Watergate

“The first public statement of a defense was made by Nixon on June 22, 1972—that nobody in his White House was involved in this bizarre incident—and Nixon’s final firewall explanation of his defense was issued eleven months later, on May 22, 1973; the latter followed the firing of his top aides, including your author, who had become the centerpiece of his defense.”

“The Nixon Defense: What He Knew and When He Knew It” by John W. Dean

For those interested in researching and understanding more about Watergate from the original recordings-

http://nixon.archives.gov/virtuallibrary/tapeexcerpts/index.php

http://web2.millercenter.org/rmn/audiovisual/whrecordings/

visualization

Years ago I studied many disciplines, including Zen and Raj Yoga. While certainly such things as “thoughts and prayers” seem useless to me because one is focusing on an unknown and probably false concept of thinking that God or some entity has some magical power to interfere and set things right. What the above mentioned disciplines encourage is to find that “God-like” quality within yourself to be spiritually positive about your life.
Part of these concepts is “visualization.” Each of us has the ability to visualize the things we need and want. For example, I have found that if I wanted some material thing, I visualized it first and then went backwards to determine how to get it. The solution may well be something as simple as saving the money necessary to acquire it. I look at every point in time as a crossroads where I could go either way. The thought process is predicated on something like if I buy that candy bar, I may be happy in that moment, but does that do anything to get my dream of something more expensive since I will have to save much more money than the price of the candy bar. This requires planning and determining what is more important.
Something more abstract like keeping a positive mindset requires acknowledgement of negativity, yet realize and then visualize that being positive is the only way to overcome that negativity. In our universe, in our world, there cannot be good without evil, want without not having and so on throughout each and every material or spiritual desire. Feeling overwhelmed by the seemingly futility of just living day to day causes the mind to focus not on solutions to any problem but simply being immersed in negativity to the point that becomes one’s sole mantra.
Each and everyone of us each second, each minute, each hour, each day and so on, faces that dichotomy of being so within ourselves that it seems hopeless. This becomes a loop that feeds upon itself. We see examples of this everyday- hate, racism and irrationality- that in turn becomes a never-ending focus on the outside world instead of finding the space within ourselves to better our lives without saying or thinking it’s someone else’s fault “I am not a better person.”

social media

I have been on the Internet for some 20+ years. In that time, it has morphed, not evolved since I see that as a positive, into a platform that has mixed messages, much of which is obvious, or what should be obvious, propaganda for the corporate state, that peculiar form of fascism in which corporations rule the petty kingdom of hate, misogyny and racism to name a few.
Yet I see people perpetuate personal oriented memes or events that have little to do with creating a world that is better for all. These are tedious distractions designed to fill one’s head with thoughts that has no relevance to day to day existence. This crap is touted as being some sort “new” way for the modern person to control their world. Of course none of this “debate” is oriented to real solutions, real ideas to actually do something besides bomb, pollute, destroy clean energy or increasing military spending instead of promoting peace and harmony throughout the world as so many religions blast loudly each and every day.
Just the other day we had folks breathlessly announcing that the Trump Administration is setting aside a whole month devoted to publicizing human trafficking and sexual slavery. What a good thing! However, how can we expect the United States who is devoted to terrorizing whole countries and their peoples to actually do something besides actually fostering the very same thing they are giving such blatant lip service?
Let’s get real! The world’s problems are not solved by some publicity-oriented propaganda to show hypocritical good intentions. What goes a long way to actually doing something to stop human exploitation is to feed, clothe and house people. No one out there is expecting to not pay for these human rights by their labor, by their blood, by their dignity no matter what regressive bullshit perpetuates. And this folks is what the wide gap between bullshit and actually working to get the corporate state moving to do much better than just declarations…

boycott

People don’t understand Wall Street. Somehow they think they can single out a business or two or three that is publicly traded when the same oligarchs control and manipulate stocks of every major business with as little as eight percent ownership. The rest are small potatoes that have little or no impact on the bottom line…

PsychRev

Like any complicated explanation of any idea, event or even people, one must read all of a book, see all of the movie and all of the television show. As Gustave Le Bon explains, “The great events which shape the destinies of peoples— revolutions, for example, and the outbreak of religious beliefs— are sometimes so difficult to explain that one must limit oneself to a mere statement.” While seemingly contradictory, this is a great insight to what humanity reduces complications to mere feelings or one could say encoded in our DNA.
Le Bon writing before the modern age notes “So long as psychology regards beliefs as voluntary and rational they will remain inexplicable. Having proved that they are usually irrational and always involuntary, I was able to propound the solution of this important problem; how it was that beliefs which no reason could justify were admitted without difficulty by the most enlightened spirits of all ages.”
Further explaining the seemingly unexplainable, Gustave Le Bon expounds his thesis, “I arrived at the conclusion that beside the rational logic which conditions thought, and was formerly regarded as our sole guide, there exist very different forms of logic: affective logic, collective logic, and mystic logic, which usually overrule the reason and engender the generative impulses of our conduct.”
Revolutions, usually meant the overthrow of a “ancient regime” by violence, can also be done with mere thoughts, even if eventually finished with violence. And so Le Bon concludes that “The historians who have judged the events of the French Revolution in the name of rational logic could not comprehend them, since this form of logic did not dictate them.”
“A revolution cannot be effected without the assistance or at least the neutrality of the army, but it often happens that the movement commences without it.”
Reading this book can help understand what shapes the changes needed for societies to advance, to become more responsive to what everyone knows must happen but are resisted by forces that are by nature irrational.

“The Psychology of Revolution” by Gustave Le Bon

systems

Over the years, we have heard from politicians, academics and media pundits telling us all about the differences between economic systems. While certainly it’s somewhat different paths to follow but what always matters is how economics affects and its effects on common folk.
History tells us that royals morphed the ability to exchange products to money by setting prices and the ability to trade within the state from closed to even state sanctioned monopolies. The merchant class rose by cornering the markets and becoming the middle men between producers and consumers by means of distribution as populations increased. Merchants eventually became powerful enough by paying “taxes” to the royal state and in some cases financing small armies to further their agendas. As long as royals benefitted from this system without having to “dirty” their proverbial hands this system went on for centuries.
In turn, money became the mediating factor between consumers and producers. Its value was determined in large part by being portable enough to represent a bushel of grain for example in exchange for a coin. Labor was devalued since individual worth depended on the ability to produce profits. Eventually, the monetary system morphed into paper backed by some metal or some value such as land or even people, better known as the corporation.
Modern times has seen a further development where money became merely paper or contracts backed solely by “trust.” Fiat currency expanded the money supply so that inflation was built into the system and thus labor became less “worthy” than the ability to hold paper representing the profit of those who held the contract.
Each laborer became a cog in the machine of the corporate state which was guaranteed profits from that labor. In turn labor was expected to consume products which enhanced those holding the paper power.
The politicians, academics and media pundits sold this latest morphed fiat system as capitalism. Eventually a system known as communism was touted as the antithesis to capitalism in which labor was supposedly guaranteed an “equal” or adequate share.
All this was essentially a big lie. Labor and common folk were then required to line up behind one system or another, like religion, depending on where one was born and where one died. These two systems were designed to create animosity between states so that the elites could carry on their long tradition of devaluing labor that produced all the “profits.” And that is where we are today.

racism

FWIW department- I was born in 1949 and raised in Virginia so I can tell you that racism is truly “inbred.” My parents were racists, although they were nicer than most towards blacks. It must have been late 50s and early 60s when I saw the Freedom Marchers on TV being gassed, bit by dogs and generally treated like dirt all because they wanted to vote, to exercise their rights as citizens and generally get decent jobs and so on. In my childhood naivety I couldn’t understand how people could treat other folks so badly because of the color of their skin. When I studied Martin Luther King and all he wanted, I could see that America was truly a crazy place. In my own childish way I sat on the back of the bus with the blacks or even gave up my seat so a black could sit. I would intentionally drink out of designated black water fountains and sit at the black only lunch counters. The waitress would say “you can’t sit here it’s for blacks only” and I would reply “But I’m white.” By the time I started demonstrating against Vietnam in 1969, my dad said to me “Why are you demonstrating with all those niggers?” I told him “We are all niggers, cannon fodder for rich peoples’ wars.”

Voltaire

“…we have lived through the barbarities of the Bush régime, which seemed determined to take America, and the world, a long way back, and in the process to undermine the values both of the Enlightenment and of their own founding fathers. On the other, we face an increasing threat of terrorist violence by Islamic fundamentalists, who seem determined to take the world even further back, overthrowing not merely the values of the West but also those of their own much earlier version of the Enlightenment.”

“Voltaire: A Life” by Ian Davidson

Talbot

I recommend reading any number of books by Strobe Talbot who was a sycophant of Bill Clinton to get an understanding of the behind the scenes of the end of Soviet Russia. I’m not saying Talbot was entirely honest but if you are able to read in between the lines, you’ll get a better picture of Russia today and how the extreme right took over their government. Also read as much as you can about Averill Harriman and how he arranged loans to the Soviets- my take on all this is that the USA i.e. Capitalists needed a boogey man to contrast the “freedom” of the west financial markets. Of course all this was eventually replaced by the “Islamic threat.” These dichotomies are needed to contrast the “good guys” and the “bad guys” for any number of reasons. Also there is an obscure book- “The Rise of the Extreme Right in Russia- Black Hundred” by Walter Laqueur- published in 1993- that tells and predicts the Russia of today and gives an insight in why the right wing loves Russia so much today…

Also understand that the neoliberal demonization of Russia is a dog and pony show of the worse sort- that Clintonistas love the extreme right wing of Russia as much as the GOP does. To think any different shows an ignorance of the background of Putin and his oligarchs.

Korea

“A war that killed upwards of four million people, 35,000 of them Americans, is remembered mainly as an odd conflict sandwiched between the good war (World War II) and the bad war (Vietnam).”

“At the height of McCarthyism in the early 1950s, he directed his indefatigable curiosity to the origins and conduct of the war, at a time when our liberal newspaper of record, the New York Times, was suggesting that war protesters should be jailed— a time when the McCarran Internal Security Act, passed by Congress in September 1950, authorized detention camps for dissenters. Stone shopped the book to dozens of publishers, all of whom saw it as too much of a “hot potato,” until finally Monthly Review Press agreed to bring it out.”

Bruce Cumings, Preface “The Hidden History of the Korean War: 1950-1951 (Forbidden Bookshelf)” by I. F. Stone,