Vote for Hillary Clinton to continue these Bush-Obama policies:
Eternal, undeclared, illegal, aggressive war. In Libya, Syria, Iraq, Mali, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sudan, Chad, Somalia, Nigeria, Philippines, Honduras, and Yemen. Universal surveillance. General Warrants. Secret courts. National Security Letters. Endless imprisonment without trial or charge. Effective abolition of the writ of habeas corpus, notwithstanding that it is in the US Constitution Article I, Section 9. Black sites. Rendition. Special Ops death squads. Assassination of US citizens without trial or charge. Including juveniles. Robot bombs sent to assassinate more than 2,000 civilians so far in neutral countries with which we are not at war. Mercantilist trade policies such as TTIP, TPP, NAFTA. Okay, Hillary was for TPP and helped write it, until she was suddenly against it a few months ago. Fracking. Bailing out Wall Sreet, AIG to the tune of $318 thousand million dollars, then also bailing out big banks like Citi, who were already re-insured by AIG. But Obama could not find $20 billion to bail out Detroit’s pension funds, nor $60 million for public works to replace all the lead pipes in Flint.
Copyright © 2016 Henry Edward Hardy
The US is like ancient Rome. It merely wants the world to ‘voluntarily’ bow before it. Any country that defies it is made an example of, its leaders publicly humiliated and summarily executed, its countryside and cities and economy devastated, the people, kidnapped, tortured, and raped, its culture and religion challenged by MacDonalds and MacChrist, its fields sown with Agent Orange and mines and cluster bombs and depleted uranium. That is why the US makes a point of attacking small countries like Grenada which are no threat to it. It is, “pour encourager les autres” as Voltaire would have it.
‘They have pillaged the world: when the land has nothing left for men who ravage everything, they scour the sea. If an enemy is rich, they are greedy, if he is poor, they crave glory. Neither East nor West can sate their appetite. They are the only people on earth to covet wealth and poverty with equal craving. They plunder, they butcher, they rape, and call it by the lying name of ‘empire’. They make a desert and call it ‘peace’.’
–speech attributed to Prince Calgacus of Britain
in P. Corn. Tacitus
Copyright © 2014 Henry Edward Hardy
The greatest ideological weapon the US used to have is that we could point to the material and ethical benefits of our free, liberal society.
*We* had freedom of speech. *We* had a free press. *We* had full employment. *We* had the right to public education, including affordable or free college education. *We* did not spy on our citizens. *We* did not engage in torture. *We* obeyed and enforced the laws of war. *We* founded the United Nations. *We* had a democratic, pluralistic society in which everyone had a voice. *We* had separation of church and state. *We* had the right to organize and form unions, to bargain collectively, and to strike. *We* had the right to peaceably organize and protest against our government. *We* had free enterprise, where monopolies and cartels were neither tolerated nor legal. *We* had banks which were regulated in the public interest to prevent another economic crash. *We* had an open form of government where the people were in charge and the government did neither fear the people nor did the people fear the government. We had so much leisure time people didn’t always know what to do.
Our people were the wealthiest, freeest, healthiest and happiest in the world.
I am not talking about some never-neverland utopia. I remember this time in America. So does anyone my age if they think back.
What the fuck happened to us?
Copyright © 2013 Henry Edward Hardy
The United States wasn’t defeated by communism. The United States has been defeated by capitalism.
I count the American Dark Ages as starting December 7, 1972 with the last moon landing.
I have been looking at old ads and propaganda films and I am struck by the ringing tone of confidence that Americans effused back then. There was nothing that Americans couldn’t do. And corporations competed to see who could provide a higher standard of living to the working class.
But now, it wasn’t a communist invasion which ruined and depopulated New Orleans. It isn’t a Russian occupation ruling Detroit and keeping the people in penury. Though it might as well be.
At some point, the predatory element of American capitalism overcame the good sense of the ruling class and the United States started consuming itself. We neo-colonialized our own people. The US now is a hollowed-out caricature of what it once was. In reaction to the introduction of basic environmental and labor protection laws US corporations began to move production, and the jobs and income associated with them, overseas.
The productive effort and scientific and technological genius of the US was squandered on ten million million dollars of military spending. Not a typo, ten trillion dollars.
How can the US afford to bail out AIG for 182 billion but not Detroit for 18 billion? And since AIG was a giant re-insurance firm, why did banks insured by AIG still get bailed out too? And if banks got bailed out, how did AIG lose 182 billion overnight?
Instead of the patriarchal way of the Rockefellers and Carnagies and Mellons, who sought to improve the society through industrialization and philanthropy, albeit for uncertain motives, we now have the Kochs and Scaifes who appear to seek actively to destroy the Republic from within. And a Republican Party that would actually contemplate bankrupting the US in order to try to deny people the chance to *pay for* reasonably fair healthcare.
I am quite sorry to see that dystopian writers like Zamiatin, Huxley, Orwell, John Shirley, Phillip K Dick, Norman Spinrad, John Brunner, William Gibson, and Rudy Rucker, have been largely proven right. Though I am deeply impressed by their insights.
American Dark Ages, year 41. What fun.
Copyright © 2013 Henry Edward Hardy
The year after Kent State (which was about 40 miles from my house) I was in 6th grade and a group of us refused to rise for or say the Pledge of Allegience on the basis that the US did not have “liberty and justice for all” and that we would not pledge allegiance to a rogue nation state which itself did not obey the laws of war or tell the truth to its people.
It was agreed with the school officials that we would stand respectfully and silently but would not have to say anything or make any worshipful gesture. And so it was for the rest of 6th grade. I wore black or white with red speckles arm bands to school most days that year (which my Mom helped me to make and safety-pinned onto my shirt). But I was also a safety patrol kid and put up and took down the flag and folded it properly and treated it with respect.
Americans each have a complex relationship with the flag and other national symbols. They have every right to express, or not to express their sentiments, without being accused of being unpatriotic or disloyal. We have the right to salute the flag, and we have the right to burn it. That is what freedom is.
Copyright © 2012 Henry Edward Hardy