Tuesday, October 18, 2016
So who are the Nazis here?
This is very reminiscent of the actions of Hitler's brownshirts in the 1930s. Strange that no Democrat premises have been attacked!
A Republican party headquarters in North Carolina was firebombed and an adjacent building was vandalized with the words: 'Nazi Republicans leave town or else.'
One state GOP official called the attack in Hillsborough, Orange County an act of 'political terrorism', the Charlotte Observer reported.
A bottle, filled with flammable substance, was thrown into a window during the night, setting off a fire that scorched the interior of the building before the blaze burned itself out, police said.
Photos from the interior showed damaged yard signs bearing the names of Donald Trump and Mike Pence, along with other politicians.
With three weeks left until election day, Mayor Tom Stevens acknowledged the significance of the attack, saying: 'This highly disturbing act goes far beyond vandalizing property.
'It willfully threatens our community’s safety, and its hateful message undermines decency, respect and integrity in civic participation.'
The GOP headquarters is located in the strip mall Shops at Daniel Boone, with the graffiti left outside Balloons Above Orange a few doors down.
The owner of the balloon shop, Bennie Sparrow, was on her way to church this morning when she saw the 'hateful' message scrawled along the side of her business.
While she has 'no idea' who could be behind the attack, she believes her shop was targeted because it is a 'good billboard to aim towards the Republicans'.
She told the Dailymail.com: 'I'm not afraid to go into work tomorrow but I don't feel quite as secure as I did before. This is the world we live in.'
Police have not been able to estimate the total value of the damages, but executive director of the state's GOP, Dallas Woodhouse, said the office was 'a total loss'.
Woodhouse later issued a statement that said: 'Whether you are Republican, Democrat or Independent, all Americans should be outraged by this hate-filled and violent attack against our democracy.
'Whether the bomb was meant to kill, destroy property or intimidate voters, everyone in this country should be free to express their political viewpoints without fear for their own safety.
'We will be requesting additional security at all Republican Party offices and events between now and Election Day to ensure the safety of our activists, volunteers, and supporters.'
The state's Democratic Party Chair Patsy Keever said: 'I’m appalled that this would happen, certainly we don’t need violence for any reason.
'Clearly this is outrageous that anybody would do this kind of destruction to either party’s buildings or people.'
North Carolina is considered a swing state with polls leaning towards Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. Orange County, which includes the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, is overwhelmingly left-leaning.
A police investigation with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is ongoing.
WikiLeaks Exposes Workings of an American 'Nomenklatura'
The nomenklatura (literally "name list") was one of the indispensable components of the former Soviet Union. It was indeed a literal list of those—almost always devout Communist Party loyalists—who would receive the favors of the state while the proletariat, those supposed "dictators" of the new paradise, lived in squalor and waited in bread lines.
This list was so meticulously kept Stalin was known as "Comrade Filing Cabinet." You were either on it or off. And those who fell off, for whatever causes, real or imagined, were usually headed for the Gulag. The nomenklatura kept everyone in line.
In my book—I Know Best: How Moral Narcissism Is Destroying Our Republic, If It Hasn't Already—I devote a chapter to the rise of a far more subtle and less overtly totalitarian American nomenklatura, one that may be more effective and enduring in the long run (and thus ultimately more threatening to democracy).
WikiLeaks, in its downloads of the "PodestaEmails," in essence confirms the existence of this American list – who is on and who is off—and reveals its workings in remarkable detail. More downloads are on the way. But what we have already has gone a long way to demonstrating how the people of this country have been lied to and deceived for the preservation of this nomenklatura and its power. We owe Julian Assange and his cohorts a debt.
Most evident from their downloads is the unremitting, almost incestual, alliance between elites (read: Democratic Party leadership) and the press, those who are informing us of what we are supposed to think. The myriad emails between New York Times reporter and CNBC anchor John Harwood and Clinton campaign manager John Podesta would approach the risible were they not so disturbing by implication. Presidential debate moderator Harwood, putatively a journalist, actually acts as an advisor to Podesta in them, warning the campaign manager of the dangers of a potential Ben Carson candidacy and even bragging to him about having tripped up Donald Trump at a debate.
But the presidential debate moderator is far from alone in his fealty to the ways and means of the nomenklatura. The New York Times and the Boston Globe—the emails show, as if we hadn't guessed already—colluded with the Clinton campaign.
But the level of collusion goes much deeper than press and politicians. The Department of Justice itself—the emails also reveal—was in private communication with the Clinton people during the investigation of the Hillary Clinton homebrew server, warning her campaign in advance of a State Department release of emails. Everybody was colluding!
Is anyone surprised at this, at best, legally dubious activity? Probably not at this point. But this underscores the fearlessness of the nomenklatura in transgressing the law in defense of their policy goals and positions. Certain of their own rectitude, they can do no wrong, even if it is wrong.
They are able to do this through a profound moral narcissism that convinces them that they, not the American people, "know best." It's a home-grown version of "the ends justify the means," making the American nomenklatura an inherently totalitarian movement, although more subtle, as I note above, in its actions.
The rise of Donald Trump is in great measure a reaction to the pervasive power of this nomenklatura. But Trump, with his all-too-apparent personality flaws and shallow political knowledge, has not been, thus far, a successful opponent of these elites. Still, he has demonstrated courage not common in political candidates and opened a door that is unlikely to close easily. It remains for future leaders, perhaps emerging from the people themselves, to overcome this nomenklatura and help us retain or reclaim our democratic republic.
Obama, Media Go Quiet on Historic Mideast Catastrophe
While the press was focused on the Hillary-Trump debate, Iranian-backed rebels fired two missiles at the USS Mason off Yemen. The Associated Press describes the incident:
The Navy says the missile launch Sunday night landed in the water before getting near the USS Mason.
Lt. Ian McConnaughey, a Navy spokesman, said Monday it's unclear if the Mason was specifically targeted, though the missiles were fired in its direction.
The missile launches comes after an Emirati ship was targeted several days ago by missiles apparently fired by Shiite rebels in Yemen known as Houthis and their allies.
The unsuccessful strike on the Mason follows the destruction of the HSV-2 Swift, a logistics vessel operated by the UAE capable of 45 knots, by two anti-ship missiles -- probably the C-801 or C-802. The USS Mason was part of a three-ship flotilla dispatched to the area after the Swift had been gutted:
The U.S. Navy has dispatched to the strait two destroyers, the USS Mason and USS Nitze, and the USS Ponce -- the last of these a floating staging ship which includes a complement of special operations forces.
“Sending the warships to the area is a message that the primary goal of the Navy is to ensure that shipping continues unimpeded in the strait and the vicinity,” said a U.S. defense official.
Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which is in charge of Tehran’s extraterritorial military activities, is believed to be arming the Houthis with missiles and rockets, including a variant of the Zelzal-3 artillery rocket that was unveiled in August and stationed near the Saudi border.
The war in Yemen has been steadily escalating in the shadow of headline-grabbing events in Aleppo and Mosul. Recently a Saudi air strike which killed 140 people and wounded as many as 350 more briefly seized the spotlight:
In one of the deadliest attacks of the country’s civil war, which Saudi Arabia entered in March 2015, airstrikes on Saturday hit a funeral hall packed with thousands of mourners in Yemen’s rebel-held capital, Sana’a.
The outcry forced the Obama administration to publicly distance itself from Riyadh:
The US, like the UK, supplies arms to Saudi Arabia and practical military advice, even though the precise extent of that advice is disputed.
White House national security council spokesman Ned Simon said: “We are deeply disturbed by reports of [the] airstrike on a funeral hall in Yemen, which, if confirmed, would continue the troubling series of attacks striking Yemeni civilians. US security cooperation with Saudi Arabia is not a blank cheque."
It is one of several scenes of an entire drama, almost a parallel universe which exists outside the 2016 spectacle which has captured the American public's imagination. Events epochal to those whom they directly concern and important by any objective standard are foreshortened by false perspective into tiny insignificant occurrences happening long ago and far away.
The striking thing is how this administration is bequeathing a comprehensive catastrophe to the next president almost without anyone, least of all the semi-retired chief executive, paying more than cursory attention.
Even most of the provocative saber-rattling from Moscow barely makes it above the fold. Only yesterday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused Washington of aggression without raising so much as a ripple on Twitter.
How did an administration which came to office headed by a Child of the World promising to "build bridges" with other cultures, that styled itself as brimming with "smart" foreign policy experts, finish up in an almost comical state of parochialism?
Why, rather than bestriding the globe, has it withdrawn in outlook, buttoned up like a tank, viewing the outside world only through the narrowest of slits, driving in little circles from talk show to talk show?
In his final months, President Obama's world has become paradoxically both very large yet very small: large in terms of real-world risk exposure, but small in alternatives politically open to it.
Max Fisher tries to explain the shrinkage in scope and loss of prestige in a New York Times think piece by ascribing American bewilderment to such grand historical causes as the loss of faith in its own exceptionalism arising from the trauma of George Bush's campaign in Iraq. But this smacks of self-exculpation.
The simplest explanation for the huddled final days of the administration? They have been burned, and they want no more of that unpleasant experience.
The "smartest people" on the planet found they were not quite as clever as they thought.
They should not have been surprised. Over the last decade presidential hopefuls have come from the ranks of thinkers without much experience in governance or the wider world. They knew all the answers -- in theory -- but none in practice. Individuals who spent all their adult lives learning how to raise money, craft talking points, perfect stances before the camera, fund opposition research, and recruit surrogates found that special skills did not travel so well in the wider world.
The election of 2016, by coming down to an actual choice between two candidates who no one particularly seems to want, has emphasized the unnatural limits from which political leadership is drawn. The system is not nearly so diverse as Bill Buckley's sample of "first 400 people listed in the Boston telephone directory" -- it is much more cramped, artificial, and parochial. The idea that a nation with a third of billion people could only come up with these two people to lead it is almost absurd.
Far from being cursed with the burden of exceptionalism, America is really weighed down by mediocrity and a lack of flexibility. It is trapped in the world because it is trapped in Washington. If there is one metaphor which might describe the commotion of 2016, it is that we are watching an attempted jailbreak.
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Posted by JR at 1:28 AM