The Talking Dog

September 20, 2014, Same old

It actually slipped my mind that, two days ago, this blog slipped through its thirteenth anniversary; I suppose I should give it a bar mitzvah, but then, just how old is it in [talking] dog years? Damned if I know.

So many things seem so old and tired (besides my nearly fifty-two year old self).

Anyway, we can start with this Atlantic observation (and of course, hit-piece) of Hillary Clinton (she hasn't gone away either; btw she and I share a birthday). The piece notes Hillary's campaign shtick (including her recent book) are all about playing it "safe," and not coming out with bold policy pronouncements or prescriptions or anything particularly interesting, the money line being "Has America ever been so thoroughly tired of a candidate before the campaign even began?" The piece fails to question why we can believe she wouldn't be the logical continuation of the existing order, meaning Barack Obama's third term/George W. Bush's fifth term/Bill Clinton's seventh term. Since that's what Wall Street wants us to have [note this observation, also from The Atlantic, about how all too often, financial criminals avoid paying back restitution for their crimes in the few instances they even are held accountable any more], we can be reasonably sure that's what we're going to have. Hillary won't rock boats, maybe she'll be even more hawkish in trying to hold the empire together as it falls apart, and probably will be... indistinguishable from her recent predecessors. You'd think even her opponents (many of whom simply object to a woman wielding apparent power, even a dynastic like Mrs. Clinton) would be as tired of opposing her as everyone else is of seeing her, by now. Sigh.

One thing we can expect to continue from either Mrs. Clinton (or whomever instead of her Wall Street decrees is sufficiently favorable it to be permitted to accede to the office) is a continuation of our draconian policies toward swarthy people in general, and those whom we arbitrarily accuse of terrrrrrrorism in particular. If there's a poster boy for what I have been trying to call your attention to here at TTD for lo these years, it would be tortured American citizen Jose Padilla. You will recall that in 2002, Padilla was arrested "on the battlefield" of O'Hare Airport (the whole world is now the battlefield, boys and girls), summarily stripped of his rights, thrown into years of total isolation in a military brig, and then just as abruptly [on the eve of the Supreme Court granting his second habeas petition [the first dismissed on a bullsh*t technicality of "improper venue"] moved to civilian custody and charged, tried and convicted on made-up charges of conspiracy to conspire to maybe make phone calls to bad people, yada yada yada... seventeen years four months in a super-max. Our friend Andy Worthington gives us the details of a court decision by his sentencing judge (Judge Marcia Cooke of federal court in Miami) who, following an appeals court decision that her 17 year sentence wasn't draconian enough and increased it to 21 years. As Padilla is a former Chicago gang banger, but most importantly, he is a Latino who converted to Islam, most Americans probably wouldn't care what happened to him-- no matter how arbitrarily and harshly (and illegally) he has been treated-- even if they actually knew (which, of course, they do not), and even if what happened to him was widely reported (which, of course, it is not).

And as to Scotland, after all the trouble William Wallace went through to get Scotland its freeeeeeedummmmm!!!!... it seems the Scots don't actually want it. They apparently want the same old arrangement they've had for over 300 years... freedom is one thing... but pensions and National Health Service... are quite another.


September 11, 2014, Depends on what the meaning of Is Is... er, ISIS


Did the President's Big Speech [TM] threatening to kick ass and take names re: "the Islamic State[TM]" bring back that awesome 9-11 spirit? Because Paranoia Is Patriotic [TM].

It's That Day [TM] all over again. Just forty-one years ago on 11 September, a CIA-sponsored coup d'etat military junta that the United States was happy about toppled the democratically elected government of Chile and then murdered that nation's rightful president Salvador Allende President Salvador Allende committed suicide.

And, of course, it is just two years after Benghazi [TM].

In case you're wondering just what these seemingly disparate (or not so disparate) events have in common, they are all what happens when the empire bites off just a little more than it can chew, and the costs of maintaining garrisons in over 140 countries finally exceed the value of sucking those over 140 countries dry-- a point we may not have reached at the time we engineered the overthrow of Allende, but have certainly reached now-- and as such, the empire starts to reap the seeds of its own destruction that are intrinsic to it being an empire.

Yes, it's only been thirteen years since the ultimate Rube Goldberg-esque combination of clusterf***s imaginable (for those convinced the whole thing was some kind of inside job-- to you, I ask, do you really attribute that level of competence to the people to whom you are attributing it?) Then again, maybe not so fast... please feel free to look at my own more contemporaneous take, called "Let's roll: alternative version.." Whatever actually transpired (as opposed to what we are told transpired), the events just thirteen years ago today have been consistently used to justify the necessary internal crackdown on the rubes in the imperial mother country which we have been enjoying these last thirteen years. Yes, a few irregulars mostly from Saudi-- the principal energy supplier of the empire-- caused a great deal of trouble, and set quite a few things in motion that, in a political vacuum, appear to still be in motion.

Even now, polling shows that, while Americans have no faith in their President, they still want him to blow sh*t up (as long as its foreign).

In short, game, set, match: democracies are about reasoned discourse, and tyrannies are about appeals to raw emotion. Which one are we about? Don't answer that.

Thirteen does not appear to be the charm re: this 9-11 thing. I have no grand insights. And if I did, they would be lost on Americans anyway, it would seem.