Wednesday, April 26, 2023

You Have Been Warned

 This email from Google's Blogger platform arrived in my inbox yesterday:


Tue, Apr 25, 6:29 AM (1 day ago)
to me


     As you may know, our Community Guidelines 
( describe the boundaries for what we allow-- and don't allow-- on Blogger. Your post titled "Let Them Eat Birth Control Pills - Or, Black and Bloomberg'd" was flagged to us for review. 
This post was put behind a warning for readers because it contains 
sensitive content; the post is visible at
Your blog readers must acknowledge the warning before being able to read the post/blog.     We apply warning messages to posts that contain sensitive content. If you are interested in having the status reviewed, please update the content to adhere to Blogger's Community Guidelines. Once the content is updated, you may republish it at
This will trigger a review of the post.

     For more information, please review the following resources:

     Terms of Service:
     Blogger Community Guidelines:


     The Blogger Team

Mind you, since this post is more than a dozen years old and among the first that I ever published, I  doubt that a human being actually read, let alone flagged, it. I'm guessing that a machine was alerted by the headline rather than the actual body of the article.  Compared with other things I've written here over the years, it was quite innocuous. It had to do with then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg's appointment of his crony Cathie Black as New York City schools chancellor, despite her having no education experience, either as a teacher or administrator. Before her brief tenure ended, she'd bemoaned the state of overcrowded schools in a poor section of the city, and said right out loud: "Can't we get some birth control down here?"

Since I don't know what was so allegedly offensive about the post, other than the above quote, I'm not going to 
respond to Google by rewriting it, reposting it and thereby triggering a further review. As I said, nobody is going to search out a 12-year-old post. Even if they Googled all the keywords, it would not lead readers to this article.. Search results for my blog, as well as for many others outside the mainstream, have been suppressed by Google  My "hits" thus began decreasing quite drastically several years ago.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a bit spooked by this email, especially after reading "The Racket's"s latest salvo aimed at the increasingly vicious activities of Censorship-Industrial Complex.  I did get a bit of a chuckle, though,  out of the blogger "guidelines". After insisting that it does not censor bloggers on its platform, Google then proceeds to gaslight writers  Since they don't inform you what is so offensive or insensitive about your material, they leave it up to you to figure it out and to go censor yourself.
I can't help but wonder if this out-of-the-blue warning from Google is only the first among many, and will eventually lead to all of my nearly 2,000  posts eventually disappearing. Maybe I'm being paranoid, but after reading Taibbi, I think paranoia is a perfectly reasonable reaction, despite the comparatively low visibility of this particular blog.

Meanwhile, if you're not craving a big fat bowl of crunchily delicious Russian Bots after watching the following video  then you're simply not getting with the subliminal advertising program!

Monday, April 24, 2023

The Political Con Goes On

A stew of scandals is bubbling over in the White House. But you'd never know it from the New York Times's Strangelovian leading headline today: "How Democrats Learned to Cast Aside Reservations and Embrace Biden '24."

As far as the Paper of Record is concerned, the shocking admission by a former CIA acting director that Secretary of State Antony Blinken (while a top Biden campaign operative) had solicited a letter with 51 intelligence bigwig signatories that falsely ascribed the Hunter Biden laptop scandal to "Russian disinformation" is not worthy of coverage.

 Ditto for the  high-level IRS official seeking whistleblower protection for information implicating Attorney General Merrick Garland himself in stalling or outright quashing criminal charges against Hunter Biden for evading millions in taxes for money earned on murky foreign business deals.

This same Attorney General, meanwhile, is busily prosecuting a Black socialist group and its elderly leaders. Their alleged crime? They criticized the Ukraine proxy war and they accepted, at most, a few thousand dollars from Russian donors for their charity work. It is now apparently a crime to exercise one's First Amendment rights if the government has deemed them "weaponized."  This story, too, is being studiously ignored by the Times and other establishment media outlets. 

So is a letter by a ranking House Democrat to independent journalist Matt Taibbi, threatening him with prison for the "crime" of conflating two security state acronyms in a Tweet - not, mind you, in his actual congressional testimony regarding government censorship of social media.

 As far as the Gray Lady is concerned, the big story this week is Joe Biden's upcoming re-election announcement. We're told that the only thing that should concern us about Joe Biden is his advanced age. He'd be 86 by the end of his second term. 

Despite what the Times generously euphemizes as his "middling approval ratings," the article makes clear that the only concerned voices that really count are those of the ruling political, donor and consultant classes. The public, as ever, be damned.

Democrats yearn for a fresh face in 2024, according to repeated polls, they just don’t know who that would be.

After Democrats won more races than expected in the 2022 midterm elections, any energy to challenge Mr. Biden quickly dissipated. The left has stayed in line even as Mr. Biden has lately made more explicit appeals toward the center. And would-be rivals have stayed on the sidelines.

Was there ever a more damning assessment of a political party? A more cowed, complacent and corrupt bunch of people has probably never existed. And by "party" I very much mean the de facto Uniparty, of which the Dems are the willfully weaker wing. The only thing that these increasingly authoritarian liberals can do is flap their gerontocratic gums. 

And that goes for the young "progressives" in the mix as well. Rep. Jamaal Bowman of New York feebly groused to the paper that it's "almost as if" Biden is pandering to GOP talking points, what with his recent harsh actions on immigration, veto of criminal justice reform in Washington, DC,  and allowing oil-drilling on federal lands. But if there's one thing that Biden is good at, it's maintaining the owning classes in the lifestyles to which they're accustomed. So what, therefore, if tens of millions of people are losing health care, food assistance and the very roofs over their heads? Bowman tells the Times and its readers exactly what they want to hear: what really matters is "stability." 

Haven't you heard? "Status Quo with Uncle Joe!" is the new Medicare For All. The insane march to World War III by a cabal of mediocre politicians is Stability You Can Believe In. Let's face it. Sudden relief from everyday misery and chaos would be too much of a shock to the system. 

Now, you might possibly be worried that this group bear-hug from Dems might end up literally cracking Joe Biden's aged spine. But the point is not his aging body or his deteriorating mind. He is as expendable as anyone. The presidency is a group effort. He is just a figurehead or a front-man.

Thanks to the Trump menace, the presidential bar is not only set too low, it's at a subterranean level if it still exists at all. The current White House occupant doesn't hold domestic press conferences any more and nobody even bats an eye.  Even when he did honor this archaic tradition of public accountability, he did so with pre-selected reporters and cue cards supplied by his handlers. Biden has admitted on more than one occasion that "they" have warned him not to talk about this or that.

Therefore, his re-election announcement will be a "low-key" pre-recorded, scripted video.

Philip K. Dick forecast the Biden presidency style way back in the 60s in his futuristic novel The Simulacra. In the book as in reality, there is only one 21st century political party, and it's called the Democratic Republican Party. 

In the scene introducing Dick's futuristic White House, President Kalbfleisch (tr. Veal) has just been delivering televised remarks to the citizens of the United States of Europe and America, warning them of a fascist presidential rival. Noticing a slight slowing of the presidential performance, the lead handler gives the order to "shut if off."

"The Kalbfleisch simulacrum stopped. Its arms stuck out, rigid in their final gesture, the withered face vacuous. The simulacrum said nothing and automatically the TV cameras also shut off, one by one: there was no longer anything for them to transmit and the technicians behind them, all of them Ges (elites with top secret clearance) knew it."


The simulacrum techs congratulate themselves on the president's speech. satisfied that its fear-mongering purpose and its promise of "stability" had resonated with the public. This is despite somewhat regretting they'd nixed a comparison of the Trump-like rival to Hitler. After all, they say, "51 percent of the population would like to see another Hitler."

One of the techs then walks up to the president, "touching it gingerly on the shoulder, as if expecting it, prodded, to resume its activity. It did not."

Simulacra come and go, but the ruling elite who manufacture and maintain them remain more or less the same in the historical grand scheme of things. Maybe next time around, they can build a fresher-faced simulacrum, just as they so successfully did with Barack Obama. The least that they can do, absent a fresh face, is to manufacture a more coherent actor, much like twinkle-eyed Ronald Reagan in his mostly asymptomatic first term.

Thursday, April 13, 2023

Dominants, Discord and Dogs -- Oh My!

We are shocked, shocked that the alleged leaker of secret war documents is a misogynistic racist gun nut who works at, of all the inappropriate and unexpected places, a military base.*

From the Washington Post's alliterative lede:

United by their mutual love of guns, military gear and God, the group of roughly two dozen — mostly men and boys — formed an invitation-only clubhouse in 2020 on Discord, an online platform popular with gamers. But they paid little attention last year when the man some call “OG” posted a message laden with strange acronyms and jargon. The words were unfamiliar, and few people read the long note, one of the members explained. But he revered OG, the elder leader of their tiny tribe, who claimed to know secrets that the government withheld from ordinary people.

Was he also a Trump acolyte? The Post doesn't say. But the Leaker, according to the guy who leaked about him to the newspaper, certainly sounds sexier than Trump. In fact, he sounds like something out of a John Le Carre spy novel, an immature James Bond wannabe, or even a CIA plant:

The young member was impressed by OG’s seemingly prophetic ability to forecast major events before they became headline news, things “only someone with this kind of high clearance” would know. He was by his own account enthralled with OG, who he said was in his early to mid-20s.

“He’s fit. He’s strong. He’s armed. He’s trained. Just about everything you can expect out of some sort of crazy movie,” the member said.

The mysterious cache is a veritable smorgasbord of international dishing. The menu features everything from the usual relentless but bland US spying upon global enemies and "partners" (cowed lapdogs) alike,  to detailed battle plans for the US proxy war in Ukraine, to the drama of elite hand-wringing that not enough lapdogs are supplying enough ammo to Ukraine so as to obfuscate the full spectrum-dominant role that the biggest arms dealer in the world ( USA) has awarded itself into perpetuity. 

How can this faltering Superpower foment World War III without getting a good chunk of the world enthusiastically behind it? It wouldn't do for the US to be seen as a playground bully, or at least as a playground bully lacking a full complement of toadies.

French President Emmanuel Macron, only recently lauded by the corporate-sponsored US press for his "courage" in ramming through an increase in the retirement age of his country's "coddled" workforce, is relegated to the doghouse just a week later for his vocal refusal to be Joe Biden's French poodle in the buildup to a war against China. At least for the moment, he's flagrantly peeing all over American hegemony.

CNN, one of the most trusted names in warmongering propaganda, frames the story of one lone European leader trying to give peace a chance this way:

French President Emmanuel Macron might have hoped to focus this week on what may prove the biggest domestic test of his leadership, as France’s Constitutional Council prepares to rule Friday on whether or not he can push ahead with controversial pension reforms. 

Instead, he finds himself grappling with international blowback from last week’s friendly visit to China – and in particular from comments that have made him rather unpopular both in Washington DC and with some of his allies in Europe.

On his flight home from Beijing, Macron gave an interview to POLITICO Europe. In it, he said that Europe must not become “just America’s followers” when asked about the prospect of China invading Taiwan.

“The question Europeans need to answer … is it in our interest to accelerate [a crisis] on Taiwan? No. The worse thing would be to think that we Europeans must become followers on this topic and take our cue from the US agenda and a Chinese overreaction,” Macron said, adding that Europe must not get “caught up in crises that are not ours, which prevents it from building its strategic autonomy.”

Notice how CNN conflates American chagrin into a galloping case of "international blowback" against peace from all the alleged war-loving nations of the planet. There is nothing like international blowback to make a leader "somewhat unpopular" among his peers! Almost as ironic as the leak from the gun-loving dude who exposes war and possible war crimes is the elite former banker Macron actually saving the working class cannon fodder of all nations even as he forces his own constituents to toil for two extra years on the domestic front.

As for Joe Biden, he plays his own senescently sanguine part in the Narrative, gushing that even though the leaker is the target of a "full-blown" investigation, most of the information released online is also so outdated as to be meaningless, not to mention mind-blowingly blowback-proof. After all, if Biden's friends and allies and partners don't know it by now, post-Snowden, that their full-spectrum dominant is listening in on all their phone calls and private meetings, than they've been asleep for the last decade. As partners, they should know their submissive place.

Or as Biden tried to explain it from both sides of his orifice:

"I'm not concerned about the leak, I'm concerned that it happened but there is nothing contemporaneous that I'm aware of."

Conveniently enough, the cache of leaked documents also contains possible evidence that China and Russia are in cahoots. The ever-reliable New York Times reports:

The cache of classified documents that has leaked online reveals one source that may have at least reinforced the suspicions in Washington about China’s plans: intercepted communications in mid-February indicating that the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service reported the approval of such aid by China’s top military body, the Central Military Commission.

Talk about convenience! There is nothing like a controlled leak by a pathetic loser of a low-level military worker to make the case for World War III. No wonder that Biden is so carefree. When you're a doddering dominant girded with the full faith and credit of the USA in the form of a discreet Depends, all leaks can be absorbed into the matrix, losing their initial stench after a short while. Meanwhile, one can always blame the occasional unsightly puddle on one's disgruntled ,un-housebroken military puppy. One can pretend to be very, very shocked and worried but yet not worried about it.

But back to Biden's diplomatic journey to find his Irish roots and mark  the 25th anniversary of peace after the Troubles. He's been there, done that. Now it's on to war. From the Times:

 President Biden will thank the Irish people for their support of Ukraine in its battle against Russia when he speaks to a session of Ireland’s Parliament on Thursday, part of a three-day trip that is both a personal journey and diplomacy.

The president’s national security aides said Mr. Biden intended to continue his efforts to shore up the global alliance on behalf of Ukraine. They said he would highlight Ireland’s humanitarian assistance and its acceptance of some 80,000 refugees who have fled the war-torn country.

Many of those refugees are being lodged in hotels throughout Dublin and elsewhere in Ireland, a country where housing is scarce and expensive.

Before addressing Parliament, Mr. Biden met on Thursday with Leo Varadkar, the prime minister of Ireland, and thanked him for welcoming Ukrainians to his country.

“I know it’s not easy,” Mr. Biden said.

In turn, Mr. Varadkar told Mr. Biden he “never thought, in my lifetime, that we would see a war of this nature happen in Europe again.”

“If it wasn’t for American leadership, and if it wasn’t for American and Europe working together, I don’t know what kind of world we would live in,” he added.

No word as to whether the Irish leader had his tongue firmly planted in his cheek as he uttered those last words. But to hear the Times tell it, Leo Varadkar was acting every inch the sleek Irish Setter with a severe drooling problem who also labors under the delusion that he is small enough to sit in his owner's lap. But not to worry. The master not only welcomes the devotion, he gets off on the slobber.

*Update: The leaker has now been identified by the New York Times as a 21-year-old Air National Guardsman based in Massachusetts. He was yet to interviewed by the Pentagon or FBI, according to the report.

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

The Myth of the Decent President

It's OK to be disgusted by the Democratic Party. It's also OK to be mad at "It's OK To Be Angry About Capitalism," the just-published book by Bernie Sanders.

Even though Bernie is more than adept at writing an impassioned stemwinder of a screed, railing against the evils of corporate greed and bemoaning the outsized influence that oligarchs now wield in the erstwhile party of working and poor people, he not only largely gives individual Democrats a pass, he mostly avoids even mentioning their names. Sanders euphemizes Barack Obama, for instance, as the "Status Quo" which in a purely passive voice convinced centrist Democrats like Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar to leave the 2020 primary race (while Sanders was still leading in the polls) and close ranks around Joe Biden.... Bernie's "very good friend."

So it's the title of Sanders's book that is so misleading, not to mention his introductory claim that the older he gets, the more radical he gets. But radically what, you may well ask yourself as you turn the pages. It's like reading a bowdlerized, Censorship-Industrial Complex version of The Communist Manifesto, in which Karl Marx divides his time and his chapters between urging the workers of the world to unite, and canoodling in the House of Lords, where he is ever so grateful to be barely tolerated by the In-Crowd.

You can't call for a socialist revolution and celebrate the politicians who serve capitalists at the same time and in the same breath. You just can't.  When Bernie demands of Democrats to decide "which side are you on?" he can't even seem to answer his own question.

 Sanders confesses that Biden was only able to beat Donald Trump in 2020  because Bernie himself had convinced enough of his disaffected supporters that Uncle Joe would be the reincarnation of FDR, if they would only show up to vote for him. After all, Bernie had already strong-armed Uncle Joe into making such grudging concessions as lowering the Medicare eligibility age to 60, outlawing private, for-profit prisons and immigrant detention centers, and creating a government-run public health care insurance option.

Granted, the ink on the new Sanders tome was barely dry when Biden made his utterly predictable return to his right-wing roots this year with the installation of a private equity mogul as his chief of staff, aided and abetted by a duo of husband-wife corporate lobbyists. And not only is Biden continuing Donald Trump's harsh immigration policies, his creation of a climate change task force to placate progressives during his campaign has now morphed into allowing oil company drilling on federal Alaska land and in the Gulf of Mexico. And as far as FDR's safety net is concerned, Biden and his party have been absolutely mute as tens of millions of people are losing their Medicaid coverage and having their food stamp stipends drastically reduced. This is because politicians in both parties have made a conscious choice to ignore a still-raging pandemic.

These realities make reading Bernie's book, with its frequent praise of Biden as a "decent man" all the more poignant, if not downright cringeworthy.

This long-running media myth of Joe Biden's alleged innate decency making up for his "gaffes" and hypocrisy and corruption is getting more bizarre by the day, in fact - especially given the president's rank bellicosity as regards both the proxy war with Russia and his undisguised belligerence toward China.

Come to think of it, America's warmongers have usually been "decent" men, faithful to their wives and devoted to their families and pets and polite to their colleagues as they've gone about the business of displacing, maiming and killing people all over the world with their invasions, their bullets, their bombs, and their economic sanctions. It's no surprise, therefore, that other than blasting America's obscene military budget to make the point that this money could be better used for the health care of our own citizens, Bernie Sanders does not engage in any antiwar rhetoric in his book. The proxy war in Ukraine? What's that?

The biggest enemy in the book is, of course, Donald Trump.

 Trump is not a decent man. He is a slap in the face to all that is proper and moralistic among his fellow thieves and plutocrats. Why else would the Democratic machine and its prosecutors choose to indict him for a payoff to a porn star rather than, say, for inciting a riot in the Capitol and openly trying to bribe and extort various officials into overturning the 2020 election?

"It;s OK To Be Angry About Capitalism" zigzags uncomfortably and discordantly between the fight for social and economic justice and an obsequious homage to the very figures in the American political system who have thwarted social and economic justice for decades. For example:

"Yet while Joe was a good deal more conservative than I was on domestic and foreign policy issues, I liked him personally. He was a decent man, down-to-earth, family-oriented, warm and good humored. He talked a lot about his working class roots, which I appreciated, as I did his enthusiasm for organized labor."

Yes, Biden would soon prove to be so enthusiastic about organized labor that he enforced a strikebreaking contract for railroad workers that denied them their own decent life with enough time off to be even minimally devoted to their own families.

Nevertheless, Bernie persists:

When Joe served as President Barack Obama's vice president, he invited me several times to the Naval Observatory, the vice presidential residence in Washington. He took an interest in my 2016 presidential campaign and while he remained neutral in the competition between Hillary Clinton and myself, he was not shy about offering insights and advice. That drew us closer, as did the fact that my wife, Jane, and Joe's wife Jill developed a friendship as Senate spouses."

Why am I getting a flashback of Sally Field's "you like me, you really like me!" Oscar acceptance speech?

Sanders goes on to fondly reminisce about soaking up all the Biden flattery when Bernie livestreamed his official endorsement of Uncle Joe.

Joe accepted the endorsement warmly, saying "You don't get enough credit, Bernie, for being the voice that forces us to take a hard look in the mirror and ask ourselves if we've done enough. And we haven't... I'm going to need you, not just to win the campaign, but to govern." 

Sanders proclaimed himself satisfied that Biden then appointed various task forces to explore his progressive agenda. Medicare For All was off the table. So was full student debt forgiveness. Baby steps are better than Trump, though. 

Fast forward a couple of years, and Biden has installed a former Bain Capital vulture to rule the West Wing. He took a hard look in the mirror and apparently decided he hasn't done enough to immiserate already desperate people, those people who are not members in good standing of the Democratic voting base - that is, the top 20 percent of income earners.

If Bernie Sanders ever retires from the Senate, perhaps he can write a sequel called Fooled Me Once, Fooled Me Twice. Maybe he can even pick a side.