Monday, December 25, 2023

Christmas In the Trenches

This in my opinion is one of the best antiwar Christmas songs ever written. It's performed by the composer, John McCutcheon.

Best wishes for the holiday season to all of my readers.

Thursday, December 21, 2023

Are There No Prisons?

 The modern-day Scrooges of the American oligarchy need not worry, because the United States prison industry is booming like never before, or least since the Covid public health emergency was prematurely declared over and done with by Joe Biden. In fact, there is more prison housing available than there are people to fill it all. So what's all this talk about a homeless crisis in the greatest country in the history of history?   

I  myself have sometimes half-joked that if I ever become so destitute that I end up on the streets, I'll just go out and rob a bank. It would be a deliberately unsuccessful robbery, because my goal would not be to get rich, but to get thrown in prison It's a surefire way for the destitute and desperate  to score three hots and a cot.  Even with policies that effectively charge inmates for room and board by making them virtual slaves it sure beats working two or three jobs on the outside and still not being able to afford rent and food.

 Yes, Virginia, there are indeed Dickensian workhouses operating at full throttle in a neighborhood near you. Pay no attention to the doom and gloom crowd moaning about all the jobless people subsisting in all the depressing abandoned industrial towns dotting the landscape. 

It's never been a better time for private equity vultures to invest in the gleaming new United States prisons the same way they've invested in residential real estate, gobbling up all those distressed homes for cash and then renting them out at unaffordable rates to the previous, foreclosed owners.

 And what with the construction of boring single family homes grinding to a halt, and public housing stock going private at the speed of blight and rents that keep going up, the rate of homelessness in America is now the highest it's been in decades. 

At the same time that Congress and state legislatures have failed to increase housing assistance for the needy, politicians are pouring billions of dollars into the construction of new prisons. I't must be their way of efficiently putting a roof over people's heads. It's the least they can do, given that only one out of every five needy families that qualify for housing vouchers actually get one. 

But much to the chagrin of the  latter-day Scrooges who own and run this country, there are all these annoying do-gooders around who persist calling their nifty prison-housing solution "wrong headed."

From The Guardian:

Any money spent on caging human beings is not money well spent, period,” said Carmen Gutierrez, an assistant professor in the department of public policy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, whose research specializes in the connection between punishment and health.

“We have decades of research showing that incarceration does not improve public safety, and that it in fact harms individuals who themselves are incarcerated. It also harms their families and it harms the communities that they come from. So the damage outweighs any potential benefit.”

The US has an incarceration rate of 664 people in every 100,000, according to the Prison Policy Initiative, far higher than other founding Nato countries. (The next highest is the UK, where 129 out of every 100,000 people are behind bars.)

That amounts to 1.8 million people incarcerated across the country, but the numbers are not spread evenly. In Alabama, Georgia and other southern states about one in every 100 people is incarcerated in prisons, jails, immigration detention and juvenile justice facilities.

When Charles Dickens published A Christmas Carol in 1843, the British Empire was in its own genocidal orgy of colonizing both India and Africa and charging the destitute and the working class back home for the enrichment of the monarchy and its assorted businesses. Ebenezer Scrooge, who made a career and a fortune out of exploiting and demonizing the poor, underwent a series of nightmares to scare the greed right out of him.

 Not so for the American breed of hyper-capitalists, who have learned how to use self-serving  minimal philanthropy as a public relations gimmick. These godzillionaires are not only pathological predators - they  are pathological polluters. A recent Oxfam report revealed that richest one percent, with their outsized multiple homes, their private jets and their super-yachts, burn more dangerous fossil fuels  than the whole bottom half of the global population.

Novelist Margaret Atwood coined the word "consilience" as both the name of her own imaginary dystopian prison/ housing development and the mindset of a citizenry terrorized into a state of numb acceptance after decades of indoctrination by the ideologues of neoliberal capitalism. People consent to their maltreatment because they're flattered about how virtuously resilient they are. They live in a Sharing Economy brought to a whole new grotesque level, as they voluntarily cycle from nice suburban home to prison to home to prison. They don't even question the ultimate step in the process.  I won't give away the ending of Atwood's satiric novel, in case you want to read it. But "The Heart Goes Last"  should give you a hint.

Meanwhile, back in reality, White House, Congress , and the oligarchs and their corporate media publicists certainly want you to get with their own not-dissimilar program. They want you to know that not only is your resistance ifutile, they truly do not care about you. They say so right out loud, in the pages of  The New York Times, one of their very favorite stenographers.

"Amid Dismal Polling and Some Voter Anger, Don't Expect Biden To Shift His Strategy" chides the headline. Right off the bat, it implies that if you are mad as hell about the State of Israel's genocide of Palestinians as well as about your own  economic lot in life, then you are in the distinct minority. Your resistance is also annoyiingly "cacophonous" according to the Times.

Several officials in the Biden campaign and the White House are adamant that unflattering polls and vocal criticism from key constituents over Gaza, immigration and other issues simply have not been enough to shift a strategy that is centered on comparing the Biden agenda with policies favored by Republicans...

“They’re not freaking out,” Ted Kaufman, a longtime confidant to Mr. Biden, said in an interview about the president and his team. “When you signed up for this thing, you didn’t sign up to be at 80 percent in the polls. These are genuine veterans, and they’re picked because of their ability to be calm in difficult times.”.

Any day now, I half expect Biden to start croaking out "Lock Him Up" in the vain expectation that thronging hordes will show up like magic at hs rallies to join right in the refrain. But for now, he admits that he and his claque are relying solely on the "lawfare" approach to vanquishing Trump. Biden is reduced to simply schmoozing with Democratic donors and carefully selected business types whom he urges to "invest" in stuff. If Trump does end up getting convicted, but wins anyway, maybe they can invest in converting Mar-a-Lago into a luxury prison at billions of dollars in taxpayer expense. That would be so quintessentially American, and not much of a surprise.

What gives me hope in this cruel new rules-based Dickensian Order is that people are not nearly so "consilient" as I feared they were even a year ago. 

This recovering consilient class are being presented, as Cornel West explains it, with  an impossble choice between a guy who wants to start World War III and a guy who wants to start  a second  civil war. If both Biden and Trump physically survive until Election Day, it may well turn out to be the lowest voter turnout debacle in modern history. And without the votes of even a slim majority of the people, whoever is chosen will govern without even a pretense of a popular mandate.  He or she will not enjoy the consent of the governed. Not by a long shot.

How long will they nevertheless persist? How long will we let them?

Monday, December 11, 2023

Our Own Little Gazas

 Gaza has been aptly described as a high tech laboratory experiment for how to most efficiently oppress, surveil, starve, torture, and ultimately dispose of a population deemed to be nothing but excessive, superfluous human flesh taking up too much valuable land and resources.

At its essence, the US-financed genocide by the state of Israel of some two million Palestinians confined in their open-air prison is the ultimate expression of the global class war being waged by multinational oligarchs and militarized corporations against the rest of us.

So it's not just empathy and outrage that's spurring hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of us to take to the streets in protest. It is the shock of realizing that we could very well be next. Too many of us are there already, trapped in the gulags of crushing medical and education debt, low-paid work and unemployment, evictions leading to homelessness, and - especially if we have a darker skin color -  police brutality and mass incarceration.

Gaza is the paradigmatic example of what Achille Mbambe, in his 2019 book Necropolitcs, terms the "matrix of rule" by the ruling oligarchy. Gaza is both a supercharged reiteration of the settler-colonialist atrocities of the fairly recent past, and a warning of what they have in store for us the not-too-distant future.

While they're so busily killing Palestinians, a surplus population sitting on top of what is believed to be a wealth of oil deposits, they're also in a near-frantic crusade of trying to quash dissent in the parts of the world that are still relatively free. For, as Mbembe writes,

"Unmistakably, an ever increasing multitude of voices are making themselves heard... human chains of solidarity are forming. In the darkenss of fear and denunciation, and faced with unrelenting waves of repression, compassionate men and women seek to awaken the sleeping fireflies of hospitaliity and solidarity. In the midst of an otherwise troubling anesthesia, an active minority is taking a stance. With renewed vigor they seek to denounce acts carried out in their name against the Other - who, it is claimed, is not one of us."

In a rank display of their own panic at being caught out in their crimes and lies by the masses of people, our ruling oligarchs and their political lackeys have resorted to plastering the anti-Semite label on the dissenters in a vain attempt to shut us up. This gaslighting has largely failed. So fully two months after October 7th, they are regaling us with graphic propaganda about Hamas incels sexually assaulting Israeli women. When they had to walk back their wild claims of having personally witnessed the beheadings of Jewish babies, they are now whipping up visions of Israeli women being shot in their private parts and abused even in death. Needless to say, the usual suspects have produced no evidence to back up their lurid claims.

But let us, just for the sake of argument, concede that rapes and worse were committed by Hamas. This still does not justify obliterating tens of thousands of Palestinians with bombs and tanks. And let us, also just for the sake of argument, acknowledge that this "war" has emboldened closet anti-Semites to act out their fantasies in public, even on elite college campuses. This does not justify smearing antiwar and anti-genocide protesters with the anti-Semite label, or conflating anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism.. Such tactics are a classic case of Freudian projection.

It brings back nauseating memories of late Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who once publicly admitted that the deaths, by US sanctions, of half a million Iraqi children had been "worth it" in that war for oil, and whom Joe Biden so fondly evokes when he talks about the wars in Ukraine and against Gaza. Albright also had infamously remarked during the 2016 presidential campaign that "there is a special place in hell for women who don't support other women." She was talking, of course, about Hillary Clinton and the female supporters of Bernie Sanders. What she meant was that if you moved beyond the corporate version of feminism and supported policies for the greater public good, you were damned. 

It is indicative of their own consciousness of guilt that the Biden administration waited until 11 p.m. Friday to notify Congress that it was bypassing them and unilaterally giving Israel hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of tank ammunition in order to continue killing Palestinian civilians at the speed of light. Whenever the extermination of powerless trapped people is deemed to be an "emergency," then the niceties of democratic procedure do not apply. Plus, the end-run by the State Department conveniently absolves Congress of actually having to take a principled stand against sending money and bombs to Israel. It's such a clever way avoiding accountability to their dissenting constituents.

It's both ironic and even somewhat entertaining to watch the billionaires and their corrupt political lackeys so publicly accosting the same elite Ivy League presidents they put into office for the express purpose of laundering administering billions of dollars in tax-exempt oligarchic slush funds. 

Claudine Gay, Harvard's current president and one of the trio of female administrators hauled before Congress last week and damned for defending the free speech of students, was handpicked for her job by billionaire heiress Penny Pritzker, the former Obama administration commerce secretary who now heads what is aptly called the "Harvard Corporation." Pritzger was also recently named by Joe Biden to lead the postwar multinational corporate  plunder of Ukraine. The corruption is all right out there in the open: elite universities are primarily for-profit corporations, where the education of young people is only the fig leaf. Students are there not to learn, but to be credentialed for elite careers.  They are definitely not to be heard. Too many of them, apparently, did not get the message that as the lucky golden ticket-holders in an overpriced Willy Wonka diploma mill, they're doomed to the hell of the careerist garbage chute when they become too loud and demanding and free-thinking.

Speaking of the mask being ripped right off the Ivy League, it turns out that at least some students have given the aforementioned Hillary Clinton a failing grade in the "Rate My Professor" online survey. Not only did Hillary castigate the pro-Palestinian student protesters on the Columbia University campus - she accused them of  being complicit i in alleged Hamas sex crimes against Israeli women by marching in support of Palestinian women.

she didn't have the guts to  confront the young people in person. In fact, she avoided her students like the plague. She refused to take most questions and left class early when she bothered to show up at all. 

This is according to one disgruntled former student writing in the Huff Post, perhaps Clinton's worst offense was her refusal to even glance at the written work submitted by her students, instead handing it over to low-paid adjuncts to read and grade. 

And these students were the lucky ones, because future attendees of   Hillary's class will have to make do with the video version of what she recently performed. The entire semester was filmed so that Clinton will never again have to return to academia in the actual flesh.

 However, hefty tuition will still be charged for the class, and her handsome residuals as a college performance celebrity will continue to be paid by the Columbia corporation.

Let the masks continue to fall, preferably all the way to hell where they can keep Madeleine Albright and Henry Kissinger company for all eternity.

Sunday, December 3, 2023

A Fascist Pep Talk

In order to maintain its status as "the most lethal fighting force the world has ever known," America must keep waging its endless wars all around the world.

So pronounced "Defense" Secretary Lloyd C. Austiin III to a roomful of weapons manufacturers and venture capitalists and congressional hawks and Silicon Valley moguls and corporate media stars at the Reagan Library's annual security confab in Simi Valley, California over the weekend. He was the keynote speaker at the event, which also featured a cozy "fireside chat" by Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and a panel discussion on defending the Monroe Doctrine led for some unknown reason by tech billionaire Joe Lonsdale. Karl Turdblossom "we create our own reality" Rove was also at the confab, as were the CEO of Boeing and executives from G.E. (pays no taxes) and Microsoft. It was a veritable Who's Who of Who Runs the World.

Since he was among friends, Austin made sure to lighten up the politics of death with a few folksy Ronald Reagan anecdotes, to much appreciative laughter. But he also made Senator Lindsay Graham very mad by suggestiing how civilian deaths in Gaza be slightly minimized. Anything less than calling for the total annihilation of two million Palestinians makes you a complete dove, groused Graham later on CNN.

Austin also toned down his bellicose rhetoric just long enough to brag that any Iraqis whose lives he saved balanced out all the Iraqi lives he helped to end in that illegal war. As a veteran expert in the type of urban warfare the Israelis are waging in Gaza, Austin is directly advising them how to paint a humanitarian face on atrocity by such gimmicks as drawing detailed evacuation maps for Palestinians trying to escape the carnage. Not that this will prevent all deaths of innocent children, of course, but at least they will be seen as trying. Austin also told the assembled overlords that he has even courageously warned the Israel government on how far is too far.

  Meanwhile, the US will continue providing billions of dollars in bombs and other hardware to Israel, with absolutely no strings attached. He just politely asked that they not kill anyl more civilians than are absolutely necessary, Because even if you win the war you can still lose strategically. You can erode all that legendary global good will.

There is apparently no downside in emphasizing the windfall war profits accruing from the mass death of populations that simply are not deemed to be grief-worthy  Austin sounded every inch the fascist demagogue in the bulk of his speech. Not only is he the first non-civilian US defense secretary ever to be appointed, but he came to the post directly from the Board of Directors of Raytheon - which is among the weapons manufacturers supplying both Ukraine and Israel.

Here are just a few chilling snippets from Austin's long, and long-winded, pep talk to the masters of war:  

You know, our competitors don’t have to operate under continuing resolutions. And so, doing so erodes both our security and our ability to compete.

Austin is actually whining about the requirement that Congress has to bother itself rubberstamping a trillion dollars in war appropriations every single year. As the biggest "most lethal fighting force the world has ever known," with US combat troops in 169 countries and some 750 military bases around the world, even to go through the motions of a democratic process before being able to killi people is too much. It gives such an unfair advantage to authoritarian leaders who hate us for our democracy. Waaahhhhhh!

You know, only one country on Earth can provide the kind of leadership that this moment demands. And only one country can consistently provide the powerful combination of innovation, ingenuity, and idealism—and of free minds, free enterprise, and free people.And that’s the United States of America.


Of course they applaud. For General Austin has just admitted the war is essentially a business enterprise. The moguls in the audience stay free by staying obscenely rich. Freedom's just another word for exploiting poor and working people, wherever on this small planet they happen to live.

We’re living through challenging times. That includes the major catonflicts facing our fellow democracies, Israel and Ukraine; bullying and coercion from an increasingly assertive China; and a worldwide battle between democracy and autocracy.

Ukraine's "democracy" is questionable, given that President Zelensky has outlawed independent reporting in his country. Nor can an apartheid state like Israel be considered a democracy; even before October 7th, Bibi Netanyahu was trying to abolish his country's judiciary. That Austin would then harp on China, with its grand total of one military base outside its borders,, being a "bully" is a pretty pathetic case of Freudian projection. He thinks it's a bully because its economy is booming. And thus, besides drawing his cartoon maps for Gaza evacuation, Austin and the rest of the military-industrial complex are hankering for war with China. Think of all the profits for the few, right before everybody gets nuked.

American leadership rallies our allies and partners to uphold our shared security. And it inspires ordinary people around the world to work together toward a brighter future.

Unfortunately for Austin and his cohort, the "brighter future" that ordinary people all over the world are working for is aimed squarely at stopping war. He has apparently drawn a map inside his head where the streets are not filled with anti-genocide protesters. Either that, or he simply wants to make his entitled audience feel confident that everyday people are so stupid as to be awed by such constant overdoses of weaponized palaver.

  1.   But the troubles of our times will only grow worse without strong and steady American leadership to defend the rules-based international order that keeps us all safe.

Have you noticed that nobody ever defines this "rules-based international order" so frequently bandied about these days by the ruling class? By my count,  Austin himself uttered this ubiquitous knee-jerk mantra a total of four  times in just this one speech. What precisely are these rules, and who made them? Nobody, certainly has asked the inspired people looking for a brighter future in the future. But by nattering it often enough, perhaps they hope to cow us into just shutting up, lest we inadvertently break one of their mysterious rules. I'll hazard a wild guess, though, that censorship is a big fat part of it.

You know, in every generation, some Americans prefer isolation to engagement—and they try to pull up the drawbridge. They try to kick loose the cornerstone of American leadership. And they try to undermine the security architecture that has produced decades of prosperity without great-power war.

This was where Austin obliquely criticizes the antiwar, anti-genocide movement exploding all over the world. In so doing, he sugar-coats the near constant regime change wars and unilateral attacks by the US on less powerful countries as tantamount to "great prosperity for his audience. He barely avoided the Orwellian "war is peace" canard.

While bemoaning Vladimir Putin's cruelty and championing the Ukrainian troops- including the fascistic Azov battalion - as freedom fighters, Austin portrays the Hamas militants as terrorists and the Zionist slaughter of some 15,000 Palestinians as "self-defense."

Read the rest of the speech (linked in second paragraph above)  or watch it on Youtube if you have the time and the stomach. There are so many glowing references to Ronald Reagan and Joe Biden sprinkled throughout that you're liable to get these goofy old dementos mixed up if you aren't careful. Actually all the presidents in recent memory have sounded exactly like Lloyd Austin in their unrelenting grotesque mixture of good cheer and fear-fomenting.

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Gaza Isn't Genocide Joe's First Rodeo

Although President Joe Biden is credited with ending the US war on Afghanistan, he didn't end the war at all. In fact, he escalated it by imposing such cruel economic sanctions on the Afghan people that tens of millions of them faced death by starvation in the winter of 2021-22.

His freeze of billions of dollars in Afghanistan Central Bank assets when the Afghan government collapsed, the US-installed puppet president absconded with bags full of loot,  and the Taliban took over was , according to one anonymous White House polcy aide quoted by The Intercept, "tantamount to mass murder."

Poor Biden just never gets the credit he deserves. People are way late  figuring out he's been Genocide Joe for longer than many of them have even been alive. His 90s crime bills alone, incarcerating more Black men than were enslaved before the Civil War, were tantamount to a slow genocide.

The famine in Afghanistan began within months of Biden ordering the funds frozen. The number of civilians at risk of death that winter far exceeded the total all those who were killed in the entire 20 years of U.S. occupation, according to the New York Times.

While Afghanistan has suffered from malnutrition for decades, the country’s hunger crisis has drastically worsened in recent months. This winter, an estimated 22.8 million people — more than half the population — are expected to face potentially life-threatening levels of food insecurity, according to an analysis by the United Nations World Food Program and Food and Agriculture Organization. Of those, 8.7 million people are nearing famine — the worst stage of a food crisis....

Across the country, millions of Afghans — from day laborers to doctors and teachers — have gone months without steady or any incomes. The prices of food and other basic goods have soared beyond the reach of many families. Emaciated children and anemic mothers have flooded into the malnutrition wards of hospitals, many of those facilities bereft of medical supplies that donor aid once provided.

Although the Times allowed that Biden officials showed "some flexibility" in allowing the UN and other agencies to deliver a bit of humanitarian aid, other countries were hesitant to help the Afghan people. They feared  that the US would impose sanctions on them, too, for aiding the Taliban "terrorists."

In the wake of the usual feeble criticism and the rescinding of strongly worded letters from Democrats professing to be upset that Biden was "flirting with genocide," in his enforced starvation of Afghan war victims, Biden decided in February 2022 to split the $7 billion assets between  relief agencies and the families of 9/ll victims  This cavalier order was greeted with outrage and derision from both the Afghan citizenry and even from some of the 9/11 families themselves.

It's all part of a sick pattern. Biden  and Bibi share the same mindset - that it's OK to kill innocents as long as the innocents committed the crime of living in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong leaders.

 A lot of Americans are now shocked, shocked that Biden -- good old kindly Uncle Joe who they voted for as a humane alternative to Donald Trump -- is now aiding and abetting the genocide of Palestinians.

 Nobody was out protesting in the streets for starving Afghan people  two years ago. So maybe Biden thought he could get away with his war crimes again.

If the propagandizing mainstream press has its way, maybe he can get away with it and maybe even win another term. But maybe not. The people are finally out in the streets and they're showing no sign of relenting. Biden flirted with genocide before, but he may be breaking up with it this time. If justice prevails, the outrage on the streets will spread to all the other perma-wars, that are being fought both with bombs and with economic sanctions. Maybe we'll perk up permanently and take notice of all the other invisible victims of US hegemony, wherever on this boiling planet that they may live.

Thursday, November 23, 2023

Happy Thanksgiving!

Let me take the opportunity to thank all my readers for your continuing support and interest. I hope the US residents among you are having a good thanksgiving - or as  "Annenigma" put it in her comment below the previous post: Happy White Colonial Settlers' Day!

On that note, I will once again post this classic video clip:

Monday, November 20, 2023

Mass Empathy Rears Its Lovely Head

If we actually had to pay to see all the ads trying to sell us garbage, then no garbage could ever be sold. To that end, the Jeff Bezos-owned Washington Post took the rare step of lifting its paywall so that as many non-rich people as possible could view President Biden's advertisement for the garbage product known as War Is Peace.

Once he gets all the jingoism and tired cut-and-pasted platitudes out of the way, Joe as much as admits that both the genocide in Palestine and the proxy war in Ukraine have the specific purpose of further enriching Jeff Bezos and the rest of the ruling class of billionaire oligarchs and predatory transnational corporations:

Just weeks before Oct. 7, I met in New York with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The main subject of that conversation was a set of substantial commitments that would help both Israel and the Palestinian territories better integrate into the broader Middle East. That is also the idea behind the innovative economic corridor that will connect India to Europe through the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Israel, which I announced together with partners at the Group of 20 summit in India in early September. Stronger integration between countries creates predictable markets and draws greater investment. Better regional connection — including physical and economic infrastructure — supports higher employment and more opportunities for young people. That’s what we have been working to realize in the Middle East. It is a future that has no place for Hamas’s violence and hate, and I believe that attempting to destroy the hope for that future is one reason that Hamas instigated this crisis.

Biden thus repeats George W. Bush's explanation for 9/11: "They hate us for our freedoms."  Their definition of freedom is, of course, the ability of oligarchs and corporations ("us"), guarded and financed by a trillion-dollar military machine, to plunder, extract, enslave and oppress all those human beings whom capitalism considers so disposiable.

Biden thus casts the attack by Hamas on Israeli people as caused not by the desperation of imprisoned Palestinians in occupied Gaza, but by Hamas simply wanting to damage capitalism out of spite. Or, as Biden mindlessly called it, "nihilism and pure unadulterated evil." He said not one word about the ongoing genocide that his administration is financing and cheerleading. To the contrary, he praised the Israel government for graciously allowing Palestinians tiny windows of opportunity to voluntarily displace and ethnically cleanse themselves. (No matter that Bibi Netanyahu later reacted to the op-ed by refusing even a brief "humanitarian pause" in the genocide.)

How indeed would capitalistic depredations and mass murder survive unless the predators had installed their own democratically-elected White House simulacrum to conduct their marketing campaign for them?  I mean, can you imagine Jeff Bezos himself writing the following words as he sails his super-polluting mega-yacht around the world - a world whose borders only apply to poor people?

Will we relentlessly pursue our positive vision for the future, or will we allow those who do not share our values to drag the world to a more dangerous and divided place?

You'd think that the Masters of the Universe could come up with a better human shield than Joe Biden, wouldn't you? Then again, they can simply point out that he was democratically elected and it's on us, the lesser people. We're told we're to blame for the politicians who sold their souls to Bezos and his ilk so very long ago.

As The Guardian newspaper reports, a new Oxfam study reveals that these super-polluters don't need to spew lies and platitudes when a mere dirty dozen of them spew more carbon into the atmosphere than do two million homes.

Even if their current presidential rep loses his next election, it won't matter in the least to them.

 The only thing that will save us is if the people who are protesting the Gaza genocide all over the world stay in the streets and continue to accost the centers of financial and political power, and expand their protests into fighting genocidal capitalism itself. What really scares the rich and powerful is that these millions of people are exhibiting solidarity and empathy for fellow human beings whom they don't even know personally. That is simply not the consumerist way of doing things in the neoliberal ( cut-throat, every-individual-for-himself) order.

 Cooperation among powerless people is threatening to overtake the relentless competition homework that we've we've been assigned. We're literally sick unto death of their garbage.

Thursday, November 16, 2023

Cops and Politicians Terrorized By Candle-Wielding Peaceniks

If there is one salutary consequence of the Israel-Gaza catastrophe, it's that the US-based media political complex can no longer so easily divide and conquer people by branding them as Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal, coastal elite or heartland everyman.

It seems that people of all backgrounds and no particular party loyalty don't define democracy as dutifully voting every two and four years  for pre-selected candidates of the corporate duopoly. They're taking to the streets in record numbers. And they're terrifying the ruling class as well as their armed guards.

The New York Post, a right-wing tabloid whose main mission had been to castigate "radical socialist Democrats" in Congress as anti-police fanatics, now finds itself coming to the defense of these same liberal politicians as they were surrounded by "a swarm of hundreds of violent protesters" at a party at their Washington, D.C. headquarters on Wednesday night.

The anti-genocide protesters apparently hadn't gotten the message that police brutality is no longer anathema to Democratic leaders. When police attack American citizens, you see, they're simply exercising their right to defend themselves against terrorists. They didn't get their tactical training from the IDF for nothing, after all.

No matter that there were only about 150 people calling for a ceasefire in Gaza, and that their "violence" amounted to lighting candles and  locking arms in solidarity. According to the Post, six cops in riot gear were injured by pepper spray. That it was likely their own pepper spray wafting in the air is immaterial. Besides, police officers were also hurt as they tried to wrest unruly hands away from the metal barricades they were so aggressively clutching. And even more riot police were likely forced to wrench their backs as they were throwing people down the stairs.

Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) said he was one of about 100 people — House leaders, lawmakers and Democratic candidates running for the House — attending a reception at party headquarters when they were ushered out of the building.

The Capitol Police “came in force” and directed lawmakers into a secure room in the basement, he said.

About seven lawmakers were huddled in the basement and loaded into police SUVs.

“Was just evacuated from the #DNC after pro-terrorist, anti-#Israel protestors grew violent, pepper spraying police officers and attempting to break into the building. Thankful to the police officers who stopped them and for helping me and my colleagues get out safely,” Sherman wrote on X.

Other media outlets were a bit more circumspect in their own coverage of this relatively small protest. It probably wouldn't have been covered at all had not the Democratic Party leaders overreacted and called the police in hopes, perhaps, of becoming stars in a theatrical reprise of the January 6th riot. What they ended up getting instead was a lot of Keystone Cops slapstick.

The rest of the mainstream media predictably framed the law enforcement aggression at DNC HQ as a "clash" between heavily armed  police and unweaponized civilians. CNN, at least, was honest enough to report that it was not the peaceful protest itself that had caused Democratic bigwigs to evacuate their building It was the provocative police action against peaceful protesters.

This bipartisan, corporate, fascistic characterization of antiwar activists as enemies of the state was also captured by The Grayzone journalist Aaron Mate earlier this week, as he politely tried to question Democratic Senator Chris Coons on a train, about whether he would support a ceasefire in Gaza.

Coons, obviously miffed at being accosted by a stranger on a train, demanded that Mate give his journalistic credentials. He also kvetched that the reporter was breaching decorum in the designated "quiet car" of the Amtrak train. Coons had the cops called, and Aaron was duly ejected not only from the car  but from the entire train, at the next stop. 

At least they waited till it stopped. At least they forgot to confiscate Aaron's phone. Chris Coons's cold dead stare will live on and on - unlike the Palestinian kids who he refuses to protect.  

Friday, November 10, 2023

A Humble Appeal To My Readers

It's been quite a long time since I last asked you for donations to this blog. I know that times are tough for many of you, but if you can contribute a few bucks to help me keep the lights on, I would be very grateful. You can  donate via the PayPal gizmo to your right. Or if you prefer to send a check, please email me at so I can give you my mailing address. 

Thanks, everyone, for you continuing interest in Sardonicky as we approach our Lucky 13th anniversary!

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Little Bombs For Little People

In an apparent attempt to display how much they care about children, US officials have urged Israel to use "smaller bombs" to kill the Palestinians trapped in Gaza Hamas bad guys.  Why use 1,000 and 2,000-lb bombs on one Hamas leader when so many of the thousands of human bodies being destroyed are so little, so innocent and so defenseless? 

The use of tot-sized bombs is among the "concrete suggestions" in Secretary of State Antony Blinken's bag of "humanitarian" tricks. Itsy- bitsy bombs will, they seem to think, put a kinder, gentler face on the genocide that has so far killed an estimated 10,000 Palestinians, most of them women and children.

The use of two 2,000-lb bombs on a refugee camp near Gaza City was such a waste of weaponry, the usual anonymous US officials dished to the New York Times:

"American military officials say that the smaller bombs are much better suited to the dense urban environments of Gaza. But Israel has over the years built up stocks of larger bombs, intended mostly to target hardened Hezbollah military positions in Lebanon.

The United States is now trying to send more of the smaller bombs to Israel, said the senior military official. If the United States can get those smaller munitions to Israel, American officials hope Israel will use them to mitigate the risk to civilians."

"Trying to send" is an implicit warning to the small but increasing number of congress-critters who are demanding a ceasefire, while the more pro-Israel bipartisan majority are wasting time by bickering over whether to bundle military aid for Israel and Ukraine in one mega-war package. Unless these politicians can all come together, Israel will be forced to use its larger bombs. And then they won't be able to hide all those unsightly craters from the prying eyes of that pesky antiwar crowd.  

Meanwhile, the State Department, as required by law, notified Congress that Israel had purchased a huge arsenal of assault rifles directly from the US manufacturers of the weapons. The US is now pretending to demand that these assault weapons be reserved for the Israeli military and police, and that they not get into the hands of settlers to drive Palestinians away from their West Bank homes.

Given that Israeli Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvyr had already ordered 10,000 rifles to be distributed to Israeli civilians to aid in the government's  genocide, the concern-trolling by the White House and State Department is a pathetic joke, given that the malign purpose of the Weapons sale was publicly broadcast a full month ago by Ben-Gvyr:

"We  will turn the world upside down so that towns are protected. I have given instructions for massively arming the civilian security teams to provide solutions for towns and cities, and so as not to leave towns unprotected,” 

Back on the home front, Joe Biden finally traveled to Maine to concern-troll the latest mass shooting by an assault rifle-armed and mentally disturbed member of the United States military. Biden's repeated pleas for domestic gun control legislation are falling exceedingly flat, given that the US is by far the biggest arms dealer the world has ever known. And that Biden had bragged in his Oval Office speech about the boon to Wall Street and the weapons industry that his two wars provide.

As far as official concern for the children goes, let's just say it's as fake over here as it is over there. Here, we should consider ourselves lucky that for now anyway, most of us live under a de facto policy of eugenics, or Social Darwinism.

Since Biden officially declared the Covid public health emergency to be over last spring, more than two million American children have been kicked off their Medicaid health care coverage. That's on top of the millions of American families with children getting their emergency SNAP (food aid) benefits slashed while grocery prices keep surging higher every week.

In a few weeks, officials said, a minimum of three million American children will be uninsured. It's the highest rate of uninsured children in this country in many decades, and it's only expected to get worse.

It's one more reason for us to keep filling our streets with protest and outrage. All of us, all over this  world, are in this together. Cruelty is only a matter of degree. There is so much suffering, and so little time

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Guilt-Tripping, the Obama Way

Barack Obama doesn't call his annual buck-raking confab in Chicago a "democracy forum" for nothing. He believes that everybody should have a fair and equal share of the blood on his hands. 

You can almost see the droplets flying like a fleet of Predator Drones in a line straight from his joystick of a scolding finger, right down to all those "complicit" people in his target audience. He doesn't call his media empire Higher Ground Productions for nothing, after all.  His empire even owns and controls the Pod Save America show where he  offered his remarks to his hosts, both of whom worked in his White House.

From flattery of his forum's attendees as the "future heroes" whose explicit assignment from Obama was to put a more "humanitarian" face on capitalism, Obama was forced by events to also make a quick, self-serving pivot to gaslighting mode. From Politico:

“If you want to solve the problem, then you have to take in the whole truth. And you then have to admit nobody’s hands are clean, that all of us are complicit to some degree,” he said in an excerpted interview with Pod Save America released Saturday.

Reflecting on his presidency, Obama posed the question, “Well, was there something else I could have done?”

He could have answered his own question by acknowledging what he had in fact done during his eight years as president. While paying lip service to the plight of the Palestinians, Obama did not admit his own direct role in the ethnic cleansing of Muslims. He didn't admit that he'd actually found inspiration and justification for his own drone assassination program from a group of Israeli lawyers who had preceded the full-scale genocide in Gaza by targeted assassinations of  Hamas members - and whatever civilians were in the vicinity at the time.

This targeted killing program, which got underway in the 90s in Israel in response to a wave of suicide bombings by Hamas, was roundly criticized by US officials at the time.

Then, of course, came the 9/11 attacks. It wasn't long before the War on Terror was proclaimed by the Bush administration, and killing anyone, at any time for any reason, became the de facto US policy. This especially held true for Muslims in so-called "tribal areas" and US-occupied war zones.

By the time Obama took office, targeted killings were the norm. Gone were the antiwar protests against the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. There was little to no backlash from the public, even when the New York Times (with full White House approval) revealed the gruesome extent of the "Disposition Matrix" - Obama's own  project of piecemeal genocide by drone. All Muslim men in the prime of life were deemed to be "enemy combatants."

At a 2012 security conference in El Paso, Texas, Roel Elkabetz, a brigadier-general for the Israel Defense Forces, bragged to his US counterparts that "We've learned lots from's a great laboratory!"

Eric Holder, Obama's attorney general, went on to actually plagiarize the Israeli lawyers who had first laid out the case for episocic  drone and bomb attacks on Palestinians. One of these Israeli lawyers, as The Intercept reported in 2018, later became a professor of human rights and humanitarian law at Harvard University. Unlike Obama, this particular lawyer acknowledged her own direct role in having gotten the genocide ball rolling all those decades ago.  

Amos Barshad wrote in that article that Eric Holder, lifted verbatim from Israel the extra-legal rationale for what is the most infamous of all Obama's drone killings:

The  memo directly quotes the ILD’s argument in the PCATI (Palestine) case. “Although arrest, investigation and trial ‘might actually be particularly practical under the conditions of belligerent occupation, in which the army controls the area in which the operation takes place,’” the memo reads, “such alternatives ‘are not means which can always be used,’ either because they are impossible or because they involve a great risk to the lives of soldiers.” A U.S. drone killed al-Awlaki in September 2011 in Yemen.

For Obama to now chide his audience to talk to people they don't agree with -because otherwise you are just sloganeering and ignoring nuance - is cynical and hypocritical.  He certainly never conversed with Al-Awlaki, or even with Al-Awlaki's parents when they pleaded in vain for a meeting with him to try to dissuade him from his execution order. He certainly didn't talk to the teenage son of Al-Awlaki before one of his drones r killed the boy and some of his friends as they were innocently eating pizza.

To the extent that Obama has acknowledged his role as lord high executioner of the United States, he glosses over it with the usual "higher ground" rhetoric to excuse all manner of crimes, both his own and those of others in his global social, political and economic cohort.

Just as he now lectures the world on their alleged "complicity" in war and violence, he's also lectured the thousands of his own drone victims, actually trying to make them responsible for their own deaths. This grotesque passage in his "Promised Land" memoir particularly stands out:

I wanted somehow to save them—send them to school, give them a trade, drain them of the hate that had been filling their heads. And yet the world they were a part of, and the machinery I commanded, more often had me killing them instead."

It's a variation of the old Pontius Pilate excuse. Having disclaimed responsibility for murder, Obama doesn't even feel the need to wash his hands of murder on a much more epic scale. He merely flicks the guilt away at everybody else. 

Maybe Caroline Kennedy can give him another Profile in Courage award. Maybe the Nobel committee can give him another peace prize. Better yet, maybe the Hollywood that he so adores can give him an Oscar for best performance by a political actor iin the horror-fantasy genre. He also probably deserves the Most Valuable Player award in the world series of conflagration. He does, after all, have a very mean curveball. He pitches so fast and so loose that whenever his foul balls hit somebody in the head, they never even see it coming. And that is their own fault. They are complicit just for existing.

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Looking At Horror Straight In Its Face

 Joe Biden wasn't kidding when he bragged in that shambolic Oval Office speech that bankrolling the twin slaughters in Ukraine and Gaza in one mega-appropriation would be a great investment for America.

Dark Brandon knew whereof he spoke.  Weapons manufacturers like General Dynamics and Raytheon are already posting huge profits since Israel declared war on two million imprisoned Palestinians (duly demoted from human being status to terrorists or sub-human shields for Hamas for purposes of brainwashing the public).

As if that gruesome windfall isn't bad enough, the likelihood that the wealthy investors in mass death will have to pay taxes on their ill-gotten gains will be practically nil, if newly-crowned House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) gets his way.

That's because the House Rules Committee just introduced legislation requiring that the US's $14 billion aid package to Israel, helping to finance the genocide of Gazans, will be offset by $14 billion in cuts to the IRS.

Not only would investigations and prosecutions of wealthy tax evaders be brought to an effective screeching halt, the cuts would also do away with the free digital tax filing program for regular people. Internet filers would actually have to pay a fee for the privilege of underwriting both the military-industrial complex and the wealthy tax cheats.

The Republicans' rationale seems to be that we have to fight the Palestinian families over there by punishing the powerless families over here.  What more apt day is it than Halloween for us to remind ourselves that capitalism is a zombie that must keep replicating itself by varying its diet. Too much is never enough for the ruling class monsters. They were created without any sense of repletion. They are never full. The more that they eat, the hungrier they get.  That especially goes for funding the forever-wars.

The GOP's bill would, of course, have to pass in the Senate, and then require Biden's signature. It's not the punishment of the working class factor that endangers this noxious piece of racist, genocidal, class war legislation, however. It's yhat the extra billions that Biden is demanding for Ukraine war funding is not included. So it's probably already dead on arrival in its current form. Or should I say undead on arrival. We all know that any legislative monster worth its salt (and blood-spatter) will undergo the good old sausage-making treatment in the secret congressional abattoir.


As far as the reputedly more deliberative Senate is concerned, they not only joined their lesser congressional brethren in enshrining their support of the Israel government, they unanimously and magically transformed a nation full of antiwar and anti-genocide protesters into enemies of the state. The Senate has officially redefined supporters of the Palestinians as supporters of Hamas terrorists. and anti-Semites to boot.

The corporate media are also doing their village-of-the-damnedest best to squelch actual coverage of the protests in the streets, both in the US and throughout the world. If they ignore it they reason, the majority of people will  not learn of the atrocities - or if they do learn about them, they will not much care. Why else would even the staid New York Times be inundating us with story after story about the death of an actor in the "Friends" TV series?  We are invited to substitute mourning this one tragic celebrity death with a bunch of elite Hollywood types, so as to avoid mourning - let alone thinking about - the deaths of thousands of Palestinians, most of whom are women and children.

One exception to this coordinated news blackout of protests came on Halloween morning, when Code Pink activists, red paint on their hands, interrupted the censor-proof,, pro-war  Senate testimony of Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. Both men sat like stiffs, wearing their terrifying emotionless masks as the protesters were ejected.  

In the age of the Internet, when anyone with a cell phone has the ability  to document the various grotesque realties going on all around us, the ability of the masters of war and the lords and ladies of capital to variously frighten us and censor us is falling apart at the seams. of all their glittery zombie rags.

Instead of shambling around and consuming stuff in order to numb ourselves, regular people are waking up. We're not only taking another long-delayed stand against cruelty and war, we're also going out on strike. And we're winning.

"And then, above all, there is the new arrival - the thinking that does not shy away from the horror of the world, the darkness, but looks it straight in the face, and thus passes over into a different kingdom, which is not the kingdom of darkness." -- Henri Lefebvre.

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Comfort Food For Multiple Maniacs

If you're worried about the two million Palestinians starving to death in Gaza as bombs rain down on their heads, maybe you shouldn't be.

Because to hear first lady Jill Biden tell it, our most pressing concern should be that our ruling capitalist predators get enough comfort food to eat. Stuffing their faces with gourmet treats posing as plain country fare eases their stress and strain. Their need for sustenance should prove to us mere mortals that these demi-gods are, in fact, as human as you and me. The poor beleaguered things not only are tasked with waging, marketing and profiting from ongoing multiple wars, they're also busily plotting the total global conflagrations of the future. And it takes a lot of caloric fat for the fat cats to survive and thrive for purposes of your security.

So there was no possible way, genocide in Palestine notwithstanding, that the Biden administration would ever have cancelled the state gala for the prime minister of Australia, which is now the main US base of operations for their hoped-for war with China.

"Nurturing our partnerships and relationships with our allies is critically important, especially in these tumultuous times," Jill Biden euphemistically explained as her rationale for going ahead with the dinner. "Food is comforting, reassuring and healing, and we hope that this dinner provides a little of that as well."

Given that the 300 honored guests at the state dinner included the  bloodthirsty likes of Antony Blinken, Lloyd Austin III and Victoria Nuland, one can only imagine the gusto with which they gnawed into such delicacies as spareribs slathered with gobs of sarsparilla sauce.

Jill Biden came off sounding a lot like the clueless hostess in the classic Katherine Mansfield short story, "The Garden Party."  The matriarch scoffs at her conscience-stricken daughter's plea to cancel the festivities because a man had just suffered a fatal accident in the slum neighborhood located just outside the gates of their fancy estate. Putting the feelings of her poor, mourning neighbors ahead of her wealthy guests enjoying her food, her flower arrangements, and her hired musicians would have been just too "extravagant."

"You are being very absurd, Laura," she said coldly. "People like that don't expect sacrifices from us. And it's not very sympathetic to spoil everyone's enjoyment as you're doing now."

But to show that for her own part, Jill Biden is not completely insensitive to what either the Palestinians or the growing number of critics of her husband's embrace of genocide might think, she did cancel the hired entertainment part - dance music by the B-52s.  It might have looked unseemly for the gentry and proxy genocidaires to be seen rocking and rolling  to a band sharing a name with an aircraft that's been used for decades to drop US bombs all over the world, including in the Middle East to this very day.

Instead, Jill opted for the soothing jingoistic sounds of military bands from the Army, Air Force and Marines. The corporate media dutifully downplayed the party as "sedate" and "low-key" and even family-centered, given that the Bidens' grandchildren were there.

(Even as they were playing their appropriate tunes, an Army reservist in Maine - trained as a state-sanctioned weapons instructor -  was shooting up a bowling alley full of kids with his own instrument of choice: the iconic AR-15. Any upcoming sympathy visit by Joe Biden to yet another grieving community might be a little more awkward than usual, given his recent glib remark that dead Palestinian children are inevitable - because war.  Also, there's the inconvenience of his own son being under criminal indictment for an illegal gun purchase.)

But enough of all this angst and unpleasantness. Let's get back to Jill Biden's mission of comforting the comfortable. A few days before the state dinner, she was dining by candlelight with fashion industry donors at former Vogue editor Anna Wintour's multimillion-dollar townhouse in New York City's Greenwich Village. 

She told the group that, given these "fraught times"  she wouldn't trust anybody but Joe Biden to be sitting in the Situation Room for another four years. And why wouldn't she, given that the Situation Room is really a 5000-square foot a mansion within a mansion?

With its recent $50 million renovation, the Biden sitting room is many rooms, including many nooks and crannies and multiple conference rooms and even so-called "breakout rooms." The padded walls are adorned with multiple high-def video screens especially designed for the comfort of aging eyes. Even the presidential seals for the podiums have been supersized and specified to be larger than a human head. The massive main conference table is crafted from the finest fine-grained mahogany. imported from an undisclosed location somewhere in the Far East with a military base. The chairs for the armchair warriors are crafted from the finest leather, flayed from the finest American cows.

But where would comfort food and furniture be without fashion? Jill Biden is also all about the couture to take wealthy minds off all that global "tumult" and other unpleasantness. She told her fashionista donors that couture is "not only the clothes we pull out of our closets each morning, they are statements of our identity. They're our armor."

There is no word yet about "who" Jill will wear as body armor when (in our imagination) she brings baskets full of state dinner leftovers to the UN trucks parked at the Egypt-Palestine border.. It would be a happy ending to ur story. It would be just like the young girl in "The Garden Party" bringing her basket of party food to the bereaved family of the accident victim. She thought she could just leave the offering at the cottage door. But then those sly underclass victims of capitalistic predation actually make her view the dead body.

 It's  nurturing comfort food for the hoi polloi, on those rare gala occasions when the comfortable actually get afflicted for a change.

Who would ever dream of canceling such a tumultuous event?

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

It's All About the White Settler Colonialism

 What took European invaders close to 400 years to accomplish in the Americas, the State of Israel hopes to accomplish in less than a quarter of that time. I am talking, of course, about the State of Israel's pivot from its protracted ethnic cleansing of Palestine to the outright genocide of the Palestinians trapped in Gaza.

Just as the Puritans self-righteously justified their own wars against native populations by pointing to their own persecution at the hands of the British, and later, by the often-violent reaction of Indians against the settler-colonists, so too do the Zionists of Israel justify their treatment of native populations by pointing to their own long history of persecution in Europe, which culminated with the Holocaust.  As long as the perpetrators can gloss over their racist white supremacy with the shield of perpetual victimhood, they feel free to do plenty of victimizing of their own. If you criticize their actions, you are labeled an anti-Semite. You might even have a Wall Street job offer rescinded if you're an Ivy League student. (Which might not be a bad thing, in the long run. Maybe these elite college kids can now oot for a teaching job in an underserved public school!)

Joe Biden, on his quick campaign stop in Israel, wasted no time in embracing both Binyamin Netanyahu and Bibi's predictable denial of responsibility for the explosion at a Gaza hospital, which has claimed the lives of at least 500 people. The US president glibly explained his belief that Hamas ("the other team") was responsible by saying that "his" defense department had already told him so. This is the same dude who had enthusiastically embraced the debunked war propaganda of decapitated Israeli babies.

It's all about the solidarity among the settler-colonialists of the world. Both the United States and Israel consider themselves to be exceptional nations, among God's chosen ones. They do pre-emptive war with impunity.

Why else would the US military, in which Biden puts so much demented faith and trust, name a whole series of its lethal weapons and hardware after the native populations it had finally conquered in the late 19th century?  

Here's just a partial list of what the perpetual US war machine has used to maim and kill untold millions of people, the majority of whom have been non-white in the ludicrously-named post World War II "Pax Americana" --

Apache attack helicopter, Tomahawk cruise missile,  a whole series of helicopters bearing such tribal names as Cayuga, Huron, and Iroquois, not to mention the high-tech spy aircraft called Kiowa, Ute and Mohawk. And who can forget that the mission to murder Osama Bin Laden was named after the great Indian warrior against US occupation - Geronimo?

Such naming is a way to continue denigrating American Indians while justifying their own modern wars of aggression. It speaks to a kind of distorted genetic memory  of all those innocent settler-folk being scalped by the "savages" who had the effrontery to resent their invaders. Not for nothing do supporters of the genocide in Palestine attempt to dehumanize the actual victims by calling thenm "savages" and "human animals." It's all too familiar. 

And now, with most of the civilized world aghast and protesting in the streets at the blatant and even downright gleeful genocide of Palestinians, the US has effectively joined Israel in being viewed as a pariah state by the rest of the world.  The US itself is still an apartheid state in all but name, discriminating against and punishing its own citizens based upon their race and class and gender - and lately, even their  independent thought - despite all the sanctimonious laws that it has on the books. Jim Crow is still alive and well. Just witness the gross expansion of the US prison system, the largest in the world, with more Black people now incarcerated than there were slaves prior to the Civil War. This statistic is largely the result of then-Senator Biden's crime bills, passed with bipartisan support in the 90s.

It should come as no surprise, therefore, that in 2023, the Biden administration is such an unabashed champion of Palestinian genocide, albeit with the usual ass-covering platitudes about humanitarian concerns. It is somewhat gratifying - or worrisome, as far as the New York Times is concerned - that even timorous "progressive" politicians are just now beginning to make the tiniest possible demands of Biden to broker a ceasefire. It was only a week ago that the Democratic Party was so unified. They voted en masse against ex-House Speaker McCarthy. Most of them already endorsed Joe Biden for re-election, for cryin out loud! 

But even the reliably pro-Israel Times isn't quite as gung-ho about Zionist revenge as it was in the immediate aftermath of the atrocious slaughter of Israeli civilians by Hamas.  Perhaps it has something to do both with the backlash from readers in the comments sections, and from the public at large. Not when "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth" has been expanded so disproportionately. Like Biden, Netanyahu's political viability was also in question prior to the allegedly surprise attack by Hamas.

Biden's gruesome theatrical embrace on Wednesday of this brutal right-wing leader of Israel was intended to recast him as a courageous wartime statesman rather than as a bumbling old man with low domestic approval ratings. However, any additional support or kudos that he gets from his fellow Neocons in both war parties will be diluted by the two other hawkish xenophobic presidential candidates in the mix. - Donald Trump and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. There are already indications that his political stunt has backfired.

 This creates a much bigger opening for the lone antiwar candidate, Cornel West. He may not win - actually allowed to win - the election, or even get ballot access. But at least the corporate media are now being forced to give him a regular platform. No matter if it's just an attempt to co-opt him in their corporate fold or boost their ratings among the younger demographic.

Because despite its own ham-handed efforts, the Censorship-Industrial Complex cannot control the narrative. The grotesque reality speaks for itself.