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So it appears the privatization of France isn’t going quite as smoothly as planned. As I assume you are aware, for over a month now, the gilets jaunes (or “yellow vests”), a multiplicitous, leaderless, extremely pissed off, confederation of working class persons, have been conducting a series of lively protests in cities and towns throughout the country to express their displeasure with Emmanuel Macron and his efforts to transform their society into an American-style neo-feudal dystopia. Highways have been blocked, toll booths commandeered, luxury automobiles set on fire, and shopping on the Champs-Élysées disrupted. What began as a suburban tax revolt has morphed into a bona fide working class uprising.

It took a while for “the Golden Boy of Europe” to fully appreciate what was happening. In the tradition of his predecessor, Louis XVI, Macron initially responded to the gilets jaunes by inviting a delegation of Le Monde reporters to laud his renovation of the Elysée Palace, making the occasional condescending comment, and otherwise completely ignoring them. That was back in late November. Last Saturday, he locked down central Paris, mobilized a literal army of riot cops, “preventatively arrested” hundreds of citizens, including suspected “extremist students,” and sent in the armored military vehicles.

The English-language corporate media, after doing their best not to cover these protests (and, instead, to keep the American and British publics focused on imaginary Russians), have been forced to now begin the delicate process of delegitimizing the gilets jaunes without infuriating the the entire population of France and inciting the British and American proletariats to go out and start setting cars on fire. They got off to a bit of an awkward start.

For example, this piece by Angelique Chrisafis, The Guardian‘s Paris Bureau Chief, and her Twitter feed from the protests last Saturday. Somehow (probably a cock-up at headquarters), The Guardian honchos allowed Chrisafis to do some actual propaganda-free reporting (and some interviews with actual protesters) before they caught themselves and replaced her with Kim Willsher, who resumed The Guardian‘s usual neoliberal establishment-friendly narrative, which, in this case, entailed dividing the protesters into “real” gilets jaunes and “fake” gilet jaunes, and referring to the latter fictional group as “thuggish, extremist political agitators.”

By Sunday, the corporate media were insinuating that diabolical Russian Facebook bots had brainwashed the French into running amok, because who else could possibly be responsible? Certainly not the French people themselves! The French, as every American knows, are by nature a cowardly, cheese-eating people, who have never overthrown their rightful rulers, or publicly beheaded the aristocracy. No, the French were just sitting there, smoking like chimneys, and otherwise enjoying their debt-enslavement and the privatization of their social democracy, until they unsuspectingly logged onto Facebook and … BLAMMO, the Russian hackers got them!

Bloomberg is reporting that French authorities have opened a probe into Russian interference (in the middle of which report, for no apparent reason, a gigantic photo of Le Pen is featured, presumably just to give it that “Nazi” flavor). According to “analysis seen by The Times,” Russia-linked social media accounts have been “amplifying” the “chaos” and “violence” by tweeting photos of gilets jaunes who the French police have savagely beaten or gratuitiously shot with “less-than-lethal projectiles.”Are nationalists infiltrating the yellow vests?” the BBC Newsnight producers are wondering. According to Buzzfeed’s Ryan Broderick, “a beast born almost entirely from Facebook” is slouching toward … well, I’m not quite sure, the UK or even, God help us, America! And then there’s Max Boot, who is convinced he is being personally persecuted by Russian agents like Katie Hopkins, James Woods, Glenn Greenwald, and other high-ranking members of a worldwide conspiracy Boot refers to as the “Illiberal International” (but which regular readers of my column will recognize as the “Putin-Nazis“).

And, see, this is the problem the corporate media (and other staunch defenders of global neoliberalism) are facing with these gilets jaunes protests. They can’t get away with simply claiming that what is happening is not a working class uprising, so they have been forced to resort to these blatant absurdities. They know they need to delegitimize the gilets jaunes as soon as possible — the movement is already starting to spread — but the “Putin-Nazi” narrative they’ve been using on Trump, Corbyn, and other “populists” is just not working.

No one believes the Russians are behind this, not even the hacks who are paid to pretend they do. And the “fascism” hysteria is also bombing. Attempts to portray the gilets jaunes as Le Pen-sponsored fascists blew up in their faces. Obviously, the far-Right are part of these protests, as they would be in any broad working class uprising, but there are far too many socialists and anarchists (and just regular pissed-off working class people) involved for the media to paint them all as “Nazis.”

Which is not to say that the corporate media and prominent public intellectuals like Bernard-Henri Lévy will not continue to hammer away at the “fascism” hysteria, and demand that the “good” and “real” gilets jaunes suspend their protests against Macron until they have completely purged their movement of “fascists,” and “extremists,” and other dangerous elements, and have splintered it into a number of smaller, antagonistic ideological factions that can be more easily neutralized by the French authorities … because that’s what establishment intellectuals do.

 
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If you’re one of the millions of human beings who, despite a preponderance of evidence to the contrary, still believe there is such a thing as “the truth,” you might not want to read this essay. Seriously, it can be extremely upsetting when you discover that there is no “truth” … or rather, that what we’re all conditioned to regard as “truth” from the time we are children is just the product of a technology of power, and not an empirical state of being. Humans, upon first encountering this fact, have been known to freak completely out and start jabbering about the “Word of God,” or “the immutable laws of quantum physics,” and run around burning other people at the stake or locking them up and injecting them with Thorazine. I don’t want to be responsible for anything like that, so consider this your trigger warning.

OK, now that that’s out of the way, let’s take a look at how “truth” is manufactured. It’s actually not that complicated. See, the “truth” is … well, it’s a story, essentially. It’s whatever story we are telling ourselves at any given point in history (“we” being the majority of people, those conforming to the rules of whatever system wields enough power to dictate the story it wants everyone to be telling themselves). Everyone understands this intuitively, but the majority of people pretend they don’t in order to be able to get by in the system, which punishes anyone who does not conform to its rules, or who contradicts its story. So, basically, to manufacture the truth, all you really need is (a) a story, and (b) enough power to coerce a majority of people in your society to pretend to believe it.

I’ll return to this point a little later. First, let’s look at a concrete example of our system manufacturing “truth.” I’m going to use The Guardian‘s most recent blatantly fabricated article (“Manafort held secret talks with Assange in Ecuadorian embassy“) as an example, but I could just as well have chosen any of a host of other fabricated stories disseminated by “respectable” outlets over the course of the last two years. The “Russian Propaganda Peddlers” story. The “Russia Might Have Poisoned Hillary Clinton” story. The “Russians Hacked the Vermont Power Grid” story. The “Golden Showers Russian Pee-Tape” story. The “Novichok Assassins” story. The “Bana Alabed Speaks Out” story. The “Trump’s Secret Russian Server” story. The “Labour Anti-Semitism Crisis” story. The “Russians Orchestrated Brexit” story. The “Russia is Going to Hack the Midterms” story. The “Twitter Bots” story. And the list goes on.

I’m not going to debunk the Guardian article here. It has been debunked by better debunkers than I (e.g., Jonathan Cook, Craig Murray, Glenn Greenwald, Moon of Alabama, and many others). The short version is, The Guardian‘s Luke Harding, a shameless hack who will affix his name to any propaganda an intelligence agency feeds him, alleged that Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager, secretly met with Julian Assange (and unnamed “Russians”) on numerous occasions from 2013 to 2016, presumably to conspire to collude to brainwash Americans into not voting for Clinton. Harding’s earth-shaking allegations, which The Guardian prominently featured and flogged, were based on … well, absolutely nothing, except the usual anonymous “intelligence sources.” After actual journalists pointed this out, The Guardian quietly revised the piece (employing the subjunctive mood rather liberally), buried it in the back pages of its website, and otherwise pretended like they had never published it.

By that time, of course, its purpose had been served. The story had been picked up and disseminated by other “respectable,” “authoritative” outlets, and it was making the rounds on social media. Nonetheless, out of an abundance of caution, in an attempt to counter the above-mentioned debunkers (and dispel the doubts of anyone else still capable of any kind of critical thinking), Politico posted this ass-covering piece speculating that, if it somehow turned out The Guardian‘s story was just propaganda designed to tarnish Assange and Trump … well, probably, it had been planted by the Russians to make Luke Harding look like a moron. This ass-covering piece of speculative fiction, which was written by a former CIA agent, was immediately disseminated by liberals and “leftists” who are eagerly looking forward to the arrest, rendition, and public crucifixion of Assange.

At this point, I imagine you’re probably wondering what this has to do with manufacturing “truth.” Because, clearly, this Guardian story was a lie … a lie The Guardian got caught telling. I wish the “truth” thing was as simple as that (i.e., exposing and debunking the ruling classes’ lies). Unfortunately, it isn’t. Here is why.

 
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Unless you move in certain leftist circles, you may not have heard about one of the Russians’ most insidiously evil active measures, an active measure so insidiously evil that it could only have been dreamed up in Moscow, the current wellspring of insidious evil. Its official Russo-Nazi-sounding code name is still being decided on by leftist cryptographers, but most people know it as the “Trumpenleft.”

The Trumpenleft (or “Sputnik Left,” as it is also called by professional anti-Putin-Nazi intelligence analysts) is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. It is a gang of nefarious Putin-Nazi infiltrators posing as respectable leftists in order to disseminate Trumpian ideology and Putin-Nazi propaganda among an assortment of online leftist magazines that hardly anyone ever actually reads. The aim of these insidious Trumpenleft infiltrators is to sow confusion, chaos, and discord among actual, real, authentic leftists who are going about the serious business of calling Donald Trump a fascist on the Internet twenty-five times a day, verbally abusing Julian Assange, occasionally pulling down oppressive statues, and sharing videos of racist idiots acting like racist idiots in public.

The Trumpenleft is determined to sabotage (or momentarily disrupt) this revolutionary work, mostly by tricking these actual leftists into critically thinking about a host of issues that there is no good reason to critically think about … global capitalism, national sovereignty, immigration, identity politics, corporate censorship, and other issues that there is no conceivable reason to discuss, or debate, or even casually mention, unless you’re some kind of Russia-loving Nazi.

Angela Nagle’s recent piece in American Affairs is a perfect example. Nagle (who is certainly Trumpenleft) puts forth the fascistic proposition that mass migration won’t help the world’s poor, and she claims that it creates “a race to the bottom for workers” in wealthier, developed countries and “a brain drain” in poorer, less developed countries. After deploying a variety of Trumpenleft sophistry (i.e., fact-based analysis, logic, and so on), she goes so far as to openly suggest that “progressives should focus on addressing the systemic exploitation at the root of mass migration rather than retreating to a shallow moralism” … a shallow moralism that reifies the dominant neoliberal ideology that is causing mass migration in the first place.

This is the type of gobbledegook the Trumpenleft use to try to dupe real leftists into putting down their phones for a minute and actually thinking through political issues! Fortunately, no one is falling for it. As any bona fide leftist knows, there is no “mass migration problem.” The whole thing is simply a racist hoax concocted by Putin, Alex Jones, and other Trumpian disinformationists. The only thing real leftists need to know about immigration is that immigrants are good, and Trump, and walls, and borders are bad! All that other fancy gibberish about global capitalism, Milton Friedman, labor markets, and national sovereignty is nothing but fascist propaganda (which needs to be censored, or at least deplatformed, or demonetized, or otherwise suppressed).

But Angela Nagle is just one example. The Trumpenleft is legion, and growing. Its membership includes a handful of prominent (and rather less prominent) fake leftist figures: Glenn Greenwald, who many among the “Resistance” would like to see renditioned and indefinitely detained in some offshore Trumpenleft gulag somewhere; Matt Taibbi, who just published a treasonous article challenging the right of the US government to prosecute publishers as “enemy agents” for publishing material they don’t want published; Julian Assange, who is one such publisher, and who the US has scheduled for public crucifixion just as soon as they can get their hands on him; Aaron Maté of the Real News Network, a notorious Trump-Russia “collusion denialist“; Caitlin Johnstone, an Australian blogger and poet who the Red-Brown Putin-Nazi hunters at CounterPunch have become totally obsessed with; Diana Johnstone, who they also don’t like; and (full disclosure) your humble narrator.

Now, normally, the opinions of some political journalists and rather marginal political writers wouldn’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world, but there’s a war on, so there’s no room for neutrality. As I mentioned in my latest essay, over the course of the next two years, the global capitalist ruling classes need to make an example of Trump, and Assange, and anyone else who has had the gall to fuck with their global empire. Part of how they are going to do this is to further polarize the already extremely polarized ideological spectrum until everyone is forced onto one or the other side of a pro- or anti-Trump equation, or a pro- or anti-populist equation … or a pro- or anti-fascist equation.

As you probably noticed, The Guardian has just launched a special six-week “investigative series” exploring the whole “new populism” phenomenon (which began with a lot of scary photos of Steve Bannon next to the word “populism”). We are going to be hearing a lot about “populism” over the course of the next two years. We are going to be hearing how “populism” is actually not that different from fascism, or at the very least is inherently racist, and anti-Semitic, and xenophobic, and how, basically, anyone who criticizes neoliberal elites or the corporate media is Russia-loving, pro-Trump Nazi.

And this is where this “Trumpenleft” malarkey fits into the ruling classes’ broader campaign to eliminate any kind of critical thinking and force people to mindlessly root for their “team.” See, the problem with us “Trumpenleft” types is not that we support Donald Trump. For the record, none of us really do. Some of us think he us a dangerous demagogue. Others of us think he is a blithering idiot. None of us think he’s Fidel Castro, or that he cares one iota about the working classes, or about anyone other than Donald Trump.

 
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OK, so, that was a close one. For a moment there, I was starting to worry that the Democrats weren’t going to take back the House and rescue us from “the brink of fascism.” Which, if that had happened, in addition to having to attend all those horrible stadium rallies and help the government mass murder the Jews, we would have been denied the next two years of Donald Trump-related congressional hearings and investigations that we can now look forward to … I’m going to go ahead and call them the Hitlergate Hearings.

Staging these hearings has always been a crucial part of the Resistance’s strategy. As history has proved, time and time again, when literal fascists take over your democracy, outlaw opposing political parties, and start shipping people off to concentration camps and revoking journalists’ White House access, the only effective way to defeat them is to form a whole buttload of congressional committees and investigate the living Hitler out of them. This is especially the case when the literal fascists who have commandeered your democracy are conspiring with a shifty-eyed Slavic dictator whose country you have essentially surrounded with your full-spectrum dominant military forces, and who your media have thoroughly demonized, but who is nevertheless able to brainwash your citizens into electing his fascist puppet president with a few thousand dollars worth of Facebook ads.

Once you’ve determined that has happened (which it obviously has), the gloves have to come off. No more prancing around in pussyhats, not with Russian Hitler in office! No, at that point, you really have no choice but to wait two years until your opposition party (which Hitler somehow forgot to ban) regains control of the House of Representatives (which Hitler somehow forgot to dissolve), wait another two months until they take office, and then immediately start issuing subpoenas, auditing Hitler’s financial records, and taking affidavits from former hookers. I realize that may sound extreme, but remember, we’re talking literal fascists, backed by literal Russian fascists, who are going around emboldening literal fascism, and making literal fascist hand gestures on television, and doing all kinds of other fascist stuff!

Now, OK, if you’re anything like me, you’re probably wondering, if Trump is really a fascist, not to mention a Russian intelligence asset, why hasn’t the “Resistance” just assassinated him? Many of them are ex-CIA, after all, or are otherwise members of the Intelligence Community. Why bother with all these congressional hearings? Why not just go in there and kill him?

Well, the problem with that apparently is, they have to follow “the rule of law,” which prevents them from just assassinating people, and “regime-changing” governments that are not playing ball, and, you know, staging military coups, arming and training sadistic death squads, and sanctioning thousands of children to death. That kind of stuff is not just wrong, like, morally, or whatever, it is also illegal. So, even though a Russian agent, who is also literally Adolf Hitler, stole the election from Hillary Clinton, and is remaking America into a fascist dictatorship, the only recourse the “Resistance” has is to mount these congressional investigations and publicize them in excruciating detail until November 3, 2020, at which point all this “Fascism” hysteria will just disappear into the ether like the “War on Terror” hysteria did the moment Trump won the nomination.

But that’s two years from now, which is almost an eternity. In the meantime, the neoliberal “Resistance” has got some serious investigating to do! And not just Mueller’s investigation of Trump’s treasonous activities as a Russian agent. No, we’re talking congressional investigations of his tax returns, his Deutsche Bank statements, takeout receipts, dry cleaning tickets, his entire fascistic financial history! And then there’s that emoluments thing! And that Kavanaugh thing! And that security clearance thing! And that bimbo thing! And some other things! And, well, I think it’s pretty safe to assume we are on the road to Subpoena City!

The corporate media appear to agree. Scanning the post-election coverage, it looked like most “Resistance” journalists got the official press release. The Guardian started taking live bets on which investigations the House would launch first. The New York Times, in its ongoing efforts to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller from the fascistic “muzzling” its editorial staff are certain that Trump is about to subject him to in order to prevent him from presenting evidence of Trump’s formative years in the GRU (and possible links to the Skripal assassins), published a “roadmap” Mueller can follow to “send incriminating evidence directly to Congress,” bypassing the Nazified Justice Department! According to CNN (a dissident samizdat owned by the Turner Broadcasting division of Warner Media, LLC, which, in turn, is owned by AT&T, a multinational conglomerate holding company), “House Democrats are preparing to unleash the full force of their oversight powers on the Trump administration” in series of “high-octane Democratic-controlled hearings,” which Jim Acosta will be covering live, if he has to take out every jackbooted Nazi intern on the Hill to do it! I could go on, but you get the picture. And for anyone who doesn’t, here it is …

The next two years will be a demonstration of the power of the global capitalist empire and its predominant propaganda machine the likes of which the world has never witnessed. By November 3, 2020, they will need to have brainwashed enough Americans into voting for whatever global capitalist puppet the Democrats end up nominating to defeat Donald Trump in the general election, which isn’t going to be a cakewalk. To do this, they will need to foment such an atmosphere of mindless hysteria, emotional exhaustion, and paranoia that anyone to the left of Mussolini will stagger to the polls on election day and vote for the Democrat just to make it stop.

In addition to the Hitlergate Hearings, each and every excruciating moment of which will be broadcast live and then milked to death by the corporate media’s experts and pundits, they will continue to subject us to a torrent of messaging designed to convince us that Donald Trump is simultaneously Hitler and a Russian operative, and that America is literally “on the brink of fascism,” and that anyone who questions this narrative is a Putin-loving Trumpian fascist, and a hate criminal, and probably a “domestic terrorist.”

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: American Media, Donald Trump, Robert Mueller, Russia 
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If you’re a critic of global capitalism (sometimes referred to as “globalism”), I’ve got some good news and some bad news for you. The good news is, you’re not a “peddler of Russian propaganda” anymore. The bad news is, you’re an anti-Semite.

You’re probably also a domestic terrorist, or an “emboldener” of domestic terrorism, or at least some sort of terrorism-apologist. And not good old-fashioned Islamic terrorism like we used to get during the War on Terror, because that ended in the Summer of 2016, right around the time Trump won the nomination. No, the brand of terrorism you are probably emboldening by criticizing global capitalism is anti-Semitic, fascist terrorism … the most terroristic form of terrorism there is!

Up until recently, you might have just been going about your normal business, criticizing global capitalism, completely unaware of your anti-Semitic, white supremacist terrorist activities, but from now on there will be no denying them. Your hate thoughts are right there for everyone to read. Go back and check your Facebook posts and your Twitter feed. You’ll see what I mean. All those times when you impulsively lashed out against the global capitalist ruling classes, or globalism, or Obama, or Clinton, or the Wall Street banks, or, God help you, George Soros … well, you might as well have been tweeting blinking neon GIFs of dancing Swastikas or posting Adolf Hitler’s speeches with little throbbing hearts and smiley-face emoticons.

See, according to the “Anti-Fascist Resistance” (i.e, the the Democratic Party, the “intelligence community,” the corporate media, those Wall Street banks, the military industrial complex, and other components of the global capitalist empire that doesn’t actually exist, except as a Nazi “conspiracy theory”), any references you might have made to “globalists,” or “globalism,” or the “corporate media,” or “banks,” or “Hollywood,” or the “1 percent,” or any other “elites,” didn’t really refer to what they referred to, but, in fact, were anti-Semitic “dog whistles.” If you went so far as to literally mention or include an unflattering photo of Soros in any of your posts or tweets, then you weren’t just “whistling” to your fascist dog friends, you were openly calling for a second Holocaust, or “inspiring” some anti-Semitic psycho to senselessly murder a bunch of people, as recently happened at that synagogue in Pittsburgh.

This newly rebranded “Anti-Fascist Resistance” (formerly known as the “Anti-Putin Resistance,” that is, until pre-election polling convinced them that most Americans were not responding to their “Russiagate” propaganda) has been working more or less around the clock to badger the public into believing that this psycho was an official “lone wolf terrorist” (i.e., a “terrorist” who has no affiliation with any actual terrorist organization), and that “America is on the brink of fascism,” and that Trump is “deploying the fascist playbook,” and that attacking the media is “the first step toward fascism,” and that Trump is a fascist because he isn’t a fascist (or something … I couldn’t quite make sense of that one), and, basically, that everyone should be afraid of fascism! Like that scene in Orwell’s 1984 when the Party abruptly switches official enemies in the middle of the Hate Week rally, the “Resistance” is counting on its loyal members to instantly forget the Russia hysteria they have been mindlessly parroting for almost two years, and start mindlessly parroting Fascism hysteria (as they mindlessly parroted the Terrorism hysteria throughout the Global War on Terror, until they switched to parroting the Russia hysteria after Trump got elected in 2016).

This recent rebranding of the neoliberal Resistance was a brilliant move, and is going quite well. It couldn’t have come at a better time, what with the midterm elections about to take place. While liberals were ready to swallow any anti-Trump narrative the corporate media rammed down their throats from the moment Clinton lost, much of the slightly-more-left-leaning Left never bought the Russiagate story. So it’s been tough for slimy beltway operatives like David Brock and other propagandists to unite “the Left” behind the Democratic Party, so they can put down this annoying “populist” insurgency, reinstall some Obama-like puppet, and get back to the business of globalism … no, not worldwide Jewish domination, you Jew-obsessed, neo-Nazi freaks, but, rather, the consolidation of corporate control over what remains of society, the abrogation of national sovereignty, and the establishment of a smiley, happy, multicultural, over-medicated, neo-feudal global capitalist marketplace. This Fascism hysteria is doing the trick!

This is the beauty of the “Putin-Nazi” narrative, which was designed to be a one-two punch. First, they hit us with the “Russiagate” hysteria, which worked like a charm on the kind of liberals who have no qualms about destroying whole countries, murdering hundreds of thousands of people in faraway lands that pose zero threat to us, and debt-enslaving millions of Americans to enrich the global investor classes, as long as someone like Obama is doing it. Then, once all the NPR liberals had been whipped into a hysterical frenzy over “Russian propaganda,” “collusion,” and so on, they hit us with the Fascism hysteria, which is working like a charm on the rest of the Left. (I haven’t seen any official polling, but when the official narrative is being mindlessly parroted, not only by the liberal corporate media, but also by “grassroots” left-wing outlets like Truthout, Democracy Now, and CounterPunch, you know their propaganda is working.)

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: 2018 Election, American Media, Donald Trump 
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I suppose it was always just a matter of time until the global capitalist ruling classes and their mouthpieces in the corporate media combined their two main official narratives into a Ronco-type 2-in-1 kind of deal. That’s right, folks, your days of switching between the War on Terror official narrative and the Putin-Nazi official narrative are over, because now, for just $19.99, the Putin-Nazi-Terrorist-O-Matic® takes care of all your official narrative needs with just the press of one button!

Here’s how it works. First, you take your classic mentally-disturbed individual, someone like, say, John Hinkley, Jr., Mark David Chapman, or Travis Bickle, or a total wack job like Cesar Sayoc, and you paint whichever clearly psychotic crimes he’s committed as acts of “terrorism.” Don’t worry about the definition of “terrorism” or how it has become a virtually meaningless label the capitalist ruling classes and corporate media can slap onto anyone. Just keep saying “terrorist,” “terrorism,” and any other lexical derivatives of “terror,” over and over, like some kind of mantra … you know, like the Hare Krishnas do.

Next, you take whatever obsession your disturbed individual is maniacally obsessed with, and you paint that obsession as an “ideology,” or some kind of organized political movement, as if your wack job was actually a rational person and not just a totally paranoid geek who decided to attempt to assassinate Reagan because he couldn’t get a date with Jodie Foster, or to murder John Lennon because God had ordered him to do so in a J. D. Salinger novel.

Now, this works much better if your disturbed individual is actually obsessed with something political, like, say, if he’s a Donald Trump fanatic who has plastered the windows of the van he’s living in with all sorts of blatantly psychotic artwork deifying Donald Trump and demonizing Donald Trump’s political opponents, but you’ll have to work with what your lunatic gives you. In any event, whatever his pathology, you will need to de-pathologize your psycho, so you can misrepresent him as a “domestic terrorist,” and then associate whatever “ideology” you’ve just painted onto him with “terrorism.”

If that sounds a little complicated, don’t worry, folks, it’s really not! The ruling classes and the corporate media just provided us with a demonstration of the Putin-Nazi-Terrorist-O-Matic in action, which proves how easy-to-use it is. In the span of just a single week, they whipped up so much mass paranoia that, by the weekend, millions of hysterical liberals were calling for a Deep State coup, and the arrest and internment of all registered Republicans, because a right-wing loon had sent a bunch of non-exploding bomblike devices to prominent members of the neoliberal “Resistance,” or rather, to their respective mail-screening services.

These Putin-Nazi Terrorist “bomb-like devices” were “intercepted” throughout last week. Their targets were a roll call of Resistance heroes, Soros, Obama, Hillary Clinton, John Brennan, the offices of CNN, Eric Holder, Maxine Waters, Joe Biden, and, yes, even Robert De Niro! Putin-Nazi panic paralyzed the nation! The neoliberal corporate media (who, remember, are serious, respected professionals, not conspiracist nuts like Alex Jones) began pouring out pieces informing the world that Donald Trump was behind these attacks, or had encouraged, “emboldened,” or “inspired” whoever was with his violent, neo-Hitlerian rhetoric.

The Washington Post went full Shakespearean with Dana Milbank’s What Hath Trump Wrought? The New York Times explained how Trump was employing a strategy called “stochastic terrorism,” i.e., inspiring random acts of violence that are statistically predictable but individually unpredictable! “Trump’s words have consequences,” The Guardian lectured. “Words matter,” CNN concurred. John Brennan, who courageously continued to appear on television, despite the ongoing terrorist threat, affirmed that Trump’s “un-American” rhetoric had “emboldened individuals to take matters into their own hands.” Even “alternative” Resistance outlets like Truthout joined the chorus of voices reporting that “Trump’s Rhetoric Emboldens Violence!”

By Thursday morning, #MAGAbomber, #MAGATerrorist, and other such hashtags were circulating widely on Twitter. Which meant it was only a matter of time until the Resistance linked these stochastically-terrorist MAGA bomber attacks to Russia. On Thursday evening, MSNBC’s Chuck Todd did exactly that, speculating that “this could be a Russian operation!” (Washington Post propagandist Craig Timberg, author of the infamous McCarthyite smear piece on “peddlers of Russian propaganda” that got the whole “fake news” hysteria going back in December 2016, would soon follow up with this ridiculous attempt to connect the “MAGA Terrorist” to Russia … but I’m getting a little ahead of myself.)

By Friday, after anti-Terrorism specialists (or the kids that work in the mail screening room) “intercepted” more “bomb-like devices” addressed to Senator Cory Booker and ex-National Intelligence Director James Clapper, the neoliberal punditocracy were soiling themselves on national television. This was it! The long-awaited Putin-Nazi Apocalypse had finally begun! And just as Paul Krugman had prophesied it would … or, OK, not exactly like that, but still, Trump was, once again, about to suspend the Constitution, declare martial law, and appoint himself dictator! Clearly, Putin had ordered Trump to launch the destruction of Western democracy by deploying the dreaded Totally Incompetent Domestic Terrorist Mail Bomber Strategy … and just in time for the midterm elections!

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: American Media, Anti-Semitism, Vladimir Putin 
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OK … here’s a question for you. Let’s assume, strictly for the purposes of argument, that Donald Trump is literally Hitler, or at least a proto-Hitlerian fascist, like the neoliberal ruling classes and the corporate media have been saying he is. And let’s go ahead and also assume that he’s a treasonous Russian intelligence asset working in league with Vladimir Putin to destroy the very fabric of Western democracy, and that he isn’t even legitimately President, because he stole the election from Hillary Clinton with all those Russian bots and Facebook posts, and all that other stuff they’ve been accusing him of, which would make him the most monstrously evil villain in the history of monstrously evil villains, not to mention an existential threat to the nation, and Americans, and … well, the rest of humanity. And so, basically, what I want to know is, why don’t they just kill this guy?

Seriously, if Trump is really Hitler, and a traitor, working for a foreign enemy, like The New York Times and more or less every other organ of the corporate media has been telling us he is for the last two years, well, how about getting SEAL Team 6 to storm the White House in the dead of night and shoot him in the face or something? That seems to go over pretty well with people. Or what about a simple heart attack? Don’t our spooks have some kind of heart attack juice that they could slip into his Diet Coke, or smear onto the doorknob of the Oval Office?

Not that there’s really any need for subtlety. After all, if he’s actually a Russian operative, and a proto-Hitlerian genocidal dictator, there’s no reason to run a covert op or attempt to cover anything up. On the contrary, you would want do it openly, proudly, where all Americans could see it. Which is why I’d go with the DEVGRU option. They could waste him live on CNN. The bloodier the better. Just imagine the ratings! They could march into the Oval Office in that cool-looking kill squad body armor and beat him to death with a gold-plated golf club. It’s not like he’d put up much of a fight. What is he, like seventy years old or something?

All right, I know you’re probably thinking that beating a sitting president to death with a gold-plated gap wedge is nothing to joke about, and that doing so (i.e., joking about it, not actually beating the President to death) is possibly a federal crime or whatever, but we’re talking Adolf Hitler here, folks. Do I have to link to every one of the literally thousands of impassioned editorials, articles, and TV and radio segments in which respected journalists at serious news outlets have warned us, over and over, and over, that Donald Trump is literally Hitler, or virtually Hitler, and probably also a Russian agent? I don’t think so. Do you think that respectable publications like The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Atlantic, Time, and so on, would print such inflammatory allegations if the fate of democracy were not at stake? That would be rather reckless, wouldn’t it? I mean, how many times can you call a guy Hitler before Americans demand that somebody kill him?

This is what we do, after all. Killing Hitler is America’s thing. America has been killing Hitler since … well, since Hitler killed himself. Saddam was Hitler. We killed him, didn’t we? Or we got some guys to kill him for us. Same goes for Gaddafi. He was Hitler. We killed the hell out of him. That was fun. We got some guys to sodomize him with a bayonet, and shoot him in the head, and then we laughed about it on national television. Oh, and Osama bin Laden. He was definitely Hitler … OK, not while he was working with the CIA, but later, after he went native on us. We shot him in the face and dumped in the ocean. And Milosevic, he was also Hitler! OK, we didn’t kill him, but we killed his whole country, then we put him on trial in the Hague for war crimes. And what about Stalin, Ho Chi Minh, Castro, Khomeini, Bashar al Assad, and all the other Hitlers we wanted to kill, or tried to kill but couldn’t kill? The list goes on and on, and on.

I kid you not, if there is anything Americans love more than working a hundred hours a week and buying stuff with credit cards, it is repeatedly killing Adolf Hitler. You just point at somebody, call him Hitler, and Americans are ready to help you kill him. And, even if someone isn’t technically Hitler, as long as those respectable news sources tell us it’s OK to kill them … well, that’s usually good enough for us.

For example, if you’re messing around with our “interests,” like maybe interfering with our corporations’ exploitation of your Central American country, we will have no choice but to fund and train some sadistic death squads to hideously torture and murder your people until you come to your senses. Or, if you’re even considering aligning with some annoying, fanatically religious regime that deposed the puppet we installed in their country, and that is sitting in the middle of the Middle East screwing up our restructuring plans, and which the Russians won’t let us tactically nuke, well, we’ll have to help our friends, the Saudis, bomb the living Allah out of you, starve your women and children to death, and otherwise wipe you off the face of the Earth.

So let’s not suddenly get all squeamish about killing Hitler or … you know, whoever. Killing Hitlers, and other bogeymen, and innocent men, women, and children is as American as apple pie, not to mention an extremely profitable business. So what’s the problem here, exactly? Either Trump is Hitler or he isn’t Hitler. If he’s Hitler, and a traitorous Russian agent, like all those respected media sources, and those anonymous “Intelligence Community” sources, and those people on Twitter say he is, what the hell is taking so long? Why doesn’t somebody get in there and kill him? What good are all these black ops types if they can’t even save America from Hitler?

I don’t know, maybe the ruling classes don’t believe they have generated enough public support with all their “resistance” and “Hitler” stuff to brutally assassinate the president on television (which is hard to fathom, given the relentless propaganda campaign they’ve been concertedly waging). Perhaps it needs to be a grassroots effort. In which case, maybe the Democratic Party, Bill Kristol, Rob Reiner, Rachel Maddow, Michael Moore, General Hayden, Hillary Clinton, Alec Baldwin, the Editorial Board of The New York Times, and other key Resistance fighters could organize a “March to Assassinate Trump.” People could break out their pussyhats again. Everyone loves those pussyhats! They could march on CIA headquarters in Langley. Just think of all the signs and slogans … “SCREW DEMOCRACY, JUST KILL HIM ALREADY!” “WHAT WOULD WILLIAM CASEY DO?” and the always popular call and response, “TELL ME WHAT THE DEEP STATE LOOKS LIKE … THIS IS WHAT THE DEEP STATE LOOKS LIKE!” The possibilities are almost endless!

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: American Media, Deep State, Donald Trump 
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So, it’s three weeks before the US midterm elections, and it looks like we have got ourselves a horse race! That’s right, folks, once again, it’s time to start playing with those forecast maps on Real Clear Politics and FiveThirtyEight, and obsessively following the fluctuating poll numbers of congressional candidates you have never heard of competing in districts you couldn’t locate if someone held a gun to your head. You need to start doing this immediately, if not sooner, as the stakes in these midterms could not be higher. Nothing less than the continued existence of “American democracy” hangs in the balance, so the ruling classes need every last one of us to get out there and vote for somebody!

The fact that it only marginally matters who that somebody that you vote for is should not dissuade you from voting for somebody. Voting for somebody is your civic duty, and is no less important than rooting for a sports team, or maintaining a personal favorite color, or celebrity, or brand of hemorrhoid creme. Remember, if you don’t vote for somebody, somebody else is going to win, and we can’t afford to let that happen!

Now, your choices this year are particularly exciting, despite the fact that they are exactly the same as in every other US election since approximately the 1970s. Yes, that’s right, once again, it’s the Transgender Panethnic Communists of Color versus the Old White Cisnormal Capitalist Nazis, and what a spectacle it promises to be! The Old White Cisnormal Capitalist Nazis (hereinafter the “OWCCN”) currently control … well, pretty much everything (i.e., the House, the Senate, and executive branch), and so the Transgender Panethnic Communists of Color (hereinafter the “TPCoC”) are hungry, and are looking for some serious payback after getting their butts kicked in 2016. Rumor has it, the TPCoC are preparing to unleash a “Blue Tsunami” on vulnerable OWCCN incumbents, take control of the House of Representatives, and then not impeach the ass clown President they’ve been telling everyone for the last two years is both a traitorous Russian intelligence asset and the resurrection of Adolf Hitler.

And, if that isn’t exciting enough for you already, they’ve got all kinds of other life-and-death issues to emotionally pressure you into picking a team to fanatically root for on social media, and then getting out and voting for somebody. How blatantly to humiliate illegal immigrants, how affluent you have to be to obtain an abortion, how much interest banks can charge when you pay for your chemo with an Amazon card, and which pronouns law enforcement officers are required to use to refer to people whose homes they barge into and unintentionally murder, are just a few of the many “hot-button” questions requiring your democratic input.

Other questions, like whether to invade or just strategically bomb Iran or Syria, or some other non-ball-playing Middle East country, or pour billions more in military aid into Israel, or sell billions in weapons to Saudi Arabia, or foment a coup in Venezuela, or maintain almost eight hundred military outposts in over seventy foreign countries all around the world, are questions that do not require your input. The global capitalist ruling classes, the corporations they own and operate, their friends in the government and the intelligence agencies, and the corporate media will take care of all that. Same goes for those Wall Street banks, and the next looming global financial crisis, and those mass extinctions, and this wacky weather. The grown-ups with the fancy suits and haircuts are handling all that complicated stuff. You just worry about all those other issues, and get out there and vote for somebody!

Seriously, though, for those unfamiliar with the ins and outs of U.S. politics, our election cycle, and these midterm elections, and thus do not have the slightest idea what I’m even referring to, here’s what’s going on in a nutshell …

On November 6, 2018, Americans will be returning to the polls to exercise their inalienable right to choose between two corporate-financed, ruling class-vetted political stooges competing for the chance to pretend to represent them in the House of Representatives and the Senate, and in various gubernatorial, municipal, and somewhat lesser distinguished chambers. A selection of non-ruling-class-vetted candidates will also appear on a handful of ballots. Americans will be free to vote for such candidates, as long as they realize they are just wasting their time, and possibly damaging the “serious” candidates, which the corporate media will remind them they are doing at every available opportunity.

See, unlike in backward European countries, where some semblance of a parliament still exists, and there are actual campaign finance restrictions and limits on televised campaign advertising, in the United States, where everyone is free, voting for non-ruling-class-vetted candidates, in a midterm or any other election, is about as effective as voting for a sandwich … or for, you know, some narcissistic billionaire ass clown who swears he is going to “drain the swamp,” and build “a beautiful wall,” or whatever. The system is designed to guarantee that no matter which ruling class stooge you vote for, and even if you vote for a character like Trump just to stick it to the establishment for once, it makes no difference … or, OK, very little difference.

The reason for this is not a big mystery. When a seat in the Senate goes for ten million dollars and a seat in the House for over a million, and there are no real restrictions on campaign financing, and the corporate-owned media decide in advance which candidates will be given airtime, and considered “serious” by the mainstream pundits who work for the handful of corporations that own the vast majority of newspapers, television and radio stations, and internet platforms that control the flow of information to the American public … well, it would kind of be a little odd, wouldn’t it, if authentic anti-ruling-class candidates were allowed to enter and compete in that system?

Most Americans understand this, which is why nearly half of them do not vote. It’s humiliating enough to be forced to live, and attempt to support a family, and so on, in a savage, neoliberal marketplace with virtually no social cohesion whatsoever, and in which the only real operative value is money, without also having to debase themselves by participating in the simulation of democracy that the capitalist ruling classes need to maintain in order to pretend that they are not just social parasites with a lot of goons and guns.

Which brings me to the point of this essay. See, normally, I try like hell to avoid telling people what to do in my columns, but, after my last one, a number of readers wrote in asking for advice, so I’m going to make an exception, just this once.

Here’s my advice. You’re not going to like it.

Do not vote. For anyone. At all. Tell all your friends not to vote for anyone. Join the hundreds of millions of Americans who refuse to participate in the simulation of democracy. Take time off from work to vote, and then do not vote. Go see a movie, or have lunch with someone you haven’t seen in a while, or take a nice, long walk in the woods or something. Whatever you do, do not vote. Seriously. Please stop voting for these people. They’re not your friends. They mean you ill. They will shake your hand, kiss your baby, then sell you to the first pharmaceutical lobbyist, or military industrial lobbyist, or Israeli or Saudi Arabian lobbyist, that waltzes into their office with a check, or that threatens to turn their voters against them.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: 2018 Election, Political Correctness 
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If there is one thing that still unites Americans across the ever more intellectually suffocating and bitterly polarized political spectrum our imaginations have been crammed into like rush hour commuters on the Tokyo Metro, it’s our undying love of identity politics.

Who doesn’t love identity politics? Liberals love identity politics. Conservatives love identity politics. Political parties love identity politics. Corporations love identity politics. Advertisers, anarchists, white supremacists, Wall Street bankers, Hollywood producers, Twitter celebrities, the media, academia … everybody loves identity politics.

Why do we love identity politics? We love them for many different reasons.

The ruling classes love identity politics because they keep the working classes focused on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and so on, and not on the fact that they (i.e., the working classes) are, essentially, glorified indentured servants, who will spend the majority of their sentient existences laboring to benefit a ruling elite that would gladly butcher their entire families and sell their livers to hepatitic Saudi princes if they could get away with it. Dividing the working classes up into sub-groups according to race, ethnicity, and so on, and then pitting these sub-groups against each other, is extremely important to the ruling classes, who are, let’s remember, a tiny minority of intelligent but physically vulnerable parasites controlling the lives of the vast majority of human beings on the planet Earth, primarily by keeping them ignorant and confused.

The political parties love identity politics because they allow them to conceal the fact that they are bought and paid for by these ruling classes, which, in our day and age, means corporations and a handful of obscenely wealthy oligarchs who would gut you and your kids like trout and sell your organs to the highest bidder if they thought they could possibly get away with it. The political parties employ identity politics to maintain the simulation of democracy that prevents Americans (many of whom are armed) from coming together, forming a mob, dismantling this simulation of democracy, and then attempting to establish an actual democracy, of, by, and for the people, which is, basically, the ruling classes’ worst nightmare. The best way to avoid this scenario is to keep the working classes ignorant and confused, and at each other’s throats over things like pronouns, white privilege, gender appropriate bathrooms, and the complexion and genitalia of the virtually interchangeable puppets the ruling classes allow them to vote for.

The corporate media, academia, Hollywood, and the other components of the culture industry are similarly invested in keeping the vast majority of people ignorant and confused. The folks who populate this culture industry, in addition to predicating their sense of self-worth on their superiority to the unwashed masses, enjoy spending time with the ruling classes, and reaping the many benefits of serving them … and, while most of them wouldn’t personally disembowel your kids and sell their organs to some dope-addled Saudi trillionaire scion, they would look the other way while the ruling classes did, and then invent some sort of convoluted rationalization of why it was necessary, in order to preserve democracy and freedom (or was some sort of innocent but unfortunate “blunder,” which will never, ever, happen again).

The fake Left loves identity politics because they allow them to pretend to be “revolutionary” and spout all manner of “militant” gibberish while posing absolutely zero threat to the ruling classes they claim to be fighting. Publishing fake Left “samizdats” (your donations to which are tax-deductible), sanctimoniously denouncing racism on Twitter, milking whatever identity politics scandal is making headlines that day, and otherwise sounding like a slightly edgier version of National Public Radio, are all popular elements of the fake Left repertoire.

Marching along permitted parade routes, assembling in designated “free speech areas,” and listening to speeches by fake Left celebrities and assorted Democratic Party luminaries, are also well-loved fake Left activities. For those who feel the need to be even more militant, pressuring universities to cancel events where potentially “violent” and “oppressive” speech acts (or physical gestures) might occur, toppling offensive historical monuments, ratting out people to social media censors, or masking up and beating the crap out of “street Nazis” are among the available options. All of these activities, by herding potential troublemakers into fake Left ghettos and wasting their time, both on- and off-line, help to ensure that the ruling classes, their political puppets, the corporate media, Hollywood, and the rest of the culture industry can keep most people ignorant and confused.

Oh, and racists, hardcore white supremacists, anti-Semites, and other far-Right wing nuts … my God, do they love identity politics! Identity politics are their entire worldview (or Weltanschauung, for you Nazi fetishists). Virtually every social, political, economic, and ontological phenomenon can be explained by reducing it to race, ethnicity, religion, or some other simplistic criterion, according to these “alt-Right” geniuses. And to render everything even more simplistic, each and every one of their simplistic theories can be subsumed into a meta-simplistic theory, which amounts to (did you guess it?) a conspiracy of Jews.

According to this meta-theory, this conspiracy of Jews (which is headquartered in Israel, but maintains offices in Los Angeles and New York, from which it controls the corporate media, Hollywood, and the entire financial sector) is responsible for … well, anything they can think of. September 11 attacks? Conspiracy of Jews. Financial crisis? Jews, naturally. Black on Black crime? Jews again! Immigration? Globalization? Gun control laws? Abortion? Drugs? Media bias? Who else could be behind it all but Jews?!

See, the thing is, there is no essential difference between your identity politics-brainwashed liberal and your Swastika-tattooed white supremacist. Both are looking at the world through the lens of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or some other type of “identity.” They are looking through this “identity” lens (whichever one it happens to be) because either they have been conditioned to do so (most likely from the time they were children) or they have made a conscious choice to do so (after recognizing, and affirming or rejecting, whatever conditioning they received as children).

Quantum physicists, Sufi fakirs, and certain other esoterics understand what most of us don’t, namely, that there is no such thing as “the Truth,” or “Reality,” apart from our perception of it. The world, or “reality,” or whatever you want to call it, is more than happy to transform itself into any imaginable shape and form, based on the lens you are looking at it through. It’s like a trickster in that regard. Look at “reality” through a racist lens, and everything will make sense according to that logic. Look at it through a social justice lens, or a Judeo-Christian lens, or a Muslim lens, or a scientific or a Scientologist lens, or a historical materialist or capitalist lens (it really makes no difference at all) … and abracadabra! A new world is born!

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: American Media, Feminism, Political Correctness 
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The life of a professional political satirist is many things, but it is certainly never boring. Last week, for example, was particularly not boring. OK, I wasn’t called before a Senate committee to testify against a rapey nominee to the highest court in the United States, or smeared by the right-wing media for doing so, nothing that dramatic or consequential. No, while most Americans were parsing every “he said” and “she said” of the Kavanaugh hearings, I was embroiled in my own little sordid drama involving “going public,” and smears, and my colleagues attempting to assassinate my character, and so on.

What happened was, I got the kiss-off from CounterPunch (where I had been a contributor for over two years) by CounterPunch’s Red-Brown Putin-Nazi hunting squad. That, or the editors just overlooked my submissions, or they decided not to run them, or they were going to run them, after having overlooked them, but then decided not to run them, because I’d already run them, after they didn’t run them … or something. I can’t keep all their stories straight.

This kiss-off (or confusion, depending on who you believe) happened after I submitted a piece, Putin-Nazi Paranoia, responding to a featured essay in CounterPunch smearing a number of leftist writers (and me by extension) as “far-right shills.” Smearing leftist writers they do not approve of has become a standard feature of CounterPunch. As far as I recall, it began in earnest in the Summer of 2017, when they accused Caitlin Johnstone of Red-Brown activities, i.e, promoting an unholy union of ultra-far-right and ultra-far-left movements (or “neo-Strasserism,” for you Putin-Nazi scholars).

This was a extremely ignominious episode, as Johnstone documented at the time, and followed up on about a year later. Featured essays in CounterPunch by Yoav Litvin and CounterPunch editors Joshua Frank and Jeffrey St. Clair either openly claimed or insinuated that Johnstone was a Red-Brown infiltrator who was calling for an alliance with white supremacists, which, of course, was a load of paranoid nonsense. Diana Johnstone (no relation to Caitlin) also covered this brouhaha in her essay about the CounterPunch Red-Brown hunter squad (which, in addition to Litvin, St. Clair, and Frank, include other characters like Anthony DiMaggio, author of the above-mentioned “far right shill” piece, Eric Draitser, the official team cheerleader, and Alexander Reid Ross, who is a bull goose loony. Sadly, Diana left out Louis Proyect, the notorious “unrepentant Marxist” creep, who, although not technically a CounterPunch editor, appears to have quite a lot of influence at the magazine … I have never really understood why that is.

In any event, after I announced that CounterPunch had stopped running my pieces, and asked for help spreading them around on the Internet, they promptly began smearing me as an anti-Semite (or continued smearing me as an anti-Semite, because Louis Proyect had already been trying his best to smear me as an anti-Semite). They base their smears on the fact that my essays have been re-posted by The Unz Review, which the CounterPunch Red-Brown hunting squad have become increasingly obsessed with lately. (For the record, my essays have also been re-posted by outlets like ColdType, The Greanville Post, OffGuardian, Entelekheia, Le Grand Soir, ZeroHedge, Dissident Voice, Black Agenda Report, and other such outlets, and people’s personal blogs. I do not work for any of these outlets. They have simply been kind enough to re-post my essays, each of which originally appeared in CounterPunch, until the last two essays in question. Weirdly, the CounterPunch editors do not appear to be concerned about these other outlets, nor even, consistently, about The Unz Review, as they just featured this essay by Michael Hudson, which had been featured two days earlier by The Unz Review, where Hudson is listed as a columnist.)

But I’m not going to defend The Unz Review, or Michael Hudson, or any of the many other writers, whether left or right, that are posted, or re-posted, on that site. Nor am I going to defend myself against the smears leveled at me by the CounterPunch editors. Why, you probably want to know, am I not going to do that?

OK, I’ll tell you.

 
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