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The Emperor’s New Clothes

“The vote-shaming engines have predictably kicked into high gear in America as the presidential election approaches, with shitlib pundits like Bill Maher doing their part to paint third-party voters as the most toxic people in the world.

Which is of course ridiculous. I have no strong opinions about how Americans should vote in November, but it’s obvious that in terms of toxicity third-party voters are not on the list of people who are worthy of criticism. The dire situation humanity now finds itself in under the leadership of the US hegemon is not the fault of a small fringe faction which doesn’t want to support oligarch-coddling ecocidal warmongers, it’s the fault of those who help preserve America’s oligarchic ecocidal warmongering status quo.

Contrary to the stock template lines that establishment spinmeisters are regurgitating to bully the left into submission, here are 21 things which are in fact a lot more crazy, selfish, stupid and privileged than voting third party:

1. Supporting a two-headed one-party system in the most powerful government on earth which has plagued our planet with endless war and ecocide and marched humanity to the brink of extinction.

2. Continuing to support a political system which is wholly owned and operated by the wealthy, leaving zero effective influence over US policy in the hands of ordinary Americans and immense influence in the hands of the very rich.

3. Continuing to support a system which consistently deceives the American people into consenting to oppressive neoliberal exploitation at home and bloodthirsty neoconservative warmongering abroad, both of which always hurt the most impoverished and disadvantaged groups worst.

4. Continuing to support a two-headed one-party system where one head always pushes as far to the right as possible when in power and the other head never moves things back leftward even one iota when it is.

5. Continuing to support a political establishment which rehabilitates war criminals like George W Bush, Bill Kristol, David Frum and John Bolton while demonizing anyone who refused to vote for a warmonger.

6. Supporting a political party which has been consistently attacking Donald Trump from the right on foreign policy, pushing him to escalate cold war tensions with Russia further and further and shrieking hysterically if he makes the slightest move toward deescalation anywhere.

7. Supporting a political party which is designed to co-opt all leftward populism and railroad it into support for an establishment which promotes war and oligarchy while depriving Americans of the same social safety nets afforded to everyone in every other major country on earth.

8. Supporting a party which claims to support press freedoms while cheerleading Trump’s extradition of Julian Assange, a move which if successful will cripple press freedoms around the globe and make it impossible to hold the world’s most powerful government to account.

9. Supporting a political party which has spent Trump’s term galvanizing its base around the psychopathic CIA and J Edgar Hoover’s minority-oppressing, left-punching FBI while doing everything it can to stamp out any leftist zeitgeist within its ranks.

10. Continuing to support a mass media structure which works every day to deceive Americans into supporting their own impoverishment while weapons of war are spread across the planet at massive expense.

11. Supporting a political establishment which promises slow, incremental change and actually delivers no change whatsoever while our species slides off the cliff of extinction, taking out the most impoverished and marginalized first.

12. Pretending foreign policy just doesn’t exist, or if it does exist pretending Joe Biden isn’t a lifelong warmonger who has spent his entire campaign attacking Trump for being insufficiently hawkish in most spheres of international conflict.

13. Ignoring the fact that both parties are working in support of world-threatening cold war escalations against both Russia and China, a multifront campaign whose complexity increases the probability of something going cataclysmically wrong even more than the last cold war.

14. Pretending a party that’s done exactly nothing for America’s disempowered communities isn’t directly responsible for the poverty, police brutality, mass incarceration, exploitation and oppression those communities face today.

15. Pretending a return to how things were before Trump’s presidency wouldn’t just be a return to the conditions which created Trump’s presidency.

16. Pretending Obama, who destroyed Libya, devastated Syria, facilitated the rape of Yemen, intervened in Ukraine, maintained and expanded all of Bush’s most depraved policies and did nothing for the people who elected him, was a good president.

17. Continuing to support a political system where everything keeps getting worse no matter which oligarchic puppet Americans elect.

18. Putting your head in the sand and pretending everything will be fine once a Democrat is in charge, again.

19. Supporting a novelty joke party with fake primaries which are always rigged to ensure victory for the safest oligarchic puppet instead of pushing for something resembling actual democracy.

20. Promoting the lie that if you just keep doing something that has never, ever worked, this time it might produce different results.

21. Lulling people back to sleep when the only thing that can help ordinary people is for them to start waking up and using the power of their numbers to force drastic, revolutionary change.

It’s easy to advocate incrementalism when you’re not living hand to mouth. It’s selfish to think that acting on climate change can be rolled out over many decades so as not to upset the corporate donors of your favorite politicians. It’s the height of entitlement to close the door to progressives inside the Democratic Party and then throw a shit fit when they vote for another party. It’s hypocritical to hyperventilate about election-rigging Russians while secretly, and then openly, rigging primaries against progressives.

Supporting the continued existence of a fake two-party system which advances exploitative agendas hurts the most vulnerable populations in America and in the entire world. Acting self-righteous because you actively support that system while spitting on the people who are trying to change it is selfish, is stupid, is hypocritical, and is a mark of extreme privilege.”

– Caitlin Johnstone

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2020/09/29/on-vote-shaming-21-ways-supporting-the-us-establishment-is-worse-than-voting-third-party/

Caring

CARING

The heart and hand
Lead the way
The mind and tongue
Are often elsewhere

Odd Bedfellows (27a)

ODD BEDFELLOWS

That we find
Unforgivable
In others
Is tied to
That which we find in ourselves
Indispensible

~~~~~~~~~~~

Shadorma November

Remembrance Day Again

REMEMBRANCE DAY AGAIN

The dead are long dead
TV robots wear poppies
The wars continue
Empty platitudes distract
Lest we question quid pro quo

Doublethink

DOUBLETHINK

They wring their hands in anguish
Over trouble balancing the budget
Helping the poor and sick at home
While they create more of the same
Pouring millions into war overseas

Statement By Julian Assange On Verdict In Bradley Manning Court-Martial

STATEMENT BY JULIAN ASSANGE ON VERDICT IN BRADLEY MANNING COURT-MARTIAL

Today Bradley Manning, a whistleblower, was convicted by a military court at Fort Meade of 19 offences for supplying the press with information, including five counts of ’espionage’. He now faces a maximum sentence of 136 years.

The ’aiding the enemy’ charge has fallen away. It was only included, it seems, to make calling journalism ’espionage’ seem reasonable. It is not.

Bradley Manning’s alleged disclosures have exposed war crimes, sparked revolutions, and induced democratic reform. He is the quintessential whistleblower.

This is the first ever espionage conviction against a whistleblower. It is a dangerous precedent and an example of national security extremism. It is a short sighted judgment that can not be tolerated and must be reversed. It can never be that conveying true information to the public is ’espionage’.

President Obama has initiated more espionage proceedings against whistleblowers and publishers than all previous presidents combined.

In 2008 presidential candidate Barack Obama ran on a platform that praised whistleblowing as an act of courage and patriotism. That platform has been comprehensively betrayed. His campaign document described whistleblowers as watchdogs when government abuses its authority. It was removed from the internet last week.

Throughout the proceedings there has been a conspicuous absence: the absence of any victim. The prosecution did not present evidence that – or even claim that – a single person came to harm as a result of Bradley Manning’s disclosures. The government never claimed Mr. Manning was working for a foreign power.

The only ’victim’ was the US government’s wounded pride, but the abuse of this fine young man was never the way to restore it. Rather, the abuse of Bradley Manning has left the world with a sense of disgust at how low the Obama administration has fallen. It is not a sign of strength, but of weakness.

The judge has allowed the prosecution to substantially alter the charges after both the defense and the prosecution had rested their cases, permitted the prosecution 141 witnesses and extensive secret testimony. The government kept Bradley Manning in a cage, stripped him naked and isolated him in order to crack him, an act formally condemned by the United Nations Special Rapporteur for torture. This was never a fair trial.

The Obama administration has been chipping away democratic freedoms in the United States. With today’s verdict, Obama has hacked off much more. The administration is intent on deterring and silencing whistleblowers, intent on weakening freedom of the press.

The US first amendment states that “Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press”. What part of ’no’ does Barack Obama fail to comprehend?

http://wikileaks.org/Statement-by-Julian-Assange-on.html

Vicious Circle

VICIOUS CIRCLE

You can’t walk the talk
When your hypocrisy keeps
Your foot in your mouth

Remembrance Day

REMEMBRANCE DAY

Came to one morning, found himself
a stranger at the wedding
among all these earnest young men
applicants for the ministry.

(Yes, it was all men in those days
– incredible as that should’ve been.)
They’d be studying books and such,
they told him, and he was appalled,

for he could not discover one
among all those ministers-to-be
whose bell when struck rang true, betrayed
true religious experience.

Ah me, the arrogance of youth!
He was convinced that they, as he,
meant well and indeed were good men
and yet, to his eye, they were blind.

The blind leading the blind? Futile!
More years lost in the wilderness.
Remembrance Day, year after year,
honouring the sixth commandment:

thou shalt not kill. (But not really.)
“War is peace.” “Ignorance is strength.”
Venomous fork-tongued doublespeak
pollutes even the house of God.

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