Let’s Be Clear – What we call “Syria”, Putin Calls “Russia-South” – And We Just Handed Russia-South A Big Win

Vladimir Putin has never been shy about his goals.  Aside from remaining the richest man on earth (because he’s also the most corrupt), Putin wants to restore the “Greater Russia” that the Soviet Union had, but lost.  And he wants to restore Russia to “Greater Russia” at our expense.

After all, it was America that broke the Soviet Union – not so much through the Cold War as through the Cold War’s long term effect on Russia’s economy.  The Soviet Union ended with a sad whimper, nothing like a “bang”.  Putin’s never forgotten nor forgiven.

As disastrous as Afghanistan was for Russia (we know that feeling now too), Syria has been different.  For starters, he has a very willing local client in Bashar al-Assad.  Surrounded by enemies, his economy a complete shambles, Assad is in no position to negotiate with anyone.  Putin’s patronage – he’s always had Assad’s back – comes at a very steep price.

Putin has built air bases in Syria.  One of them, in fact, houses Assad’s chemical weapons supply.  That’s the airbase WE bombed right after Syria gassed the Syrians in Douma.  The airbase where Russia said to us “Okay – you can bomb this base (so it looks like you’re doing something) – but you can only bomb THIS part of the air base where we let the Syrians hang out; you bomb any of the rest of the air base – where we are – and our planes and equipment? You’re gonna have a problem…”.

Putin also has a naval base in Syria – in Tartus (Russia’s only naval base outside the Russian Federation – think about how important that makes Tartus to Putin).  That fact alone speaks volumes.  Putin has no intention to ever give back or vacate that naval base.  Why the hell would he?  It’s just as likely that Kim tosses his growing nuclear stockpile.

Russia’s problem with Syria was that they didn’t control all of it.  There were groups – like the Kurds – standing in their way. 

Putin – knowing the America won’t stand in his way (because he owns Trump outright), made a cynical deal with Turkey.  Erdogan got what he wanted (part of Syria that he could fill with anyone NOT Kurd – a group he hates because they’re 1) sepratists and 2) multi-religious as opposed to just Muslim.  ISIS even gets what IT wanted – the means to reconstitute, rebuild and recommit themselves to terrorizing Europe & America. 

Everything Russia could possibly want, they got.  And the world, yet again, looks at America with disgust – this time for betraying an ally.

It’s perverse that our Main Stream News Media to this day asks “Why does Trump like Putin so much?” as if the answer to that question was truly hard to ponder.

Say it with me – please: Trump treats Putin like Putin owns him because Putin owns him.

Betcha Putin opened one of his best bottles of vodka last night.  I bet he savored every last bit of it – the same way he’s savoring what Trump is doing to America on his behalf.

Advertisements

Dear MSM – Trump Won’t “Become” A Traitor The Moment YOU Realize He Is One, He’s Been One ALL ALONG

I’ve spent a ton of words here, trying to put my finger on why it is America’s press consistently fails to adequately report the story we’re all living through.

The answer to my question, ultimately, is perspective.  Our MSM (not their fault, really) have no perspective on an historical event so monstrous, so huge, so far-reaching, so corrupt on so many levels that it will take historians a generation or so to completely wrestle our story to the ground.  The Netflix limited series will take a dozen seasons or so to pack it all in.

Failure of imagination also plays a part in the news media’s inability to see and report on Donald Trump.  They’ve bolted their Normalcy Bias Blinders to their heads and can’t get them off.  As insanely abnormal as everything about Donald Trump has been, they STILL treat Trump as if he WERE normal.  They treat his presidency – with all ITS disturbing abnormalities as a NEW normal – instead of the aberration that it is.  Again – perspective would help here.

The instant our news media let go of “Mexicans are rapists”, they normalized Trump’s abnormality.  When they whip-sawed from “pussy grabbing” to the Comey letter without whipping back, the fix was completely in.  Bullshit had superseded Truth as the Trumpian touchstone.  Bullshit would now be seen AS “the truth” where Trump was concerned.

Con men con by bamboozling the bamboozle-able.  Another problem solved with perspective.

Spies – and active intelligence assets – also con via misrepresentation.  Look at the picture Trump has painted of his relationship with Russia and especially Vladimir Putin.  Look at the WHOLE picture, start to finish, with every lie, evasion and outright deception included.  THAT paints a picture, too.  Not the one Trump wants us to see. 

When the American Press finally pulls back far enough to see the whole story with the perspective it might have started with, they’ll conclude: Donald Trump is a traitor.  He betrayed the country, our ideals – perhaps even our future.  They’ll also discover that the whole Republican Party also betrayed us but that’s another whole story unto itself.

On that day, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS & NBC – and every talking head on their air – will crow about Trumpian treason.  They’ll scream and shout how obvious it is (now that they can see it).  But the problem is, Trump and the Republican Party will not start being traitors on the day the American Press finally gets it, they’ll have been traitors all along.  Up until the moment the Press got it, the traitors were getting away with their treachery.

THAT, right there, is our problem.

The feeling I’ve been trying to describe is a lot like that feeling one gets during an English Pantomime.  If you’ve never seen one, they’re amped up common stories (like Cinderella or Puss In Boots) told in an amped up theatrical fashion that encourages audience participation.  There is no fourth wall and the players (the lead especially) regularly talks to the audience and engages them in repartee. 

There’s always a moment here the villain of the piece enters the scene – but our hero (seems) totally unaware.  The audience (now part of the show), tries to warn the hero.  He turns to look but the villain ducks just in time.  The audience howls at the hero to look the other way – which he does – but not in time to catch the villain who ducks away again.

It’s fixed, of course.  The hero’s not supposed to see the villain just yet.  But the audience, sucked in to the theatricality, feels frustration and panic (by design) because the bad guy is getting away with it. 

Voila!  Is that not how we feel every day?  That we’re watching a show where the bad guys couldn’t be more obvious yet every attempt to stop them fails in large part because the people best able to stop them, haven’t grasped yet the massive size of the thing that they’re trying to stop.  It’s very, VERY hard to solve a problem you don’t know (or admit to yourself) that you have.

Our problem is treason.  For real.  Actual war-time treason.  We’re under attack (anyone want to argue?) in a cyber war – just as real, just as dangerous as a shooting war.  Welcome to the future, boys n girls, where THIS is how wars get fought.  Just because we don’t admit (or even SEE) that we’re under attack, doesn’t mean we aren’t.  The citizens of Pearl Harbor had no idea as the Japanese Navy approached that an undeclared state of war existed.  And THEY were going to be where the first shots would be fired.

It sucks to be the last to know.

How ironic – that’s our MSM’s story, too.

The Deep Down Dirty Secret Inside Every Evangelical: They All Think THEY Are “God”

Ask ten people what “God” is, you’ll get ten different answers.  That’s because “God” didn’t invent us, we invented “him”. 

Ask ten Evangelicals what “God” is and they’ll draw you a word picture that, if you stripped it of all the larger-than-life puffery would look exactly like them. 

For reference-sake, let’s remind ourselves that Jesus preached a simple message: Do Unto Others.  It was Paul, selling his version of Jesus and Jesus’ message to the gentiles, who actually invented what we think of as Christianity.  If Paul doesn’t do what he does, there is no Christianity.

Jesus, in fact, taught his followers that they didn’t need a “church”.  He raged against not only the money changers but the Temple Priests, too, who Jesus believed were corrupt.  Speak directly to the father, Jesus preached. Talk to Yahweh (the “god” character’s actual name; “god” is actually his job description) directly, no need for a church or a priest to intercede on your behalf.

Yet lots of American Christians – Evangelicals especially – could ditch Jesus entirely and be completely at peace practicing a religion that couldn’t care less about doing unto others. What matters most to them is maintaining political power and keeping all the money. 

The trick every theist plays on themselves – and anyone they then talk to – is believing that they have a direct line to this Yahweh guy.  When push comes to shove, they can get Yahweh on the phone and get him thinking straight.  The truth, of course, is way more complicated.  Cue the Magical Thinking.

Theists imagine a deity clever enough to create the whole cosmos – and everything in it – but too inept to get human beings right.  In fact, the Yahweh character, as written, is so inept and incompetent that he (only a male would react like this), faced with the mess he’s made with humans (it never says Yahweh is unhappy with any other creature except the talking snake), is willing to destroy ALL LIVING THINGS – non humans included – out of… what, spite?

What kind of tin pot, third-rate deity is this guy?

Then – when he gets the humans he really wants, Yahweh cranks the incest meter up to a thousand.  Think about it.  First there’s Adam & Eve.  They have two sons – Caan & Abel.  It’s written how Caan, after he killed Abel, has a massive family.  Okay, fair enough.  Where’d his wife – and HER family – come from?  Unless she spontaneously sprang into being, she had to be conceived, born and raised.  Well – who conceived her?  Who was the sperm donor?  Whose was the egg?

If other people existed on earth then those people also had to spring from Eve.  If this story is “historical” (good thing it isn’t), then every human on earth is the bi-product of incest.  Theists happily re-play the incest meme hen they get to Noah.  If every other human being is wiped out, every other line of human genetics, then every last human on earth must be related to Noah – and sprang from incestuous origins.  There’s no way around it.

Religionistas all insist that they have insight about Yahweh that no one else has.  They know what Yahweh means across however many translations from the Aramaic to the Greek to the English.  Religionistas all claim to know what lurks in a fictional creature’s fictional heart. What could possibly go wrong? History is littered with the victims of religious people who spoke for god using violent means.  Religionistas destroyed whole cultures because “God” wanted it.  That would be their “god”.  Their white man’s “god”.  Them.

Republicans Are The “Mission Accomplished” Party; That’s Great Until You Realize What Their “Mission” Is…

Who can forget W aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln, May 2, 2003 – proudly proclaiming just what the banner behind him said: “Mission Accomplished”.

That image haunted W’s presidency.  It haunts him to this day because nothing had actually been accomplished.  The only thing they’d succeeded at, mission-wise, up to that point was successfully hanging that banner without anyone getting hurt.

Like everything else Republicans say, “Mission Accomplished” was marketing, no more honest or genuine than Mitch McConnell insisting Merrick Garland couldn’t get a hearing because “the American people needed to make the SCOTUS choice, not the president who they’d overwhelmingly returned to office”. That WAS what Moscow Mitch said with as straight a face as he could muster.

And yet – when it comes to “Mission Accomplished”, Republicans have actually succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.  The America being torn apart right now is the America Republicans want.  We are living in their “Mission Accomplished” – or, to be accurate, “Mission NEARLY Accomplished”.  Republicans can see Permanent Minority Rule from their house now.  They ache to get there.

This is how close Republicans are now to accomplishing their mission –

  • PACK THE COURTS — Moscow Mitch denied Obama dozens of lifetime court appointments.  How strange that all those vacancies started filling the moment Trump became POTUS.
  • How strange that Merrick Garland couldn’t get a hearing while Brett Kavanaugh skated despite overwhelming evidence he was unworthy to hold the judgeship he already held.

  • PROHIBIT NON-WHITE IMMIGRATION – Children in cages, anyone?

  • DESTROY THE ENVIRONMENT – We left the Paris Accords.  Ryan Zinke.  The end of clean water, clean air, National Parks.  Life as we know it.
  • MAKE THE RICH RICHER & THE POOR POORER – Tax cuts for the rich, bullshit & lies for everyone else.
  • INSTITUTIONALIZE RACISM – “Decent people on both sides”.
  • MAKE GERRYMANDERING PERMANENT – Twice as many Democrats as Republicans have to vote in order for their majority to actually feel like a majority.  The whole point of gerrymandering is to CIRCUMVENT the Will Of The People.  Welcome to Republicanism.  Can’t win on the law, can’t win on procedure, so pound the table into sawdust instead.
  • ENFORCE PERMANENT MINORITY RULE – Remind the class – how many more votes did Hilary Clinton get over Trump?  3 million plus, was it?  Remember – that doesn’t include all the uncounted, provisional, suppressed, flipped & tossed in the trash ballots.  Think any of those were Republican votes?
  • DESTROY OUR RELATIONSHIPS WITH ALL ALLIES – The knife-wound in the Kurds’ back is still fresh enough we can watch it bleed.
  • MAKE AMERICA A RUSSIAN SATELLITE STATE – How about that: “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED”!

This Should Be Simple — If You Took Any Russian Money In Order To GET Elected? You Did Not Legally Get Elected

The law is pretty simple: Political campaigns are PROHIBITED from receiving ANY kind of contribution from a foreign national.

That means any political campaign that takes ANYTHING from a foreign national is breaking the law. You cannot break the law to win political office. Breaking the law to win disallows your win. In fact, because you broke the law, you DIDN’T win.

We already knew that Russian money flowed into the NRA for distribution to Republican candidates. That means — any Republican candidate who took one penny from the NRA needs to PROVE that that penny didn’t flow from a Russian source. Can’t prove it? We will now assume that that money DID flow from Russia. And you TOOK IT.

We know that Russian retirees, living in America, saw their retirement check’s from Russia suddenly bumped from mere kopeks a month to thousands of dollars a month. That largesse wasn’t intended for the retirees, it was intended for Republican campaign coffers. The retirees were laundering money Russia wanted to donate to Republicans. Voila — “Mission Accomplished”.

We already knew that Russian money flowed into Mitch McConnell’s PAC — same as it did lots of other Republicans’ PACs. The way those dollars flowed was all within the letter of the law. But the spirit of the law will haunt them. Innocent foreign dollars one moment, Treason Cash the next.

Russia, we keep learning, waged a complex, multi-faceted, multi-pronged attack on our election and election systems. They pounded us with propaganda and disinformation. We don’t know yet if or how Russia flipped actual voting machines. It doesn’t matter. If Russian disinformation (gleaned via proprietary polling data, handed from Paul Manafort to Oleg Deripaska to Russian Military Intelligence for weaponizing back into personalized Facebook ads on individual voters Facebook pages) caused ONE African American voter to stay home when they intended to vote, then Russia changed the outcome of an American election on Donald Trump’s behalf.

One vote is all it takes to be election fraud. I don’t see where the Rule Of Law keeps a score sheet with a threshold.

If The Rule Of Law is back as “A Thing” then every Republican who received money from Russia broke the law. They broke it in order to WIN their elections — which means they didn’t win. You can’t break the law in order to become the law’s protector — that’s a contradiction.

If you steal something, it’s not actually yours. Regardless of how much you like driving around in a stolen car, the car STILL belongs to the guy you stole it from. In the case of election 2016, Trump, the Russians & the GOP stole the desired (voted upon) outcome We The People wanted and stole not only the Highest Office In The Land but every other electoral “win” below it.

If the Rule Of Law is really back then every last bit of Election 2016 must be voided. That means Donald Trump was never actually POTUS. He was never legitimately authorized to do the things he did — like pick judges. Every judge Trump picked was picked by someone unauthorized to pick judges. That means they must be voided — since, in point of fact, Hillary Clinton was the legitimate POTUS.

If we end up doing this right? This shit’s gonna get M E S S Y !

Cannabis & Productivity Go Together Like Cannabis & Feeling Good

I’ve written here before about my cannabis story. I wasn’t a fan in high school. Cannabis (if that’s what I was really smoking) put me to sleep.

That didn’t appeal to me as a kid. So, I avoided cannabis in favor of alcohol, cocaine and, occasionally ecstasy. Depression made sleep hard to come by as my late middle ages wore on. OTC sleep meds (like Simply Sleep) did nothing for me except make me groggy and forgetful.

I turned to cannabis because I live in California. It was (at the time) medically legal. I needed to fix my problem so I gave cannabis a shot.

“I have sleep problems,” I told that first budtender, feeling very illicit though I was doing a totally “licit” thing. “Skywalker,” they replied.

And, from that first night onward, cannabis became a part of my everyday life. I slept that night — slept well. Slept restfully. Woke up ready to face the day for the first time in years. Literally.

That was a game changer. When I returned to that dispensary a few days later, I wanted to know — what’s in all those OTHER canisters?

Turned out there were other indicas with slightly different flavors and effects. There also were sativas & hybrids.

“Sativa?” I asked.

I had no idea that cannabis wasn’t just a feel-super-good sleeping med. Depending on the strain, cannabis can be an all day product. Keeping in mind that virtually everything our culture “knows” about cannabis was racist bullshit invented first by America’s first drug czar Harry Anslinger then turned into a totally racist “War On Drugs” by Richard Nixon, it’s not shocking that, as a culture, we think cannabis & work are incompatible.

That’s because we have it in our heads that cannabis and alcohol work the same on our brains and bodies. They don’t. Not even remotely.

When cannabis began to spread from the Southwest US (in the 1910’s following the Mexican Revolution) to the South, it found a home in New Orleans where a group of African American musicians were busy inventing jazz. Artists like Louie Armstrong didn’t like to drink & play because alcohol dulls your creativity. Same goes for heroin.

Marijuana, on the other hand, had the opposite effect. Yes, there was that lovely euphoria. But cannabis, though you can get pretty “high”, it NEVER impacts your ability to reason or do physical things. Cannabis does not impact your motor skills & perceptions the way alcohol does.

As many of us have learned (through lots & lots of repetition), sativas especially focus your mind. They focus your creativity to a very fine point. You can get lots of very good work done.

I’ve written while drunk. Written while coked to the gills. It’s always crap.

Cannabis has the exact opposite effect on the mind — and subsequently the work the mind produces. In the exact same way, I discovered that a few hits of Durban Poison just before or while I play tennis takes my tennis game up a good, solid notch.

With DP in my system, everything slows down. I can see the spin on the tennis ball as it comes at me. I can see the damned fuzz on the ball. My timing becomes far more precise. I play better. Consistently. Reliably.

When I think of the destruction we caused — to people guilty of nothing other than using marijuana — I want to scream. We destroyed people — the overwhelming majority of them black or brown. But then, that was always the point of marijuana prohibition.

It should go without saying — cannabis is not for everyone. Nothing on this planet is. Let’s put that away, okay?

For most people, cannabis would be a great alternative to opioids and a great alternative to alcohol. If people attending a sporting event smoked cannabis instead of pounding down beer? Trust me, there’d never be another riot after a game ended. All the attendees would be too busy hugging each other or happily dozing.

Or they’d be too busy getting things done.

The Problem With Coming Late To The Party

Think back to election night 2016.  I bet you can still recall that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach when it hit you that the impossible – Trump “winning” the presidency – had just happened.  Some of us saw that sick feeling as more than just disgust at a bad election result.  It was our noses catching the scent of corruption. 

Trump “winning” wasn’t just a bad election result, it was bullshit.  Literal bullshit.  Even Trump knew it that night – it was well reported how surprised everyone was in the Trump campaign.  It wasn’t the “unlikeliness” of the result that shocked them, it was the fact that the crime they were all part of had just succeeded beyond any of their wildest imaginations. And in spite of their efforts.

Even during the campaign, Trump’s relationship with Russia was under the microscope.  Remember Trump telling Hillary that she was Putin’s puppet, not him?  Pretty funny, that moment, if you think about.  Not so much funny “ha-ha” as funny “boy, does that stink!”.  Turns out we were witnessing something profound.  Trump was projecting as Trump does.

He was confessing: he was Putin’s puppet.

Let’s be quite clear – between then and now, Trump being Putin’s puppet has not become “less true”, it’s become “more true” and by “more true”, I mean “more painfully obvious”.  What used to sound – and be called “hyperbolic” – Donald Trump is a traitor – is now openly stated on relatively reliable news channels like CNN & MSNBC.  If we get to play this all out – I believe we will – and proof of Trump’s treason finds the light (more than it already has – ample proof having already found plenty of light), it won’t mean Trump started being a traitor at the moment we collectively decided he was guilty of it.

It will only mean we’re finally calling Trump the thing he is: a traitor.  He’s been a traitor all along.  He’s been betraying us all along – even when we refused to think he was a “traitor”.  He was being one. 

We all know what happens when you arrive late to a party.  The food’s pretty much gone.  So’s the best wine and the best beer.  Being late gets you the dregs of everything. The news works exactly the same way.

The American News Media has been behind from day one with this story. Between normalcy bias and failure of imagination, they’ve consistently failed to see the enormity of Trumps crime in real time — even as he was committing those crimes in plain view, right in the Main Stream Media’s face. They’re just beginning to see it, get it and report it now.

That’s great that they’re catching up. Great that they see a real and viable threat here. But it doesn’t change the fact that it took the Main Stream Media this long to figure out how much they didn’t know.