Archive for the ‘Current Affairs’ Category

Interesting Links: Nov 16, 2015

November 16, 2015 3 comments

Here are links to a few interesting older articles by others that are highly relevant to events of the past few days. They are about a topic that most western countries avoid mentioning when they talk about religiously motivated terrorism in, of from, the Middle-East.

Link 1: You Can’t Understand ISIS If You Don’t Know the History of Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia’s internal discord and tensions over ISIS can only be understood by grasping the inherent (and persisting) duality that lies at the core of the Kingdom’s doctrinal makeup and its historical origins. One dominant strand to the Saudi identity pertains directly to Muhammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhab (the founder of Wahhabism), and the use to which his radical, exclusionist puritanism was put by Ibn Saud. (The latter was then no more than a minor leader — amongst many — of continually sparring and raiding Bedouin tribes in the baking and desperately poor deserts of the Nejd.) The second strand to this perplexing duality, relates precisely to King Abd-al Aziz’s subsequent shift towards statehood in the 1920s: his curbing of Ikhwani violence (in order to have diplomatic standing as a nation-state with Britain and America); his institutionalization of the original Wahhabist impulse — and the subsequent seizing of the opportunely surging petrodollar spigot in the 1970s, to channel the volatile Ikhwani current away from home towards export — by diffusing a cultural revolution, rather than violent revolution throughout the Muslim world.

Abd al-Wahhab demanded conformity — a conformity that was to be demonstrated in physical and tangible ways. He argued that all Muslims must individually pledge their allegiance to a single Muslim leader (a Caliph, if there were one). Those who would not conform to this view should be killed, their wives and daughters violated, and their possessions confiscated, he wrote. The list of apostates meriting death included the Shiite, Sufis and other Muslim denominations, whom Abd al-Wahhab did not consider to be Muslim at all. There is nothing here that separates Wahhabism from ISIS. The rift would emerge only later: from the subsequent institutionalization of Muhammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhab’s doctrine of “One Ruler, One Authority, One Mosque” — these three pillars being taken respectively to refer to the Saudi king, the absolute authority of official Wahhabism, and its control of “the word” (i.e. the mosque). It is this rift — the ISIS denial of these three pillars on which the whole of Sunni authority presently rests — makes ISIS, which in all other respects conforms to Wahhabism, a deep threat to Saudi Arabia.

Link 2: How Saudi Wahhabism Is the Fountainhead of Islamist Terrorism

It would be troublesome but perhaps acceptable for the House of Saud to promote the intolerant and extremist Wahhabi creed just domestically. But, unfortunately, for decades the Saudis have also lavishly financed its propagation abroad. Exact numbers are not known, but it is thought that more than $100 billion have been spent on exporting fanatical Wahhabism to various much poorer Muslim nations worldwide over the past three decades. It might well be twice that number. By comparison, the Soviets spent about $7 billion spreading communism worldwide in the 70 years from 1921 and 1991. This appears to be a monumental campaign to bulldoze the more moderate strains of Islam, and replace them with the theo-fascist Saudi variety. Despite being well aware of the issue, Western powers continue to coddle the Saudis or, at most, protest meekly from time to time.

Ensaf Haidar’s quip exposes a deeper truth. One could reasonably argue that the House of Saud is simply a more established and diplomatic version of ISIS. It shares the extremist Wahhabi theo-fascism, the lack of human rights, intolerance, violent beheadings etc. — but with nicer buildings and roads. If ISIS were ever to become an established state, after a few decades one imagines it might resemble Saudi Arabia. How does Saudi Arabia go about spreading extremism? The extremist agenda is not always clearly government-sanctioned, but in monarchies where the government money is spread around to various princes, there is little accountability for what the royal family does with their government funds. Much of the funding is via charitable organizations and is not military-related.

Link 3: ISIS’ Harsh Brand of Islam Is Rooted in Austere Saudi Creed

For their guiding principles, the leaders of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, are open and clear about their almost exclusive commitment to the Wahhabi movement of Sunni Islam. The group circulates images of Wahhabi religious textbooks from Saudi Arabia in the schools it controls. Videos from the group’s territory have shown Wahhabi texts plastered on the sides of an official missionary van. This approach is at odds with the more mainstream Islamist and jihadist thinking that forms the genealogy of Al Qaeda, and it has led to a fundamentally different view of violence. Al Qaeda grew out of a radical tradition that viewed Muslim states and societies as having fallen into sinful unbelief, and embraced violence as a tool to redeem them. But the Wahhabi tradition embraced the killing of those deemed unbelievers as essential to purifying the community of the faithful.

The Islamic State’s founder, Mr. Baghdadi, grafted two elements onto his Wahhabi foundations borrowed from the broader, 20th-century Islamist movements that began with the Muslim Brotherhood and ultimately produced Al Qaeda. Where Wahhabi scholars preach obedience to earthly rulers, Mr. Baghdadi adopted the call to political action against foreign domination of the Arab world that has animated the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda and other 20th-century Islamist movements. Mr. Baghdadi also borrowed the idea of a restored caliphate. Where Wahhabism first flourished alongside the Ottoman Caliphate, the Muslim Brotherhood was founded shortly after that caliphate’s dissolution, in 1924 — an event seen across the world as a marker of Western ascent and Eastern decline. The movement’s founders took up the call for a revived caliphate as a goal of its broader anti-Western project.

What do you think? Comments?

Some Thoughts on the Recent MetroJet Crash: Nov 8, 2015

November 8, 2015 12 comments

Speculation about events leading to the crash of Metrojet Flight 9268 over the northern Sinai peninsula just over a week ago has increasingly dominated by paid talking heads on western media calling it an act of terrorism by ISIS. A more objective look at the evidence surrounding the crash, especially its context and the reaction of countries not directly affected by it suggests an alternative explanation.

The very short version of the alternative explanation is: The MetroJet 9268 crash was caused by an explosive device planted on the plane by people working for one or more western countries- most likely the USA. A somewhat longer version of the explanation requires us to first understand the context in which this incident occurred as well as note the peculiar timelines of official and unofficial western responses to it.

The USA has been engaged in a futile attempt to restore its standing in the world, especially vis-a-vis- Russia, to what it was in the 1991-1996 era. It is also very obvious that this is not going to happen, for a number of very obvious reasons such as subsequent large-scale irreversible socio-economic changes in the world. But as Upton Sinclair once wrote- “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” Consequently the establishment in USA (and their upper-middle class servants) persist in trying to achieve what is obviously a lost cause. It does not help that many older Americans above a certain age desperately want to believe in a world that has not changed since the days of their youth. The nature of wage employment in the USA also ensures that people continue working for obviously doomed organisations and agendas.

It is no secret that the USA has been very unhappy with the stabilization, growth and resurgence of Russia within the last decade- especially since 2006. The USA has tried to instigate some of Russia’s neighboring countries to enter in overt, or indirect, confrontations with it. A couple of them (Georgia and Ukraine) were stupid enough to believe in empty promises of economic and military help from the USA and enter into overt confrontations with Russia. We all know who won both those confrontations. To make a long story short, Russia has shown that it quite capable of standing up for its own national interests and prevailing in the ensuing confrontations. Russia has also shown that it (unlike the USSR) is adept at wielding flexible combinations of diplomacy, force and economic power with more skill than the USA.

It is therefore not surprising that the supposedly “objective” western media aka presstitutes have, on the orders of their government handlers, been busy publishing stories about how bad things are in Russia. I am sure that many of you must have come across multiple stories along those lines- especially within the last two years. Curiously, all these supposedly “objective” stories are come in a few flavors and are incredibly formulaic. The most common flavors are as follows: 1] Made up or wildly exaggerated accounts about how much the Russian economy is suffering from western economic sanction, 2] How the current crops of oligarchs want Putin gone, 3] Highly exaggerated or made up accounts of political opposition to the current regime in that country and 4] Recycled bullshit about how Russia is losing its place in the world.

While such stories have little to no connection with reality, they do serve two major purposes for those peddling and promoting them. Firstly, they let the average partisan idiot in the west (especially the USA) imagine that they are “winning” against Russia. Secondly, such stories keep many presstitues employed and connected to the power structure in the USA. Just to be clear, I am not claiming that any country, including Russia, is a utopia or even close to one. But what do you say when, USA, a country that imprisons more people than any in the world and engages in mass spying against its own citizens pretends to be morally superior to all others in the world. I could give many more examples of this doublethink. My point is that the USA today utterly lacks the public image and moral authority to criticize other countries- but that has never stopped them from trying.

But what does any of this have to do with an alternative explanation for the crash of MetroJet flight 9268? Well.. as it turns out, a lot.

1] Did anyone of you notice that western MSM outlets were pushing the narrative of that flight being blown up by a surface-to-air missile or bomb on board within 12 hours of that incident. Isn’t that rather quick to push such claims, especially in the absence of definitive evidence? Isn’t it also odd that a number of different MSM outlets were pushing an almost identically worded story even though some attributed it to sources in the USA while others to sources in the UK?

2] Did you notice that the MSM almost simultaneously dropped the surface-to-air missile theory after it became evident that many others knew that the plane in question was flying at cruising altitude (around 10,000 m)? Why would they do that? Could it be because only state supported militias have easy access to missiles that can reach aircraft that high? Were they lying or were they trying to hide something?

3] How many of you found the claims by USA of a satellite detecting the infrared signal of an explosion on that airliner a bit odd? While the capacity to do so has existed for a few decades and is accessible to many other countries, isn’t it odd that a low orbit spy satellite with such equipment travelling at a high speed relative to the ground just happened to be perfectly placed to record something on an airliner that itself was travelling around 900 km/hr in a different direction. Talk about coincidence.. In my opinion, the USA is either making up that claim or it knew about the fate of that airliner in advance.

4] Did you notice how many “objective” presstitutes are trying to connect it with the recent Russian military intervention in Syria? Why have we not seen attacks like this on British, French and American flights from that airport in Egypt during the last 4 years? An airport with poor general security would pose a hazard for all airplanes flying out of that place, and the USA (and its prison bitch aka the UK) has been supposedly involved in battling ISIS for the last 2-3 years.

5] It is no secret that the USA (and its prison bitch aka the UK) have been supporting religious extremists in the middle east for decades. We all know how the USA openly funded and armed the Taliban to fight in Afghanistan. We also know what that ultimately led to. Similarly, it is common knowledge that the USA has funded, armed and encouraged the very fundamentalist groups in the Middle East and North Africa which it now claims to fight. Who is to say that the USA did not provide financial and material support to some group that planted an explosive device on that airplane?

6] We still cannot say with certainty if Russia-backed rebels or the west-backed Ukrainian government or local Ukrainian militias shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. I should point out that the most likely missile involved in that incident is in service with Ukraine as well as Russia. Who is to say that incident was not engineered by the west-backed Ukranian government to make Russia retreat under international pressure? Of course, the last bit never happened and Russia (and russia-backed rebels) held their ground.

Perhaps the USA thinks that it can pressure the Russians to stop their military intervention in Syria by paying or assisting fundamentalist groups in Egypt to blow up a Russian airliner. Perhaps they think that Russians are stupid enough to believe western media in 2015. Perhaps they imagine that their antics will remain hidden. Perhaps they also believe that Russia won’t respond to such acts by replying in kind. I am not so sure..

What do you think? Comments?

Interesting Links: Nov 2, 2015

November 2, 2015 5 comments

Here are links to a few interesting news articles I came across recently. They cover a range of issues from the predictable, and much deserved, decline in fortunes of middle-class white men in the USA to the arrogance and hubris on Microsoft.

Link 1: Rising deaths among white middle-aged Americans could exceed Aids toll in US

A sharp rise in death rates among white middle-aged Americans has claimed nearly as many lives in the past 15 years as the spread of Aids in the US, researchers have said. The alarming trend, overlooked until now, has hit less-educated 45- to 54-year-olds the hardest, with no other groups in the US as affected and no similar declines seen in other rich countries. Though not fully understood, the increased deaths are largely thought to be a result of more suicides and the misuse of drugs and alcohol, driven by easier access to powerful prescription painkillers, cheaper high quality heroin and greater financial stresses. The turnaround reverses decades of falling mortality rates achieved through better medical care and lifestyle choices that continue to improve public health in other groups in the US and in other nations around the world.

They showed that from 1978 to 1998, the mortality rate for US whites aged 45 to 54 fell by 2% a year, a figure very much in line with the celebrated improvements in health seen in the other countries. But after 1998, the death rates of US whites began to buck the trend. While other countries saw their mortality rates continue to fall, they began to rise among middle-aged white non-Hispanic Americans by 0.5% a year. The effect was not confined to the 45- to 54-year-olds. In the 35- to 44-year-old bracket, the mortality rate stopped falling in 2000. For 55- to 59-year-olds, the fall slowed to 0.5% a year. The rise in death rates among middle-aged white Americans means half a million more people have died in the US since 1998 than if the previous trend had continued. The death toll is comparable to the 650,000 Americans who lost their lives during the Aids epidemic from 1981 to the middle of this year, the researchers said.

Link 2: The War on Sex Trafficking Is the New War on Drugs

Conduct a Google news search for the word trafficking in 2015 and you’ll find pages of stories about the commercial sex trade, in which hundreds of thousands of U.S. women and children are supposedly trapped by coercion or force. A few decades prior, a survey of “trafficking” headlines would have yielded much different results. Back then, newspapers recounted tales of “contemporary Al Capones trafficking illegal drugs to the smallest villages and towns in our heartland,” and of organized “motorcycle gangs” trafficking LSD and hashish. “Many young black men in the ghetto see the drug trade as the Gold Rush of the 1980s,” the Philadelphia Inquirer told readers in 1988. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) warned of a “nationwide phenomenon” of drug lords abducting young people to force them into the drug trade. Crack kingpins were rumored to target runaways, beating them if they didn’t make drug sales quotas. Such articles offered a breathless sense that the drug trade was booming, irresistible to criminals, and in desperate need of child foot soldiers. Lawmakers touted harsher penalties for drug offenses. The war on drugs raged. New task forces were created. Civilians were trained how to “spot” drug traffickers in the wild, and students instructed how to rat out drug-using parents. Politicians spoke of a drug “epidemic” overtaking America, its urgency obviously grounds for anything we could throw its way. We know now how that all worked out.

The theory behind “end demand” is that if only we arrest enough patrons or make the punishments for them severe enough, people will stop trying to purchase sex. Voila! No more prostitution, no more sex trafficking. If that sounds familiar, perhaps you’re old enough to remember the ’80s, when a similar approach was supposed to bring down the drug trade. “Ending the demand for drugs is how, in the end, we will win,” President Ronald Reagan declared in 1988. Indeed, it was how we were already winning: “The tide of the battle has turned, and we’re beginning to win the crusade for a drug-free America,” Reagan claimed. In reality, the number of illicit drug users in America has only risen since then, despite the billions of dollars spent and hundreds of thousands of people locked away. In 1990, for instance, 7.1 percent of Americans had used some sort of illegal drug in the past month, according to the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse. By 2002 it had risen to 8.3 percent, and by 2013 to 9.4 percent. The utter failure to “end demand” for drugs hasn’t dented optimism that we can accomplish the trick with prostitution. During the “National Day of John Arrests” each year, police pose as sex workers online and then arrest would-be clients. Each year, hundreds of men are booked in these stings and charged with offenses ranging from public indecency and solicitation to pimping and sex trafficking. If these anti-trafficking efforts sound a lot like old vice policing, that’s because the tactics, and results, are nearly identical.

Link 3: Microsoft Admits Windows 10 Automatic Spying Cannot Be Stopped

Last week changes to the Windows 10 upgrade path mean it is going to become increasingly difficult for any non-techy users to avoid being pushed to Microsoft’s new operating system. But given Windows 10 is better than Windows 7 and Windows 8, why would that be a problem? Because of policies like this… Speaking to PC World, Microsoft Corporate Vice President Joe Belfiore explained that Windows 10 is constantly tracking how it operates and how you are using it and sending that information back to Microsoft by default. More importantly he also confirmed that, despite offering some options to turn elements of tracking off, core data collection simply cannot be stopped: “In the cases where we’ve not provided options, we feel that those things have to do with the health of the system,” he said. “In the case of knowing that our system that we’ve created is crashing, or is having serious performance problems, we view that as so helpful to the ecosystem and so not an issue of personal privacy, that today we collect that data so that we make that experience better for everyone.”

To his credit, Belfiore does recognise the controversial nature of this decision and stresses that: “We’re going to continue to listen to what the broad public says about these decisions, and ultimately our goal is to balance the right thing happening for the most people – really, for everyone – with complexity that comes with putting in a whole lot of control.” Interestingly Belfiore himself won’t be around to oversee this as he is about to take a year long sabbatical. When he comes back, however, I suspect this issue will still be raging as Windows and Devices Group head Terry Myerson recently confirmed Windows 10 Enterprise users will be able to disable every single aspect of Microsoft data collection. This comes in combination with Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise users’ ability to permanently disable automatic updates which are forced upon consumers and shows the growing divide between how Microsoft is treating consumers versus corporations. So how concerned should users be about Windows 10’s default data collection policies? I would say very.

What do you think? Comments?

On Donald Trump’s Campaign for the Republican Nomination: 6

October 31, 2015 3 comments

Previous posts in this series have focused on different aspects of Trump’s remarkable, if not totally unexpected, success in the race for the 2016 republican presidential nomination. I have written about how his success is one of the many symptoms of ongoing failure in modern nation states and why presstitutes hate him so much. I have touched on how his blunt style of communication makes him appear more human than his competitors. Issues such as why he might be more interested in winning the republican nomination than the presidency have been discussed. I have also written about how modern “professional” ineffectual politicians have paved the way for Trump and others like him.

But have you ever wondered why Trump is running as a Republican? What accounts for his continuing stable popularity among those identifying with the Republican “base”? And why are those in the Republican “base” so willing to stand behind him?

First, let me be clear about one thing- I do not think that the Democrat “base” is significantly smarter than or morally superior to its Republican counterpart. They are just two groups of peasants who willingly believe in different (and mutually exclusive) sets of lies, myths and bullshit. Those who believe that Obama is anything other than a neoliberal scam artist are as willfully delusional as those who saw (and still see) Bush43 as a brave statesman defending ‘murica from those swarthy ‘evildoers’. Similarly those who see Hillary or even Bernie as the only candidates who can save the USA from itself are as willfully stupid as those who believe that electing Trump (or any one of those other faceless midgets) will make ‘murica great again.

So, why am I describing the Republican and Democrat base (faithful) as willfully delusional ‘peasants’? Why call them ‘peasants’ as opposed to small towners, provincially minded, working class, middle class or something along those lines? Why does the ‘peasant’ label best describes the core supporters of political parties (or any other large impersonal organisation) in the USA or any other country in the world.

The short answer to that question is that being a ‘peasant’ is a mindset and worldview. Possessing that particular mindset and worldview requires considerable effort by its possessors. It is this willingness to buy into and further invest in a particular mindset/worldview that distinguishes a ‘peasant’ from other similar-sounding labels based on place of residence (small towns, suburbs), occupation (farmer) or relative income levels (mostly working poor or middle class). In the past, I have written a series of posts under the general title “What I Really Think About Human Beings as a Species“. In that series, I pointed out that the lives of a majority (or significant minority) of human beings are dominated by a strong, but seldom acknowledged, desire to screw over other people. I also pointed out that many people will do so under the cover of bullshit ideologies or pleasant-sounding pretenses and even at a net loss to themselves.

That raises another question- why do so many people behave like that? Why would any person with more than half a functioning brain act against their own best interest. Conventional explanations for this behavior range from cultural brainwashing, sophisticated marketing, a lack of exposure to other worldviews to a strong belief in “religion-based morality”.. whatever that is. But what if the real answer was far more straightforward, but depressing? What if I told you that all people who “truly” believe in any religion, ideology, impersonal institution or belief system were almost completely driven by a pre-existing desire to hurt other people.

Let me explain it with a personal anecdote.. Unlike many other around me, I have been always unable to believe in anything even vaguely resembling a belief system. My skepticism towards belief extends from traditional religions and ideologies to “scientific sounding” explanations for the world around us. But why would someone with a PhD in a STEM discipline have such skepticism about scientific explanations for anything? Well.. it comes down to two types of reasons. Firstly, having studied many areas of science (and their history) in considerable detail- I am aware that the path that leads to a better understanding of the world around us is anything but straightforward. It is no secret that the history of science contains as many instances of exaggerations, half-truths, lies and instances of wishful thinking as any other conventional religion or ideology. Science has been able to progress only because it lacks an official (and “infalliable”) core book, but that issue is best left for another post.

There is however a second, and perhaps more important, reason behind my inability to believe in an external belief system.

While I have no scruples about screwing over adversaries (or their enablers) in any manner possible, I am not interested in hurting others without a reason- even it is tenuous at best. To be clear, I am no pacifist and am totally OK with screwing other or even exterminating mindless tools who have the potential to hurt me. But it all comes down to one question- How does it (or could) affect ME. I am no interest in fighting for, or helping, any impersonal group that has not benefited me in the past. Consequently, I do not need to believe in external belief systems. To put it another way, the desire to believe in an external belief system implies that you have no worthwhile hope of personal gain from believing in it.

You do not require to believe in an external ideology to act in your own best interests. But you do have to believe in an external ideology to willingly take a loss for the benefit of somebody else.

That is why religious minded ‘peasants’ who slaved for greedy and manipulative landlords would mistreat, abuse and exploit their own children than try to undermine their common exploiter. That is why ‘peasants’ have always been so willing to screw over each other even if it benefits their common exploiter. That is why ‘peasants’ go to war for their masters and risk their lives to fight against another group of ‘peasants’ they have never previously met. That is also why Irish and Scottish soldiers (‘peasants’) in the British Empire fought for it rather than against it. That is also why ‘murican peasants are so willing to fight for greedy and duplicitous assholes against people they have never met and who never posed any real threat to them. I could go on.. but you get my point.

To summarize this post- there will always be enough supporters for any potential leader who promises his followers a chance to abuse someone who appears to be weaker than them. It does not matter if this promise is implicit (Nixon, Reagan, Clinton42) or explicit (Trump). It also does not matter if the promise was made in 19th century Britain, 20th century Germany and Russia or 21st century USA. The less than uplifting reality is that a majority (or significant minority) of humans will faithfully follow any leader who promises them a chance to abuse, maim or kill somebody else- even if they do not benefit from doing so. But don’t take my word for it- read some history and look around yourself.

What do you think? Comments?

On Donald Trump’s Campaign for the Republican Nomination: 5

September 29, 2015 6 comments

In the previous post of this series, I put forth the theory that Trump’s primary goal is to win the republican nomination with the presidency being a distant secondary one. Having said that, it is clear that he would have a pretty decent chance at winning the presidency if he were to be the republican nominee.

But why do I think that Trump has a decent chance of winning the presidency? I mean.. he has still not put forth a single coherent plan for achieving anything he supposedly wants to achieve. Why do I think that his total lack of serious policy positions and commissioning of “studies” about the viability of his plans not affect his electability? How would he be able to win against supposedly “serious” and “competent” politicians such as Hillary Clinton?

Well.. it comes down to reality. In another previous post of this series, I pointed out that the terms of almost every single presidents in living memory have invariably turned out to be disastrous for everyone but the top 1% (or more precisely the top 0.1%). The ones that turned out less disastrous (2nd term of both Reagan and Clinton) did so because of factors beyond their control. In other words, there is no correlation between the supposed “experience” or “capability” of professional politicians and their actual performance- as far as the 99% or 99.9% are concerned.

But it gets worse. See.. Lyndon B. Johnson (or LBJ) was the last american president who was actually able to implement a significant percentage of his election promises- and his presidency ended in early 1969, which is now almost half a century ago. Since then, no president has been able (or willing) to fulfill even a significant percentage of their pre-election promises to the electorate. Think about it.. did Richard Nixon fulfill even a small minority of his pre-election promises? What about Jimmy Carter? What about Reagan? What about Bush 41? What about Bill Clinton? What about Bush 43? What about Obama?

My point is that, based on their post-election performance, every single president since LBJ could be considered an incompetent liar. Even worse.. they have shown themselves to be incapable of implementing even their most feasible and rational-sounding plans. A significant part of the electorate has therefore learnt to tune out anything that sounds like carefully written pre-election promises or plans. The ongoing loss of public faith in credentialed “experts” consequent to their exposure as greedy charlatans further potentiates the general loss of faith in political promises.

Trump seems to have grasped this dissonance and its peculiar correlation to authenticity. It is therefore very likely that his unwillingness to put forth detailed pre-election plans and proposals is part of a general strategy of appearing more authentic than his rivals. Even his very brief and sketchy public papers on issues such as immigration, guns and taxes are part of this strategy. The guy has a pretty good feel for how much (or how little) most voters actually care about the actual contents of long policy papers.

Trump is simply using the massive political dissonance that has built up over the last half century against the very type of people who created, and have benefited from, it by turning their own bullshit and lies against themselves.

What do you think? Comments?

On Donald Trump’s Campaign for the Republican Nomination: 4

September 26, 2015 3 comments

In the previous post of this series, I wrote about how Trump is successfully using generalized public distrust for carefully manufactured and manicured personas such as those of his competitors for the republican candidacy against them. So far he has been to knock two mainstream career politicians, Rick Perry and Scott Walker, out of the race- with very minimal effort. There is a high probability (over 90%) that Bobby Jindal, George Pataki, Mike Huckabee, John Kasich and Chris Christie will have to drop out within the next 2-3 months because of their incredibly poor poll numbers.

Did you notice an interesting pattern here?

Trump’s candidacy is destroying the hopes of potential republican candidates who were, or still are, governors of states. In most cases, they were able to win the gubernatorial elections more than once. Furthermore, almost every single one of them is a professional politician. Isn’t that odd? Here is another way to think about it- since 1980, only Bush 41 (one term) and Obama 44 (two terms) have won the presidential elections without being a state governor first. The first (Bush 41) was however a two-term vice-president and the later (Obama 44) won because nobody wanted to elect another republican president after Bush 43.

More curiously, republican candidates who are or have been senators such as Lindsey Graham, Rand Paul, Rick Santorum, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz are also doing poorly in polls. Remember that even Obama 44 was a first-term senator when he successfully ran for the democratic candidacy. The failure of previously successful professional politicians with significant prior national or regional stature to even dent the persona of an outsider candidate such as Donald Trump is rather unprecedented in american politics. Why are the two major purported “talent pools” for potential presidential candidates on the republican side so very dry?

Why can’t outspoken conservative politicians win over their own, admittedly semi-retarded, base?

Even somebody like Jeb Bush, who has been a long-time professional politician (and two-term governor) in addition to being the son of Bush 41 and brother of Bush 43 just can’t seem to ‘win’ over the base of his own party. While Jeb(!) might hang around in the candidacy race for longer than his less-fortunate and less-connected colleagues, it is clear that the general damage to his image is now severe enough to make his attempt at winning the presidential election unsuccessful- even if he were to somehow end up as the republican candidate.

The two supposed competitors for Trump who the media love to talk about, aka ‘Scammy’ Fiorina and ‘token black guy’ Carson, are outsiders with a big red marks in their pasts. In the case of Fiorina, her checkered past career in business (if you can call it that) has made her many enemies- and they have tons of insider dirt on her. Her public persona, beyond being a woman, also makes her a very unsympathetic person- even to white women. In the case of ‘token black guy’ Carson, his past utterances now a part of the public memory because of the ubiquity of cameras and the internet make him basically undetectable at the national level. If you don’t believe me, a simple google search for “ben carson craziest beliefs” will guide you a multitude of listicles containing his most “interesting” beliefs including the source material they were derived from.

The point I am trying to make is that Trump could potentially win the Republican nomination by simply remaining over 25 % in multiple polls for the next 3-4 months while simultaneously starving his competitors of main-stream media exposure. It is therefore no surprise that he is constantly making outrageous statements about his competitors while simultaneously picking up fights with the supposedly “objective” presstitutes who critique his every move. It is amazing what independent financial capability and the ability to manipulate the media can achieve in the age of fragmented main-stream media and the internet.

Perhaps Trump is more interested in winning the republican candidacy than the presidency. Think about it.. the former is far more likely than the latter. Regardless out the outcome of either race, he does not really have that much to lose. Either way, Trump will still remain a world-famous billionaire and real estate developer. The same cannot, however, be said for many of his competitors for the republican candidacy who will be relegated to the trash bin of history- as far as their future political ambitions are concerned.

What do you think? Comments?

Two Funny and Relevant Clips from ‘Bulworth’ (1998)

September 24, 2015 1 comment

Here are two funny and still totally relevant clips from a political comedy made in 1998- almost 17 years ago. The movie in question, Bulworth, is about the strange turns of events that occurs after the main character, a depressed and disillusioned senator, takes out a hit contract on himself. Subsequently, the guy gets drunk and tells voters what he really thinks and in doing so experiences a huge surge in his dismal popularity ratings. Here is a link to the imdb information page for that movie and here is another link to even more information about that movie on Rotten Tomatoes.

Here is the first clip..

and here is the second clip..

What do you think? Comments?


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