Dissident Voice

Dissident Voice
27 Sep 2023 | 1:24 am

1. Authoritarian Control Freaks Want to Micromanage Our Lives

Man is born free but everywhere is in chains.

— Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract

Authoritarian control freaks out to micromanage our lives have become the new normal or, to be more accurate, the new abnormal when it comes to how the government relates to the citizenry.

This overbearing despotism, which pre-dates the COVID-19 hysteria, is the very definition of a Nanny State, where government representatives (those elected and appointed to work for us) adopt the authoritarian notion that the government knows best and therefore must control, regulate and dictate almost everything about the citizenry's public, private and professional lives.

Indeed, it's a dangerous time for anyone who still clings to the idea that freedom means the right to think for yourself and act responsibly according to your best judgment.

This tug-of-war for control and sovereignty over our selves impacts almost every aspect of our lives, whether you're talking about decisions relating to our health, our homes, how we raise our children, what we consume, what we drive, what we wear, how we spend our money, how we protect ourselves and our loved ones, and even who we associate with and what we think.

As Liz Wolfe writes for Reason, "Little things that make people's lives better, tastier, and less tedious are being cracked down on by big government types in federal and state governments."

You can't even buy a stove, a dishwasher, a shower head, a leaf blower, or a light bulb anymore without running afoul of the Nanny State.

In this way, under the guise of pseudo-benevolence, the government has meted out this bureaucratic tyranny in such a way as to nullify the inalienable rights of the individual and limit our choices to those few that the government deems safe enough.

Yet limited choice is no choice at all. Likewise, regulated freedom is no freedom at all.

Indeed, as a study by the Cato Institute concludes, for the average American, freedom has declined generally over the past 20 years. As researchers William Ruger and Jason Sorens explain, "We ground our conception of freedom on an individual rights framework. In our view, individuals should be allowed to dispose of their lives, liberties, and property as they see fit, so long as they do not infringe on the rights of others."

The overt signs of the despotism exercised by the increasingly authoritarian regime that passes itself off as the United States government (and its corporate partners in crime) are all around us: censorship, criminalizing, shadow banning and de-platforming of individuals who express ideas that are politically incorrect or unpopular; warrantless surveillance of Americans' movements and communications; SWAT team raids of Americans' homes; shootings of unarmed citizens by police; harsh punishments meted out to schoolchildren in the name of zero tolerance; community-wide lockdowns and health mandates that strip Americans of their freedom of movement and bodily integrity; armed drones taking to the skies domestically; endless wars; out-of-control spending; militarized police; roadside strip searches; privatized prisons with a profit incentive for jailing Americans; fusion centers that spy on, collect and disseminate data on Americans' private transactions; and militarized agencies with stockpiles of ammunition, to name some of the most appalling.

Yet as egregious as these incursions on our rights may be, it's the endless, petty tyrannies—the heavy-handed, punitive-laden dictates inflicted by a self-righteous, Big-Brother-Knows-Best bureaucracy on an overtaxed, overregulated, and underrepresented populace—that illustrate so clearly the degree to which "we the people" are viewed as incapable of common sense, moral judgment, fairness, and intelligence, not to mention lacking a basic understanding of how to stay alive, raise a family, or be part of a functioning community.

When the dictates of petty bureaucrats carry greater weight than the individual rights of the citizenry, we're in trouble, folks.

Federal and state governments have used the law as a bludgeon to litigate, legislate and micromanage our lives through overregulation and overcriminalization.

This is what happens when bureaucrats run the show, and the rule of law becomes little more than a cattle prod for forcing the citizenry to march in lockstep with the government.

Overregulation is just the other side of the coin to overcriminalization, that phenomenon in which everything is rendered illegal, and everyone becomes a lawbreaker.

You don't have to look far to find abundant examples of Nanny State laws that infantilize individuals and strip them of their ability to decide things for themselves. Back in 2012, then-New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg infamously proposed a ban on the sale of sodas and large sugary drinks in order to guard against obesity. Other localities enacted bans on texting while jaywalking, wearing saggy pants, having too much mud on your car, smoking outdoors, storing trash in your car, improperly sorting your trash, cursing within earshot of others, or screeching your tires.

Yet while there are endless ways for the Nanny State to micromanage our lives, things become truly ominous when the government adopts mechanisms enabling it to monitor us for violations in order to enforce its many laws.

Nanny State, meet the all-seeing, all-knowing Surveillance State and its sidekick, the muscle-flexing Police State.

You see, in an age of overcriminalization—when the law is wielded like a hammer to force compliance to the government's dictates whatever they might be—you don't have to do anything "wrong" to be fined, arrested or subjected to raids and seizures and surveillance.

You just have to refuse to march in lockstep with the government.

As policy analyst Michael Van Beek warns, the problem with overcriminalization is that there are so many laws at the federal, state and local levels—that we can't possibly know them all.

"It's also impossible to enforce all these laws. Instead, law enforcement officials must choose which ones are important and which are not. The result is that they pick the laws Americans really must follow, because they're the ones deciding which laws really matter," concludes Van Beek. "Federal, state and local regulations — rules created by unelected government bureaucrats — carry the same force of law and can turn you into a criminal if you violate any one of them… if we violate these rules, we could be prosecuted as criminals. No matter how antiquated or ridiculous, they still carry the full force of the law. By letting so many of these sit around, just waiting to be used against us, we increase the power of law enforcement, which has lots of options to charge people with legal and regulatory violations."

This is the police state's superpower: empowered by the Nanny State, it has been vested with the authority to make our lives a bureaucratic hell.

Indeed, if you were unnerved by the rapid deterioration of privacy under the Surveillance State, prepare to be terrified by the surveillance matrix that will be ushered in by the Nanny State working in tandem with the Police State.

The government's response to COVID-19 saddled us with a Nanny State inclined to use its draconian pandemic powers to protect us from ourselves.

The groundwork laid with COVID-19 is a prologue to what will become the police state's conquest of a new, relatively uncharted, frontier: inner space, specifically, the inner workings (genetic, biological, biometric, mental, emotional) of the human race.

Consider how many more ways the government could "protect us" from ourselves under the guise of public health and safety.

For instance, under the guise of public health and safety, the government could use mental health care as a pretext for targeting and locking up dissidents, activists and anyone unfortunate enough to be placed on a government watch list.

When combined with advances in mass surveillance technologies, artificial intelligence-powered programs that can track people by their biometrics and behavior, mental health sensor data (tracked by wearable data and monitored by government agencies such as HARPA), threat assessments, behavioral sensing warnings, precrime initiatives, red flag gun laws, and mental health first-aid programs aimed at training gatekeepers to identify who might pose a threat to public safety, these preemptive mental health programs could well signal a tipping point in the government's efforts to penalize those engaging in so-called "thought crimes."

This is how it begins.

On a daily basis, Americans are already relinquishing (in many cases, voluntarily) the most intimate details of who we are—their biological makeup, our genetic blueprints, and our biometrics (facial characteristics and structure, fingerprints, iris scans, etc.)—in order to navigate an increasingly technologically-enabled world.

Having conditioned the population to the idea that being part of society is a privilege and not a right, such access could easily be predicated on social credit scores, the worthiness of one's political views, or the extent to which one is willing to comply with the government's dictates, no matter what they might be.

COVID-19 with its talk of mass testing, screening checkpoints, contact tracing, immunity passports, and snitch tip lines for reporting "rule breakers" to the authorities was a preview of what's to come.

We should all be leery and afraid.

At a time when the government has a growing list—shared with fusion centers and law enforcement agencies—of ideologies, behaviors, affiliations and other characteristics that could flag someone as suspicious and result in their being labeled potential enemies of the state, it won't take much for any of us to be considered outlaws or terrorists.

After all, the government likes to use the words "anti-government," "extremist" and "terrorist" interchangeably. The Department of Homeland Security broadly defines extremists as individuals "that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely."

At some point, being an individualist will be considered as dangerous as being a terrorist.

When anything goes when it's done in the name of national security, crime fighting and terrorism, "we the people" have little to no protection against SWAT team raids, domestic surveillance, police shootings of unarmed citizens, indefinite detentions, and the like, whether or not you've done anything wrong.

In an age of overcriminalization, you're already a criminal.

All the government needs is proof of your law-breaking. They'll get it, too.

Whether it's through the use of surveillance software such as ShadowDragon that allows police to watch people's social media activity, or technology that uses a home's WiFi router and smart appliances to allow those on the outside to "see" throughout your home, it's just a matter of time.

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People and in its fictional counterpart The Erik Blair Diaries, it's no longer a question of whether the government will lock up Americans for defying one of its numerous mandates but when.

Dissident Voice
27 Sep 2023 | 1:11 am

2. Grain War

Grain is an old tool, weapon is the appropriate term, of imperialism. Once, the weapon was widely used by imperialism; and the weapon was used against countries in the Southern Hemisphere – to control, press and coerce the countries whenever the master of the world order desired. Use of the weapon created famines in countries – hundreds and thousands died. That was actually murder on a mass scale.

The weapon's style of use depended on the type of governing system of the country targeted, and the ruling person's inclination, trend, possible path in economy and politics. The type of use of the weapon related a relation between the master and the concerned country. A huge literature exists about the weapon, its use, and consequences.

Over the last few months, the on-going Ukraine War has brought the issue of grain to the table of geopolitics. There was the grain deal made between Russia and Ukraine, and there were two other parties as mediators – Turkiye and the United Nations. That deal was made and unmade, made operable, and then, breached by one party. Since the beginning of Russia's special military operation in Ukraine, Moscow announced the sending of grains, free of cost, to poorer countries. Then, the Russian leadership accused the other party – Ukraine – and its backers of not fulfilling all terms and conditions of the grain deal. With this accusation, Moscow suspended the deal. Russian leadership's accusations include [1] most of the grain that was transported from the war-zone, ended up in rich countries in the Northern Hemisphere although those grains were meant for the poor countries in dire need of grain; [2] a part of the deal – financial transaction, etc. related to Russia's grain export – were not fulfilled although fulfillment of that part was integral to the deal; consequently, Russia considered it had been deceived. This breach of the deal compelled Russia to suspend the deal. Russia, however, said it stands by the deal if all terms of the deal are fulfilled, if the poor and poorest parts of the globe get grain transported through the Black Sea; and if Russia's financial transactions related to the grain deal are allowed to go unhindered. The issue is yet undecided. Russia has promised grains free of cost for the poor/poorest part of this planet. It has already sent a part of that promised grain to a number of countries in Africa.

Now, another problem related to grain has developed elsewhere on the planet, and that's between Ukraine and a few of its allies. These allies extend many types of support, essential for waging a war, to Ukraine. But Ukraine has another path related to its grain. Grain markets in Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia have been flooded with cheap Ukrainian grain, and the market-motion is bruising grain farmers of these countries. This has led to Polish and other countries' measures that hinder or block the  market-movement of Ukrainian grains that occupy markets in Poland and these countries.

This grain market behavior may be disturbing to all anxious for a Ukrainian victory in the war. Certain scholars or market lovers now face a problem in the grain markets of Poland and other concerned countries. The problem has ballooned, as the countries are closely acting as a party in the geopolitical game named the Ukraine War. Poland is the staunchest ally, other than the Empire, of Ukraine; and as the staunchest ally, Poland is a key, probably the biggest hub of weapons that are supplied by imperialist powers to Ukraine; and Poland has handed over a huge quantity of weapons from its own stock to the Kiev leadership to fight Russia. Poland is also a major training ground of Ukrainian soldiers. Moreover, Poland has sheltered the biggest chunk, millions, of Ukraine refugees.

This competition in market or conflict of interests in market has produced interesting utterances by the leaderships in Warsaw and Kiev. These include:

The Polish Foreign Minister Mr. Zbigniew Rau who told: Ukraine is taking advantage of Poland's goodwill. Poland has been flooded with Ukrainian grains after the main maritime routes via the Black Sea were closed off. Dishonest grain traders are taking advantage of what was designed to facilitate an emergency transit route for Ukrainian grains to countries in Asia and Africa. Poland has taken the heaviest burden of this war, and the Polish people are asking themselves why they are being forced to pay the bill for helping Ukraine twice. Six hundred times more Ukrainian wheat was imported into Poland in the first four months of 2023 than during the corresponding period in 2022; consequently, the Polish farmers were hurt. He referred the incident as unfair economic competition on the part of Ukraine. The Polish leader made the comment in an article published in US outlet Politico. He was surprised by Ukrainian President Mr. Zelensky's accusations against the Polish government: Poland failing to show enough solidarity.

This development in the area of economy created problems in the area of Polish politics – a chain reaction of market-actions. Poland's government has imposed a ban on  Ukrainian imports. All major political parties in Poland, as the minister claimed, support the Polish government's decision to impose the ban. Support is a must, as none would like to lose votes from the farmers' block.

The Polish Prime Minister Mr. Mateusz Moraweicki declared that Poland was no longer transferring weapons to Ukraine. Later, the Polish President Mr. Andrzej Duda harshened the tone by trying to tone down his PM's voice: Ukraine can yet count on obsolete weapons of Polish stocks. But, he added, Kiev is a drowning man, who risks dragging under the water those trying to rescue him.

Grain stretched to a real area of conflict – weapons and war!

The quarrel of the close allies spread further. Mr. Zelensky, the Ukraine President, in his speech at the UN criticized some friends in Europe who are "playing out solidarity in a political theater, turning the issue of grain into a thriller".

Ukrainian authorities have lodged complaints with the World Trade Organization. Kiev claims that restrictions by Poland are illegal.

It's not grain, it's the market that is playing forcefully in the area of politics, inter-state relations, war alliances.

The Polish PM retorted that the Ukrainian President should never slander Poland on the world stage. In a rally in the Polish city of Swidnik he spoke of wanting to tell President Zelensky never to insult Poles again, as he did recently during his speech at the UN. Warsaw would stand up for its interests in the current geopolitical context.

Moreover, the Ukraine ambassador in Warsaw was summoned to the Polish Foreign Ministry.

Poland also asked the US to intervene in the feud between the friends.

The Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Mr. Arkadiusz said: the dispute distracts their "common cause of defeating Russia." Other than seeking help of the US, he also sought help from the EU to resolve the dispute.

So, this is stark, at least in one case, here: It's the Poland-Ukraine grain market that needs intervention, and the intervention is political; no intervention of market forces is effective. Actually it was profit – who to profit from the Polish grain market – the Ukrainian farmers or the Polish farmers? And, the profit money is to be collected from the Polish consumers at the Polish grain market. This pocketing business can't only rely on transfer of commodity from one place to other, but, also on political intervention, and imposition of the force of law. What the market-mongers say, "no need to intervene, let market forces play themselves," "free flow of market, or commodity, capital and profit," etc., isn't correct.

Dissident Voice
26 Sep 2023 | 6:00 pm

3. A Year of Lying about Nord Stream

A screen grab from Danish Defense shows the gas leak from the exploded Nord Stream pipelines causing bubbles on the surface of the Baltic Sea on September 30, 2022. / Photo by Swedish Coast Guard Handout / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images.

I do not know much about covert CIA operations—no outsider can—but I do understand that the essential component of all successful missions is total deniability. The American men and women who moved, under cover, in and out of Norway in the months it took to plan and carry out the destruction of three of the four Nord Stream pipelines in the Baltic Sea a year ago left no traces—not a hint of the team's existence—other than the success of their mission.

Deniability, as an option for President Joe Biden and his foreign policy advisers, was paramount. No significant information about the mission was put on a computer, but instead typed on a Royal or perhaps a Smith Corona typewriter with a carbon copy or two, as if the Internet and the rest of the online world had yet to be invented. The White House was isolated from the goings-on near Oslo; various reports and updates from the field were directly provided to CIA Director Bill Burns, who was the only link between the planners and the president who authorized the mission to take place on September 26, 2022. Once the mission was completed, the typed papers and carbons were destroyed, thus leaving no physical trace—no evidence to be dug up later by a special prosecutor or a presidential historian. You could call it the perfect crime.

There was a flaw—a gap in understanding between those who carried out the mission and President Biden, as to why he ordered the destruction of the pipelines when he did. My initial 5,200-word report, published in early February, ended cryptically by quoting an official with knowledge of the mission telling me: "It was a beautiful cover story." The official added: "The only flaw was the decision to do it."

This is the first account of that flaw, on the one-year anniversary of the explosions, and it is one President Biden and his national security team will not like.

Inevitably, my initial story caused a sensation, but the major media emphasized the White House denials and relied on an old canard—my reliance on an unnamed source—to join the administration in debunking the notion that Joe Biden could have had anything to do with such an attack. I must note here that I've won literally scores of prizes in my career for stories in the New York Times and the New Yorker that relied on not a single named source. In the past year we've seen a series of contrary newspaper stories, with no named first-hand sources, claiming that a dissident Ukrainian group carried out the technical diving operation attack in the Baltic Sea via a 49-foot rented yacht called the Andromeda.

I am now able to write about the unexplained flaw cited by the unnamed official. It goes once again to the classic issue of what the Central Intelligence Agency is all about: an issue raised by Richard Helms, who headed the agency during the tumultuous years of the Vietnam War and the CIA's secret spying on Americans, as ordered by President Lyndon Johnson and sustained by Richard Nixon. I published an exposé in the Times about that spying in December 1974 that led to unprecedented hearings by the Senate into the role of the agency in its unsuccessful attempts, authorized by President John F. Kennedy, to assassinate Cuba's Fidel Castro. Helms told the senators that the issue was whether he, as CIA director, worked for the Constitution or for the Crown, in the person of presidents Johnson and Nixon. The Church Committee left the issue unresolved, but Helms made it clear he and his agency worked for the top man in the White House.

Back to the Nord Stream pipelines: It is important to understand that no Russian gas was flowing to Germany through the Nord Stream pipelines when Joe Biden ordered them blown up last September 26. Nord Stream 1 had been supplying vast amounts of low-cost natural gas to Germany since 2011 and helped bolster Germany's status as a manufacturing and industrial colossus. But it was shut down by Putin by the end of August 2022, as the Ukraine war was, at best, in a stalemate. Nord Stream 2 was completed in September 2021 but was blocked from delivering gas by the German government headed by Chancellor Olaf Scholz two days prior to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Given Russia's vast stores of natural gas and oil, American presidents since John F. Kennedy have been alert to the potential weaponization of these natural resources for political purposes. That view remains dominant among Biden and his hawkish foreign policy advisers, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, and Victoria Nuland, now the acting deputy to Blinken.

Sullivan convened a series of high-level national security meetings late in 2021, as Russia was building up its forces along the border of Ukraine, with an invasion seen as almost inevitable. The group, which included representatives from the CIA, was urged to come up with a proposal for action that could serve as a deterrent to Putin. The mission to destroy the pipelines was motivated by the White House's determination to support Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky. Sullivan's goal seemed clear. "The White House's policy was to deter Russia from an attack," the official told me. "The challenge it gave to the intelligence community was to come up with a way that was powerful enough to do that, and to make a strong statement of American capability."

Major_russian_gas_pipelines_to_europe.png (771×807)
The major gas pipelines from Russia to Europe. / Map by Samuel Bailey / Wikimedia Commons.

I now know what I did not know then: the real reason why the Biden administration "brought up taking out the Nord Stream pipeline." The official recently explained to me that at the time Russia was supplying gas and oil throughout the world via more than a dozen pipelines, but Nord Stream 1 and 2 ran directly from Russia through the Baltic Sea to Germany. "The administration put Nord Stream on the table because it was the only one we could access and it would be totally deniable," the official said. "We solved the problem within a few weeks—by early January—and told the White House. Our assumption was that the president would use the threat against Nord Stream as a deterrent to avoid the war."

It was no surprise to the agency's secret planning group when on January 27, 2022, the assured and confident Nuland, then undersecretary of state for political affairs, stridently warned Putin that if he invaded Ukraine, as he clearly was planning to, that "one way or another Nord Stream 2 will not move forward." The line attracted enormous attention, but the words preceding the threat did not. The official State Department transcript shows that she preceded her threat by saying that with regard to the pipeline: "We continue to have very strong and clear conversations with our German allies."

Asked by a reporter how she could say with certainty that the Germans would go along "because what the Germans have said publicly doesn't match what you're saying," Nuland responded with an astonishing bit of doubletalk: "I would say go back and read the document that we signed in July [of 2021] that made very clear about the consequences for the pipeline if there is further aggression on Ukraine by Russia." But that agreement, which was briefed to journalists, did not specify threats or consequences, according to reports in the Times, the Washington Post, and Reuters. At the time of the agreement, on July 21, 2021, Biden told the press corps that since the pipeline was 99 percent finished, "the idea that anything was going to be said or done was going to stop it was not possible." At the time, Republicans, led by Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, depicted Biden's decision to permit the Russian gas to flow as a "generational geopolitical win" for Putin and "a catastrophe" for the United States and its allies.

But two weeks after Nuland's statement, on February 7, 2022, at a joint White House press conference with the visiting Scholz, Biden signaled that he had changed his mind and was joining Nuland and other equally hawkish foreign policy aides in talking about stopping the pipeline. "If Russia invades—that means tanks and troops crossing . . . the border of Ukraine again," he said, "there will no longer be a Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it." Asked how he could do so since the pipeline was under Germany's control, he said: "We will, I promise you, we'll be able to do it."

Scholz, asked the same question, said: "We are acting together. We are absolutely united, and we will not be taking different steps. We will do the same steps, and they will be very very hard to Russia, and they should understand." The German leader was considered then—and now—by some members of the CIA team to be fully aware of the secret planning underway to destroy the pipelines.

By this point, the CIA team had made the necessary contacts in Norway, whose navy and special forces commands have a long history of sharing covert-operation duties with the agency. Norwegian sailors and Nasty-class patrol boats helped smuggle American sabotage operatives into North Vietnam in the early 1960s when America, in both the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, was running an undeclared American war there. With Norway's help, the CIA did its job and found a way to do what the Biden White House wanted done to the pipelines.

At the time, the challenge to the intelligence community was to come up with a plan that would be forceful enough to deter Putin from the attack on Ukraine. The official told me: "We did it. We found an extraordinary deterrent because of its economic impact on Russia. And Putin did it despite the threat." It took months of research and practice in the churning waters of the Baltic Sea by the two expert US Navy deep sea divers recruited for the mission before it was deemed a go. Norway's superb seamen found the right spot for planting the bombs that would blow up the pipelines. Senior officials in Sweden and Denmark, who still insist they had no idea what was going on in their shared territorial waters, turned a blind eye to the activities of the American and Norwegian operatives. The American team of divers and support staff on the mission's mother ship—a Norwegian minesweeper—would be hard to hide while the divers were doing their work. The team would not learn until after the bombing that Nord Stream 2 had been shut down with 750 miles of natural gas in it.

What I did not know then, but was told recently, was that after Biden's extraordinary public threat to blow up Nord Stream 2, with Scholz standing next to him, the CIA planning group was told by the White House that there would be no immediate attack on the two pipelines, but the group should arrange to plant the necessary bombs and be ready to trigger them "on demand"—after the war began. "It was then that we"—the small planning group that was working in Oslo with the Royal Norwegian Navy and special services on the project—"understood that the attack on the pipelines was not a deterrent because as the war went on we never got the command."

After Biden's order to trigger the explosives planted on the pipelines, it took only a short flight with a Norwegian fighter and the dropping of an altered off-the-shelf sonar device at the right spot in the Baltic Sea to get it done. By then the CIA group had long disbanded. By then, too, the official told me: "We realized that the destruction of the two Russian pipelines was not related to the Ukrainian war"—Putin was in the process of annexing the four Ukrainian oblasts he wanted—"but was part of a neocon political agenda to keep Scholz and Germany, with winter coming up and the pipelines shut down, from getting cold feet and opening up" the shuttered Nord Stream 2. "The White House fear was that Putin would get Germany under his thumb and then he was going to get Poland."

The White House said nothing as the world wondered who committed the sabotage. "So the president struck a blow against the economy of Germany and Western Europe," the official told me. "He could have done it in June and told Putin: We told you what we would do." The White House's silence and denials were, he said, "a betrayal of what we were doing. If you are going to do it, do it when it would have made a difference."

The leadership of the CIA team viewed Biden's misleading guidance for its order to destroy the pipelines, the official told me, "as taking a strategic step toward World War III. What if Russia had responded by saying: You blew up our pipelines and I'm going to blow up your pipelines and your communication cables. Nord Stream was not a strategic issue for Putin—it was an economic issue. He wanted to sell gas. He'd already lost his pipelines" when the Nord Stream I and 2 were shut down before the Ukraine war began.

Within days of the bombing, officials in Denmark and Sweden announced they would conduct an investigation. They reported two months later that there had indeed been an explosion and said there would be further inquiries. None has emerged. The German government conducted an inquiry but announced that major parts of its findings would be classified. Last winter German authorities allocated $286 billion in subsidies to major corporations and homeowners who faced higher energy bills to run their business and warm their homes. The impact is still being felt today, with a colder winter expected in Europe.

President Biden waited four days before calling the pipeline bombing "a deliberate act of sabotage." He said: "now the Russians are pumping out disinformation about it." Sullivan, who chaired the meetings that led to the proposal to covertly destroy the pipelines, was asked at a later press conference whether the Biden administration "now believes that Russia was likely responsible for the act of sabotage?"

Sullivan's answer, undoubtedly practiced, was: "Well, first, Russia has done what it frequently does when it is responsible for something, which is make accusations that it was really someone else who did it. We've seen this repeatedly over time.

"But the president was also clear today that there is more work to do on the investigation before the United States government is prepared to make an attribution in this case." He continued: "We will continue to work with our allies and partners to gather all of the facts, and then we will make a determination about where we go from there."

I could find no instances when Sullivan was subsequently asked by someone in the American press about the results of his "determination." Nor could I find any evidence that Sullivan, or the president, has been queried since then about the results of the "determination" about where to go.

There is also no evidence that President Biden has required the American intelligence community to conduct a major all-source inquiry into the pipeline bombing. Such requests are known as "Taskings" and are taken seriously inside the government.

All of this explains why a routine question I posed a month or so after the bombings to someone with many years in the American intelligence community led me to a truth that no one in America or Germany seems to want to pursue. My question was simple: "Who did it?"

The Biden administration blew up the pipelines but the action had little to do with winning or stopping the war in Ukraine. It resulted from fears in the White House that Germany would waver and turn on the flow of Russia gas—and that Germany and then NATO, for economic reasons, would fall under the sway of Russia and its extensive and inexpensive natural resources. And thus followed the ultimate fear: that America would lose its long-standing primacy in Western Europe.

Dissident Voice
26 Sep 2023 | 4:53 pm

4. Class and Privilege from One of the One Percent

I opened Nick McDonell's new book, Quiet Street: On Privilege, (NY:Pantheon,2023), fully expecting to find an insider's tell-all, enumerating all the advantages bequeathed to someone who's within the rarified ranks of the upper class. I was not disappointed. The author spelled out how these privileges manifest themselves, both in terms of superior formal educational opportunities but even more, in the acquisition of the all-important cultural capital.

Given some of his earlier work, I also hoped against hope that McDonell had undergone a Saul-to-Paul experience and become a class traitor. A cover blurb, by one Maggie Nelson, was encouraging as she opined that the book "left me believing in the prospect (and necessity) of drastic change." And in a Zoom call to Town & Country magazine (August 3, 2023) prior to publication, McDonell said, "One of the things I think a lot about is American foreign policy and the consequences of American power abroad." Alas, although we are treated to an entertaining explication of life in the fastest line, not a single sentence is devoted to naming capitalism as the root cause of these consequences or how, in light of that, how begin the process of righting the massive injustices that McDonell readily attributes to his own class.

McDonell (b.1984), grew up in New York City's tony upper East side, raised in the sheltered bubble of privilege among Manhattan's cultural elite. In the book's preface, he notes that he was in the one percent which means an income threshold of $500,000 per adult. According to a reliable online tool, he locates himself in the 96th percentile of wealth holders in the United States and the 99th worldwide. In the pages that follow, McDonell sets out to write about " his own people" and specifically,"what it means to be of the one percent — what is owed to the other ninety-nine, and ourselves."

After attending The Buckley School, a top tier private school in New York City (Tuition: $55, 500 per year), he went on to Riverdale Country School (tuition: $54,545), a feeder school into the Ivy League and in his case, early admission to Harvard, followed by a stint as St.Anthony's College, Oxford. (I don't know if McDonell's parents had entered him in the brutal race for the "right" pre-school for ages 3-4 at $15,831).

The book's title derives from a right turn that Buckley's chartered bus made through East Harlem on the way to the school's playing fields. The story goes that long ago a boy had yelled a racial epithet out the window and a Black pedestrian had the pelted something at the bus. It was McDonell's recollection that over his decade at Buckley, no one had uttered a sound on Quiet Street although the practice has been discontinued at some point. For the author, Quiet Street is a metaphor for a subculture that avoids any conversation about class and race.

At Buckley, the students were admonished to "give back, to serve." A recent graduation speaker (head of the FBI and a Buckley grad) quoted the Gospel of Luke "to whom much is given, much is expected" and the school's website lists "The moral development of the boys is also a chief concern." The publisher also promises that Quiet Street is "ultimately full of compassion".

McDonell knows full well that he's benefiting from what the country's domestic and foreign apparatus is doing to people here and abroad; on the latter, he writes that by the end of their formal education, the one percenters knew about "genocide, rape and pillage of whole other communities" but ignored or tool advantage of this knowledge. Later in the book he writes, "I began to see how, in the United States of America and elsewhere, success almost always, and predominantly, depends upon wealth—and frequently comes at the expense of the less wealthy." And further, that "the one percent maintained a monopoly on violence through it cultural ties to – as well as financial and political control of the apparatus of state violence." He's certain that the ruling class will never surrender their power and privileges and that no one outside their Fortress will ever be handed the reins of power.

The author states the obvious point that the oligarchy fears losing its wealth and what that means for their lifestyles. However, McDonell goes further and concludes that members of his class view their sense of self as virtually identical to their wealth. That is, they believe their accumulation of things validates their lives so that "If I lose this, who am I?" To the extent that this is true, it further bolsters their resistance to change and one wonders if there are any limits to that resistance? Of course, this insightful revelation also begs the question whether McDonell shares this fear?

From an interview in 2018, after the publication his book The Bodies in Person: An Account of the Civilian Casualties of America's Wars, McDonell said "I care about what's being done in my name…I didn't used to think about the relationship of my country and the lives of everyone else in the world." In an interview published by the New York Times, McDonell mentioned that while a student at Harvard: "I had a sense that the war in Iraq was run by people not so different from myself."

After Bodies… we learn that he was encouraged to "lighten up" in his writing and perhaps for that advice, he wrote, The Council of Animals (2021), a post-apocalyptic, often whimsical fable in which a representative gathering of the species holds a meeting to decide whether to save or eat the small number of humans remaining after "The Calamity." This tale doesn't approach Jonathan Swift's biting political satire in his A Modest Proposal but a generous generous interpretation of The Council… suggests that humans can and should do something about their possible extinction. I may be mistaken but McDonell still seems to be finding his personal moral footing.

Finally, what McDonell avoids saying (or thinking?) in Quiet Street, is that those making decisions are doing so on behalf of the predator, capitalist-imperialist system. They are absolute moral monsters, psychopathic war criminals who — in a just world, would be standing in an international tribunal docket. So, on the one hand, while I welcomed McDonell's seeming attempts at self-awareness, I also found them stunning in their naiveté. Paraphrasing the late Susan Sontag, after a certain age (McDonell is 39) and possessing all sorts of educational and travel opportunities, access to alternative information sources and, well, extraordinary privilege, there's simply is no excuse for this kind of ignorance. On the other hand, can we dismiss McConnell as a hopeless case? My inclination to pass judgement is tempered by the fact that most of us on the actual left were once liberals (but only a few from McDonell's one percent) who only sought gradual reform of the system.

Interrogation of the upper class from within its own ranks has been done before and with more depth, diligence and foresight. Arguably, the best example is Wallace Shawn (B.1943), an artist in the areas of film, writing and theater. Shawn is also from a highly privileged background, McDonell's fellow Harvard grad and has been described as the "American theatre's most insistent class traitor." For starters, I'd recommend the following: Aunt Dan and Lemon (1985), The Designated Mourner (1996), The Fever (1999), Why I Call Myself a Socialist (2011), and Night Thoughts (2017).

Finally, toward the end of this slim volume, McDonell tells us that he hears a voice telling him to "take a stand" and I sense that that Quiet Street may be his tentative first response. It may raise some eyebrows in a few select zip codes but he needn't worry about getting sterling reviews from mainstream publications or invites to exotic destination weddings. For burning those bridges, we must await his next book.

Dissident Voice
26 Sep 2023 | 4:37 pm

5. Texas for Breakfast

I know it's hard to fathom, but there really was a time when "Don't Mess with Texas" actually meant something and not just in terms of litter.

It forewarned the uninitiated of bona fide badasses, legendary contrarians, daring dreamers, and serious politicians who had no qualms about taking fatuous pretenders out behind the proverbial woodshed and beating the living or figurative shite out of them.

Sam Houston once drubbed a U.S. congressman half to death with his cane in Washington, D.C., and practically walked away scot-free. (His lawyer was Francis Scott Key!) Then, three decades later, during his second stint as governor of Texas, he jeered the Texas secession convention, refusing to swear loyalty to the Confederacy. A century later, Denison native Dwight D. Eisenhower, who served as the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces during WWII and became a two-term U.S. president, would very bluntly throw staggering shade at the then-budding but insatiably greedy American Military Industrial Complex. JFK didn't heed Ike's remarks, and, though Lyndon Baines Johnson played along (to his discredit and, I think, regret), he also became the most progressive American president in history, enacting dozens of eye-popping rights, privileges, and freedoms that most Americans today take for granted. Then we traded longhorns for lambs, allowing our last real lion, Ann Richards (she had more brains and balls than Poppy or Sonny Boy Bush combined), to be ousted by Dubya's personal "turd blossom," Karl Rove.

Since this act of nasty debasement, a gaggle of Republican oaf-keepers have spent the last three decades reducing our great state to what we are now — an international laughingstock.

Cattle manure. Openly deranged.

Semiautomatic rifle-packing asshats.

And this was well before the dog and Ken Paxton pony fiasco.

We're no longer seen as a great state. We're viewed more like a Third-World banana republic (emphasis on "banana"). Texas is now a joke, an adjectival term of derision, as in "those idiots went all Texas on us" or "that stupidity is Texas-level, yo!"

For educated Americans and most of the rest of the world, Texans are synonymous with shameless cretins, imbeciles, morons, or losers. The slow, Republican-led domestic intellectual plummet and resulting international perception shift have reduced us to a superficial, xenophobic, conformist dystopia. Which sincerely sucks, because we used to be the exception, not fascist fools.

Texas produced the first female sheriff, the first all-women state Supreme Court, the first woman on the U.S. Supreme Court (Sandra Day O'Connor), the first Black woman in the U.S. House of Representatives (Barbara Jordan), and the first Chicano G.I. Joe (legendary Medal of Honor recipient Roy Benavidez). Texas was the home turf for the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, the first Bilingual Education Act, Roe v. Wade, and dozens of landmarks that define the Great Society. Texas was even the base of operations for Madalyn Murray O'Hair and the American Atheists association and Mike Judge's Beavis and Butthead and King of the Hill.

Texas produced Janis Joplin, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Beyonce, Selena, Freddy Fender, Katherine Anne Porter, Robert Rauschenberg, Erykah Badu, John Graves, Doug Sahm, the Butthole Surfers … hell, even Black Panther Bobby Seale is a native Texan!

The Lone Star state also produced icons of the Third Estate, including Walter Cronkite, Molly Ivins, Dan Rather, and Jim Leher.

Today, Texas politics has descended into an ignorant crescendo of conformist, party-line blowhards like Greg Abbott, John "Cornholio" Cornyn, and Ted Cooz. And Texas' national contributions to cultural and intellectual development rise to little more than lukewarm, rustic slop jars like Chip and Joanna Gaines, Jenna Bush Hager, Kelly Clarkson, Pascal High School's own Sheridan Taylor Gibler, Jr. (also known as Taylor Sheridan), and clueless, third-rate sophists like Alex Jones and Joe Rogan.

Lone Star icon Willie Nelson once said, "I'm from Texas, and one of the reasons I like Texas is because there's no one in control." And back when he said it, it was probably true. We used to be more open-minded. We were practical and believed in common sense. But Texas is no longer governed by pragmatism, assertive wit, or human decency. Texas has been reduced to a big, red, Republican Porta-Potty, where backwards wastrels launch excrement on the shithouse walls just to see what will stick under the graying, mustachioed upper lips of their, yes, deplorable constituencies and pass their hypocritical smell tests.

In 2021, the Texas Lege made abortions illegal and sexual assault rewarding, because raped women were no longer permitted to abort their vicious fecundators' offspring. On Sep. 1, 2023, the Lege made it legal for God-bothering chaplains to serve as guidance counselors in public schools without certification or experience in classroom instruction — but, hey, they're at least qualified to explain to prepubescent female students how Mary was made preggers without her consent and how hallowed by thy shame that turned out!

And this immaculate transgression was followed by several other lapses into priggish asininity. The feckless Lege's new "death star" bill eliminates local civil ordinances around the state, including workplace protections and common-sense environmental regulations. Senate Bill 17 bans diversity and inclusion programs at public universities (because what's wrong with gubernatorial incumbents gathering boner mounts at places called "Niggerhead Ranch"?). Senate Bill 19 gives the checkless Lege the power to proclaim that only college instructors who obstruct diversity and inclusion can receive tenure. House Bill 900 gives the reckless Lege expanded parameters to ban books in Texas libraries—except the Bible, of course, the reading of which will soon be required by force and policed by the new armed hall monitors the Lege is encouraging to reduce the scourge of intellectual discourse.

Don't mess with Texas?

Heck, it's getting so that any half-conscious dunderhead with a pulse can eat Texas for breakfast. We're mindless buffoons walking around with Texas Lege-ratified "Kick Me" notes on our backs, wondering why everyone else is bent on making us butt-sore.

At one time, Texas may have been Willie's sublime free-for-all. Now, it's clearly not. One party has been running the show for too long, and its leaders and their rabid base refuse to think constructively, thrive on cultural impracticalities and historic inanity, and seem bent on making sure any semblance of conscience or enlightenment is fenced in.

Even some Texas Aggies are appalled.

The slow, anti-intellectual deluge of Red State Kool-Aid has left Jim Bob Q. Public Yellowstoned (thanks, Gibler) and the party behind everything we used to rue seems to revel in seeing the rights of anyone who isn't straight, white, and a man's man trod upon with impunity.

So please mess with Texas, friends.

Let's get rid of the real trash.

Dissident Voice
26 Sep 2023 | 4:01 pm

6. Lab Rats

Dissident Voice
26 Sep 2023 | 2:51 pm

7. The Hypocrisy of Sanctions

Some days ago, Belgian Energy Minister Tinne Van der Straeten requested the European Union to reduce importing Russian gas and get rid altogether of fossil fuels by 2027. This after the Global Witness NGO released data showing that Belgium is currently the third-largest importer of Russian liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Belgium accounts globally for 17% of Russia's exports, behind only China and Spain.

Later in an interview with the Financial Times, Van der Straeten said she was "not happy" about the fact that Russian gas kept flowing into Europe. She then understated Belgium's share of Russian gas, indicating it was merely 2.8% of Europe's imports that remained in Belgium, the rest was "in transit". How wrong or misleading her statement was is revealed by the Global Witness NGO.

She admitted, though Belgium supports sanctions on Russian fuel, it was unlikely to happen. It would require the unanimous support of all EU members.

Earlier this week, Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer admitted that Russian LNG was difficult to replace, pointing out that while it was "not cheaper than any other" gas, the way the pipeline system is arranged in Europe makes it difficult to substitute.

There is no end to excuses and pretexts in explaining why Europe must continue to import Russian hydrocarbons. Amazing. No word about the European economy which is at the brink of total collapse. Maybe Germany has already passed the point of no return.

And no word, of course, that this suicidal path to follow the Washington Masters and their overlords dictate is due to an utterly corrupt European leadership, combined with the equally corrupt strongest economy's leadership, Germany – something that has hardly been seen in recent history.

How vassalic must you be to commit suicide on the orders of Washington and the corporate financial overlords who pulls the strings on Washington, pretending to run the world.

And they may if we just stand by and watch.

See also this by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts about the west's lost integrity – "The Disappearance of Integrity: Organized Suppression of the Facts, Only Writers Who Support 'Official Narratives' Are Tolerated."

This is just the beginning. The EU Russian energy apologists start talking about energy imports from Russia – and how it is necessary for now – but also how to wean themselves off Russian energy dependence very, very soon.

The Guardian puts it this way: "EU countries bought 22m cubic meters of Russian LNG between January and July 2023, compared with 15m during the same period in 2021, Global Witness said. "Buying Russian gas has the same impact as buying Russian oil. Both fund the war in Ukraine, and every euro means more bloodshed."

This is, of course, a mainstream media blow on Russia. Never a reason or history on how NATO provoked the war in Ukraine.

This is just part of the story. What the holy west and particularly the vassal-EU does not mention are the other more than 100 essential products they keep importing from Russia at ever larger quantities, and – yes – despite the sanctions.

These table speak for themselves:

European Union Imports from Russia Value Year
Mineral fuels, oils, distillation products $155.87B 2022
Iron and steel $5.91B 2022
Pearls, precious stones, metals, coins $3.70B 2022
Nickel $3.39B 2022
Aluminum $2.99B 2022
Copper $2.94B 2022
Commodities not specified according to kind $2.77B 2022
Fertilizers $2.70B 2022
Inorganic chemicals, precious metal compound, isotope $2.26B 2022
Wood and articles of wood, wood charcoal $1.70B 2022
Organic chemicals $1.31B 2022
Fish, crustaceans, molluscs, aquatics invertebrates $990.39M 2022

And the list goes on – another 82 lines of imports.
2022 EU Imports from Russia are the 3 largest since 2013, despite sanctions.

People are fooled.
Europe cannot live without imports from Russia.
So, what are the sanctions for?
Russia bashing?
Your mind control?

Another legitimate question one may ask: why does Russia sell to the sanctioning countries? Russia does not really need Europe and the US for trade and for economic survival.

President Putin's Press Secretary, Dmitry Peskov, recently said that Russia is doing well and growing, despite western sanctions. See this.

Russia is well integrated into the Asian complex.  It is a co-founder of the original BRICS and now the new BRICS-11. Russia is also a key player in the Global South which becomes ever more important on the global stage.

Uranium imports by the US and Europe from Russia is another unwritten sheet and rarely published news. Russia sold about $1.7 billion in nuclear products to firms in the U.S. and Europe, and this despite the western stiff sanctions, due to the western provoked war in Ukraine. The West calls it a Russian invasion. In reality, it was a NATO-triggered move for preserving Russian sovereignty – and against some 20 to 30 war-grade biolabs in the Ukraine, built and funded by the US. See this.

The United States' uranium purchases from Russia have doubled since last year. The U.S. bought 416 tons of uranium from Russia in the first half of the year, more than double the amount for the same period in 2022 and the highest level since 2005.

One may question the seriousness of the US Russia bashing, especially since according to a report by RT, Russia is supplying the U.S. only with enriched uranium, a critical component for civil nuclear power generation, but also for nuclear weapons – according to a report by RT.  How come Russia is selling Washington Weapon-grade enriched uranium?

See full report.

Given the foregoing inconsistencies with "sanctions" – mind you, highly publicized sanctions – how serious can the West be taken?

The world must wake up. People of western countries, whose democracy has long been abolished, trampled by the tyrannical western powers "rules-based order", must stand up against these rulers, invent alternatives to their corporate financial empires and build a world of peace and harmony outside the dictatorial matrix.

Dissident Voice
26 Sep 2023 | 6:13 am

8. Global Days of Action to End the War in Ukraine

Last month CNN published a poll revealing 55% of people surveyed in the United States do not support spending more money on the Ukraine war. A tone-deaf White House responded by requesting another $24 billion, mostly for weapons and military training that would bring the Ukraine war tab for US taxpayers to nearly $140 billion.

CODEPINK, a member of the Peace in Ukraine Coalition that represents over 100 anti-war organizations, is committed to raising up the majority opinion that the U.S. needs to stop fueling this war. We condemn the illegal Russian invasion but we believe that this conflict has no military solution, only stalled counter-offensives, random drone attacks and profound heartache for the families losing their loved ones, their homes and their livelihoods.

That's why we are participating in the Global Days of Action for Peace in Ukraine, Sept. 30-October 8th, joining with others in the United States and Europe to march, protest, petition, vigil, banner  and push our elected officials to publicly advocate for a mutual ceasefire, peace negotiations and weapons freeze.

The call for Global Days of Action emerged from last June's International Summit for Peace in Ukraine, held in Vienna, Austria and attended by representatives from 32 countries, including Italy where tens of thousands marched in Rome last year to end funding for the war. The Summit produced a declaration urging "leaders in all countries to act in support of an immediate ceasefire and negotiations to end the war in Ukraine" and calling on civil society globally to mobilize.

In this country, events to end the Russia-Ukraine-NATO war are slated for Washington DC, New York City, Albany, Brooklyn, Boston, Milwaukee, Madison, Philadelphia, Portland, Hilo, San Francisco, Seattle, Burlington, Rockville and other locations.

To host an event, sign up here. To join an event, click here.

The Peace in Ukraine Coalition, which includes CODEPINK, Veterans for Peace, DSA-International, World Beyond War, RootsAction, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom-US, Massachusetts Peace Action, Brooklyn for Peace and others, invites all peace-loving people to join us in DC and become a member of our coalition.

On Tuesday, October 3, we will host a DC rally with professor Dr. Cornel West, People's Forum Co-Executive Director Claudia De la Cruz, CODEPINK Co-founder Medea Benjamin, journalist Eugene Puryear, and comedian/podcaster Lee Camp. You can join us in person in Washington or join us online here as we broadcast a livestream! 

The following day, Wednesday, October 4, we will organize in the halls of Congress to hand deliver this "No more weapons!" petition and dialogue with members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as well as other senators who represent constituents traveling to DC.

If you're in or around DC, join us for Advocacy Day.

The answer to the war in Ukraine is not more cluster bombs, depleted uranium munitions or nuclear-capable F-16 fighter jets but a willingness to embrace a diplomatic solution, such as the 15-point peace plan that was drafted by both sides in April 2022 but squashed by Western powers.

While the majority of congresspeople in both parties have ignored public opinion and refuse to call for negotiations, some members of the Republican party have voted against more funds for the war, have called for an audit to follow the billions spent on this war, and have pressed the Biden administration to report on its efforts to seek a diplomatic path. Unfortunately, not one Democrat or Independent in Congress has been willing to join any of these efforts.

Instead, high-profile Democrats and Senate Armed Services Committee members, such as Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)  and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), flew to Kyiv to shake hands with Ukraine President Zelensky and promise an endless stream of US tax dollars to continue fueling this war.

Even Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), whose Presidential campaigns were supported by anti-war activists, has quietly gone along with the war funding. In championing workers rights and health care initiatives, he fails to point out that the billions spent on the Ukraine war could be used to address urgent domestic needs instead of lining the pockets of military contractors.

He also disregards his own critique, right before the war began, about the dangers of NATO expansion, the West's refusal to acknowledge Russia's security interests, and the pressing need for dialogue.

That's why a contingent from Vermont is requesting a face-to-face meeting with Senator Sanders in DC to ask him point-blank, "Why aren't you speaking out for a diplomatic solution to end this war?"

As we face a war marked by intense suffering and environmental devastation in Ukraine, increasing hunger in Africa, and growing fears of a nuclear catastrophe, it is urgent we promote a ceasefire and negotiations. Join us.

Dissident Voice
26 Sep 2023 | 5:34 am

9. Electing a Kennedy Congress

At this stage of the game, it looks like one of these folks will be our next President:


Now, if one of the "good guys" wins the presidential race — an individual who reports to the "people", truly puts the the welfare of all citizens ahead of Wall Street, the big banks, the military-industrial complex, the ruling elite and other powerful special interests, thus serves the needs of the all citizens, not just the wealthy elite — then he or she will need a Congress that supports and promotes the "people's agenda".

And if one of the "bad guys" wins — as has happened for decades, subjecting our nation to economic plunder, endless war, corporate welfare, pay-to-play politics, divide-and-conquer tyranny, thus cheating everyday citizens out of their fair share of our vast national wealth — we need a Congress that will stop the decline and keep the worst from happening. We'll need a Congress that will stop the looting of our economy, the wanton destruction of the environment, the promotion of militarization, the marginalization of everyday citizens, the attack on privacy and human rights, the concentration of wealth in the hands of a tiny elite.

Either way we need a "people's Congress", one that truly represents the people, reports to the people, works for the people, not Wall Street, not the MIC, not the Deep State, not the rich and powerful.

Congress creates and passes the laws that shape everything about our nation: how we treat our citizens, our freedoms, our responsibilities, our relations with every other country on the planet, how we treat the planet itself, war and peace, our economy, our politics, our infrastructure, our monetary and banking system … EVERYTHING!

What would a "people's Congress" look like?

Currently there is an exemplary human being seeking election for president in 2024. He's the son of Robert F Kennedy and nephew of John F Kennedy, both of whom gave their lives fighting the good fight for everyday citizens.

Let me be absolutely clear. While Robert F Kennedy, Jr represents a vast improvement over the current crop of swamp creatures seeking the presidency in 2024, my latest book is not per se an endorsement of RFK Jr for President. Realistically, there isn't now and never will be a perfect person for the job. RFK Jr certainly means well but has some very indefensible and unevolved views, e.g. blind support for Israel, muddled thinking on health care. But in his defense and offering a solid justification for supporting his candidacy, he's a thinking man, a good decent human being, and most importantly for the survival of the human race, he's calling the endless US wars a fraud, and our entire foreign policy an abomination. He wants peace and cooperation, honesty and transparency, both here in America and abroad. He believes that government should work to the benefit of all citizens, not just the rich and powerful.

What my new book is saying is that WE DESPERATELY NEED A CONGRESS which embraces those values and that framework for governance, whether RFK Jr gets elected or not.

Many seem unable to wrap their heads around this simple, straightforward call to action. 

I'll unpack it.


But if one of the "bad guys" wins, we will need a Congress that will prevent things from getting even worse.

So either way … WE NEED A "PEOPLE'S CONGRESS"!

Alternate iteration … WE NEED A KENNEDY CONGRESS! 

It's obvious, wouldn't you agree?

My new book is short but intense and offers specifics on what a grassroots campaign must do to identify and support "good guys" to replace the current crooks, liars and lapdogs in Congress.

Dissident Voice
26 Sep 2023 | 5:14 am

10. Poverty and Grace

If the people be led by laws, and uniformity sought to be given them by punishments, they will try to avoid the punishment, but have no sense of shame.

If they be led by virtue, and uniformity to be given them by the rules of propriety, they will have the sense of shame, and moreover will become good.
— Analects, 1:3:1,2

This morning it occurred to me again that what we have seen in the past forty-fifty years was not the failure of the Left but its extermination behind façades maintained solely for the illusion that there was one still. I kept saying this is Fabianism.

However, most often Fabianism is understood as the gradual penetration of the Establishment by the Left. In fact, it has always meant the opposite: the Establishment's penetration and absorption of the Left. That was certainly evident in the US version, Pwogism (Progressivism).

The result became clear no later than in 2016 where Left was recognised as the hallmark of unadulterated fascism.

Perhaps the first historical version of this was Mussolini himself. He began his political career as a "left wing" politician (and British agent) before emerging as the titular head of Italian fascism.

The neo-conservatives were the Fabian equivalent in the "right" wing. New York City, rather than the South or Midwest, became the fountainhead of reaction in the 1980s.

In both cases we are talking about intellectual thugs and gangsters who, through terror and conspiracy, seized control of education and research, now more aptly called indoctrination and repression.

At the top they converge again in virtually pure nihilism after having rendered much if not all of the political spectrum vacuous and useless as channels for political expression.

The recent cant claiming a fundamental conflict between "democracy" and "authoritarianism" ought not to be dismissed so quickly. It is not a mere replacement for Samuel Huntington's slogan, "clash of civilizations?"

"Democracy" is the defining condition of Fabianism. Like certain animal parasites it needs a specific host. Fabianism, as a conspiratorial manipulation of liberal democratic institutions, relies on mass politics for its nutritional base.

Fabian opposition to "authoritarianism" is best understood as an attack on any effective barrier to parasitic infestation by those whose power is exercised through malignant "mass democracy".

Fabianism needs the ideology of the "self" and "narcissism" to drive mass organisations in ways that serve the Establishment. A sales campaign is a component of the whole crusade mechanism. The individual selfish soul or gene is sanctified in the personalized illusions to be satisfied by purchase of products or performance of compliant acts. This "democracy" in consumption supports the belief that democracy is an inner belief and not a material process with external results. One knows one is a "democrat" by what one has ingested, not by the world in which one lives. If in doubt there are "hormonal therapies" to stabilize the consumer's identity.

The similarity to principles and practices of Christian dogma is not accidental. Elections are sacramental not material. The true election reveals the Christ through dispensation of grace. An election is only manifest when consecrated — the function and act of the clergy (prelacy in collegiate and secret congregation).

All this is utterly opposed to what Hegel called "Sittlichkeit" — ethical forms which define the permissible and proper behaviour of everyone — not just parasitic "victims" — in a social formation. Public ethics and morals (also found in Confucian thinking) constrain the powerful and the weak. They can also be publicly modified. However, this modification comes through overt social consensus and not private evasion, elevated by sacrament.

Thus the range of tolerance is also public, as when Putin told Oliver Stone that his duty to Russia meant protecting families as the means of continuing the population of Russia. This did not mean forbidding private homosexuality. However, it forbade treating it as equal to the right of procreating families.

In a Western "democracy" it is forbidden to protect human reproduction and family structures because these are "exodermic," hard shells. They constrain the psychological manipulation upon which Christian crusades rely. The Christian traditionalist in the West, also known as fundamentalist, is faced with this doctrinal contradiction, namely the antagonism of the Latin church to every kind of natural family. That doctrine has been preserved despite the Reformation.

The cult structure in "democracy" protects the ruling oligarchy and its wealth (like sacerdotal celibacy — a rule of the Latin rite): the charitable foundation has replaced the dynastic family for this purpose. Hence inherited wealth is less obvious. All these notorious "giving pacts" are just transubstantiation monetized. The democratic prelate (billionaire) acquires the "grace" of the fictive citizen by a gesture of "poverty" surrendering his wealth to an ecclesiastical institution whose clergy take vows to pray for his soul in tax exempt manner for eternity. Natural children can sin, constituting a financial risk to immortality. The foundation can and must fire anyone who violates his sacred vows to protect and multiply the endowment.

Thus the charitable foundation, successor to the endowed monastery, promotes the democratic faith and is fully protected from the masses and material democratic claims. Its wealth is devoted to spiritual democracy and prayer for the salvation of the founder.

Here it should be noted that successive revolutions dissolved monasteries. This act has always been attacked in history textbooks as a renunciation of charitable and good works. Unfortunately in the "democracies" the dissolution and secularisation of the monasteries was incomplete: the wealth was merely transferred to new owners. Even worse the treasury (meaning the ordinary taxpayer) was forced to compensate this loss by the Church while a secular form of monastic economy was established.

Today it is very difficult to attack dynastic structures because their formal powers have, in fact, been radically curtailed. No amount of genealogical analysis will convince anyone that a few intermarried families rule the West as they did under pre-1789 monarchies. In that sense there has been a democratisation of the West and it appears irreversible — especially since natural procreation, marriage and other instruments are now abhorrent to the ruling oligarchy.

However, with the new piety of the visibly wealthy and the ancient piety of the secretly rich, the monastic system has been redesigned to protect more than mere wealth. The charitable foundation as a perpetual entity, endowed by their founders with inalienable wealth, is governed by the spirit that amassed such wealth in the first place. Like the monastic orders of the past, the abbots rule absolutely. As they are obliged to protect and expand the endowment they and the monks they hire must continue the founder's rapacious and parasitic spirit in their daily devotion. Ora et labora.

Together with the great international "funds" they continue the tradition of one holy church through which only salvation may be attained. It makes no difference whether the prelate is named Bill, George, Larry, Jacob, Nathaniel, Francis, or Carlos. The power these men exercise derives from the corporations they command but is perpetuated and protected through their monastic misanthropy.

Any new revolution will have to complete the dissolution repeatedly attempted in the past. It will have to transcend the illusions of merely spiritual democracy and struggle with the perpetual labour of material democracy — where there is no salvation beyond mortal life itself.

Text to Speech by: ResponsiveVoice-NonCommercial licensed under 95x15
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