David Graeber and ‘#LaNuitDebout against the Panama partout’

la nuit

In an essay for LeMonde, Graeber contrasts the treatment of the two solidarity movements, as he calls them, and the treatment given them by “the forces of law”.  His assessment is that both are creating spaces outside the formal structure of the state, the first, only too developed, the latter…still in the process of being born.  Or rather ‘born again 2.0’, one might say.  #PanamaPapers show a global solidarity of the wealthy and powerful, the power quotient being even more important to them.  After all, most wealth is now extracted by way of collusion with state power anyway, he asks ‘why squirrel it away in Panama, anyway?’ ‘Why not just extract twice as much, then give back half as a gesture of loyalty?’  Does he mean loyalty to some form of noblesse oblige? It’s not clear to me.  But his conclusion is that it’s not about the money, but the sheer power of being able to do so.

“The creation of these tax shelters is the creation, not precisely of a state of sovereign exception. It is rather one of financial exception, within an emerging global legal-bureaucratic order of which the beneficiaries, themselves, the architects.

The creation of this order is probably the most important historical phenomenon of the last two generations. Never before has the planet seen anything like it, a unified administrative system. ‘’

It’s hard to argue with that, in the larger picture, isn’t it ?  But really, it’s #LaNuitDebout that I really wanted to feature, although it was after the French Rabble who’d already begun protesting the labor ‘reforms’ and austerity measures that were Killing Them Slowly that ‘news’ of the #PanamaPapers came out that the movement exploded.  I’s hard to say when David Graeber got to Paris to share his experiences, but:

‘’ This is what has happened in France. The organizers of the original march against the new Labor Laws were planning a single day’s event. But things almost immediately escaped their control. A kind of mass outpouring of the democratic imagination ensued; libraries, gardens, popular education centers, kitchens, studios, appeared; thousands taking part in general assemblies began cheerfully adopting, and in the process, creating their own idiosyncratic version of the new global language of direct democracy. Hundreds of thousands followed, and contributed, on social media. As veteran activists from around the world—myself included—hurried to Paris to lend their experience with process, wild new demands began to be formulated (debt cancellation, citizens income, sortition…) that had hitherto been completely excluded from “serious” political debate. As the process threatens to expand, next, to the immigrant and working class suburbs, the initial contemptuous dismissal of the political classes seem to be turning into a kind of panic, and more and more men with weapons have come to surround the new agora, as if to literally prevent democracy from overflowing its bounds.

The traditional justification for spaces of exception is that they can become places of creativity: after all, only those who are not bound by the existing legal order can create new laws. But it’s increasingly difficult to imagine any solutions to the world’s most pressing problems coming from that space of financial exception in which the world’s economic and political elites now live. About the only kind of imagination that has come out of it has been the design of ingenious new financial instruments. Yet at the same time, millions of humans beings who do not have access to such an extra-territorial space, full of potential ideas and solutions, are live lives which consist of little more than being constantly told to shut up and keep working. If we are ever to think our way out of our endless current logjams, it can only come from the new extra-territorial spaces—if not legally extra-territorial in this case, then certainly, morally and politically so—that the world revolution of 2011 began to open up.’’

The protests are spreading to Belgium, Britain, Spain and Germany; even a group in Denver, Colorado is in solidarity.  ;-)  But a revolution, I think, will be global, and will come as capitalism itself is delegitimized, and state security mechanisms are delegitimized.  There is a call for a global Night of Uprising on May 15;  I do so wish I could heed the call in person!

April 15, Common Dreams: ‘Two Weeks Into a Major Uprising, French Activists Still Staying ‘Up All Night’’  

27 min ago, then back in time :

April 13

#NuitGlobalDebout on Twitter is here.

37 responses to “David Graeber and ‘#LaNuitDebout against the Panama partout’

  1. oh I just meant “loyalty to” the nation-states which they claim to lead as democratic representatives. What they are indicating I think is they are not public servants, in any sense of the term.

    • woot! well this is fun as all giddy-up that you stopped by, david graeber! and thank you for answering my question: ‘pay back in taxes’, then. in a better world, of course, they wouldn’t have been able to have made their profits off our backs in the first place.

      yes, some of my favorite banners on the Twit machine were akin to: “Where is democracy?”. gone, if it ever were. i thank you for the essay, too; it gave me the shivers, as does this iteration of Occupy. seeing photos of the general assemblies, and the signs for the hand/arm signals communications was thrilling.

      you likely know about the greek ‘solidarity for all movement’; quite inspirational. this diary features an interview with Christos Giovanopoulos, and has links to a few of the recent essays in Roar magazine that were written with an eye toward what the collective sees as burgeoning new seeds of revolutionary thought and how to build power. some were frankly above my intellectual heft, so for the time being i left off trying to feature them.

      michael hudson recently narrated what he saw as the original reason for shell company creation in panama; it’s not long, and worth knowing/considering.

      but my stars; that this movement is expanding, going global, and my stars: might go even more global in may is so heartening. i’d also meant to stick this tweet from your ‘debt, the last 5000 years’ book in, bless kaewmala’s heart for tweeting it. be well, be strong, and solidarity, david graeber., and thanks for stopping by. what a treat. (click for larger)

      p.s. one commenter here (tarheelDem) brought your fun analysis on neckties some time ago; impossible not to love. i tried to find an old tune by the therapy sisters called ‘guys in ties’ to accompany it, but alas; no one ever put it on youtube. ;-)

  2. Soon we will be millions’: from Paris with love and lessons’ in the tweet upthread ; Roar magazine, April 16, 2016, with an internal link to a collective document ‘Some possible ideas going forward’.

    Rise, like lions after slumber
    In unvanquishable number!
    Shake your chains to earth like dew
    Which in sleep had fallen on you:
    Ye are many—they are few!

    ~ Percey Bysshey Shelley

  3. Spring brings movement in Europe and North America. That there were news stories that amplified the movement and experienced people who could set up an experimental infrastructure, the legacy of as Graeber notes the Revolution of 2011. Note also the care of the authorities not to let the movement gain adherents from working folk. When Occupy Wall Street allied with fairly run-of-the-mill labor unions in New York was when the crackdowns began in earnest. Likewise in Paris, the possibility of sympathetic actions in refugee or working suburbs triggered the armed response. The revolution is the idea of how to create a social space that is democratically controlled, that functions, and that begins to change the approach to many long-standing issues.

    What happens when those spaces appear is the intolerance of the existing powers-that-be for alternatives. Interesting who becomes total and repressive at that point. What societies become totalitarian in their insistence on uniformity of polity, economy, and culture.

    This is the revolution, yet again, but not the “Revolution” of future historical note. And there might not be “Revolution” in that sense unless the powers-that-be are rigidly determined to create their own destruction. Co-option can work both ways so long as the issues are not existential. People power has co-opted money power on non-existential (for the powers-that-be) issues. What generally collapses the ruling class is its own folly creating a local or global crisis; what creates a “Revolution” are people who have an alternative ready to go when that crisis occurs, people who can give new sociological form to a movement that has erupted. And people with enough experience of demagogues and ways new forms can be corrupted or the movement itself co-opted to keep the changes on a path toward a new order of social relations. And once that is established firmly in place, the rot will begin again.

    • hmmm; you’re right about the crackdown at Occupy NY coming not long after a few indy and break-away trade unions heading to the park. i’d forgotten that, but was making a case to OWS detractors at another site that the massive fusion-center erasures of so many encampments came once folks were actually creating intentional communities’ (that graeber calls transfigurative spaces).

      it will be interesting to see how the may 15 events go internationally, won’t it? i guess i’m thinking of the nations in the global south for whom the ‘pink tide’ has been turned green…or worse, with the aid of compromised NGOs. i can’t say i’m a particular fan of dilma’s, but along with the incredibly corrupt judicial system there, it seems she will indeed face impeachment. then macri, VZ is on tenterhooks, who can say in bolivia?

      demagogues: yes. co-optation: yes. i haven’t read the ‘possible ways forward’, i hope you’ll have time in your busy schedule.

      now i know commies can be pretty hard core, lol, but a fellow on the #laNuitDebou account was peeved that all of the hands in the air in one photo were all white, but he and a few others on his own account made a bit of a deal about various #DemocracySpring failing to give funding sources, emulating the tea party, etc., and one link went to the Hewlett foundation and ‘take back our republic’. well, here it is. but also that ‘billionaire peter ackerman’ has been training them.


      and i have no idea what’s in the book, but i sure did like this artwork. ;-)

  4. What an honour (kiwi spelling) to see Mr. Graeber respond here – I’m always impressed when that happens on other sites, and wendye, equally impressed by your ability to bring us articles deserving to be read.

    Before I attend to the above, one reflection I have is that we are all being schooled in the history of the economic shellgame that the Panama papers reference – I see Michael Hudson’s primer on that is now up at counterpunch.org and justifiably so.

    I think when it hits you where you live, it is only natural to protest, and do so on the basis of a new knowledge – this article (again at counterpunch) comes out of the same grab bag – should I say carpetbag?


    • wow; that’s a barn-burner of a polemical indictment, even for mike whitney, juliania. jason and i had just been talking about the fact that by law now, bankruptcy wouldn’t write down student debt. fie, fie, fie on yes: the college loan carpetbaggers. and good on whitney for grokking it all so early on. ‘all rehabilitation payments go to…fees’. just ducky. permanent indenture by liar’s loans. wonder how many were sliced and diced and sold by hedge funds?

      i’d spied a headline about Obama disappearing the student loans of ‘100% disabled’ or close, and the subtitle spoke about which agencies were involved, one being SS, iirc. i didn’t click in so i have no earthly idea of what it was about, except for the minuscule amounts of legacy shopping he’s been doing of late. er..how about commuting leonard peltier’s sentence now, before he dies in prison?

      but yes, what a tickle to have david graeber show up, isn’t it?

  5. Mr. Graeber presents the Panamanian history as one of the creation of a ‘place of exception’, and I think that is nicely put. Other such places of exception have resulted as in the link I posted, from the various Wall Street bubbles that encapsulated mortgagees and students in bubbles of exceptional debt.

    We have been propagandized into thinking of the United States as the ‘exceptional nation’ so this term is ironic indeed. And yes, this is where it all began, the eradication of exceptional spaces (to our shame.)

    Best beware, exceptional oligarchs. Your slip is showing.

    An indelible memory for me from the Occupy times, is how the bulldozers came into the encampments and tore apart carefully and generously assembled libraries. Libraries. These were not shanty towns, a blight on the landscape perhaps. These were the new universities.

    Exceptional. In the very best sense of the word.

    • yes, well said. i’d take as other exceptional spaces a few things that occurred to me as i was both doing taxes, and commenting at another site recently.

      the western hegemon with the help of NATO/isaf, exports democracy™ by regime change, or sometimes soft power, which is possibly even slimier, for its own purposes: see the many coups since…say honduras. also exceptional: the TPP, TTIP, etc., created by the USian multinational kleptocrats which if enacted, will kill the 99% slowly by a thousand cuts.

      it may have been that david also mentioned that the oligarchs are never prosecuted, but the rabble…always, or at least punished severely for living with the overall cons for so long. i guess that’s once again what the ‘we were asleep, now we are awake all night’ meant to me. can we, will we, collectively stay awake, iow? ‘hope’ is one scary four-letter word….

      on edit: O, what a ditz i yam. what i’d also meant to say was that as i was doing the taxes, i was supposed to have fined myself for not purchasing ObamaDontCare. now, i don’t think of been to a doctor for a couple decades or more, i never will go to one again, but i was supposed to fine myself for my ‘health care shared responsibility’ or some crap euphemism. i got online, looked at the forms, and worse: The Instructions, which were incomprehensible, but may have indicated that my ‘share’ was almost $2300. i wrote a cover letter asking that given the arcane instructions, they would jut have to send me a bill. how exceptional being forced into buying insurance is.

      and at the other website, folks still thought that the ttp and ttip were about ‘trade’, ‘maybe job losses might be an issue’. ye gods and li’l fishes. (rant over) ;-)

  6. something going on here at the exceptional nation’s capit-al/ol. i’m not proud to say i have not at least gone to see what’s going on a couple of miles away. it’s been touted as being about “getting money out of politics”, which issue i’m very ‘meh’ about. (why not just get rid of money?) but folks (an Obama-ism) is getting arrested. a positive sign.

    • sigh. cynic alert.

      when i’d first read their ‘demands’ (two of them conflicting), and touting a constitutional amendment to neutralize ‘citizens united’, i admit i was skeptical, esp. in their formulation that ‘we’ll occupy deecee until…’ well, black lives matter seem to have shown up and widened the demands, that’s good.

      but once i saw the above funding for just one of the groups ($500,000 hewlett):

      “Launched in 2015, Take Back Our Republic believes campaign finance reform has been stalled by those attacking it as a liberal issue or a partisan one, instead of an American one. It seeks to advance conservative solutions to make this a nonpartisan issue, including transparency, closing the prepaid credit card loophole, and tax deductibility of small donations. The organization is creating a nationwide network grassroots army of activists to raise the profile of the issue and come up with pragmatic solutions, with the aim of fundamentally altering the landscape of American politics and how money influences policy.
      Grantee Website: http://www.takeback.org

      wow; how veal pen.

      and the photos the commies featured of the zipties…unsecured, the smiles, plus the fact that they *said* they wanted to be arrested…it all made me think ‘gatekeeping’, much like 350.org’s bullshit i wrote about back in the day (to a certain amount of disapproval) at the WH photo ops first…when O was somewhere else. catch and release theater, really. plus the ackerman dude trainings…

      but i hoo-haa’ed at old sourpuss hedges’ piece at truthdig: “this is the revolution!” oh, my, yes. not a word there about LaNuitDebou. nope. ah, don’t mind me; i’m just soooo tired of astroturf stuff.

      hope you’re well.

      • veal pen. i love it. yes, i’d also heard about the astroturf funding of some parties.

        it’s a beautiful day. tempting to go down to the US capitol bldg w/a poster saying something like “How long, O America, till you burn this temple to Satan to the ground?”

        prepaid credit card loophole? wtf? that’s actually hilarious. these big dreamers done been to the mountaintop.

        • jane hamsher didn’t coin the term, but she no doubt popularized it.

          ha; or Temple to Mammon? lawdie, lawdie, your final sentence drew a big guffaw outta me. ;-)

          • i’ve been tempted to carry that sign around the pentagon…some serious fun. not that tempted. trips to gitmo not in my immediate future.

            i remember the staged arrests, incl. congressional critters, back in late 2013 i believe, at an “immigration rally” on behalf of The Dream Act at das capitol. perp walks=street cred! and on behalf of that nightmare.

            time to make a new rule? if you don’t wind up in a cage it’s cuz you are most certainly a posh poseur ponce for the boojoisie.

            • yeah, gitmo, homan square, rikers should be avoided if possible. don’t remember the dream act…actions.

              i like the rule, which makes me wonder how many people of color past the naacp ceo and a ffew others i spotted are actually there. but i loved this from the usa today piece:

              “Harvard Law School professor and former Democratic presidential candidate Larry Lessig was arrested Friday — for the first time ever. “I’m a law professor,” he said Saturday. “I don’t get arrested.”

              But he made an exception for the issue that he based his short-lived campaign on: Campaign finance reform”.

              yup, i well remember O doin’ ‘folksy-speak’ in front of black folks. ha; i just pinged ross perot gettin’ in serious hot water for saying ‘you people’ in front oof some group (maybe predominantly black), as many texicans would. <strong>racist!!!!!

    • Even veal pen operations now have to have the obligatory direct action with catch-and-release civil disobedience. Over 900 from “Democracy Spring” including one pic of the police leading away a young lady dressed as the Statue of Liberty. Kinda iconic of the state of politics in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

      So is the general silence about the movements that are happening in Europe and DC.

      And even elder-folks are getting arrested. Jeff Merkley has sought to identify with them.

      In other news, Jesse Jackson has called for closure of Homan Square. Spencer Ackerman has been doing some sustained coverage of this issue. When I wrote in my recounting of my experiences that what I experiences was less serious that what people of color experienced on an ongoing basis there, I was operating out of general social knowledge of the way Chicago operated and no specific case information. It is striking and humbling to have hit on a specific truth about the way that facility operated.

      Summer isn’t here yet. And the political conventions. Cleveland and Philadelphia likely will be armed camps this year. And then there are the Second Amendment movement characters. Lots of cross-current movements going on.

      • oh no! lady liberty arrested. was she “processed on the scene & released” like these two ice cream clowns?

        meaningless gestures as courageous civic duty. not unlike voting, imo.

      • ha; well, yass: obligatory. when news of the movement came in on the pop resistance newsletter, i’d gone to their site and read about the whole point of voluntary arrests, yada, yada. they want to break all arrest records, i’m sure for the media attention even yesterday’s news from believe it or not,, USA today, asked folks to bring $50 for bail, but i reckon those without it get it paid by the funding organizations.

        yesterday was also to call for garland merrick, or merrick garland, to have a hearing for scotus justice. i’m not a fan of his by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s what happens when nominations/confirmations are so partisan, in this case, Team Blue wants him confirmed!!! dah.

        are there conventions of some sort coming up?/s (when will all this shite be over???)

        but srsly, ‘small contribution power’? just call for publicly funded elections, free and equal air time for perhaps 3 months each before primaries and generals, open the rules for third, fourth, etc. party candidates, be done with it.

        “oh, my; the police have been soooo nice here!” well, sure, they know what’s going on, and the folks have been trained quite well: dress in your sunday best; don’t swear, etc.. if ya want to be arrested, sit on the steps over here…a few of the stars apparently had to practically beg to get zip-tied. gotta love it. now the voting rights act reform: yes, i get that one in spades.

        yes, your spidey sense intuition got homan square right, and yes, had you been black as 80% of the are, it may have been a different story. good on jackson, and also:

        “Richard Boykin, a Cook County commissioner who has for a year urged accountability for Homan Square, said on Monday that the warehouse “must be closed immediately”.

        TarheelDem’s exceptional and personal narration: ‘Report from Chicago Spring

        on edit: i’d meant to add this:
        “ALBANY — Gov. Cuomo on Sunday branded City Council Melissa Mark-Viverito’s hope to close Rikers Island “a very interesting and intriguing idea.”

        “Rikers is a big problem and the Council president, when she talks about closing Rikers, that’s a big solution,” Cuomo told reporters after a Harlem event. “You only solve a big problem with a big solution.”

        Cuomo made it clear he was speaking specifically about the desire by Mark-Viverito to close the city jail and not her other proposals to wipe old arrest warrants off the books. [snip]

        Mark-Viverito: “The speaker on Thursday unveiled her criminal justice agenda as part of her State of the City address.

        “Rikers Island has come to represent our worst tendencies, and our biggest failures,” she said. “For too long, Rikers has stood not for more justice, but for revenge. We must explore how we can get the population of Rikers to be so small that the dream of shutting it down becomes a reality.”

  7. ha. london? wasn’t he just here for café babylon breakfast yesterday?

    this is the #democracySpring account.

    lawrence lessig just got arrested!!! his presidential campaign: ‘i have one issue: money outta politics. when i achieve that, i will resign and let some unnamed running mate become the leader of the free world™.’ now why didn’t that campaign catch fire?

    oh, and the biggest star power is rosario dawson, who often introduces bernie sanders, it seems. wikied her: actress, singer, and ‘worth 16 million’. we had a great laugh over that here.

  8. okay, i had to a-hunting, but two things re: ‘we tortured some folks’ and gitmo (and some prisoners released this week):

    jeff kaye’s ‘Pentagon declassifies Talking Points regarding controversial Army interrogation manual’; DoD justifies “isolation” techniques on grounds that it’s used in American prisons’ (he’ll sue or appeal for more docs he’d requested) and

    they maybe should have gone on a new Open Menu, but….here they are.

    • “it’s used in america’s prisons,” so what’s the BFD?!?!?!???? what happens in a world where the prison & the military just recycle each other’s “best practices” and manufacture six sigma ninjas of the GWOT at home & abroad? which comes 1st: homan square? or abu ghraib? (answer: neither. both. it doesnt’ matter. the same people staff & run both.) ah yes, one frabjous day we may all get to wage asymmetrical warfare by starving ourselves. (that was a downer note. i’m going to check the scene on the capitol. might be worth a sour laugh).

  9. gone. astroturf dies quick? despite the many awful things about DC, incl. the malign influences that make the city one big Overlook Hotel (from the Shining), the botanical stuff around the capitol, esp. the national botanical garden, is really great. inspiring & breathtaking. 100 yards from the temple to mammon & mars.

    • au contraire; astroturf never dies or needs water. ;-) i’m glad your trip wasn’t a waste of time, then. i’ve never been to deecee, but i can just imagine the gardens. is it cherry blossom time, too? i’ve heard tell that the public transportation is stellar; is that so, or still so?

      but srsly, the pop resistance newsletter has three pieces on democracy spring, as well as announcement that zeese and flowers will join some sort of effort to keep the bern’s revolution alive and growing. i laughed that hedges’ piece began with rosario dawson, including a photo.

      ‘overlook hotel’, ha. i’d forgotten that was its name. mr. wd had to remind me it was filmed at the stanley hotel in estes park: woo-woo! some peeps still won’t stay there outta fear (and i know one).

      as to torture, yes. the chitown commish said close homan cuz: us reputation and torture. the docs say: using torture is okay cuz prisons. well, i’ve already forgotten the euphemisms for the ‘not-quite-torture’ treatment, including separation and solitary. can’t think jeffrey will ever get the big deal docs, though. and the sickest part is that amurricans seem to kinda like torture.

      some guy at another site was telling me that the us defense budget (well, that’s the public number) is worth is because the nation has made big war (or did he say ‘war’?), almost obsolete. i really haven’t been able to figure out how to answer that one. yet.

      • i wouldn’t put visiting DC on anyone’s bucket list. i wonder how many tourists go home thinking, man, america sucks. nothing to do here but fetish fantasies about how great america is. and can the WW2 memorial be any more Albrecht Speer? (yes, the cherry blossoms are nice. done gone this year though.) there didn’t seem to be too many tourists out. let’s hope that’s b/c the economy is collapsing cuz the weather was perfect. the metro service around is ok, which makes it one of the best in the country. buses are pretty good but there are serious problems w/the trains. urban mass transit system of death. it’s both falling apart & getting more expensive. i commute, no car. they are talking about shutting down the train line nearest me, blue, for SIX MONTHS. when was the last time a major city did something like that?


        “…goal of 3500 civil disobedience arrests at the Capitol…At a $50 fine for each arrest, Democracy Spring is fattening up the US Capitol Police coffers to the tune of $175k.” the guy at the link is a cartoonist & DC native w/some good stuff up.

        that hedges piece is up at BAR. haven’t looked at it yet.

        war obsolete? one bit of nuclear hysteria that gets tossed around so casually is that the N Korean & Iranian regimes can’t be allowed to have nukes cuz they ain’t rational actors. the historical ignorance & racism in that sentiment is taken for granted by almost everyone. like Qaddafi & his viagra-infused rape brigades, this is just so much projection. so just who is the irrational actor here?

        if it’s purpose is not war, why the constant demonization of official enemies? it’s a psyop against the populace to make war seem inevitable and justified.

        our economic activity is steeped in the language of war, of competition, “beating the chinese” and all that. it could never be otherwise nder capitalism than a “war economy.” the puritan work ethic has done wonders in getting us to fetishize hard work, internalize the discourse of the master like good little slaves. so our labor & productivity are used to make bombs b/c…war can’t happen? how does that follow?

        anyway, conquering/subduing/dismantling/whatever russia is a multi-pronged strategy, incl. the iranian deal, ISIS, Ukraine, Georgia, the further militarizatoin of europe, economic warfare thru energy price manipulation, etc. etc.

        & they are doing all this cuz all options aren’t *really* on the table? huh? that occam fellow & history mildly suggest a simpler explanation than such 11 dimensional chess

        anyway, i hope there may be some hesitation on the part of US/NATO cuz the pentagon budget is the biggest swindle in human history and this hi-tech whiz bang crap, when faced w/a real opponent, can’t do 1/10th of the stuff lobbyists from lockheed claim. maybe a fantasy on my part, but we’ll all be worse off if this fantasy is only fantasy. a flock of finches flies over the launch site & the missiles get confused & head for the moon. hey, a guy can dream. it’d be funny to see who’s grinding the sour grapes out of their teeth after failing in the planned destruction of all life on earth.

        now let me breathe awhile. that was a tome, wasn’t it?

        • ha. this might work…

          tome? hell’s bell’s, i’da sworn i could hear your voice ranting all that, jason. you say it was *written*, not recorded? ;-)

          that sucks about the train near you; that’s the system i’d heard was the coolest. good on the dearth of tourists, though. i do hear the cops there don’t like people of a certain ilk taking photographs, though…

          i’d add ‘war on drugs’, and the glorification of war adding to the mass shooters believing that they are exacting a similar revenge somehow…in the name of (insert US jingoism here) righteousness.

          yeah, the largest defense budget in the world is all about ‘deterrence’? turns out he’d said ‘total war’, but still. i answered minimally, but forgot to add that he sounded like madeleine ‘it was worth it’ albright. good grief. yeah, sooner or later you’re gonna take all those armaments out for a walk, or someone is. consider:

          ‘As Saudi and Allies Bombard Yemen US Clocks up $33 Billion Arms Sales in Eleven Months; by Felicity Arbuthnot

          So b at MoA says that as he’d predicted, more sanctions on Iran. Oy. and Veh. and while the nuke-reductions ‘talks’ were going on w/the largest purveyors of war, O was adamant about spending another trillion (i forget the time schedule) to upgrade OUR nukes. i swear.

          • not exactly cause for rejoicing, but it always pays to remember the DOD is the biggest liar & cheat in human history. they cheat at their fake war games! they have to keep “all options on the table” cuz in a conventional war (against iran, no less) uncle sam loses.


            the martial drive & the death drive are, if not the same, intimately related. out looking for enemies, the last one you kill is yourself (a la Achilles & Hector in the Iliad.) thanks to nukes, incl. DU & “civilian” reactors, this has become more than “literarily” or “spiritually” or metaphorically true. Each conflict already contains w/in it Apocalyptic fantasy, terror and desire as each conflict entails the possible end of the world.

            the world spins merrily along its death spiral b/c of suppression of this knowledge, the “nuclear unconscious.”


            i tho’t this article was great. it’s long & painful to read, but penetrating.

            • and lies about the budget. a few years ago nick turse looked long and hard into the Bg budget, and found that the dark military budget was roughly equal to the public one. there was the sy hersh report about the military kinda going against O, as well. but along the way to looking for that story, i found this from him from last year. africom flips the zoris right off my feet. it could be a companion piece to the Abby martin piece at a trnn subsidiary on the congo and coltan. cripes, last i looked, the place was too busy transcribing the ‘bern’ interviews to bother with that huge exposé. meh.

              for now, i’m hurtin’ like a mofo, and i spent far too long on police state part III, need to rest my body, brain and eyes. ooof, the title of that looks grisly. i’d always wanted to say: ‘WE know they were there cuz the US provided them to fight the bleepin’ iranians!’

              more after a siesta.

            • O grievous, including the pynchon and other literary quotes to frame and amplify just how hideous depleted uranium is.

              it may be by way of a blessing that i failed to find my diary ‘the gift that keeps on giving’ at my.firedoglake about it way back yonder. there were link to photo arrays of the abnormalities in new babbies, and citations of just how many women aborted, couples were made sterile, and similar horrors. *if* i remember correctly, coupled were begged not to conceive.

              at one time, i tried to find similar questions about the massive bombings in libya, but it was either whitewashed out of history, or…something.
              ‘god damn amerika. one day the chickens will come home to roost.’

        • When was the last time a major city had Congress for its exclusive source of transportation funds? That is, people who were from there and had no interest in providing any infrastructure to there. Even before you get into the deficit and debt and cutting spending two-step.

          Good luck on getting around.

          • glad you stopped by, thd. ‘‘NAACP Leader Kicked Off Flight Confronting Racism and Ableism’, telesur

            “The Rev. William Barber II was removed from a flight after confronting a man making disparaging remarks about his disability.

            The leader of North Carolina’s chapter of the NAACP was taken off a flight for being “a disruptive passenger”, according to the Charlotte Observer.
            The Rev. William Barber II confronted a man sitting behind him that was making disparaging remarks about his disability and was then shortly escorted off the plane by American Eagle flight personnel. Barber had purchased two seats on the flight so he could sit more comfortably, having just undergone bone-fusion surgery to treat his arthritis. Barber recounts that the man had begun loudly complaining about “those people”, inciting racist assertions.”

            I’d also spent a bit of time trying to add to the list of how many ways democracy has been subvert aside from ‘money in politics’ as the key, and never mind the rest, but there are other takes on this history, but it’s something I never knew that makes so much sense:

            ‘The Powell Manifesto and the Revolution by and for the Rich’, by James Hoover

            “The conservative counterattack against progressivism perhaps started with a somewhat private declaration, even a secret manifesto, though a memo in form, written by Lewis Powell in 1971. Powell was to be nominated to the Supreme Court a few weeks later by President Nixon. At the time, as a corporate lawyer, he was a member of the boards of 11 corporations. The memo was entitled “Confidential Memorandum: Attack of American Free Enterprise System” and was addressed to the chairman of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Education Committee.
            Powell considered it a matter of education, for he focused on all realms of communication, technology, politics, and institutions, including new institutional approaches to secretly inculcate conservative principles and thinking in all areas of American life and culture. Called the Powell Manifesto, it is the antithesis of the Communist Manifesto written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in 1848. Marx’s and Engels’ manifesto summarized the class struggle of capitalism versus the worker.” and far more.


          • i think DC metro funds are split at the local, state and fed level. but it wouldn’t be surprising if the biggest jerk in the mix was Congress.

            The Powell Memo…ah yes. that one had slipped down my own personal memory hole.

            • i only remembered it vaguely, but most stuff leaks out of my head easily any more. but really, the list of ways to influence elections and politics is so long, as that memo demonstrates. yeah, compromised NGOs are a pretty large category.

  10. wish it were a first american replacing the indian killer, but this is second best

    one wag wanted this version.
    should have gone on the appropriate thread, but it’d get lost; pretty funny

  11. Zeese and flowers of the popular resistance newsletter sent arun gupta’s ‘Democracy Sleepwalking’ essay at counterpunch with a cover letter noting that while they’d been covering the events, they didn’t attend, and that gupta’s piece is evidence of why not.

    gupta was er…um…about as cynical about it as you and i, jason. millions spent on scripted events, even posters of chants, media handlers ‘stuck like burrs’…work within the system, silly demands for bills with 0-1% chance of passing, etc. 300 organizations, millions spent, months of organizing. “our selma, our ferguson”…

    “The crowd was subdued, youth, retirees, and clusters of staff and interns in matching t-shirts from dozens of organizations they represented. They were passionate about the cause, and the selling of the political system to billionaires is one of the most vital struggles of our time. But on this day the generals were talking to their field officers with few soldiers present.” he reckoned maybe a thousand a day total.

    as to ben and jerry’s truck being there, and handing out free ice cream, his remarks were altogether funny.

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