Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 08, 2019

Open Thread 2019-08

News & views ...

Posted by b on February 8, 2019 at 17:34 UTC | Permalink

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Here is a more detailed look at the American weapon that concerns Russia:

Unfortunately, those of us that live in the West rarely get a clear understanding of both sides of the looming nuclear nightmare.

Posted by: Sally Snyder | Feb 8 2019 18:05 utc | 1

The link below is from ZH about monotheistic life support. The link is raw and not in HTML because I couldn't get a HTML link to form properly...any others having problems?

The article even includes the text of the "Historic Covenant" which I forced myself to read. It does contain wording about improving the rights of women which I found hopeful but other than a call to end greed there are no words about socialism/capitalism/moneychangers.

It seems to be more of a circling of the monotheistic wagons which speaks volumes about where humanity is at. How is one suppose to have any respect for religions that are only worried about their own ongoing existence instead of the best interests of the sheep they continue to fleece with their patriarchal myth?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 8 2019 18:06 utc | 2

Italian industrial output continues to plummet:

Crolla la produzione industriale: -0,8% a dicembre e -5,5% anno. Ai minimi dal 2012: <>


Contrary to what came ou in Japan Times (which quoted a UN report), Germany and Japan will not benefit from the trade war between the USA and China. On the contrary: they will suffer the most within the selected insutrialized club:

Welcome to the karaoke market

Here's the excerpt of interest of the link above:

I wrote on November 30 that the US-China tariff war had crushed capital investment plans, as corporations waited to see where they should locate their supply chains. A global contraction of world trade appears to have started in September, and is responsible for economic weakness in the major trading economies, notably Germany and Japan.

The same article also states that Germany probably also entered in recession.

The First World has plateued.


This is third in order, but is, by far, the most important news of the week. Trump and the Democrats finally came out of the closet:

Better dead than red! Congress bonds over shared hatred for socialism at Trump’s SOTU

The important part is right into the first paragraph:

Lawmakers watching President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address were sharply divided along partisan lines until the president mentioned socialism – then they chanted “USA! USA!” as if McCarthy himself was watching.

This is a historic SOTU. I've already saved its transcript in PDF and will probably print it. This is an inflection point in the History of the USA and, therefore, the world.

I don't need to state here why it is so.


On a side note, South Korea's exports (therefore, given its economic model, its economy) also continue to plummet:

Shrinking exports.

As I've already stated some weeks ago here, president Jae-in Moon has already stated to beg for a formal peace with North Korea, with the publicly stated objective of opening new markets for the South Korean chaebols. As everybody here must know, South Korea is an artificial nation-state created by the capitalist camp during the Cold War and is made essentially by a mafia-style consortium of come twelve big chaebols.

Posted by: vk | Feb 8 2019 18:13 utc | 3

Here's Orlov on the demise of the INF treaty and general US idiocy, including a summary of the new Russian weapons capabilities.

Posted by: Russ | Feb 8 2019 18:23 utc | 4

the info on freeland is old news... the info on the usa using the imf and world bank to screw other countries, is also old news.. but, it is all worth repeating for anyone who is just finding out about all this..

the idea that alberta will not benefit from the venezuala dynamic is only part of it.. the cost to get the oil from the tar sands in high, not to mention all the tailing pools that are a part of the environmental holocaust this technique generates.. the world needs to find alternatives to oil, or cut back on consumption, as it is killing the planet..

Posted by: james | Feb 8 2019 18:24 utc | 5

We finally know what all the Cisco telephones were needed for:

Year Before Killing, Saudi Prince Told Aide He Would Use ‘a Bullet’ on Jamal Khashoggi - New York Times, February 7, 2019

Intercepted conversations revealed evidence that the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, considered killing Jamal Khashoggi long before his death in Istanbul.

The conversation, intercepted by American intelligence agencies, is the most detailed evidence to date that the crown prince considered killing Mr. Khashoggi long before a team of Saudi operatives strangled him inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul and dismembered his body using a bone saw.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Feb 8 2019 18:25 utc | 6

psychohistorian #2

That's funny. Top-down pre-fabricated IKEA religions always work so well. Another sign of the mainstream's desperation: They sense that any vital new religious force will come from outside and below, and be against the system, so they're trying to sheep-dog religiosity same as they do in politics.

Posted by: Russ | Feb 8 2019 18:27 utc | 7

@ vk with the CongressCritters chant at SOTU about socialism...thanks,

I am sorry but not surprised to read that. It is also my understanding that both House and Senate, multiple times per year when called upon, re-assert the change to the original motto of E Pluribus Unum to In God We Trust.

The monotheistic God of Mammon religion rules the West and has the government puppets to prove it. It is interesting to watch the elite turning on each other and exposing even more perfidy under the guise of doing God's work

More faith in the leadership of the West is not the answer. I hope resolution comes soon to our geopolitical nightmare.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 8 2019 18:28 utc | 8

@4 russ... thanks.. i enjoyed the article and the first comment by mike, along with dimtrys response to him.. usa inc...

Posted by: james | Feb 8 2019 18:35 utc | 9

Wrote two posts on the State of the Union. Major takeaways: Trump's address is being misread as "anti-war" and Bernie, not Stacey Abrams, had history on his side that night:

Trump's Speech-

"Tonight I ask you to choose greatness," Trump said, beginning a nationalistic tirade. His message was clear: "America above all." Although many commentators saw his appeals to bipartisanship as a moderate stance, his calls for "national unity" in fact slot neatly into nationalist and militarist traditions. Rather than unity around climate change or the perils posed by massive tech giants, Trump's appeal was that America "must be united at home to defeat our adversaries abroad, ie Russia and China, along with smaller powers like Iran, which Trump warmongered loudly against throughout his address.

The most disturbing portions of Trump's speech focused on Venezuela and socialism. Trump demanded the illegal removal of President Nicolas Maduro and blamed socialism for that country's sanctions-induced economic wipeout. His themes resemble classical extreme right appeals to socialism and communism as the greatest enemy, most recently expressed by Brazil's Jair Bolsonaro

Bernie's speech:

Identity politics aside, however, it was clear who had the force of history behind him: Sanders's message, delivered as a sharp indictment of global neoliberal polices since the 1970s, attacking point-by-point this noxious ideology, and establishing a real counter-hegemony.

By contrast, Abrams's speech was void of policy and served as a call to bipartisanship in the abstract sense: not around policies but around tone, style and rhetoric. With references to Reaganism and national unity against "foreign and domestic enemies," the speech had more than a whiff of Trumpism.

At the end of the day Sanders's barb against Trump's identitarianism serves as a subtle critique of this kind of politics. Though far to the right of most Indymedia readers, he forged himself last night into the weapon against neoliberalism that may yet be wielded by the public to finish off today's economic Frankenstein.

Read more:

Posted by: Blooming Barricade | Feb 8 2019 18:37 utc | 10

@5, James

Yes, it's old news. Old technologies used to do the new chaos, new regime change, new hybrid war.

The theme song is "Everything Old is New Again", from the Peter Allen song, and All That Jazz film.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Feb 8 2019 18:43 utc | 11

Also, in case anyone missed it, the Venezuela bridge photo plastered around the media will go down in history already alongside babies out of incubators, Bin Laden's supervillain hideaway and Saddam's wood chipper as one of the Greatest Hits of US fraudulent war propaganda:

From the Young World, a German independent socialist newspaper (picked up by Venezuela Analysis)

"In fact, the Las Tienditas Bridge has never been open. Its construction was started in 2013 to relieve the two existing border crossings in San Antonio and Ureña, which are passed by more than 50,000 people each day in both directions. It was completed in 2016, but never opened. The only regular users were smugglers who managed cheap gas from Venezuela to Colombia at night."

Posted by: Blooming Barricade | Feb 8 2019 18:44 utc | 12

@ psychohistorian #2

What I saw was a lot of hot air involving what we used to call "Mom, Apple Pie, and the Girl Next Door". The Vatican has a hell of a lot of nerve posturing about women's rights.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Feb 8 2019 19:26 utc | 13

Blooming Barricade @10

I'm surprised that Trump's State of the Union Speech hasn't gotten more attention given that it is a clear warning of where USA is headed.

The nationalism and anti-Russia/anti-China bent is right in line with my oft-repeated message that Trump was SELECTED to lead the MAGA effort to counter the challenge from Russia and China.

What stood out for me (as expressed in previous Open Thread):

1) "Choose greatness"

- "Greatness" is Trump's "exceptionalism"

- "Exceptionalism" is just the establishment's way of saying "Empire First".

- the establishment has already chosen for you

2) Preparing Americans for war

- Citing Iran's intention to commit "genocide against the Jewish people", an exaggeration that is driven home by feting a Holocaust survivor

- Evoking WWII, complete with veterans as props

The only thing missing from this foul spectacle was a rousing sound track.

Trump ends by glorifying previous sacrifices:
"Everything that has come since — our triumph over communism, our giant leaps of science and discovery, our unrivaled progress toward equality and justice — all of it is possible thanks to the blood and tears and courage and vision of the Americans who came before."

But this conflates necessary sacrifice with the chosen sacrifice of Trump's call to "choose greatness".

Will Americans lay their willing sacrifice at the alter of the Empire exceptionalist fancy?

<> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

Welcome to the rabbit hole.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 8 2019 19:46 utc | 14

Psychohistorian @ 2:

There is one significant paragraph in that Declaration where the Pope and his Sunni counterpart absolve the responsibility of their respective religions for contributing to the current problems ailing humanity and the planet and instead lay it on those belief systems and ideologies that assert that humanity is capable of improving itself:

"...This Declaration, setting out from a profound consideration of our contemporary reality, valuing its successes and in solidarity with its suffering, disasters and calamities, believes firmly that among the most important causes of the crises of the modern world are a desensitized human conscience, a distancing from religious values and a prevailing individualism accompanied by materialistic philosophies that deify the human personand introduce worldly and material values in place of supreme and transcendental principles ..."

By (deliberately or not) conflating humanistic philosophies that emphasise the ability of individual persons to reason and to improve themselves (and thereby be in a position to help uplift their communities) with those ideologies that judge humans as incapable of spiritual and moral improvement and therefore always needing guidance from a hierarchy that appropriates to itself the right to mediate between the masses and God, the Pope and Sheikh Ahmed al Tayeb subtly deliver a slap to socialist philosophies.

The Declaration doesn't have to mention intermediaries like banks or money-changers or the system of debt on which they rely to keep the majority of humanity enslaved because these are covered by the "supreme and transcendental principles" of Catholicism.

BTW have you ever seen the posts at these links? I'm still trying to get my head around the information (and taking a lot of it with a lot of salt).

Posted by: je | Feb 8 2019 19:47 utc | 15

That post @ 15 is actually mine, I don't know why my monicker got cut off by my laptop - it sometimes has hiccups.

Posted by: Jen | Feb 8 2019 19:49 utc | 16

I posted the following at the end of the Syria Sitrep thread, but it deserves to be posted here too as it deserves a much wider audience for it contains info few will know that is of some import, particularly as to the argument over where the primary blame lays for the nature of the Outlaw US Empire.

"john @177--

"Let me ask you john; are you a citizen of the USA? If yes, then you have a vested interest in how the nation performs--an interest that ought to be as binding as any oath you might commit to. By way of example, here's something every naturalized citizen must pledge to upon passing the Citizenship Test, Naturalization Oath of Allegiance to the United States of America:

"'I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.' [My Emphasis]

"Can you in any way argue that a naturalized citizen ought to be more faithful to the US Constitution than a natural born citizen? Were you even aware of this oath or that naturalized citizens must make it?

"Given the content of the Presidential oath of office, of the Congressional oath, of the military oath, and of the naturalized citizen oath, I believe we can construct what it the fundamental responsibility is for every citizen of the USA: To defend the Constitution of the USA from all enemies foreign and domestic, and to bear true faith and allegiance to that Constitution. Given all that, where does the ultimate responsibility lie for "our sham democracy?

"Too bad none of the above is taught in High School Civics or Collegiate survey Political Science classes. We might then have a better performing government that obeys its fundamental law and doesn't create chaos and terror globally as its usual function.

"And in respect to john, the above isn't meant to be directed only at him. Rather, it's a scathing indictment of all my fellow American citizens, myself included."

I hope the above makes all barflies regardless of nationality stop for a moment to ponder just what ought to be the duty(ies) of Citizen and also what constitutes Patriotism. Given the oath cited above, it seems clear that naturalized US Citizens are bound by their duty to protest any unconstitutional action whatsoever, and that includes interfering everywhere on the planet for such acts are definitely unconstitutional. Natural born citizens not being bound by any oath aren't under any such legal/moral obligation--but ought they not be subject to the same oath and resulting duty?

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 8 2019 19:54 utc | 17

On the news the other day they mentioned the development of America’s low yield nukes that were 2/3 less powerful than the ones used on Japan. Since the early 2000’s this country has taken a posture to withdraw from nuclear agreement’s that were put in place by more sane people. If this country drops one low yield nuke and not on China or Russia. It’s game on and every missile site will have a finger on the trigger. Even a false move will send the birds flying and we are all dust. Trump as Obama failed to control the neocons and this is very dangerous.

Posted by: Dennis | Feb 8 2019 19:55 utc | 18

Jen @15--

Both Christianity and Islam say man is made in God's image, which is to say that neither can be improved, that God isn't infallible since it created an imperfect being that even it cannot improve. IMO, they both stepped on their own dick by pontificating about a topic beyond their ken, for they too are imperfect humans fully capable of making themselves fools.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 8 2019 20:01 utc | 19

@ 15

"By conflating humanistic philosophies that emphasise the ability of individual persons to reason and to improve themselves (and thereby be in a position to help uplift their communities) with those ideologies that judge humans as incapable of spiritual and moral improvement...[they] deliver a slap to socialist philosophies."

You think bourgeois liberal individualism can be a healthy part of what needs to go into the kind of socialism we need? I'd say history has conclusively disproven any such notion. In fact the part about how one should be an individual and "thereby..uplift their communities" sounds a lot like "a rising tide lifts all boats", or to shift the metaphor, "trickle-down". And of course the "invisible hand". We know all these are false. History has proven that it's precisely the modern "individual" which needs to perish. Humans evolved to be tight-knit social primates acting automatically as a group, and automatically enmeshed within the ecological web. The liberal construct of the entitled, privileged "individual" has no place there, and it's no accident that the rise of this ideology has gone hand in hand every step of the way with modernity's campaign of total war against humanity and the Earth.

Of course I say none of that in defense of the silly monotheist manifesto, which I already rejected above.

Posted by: Russ | Feb 8 2019 20:06 utc | 20

Over the last several years we have seen the effective shrinking of the US's goal to dominate the whole world. So, what to do?
Enter Venezuela as sand in the eyes, and on the back of that story, build a military base in northern Brazil?
This would be a good place to park the soldiers when the Globalists finally declare victory and retreat from the Middle East. And it gives the US a solid base from which to dominate the Americas. Think of it as a retreat to a defendable backyard.

Posted by: Hal Duell | Feb 8 2019 20:16 utc | 21

reply to Dennis 18
Yes my heart sank when I read that these "low yield" nuclear bombs were now rolling off the assembly line.
My guess is the US neocon loons are going to ship a number of them to all of the NATO and near NATO membership countries ringing Russia.
Then all you need is one fool, Ukraine perhaps, maybe Poland to launch one and it is game over.
And as this plan to build mini nukes has been ongoing for two years, either Trump is an unwitting pawn or he is in on it. Either way, game over.

Posted by: frances | Feb 8 2019 20:17 utc | 22


Integrity Initiative Part 6

While the UK Government keeps on defying our demands for an honest and unbiased investigation into the Institute for Statecraft and the Integrity Initiative’s meddling in domestic affairs of sovereign European states, Chris Donnelly’s team awkwardly try to justify their illegal activity paid for by the British taxpayers.

The Integrity Initiative’s German cluster held a meeting in Berlin on the 31st of January 2019. A well-known British intelligence officer Harold Elletson and the cluster’s chief Dr Hannes Adomeit co-chaired the event. They again made an effort to divert people’s attention from the organisation’s wrongful activity in the European Union. However their pathetic attempt has been shattered to pieces by irrefutable evidence that we have been and will continue to share with you.

Today we are talking about the way Chris Donnelly used his agents in the FCO to obtain millions of British taxpayers’ pounds through grant foundations: Conflict, Stability and Security Fund and Counter Disinformation and Media Development Programme (ex Russian Language Strategic Communications Programme). We demand that the organisations’ spending of budget money be subject to public control and their activity be absolutely transparent!

Here is the next part of the documents that show to the people of Europe how Donnelly intended to use the capacity of clusters that he had created in allied countries. People of Western Balkans would be especially fascinated to learn how he defended their democracy against disinformation in the 1990s-2000s

Posted by: Deselect Blairites/ Coup Mongers - Primaries for Melts | Feb 8 2019 20:21 utc | 23

Dennis 18

Putin “We would consider any use of nuclear weapons against Russia or its allies to be a nuclear attack on our country. The response would be immediate,”

Trump is building dial a yield bombs to use on countries such as Iran. Iran is named in the NPR. Venezuela I think in the Trump admin mid is considered in the same light as Iran.

The danger in Clinton is that she was crazy. The danger in Trump is in what risks he is willing to take to "Make America great again." Venezuela and Iran are very much a part of his MAGA plan.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 8 2019 20:24 utc | 24


I agree with your assessment. Too many on the antiwar left are still obsessed with Syria/terrorism while China especially is the real target since the Obama pivot to Asia and the Trump economic nationalism agenda. The dismantling of the INF treaty and trade war are part of these efforts.

Posted by: Blooming Barricade | Feb 8 2019 20:24 utc | 25


Regardless of our differences in what we think is behind Trump becoming president, I think we both see the US in Trump era heading the same way.
A change in course for the US to enable it continuing world dominance rather than a withdrawal to become part of the multi-polar world.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 8 2019 20:32 utc | 26

Russ @ 20:

Going by the logic of your argument, if you were living in Britain and were a Labour Party supporter, you sound very much as if you don't care much for Jeremy Corbyn and his platform for improving the lives of the British people at all; and instead you support the Blairite faction in that party that opposes him and supports current British foreign policy as pursued by Theresa May's government, and also supports the neoliberal austerity programs driving British people into poverty.

Equally if you were living in Venezuela, you would not have been too impressed with previous President Hugo Chavez's policies to uplift the living standards and education of the bulk of Venezuelans and to diversify the Venezuelan economy away from over-dependence on extracting oil and exporting it in its raw state.

"... Humans evolved to be tight-knit social primates acting automatically as a group, and automatically enmeshed within the ecological web ..."

Sounds like a perfect description of the groupthink and behaviour of the primates in Washington DC and those surrounding the Chief Orangutan in particular.

Posted by: Jen | Feb 8 2019 20:41 utc | 27

@19 karloff
In Islam the verse translates that God created man in this image. Not in his image. Since there isn't the concept of comma in Arabic that's where a confusion might happen for translator.
Plus in common Islamic thought a human can improve as opposed to angels who are static beings.

Posted by: Occidentosis | Feb 8 2019 20:47 utc | 28

@ karlof1 | Feb 8, 2019 2:54:05 PM | 17
"I will support and defend the Constitution" is about as silly as "I pledge allegiance to my Flag."
The first is a crusty old document written by a bunch of white, rich males which basically establishes (constitutes) the form of the government. How does one support and defend a piece of paper? Similarly the second refers to a piece of cloth, and reciting either pledge doesn't amount to a hill of beans.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 8 2019 21:00 utc | 29

@ karlof1 | Feb 8, 2019 2:54:05 PM | 17

If the great body of American citizenry ever takes seriously the words “I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign AND DOMESTIC,” then I would suggest that the denizens of the federal halls of state consider wearing body armor.

Posted by: AntiSpin | Feb 8 2019 21:13 utc | 30

@17 karlof1... i can't answer for john, but i would like to follow up the general gist of your commentary on that previous thread.. to me, until there is some accountability, such as what someone - ( probably john) - said about obama, or any of the usa political leadership to own up to the lies and deceit that have brought so many wars on the world, the one in iraq in particular, thanks bush, cheney, rumsfield and etc - the usa is a sinking ship morally and spiritually.. it's not about swearing allegiance to something... it's about expressing a shred of integrity and dignity towards the world and themselves.. all the bravado about america being great and american citizens are the greatest - the bs trump stated in his speech - is just a pile of bullshit for the masses.. and frankly, no one other a few loons are believing a word of it.. if the people in the usa believe any of that bs trump made in his speech, they are crazy...

honour is direct.. it is in owns actions, much more then words... none of the usa presidents for a very long time have expressed anything close to honour, or integrity.. that is the sad truth..

Posted by: james | Feb 8 2019 21:18 utc | 31

A couple of section of Hudson's interview with Saker.

"The refusal of England and the United States to grant an elected government control of its foreign assets demonstrates to the entire world that U.S. diplomats and courts alone can and will control foreign countries as an extension of U.S. nationalism.
The price of the U.S. economic attack on Venezuela is thus to fracture the global monetary system."

"The U.S. has overplayed its hand in destroying the foundation of the dollar-centered global financial order. That order has enabled the United States to be “the exceptional nation” able to run balance-of-payments deficits and foreign debt that it has no intention (or ability) to pay,"

This began with Trump pulling out of the Iran nuke agreement. Both Obama and Kerry specifically stated the US needed the nuke agreement to save the US dollar. They believed that without the agreement, other countries, Europe and so forth would begin bypassing the dollar.

I believe that rather than inadvertently wrecking the dollar as Hudson and Escobar seem to think, it is a planned move. Now that the move has been made, there is no turning back, the dollar cannot be saved, and the US under Trump must push its planned change through or collapse in a similar fashion to the USSR.
This will make the coming months and years extremely dangerous, depending on what risks the US is willing to take to see its plans through.
Russia and China will be constantly working to bloc these moves, while at the same time trying to prevent the US setting off WWIII.
If US moves are blocked, and it can be prevented from setting off a major war, the US will quickly collapse of its own accord.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 8 2019 21:28 utc | 32

- The US Empire will die in the year 2020:

Posted by: Willy2 | Feb 8 2019 21:31 utc | 33

- A love song for the NSA:

Posted by: Willy2 | Feb 8 2019 21:35 utc | 34

@Don Bacon | Feb 8, 2019 4:00:06 PM | 28

Swearing allegiance to the flag is not in the least identical to swearing to support the Constitution. The US Constitution is not 'a piece of paper' but the basic rules for the people living in the United States. Criminals high and low repudiate the rule of law, and many citizens have many other priorities, and many lack interest in and understanding of the Constitution. In the absence of basic rules understood or respected, rules are broken or disregarded. The US has entered into a post-Constitutional period - and become a de facto not just national but global criminal enterprise characterized by multiple serious societal dysfunctions - due in part to the previous decline in respect for and understanding of and application of the US Constitution.

But notice that lawlessness the might is right rule is not an approach followed by all other countries. Russia for example has repeatedly asserted the need for respect for agreements and international law, and has in good measure walked the walk.

The implications of karlof1's basic orientation on this issue strike me as profound and indispensable: we as the people of particular political jurisdictions must normalize respect for and knowledge of and actual application of a basic sensible set of rules for behaviour. Without that we end up with what the US has become: a criminal enterprises doing vast harm.

Posted by: Robert Snefjella | Feb 8 2019 21:49 utc | 35

Don Bacon @28--

"It's just a gad damned piece of paper" & "If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a hell-of-a-lot easier." George W. Bush

There are two things defining the United States as a nation. First, is the Declaration of Independence; but, that says nothing about how the nation is to be organized and governed--it isn't the Primary Law of the Land. Second is that document codifying how the nation's to be governed by setting forth the Fundamental Law of the Land. Neither, therefore, are merely crusty pieces of parchment; rather, they are the most priceless, fundamental relics (defined as venerated, priceless, ownerless objects of reverence and devotion) that define the United States of America. Certainly, the former is somewhat subjective while the latter's certainly imperfect; yet, neither of those traits deny them their position. People--subjects--were once required to swear allegiance to the occupant of the throne of the realm. That concept was enlightenly modified so citizens could swear allegiance to a body of law as represented by the Constitution in our case. You and others may deem such as old fashioned, passé; but, what other tool do we have that's accessible by the entire citizenry by which we can combat the tyranny afflicting us and humanity globally? If we decline to use guns, then the law is the only weapon remaining. Or do we meekly surrender and become Orwell's Proles?

If all that we own is our honor and dignity, what do we become if we don't stand up for ourselves and our kin?

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 8 2019 21:54 utc | 36

@ 31, Peter AU1

You wrote "Now that the move has been made, there is no turning back, the dollar cannot be saved, and the US under Trump must push its planned change through or collapse in a similar fashion to the USSR.
This will make the coming months and years extremely dangerous, depending on what risks the US is willing to take to see its plans through."

What are the plans (or "planned change") you are talking about? Perhaps I missed something, but I don't see what the plan is supposed to be. To intentionally wreck the dollar? And then.......what?

Thanks in advance for your patience with the question.

Posted by: teri | Feb 8 2019 22:03 utc | 37

Not sure if this one has been shared at MOA yet, but I've found it to be the most informative, deep-dive out there in explaining the dynamics at play in Venezuela, and including the food lines, illicit hoarding, diversion of foods to Colombia, the Maduro regime's attempts to close that porous border (hence the recent pictures of the Tienditas Bridge - which has actually been closed since 2016, a fact totally missing from the breathless US and EU media reports...

Here is an excerpt, from later in the (well-footnoted) article, which itself is a very long read:

There are direct parallels between present-day Venezuela and Chile in the 1970s under Salvador Allende, where the U.S. strategy, in the words of Richard Nixon, was to “make the economy scream.”37 The United States employed the same methods of destabilization, including a financial blockade, and supported the right-wing counterrevolution, likewise manifested in shortages, lines, and street protests, among other forms of disruption. The depressed prices of Chile’s main source of foreign exchange, copper, parallels declining oil prices Venezuela. While the extent of U.S. involvement in Chile’s counterrevolution would not be fully understood until years later, when key documents were declassified, overt U.S. aggression toward Venezuela is already evident in the intensifying economic sanctions imposed by the Obama and Trump administrations, as well as an all-out economic blockade that has made it extremely difficult for the government to make payments on food imports and manage its debt.38 As one State Department representative put it:

The pressure campaign is working. The financial sanctions we have placed on the Venezuelan Government has forced it to begin becoming in default, both on sovereign and PDVSA, its oil company’s debt. And what we are seeing because of the bad choices of the Maduro regime is a total economic collapse in Venezuela. So our policy is working, our strategy is working and we’re going to keep it on the Venezuelans.39


The image promoted by the international press has been one of “the people” rising in response to a “humanitarian crisis” wrought by an “authoritarian regime.” In reality, however, the combination of peaceful resistance and blatant acts of guarimba violence has only served to further isolate the popular sectors from the opposition. A look behind the headlines and images shows some glaring contradictions, particularly in the description of guarimbas as “food riots,” given the class and racial composition of the protesters crying hambre (hunger), described above. Furthermore, a quick glance at social media, such as posts by Freddy Guevara and others, dispels any illusion that the protests arose spontaneously. Finally, both the targets and tactics of the guarimbas—including burning food instead of redistributing it (indeed, food designated for the poor), along with violent assaults on the poor and dark-skinned—put the lie to any narrative of the guarimbas as “food riots” of the hungry.

An event far more aptly described as a “food riot” or “food rebellion” was the Caracazo of 1989, mentioned above. At the time, reports in the New York Times and other outlets made few criticisms of the government of President Andrés Pérez, but did include graphic accounts of mass graves, people lined up at morgues in search of loved ones, imposition of curfews, curtailing of civil liberties and press freedom, and death estimates upwards of 600 people, with one doctor quoted as saying “no country is prepared for what we have confronted this week.”50 Today, in contrast, while government repression is regularly denounced in the Times and elsewhere, a total of fourteen deaths associated with the 2017 guarimbas have been directly traced to government security forces, while twenty-three have been attributed to opposition violence.51 While any government-sanctioned violence merits concern, attention, and investigation, it nevertheless bears asking why the international outcry has been so much greater than during the Caracazo, and, why, as one media watchdog group has noted, “the imperfect state of democracy in Venezuela” attracts singular attention, even as many atrocities in the world today go underreported.52

Again, very much long-form, but highly comprehensive and informative.

Posted by: KC | Feb 8 2019 22:25 utc | 38

"The Lima Group: International Outlaws"
Sorry if this has already been posted here at MoA. A good summary of the crimes being committed by the neocolonial regimes against a former colony by Christopher Black.

Posted by: Tom | Feb 8 2019 22:31 utc | 39

Peter @31--

I believe that rather than inadvertently wrecking the dollar as Hudson and Escobar seem to think, it is a planned move. Now that the move has been made, there is no turning back, the dollar cannot be saved, and the US under Trump must push its planned change through or collapse in a similar fashion to the USSR.

Your inference is one to ask Hudson about. Here's the link to his communication form if you're so inclined.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 8 2019 22:40 utc | 40

low yield nukes have been use in syria iraq and yemen dialed way down they work very well if israel,uk and israel and france have the technology why not use it to protect israel and the innocents

Posted by: crowleigh | Feb 8 2019 22:47 utc | 41

@28 Don Bacon

I was actually shocked to read your words of disparagement for the US Constitution.

If there is one thing left in the USA that stands above the fray it is the Constitution. I suspect this resonates in the hearts of many of the people of the country - I know it does with the military.

If there is any scenario that one can imagine wherein the people ever regain control of their government, I suggest that, while it may be difficult to imagine such a scenario, it becomes totally impossible to imagine such a scenario without the Constitution. As karlof1 points out, this is actually the source of all US law. There is no rule of law without it.

In countries all over the world we see struggling forces citing their constitution. Even revolution requires a manifesto. Especially revolution. It would be a vast error not to see the immense tactical and strategic value of the Constitution for the US. I suspect that as a focus of devotion it constitutes the single most potent rallying cry for the people. I can't prove this, but it is just conceivable that the passage of time yet may.

Posted by: Grieved | Feb 8 2019 22:50 utc | 42

james @30--

In Canada, what are the duties of the citizen? Is there any sort of oath of allegiance to which one must swear? By what sort of mechanism(s) do Canadians redress their grievances to government?

I'm also curious how these questions apply to citizens of other nations to determine if there's some semblance of consensus globally on the duties and rights of citizens aside from those codified in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 8 2019 22:56 utc | 43

Psychohistorian @ 49

Might I respond to this - "BREXIT is happening because the City of London does not want any transparency into their evil"

The Brexit imbroglio. It's important to understand that this was an accidental referendum. It just happened that internal party strife in the Conservative party led to it. It was not a genuine "Let's ask the people" referendum. It was a chance outcome of party manoeuvering. No one expected "Leave" to win and the government had prepared no plans for doing so.

So it was an impromptu vote and a confused campaign, leading to a confused outcome.

It's therefore difficult to accurately identify the factors that led to 17 million or so of us voting "Leave". We all had our different reasons. How many of us were thinking primarily of the City when we voted I don't know. I doubt very many, though the City is one of the major earners in the British economy so few will have wanted to see it damaged.

I suspect we all dip into that Brexit imbroglio and see in it elements we want to see. It's partly a revolt of the deplorables, as we see with the Yellow Vests or with the Trump victory. It's partly a dislike of the EU per se and a desire to return to self-government. I saw it too as a rejection of globalism - but the most fervent "Leavers" in Parliament seem to be apostles of Globalism, so it's a confused picture there too. It's also a fairly minor event in the context of the great forces that are changing the political landscape for us in Europe at present.

Eventually the strands will become clearer and we'll all say "We knew it was that all along". But we don't really know what the forces behind Brexit are at present. It may therefore be premature to identify the City as a determining influence one way to the other, even if it is permissible to see "the City" as a discrete entity and as a discrete force.

On another point it's premature to say Brexit is happening. It may be, or it may be half-happening - the most likely outcome - or, as many in Berlin or Westminster still hope, it may happen in name only. I doubt
even the people in the middle of it know yet what the outcome will be. The only thing we can be sure of is that most of it's theatre and PR, all sides, and until the phoney war stage is over it's unsafe to take any statement by any of the parties as indicating genuine intent.

Posted by: English Outsider | Feb 8 2019 22:58 utc | 44

(Corrected reply to psychohistorian)

Posted by: English Outsider | Feb 8 2019 22:59 utc | 45

@psychohistorian 2

Not sure where the religions are going with this joint statement, perhaps just making sure everyone follows one version or another of their nonsense. The Abrahamic religions all use the anthropomorphized God, something that doesn't even exist, and most seem to like the Devil notion as well, another thing that doesn't exist, to exert fear. They all have snippets of the truth from older beliefs, however all are severally edited and contrived into control systems to fit their business model.
Eastern religions are closer to the truth, but again have morphed into control systems or like to play around with black "magic" to try and enhance their occult development, again a dead end.
Our spiritual development, as it were, is a solo journey, there is no buying a stairway to heaven, all these religious systems, although some offering at least a partial moral code, tend to retard that development. We are currently at the lowest point in the cycle, something our societies do reflect, those seeking "enlightenment" waste their time with organized religion and new age misdirection for that matter.

Posted by: Rancid | Feb 8 2019 23:13 utc | 46

How does a people gain control of its government?

President Duterte of the Philippines knows well that the military can take over the government and change its leadership. This week he advised the military that the next time they feel impelled to throw out the political leaders in a coup, they should do it right and instead of simply replacing one hack with another, they should get rid of all the politicians and start over with honest and capable people of their own choosing.

As RT reported yesterday: Staging a coup? Get rid of ALL politicians & kill new leaders who ‘f*** up’ – Duterte to troops

Duterte gave his troops a clear formula to follow. I was impressed. It could actually work:

The main “problem” with mutinies, Duterte pointed out, is that military coups usually only result in the appointment of seasoned opposition figures to top seats. So instead of “wasting” their time and effort, the president suggested the potential military coup plotters should pick around a dozen “bright young leaders” and propel the “best” to run the Philippines.

"You fuck up, we will kill you. You do good, we will increase your salary by the year"

The young prospects should be given a good salary and be rewarded for their endeavors, but must be aware they won’t live long if they abuse their newly-gained power, Duterte believes.

The model has much to recommend it.

Posted by: Grieved | Feb 8 2019 23:16 utc | 47

james @ 30 said;"honour is direct.. it is in owns actions, much more then words... none of the usa presidents for a very long time have expressed anything close to honour, or integrity.. that is the sad truth.."

You bet james, right on!!

The other sad truth is, that none of the empire's actions, neither here, or abroad, are about honor or truth, only about greed and avarice.

The world begs to be rid of this on-going abomination....

Posted by: ben | Feb 8 2019 23:17 utc | 48

P.S. In this day and age, any allegiances sworn to by any U$ citizens, only apply to the peons of this nation. Not the uber rich. That is the reality, and has been for many years now.

Posted by: ben | Feb 8 2019 23:23 utc | 49

Grieved @41--

Actually, I was somewhat pleased Don wrote what he did as it made me formulate a response in writing that I'd been rehearsing in my mind since W uttered his words. And as you point out, it's about the only argument remaining to employ--which I intend to do ASAP. It's cognitively difficult to come to grips with the fact that for my entire life the federal government of the USA has been continuously Treasonous to the point of being illegitimate in its serial violation of the Constitution and the millions upon millions of oaths taken to uphold and defend it from its Domestic Enemies--for only one who is domestic can violate the Constitution of his/her nation. It's rather simple really: Either we have a Constitution and Law and thus a nation, or we have no Constitution, thus no Law but Anarchy and thus no Nation because no laws establishing one.

As most know, I deem it the Outlaw US Empire for a very specific reason--it's an Outlaw to its own and international law. IMO, the only way short of a most terrible war to rein in the Outlaw is to get the US Citizenry to make it conform to its Fundamental Law--to completely drain the Treasonous Swamp; arrest, try and imprison the treasonous and corrupt; modify the Fundamental Law so history doesn't repeat; and resume life once again as a normal nation amongst 190+ other nations.

Ben Franklin's credited with saying we have a Republic "if we can keep it." As any student of history ought to know, keeping it would be close to a fulltime occupation given human nature to become corrupt. Either we do the work to keep it and continue as citizens or we cry Oh woes me and become slaves within a Totalitarian Corporatocracy. Funny, but it seems to me this argument has occurred before in a similar fashion beginning about 1768.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 8 2019 23:25 utc | 50

Wanted to share this as it relates to Venezuela and any country, really.

"WASHINGTON – In a leaked military manual on “unconventional warfare” recently highlighted by WikiLeaks, the U.S. Army states that major global financial institutions — such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) — are used as unconventional, financial “weapons in times of conflict up to and including large-scale general war,” as well as in leveraging “the policies and cooperation of state governments.”

The document, officially titled “Field Manual (FM) 3-05.130, Army Special Operations Forces Unconventional Warfare” and originally written in September 2008, was recently highlighted by WikiLeaks on Twitter in light of recent events in Venezuela as well as the years-long, U.S.-led economic siege of that country through sanctions and other means of economic warfare. Though the document has generated new interest in recent days, it had originally been released by WikiLeaks in December 2008 and has been described as the military’s “regime change handbook.”

Posted by: Sorghum | Feb 8 2019 23:31 utc | 51

ben @48--

If we peons have thus sworn allegiance to ourselves and our nation, then it ought to be easy to throw the treasonous "elite" out since they are "All for one and only one" instead of "One for All and All for one."

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 8 2019 23:44 utc | 52

There is where we differ, karlof1, much as I enjoyed your remarks about the duties of a naturalized citizen (I am one.) When I was sworn in, in a great crowd of people from south of the border, alongside one other non-native-American, a russian lady, it was all I could do not to put my fingers in my ears as we stood at attention while the national anthem was played from a loudspeaker in an earsplitting painful cacaphony that was deliberate, I am sure. I think my ears suffered permanent damage that day.

We differ on the understanding of theology, Christian theology, and it sounds as if I differ with the Pope and leader of Islam as well. The quote above talks about the 'problem' of human deification. For an eastern Christian, there is no problem. The saying is that 'God became man in order for man to become god." This goes with the serpent's saying in the Garden, which was then a lie but not ultimately an untruth. (You will become as gods...) But further investigation of what this means would take a library of books, and as this forum isn't devoted to theological matters, those of us who are try to hold our peace.

I think for religious leaders to find common ground is a good thing. They won't agree on everything, obviously, but it is better than enmity. Anything is better than that.

Posted by: juliania | Feb 8 2019 23:47 utc | 53

@ karlof1 with the ongoing truth about the R2P of the US constitution....THANKS!

@ Grieved with the Duterte solution to leadership. It sounds good but if that leadership is under the jackboot of global private finance, what is it able to do but keep digging down?

@ commenters that are seeing that this is all planned demolition of empire to save the elite....great!

@ karlof1 and others that want to start imprisoning the war criminals tomorrow......breathe and be happy that humanity is closer that ever to escaping the jackboot of global private finance and the win/lose world built on its precepts. The lower elite are devouring each other already and it shouldn't take much for them to move upchain and expose/chew on the Fortune 500 Trust Fund types. Also, think of this as a wonderful education for the faith breathing zombies to see clearly the hypocrisy of the leaders of their beliefs

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 8 2019 23:48 utc | 54

Law to be sensibly enforced requires discretion. Law to be understood requires interpretation. "What do these words mean? What do they imply?

In some ways the American Constitution is an extremely idealistic document, and the Declaration of Independence even more so, quite astonishingly permanently revolutionary. "All men are created equal" is a permanent fundamental declared repudiation of oligarchy's pretensions, noble blue blood pretensions, theocratic pretensions, chosen-ness.

The US Constitution's protection of freedom of speech from legislated diminution is also extremely radical. All tyranny and all oligarchy restrict freedom of speech. They imprison, torture, or kill effective truth tellers. Indeed, one of the proofs that Maduro is not a tyrant-dictator is the degree to which propaganda and distortion purveying Venezuelan corporate media has not been suppressed.

But curiously enough, the heart and soul of 'free speech', its political meaning, its essential fundamental indispensable role in terms of assigning legitimate societal power, were long since lost in the US. Lincoln during the civil war, the Robber Barons seizing direct or indirect oligarchic control of newspapers, the Ist WW and the brainwashing of the US people to hate the Germans, the 2nd WW and its propaganda, the cold war propaganda, and ascendance of extreme CIA and Zionist influence over US mass media, corporate concentration, and much more has taken the American people very far from the spirit of and the blessings of 'free speech, reduced sometimes short of assassination to 'free speech cages' .

Similarly, 'no unreasonable search or seizure' as in Article 4, has been in effect completely repudiated by the NSA, among others, for example.

Franklin's 'Republic ma'am if you can keep it' might be amended: 'and losing it, may a stalwart and perhaps wiser effort be made again'.

Posted by: Robert Snefjella | Feb 8 2019 23:57 utc | 55

juliania @52--

You and I would have excellent conversations just as my wife and I do regarding religion--I'm a Naturalist; she's a Theist; our honesty about our differing POVs in no way impinges on our relationship; indeed, such honesty and openness enhances it; it's possible to debate without enmity or the need to establish oneupsmanship.

My wife has a co-worker from Brazil who just passed his test and swore his oath. I find it a great interest the differing citizenship standards for natives versus immigrants, which I've known for awhile but never took much notice until now. And I don't recall ever hearing the differences pointed out by any of my teachers/professors, although they ought to have. Now I'll need to review a book--The Republic written in 1943 by Charles Beard dealing with the issue of citizenship during wartime--as it's in a style I might use.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 9 2019 0:24 utc | 56

psychohistorian @53--

Thanks for providing the R2P notion as it's an angle--that used by the Neocons--I hadn't thought of previously. I can make it a very powerful point.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 9 2019 0:34 utc | 57

Grieved@41 You are correct. In my senior year at a liberal arts college we took for seminar discussion documents pertaining to the American Revolution, on to the Constitution, the Federalist Papers, and "The People Shall Judge". This was at a small college in the east, the colonial era coming visibly to light in these discussions. It was memorable. And it struck me then, as it always has since, that what was constructed in those years, flawed as it was for many historical reasons as has often been discussed here, was yet an attempt to counter all forseeable consequences, as that document replaced what was then an unworkable covenant between the forming states. There were ways to improve upon it, and it was improved upon. And until now, I believe, it has never happened that all three of the balancing divisions of government have been so corrupted as to destroy that balance.

But I believe it has indeed happened.

Posted by: juliania | Feb 9 2019 0:35 utc | 58

Thank you, karlof1 for your comment on religion@55, where I see we have more in common than otherwise. And indeed, we could have the sort of discussions that if you've ever read Bulgakov's "The Master and Margarita" would pertain to that novel, as I imagine you do have with your wife.

Putin is of my faith, and he has a great respect for the founders of the American Republic. I came to Orthodoxy after a good dose of skeptical philosophy,not before - from the Greeks to the Enlightenment - four years of it. It was good basic training. Orthodoxy values the mind; it doesn't discard it. You can see that in Putin. He is a thinking man.

Posted by: juliania | Feb 9 2019 1:01 utc | 59

@ Robert Snefjella | Feb 8, 2019 4:49:01 PM | 34
The US Constitution is not 'a piece of paper' but the basic rules for the people living in the United States.

Baloney. The Constitution basically specifies the architecture of the government, legislative executive and judicial. That structure is not in any danger that I'm aware of, so it doesn't need supporting.

There is nothing in the basic Constitution about the basic human rights which were the reason for independence. Nothing in the Constitution addressing "all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Why was that? Because the newly-independent Constitution-writing Founders apparently no longer cared about human rights and were all about setting up an autocratic government. So in the basic Constitution there is nothing about human rights that we all feel that we have, and deserve.

Since these human rights were not included in the Constitution, some were addressed in Amendments. The first ten were passed as a some part of a compromise I forget the details of. The US shall not make laws ....about this and that, in eight amendments, starting with freedom of expression and ending with excessive bail. And then a ninth giving a backhand recognition of other unmentioned rights -- "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." Oh really, what are they? Could they be basic human rights of some sort? . . .And a tenth with delegated powers.

Collectively these ten amendments are commonly referred to as the "Bill of Rights" which is a huge mistake because they imply that the Constitution is a repository of rights. It is not. Only certain rights are listed as "the government can't take these away" in so many words. (Other "don't do this" amendments were added later.)

Huge mistake. Chief Justice Roberts for example has declared that there is no right to abortion in the Constitution. He's correct. Of course women have no Constitutional right to control their own bodies. Out-of-control guys rule. Vasectomies are okay. Constitutionally.

In the courts, all laws have to be judged if they are Constitutional or not. To be lawful they all have to provide some authorization from the Constitution. That's foolish, to use the Constitution which was written to establish the government as an acid test for human rights laws. Foolish because the Constitution is basically a piece of paper written, without any reference to human rights, to set up the government. THESE PEOPLE CAN'T DEFINE OUR BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS THAT WE WERE BORN WITH.

So the Constitution is just a piece of paper.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 9 2019 1:03 utc | 60

@ karlof1 with the R2P follow was used in the 1950's to change the motto to In God We Trust from E Pluribus Unum. To my study of history of the US this has always represented the inflection point of the Republic/NOT Republic

@ Robert Snefjella who ended his comment with
Franklin's 'Republic ma'am if you can keep it' might be amended: 'and losing it, may a stalwart and perhaps wiser effort be made again'.
I am a fan of the effort taken by the US Founding Fathers but I agree that a better beginning could be made now. I would be interested in reading your thoughts about potential upgrades.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 9 2019 1:08 utc | 61

American Values Anniversary:

"On this day in 1963, the CIA backed a coup against the populist Iraqi leader, Abd al-Karim Qasim, jailing, torturing & killing thousands of his supporters & paving the way for Saddam Hussein’s rise to power."

No Nationalist Leaders Allowed is still the Outlaw US Empire's mantra today--excepting Trump, of course.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 9 2019 1:10 utc | 62

I think it's a serious problem in the US that so many people have a whitewashed, idealized view of this country's founding and that blood drenched document. I can't separate my feelings about the constitution and it's framers from the genocides of indigenous peoples and the enslavement of Africans. How many millions were killed to establish this republic? Does it even matter to those who enshrine the Constitution today? To me, it represents a crime of the highest magnitude. The blatant hypocricy of the proclamation that all men are created equal by white elitists who were actively engaged in genocide, ethnic cleansing, and slavery, as well as the subjugation and domination of women, is self evident.

Posted by: mourning dove | Feb 9 2019 1:14 utc | 63

@ mourning dove 62

I share your feelings. I'm old enough to have actually been taught about the constitution and government in school. I also learned American History. However, as I aged, I learned that in my public education I pretty much learned that the US was always the good guys and we were always the victors (Vietnam war was still in process at the time). When I went college I learned that the US was not always on the side of good. From that time forward all I saw was the US doing horrible things around the world as well as to its own people. I'm incredibly embarrassed to be an American. Not just for what my country does, but a populace that doesn't know and/or doesn't care. And I don't forgive the people for not knowing. You have to be a village idiot not to see the blatant lies and inconsistency our government and their Operation Mockingbird MSM feed us. Hardly a day goes by when I don't find myself singing the Greenwald song with modified lyrics "Ashamed to be an American, wher I'm duped to think I'm free". If I was younger and able, I would leave this country.

Posted by: lgfocus | Feb 9 2019 1:33 utc | 64

@42 karlof1... it's a good question, but so far as i know, aside from obeying the law and stuff like that - none, that i am aware of... we still have the royalty connection - with the queen as the figurehead of our gov't.. lots of people would like to do away with this - i think they might have done this in australia, but not in canada.. every once in a while it comes up.. her picture is still on some of our money - 20 dollar bill (a popular bill at that!)

now, when one becomes a new citizen to canada, there might be something that is required, but for being born in canada - no oath or anything like that as i understand it.. maybe some other canuck can comment..

stuff like the flag and a constitution for example - don't mean the same for canucks - in fact, we are very different on that level from the usa.. all as i understand it of course..

@48 ben.. thanks! i agree with your views 100%.. canada is much the same in many respects.. we are led by people more focused on greed and avarice as you note, then not.. i am sure this is not how most people on the planet, including many in the usa want it to be either.. i am not sure how to change the dynamic, other then to adopt some different type of financial system - a public one as psychohistorian suggests could be it.. i know it sounds simplistic to say it, but we have to find a way to get beyond greed.. it is ruining the planet..

Posted by: james | Feb 9 2019 1:39 utc | 65

One of the unrecognized ways the US Constitution gets amended is via its Supremacy Clause, which has been discussed here previously. All Treaties ratified by the Senate become the Law of the Land until unratified, perhaps most importantly the UN Charter. Annually, the Department of State publishes a compendium: Treaties in Force: A List of Treaties and Other International Agreements of the United States. That 595 pages only lists the titles, not the content of each treaty, so you can imagine how massively the US Constitution has expanded from its initial meagerness--it's now thousands of pages in length thanks to the Supremacy Clause.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 9 2019 1:41 utc | 66

Igfocus, yeah, I feel you. There's nothing in the American identity but shame. At times it makes me ashamed to be human. I feel the same way about leaving, I would if I could. But then the question is - where to go? Is there a space on this planet that the Empire hasn't reached?

Posted by: mourning dove | Feb 9 2019 1:45 utc | 67

@ mourning dove | Feb 8, 2019 8:14:09 PM | 62
I think it's a serious problem in the US that so many people have a whitewashed, idealized view of this country's founding and that blood drenched [Constitution]

Yes, and I haven't looked at it recently, but there is an excellent book --
Paperback: The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution
(Part of the Politically Incorrect Guides Series)
by Kevin R.C. Gutzman
What has happened since the Constitution was written?
....There is very little relationship between the Constitution as ratified by the thirteen original states more than two centuries ago and the "constitutional law" imposed upon us since then. Instead of the system of state-level decision makers and elected officials the Constitution was intended to create, judges have given us a highly centralized system in which bureaucrats and appointed--not elected--officials make most of the important policies. . ."here

"constitutional law" -- ugh

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 9 2019 1:48 utc | 68

Regarding the constitution - was the price worth it?

Posted by: mourning dove | Feb 9 2019 1:49 utc | 69

On the nature of the Bill of Rights.

The framers of the constitution who met in Philadelphia were delegates sent by each of the 13 states. When they had agreed on the finial draft, they brought it back to the states, which had to ratify it through their legislatures.

The Constitution would NEVER have been ratified if the Bill of Rights had not been made a part of it as the first 10 amendments. Only with these amendments was the Constitution ratified. I have never heard of any argument about this fact. The Bill of Rights was not simply an afterthought tacked on. It was an expression of the popular will.

The people already lived in independent republics, most or maybe all with a parliamentary, bicameral legislature. In their states, the people felt they had representation, and representatives they could approach. But to deliver up a portion of their sovereignty into the Union, the people insisted on safeguards against tyranny.

The task before the framers was to devise an architecture that would create a perpetual union of the states without breaking, over time. This was a technical challenge, and I will suggest that when it was published, the Constitution was admired by many in the world for its technical achievements in creating a more perfect structural Union out of the former Confederation.

But in terms of the rights of any citizens within any nation of the world, it was the Bill of Rights that was the star.

I don't know, but I suspect that when the US populace thinks of the Constitution it is really thinking of the Bill of Rights. I don't know how many people would give their lives for the Commerce Clause, or even know what it is. But I suspect many would do so for the right to bear arms and the freedoms of speech and assembly.

So, the Bill of Rights.

Posted by: Grieved | Feb 9 2019 1:50 utc | 70

Don Bacon
The Constitution was a counter-revolutionary measure to give a central authority the power to put down revolts. But nothing in your comment acknowledges the horror of the founding of this republic, nor the long bloody history of the republic.

Posted by: mourning dove | Feb 9 2019 1:55 utc | 71

Thankfully there are dozens of treaties not ratified by the US here.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 9 2019 1:55 utc | 72

Couple of interesting discussions here. On the Constitution one must know the document served the American aristocracy, not the people. Charles Beards book shows the primary economic consideration in its development by the property class was protection of their wealth from government and the people. In fact the document was never put before the people via the state legislatures for ratification, and was opposed by the majority in the original thirteen states, who resisted coming together to form any kind of unified nation.

The similarities between the Masonic Constitution and the US Constitution reveal a connection that is not commonly known. Anderson’s Constitutions of the Free-Masons was reprinted in 1734 by Franklin and widely distributed in colonial America. Many of the founding fathers were Free Masons and of course the Illuminati founded in 1776 infiltrated Free-Masonry , which is commonly known

In any event the Constitution in later years became the primary text of America’s civil religion. Freemasonry also contains many of the elements of a religion. As a nation lacking a common religion, “We the People” have come to worship the Constitution as the scripture that holds us together.

Due to amendments, Executive Orders, and Emergency Declarations suspending rights, belief in this religion is eroding and people have become divided by ethnic, racial, gender, religious , party politics, etc. This division has been exacerbated by the weakening of Christianity to the point where it is no longer a binding and stabilizing force but has been supplanted by those who embrace secularism and other religious beliefs, some of which are political (eg Christian and Secular Zionism)

Not religious and consider myself agnostic , but I think Christianity has been a good thing for the world, or at least the West. Its dissolution has not been a good thing IMO.

So what was good about it in its day?

First the religion protected women and family by insisting on the sanctity of marriage, prohibiting adultery, divorce and bigamy.

Second, it enforced the idea of a higher law, known as Gods Law that the propertied elites could not circumvent for personal gain with mans law. This included the prohibition on usury.

Third, it gave us institutions like hospitals, universities, chartered corporations and promoted science contrary to the popular history that is biased by anti-catholicism in US/UK

Fourth, up until the Reformation and Age of Discovery they successfully minimized the institution of slavery, at least on the European mainland beyond Spain and Portugal. They recognized that all men were fundamentally equal.

I would say that even with the weakening of Christianity in the Age of Enlightenment after the unstable post-Reformation years Christian concepts if not church leaders still provided a moral compass for Protestant and Catholics alike , exercising some restraint on governments and elites who were now technically free from the church , or who had state controlled churches, yet whose citizens still held Christian beliefs.

This influence continued in the US into the 1970’s before Cultural Marxism on the left and Zionization of the Christian Right took over , and has left them without any moral compass.

Anything goes now. Mans Laws can legalize any criminal act. Those that arent legalized can be ignored , at least by the US. Indeed one may say there is demoralization infecting society as a result of a conspiracy by Globalists and the competing faction Global Nationalists. A Technocratic Pathocracy has now emerged and will evolve according to which of the Globalist factions leads the way.


Posted by: Pft | Feb 9 2019 1:57 utc | 73

re: The Bill of Rights
>It is not a bill of rights, it is a bill of a few prohibited government actions.
>Calling it a bill of rights implies that it is a complete listing (Article IX is never mentioned).
> It also implies that the government has a right to prescribe our rights. It doesn't. We were born with them.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 9 2019 2:03 utc | 74

Christianity cheered the slaughter of indigenous peoples and justified slavery. And it's never protected women, rather it has been instrumental in their subjugation.

Posted by: mourning dove | Feb 9 2019 2:04 utc | 75

Post #40 is probably the output of a rightwingnut Protestant Rapture missionary.

...why not use it to protect israel and the innocents

My translation: "the Second Coming bonfire to Welcome Jesus is almost fully set up, so why can't somebody set off a few nukes to light it for Him?"

The last part suggests this person would also like to use enough of the fantasy micronukes to wipe out every known abortion clinic so as to save the "unborn".

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Feb 9 2019 2:10 utc | 76

@ psychohistorian | Feb 8, 2019 8:08:35 PM | Imo one vital contemporary societal challenge involves creating a set of foundation rules - that is, rules which define rights, duties, and boundaries, and limits on or for the mass of rules and laws and regulations which inevitably accumulate - that are appropriate to our contemporary circumstance. To be workable these foundation rules must be both clear - thus accessible, understandable for people generally - and relatively succinct. They ought to be supported by a broad majority of the population. And there ought to be practical mechanisms by which these basic rules can be amended in light of experience and new generations.

In the end I think that being succinct, clear, broadly supported, amendable and sufficiently comprehensive are vital characteristics. But what is really critically important is that these basic 'rules of the game' be considered vital, and given robust study, application, defense, etc, by the people, in order to prevent either their corruption and repudiation through the inevitable oligarchic tendency, or their general demise through lack of sufficient public 'nourishment'/attention.

In that regard, the US Constitution's stipulation pertaining to 'coining of money, and regulating value thereof', giving that power to Congress, is at least consistent with the spirit of your own indefatigable endorsement of finance as a public utility, not a private fiefdom.

On this topic there was an interesting 'moment' in Canadian history about a generation ago, when new Constitutional proposals were made and discussed across Canada and then the Canadian public voted. The name of the Constitutional proposal was the Charlottetown Accords. There was enormous media and political pressure - from all political stripes - on the Canadian public to approve the changes. Almost alone among high profile folk, former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau spoke out against the proposed changes.

My own view is that the changes would have created complications and confusions and on balance were steps backwards. The Canadian people became very involved in discussing the matter and voted I think slightly over half to not accept the new Constitution. I was struck by how capable most Canadians were of not being swept away by strident elite warnings that 'the sky will fall if you don't accept this'.

@ Don Bacon | Feb 8, 2019 8:03:10 PM | 59

My position is NOT that the US Constitution - and I assume perhaps incorrectly that the Declaration of Independence and the Amendments are part of this - is a high quality set of rules for the contemporary United States, but that they form a foundation of sorts, rickety, needing repair, and all that, and yes, constructed in an another age by people some of whom were perhaps just as objectionable ethically as some of the present lot in government. But a potentially useful foundation nevertheless. You refer to the architecture being in place. The facade is there. The content; not so much.

Posted by: Robert Snefjella | Feb 9 2019 2:10 utc | 77

@ mourning dove who wrote
The blatant hypocricy of the proclamation that all men are created equal by white elitists who were actively engaged in genocide, ethnic cleansing, and slavery, as well as the subjugation and domination of women, is self evident.
And then lgfocus with the follow on shame.

When I read sentiments like yours I think back to my anthropology education and look for context. I make no excuse for what happened in the past or what is happening even now. We are animals that profess to know something about less than 5 percent of the universe but are hubristic enough to create Gods in their likeness. The current species seems to have two types of "being" ; one of aggression, competition and control and another that is defensive, sharing and curious. For centuries the aggressive sub-culture has not only been dominant but carried on efforts based on its better than others belief of itself by destroying other cultures and peoples, even those not in direct competition. Along the way a group of the dominant sub-culture tried to dream and instantiate a better way....and while that may seem insignificant to some, it represents the idealism of many in and outside of the US.

We are now at a point where the dominant sub-culture has not succeeded in world domination and is being challenged by nations it has previously oppressed. Is there a snowballs chance in hell of reclaiming any of those lost cultures and people? No!

I think of myself as a realist who is trying their individual hardest to change our species social organization for the better. While I respect and retell the stories of Potlatch I heard and read about in my youth, I don't see our future society operating under the native American culture. What I think is possible is to remove/change the core precept of the current dominant culture around private to public finance.

I refuse to get get caught up in prosecuting any more of the past than we can pull together if/when given the opportunity. Humanity cannot move forward by looking in the rear view mirror but by grasping the current reality and adjusting it to suit our species potential.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 9 2019 2:14 utc | 78

@72 pft... good post! a quote from you - "Not religious and consider myself agnostic , but I think Christianity has been a good thing for the world, or at least the West. Its dissolution has not been a good thing IMO." indeed.. as you note, it offered some restraint the greed and avarice that is now on full display... and as you note at the end "Anything goes now. Mans Laws can legalize any criminal act." and that is just what they are doing too..

Posted by: james | Feb 9 2019 2:16 utc | 79

@ lgfocus | Feb 8, 2019 8:33:28 PM | 63
When I went college I learned that the US was not always on the side of good. From that time forward all I saw was the US doing horrible things around the world as well as to its own people.

Why is the Constitution so wonderful if these horrible things are allowed happen? Is there anything in the Constitution that says that human life is important, that (starting with) Native Americans (and later foreigners) should not be killed arbitrarily? No, there is nothing in the Constitution that prohibited the deaths of so many peopled attacked by the Constitutional United States of America. . . .Thousands of people died recently in Raqqa Syria, targeted by US Marine corps 155mm (6 inch diameter) howitzer rounds fired indiscriminately into their city.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 9 2019 2:18 utc | 80

Anyone interested in the unvarnished truth US history should read Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States.

If we can't come to terms with the reality of our history then we are very ill-equipped to deal with the reality of today.

Posted by: mourning dove | Feb 9 2019 2:18 utc | 81

I think it's a serious problem in the US that so many people have a whitewashed,
idealized view of this country's founding and that blood drenched document.

Article 2

This article states the nature of the Mexican nation.

The Mexican nation is unique and indivisible. The nation is pluricultural based originally on its indigenous tribes which are those that are descendants of the people that lived in the current territory of the country at the beginning of the colonization and that preserve their own social, economic, cultural, political institutions. The awareness of their indigenous identity should be fundamental criteria to determine to whom the dispositions over indigenous tribes are applied. They are integral communities of an indigenous tribe that form a social, economic and cultural organization.

Posted by: Guerrero | Feb 9 2019 2:18 utc | 82

@ psychohistorian 77
I'm not just looking in the rear view mirror. I'm looking at what we are doing RIGHT NOW!

Posted by: lgfocus | Feb 9 2019 2:18 utc | 83

Thank you Karlof1, Grieved, psychohistorian and others who have offered observations I believe arise from a provenance of ethical and moral clarity.

'People--subjects--were once required to swear allegiance to the occupant of the throne of the realm. That concept was enlightenly modified so citizens could swear allegiance to a body of law as represented by the Constitution in our case'

In the backdrop of Karloft1's comment, the principles embodied in the US Constitution are arguably the singular utilitarian claim to American 'exceptionalism'. Its enshrined principles, rightly ascribed the high value they deserve have been circumvented and often trampled through the steady erosion of our system of governance. This, IMO has been the product of both individual and institutional appropriation of power. It is driven by unbridled greed whose concomitant is the pursuit of global hegemony.

Just as a foreign policy which runs on the inherent deceit of 'divide and conquer' as a means to subdue enemies eventually backfires, the manipulation of public opinion to justify ends of the elite is an internal facet of that strategy. The cumulative effect eventually leads to the opposite of what was intended.

It may well be quixotic on my part to anticipate a reverse in the general direction in we are headed. Doing one's part within the range of social circles to stimulate questioning has its limits. MoA is an authentic medium with the power to debunk, inform and stir thought but a general public awakening that might lead to a seismic change still appears distant. Meanwhile, we continue tugging at the curtain to reveal the man behind it. It seems to be the only peaceful means to disabuse a populace lulled by the illusion of a 'benevolent' but stern Oz.

@61 Karlof1
"On this day in 1963, the CIA backed a coup against the populist Iraqi leader, Abd al-Karim Qasim, jailing, torturing & killing thousands of his supporters & paving the way for Saddam Hussein’s rise to power."

Yes, I remember that as an adolescent at the time. The media greeted his demise with jubilation. He was, after all, 'pro-communist', thus deserving of such a fate. I often wondered how the late nationalist pan-Arab nationalist leader Gamal Abdel Nasser evaded overthrow and assasination. He flirted heavily with the USSR after nationalizing the Suez Canal in 1956 and was also vilified as a Soviet puppet. The poppycok has a long trail. I also read a book by a former CIA operative called 'The Game of Nations in which the author claims Nasser was a CIA asset. Perhaps, but if that bears any truth, he was betrayed by his handlers when his country was duped into the 6-Day War.

Posted by: metni | Feb 9 2019 2:24 utc | 84

Latest from Jimmy Dore;

Scroll down to listen. The trashing of T. Gabbard by MSNBC..

Posted by: ben | Feb 9 2019 2:26 utc | 85

Christianity cheered the slaughter of indigenous peoples and justified slavery.

Original version of The Feelings of the Nation, the classic political text of Morelos,
read by its Secretary at the opening of the Independence Congress in the Church of the Virgen
of the Assumption in Chilpancingo, Guerrero September 14, 1813.

12th That as the good law is superior to every man or woman, those dictated by our Congress must be such, that they force constancy and patriotism, moderate opulence and indigence, and in such a way increase the wages of the poor, improve their customs, moving away from ignorance, rapine and theft.

15th That slavery is outlawed forever and the same distinction of castes, remaining all the same, and only distinguish one Mexican vice and virtue from another.

18th That the new legislation does not admit torture.

Posted by: Guerrero | Feb 9 2019 2:29 utc | 86

You wrote "I don't see our future society operating under the Native American culture." The only hope we have for a future is in reclaiming those lost values - of respect for the land, air, water, other life forms and an understanding of ourselves as part of the web of life, rather than a master of the natural world.
I'd also like to point out that while indigenous peoples were mostly wiped out, those who have survived are still subject to domination by the US government which has broken every treaty ever signed between the US and indigenous peoples. The crime is ongoing, it's not consigned to a distant past. The US is currently participating in a genocide upon Yemen and our foreign policies are a continuation of the crimes that mark the republic's founding.

Posted by: mourning dove | Feb 9 2019 2:31 utc | 87

@ psychohistorian | Feb 8, 2019 9:14:21 PM | 77
The current species seems to have two types of "being" ; one of aggression, competition and control and another that is defensive, sharing and curious.

I don't think so. I've lived in many places, in many countries, and I've never encountered what you describe. I've met many kinds of people, all different, with many characteristics some of which appealed to me and others that didn't.

I think the problem you're describing is one of people who are allowed to attain a position where they can control others. The I go to Edward Abbey: -- "No man is wise enough to be another man's master. Each man's as good as the next -- if not a damn sight better."

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 9 2019 2:36 utc | 88

Igfocus@82- Exactly!

Posted by: mourning dove | Feb 9 2019 2:38 utc | 89

There were army bases established in the west with the express purpose of eliminating Native Americans, who were wonderfully adaptive people under invasion. The Constitution had no problem with that.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 9 2019 2:41 utc | 90

When the issue of slavery was brought before the courts under the constitution, it was ruled that a black man was only 3/5 of a man and not entitled to protection under the constitution.

Posted by: mourning dove | Feb 9 2019 2:46 utc | 91

The US constitution is a deplorable document, but not because it was created by slaveowners, but because it makes it difficult if not impossible to have a left wing government in America. Various rules such as no property seizure by the government without compensation are explicitly anti-socialist, common law benefits the elite class due to its precedent-based system which does not distinguish between cases and provides business stability, the President is both overpowered compared to the legislature while at the same time unable to be decisive thanks to checks and balances, and most importantly because the Senate is an undemocratic monstrosity which, along with first-past-the-Post in the House, gives a grossly disproportionate amount of seats to underpopulated backwaters and blocks multiple parties. It's a dumpster fire with only the First Amendment in its favour.

Posted by: Anne Jaclard | Feb 9 2019 2:47 utc | 92

@ Grieved | Feb 8, 2019 8:50:55 PM | 69
I don't know how many people would give their lives for the Commerce Clause, or even know what it is. But I suspect many would do so for the right to bear arms and the freedoms of speech and assembly.

". . . the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed"

Of course there is frequent discussion in the political arena about limiting (infringing) the "right" of people to keep and bear arms. Same with speech and assembly. "You can demonstrate over there behind the fence."

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 9 2019 2:51 utc | 93 has an online copy of A People's History of the United States if anyone is interested. The first chapter on Columbus is soul wrenching. And it just goes on from there.

Posted by: mourning dove | Feb 9 2019 2:52 utc | 94

@ Robert Snefjella with the follow on to improvements needed
I agree with the KISS approach and built in changability that you suggest.

@ mourning dove and lgfocus that seem to want to focus on current guilt assignment and not solutions....sorry, but the list you want to be at the head of is very long and I am not the enemy. I hope you find justice in your lifetime.

It is good to read discussion about our social contract. I hope it grows and spreads so if/when the time comes we can make better decisions as a species

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 9 2019 2:53 utc | 95

I also have to point out that the US is actively participating in the slow genocide of the Palestinian people. We're even funding it, and shielding Israel from any accountability.

Posted by: mourning dove | Feb 9 2019 3:02 utc | 96

Article 1 (abstract by Wikipedia)

This article states that every individual in Mexico (official name, Estados Unidos Mexicanos
or United Mexican States) has the rights that the Constitution gives. These rights cannot be denied and they cannot be suspended. Slavery is illegal in Mexico; any slaves from abroad who enter national territory will, by this mere act, be freed and given the full protection of the law.

Posted by: Guerrero | Feb 9 2019 3:06 utc | 97

juliania 58

You may find this piece at Patrick Armstrong's site interesting.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 9 2019 3:16 utc | 98

Here's the Constitution of Mexico, starting with TITLE ONE Chapter I -- Individual Guarantees, 29 of them.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 9 2019 3:25 utc | 99

Grieved 46 "The model has much to recommend it."

Thailand may be near this model. An interesting part of Thai history, is that as far as I am aware, it has never been the possession of an empire. At least not through the last half a millenia when European countries were expanding their borders to take in various parts of the asia pacific.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 9 2019 3:29 utc | 100

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