Tag Archives | politics

Caveat Emptor

By Jim Wright

Whether the mask is labeled fascism, democracy, or dictatorship of the proletariat, our great adversary remains the apparatus – the bureaucracy, the police, the military. Not the one facing us across the frontier of the battle lines, which is not so much our enemy as our brothers’ enemy, but the one that calls itself our protector and makes us its slaves. No matter what the circumstances, the worst betrayal will always be to subordinate ourselves to this apparatus and to trample underfoot, in its service, all human values in ourselves and in others.
Simone Weil

We will have a military like we’ve never had before.”

What does that mean?

No. No. Stop. Don’t wave your hands and make vague noises.

Don’t roll your eyes and sigh.

Stop and think about it.

Answer the question.

I mean, it sounds good. Make American Great Again. We’ll have a military like we’ve never had before. Sure. Sure. Who wouldn’t want that? What patriotic American wouldn’t want a … um, well, whatever kind of military he’s talking about? It must be better than the one we have now. Right? Must be. Sure. Let’s get us some of that. Got to be better. Bigger. More powerful. Shinier. Yeah! USA! USA!


I mean, right?

But, well, not to unpatriotic and all, but better … how, exactly?

You did notice that Trump never actually tells you this. Ever.

There’s a reason for that.

You see, the Long Con is based on simple human nature. A confidence game that plays on greed, pride, desperation, fear, hope. Which is why religion is often so very successful at it. It takes it takes skill and commitment to pull off a long-con, weeks, months, years even, to groom the suckers, until the mark finally hands over his money of his own free will. …read more

Via:: Stone Kettle Station




By Jim Wright

Someone asked, “What would you say to someone considering joining the military right now?”

My answer?


Flip, I suppose. Terse, certainly. But that’s my recommendation nonetheless. Don’t.

It doesn’t need to be any more elaborate than that, if you understand what you’re asking.

It doesn’t require any more words than that, if you understand what you’re asking.

If you understand what you’re asking.


Simple as that.

But, of course, it’s not that simple.

And, of course, it didn’t end there.

How could it?

I mean, if you had to ask, well…

Those you who follow me on Twitter, you saw the responses.


Many seemed shocked, surprised, as if they expected a career veteran like me to have answered differently.

But why? They asked. Why would you tell people not to join the military? You did. You spent 20 years and more in the military, why would you, you of all people, tell others not to join up? Are you one of them? One of those disgruntled vets, all sour and angry and ashamed of your service?


No, I’m not one of them.

Not at all.

I’m proud of my service. I’m glad I served. Even when the war was unjust and ill-conceived and based on lies, my service, and that of those who served beside me and under my command, was honorable. I’m proud of my service and those I served with. I am neither bitter nor angry nor ashamed of it. Just the opposite and I’ve written enough about my career here that such should be obvious.

But this world, this America today, is not the same nation it was when I signed up.

I was no idealist. I joined up for a number of reasons, some good, some dumb, some I’ve told you about about in …read more

Via:: Stone Kettle Station



Damned Lies

By Jim Wright

America is a nation of builders. We built the Empire State Building in just one year. Isn’t it a disgrace that it can now take ten years just to get a minor permit approved for the building of a simple road?
US President Donald J. Trump, State of the Union speech, 1/30/2018

America is a nation of builders.

We built the Empire State Building in just one year.

Isn’t it a disgrace that it can now take ten years – ten years! – just to get a minor permit for a simple road?

If I had to pick one line from Trump’s State of the Union speech, one line that summarizes today everything wrong with America, that would be the line. That one right there: America is a nation of builders. We built the Empire State Building in just one year. Isn’t it a disgrace that it can now take ten years just to get a minor permit approved for the building of a simple road?

Begin at the beginning: America is a nation of builders.

What does that mean?

No. I’m serious. What does that mean?

“Builders” implies building things. What things? Houses? Skyscrapers? Bridges? Roads? That’s the context, isn’t it? That’s what Trump was talking about. Infrastructure. It sounds good, but what does it mean? All nations build those things. What identifies us as a “nation of builders” different from other nations who build things?

And I strongly suspect that those nations, such as Iraq, who have been on the receiving end of our artillery and missiles for the last decade and a half would argue this boast. For them, we are destroyers not builders. But I digress.

What does he mean, a nation of builders?

This is not a rhetorical question. Trump routinely makes statements of fact, that upon …read more

Via:: Stone Kettle Station



Dirty Tricks

By Jim Wright

You must pursue this investigation of Watergate even if it leads to the president. I’m innocent. You’ve got to believe I’m innocent. If you don’t, take my job.
Richard Nixon

What do you think about this memo, Jim? You think there’s anything to it?

A rather large amount of my email this week conerns The Memo.

The secret memo drafted by House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes, which allegedly describes some kind of chicanery at the FBI, particularly within the Russia Investigation. The Memo was supposedly written by Nunes and his staff, and is supposedly based on “highly classified” information that only a select group of House lawmakers have access to.

Now, naturally the various and assorted frothy conservatives have seized on this supposed memo as “evidence” of some “deep state” which is somehow in some way doing something something gazpacho to undermine Trump – and therefore America.

Now, this memo, because of its supposed high level of classification, can’t be released to the public.

Thus the problem: We are so far just required to take Devin Nunes word for it.

Apparently the memo is so classified, it can’t even be shown to members of the Senate. Which is currently pissing off Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr to no end. And in addition to the Senate, Nunes has apparently rejected requests from the Federal Bureau of Investigation itself and the Justice Department to view the document.

Which is damned curious.

Because it would appear a large number of Republican congressman have seen this supposedly classified memo and, like my own idiot representative Matt Gaetz from the festering carbuncle that is Florida’s District 1, they are on every talk show in the country describing how it’s finally going to take down all of their political enemies and vindicate every suspicion they ever …read more

Via:: Stone Kettle Station