Trump's Sheeple

[SOURCE: ZeroHedge]

by chindit13

Like Obama before him, Trump certainly has his own flock of Sheeple, those people who---for reasons difficult for rational people to understand---think he's the latest Messiah, and see in him not reality, but what they need to see. Like Obama, Trump has his own media sources to play the flute and lead the flock Pied Piper style, or when necessary blow the dog whistle and get the flock on the angry march.

During the campaign and before, those who have subsequently become Trumplings operated by an entirely different philosophy than they do now. Obviously they hated Hillary, and that with good reason. Surprisingly---or perhaps not given the traits of those who could become somebody's Sheeple---a demographic that might have been described as something between Libertarian and Anarcho-Capitalist quickly morphed into jackbooted, Brown Shirt Stormtroopers.

Consider this: in the past, those who became Trumplings expressed hate for big government, were outraged over the Snowden revelations, believed anything Goldman Sachs-related led straight past Cerberus (the Greek, and later Dante Cerberus, not the PE firm) and the Gates of Hell, and absolutely loved leaks that disparaged Hillary, the Dems or Obama. Also, Trumplings were the most willing to believe the most outrageous tales (e.g., Pizzagate) and swear it was gospel.

How things change!

Trump has seeded his Administration with billionaires in general and Goldman Sachs' alumni in particular. Trump's Himmler---a dual national clown named Stephen Miller---said on 12 February on the Sunday talk shows he had been tasked with appearing on, that Trump is above Judicial Review, meaning Trump is above the law. Where is that in the Constitution?

Trumplings were both quick and adamant in their dismissal of Dossiergate, the Christopher Steele report that suggested Russia has lots of compromising material on Trump, quite different from how they absorbed Pizzagate. Trumplings now not only adore Big Government power, they want Trump to act like a tin pot dictator, completely obviating the three branch structure established by people whose intellect and patriotism, plus belief in freedom and liberty, absolutely dwarf Trump. The typical Trump jumbled and incoherent speech is hardly evocative of Patrick Henry. A Trump Tweet is hardly Jeffersonian, nor reminiscent of Monroe and Madison.

Oh, and now the same sort of leaks that were applauded, even demanded by the Trumplings---as well as Trump himself ("Wikileaks! I LOVE Wikileaks!...Russia, please help us find the 30,000 Hillary emails"). Now, however, Trump wants leakers jailed---even if he has no clue about the nature of intelligence, where it sits across the government, who is responsible for keeping secrets, nor even what constitutes a 'secret' according to US law---and the Trumplings want leakers executed. The term 'hypocrite' doesn't even begin to define all of that. It demands a new even bigly-er term.

Completely lost on the Trumplings---who accept words over actions---is what Trump hopes to be able to do. Trump, and the now-fired 3-star (not 'General', according to military tradition) Mike Flynn, set White House legal staff on the task of figuring out how to obviate laws that restrict domestic data collection by the NSA and CIA. Little Sean Spicer, when asked about this, stated something that falls somewhere between obfuscation and an outright lie. Spicer said, "No such memo or plan exists in the White House." That is technically true, because the legal staff is housed in the EOB, which is a half-minute stroll from the West Wing, but still within the security cordon of the White House grounds.

Consider what Trump wants to be able to do, and parse that with what the actual capabilities of the US intelligence community are:

Every single communication can be captured. That means every phone call, every SMS, every email, and every Tweet. Posters to public boards---such as, for example, Zerohedge Comments---can be traced back to their source, even if the user connects via TOR. There is no anonymity, not for a poster, a Contributor, or even Tyler himself. None. Let's say a person posted a comment on Zerohedge that catches the All Seeing Eye of computer-driven surveillance. Within seconds, an entire dossier on the originating individual can be produced, which would include real name and address, DoB, family members, employment history, tax returns, criminal record if any, educational record including grade transcripts, spending habits, weapons owned---everything. Algorithms can then produce an entire personality profile covering everything from political leanings, alcohol consuming habits, sexual preferences and proclivities, the penchant for violence vs mere posturing, even health. In addition, possession of a cellphone means that an individual's movements can be geolocated 24/7 going all the way back to the date the phone was purchased and registered. The phone doesn't even need to be turned on; all it needs is a battery---and modern cellphones have inaccessible batteries. The phone's camera and recorder can also be turned on remotely by a hack. The same hacking can be done with laptops, desktops, iPads and Smart TVs.

Trump wants to have this arrow in his quiver, which is why in one of his very first acts as POTUS he set his legal staff on to this 'problem'. Does that smack of freedom and liberty?

There is a Twitter accounts that goes by @RoguePOTUSStaff. Ostensibly it is run by some inside-the-White House dissidents. It may well be just that. It posts tweets that give some color as to what is going on in the inner circles of the Administration, and it issues a clarion call for anti-Trumpers to join up and 'resist' (via Tweets and SMS, thus revealing identities). It certainly is entertaining (and seems credible because it noted part of the Flynn deal was that Trump would be given his Tweeting back; Trump hadn't tweeted for a week, then just after the Flynn news, he began playing the 12-year old girl again tweeting his random thoughts). There is a new rumor that the Tweet account might not be what it seems, but that @RoguePOTUSStaff is really a covert op run by Steve Bannon, more or less mirroring The Trust. For those who don't know, The Trust was ostensibly an anti-Bolshevik organization during the Lenin-Stalin years just after the revolution, but was really a kind of honey pot established by Cheka Head Feliks Dzerzhinsky to identify and capture threats to the Revolution. Is that what @RoguePOTUSStaff really is? Who knows? It would not come as a surprise, however, given Bannon's (lack of) character and Trump's desire for dictatorial control.

It is a cliché to call someone a Hitler. During the campaign, people on opposite sides of the political spectrum tossed that epithet at the other side candidate, both at Hillary and Trump. Trump may not be a Hitler, but he WANTS to be. His every act---as opposed to his words---screams that. Trump authorized his first military operation a while back in Bayda, Yemen. He was advised not to do it, because no timely intel existed regarding the likelihood of armed resistance. He ignored the warnings then sent Spicer out to spin it as some sort of 'win', even though all they got---besides a dead SEAL, a lost $75 million Osprey, and more hatred from the Arab and Islamic world after killing 30 civilians, including children---were some ten-year old videotapes of bombmaking. Trump seems to have just wanted to exercise the power that allows him to kill living human beings. Trumplings are not listening, preferring fantasy to reality.

Perhaps that is not entirely surprising, that Trumplings should see their man the way they do. The post-election demographics might offer an explanation. Hillary won only 15% of US counties, but her counties account for 62% of total US GDP. Trump won 85% of all US counties, but they only account for a mere 38% of US GDP. Trumplings, by and large, are society's unproductive underclass. They have seen the success many others in society have achieved, and want in on it. Sadly, they are largely victims of the declining pricing power of labor, something nobody can solve short of war or plague (Maybe Trump will provide that war in his hoped-for attack against Iran.). Outsourced jobs were sent to places like China merely as a way station on the road to oblivion. Technology wins; Trumplings are on a losing streak that is both relentless and intractable.

Trumplings are convinced Trump is their savior, their Messiah. They think Trump will 'drain the swamp', oblivious to the fact Trump wants to replace the swamp with a cesspool. In reality, Trump is intent on being the former Libertarians' and Anarcho-Capitalists; worst nightmare, actually doing the things all Trump's Sheeple thought the USG did before, when in fact it did not, or rarely did. Sheeple are so easily fooled that they are in favor of handing the fox the keys to the chicken coop. Freedom and liberty---as championed by the Founding Fathers---has never been under threat as much as now in the form of Trump---at least if he somehow can get what he wants. McCarthy did not have the infrastructure and technology that exists in the world today, and upon which Trump is trying to get his hands. Big Brother is now possible, and Trump wants it to be him.

Dismiss this at your own peril---or continue to be Sheeple. Your choice. Baaaa!

>> Original source

Made For Each Other

[SOURCE: Clusterfuck Nation]

by James Howard Kunstler

Don't be fooled by the idiotic exertions of the Red team and the Blue team. They're just playing a game of "Capture the Flag" on the deck of the Titanic. The ship is the techno-industrial economy. It's going down because it has taken on too much water (debt), and the bilge pump (the oil industry) is losing its mojo.

Neither faction understands what is happening, though they each have an elaborate delusional narrative to spin in the absence of any credible plan for adapting the life of our nation to the precipitating realities. The Blues and Reds are mirrors of each other's illusions, and rage follows when illusions die, so watch out. Both factions are ready to blow up the country before they come to terms with what is coming down.

What's coming down is the fruit of the gross mismanagement of our society since it became clear in the 1970s that we couldn't keep living the way we do indefinitely — that is, in a 24/7 blue-light-special demolition derby. It's amazing what you can accomplish with accounting fraud, but in the end it is an affront to reality, and reality has a way of dealing with punks like us. Reality has a magic trick of its own: it can make the mirage of false prosperity evaporate.

That's exactly what's going to happen and it will happen because finance is the least grounded, most abstract, of the many systems we depend on. It runs on the sheer faith that parties can trust each other to meet obligations. When that conceit crumbles, and banks can't trust other banks, credit relations seize up, money vanishes, and stuff stops working. You can't get any cash out of the ATM. The trucker with a load of avocados won't make delivery to the supermarket because he knows he won't be paid. The avocado grower will have to watch the rest of his crop rot. The supermarket shelves empty out. And you won't have any guacamole.

There are too many fault lines in the mighty edifice of our accounting fraud for the global banking system to keep limping along, to keep pretending it can meet its obligations. These fault lines run through the bond markets, the stock markets, the banks themselves at all levels, the government offices that pretend to regulate spending, the offices that affect to report economic data, the offices that neglect to regulate criminal misconduct, the corporate boards and C-suites, the insurance companies, the pension funds, the guarantors of mortgages, car loans, and college loans, and the ratings agencies. The pervasive accounting fraud bleeds a criminal ethic into formerly legitimate enterprises like medicine and higher education, which become mere rackets, extracting maximum profits while skimping on delivery of the goods.

All this is going to overwhelm Trump soon, and he will flounder trying to deal with a gargantuan mess. It will surely derail his wish to make America great again — a la 1962, with factories humming, and highways yet to build, and adventures in outer space, and a comforting sense of superiority over all the sad old battered empires abroad. I maintain it could get so bad so fast that Trump will be removed by a cadre of generals and intelligence officers who can't stand to watch someone acting like Captain Queeg in the pilot house.

That itself might be salutary, since only some kind of extreme shock is likely to roust the Blue and Red factions from their trenches of dumb narrative. If the Democratic Party had put one-fiftieth of the effort it squanders on transgender bathroom privileges into policy for mitigating our tragic misinvestments in suburban sprawl, we might have gotten a head-start toward a plausible future. Instead, the Democratic Party has turned into a brats-only nursery school, with the kiddies fighting over who gets to play with the Legos. The Republican Party is Norma Desmond's house in Sunset Boulevard, starring Donald Trump as Max the Butler, working extra-hard to keep the illusions of yesteryear going.

All of this nonsense is a distraction from the task at hand: figuring out how to live in the post techno-industrial world. That world is not going to operate the ways we're used to. It will crush our assumptions and expectations. Lying about everything won't be an option. We won't have the extra resources to cover up our dishonesty. Our money better be sound or it will be laughed at, and then you'll starve or freeze to death. You'd better hope the rule of law endures and work on keeping it alive where you live. And nobody will get special brownie points for the glory of sexual confusion.

I look for the financial fireworks to start around March – April, as the irresolvable debt ceiling debate in congress grinds into a bitter stalemate, and it becomes obvious that there will be no voucher for the great infrastructure spending orgy that Trump's MAGA is based on. Elections in France and the Netherlands have the potential to shake apart the European Union, and with that the footing of European banks. Pretty soon, everybody in all parties and factions will be asking: "Where did the glittering promises of Modernity go…?" As we slip-side into the first stages of a world made by hand.

>> Original source

Lost in the Political Wilderness

[SOURCE: Liberty Blitzkrieg]

by Michael Krieger

I have, in numerous previous publications (especially Integral Psychology) given the details of many of those researchers. Here I will simply use one of them as an example. The model is called Spiral Dynamics, based on the pioneering work of Clare Graves. Graves proposed a profound and elegant system of human development, which subsequent research has refined and validated, not refuted. "Briefly, what I am proposing is that the psychology of the mature human being is an unfolding, emergent, oscillating spiralling process marked by progressive subordination of older, lower-order behavior systems to newer, higher-order systems as an individual's existential problems change. Each successive stage, wave, or level of existence is a state through which people pass on their way to other states of being. When the human is centralized in one state of existence" —as I would put it, when the self's center of gravity hovers around a particular wave of consciousness— "he or she has a psychology which is particular to that state. His or her feelings, motivations, ethics and values, biochemistry, degree of neurological activation, learning system, belief systems, conception of mental health, ideas as to what mental illness is and how it should be treated, conceptions of and preferences for management, education, economics, and political theory and practice are all appropriate to that state."

As Beck and Cowan have pointed out, second-tier thinking has to emerge in the face of much resistance from first-tier thinking. In fact, a version of the postmodern green meme, with its pluralism and relativism, has actively fought the emergence of more integrative and holarchical thinking. (It has also made developmental studies, which depend on second-tier thinking, virtually anathema at both conventional and alternative universities.) And yet without second-tier thinking, as Graves, Beck, and Cowan point out, humanity is destined to remain victims of a global "auto-immune disease," where various memes turn on each other in an attempt to establish supremacy.

This is why developmental studies in general indicate that many philosophical debates are not really a matter of the better objective argument, but of the subjective level of those debating. No amount of orange scientific evidence will convince blue mythic believers; no amount of green bonding will impress orange aggressiveness; no amount of turquoise holarchy will dislodge green hostility—unless the individual is ready to develop forward through the dynamic spiral of consciousness unfolding. This is why "cross-level" debates are rarely resolved, and all parties usually feel unheard and unappreciated.

As we were saying, first-tier memes generally resist the emergence of second-tier memes. Scientific materialism (orange) is aggressively reductionistic toward second-tier constructs, attempting to reduce all interior stages to objectivistic neuronal fireworks. Mythic fundamentalism (blue) is often outraged at what it sees as attempts to unseat its given Order. Egocentrism (red) ignores second-tier altogether. Magic (purple) puts a hex on it. Green accuses second-tier consciousness of being authoritarian, rigidly hierarchical, patriarchal, marginalizing, oppressive, racist, and sexist.

Green has been in charge of cultural studies for the past three decades. On the one hand, the pluralistic relativism of green has nobly enlarged the canon of cultural studies to include many previously marginalized peoples, ideas, and narratives. It has acted with sensitivity and care in attempting to redress social imbalances and avoid exclusionary practices. It has been responsible for basic initiatives in civil rights and environmental protection. It has developed strong and often convincing critiques of the philosophies, metaphysics, and social practices of the conventional religious (blue) and scientific (orange) memes, with their often exclusionary, patriarchal, sexist, and colonialistic agendas.

On the other hand, as effective as these critiques of pre-green stages have been, green has attempted to turn its guns on all post-green stages as well, with the most unfortunate results. In honorably fighting many rigid social hierarchies, green has condemned all second-tier holarchies—which has made it very difficult, and often impossible, for green to move forward into more holistic, integral-aperspectival constructions.

– From Ken Wilber's 2000 article: The Integral Vision at the Millennium

First off, I want to thank everyone for bearing with me during my break. It's rare that I step away from my incessant reading and writing for such a lengthy period. Emotionally and intellectually, I found it to be deeply invigorating as well as periodically frustrating. Frustrating, in the sense that I am unquestionably addicted to reading about current events, yet I came to understand that removing yourself from the 24/7 outrage news cycle gives you some much needed perspective. By removing myself from the conversation for a moment, I was able to more clearly recognize just how completely idiotic the conversation has become. Ultimately, whether or not I gained some genuine insight during my time away will be revealed by the quality of work I produce in the days, weeks and months ahead. So let's get started.

One of the first tweets I published over the weekend as I was attempting to get back into the swing of things consisted of the following.

I don't belong anywhere in this political environment.
Everyone is going insane.
This will be the topic of my next post.

— Michael Krieger (@LibertyBlitz) February 4, 2017

I was surprisingly pleased with the response it generated, and made me feel a bit more confident in the fact that there are many others out there who feel the same way. Unfortunately, it seems very few people with prominent platforms are consistently vocalizing this sense of isolation at the moment. Every day, millions of people are being pressured to "pick a side" by media, pundits, politicians — even close friends and family. Critical thinking that doesn't fit into one of the two polarized camps of pro-Trump or anti-Trump are being dismissed or degraded. This is a very unfortunate state of affairs.

I think the U.S. citizenry is being afflicted by a sort of mass insanity at the moment. There are no good outcomes if this continues. As a result, I feel compelled to provide a voice for those of us lost in the political wilderness. We must persevere and not be manipulated into the obvious and nefarious divide and conquer tactics being aggressively unleashed across the societal spectrum. If we lose our grounding and our fortitude, who will be left to speak for those of us who simply don't fit into any of the currently ascendant political ideologies?

I've always prided myself in having and maintaining a very diverse readership. Many of you are Trump supporters, and many of you are Sanders supporters. Very few of you are Hillary Clinton supporters. This is how it ought to be, considering that I advocate that the current paradigm is broken, unethical and needs replacing. I don't pretend to have the answers of what needs to be done on every policy issue, but I do know for sure that we can't continue along with the current model any longer. As such, my intent is to have a discussion with all of you who want something new, even though we will invariably disagree on all sort of topics. This is healthy and normal.

What isn't healthy is cheerleading your preferred political candidate once he is in power. I see this all over the place when it comes to Trump, and I find it pretty sickening. I can begrudgingly accept the cheerleading during an election, after all, the entire point of an election is to win. I cannot accept it after victory has been achieved, however. Trump is now the President and wields a grotesque amount of executive power thanks to the precedents established by all of the horrible individuals who came before him. Trump didn't create this mess, but he now holds the ring of power and that is something to be feared, not cheered.

This doesn't mean Trump can't or won't do some good things. I'm extremely pleased that he torched the corrupt TPP, for instance. I also enjoyed his refreshing honesty with regard to foreign policy in a recent interview with Bill O'Reilly. That said, I have little patience for irrational cheerleaders on any side. The recent Berkeley protests provided the perfect issue to crystalize just how insane everyone has become, on all sides.

As I was getting back into the swing of things, violence at the University of California at Berkeley really captured my attention. It had all the hallmarks of insanity. Unknown masked thugs wearing all black attacking fellow citizens and destroying property because they were threatened by the words of a professional troll whose entire career is based on instigating violent snowflakes into metal breakdowns. One of the greatest controversies in the aftermath was Donald Trump calling for a end to federal money to the school since they thwarted free speech. From my understanding, the school actually defended free speech by allowing Milo to speak. I went ahead and retweeted the following.

Trump is wrong to threaten Berkeley. The U DID take a pro-free speech position. It was the protesters (many non students) who used violence

— Jonathan Haidt (@JonHaidt) February 3, 2017

This simple retweet was met with a complete mental breakdown by someone I would describe as a Trump cultist. The key attribute of a cultist is someone so blinded by cult of personalty worship, they rush to defend the person of affection in an entirely emotional fashion devoid of logic. Here's what I'm talking about.

There are several things to note about the above conversation, if you can call it that. First, I engaged with this person in as a polite manner as possible until he lost his mind because I asked for some proof. I didn't start the conversation by instinctively saying he was wrong, I merely asked for some evidence, particularly since I was admittedly out of the loop. Naturally, he couldn't send me a simple link to defend his loaded statement. It very much reminded me of Hillary cultists crying about Russian hacking with zero proof. It's merely hyperbole in order to "win" a political argument, which is just downright deranged.

Following the above meltdown, he sent me a tweet that referenced a website I had never heard of before claiming that a Berkeley staff member was one of the violent protesters. I have no idea whether this is true or not, but let's assume that it is for the sake of argument. It still doesn't justify his insane initial claim. He wrote "even faculty wore masks and attacked people." First, he only offered accusations regarding one staff member. It takes preschool level logic to understand that this doesn't make the University itself complicit in perpetrating the acts of violence. Berkeley administration clearly decided to allow the speech to go forward despite considerable backlash and threats of violence.

Of course, this isn't to say that there weren't some really disturbing aspects regarding campus police response to the violence. The more I dug into the story, the more alarming it became, but not because of what the Trump cultist above claimed, which is why irrational cheerleading is so entirely stupid and counterproductive. It distracts from the very real and very serious issues at hand.

For example, here's some of what we learned about the response from theLA Times:

They dressed "like ninjas" and marched onto UC Berkeley's Sproul Plaza like a paramilitary force armed with bats, steel rods, fireworks and Molotov cocktails, officials say.

The scheduled appearance Wednesday of conservative provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos was still two hours away, but it was precisely the time that most local television stations were beginning their live 6 p.m. broadcasts.

Within minutes, the group of 100 to 150 agitators had smashed half a dozen windows with barricades, launched fireworks at police and toppled a diesel-powered klieg light, which caused it to burst into flames.

The self-described anarchists or antifascists have left school and law enforcement agencies struggling to cope with their tactics.

Moving officers into Wednesday night's melee, would have created "a lethal, horror situation," said campus Police Chief Margo Bennett.

"We have to do exactly what we did last night: to show tremendous restraint," she said.

But even though there was only one arrest Wednesday night, Berkeley officials insist the incident was something altogether new

"We have never seen this on the Berkeley campus," Mogulof said. "This was an unprecedented invasion."

Let's start with some of the commentary of the UC Berkeley Chief of Police, Margo Bennett. She is justifying the fact that her officers essentially allowed a domestic terrorist attack to proceed without police intervention in order to prevent further violence. How does this make any sense? We have been conditioned to give up many of our civil liberties in order to stop the supposed terrorists under every bed, and then this sort of behavior is just allowed to happen? And yes, just in case you are wondering, the actions of these violent thugs fits exactly into the definition of terrorism.

Now I'm completely against the "war on terror" meme, and I think it's merely a sophisticated way of conditioning the public to give away its rights in the face of fear-mongering, but don't you dare take away my right to privacy and then just let the above happen with essentially zero arrests (there was one arrest according the article).

Moreover, don't you find it interesting to compare what happened at UC Berkeley to the response of a UC Davis police officer (yes I know different schools) to peaceful seated protests in 2011. Recall the following image.

The difference in response is worth noting. Moreover, it appears that the school is drawing the exact wrong lessons from the incident. Rather than trying to figure out how to keep violent masked thugs at bay, the debate seems to now be centering around restricting free speech in order to avoid violence. In other words, giving in to the terrorists. The only thing this sort of thing will do is encourage more violence, because "it works." It's the pinnacle of madness.

Also from the LA Times:

Mogulof said Berkeley administrators are dedicated to protecting the 1st Amendment and free speech, but certain events might need to have a closer look, especially if there is potential for major disruption and destruction on campus. School officials, he said, are reviewing their policing tactics as well as their policies and protocols for future events featuring controversial speakers.

Just in case you aren't up to speed on how random and uncivilized the violence at Berkeley was, you can hear about it first hand from a school reporter who was there via the New York Times. This person is no fan of Trump by the way.

Until Wednesday, I never felt in danger during a protest. Around 7 p.m. I saw a huddle of people yelling at one another. As more people surrounded them, a burning red trucker's hat was held up on a stick. There were reports that another student wearing what appeared to be a "Make America Great Again" hat was severely injured.

Then I saw someone wearing all black walk up to a student wearing a suit and say, "You look like a Nazi." The student was confused, but before he could reply, the black-clad person pepper-sprayed him and hit him on the back with a rod.

I ran after the student who was attacked to get his name and more information. He told me that he is a Syrian Muslim. Before I could find out more, he fled, fearing another attack. Amid the chaos came word the event had been canceled.

In another widely publicized event, a female wearing a "Make Bitcoin Great Again" hat was pepper sprayed for wearing what looked like a Trump hat. Is this really what we have become?

But it gets worse, a lot worse. Far more disturbing than the violence itself, are those defending it. Here's a particularly ludicrous example I encountered on Twitter over the weekend.

If this is the mindset of "the resistance" I want absolutely no part of it.

If it's not obvious by now, I simply feel like I don't belong anywhere in the current political environment. Fortunately, I have friends who feel the same way. One of them who was also not a Trump or Clinton supporter wrote the following to me expressing his frustrations with fake anti-Trump liberals. He wrote:

I agree that Trump is a dire problem, but what disturbs me far more greatly than that is the fact that so many people do not / did not see H. Clinton and Obama as every single bit the same dire problem (in a different flavor). To me they are/were and in some ways worse because, unlike Trump who is an obvious boor, their sociopathy is wrapped in a façade of reasonableness, intelligence, and articulation that is so acceptable to "our" social segment, that they somehow succeed in making people believe that what they are saying is what they are doing, even though what they are doing has nothing to do with what they are saying, is absolutely vile, and right out there in the open. Obama's vastly increased surveillance state, war against whistle blowers, vastly diminished access of the press while claiming to have the "most transparent administration in history," destroying the lives of hundreds of thousands if not millions of foreign civilians by disastrous foreign interventions (think Libya), extra-judicial assassination of American citizens by remote drones, giving Wall Street an absolute pass for destroying the US economy and utterly gutting the middle class, and the total disaster of Obamacare (written by Insurance industry lobbyists) are all totally unacceptable to me. The cherry on top is Obama, Clinton, and the whole Democrat machine parading around talking about the great recovery and how well everything is going while all the above is literally tearing the country to pieces and making America a target for the utterly justified ire of those whose families we are killing with flying robots. As far as I can tell, they are still completely clueless (or duplicitous) and seem content to point fingers at Trump, Putin, and some class of "deplorables" who, for some undecipherable reason, want to destroy America.

To me that means that far too many people who are currently gnashing their teeth about Trump want to replace him with something that is as bad in most ways and perhaps worse in some. And that fact is to me a bigger problem than Trump himself (or Obama himself) – that people by and large do not see that the entire government class is wholly self-serving and parasitic, and that the more urgent conflict at this point is not left/right but people/government. Or people versus concentrated power generally, no matter how it manifests.

More impactful than the above, the same individual sent me a fascinating article on the evolution of consciousness written in 2000 by Ken Wilber. It centers around the concept of Spiral Dynamics, and while I have plenty of issues with how he describes the concept, I think it provides a useful framework for understanding and even accepting the current political environment. Basically, something like 98-99% of the global population is stuck within various stages of what is described as first-tier thinking. First-tier thinkers are absolutists, they cannot even comprehend any other side and are therefore more easily manipulated and divided and conquered, something we are seeing all around us at the moment. As such, it has become more clear than ever to me that we will not advance out of our current debased paradigm as a species until enough of us evolve our consciousness into second-tier thinking. Unfortunately, I am of the belief that you cannot learn your way into a higher consciousness, it simply happens to you for a variety of reasons, many of which are out of your control.

If you want to understand anything I discussed above, and will dive into in far more detail in future posts, you have to read at least Part 1 of the following article: The Integral Vision at the Millennium.

For those of you who consider yourselves to largely reside in the yellow state, I have one key message for you. There's a very deliberate attempt to manipulate you into devolving back into one of the lower tiers. Likewise, there is a very deliberate attempt to prevent those on the cusp of higher consciousness from ever evolving. The reason is simple. The lower tiers are very tribal and easily divided and conquered. The higher tiers are not.

More to come.

In Liberty,
Michael Krieger

>> Original source

The Purpose of Decadence and the Pleasures of Coercion

[SOURCE: Clusterfuck Nation]

by James Howard Kunstler

I guess you've noticed by now that the center didn't hold. Instead of a secure platform for political premises like tradition, precedent, rationality, and cultural norms, you see a fiery maw of sheer emotion between the camps of the so-called Left and the so-called Right.

I say so-called because the campus Left and the Trump Right have escaped the categorical corrals they formerly occupied. And they may have left their customary official parties stranded and dying too. It may be fatuous to say whether that is a good or bad thing; it just is, for the moment. They are two halves of a polity so broken and so far apart that it is also hard to see how they might ever come back together into a consensus about how a society might operate successfully.

Not having a consensus — some substantial overlap between circles of perspective — it's not surprising that America can't construct a coherent view of what is happening, or make a plan for what to do about it. Mainly what's happening is the running down of fossil fuel based techno-industrial economies, and the main symptom is falling standards of living, with fading prospects for future happiness and security.

As I've said before, our economic picture is basically untenable due to the falling energy-return-on-investment of the crucial oil supply (shout-out to Steve St. Angelo). At the high point of 1920s oil production the ratio was around 100-1. The shale oil "miracle" is good for about 5-1. The aggregate of all oil these days is under 30-1. Below that number, you've got to shed some activities in our complex economy (or they just get too expensive to support) — things like high-paying labor jobs, medical care, tourism, college, commuting, heating 2500 square foot homes…). Oddly the way it's actually working out is that America is simply shedding its whole middle class and all its accustomed habits and luxuries. At least that's how it adds up in effect. Naturally, that produces a lot of bad feeling.

President Trump is unlikely to be able to fix that essential problem, unless he can pilot the whole political-economy into a glide-path leading toward neo-medievalism — what I call the World Made By Hand. Trump's call for restoring the factory economy of 1962 is a low-percentage prospect. Instead, he'll be saddled with the collateral damage caused by the dishonest effort of his recent predecessors to borrow from the future to pay for the way we live now — that is, racking up debt. This mighty debt-load, never before seen in history, and the accounting fraud that enables it, has helped produce all kinds of distortions, perversities, and fragilities in our money system (finance and banking) which can easily slip into collapse if a crucial prop fails here or there, and that is exactly what I think will happen under Trump. It will not be his fault, but he'll get blamed for it. And when it happens, he won't be able to give his attention to anything but that.

In the meantime, society shows all the symptoms of this literal economic disease in the political and cultural fissures of the day. The political Right failed in its role as prudent conservator of values, resources, and practical custom; the political Left has taken refuge in sentimental fantasy, using the semantic ploys of the graduate school seminars to pretend that reality is whatever they wish it to be. Uncomfortable with the age-old tensions of sexuality? Then pretend that you can opt out of the dynamics of biology by declaring yourself "non-binary," a term with a pleasing science-y flavor. Tensions gone? Not really. You've only made them worse as, for instance, expressed in "non-binary" suicide rates. The perversities of transsexual triumphalism are related directly to the falsehoods of Federal Reserve trans-monetarist triumphalism, and all parties are subject to the matrix of racketeering that has taken the place of plain dealing in goods, money, and ideas in this society — especially ideas grounded in reality.

Societies may not exactly be organisms with intentions, but they move in a particular direction because they are emergent phenomena. That is, they are self-organizing according to the circumstances and forces they are subject to at a certain time and place in history. Decadence is specifically the decay of social and cultural boundaries, a process that is manifestly accelerating now. Both sides of the political spectrum are acting out this dynamic, with the vacuum in the middle sucking vitality out of each side. The Left has become a kind of pagan religion of sacred victims and victimhood, collecting sacred injuries and martyrs. Its dark secret, though, is that these sacred things are only straw-dogs and wicker-men. The real animating motive for the Left these days is simply the pleasure of coercion, of exercising the power to punish their adversaries and watch them suffer.

The Trump Right also enjoys the writhings and sufferings of its adversaries, squashed bug style, as it goes forth in the quixotic battle to bring back 1962 at all costs. Both the Left and the right show not a little sadism in their methods. In the background of these histrionics, the great groaning machine of Modernity lurches toward collapse — not the end-of-the-world as many foolishly imagine, but the end of a phase of history when things that used to work, don't. At a certain point, we'll have to try other ways of being with each other on this planet, and then for a while things will come together again.

>> Original source

Rule by Brute Force: The True Nature of Government

[SOURCE: The Rutherford Institute]

by John W. Whitehead

"We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force." —Ayn Rand

The torch has been passed to a new president.

All of the imperial powers amassed by Barack Obama and George W. Bush—to kill American citizens without due process, to detain suspects indefinitely, to strip Americans of their citizenship rights, to carry out mass surveillance on Americans without probable cause, to suspend laws during wartime, to disregard laws with which he might disagree, to conduct secret wars and convene secret courts, to sanction torture, to sidestep the legislatures and courts with executive orders and signing statements, to direct the military to operate beyond the reach of the law, to act as a dictator and a tyrant, above the law and beyond any real accountability—have been inherited by Donald Trump.

Whatever kind of president Trump chooses to be, he now has the power to completely alter the landscape of this country for good or for ill.

He has this power because every successive occupant of the Oval Office has been allowed to expand the reach and power of the presidency through the use of executive orders, decrees, memorandums, proclamations, national security directives and legislative signing statements that can be activated by any sitting president.

Those of us who saw this eventuality coming have been warning for years about the growing danger of the Executive Branch with its presidential toolbox of terror that could be used—and abused—by future presidents.

The groundwork, we warned, was being laid for a new kind of government where it won't matter if you're innocent or guilty, whether you're a threat to the nation or even if you're a citizen. What will matter is what the president—or whoever happens to be occupying the Oval Office at the time—thinks. And if he or she thinks you're a threat to the nation and should be locked up, then you'll be locked up with no access to the protections our Constitution provides. In effect, you will disappear.

Our warnings went largely unheeded.

First, we sounded the alarm over George W. Bush's attempts to gut the Constitution, suspend habeas corpus, carry out warrantless surveillance on Americans, and generally undermine the Fourth Amendment, but the Republicans didn't want to listen because Bush was a Republican.

Then we sounded the alarm over Barack Obama's prosecution of whistleblowers, targeted drone killings, assassinations of American citizens, mass surveillance, and militarization of the police, but the Democrats didn't want to listen because Obama was a Democrat and he talked a really good game.

It well may be that by the time Americans­—Republicans and Democrats alike—stop playing partisan games and start putting some safeguards in place, it will be too late.

Already, Donald Trump has indicated that he will pick up where his predecessors left off: he will continue to wage war, he will continue to federalize the police, and he will operate as if the Constitution does not apply to him.

Still, as tempting as it may be, don't blame Donald Trump for what is to come.

If this nation eventually locks down... If Americans are rounded up and detained based on the color of their skin, their religious beliefs, or their political views... If law-and-order takes precedence over constitutional principles...

If martial law is eventually declared... If we find that there really is nowhere to run and nowhere to hide from the surveillance state's prying eyes and ears... And if our constitutional republic finally plunges headlong over the cliff and leaves us in the iron grip of totalitarianism...

Please, resist the urge to lay all the blame at Trump's feet.

After all, President Trump didn't create the police state.

He merely inherited it.

Frankly, there's more than enough blame to go around.

So blame Obama. Blame Bush. Blame Bill Clinton.

Blame the Republicans and Democrats who justified every power grab, every expansion of presidential powers, and every attack on the Constitution as long as it was a member of their own party leading the charge.

Blame Congress for being a weak, inept body that spends more time running for office and pandering to the interests of the monied elite than representing the citizenry.

Blame the courts for caring more about order than justice, and for failing to hold government officials accountable to the rule of law.

Blame Corporate America for taking control of the government and calling the shots behind the scenes.

Most of all, blame the American people for not having objected louder, sooner and more vehemently when Barack Obama, George W. Bush and their predecessors laid the groundwork for this state of tyranny.

But wait, you say.

Americans are mobilizing. They are engaged. They are actively expressing their discontent with the government. They are demanding change. They are marching in the streets, picketing, protesting and engaging in acts of civil disobedience.

This is a good development, right? Isn't this what we've been calling on Americans to do for so long: stand up and push back and say "enough is enough"?

Perhaps you're right.

Perhaps Americans have finally had enough. At least, some Americans have finally had enough.

That is to say, some Americans have finally had enough of certain government practices that are illegal, immoral and inhumane.

Although, to be quite fair, it might be more accurate to state that_ some_ Americans have finally had enough of certain government practices that are illegal, immoral and inhumane provided that the ruling political party responsible for those actions is not their own.

Yes, that sounds about right. Except that it's all wrong.

We still haven't learned a thing.

Imagine: after more than eight years in which Americans remained largely silent while the United States military (directed by the Obama Administration) bombed parts of the Middle East to smithereens—dropping nearly three bombs an hour, and left a trail of innocent civilian deaths in its wake—suddenly, Americans are outraged by programs introduced by the Trump Administration that could discriminate against Muslim refugees. Never mind that we've been killing those same refugees for close to a decade.

Certainly, there was little outcry when the U.S. military under Obama carried out an air strike against a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Afghanistan. Doctors, patients—including children—and staff members were killed or wounded. There were also no protests when the Obama Administration targeted Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen in Yemen, for assassination by drone strike. The man was killed without ever having been charged with a crime. Two weeks later, Obama—the recipient of a Nobel Peace Prize—authorized another drone strike that killed al-Awlaki's 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman, also an American citizen.

Most recently, picking up where President Obama left off, President Trump personally authorized a commando raid on a compound in Yemen suspected of harboring Al Qaeda officials. Among those killed were "at least eight women and seven children, ages 3 to 13," including Nora, the 8-year-old sister of the teenager killed by Obama years before.

Likewise, while most Americans failed to show much opposition to the government's disregard for Americans' bodily integrity, shrugging their collective shoulders dismissively over reports of their fellow citizens being subjected Americans to roadside strip searches, virtual strip searches, cavity searches and other equally denigrating acts, hundreds of thousands mobilized to protest policies that could be advanced by the Trump administration that might demean or deny equal rights to individuals based on their gender or orientation or take away their reproductive planning choices. Similarly, while tens of thousands have gathered annually for a March for Life to oppose abortion, many of those same marchers seem to have no qualms about the government's practice of shooting unarmed citizens and executing innocent ones.

This begs the question: what are Americans really protesting? Is it politics or principle?

Or is it just Trump?

For instance, in the midst of the uproar over Trump's appointment of Steven Bannon to the National Security Council, his detractors have accused Bannon of being a propagandist nationalist, and a white supremacist. Yet not one objection has been raised about the fact that the National Security Council authorizes secret, legal, targeted killings of American citizens (and others) without due process, a practice frequently employed by Obama.

The message coming across loud and clear: it's fine for the government to carry out secret, targeted assassinations of American citizens without due process as long as the individuals advising the president aren't Neo-Nazis.

Of course, this national hypocrisy goes both ways.

Conveniently, many of the same individuals who raised concerns over Obama's "lawless" use of executive orders to sidestep Congress have defended Trump's executive orders as "taking us back to the Constitution." And those who sounded the alarm over the dangers of the American police state have gone curiously silent in the face of Trump's pledge to put an end to "the dangerous anti-police atmosphere in America."

We can't have it both ways.

As long as we continue to put our politics ahead of our principles --- moral, legal and constitutional --- "we the people" will lose.

And you know who will keep winning by playing on our prejudices, capitalizing on our fears, deepening our distrust of our fellow citizens, and dividing us into polarized, warring camps incapable of finding consensus on the one true menace that is an immediate threat to all of our freedoms? The U.S. government.

In her essay on "The Nature of Government," Ayn Rand explains that the only "proper" purpose of a government is the protection of individual rights. She continues: "The source of the government's authority is 'the consent of the governed.' This means that the government is not the ruler, but the servant or agent of the citizens; it means that the government as such has no rights except the rights delegated to it by the citizens for a specific purpose."

When we lose sight of this true purpose of government—to protect our rights—and fail to keep the government in its place as our servant, we allow the government to overstep its bounds and become a tyrant that rules by brute force.

As Rand explains:

Instead of being a protector of man's rights, the government is becoming their most dangerous violator; instead of guarding freedom, the government is establishing slavery; instead of protecting men from the initiators of physical force, the government is initiating physical force and coercion in any manner and issue it pleases; instead of serving as the instrument of objectivity in human relationships, the government is creating a deadly, subterranean reign of uncertainty and fear, by means of nonobjective laws whose interpretation is left to the arbitrary decisions of random bureaucrats; instead of protecting men from injury by whim, the government is arrogating to itself the power of unlimited whim—so that we are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force.

Rule by brute force.

That's about as good a description as you'll find for the sorry state of our republic.

SWAT teams crashing through doors. Militarized police shooting unarmed citizens. Traffic cops tasering old men and pregnant women for not complying fast enough with an order. Resource officers shackling children for acting like children. Citizens being jailed for growing vegetable gardens in their front yards and holding prayer services in their backyards. Drivers having their cash seized under the pretext that they might have done something wrong.

The list of abuses being perpetrated against the American people by their government is growing rapidly.

We are approaching critical mass.

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, it may already be too late to save our republic. We have passed the point of easy fixes. When the government and its agents no longer respect the rule of law—the Constitution—or believe that it applies to them, then the very contract on which this relationship is based becomes invalid.

So what is the answer?

Look to the past if you want to understand the future.

Too often, we look to the past to understand how tyrants come to power: the rise and fall of the Roman Empire; Hitler's transformation of Germany into a Nazi state; the witch hunt tactics of the McCarthy Era.

Yet the past—especially our own American history—also teaches us valuable lessons about the quest for freedom. Here's Rand again:

A free society—like any other human product—cannot be achieved by random means, by mere wishing or by the leaders' "good intentions." A complex legal system, based on objectively valid principles, is required to make a society free and to keep it free-a system that does not depend on the motives, the moral character or the intentions of any given official, a system that leaves no opportunity, no legal loophole for the development of tyranny. The American system of checks and balances was just such an achievement. And although certain contradictions in the Constitution did leave a loophole for the growth of statism, the incomparable achievement was the concept of a constitution as a means of limiting and restricting the power of the government. Today, when a concerted effort is made to obliterate this point, it cannot be repeated too often that the Constitution is a limitation on the government, not on private individuals—that it does not prescribe the conduct of private individuals, only the conduct of the government—that it is not a charter for government power, but a charter of the citizens' protection against the government.

You want to save America? Then stop thinking like Republicans and Democrats and start acting like Americans.

The only thing that will save us now is a concerted, collective commitment to the Constitution's principles of limited government, a system of checks and balances, and a recognition that they—the president, Congress, the courts, the military, the police, the technocrats and plutocrats and bureaucrats—work for us.

>> Original source

Trump and His Cult of Personality

[SOURCE: zerohedge]

by chindit13

The drift has been somewhat insidious, but it has been both rapid and relentless. Trump is developing a cult of personality. A man who was once ridiculed for a campaign many thought was just performance art, has now become almost a Messiah---a man who is going to put the proverbial chicken in every pot. He might be a cut-rate buffoonish Messiah, but he's becoming the M-word nonetheless to many.

Some of it is understandable. The Romans might have been the first to put the style into words---panem et circenses---but it has likely existed since Eden or Oldavai, depending on one's belief system. Trump tells people what they want to hear. That works, even if most people know deep down much of what he says is hyperbole. Trump long ago cornered the market on superlatives, reserving most of them for himself like a trademark or copyright. Another reason Trump resonates is that a large segment of the populace is fed up with the over-reaching political correctness that characterized the Obama years. The pendulum simply had to swing back. (Lucky for Obama he only had eight years, because he'd pretty much run out of victim groups to champion and moniker-ize by the end.) In the backlash against political correctness, Trump rode the swinging pendulum to the other end of the spectrum, deep into Fat Tail territory.

The danger in any personality cult, besides the throwing of raw meat to the most extreme sycophants, is that flaws and foibles are either ignored or overlooked by less rabid supporters. In the hope that Trump can deliver on even a portion of his promises, his often bizarre idiosyncrasies are allowed to fade into the background, save for in a media that largely discredited itself during the campaign. Trump can get away with things even if the things are real and bad, or dangerous. The media has become that tree falling in the forest: whether or not it makes 'noise' is a matter of definition. For Trump's cult members, the media is silent.

The promise of jobs and the tag line of MAGA deliver much of what the masses want, so Trump's flaws get pushed to the side. He can get away with things many of his supporters have long been against. He can get away with odd comments, some of which suggest mental instability. He can get away with continually claiming to be the smartest man in the room, when in fact he is woefully uninformed of much of the world. Remember his campaign comment: "I know more about ISIS than all of the Generals"? That is rather unlikely. In fact, it is laughable. Former SecDef and DCI Robert Gates made a comment on this Trump idiosyncrasy and Trump's shortcomings during the election saying [Trump is] "willfully ignorant about the rest of the world, about our military and its capabilities, and about government itself.....He has no clue about the difference between negotiating a business deal and negotiating with sovereign nations....a thin-skinned, temperamental, shoot-from-the-hip and lip, uninformed commander-in-chief is too great a risk for America." Gates now says he 'hopes' he was wrong.

At a time when the Dow hits new records, as Trump meets with industrial bigwigs who promise new domestic investment, or union leaders for whom Trump promises jobs, while also erasing many of the Executive Orders Obama initiated and which were unpopular with Trump's supporters, Trump can sneak a few things by virtually unnoticed by his fawning constituency. His White House legal counsel has been tasked with ruling on such things as domestic collection of METADATA, whether waterboarding qualifies as torture or not, and whether rendition of terror suspects to lands where the rule of law and prisoner rights do not exist violates any US law. Is all of that what America really wanted when it went to the polls on 8 November? Ironically, an election once viewed as a two factor imitation of Hobson's Choice, morphed into cult worship for the winner. Neither candidate ever changed its stripes, but inevitably one had to win. America was going to lose either way.

Many of Trump's comments and actions get little notice, again save for in the bruised and battered mainstream media. Trump claims, with no evidence whatsoever, a staggering level of voter fraud, something that would constitute a national scandal of epic proportions, but is only 'considering' whether or not to investigate, since---as spokesman Spicer said---the President is comfortable with his Electoral College victory. (The consideration may now have become an order to the Department of Justice, the equivalent of ordering NORAD to prove the existence of Santa Claus.) Trump's painful level of insecurity evidences itself continually with his obsession with crowd size at his Inauguration, which is reminiscent of his obsession with the 'small hands' comment during the campaign. (Despite his hopes everyone---at least female everyones---would not notice, the fact is he cannot stretch an octave on a piano keyboard, and that bothers him to no end.)

Perhaps most illustrative both of how Trump intends to control the narrative, plus how his abject insecurity evidences itself, is Trump's 21 January visit to the headquarters of the CIA. White House Spokesman Sean Spicer has made a point of saying how well received Trump was there, with 'raucous applause and a standing ovation'. What Spicer failed to say---and which he has denied---is that a couple of buses of new White House staff accompanied the President on the visit, and three rows (out of six total) were reserved for these shills, who gave the 'raucous applause and standing ovation' they were brought to deliver. After that Pyongyang-style ovation Trump---who had insinuated the agency was like the Nazis, and who disparaged the organization in both Tweets and his pre-Inauguration press conference---gave a speech where he pretty much ignored the Wall of Fallen Heroes in the agency lobby, and spent the vast majority of the talk boasting about his 'smart person intellect' and number of TIME magazine covers he has been on, and then railing against the media and small things he wishes were larger. The performance, which Trump has called one of his best, was simply bizarre. In fact, he said in an interview this week that "It was probably the best speech I have ever given, and one of the great speeches ever." The first part is arguable, since he has never set himself a high bar, but since the speech was hardly evocative of the Gettysburg Address or anything Ted Sorensen ever penned for JFK, the second part leaves hyperbole in the dust and knocks on the door of delusion. Agency people viewed it as somewhere between disrespectful and---because personality assessment is an integral part of the agency skill-set---evidence of serious mental issues. Trump insists the room was full of love. It was full of something, maybe, but love was not it.

Spicer the Spinmeister, Trump's designated media whipping boy and latter day Joseph Goebbels (can we say 'short' again, or must we continue with 'vertically challenged'?) championed the CIA speech and the reception, claiming there is a great relationship between the intelligence community and Trump. In reality, the relationship remains cautious and distrustful at best, and like Hillary and Bill Clinton during their White House years at worst, which is to say fractured and seemingly irreparable, continuing merely because it has to. The sycophant media, i.e., Fox News and maybe the Washington Times, like to say the tiff was all because of now-former DCI Brennan, but that is not the case at all. Trump lambasted the agency for things occuring long before Brennan took command in 2013, and nobody who has willingly gone into harm's way, or who has lost friends who did the same thing and were subsequently memorialized on the agency's lobby wall, is going to forget the Nazi quip anytime soon. Everybody knows Trump never served the nation for a second in his entire cartoonish life until 20 January 2017, so for him to disparage people who have served (don't forget Senator and former POW John McCain and the Khan family) doesn't sit well.

The cult even has its own lingo and has already come out with its first Neo PC term. There will likely be more. Kellyanne Conway debuted the term 'Alternative Facts', which is Trump Speak for 'lies'. It is not even the equivalent of referring to what was once called a janitor as a 'facilities engineer'. It's simply false, not prettified. Well, Sean Spicer is short or alternative facts are lies. Not even Trump can have it both ways.

To the extent Team Trump can control the narrative, both with this new vernacular and with performance art like 21 January at the CIA, his flaws and foibles will be overlooked by many, owing to this cult of personality that has grown up around him. It would be a good idea, however, if somebody, or a few somebodies, stay out of the aura and also stay separate from those who simply refuse to accept that democracy can produce a Trump just as easily as it can produce a victory for the Ikhwan al Muslimeen in Egypt. Majority rule is majority rule, even if it involves an Electoral College. Democracy might be the best system, considering all of the alternatives, but majority rule does have some inherent flaws, owing to human nature itself. True patriots have to remain vigilant.

If some objective sources fail to pay attention and don't call a spade a spade, then there are two possible outcomes. One outcome makes international disasters likely (Trump just fired State Department staff who might know something about the world, to be replaced by Trumpists who insist they know everything about the world), while also threatening domestic institutions like the Fourth and Eighth Amendments, when such things as METADATA collection, rendition and torture become acceptable. If the pendulum swings back again, the other outcome might have the most politically correct elements of the electorate mobilizing their constituency and trouncing the Trumpists in 2018 and 2020. Neither bodes well for America.

>> Original source

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