The Lesser of Two Weevils 251


Obama was a massive disappointment. Promise of economic change proved empty. It is difficult now to recall what a big emphasis in campaigning he placed on civil liberties, including ending torture and closing Guantanamo. What we got was the opposite. There was no proper legal process for Guantanamo detainees. Those responsible for the policy of torture were promoted and protected. The only CIA officer jailed over torture was John Kiriakou for blowing the whistle on it. Obama’s War on Whistleblowers has been the fiercest in US history. There is no doubt that in Obama’s USA, Daniel Ellsberg would have gone to jail for a very long time. The surveillance state has extended its reach still further, while execution by drone is so routine as to pass without notice. Between drones, bombs and troops on the ground often as “advisers” or “trainers”, there has not been a single day in Obama’s eight years in which US forces have not killed a Muslim in a Muslim country.

Yet a year from now we are very likely to conclude that things have got much worse since Obama. I fully expect Clinton to be elected. What was for me most interesting about the various WikiLeaks releases was not the mesh of sleaze and corruption. There is no doubt that Hillary was peddling influence in exchange for massive donations to the Clinton Foundation and fees and gifts to Bill and herself, and that the Clintons were able to access the resources of their “Charity” for personal use through a variety of subterfuges, quite probably legal. I knew all of that. Anybody who had not already worked out that the same Saudis who have top western politicians in their pockets are also funding ISIS, is a fool. I have been saying it for years.

No, what particularly interested me was the hundreds of examples, day to day, of the close media collusion with the Clinton camp. The leaking to Hilary in advance in advance of debate questions, and the planting of questions for Trump, was but the tip of the iceberg. What the emails reveal is a huge slew of journalists who are actively in the Clinton camp. Of course politicians and journalists engage in a certain degree of mutual schmoozing – though less than you might imagine. Of course politicians are often sources. But the sense of collaborative purpose in the relationship of the Clinton camp with the mainstream media that comes through the emails is striking.

It is of course a wonderful irony that the mainstream media failed to then report on the WikiLeaks emails in any meaningful or proportionate way. The gulf between the way the election looks on mainstream media and social media is massive – otherwise Clinton would be 20 points ahead. I expect the mainstream media to come out on top on this occasion and get their woman in, just.

Like most people this side of the Atlantic, I prefer Clinton’s slightly more state interventionist approach to health, social care and of course gun control. But abroad she is an extreme hawk, and I genuinely fear she will foolishly push confrontation with Russia over Syria, and could end the détente with Iran. Civil liberties does not register with Clinton at all, and we can expect the security state to redouble.

Trump is of course much harder to read. I suspect in office he would be just as corrupt as Clinton. I fear he would pander to the Republican right on questions of state spending and economic intervention. But there is every indication that in foreign policy he may be a great deal more sensible, reducing the US military profile abroad and attempting a more pragmatic relationship with Russia. There are few votes to be won by his more pacific stance, so I am inclined to think it is genuine, at least at the moment.

But there is much we recognise about Trump – the right wing populism, the battening on the economic travails of the poor caused by neo-liberalism and the vast wealth inequality of society, and shamelessly blaming the poverty on immigrants. This is a nasty, racist trick, which has firmly taken hold in much of England as with Trump supporters. It is unforgivable. Whether Trump really intends to build a wall on the border with Mexico I can’t tell – he probably meant it when he first said it. The border is not exactly unguarded. He seems to have rowed back from the desire to ban Muslims. But Trump’s willingness to appeal to dog-whistle racism ought to disqualify him from serious consideration for high office.

Yet the WikiLeaks emails cast a bright light on the other side of that coin – the Clinton camp’s blatant manipulation of identity politics. This goes beyond the stupidity of the appeal that women should vote for somebody merely because they happen to be of the same sex. The cynicism of the approach to blacks and Hispanics and the manipulation of these voting blocs is chilling to me. The WikiLeaks emails leave you unconvinced that black lives matter to Hillary. Black votes do.

So, by this time tomorrow we will know who the new President will be. Probably Hillary, but either way it will be somebody of whom most Americans strongly disapprove. They are voting on the basis of which candidate they wish to punish most by making them lose. Both options are awful. My advice to my American friends is to refuse to be co-opted into expressing a fake approval of either of these horrors, and vote Green for Jill Stein.

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251 thoughts on “The Lesser of Two Weevils

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  • Edward

    The Good Ship Clinton might be sinking even before the vote is in. That the Podesta brothers closely resemble the two suspect photo-fits in the Madeleine McCann case is probably just one of those strange coincidences along the way.

    • CE

      Fucking hell, first comnent and a complete tin foil hatter. I do worry about you guys sometimes.

      • Habbabkuk

        I’m afraid you’re right, CE.

        The very first “comment” on this thread bears out amply what I wrote a mere day or so ago on a previous thread. What I wrote was:

        “Monday and Tuesday will see a continuation of frenzied posting on the respective merits of Mr Trump and Mrs Clinton, with occasional squeaks about why a vote for Mrs Stein would not be a wasted vote. Most of this will come from persons of whom little is known except that they are not American voters.

        The rest of next week will be filled by angry claims about how the election was rigged in favour whoever it turns out has won the election. I expect much reference to impeccable sources such as Professor Michel Chudovussky (have I got that name right?), The Saker, Dimitry Orlov and so on.

        Thereafter – for a week or so – there is likely to be much fact-based, sober analysis of why whoever turns out to have won will be a catastrophe for the USA and indeed the whole world. I exempt from this prediction the adherents to the view that the outcome is of no importance given that US policy is in fact run by the deep state.

        And – finally! at last! – normal service will be resumed along the well-rehearsed line the USA and its Western vassals are responsible for all the ills of the universe.”

        The only thing missing from the above prophecy (I toyed with the idea of writing it but then gave him the benefit of the doubt) was the thought that Craig would surely fire off a last-minute piece to stimulate the disciples into a last-minute frenzy.

        Calm down, everyone.

        Life will continue and there will be no WW3.

  • bjsalba

    Despite what the media would have you believe POTUS is not all powerful.

    In fact it takes Congress and POTUS to get things done.

    • Tom Welsh

      Yes, as we all understand POTUS cannot start wars without the consent of Congress.
      POTUS most certainly could not kill people – even US citizens – abroad without the agreement of Congress and the courts.

      Where Congress does come in very handy is when POTUS goes off on one of the interminable, continuous foreign junkets and signs an agreement with a foreign head of state.

      “OK, that’s done… we now have a mutual extradition treaty”.

      Next week:
      “UK, please extradite Joe Bloggs for something we would like to put him in prison for… and make it snappy”.

      A while later:
      “Please, oh mighty US government, may we beg of you to extradite Fred Fatface for a string of gruesome murders, money laundering,and the overthrow of several governments?”

      “Drop dead limey, the Congress never approved that treay”.

    • Loony

      You need to keep the people confused otherwise they might work out that those with “almighty” powers are Janet Yellen, Mario Draghi and Mark Carney. At least Jean Claude Juncker has worked it out and is doing his best to join them at the top table.

      Maybe the British are getting there as they were too smart to sign their names to their own death warrants.

      • Martinned

        Central bankers have at least as much influence over the economy as politicians. (Although slightly less so now that they’re at/near the zero lower bound.)

    • Shatnersrug

      The press treat leaders like their the Boss, You see it all the time. The amount of people I meet that don’t understand that when you elect a leader or a chairman their job is to support your interests. But that of course is one of the many tricks of the media.

  • Old Mark

    A well balanced and sensible summary of the choice facing America; Craig’s endorsement of Jill Stein will however ensure that he attracts the unforgiveable ire of Clinton supporters, especially if Hillary loses narrowly- rather in the way Gore supporters turned on the Greens and Ralph Nader after the Dems lost by a whisker to Bush the Younger in 2000.

  • David

    If the Americans vote for Trump they fuck up their own country.

    If the Americans vote for Clinton they fuck up the rest of the world.

    Not sure I agree with you over the level of racism in England. Its no worse than any other part of the UK. Of course when the press publish daily how awful we are ( irrespective of the truth) then its easy to believe it I suppose, still it doesn’t make it true. Brexit was not about immigration for most people, that’s just the bit the press and politicos have grabbed hold of in order to make us feel bad. It was one issue of many issues.

      • glenn_uk

        Nobody else seems to mind this at all. Trump also said the military is desperately underfunded, run down and he wants to make it greatly-great again, by doubling it and so on. That we should bomb unfriendly countries and just take their oil. The likes of ISIS (and undefined enemies generally) ought to be just have the hell bombed out of them.

        So no need to worry about that at all.

        Clinton got denounced over the Iran deal too – Trump would like to really punish them, on general principles. And so on. But let’s not worry about that either, eh?

        • Loony

          As of today Trump is simply a candidate for President. As of toady NATO has put 300,000 troops on high alert to combat the “Russian threat”

          Everyone with any knowledge understands that Russia would annihilate 300,000 NATO troops in a matter of days. NATO would be forced to surrender or resort to a nuclear deployment in short order.

          So as you say no need to worry at all – everything is manifestly under control.

          • nevermind

            nothing to see here. US troops are ready to attack their own allies ISIS in Raqqa, whilst the ultimatum and ceasefire for residents in Aleppo to get out has run out.
            Both superpowers are readying themselves to have a scrap at the fringes of Europe, who knows what the poles and baltic states right wingers are planning in lieu with NATO/
            Really nothing to worry about here in Europe, any scrapping will be fought on US and Russian soil, dadadum a little piggy just flew by.

          • Habbabkuk

            “Everyone with any knowledge understands that Russia would annihilate 300,000 NATO troops in a matter of days.”
            _______________________

            Do I detect a note of longing in that comment?

            But more seriously : I assume that you believe what you write and are not just horsin’ about. Therefore you must one of those persons “with { any } knowledge”, right?

            Can you set out your credentials for being one of those persons “with knowledge”?

            Are you perhaps an academic specialising in war studies, or perhaps working in a think thank? OIr perhaps a military man (acting or former)? Or best of all are you perhaps related to Mark Golding?

            Look forward to hearing from you, thx in advance.

          • Loony

            Yes I am a person with knowledge, is knowledge is defined as the ability to read and to comprehend.

            General Ben Hodges (a senior NATO commander) is on record as affirming that NATO could not withstand an assault from Russia.

            Of course General Hodges could be lying – so a second plank of knowledge is to look at a map and note the difference in distance of resupply options for Russian and NATO troops. Using my expert knowledge of looking at maps I note that Russia is very close to NATO front lines and also very close to itself meaning that it has very short resupply lines. I note that the US is several thousand miles from European Russia and is also separated by an ocean.

            The next plank of my expert knowledge is to look at history where I note a long list of unsuccessful European would be invaders of Russia.

            As for the rest of your puerile questions I rely on the Nobel Laureate for Literature “My age it means nothing, and my name it means less”

        • Tom Welsh

          “Trump also said the military is desperately underfunded, run down and he wants to make it greatly-great again, by doubling it and so on. That we should bomb unfriendly countries and just take their oil. The likes of ISIS (and undefined enemies generally) ought to be just have the hell bombed out of them”.

          1. Hillary Clinton has already done all of those things. So we don’t need to take anyone’s word for what she would do – we know.

          2. Trump’s quoted statements were all campaign promises. As politicians never fulfill their campaign promises, it looks as if we should be very safe with him as president.

      • Loony

        What is the problem here? The US already has a policy of “Nuclear Primacy” i.e. it follows a doctrine that envisages it being able to launch and win a nuclear war. All Trump has done is speak about actual existing policy.

        Is the policy somehow more acceptable provided people are prohibited from mentioning it?

          • Loony

            I note that you continue to struggle with comprehension.

            The doctrine of “Nuclear Primacy” envisages the US launching and winning a nuclear conflict. The key word here is “launching” – and in the context means exactly the same as “first strike” and indeed it coulf mean nothing else.

          • Martinned

            It could, and does, mean a doctrine of second strike. A first strike is not now, nor has it ever been, US policy. First strike simply isn’t on the table. (As you’d expect in a democracy.)

          • Phil the ex-frog

            Martinned
            “A first strike is not now, nor has it ever been, US policy.”

            Er, Hiroshima?

            Your stupidity is hilarious.

          • Martinned

            You caught me. I should have specified that my statement only applied to the period when a second strike was logically an option, i.e. the period when more than one state possessed nuclear weapons.

          • Phil the ex-frog

            The US used nuclear weapons when there was no first strike against them. You boldly asserted this would never happen. But it did. Yet rather than question your cat-a-calling faith in the wonders of our democracy you revise your position with qualification, just like the lawyer you pretend to be. You are an idiot.

          • nevermind

            who says the US has no first strike policy? please offer evidence. The opposite has been mentioned. US geenrals have asked for a first strike policy vis a vis China’ rising military spending on Intercontinental missiles two years ago.

          • kief

            Martinned; you take a lot of shite here, but you have the rare quality of admitting error.

            Cheers…

          • Habbabkuk

            Kief

            You will have noticed that Martinned has maay good qualities, the first and foremost being that he applies his mind – in a distinctively Dutch way, I find – to puncturing some of the more egregious absurdities served up in a number of subject areas and that he prefers to operate within a fact zone rather than the fact free zones preferred by most of those he likes puncturing.

            Those qualities, as you might imagine, do not make him popular with this blog’s peeps.

            But I and the other serious dissidents appreciate his contributions.

          • Habbabkuk

            Phil thr ex-Frop (noew a Toad?) :

            “Martinned
            “A first strike is not now, nor has it ever been, US policy.”

            Er, Hiroshima?

            Your stupidity is hilarious.”
            ________________________

            Now that you have seen Martinned’s reply I feel you shoudl do the right thing and apologise to him or your intemperate comment.

            The doctrine of “no first strike only has meaning in a world where at least two states have nuclear weapons, which was not the case in 1945 (despite the best efforts of various Soviet spies and Western traitors). That, if course, is why that doctrine only saw the light of day well into in the post-war period.

          • Tom Welsh

            Actually, there is no point in arguing about doctrines or policies of “first strike”. It simply doesn’t matter what “doctrines” or “policies” are said to be in force. Those are, after all, nothing more than words. A whole series of American presidents made binding treaties with Native American tribes, and every single one was broken by the USA. This track record has extended to the present day.

            Moreover, an incumbent president wouldn’t care in the least about any previous statements of doctrine or, for that matter, treaty obligations. If (s)he believed that a first strike would be sufficiently advantageous, then a first strike would be launched. Who’s going to complain?

            Did you ever see the movie “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”? I’m referring to the scene where a huge, but rather stupid, outlaw announces that he is challenging Butch to a fight to determine who will be the leader. Butch agrees, and starts to discuss the rules. Halfway through his first sentence, he kicks the other guy very hard in the crotch. End of fight.

            We laughed at the time, but that is the way fights are won.

          • John Spencer-Davis

            Martinned does not pretend to be a lawyer: he has stated more than once on here that he is not.

      • CE

        Indeed, you have to wonder where the hell Craig gets the idea that a Trump foreign policy would in any way be “sensible”. Isee zero evidence for this, in fact the opposite seems to be true.

        And how would this “pragmatic” relationship with Russia would work? Abandoning our allies in the Baltics and Northern Europe? This is the sort of rubbish you expect from the Kremlin/Wikileaks.

        • Kerch'ee Kerch'ee Coup

          Isn’t that what happened in 1939/40? Finland was suddenly a baddie for resisting the USSR and getting German support.
          This whole campaign to blame Putin for the perceived expansionism of Rusia lacks a foundation. If you want to argue. along those lines, surely you should go along with AnatolyGolitsyn in the Perestroika Deception or New Lies for Old ,claiming that this was a strategy to recoup the technological backwardness of the USSR by removing the image of the enemy in the Western mind.The idea that Gorby and Shervadadze suddenly reached the decision Socialism wasn’ t working has always seemed too facile: but FO careers were built on it.

      • Republicofscotland

        Well, Obama, is officially the POTUS, who has been at war the longest.

        Hillary, will in my opinion outdo Obama, on the war front.

        I doubt Trump, could match Obama’s infamous feat.

      • David

        Not completely wrong CE. Lets be clear 1 hate crime is 1 too many. You can read the full article if you wish, I’ve copied and pasted some of it below.

        https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/sep/07/hate-surged-after-eu-referendum-police-figures-show

        Mark Hamilton, the NPCC lead for hate crime, said that the reductions in the rate of increase meant they were no longer going to require weekly updates from police forces in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

        “We have seen continued decreases in reports of hate crimes to forces and these reports have now returned to formerly seen levels for 2016. For this reason, we will return to our previous reporting procedures and will no longer be requiring weekly updates from forces,” he said.

    • Tom Welsh

      “If the Americans vote for Trump they fuck up their own country.
      “If the Americans vote for Clinton they fuck up the rest of the world”.

      Well, that’s a no-brainer, isn’t it? Greetings, oh mighty President Clinton.

  • fred

    The problem is that when two candidates fight a negative campaign it is usually the most negative who wins. In a fight between a good guy and a bad guy the good has a good chance of winning but in a fight between two bad guys it’s the most bad people tend to vote for. When two dirty fighters compete it’s the dirtiest that wins.

    As who wins the chance are it will be the greater of the two evils.

    • Republicofscotland

      “The problem is that when two candidates fight a negative campaign it is usually the most negative who wins.”

      And there was no more negative and dirty, that that fought by Better Together, the British government and the media, in the run up to the 2014 Scottish independence referendum.

    • Kerch'ee Kerch'ee Coup

      I think approval should be replaced by acceptance or toleration in the wording.As in theIrish referendum on gay marriage, it’s all in thewording. Also it is interesting to compare referendum results for the the EU by area this year compared tothe Wislon results to see how attitudes change with almost an inversion of the voting distribution.

  • eddie-g

    “There is no doubt that Hillary was peddling influence in exchange for massive donations to the Clinton Foundation and fees and gifts to Bill and herself”

    Sorry, but no. Thousands of journalistic hours have been poured into trying to prove this, but literally nothing has come up.

    To me, what donors to the Clinton Foundation (and people who paid for speeches and god knows what else) received in return was access. And as unseemly as all this is, it is a very different accusation than saying she was peddling influence.

    She is a conventional, centrist politician. Her decision-making in office is consistent within that frame. There’s plenty about being a centrist politician that I take issue with, but the personal corruption angle against Clinton has never struck me as a very credible charge.

    • bevin

      “To me, what donors to the Clinton Foundation (and people who paid for speeches and god knows what else) received in return was access. And as unseemly as all this is, it is a very different accusation than saying she was peddling influence…”
      Tell that to the Jury. Access equals influence and is generally held to do so.

    • Hmmm

      Guess it’s a case of perspective. I’d say he who pays the piper… And evidence will be extremely difficult to find; it is buried deeper than anyone could possibly dig. Innuendo isn’t always misplaced.

      • Edward

        On the contrary, there’s a strange abundance of evidence. You can read it for yourself. It just hasn’t been reported on, for whatever reasons.

    • kief

      Both Clintons are lawyers, fully aware there is a Bund watching everything they do. The potential for conflict of interest would be seen by them, I believe.

      Trump was lambasted for not paying ANY taxes for 20 years, but he was just using the loopholes created by the Republican Bund. He was within his legal rights, but no one wants to say that.

      If you don’t like the grey areas around the law, change it. Reverse Citizen’s United which make all that bullshit legal. Just like Trump, they use all available resources for their objectives.

  • glenn_uk

    The trouble with voting for a no-hope third party, at least in the US/UK where we have FPTP elections, is that they will damage the party with which they are most aligned. In this case, voting Green will provide the Republicans with a greater chance of victory.

    Bernie Sanders is going to be heading the budget committee. Elizabeth Warren is likely to get a key position. Clinton is not unmovable – she has shifted her tone and position considerably, in concession to Sanders supporters. On the other hand, a Trump regime would not be less interested in the direction Sanders supporters wanted policy to go.

    • glenn_uk

      Correction…. “On the other hand, a Trump regime could not be less interested in the direction Sanders supporters wanted policy to go.”

    • Macky

      Actually Jonathan Cook makes a better long term argument;

      http://www.jonathan-cook.net/blog/2016-11-07/no-hillary-clinton-is-not-less-evil-than-trump/

      As “gloriousrevolution” of the Lifeboat Forum surmises JC’s point;

      “This is an obvious and central point, which Chomsky seems to miss, that if progressives keep voting for dreadful Democrats this actually strengthens the two party dominance of US politics and gives it legitimacy, a legitimacy it doesn’t deserve. By voting repeatedly for a ‘hopeless’ left candidate one gradually makes them less ‘hopeless’ and if the Greens, for example, got over 5% this would show clearly that the electoral system and their exclusion from the media debate, was, actually rigged in favour of the two party system and against democracy. ”

      One other factoid I saw elsewhere; ten year ago Syriza were at 3%, now they are the Government in Greece.

    • Tom Welsh

      “Don’t buy the McCarthyism about her, though she must be made less of a Russophobe”.

      Good luck doing that before she forces the Russians to kill you, her and everyone else.

        • Tom Welsh

          1. Clinton launches a first strike against Russia.

          2. Clinton orders an American “no fly zone” over Syria. US aircraft and missiles enter Syria to implement the orders. The Russians shoot them all down. The USA then attacks the Russian bases and missile sites in Syria. The Russians shoot down all the AWACS in theatre, bomb all air bases used by NATO in the region, and sink a few American ships. Washington gets into a towering snit and uses tactical nuclear weapons. The Russians respond with tactical nuclear weapons. Washington decides to “take out” a couple of Russian cities to show them who’s boss. The Russians take out a couple of American cities. Whoosh. Lights out. Elapsed time, start to finish: 5 hours.

          • Habbabkuk

            That should be the synopsis for a book you might devote your time to writing, Welsh.

            A novel, of course.

            Mind you, Sir John Hackett already did it a few decades ago, so yours had better be good!

      • Trowbridge H. Ford

        Think you are being incredibly harsh on her ability to change her mind, especially about Snowden who she claimed was a Russian spy from the outset which caused her not to reset the button with Moscow.

        Since he fled to Russia after destroying all the documents he had, Snowden has made the case of espionage against him more difficult, and he has been quite supportive of Director Comey’s ability to know what is in all her e-mails.

  • Node

    The gulf between the way the election looks on mainstream media and social media is massive – otherwise Clinton would be 20 points ahead.

    I don’t understand this sentence. Do you mean “otherwise Clinton would be 20 points behind”?

    • Node

      Ah, all right, I get it now thanks to Bevin’s comment below. If social media mimicked mainstream media, then Clinton would be 20 points ahead. However, if the reverse happened, the reverse would happen.

  • bevin

    “The gulf between the way the election looks on mainstream media and social media is massive – otherwise Clinton would be 20 points ahead. I expect the mainstream media to come out on top on this occasion and get their woman in, just….”
    I think that this is, by a long chalk, the most important development in the election. It leads to the question of what the ruling class is going to do about this potentially fatal challenge to their system. There are already clear signs that ‘regulation’ (to prevent young women from being forced to commit suicide by abusive trolls etc etc….anyone familiar with what has happened to Comment is Free at The Guardian will understand what the powers that be want.) is what they intend to impose but …

  • Uzmark

    How any average American could vote at all for Clinton or Trump is beyond me. Don’t encourage and endorse either of them.

    Either don’t vote or vote Jill Stein

  • Alcyone

    “He seems to have rowed back from the desire to ban Muslims.”

    Is there a contextual source for the ‘ban Muslims’ attribution?

      • Alcyone

        Thanks.

        “Until our country can figure out what the hell is going on?”

        Now in your language is that obiter dictum? Try again: “Ban Muslims”, period.

      • Loony

        You seem periodically interested in making quasi legal references. Perhaps you let us know which law obliges the US to accept immigrants into the country.

          • Alcyone

            Still waiting for you to respond to mine at 13.02.

            Did you “Go ahead” and listen to the video you linked? I stopped at about 30 seconds.

            “Until our country can figure out what the hell is going on?”

            I have no way of knowing whether you are as wise as you are knowledgable but I sure as Hell know you are entirely capable of bending the Truth.

          • Loony

            It is just not your day so far as the English language is concerned is it.

            Here is a tip. Look up the definition of “immigrant” and then look up the definition of “refugee” Compare and contrast the different definitions that the dictionary will provide you with and then try and either think and write logically or remain silent.

          • nevermind

            Off course this convention is it, except that the US does not like the UN or any of its laws and missive’s and it despises the ICC. What have all these lawyers done wrong?

            US citizens are beyond the law in Europe, they get flown out after they murdered someone, uncle Sam does not accept the law and judiciaries and the UN is controlled via its funding, simple.

          • Phil the ex-frog

            Martinned
            “That’s all lawyering is: advanced reading comprehension.”

            You’re funny. In a stupid kind of way.

            The vast majority of laws, shaped over centuries by those with power, ultimately concern property rights. Lawyering is mostly making money implementing state oppression to protect the unjust status quo.

          • Tom Welsh

            “That’s all lawyering is: advanced reading comprehension”.

            Thanks for explaining that – I always wondered how Richard Nixon’s Tony Blair’s Obama’s or the Clintons’ minds worked. So what you really mean is “such extremely advanced comprehsion that you can read things into a text that were never there”.

  • Alcyone

    So you all want politics to deliver you the goods?

    Please tell me: Is Good related to Evil? Are the two on the same spectrum? Are you, your self, filled with Goodness? My Dog is–utter, total and complete Goodness And Love, personified. He tells me he has only one fear: all this talk about reincarnation. 🙂

    Enjoy the show of The Apprentice and The Whore!

    • Alcyone

      But the best one so far I’ve heard of dogs: If she’s barking and wagging her tail at the same time, how do you know which end to believe?

    • Phil the ex-frog

      Alcyone

      Well speaking for what I have learnt, I think your question goes to the heart of the question of power.

      We are all capable of good and bad. We are all, given the circustances, corruptible. Which is why placing faith in replacing one bad apple with a new fresh apple is not a solution. That new apple will turn bad or it will be replaced by a rotten one. Representative democracy, within an economic system that rewards selfishness and greed, that sets man against man above all else, will always result in corruption, conflict and oppression.

      I love dogs too. Been to the vet this morning, my little 3 legged dog has cancer. Your reincarnation line made me laugh. Ta.

      • Alcyone

        Phil, good to see you back and thanks for your reply. Maybe we can pick up on this gain sometime later; very interesting subject.

        I am reminded of Einstein summarising his ‘ideals’ very eloquently as Truth, Beauty, Goodness

        Krishnamurti, I believe (after a lot of research) the Einstein of the Mind, talked of Truth, Beauty, Love

        Einstein, the eternal Cosmologist, also coined the phrase ‘Cosmic Religious Feeling’, a euphemism for Love?

        Please check them out if you’re not already familiar.

        Sorry to hear about the Little One, but glad I afforded you a laugh, best medicine. She is indeed lucky she is in good hands and I wish her the speediest recovery. If it’s any solace, a very good friends dog also contracted cancer recently and the good news is she is managing/recovering/responding to treatment quite well. So stay positive, positive, positive. I haven’t discussed with my friend about turning her vegetarian, though I hasten to add, in that regard they are constitutionally different from us. Still, I shall explore!

  • Phil the ex-frog

    Jill Stein? Well, sure, if you want to vote for someone who makes impossible claims. Stein knows this. Most potential voters know this. Her pledges are undeliverable nonsense within the system.

    Stein likes to quote Eugene Debs. Here’s a Debs quote she doesn’t use:

    I would not be a Moses to lead you into the Promised Land, because if I could lead you into it, someone else could lead you out of it.

    • Habbabkuk

      Like that quote from Eugene Debs.

      He seems to be reminding people of the following: “do not go a-whorin’ after false gods”, doesn’t he.

  • Alcyone

    “He seems to have rowed back from the desire to ban Muslims.”

    Is there a contextual source for the ‘ban Muslims’ attribution?

    Perhaps it’s only fair to ask Craig this, i.e the context of the original desire please.

  • Tony

    Obama did precisely nothing to help stop the execution of Troy Davis. Bob Barr, an ultra-conservative Congressman spoke out as did the head of the FBI under Reagan. But Obama did nothing at all!

    Just a couple of weeks ago, his administration lobbied in the UN against a treaty to ban nuclear weapons. The good news, however, is it failed.

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/10/28/nukes-and-the-un-a-historic-treaty-to-ban-nuclear-weapons/

    I hope Clinton wins but we will have to mobilise to stop her more extreme foreign policy impulses.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    If you think only Americans are the nutters, read Jonathan Freedland’s column in today’s Guardian.

    He blames the American elite and other loonies for Trump winning.

    • Tom Welsh

      “If you think only Americans are the nutters, read Jonathan Freedland’s column in today’s Guardian”.

      Ewwwwwwwwwwwww.

      Friends don’t let friends read The Guardian – or any of the other establishment rags. It’s basic mental hygiene – toilet training for the mind.

  • Sharp Ears

    They think ‘it’ will all be over by tomorrow. Wrong. ‘It’ is only just starting and we carry on with our lives in fear of the one ‘elected’ setting off WW3.

    As the Political Charade Ends, the Real Battle Begins
    Nozomi Hayase / November 7th, 2016

    ‘Voting is never the end and it is not about who wins. The choices are not Hillary or Trump, nor which party to support. There is no choice, no solution and no changes available in the voting booth of a corporate duopoly-occupied electoral arena. Yet, we must make real choices and solve our very real problems.

    It is time to reject this greater evil politics and strike the courage to break the political bond that has connected us to the puppet strings of power. Voting with conscience is not a protest vote. It is our civic duty as We the People, who together are the highest office of the land, to declare the just cause that impels us to this separation. As the theatre of contrived democracy comes towards an end, our decisions made on election day are where our real battle begins.’

    About the author.
    https://muckrack.com/nozomihayase
    http://dissidentvoice.org/2016/11/as-the-political-charade-ends-the-real-battle-begins/

  • kief

    Incredible that anyone, even the uninformed redneck, can conclude that Trump wouldn’t stump-pull foreign relations. Derangement syndrome proliferates this blog. Thanks to the few who have expressed a frontal lobe capability, but I notice like me, you find it oddly frustrating there’s a baker’s dozen or more of stale doughnuts who are absolutely cloned by sTrumpet immunity to facts.

    I thought Brits were smart.

    • Tom Welsh

      So many insults, so little interest (on my part).

      Some British people are intelligent. I don’t know if that fact has any relationship to your strange remarks.

      • kief

        Uh, that’s what I said. Some here are intelligent, translated from a strange pairing of words like ‘frontal lobe’ Are there other metaphors you can’t comprehend? I’ll gladly translate….

  • Tom Welsh

    “Obama was a massive disappointment”.

    I honestly don’t see that he was; I was expecting nothing different. And nothing different (from the Dubya regime and the Clintstone regime and the previous Bush regime and…) was what Americans and the rest of the world got. They can’t fool you unless you’re naive and innocent enough to believe what they say. Which no educated adult should ever do.

    “Promise of economic change proved empty”.

    See the key word there again? “Promise”. Now remember that, “with a politician’s promise and five dollars, you can get a cup of coffee”. (Or just with the five dollars). If it’s too hard to remember, just imagine you’re a Native American. Why would the economy improve for ordinary people under a president who was elected specifically to go on taking money out of their pockets and putting it in the pockets of the super-rich?

    “It is difficult now to recall what a big emphasis in campaigning he placed on civil liberties, including ending torture and closing Guantanamo”.

    Hmmm. “Campaigning”… to my mind, very much akin to “promise”. When did an election candidate last implement ANY of his or her promises? Remember, “Read my lips. No new taxes”???

    You can be diasppointed only if you are irrationally trusting and gullible. Why would top politicians – politicians who have climbed the greasy pole right to the very top, stabbing in the back everyone who got in their way (or might do so some day) – why would some of the nastiest, least trustworthy people in the entire world suddenly become all sweetness and light and altruistic thoughts just because they finally get to the top of the heap? What they actually become full of (apart from lies, which were there all along) is an almost insensate desire to cling on to what they have won, no matter what the cost to anyone else.

    • Alcyone

      Well said. A little right thinking goes a long way.

      For my education, who was the last ‘good’ President?

      • Tom Welsh

        I think that depends on what exactly you mean by “good”. Probably every single one of them right back to George Washington has done harm, but the first few did relatively little harm – both because they were well-intentioned, and because it was a smaller country, a far smaller government, and enormously less powerful.

        There’s a case for Jimmy Carter, as an intelligent man who seems to have meant well. But even he got nowhere against the establishment.

        My favourite would be Calvin Coolidge, famous for doing almost nothing at all as president – and therefore doing less harm than others. He was the one of whom, when told that he had died, Dorothy Parker asked, “How can they tell?”

        • Alcyone

          “My favourite would be Calvin Coolidge, famous for doing almost nothing at all as president – and therefore doing less harm than others. He was the one of whom, when told that he had died, Dorothy Parker asked, “How can they tell?””

          LOL, briiliant one, thank you!

          I like your general line of reasoning.

      • nevermind

        President Warren G. hardone, sorry Harding, a poker player, gambler and womaniser who was said to have polished the corners of Whitehouse desks with his regular exercises. He saw nothing of playing a round of golf after a nights heavy drinking, perfect manipulating material he was. Afaik he did absolutely nothing, zilch, a very good president who managed to rule for two years and then die.

        • Tom Welsh

          Yes, Warren Harding was another of the good ones. You’ll find a very good and entertaining portrait of him and his circle in Gore Vidal’s wonderful novel “Hollywood”. (Coolidge, who lived at the same time, doesn’t appear in the book because – obviously – he did nothing).

        • Shatnersrug

          Nah, he was only there to destroy the Republican Party, which he did quite efficiently

  • Ron Showalter

    Um, sorry to burst your bubble but if your think it’s SAUDI ARABIA that has our politicians by the nuts then you should seriously refrain from ever commenting on US domestic politics again. Seriously.

    2ndly: if you take Mr. Assange/Mr. Snowden/Wikileaks at face value you again demonstrate minimal true understanding of how things really work over here. Got Hero? chortle.

    As for the Spectacle election this post is more brainwashed delusional ranting from the fake-left completely oblivious to how poisoned their minds are via the MSM.

    Will we ever be rid of this nonsense or – now think weally weally hard about this, kiddies – could it just possibly be the next edition of Clinton Derangement Syndrome will be guaranteed to keep not only the imbecile Right but also the Fake-Left gnashing their teeth for years on end all the while they have wet dreams about OMG!!1! Clinton Scandal!!11! #45,567,345?

    Shall I break it down for you, suckers? It looks like I must:

    Who benefits from Clinton Derangement Syndrome?

    The MSM: check
    The Right/Republicans: check
    The Fake-Left/Democrats: check (note: the distraction/gridlock due to evil Clintons is a feature)
    The Clintons themselves: check (I’m sure the 100s of millions of $$$ have gone a long way to assuaging their hurt feelings)

    So, EVERYONE who’s ANYONE in the US benefits from promoting/promulgating Clinton Derangement Syndrome, huh? I guess the only question TPTB have is: how to keep it going, right?

    Hmmm, I guess instead of allowing anyone with half a brain cell to see via the MSM that Trump truly is a despicable rapist piece of human garbage, why, wouldn’t it be soooo clever to give him just enough “sanity” – note: cf. “limited hangout” – to appeal to all of the those most in need of a superhewo a la Bernie? To have the people who should be most opposed to such a sorry excuse for a human being be the very people who rehabilitate his image and provide fodder for more and more future Clinton Derangement Syndrome (Note: see Trump TV)?

    Nah, it’s not like TPTB could conceivably be smarter than the geniuses of the fake-left, right?

    After Obama’s disastrous Presidency they wouldn’t be so blind as to be so easily manipulated once again, would they?

    They wouldn’t spend time actually thinking/talking about a freaking word that comes out of the mouth of either candidate but much less the talking pus-bucket scum-sucking racist rapist that is Donald Trump, would they?

    • Tom Welsh

      “So, EVERYONE who’s ANYONE in the US benefits from promoting/promulgating Clinton Derangement Syndrome, huh?”

      Well, maybe. At least until the Russian ICBMs arrive after she starts WW3. After that, maybe not so much.

  • nevermind

    third paragraph, third line’ in advance’ written twice.

    Please all you immigrants to the USA, vote for Jill Stein, she will bring you together with the natives of America, finally after 300 years of shootin’ and strugglin’ you can expect some peace under her rule.

    PS: Campaign hard against the outdated and undemocratic electoral college, get rid of this biased and skewed establishment tool to manage the masses, and whilst you’re at it, rid yourself of all machines that count votes, there is not one machine made that can’t be manipulated, just accept that counting votes in a large country takes time.

    • Martinned

      Not that I have a strong view for/against voting machines, but I’m surprised that you think that counting votes manually can’t be manipulated.

      • Tom Welsh

        Everything can be manipulated – probably – to some extent. But counting votes manually introduces several safety factors. First, every single step of the process, with NO exceptions, is watched by several people. Whereas, in a computer, no one at all is watching. (Unless they can get inside a metal case and see data and instructions walk by). Second, with a computerized system, even after everything is done someone can hack in and simply change the totals.

      • nevermind

        Martinned, don’t know how many counts you warched, I watched many. If votes are counted in the place they are cast and are watched over then this is the safest way of stopping manipulations.
        offering machines, moving ballot boxes for miles and allowing family elders to demand/collect all postal votes from their tribe/family, open envelopes which are then checked to ensure that they all filled in the right party are the going tricks that make democracy in our western countries such a shambles.

        Those who conveniently forget about chads, non working/wrongly adjusted voting machinery and who like to fool themselves here in England with the thought that it is the oldest fairest democracy in the world, wake up.
        Bradford, Bolton, Blackburn and Darwen, Birmingham are four rotten boroughs were electoral fraud is rife.

        Find the evidence yourself.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    For posters really interested in what women in high office can do, read James Stewart’s account of Bernie Nussbaun’s belatedly finding Vince Foster’s suicide note, not the crap that is currently cluttering obituaries about her in the media.

    Hillary was so shaken by reading it that she told him that she couldn’t deal with it, and he should..

    Bill refused to even see it, and told him to take it to Attorney General Janet Reno.

    She refused to take it, though questioning the delay, explaining that it should immediately be turned over to law enforcement, the Park Police.

    That put an end to White House attempts to spin the tragedy.

      • Trowbridge H. Ford

        Thanks.

        Just went down the street four blocks to vote straight Democrat.

        Really weird, though the turnout is the best I have seen.

        No party propaganda seen about presidential race.

        Imagine Democrart bosses decided that there was no reason to waste money as a strong Hillary vote is expected, and the Republicans were not willing to waste any money on a clear Trump defeat.

        • Shatnersrug

          Took my missus down to Islington to send in her ballot – Tons of Americans there all politely queuing (or were they waiting in line?) big turnout I thought. No trump voters(maybe they’re shy?) a few greens, mostly Dems

  • Ron Showalter

    One more point about rigging elections – not that it matters in the Spectacle but maybe these thoughts could be a threshold concept for some:

    If theoretically you have the power to truly rig elections – which TPTB surely do – would you do think about it as a win/loss operation? Or would it be more profitable to you to utilize the shades of grey in b/w “winning/losing” to your advantage?

    I mean, it wouldn’t be enough to be able to pick winners and losers if you could also – again, listen up, children – create “revolutionary” movements, create mass derangement, create heroes/monsters, lay the groundwork for operations election cycles years out, etc etc etc etc, would it? All dependent upon how much or how little a person “wins/loses”, huh?

    “Gee, Professor Ron, now I’m seeing that it would be stupid of me to think that TPTB would only rig the outcomes of elections on a win/loss vector when they could create ENTIRE electoral scenarios that would keep unsuspecting populations at bay interminably. I’m starting to get suspicious about my own thoughts and feelings. ”

    No worries, free of charge.

    • kief

      Indeed. Many here think every district is Diebold, but the fact is the electoral map is a mass of independent methods from paper to paper-trail electronic and NO paper trail (the most vulnerable)

      The US system is formed from chaos, and that’s a bitch to manage in collusion.

      • Shatnersrug

        After 18 years of American partner – living here and there, I still don’t feel comfortable to judge American politics, the problem I find here is that folk think they understand it, even though they don’t live there. Many British people don’t realise how large a raft of props you guys get to vote on come election time. The pres is one part, but local policies will probably have a greater effect on most voters lives for the next five years.

      • Dave Lawton

        “The US system is formed from chaos, and that’s a bitch to manage in collusion.”
        Chaos is complete order get it right

      • Herbie

        “The US system is formed from chaos, and that’s a bitch to manage in collusion.”

        They don’t have to manage the whole thing.

        Just the key parts.

        That’s so obvious one has to wonder why you pretended otherwise.

  • Republicofscotland

    “This is a nasty, racist trick, which has firmly taken hold in much of England ”

    Indeed, May’s demagoguery, has now become anger and menacing threats, on the streets. Such as the online threats of rape and beheading, directed towards Gina Miller, the woman who took a legal challenge, over Brexit to court.

  • nevermind

    Something self declared prof. Ron might want to read, and an explanation to the mobilising of internal law and order forces. America’s 30 year downturn and the increasing rift will be the end to capitalism as they wanted it. Change must come or else. never mind the externalities and intricacies of foreign policy, heal your country before it eats itself.

    “There are good reasons to be opposed to Clinton, a transitional figure from an era of unfairness to an era that will be shaped by a new generation. Her problem is that she cannot free herself from this blemish. She will likely be unable to motivate a segment of the African-American electorate, which was so electrified by Obama, and that could cost her this election. It will be close, extremely close.

    But America is in the process of dividing and rearranging itself: It’s rural America versus the large cities; it’s whites against everyone else; it’s the middle class against everyone else; it’s the wars of years past, which have cast their shadows over this campaign and led large numbers of veterans from these destructive conflicts to vote for Trump even though the attacks on Iraq and Afghanistan were led by Republican presidents.”

    an article by Georg Dietz

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/trump-is-the-product-of-the-erosion-of-liberal-democracy-a-1120133.html

  • Sharp Ears

    Two NuLabour has beens comment on the candidates.
    “I never believed in special relationship”, admits Tony Blair’s Defence Secretary in run-up to US presidential election
    7 Nov 2016
    By Ben Glaze
    Geoff Hoon hit out at the transatlantic alliance as Ed Balls blasted “wild and unpredictable” Donald Trump
    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/i-never-believed-special-relationship-9193410

    Balls promotes Clinton.

    BuffHoon says that there is no special relationship between the US and the UK.

    Both so wrong.

    What are they doing now? Balls is being paid by the state broadcaster to dance and Hoon is a MD at Augusta Westland.

    Hoon displayed his greed in 2010. A low life.

    ‘Hoon was one of the MPs named in the 2010 sting operation on political lobbying by the Channel 4 Dispatches programme. Hoon told an undercover reporter that he wanted to translate his knowledge and contacts into something that “frankly makes money”. On 22 March 2010 it was announced he had been suspended from the Parliamentary Labour Party, alongside Patricia Hewitt and Stephen Byers.

    On 9 December 2010, Hoon, along with Stephen Byers and Richard Caborn were banned from having an ex-members pass. The Standards and Privileges Committee banned Hoon for a minimum five years as his was the most serious breach, whilst Byers received two years and Caborn six months.’

    ‘In April 2009, it emerged that Hoon had rented out his London home and claimed expenses on his constituency house. While doing so, he had lived in state-owned, rent-free housing at Admiralty House.[23] He asserted that he had only claimed what he was entitled to under the rules of the House of Commons. But the financial arrangements were heavily criticised in the media.’
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geoff_Hoon

    • glenn_uk

      What does this dirt-digging on a bunch of British MPs have to do with this thread, which is concerned with the US Presidential election?

      • Shatnersrug

        I think we should all stop getting so angry with each other, it’s tiring and just causes entrenchment.

  • Loony

    What is it that cannot be comprehended?

    The system is eating itself. It is killing millions of people in far away lands. it is impoverishing tens of millions of people in its homelands. It is lining itself up for ever larger conflicts – for the most part the weak have been vanquished and only those that can defend themselves remain. It will not end well, because it cannot end well.

    People are fat, supine and lazy – but even with these internalized disadvantages people are not being asked to do much. All that is necessary today is to vote for anything or anyone that does not have the approval of system managers.

    The meant Brexit in the UK and it means Trump in the US. Going forward it will mean voting for either radical socialists or right wing nationalists in Europe – basically anyone or anything that can weaken the stranglehold of neo-con power.

    This could be easier than people think as it is likely that the core pillars of our deranged system are much more fragile than they appear. If people do not act then the system will devour itself at an ever increasing rate. The end game is designed to produce no winners, only losers. It is a measure of our collective delusion that a catastrophic end game is enthusiastically supported by many.

    Look into the past, the real past, not the media invented past and recall Shelley “Rise like lions from slumber, in un-vanquishable number…” – and vote Trump. You know it makes sense.

    • glenn_uk

      I’l make a prediction here – Trump is not going to get elected. In addition, Trump makes no sense whatsoever (have you actually listened to one of his speeches?), and nor – I’m afraid – do you.

    • Habbabkuk

      That sounds as if it’s been lifted from somewhere, without attribution. Am I right and if so, what is the source?

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