The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters

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Brooklyn, December 8, 2015

There are retribution attacks against Muslims going on right now in a couple of isolated places in America. They are isolated, and no deaths yet.

These are being goaded on, in the far right-wing media, by an extremist ideologue named Donald Trump. He is the archetype of the Ugly American abroad. But this Ugly American has a global platform to broadcast a Nativist Capitalist Egoist extremist ideology: this is fascism, American-style. In broadcasting this extremist ideology, he is implicitly involved –– other Republican legislators are *explicitly involved* –– in inciting violence against Muslims, creating a favorable sales environment (as we like to say it in advertising) for ISIS.

Christians, especially, should recognize both the wisdom and the futility in the phase, “What goes around comes around.” These are not retribution attacks against Muslims, or Muslim-Americans. Not murders of black kids and murders of cops. These are attacks and counter-attacks against Americans. We must begin to perceive the terrorism we commit upon each other. ISIS wants us to be blindly enraged extremist ideologues just like them.

We look like we’re obliging them.

Have we, as Americans, truly had such a poor education that we cannot understand this?

Donald Trump’s supporters are themselves directly supported by fear and the feeling of failure. It’s written into Trump’s slogan. They are formed of white men aggrieved, frightened into their small cultural ball, assaulted on all sides by forces of economics, religion, sexuality, gender, race, culture and violence – all projected to them in extremis, by a propaganda organ called Fox News.

When those fears, and those feelings of failure, are vectored toward minorities, toward refugees of war, toward the weak in society, violence is an inevitable consequence.

Americans do terrorism upon themselves. That is the lesson of the San Bernardino terrorists. It is the lesson of the Charleston church murderer and the Planned Parenthood killer and the college shooters and all the rest.

Donald Trump is creating an environment for terrorism to escalate. The leading candidate for the Republican nomination is willfully endangering U.S. national security and the security of innocent American civilians.

 

Talk about voting against your own self-interest.

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“A National Strategic Narrative”: A guidebook for America in the 21st Century

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Here’s something you probably haven’t read.

In 2011, two members of the U.S. military, pseudonymed “Mr. Y,” wrote this analysis for the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. They advocate increasing American competitiveness by adopting a progressive stance in economic, foreign and political policy. It’s doubly relevant today as it was in 2011.

View / download a PDF of A National Strategic Narrative

LET THIS BE A LESSON.

The Huffington Post is now claiming that BP – whose stock has fallen to a 14-year low – is now worth less than the total value of its assets. The article is completely skimpy on the details of the headline, of course, but it’s possible that “the company might be forced to suspend dividends, end up in bankruptcy and find itself overwhelmed by the cleanup costs, penalties, damage claims and lawsuits generated by the biggest oil spill in U.S. history.”

SO LET THIS BE A LESSON to be written in every textbook, and every case study, presented in the Business Schools of the world: if you adopt a cavalier attitude to the environment, if you narrowly and ruthlessly pursue profit with insouciant disregard for safety, IT COULD END YOU.

BP: “…And You? Shut Up.”

We were wondering why today’s New York Times has nothing about the oil spill – excepting this below-the-fold gem about how BP has already spent $1 billion in cleanup costs. Luckily, the Village Voice provides the reason: BP’s ever-so-wonderful CONFIDENTIALITY AGREEMENT. Obtained by the incredible bloggers over at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Powering a Nation, this awesome document says that fishermen hired by the company that destroyed their livelihoods cannot talk to the press, or else forfeit their boats (you know, the only way they have to make a living). Charming, but heck — that’s business. Read the lowdown on this hoedown here.