I have long feared a police state. Not the figurative one we’ve been letting develop for years now. I mean a literal one. Where they can stop you for any reason and ask you for your “papers.” Where they can restrict your movements, and your associations. Where they can confine you to your homes.
Yesterday, this became an unfortunate reality for me and all other Virginians. Mayor Ralph “Blackface” Northam signed an Executive Order that essentially locks my state down. Police can stop any motorist and ask where they are going. If they aren’t going to a doctor or the store, they can be charged with a misdemeanor. For now. And those essential personnel who are still working have been given papers. Yes, “show me your papers” is finally here in the land of the free.
Over the course of just a few weeks, America and most of the world has been subjected to a power play that rivals anything that George Orwell could have dreamed up. Whole countries locked down. People quarantined who have no illness. People restricted to their houses. “Social distancing” mandating that people stay six feet apart from one another. The closing down of virtually all businesses. No more going to the movies, or restaurants, or casinos, or concerts. Professional sports leagues and even the NCAA’s lucrative March Madness basketball tournament have been cancelled. All schools have been closed indefinitely.
So, surely all these draconian, unprecedented moves indicate that something really dangerous is going on? Instead, the world has basically come to a standstill over a virus strain, which has not even conclusively been proven to exist, that has killed a fraction of what the common flu kills every year, in this country and around the world.
The Coronavirus has been around for decades. Just look at the back of your can of Lysol. It informs you that their product protects you from “Human Coronavirus,” among other things. Many of us strongly suspect that cases of simple Coronavirus have been lumped in with those purporting to be COVID-19, the dastardly strain in question, which all the best and brightest “experts” inform us could spread across the world like wildfire.
The primary source for all the fear porn which has been emanating from our putrid state-run media for weeks, came from United Kingdom epidemiologist Neil Ferguson, who issued a dire warning that 2.2 million could die from COVID-19 in the United States alone. Without quite the attention given his initial predictions by the hysterical media, Ferguson quietly acknowledged last week that his numbers were wrong. Very, very wrong. His weak admission that perhaps 20,000 could die was not very convincing. And a pair of Stanford professors of medicine followed that up by saying the predictions of fatalities “may be too high by orders of magnitude.”
Instead of responding reasonably to these indications that those who initiated the alarmist talk from our journalists and politicians were utterly wrong, our leaders have doubled down on the heavy-handed, unwarranted response. More states like mine have gone into lock down mode. It is akin to Martial Law, without any visible troops in the streets. Given the lack of opposition to this authoritarianism, they haven’t needed any. Without firing a shot, as the saying goes.
Citizen journalists have posted a myriad of videos on You Tube, which depict not the “overwhelmed” hospitals that are literally bursting at the seams with corpses, but instead largely empty facilities. Jason Goodman has been filming around hospitals in New York City, the alleged epicenter of the alleged epidemic, and it has to be seen to be believed. Idle ambulances everywhere. Disinterested EMT workers and hospital employees. Many, if not most of them not wearing masks. Police harassing him from filming on a public street. I have a friend who lives in New York City, and he just called me this morning to report how non-busy the biggest hospital in Brooklyn looked. Something very strange is going on here.
Meanwhile, Dr. Colleen Smith, a doctor who specializes in “medical simulation,” whatever that is, violated every HIPAA regulation imaginable when she filmed inside an ICU at New York City’s Elmhurst Hospital. Dr. Smith complained about a lack of equipment and resources, the same establishment mantra we’ve heard time and time again from establishment sources, which is invariably blamed on hapless Donald Trump. Her video was published by the New York Times. The same day she was filming inside, Elmhurst Hospital was videotaped outside by a citizen journalist. You guessed it- it resembled a ghost town.
As I’ve made clear to so many who are parroting the mainstream line, “people are dying!,” yes, people are dying. They do everyday. As Bob Dylan, also back in the news this week with a better late than never song about JFK assassination truth, once said, “he not busy being born is busy dying.” The question is, what are the people whose deaths the state-controlled media is fixated upon dying from? How many of these deaths are actually from underlying causes like diabetes or pneumonia, or less frightening strains of virus, like the regular flu or the generic Coronavirus?
There are many disquieting indications that the wild overreaction to this is a hoax, even if the virus is not. The photograph of ominous rows of coffins supposedly emanating out of Italy, which has been allegedly hit so hard by COVID-19, which was proven to be from another country, taken years earlier. The Italian reports indicating that 99% of the fatalities attributed to this virus came from “other pathologies.” The story in early February out of China, that the Chinese were including deaths from pneumonia along with the scary COVID-19 cases. It is no exaggeration to say that, considering the draconian response, those in charge have a tremendous vested interest in significantly increasing the numbers.
Both the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control were caught lying about the same thing in 2009; they falsely inflated the Swine Flu figures. Sharyl Attkisson lost her job with CBS for exposing the CDC. No investigative journalism is allowed in this country, outside of amateurs on the internet. The CDC and WHO are front and center here, along with our perpetually dishonest politicians and laughable, lapdog establishment press. They are the ones selling this narrative. Why would any intelligent person believe them?
I have been lied to my entire life by the most powerful authority figures. I worked for the Medical Industrial Complex for 44 years, until being fired two years ago for helping a handicapped co-worker. You read that right. That’s the chance you take in a “right to work” state. It gives them a right to fire you for no reason. Our healthcare system is hopelessly inefficient and just as corrupt as any other part of America 2.0. The medical profession itself is the third leading cause of death in this country. When you enter a hospital, you take your life in your hands. So excuse me for not trusting in all the white coats issuing their dire pronouncements.
In Virginia, our unofficial Martial Law is in effect until June 10. Just imagine how many businesses will never reopen after being closed for nearly three months. How many employees will be laid off, and be left to deal with the ever-increasing cost of living with their $1200 checks that constituted the trickle-down droppings from the $5.5 trillion dollar “stimulus” package, which Ron Paul called “a massive transfer of wealth from the middle class to the elite?” Picture the massive unemployment claims, somehow paid for by payroll taxes which are not going to be collected from all those unemployed workers who are no longer paying them.
And we still haven’t heard a peep of protest from anyone with a large public platform. Not a single corporate leader whose dedication to capitalism compels him to protest the literal shutdown of almost all commerce. There is a stunning uniformity of opinion on this massive overhaul of our society, which happened in the blink of an eye. Only naysayers like me, with the voices we have on the internet, are pointing out how shockingly wrong all of this is.
America, even as it existed in its watered-down, often embarrassing form a month ago, is forever gone. Once our leaders have demonstrated they can institute such authoritarian restrictions on the populace, with virtually no resistance, it is a certainty they will do it again. Expect to see the kind of ridiculous color-coded “terror threat” warnings we saw after 9/11. When the unquestioned authorities declare that we are at “code red” in terms of a new viral threat, America will just go back into lock down mode. Americans will be used to it.
Helping to sell this narrative has been an astonishing number of celebrities. This virus evidently is predisposed to attack famous people who have shown unswerving devotion to the Deep State. It was entirely predictable that the likes of Tom Hanks, Greta Thunberg, Prince Charles, and Chris Cuomo would test positive. For the Coronavirus, as it is worded in all the celebrity cases, not for COVID-19. This could be the lazy, unintentional intermingling of a generic term for the deadly strain that has stopped the world. Or it could be an admission that technically they are telling the truth- the tests can only determine whether one has Coronavirus, not any particular strain of it.
But there is a huge difference between the two terms; testing positive for the generic Coronavirus is no big deal. It could just be a common cold, or an indication someone is a carrier, with no symptoms at all. If everyone in past years had been frightened by fear porn into getting tested for any sniffle, who knows how many might have been positive? They have somehow convinced most of the public that this virus strain is potentially far more deadly than anything since the Bubonic Plague, despite numbers that remain a fraction of what we see every flu season. With even the most severe flu seasons, nothing has ever been closed or cancelled. Certainly there was never any kind of lock down.
This has all been sold to the public on the basis of protecting us. After all, our leaders care about us. They have only our best interests at heart. And what is more terrifying to anyone than the state of their health? None of us want to put our loved ones’ lives in danger. And so we become even more compliant than normal.
Benjamin Franklin wisely warned, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Considering the continuous fear porn coming from our leaders, few of us probably feel safe. And their totalitarian response to an invisible enemy should make all of us feel demonstrably less free.
The great H.L. Mencken, a classical liberal when such creatures still existed, once wrote, “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.” I find myself repeating this quote more and more these days.
America, and the rest of the world, is in the throes of a panic that has never been seen before, outside the fanciful scripts of Hollywood. A new “super” virus, the Coronavirus, is being hyped nonstop by our state-controlled media as the new bubonic plague. The fear porn emanating from our television sets is relentless.
Attempting to urge calm, and discuss this subject rationally is very difficult. Hysterical shoppers have wiped the shelves clean in many stores. Toilet paper, for whatever reason, is being hoarded by nearly everyone. I have done what I can, with my own limited platform. I’ve had guests like the veteran medical fraud expert Jon Rappoport, and Dr. Steven Hotze, on my radio show “I Protest.” Most listeners, and most of my contacts on social media, seem to agree that this thing is being wildly over hyped. Some agree with my growing suspicion that it is, in fact, a hoax.
Even establishment voices like Dr. Drew Pinsky and Dr. Oz are attempting to restore reason. Pinsky noted, “A bad flu season is 80,000 dead, we’ve got about 18,000 dead from influenza this year, we have a hundred from corona. Which should you be worried about influenza or Corona? A hundred versus 18,000? It’s not a trick question…What I have a problem with is the panic and the fact that businesses are getting destroyed that people’s lives are being upended, not by the virus, but by the panic. The panic must stop. And the press, they really somehow need to be held accountable because they are hurting people.”
Both Jon Rappoport and Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg are asking the questions all of us should be asking. Exactly how was this particular strain of the Coronavirus- COVID-19, identified? Rappoport claims that “presumptive” cases of the virus are being lumped in together with actual cases. To say that any reported numbers are unreliable in such a scenario is to put it mildly. But it may be worse than that. Someone on Twitter claims to have talked with the CDC, who admitted there is no present test for COVID-19. If that remarkable claim is true, then exactly how are any people being diagnosed as having it? Is every case “presumptive?”
Just in the last week, we’ve seen both the NBA and NHL suspend their seasons. The NCAA has cancelled March Madness, one of the most lucrative sporting events in the world. Businesses are closing. Virtually all events with large crowds have been cancelled. The CDC has recommended the banning of all gatherings with fifty or more people for eight weeks. So, if any revolutionaries out there were plotting to come together and don yellow jackets, it will have to be in groups of forty nine.
Washington, D.C. bars and restaurants have decreed that patrons may not come within less than six feet of one another. This brilliant idea was gleaned from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who advised, “In general, when going outside try to stay at least 6 feet away from others as … If you can’t stay 6ft away from other people, it’s too close.” How such a ridiculous edict would be enforced wasn’t delineated by the good representative. Portable tape measures? What would be the penalties for breaching the six foot perimeter?
In 2009, this country was hit hard with the Swine Flu. Barack Obama, universally praised for his response, did nothing until 4,000 Americans had already died, when he declared a National Emergency. The CDC claimed that 59 million Americans contracted the disease, 265,000 were hospitalized, and over 12,000 died. As of now, headlines trumpet that “US death toll rises to 62.” The numbers don’t justify the reaction we’ve seen on the part of our leaders. Or the people. They don’t even seem to qualify this “super” virus as a pandemic.
In fact, the wonder is that they keep trotting out these numbers, which pale in comparison to deaths from the regular flu every year, and continue to receive the same panicked response on the part of the public. At what point do Americans start to question this? Why is the country being basically shut down over something that doesn’t appear nearly as dangerous as the normal, non “super” flu? If they are ordered to remain in their houses, how many Americans would protest?
These stringent measures are inconsistent and defy common sense. What is the difference between large crowds attending a ball game or a concert, and large crowds in stores and shopping malls? Not to mention the economic cost to all those businesses. The stock market is crashing, and is not responding as it normally does to seemingly good news like oil price drops and interest rate cuts. The conclusion is inescapable that the usual diabolical suspects are manipulating the buying and selling to eventually swoop in and devour the carcasses.
The rabbit hole here, as always, goes very deep. Bill Gates, representing the soulless eugenicists who have been running our world for a very long time, breathlessly fantasized about 33 million dying from this pandemic. His choice of the number 33 was not lost upon those in the conspiratorial world, who understand its significance in masonic and occult circles. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, quarantined in Italy, solemnly warned that “America must act now- and act big.” Exactly how much “bigger” our leaders could react to a “pandemic” that has killed less than 100 people is something for the unwashed masses to ponder.
Then there is the constant drumbeat in response to the low numbers thus far, that this “super” virus cannot be stopped, and that things will get worse. Much worse. Media outlets, who have irresponsibly revved up the fear, have the audacity to run articles with headlines like, “5 Reasons Coronavirus is Way Worse Than You’ve Been Led to Believe.” National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci declared, “things will get worse than they are right now. ” Based on the progression thus far, these sentiments simply aren’t justified. Are they talking about the virus, or the government’s crackdown, getting worse?
We are told that this “super” virus is unimaginably contagious, which will lead to a frighteningly fast spread around the world. Donald Trump, a nearly 74 year old overweight man, was filmed shaking hands with a Brazilian official who had tested positive for the Coronavirus. It would be subsequently reported that Trump tested negative afterwards. Shouldn’t a “super” bug be able to infect a vulnerable target of Trump’s age rather easily?
“Conspiracy theorists” are having fun online by asking people if they know anyone who has this deadly disease. So far, judging from the responses, it appears that the virus hasn’t struck anyone in the conspiracy world. Meanwhile, the wives of both Justin Trudeau and the prime minister of Spain have supposedly tested positive. And Tom “Oswald did it” Hanks, of all people, became the first celebrity to test positive. We can count on Tom to urge everyone to obey all orders.
With the unprecedented reaction to what has thus far been far less dangerous than the common flu, we should be asking why? Exactly what is the reason for this? On the surface, it appears to be just another way to trample on what remains of our civil liberties, in the guise of fighting to keep us healthy. We know they don’t care about our health. They do care deeply about controlling us. If this is a trial run to see how Americans react to a Martial Law situation, our leaders must be thrilled.
And Donald Trump is playing the part of the fall guy here, as he so often has since becoming president. While Obama did basically nothing in the face of the Swine Flu epidemic, Trump acted comparatively swiftly. When he declared a National Emergency after 40 deaths in America, and banned air travel to and from most European countries, the entire establishment blasted it as being too little, too late. Many of his enemies have called this virus “Trump’s Katrina.” For the record, whatever one thinks about Trump, he cannot be blamed for COVID-19.
In fact, many Trump supporters believe the virus scare is merely another attempt to remove him from office, after the ridiculous “Russiagate” and impeachment charades failed. I don’t think this is being done merely to get rid of Trump, although that may happen. Will they cancel elections? After all, there are large crowds at the polls. Already, the Democrats have cancelled the Louisiana primary, sparing the hapless Bernie Sanders another chance to be cheated electorally.
The entire countries of Italy and Spain have been closed off. Towns and communities all over the world are being quarantined. The overreaction on the part of the world is as historic as the overreaction here. Meanwhile, no one has explained why there appear to be few if any cases of the Coronavirus in Africa, India, or South America. Perhaps the heat? Well, what about Russia? Virtually nothing there, either. Did Vladimir Putin refuse to play ball, as he so often does?
Pointing out that half the deaths in America came from the same nursing home, and that those who have died have largely been very elderly, with underlying conditions, has done little to assuage a terrified populace.
Whatever this thing is, it isn’t a random but inexplicably powerful virus strain that our leaders are battling with selfless decency.
My new book Bullyocracy: How the Social Hierarchy Enables Bullies to Rule Schools, Work Places, and Society at Large, contains countless tragic stories of youngsters and adults, who were bullied sometimes literally to death, to the disinterest of those who could have done something to prevent it.
I wanted to share an especially sad and poignant anecdote, from a seventy two year old woman who wishes to remain anonymous. Her story encompasses the problem of bullying in all its breadth and scope. She is exactly the kind of person I wrote the book for. This post will largely consist of excerpts from the emails she sent me.
Note- I’ve edited here or there for brevity.
“I was born in 1947…in 1949 my parents separated and I came east to live with my grandmother and her father in Washington, NJ….Nana was 52 and Grandpa was 74 when they took me to raise.
The only playmates I had were two girls who lived next door….Jane and Susan….Jane was my age and Susan was two years older than both of us….we were great friends…playing tag, building forts, and doing things kids do…..in 1951 I had polio for the first time (I had it again at the age of 7-1/2)…after my slow recovery things between Jane, Susan and myself changed….maybe because I could no longer run as fast as I used to nor could I climb trees anymore….both of them started to pick on me…laughing at me when I would start to run and fall down…the laughing escalated to hitting and punching me in the stomach….they would gang up on me…remember once we were playing and decided to play cowboys and indians…I was the indian so I had to be tied up…to a tree…in order to get me to agree to being the indian they kicked me in the legs (my weak spot of course after having polio…actually…they still are) til I fell down…then they tied me to the tree with rope…Susan said that was not good enough and she went and got snow tire chains from her garage and her and Jane re-enforced the rope with chains….after they were done with this they took sticks and poked me til my legs were bleeding…then left me there, gagged….it was dark out by now and I could hear my grandmother calling me but I could not answer her because I was gagged…finally she found me…untied the chains and ropes and helped me down the hill to the house…both parents denied that their child had done this to me…which left Nana without much recourse….
The bullying continued on til my mother remarried when I was seven and I moved to Lake Mohawk, NJ….other than spending summers with Nana and Grandpa..which was the return of Jane and Susan…I had a reprieve from them at least !….but I somehow traded them in for a new set of bullies !…this time it was all boys…Brian, Pat and Don…all of these boys were about 3-4 years older than I which made it worse…we of course all went to school together and thus too the same bus as we lived within a mile of each other….they started calling me names and saying things like ‘no one wants you…not even your father’…which of course hurt my feelings…from there it only escalated to sitting alone on the bus and these boys telling everyone about my name and my father so now I had more kids teasing me…then they started to kick me at the bus stop and spit on me telling me I was ugly, fat and should be killed…(I was not ugly nor fat)…at lunch period I sat alone for 3 years and sat on the bus alone for three years, etc…their favorite thing was to look for road kill, pick it up and jam it down the back of my shirt, jacket, coat, sweater, smash it into my back, spit on me or rub the blood from the animal in my face and then run away…we had a beach all the kids went to at the Lake which happened to be the same beach our houses were assigned to…I would go swimming when they were not there…but they would look out for me and then go swimming too….that was horrible…two or three of these boys would grab me under the water so I could not see them and pull me under so I could not breath…when they let me up I was blue and could hardly breath…they would wait til I I was okay and do it again…there was no way to escape as they would hold on to me as they were a lot stronger than I…my mother went to the school and complained and to each one of the parents…to no avail..!!
When I was in school the teachers, etc. never held the students accountable for their actions unless of course they broke a window playing softball…otherwise…you were on your own ! The really sad part about this whole thing is that these kids grew up to treat others the same way they treated me…why…because no one told them that it is wrong to treat people without respect, etc…they are the ones who kick the dog, beat the wife, abuse their children, etc…it is what they have always done and no one has disciplined them nor taught them that is type of behavior is unacceptable ! And again on top of this…they grow up and VOTE !!…
My senior year ..1965..started off with a bang of bullying…I now looked different than the rest of the members of the senior class, dressed differently and even had perfume they had never even heard of…the bullying started with the kids…lead on by Jane and Susan…about how ‘weird’ I was, and proceeded to make fun of me even in class by pointing me out to others as well as the teachers…who may I add…laughed at me along with the students !…I kept to myself..did not socialize nor spoke unless I was spoken to…but this did not stop the taunting….my locker was broken into and my books were thrown all over the hall a couple times, etc…one of the worse times was when I was menstruating..and what Jane and Susan did and what my teacher said in front of the class…I shall spare you that…it was truly horrible and hurtful…the other things that the teachers did would be to tell me in front of the other students that I was not very smart and felt that I would never be able to understand the material being presented in the class….this of course made me feel even worse …if that was possible.
After enduring a year of this finally came my class award ceremony at the end of the school year…..it was about the time when everyone was having their yearbooks signed…etc….the ceremony was held in the school auditorium which was very large….and on the day of the ceremony it was full…I had been told prior that I would be receiving an award but was told I would have to wait and see what kind of award it was, it was a surprise….on the day of the ceremony my mother and grandmother arrived at school to see me receive my award…they were as excited as I was…probably more so since they knew what kind of year I had had….we are all in the auditorium seated when the principal started calling the names of students who were receiving awards up to the stage one by one to receive their award….when my name was called I could not wait to receive an award…since I never had before in my life….I remember walking up to the principal and shaking his hand…he then announced to the entire audience my name and that I had been voted by him, the faculty, the board of education and the entire student body ‘Most Unlikely to Succeed’…and he went on talking about what a poor student I had been as evidenced by my grades, etc…and that he himself failed to see me becoming much in life….I was horrified !! I looked at my mother and grandmother who were floored putting it mildly !!…every one in the audience applauded, whistled and laughed and made audible jokes as I left the stage in tears !….I was crying loudly when I got to Nana and my mother and the students who were sitting behind them laughed and started taunting me ….I left…walked out of the school and over to the car…Nana and my mother following…they said nothing to me on the way home….I went to my room and cried…could not think of anything else to do…I had had years of this kinda stuff and was imploding…”
This woman went on to lead a pretty normal life, which is astounding in and of itself. She seems remarkably well adjusted, considering the literal torture she endured throughout her childhood. The individuals and institutions she should have depended on to defend and protect her all failed. As was shown by the especially horrific recollection of the high school awards ceremony, the principal of her school participated in the bullying. How does someone with that kind of personality defect, that kind of lack of decency and empathy, attain such a position?
As my book shows, there are other teachers, and principals, who not only refused to stop the bullying of others, but actually were the ones doing the bullying. Please read the book, and spread the word. There are far too many older adults, living with such nightmarish memories. Most did not adjust as well as she did. Some were unable to marry or have children, or even interact socially with others.
No one should have to experience what this anonymous woman did, but a shameful number have. We should all be angry enough to change the culture, before it happens to anyone else.
Corruption is defined in the dictionary as “dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power.” It can no longer be denied that in every area of government and business, present-day America fits this description like a glove. Throw in a decadent culture, and a beaten-down, largely amoral populace, and you have America 2.0.
Our legal system is a laughingstock. I am just starting to write a book about our injustice system, and the statistics and personal stories are stunning. Cops routinely harass innocent motorists or pedestrians (but never threaten gang members, for instance). Prosecutors cling to cases with no real evidence, and push forward to convict those they know aren’t guilty. It’s all about winning under our adversarial system. Juries rubber-stamp dubious cases with guilty verdicts most of the time. And politicized judges rule over the mess like feudal lords, with bias and inconsistency.
Our medical industrial complex, which I worked for during my entire adult life, is worse than anyone outside of it can imagine. Arrogant doctors and uncaring nurses provide patients with a Third World level of care. Big pharma, insurance companies, and wildly overpaid healthcare executives ensure that patients pay outrageous prices for even the smallest things. Insurance companies charge more each year, and cover less. Big pharma’s deadly products can be obtained in other countries for comparative pocket change. And yet even those victimized by this horrific system swallow the industry’s propaganda that it is somehow superior to single-payer systems.
Our media, which we should theoretically rely upon to expose the corruption and tyranny within our decaying society, is essentially controlled by the state. There are no investigative journalists left in this country in the corporate media. What research is done is conducted by people like me, in my books, and in articles like this one, and the many wonderful podcasts and bloggers out there providing alternative views. But too many Americans still scoff at us, and mindlessly trust the proclamations of the talking heads on television.
Big religion, from the ridiculous televangelists who somehow get gullible listeners to send them money, to my Catholic Church that continues to cover up the sexual abuse committed by priests, to the overpaid clergymen of all faiths (most people don’t realize how well paid rabbis are, for example), the corruption is obviously there as well. I’ll pay attention when I hear some of them loudly demanding a year of jubilee.
Professional sports are as orchestrated as anything else in our society. Are we really naive enough to think that businesses that can generate billions every year in gambling would leave all that to chance? Point spreads exist for a reason. The NFL and NBA, especially, are shady beyond reproach. The officials in both those leagues can control the outcomes of games by themselves, simply by calling penalties (or not calling them) at opportune moments.
As I exposed in my book Survival of the Richest, the vaunted marketplace is utterly rigged against the poor and working class, and what’s left of the middle class. If it’s all about the market paying what it can bear, failed CEOs like Carly Fiorina wouldn’t be given $40 million golden umbrellas to go away after being utter failures at their jobs. The big banks and corporations wouldn’t come crawling to the taxpayers for bailouts. Sports team owners wouldn’t threaten to move to another city if the taxpayers didn’t pay for their new stadium. Kind of takes the “risk” out of venture capitalism, doesn’t it? Socialism is only for the wealthy.
If we had true elected leaders “representing” us, they’d look out for the interests of the mass of people, at least once in a while. As the late James Forrestal told Joe McCarthy, before he plummeted to his death from a window at Bethesda Naval Hospital, occasionally they’d make a mistake in our favor. A true statesman, a Mr. Smith gone to Washington, would pop up here or there. The last politician with national power, who appeared to be the least bit interested in doing good, John F. Kennedy, had his head blown off in Dallas.
Even if we had real representatives, as the Iowa caucuses showed once again, the votes aren’t being honestly counted. Half the country doesn’t even want a voter identification required, which would seem to be the only way to ensure that someone doesn’t vote twice, or out of their precinct, or vote for the dead, or vote as non-citizens. “Vote early and often,” as they used to say.
Anyone who has been employed at any large or mid-sized company in America within the past few decades knows just how much hard work, loyalty, and competence matter in the workplace. In “right to work” states like mine, one can be fired for literally any reason. But at least you can’t be forced to join a union. The combination of “conservative” ideology, which puts profits (and executive bonuses) first and foremost, and social justice warrior favoritism and double standards ensure that the cheapest, most pliable, but “diverse” workforce is in place.
The customer is usually wrong in today’s business world. Try to get a company to honor a warranty. How about those “bumper to bumper” car warranties? From my perspective, everything is between the bumpers on a car, but these companies invariably find a way to wiggle out of covering something. It’s hard to blame the low-paid retail employees for not having a great attitude. They aren’t rewarded, no matter how well the company does. But you can bet management is. And ultimately, it’s the consumer who gets screwed. So, take your business elsewhere? And get identical prices, and identical service? Remember, John D. Rockefeller, one of the titans of capitalism, memorably said, “competition is a sin.”
Government is certainly no better than business, and probably worse in most cases. Try getting a government agency on the phone. After surviving the tortuous automated menu system (which all agencies and private businesses now employ, despite heartfelt opposition from the public, in the spirit of Rockefeller-style “competition”), you will be transferred by one rude, uncaring representative to another, if you’re not simply cut off or hung up on.
The mainstream media, including an entertainment industry that features more talentless performers than talented ones, is controlled by a handful of powerful companies. There is no competition, which would please John D. Rockefeller. The films, songs, television shows, and works of art are almost entirely forgettable. McCulture, if you will. Nothing uplifting. No real literature can be published in today’s America. To be fair, there probably aren’t enough literate readers left to appreciate it. We are becoming a cultural wasteland, a burgeoning Idiocracy.
We don’t even have the trappings of a First World nation any more. The infrastructure is like every other part of America 2.0- a gigantic, crumbling, figurative pot hole. But no one addresses it, or has for sixty years. Instead, the nonstop bombings and occupations of other nations continue, regardless of cost, as the wealth of those who are already rich increases, and the poverty of those who are already poor does as well. And the middle is being squeezed out completely. Half of America literally has no wealth. The bottom quarter has a negative net worth.
Everything I write about highlights some kind of corruption, or injustice. Needless to say, I never run out of things to write about. We are drifting listlessly in a sea of corruption. The country is full of naked emperors. And there are no innocent children to point it out.
You can’t leave the people out of this. As I’ve written about before, virtually no one seems to believe in the Golden Rule any more. They may never have believed in it, but as least they pretended to. Now, not only do hardly any people treat others as they wish to be treated, most would like to have those they disagree with fired from their jobs, if not prosecuted.
To begin to clean this mess up, you’d need the biggest vacuum cleaner imaginable. And a massive insertion of honest, competent leaders at all levels of society.
The recent death of former NBA star Kobe Bryant, and the unbelievable saturation news coverage that followed, illustrated again that we are no longer living in America 1.0.
Bryant was a great basketball player, one of the best in NBA history. He was also accused of raping a nineteen year old hotel worker in 2003. Like all celebrities and wealthy people, Bryant escaped punishment and later settled out of court. The mainstream media broke a time-honored tradition at the time, by disclosing the name of the victim, and questioned her character and motivations in several biased, inflammatory reports. At the last minute, she abruptly decided not to testify, and Bryant avoided a trial.
In the eyes of a reasonable person, Kobe Bryant’s eventual admission of sexual contact with his accuser, without acknowledging any guilt, defined him as being significantly less than heroic. Following the helicopter crash on January 26, 2020, which also tragically took the lives of his thirteen year old daughter and eight others, accolades and tributes fit for royalty came forth, mostly via Twitter, which is the national Town Crier for America 2.0.
Bryant exemplified the new celebrity; although his fame came from athletics, he somehow won an Oscar, and is the only non-actor to have his hand and footprints immortalized at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. Upon his death, heartfelt responses came in from not only the sports world, but every high-profile entertainer, and leading political figures from around the world. The Grammys opened by paying tribute to Bryant, who had absolutely no connection to the world of music.
Washington Post reporter Felicia Sonmez was suspended by the newspaper following her “insensitive” tweet linking to a 2016 story that went over the DNA evidence and other details in the rape case. In a tweet she subsequently deleted, Sonmez noted, “Well, THAT was eye-opening. To the 10,000 people (literally) who have commented and emailed me with abuse and death threats, please take a moment and read the story…”
I have noticed how social media becomes completely taken over whenever a cultural “superstar” dies. However, there is clearly a racial element here, which adheres to the social identity mindset that rules what’s left of our culture with an iron hand. When Prince- who had a handful of hit records in the 1980s but was never an iconic musical figure, died the attention it received on social media was shocking. He was repeatedly called the “greatest guitarist” in the world, which was completely ridiculous.
However, when Glenn Frey of the Eagles, and Tom Petty died, there was no such media saturation. By any measure, both were far more successful, important, and talented than Prince could have ever hoped to be. I have wondered, in the wake of Bryant’s death, how the media, the entertainment world, and important politicians would have reacted if Larry Bird died in a helicopter crash. Can we really picture the Grammys opening with a tribute to Larry Bird?
In America 2.0, the “culture” has been thoroughly ghettoized. The most dysfunctional and ignorant elements of our society set fashion trends, and highly educated individuals mimic their bastardized English and ignorant catch phrases. I realize that the instinctive response to this is “racist!” And that’s an essential part of this culture of stupidity, which now runs this country. Pointing out that the emperor is stark naked results in hysterical name-calling and collective shunning. After all, it isn’t “African Americans” collectively who are being so overrated and over represented in all media. It’s those from hopeless, poverty stricken areas, or pretending to be. You know, the “hoods” that Spike Lee and other black directors waxed rhapsodic over in a gazillion films.
While our culture is now influenced by, and geared towards the interests of our second largest minority group, its poster child is the Kardashian family. Led by a dull young lady with no discernible talent, outside of her large, round backside, its unimportant, low class dynamics inexplicably attract the interest of many Americans. The Kardashians have it all; the youngest billionaire in America (who is just as untalented as the rest of them), and a former male Olympic star who has transformed into the most famous transgender woman in the world.
While the Kardashians are white, they cannot truly represent America 2.0 without some real virtue signaling in their midst. So all of the Kardashian girls proudly advertise their desire for black men exclusively. Call me naive, but isn’t a proclamation that you will only consider those from one racial group “racist?” It certainly would be if they just as proudly declared that they were willing to only date white men. But then again, how do we explain a black-centric culture that is run exclusively by….whites?
The cultural “stars” of America 2.0 are people like rapper Snoop Dog, or rappers turned actors like Ice T and Ice Cube. These preposterous names wouldn’t even be terribly creative if toddlers made them up. Their only true white counterparts are Kid Rock, or Eminem (although his name at least is based on something- his actual initials are MM). It is truly saddening, or perhaps truly hilarious, to watch white people from upper-class backgrounds with Ivy League educations, refer to them respectfully by these childish stage names, and act as if they have anything of value to say about anything. Other than to talk about “racism,” of course.
In America 1.0, the entertainment world was filled with brilliant black performers. But Louis Armstrong, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, and the like have been supplanted by Alicia Keys (90% white, but affects a laughable Ebonics accent and is openly anti-white), John Legend, Drake, and a slew of forgettable rapper/singers whose stage name begins with “Lil’.” Token whites like Miley Cyrus try their best to fit in; grinding obscenely and dressing provocatively, and producing the same kind of putrid product.
On the big screen, Hollywood recently produced the estimated one billionth film about a black man being unjustly accused of doing something to a white woman. The star of the film, Jamie Foxx, is renowned for having given a party in Hollywood some years ago, which featured a sign hanging outside the entrance which read “No white men allowed.” White women, of course, were welcome. Chris Rock, “cutting edge” black comedian, notably genuflected before Barack Obama, as all black and most white entertainers did, with an inane comment about Obama being our father, and how “you listen to your Dad.” While Blacks tend to stand in racial solidarity, most Whites won’t even acknowledge their race.
Hollywood’s fascination with American slavery, and the century of Jim Crow laws that inexorably came after the horrific military occupation of the defeated southern states, does not extend to fascination with non-American slavery or injustice. We await the first film about the estimated 10 million slaves that are suffering in bondage today in India. And there has yet to be a movie blasting the totalitarian, Orwellian Chinese government, with its draconian social credit scores and bunk bed-sized residences.
The election of Donald Trump, on the heels of two terms of our first partially black president, has changed the political landscape forever. The divisiveness is entrenched now, and revolves around cultural issues, but those cultural issues are largely racially based. Under political correctness, you must extol the abilities of any nonwhite performer, while white performers can be criticized in the most profane manner. How can we hope to have a truly equal society, where one is judged on the content of a character, as Martin Luther King reminded us, and not the color of a skin, when the same rules, laws, and standards of conduct don’t apply equally to all?
The ghetto culture permeates all levels of American society now. The lack of civility or empathy for others, the brash and loud public profanity or blaring music, the willingness to become confrontational over the smallest thing- all of this was once the exclusive province of what were then indelicately called “bad” neighborhoods. Now, to merely suggest that a neighborhood is “bad” is to risk being called a “racist.” Unless you explain that you’re talking about a trailer park, and refer to its inhabitants as “white trash,” or some similarly acceptable term. It’s perfectly okay to stereotype an entire group, as long as that group is entirely white.
The Kardashian culture is just as curious as the rest of America 2.0. While seemingly “liberal” in its obsequious devotion to the rights and welfare of nonwhites, non-Christians, and non-heterosexuals, the culture doesn’t care a whit about the massive, increasing disparity of wealth, which I detailed in my book Survival of the Richest. Unless it’s to object to nonwhite poverty, and call it “racist.” It also is unconcerned with our nonstop wars. Unless, perhaps, you demonstrate that a disproportionate number of nonwhites are dying in them. After all, modern “liberals” don’t care about capital punishment any longer, unless too many nonwhites are being executed.
There is plenty of room in this Kardashian culture for the Honey Boo Boos of the world. And America 2.0 doesn’t care about real racism, against blacks or anyone else. If they did, they’d focus on police misconduct, and the “three strikes you’re out” mandatory sentencing laws that resulted in incredible numbers of mostly black nonviolent offenders behind bars.
America 2.0, thanks to sixty years of utter neglect, has a Third World infrastructure, and a shameful disparity of wealth, which has produced a Third World economy. This is a fitting complement to our Kardashian culture. And Donald Trump, despite being an old white guy, is the perfect president for this culture; his cartoonish ego, combative nature and incorrect grammar are all desirable attributes of any denizen of an upstanding “hood.” To use another quaint America 2.0 term, he has “street cred.”
This isn’t about celebrating a particular ethnicity for ethnicity’s sake. Blacks who speak English correctly and don’t reflexively play the race card, are denigrated by the culture as not truly being “black.” Kind of like how, in the actual ghettos, Black kids who liked to read, or were concerned about their homework, would be blasted for “acting white.” No, this is a celebration of stupidity.
We’ve all heard about the decadence of the Roman empire, before its fall. It’s impossible to imagine that they could have been any worse than our present-day mess of a civilization.
Donald Trump’s recent assassination of Iranian Maj. General Qassem Soleimani was not an exceptional act of madness by a deranged president. It was instead the continuation of a long, unfortunate American tradition. Military aggressiveness has been a feature of U.S. foreign policy for a very long time.
As I detail in my book Crimes and Cover-Ups in American Politics: 1776-1963, Americans love to portray themselves as the “greatest,” the “good guys” in each of their nearly continuous foreign skirmishes. While it certainly appears to any disinterested observer that we are the initiator in most, if not all, of these conflicts, the official mantra is that we are never at fault. We are only defending ourselves, even if the opponent is smaller and weaker to a laughable degree, as it usually is.
Abraham Lincoln set so many horrific precedents, and his manipulation of events that resulted in the South technically firing the first shot at Fort Sumter, paved the way for false flags like “Remember the Maine” in 1898, the sinking of the Lusitania which “forced” us to enter World War I, the “sneak” attack on Pearl Harbor, the Gulf of Tonkin incident which is now universally acknowledged to have never happened, the “weapons of mass destruction” lie under Dubya Bush, and many other less obvious ones.
Each time one of these false flags occurred, or stories demonizing the latest flavor of the month in some far-flung land appeared in our state-run media, the overwhelming majority of the American people swallowed the propaganda. H.L. Mencken defined it perfectly nearly a century ago when he said, “the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.”
In just the past few decades, this “endless series of hobgoblins” has included Fidel Castro, Daniel Ortega, Manuel Noriega, Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi, Slobodan Milosevic, Osama Bin Laden, Kim Jong-un, Bashar al-Assad, Vladimir Putin, and now Qassem Soleimani. Soleimani was that rarity; a bogeyman who literally came out of nowhere to be suddenly categorized as one of the world’s most dangerous characters. Who had even heard of him before he was assassinated by our forces? And how did he cause the “hundreds” of deaths of Americans which are now routinely attributed to him? Hundreds of Americans were killed in Iran by this guy? Are there even hundreds of Americans in Iran presently?
And, like all modern bogeymen, Soleimani has been described as a “bully.” Alex Jones, now a pathetic shell of what he once was, declared that we couldn’t keep letting Iran “push us around.” Exactly how has Iran ever “pushed us around?” And how do you describe an officer with a military that is only a fraction of ours, in size and power, as a “bully?” That is like Mike Tyson assaulting a kindergartner, claiming they “started it,” and thereafter castigating him as a “bully.”
We definitely “started it” with Iran with the 1953 overthrow of their democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh. This was perhaps the CIA’s first foray into replacing elected officials in other countries with U.S. puppets. Patrice Lumumba of Congo would be assassinated in 1961, three days after the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy, Rafael Trujillo of the Dominican Republic was gunned down six months later, and in 1973 Salvador Allende died of supposedly self-inflicted gunshot wounds during a coup d’état engineered by the CIA. There were others, but suffice to say it is beyond ludicrous to be outraged by the alleged (and totally imaginary) interference by the Russians in our 2016 presidential election.
In 1976, due to the revelations from the U.S. Senate hearings chaired by Frank Church, which first exposed the above plots, as well as the CIA/Mafia efforts to assassinate Cuba’s Fidel Castro, to the public, Gerald Ford was pressured to sign an executive order stating: “No employee of the United States government shall engage in, or conspire in, political assassination.” Less than forty years later, “liberal” President Barack Obama would not only assassinate American citizen Anwar al Awlaki, who had not even been charged with any crime, he bragged about it publicly, and then killed his sixteen year old son the next month for good measure. Talk about impeachable offenses!
Well-meaning liberals still talk about the assassination attempts on Castro, and other American efforts which were successful, as if we “learned” something from that post-Watergate 1970s era. Many of these same people presumably voted for Obama and Hillary Clinton for president. Obama, as noted, bragged about assassinating an American citizen, and Hillary memorably gloated, “We came. We saw. He died.” Were they just appalled by assassination in their youth? They certainly seem to approve of it now.
When pre-Chelsea Bradley Manning exposed the shameful conduct of American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, the response on the part of most Americans wasn’t favorable. Public opinion polls don’t give us much confidence about America’s collective moral barometer. We just don’t like whistle blowers. Donald Trump’s pardon of Navy Seal Edward Gallagher demonstrates that both “liberal” and “conservative” leaders support the kind of behavior that was also exposed in all those leaked photos of smiling U.S. military men and women, posing next to dead corpses, and engaging in various forms of often sexually-themed torture of enemy prisoners.
Most of these travesties took place at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, and were condemned by most of the world. The photos released to the public were shocking enough, but reporter Seymour Hersh has long alleged that American troops raped Iraqi children in front of their mothers. It’s hard to imagine a worse “war crime” than that, but many in this country would find a way to justify it. How else are we supposed to make them stop “hating our freedom?”
What we saw in those horrific photos of U.S. troop members, posing happily next to dead bodies or piles of naked male Iraqis, should have outraged the general public. Instead, a majority probably approved. The prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba came to represent all that’s true and just in America 2.0: torture, human rights abuses, all inflicted on “detainees” who are the modern manifestation of the northern citizens locked up by Lincoln during the Civil War for opposing his tyranny. Barack Obama promised to close Guantanamo Bay, but once elected this promise became as empty as all those Donald Trump made about immigration and ending “all these senseless wars.”
The “liberal” mainstream media is noticeably silent on Trump’s assassination of Soleiamani. A commentator for NBC called it “the smart thing to do,” and absurdly maintained that “Whether most Americans knew it or not, Soleimani was already waging a shadow war with the West and its regional partners.” This “shadow war,” along with the mythical “sleeper cells” right-wingers have been warning about for decades, certainly was waged from the shadows, because no one provided the slightest evidence for it.
We remain the only nation ever to use nuclear weapons on another, when we dropped the bomb on an utterly defeated people, at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. That hasn’t stopped us from lecturing “rogue” nations like Iran, who our leaders assure us “can’t be trusted” with such deadly weapons. Israel, of course, has had an impressive nuclear program since the Kennedy administration, when JFK was engaged in a behind-the-scenes, increasingly vitriolic fight with then Israeli President David Ben-Gurion about it.
Our citizens love the military. Uncle Sam wants you. Plant those victory gardens. Buy those bonds. Support the troops. Thank you for your service. There was little public outcry when it was revealed that our government pays NFL teams to promote our military industrial complex during its games.
It’s easy for our leaders to support war. It’s always popular, and no one they love will be fighting in one. The $300 “rich man’s exemption” which was instituted during Lincoln’s war of northern aggression- yet another terrible precedent- still figuratively exists. It’s always been the sons (and now daughters, in yet another “advance”) of the poor and working class dying in the trenches, and firing off the missiles. The children of the wealthy are always safely ensconced at college, or getting Donald Trump-style deferments. That doesn’t stop them from developing into adult chicken hawks like Lindsay Graham, Dick Cheney and countless others, none of whom ever sniffed a battlefield but have never seen a war they don’t love.
Ambrose Bierce said that patriotism was the first refuge of a scoundrel. Nothing brings out the “USA! USA!” chants better than waving the flag. Just assure the masses that they’re always right, and the most generous, intelligent people in the world. Young Bill Clinton, fervent anti-war protester during the Vietnam War, the only war in our history that garnered any appreciable amount of public opposition, learned how to salute the troops as well as anyone else. Ronald Reagan, noted nonparticipant in WWII himself, started this ridiculous tradition of a civilian commander-in-chief saluting actual troops.
Our founders never intended for America to have a standing army. They certainly never envisioned a monstrosity like the military industrial complex and its nefarious intelligence agencies. But the public doesn’t seem to mind. Give them the pomp of a good flyover or cannon blast. Watch them tear up at staged reunions between soldiers and their young children. They used to call it bread and circuses.
There are no voices for peace with a large public platform, unless you count Tulsi Gabbard, who has her own questionable baggage. But there are millions willing to beat the war drums when ordered to do so. Mark Twain, who said so many memorable things, noted that “God created war so that Americans would learn geography.” So perhaps it does serve a constructive purpose, although Americans still seem woefully ignorant about geography (and pretty much everything else).
Sun Tzu, who wrote The Art of War, is still quoted widely by our sociopathic leaders in business and government. John F. Kennedy’s timeless 1963 commencement address at American University, where he advocated for peace as no other American president ever has, was probably the final nail in his coffin, on the other hand.
John Quincy Adams spoke for virtually every American leader during the revolutionary era when he said, “America does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy.” Our leaders have constructed a foreign policy that does nothing else.
Next month, my book Bullyocracy: How the Social Hierarchy Enables Bullies to Rule Schools, Work Places, and Society at Large will be published. Bullyocracy by Donald Jeffries I will be talking more about this issue, here and online, as we draw closer to publication.
The original title of the book was Bully Nation. I changed it when I saw that another recent book with that title had been released. The book covers much more than the countless tragic cases of serious bullying, some resulting in the suicide of the victim, and every school system’s refusal to address it properly.
America has always been enamored with toughness. Rugged individualism. Duking it out with someone you disagree with, to “prove” who’s right. Slug fests in the boxing ring, now “evolved” into far more violent mixed martial arts fighting. Highlight reel hits in football and hockey. Loud shouting matches in the stands at sporting events and in bars. Glorified violence in films, which consistently promote the seemingly discredited concept that “might makes right.”
It’s fitting that we finally have a president who goes far beyond a previous bully personality like Lyndon B. Johnson’s. Donald Trump has every quality that the most successful bullies possess. And his many powerful enemies are, if anything, more bully-like in their discourse than he is. Threats. Trash talk. Michael Moore’s recent serious proposal that Trump step into a ring with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was topped a few days later by Joe Biden’s videotaped bullying of an 82 year old man who dared ask him a difficult question. Biden even resorted to calling the guy “Jack,” a favorite sobriquet of bullies everywhere.
As I talk about in the book, we must face the fact that most people, and certainly all successful people, value attributes like aggressiveness and self-confidence far more than they value empathy or kindness. Leo Durocher’s credo that “Nice guys finish last” could only be accurate, as it undeniably is, in a corrupt, depraved society.
Most high school students are background players, bored and only attending because they have to. Much as they either cheer on the popular kids, who are literal celebrities in their respective schools, or enable them through their silence, American adults tolerate the tough guys- the bullies- “winning” over and over again, often through nefarious means. As the pro athletes put it, “it isn’t cheating, if you don’t get caught.” Rules of sportsmanship mean about as much as our standards of conduct and actual laws do.
Few adults- whistleblowers of all kinds- have the courage to stand up to the bullies, the wrongdoers, the corrupt. Given the treatment accorded to the most high-profile whistleblowers like Manning, Snowden, and Assange, you can’t really blame them. And they learned this acquiescence to authority in school, when they didn’t intervene when the popular kid was pounding away on the unpopular one. More accurately, they learned not to confront the social hierarchy.
The social hierarchy rules in every middle and high school in this country, and most around the world. The adults in these facilities do everything they can, with lettermen jackets, pep rallies, and an embarrassing emphasis on sports at the expense of education, to keep this hierarchy in place. And no one would have any idea who the “popular’ kids are, if there weren’t corresponding “unpopular” ones to contrast them with.
What I discovered is that a huge number of the most successful people in America were popular in high school. Many were sports stars, others were prom or homecoming queen or king, cheerleaders, etc. Fraternities and sororities continue the social hierarchy at an elevated level, resulting in an astounding 85 percent of Fortune 500 executives having experienced the “Greek life” while in college. “Popular” kids go on to become successful adults, far more often than not.
To put it frankly; a good number of high school bullies are now in charge of the adult world. And they face as little opposition from the adult population as they did from school authorities or their teenage peers. It isn’t just Joe Biden who objects to being challenged. Watch any press conference involving a high profile athlete or coach. On the extremely rare occasions when one is given anything but a softball by the journalists in attendance, the mask falls and the overt bully personality is fully on display.
It’s impossible to satirize American culture at this point. We are a combination of an Idiocracy and a Bullyocracy. Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang, revealing just how “different” he is from his counterparts, has now challenged Ted Cruz to a game of basketball. While this isn’t quite as bad as challenging him to a boxing match, or a push-up contest (as Biden did with the 82 year old man), it is pretty stupid. Exactly what are such contests to prove? Again, that if you win at some kind of competition, that proves you’re right?
The most popular kids in any school are often guilty of regular bullying. Very few valedictorians, who aren’t also athletes, on the other hand, are popular. The most accomplished tuba player in the marching band is never going to be popular, anywhere. Spectators, in high school bleachers, or in expensive sky suites, want to cheer “tough” guys. Tuba players and valedictorians aren’t normally “tough.”
This attitude extends especially to teachers, principals, and even superintendents of every school system in this country. Like the student bodies, and the adult population at large, they instinctively side with the bully, and not the bullied. This attitude goes back to Roman times, when crowds cheered the lions devouring Christians. Sports fans love winning teams- there are very few who regularly root for the underdog. Bandwagon fans are just as typical as bandwagon students, who loyally vote for the same popular kids to win every accolade doled out by the system. The unthinking mob, with their pitchforks and lighted torches, is not a literary and Hollywood trope, but a very sad and real historical phenomenon.
Although we all learn the classic fairy tale The Emperor’s New Clothes as children, the lesson is clearly lost on society at large. How many Americans have the courage to point out that our collective emperors are stark naked? It takes a lot to go against the grain- against the social hierarchy and the popular kids- in high school. It takes just as much to go against the popular consensus in the adult world.
I think most of us still teach our kids that it’s wrong to fight, and that right makes might, not the other way around. However, this parental admonition is contradicted by the messages coming out of every film and television show, and the behavior of politicians and other alleged role models. We are counseled repeatedly that the best way to resolve any conflict is through violence.
Not only are there few if any adherents of Gandhi’s nonviolent opposition left in this world, virtually no one- least of all any Christian- follows Jesus’s advice to “turn the other cheek.” On the contrary, bullied victims that take their beatings like good unpopular inferiors find no support from authority figures or the unthinking mob. It’s only when they strike back, that the authority figures notice (by instantly punishing them), and the mob starts to cheer.
We have to face the sad fact that most people love bullies, because they are usually popular, successful “winners.”
As we celebrate another Thanksgiving, between the turkey and the stuffing and the cranberries and the pie, it is an appropriate time for reflection.
Thanks to countless films and television shows, Americans have come to understand that Thanksgiving means having to tolerate your extended family members for a few hours. For some it represents a lone annual occasion for parents and children, or siblings, to be in the same physical location.
If one judges by our cultural depictions of the holiday, there are no families left in this country who don’t roll their eyes, sigh in exasperation or argue loudly over the expansive holiday spreads. In the age of Trump, the squabbles are certain to be more fierce and unavoidable than ever before.
From what I understand of the rest of the world, where such a formal holiday rarely is celebrated, such familial dysfunction is not nearly as common. Respect for elders, for instance, is still strong in many cultures. In America, of course, the elderly are treated like trash, to be carted away to the curb when they are no longer useful. Nursing homes are universally understood to be the most sordid places in our horrific medical industrial complex. And they are incredibly expensive. And yet, the vast majority of people, if they live long enough, end their days in one, or in gentler named assisted living facilities or hospice. One wonders how old people were cared for, in the days before such institutions, and before Alzheimers became common.
At the other end of the age spectrum, I know too many young adults whose parents have discarded them like refuse, refusing to assist them financially or even give them shelter. In America 2.0, the bottom half of workers make less than $27,000 and have less than 1% of the collective wealth. My mother used to be fond of warning me, “It’s a cold world out there.” If she were alive today, she would have to come up with a much stronger adjective to describe the callousness and lack of empathy that permeates our crumbling society.
It’s fitting that America’s biggest tyrant, Abraham Lincoln, first proposed a national day of Thanksgiving in 1863, after a pivotal victory by the Union army during the war he waged so relentlessly. His official proclamation, like all of Lincoln’s writings, distorted a horrendous reality into often beautiful poetry.
While waxing over the wonderful bounties we all take for granted, Lincoln provided the following bit of political delusion: “In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict….”
As I document in my new book Crimes and Cover Ups in American Politics: 1776-1963, Lincoln was a noted nonbeliever in God. This, however, never stopped him from invoking the name of an Almighty he denied when it suited his political purposes. Thus, he expressed gratitude for “the gracious gifts of the Most High God….” and went on to “commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife…and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes….”
Dissecting these words of Lincoln is almost as mind-boggling as determining how he could boast, in what the court historians assure us was the greatest speech in the history of this country, “that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth,” when he was trying to prevent the seceded Southern states from doing that. What do we make of his reference to “peace has been preserved with all nations” in this proclamation? At that point, all of our leaders were still adhering to the advice given by George Washington in his Farewell Address, and to John Quincy Adams’ declaration that “America does no go abroad in search of monsters to destroy.” America would be an ironclad “isolationist” nation until the Spanish-American War of 1898.
Analyzing this proclamation further, Lincoln’s note that “order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed” was especially laughable, in light of the untold thousands of political prisoners he locked up in the north, the hundreds of newspapers he shut down, and his unconstitutional suspension of the writ of habeas corpus. “Harmony” certainly didn’t prevail in those makeshift prisons; one of those imprisoned was Frank Key Howard, grandson of Francis Scott Key. In an incalculable irony, Howard was incarcerated in Fort McHenry, the very spot where his grandfather was inspired by the glorious flying flag to write The Star-Spangled Banner.
Lincoln’s concern for all those widows and orphans didn’t compel him to order bloodthirsty Union generals like Sherman and Sheridan to cease their unprecedented “scorched earth” campaign. It’s impossible to determine how many of those widows were raped by soldiers, who also plundered their remaining valuables, burned their crops and salted the earth behind them. As far as Lincoln imploring the “Almighty Hand” for anything, this flies in the face of his own, well-documented atheistic beliefs. His cold exploitation of a faithful, religious populace with these persistent, flowery references to an Almighty being he didn’t believe in himself goes beyond even what we see in the modern world of practical politics.
So perhaps it’s appropriate that the proclamation that gave birth to our annual Thanksgiving holiday was filled with the same kind of insincerity and cosmetic hypocrisy that all too often characterize the family gatherings it spawned. It is a special indictment of the modern American experience that so many seem to agonize over interacting with close blood relatives once every year.
It isn’t that Thanksgiving is markedly different in America 2.0. Certainly, there were family disagreements, and uncomfortable holiday gatherings in America 1.0. But I don’t think the dysfunction was as shockingly obvious, or public in nature. A facade of civility prevailed, even where genuine affection didn’t. A combination of cultural indoctrination into the curious concept that family reunions constitute a hardship, and the clash between oblivious Baby Boomers, grown up latchkey kids, and millenials reared in the age of social media, have changed the traditional nuclear family forever.
Siblings that haven’t spoken in decades. Parents alienated from adult children. Young adults encouraged by peer pressure, and the culture, to move as far from home as possible. In other words, to live as far from their parents as possible. Maybe I’m impossibly old-fashioned, but I think this is a very sad development.
So enjoy the gluttony. Watch the football games. Embrace in lukewarm hugs. And offer up thanks for the blessings we all enjoy. Once a year is better than never remembering.
It’s not easy going against the grain in any time period, in any society. In our present crumbling America, it may be more difficult than ever.
When you oppose both authoritarian political correctness, and the all-encompassing greed that has produced an unprecedented disparity of wealth, as I do, your prospects in all ways will be severely limited. Family and friends roll their eyes, at best, and at worst shun you. Prospective employers are not impressed.
It’s hard to enjoy anything when you’re a heretic. I should have been more thrilled than I was, as an old-time Washington Senators fan, to see the Nationals win the World Series. While I watched more baseball than I have in many years, and was happy over the victory, it was impossible to ignore the diminished level of play. This is probably even more the case with professional basketball and football. Since I can’t watch such a bad product in silence, I am not a popular guest at parties.
How does anyone watch commercials these days without becoming apoplectic? Much of the time, you can’t even tell what product is being promoted. And they are dumbed down dramatically, like the morning talk shows, which revolve exclusively around fluffy celebrity worship and cooking recipes.
I recently made my annual pilgrimage to the cinema. I normally average one picture at the movies each year. That’s more than enough. Going to see Joker with my son was an enjoyable overall experience. Joaquin Phoenix gives a stunning performance. But I couldn’t help but notice that those harassing a good-looking woman on the subway were white businessmen in suits. Seriously. They were actually throwing french fries at her. Does anyone do that to attractive females? At any rate, this upholds the tradition from all superhero films; neither Batman, Spiderman, or any other superhero will ever encounter a Blood or a Crip, or a Hispanic gang, in the mean streets of Gotham City or New York. In Hollywood, it’s white skin heads or Russian gangsters who commit street crime in our urban areas.
Why doesn’t some political candidate run on a platform that features a promise to rid us of those annoying automated menus, which every business and government agency feature now? Or on a promise to ban traffic light cameras? Or to abolish all toll roads? Does any citizen like these things? Wouldn’t that be a winning platform?
Going back to Hollywood, I’m the only person I know of who has criticized the absurd whispering dialogue in every film now. Combined, of course, with the blaring effects from every non-dialogue sound. What kind of filmmakers want to make the crucial conversations between characters difficult to hear? Maybe I ought to jump on this bandwagon, and start advocating for my books to be printed in a smeared or blurry style, so that readers can “enjoy” them in the same manner.
Why don’t people RSVP appropriately any more? This has been going on for twenty years at least. Whenever we’d sent out invitations to our children’s birthday parties, we were amazed at how few people paid attention to the request to RSVP. Then again, how many people don’t answer emails or phone messages? On Facebook, I have noticed that those I sent them to have “seen” my messages there, and yet not replied. When I asked them if they could at least extend me the courtesy of a reply, they simply ignored that as well.
We are living in a collapsing civilization, that is filled with impolite people who don’t seem to have learned, or remembered, the very basics of civil interaction. How many people have you held a door open for in public, who simply brush by you without an acknowledgement? Shouldn’t saying “thank you” be automatic in certain situations? But then again, we’re dealing with an increasing number of people walking around in public with their heads buried in their smart phones, like zombies, who seem to have forgotten the “look both ways” before you cross the road thing, which they all were presumably taught as preschoolers.
Carrying that a bit further, what do we make of people who you pass by on the street, or in the workplace, who stare silently back when you extend a simple greeting? How do you not respond when someone says, “How’s it going?” Maybe it’s just me, but an alarming number of people seem to fall into this category. The great Ambrose Bierce probably defined “politeness” accurately when he called it “the most acceptable hypocrisy.” Still, without simple manners, sincere or not, it’s impossible to have a civil society.
I’ve commented before on how physically unattractive Americans are becoming. A frightening increase in the average weight of males and females of all ages, along with the popularity of tattoos, and an uber-casual style of dress, has built a populace that is now largely as unpleasant to look at as they are to work or socialize with. Social justice warriors, feminism, overt favoritism, unclear rules, expectations and standards of conduct, which can unpredictably result in onerous punishments, have created a toxic stew which everyone has no choice but to consume.
What makes this all the more tragic, and hopefully rescues it from the “get off of my lawn” old-timer mindset, is that we have the wealth, and the technology, to create a world far better than the one Baby Boomers like me grew up in. Life expectancy should be through the roof. Instead it’s actually declining now in America. We should probably have a ten hour work week, at most, by this point, given artificial intelligence, scientific advances, and increased productivity. Instead, most Americans have to work longer, for less pay, than ever before, just to join the 70 plus percent existing from paycheck to paycheck. Maybe if they’d release the papers of Nikola Tesla, we’d have things like teleportation, or universal free energy. Or those cool flying cars from The Jetsons I fantasized about as a kid.
Not only should our infrastructure have been upgraded significantly over the past 60 years, we should have heated highways by now. The technology is there- ask the One Percenters who have it under their own driveways. Free Wi-Fi should be available for the masses. So should rapid mass transit. That would all be possible, with a different set of priorities. Instead, our horrific leaders continue to pad their own pockets, ignite one senseless war or occupation after another, and recite platitudes about “education” and “a strong defense.”
Politicians can seemingly keep the sheeple voting for them simply by buttering them up, by telling them they’re the “greatest” people, who live in the “best” country. I think the fact that American voters return 96 percent or so of our wretched incumbents to office in every election alone requires a much different adjective than “great.” The fault lines along Donald Trump’s personality have assured that this mindless partisanship, based exclusively on issues that don’t dramatically impact anyone’s life, will continue to dominate our electoral process. This also guarantees that the people in this country will never get any viable kind of “representation” from our political leaders.
I could go on. Why do I wind up sitting at a red light so often during a simple commute? Has anyone analyzed how traffic lights are seemingly coordinated to not be synchronized, to increase traffic rather than to make it flow better? The madness of policing for profit, asset forfeiture, the wild disparity in sentencing in our injustice system- the list of my complaints about modern America is endless, as anyone who knows me can tell you.
Donald Trump’s recent bragging about what was probably a fake assassination of a fake terrorist, mirrored an identical non-incident during Obama’s administration. Right down to the staged photo from the White House. What’s crucial here is that Trump, like Obama, Hillary Clinton, and seemingly all of our leaders, now openly endorse the assassination of others. This is a sea change of enormous proportions, and tells us all we need to know about our present collective morality.
I know there are others out there, who don’t like what’s happening, who notice all these things. But there is an understandable reluctance to speak out, a reasonable fear, that modern heretics will wind up thrown in the water to see if they float, or burned at the stake.
Maybe there won’t be a literal witch hunt this time. After all, there aren’t very many of us.
It is now more apparent than ever that Donald J. Trump was the creation of someone or something very powerful. He was wound up and escorted directly from his Reality TV world, onto the national political stage.
As I’ve noted many times, Trump’s radical, often revolutionary campaign rhetoric appealed to millions of disgruntled citizens like me. I found it difficult to believe that this lifelong One Percenter- of whom I held a not terribly detailed but decidedly negative impression- could possibly be saying such things.
For those with short memories, Trump not only referred to “globalists,” in Alex Jones-style conspiracy-friendly terms, he noted over and over again that the system was rigged, and “you can’t fix it by trusting those who rigged it.” His slogans “America First” and “Drain the Swamp” energized most of those in my world.
Trump hinted at conspiracies and cover ups that other politicians simply never have. He inferred Ted Cruz’s father may have been involved in the JFK assassination. He noted that “some people believe” Vince Foster was murdered. As Roger Stone told me back in 2015, “he knows about all the conspiracies- you would love him.”
He called out the “phony” unemployment statistics, which were changed in the 1990s to dishonestly count only those presently filing for benefits. This was in addition, of course, to disparaging “fake news” and blasting mainstream journalists for their lies and distorted coverage. All of this was music to my ears.
Several times, Trump lamented the “senseless wars” that had cost “trillions of dollars,” which would have permitted us to “rebuild this country several times.” He was the first politician to accurately assess our pathetic infrastructure and label it as the embarrassment it is. He criticized political leaders of both parties over the horrendous trade deals like NAFTA, which outsourced our industry and left us unable to make electronics, clothing or anything else of substance.
And most of all he lit into our disastrous immigration policy. As he said many times, “you either have a country or you don’t,” and made countless specific promises in this area. He claimed that he would end Obama’s unconstitutional DACA program on the first day in office, would sign an Executive Order ending birth-right citizenship, end the deadly H-1B Visa foreign worker program, and take a step back and “look at all immigration,” including legal immigration. He was the first candidate I’d ever heard who talked freely about deporting illegal immigrants.
Trump seemed utterly “awake” on the vaccine question, and how they are obviously linked to the alarming rise in autism rates. He promised a commission to study the issue, and just after his inauguration, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., of all people, held a press conference to announce that he would be chairing it.
Trump’s selection of neocon fundamentalist Mike Pence raised more than a few eyebrows, but his stunning inaugural address kindled a great deal of hope that perhaps he actually did intend to keep all those promises. I was moved by that address, and considered it the best since John F. Kennedy’s.
We all know what happened next. Pence wasn’t an anomaly; Trump appointed one odious Deep State veteran after another to all key positions in his cabinet. The only even semi-outsiders were Steve Bannon, who was quickly marginalized and later unceremoniously dumped, and General Mike Flynn, who was demonized after a cup of coffee as Trump’s National Security Adviser. Nikki Haley as UN Ambassador typified his selections; a John McCain-style warmonger par excellence, who had been a vocal #Never Trumper during the presidential campaign.
I have often wondered, in fact, how many of those who have surrounded Trump in the White House, and still surround him (the tremendous turnover rate hasn’t featured any diversity of thought- one Swamp Creature simply supplants another), actually voted for him. Has that ever been asked about any previous president?
Needless to say, Trump didn’t end DACA on his first day in office. He didn’t end birth-right citizenship. He didn’t stop the H-1B Visa program, and now we have more Visa workers than ever. Despite all his radical rhetoric, Trump has been actually deporting fewer illegals than Barack Obama.
Those of us who fell for the rhetoric and the slogans should really have known better. The evidence was there; his public endorsement of Hillary Clinton for president in 2008, the photos of him laughing and socializing with the Clintons. The creepy video of him schmoozing with Rudy Giuliani in drag. Giuliani, of course, would go on to become an influential adviser to President Trump. And Trump would quiet the post-election cries of “Lock her up” regarding Hillary Clinton by telling his loyal followers that “we don’t need that now,” and called her “good people.”
So was Trump packaged and sold, like a marketplace version of Frankenstein, to appeal to the percolating dissent in the heartland, and the people who were once called “the silent majority?” That “silent majority” isn’t the majority now, thanks to millions of immigrants and a steady cultural drift to the left. But they maintain an influence in the “flyover states,” and tipped the electoral college balance in the 2016 election.
Trump represents a symbol of all that America once was, when it was ruled exclusively by white males. White males who didn’t back down, or apologize, and spoke their mind. The fact that Trump actually has backed down, repeatedly, on budget deals, on immigration, on withdrawing troops, and other issues, doesn’t seem to damage his brand in the eyes of those who still support him. He talks and tweets a strong game. He makes fun of individual reporters in press conferences. He loves fast food. In their eyes, he’s one of them.
The Trump Project consisted of a renegade candidate, with radical ideas and brash talk, but also a cartoonish ego and often shocking inability to articulate. While those in the heartland ate up the juvenile name-calling and impolite style, a huge portion of Americans were appalled, and unleashed a vitriol not seen since the halcyon days of World War II, when Adolph Hitler took on a satanic veneer that no bogeyman had previously, or has since.
This week, Hillary Clinton, the embodiment of a “left” that found “McCarthyism” repugnant and lampooned any fervent anti-communist, attacked Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. Clinton, in the best tradition of the right-wingers she presumably hated, called Gabbard a “Russian asset,” and included Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein in the same category.
Many good people, who once loved my work, have jumped on this surrealistic bandwagon. They’ve drank the anti-Trump Kool-Aid to such an extent that they’re willing to form alliances with our intelligence agencies, Trump’s former aide John Bolton, or anyone else anywhere who opposes him. And they dutifully dub anyone who criticizes the Clintons, or Joe Biden’s son, or supports Trump’s talk about withdrawing troops as “Russian Bots.”
The Trump Project has succeeded in killing any hope of an independent political movement, outside of the phony left-right paradigm. All political discourse now is filtered through the prism of Trump’s outlandish personality, and how one reacts to it. And most Americans have responded predictably to the programming, and fall in faithfully into either the “love” or “hate” category.
We have gone from a president that the most absurd “conspiracy theorists” believe may have been created in a lab- Barack “no real personal history” Obama, to a character right out of WWE central casting, manufactured to get the maximum amount of cheers and hisses. A perfect leader for our burgeoning Idiocracy.
Lincoln once talked about a house divided being unable to stand. Our house is hopelessly divided, and barely standing. It won’t take much of a wind to blow it down. We really need a Frank Capra to devise a happy ending to this story.