With all apologies to the lobotomized. We know nothing! Nothing! About anything. And we prefer to keep it that way. But, let me clarify that. It’s not we, it is they. They prefer to lapse into the warm self-induced coma of nescience. Unaware, unattuned and unafraid. You can’t fear something you don’t know. But that refutes the notion that I believe that it’s the unknown that’s the most frightening. To you and me, sure, but not the masses. Apparently. To not know how horrid things are or how badly you’ve been duped and deceived is an understandable reaction. But not for us. We crave truth and bad news. We fear not verity but cringe before illusion and delusion. To you, this podcast is dedicated. And remember as Huxley advised, “Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.”
When it comes to over-the-top feigned public suffering, nobody beats the North Koreans. Who admittedly do so at gunpoint. Well, at last, I admit they do . . . but the point shouldn’t go missed. So magnetic and warm and inviting is the gravitational pull of social media that anything that is “Awwwww” inspiring or “You poor thing” generating is prime for social media exploitation. Self-aggrandizement and self-reference. In a piece in the International Business Times entitled New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo Pushed Cancer Screening Cuts, David Sirota writes that AC may not be as bullish on CA as he might be suggesting. Or as the series of Tweets insinuate.
Here’s Andrew. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and his partner/friend/mate Sandra Lee have in recent days become high-profile public faces especially on social media in the fight against cancer. Tweeting a series of hospital photos after Lee’s double mastectomy this week, Andrew and Sandra have cited her breast cancer diagnosis to, in Cuomo’s words, “speak openly about her illness in order to remind women of the potentially lifesaving power of early detection.” Yes, remind women. Well, let me remind you of a few things. Enter Mr. Sirota and this stinging indictment of Mr. Cuomo’s actual and recorded commitment to the cause.
That public education campaign about the value of cancer screening, however, contrasts with what health advocates say are Cuomo’s repeated efforts to cut funding for a major cancer screening program in New York. Only a few months ago, in fact, the American Cancer Society sounded the alarm, slamming Cuomo for pushing an initiative the group said could end up eliminating cancer screening services for more than 16,000 New Yorkers who do not have insurance that fully covers such screenings. In February, cancer survivors and public health advocates testified before the New York legislature, begging lawmakers to reject the governor’s proposed cuts.
“Who here wants to tell that mom, dad, brother or sister they can’t be screened for cancer?” asked the American Cancer Society’s Bill Sherman at a state senate hearing. Of Cuomo’s budget proposal, he said it would lead “to thousands of New York residents failing to get life-saving cancer screenings.”
In response to International Business Times’ questions about the American Cancer Society’s criticism of Cuomo’s budget proposals, the governor’s spokesman, Richard Azzopardi, said, “Get your facts straight, then try again.” He provided no new data or facts to refute the group, nor did he respond to IBTimes’ questions about whether Cuomo’s experience with Lee’s illness has changed the governor’s views on state funding for cancer screening. For her part, Lee has not spoken out specifically about the budget proposals, but recently told ABC News that “I don’t want women to wait” to be screened for breast cancer and also said that women should “go pick your phone up, and call your doctor and get your rear end in there and get a mammogram right now.”
This year’s proposed budget cuts were just one of many such efforts by Cuomo. Indeed, while being lauded by business groups for championing corporate tax breaks and opposing revenue-generating tax increases on millionaires, the Democratic governor has repeatedly issued budget proposals to slash state funding for cancer screenings.
In 2012, Cuomo proposed a $650,000 cut to state funding for the cancer services program. The next year Cuomo proposed to consolidate state health programs in a way that public health advocates said would result in a 10 percent cut to the state’s funding for cancer screening. In 2013 and 2014, Cuomo proposed 25 percent cuts to cancer screening — already significantly below the high-water mark — but was beaten back by the legislature, according to the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. Advocates also said that under Cuomo’s budget, “critical programs like the Breast Cancer Survivors’ Support Initiative, which was the lifeline for survivor-led community support organizations across the state, get the ax.” Then came a new round of proposed cuts in 2015, even as New York has in recent years been runningbudgetsurpluses.
While cancer advocacy groups have convinced legislators to reverse Cuomo’s proposed cuts to the state’s cancer services program in the last two years, a representative for the American Cancer Society told IBTimes that funding for the program is still significantly below its high mark of $29 million in the years before Cuomo took office. For the past two fiscal years, funding has been frozen at $25.3 million — a nearly 20 percent inflation-adjusted cut to cancer services over the governor’s tenure.
In an emailed statement responding to Cuomo’s spokesperson, Bill Sherman of the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network said “I’m guessing Mr. Azzopardi did not provide new data or facts to refute us because the data I cited came directly from his Department of Health. At the time they were the most recent stats on the number of cancer screenings conducted through the CSP program. ”
Azzopardi then sent a new statement to IBTimes asserting that “The Governor for several years has advanced a new competitive model to allow the best programs with a proven track record of results the opportunity for even more funding than they received previously.” Azzopardi provided no data to back up the assertion, and he did not dispute the American Cancer Society’s data about the funding cuts to the cancer screening program.
My advice to graduates. First, wake up. Who can blame you for being bored Shi’ite-less? You’ve spent four years of your life being indoctrinated and trained and habituated and conditioned to what? Conditioned for failure. And for what? Exactly. Look, you’ve heard the gloomy job prognostications and when it hits you how you’ve wasted your time and money, well . . . you’ll see. And how about these speakers? Seriously. Robert De Niro, Hollywood’s answer to Ambien, who knows only one acting style and delivery no matter the movie or time, only got attention when he dropped the proverbial F-bomb. That’s it. That’s how we’ve been conditioned. Gee, Travis Bickle said fuck. “Tisch graduates, you made it,” De Niro said after taking the stage. “And you’re fucked.” Hardy har har. We love cursing and coprolalia; it’s a substitution for wit. If you want to pretend to be a comedian and you’re short on humor or funny, curse up a storm and be filthy. But, I digress.
A capsulized version. Well, my friend, if I were given the chance to speak before a group of the recently released I’d speak to a number of absolutes. To wit, inter alia:
There is no such thing as a meritocracy here in this country. Where it may exist in this country, it is usually trumped by corruption and nepotism.
Loyalty is not appreciated in this country. Loyalty is appreciated in small doses until it is no longer needed.
There is an information evolution but you’d never know it watching #MSM. They have two primary functions: making money for their parent companies by being entertaining and protecting their parent companies financial interests through their choice, depth, and direction of news coverage.
Jobriath is the perfect example of hype not necessarily equating to success. He died of AIDS while living in a pyramid on the roof of the Chelsea Hotel at age 36. Meteoric rises often lead to meteoric descents.
Those in charge of determining what will be successful ofttimes have nary a clue as they’ve no ear or taste for that which they’re entrusted to know.
The Peter Principle becomes exponentially more applicable as the pace of change increases – the powers that be become incompetent at a much faster rate than in previous generations.
The larger the company, the smaller the risks they wish to take. No truly inventive program has originated on the big networks; they wait to see what sells, and then copy it or buy it outright, usually losing what makes the program edgy in the process.
#MSM is stuck in a time warp. Frozen. Stuck. Fossilized in media amber.
Information is power. That’s why corporations and governments and thieves scramble to obtain it and hold on to it, and why they try to keep you and I from having it.
Information is the ammunition of the revolution, the bloodless data platform coup.
Our musical selection.Harry Roy & His Orchestra (1931): My Girl’s Pussy. Now I got your attention. I mean, after all, if De Niro slays you with a gratuitous drop, Harry Roy will kill. Right? You’re welcome. And while we’re at it, how ’bout a big shout out to Frank Turner. This is anthemic.
America has always talked a great game when it comes to the military. Uncomfortable fact: 12% of US homeless adults are veterans with 50% having serious mental illness. Oh, there he goes again, ruining Memorial Day weekend barbecue and beach fun and frolic with the facts! Knowing, learning, reading and understanding puts folks into the unenviable position of knowing what’s true and what’s fiction. Our veterans, whom we proudly and publicly proclaim we love, need our immediate help. Platitudes and symbolic gestures are nice, it’s a start, but that’s not what is required. Mental health evaluation, outreach and treatment, especially, are critically needed. And in addition to honoring service nd those who’ve paid the ultimate sacrifice, stop the next war.
Don’t bother me, I’m too busy waving this flag. Ignorance is indeed bliss. It’s glorious. You don’t have to be concerned with pesky reality. Myth, fable, lies – who cares? Look, face it. Americans are busy with memes and perceptions and feelings. Not reality. And it’s a glorious weekend and there are barbecues to attend and melanomas to bake. Enough with the guilt! When it comes to waxing patriotic all you’re going to get is a pithy phrase, a snappy salute, a timely tweet and a “patriotic” post. Something about “never forget” or . . . something. And remember, you can’t forget something you don’t and didn’t know in the first place.
‘War is Terrorism with a Bigger Budget.’ There’s still a fetishization of war and combat. Layered with misplaced patriotism and statism. It’s by no means deliberate or negative in intent. It’s just the way we’ve been programmed. But even the best of programing can be upended.
The definition.Patriotism is, generally speaking, cultural attachment to one’s homeland or devotion to one’s country, although interpretations of the term vary with context, geography and political ideology. It is a set of concepts closely related to those of nationalism. Today it means schmaltzy and patronizing references to an obeisance of everything military. A mindless patellar and Pavlovian reflex that claps like barking seals whenever any military venture is considered or contemplated with absolutely no concern for returning vets and their physical and mental conditions. It’s who we are. With our bumper sticker, playbook, cookie cutter, echo chamber drivel. Dime store fealty. John Wayne, Ronald Reagan and a snappy SUPPORT OUR TROOPS bumper sticker for our gawdy SUV. With no concern or care for anything involving the reality of modern warfare.
Suicides? Shhhhhhh. Don’t go rain on our parade. Can’t you see we’re in full Memorial Day mode.
In early 2013, the official website of the United States Department of Defense announced the startling statistic that the number of military suicides in 2012 had far exceeded the total of those killed in battle—an average of nearly one a day. A month later came an even more sobering statistic from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: veteran suicide was running at 22 a day—about 8000 a year.
Since the United States was founded in 1776, she has been at war during 214 out of her 235 calendar years of existence. In other words, there were only 21 calendar years in which the U.S. did not wage any wars.
Pick any year since 1776 and there is about a 91% chance that America was involved in some war during that calendar year.
No U.S. president truly qualifies as a peacetime president. Instead, all U.S. presidents can technically be considered “war presidents.
The U.S. has never gone a decade without war.
The only time the U.S. went five years without war (1935-40) was during the isolationist period of the Great Depression.
Year-by-year Timeline of America’s Major Wars (1776-2011)
1776 – American Revolutionary War, Chickamagua Wars, Second Cherokee War, Pennamite-Yankee War
1777 – American Revolutionary War, Chickamauga Wars, Second Cherokee War, Pennamite-Yankee War
1778 – American Revolutionary War, Chickamauga Wars, Pennamite-Yankee War
1779 – American Revolutionary War, Chickamauga Wars, Pennamite-Yankee War
1780 – American Revolutionary War, Chickamauga Wars, Pennamite-Yankee War
1781 – American Revolutionary War, Chickamauga Wars, Pennamite-Yankee War
1782 – American Revolutionary War, Chickamauga Wars, Pennamite-Yankee War
1783 – American Revolutionary War, Chickamauga Wars, Pennamite-Yankee War
1784 – Chickamauga Wars, Pennamite-Yankee War, Oconee War
1785 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War
1786 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War
1787 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War
1788 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War
1789 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War
1790 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War
1791 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War
1792 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War
1793 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War
1794 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War
1795 – Northwest Indian War
1796 – No major war
1797 – No major war
1798 – Quasi-War
1799 – Quasi-War
1800 – Quasi-War
1801 – First Barbary War
1802 – First Barbary War
1803 – First Barbary War
1804 – First Barbary War
1805 – First Barbary War
1806 – Sabine Expedition
1807 – No major war
1808 – No major war
1809 – No major war
1810 – U.S. occupies Spanish-held West Florida
1811 – Tecumseh’s War
1812 – War of 1812, Tecumseh’s War, Seminole Wars, U.S. occupies Spanish-held Amelia Island and other parts of East Florida
1813 – War of 1812, Tecumseh’s War, Peoria War, Creek War, U.S. expands its territory in West Florida
1814 – War of 1812, Creek War, U.S. expands its territory in Florida, Anti-piracy war
1815 – War of 1812, Second Barbary War, Anti-piracy war
1816 – First Seminole War, Anti-piracy war
1817 – First Seminole War, Anti-piracy war
1818 – First Seminole War, Anti-piracy war
1819 – Yellowstone Expedition, Anti-piracy war
1820 – Yellowstone Expedition, Anti-piracy war
1821 – Anti-piracy war (see note above)
1822 – Anti-piracy war (see note above)
1823 – Anti-piracy war, Arikara War
1824 – Anti-piracy war
1825 – Yellowstone Expedition, Anti-piracy war
1826 – No major war
1827 – Winnebago War
1828 – No major war
1829 – No major war
1830 – No major war
1831 – Sac and Fox Indian War
1832 – Black Hawk War
1833 – Cherokee Indian War
1834 – Cherokee Indian War, Pawnee Indian Territory Campaign
1835 – Cherokee Indian War, Seminole Wars, Second Creek War
1836 – Cherokee Indian War, Seminole Wars, Second Creek War, Missouri-Iowa Border War
1837 – Cherokee Indian War, Seminole Wars, Second Creek War, Osage Indian War, Buckshot War
1838 – Cherokee Indian War, Seminole Wars, Buckshot War, Heatherly Indian War
1839 – Cherokee Indian War, Seminole Wars
1840 – Seminole Wars, U.S. naval forces invade Fiji Islands
1841 – Seminole Wars, U.S. naval forces invade McKean Island, Gilbert Islands, and Samoa
1842 – Seminole Wars
1843 – U.S. forces clash with Chinese, U.S. troops invade African coast
1844 – Texas-Indian Wars
1845 – Texas-Indian Wars
1846 – Mexican-American War, Texas-Indian Wars
1847 – Mexican-American War, Texas-Indian Wars
1848 – Mexican-American War, Texas-Indian Wars, Cayuse War
1849 – Texas-Indian Wars, Cayuse War, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians
1850 – Texas-Indian Wars, Cayuse War, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Yuma War, California Indian Wars, Pitt River Expedition
1851 – Texas-Indian Wars, Cayuse War, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, Yuma War, Utah Indian Wars, California Indian Wars
1852 – Texas-Indian Wars, Cayuse War, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Yuma War, Utah Indian Wars, California Indian Wars
1853 – Texas-Indian Wars, Cayuse War, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Yuma War, Utah Indian Wars, Walker War, California Indian Wars
1854 – Texas-Indian Wars, Cayuse War, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians
1855 – Seminole Wars, Texas-Indian Wars, Cayuse War, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Yakima War, Winnas Expedition, Klickitat War, Puget Sound War, Rogue River Wars, U.S. forces invade Fiji Islands and Uruguay
1856 – Seminole Wars, Texas-Indian Wars, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, California Indian Wars, Puget Sound War, Rogue River Wars, Tintic War
1857 – Seminole Wars, Texas-Indian Wars, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, California Indian Wars, Utah War, Conflict in Nicaragua
1858 – Seminole Wars, Texas-Indian Wars, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Mohave War, California Indian Wars, Spokane-Coeur d’Alene-Paloos War, Utah War, U.S. forces invade Fiji Islands and Uruguay
1859 Texas-Indian Wars, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, California Indian Wars, Pecos Expedition, Antelope Hills Expedition, Bear River Expedition, John Brown’s raid, U.S. forces launch attack against Paraguay, U.S. forces invade Mexico
1860 – Texas-Indian Wars, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Paiute War, Kiowa-Comanche War
1861 – American Civil War, Texas-Indian Wars, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Cheyenne Campaign
1862 – American Civil War, Texas-Indian Wars, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Cheyenne Campaign, Dakota War of 1862,
1863 – American Civil War, Texas-Indian Wars, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Cheyenne Campaign, Colorado War, Goshute War
1864 – American Civil War, Texas-Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Cheyenne Campaign, Colorado War, Snake War
1865 – American Civil War, Texas-Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Colorado War, Snake War, Utah’s Black Hawk War
1866 – Texas-Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians, Snake War, Utah’s Black Hawk War, Red Cloud’s War, Franklin County War, U.S. invades Mexico, Conflict with China
1867 – Texas-Indian Wars, Long Walk of the Navajo, Apache Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians, Snake War, Utah’s Black Hawk War, Red Cloud’s War, Comanche Wars, Franklin County War, U.S. troops occupy Nicaragua and attack Taiwan
1868 – Texas-Indian Wars, Long Walk of the Navajo, Apache Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians, Snake War, Utah’s Black Hawk War, Red Cloud’s War, Comanche Wars, Battle of Washita River, Franklin County War
1869 – Texas-Indian Wars, Apache Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians, Utah’s Black Hawk War, Comanche Wars, Franklin County War
1870 – Texas-Indian Wars, Apache Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians, Utah’s Black Hawk War, Comanche Wars, Franklin County War
1871 – Texas-Indian Wars, Apache Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians, Utah’s Black Hawk War, Comanche Wars, Franklin County War, Kingsley Cave Massacre, U.S. forces invade Korea
1872 – Texas-Indian Wars, Apache Wars, Utah’s Black Hawk War, Comanche Wars, Modoc War, Franklin County War
1873 – Texas-Indian Wars, Comanche Wars, Modoc War, Apache Wars, Cypress Hills Massacre, U.S. forces invade Mexico
1874 – Texas-Indian Wars, Comanche Wars, Red River War, Mason County War, U.S. forces invade Mexico
1875 – Conflict in Mexico, Texas-Indian Wars, Comanche Wars, Eastern Nevada, Mason County War, Colfax County War, U.S. forces invade Mexico
1876 – Texas-Indian Wars, Black Hills War, Mason County War, U.S. forces invade Mexico
1877 – Texas-Indian Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians, Black Hills War, Nez Perce War, Mason County War, Lincoln County War, San Elizario Salt War, U.S. forces invade Mexico
1878 – Paiute Indian conflict, Bannock War, Cheyenne War, Lincoln County War, U.S. forces invade Mexico
1879 – Cheyenne War, Sheepeater Indian War, White River War, U.S. forces invade Mexico
1886 – Apache Wars, Pleasant Valley War, U.S. forces invade Mexico
1887 – U.S. forces invade Mexico
1888 – U.S. show of force against Haiti, U.S. forces invade Mexico
1889 – U.S. forces invade Mexico
1890 – Sioux Indian War, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians, Ghost Dance War, Wounded Knee, U.S. forces invade Mexico
1891 – Sioux Indian War, Ghost Dance War, U.S. forces invade Mexico
1892 – Johnson County War, U.S. forces invade Mexico
1893 – U.S. forces invade Mexico and Hawaii
1894 – U.S. forces invade Mexico
1895 – U.S. forces invade Mexico, Bannock Indian Disturbances
1896 – U.S. forces invade Mexico
1897 – No major war
1898 – Spanish-American War, Battle of Leech Lake, Chippewa Indian Disturbances
1899 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars
1900 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars
1901 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars
1902 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars
1903 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars
1904 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars
1905 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars
1906 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars
1907 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars
1908 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars
1909 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars
1910 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars
1911 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars
1912 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars
1913 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars, New Mexico Navajo War
1914 – Banana Wars, U.S. invades Mexico
1915 – Banana Wars, U.S. invades Mexico, Colorado Paiute War
1916 – Banana Wars, U.S. invades Mexico
1917 – Banana Wars, World War I, U.S. invades Mexico
1918 – Banana Wars, World War I, U.S invades Mexico
1919 – Banana Wars, U.S. invades Mexico
1920 – Banana Wars
1921 – Banana Wars
1922 – Banana Wars
1923 – Banana Wars, Posey War
1924 – Banana Wars
1925 – Banana Wars
1926 – Banana Wars
1927 – Banana Wars
1928 – Banana Wars
1930 – Banana Wars
1931 – Banana Wars
1932 – Banana Wars
1933 – Banana Wars
1934 – Banana Wars
1935 – No major war
1936 – No major war
1937 – No major war
1938 – No major war
1939 – No major war
1940 – No major war
1941 – World War II
1942 – World War II
1943 – Wold War II
1944 – World War II
1945 – World War II
1946 – Cold War (U.S. occupies the Philippines and South Korea)
1947 – Cold War (U.S. occupies South Korea, U.S. forces land in Greece to fight Communists)
1948 – Cold War (U.S. forces aid Chinese Nationalist Party against Communists)
1949 – Cold War (U.S. forces aid Chinese Nationalist Party against Communists)
1950 – Korean War, Jayuga Uprising
1951 – Korean War
1952 – Korean War
1953 – Korean War
1954 – Covert War in Guatemala
1955 – Vietnam War
1956 – Vietnam War
1957 – Vietnam War
1958 – Vietnam War
1959 – Vietnam War, Conflict in Haiti
1960 – Vietam War
1961 – Vietnam War
1962 – Vietnam War, Cold War (Cuban Missile Crisis; U.S. marines fight Communists in Thailand)
1963 – Vietnam War
1964 – Vietnam War
1965 – Vietnam War, U.S. occupation of Dominican Republic
1966 – Vietnam War, U.S. occupation of Dominican Republic
1967 – Vietnam War
1968 – Vietnam War
1969 – Vietnam War
1970 – Vietnam War
1971 – Vietnam War
1972 – Vietnam War
1973 – Vietnam War, U.S. aids Israel in Yom Kippur War
1974 – Vietnam War
1975 – Vietnam War
1976 – No major war
1977 – No major war
1978 – No major war
1979 – Cold War (CIA proxy war in Afghanistan)
1980 – Cold War (CIA proxy war in Afghanistan)
1981 – Cold War (CIA proxy war in Afghanistan and Nicaragua), First Gulf of Sidra Incident
1982 – Cold War (CIA proxy war in Afghanistan and Nicaragua), Conflict in Lebanon
1983 – Cold War (Invasion of Grenada, CIA proxy war in Afghanistan and Nicaragua), Conflict in Lebanon
1984 – Cold War (CIA proxy war in Afghanistan and Nicaragua), Conflict in Persian Gulf
1985 – Cold War (CIA proxy war in Afghanistan and Nicaragua)
1986 – Cold War (CIA proxy war in Afghanistan and Nicaragua)
1987 – Conflict in Persian Gulf
1988 – Conflict in Persian Gulf, U.S. occupation of Panama
1989 – Second Gulf of Sidra Incident, U.S. occupation of Panama, Conflict in Philippines
1990 – First Gulf War, U.S. occupation of Panama
1991 – First Gulf War
1992 – Conflict in Iraq
1993 – Conflict in Iraq
1994 – Conflict in Iraq, U.S. invades Haiti
1995 – Conflict in Iraq, U.S. invades Haiti, NATO bombing of Bosnia and Herzegovina
1996 – Conflict in Iraq
1997 – No major war
1998 – Bombing of Iraq, Missile strikes against Afghanistan and Sudan
1999 – Kosovo War
2000 – No major war
2001 – War on Terror in Afghanistan
2002 – War on Terror in Afghanistan and Yemen
2003 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, and Iraq
2004 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen
2005 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen
2006 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen
2007 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen
2008 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen
2009 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen
2010 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen
2011 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen; Conflict in Libya (Libyan Civil War)
In most of these wars, the U.S. was on the offensive. Admittedly, some of the wars were defensive. The data leave out covert CIA operations and other acts which could be considered war.
Let’s update what’s happened since 2011:
2012 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Syria and Yemen
2013 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Syria and Yemen
2014 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Syria and Yemen; Civil War in Ukraine
2015 – War on Terror in Somalia, Somalia, Syria and Yemen; Civil War in Ukraine
So we can add 4 more years of war. That means that for 222 out of 239 years – or 93% of the time – America has been at war. (We can quibble with the exact numbers, but the high percentage of time that America has been at war is clear and unmistakable.)
The etymology. Bread and Circus, is defined as “something,asextravagantentertainment,offeredasanexpedientmeansofpacifyingdiscontentordivertingattentionfromasourceofgrievance.” Whether it’s the media coverage of Letterman’s agonizing and seemingly interminable valedictory or #Deflategate or the series finale of “Mad Men” – which, interestingly enough, was eclipsed in ratings 2:1 by a 60 year-old colorized rerun of “I Love Lucy” – bread and circuses denote “the generation of public approval, not through exemplary or excellent public service or public policy, but through diversion; distraction; or the mere satisfaction of the immediate, shallow requirements of a populace.” A “superficial means of appeasement.” Behold our society. And know it’s not a matter of accident, it’s deliberate.
Ah, to be mindless. It’s a national pastime. ‘Neath the heft of statism and nationalism and a emerged set of disconnected connectivity. Who cares? Not I. I’m too busy. But I will feign and pretend and act as though I’m a part and involved. But who can be too connected with all this distraction going on? There’s David Letterman’s valedictory. This pretend sadness over the end of a successful television reign of a weird misanthrope and human mystery. Distraction. Diversion. Sleight of mind. Look, a puppy! The attention span of a gnat we have. Evanescence of interest. Poof! Gone. Disappeared. Abracadabra and film at 11. News, sports and weather. Traffic on the 5’s. We’re doomed, kids. Doomed.
What does not destroy us maims us. What the hell was Nietzsche thinking?This idea that somehow catastrophe forges our strength and steels our mettle is beyond absurd. It’s poppycock and bunkum. It’s yet again another mindless reference often cited and repeated by the mindless. What does not destroy me, what comes short of destroying me, oftentimes is incalculably devastating. It’s like those lunatics who rephrase and repeat and reiterate carpe diem! Or that you can do anything if you set your mind to it. Tell that to a stage four cancer victim hanging on in a blinding terror. Go ahead, Mr. Positivity. God, how I hate mindless tropes and silly aphorisms. Keep your nostrums to yourself.
We’re gone. This country needs a psych eval and stat. We are unable to nuance and partition thought. We are kings and queens of double standards and hypocrisy and imaginary logic. We loathe the notion of double standards in media unless it is a double standard that we approve of. It’s not that we are a racist country, but rather, we are a country so blinded by race. This podcast is a continuation of yesterday’s discussion on the Waco “kerfuffle” any further disquisition on myriad topics anent this country that I find thoroughly fascinating.
Notice anything odd? Look at how this lone cop is standing, backed turned, to these hoards of gang members involved in shootouts and – get this! – threatening cops. No RoboCop gear, MRAPs, Kevlar, shields, drones, dogs, tear gas . . . nuttin’! Amazing, isn’t it? And if they are corralled and subdued via arrest, the participants are not referred to as thugs and, better yet, the altercation is referred to as a “mêlée.” How quaint. I prefer kerfuffle. There are no disquisitions and analyses on the role of absentee fathers on these bikers previoutating violence against society and/or police officers. No mention of religion. No references to what particular music styles might encourage this type of behavior. No categorization of the event as “white on white crime.” In fact, look again at this officer standing with this back to the nabbed Cossacks and Scimitars. He seems almost naked in terms of the dearth of 1033 battle surplus and overkill armament that we’ve become sadly used to. You have to be in a coma not to immediately realize the difference in reportage. To call the double standard misses the point altogether. It’s deeper than that and more emblematic than symptomatic.
Here’s what he said on SNL. “Child molesters are very tenacious people,” he began. “They love molesting childs. It’s crazy. It’s like their favorite thing. When you consider the risk of being a child molester — there is no worse life available to a human than being a caught child molester. And yet they still do it! Which you could only really surmise, that it must be really good.”
And? That’s it. That’s the essence of what was said and, of course, the media and “social” media are going nuts over this bit of piquant humor and I get it. I understand the context and unique spin, take and direction. So what? Now, look, no one’s calling for his skin or indictment or even arrest. But the week’s young. What this means is that we, as a society, must celebrate and recognize everything and anything hat is said, develop a sense of humor and and an appreciation for the absurd, and recognize that free and unfettered speech makes a society stronger and better and . . . well, alive. There are forms of humor that we may never see at first blush that are nonetheless relevant. And if you don’t like it, change the channel.
If it funny? Who cares? My life consists of discussing and analyzing stories and news items that are very controversial and most problematic to many. They destroy the conventional wisdom and official story. They establish that history is a fraud and that governments are corrupt and people gullible. And that’s indeed and admittedly most likely to offend and rattle. But so be it. Because, when all is said and done – If you don’t like it, change the channel.
Apportioning blame. Listen to my gravamen wherein I indict post-industrial austerity polices as the cause of the May 12 Amtrak Northeast Regional train derailment. But instead our media will blame the tragedy solely, solely on engineer error and negligence. He was driving the train too fast. That’s it. Nothing to see here. Move on.
Blood on their hands. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating the causes of the crash, but the New York Times has already quoted experts who say the derailment could have been avoided entirely if the proper safety mechanisms had been in place. The safety system mandated by Congress in 2008 for American rail included what is known as positive train controls which inter alia can automatically slow down a speeding train. The system is required to be installed on both trains and track. While the Northeast Regional was outfitted with the system, the track was not.
I (don’t) hear that train a comin’. After WWII American railroads have slid into pathetic and dangerous decline. Used as cash cows by their corporate managers’ wanton looting and absurd travel taxes on the books until 1962, these were certainly early contributors. Richard Nixon decided to nationalize rail travel in 1970-71, which resulted in the pathetically funded and maintained Amtrak. American rail systems were out-lobbied by airline and highway interests and concerns and it lost much of its federal subsidies. Then came the positively impotent presidency of Gerald Ford whose Transportation Secretary, William T. Coleman, declared Amtrak “outmoded outhouses.” Then Jimmy Carter’s Secretary of Transportation Brock Adams abolished many of Amtrak’s most popular trains altogether. Cue Taps.
China will bury us. Republicans in the House of Representatives grudgingly agreed to fund Amtrak for the next four years at a paltry rate of $1.4B a year this past March. Compare this to the Chinese government , which exhibits an enormous interest in high-speed and maglev rail. They invested $128B this year alone on rail! If the United States does not wish to become inadvertent material for the next Chinese college textbook on ancient civilizations, the need to reexamine the national interest in rail transportation is vital. And this must transcend rhetoric and the usual hackneyed reactions. Not to mention a more vigilant independent mainstream media.