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Alexander Mercouris…Dutch MH17 report’s “elephant in the room”…Ukrainian BUK missile launchers active in East Ukraine right before tragedy

A comprehensive look at the Dutch MH17 report, the shortfalls of the inquiry, its legality and what lies ahead, as the West continues to slowly drip feed information on the tragic event in an effort to cover up its war and aggression in Ukraine.

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In the weeks leading up to the publication of the Dutch Safety Board’s report into the MH17 tragedy, the drum beat from the Western media was that it would say MH17 was shot down by a BUK surface to air missile launched from militia controlled Snezhnoe.

In the event, when the report was published, it confirmed that MH17 had been shot down by a BUK surface to air missile, but failed to identify the precise launch point.  

It instead identified a huge area extending over 320 square kilometres, from any part of which it said the BUK missile could possibly have been launched, whilst admitting that more forensic tests were needed to confirm this.  

Whilst Shezhnoe lies just within this area, at the time of the tragedy the area was a bitterly contested war zone, and it is simply impossible to infer that it was definitely the militia who launched the missile from this area, if it was indeed from this area that the missile was launched.

Almaz-Antey, the BUK missile system’s manufacturer, continues to insist – as it did previously – that the launch point was not in this area at all, but was at Zaroshchenskoye, a settlement 7 kilometres south of Shakhtorsk, which was controlled at the time by the Ukrainian army.

To those of us familiar with the Western media, the disappointment at the failure to pinpoint the launch point was obvious.

The report received little coverage, and was quickly relegated to the back pages.  By the following day as a news story it was dead.

Tjibbe Joustra, the chair of the inquiry, was so obviously embarrassed that after delivering the report he refused to take questions.

Instead he spoke to some Dutch journalists in the corridors of the Dutch parliament building where – away from Russian journalists – he did say the BUK missile was launched from militia controlled territory.

In doing so Joustra went beyond what is in his own report.

What happened that prevented the report giving a precise answer to this critical question?

It is not in fact difficult to reconstruct what happened, though one has to go to Russian sources to do it.

The Russian aviation agency Rosaviation says the first draft of the report did identify Snezhnoe as the launch point.

When the Russians were provided with the first draft, they vigorously complained that their input was being ignored.  According to some reports, they took their complaints directly to the head of the International Civil Aviation Organisation(the “ICAO”).

It seems that as a result the report was watered down, leaving the precise launch point unidentified.

In the process the Dutch Safety Board has hidden behind the claim that under ICAO rules it lacks the authority to determine the precise launch point.  This is a claim it has made before, and which is often made by its defenders.

Supposedly its report is a purely forensic report limited to the question of what caused the crash – a BUK missile or some other malfunction or object – and which is not concerned with who launched the BUK missile and from where it was launched.

This claim is based on a misreading of Annex 13 to the Convention on Civil Aviation, which sets out the rules and procedures for air accident investigations.

Annex 13 prohibits an air accident inquiry from apportioning blame or liability, and says that these are questions that need to be dealt with separately.

That however reflects the fact that an air accident inquiry conducted under Annex 13 is set up to establish how an accident happened.

It is not a court of law, able to decide legal questions.

Blame and liability are legal questions, which only a court of law, not an accident inquiry, can determine. 

Annex 13 in no way limits an accident inquiry from carrying out a full and thorough investigation of an air crash to establish how it happened.  On the contrary it requires it.

Nor does Annex 13 prevent an accident inquiry from interviewing witnesses.  On the contrary paragraph 5.4 of Annex 13 specifically provides for it.

Nor does Annex 13 say an accident inquiry cannot identify persons whose actions might have led to the air crash.  As it happens the report does identify some of the persons who were responsible for the MH17 air crash, namely the Ukrainian authorities, who it says failed to close the air corridor through which MH17 was flying as they should have done since the air corridor lay over a war zone.

The report avoids using witness evidence, with responsibility to obtain such evidence being passed to the Joint Inquiry Team (“JIT”) that is carrying out a parallel criminal probe.

This brings to the fore the precise relationship between the Dutch Safety Board, whose inquiry was conducted under Annex 13 and whose report has just been published, and the JIT.

The Dutch Safety Board’s inquiry originates from UN Security Council Resolution 2166, passed immediately following the tragedy, which requires “a full, thorough and independent international investigation into the incident in accordance with international civil aviation guidelines” (ie. Annex 13).

Resolution 2166 makes no reference to an investigation undertaken by a body like the JIT.  That investigation was set up independently soon after Resolution 2166 was passed, without reference to the Security Council, by a group of states including the Netherlands, Belgium, Australia and Ukraine following private discussions between each other (Malaysia joined several months later).

The setting up of a second inquiry under a veil of secrecy before the “full, thorough and independent international investigation” set up by the Security Council had even begun its work is extraordinary and points to the error made by Australia’s inexperienced foreign minister Julie Bishop when she proposed Resolution 2166.

She failed to realise that an inquiry set up by the Security Council under “civil aviation guidelines” would mean an inquiry in which the Russians had a say.

That is why the Russians – to Bishop’s surprise – voted for Resolution 2166 and why a few weeks later, probably following angry recriminations behind the scenes, an entirely different inquiry independent of the Security Council and not bound by “international civil aviation guidelines” and from which the Russians were excluded, was hurriedly set up.

What that has meant in practice is that the Dutch Safety Board has decanted responsibility for the more difficult work it ought to have done to the JIT.  In order to justify doing that, it is hiding behind a narrow interpretation of Annex 13.

As it happens so far from being prevented by Annex 13 from identifying the launch point the report discusses the question at length and even solicits technical advice about it.

If it was Russian intervention that knocked the inquiry off its intended course, have we nonetheless learnt anything from its report?

It is now clear beyond doubt that MH17 was shot down by a BUK surface to air missile.

Those who have persisted with the SU25 theory need now to accept this fact.  The shrapnel evidence is conclusive, and they are arguing with Almaz-Antey – the BUK missile system’s manufacturer – not just with the Ukrainians and with the Dutch Safety Board.  That is a hopeless position to take, and those taking it risk losing credibility and becoming marginalised in any further discussions about this tragedy.

We also now know that the BUK missile used to shoot down MH17 was an older version of the missile, still used by the Ukrainians, but not apparently by the Russians.

The report has accepted Almaz-Antey’s first claim that the BUK missile was of a type the Russians stopped making some time ago.

Based on further analysis Almaz-Antey now says the BUK missile was an even older variant than they originally thought, which stopped being made as long ago as 1986 (ie. before the USSR broke up).

Regardless of which variant of the BUK missile was used, if it is indeed the case that both of these types of BUK missile are no longer used by the Russian military, then the Russian military’s direct involvement in the tragedy becomes extremely unlikely and can for practical purposes be excluded.

The report has not adopted Almaz-Antey’s latest finding on the age of the missile, possibly because it came too late for it to be included in the report or – more probably – because the Ukrainians reject it.

The information that the BUK missile that shot down MH17 was an early generation missile no longer in service with the Russian military does not however prove that MH17 was shot down by the Ukrainian military.

It leaves open the possibility the militia captured the missile from the Ukrainians, as some reports suggest and as the German intelligence agency the BND apparently believes, or that it was taken out of a reserve stock of old missiles held somewhere in Russia and was smuggled across the border.

The report casts doubt on the claim the militia captured an operational BUK missile launcher at a Ukrainian military base.  The Ukrainians say the launcher the militia captured was not operational.  Western intelligence sources appear to agree.

As for the claim that the claim that a BUK missile launcher was smuggled across the border, that claim remains completely unsubstantiated, and we now know from the report that despite the size of the BUK missile system Western intelligence had no information before the tragedy that the militia possessed such a system (see below).

The report shows how busy the air corridor through which MH17 flew was at the time of the tragedy.  It seems a large proportion of the aircraft using the corridor were Russian, which argues against the Russians supplying the militia with a BUK system, which might put their own aircraft at risk.

To conclude, the fact the BUK missile that shot MH17 down was an old version of the missile apparently no longer used by the Russian military does tend to point to the Ukrainian military, but does not conclusively prove their involvement.

In all other respects the report is unsatisfactory.

It does not identify the precise launch point.

It makes no mention of the US satellite imagery US Secretary of State Kerry in an interview given 3 days after the tragedy said the US has in its possession.  

The report does not even say whether or not this evidence even exists or whether the Dutch Safety Board has asked to see it.

There are suggestions this evidence is so highly classified it cannot be disclosed or even discussed.

The report however refers – albeit at second hand – to radar evidence from NATO AWACS aircraft provided to the Dutch Safety Board at its request by the NATO command.  That evidence presumably is also classified.

There may be a good reason why the NATO AWACS evidence has been declassified to the point where it can be discussed in the report, whilst the US satellite evidence has not been declassified so that it apparently cannot be discussed or even mentioned in the report.  However if so we do not know what that reason is.

The elephant in the room that the report refuses to see is however the Ukrainian BUK missile launchers we know from Russian satellite imagery were present in the area at the time of the tragedy.  

Attempts to discredit the Russian images of these launchers have been made by the Ukrainian authorities and by Bellingcat.  They have ended in abject failure.  The presence in the area at the time of the tragedy of these launchers is incontrovertible.

The report in fact admits that the Ukrainians were known before the tragedy to have had anti-aircraft systems capable of shooting down MH17 in the area.  The report does not however say that some of these were BUK missile launchers.

The report makes no reference to these launchers though their relevance to the question of how MH17 was shot down is all too obvious.

The silence about the Ukrainian BUK missile launchers contrasts oddly with the report’s lengthy discussion of the anti-aircraft systems the militia was believed to possess before the tragedy took place.  Inconclusive speculations about militia anti-aircraft systems were apparently considered more worthy of inclusion in the report than incontrovertible evidence of the presence of Ukrainian BUK missile systems, despite the fact that it was a BUK missile that shot MH17 down, and despite the fact the Ukrainians have a previous history of shooting down civilian airliners with such missiles.

As it happens the report confirms that neither the Dutch nor it seems the intelligence agency of any other Western power believed before the tragedy that the militia possessed anti-aircraft systems capable of shooting MH17 down, even though other Ukrainian aircraft had been shot down in the previous days over the same area, and even though the area was under the close observation of Western intelligence agencies.

The silence in the report about the Ukrainian BUK missile launchers continues the pattern of Western silence about these launchers that has been evident ever since the Russians first revealed them in their intelligence presentation of 21st July 2014.  It is doubtful that more than a tiny fraction of the Western public knows about them.  If it did it would radically alter the Western public’s view of the tragedy.

However the single greatest flaw of the report is its failure to take heed of the Russian technical advice – specifically that of Almaz-Antey – even though it is the properties of a Russian weapons system – the BUK missile of which Almaz-Antey is the manufacturer – which is being discussed.

In the case of Almaz-Antey insult is added to injury by the way its advice is misrepresented in the report so as to make it seem that Almaz-Antey has corroborated the Dutch Safety Board’s view that the missile was launched from within the 320 square kilometre area the Dutch Safety Board identifies as the probable launch area.  Almaz-Antey actually pinpoints the launch point as being outside this area, but the report makes no mention of the fact.

Even if Almaz-Antey’s objectivity as a Russian state company is doubted, its expertise as the BUK missile’s manufacturer ought to grant its opinion a measure of attention and respect.  It should at the very least be the subject of comment and discussion, even if it is in the end rejected.

One senses that the Dutch Safety Board was intimidated by Almaz-Antey’s expertise and was afraid to take Almaz-Antey directly on, but could not accept Almaz-Antey’s advice because it contradicted the Dutch Safety Board’s pre-formed opinions about the tragedy.   It therefore simply ignored the advice.

The result is an incomplete and inconclusive report.

What happens now?

Now that the Dutch Safety Board has released its report, the focus shifts to the criminal probe being undertaken by the JIT.

Since this probe is being conducted under a veil of secrecy – with Ukraine having a veto on release of any information – we know very little about it.  Supposedly it will report some time next year, with the suggestion that this is taking longer than was originally anticipated.

Since we know so little about this investigation it is impossible to assess the quality of the evidence it possesses.  It does not so far seem to include the witness evidence of the political and military leaderships of the two sides, or of the personnel of the various military units, or the log books and communications records of the various military units involved, which look to me essential if a successful prosecution is to be brought.  There is no information of this evidence being collected, as there surely would be if it was.

Certainly a successful prosecution would have to rely on evidence significantly stronger than the vague conclusions about the launch site in the Dutch Safety Board’s report, and the social media images and the probably in large measure fabricated radio intercepts beloved of Bellingcat and Elliott Higgins, to stand any real prospect of success in any remotely impartial or independent court.

Assuming there is enough evidence to bring a case, to which court would it be brought?

Since the alleged crime was one that is supposed to have taken place on Ukrainian territory, if a prosecution is brought, the courts with jurisdiction to try it are the Ukrainian courts.

No one takes that possibility seriously.  An attempt to set up an independent tribunal was however blocked in the UN Security Council by the Russians, who were never consulted about the setting up of the JIT and who consider it a device to undermine the inquiry set up by Resolution 2166, which they voted for.

In a recent Crosstalk programme for RT in which I participated, the scholar and writer John Laughland suggested that moves might be underway to conduct the prosecution before the International Criminal Court in the Hague.

Whilst that is a possibility, there would be significant legal difficulties.   The Rome Statute under which the International Criminal Court was set up does not give it jurisdiction to try crimes committed during internal conflicts.

A way round this might be found, but there would be a risk that in that case that might lead to calls for crimes committed during the conflict by the Ukrainian government to be put under the International Criminal Court’s scrutiny as well.  Needless to say that would not be something the Western powers would welcome.

There must also be some people in Washington uncomfortable with the idea of treating the accidental shooting down of a civilian airliner over a war zone as a crime, given that it is something the US has done in the past itself and could conceivably do again.

The uncertainty about which court would try any case the JIT brings – assuming such a case is ever brought – is a reflection of the hurried and secretive way in which the JIT was set up, with no one thinking the implications through.

There must be some people in Washington and Brussels who are by now wondering whether bringing a case is worth the trouble, given how thin the evidence is likely to be, especially at a time when efforts are underway to de escalate the Ukrainian conflict.

The fact that assurances have to be given repeatedly to reassure the Western public and the families of the victims that the resolve to bring the perpetrators to justice remains unchanged, is a sure sign such doubts exist.

One way to get round the difficulty – and to avoid the embarrassment of simply dropping the case – might be to bring charges against lesser people on the grounds that the more important people who were supposedly responsible are either dead or beyond reach.

It is anyway inconceivable that the Russians – who have repeatedly made it known that they will never extradite anybody – will surrender anyone accused of a crime to the JIT or to any court considering a case brought by it, and that fact alone makes it unlikely a trial will ever take place.

Regardless of what happens to the JIT, one case is already underway.

This is the case Almaz-Antey is bringing before the European Court of Justice against the sanctions the European Council has imposed on it.

As of now, on the basis of Almaz-Antey’s presentation and in light of previous precedents, that case looks undefendable.

It will be interesting to see if the lawyers who advise the European Council are of the same view, and if they take any steps to settle it.

There is a third case that is now round the corner.

Prior to the shooting down of MH17 the Ukrainians claimed the Russians had shot down two of their aircraft: an AN26 transport and an SU25 ground attack bomber.

These aircraft were flying in the same general area in which MH17 was shot down.

The Ukrainians say these aircraft were flying at an altitude of more than 6,000 metres, much higher than short range man portable anti aircraft missiles (“MANPADS”) of the sort known to have been possessed by the militia could reach.

The Ukrainians claimed these aircraft were shot down by the Russians using either a Pantsir surface to air missile or an air to air missile launched by a MiG29 fighter.

Those claims are almost certainly untrue.

As the report says, examination of the wreckage of the AN26 suggests it was shot down at a much lower altitude than the Ukrainians say, almost certainly by a MANPADS missile.

The Ukrainians however refuse to retreat from these claims.

By doing so they have hoisted themselves on their own petard.

By claiming some of their aircraft were shot down from a much higher altitude than a MANPADS missile can reach, the Ukrainians have opened themselves up to criticism in the report that they should have closed the airspace through which MH17 was flying to commercial aircraft.

This criticism almost certainly exposes the Ukrainians to claims in negligence from the victims’ families.

It is likely Western governments, who the report says were given this information by the Ukrainians but who also failed to warn their aircraft to stay away from the area, are now exposed to claims in negligence as well.

There are difficulties of sovereign immunity and jurisdiction in the way of bringing such claims.  Ways round these obstacles however almost certainly exist.  It is a certainty there are lawyers looking for those ways as I write this.

If or rather when claims in negligence are brought, it will be interesting to see if Almaz-Antey is called as an expert witness.  If that happen then the situation will become, as the lawyers say, very interesting.

 

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Politics: The Cancer that must be Eradicated once and for all

In the United States two political parties have now divided the nation with the kind of violent partisan rhetoric that erupted just before the Civil War.

Paul Kindlon

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The 2016 election of Donald Trump as president set off a tidal wave of anger and resentment that has divided America into two bitterly opposed camps. Those on the left consider Trump to be the embodiment of evil whereas many on the right see him as a “disrupter” and champion of the common man. The recent mid-term elections revealed that this conflict between pro-Trump and anti-Trump forces continues unabated. The political divide in America now is characterized by revenge-minded Democrats who are determined to remove Trump from office and those who will fight to prevent this from happening. As a result, the country will be mired in a lengthy political power struggle while important issues affecting the lives of millions will be neglected. America – sad to say – is currently a nation in crisis.

If a team of scientific crisis management experts were assembled to assess the cause of this problem they would surely arrive at the conclusion that it is “politics” pure and simple. The solution, therefore, would be the abolition of all political parties.

This is actually not a new idea. The French philosopher Simone Weil made this suggestion more than seventy years ago. This seemingly radical proposal has been resurrected and supported by the award-winning Canadian journalist Andrew Nikiforuk. As he pointed out this past summer:

“In the United States two political parties have now divided the nation with the kind of violent partisan rhetoric that erupted just before the Civil War. Across the Western world, political parties have turned parliaments into digital circuses, provoking waves of contempt among ordinary people…by actively preventing party members from speaking for truth or justice, modern political parties cultivate mendacity the way cell phones archive selfies. Party politics demand that politicians must, on a daily basis, lie to the party, lie to the public and lie to themselves.”

This is a damning indictment of politics not just political parties. And it should be clear to any clear-thinking citizen that the time has come to abandon this morally bankrupt system that has mismanaged our affairs through influence peddling and legal bribery innocuously labeled “campaign contributions”.

Weil and Nikiforuk are not anarchists and they are not proposing some form of extreme libertarianism requiring the dismantlement of government. Governing should be left to capable administrators and professional managers who are not beholden to wealthy donors or special interest groups. Rather than being “elected” they should be hired, paid a decent salary and evaluated for performance by a non-partisan committee of informed citizens.

If we fail to take this step then we are doomed to repeat the same mistakes of the past – suffering from a deeply flawed system that only produces corruption, conflict and economic woe.

We must declare total independence from the tyranny of politics before we are crushed under its weight. To borrow the immortal words of Thomas Paine: “The blood of the slain, the weeping voice of nature cries: ‘tis time to part”.

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The America I Once Knew

Butterflies and fenceless backyards…

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The vast majority of baby boomers believe that they grew up in a free country. Was it free? Is it free? It has been said: “America is a free country… until you read the fine print!”

To be fair, freedom in every country is conditional, with the conditions stipulated in footnotes that can take up most of the page. The 1960s generation in the USSR, had little doubt that the USSR was a free country, outside of obvious restrictions like those imposed on travel abroad, restrictions that were easily explained by way of Uncle Sam’s imperialism and related connivances.

In America, the limits to one’s freedom are defined by conditions such as whether one is rocking the economic boat of a competitor or whether one has chosen to
enter the public eye as a politician, an athlete, or as an actor. It is also understood that, “Your liberty to swing your fist ends where my nose begins.” Obama-Clinton’s liberty to support “rainbow fascism” and terrorism, abroad, ended at the noses of millions of voters, as Clinton harshly discovered on election day.

Since asterisks didn’t weigh down the definition of freedom for children in the 50s, baby boomers cherish memories of an era when bicycles were left on front lawns unlocked – overnight, or longer – and back porch doors were always welcomingly ajar. A sense of community, civility, and mutual respect was palpable. Sunday was a day of rest and most stores closed. A significantly greater number of families attended church services than those that didn’t.

Some 65 years later, America is a different planet.

A casual drive through suburban side streets will be quiet enough to hear birds chirping. Not many children, if any, will be playing kickball or chasing butterflies through fenceless backyards. Boy’s won’t be seen throwing dirt bomb grenades in the retaking of the empty lot named Guam and cowboys won’t be roping Indians to an oak, which also nests a treehouse. Dogs won’t be on the loose and no girl on a Schwinn with a dual-toned seat will be seen cruising over to a neighbor’s house to
dress up as mom or to play with Tiny Tears. Girls and boys won’t be seen in a beehive of activity building a clubhouse for reenactments of the latest Mickey Mouse Club episode or in anticipation of grown-up life.

The planet will be drained of life.

It was during a stopover at the grandparents that I roused the kids on a lip-locking freeze of a January morning: “Get up! Perfect sledding conditions!” Indeed, ice had solidly, candy-coated a few inches of snow. Before anyone could ruin perfection with a footprint, I was determined to show a new generation where we used to blaze through frost and tears on Flexible Flyers. The vintage sleds, minus a little shine, were as ready to carve up the slopes as I was.

Approaching a venerable golf course on foot, a closed gate glared, menacingly. It was double, chain-locked. I eventually learned that a lawsuit had been filed against
the club by parents of a child who had recklessly tattooed his face riding into a shrub. All good will on the part of club owners subsequently evaporated. Forever. Not to be daunted, we trekked to another golf course. Considering the time lost and that it was almost noon, I was taken aback by the absence of revelers on the wide
expanses. A few phone calls proved to be transfiguring. The white canvas of the hills became a mural with splashes of color and blurred hues conveying action.

Accompanying laughter echoed throughout and squeals of fright broadcast from speakers doubling as hills. Curiously, we remained the sole pleasure seekers, until several hours later when a limousine neared a side fence, at some distance. Bird-like cautious, a woman could be spotted, exiting the vehicle, apparently, trying to make sense of the ruckus. A boy and a sled appeared near her, both waiting for her verdict. Mother hen apparently nodded the go-ahead, but playtime timed out at 20 minutes. The boy and his sled never reached the real slopes where we had pinned our flag. Just as unobtrusively as the mother-son apparition had materialized, it was gone.

My mind played to comprehend the curt visit and the maternal oversight. “What was it that instigated such protective cluckery? Was it us? Were we violating some written or unwritten law? Were we trespassing? Sure, it’s private property but it’s not fenced in. By merely circling behind the Lutheran church on the West side you’re at the best hill. A cinch. Besides, sledding has always been a tradition, here.”

As we parted the fun into the amber sunset, it sunk in that if I hadn’t taken the initiative, despite ideal conditions, Mt. Suburbia would have remained as virginal
as the peaks of Tibet. Adding two plus two, I began to suspect that in the decades of my absence a new reality had settled over these parts. And, that I had imposed the free-spirited reality of my youth on them. Might it be that in the structured play of today’s youth, playing outside of the box isn’t apropos? It’s no longer in – not cool?

I recalled how family had asked me to pick up a nephew, a high school senior, after basketball practice. “But it’s a seven-minute walk to the house,” I demurred. Upon giving in and making what amounted to a four-minute drive to the school, I noted that my nephew wasn’t the only one. In fact, most of the team was waiting to get picked up, as well. I was flabbergasted. What happened to the coolness of being independent – of being grown-up and not hanging on to mother’s apron?

Anything was better, in my day, even a school bus ride home. A mama’s boy was a sissy who wouldn’t get even an eyebrow of interest from the girls. “What’s going on?”

Indeed, organized events have taken over the present age. That is, children rarely take the initiative to make playtime on their own. It’s precooked. The clock ticks
away at the timelines of youth without a child ever knocking on a neighbor’s door to ask: “Can Ted or Sally come out to play?”

The question molded more than one generation. When I used to peddle off, after breakfast, on my Ross bicycle I would only return to the sound of the dinner bell. Packed between two meals were a solid four or five hundred minutes of stickball, soccer, softball, touch football, kickball and, even, golf. Whoever, showed up in the school yard, boy or girl, participated. It made no difference. A right fielder was always in demand. There was no time for getting fat or even chubby despite plates being licked clean, when no one was looking, of course! There were no cell phones yet everyone knew, when and where, the action was, even if it meant a little extra peddling around the neighborhood. Quite the relic of a memory!

Children still participate in team sports but they’re mostly soccer-mom-structured. Today’s uniforms, which we would have loved to have had, lack home-spun
creativity. Isn’t necessity the mother of invention? What life lessons are there when children take everything for granted and when they’re shuttled like livestock, back and forth, between venues.

A metastasis of political correctness is the presentation of trophies to all participants so as to not discourage the 98 percent who are less than the best. In other words, a reward for outstanding merit and achievement has been merged into the collective, tolerant whole rendering it meaningless. I knew one fat kid in the neighborhood. He wasn’t fat by today’s standards, just a little on the chubby side, yet we called him “fatso” and he was none-the-worse for the honesty. In fact, truth proved to be a motivator because by the time that he entered 7 th Grade, he was as slim as the rest of us.

Mothers did what they had to do – they cooked complete meals, they oversaw homework and chores, they rarely complained about housework, and, if for any reason one breadwinner wasn’t earning enough, they took jobs. They sacrificed for the good of family. Do children need anything more than the demonstration of such dedication and love? Are children better off with so-called liberated mothers, indoctrinated with the propaganda line that their interests come first? How many of society’s ills are spawned by the absence of love from parents?

Without any doubt, baby boomers were leaps and bounds healthier than children, today. No one made sonogram wall posters of fetuses in shopping malls. We
weren’t injected with dozens of vaccines. The sugar cube containing the polio vaccine was about it. Food allergies were extremely rare until mothers were told that formula was healthier. Autism had yet to enter the dictionary. If a child had more than one cold per season, it was likely that the father was a physician.

How many grandparents, looking at the present-day child glued to a gadget, think: “What is to become of this generation?” Is it not a bold experiment? It might be a risky prognosis but the seeds of collectivization are being sown in America with a capital “C.” Followers are being reared, not leaders with initiative, creativity, and courage. Creature comforts make for soft minds to be sculpted by left-leaning professors.

Actually, creativity still has a place but it’s on a screen, which is not necessarily applicable to problem solving in the real world. The life lessons of fishing or camping under inspirational, starlit nights isn’t part of the touch screen algorithm for success. Today’s generation will learn the genetic sequence of a fish gene with the aid of the right app but will children be able to distinguish between a bluefish and a catfish without Google? Or know how to catch a fish, should doomsday hunger ever reshuffle priorities, overnight?

At one point, a little before Clinton & Clinton absconded with the White House furniture, I wanted my children to witness a real Christmas Eve with carols and with all of the stops pulled out. I decided on the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, recalling warm impressions from youth. But I wasn’t prepared for what was served-up.

Instead of celebrating Christmas Eve, we found ourselves in something resembling a pagan Roman, Earth Day circus with overtones of a gay rights parade. When a blessing of the plants and caged animals began – including the blessing of the Devil in the spirit of tolerance, symbolized by a ten-foot-long python shouldered in by several, semi-clad lads in crepe and nylons – I stretched and tugged with haste for the exit. But we were blocked by an elephant, yes, an elephant that had just made its entrance into the cathedral. My mouth dropped as the beast swaggered up the aisle to the alter, a poop bag, at the ready! Thank God, the elephant wasn’t being wed to a giraffe or we might have never squeezed our way out of the cathedral-turned-zoo.

Honestly, I didn’t know what to say to the children. I’m not making this up. Again, the sham of a Christmas Eve occurred in the late 90s. One dares not contemplate what takes place, today, in the Temple of God in the name of poor St. John the Divine. It begins to sink in why the heavens will sing “Hallelujah!” upon the destruction of the great city Babylon.

And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his
servants at her hand. And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever. Rev. 19:1-3. Despite the non-denominational character of my elementary school, we learned the Lord’s Prayer and the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Matt. 7-12. The rest of our introduction to Christian teachings was reserved for Sunday School. No fanaticism – it was bread and butter straighforward.

In First and Second Grades we read Ted and Sally, Dick and Jane, as well as Tuffy and Boots – solid, family-oriented constructions that foster a genuine sense of security in young children. What is upbringing without structure and discipline? I had my mouth washed out by my first-grade teacher for saying, “Shut-up,” after hearing someone else say it. It was the last time that I repeated words that I didn’t understand. Besides, it didn’t look good in the eyes of my crush to be yanked out of class in such disgrace.

First Graders played the role of angels in the nativity scene of the Christmas pageant. And towns weren’t sued over Nativity scene displays. Up to two hours of black and white TV were allowed, weekly, with programming consisting of The Adventures of Rin-Tin-Tin, Heidi, Lassie, and the Mickey Mouse Club. Time limits on cartoons were waived for a sick day, making it quite the holiday. TV-free household were not oddities. Divorces were for Hollywood and when they did take place they, somehow, touched children less than they do, today.

Returning to NYC, for a moment, I witnessed a three-year-old-something toddler on 5 th Avenue bus strike a female passenger. His mother responded with reasoning. “How would you like it if someone did that to you?”

Before she finished asking, he struck another passenger. And it went, on and on. The more that she reasoned, the more he hit people. No one batted an eyelash of admonishment. I watched Carnegie upbringing, in awe. Tempted as I was to intervene, I convinced myself that this is not only not my battle but also one that can’t be won.

When I witnessed a few boys, roughly seven years of age, trampling sand castles diligently constructed by several, younger girls, I ignored it until the same boys returned throwing sand. Laughing through the motions, they stomped, again, on repaired sand castles. With enough of a degree of intent for it to be understood that I meant business, I took each one by the arm and herded them off to their parents, higher up on the beach. I made it clear with an even firmer grip what I would do if they harassed small girls or threw sand, again.

“Don’t test me. I’ll make mincemeat out of you hooligans,” I exclaimed, loud enough for parents to hear. Needless to say, peace and quiet was restored to the lives of a few girls that summer day. The parents didn’t thank me. In fact, their looks and open-mouthed astonishment were defensive, even threatening, as if I was in the wrong. I’m quite certain that never, before, and never, since, have their boys been publicly reprimanded. Herein, lies the problem.

If you’re a Clinton Snowflake, I know that you’re thinking, “Stone Age Dinosaur! How dare he physically handle children that aren’t even his.” “Physical handing doesn’t have to draw blood,” I laugh, when Snowflakes get ruffled. It’s enough for children to respect hierarchy and to understand who lays down the rules and that violating them could be problematic.

If a car is rolling off a cliff, do you run after the car, open the door, and reach for the hand brake or do you tolerate the outcome because it’s not your car, hoping for the best?

On a fishing expedition, I happened to be surfcasting on an interesting beach. To my right was a lifeguard flag delineating a bustling beach with no small number of young people. Equidistant to my left was a clothing optional beach with the greater part of beachgoers being my age. Without understanding what was happening, a hubbub developed to my left. Amidst the shouts and the commotion, an armada of swimmers, floats and rafts forged though waves and currents, stretching some 100 yards into the cold ocean straight out from the point where I had been surfcasting.

A passerby informed me that someone had drowned.

Within 20 minutes, a limp, young man was pulled out of the surf, greyer than death. An ambulance had crossed the dunes and CPR was being administrated. Suddenly, a torrent of water poured out of the victim’s mouth. He was alive.

Reflecting on what I had just witnessed, the contrast between the reactions of the two groupings of beachgoers carved deep into the senses. Not one, athletic, young man from the textile beach, not even a lifeguard, had budged after word had spread that a person was drowning. I had been focused on surfcasting and, somehow, missed the opportune moment to take action. Considering how many first responders dove in on my left, both men and women, made it quite evident that enough persons from millennial grouping also had heard that someone was drowning but they didn’t react. Could it be that they, simply, couldn’t be bothered?

With the advent of the millennium, tolerance became the buzzword in the US.

Author Ted Flynn notes:

“It’s in the press, our grade schools, our universities, our community centers, our corporate environment, and nearly anywhere else that two or more are gathered. It surrounds us, and woe to the person who is insensitive to another’s ethnic, cultural, or religious orientation. This is all well and good but it has gone too far. We have many terms for it such as politically correct, exclusivism, inclusivism, modernism, ethical theism, postmodernism, universalism, and the favorite over the last five years, multiculturalism. Everybody wants their rights and usually it is at the expense of another. Politically correct has become a synonym for lack of truth, candor, and integrity… English author, G.K. Chesterton once remarked, “Tolerance is the virtue of man without convictions.” Flynn adds, “There is neither
right nor wrong – only tolerance.” The danger of a society that isolates itself from competing truth, says Chuck Colson, “is the inevitable descent into oppression and tyranny.”

Isn’t it interesting that no one is more intolerant than those who advocate tolerance? Biden, for one, came out of some closet, recently, saying Bible- believing Christians violate LGBTq rights simply by existing. Even more recently, again before a LGBTq audience, he called Trump supporters, “The dregs of society!”

It’s getting ugly. Bimbos of the Biden type are dividing rather than uniting. And with financing from Clinton and Soros, leftist hate and intolerance are driving Antifa, which despite the name, are fascists – the radical left’s variant of Hitler’s brown shirts. LGBT is also dividing. The majority of Americans believe that sexual orientation should not be an in-your-face, political movement. “Do what you want behind closed doors. Don’t impose your choice on others.” Be queer or straight, understanding that you’ll be answering for your choice before God.

Americans are learning to distinguish between Christian tolerance and politically correct tolerance. The former is common sense natural, an extension of Christian love; the latter artificial and dangerous because it restricts freedom by impinging on free speech, a prerequisite for tyranny. George Soros, a sociopath and, in so many of his own words a Nazi collaborator, is seeking revenge for his losses tied to picking the wrong presidential candidate, which is one reason why he is behind Antifa.

Today, Antifa is committing terrorist acts against monuments and private property. Tomorrow, it’s not excluded that radical left agenda handlers will demand blood. If you happen to be a plain vanilla Deplorable or if you’re an independent or a libertarian, guided in life by a love of liberty, common sense, and service to country, family, and God, you probably know and appreciate from firsthand experience what life was like in a free America.

Restraints on freedom have been encroaching on Americans from the day that the Federal Reserve was established in 1913 and after a federal income tax was
introduced. When Clinton & Clinton took over the White House, they accelerated the loss of individual liberties faster than any predecessor. The transformation of America into a collectivist state was supposed to be completed with Queen Hillary’s coronation as president.

If founding fathers, Hamilton and Jefferson, didn’t trust the intellect of the people in electing a leader, with the former calling the people, “a great beast,” and the latter referring to fellow Americans with disdain as “rubbish,” (in his Notes on the State of Virginia), little has changed. Columnist Louis René Beres writes: “Upon even the most cursory examination, our foundational political history will reveal an utterly stark contempt for popular rule.”

Obama-Clinton & Clinton with their radical left agenda are the legacy of the hypocritical disdain of “ordinary” people by America’s ruling elite. Clinton’s Deplorables tag and Obama’s supremacist exceptionalism sum up the same. The Democratic Party purports to be the Party of minorities and of the underprivileged whose rights are often violated or ignored. Socialism is, supposedly, humanistic. But it’s a naïve, billboard view of the Democratic identity, starting with the fact that almost all major wars in the past 100 years were started by War Party presidents. Truman, a Democrat, is the only world leader who detonated nuclear weapons on civilian populations.

Are higher taxes humanistic for those who work? The day after liberals are elected, their telephone numbers change, à la NY Senator Chuck Schumer, who is on record for making the fastest telephone number switch. How he loves to escape addressing the needs of ordinary citizens! Good luck to the downtrodden in getting through to such defenders of democracy. The sober reality of the Democratic Party’s cynicism was exposed in a comment made by Bill Clinton:

“We can’t be fixated on our desire to preserve the rights of ordinary Americans,” (USA Today, 03/11/93). Bill Clinton said it less than two months after he was sworn in as president. Oh, how countenances change after power paints over personalities and money struts into bank accounts. Unfortunately, imperium upstart types are the rule in democracies, not the exception. What is to become of America if the agenda of the radical left becomes America’s
agenda? It won’t happen. That is, not unless the US becomes a dictatorship and a radical left junta takes over.

We have witnessed the Trump miracle and, with it, the logical end of US democracy. Trump is not responsible for its end. Instead, it’s democracy that has failed because of the intolerance of Obama and Clinton for any views but their own. The notion that majority rules doesn’t work when the majority exerts its will on the minority’s religious tenets or on traditional family values. As already underscored, compromise, the cornerstone of US democracy, becomes unworkable when the Godless impose their views on the sacred, making US institutions, largely, irrelevant.

Trump won the presidency by a hair of a few states. But demographics don’t bode well for conservative and traditional values because of migrants, who vote for the welfare state of the Democrats, and because of the radical left agenda that has monopolized the minds of university-educated youth, a success consistent with Hillary’s efforts to radicalize educational and cultural entities. Much talk exists about the polarization of America, increasingly hostile relations, and the risk of civil war. Despite heightened passions, youth are not willing to die for a cause called Clinton. At least, not yet.

A dictatorship can be a more effective form of government for business considering that the dictator is free to enact legislation without the restraints of Congress. If the economy is good, foreign wars aren’t needed. Finally, the dictator is above money, considering that, he or she, is in power for life, so it’s not necessary to steal from coffers or to stash away bribes for a rainy day.

The US is about to become either a benign dictatorship of the right or a radical dictatorship of the left. It’s up to Trump and his supporters to recognize the fact and to seize the opportunity while it’s still possible.

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American Politics Is Now Just Civil War By Other Means

When Trump calls the establishment media the enemies of the people, that’s because they – together with their passive NPC drones and active Antifa enforcers – are enemies.

Jim Jatras

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Authored by James George Jatras via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


In the wake of the sending of bomb-like devices of uncertain capability to prominent critics of US President Donald Trump and of a mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue (both Trump’s fault, of course) – plus a migrant invasion approaching the US through Mexico – there have been widespread calls for toning down harsh and “divisive” political rhetoric.

Of course given the nature of the American media and other establishment voices, these demands predictably have been aimed almost entirely against Trump and his Deplorable supporters, almost never against the same establishment that unceasingly vilifies Trump and Middle American radicals as literally Hitler, all backed up by the evil White-Nationalist-in-Chief, Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Those appealing for more civility and a return to polite discourse can save their breath. It’s much, much too late for that.

When Trump calls the establishment media the enemies of the people, that’s because they – together with their passive NPC drones and active Antifa enforcers – are enemies, if by “the people” we mean the historic American nation. Trump’s sin is that he calls them out for what they are.

Trump didn’t cause today’s polarization, he only exacerbates it because he punches back. Good, may he continue to do so. Pining for a more well-mannered time in a country that belongs to another, long-gone era is futile.

American politics is no longer about a narrow range of governing styles or competing economic interests. It is tribal. Today’s “tribes” are defined in terms of affinity for or hostility to the founding American ethnos characterized by European, overwhelming British origin (a/k/a, “white”); Christian, mainly Protestant; and English-speaking, as augmented by members of other groups who have totally or partially assimilated to that ethnos or who at least identify with it (think of Mr. Hamadura in The Camp of the Saints).

(Unfortunately we don’t have a specific word for this core American ethnic identity to distinguish it from general references to the United States in a civic or geographic sense. (Russian, by contrast, makes a distinction between ethnic русский (russkiy) and civic/geographical российский (rossiiskiy).) Maybe we could adapt Frank Lloyd Wright’s “Usonian”? “Or Americaner,” comparable to Afrikaner? “Or Anglo-American”?)

Since the Left gave up on its original focus on industrial workers as the revolutionary class, the old bourgeois/proletarian dichotomy is out. Tribes now line up according to categories in a plural Cultural Marxist schematic of oppressor and victim pairings, with the latter claiming unlimited redress from the former. As the late Joe Sobran said, it takes a lot of clout to be a victim in America these days. The following is a helpful guide to who’s who under the new dispensation:

In most of the above categories there are variations that can increase the intensity of oppressor or victim status. For example, certified victimhood in a recognized category confers extra points, like Black Lives Matter for race (it is racist to suggest that “all lives matter”) or a defined religious group marginalized by “hate” (mainly anti-Jewish oranti-Muslim, but not something like anti-Buddhist, anti-Rastafarian, or even anti-atheist or anti-Satanist because no one bothers about them; anti-Christian victimhood is an oxymoron because “Christian” is inherently an oppressive category). In addition, meeting the criteria for more than one category confers enhanced victimhood under a principle called “intersectionality.”

In the same way, there are aggravating factors in oppressor categories, such as being a policeman (an enforcer of the structure of oppression regardless of the officer’s personal victim attributes, but worse if straight, white, Christian, etc.) or a member of a “hate” subculture (a Southerner who’s not vocally self-loathing is a presumed Klan sympathizer; thus, a diabetic, unemployed, opioid-addicted Georgia cracker is an oppressor as the beneficiary of his “white privilege” and “toxic masculinity,” notwithstanding his socio-economic and health status).Like being Southern, living while genetically Russian is also an aggravating factor.

Creatively shuffling these descriptors suggests an entertaining game like Mad Libs, or perhaps an endless series of jokes for which you could be fired if you told them at work:

Two people walk into a bar.

One is a Baptist, straight, male Virginia state trooper whose ancestors arrived at Jamestown.

The other is a one-legged, genderqueerSomali Dervish WIC recipient illegally in the US on an expired student visa.

So the bartender says … [insert your own punch line here].

While Patrick Buchanan is right that the level of domestic violence today is not up to what the US experienced in 1968, the depth of the existential divide is much greater. This is why it’s perfectly acceptable for a homosexual, black MSM news anchor to describe “white men” collectively as a “terror threat,” but when a straight white, female counterpart makes a clumsy but mild observation about ethnic role-playing it’s a firing offense. (Note that while “female” is an assigned victim category, white females can be “gender traitors” if they are seen as putting their “racial privilege ahead of their second-class gender status”; to remain victims in good standing and an “allies” of higher-caste victim groups they need to learn to just “shut the f**k up” when POC sisters with superior oppressed status are holding forth.)

The victim side accuses its opponents of a litany of sins such as racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, etc., for which the solution is demographic and ideological replacement – even while denying that the replacement is going on or intended. This is no longer ordinary political competition but (in an inversion of von Clausewitz attributed to Michel Foucault) politics “as the continuation of war by other means.” In its immediate application this war is a second American civil war, but it can have immense consequences for war on the international stage as well.

To attain victory the forces of victimhood championed by the Democratic Party need to reclaim part of the apparatus of power they lost in Trump’s unexpected 2016 win. (Actually, much of the apparatus in the Executive Branch remains in Democratic hands but is only of limited utility as a “resistance” under the superficial Trumpian occupation.) As this commentary appears it is expected that on November 6 the GOP will retain control of the US Senate but the House of Representatives will flip to the Democrats.

That’s what’s “supposed” to happen, just as Hillary Clinton was “supposed” to win the White House two years ago. How things will actually play out though is anybody’s guess.

But for the sake of discussion, if the expected scenario comes to pass the last chance Trump’s election afforded to save what is left of the American nation is likely to come to an end. We can anticipate three results:

  • First, on the domestic political front, while Democrats and their MSM echo chamber have cooled down talk of impeaching Trump, it will return with a vengeance on November 7 (coincidentally, Great October Socialist Revolution Day) if the House changes hands. In contrast to the GOP’s dithering in the area of investigations and hearings relevant to the US-UK Deep State conspiracy to overturn the 2016 election (which will be buried forever), the Democrats will be utterly ruthless in using their power with the single-minded purpose of getting Trump out of office before 2020. They won’t waste much time on the phony Russian “collusion” story (Robert Mueller’s report will be an obscenely expensive dud), they’ll focus like a laser on getting Trump’s tax returns and dredging up anything they can from his long involvement in the sharp-elbowed, dog-eat-dog world of New York property development and construction, confident they can find something that qualifies as a high crime or misdemeanor. (Some racist language couldn’t hurt, either.) The model will be Richard Nixon’s Vice President Spiro Agnew, who was forced out of office on charges relating to his time in Maryland politics years earlier. Even the GOP’s retention of the Senate would be far from a guarantee that Trump won’t be removed. It’s easily foreseeable that a dozen-plus Republican Senators would be thrilled to get rid of Trump and restore the party’s status quo ante with Mike Pence in the Oval Office. As with Nixon, Republicans will panic at whatever dirt the Democrats dig up and demand Trump resign for the “good of the country and the party,” as opposed to the way Democrats formed a protective phalanx around Bill Clinton. Unlike Nixon, Trump might choose to fight it out in the Senate and might even prevail. In any case, a change in control of just one chamber means an extended political crisis that will keep Trump boxed in and perpetually on the defensive.
  • Second, for Trump’s supporters and other dissenters from the Regime of Certified Victims, the walls will continue to close in. The digital ghettoization of alternative views to “protect our democracy” from supposed outside meddling conflated with “hate online” will accelerate, with social media a particular target for censorship. The Deep State’s intelligence and law enforcement organs will step up actions to penalize any resistance to Leftwing violence, while perpetrators of such violence will rampage with impunity. Trump has done nothing to protect free speech online or in public places while his enemies continue to contract the space for both – but things can and likely will get much, much worse if the Democrats feel the wind at their back after next week. Such vestigial protections of religion, free speech, right to bears arms, and others that we still possess – for now – aren’t likely to survive much longer as the edifice of the old America continues to crumble under the malfeasance of the very Executive, Legislative, and Judicial officials who pretend to be its custodians.
  • Third and most ominously, chances of a major war could increase exponentially. If Trump is fighting for his life, chances of purging his terrible, horrible, no good, very bad national security team will go from slim to none. Any hope of a national interest-based policy along the lines Trump promised in 2016 – and which still seems to be his personal preference – will be gone. Thankfully, South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in has run with the ball through last year’s opening and hopefully the momentum for peace in Northeast Asia will be self-sustaining. With any luck, the Khashoggi imbroglio between Washington and Riyadh will lead to America’s “downplaying and eventually abandoning the anti-Iranian obsession that has so far overshadowed our regional policy” and to an end the carnage in Yemen, even as the Syria war lurches toward resolution. Still, the US remains addicted to ever-increasing sanctions, and despite warnings from both Russia and China that they are prepared for war – warnings virtually ignored by the US media and political class – the US keeps pressing on all fronts: outer space, the Arctic, Europe (withdrawal from the INF treaty), Ukraine, the South China Sea, the Taiwan Strait, Xinjiang, and elsewhere. Trump is expected to meet with Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping following the US election, but they may have to conclude that he is not capable of restraining the war machine nominally under his command and will plan accordingly.

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