The Silence of the Hacks

American politics is officially corrupt.
The thing is, this nightmare could be ended by a handful of Republican legislators willing to make common cause with Democrats to demand the truth. And maybe there are enough people of conscience left in the G.O.P.

But there probably aren’t. And that’s a problem that’s even scarier than the Trump-Putin axis.

Make America Great Again

I get paid to parse words, phrases, sentences. It's entirely possible that I could have supported someone who campaigned on making America great.

I have a problem with "again". The phrase clearly means that we've left something behind. That something we USED TO DO is now gone, and bringing it back would "make America GREAT".

I'm not going to trot through all of the shameful things in America's past; slavery, the war in Iraq, the Citizens United decision come to mind, but there are so many...

Somebody, anybody, tell me what is now gone that bringing it back will lead to a "great America".

Bonus points if you remember to show how bringing whatever it is that's now gone will "make America great".

R.I.P. European Union

I see only four possible courses of action for the EU.

a) European leaders provide large amounts of military aid to Ukraine so that they can turn the Russian occupation there into an endless bloodbath. This occupies Russian attention for the next 30 years and diverts Russia from invading and destroying the EU.

Unfortunately I doubt that European leaders will do option "a".

b) Massively ramp up European military spending and move large armored forces up to Russia's doorstep in order to repel their invasion (and thereby deterring it).

Unfortunately if they aren't going to do "a" then they certainly won't do "b".

c) Wait until Russia invades the EU and then fight a genocidal nuclear war with Russia.

Unfortunately if they aren't going to do "a" or "b" then the odds of them doing "c" are nil.

d) Sit there and do nothing as Russia invades and destroys the EU.  France and England will survive, but only as individual nations, and only because they have their own nuclear arsenals.  Spain and Portugal will survive as an individual nations only because France sits between them and Russia. Switzerland might survive due to their geographic defenses, but might not if Russia decides to use nuclear weapons to coerce their surrender.

And it looks like it's going to be "d". It'll be a less friendly world for the US after the EU is destroyed.  We may have to go back to our old Cold War policy of supporting evil dictators in order to protect ourselves from the even greater evil of Russian domination.

A coupla interesting reads:

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/feb/02/amusing-ourselves-to-death-neil-postman-trump-orwell-huxley An interesting take, IMHO. But I think it is too B&W - Huxley seems to be right regarding today's dystopic democracy, but the author (and his father) don't take into consideration our military-INTELLIGENCE complex.   The other is from Monbiot - https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/feb/02/corporate-dark-money-power-atlantic-lobbyists-brexit which reinforces many things I have attacked over the years, with perhaps more of a British context. What is interesting (especially given tRump's virulent narcissism) is that Monbiott sees tRump as an even more maleable tool of corporate power than our previous potus'. See my comments on the latest goldman-sachs admin for my take (virtually identical, lol).   Bottom line - we're screwed.   For those who don't want to get bogged down reading the Huxley link, a gem:   "What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egotism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny "failed to take into account man's almost infinite appetite for distractions." In 1984, Orwell added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that our fear will ruin us. Huxley feared that our desire will ruin us."