-the-Land, Environmentalist and Occupy movements, I know any (accurate) analysis of such failures must begin with the necessarily painful acknowledgment of how patriarchy combines two distinct  types of force to perpetuate its historically proven omnipotence.

One type is, as Mr. Albert implies, self-inflicted. But Marx’s Manifesto and FDR’s Four Freedoms are potentially as compelling now as they were in 1848 or 1941 respectively; once adopted, their principles are never abandoned by “choice” per se. Instead they are nullified by the methodically conditioned caste, racist, sexist and egotistical hatreds that have ever-more-irreparably fragmented human society since patriarchy’s imposition six or seven millennia ago. Today these hatreds are perpetuated by patriarchal religion and its capitalist derivatives, the latter including the Madison-Avenue-induced, morally imbecilic self-obsession that began as  USia's media-vectored terminal illness and is now fatally infecting all humanity. As intended, the resultant malaise prohibits the solidarity essential to overthrow or even ameliorate patriarchy’s ultimate function as the planet-poisoning, species-exterminating mechanism of a global Final Solution, its dynamic first evidenced by smallpox-envenomed blankets.

Though in 1970 I kept my ideology semi-closeted in an (ultimately doomed) effort to preserve my journalism career, I have been a Marxian since my teens. Thus in June of that year, exiled from my New-York-City birthplace and home, I was relieved to discover most of the women I met in the Pacific Northwest were as feminist as those I knew in Lower Manhattan. But in startling contrast to the males I knew in the City -- a vivid example of how NYC of that era truly was, as James Baldwin put it, Another Country -- most Pacific Northwest males remained stubbornly misogynistic. And it is only here I've repeatedly seen solidarity slain -- even in alternative-press collectives -- by bourgeois antagonism toward alleged socioeconomic inferiors. Nor are these reactionary attitudes much abated; now they are merely camouflaged by language proven false by behavior.

Patriarchy's other movement-destroying force is the escalating sadism of its military and police, their murderous brutality intensified by technological supremacy and psychological terror. These are mandates of what Jeff Sharlet reveals as the “fundamentalism” that dictates USian domestic and foreign policy. In the '70s, it was locally proclaimed on Christian reader-boards: "Organic Is Satanic"; "Environmental Means Of The Devil"; and the far more ubiquitous "God Hates Hippies." Now its proclamations are international news.

Honed to invincibility  by the legions of Nazi war criminals the empire adopted after WWII, the synergistic combination of these internal and external forces perpetuates the reduction of our planet to an ecogenocidal death-camp. As a near-lifelong student of history, I know any notion patriarchy includes  a “moral arc...toward justice” is a tyranny-protecting Big Lie. In a sane world, it would be symptomatic of clinical delusion if not outright dementia. Therefore I see no (logical) escape from the looming apocalypse. But I also know the Gaia Theory does not exclude the possibility of last-minute rescue. Apropos that, let us hope an '80s bumper-sticker -- "Goddess Is Coming and She Is Pissed" -- is more than mere fantasy.

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The Supreme Court Might Rescue Trump
(I wrote of "Trumpler" and his "smear-all-putsch" on a sarcastic whim, merely because it rhymes with Hitler and his beer-hall putsch. Nevertheless I believe the comparison is valid, particularly given how Trump has followed Hitler's example of packing the judiciary with puppet judges. It's also noteworthy that some psychics now claim Trump is Hitler's reincarnation, for which go here and here. ) 

As I have been pointing out since well before Trumpler's 6 January smear-all putsch, the USian Christonazis have followed their German Nazi forebears' strategy of packing the judiciary as the one sure means of permanently abolishing democracy without alarming a submissively complacent citizenry. This  nullified all the Weimar Republic's constitutional protections just as it has done likewise to those of the (equally doomed) U.S. republic.  Indeed I would argue that anyone who supposes Trumpler's judiciary would not  declare him  immune to prosecution  is clinically deluded.

We are thus left with three questions:

  • (1)-Will the "Democratic" (sic) Party continue the failing Biden candidacy, which -- despite his superficial, intentionally deceptive emulations of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt -- ever-more-obviously demonstrates the party's post-JFK function as the Fifth Column of the "Republican" (sic)  Christonazi/Neoconfederate Party?

  • (2)-Assuming the Democrats  continue  Biden's plausibly deniable pro-Christonazi candidacy (because that is the only option their Wall Street owners allow), will enough voters recognize the infinite horror of the Trumpite threat to vote Biden a second term despite his many flaws?

  • (3)-Assuming Trumpler wins, will the so-called "blue states" have the courage necessary to resist the Christonazis' armed might -- but if they do, where will they find the necessary allies?            

Bear in mind too that in reality, it was the Red Army that saved the world from Hitler -- and that in today's world, there is no comparable force to save humanity from Trumpler. (Which is precisely why I'm thankful I'm terminally ill and will therefore most likely be spared Trumpler's concentration camps.)

*********

The following three comment-thread posts were rejected, the first two by the World Socialist Web Site, the third by The New York Times. Apropos the topmost WSWS-suppressed post,  I was initially surprised it did not appear. But on reconsideration,  I realized it was probably censored for two reasons: focused as its moderators are on class warfare, and locked as they are into a fundamentalist definition of dialectical materialism (yes, unfortunately there are Marxian fundamentalists too),  they seem loathe to recognize the Trumpite onslaught is as much a resumption of religious warfare -- specifically Christianity's two-millennia crusade to impose zero-tolerance global theocracy -- as it is a class war; they likewise refuse to acknowledge it is also resumption of the race warfare that has defined European colonialism in the Americas since its birth in 1492. Plus there is the fact the site's moderators are adamantly opposed to any sort of alliance with less-ideologically "pure" Marxians, New Deal advocates or any other sorts of socialists or social democrats, the potential solidarity of such a united front implicit in the best-seller status accorded the disclosures by Jeff Sharlet. About the suppression of my other attempted WSWS post, I can only guess it was killed because the moderators might have  considered it an elaboration on an exposé published earlier this year by Jacobin, which it most assuredly was not; I did not discover that report until tonight, 18 May.  But WSWS moderators harbor an especially intense hatred for Jacobin's semi-official parent organization, the Democratic Socialists of America, because they (correctly) condemn DSA as the "Democratic" (sic) Party's weapon to co-opt and thereby nullify the growing demand for a national alternative to the two (pro-nazi) capitalist parties.  Apropos the NYT-suppressed post,  I can only suppose the editors deemed it too brutally honest to be fit to print.   

***

Nearly 3,000 protesters arrested  in U.S. as crackdown on anti-genocide encampments continues internationally 

Disclosure of how the USian Empire is an ever-more-tyrannical theocracy governed by "secret fundamentalism" -- for which see Jeff Sharlet's The Family (Harper: 2008) and his subsequent works --  shows how all the diverse atrocities of capitalism are expressions of this fundamentalism's  ecogenocidal intent.

Sharlet's ongoing investigation reveals how the "Democratic" (sic) Party's national-prayer-breakfast, post-JFK treachery as the Fifth Column of the "Republican" (sic) Christonazi/Neoconfederate Party ideologically enabled the Vietnam War; the destruction of the New Deal; the imposition of economic neoliberalism; the expansion of national and global theocracy; the re-conquest of much of the world by white-supremacist neo-colonialism; the wars for capitalist lebensraum in the Ukraine and Palestine; the Christonazi take-over of the U.S. Supreme Court to guarantee theocratic expansion and permanence; and the militarization of the USian police to suppress any domestic opposition to theocratic subjugation, much as the imperial war machine suppresses such resistance abroad. 

Recognition of how  these atrocities are theocratically connected brings into sharp focus how this "secret fundamentalism" not only justifies capitalism's ecogenocidal greed as divinely ordained, but mandates USian alliance with -- and military support of -- other fundamentalist  theocracies. Ruled as they are by zero-tolerance tyrannies -- Israel by genocidally fundamentalist Judaism and the Western Ukraine by de facto nazis -- the blank-check support given them by the empire is among USian fundamentalism's unapologetic public expressions. 

So is the skyrocketing militarized-police violence unleashed against Occupy, Black Lives Matter and now against pro-Palestine demonstrators. The message here is that in the eyes of the ruling class, we of the 99.9 Percent, regardless of race or ethnicity, are all defined by the N-word -- and will be savaged accordingly should we dare  protest. But once we Marxians begin making these connections obvious, it may also begin to be obvious that -- as an old labor-movement slogan puts it -- an injury to one of us is truly an (intentional) injury to us all.

*********

Fed says interest rates to stay higher longer

Given that the pro-Trump USian ruling class, like its pro-Hitler German ruling-class predecessor, has determined nazism is capitalism's only salvation; given also that resurgent inflation is one of several factors -- including the Biden candidacy itself -- that are ever-more-obviously scripted to ensure Trump's victory in November; it is entirely plausible to assume the Federal Reserve and Wall Street are collaborating to continue victimizing us with ruinous prices and prohibitive interest rates. We already know the price-hikes are expressions of run-amok corporate greed rather than problems of supply and demand, which in turn suggests the Fed's role is that of enabler rather than regulator.

Moreover there's the fact Fed Chairman Jerome Powell is living proof of the "Democratic" (sic) Party's post-JFK function as the Fifth Column of the "Republican" (sic) Christonazi/Neoconfederate Party. Powell was appointed to the board by Obama, elevated to its chairmanship by Trump and reappointed to that post by Biden. As we should all know by now, Hitler-disciple Trump's appointees were at least Christonazi sympathizers, else they'd never have received the wanna-be Führer's endorsement. Thus Powell's re-appointment by Biden is a tacit endorsement of the Trumpite agenda -- further proof the unprecedentedly unpopular Biden candidacy is the "plausibly deniable" strategy developed by the thoroughly Christonazified spy-and- secret-police apparatus for throwing the election to Trump.

Where the Gaza War itself fits into this strategy remains to be seen, but there's no doubt the violence Biden has unleashed on pro-Palestine demonstrators is intended to goad the youth vote into boycotting the election, thereby further ensuring Trump's victory and the final, permanent reduction of USia to the modern, technologically omnipotent version of a slave-plantation state the financial aristocracy has sought to impose on us at least since the defeat of the Bankers' Plot in 1934.

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Biden Is Not Winning. His Campaign Should Stop Acting Like It Is.

Those who persist in proclaiming Biden a certain victor have their heads deep enough in the proverbial sand to blind themselves to two absolute realities. One of these is the fanaticism of the Trumpites, who will vote for him even if he is imprisoned, and some of whom have already pledged armed rebellion to free him should he be locked up. The other is the ultimate indifference of the nation's youth, whose core belief is they -- and ultimately the entire human species -- are doomed, regardless of who wins in November, and who will therefore be easily convinced to refrain from voting, thus to avenge the police brutality they believe Biden has unleashed against their pro-Hamas peers.

The one unknown that might reverse this growing probability for disaster -- the one factor that could save us from an increasingly certain Biden defeat -- is the women's vote. This is rightfully mobilized to near-revolutionary fervor by the theocratic misogyny imposed by the Trumpites' state regimes and perpetuated by the Trumpite seizure of the federal judiciary, the latter an application of the strategy pioneered by the German Nazis. But if the women are convinced their ballots will be nullified by Trumpite anti-voter schemes -- perhaps due to the refusal of Biden to rigorously enforce the few remnants of the Voting Rights Act -- they too may refrain from voting, guaranteeing the transformation of the nation into the de facto Fourth Reich.

LB/1-18 May 2024

-30-


"Persecution in the Lord's Name," Plus Another Six Pointedly Provocative Posts from Websites Elsewhere

IMG_3202 - CopyThree of the estimated 6,500 homeless persons who eke out meager livings in Tacoma and Pierce County, WA,  using an outdoor faucet for bath water, 30 May 2023; the owners of the  property have since gated and fenced it, specifically to deny such people access. As noted in "Christonazi Supreme Court Majority,"  below, the tyrannical judges will probably approve the mass arrest of all unhoused victims of capitalism, thereby providing the de facto plantations of the prison-industrial complex with an antebellum-sized supply of slaves. (Photo by Loren Bliss © 2024). 

=========

I AM UPDATING a 12-year-old essay so extensively, the process -- associated research included -- is scarcely different from producing new work. Hence I am not certain when it will be finished, though I am giving it at least six hours of intensely focused effort every day. Because as a near-lifelong journalist I cannot divorce myself from current events,  I will continue publishing comments I've made elsewhere -- just  as I have done below -- whenever I feel it's warranted.

For those unaware of my circumstances, this is part of the proverbial clearing-of-the-decks mandated by the death-sentence Covid imposed on me last summer, which indeed makes me wonder if the vaccination and boosters I dutifully got were nothing more than pacifiers. Yes, I had a pre-existing, potentially fatal condition, specifically congestive heart failure, with a 10-percent loss of atrial valve function. But the CHS had long been stabilized by medication, and the best estimate was I'd  most likely live another ten years. Nor was my osteoarthritis-inflamed spinal injury -- the 1978 gift of one of  Washington state's obscenely graft-protected, judge-coddled, defiantly habitual drunken drivers -- anything more than occasionally crippling. Now, thanks to Covid, my atrial valve loss is 90 percent. Because an incurable jungle-rot fungus I brought home from Korea in 1962 denies me  valve-replacement surgery,  my cardiologist informed me last September I had, at the most,  two years to live -- probably far less  due to looming kidney failure precipitated by the massive doses of diuretics now necessary to compensate for my radically diminished blood circulation. Meanwhile my arthritic pain has become so devastating, I am ambulatory only with a walker, which means I have to do all my shopping online, depend on delivery services to bring me my groceries,  and rely on kind-hearted neighbors to carry my garbage and recycling to the outdoor bins. Even with the walker, there are days I can barely go from one end of my apartment to another.

But as a near-lifelong photographer and writer, there remains a substantial amount of work I hope to complete before this incarnation ends. After I finish the aforementioned revision and perhaps a half-dozen more editing tasks,  there remains the dreadful clerical odium of sorting, filing and cataloging thousands of post-fire pictures and the far more repugnant tedium of keyboarding  type-written or printed texts into electronically accessible formats. Nevertheless, thanks to the Goddess, I am already at peace with my life and circumstances -- more profoundly at peace than ever I imagined I could be -- no matter  what I am able to accomplish in my remaining time.

=========

Persecution in the Lord’s Name: a remarkably courageous, properly infuriating expose´ of how the federal government’s theocratic interpretation of “religious freedom” as the right of Christians to express their doctrinal, implicitly ecogenocidal sadism within their organizational realms -- never mind that beyond those boundaries, their biblically mandated viciousness would not only be criminally unconstitutional, but in most cases feloniously so.

Despite my applause for Ms. Lee's courageous exposure of Christianity's intrinsic hatefulness and LAP's bravery in publishing it, history compels me to reject her underlying assumptions:

(1)-Regardless of claims to the contrary, the three core principles of Christianity -- likewise of the other two Abrahamic religions (Judaism and Islam) -- are inescapably hateful. These are: (A)-the claim its deity is "the (only) true god; (B)-the claim its followers are "the (only) divinely-chosen people"; and (C)-the ecogenocidal misogyny by which these claims are enforced. Claims (A) and (B) establish each of the three Abrahamic religions as rival, master-race cults of ubermenschen. They are at war with one another, and with all the rest of us -- pagans, Buddhists, Hindus, Baha'i, First Nations traditionalists, agnostics, atheists, etc. -- simply because, by definition, you can have only one master race per planet. Thus the religious wars that characterize the entire history of patriarchy will not end until the present (alleged) civilization has destroyed itself, probably by exterminating our entire species and reducing our Mother Earth to the bug planet she was 400 million years ago. Which brings us to (C), the relentless misogyny demanded by each of these credos. This hatred of all femaleness originates from the patriarchal fear of the re-emergence of the Great Goddess, the Divine Mother who was our species' primary deity until the patriarchal revolution began its rape-and-murder conquest six or seven millennia ago. While the Goddess was its initial target, the patriarchs quickly recognized femaleness itself was a doorway through which she could re-emerge. Thus the sadistic Abrahamic god's vengeance against Eve, cursing us all for her "original sin," damning all females and non-hetero-normative persons as her potentially demonic collaborators. Thus too these religions' ecogenocidal histories, most especially the rape of the planet that, barring a genuine miracle, has already doomed us to extinction. And since these atrocities are the products of scriptural mandates, to claim any Abrahamic religion can be reshaped into anything less murderously hateful is no less deluded than claiming that Nazism, which is based on the biblical-caliber hatefulness of its messiah as expressed in Mein Kampf, can be converted to humanitarianism.

(2)-Like it or not, the 13 colonies were founded as Christian theocracies; the anti-First-Nations ecogenocide was mandated by the invaders' theology (see Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States); and despite the Founders' courageous efforts to make the fledgling U.S a genuinely secular state, the Machiavellian-minded financial aristocracy -- recognizing the historically proven effectiveness of Christianity as an ultimate weapon of oppression -- has always worked to subvert the founders' intent and ensure the USian empire is forever tyrannized by what Jeff Sharlet has courageously exposed as "the secret fundamentalism" of its governance. Our Masters' most recent weapon of forcible Christianization is The Family, the group whose nazified methodology and terrifyingly global influence is documented by Sharlet. Its successes include the permanently Christonazi U.S. Supreme Court and -- in all probability -- the looming re-election of Trump, which will mark the beginning of a new Holocaust, the death-toll of which will shrink its (equally Christianity-enabled) German Nazi prelude to a mere footnote. What began as zero-tolerance theocracy shall ever remain so.

(3)-For these reasons, the lawsuits encouraged by Ms. Lee are absurd. Given the permanence of Christonazi control of the judiciary, the plaintiffs have absolutely no -- say again, no -- possibility of success. Our liberation -- if we truly seek it -- must therefore be achieved by other strategies and tactics.

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Revolt in the Universities: protesting students across the U.S. face mass arrests, suspension, eviction and expulsion. Those who live on campus are summarily evicted, thereby condemned to homelessness just as the Christonazi-dominated U.S.  Supreme Court seems posed to make homelessness a crime, thereby providing the prison-industrial complex with a potentially unlimited supply of slaves.   

My contribution was in response to an otherwise accurate comment-thread post that erroneously stated Nixon had begun the war against student activism:

Actually, Mr. Weir  -- with no disagreement with your overall assertions implied or intended --  the punitive use of USian universities  was established well before the Nixonazi regime. Google "Censorship: Lessons from Ralph Nader and a Knoxville Atrocity," without the quotation marks.

("Censorship" is not linked in the original because the site does not allow URLs.)

===

A Long Way Down: an elderly upper-middle-class male describes how -- once an older person is flung into unemployment by the reigning economic savagery -- capitalist viciousness nullifies a lifetime history of significant professional success. Includes supportive statistics.

This -- Mr. Suarez’s self-portrait as an unimpeachable, absolutely blameless  victim of the ecogenocidal sadism of capitalism (which our Masters will intensify beyond even the German-Nazi magnitude of Evil once the U.S. Supreme Court, the "Republican" [sic] Christonazi/Neoconfederate Party and their "Democratic Party" [sic]  Fifth Column finish handing Trump the presidency and turning the USian Empire into the de facto Fourth Reich, all to ensure capitalism's permanence with a New Holocaust and guarantee its [intended] outcomes) -- is by far the most relevant essay I've yet seen in LAP.

Hence my most heartfelt thanks to Mr. Suarez for having the defiant, revolutionary-caliber bravery to write it and to LAP for having the courage to publish it -- though it should have been given lead-story status.

(And what is this "[intended] outcome"  of capitalism? Think of it -- and the toxins of patriarchy from which its own venom is derived -- as the ideological equivalents of smallpox-contaminated blankets. Their collective purpose is revealed by the apocalyptic consequences they irremediably inflict:  extermination of our species, extinction of all other advanced life-forms, and reduction of our Mother Earth to the overheated bug planet she was four million years ago.)   

As implied in my comment, I believe the story portrays the doom that awaits any of us who are not part of the Ruling Class -- that is,  any of us whose survival depends on our ability to earn adequate salaries or wages. 

===

In Supreme Court arguments, Biden administration demands unrestricted power to separate families "without judicial oversight."

This case provides another (particularly vivid)  example of how, beneath the camouflage nets of capitalist propaganda, the only (real) difference between the "Democratic" (sic) Party and the "Republican" (sic) Christonazi/Neoconfederate Party is their relative speeds of intended subjugation. The Christonazis and their allies want zero-tolerance white-supremacist Christian theocratic tyranny imposed immediately, while the Democrats -- still trying to hide their tyrannical malevolence behind a screen of  "plausible deniability" -- want to impose it more by stealth,  no doubt in the belief a more gradual enslavement will condition us to be more accepting of our  powerlessness and thus far less likely to revolt.    

===

Ten Times More Toxic Pesticide will poison our foods if EPA approves agro-monopoly demand.   

A vital story the imperial mainstream media is ignoring -- again proving its function as the world's first privately owned, for-maximum-profit model of Josef Goebbel's Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda. 

I always wash my celery and tomatoes before eating. I use warm water and dish detergent, then rinse well. Old and on a fixed income, too physically disabled to hunt, fish and organically subsistence garden as I did for so many years, I cannot afford the 30 to 60 percent higher costs of allegedly "organic" vegetables. However, washing store-bought vegetables is merely an intuitive solution;  though I am a skilled researcher, I have never found any information about how to cleanse fruits and vegetables of the (genocidal) toxins inflicted on us by the imperial agricultural cabal. Does  anyone know if this cleaning is sufficient?  Please respond...

The following was my response to another comment on the same thread:

Apropos the pending EPA decision -- and given that the permanently Christonazified U.S. Supreme Court is obviously doing everything with in its power to guarantee Trump a second term,  we know what it will be -- perhaps now the USian left will finally stop its suicidal rejection of our Masters' (repeatedly demonstrated) intent to exterminate most of the 99.9 Percent as  mere "right-wing conspiracy theory."

An adjunct-faculty college instructor  in the late '70s and early '80s, I know genocidal reduction of the working class was even then favored by many  environmental science majors. Therefore I find it entirely credible University of Texas Professor Erik Pianka (for whom google) would urge the methodical extermination of 90 percent of the human species -- never mind the story was broken by a publication infamous for its Ayn Rand rebranding of Hitler's ubermenschen ethos. Ideology should not blind us to truth, particularly when it is already proven beyond dispute by our Masters' weaponization of Covid, for which see the World Socialist Web Site, hardly a "right wing"  outlet.

Links in italicized text excluded from original because the site does not allow URLs.

===

Christonazi Supreme Court Majority seems ready to approve mass arrest of homeless people.

This should surprise no one who acknowledges four irrefutable truths about capitalism: firstly, that the U.S. Supreme Court is doing everything within its power to guarantee Trump a second term (and thereby convert the USian Empire to the de facto Fourth Reich); secondly, that criminalizing homelessness  will clear the way for the Trumpite-promised mass arrest and lifetime concentration-camp enslavement of anyone too poor to afford housing. Which -- thirdly and as intended -- will  provide our Christonazi/Neoconfederate Masters with the antebellum-magnitude slavery they deem necessary to restore their profiteering to the unlimited maximums defended by the old Confederacy. Fourthly, let us never forget that while U.S.  capitalism -- shaped as it was by the legions of Original Nazi war criminals our Masters adopted as advisors after WWII -- is capitalism's most unapologetically sadistic global form, its ecogenocidal intent is shared by all capitalists everywhere.

Self-explanatory; no further comment necessary.

===

Inside the Crisis at NPR: Listeners are tuning out. Sponsorship revenue has dipped. A diversity push has generated internal turmoil. Can America’s public radio network turn things around?

The New York Times included my response on this report's comment thread:

At least some of the decline in the NPR audience -- like the declines in other media usage (and no doubt like the decline in younger people's interest in elections) -- is fueled by their increasing conviction we are a doomed species on a dying planet. For those who hold such views, all other events, elections included, are reduced to irrelevance. And every younger person I know -- "younger" defined as folks in their 30s and 40s (about a dozen people, all professionals or skilled workers of one sort or another) -- is not only resigned to the inevitability of our species' extinction, but in that context of bottomless hopelessness increasingly regards the news (and current events in general) as nothing more than a best-avoided intensifier of depression.

LB/28 April 2024

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If Trump and His Christonazis Make America Hate Again, Nex Benedict Is Any of Us Who Dare Resist

And It Will Not Matter to the MAHAs Whether We're Marxians or New Dealers; Male, Female, Nonbinary or LGBTQ; Caucasian or Peoples of Color; Pagan, Indigenous Traditional, Agnostic, Atheist or Spiritually Indifferent

I BEGAN THIS essay as an intended contribution to the discussion thread of the World Socialist Web Site’s mostly well-done 18 March report about the Nex Benedict atrocity, but the ferocity of my reaction -- delight at the censorship-defying boldness of its disclosures, disgust at its editorial flaws, fury at yet another  Christonazi outrage -- seems to have (unintentionally) invoked the Muse. Thus was I thrust into the  Zen-like trance that often births the most intense expressions of my sensibilities.  A right-brain state defined by the eerie sense of having involuntarily become a conduit rather than a source,  its irresistible momentum is as ultimately indescribable as it is welcome. It had frequently enhanced my photojournalistic gavotte  and the guitar-accompanied recitals of traditional folk music I am now permanently denied by arthritis, and it has often given me, in a single encounter, the entire content  of what might justifiably be considered a poem or at least a poetic rumination, but never until now has it uninterruptedly yielded a complete body of prose. And  when my left brain yanked me from its enchantment, I was decidedly startled by its 11-hour suspension of physical awareness and the surprising fact my text had grown far beyond the very reasonable 400-word WSWS comment-limit.

In retrospect, I cannot doubt the death of Nex Benedict was --  at least for me -- the mental equivalent of the proverbial last straw. I am the son of a man purged for his Marxian politics by the post-WWII  U.S.  government, and much as he was, a near-lifelong student of history. I began learning in my early teens of the historical USian penchant for embracing its own variants of nazism. I recognized nazism's appeal in the skyrocketing popularity  -- especially amongst southern whites -- of Ayn Rand's turgid fictionalizations of the  übermenschen ethos central to  Mein Kampf  -- never mind she wrote as wretchedly as Hitler himself. I saw the yearning for nazism implicit in segregation and the federal government's devious censorship of the mainstream press.  My father cross-referenced 1964 Republican Presidential Candidate Barry Goldwater's speeches to their Mein Kampf origins, a meticulously researched work he offered as campaign ammunition to local officials of Lyndon Baines Johnson's "Democratic" (sic) Party, men who vehemently rejected it, no doubt because, unbeknownst to us voters, the Democrats were even then the "Republican" (sic) Christonazi/Neoconfederate Fifth Column they have so obviously since become. I've experienced countless flickers of worry and disgust generated by the steady encroachment of USian nazism ever since. But there is a profound difference between my psychologically guarded journalistic objectification of the Christonazi threat and  the sudden bayonet-thrust of woe  and dread  that pierced me to the heart when first I viewed the obituary portrait of Nex and was seized, smitten and overwhelmed by its wrenching similarity to the obituary portrait of the murdered woman who was Heather Heyer.

The psychic kinship of the two photos spawned a momentary mental maelstrom that flashed through my own vivid memories of raggedly impoverished Knox County children needfully scavenging random lumps of coal from Vestal's L&N tracks and churned them into a wrenching spiral of dystopian imagery that mixed wirephotos of assassinations, wars and mass murder with my own decades of textual and photographic witness to socioeconomic despair and its expression via demonstration, riot and metaphysical rebellion. Then it replaced the stab of terror inflicted by the visually confirmed certainty of doom with an indescribably  down-pressing pang of grief at cultural loss that lumped my throat and brought tears to my eyes. Suffice it to say my right brain now feels the fist-in-the-face, boot-in-the-crotch, truncheon-across-the-spine  toxicity of what my left brain hitherto de-emotionalized by the distancing essential to journalistic  abstraction.   (I am sorry I cannot say it better; I apologize for my gross ineptitude at expressing my own emotions.) 

As a result I now know a bit more about the psychological dimensions of the victimization of Nex Benedict and the martyrdom of Heather Heyer and the skyrocketing frequency of  hate-motivated mass murder and the statistically camouflaged but undoubtedly soaring executions of uncounted USians by the murderously weaponized bigotries of intentionally fatal neglect and homicidally relentless persecution and how all these atrocities signify USia's headlong, unabashedly joyful embrace of the same bottomless evil knowingly embraced by the German electorate between the 6-January-2022 equivalent of the 1923 Beer-Hall Putsch and the death-stroke dealt the Weimar Republic by von Hindenburg's appointment of Hitler as Reichkanzler a decade later. 

The intensity of my reaction was prompted by my realization our masters' deliberate resurrection and re-empowerment of our species' most relentlessly ecogenocidal foes of humanitarian empathy compel us all to reflect on Martin Niemöller's  confession and its ever-more-obvious USian variant, "first  they came for the women and the LGBTQ people..." thus   to recognize the fatal persecution of Nex and the murder of Heather and all the women assaulted in what is now obviously an organized attack by New York City misogynists  exemplify the fate the Christonazis will inflict on all of us who dare oppose them regardless of our race, ethnicity,  gender, ideology, spirituality or lack thereof. In that sense, we are literally already all targeted as were Nex Benedict and Heather Heyer and every other such victim. 

Nor can I doubt our future -- however long it may last before global capitalism's  now-obviously inevitable  apocalypse terminates the patriarchal perversion of “civilization” -- will be increasingly defined by Charlotteville-caliber violence and the constant escalation thereof.1 As I have repeatedly said to my friends and comrades, if the second civil war I now fear is inevitable actually occurs, the so-called “winner” will be determined by whichever side gets the nukes, never mind the doomsday ruin sure to be inflicted by their use.

A slightly revised version of my original essay -- the writing I initially intended as a comment-thread contribution -- begins beneath this prelude’s footnote.

__________________

1See for example -- if you can find it (and afford its outrageous censorship-by-price cost -- the late David Smail’s profoundly relevant Power Interest and Psychology: Elements of a social materialist understanding of distress, PCCS Books, UK: 2007.

*****

DESPITE THE LAUDABLE breadth of Chase Lawrence's analysis, the WSWS piece that evoked my response is unfortunately headlined “Questions remain surrounding Nex Benedict’s death following release of autopsy summary,” a statement rendered absurd and therefore meaningless by the sort of misplaced modifier that exemplifies the distracting grammatical errors too many of us -- through no fault of our own -- are increasingly too poorly educated to avoid or correct. In any of my years as a supervising editor, I'd have caustically demanded to know if Nex had indeed died while tracking the summary's publication, which is precisely what the head says happened, and which makes it grammatically incomprehensible to those for whom English is a secondary language.   But I suppressed that impulse until now, when I realized it is more respectful to flag the error than to ignore it -- and to remind us, en passant, that correct grammar is essential for effective communication, without which the clarity of mind necessary for successful revolution remains out of reach. Minimizing our ability to understand one another is therefore one of the (intended) consequences of our masters' definitively anti-revolutionary restriction of our access to education. It is yet another expression, albeit a far more subtle one, of the zero-tolerance agenda that employs bigotry as thought-control and therefore as (another) weapon to suppress us, we of the 99.9 Percent, the working class, which makes it relevant to the present discussion.

(For the record, here is the head as it should have been written, counted to fit the space of the original and properly phrased -- as all heads should be -- in the active voice:  Autopsy summary fails to answer questions of authorities' complicity in Nex Benedict's death.)

Unfortunately, Comrade Lawrence buries his most damning conclusion -- and therefore his proper lead -- in the less-than-adequately developed details of his 12th paragraph; this is the fact the circumstances of Nex Benedict's death prove it to have been yet another psychologically engineered (and therefore "plausibly deniable") murder inflicted by relentless Christonazi sadists. Its burial thus minimizes the significance of how the suicide diagnosis thus becomes -- regardless of its officially authoritative medical source --  a maliciously victim-blaming deception.

Nevertheless, Lawrence's text contains many laudable elements. So does Christopher Wiggens' report, in the 22 March edition of The Advocate.  Wiggens leads with how humanitarians  are again legitimately infuriated by Oklahoma's permanently Christonazified governance -- this time aboil with wrath provoked by the local obersturmbannführers who've honored Nex's de facto executioners with school-approved, prosecutor-guaranteed, police protected immunity. Wiggens also details the glaring scientific improbability of the suicide verdict, facts of which I don't doubt the mainstream media’s billionaire-owned, for-maximum-profit variant of Josef Goebbel’s Reich Ministry for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda deliberately sought to deny us.  Like Lawrence, Wiggens exposes the extent to which the methodical, potentially deadly persecution of LGBTQ students is already institutionalized as official policy throughout the emergent Christonazi confederacy. And Lawrence's report  includes documentation of the ever-intensified misery deliberately inflicted on all K-12 students, LGBTQ or not, as even the so-called blue states are forced ever closer to unabashed nazism.

But each of these reports follow the seemingly mandatory practice by all USian news media -- whether alternative or mainstream -- of ignoring how our national history  shows  such persecution is neither sociological coincidence nor cultural anomaly. In infinitely damning fact, the history of USian bigotry is so uniquely ecogenocidally murderous, it -- like its racism-inspired, corporate-financed eugenics, -- were the working models from which Hitler built his Holocaust. These are therefore the only constant (and thus truly defining) qualities this nation has ever possessed. In other words, the alleged “founding principles” of the so-called “United States” have never been more than colossal Big Lies.

A contributing element in Nex's victimization is the fact so many in my generation, like the Baby-Boomers who came after us, were arrogantly delusional enough to convince themselves activism alone had permanently purged USian society of its oft-denied but irrevocably defining ideology of interwoven hatreds. (That same arrogance led many of my fellow activists to foolishly imagine it was our anti-war protests -- not the indomitable courage of the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese People's Army and the sustained militance of their Soviet benefactors -- that forced the USian Empire's panicked retreat from Vietnam1.) Apropos USia's defining bigotry, certainly we knew a few sparks of our nation's signature ethos smoldered on, particularly in the perpetually hateful theocracy of the white Christian South, but we smugly assumed the metaphorical dampers had been closed by legislation, that whatever cinders remained would eventually be extinguished. Obviously we were  deranged; our assumption USia's historically dominant lynch-mob ethos2 could be suppressed by any methods less stringent than those by which the Red Army cleansed Europe of the Original (N.S.D.A.P.) Nazis is now proven false. 

The proof -- an irrefutable and properly terrifying real-world parallel to Harry Turtledove's fictional denunciation of pacifism3 -- is of course the fact it took Hitler-disciple Trump and his bring-back-Auschwitz-legions of Christonazi Neoconfederates only a few public exhalations of unabashed hatefulness to blow  the seemingly dead embers of bigotry into a nation-destroying conflagration that rages more apocalyptically with every passing minute.  Wildly cheering their "grab-'em-by-the-pussy" führer with  Zieg-Heil-equivalent chants of "USA! USA! USA!," the malevolent minions of the second of our species' three fatally competitive ecogenocide-by-divine-commandment theologies make no secret of their fanatical intent to replace our sorely wounded republic with a zero-tolerance white Christian male-supremacist theocracy, thereby fulfilling the initially clandestine, now triumphantly brazen4 plot behind our masters' addition of "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954.

Thus their favorite acronym --  MAGA (for "Make America Great Again") -- is a lie. Were it truthful,  it would be MAHA: "Make America Hate Again." 

But the significance of MAHA as the renewal of our nation's longstanding, chronic (and therefore definitive) malignancy remains deftly hidden by one of the most effective means of self-protection the USian ruling class has yet devised -- that is, by cleverly inducing and perpetuating our mind-crippling national aversion to studying history, chiefly by ensuring it is force-fed to impressionable adolescents as an infinitely boring tedium of dates and names of people and locales proctored by so-called “educators,” typically athletic coaches specifically chosen because they are too dimwitted to effectively narrate the dramatic events that connect the names with the dates and geography. Indeed they are but disguised propagandists, too fanatically “American” to dare explore beyond government-mandated texts, much less allow any questioning of the texts’ often misleading or unequivocally false conclusions.

Yes, the standard method of using coaches to teach history, civics and other social studies is yet another manifestation of how our masters -- whose primary intent is obstructing our ability to revolt -- deliberately deny us vital education. A further example is the unquestionably deliberate infliction of ideological confusion by dubbing the emergent realms of Christonazi/Neoconfederate secession as “Red States,” thereby obscuring the original meaning of the term “Red” as a synonym for Marxian and the fact the Red Army literally saved the world from the (primarily) German manifestation of Christonazism’s predecessor.

The One Percenters know that were the resultant ignorance ever overcome, we of the 99.9 Percent would no doubt quickly acknowledge history's overwhelmingly conclusive body of circumstantial evidence -- a weight of proof far beyond what's necessary for conviction in a court-of-law -- that, for example, proves the assassination of President Kennedy was the hinge-pin in a bipartisan, multi-generation, two-century nazification scheme that  began with the Bankers’ Plot of 1933.5 History also informs us the Banksters’ underlying ruling-class vindictiveness was nothing new – that it is easily traceable to the bipartisan racist treachery that ended Reconstruction in 1877. .

Our present circumstances, MAHA included, were imposed on us by the ruling class after the Red Army's epic victory at Stalingrad made it clear Germany would lose the war. Their original intent had obviously been to openly ally the U.S. with Germany as soon as the Third Reich and its allies won the war. But fearing the extermination of nazism was the prelude to the extinction of capitalism itself, the banksters of 1933 -- granted lifetime congressional immunity in 1934, and since then ever-more-protected by wealth and privilege --  further reinforced themselves and their collaborators  by secretly compelling the government's adoption of innumerable Original (N.S.D.A.P.) Nazi war criminals as their co-conspirators. The  Original Nazis' unprecedented skill at sadistically industrializing mass murder and irresistibly propagating  collective deception was applauded by Hitler himself as heralding the emergence of a fanatically aggressive  "new man," representative of a people genetically programmed for unquestioning loyalty to their masters and immune to any moral, ethical or empathetic restraints that might obstruct their obedient savagery. And it granted the USian ruling class precisely the weapons it needed to impose its intended postwar global empire.

Subsequent U.S. history clearly reveals the Kennedy assassination's most undeniable consequence is its permanent reduction of the "Democratic" (sic) Party to the Fifth Column of the "Republican" (sic) Christonazi/Neoconfederate Party -- the function first irrefutably demonstrated by JFK-successor Lyndon Johnson's subsequently revealed role as chief provocateur of the Vietnam (actually Southeast Asian) War. Since then, the Democrats' Fifth-Column treachery has been repeatedly affirmed by their innumerable betrayals of popular will and the ruinous debacles so enabled, MAHA included. Quoth an  old GRU 6 proverb: "once is coincidence, twice is alarming, thrice is enemy action."

What the Christonazis now do openly and without restraint, their "Democratic" (sic) Fifth Column has long enabled in a variety of "plausibly deniable" ways, not just LBJ's Southeast Asian onslaught, but Carter's undeniable  Hyde-Amendment betrayal, the Clintons' equally undeniable health-care and welfare betrayals and the apparently deliberate losses of national elections in 1968, 1980, 2000 and 2016. Each of these defeats were foreseen far in advance by suppressed, ignored or media-camouflaged analyses and should thus be investigated as expressions of criminal intent; that each has  imposed ecogenocidal triumphs is clear suggestion of motive and purpose. Chief amongst these consequences -- permanent Christonazi/Neoconfederate seizure of the federal judiciary -- is now nullifying every progressive  measure enacted since the (first?) Civil War. In this context it is thus entirely rational to assume the Christonazis’ long-range scheming includes the court’s 21st Century restoration of its 1857 Dred Scott Decision.

While the national legitimization of MAHA bigotry that killed Nex Benedict and Heather Heyer is obviously one of the Christonazis' top priorities, the Democrats' backroom role as its enabler proves the two parties' collaboration in its probably terminal nationwide resurrection, not just to former lynch-mob intensities, but ultimately to the death-camp magnitude Hitler-disciple Trump's endorsement of theocracy  is again making publicly palatable.  

Meanwhile the already unprecedented unpopularity of President Biden is cunningly intensified to a toxicity no propaganda could possibly overcome -- firstly by the (entirely predictable) denunciations of the president by Trumpite functionary Robert Hur, whom the Biden Regime self-destructively appointed as special prosecutor; and now by the USian economy's newest statistical relapse into inflation. Known to be inflicted solely by unchecked corporate greed, that should leave us all legitimately wondering if (or when) it might skyrocket into a Trumpist variant of Pinochet's deadly, University-of-Chicago-sponsored "economic shock treatment."

Thus the irremediable odium of Biden's candidacy is obviously the Democrats' latest  "plausibly deniable" method for throwing an election -- clearly another manifestation of "change we can believe in," a magnitude of malignant mass deception Josef Goebbels and his U.S.-adopted henchmen would most assuredly endorse with hearty Zieg Heils

In this dire context, the MAHA persecution and death of Nex Benedict -- whatever its medical circumstances -- is, like the MAHA murder of Heather Heyer and the attacks on New York women, a terrifying prophecy of all our fates unless we of the 99 Percent set aside our egotistical differences and unite in our species' one remaining option for survival -- the militant socialism of revolutionary working-class solidarity. As Heather said in the eerily appropriate epitaph her last Facebook post became, "If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention."

__________________

1Classic photo of the frantic U.S. retreat from Saigon.

2See also "Racial Violence in the United States Since 1526" for a more complete chronology of attacks against Blacks.

3"The Last Article" (full text of the short story in question).

4See also "How 'One Nation' Didn't Become 'Under God' Until The '50s Religious Revival,"  "How Long Have We Really Been ‘One Nation Under God’?" and "Views of the U.S. as a ‘Christian nation’ and opinions about ‘Christian nationalism’"

5See also the Harper’s Magazine report of Prescott Bush’s central role in the plot and additional details provided by a much more omprehensive report published in Rolling Stone.

6See also Spetsnaz GRU.

LB/18 March-6 April 2024

-30-

 


Trump's Embrace of Christian Theocracy Is Another of His Dreadful Moron-Magnetizing Emulations of Hitler

(NOTE:  this February extra edition is prompted by two stories, each below. The first is the perplexing suppression of my reminder -- a review of historical facts -- that Trump's political embrace of Christianity is another example of how he's following Adolf Hitler's methodology for seizing power. The second reveals the national mainstream media's  outrageous delay in reporting the apparent murder of a nonbinary teen at a public high school in the Christian theocracy of  Oklahoma.)

*********     

TRUMP'S TERRIFYING ADMIRATION  of Adolf Hitler and his repeated application of der Führer's methodologies of deception and subversion have become so obvious, even the USian  mainstream-media monopoly -- the world's first privately owned, for-(maximum)-profit model of Josef Goebbels' Reichsministerium für Volksaufklärung und Propaganda  (Reich Ministry for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda) --  now openly acknowledges it.

Nevertheless, the World Socialist Web Site's refusal to publish the following comment-thread submission demonstrates a perplexing unwillingness to inform us of yet another of Trump's terrifyingly seductive emulations of Hitler. This is Trump's oft-asserted, always enthusiastic  embrace of USian Christianity's fanatically ecogenocidal theocrats, which closely parallels Hitler's many collaborative endorsements of the equally hateful, similarly murder-minded factions in European Christianity, the papacy of Pius XII included.  Here is what I submitted to WSWS  on 22 February in response to "Alabama court ruling on embryos: A sweeping attack on democratic rights and science," (the comment's expansions for publication here indicated by  boldface type):

Thanks to the mind-crippling ignorance of history cunningly imposed by USian "education" (sic) -- in this instance an ignorance maliciously abetted by the brazen lies of theocratic propagandists -- most of us don't know of Hitler's enthusiastic support for Christianity. It takes a bit of research to ferret out the fact Hitler used Christianity as perhaps his most effective means of perpetuating the population's submissiveness to zero-tolerance subjugation, which -- not coincidentally -- is exactly as it is being employed again today. (For the terrifying truth about the union of Hitler, Nazism and Christianity, google "Adolf Hitler on Christianity: Quotes," without the quotation marks of course.)

From the cited source: "Despite how often Christian apologists try to argue that Adolf Hitler is an example of the evil caused by atheism and secularism, the truth is that Hitler often proclaimed his own Christianity, how much he valued Christianity, how important Christianity was to his life, and even how much he was personally inspired by Jesus - his 'Lord and Savior'...'The national Government sees in both Christian denominations the most important factor for the maintenance of our society':  Adolf Hitler, speech before the Reichstag, March 23, 1933, just before the Enabling Act is passed."

See also: the English edition of Positive Christianity in the Third Reich (complete, easily readable text).

Supplemental background from The Daily Beast: available on Netflix, The Family is a carefully documented, legitimately terrifying adaptation-cum-expansion of The Family (2008) and C Street (2010), two nonfiction books by Jeff Sharlet, These warn us, "the most powerful club in America is a consortium of religious true believers bound by their fanatical love of Jesus...It works overtime to avoid publicity. Its ranks are comprised of both Republicans and Democrats...Their unabashed goal is a global Christian theocracy—no morality, or democracy, required...In line with their long-standing fondness for authoritarians (including Hitler and Mao), the Family views Trump as a kindred spirit who understands that some are predestined to rule over others...The Family lifts the veil of secrecy surrounding this shadowy outfit, and what it reveals is a new world order that’s not only on its way—it’s already here."

Thus the ever-more-tyrannical USian proclamations of Christian fanaticism, whether in Alabama or elsewhere, are no surprise to those of us who (correctly) recognize the addition of "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954 (link added) tacitly declared the United States a (white) Christian theocracy, precisely as these fanatics themselves now defiantly proclaim.   Until 2016, slowly but surely, often imperceptibly and always with venomously predatory stealth, the theocrats relentlessly tightened their ultimately apocalyptic stranglehold on public opinion. Since then, the Christians'* triumphant resurrection of Hitler in the person of Trump allows them to brazenly reveal their sadistically patriarchal theology as the ecogenocidal manifestation of infinite evil its history of tyranny and persecution proves it to be.

As for the submission of the "Democratic" (sic) Party, that is but another proof of its post-JFK function as the Fifth Column of the "Republican" (sic) Christonazi/Neoconfederate Party.

And unless we of the global working class unite in world-wide socialist resistance, the fanatical worshipers of its deified symbol of sadism, tyranny and apocalyptic doom will indeed enslave, then exterminate our species and in the process reduce our Mother Earth back to a bug planet.

*(Note: despite its deceptive claims to the contrary, all Christianity -- and in fact all Abrahamic religion -- is founded on the cosmic misogyny asserted in Genesis, the apocalyptic doctrine by which even Nature herself is implicitly cursed as evil. That's the primary reason Christianity always, as irrefutably proven by its two-thousand-year history, reverts to tyranny. Therefore, until the non-Christonazi churches unite to set aside their theological cowardice and condemn Christonazism in the harshest terms possible, I will not modify "Christian" with any conciliatory adjectives, for in this matter, their craven silence is in fact consent to the imposition of Christonazi theocracy.)

***

NATIONAL MAINSTREAM MEDIA took at least eight days -- for some outlets the delay approached two weeks -- to report the apparent murder of the late Nex Benedict, though a source I know to be 100-percent reliable informs me Tik-Tok -- today's equivalent of the alternative press that so effectively served USians during the fifth, sixth and seventh decades of the 20th century -- had the story almost immediately. The delay is significant; the 16-year-old high school student was assertively nonbinary, for which they were savagely bullied. They were also of First-Nations ancestry. Regardless of a questionable effort by local police to raise doubts about the  cause of their death, Benedict is thus yet another casualty of the forcible imposition of Christonazi theocracy on a formerly secular nation. Their victimization in a probable a hate-crime should therefore have been instant national news -- all the more so since they suffered the fatal misfortune of living in Oklahoma, another of the 22 states conquered by Christonazi theocrats, which like all its counterparts in the Trumpite neo-confederacy encourages its murderous fanatics to run amok.

Given these circumstances, I cannot but wonder if the plutocrats who own and control the mainstream media (propaganda) apparatus have given orders to back off on the coverage of the forcible imposition of  Christonazi theocracy and the deadly consequences thereof.

Meanwhile, exactly as predicted,  the Christonazis are radically expanding their war against sexual freedom far beyond resurrecting the persecution of  LGBTQ folks and reducing all women to reproductive slavery; now they say they'll  prohibit "recreational sex" by banning all forms of contraception,

*********

Posted on Another Website
Why Won’t Biden Wave His Magic Wand to Stop Israel?

Based on the post-JFK history of the "Democratic" (sic) Party functioning as the Fifth Column of the "Republican" (sic) Christonazi/Neoconfederate Party, for Ms. Kolhatkar (or anyone else) to assume the Democrats truly want to retain the presidency is like assuming the Republicans want to preserve constitutional governance. 

Indeed, the Democrats' history of methodically back-stabbing  its voters -- note LBJ's Warren-Commission deception and Tonkin-Gulf betrayal;  the Senate Democrats' overwhelming-majority collaboration with Nixon to put Powell-Memo author Lewis Powell on the Supreme Court (look it up); Carter's Hyde Amendment misogyny; Hillary's health-care scam, proven so by the huge "job-well-done" payoff via the health-insurance cabal's 1996 campaign contributions (again, look it up); Slick Willie's maliciously genocidal betrayal of welfare recipients;  Obama's devastating turnabouts on union card-check  and single-payer health care; the innumerable promises likewise broken by congressional, state and local Democrats -- all this proves Biden is merely following the Democrats' updated Fifth Column playbook. In other words, he's deliberately throwing the election by "plausibly deniable" means.

Barack the Betrayer's "change we can believe in" is thus again revealed as both the most injurious Big Lie in U.S. presidential history -- note what it did to voter turnout -- and as the One Percent's triumphantly snickering declaration the only genuinely believable "change" is that which methodically worsens our lot.

Recognizing this, it should surprise no one that some of  us on the real left are beginning to wonder if Obama's radical inflammation of the never-extinguished embers of the white electorate's murderous racism into its present-day Trumpite  conflagration might well have been intentional fulfillment of his presidency's clandestine ruling-class purpose.

Thus too it seems increasingly obvious Biden is nothing more than the ruling-class tool forged to shoehorn Trump -- or some other Christonazi/Neoconfederate Hitler -- into the White House, thereby fulfilling what history would tell us (were we allowed to properly study it), has been the One Percent's top priority since the 1930s.

***

To clarify: under the present circumstances, I do not suggest (and will never suggest) we vote for an alternative-party candidate or protest by refusing to vote. I passionately hope Biden will voluntarily resign his candidacy, as it is increasingly unlikely he can beat Trump. But if Biden remains on the ballot – and if I am still alive in November – I will indeed vote for him. Why? Because he will be  our only alternative for delaying Hitler-disciple Trump's final transformation of the U.S. into the de facto Fourth Reich and thereby postponing the civil war that will almost certainly follow in response to Trumpite military invasions of non-Christonazi states and the attendant genocidal persecution of sexual, racial, genetic, physical and psychological minorities.  

LB/25 February 2024

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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. 

__________________
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.)     

*********

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 hadn't  materialized after more than a month of threats, and 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 the spring of 1957, I won the resultant fights, in the first instance by breaking my adversary's nose, in the second by brandishing a .58-caliber Bridesburg-manufactured 1861 Springfield rifled musket -- at the time my only adequate-for-the-purpose  firearm within reach -- 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 --  ranks a close second amongst the two most welcoming cities I've encountered anywhere, in that manner almost sociologically equal to Lower Manhattan.2  That's why I embraced it after I moved there in 1978, and why in 2004 I happily returned there in what has since involuntarily become total, permanent and obviously terminal retirement from paid employment as an editor, writer, photographer or creative director. 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.

2Tacoma's defiance is typified by its immediate response to the 1978 Seattle sweatshirt/t-shirt combo hatefully emblazoned with "If God is on our side, why is there a Tacoma?" My second-most-favorite-city's deliciously  sneering,  fuck-you-in-the-ass response  was an implicitly upraised social finger via its own sweatshirt/t-shirt combo, the huge, notorious, prominently visible-from-Interstate-5 landmark neon  logo of its Pink Elephant Car Wash reproduced on black fabric printed in the brightest day-glo pink available,  the  logo chest-wide below "Tacoma:" and above "150,000 alcoholics can't be wrong." (Alas, the Pink Elephant's logo has since been forcibly removed by the vastly unpopular decree of Tacoma's vindictively intolerant  gentrifiers, the implacably tyrannical cabal of corporate landlords and their wholly owned politicians whose infamous greed was triumphantly counteracted -- albeit by a mere 370 votes -- on 7 November 2023. )

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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.

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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."  

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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-                                                     

 


'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

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

(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 intended last chapter. (The actual last chapter of its final draft was a postlude entitled "The Artist as Nigger," which discussed why capitalism instinctively despises artists.)  My Back-to-the-Land sources included 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 Hates 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) 

 

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