This starts as follows:
The white nationalist and arch-regressive Republican Party is an
unpopular political organization in the United States. Thanks to the chasm
between its militantly pro-big business and right-wing record and
agenda on one hand and the progressive sentiments of most Americans on
the other, the Republican Party is viewed unfavorably by 62 percent of the nation’s populace. Just a third of the citizenry holds a favorable view of the “Grand Old Party” (GOP).
And guess what? The Republicans are about to assume control of all
three branches of the federal government. They won the U.S. presidency
(the executive branch) and retained control of both chambers of Congress
(the legislative branch). Donald Trump’s presidential victory means the
Supreme Court (the top of the judicial branch) will be tilted to a
right-wing 5-4 majority sometime next year, with disastrous
Republicans—leaders of a party viewed with disapproval by nearly
two-thirds of the population—have control of 34 of the nation’s 50 state
governor positions, the GOP’s best gubernatorial showing since the
1920s. The Democrats have lost 939 state legislative seats under
President Obama. They will control both the governor’s office and
legislature in just five states (California, Oregon, Hawaii, Connecticut
and Rhode Island). By contrast, the Republicans now hold both the
executive and the legislative branch in 25 states.
How do we explain this seeming anomaly?
This is a good question and Paul Street
gives 12 explanations that follow. These are all without the text that
is in the original, except for the last item. I'll leave these to your
interests and merely quote the titles of the first eleven:
As I said, there is quite a lot of text under
these headings. The last item is as follows (and seems to have lost its
number in the original), and it seems to me quite correct:
1. Dismal “Dollar Democrats”
2. Change Rotation
3. Bad Candidates
4. Low Turnout
5. Trump Is Not a Traditional Republican
6. Devaluation of Policy
7. The Electoral College
8. Vote Fraud and Suppression
10. The Politics of Fear
12. Mass Ignorance
A final factor is the supreme ignorance that the nation’s dominant
ideological and cultural authorities and institutions have bred in much
of the U.S. populace. Independent and critical thinking skills, and
honest information and reporting, are under constant assault in the
reigning corporate mass media. The double-whammy of infantilizing,
unreal media and fading public education generates millions of
dumbed-down people who know little about basic things like why the
planet is warming, what fascism is (historical literacy being
dangerously low) or even the names of the world’s continents. An open
demagogue like Trump helps such Americans feel better about themselves.
He channels their resentment of those who know about things such as why
the Arctic ice cover is melting.
“We celebrate ignorance,” Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges notes. “We have replaced political discourse, news, culture and intellectual inquiry with celebrity worship and spectacle.”
Indeed - and this is also an important
theme that seems to be never broached by the mainstream media that
implement it. This is the end of the article:
So Why Did We Bet on Hillary?
Given all these factors, why did so many of us—this writer
included—pick Hillary Clinton to win the election? We believed the
“expert” pollsters. (I’ll never repeat that error.) And we could not
fathom that someone as atrocious and noxious—sexist, racist, nativist,
police-statist, climate-change denying, authoritarian, selfish, vicious,
anti-abortion, juvenile, petty, Twitter-addicted and maybe even
fascist—as the reality television bully Donald Trump could clear all the
establishment hurdles and ascend to the most powerful office in the
world. It was just too surreal, too dystopian, too appalling to wrap
one’s mind around. We thought that in the special and awful case of
Trump, the normal patterns favoring a Republican victory in the
presidential election would not apply.
We were wrong. Now we are staring into the face of a coming
presidency that promises to be catastrophic, something that is going to
take heroic and dedicated mass activism to survive.
I mostly agree, although I do not believe
Paul Street will "never repeat that error" (of believing the
pollsters): After all, this is the best evidence on has, prior to the elections.
And this is a recommended article.
3. Which Trump? Early Signs
This starts as follows (and is from last week, when I missed it for some reason):
The third item today is by Ralph Nader:
Optimists are hoping for a Trump makeover. They cling to his brief
victory remarks suggesting that he wants to be the “president of all the
people.” In his 60 Minutes interview following the election Trump said
that the protestors were out in the streets because “they do not know
me.” They recall his statement some months ago that he had to say
outlandish things in order to get greater media attention and reach more
people than his Republican primary competitors.
Character and personality are not prone to change in most people.
Especially in the case of Trump, who sees these campaign tactics as
reasons for his “successes.” However, the assumption to exalted, higher
offices of public trust and power sometimes brings out the better
So far, though, the signs are foreboding. Trump values loyalty, and
people like Rudy Giuliani and Newt Gingrich stuck with him at his lowest
points earlier this year. Trump knows very little about the awesome job
given him by that dead hand from the past – the Electoral College –
which has once again caused a plurality of voters to see their chosen
candidate lose (Even Trump acknowledged its unfairness on CBS’s Sixty
Minutes after the election)
Yes indeed (although I would not trust any
of Trump's sayings, simply because 71% of his earlier sayings that have
been checked were lies).
Here is more, on how Trump's appointments are very pleasing to the very rich plus some on his military advisors:
His transition appointments are delighting the corporatists. The man
chosen to oversee the changes in the Environmental Protection Agency
denies that climate change is man-made and scowls at regulation of
harmful pollutants. Trump has opened the door to the big oil and gas
lobbyists to control the Department of Energy and the Department of the
Interior. Wall Streeters are smacking their lips over Trump cavorting
with opponents of regulating that giant gambling casino.
His military advisors do not come from the ranks of prudent retired
officials who see perpetual war for what it is – a mechanism for
national insecurity, authoritarianism and profits for the
military-industrial complex that President Dwight Eisenhower warned us
about in his 1961 farewell address. To the contrary, many of Trump’s military advisers have been quick to embrace an Empire mentality and its warfare state.
And there is this on nepotism (for Trump's children) and on immigrants:
Intrigue and internal fighting inside the White House and top Cabinet
levels are likely if Trump insists on giving powerful roles to his
three children and son-in-law (albeit without pay). Nepotism and
conflicts of interest are acidic cocktails and undermine the integrity
and transparency of public office.
Then there is the explosive crackdown on immigrants – many of whom
benefit millions of Americans by working in low-wage jobs – that can
produce daily turmoil, not to mention the exorbitant human cost of
breaking up families in communities across the country.
And this is from the end:
Our country is in an extraordinarily high-risk condition, given who
possesses the reins of power. Self-described conservatives and liberals
can curb that power if they form alliances back in the Congressional
districts around the major initiatives on which they agree (See my book Unstoppable: The Emerging Left/Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State). Such alliances have occurred with success in the past.
I agree mostly, although I am skeptical about an emerging left/right alliance.
And this is a recommended article.
Washington Post Readers
The fourth item today is by Washington's Blog on his blog:
starts as follows and seems to be an article that draws up a defense of
Washington's Blog and a promise that it will - try to - continue as
Washington’s Blog is written by American writers (with guest posts by Brits, Canadians, Aussies, etc).
The owner of this site is an American who was born and raised here,
lived here his whole life, and loves the United States. He is a busy
professional, former adjunct professor and family man.
A non-partisan site, we routinely interview high-level retired American military and intelligence officials, to provide the American view on the world. But they often disagree with current policy, which they say harms America’s national security.
For example, we’ve consistently documented that:
[Here are the themes we write about. ]
Does saying these things consistently for years – even when the Bush
Administration or others said the exact opposite – make us bad people or
The Founding Fathers said that dissent is the highest form of patriotism. We agree.
I like Washington's Blog for quite a while
now, although indeed I do not like all regular writers, nor do I agree
with everything on it. But it is by and large good
alternative news (as contrasted with the usually bad mainstream media).
Next, a considerable number of quotations
are given, of which I will select quite a few simply because I like
them. Here is the first bit:
“It is not the function of our government to keep the citizen from
falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the
government from falling into error”
– United States Supreme Court decision in American
Communications Association v. Douds
“To stand in silence when they should be protesting makes cowards out of men.”
– Abraham Lincoln
“Those who give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
– Ben Franklin
“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.”
– Thomas Jefferson
“Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.”
And this is the second bit:
And this is the third and last group of quotations:
“The citizen who sees his society’s democratic clothes being worn out and does not cry it out, is not a patriot, but a traitor.”
– Mark Twain
“All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent”
– Thomas Jefferson
“This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who
inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government,
they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their
revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it.”
– Abraham Lincoln, First Inaugural
These quotations (and there are quite a few more in the original) served a point:
“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition
of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the
military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of
misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of
this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We
should take nothing for granted.”
“A small group had concentrated into their own hands an almost complete
control over other people’s property, other people’s money, other
people’s labor — other people’s lives. For too many of us life was no
longer free; liberty no longer real; men could no longer follow the
pursuit of happiness.”
– Dwight D. Eisenhower
– Franklin Roosevelt
What do the quotes all have in common?
The great Americans who said them would be considered terrorists today.
Specifically, according to Department of Defense training manuals, protest is considered “low-level terrorism”. And see this, this and this.
An FBI memo also labels peace protesters as “terrorists”.
Indeed, police have been terrorizing children, little old ladies and other “dangerous” people who attempted to protest peacefully.
Yes indeed - and I refer you to the
beginning of 2014 (which is a little improved repetition of something I
wrote in the end of 2012) for my views on terrorism: I still am quite
uncertain whether terrorism - that is: the secret introduction of spying on everyone anywhere by the secret services - wasn't the main point of 9/11 (indeed also
quite independently of who caused it - and the official story about
9/11 is false anyway).
Here is some more on what the "anti-terrorism laws" have been used for:
The government is also using anti-terrorism laws to keep people from learning what pollutants are in their own community. See this, this, this and this.
Claims of “national security”
are also used to keep basic financial information – such as who got
bailout money – secret. That might not bode for particularly warm and
friendly treatment for someone persistently demanding the release of
I am afraid this "anti-terrorism" will very much strengthen under president Trump, who might be so much involved in keeping up his own megalomania
that he considers everyone a terrorist who criticizes him. (We will find out.) 
This article ends with a note (which may be a little unwise, but is correct in principle, at least in my view):
Note: Government apologists are also eager to label
anyone “taking a cynical stance toward politics, mistrusting authority,
endorsing democratic practices, … and displaying an inquisitive,
imaginative outlook” as worthy of a Stalinist trip to the insane asylum.
I guess the famous Americans quoted above were not only terrorists, but
they were also crazy.
In fact, most American insane asylums have
been closed (because that was cheaper). And I have no really adequate
ideas about what Trump will do if he is president, though indeed I
expect nothing good and a great amount that is very bad.
And this is a recommended article.
5. Fidel Castro, Cuban Revolutionary Who Defied U.S., Dies
The fifth item today is by Anthony DePalma on the New York Times:
This starts as follows:
Castro, the fiery apostle of revolution who brought the Cold War to the
Western Hemisphere in 1959 and then defied the United States for nearly
half a century as Cuba’s maximum leader, bedeviling 11 American
presidents and briefly pushing the world to the brink of nuclear war,
died Friday. He was 90.
His death was announced by Cuban state television.
declining health for several years, Mr. Castro had orchestrated what he
hoped would be the continuation of his Communist revolution, stepping aside in 2006
when he was felled by a serious illness. He provisionally ceded much of
his power to his younger brother Raúl, now 85, and two years later formally resigned as president.
Raúl Castro, who had fought alongside Fidel Castro from the earliest
days of the insurrection and remained minister of defense and his
brother’s closest confidant, has ruled Cuba since then, although he has
told the Cuban people he intends to resign in 2018.z
There is a whole lot more under the last dotted link, but I leave all of that to your interests.
As to Fidel Castro (<-Wikipedia): I know of him since 1965 (at the latest) but I gave
up on him already in the Sixties, and in fact was moved then mostly by
seeing (i) he was a dictator, who (ii) spoke for six or more hours to
his population (which I thoughty far too long). 
6. No more monthly
The sixth and last item
today has no link (well... there is this)
and only serves to inform you that I stop giving monthly vitamin
I think I have done this for over a year now, but I have had no response
whatsoever on it, and - from my experiences on Phoenix Rising - it also
seems likely to me that one needs both an IQ of 130 or higher (which
few people have, especially those with brain fog and M.E.) and some
education on reporting and testing to write reports in which the
minimal necessary information is given.
This makes it likely
hardly anyone on Phoenix Rising is capable of it (yes, indeed, though I
should add that they also seem to have succeeded in hunting away nearly
everyone with any real intelligence). And it seems I have been writing for no one.
So I'll stop (and have in
fact stopped yesterday).
This doesn't mean I
stop taking vitamins,
because I have M.E. now for nearly 38 years (since 1.i.1979) and I am
certain - in fact from writing my autobiography (in Dutch) - that this was the only
thing that helped me (apart from sleeping pills).
I simply go on as before. But I give up preaching to the
non-intelligent. It seems utterly useless and it only costs energy
that I can use better for reporting on politics or science.