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Headline from NBC News: "Israeli strikes on southern Gaza city of Rafah kill 18, mostly children, as U.S. advances aid package. The first strike killed a man, his wife and their 3-year-old child. The woman was pregnant, and doctors managed to save the baby, the hospital said."

Congress sends another $26 billion to Israel to accelerate the killing.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/israeli-strikes-rafah-killed-children-us-aid-package-rcna148702

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There is no bottom to the horrors.

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I was going to say something very similar, but your comment is more succinct than mine would have been, and better expressed, Tom.

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Denise, Thank you.

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Apr 21Liked by Bill Astore

I was listening to Joe Rogan's interview of Tucker Carlson on Spotify yesterday when the X post came out, showing House members waving Ukrainian flags and shouting "Ukraine, Ukraine.." I was appalled.

Whatever one thinks of either Carlson or Rogan isn't the point, but it was an eerie coincidence that Carlson was making the following point in the interview when i saw the X post - they (the owners) need to stop pretending this is a democracy and just tell us they don't care what we want, they do what they want, and we need to shut up and do what we're told. At that point, we can decide what we want to do about it.

He also made the point there is a large train station across from the Capitol filled with homeless people. So, Congress critters have to literally step over drugged homeless citizens on their way to work.

I am still appalled this morning

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author

Those homeless citizens are invisible to the Congress critters.

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It is worse than that. The Congress critters believe that these people deserve misery. They would not be in that situation if they just weren’t so lazy.

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The homeless are exercising the right to "peaceably assemble for a redress of grievances". See what good it does?

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This is what I wrote my 3 "representatives" today:

It is outrageously irresponsible and counterproductive to send even more taxpayer’s money to fuel the Ukraine war. The end result will be far more death and destruction in Ukraine, and Russia will still accomplish all of their goals.

It is inhuman to send more money and weapons to Israel, enabling the far-right apartheid Israeli regime to kill more women and children in Palestine. Israel has become genocidal.

The Biden administration and the Democrats in congress will go down in history as the most destructive and inhuman in modern history. The world is on the verge of much wider war, the climate is deteriorating rapidly and our infrastructure is failing. What are the Democrats doing? Doubling down and making everything even worse.

When will you stand up for sanity? When will you stand against endless wars?

Sincerely,

Dr. John R. Moffett

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author

I wrote to my three reps as well, imploring them to vote against this abomination.

As we know, our reps don't represent us.

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Writing to your reps is a waste of time. Just face the fact that these reps are only doing what their forefathers did since the founding of the Republic. American history is simply a long chain of inhumane treatment of fellow human beings.

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Apr 21Liked by Bill Astore

It makes me sad and angry at the ease that Congress approves murderous weaponry, yet debates and postpones aid that betters everyday Americans.

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Apr 21·edited Apr 21Liked by Bill Astore

I don't suppose we can charge Congress members who shouted, "Ukraine, Ukraine!" from the house floor with treason?!? Insurrectionists!

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Apr 22·edited Apr 22Liked by Bill Astore

Several 50+ year friendships have ended for me over Israel. For over 25 years my high school buddies, none of whom are Jews, have known of my opposition to Zionism. I made it a point not to belabor the issue with them and when they would comment it would be something like, "yes it is a shame what is going on" but it was clear to me that they harbored sympathy for Israel, just as I did before I decided to investigate the entire history of Zionism and Palestine.

It has come to a head with the Gaza slaughter. One friend claimed he didn't know enough about the historical situation, another that he didn't know what he could add to the discussion and from the rest, total silence. I tried my best to inform them of the facts of history, offering books to read, sources to check out. Response was minimal. When I would put up a picture of some old Corvette or GTO from our youth then real and extended conversation would break out.

It was clear that none of the guys wanted to bother to investigate anything I mentioned, didn't bother to question anything I said because that would start a debate they weren't ready to have because they couldn't rationally defend their undoubtedly emotionally driven views with which they were (are) comfortable. It all boiled down to an unexpressed but clear sympathy for Israel and, in one case, antipathy for Arabs from visits to Saudi Arabia, "they really don't like us and would kill us if they could", precisely what Israelis say of the Palestinians. And no matter that the Palestinians and Saudis are different people.

The last straw came with the declaration by Biden (who all of my buddies, Democrats all, back out of hatred of Trump) that the US defense of Israel is "ironclad" To have the chief executive of a country proclaiming liberty and justice for all pledge unlimited support defending ethnic cleansing was more than I could bear.

I posed a question to my old friends - would you see your children die to protect Israel? I reminded them of the years we shared in grade school where we pledged allegiance every day ending in "with liberty and justice for all"

The response to my question? Absolute silence.

The "Story of Israel" as told by Zionists has been so deeply embedded in American minds that these bosom buddies of mine will not stand up for the bedrock of American political thought if the safety of Israel is under threat. I can understand why members of Congress are rabid Zionists, because they are lifelong products of the Israel lobby, if not of Christian fundamentalism.

As we all know, if lies are repeated indefinitely, they can easily come to be thought the truth. But my friends! My intelligent, moral friends who I have no doubt believe themselves to be model citizens standing by during the Gaza slaughter. They are eager to see a war criminal elected, not even considering this a factor vs the monster Trump.

I am at the same time heart-broken and sorry for all the effort I made to change their minds thinking that the close bond we have had for so long might influence them. It did not. I was wasting my time and at no point did anyone even bother to contest anything I presented. They would not even respect me enough to say, "Clif, we appreciate your passion and your view but we feel otherwise and will not change our minds"

This is moral cowardice and intellectual laziness of the first magnitude. Of what value are friendships when the character of friends will not allow them to defend their own native land first and will sacrifice its values for the reverse? America is truly held captive and I now wonder if even the complete extermination of the Palestinians or the use of a nuclear weapon against Iran would change it.

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my back-narrative is a verisimilitude of yours, clif, tho' from likely a more personal, intimate perspective, having lived in, worked in, and finally retired to some 37 3rd-/4th-world countries since 1962. your US chums are cavalier about the political devastation of their own country, due not only to the propaganda sluiced into their veins since they entered primary school, but also due to their extraneous interests in 'other matters'... or perhaps due to their superfluous, brain-addling pursuits that have naught to do w/ life-and-death matters. the irony is that here in the philippines, and every other 'developing' country in which we have laboured as environmental and sustainable development specialists, most are keenly aware of their political zeitgeist and proactively involved in transforming the system governing them, despite the fact that many can barely feed their families. they are not drugged by esurience, or by being overfed, or by mindlessly entertaining themselves. the craton of their lives is crystallized into survival, yet still, they are keenly aware of and commiserate w/ the palestinians and the horrors visited upon others living in despair, distress, and disabling dystopias.

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founding

Thank You for sharing that, Clif. i've had similar experiences with Very Long Time Friends ~ Vietnam War Buddies, to be exact ~ who turned out to be hard-core, wrap-themselves in The Flag while wiping their asses with The Constitution Trumpatistas of the First Order.

It's a very unsettling experience to realize that You are the "Friend" of somebody You don't know anymore, eh? i know it was for me a couple of times.

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deletedApr 22
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Apr 22·edited Apr 22Liked by Bill Astore

Dennis, I have been exposed to Trump over the years the same as anyone else. The way to change a mind is to expose it to information that cannot be denied that informs an opinion, which is what I did with my friends to which they would no reply.

Trump, the man of no morals, is selling bibles which can be obtained for free telling the public the bible has been a big influence on his life, proving he is a liar. He is in the same category as the preachers I used to hear on late night AM radio selling prayer rugs to listeners. When he was in office some kept a list of his lies as he made them. I looked over a few, saw they were a fact and didn't bother to keep up with the ever growing list. I'm sure they could be found online.

Trump steaks, Trump University (a fraud that had to pay when taken to court and is out of business). Trump the good friend of Jeffrey Epstein, who, Trump said, "likes them young". Trump, the man who is quite ready to denounce anyone and everyone including the judges and officials in any court where he appears. Of course it doesn't matter that he doesn't know them, they are convenient fuel for his witch hunt fire. He respects nobody, but demands respect for himself and if it is not forthcoming will provide self-praise. He is woefully ignorant but describes himself as a "very stable genius". He proved in his time in the White House that he would throw anyone under the bus. His appointees left one after another finding him unbearable to work for.

Read the book his lawyer wrote, "Disloyal". The lawyer, Michael Cohen, was so entranced by the power that he had as a legal hit man for Trump that even his wife and daughter who begged him to leave Trump could not prevail on him until he was convicted in court and sent to prison for doing what Trump asked him to do. As soon as Cohen was arrested, Trump did not say a word to him again, but Trump wants we the people to send him money to help Trump with his legal expenses. He wants us to feel sorry that he couldn't attend his son's high school graduation but never called Cohen once in all the time Cohen was doing time for the boss. He has no character and will push anything for money. He is eager to ride the anger of his followers. Even they cannot identify the good qualities in him and they don't care about that. For them his disrespect is a delight - they look forward to him getting back in power so he can tell all of the "elites" to go to hell. And to be frank, Hillary Clinton was exhibit one of those elites. The angry public is not angry with no reason, but they are blindly following A MONSTER. I stand by my label for him. I will admit he is not a WAR CRIMINAL like our current President.

What a choice and yet plenty of Americans come right out and denounce the very basis of democracy without which it cannot exist. It doesn't exist in America. Anyone who has enough citizens who want him or her to be offered as a choice for President (as determined by petition) should be on the ballot. NO, shout people who think they are democrats, absolutely not, can't win, will take votes from the person I WANT. In other words, these people are outright working to deny their fellow citizens a vote in order for the lack of choice to herd these people to who they want. It's worse even than that. Many of these people who want to keep from the ballot all but the two candidates don't even like that choice! No, they want to force others to choose the LEAST BAD of two candidates that even they don't like.

The other day I was collecting signatures for Cornel West. Some people ignored me, not even looking at me, that's ok. Some people said they did not know West, that's ok. Some said no I won't sign but (hold onto your hat Dennis) thank you for doing this. THANK YOU FOR DOING THIS! My goodness, some people really do understand the basis of democracy! It is a process rooted on the street among the people, the basic freedom to get on the ballot someone who people want on the ballot having nothing to do with mainstream media voting analysis and polling.

But my favorite of all encounters was a woman who passed me by, but upon reaching a door where she was about to go inside, called out to me with a look of pure anger on her face to say, "you know what you are doing don't you? YOU ARE ELECTING DONALD TRUMP!" A curse on you, she might have said, for trying to get signatures on a petition. I've no doubt she will go home and fume, not doing anything to change things. Multiply her by the millions.

She holds the "realist" view: A vote for person A is really a vote for person B. which is the view that nothing can change so let's work to make sure nothing can change.

Now, Dennis, you write a response that tells of the good things about Donald Trump, of his saving graces. I'll repeat what I said earlier - expose my mind to information that cannot be denied, just as I have said nothing about Trump in this long comment that isn't factual.

I'll close with the definition of the word monster: an imaginary creature that is typically large, ugly, and frightening.

Unfortunately, Trump is not imaginary, so in that I am wrong in using the word.

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author

Clif, in light of previous comments from Dennis, he isn't blind to many of Trump's flaws. He simply sees Trump as the lesser of two evils, just as many of the Democrats see Biden as the lesser of two evils.

Dennis, as you know, thinks any vote for a 3rd-party candidate is wasted since that person can't win under the U.S. electoral system. I happen to disagree with that. I think we should vote for the candidate who represents the best of America, the candidate most qualified to uphold the Constitution. And if that's a 3rd party candidate, so be it.

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I agree and if Dennis supports Trump then that's fine. We all should be able to choose as we wish.

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Apr 21Liked by Bill Astore

EVERY damn Democratic voted for slaughtering more Ukrainians and Russians. My rep. is Chip Roy, who I've been writing the past months to say, "Not another dime." I'm glad to see his "no" vote on all three aid packages, though I suspect at least Taiwan and Israel funding votes had more to do with no funding for the border than a high moral ground against war and deficit spending.

Here I am, a US expat living in Ecuador, so disturbed by Johnson's pathetic "war time speakership" and our Congress that I wake up every night disgusted with my country. The only comfort I can take from all this is MLK Jr.'s assertion, "...there can be no great disappointment where there is not great love."

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"Moral monsters and mental midgets" (M4), indeed. It is endlessly remarkable how the worst of us seem to rise to the 'top' to become our "leaders", is it not?

That's an astute observation by your wife.

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Apr 21·edited Apr 21

The so-called Squad voted for all 3 bills that total up to the $95 billion for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. Meanwhile, the delusional neocons are busy making preparations for World War III. They are committed to playing nuclear chicken no matter the consequences. The word peace has been eliminated from the mainstream discourse. If you stand against endless war, you are accused of being a dupe or unpatriotic. There is nowhere left to hide.

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There's no morality to it! It's only jobs and profits for the ARMS MERCHANTS, the US being the BIGGEST ARMS MERCHANT in the History of Nations. The people of the World are expendable! It's that simple in recognizing GOOD vs EVIL.

It's the LOVE of MONEY that's still the ROOT of all EVIL on Earth. It's ALWAYS BEEN THAT WAY. The Christ has much to say about that in the Book.

With the miracle of instant Global Communication, the PERPS in POWER Love the Status Quo!

The Christ doesn't exclude the rich, but for all practicable purposes, his 2000 year old admonition still applies, "HARDLY EVER will a rich man enter the kingdom of heaven. It is easier for a camel to enter through the needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.

The BIG NAME Christian Leaders living the lifestyle of the rich and famous talk about changing the STATUS QUO, but mostly it's all TALK absent the ACTION to bring about the change! They like the STATUS QUO the way it is!

Their love of MONEY and POWER BLINDS them to any notion of COMMON HUMANITY in THIS COMMON ERA of the Christ of God in THIS YEAR of Christ 2024.

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Everyone knows that it currently doesn't do anything to write, other than irritate the staffers who have to catalog the letters and emails. But it would be very effective if many, many more people did it every day. Nothing good ever got passed without a huge push from the public. The problem is the people who keep telling everyone not to bother writing. That is exactly what the representatives and their staffers would like you to believe. If only a few people contact them, they can easily ignore it. If hundreds of thousands write, it is harder to ignore. If a million people wrote a day, it would change things fast. This has always been the case. So let's tell everyone that it won't help to write, unless a lot more people chip in and do it too, including you. Plus, it is actually fun to let them know what you really think of their policies., even if only one demoralized staffer sees it.

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Apr 21Liked by Bill Astore

I've been writing several times a week to my entirely Democratic slate of clowns about the absolute shitshow they are running. You're right, it doesn't do any good, and won't, until we primary these bastards relentlessly.

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It's all BORROWED MONEY! The Politicians seem oblivious to the FUTURE they're leading the American people toward.

What is America's FUTURE when the INTEREST payments on the US DEBT, never mind paying the DEBT down, is already equal to the DoD Budget?

In the MEANtime, https://rayjc.com/2022/04/13/us-politicians-are-sleepwalking-toward-the-nuclear-abyss/

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Republicans by a slim majority (112 to 100) voted against the measure. All the Democrats present (210) voted for it. Democrats typically vote in lockstep with the party leader (Biden) so the Democrats will only start to turn against the war if/when there is a Republican President.

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Oh, but let's cut money for Medicare - Biden Cuts Payments to Medicare Advantage Plans

"Pain coming for seniors if the White House axes private medical care services."

by Andrew Moran ( https://www.libertynation.com/biden-cuts-payments-to-medicare-advantage-plans/ ). Linking your article as usual @https://nothingnewunderthesun2016.com/

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Why do we slump over by like puppets on loose strings limp to do anything but slouch over mindlessly. Such lazy apathetic puppets we be. What happened to America. Let's start by booting out of office all of them when they come to re-election time. But do we want to vote for other moroons that take up the same baton of either major party. Please ALL OF YOU think third party....nothing to loose and hopefully much to gain. In the interm we can watch as we kill the world around us with our bombs.

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I understand your point, but unfortunately, third parties typically are only considered in election years. By then it's too late. The laws of many states establish barriers to candidates other than Democrat or Republican. So, third-party candidates have to spend time and a good deal of money just to qualify in each state, preventing them from talking issues and attracting voters.

It seems to me that if a serious third-party wants to be around for more than one election cycle, it has to establish a permanent presence in every state. It then must begin the slow grinding work of changing state laws that prevent third party candidates, by electing people to state offices to effect those changes. Then, it can work to get its members into Congressional seats and governor's offices. After that, national politics becomes viable. This would be a multi-year, multi-election effort.

At this point, third party candidates (e.g., RFK, Marianne Williamson, whoever) couldn't accomplish anything even if elected, as the infrastructure of government is still controlled by the same two-party infrastructure it already has and the forces that control them.

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Yes! you be right. 3rds need to ascend ever slowly from the bottom upward. Starting at local and state elections to extablish a foothold and then move up to National politics. Not sure we'll be alive on this long timely journey before the elites get us into a situation that ends very badly for that live there in.

Hope who ever is listening votes 3rd and never again Democrat or Republican. They are the beast of hell. Voting them in perpetuates foreverwars....for ever deaths....forever............

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I only vote third party now, if at all. One of the few nice things about living in Georgia, politically, is that I don't have to register my party affiliation, so I can vote in whatever primaries I like. Useful, when it comes to unseating incumbents with challengers from within their own parties.

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I with you 100%.

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founding

uTobian’s Toby Rogers concludes his 22 Apr 24 piece ~ THIS REALLY IS WORLD WAR III: Team Tyranny Vs. Team Freedom In The Fight Of Our Lives ~ as follows:

The different sides in this war are not nation-states. Instead, Team Tyranny is a bunch of different business interests pushing what has become a giant multi-trillion dollar grift. And Team Freedom is ordinary people throughout the world just trying to return to the CLASSICAL ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL LIBERALISM THAT DROVE HUMAN PROGRESS FROM 1776 UNTIL 2020.

Here’s how I see the battle lines being drawn:

TEAM TYRANNY

THEIR BASE: Elites, billionaires, the ruling class, the biowarfare industrial complex, intelligence agencies, and bougie technocrats.

INSTITUTIONS THEY CONTROL: WEF, WHO, UN, BMGF, World Bank, IMF, most universities, the mainstream media, and liberal governments throughout the developed world.

ECONOMIC PHILOSOPHY: The billionaires should control all wealth on earth. The peasants should only be allowed to exist to serve the billionaires, grow food, and fix the machines when necessary. Robots and Artificial Intelligence will soon be able to replace most of the peasants.

POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY: Centralized control of everything. Elites know best. The 90% should shut up, pay their taxes, take their vaccines, develop chronic disease, and die. High tech global totalitarianism is the best form of government. Billionaires are God.

PHILOSOPHY OF MEDICINE: Allopathic. Cut, poison, burn, kill. Corporations create all knowledge. Bodies are machines. Transhumanism is ideal. The billionaires will soon live forever in the digital cloud.

THEIR CURRENCY: For now, inflationary Federal Reserve policies. Soon, Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) that will put the peasants in their place once and for all.

POLICY VEHICLES TO ADVANCE THEIR AGENDA: One Health; WHO Pandemic Treaty; social credit scores; climate scores; vaccine mandates/passports; lockdowns and quarantine camps; elimination of small farms and livestock; corporate control of all food, land, water, transportation, and the weather; corporate control of social movements; and 15-minute cities for the peasants.

MILITARY STRATEGY: Gain-of-function viruses, propaganda, and vaccines.

TEAM FREEDOM

OUR BASE: The medical freedom movement, Constitutionalists, small “l” libertarians, independent farmers, natural meat and milk producers, pirate parties, natural healers, homeopaths, chiropractors, integrative and functional medicine doctors, and osteopaths.

ALIGNED INSTITUTIONS: CHD, ICAN, Brownstone Institute, NVIC, SFHF, the RFK Jr. campaign, the Republican party at the county level...

ECONOMIC PHILOSOPHY: SMALL “c” cAPITALISM. COMPETITION. ENTREPRENEURSHIP.

POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY: CLASSICAL LIBERALISM. THE PEOPLE, USING THEIR OWN INGENUITY, WILL GENERALLY FIGURE OUT THE BEST WAY TO DO THINGS. DECENTRALIZE EVERYTHING INCLUDING THE INTERNET. IF THE ELITES WOULD JUST LEAVE US ALONE THE WORLD WOULD BE A MUCH MORE PEACEFUL, CREATIVE, AND PROSPEROUS PLACE. HUMAN FREEDOM LEADS TO HUMAN FLOURISHING.

PHILOSOPHY OF MEDICINE: Nature is infinite in its wisdom. Listen to the body. Systems have the ability to heal and regenerate.

OUR CURRENCY: Cash, gold, crypto, and barter. (I don’t love crypto but lots of smart people in our movement do.)

POLICY IDEAS: Exit the WHO. Boycott WEF companies. Repeal the Bayh-Dole Act, NCVIA Act, Patriot Act, and PREP Act. Add medical freedom to the Constitution. Prosecute the Faucistas at Nuremberg 2.0. Overhaul the NIH, FDA, CDC, EPA, USDA, FCC, DoD, and intelligence agencies. Make all publicly-funded scientific data available to the public. Ban insider trading by Congress. Support and protect organic food, farms, and farmers’ markets. Break up monopolies. Cut the size of the federal government in half (or more).

OUR PREFERRED TOOLS TO CREATE CHANGE: Ideas, love for humanity, logic & reason, common sense, art & music, and popular uprising.

What would you add, subtract, or change in each of these lists?

Full article at https://tobyrogers.substack.com/p/this-really-is-world-war-iii ; EMPHASES added.

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founding

Speaking of #USA-CCL???, Tom Engelhardt’s latest TomDispatch ~ OLD MAN WORLD: Leftovers Of The American Century ~ concludes as follows... :

“It’s increasingly an illusion (or do I mean delusion?) that this country has any sort of genuine control over the rest of the planet (no less itself). And today — with those two old men [Trump and Biden], one of whom is also bizarre beyond compare, wrestling each other for the presidency — THIS COUNTRY IS THREATENING IN ITS OWN ODD FASHION, LIKE THE USSR IN 1991, TO COME APART AT THE SEAMS.

“It’s strange to think about just how distant the America I grew up in — the one that emerged from World War II as the global powerhouse — now seems. If you had told anyone then that more than three-quarters of a century later, there would be well-armed private militias forming in a country armed to the teeth with military-style weaponry or that one presidential candidate would already be hinting at calling out the military to subdue his opponents if he ends up back in the White House, who would have believed you? It wouldn’t have even seemed like convincing science fiction.

And yet today, THE GREATEST COUNTRY ON EARTH (OR SO ITS LEADERS STILL LIKE TO BELIEVE), THE ONE THAT CONTINUES TO POUR TAXPAYER DOLLARS INTO A MILITARY FUNDED LIKE NO OTHER, OR EVEN COMBINATION OF OTHERS, THE ONE THAT HAS BEEN UNABLE TO WIN ANY WAR OF SIGNIFICANCE SINCE 1945, SEEMS TO BE THREATENING TO COME APART AT THE SEAMS. YES, THIS PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN COULD TURN OUT TO BE ABOUT THE DECLINE AND FALL OF IT ALL — and, of course, if Donald Trump (“drill, drill, drill“) ends up back in the White House that decline and fall could happen in a fashion almost beyond imagining.

The once-lone superpower, and now perhaps the loneliest power of all, could even be heading for previously unimaginable autocratic waters or who knows what else? If only it were otherwise, but unfortunately, IN THE MONTHS TO COME, WE’LL BE WATCHING AS AN ALL-AMERICAN WORLD POSSIBLY SPINS SLOWLY OUT OF CONTROL, WHILE THE LEFTOVERS OF THE AMERICAN CENTURY FIGHT IT OUT IN A COUNTRY WHERE ALL TOO MANY OF US SEEM FOCUSED ON ANYTHING BUT WHAT MATTERS.

As one old man to two others, if only you could stand down, we could face the world we’re actually in before it becomes too late.

Full article at https://tomdispatch.com/old-man-world/ ; EMPHASES added.

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