Iran main force against US-Israel-Saudi alliance in Mideast Reply

Press TV. Listen here.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s upcoming trip to the Middle East is yet another attempt by the United States to shore up support for anti-Iran projects it has long been running with help from its “Zionist and Saudi” allies in the region, an American analyst says.

Pompeo will fly to the Middle East on Tuesday, stopping first in Kuwait before heading to Israel and Lebanon.

Keith Preston, director of Attackthesystem.com, said Washington was trying to strengthen the alliance between the US, Saudi Arabia and Israel — what he referred to as the “Atlanticist-Zionist-Wahhabi” alliance– in order to push back against Iran, which is the main force keeping them from taking full control of the region.

Saudi Arabia and some other Arab governments in the Persian Gulf region “have a common objective in opposing the influence of Iran in the region.”

“Obviously Iran is the primary bulwark against the greater Israel, against Israeli expansionism and of course, the (Persian) Gulf states have wanted to expand the region a well and at this point they see Iran as the primary obstacle to that,” he added.

That is how those countries have been running all sorts of plots such as financing Daesh and other Takfiri groups to take out Syria, their other rival in the region, the analyst argued.

“So once again, there is a convergence between the interests of the Gulf monarchies, between the Israelis and between the Americans in trying to eliminate any kind of political autonomy that nay Middle Eastern nation might have,” he added.

The reason, according to Preston, is “because the Americans, the Saudis and Israeli have been largely successful in destroying many other nations in the region.”

Pompeo made a similar trip to the region in January to try to forge a unified Arab front against Iran, a dream that has brought together even Saudi Arabia and Israel.

PressTV-Pompeo to push anti-Iran message in Mideast next week

PressTV-Pompeo to push anti-Iran message in Mideast next weekUS Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will start a five-day tour of the Middle East next week, where he will discuss security issues in the region.

Pompeo’s main objective in the tour was laying the groundwork for the Middle East Strategic Alliance (MESA), a concept similar to an Arab NATO. Trump first floated the idea of forging MESA during his visit to Saudi Arabia in 2017.

The US hosted an anti-Iran summit last month in Warsaw, Poland. However, US efforts to build pressure against Iran faced a setback after ministers from several European Union members opted out of the summit.


Where Have All the Flowers Gone?: Requiem for a Fictional Party Reply

By Nicky Reid

Exile in Happy Valley

Do you remember the Democrats, dearest motherfuckers? Not the neoliberal, gutter capitalist, Clintonista kind or even Bernie’s brand of drone-strike socialists, but the peace loving hippie kind. The doves who tried to end the Cold War and marched against the draft and stuck flowers in the barrels of National Guard rifles. The liberal lions who took on the war machine, who made love not war, who couldn’t hug their children with nuclear arms, and braved the perils of grassy knolls and brainwashed Arabs to bring just one ounce of sanity to Capitol Hill. Sure they were corny and preachy and a little grabby in cocktail party coatrooms but they had character and cojones and conviction. What ever happened to those liberals, before their bleeding hearts were eaten whole by those nasty neos? Where have all the flowers gone? Tell me, dearest motherfuckers, do you remember the Democrats?

Yeah, me neither, and here comes another one of my famously merciless reality checks. With the exception of few fantastic McGovern hiccups, they never actually fucking existed. The Democrats have always been a war party, even back when the Republicans were still Lindbergh worshiping isolationists. Don’t get me wrong, the Dems were always big on that Feed the World-style, Kumbaya charity shit, but there chief staple was usually more white phosphorous than whole grain granola. Both World Wars, Korea, Vietnam; all started by Democrats. Even the Republican crusades in the Persian Gulf initially passed with broad Democratic support and lingered into holocausts with broad Democratic indifference. Much like the Republicans relationship with putting America first, the Democrats only get in touch with their hippie-dippie side when it serves their partisan needs, with Yemen as your latest rule-proving exception.

Lately, though, it seems to be getting worse. Since the Sixties, the Dems have at least generally payed lip service to ideas like detente and diplomacy, particularly atop their ivory soap boxes of the legacy media. But if you turn on NPR or CNN these days, you would be forgiven for believing you were interrupting a less than clandestine meeting of the John Birch Society. According to such bleeding brains as Rachel Maddow and Wolf Blitzer, Vladimir Putin is responsible for everything from Hillary’s biological unelectability to the ravages of climate change. Donald Trump makes the rare intelligent decision to simply meet up with Kim Jong-un for pho and playful banter and he’s appeasing the Axis of Evil. John Bolton throws a monkey-wrench into the goddamn thing and suddenly he’s the latest neocon “adult” to be proclaimed a progressive folk saint. The Donald firebombs an orphanage in Crimea and he finally becomes a “real” president. OK, I made the last one up, but these are some sick sick fucks.

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The Left’s Factions Increasingly Turning Their Sights on Each Other 4

This is a fairly low-brow article from a mainstream “conservative movement” site (as opposed to high-brow conservatives like the H.L. Mencken Club or The American Conservative). It’s interesting how these types think that somehow “conservatism” is going to make some big comeback even as the Left is winning or gaining ground on virtually every issue, certainly every social and cultural issue. Gen Z is no more going to embrace a return to Reaganite “fusionism” than they’re going to embrace rotary dial telephones. But the point this article makes about the “Oppression Olympics” is on point.

The ATS philosophy of freely associating voluntary “tribes” and decentralized local communities offers an alternative to the conventional right-wing, the statist orientation of most of the Left, the “culture war” paradigm and to the “Oppression Olympics.”

By Rachel Alexander

Townhall

As the left becomes more intolerant, its various factions are encountering more conflict with each other. Black Lives Matter and other minorities create “spaces” where white people aren’t allowed — which exclude sympathetic white liberals. Transgenders and feminists get into vicious fights over whether transwomen are really women. Radical immigration groups crash LGBT marches. Feminists on college campuses broadly paint male co-eds as rapists — even liberal men. Comedians who routinely mock conservatives are finding themselves chased away from college campuses by snowflakes who don’t like their LGBT and race jokes. Bernie Sanders’ supporters are investigating the mysterious death of former DNC staffer Seth Rich, while Hillary Clinton supporters ridicule them as conspiracy theorists.

The left’s dominant factions are even more likely to run into conflicts with each other as a result of the left taking over much of society. Since conservatives are increasingly blocked out of areas like education, the left is free to run rampant. For example, there is no longer a debate over whether to teach children encouraging messages about being LGBT in school. Instead, the debate is whether to include transvestites, polygamists and more controversial aspects of gender and sexuality in the discussion. CARTOONS | Henry Payne View Cartoon

White liberal professors are finding themselves under siege in upper academia. Michael Rectenwald, a professor at NYU, said in February that he was leaving the left after becoming fed up with the snowflakes, trigger warnings, safe spaces and other hostile behavior he was subjected to. He explained on Facebook, “today’s ‘Left’ is rife with the most obscene, abusive, nasty, spiritually ugly and utterly unethical, hypocritical and fanatically horrible people I’ve ever encountered in my 58 years on earth.”

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This Democratic Presidential Candidate Wants To Decriminalize Sex Work Reply

Tulsi Gabbard is turning out to be the most anti-statist of any of the presidential candidates (a very low standard to say the least). She has also introduced legislation to end federal marijuana prohibition as well. For many years, I have argued that the central focus of anarchists, libertarians, and anti-statists should be opposing US imperialism in the international realm, and opposing the so-called “criminal justice system” (police state), prison-industrial complex, over criminalization, war on drugs, “consensual crime” laws,” surveillance state, anti-terrorism laws, etc. as opposed to the Left’s focus on identity politics, environmentalism, and expanding the welfare state, and mainstream libertarianism’s focus on opposing the welfare state. We should also be striving to take the anti-gun control issue away from the patriotic, cop-loving, military-worshipping reactionary right, and frame gun control as means of oppressing the poor and minorities (which it clearl is).

By Dominic Holden

Buzzfeed

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, the Democratic presidential contender from Hawaii, told BuzzFeed News unequivocally she wants to decriminalize sex work, asserting a clear position on an enormous underground industry that’s largely ignored by American politicians.

“If a consenting adult wants to engage in sex work, that is their right, and it should not be a crime,” Gabbard said. “All people should have autonomy over their bodies and their labor.“

Most candidates in the 2020 race have skirted the issue, including President Donald Trump, but questions about sex work are beginning to chase the Democratic presidential pack.

Gabbard’s embrace of the issue comes just days after Sen. Bernie Sanders was asked for his position and didn’t have one. “That’s a good question, and I don’t have an answer for that,” he told The Breakfast Club.

When asked in late February if she supports decriminalization, Sen. Kamala Harris, who opposed a sex work decriminalization measure in 2008, told the Root, “I think so. I do.”

The White House didn’t answer questions from BuzzFeed News last year about whether Trump thought sex work or paying for sex should be legal. Nor would officials say if the president supported the Justice Department busting a website accused of posting sex work ads.

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Colbert Smears Tulsi Gabbard To Her Face While Telling Zero Jokes Reply

It’s obviously true that most of the MSM, particularly television, is simply the propaganda arm of the Democratic National Committee, just as FOX, talk radio, Christian broadcasting, and the Wall Street Journal are simply the propaganda arm of the Republican National Committee.

By Caitlin Johnstone

Medium

Hawaii Congresswoman and Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard recently appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, where instead of the light, jokey banter about politics and who she is as a person that Democratic presidential candidates normally encounter on late night comedy programs, the show’s host solemnly ran down a list of textbook beltway smears against Gabbard and made her defend them in front of his audience.

Normally when a Democratic Party-aligned politician appears on such a show, you can expect jokes about how stupid Trump is and how badly they’re going to beat the Republicans, how they’re going to help ordinary Americans, and maybe some friendly back-and-forth about where they grew up or something. Colbert had no time to waste on such things, however, because this was not an interview with a normal Democratic Party-aligned politician: this was a politician who has been loudly and consistently criticizing US foreign policy.



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I don’t “believe” in electoral politics, because elected officials are just the paid employees of the power elite proper (see C. Wright Mills), but this would still be great because it would force the power elite to really step foward and show its hand. “Hell, no. We ain’t having this!”

The ruling class has already waxed hysterical over Trump, who is just an old-fashioned Nixon-Rockefeller Republican (“Nixon was the last liberal president”-Noam Chomsky) and governs like a normal Republican on most domestic issues. Imagine how the oligarchy would respond to Tulsi/Paul?

Any US president who seriously moved against the interests of the oligarchy would meet the same fate as Mosadegh, Arben, Suharto, Diem, Sihanouk, Allende, Saddam, Qaddafi, so many others.

Why True Conservatism Means Anarchy 5

This article is an important illustration of why a pan-anarchist movement, committed to global revolutionary struggle, needs to transcend the left/right paradigm. These romantic medievalist anarchists are people that we need as part of cultivating a mass audience for the project of state/ruling class/empire abolitionism.

By Alexander William Salter

The American Conservative

I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided; and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past.” These words are Patrick Henry’s, uttered in the course of his famous oration known for its powerful closing words “give me liberty or give me death.” Although Henry probably did not intend it as a sociopolitical axiom, the Anglo-American conservative tradition has adopted it as such. Conservatives rightly look to the past to influence their views of the future. Change in the basic structure of society’s institutions is inherently perilous, and must be guided by the “lamp of experience” lest reform lose its way.

But experience accumulates as time marches on. Proposed changes to public life that seem radical and dangerous in one era can embody wisdom and stewardship in another. Applied conservatism is nothing less than continual constitutional craftsmanship. And in that context, “constitution” refers not to whatever is formally drawn up in a document, but the actual procedures and practices that comprise a society’s public sphere.

In this spirit, I propose a position that seems extraordinary, but I am convinced is vindicated by historical experience: the state is a fundamentally anti-conservative force, and in order to preserve the good, true, and beautiful things in society, it’s got to go. In short, I argue that conservatives should seriously consider anarchism.

I realize such a position seems absurd, at least on its surface. Conservatism has long held that the existing political order deserves respect precisely because it is the result of custom, habit, and experience. Massive changes in basic social institutions almost always create chaos. How then can one be both conservative and anarchist?

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One Cheer — More or Less — For the Green New Deal 3

This seems to be a serious, thoughtful critique of the “Green New Deal” idea from a fairly conventional left-anarchist perspective (although Carson is an individualist/mutualist/AWA, not an an-com).

The ATS theoretical model and strategic paradigm is oriented toward global revolutionary struggle against the new Rome (i.e. the global capitalist empire), with an emphasis on indigenous people everywhere, and bottom-up anti-imperialist struggle. I’d say my own geopolitical outlook approximates that of the Shining Path (minus the Maoist fundamentalism).

What Carson describes here is more or less what I would envision the reformist wing of the left-wing of pan-anarchism in First World countries doing, but it’s only that. Notice that the examples Carson provides are all First World places (“the new municipalist movements in Barcelona, Madrid, Bologna, and Jackson”) I see the ATS vision of global revolutionary struggle as transcending the left/right reformist/radical First World/Third World (core/periphery) dichotomies. A similar analysis could be made of Carson’s ideas on “privilege theory,” which would likewise be appropriate for the social/cultural wing of the left-wing of pan-anarchism in First World countries (in a way that potentially networks with similar tendencies in the Third World).

By Kevin Carson

Center for a Stateless Society

In critiquing and analyzing a state policy proposal like the Green New Deal from an anarchist perspective, I should throw in the usual disclaimers about my working assumptions. I’m not an insurrectionist and I don’t believe the post-capitalist/post-state transition will be primarily what Erik Olin Wright called a “ruptural” process. Although the final transition may involve some ruptural events, it will mostly be the ratification after the fact of a cumulative transformation that’s taken place interstitially.

Most of that transformation will come from the efforts of ordinary people at creating the building blocks of the successor society on the ground, and from those building blocks replicating laterally and coalescing into an ecosystem of counter-institutions that expands until it supplants the previous order.

Some of it will come from political engagement to run interference for the new society developing within the shell of the old, and pressuring the state from outside to behave in more benign ways. Some of it will come from using some parts of the state against other parts, and using the state’s own internal procedural rules to sabotage it.

Some of it will come from attempts to engage friendly forces within the belly of the beast. Individuals here and there on the inside of corporate or state institutions who are friendly to our efforts and willing to engage informally with us can pass along information and take advantage of their inside positions to nudge things in a favorable direction. As was the case with the transition from feudalism and capitalism, some organizational entities — now nominally within state bodies or corporations — will persist in a post-state and post-capitalist society, but with their character fundamentally changed along with their relationship to the surrounding system.  If you want to see some interesting examples of attempts at “belly of the beast” grantsmanship and institutional politics, take a look at the appendices to some of Paul Goodman’s books.

A great deal, I predict, will come from efforts — particularly at the local level — to transform the state in a less statelike direction: a general principle first framed by Saint-Simon as “replacing legislation over people with the administration of things,” and since recycled under a long series of labels ranging from “dissolution of the state within the social body” to “the Wikified State” to “the Partner State.” The primary examples I have in mind today are the new municipalist movements in Barcelona, Madrid, Bologna, and Jackson and the dozens and hundreds of cities replicating that model around the world, as well as particular institutional forms like community land trusts and other commons-based local economic models.

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Keith Preston: US sponsoring regime change in Venezuela Reply

Press TV. Listen here.

The United States is obviously sponsoring regime change in Venezuela, according to American political analyst Keith Preston.

Preston, who was speaking to Press TV on Tuesday, pointed out the regime change was Washington’s standard “mode of operation” in countries which resist serving US interests. 

PressTV-Hawkish neocon to head up US policy toward Venezuela

PressTV-Hawkish neocon to head up US policy toward VenezuelaUS Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has appointed Elliott Abrams, a hawkish neoconservative, to handle US policy toward Venezuela.

The director of Attackthesystem.com emphasized that in Latin America, particularly, US policy has been to install subservient puppet regimes.

“Historically, the United States has frequently organized military coups — or other types of political coups — against governments, or particular nations to which they were opposed … This is a standard mode of operation for the United States on foreign policy issues.”

Preston said Americans have always viewed Latin American countries as being in the United State sphere of domination.

By organizing a regime change and toppling the current leftist government in Venezuela and installing a puppet regime in its place, Americans want to gain control over the oil-rich South American country’s vast mineral resources, according to Preston.

“Venezuela is an oil-rich country and the United States wants control over its oil wells,” Preston pointed out, adding that Washington wanted to install a puppet regime that was willing to carry out its demands.

Meanwhile, Americans are pushing hard to install opposition leader Juan Guaido, instead of President Nicolas Maduro.

PressTV-No signs Maduro is willing to resign: US envoy

PressTV-No signs Maduro is willing to resign: US envoyThe US envoy to Venezuela Elliott Abrams says there are no signs that Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is willing to resign from office despite the growing US and Western pressure.

Most Western countries have recognized Guaido as Venezuela’s interim head of state, but Maduro retains the backing of Russia and China as well as control of state institutions, including the military.

The administration of US President Donald Trump considers Maduro’s 2018 re-election a sham and recognized the 35-year-old Guaido as the country’s acting president in January.

CNN’s Horrible, Terrible, No Good Tulsi Town Hall Questions Reply

A good discussion of how the corporate imperialists circle the wagons around anyone with even moderately anti-interventionist views. US foreign policy is essentially a Roman-like imperialism that is committed to large-scale massacres as a matter of policy. The Democrats and Republicans are fine with this, and committed to preserving it. Most progressive liberals and SJWs consider anti-imperialism to be just another issue, or a matter of indifference. Even a supposed “far leftist” like Alexander Reid-Ross-Podhoretz-Kristol is more concerned about Russo-Assadist conspiracies on behalf of the Learned Elders of Thule than opposing the US empire of corpses.

Tucker Carlson Responded Correctly to MediaMatters 4

Yep. This is a pretty good analysis. It’s also important to recognize that political correctness/totalitarian humanism is not just a Left/Right conflict. It’s also an intra-Left conflict as well, with all kinds of left-wing factors shitting all over themselves to out-PC each other, or to accuse each other of some kind of heresy. ATS is a revolutionary left perspective for those who don’t give a flying fuck about this stuff, and refuse to play along with it.

Dave Rubin interviewed by Tim Pool 2

Given that Trumpism seems to represent dying WASP America’s last stand, I think it is pretty safe to say that we are now moving into a time where the circle of neocons, right-libertarians, exiled social democrats, frustrated centrists, heterodox academics around Dave Rubin constitute the far right, the Clinton/Biden corporate liberals constitute conservatism, the Sanders/AOC progressives constitute liberalism, and the SJWs/Antifa constitute the far left. I guess that would make ATS the far, far left or “ultra-left.”

Populism is Not Enough 4

It is true that the neoconservative/neoliberal/deep state/power elite ruling class doesn’t like populists. Not Trump from the right or AOC from the left. They’ve mostly been able to co-opt or at least control Trump, who was always (at best) a hit and miss anyway. They seem to promote AOC as an acceptable “celebrity leftist” (probably because she’s also anti-Trump and doesn’t talk much about foreign policy, and her message isn’t immediately threatening to basic ruling class interests) while attacking her at the same time, as opposed to Tulsi whom they try to sweep under the rug and Omar whom they’re totally flipping out over. But ultimately the political class itself is a problem and anyone who enters the state should automatically be viewed with suspicion.

Here’s the basic deal: They can co-opt or control anyone who goes along with the general foreign policy and state/corporatist paradigm, but someone who steps out of that box like Tulsi Gabbard is a real threat, particularly if they are Israel-critical, like Ilhan Omar. In which case, they will immediately move against such an individual.

They can concede free colleges, single-payer healthcare, transgender restrooms, gay marriage, etc. None of that threatens ruling class power itself. The EU countries have all that and the European ruling classes get by just fine. It may even be helpful as it is a means of expanding the state while co-opting new constituencies and paying off politically connected private interests. I’m sure there are lots of capitalist interests looking to get in on AOC’s Green New Deal. But attacking the empire itself is a big no-no as would be a genuinely radical domestic policy (like abolishing intellectual property law, free banking, or repealing laws of incorporation).

This is the kind of political program that would be genuinely threatening to ruling class interests.

For decades, I have considered Democratic Party neoliberals to be the future conservatives, and SJW leftists to be the future liberals, and that seems to be finally coming into fruition nowadays. What ATS has always been intended to be is a blueprint for a far left anarchist movement that’s so far left that is crosses over with the right (horseshoe theory and all that) on issues that are or ought to be within the anarchist paradigm but are rejected by many liberals and leftists (right to bear arms/self defense, anti-Zionism, freedom of association, anti-PC/free speech, secession, authentic economic freedom, etc) plus authentic anti-imperialism and class struggle so that an-coms and sovereign citizens end up under the same umbrella.

What is “Socialism,” Anyway? 2

The word “socialism” is constantly being thrown about by supposed supporters and detractors alike, most of whom are people who have no clue as to what socialism actually is.

I am opposed to conventional socialism, which I actually consider to be a conservative philosophy (see Murray Rothbard’s essay “Left and Right” on this). Historically, socialist societies have been very conservative. There is no developed, “First World” country that practices socialism, and there never has been. The supposed “socialist” countries in Northern Europe practice a kind of “welfare capitalism” that is often more “free market” than the United States (where the market is subordinated to a kind of corporatist-financier-plutocratic-military-command economy, like an industrial-technological version of the economy of the Roman Empire).

Historically, socialism has appealed primarily to middle-class intellectuals and professionals in colonial societies and feudal countries whose national, political or class ambitions were being frustrated by either external colonialist/imperialist powers, or their own entrenched/inert ruling classes. Socialism was regarded as means of seizing the wealth of external colonial overlords, their colonial puppet rulers, and feudal elites, and utilizing this wealth for internal development (which is why Western colonial powers have been so opposed to socialism). Most of these countries eventually convert to capitalism (or simply stagnate or fall apart).

This Wikipedia entry listing socialist countries that have actually existed is pretty thorough. Notice that not a one of them is or has even been a Westernized industrial democracy. The “socialism” of Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasia-Cortez, etc is standard welfare capitalism of the kind that developed in the late 19th and early 20th century through philosophies like progressivism, Fabianism, social democracy and reform liberalism.

Modern industrial economies are hybrids of market relations, and bureaucratic-managerial-administrative systems, with interlocking public, private, and independent sectors. Check out James Burnham’s work on the “managerial revolution” from the 1940s. He was an early observer of how classical bourgeois capitalism was being replaced with the modern, corporate, administrative kind. In a historical context socialism means either a nationalized economy that is directed by the state, or a worker run cooperative/syndicalist system, or some kind of New Harmony like utopian commune. However, the latter two examples are a fringe tendency within socialism (or have been during the past century), were denounced by Lenin as an “infantile disorder,” and are not what most people think  of when they think of socialism.

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Uniting the Fringe Against the Center 2

By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit

Exile in Happy Valley

Watching the news lately, you get the impression that the world is being ripped in two by the scourge of the far-right and the far-left. Populism they call it. Warring tribes in a binary war for the soul of the free world. In the US, Our dear orange Pericles is scheming mightily to manipulate the already unconstitutional powers of executive privilege to follow through with his promise to militarize the commons at the boarder. Meanwhile, the Democratic Party is in virtual upheaval over how to contain a 5-foot-2 congresswoman for making the “antisemitic” observation that perhaps Israel has too much influence over Washington while the rest of the party keep McCarthyism alive with their own Russophobic “tropes”.

Across Europe and many other parts of the world, you here a similar tale of the populist left and/or the populist right going too far in one direction or the other, many times both simultaneously in an act of sociopolitical fission. You also hear a great collective wail from the established order who still maintain control over the press and the permanent government, lamenting the untimely demise of globalism and an ill-defined sense of pragmatism among the holy Neos, both liberal and conservative. These heavily microphoned scions of the status quo would have you believe that the world was in perfect harmony before the 2008 financial crash that they and their order precipitated with the bipartisan pillage of the world’s financial resources. In times like these the Ivy League appointed intellectual hierarchy of corporate thinktankland like to blow the dust off that old time honored canard of Jean-Pierre Faye’s Horseshoe Theory. The idea that, when push comes to shove, the far-right and the far-left are like two ends of a horseshoe, nearly meeting each other ideologically in the middle.

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Are the Tides Turning? 1

A reader writes:

Regarding your piece today on the First World Left (as well as the Truthout article you shared re: Ilhan Omar), one silver lining to the ascendance of progressives — whatever their many fundamental shortcomings, as you rightly note — is the current opening up of dialogue surrounding (previously unquestioned) bipartisan support for Israel. Something that was long-verboten a few months ago has suddenly been forced into mainstream discussion.

From what I’ve seen just hopping around online, this is indeed a huge rift that’s developing within the Democratic Party. I see progressives shocked at and creeped out by the Democratic establishment’s thuggish attempt to silence dissent, with some clearly beginning to regard them not simply as a stodgy old guard to be dragged into becoming more progressive, but as just as monstrous as the Republicans. This is purely anecdotal of course, but I’ve seen some ostensibly progressive commenters use words like psychotic and evil to describe them.

Irrespective of anything else that may happen, this seems like an important development, and something that perhaps had to come from the Left. It’s easy to dismiss paleocons and far right figures as anti-Semites (especially since some of them obviously are); it’s a lot harder to get away with the same accusations here. I imagine this will ultimately combine with the growing sentiment to throw Saudi Arabia under the bus as well. It’s only natural after all, if they are indeed serious about opposing authoritarian, right-wing governments as a matter of foreign policy.

Keith Preston: ‘Saudi a liability to US in terms of its international reputation’ Reply

Press TV. Listen here.

A political analyst says that Saudi Arabia has become “something of a liability to the United States in terms of international standing.”

Keith Preston made the remarks in an interview with Press TV when was asked about a bipartisan group of US senators in Congress who have warned against growing human rights violations in Saudi Arabia.

At the confirmation hearing of new US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia John Abizaid on Wednesday, Republican and Democratic US senators censured the kingdom over its devastating war on Yemen and other rights abuses, including the detention and torture of women’s rights activists and the grisly murder of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey.

Republican Senator Marco Rubio said Saudi Arabia was the “most difficult” US ally “because it almost asks us to agree to stay silent on grotesque violations of human rights both domestically and abroad.”

PressTV-US senators slam Saudi crown prince as ‘full gangster’

PressTV-US senators slam Saudi crown prince as ‘full gangster’A bipartisan group of US senators in Congress have warned against growing human rights violations under Saudi Crown Prince bin Salman, the de facto ruler of the kingdom.

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West Virginia Legislature Votes to End Sales Taxation on Gold & Silver Reply

Charleston, West Virginia (March 8th, 2019) — Sound money advocates rejoiced today as the West Virginia legislature overwhelmingly passed Senate Bill 502 and sent it to Governor Jim Justice for his signature. 

First passed in the West Virginia senate unanimously last month, the measure removes state sales taxation of precious metals, specifically on gold, silver, platinum, and palladium bullion and coins.

State Senator Craig Blair (R-District 15) introduced SB 502 with the goal of encouraging precious metals purchasers to keep their investment dollars in the state rather making investments elsewhere. The bill impacts purchases of platinum, gold, palladium, or silver bullion valued upon its precious metal content, whether in coin, bar, or ingot form.

The Sound Money Defense League helped make the case to West Virginia legislators, explaining why charging sales taxes on money itself is beyond the pale. In effect, those states that collect taxes on purchases of precious metals are inherently saying gold and silver are not money at all.

“West Virginia’s legislature has taken a huge step forward with the passage of SB 502. Thanks to the efforts of Senator Blair and other groups, Governor Justice can sign a measure eliminating obstacles in the way of West Virginia citizens to protect themselves from the inflationary practices of the Federal Reserve,” said Jp Cortez, Policy Director of the Sound Money Defense League.

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Studying the demise of historic civilizations 1

Must read.

**

By Luke Kemp
19 February 2019

Studying the demise of historic civilisations can tell us how much risk we face today, says collapse expert Luke Kemp. Worryingly, the signs are worsening.

Great civilisations are not murdered. Instead, they take their own lives.

DEEP CIVILISATION

This article is part of a new BBC Future series about the long view of humanity, which aims to stand back from the daily news cycle and widen the lens of our current place in time. Modern society is suffering from “temporal exhaustion”, the sociologist Elise Boulding once said. “If one is mentally out of breath all the time from dealing with the present, there is no energy left for imagining the future,” she wrote.

That’s why the Deep Civilisation season will explore what really matters in the broader arc of human history and what it means for us and our descendants.

So concluded the historian Arnold Toynbee in his 12-volume magnum opus A Study of History. It was an exploration of the rise and fall of 28 different civilisations. More…

In Condemning Ilhan Omar, Democrats Have Proved Her Right 1

By Tom Williams

Truthout.Org

At a time of heightened anti-Muslim discrimination and hatred, the Democratic establishment has taken unprecedented steps to single out a Muslim representative for her criticisms of AIPAC and the U.S.’s relationship with Israel. After first publicly rebuking Rep. Ilhan Omar, the Democratic establishment, led by House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi, began drafting a resolution condemning anti-Semitism, amounting to an indirect censure.

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The First World Left vs. Anti-Imperialism, Third Worldism, Pro-Indigenous, and Lumpenproletarianism 1

The problem I have with figures like Bernie and Alexandria is that they’re not radicals. They’re simply representatives of the left-wing of the First World middle/upper middle class, pushing issues that are important that socioeconomic demographic. Unlike the traditional American middle class (now the right-wing of the middle class) they don’t necessarily see the state as impeding their upward mobility by means of taxes, business regulations, etc. Instead, the left-wing of the middle class represents upwardly mobile members of traditional outgroups like ethnic minorities, feminist women, gays, etc (hence, the fanatical emphasis on idpol), their aesthetic interests (hence, their interest in environmentalism), their desire to be protected from the “dangerous classes” (hence, their fanatical emphasis on gun control, and their fear of guns in the hands of icky rural rednecks and inner-city brothas). They see the state as a means of upward mobility by means of public sector employment, social security, free schools and healthcare, anti-discrimination laws, etc.

I have no time for any of this. I am (generally speaking) anti-imperialist, Third Worldist, and pro-indigenous in international relations, and pro-lumpenproletarian in First World class relations. Historically, the Right was the party of the traditional elite, the Center was the party of the middle class, the Left was the party of the respectable working class, and the Anarchists were the party of the lumpenproletariat. I stand with the latter.