Tuesday, February 16, 2016

What Are We Smelling?

[Qu’est-ce qui pue comme ça ?]

So far I have mostly tried to ignore the US presidential race. It's a distraction from doing things that are either pleasant or useful—of which it is neither. I haven't always tried to completely ignore these torrents of nonsense that erupt every four years like a gushing sewer, but, in general, I was never interested in the outcome, because in all but one case I genuinely disliked all of the candidates. Jimmy Carter is the only one whose hand I would shake. I wouldn't want to breathe the same air with any of the others—all lizard-brained miscreants who have left a slimy trail through the White House.

As I understand it, the way this system is supposed to work is as follows. There is just one good, solid reason to vote for the Democratic candidate: to keep out the Republicans, who are so much worse than the Democrats. And there is just one good, solid reason to vote for the Republican candidate: to keep out the Democrats, who are so much worse than the Republicans. Now, you may ask yourself, How is it possible for both sides to be worse at the same time? Well, you are right, that's not possible. Obviously, they have to take turns at becoming the worst. Whoever happens to be in office adds another turn to the downward spiral.

This seems like a good, solid arrangement—if the goal is to produce the most bloated, corrupt, criminal, warmongering, terrorist-coddling, bankrupt government the Earth has ever known—it is, indeed, all of these things. But it has just one tiny flaw: getting people to vote for you by teaching them to hate the other side is effective, but it's purely negative. To introduce a positive, aspirational element, it is necessary to somehow make people feel that it is possible to bring about political change by voting for someone within the Democratic or the Republican party. Of course, this is sheer nonsense, because the only people pulling the strings are the ones who write the checks, and you don't get to vote for any of them. But people don't want to believe that they are completely powerless, and the same people who fell for it in thinking that they could bring about change by voting for Obama are now falling for it again, thinking that they can bring about change by voting for Bernie. No, you can't possibly ever change things by voting for the Democratic/Republican duopoly. Oh, and you can't possibly ever change things by voting against it either. Sorry, Jill Stein.

So that's how it goes, generally, getting worse and worse each time. But things can't just continue to going from bad to worse forever; eventually, something has to give. At some point there must come a phase transition, or an inflection point, or some sort of political collapse scenario. And this year seems somewhat atypical because the quality of the candidates is so poor.

On the Democratic side, we have Hillary the Giant Flying Lizard, but she seems rather impaired by just about everything she has ever done, some of which was so illegal that it will be hard to keep her from being indicted prior to the election. She seems only popular in the sense that, if she were stuffed and mounted and put on display, lots of folks would pay good money to take turns throwing things at her. And then we have Bernie, the pied piper for the “I can't believe I can't change things by voting” crowd. He seems to be doing a good job of it—as if that mattered.

On the Republican side we have Donald and the Seven Dwarfs. I previously wrote that I consider Donald to be a mannequin worthy of being installed as a figurehead at the to-be-rebranded Trump White House and Casino (it is beneath my dignity to mention any of the Dwarfs by name) but Donald has a problem: he sometime tells the truth. In the most recent debate with the Dwarfs he said that Bush lied in order to justify the invasion of Iraq. Candidates must lie—lie like, you know, like they are running for office. And the problem with telling the truth is that it becomes hard to stop. What bit of truthiness is he going to deliver next? That 9/11 was an inside job? That Osama bin Laden worked for the CIA, and that his death was faked? That the Boston Marathon bombing was staged, and the two Chechen lads were patsies? That the US military is a complete waste of money and cannot win? That the financial and economic collapse of the US is now unavoidable? Even if he can stop himself from letting any more truthiness leak out, the trust has been broken: now that he's dropped the T-bomb, how can he be relied upon to lie like he's supposed to?

And so we may be treated to quite a spectacle: the Flying Lizard, slouching toward a federal penitentiary, squaring off against the Donald the T-bomber. That would be fun to watch. Or maybe the Lizard will implode on impact with the voting booth and then we'll have Bernie vs. the T-bomber. Being a batty old bugger, and not wanting to be outdone, he might drop some T-bombs of his own. That would be fun to watch too.

Not that any of this matters, of course, because the country's trajectory is all set. And no matter who gets elected—Bernie or Donald—on their first day at the White House they will be shown a short video which will explain to them what exactly they need to do to avoid being assassinated. But I won't be around to see any of that. I've seen enough. This summer I am sailing off: out Port Royal Sound, then across the Gulf Stream and over to the Abacos, then a series of pleasant day-sails down the Bahamas chain with breaks for fishing, snorkeling and partying with other sailors (I know, life is so hard!), then through the Windward Passage, a stop at Port Antonio in Jamaica, and then onward across the Caribbean to an undisclosed location. Please let me know if you want to crew. I guarantee that there will be absolutely no election coverage aboard the boat.


Fred said...

Hell yes, I'd love to crew and sail along with you out of Dodge, Dmitry. Let me know...

xxancroft said...

The odour will only become more wretched, more rancid and more vile.

Rhisiart Gwilym said...

Go Dima! I'm too old for that sort of adventure now. Passed my big steel proa vaka along to a younger family, for their home, and now I'm just retired aboard my thirty-foot sheltered-water vessel. No diesel, no sails, just a static backwater houseboat, for now; for what's left of my time this time round.

But wait till my next re-incarnation…! :)

Your take on the recurring POTUS toxic clown-show is mine exactly. As far as I can, I tune it out altogether, and harbour absolute-zero expectation of it producing anything but more-but-worse of the same, until the US empire finally implodes (ASAP, please god! A net good for all US citizens; and for the rest of the world).

BTW, anyone who thinks I'm just being whimsical in speaking above about the next bout of life, take a serious look at 'My Big TOE', by physicist, mathematician, and dedicated experimental-mystic (sic!':) Thomas Warren Campbell. Tom is riding the cutting edge of the drastic new ideas now fighting their way into the innermost sancta of current orthodox physics: the digital-physics wave; which is to say, the endless yin-yang cycling in dominant human philosophies between absolute materialism and absolute idealism, making its latest turn right about now.

The best single short-ish explanation of his new theory, and what it implies (and the long-standing, thoroughly intractable problems in current physics which it resolves gloriously) is still, in my judgement, his weekend presentation to the University of Calgary in 2011:


Studying the testimonies of the NDE survivors is highly illuminating too.

Take the view of my druidic ancestors, and simply assume that any particular death is no big deal, because your central conscious essence, your irreducible I - your soul, in the older vocabulary - will be going round on the wheel of rebirth for quite a few times more, yet. Gives even us oldies some solid, persuasive ground for holding on to hope for the future; and actually getting repeated chances to do better next time; which appears to be the point of it all...

But then, at my age, I would want to entertain such comforting ideas, wouldn't I? :O)

Geoff said...

Appreciate the Bill Hicks reference:

"And no matter who gets elected—Bernie or Donald—on their first day at the White House they will be shown a short video which will explain to them what exactly they need to do to avoid being assassinated."

...pretty wild that that bit has been excised from the Youtube universe.

Unknown said...

Dmitry, you say the Boston Marathon Bombing was a false flag, please provide a source so I can read for myself.

Mister Roboto said...

Bon voyage, Dmitry. I hope this doesn't mean we've hear the last of y'all! :-)

ExtraT said...

Count me in!

Roberto said...

And with one (almost) filed sail plan witness the collective, anxious hand wringing of the alternative web news corps as they silently mouth "Godammit!!! He's actually getting out!!!" then get on with their next fevered collapse update. Something most everyone could also do, with concerted effort, but 99% never will.

Thank you, Rhisiart, for that link and lead on veiled hints of a afterlife, from another older sailor. Worth pondering pleasantly..............

Ien in the Kootenays said...

I am too old and too much of a garden bound peasant to take to the sailing life. I shall refrain from commenting on the various conspiracies because I just do not know enough. Never mind, the thought of you thumbing your nose at The Circus while enjoying life in the sun and in freedom makes me smile. Happy trails.

Unknown said...

@Roger Chavez

Start here http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2015/08/17/fbi-evidence-proves-innocence-accused-boston-marathon-bomber-dzhokhar-tsarnaev/

Nana2007 said...

I'm in, what do I need to learn in the meantime?

michigan native said...

This charade of an election will certainly speed up the political collapse. There never was any question about who could fix things or make the US great again, but I do believe Sanders would be the most compassionate candidate to ensure that people had access to food, shelter, water (I live near Flint, MI), transportation, and hopefully some access to health care regardless of one's ability to pay. He is getting shafted by that pig Debbie Wasserman what's her name and the DNC. So all these young people that look to Bernie for some kind of future are getting an early lesson they would have learned sooner or later. You don't matter. Your vote doesn't matter. Voting is a joke. The deck is rigged. The system is corrupt and broken. Politics is a sick joke.

So if the pissed off Bernie supporters back that vile, despicable bitch Shillary Clinton, most are vowing they will not, we can look forward to more costly, reckless, never ending resource wars. The pig supported Iraq and shows no remorse over the millions of dead that resulted from that debacle, is devoid of any conscience as she gloated about Gaddafy's torture and murder at the hands of ISIS thugs because he had some notion that he could dump the dollar and trade Libyan oil in gold backed dinars, and wanted to make it a pan African currency, which would have given the people there a greater share of the wealth. Of course, she supports the utterly disgraceful actions the neocons have perpetrated in Syria, again, about the petrodollar and resources, and is talking about a "no fly zone" against the Russians (to protect ISIS). Previously, she said we would be at war with Iran if she were president, so that appears to be the next target in the neocon's suicidal plans to impose hegemony over the world and its resources.

Against this, we have Donald Trump stating he wants friendly relations with Russia. The only other repug that seemed to want peace was Rand Paul, and the media, especially FOX news, black listed him. Ben Carson showed a momentary lapse of sanity when he suggested "maybe if we were not over there, they wouldn't be over here", but then he didn't dispel my conclusion that all repugs are crazy when I saw him make raining motions with his fingers as he was advocating carpet bombing some phantom enemy. Another candidate for a straight jacket along with Shillary. Pretty sad when Trump starts to sound the most sane of the pack. Carly Fiorna, a slightly less vile incarnation of Hitlery Clinton, and Cruz, who was born near the USA (close only counts in horse shoes and hand grenades, asshole). That little boy Rubio "we need to punch Russia in the nose", another straight jacket needed for that wimp. What a hoot Chris Christie was/is "anyone caught with marijuana, even a seed, deserves a minimum of 10 years in prison. When people lack self control, it is the government's role to step in and enforce it". Someone escort that slob to the nearest bariatric clinic where he can learn a great deal about self control, disgusting pig.

2016. The year the political collapse gains rapid momentum, along with the commercial, social, and cultural collapse as well.

rapier said...

Trump isn't a Republican. Not a professional Republican politician anyway. This is important in relation to DO's model because whatever he may do or want to do on myriad fronts is not in line with either party.

Which makes a Trump presidency the possible end of the status quo. I say possible because the permanent government or the deep state or pick your titles, will not follow Trumps ideas. Either he will be reigned in by them or there will be a crisis in governance. Or most of all he simply won't be elected president, the most likely scenario.

While Trump is perhaps a proto fascist he does not yet have his brown shirts nor any following with those with policy experience in the permanent government. He has no political base beyond voters.

If you fashion yourself a radical of any sort Trump is your choice for only Trump offers the possibility of systematic dislocation. It won't be pretty and the cure may be worse than the disease for your personal situation but if you want chance Trump is your guy.

rapier said...

PS. I meant change, not chance.

There might be some analog for Trump in Boris Yelsin. Maybe DO can comment.

Pentrus said...

Hot damn I was in the Abacos many years ago on a sail boat/motor launch (is that right/what such vessels are called?). We sailed down the islands, stopping frequently to go ashore to sample a different way of living. We were stupid; we came back. I do not have the will to just up and leave so I will be among those subjected to the giant thresher that will be the United States when all of this implodes. I have only myself to blame.

Growing up farming and having kept/added to the tools needed to do that has given me a skill set that might be useful, but having only a portion of an acre will make things very difficult. Living in a smaller community will also help, but when the local Kroger store no longer gets deliveries who knows how crazy people around here will get, since most of them store no food, do not grow any food, don't know anyone who grows food, or have the ability to carry and filter water. I think it will get just that basic.

I pulled a bunch of money out of 401ks last year to pay off all debts and have my residence and land paid for free and clear, but who knows how the government will try to tax such things away from people. I am beginning to think that we will have to employ what most think are unsavory and downright dangerous tactics to keep what we've legally acquired. The ex-military guys around here are armed and have urged the rest of our neighborhoods to get rifles of similar function (with ammo) just in case. They aren't suggesting an Oregon-style thing, but their attitude is that it is better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. They think these small town police forces will either evaporate or just join whichever group is most advantageous for their own survival. Communities, they say, will be on their own for food, water, and security. Interestingly, they believe we should be preparing a way to communicate that does not include phone systems, hard line or otherwise.

I feel it is necessary to have as much redundancy in everything possible. Backups for backups. Different ways to heat, cook, process water, etc. I wish there was more redundancy in our ability to relocate, that is, to run when things get dicey, although who knows what one would encounter along the way.

There is a growing tendency of the folks I know to ignore laws that do not fit with a sensible way of living. You know what I mean without me having to go into any of the details.

I give the country no better than one chance in four of making it through 2016 without a major financial meltdown that results in a total loss of liquidity and perhaps a level of deflation after a short spurt of hyperinflation. I can see a time where folks will have very little money to chase the things our betters would have us buy. It is still beyond me how these "capitalists" can think there will be credit to buy stuff (the only way most people can purchase things these days since they've run wages into the toilet) when banks are failing at an accelerating rate, but I guess delusional thinking is rampant among the wealthy, too.

Someone once told me there is a Chinese curse that goes, "I hope you live in interesting times". Well, I think things are likely to get a whole lot more interesting in the next few months. Shit!

Unknown said...

'How is it possible for both sides to be worse at the same time? Well, you are right, that's not possible. Obviously, they have to take turns at becoming the worst. Whoever happens to be in office adds another turn to the downward spiral. '

As I read this beer squirts out my nose. Good observation Dmitry. I will crew with you, bro!

Socratic Dog said...

Thanks for that link Karel (PCR on the Boston false flag). This country has become incredibly evil. Well, maybe it always was, but it's out in the open now.

I'd vote for Putin if I could. The man puts the interests of Russia first. Would we had a candidate who put the interests of the US against those of Israel or the Deep State players.

Unknown said...

@Roger Chavez:

Please see this video:


It´s long but entertaining and completely demolishes the Boston Marathon "terror" attack.

Unknown said...

I think you got to keep in mind that with Trump, you get a wall. I don't know what the Great Wall of America will look like, but I am hoping for something that puts the Great Wall of China to shame; "The Eighth Wonder" Also, imagine the opportunities for eco-friendly multi-zone construction along the length of the wall. Maybe an eight lane highway on top? The only other think I would do if I was Trump, is to carve my face on Mount Rushmore: just change one of the existing faces.

Larkin said...

Dmitry is right. Don't waste your time fretting about it.

You will recall that the Republican party called upon Donald Trump to sign a loyalty pledge less he break with the party and run as an independent guaranteeing a Republican loss. If he did, he could be called a liar and traitor, which he is anyway.

The Democrats might have considered offering Bernie the same pledge because the Democrat/Republican duopoly's worst nightmare is a 4 way race where the entire election would become a tossup.. This might fuck everything up..

This theatrical performance is a contest of personality, nuance and popularity. You can spend an entire evening in front of the TV and not hear one contender directly address one substantive issue. These people are actors that have been selected for us to chose from.

An elected president is more like, the vice president in charge of public relations.

I regret that I voted for Obama thinking that a constitutional scholar might restore the equilibrium between the individual and huge special interest. I was fooled and disappointed and I have cast my last vote.

They were waiting for Obama the day he entered White House with instructions on what to do and how to behave. If anything, Obama has been obedient.

In both the corporate and alternative media I have heard, "Obama the socialist!", "Obama the dictator!"

This man is not the author of his own programs and he'll be gone in 9 months. He stands before us and recites what has been handed to him mixed with a little of his soaring rhetoric and it all sounds so hollow now.

I see a disillusioned man who cannot wait to get out of office.

I'll not be voting again, but for those that do, beware the rise of the charismatic savior.

Jayhawk said...

Having realized that the party in power is incapable of governing, the electorate votes the other party into power, only to rediscover that it too is incapable of governing. Rinse and repeat.

Unknown said...

Just got back from 3 weeks sailing the Bahamian Exumas. Cruisers are great people, but mostly dependent on their auxiliary diesels and their outboard powered dinghies. Still a relatively low impact lifestyle. Dimitri, if you can pull it off with minimal fuel, I would congratulate you. Wish I could join you.

But for contrast, we passed dozens of superyachts there, including "Pelorus", the 377' megayacht now owned by Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the minister of foreign affairs of the United Arab Emirates. He was due to arrive soon in his personal Boing 737 and be transferred to the yacht via one of the turbine helicopters onboard. He bought it from media mogul David Geffen for $200 million, and is now down to only one or two superyachts.

The experience was a real microcosm (macrocosm?) of modern western life, and frightening in a strange way.

My donkey said...

To paraphrase Emerson Pugh: "If the human brain was simple enough to understand, we'd be too simple to understand it."

This can be reworked into: "The general populace is too stupid to realize how stupid it is."

Which would explain why most of the folks who got excited about Obama's "hope & change" bullshit 8 years ago are also getting excited about Bernie Sanders now; they're simply too stupid to stop themselves. It also explains why the overwhelming majority of people will once again vote for the same system that has been run by – and for – rich white criminals since Day One.

George Carlin figured it out 20 years ago in saying "The public suck."

Someone suggested it might not be humanity's fault; total human intelligence might remain constant but as the global population continues to grow, per capita intelligence falls and per capita stupidity rises.

If this is true, we should hit Peak Stupid some time after reaching Peak Population (probably a long lag time because stupidity isn't too swift).

DeVaul said...

I was not even aware that we were in an "election cycle". Here in Kentucky, the cycle is something permanent, as far as I can tell. I always just assumed the odor was coming up from my basement.

Have a safe journey around the Caribbean.

horizonstar said...

Fair winds, Dmitry,

Enjoyed the small towns sprinkled down the length of Eleuthra. Spanish Town & Alice Town have harbors that one could ride out a hurricane in, and like most of the island are off the tourism map.

Further down in the Banana Latitudes, Providencia is the last high island in the Caribbean that has no industrial strength tourism. Just keep an eye out for the mid-ocean offshore reefs if coming from the north. Say hi to Ray when you are in his backyard.


ps I hope the tropics don't completely remove the sharp barbs of your wit that all your readers enjoy!

Jeff Bodony said...

The two party system depends on the ability of one party to serve the corporate agenda when the other party is too discredited to do so.
Lance Selfa'
"Government is the Entertainment division of the Military Industrial complex" Frank Zappa.
Usefull words to help keep things in perspective.

Anonymous said...

A nation without borders is not a nation -- Donald Trump.

Been a reader of DO since I discovered PO many years ago.

But I have to disagree.

The way both sides of the establishment are attacking Trump is a good thing. It tells me that he is a threat to their gravy train.

He's the only one speaking the truth about the mohameddans and their potential for mayhem. And that's not conjecture if you pay attention to ground level reports from Germany and Sweden.

Even the Pope has come out and criticized The Donald, calling him 'not a Christian' because of his proposal to stop unlimited 3rd world immigration to the United States.

At the same time, this Pope lives in Vatican City and last time I checked, the Vatican City is surrounded by what looks to be a 50ft tall wall and it has gates.

When Vatican City starts a mohameddan refugee resettlement program then I will give credence to His Hypocriticalness.

Such is the power of the globalists.

And open borders are only being forced on western Christian nations. Not Israel. Not Japan. Not China. Not Singapore. Not Malaysia. Not Indonesia. Not Afghanistan. Not Pakistan. Not India. Not Saudi Arabia, Yemen, UAE, or Iran.

Why? And who are these powerful advocates of open borders and what do they have to gain by replacing white populations with mohameddans and indigenous south and central Americans?

Putin's Russia and the eastern European (read Slavic Orthodox) countries are the only Christian countries in the world with sensible immigration policies.

And they, like Trump, are demonized by the same media.

Who owns that media? Who owns the primary banking apparatus (central banks)?

The rabbit hole is deep and exploring it quite painful.

My journey started long ago with peakoil.com and runningonempty yahoo list. And Dmitri's first book.

andywade said...

Dmitri, I think you've got too close to the thing you're looking at. The American election isn't meant to be taken seriously - it's a black comedy a la Chris Morris. Whoever wins won't have the power to do anything anyway - look at Obama's attempts to close Guantanamo and bring in some kind of national healthcare system - because the point of political problems isn't that you solve them, it's that you make a lot of money and noteriety by going through the process of pretending to solve them. You know this, if course - your friend / collegue James Kunstler wrote a blog about it called "pretend to the bitter end".

In my local area there is a nuclear power station which is supposed to be built some time soonish. They constantly throw money at various contractors and as the date for construction approaches, put the date back a few years. Then they throw more money at contractors. This power station will probably never produce a single watt of electricity, but it will consume an estimated 10, 15, 20 billion dollarpounds? Who knows? Maybe more. On the other end of the UK there's supposed to be a high speed rail line, which will avoid half the cities it passes and plough through whatever's left of the English countryside after the frackers have finished with it, apart from the constituencies controlled by the government, which it will hilariously dogleg around, adding time to any journey taken until it's no faster than a normal, low speed rail line. If it's ever built, that is. But it won't be built, it'll just suck up cash, as per usual, until the project implodes. And your elections are the same. At some point you realise that these projects aren't power stations or rail lines or Presidencies, they're just hollow, meaningless baubles, sideshows for Joe Public and ATMs for the rich and connected. Don't worry about it. Whoever gets in, The Man will win.

baba t said...

Appreciate the Bill Hicks reference. RIP. It is amazing how prescient he was. Along with George Carlin he is the best T bomber ever. I really wish both of them were alive to see this fiasco.

Christopher said...

I find the election to be really entertaining at this time. I view the U.S. mainstream and things like elections as signs of what is going underneath the surface. I notice first that the Republican "debates" are truly incoherent--a grab bag of signals to various elites hoping to be their guy. Everyone running knows there are guns (although I don't think guns are likely to be used again in political assassinations since there are so many better and easier ways these days) pointed at them and money ready to sail their way. Lots of carrots and sticks and the Republicans are dancing marionettes--except for Trump and he is a mystery. Just what is he doing? Is he a sign that the elites have lost control?

As for the Democrats, I take Sanders more seriously than most who oppose the system. He has decided that rather than attack the system as a whole he will attack a segment of the system, the finance oligarchs, by keeping his options open with the very powerful Israel lobby and the Military Industrial Complex. Which, I believe, are all engaged in a power struggle. The situation is very complex but I'll boil it down to this: the current trade agreements signal an end to the nation state and this idea is a finance oligarch plan to shift all power to themselves. The military and security people feel uneasy about that and want to maintain their power which is based on force of arms both in war and covert ops. If they lose the nation state they will have to hire out as mercenaries and, in reality, lose power to be the drivers of political reality. BTW, both sides are just power-hungry where parts of each side have some higher purpose perhaps--the uniformed military still has cadre who are patriotic and want to live in a decent country as they see it that isn't only about profit and domination. And the finance oligarchs want a multi-cultural society with gays, women, or whoever having equal rights to the other serfs.

Is there hope? Yes, Sanders can infect the body politic with ideas that could erupt suddenly as ideas do tend to do, i.e. paradigm shifts do happen and Trump could shake up the political situation as you say with some truth. My impression is that Trump is very sympathetic to alternate views like those of Alex Jones and my old friend Roger Stone whose opinion I respect but often disagree with. Roger says (I don't associate with him these days and haven't spoken to him in twenty years) that Trump is honest in his desire to do something good for the country and I think he may be right. His appeal to racism is just honesty to go along with genuine mean-spiritedness and bigotry. When he talks I always think of guys I used to hang out with in bars after quite a few drinks who say the stupidest shit you can imagine but we laugh and laugh. The fact is most people in the USA are racist and chauvinist but many hide it, particularly upper-middle class--the rich fucks don't bother to hide it, believe me, as Trump likes to say (you can put in a few repetitions to get the message). Trump is a kind of mirror of who we are and that is going to make life more bearable in this land of opium eaters (which is increasingly true in a literal way).

Lois said...

Yes, yes, by all means, just go sailing for as long as you can -- and avoid plastic islands. Give a yell out to Mike while you're out there. You might be surprised. Best wishes, Lois

Anonymous said...

Bizarrely, people willingly vote for the lesser evil and then complain about the ensuing evil.