Russiagate Is Like 9/11, Minus 9/11

by Caitlin Johnstone via CaitlinJohnstone.com,

The last few days have been truly amazing. I didn’t even write an article yesterday; I’ve just been staring transfixed by my social media feeds watching liberal Americans completely lose their minds. I can’t look away. It’s like watching a slow motion train wreck, and everyone on the train is being really homophobic.

I’ve been writing about Russiagate since it started, and I can honestly say this is the worst it’s ever been, by far. The most hysterical, the most shrill, the most emotional, the most cartoonishly over-the-top and hyperbolic. The fact that Trump met with Putin in private and then publicly expressed doubt about the establishment Russia narrative has sent some political factions of America into an emotional state that is indistinguishable from what you’d expect if Russia had bombed New York City. This despite the fact that the establishment Russia narrative consists of no actual, visible events whatsoever. It is made of pure narrative.

I don’t even know where to start. Everyone has been completely mad across the entire spectrum of what passes for America’s political “left” today, from the usual suspects like Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi and their indistinguishable Never-Trump Republican allies, all the way to supposedly progressive commentators like Cenk Uygur and Shaun King. Comparing this pure narrative non-event to Pearl Harbor is now commonplace and mainstream. I just watched a United States Senator named Richard Blumenthal stare right into the camera refer to the hypothetical possibility of future Russian cyber intrusions as “this 9/11 moment.”

“We are in a 9/11 national emergency because our country is under attack, literally!!!,” Blumenthal told CNN while demanding a record of Trump’s meeting with Putin at the Helsinki summit. “That attack is ongoing and pervasive, verified by objective and verifiable evidence. Those words are, again, from the director of National Security. And this 9/11 moment demands that we do come together.”

Nothing about the establishment Russia narrative is in any way verifiable, and the only thing it has in common with 9/11 is the media coverage and widespread emotional response.

September 11 had actual video footage of falling towers. You could go visit New York City, look at the spot where those towers used to be, and see them not being there anymore. You could learn the names of the people who died and visit their graves and talk to their family members. Exactly how it happened is a matter of some debate in many circles, but there is no question that it happened. There was an actual event that did happen in the real world, completely independent of any stories people tell about that event.

Russiagate is like 9/11, but with none of those things. It’s like if 9/11 had all the same widespread emotional responses, all the same nonstop mass media coverage, all the same punditry screaming war, war, war, except no actual event occurred. The towers were still there, everyone was still alive, and nothing actually happened apart from the narrative and the emotional responses to that narrative.

Russiagate is 9/11 minus 9/11.

This is what I’m talking about when I say that whoever controls the narrative controls the world. Whoever controls the stories that westerners are telling each other has the power to advance concrete agendas which reshape global geopolitics without any actual thing even happening. Simply by getting a few hand-picked intelligence agents to say something happened in a relatively confident way, you can get the entire media and political body advancing that narrative as unquestionable fact, and from there advance sanctions, new military operations, a far more aggressive Nuclear Posture Review, the casting out of diplomats, the arming of Ukraine, and ultimately shove Russia further and further off the world stage.

As we discussed last time, the current administration has actually been far more aggressive against Russia than the previous administration was, and has worked against Russian interests to a far greater extent. If they wanted to, the international alliance of plutocrats and intelligence/defense agencies could just as easily use their near-total control of the narrative to advance the story that Trump is a dangerous Russia hawk who is imperiling the entire world by inflicting insane escalations against a nuclear superpower. They could elicit the exact same panicked emotional response that they are eliciting right now using the exact same media and the exact same factual situation. They wouldn’t have to change a single thing except where they place their emphasis in telling the story. The known facts would all remain exactly as they are; all that would have to change is the narrative.

Public support for Russiagate depends on the fact that most people don’t recognize how pervasively their day-to-day experience is dominated by narrative. If you are intellectually honest with yourself, you will acknowledge that you think about Russia a lot more now than you did in 2015. Russia hasn’t changed any since 2015; all that has changed is the narrative that is being told about it. And yet now the mass media and a huge chunk of rank-and-file America now view it as a major threat and think about it constantly. All they had to do was talk about Russia constantly in a fearful and urgent way, and now US liberals are convinced that Vladimir Putin is an omnipotent world-dominating supervillain who has infiltrated the highest levels of the US government.

If humanity is to pull up and away from its current path toward either ecological disaster, nuclear armageddon or Orwellian dystopia, we are necessarily going to have to change our relationship with narrative. As long as the way we think, vote and organize can be controlled by the mere verbiage of the servants of power, our species will never be able to begin operating in a sane and wholesome way. If all it takes to make us act against our own interest is a few establishment lackeys speaking a few words in a confident tone of voice, if mere authoritative language can hypnotize us like a sorcerer casting spells, we are doomed to slavery and destruction.

So stop staring transfixed by the narratives, and begin looking at the behavior and motives of the people advancing them instead. Stop staring at the movie screen they’re constantly drawing your attention to, turn around in your theater seat, and look at the people who are running the projector. The way out of this mess is to begin ignoring the stories we’re being hypnotized with and start critically examining the people who are conducting the hypnosis. Ignore the stories and stare with piercing eyes at the storytellers. The difference between the official narrative and the actual reality of this world is the difference between fiction and fact. Evolve beyond.

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The More They Babble On And On About Russia, Russia, Russia, The Crazier They Look

Gallup Shows How Much Americans Really Care About The “Situation With Russia”

While ever-hope-filled expectations among the left are for a ‘blue wave’ in the Mid-term elections, we suspect things may not turn out quite as planned given the last week’s “crisis”. Even before President Trump had set foot in Helsinki, the left and the media were banging the drums of an all out war war against “the thug” Putin and how he would trump Trump, and once the press conference furore was over, all hell broke loose as the left-leaning world attempted to out-signal one another’s virtue as to the “treasonous”, “surrender” that had occurred.

So much so – in fact – that the internet became ‘full’ of “Trump” and “Treason” chatter – more so even than when he joked in July 2016 about Russia having Hillary’s missing 30,000 emails.

Once again – the “Russia, Russia, Russia” cries completely drowned out any sane discussion of the end of cold war 2.0.

About 85% of the entire NPR Talk day was committed to Russia, Russia, Russia yesterday.

There’s just one small problem with the Democrats’ unending focus on Russia and the media’s constant collusion chatter: few Americans care, because – drumroll – they have real lives in the real economy to worry about.

As the latest survey from Gallup shows: when asked what the most important problem facing the nation is, Russia did not even warrant a 1% – and worse still, it is declining in importance from there.

Source: Gallup

As David Sirota noted, “Gallup recently did a poll of what Americans say is the most important problem facing the country. One finding: the percentage of Americans saying “Situation with Russia” is the most important problem is literally too small to represent with a number. ”

So with all that energy expended on pinning the Russia collusion tail on Trump’s campaign donkey, let alone former FBI Director Comey’s insistence that ‘anyone voting Republican is anti-American’, we are reminded of the blinkered view of the world so many suffer from and what Steve Bannon said yesterday at CNBC’s “Delivering Alpha” conference: The Democrats abandoned the American worker.

The meddling was on the margin, and the Democrats need to accept this. The collusion – they haven’t found one shred of evidence. Not one shred!

And the way the liberals are going nuts over the Trump/Putin meeting, you would think that Trump gave away our Uranium for an illegal campaign contribution or something…

The Democrats have yet to embrace why they lost…[they] have wanted a do-over since 2:30 am on Nov. 9 – and they’ve lied and complained and lied some more and in November they’ll get their do-over…but on November 6, the deplorables will be plenty jacked up.

But in November, voters will render their decision, and whatever they decide it’ll be on Trump’s platform of economic nationalism, which has boosted economic growth and created jobs.

“It’s an up or down vote, the economy, the tax cuts the whole package. I think the Fed’s going to say in the second quarter it’s at 4%…because of economic nationalism.”

So, will The Left find policies to run on that are not “socialism”? and are not “not Trump”?

And Trump, knowing  exactly how to take advantage of the democrats stupidity, is “riding this blue wave” by hinting at another meeting with Putin.

So cue another ‘meltdown’ in 3…2…1…

 

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-07-19/gallup-shows-how-much-americans-really-care-about-situation-russia

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James Comey: Anyone Voting Republican Is Un-American

Yet we are supposed to believe he was totally unbiased as Director of the FBI.  What a joke.

In other words, any Republican who doesn’t vote Democrat in November doesn’t believe in American values.

Comey’s comments come on the heels of what sounded like a call for a coup against President Trump after the Helsinki summit with Vladimir Putin, when he tweeted”This was the day an American president stood on foreign soil next to a murderous lying thug and refused to back his own country,” adding “Patriots need to stand up and reject the behavior of this president.”

I didn’t know Hillary Clinton was in Helsinki.

Even some democrats aren’t having Comey’s arrogant pontificating…

Former Hillary Clinton campaign staffer Zac Petkanas – who is leading the DNC’s “war room” against President Trump, said “Dear @Comey — We don’t want you. Sincerely, The Democratic Party,” adding “He thinks it’s helpful for a witness in an obstruction of justice case against Donald Trump is out there campaigning for Democrats. STFU”

Zac Petkanas

——————-

“How sh**ty of a political operator is @Comey?

He thought Hillary was going to win so it didn’t matter if his public decisions helped Trump.

He thinks it’s helpful for a witness in an obstruction of justice case against Donald Trump is out there campaigning for Democrats.”

STFU

Sean Davis

“What can I do to make people distrust the FBI even more?” the disgraced emo giraffe wrote in his diary. “I know! I’ll say if you don’t vote for Democrats you’re a traitor.” https://twitter.com/Comey/status/1019398962019819520

Sean Davis

Worth noting that James Comey is currently under investigation for lying and leaking classified information. Under the legal standards of The Resistance, he clearly just obstructed justice by electioneering on behalf of officials who might shut those investigations down.

Joel B. Pollak

——————————–

So if we vote Republican, we don’t care about this country’s values?

James Comey questions our patriotism unless we support The Party.

This hack was in charge of the FBI for years. Now THAT is scary.

Jesse Byrnes

Thanks to people like James Comey at the top of the FBI, we have FBI agents like this:  

 

 

Drain the swamp.

 

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Peter Strzok: A Cocky Liar To The End

If you don’t want to read this entire article, here is all you need to know about the corrupt FBI agent:

The Peter Strzok hearing was a travesty, starting with the fact that he testified as a cocooned, lawyered-up government employee still working for the FBI. It is outrageous that he hasn’t been fired yet. He even still has a security clearance! That alone is proof of the deep state’s hold on certain executive branch agencies. If the FBI keeps its so-so employees close, it keeps its worst employees even closer. That Strzok could huddle with FBI lawyers while stonewalling a Republican-led committee speaks to the corruption of official Washington and the comparative impotence of Republican administrations. Does anybody think an FBI agent who had vowed to “stop” the candidacy of Barack Obama at all costs would have lasted a week at his job, let alone over a year, after the discovery of his bias?

The cockiness of Strzok at Thursday’s hearing is a reflection of the immunity that ruling-class mandarins enjoy in liberal Washington. He was testifying from the safety of the deep state and thus knew that he could lie his head off without any consequence whatsoever. How else to explain his unrepentant opening statement, with its blatant anti-Trump special pleading? The statement sounded like it had been written by Rachel Maddow, resting on the lamest and hackiest of MSNBC-style talking points, that “today’s hearing is just another victory notch in Putin’s belt and another milestone in our enemies’ campaign to tear American apart.”

Whatever credibility Strzok as an FBI agent still possessed vanished with that partisan cant, and he spent much of the hearing tossing out similarly hackish anti-Trump gibes designed to win the applause of the ruling class. He couldn’t remember his “we-will-stop”-Trump-from-winning text, though he could remember its noble meaning — that righteous Americans would stop a candidate like Trump who evinced “disgusting behavior.”

His testimony was full of such anti-Trump pandering and constituted one big non-apology apology, based on liberalism’s conceit that its opinions never count as “bias” and could never result in on-the-job misconduct at odds with “public service.”

Like John Brennan who calls himself “non-partisan” while making the most insanely left wing partisan points, Strzok asserted that his “political opinions” didn’t count as bias and certainly didn’t explain or affect his official conduct. That is, if you don’t count his expressing them on an FBI device during FBI time while trashing the subject of an FBI investigation to another FBI member working on the same FBI case with whom he was breaking FBI rules. Trust me, Strzok said to the committee, he has kept his “oath.” Maybe the committee should check with his wife about his oath-keeping record.

FACT: He launched a baseless investigation into a political rival, yet claimed that he couldn’t understand the committee’s concerns. He is right that his anti-Trump animus didn’t affect “one” decision; it affected all of them. How else to explain something as outré as the investigation of a rival presidential campaign without a shred of credible evidence of collusion, an investigation that largely revolved around the opposition research of that campaign’s opponent? After hiding behind FBI lawyers for much of the hearing, Strzok late in it admitted that he could answer the GOP’s question about whether Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, who through his wife was connected to Hillary’s opposition research team, gave the FBI its work. The answer, of course, was yes.

But Strzok insulted everyone’s intelligence by insinuating that something other than Hillary’s fake opposition research had spurred the FBI to investigate her opponent. He couldn’t tell the committee what that was, of course, lest that threaten an “ongoing investigation.” But, trust him, that something was really, really “significant.”

The lying bluff here is sickening. The FBI knows damn well that Hillary’s opposition research drove the bogus investigation. The FBI only invented the sham George Papadopoulos story — which is pitiful, non-conclusive hearsay that doesn’t come anywhere close to Strzok’s description of “intelligence” justifying a counterintelligence probe — because it doesn’t want to admit that it was spying on a Republican campaign based on smears from the Democratic campaign. There is no other reason than that for its stonewalling.

One act of obvious perjury during the hearing was Strzok’s claim — which he presented as incontrovertible proof of his apolitical professionalism — that he “never” spoke to reporters about the investigation before election day. Strzok didn’t even bother to coordinate this lie with his defense attorney, who has previously admitted that Strzok talked to reporters about the investigation. Strzok’s attorney wrote an Op-Ed in USA Today saying that “Peter and others” at the FBI “actively ensured that news reports didn’t overplay the seriousness of the investigation.” How did he do that without talking to them?

According to the New York Times, Strzok’s team had been chatting with its reporters about the investigation for six weeks or so before election day. In the paper’s pre-election article on the FBI’s investigation into alleged Trump-Russian collusion, it stated: “Intelligence officials have said in interviews over the last six weeks that apparent connections between some of Mr. Trump’s aides and Moscow originally compelled them to open a broad investigation into possible links between the Russian government and the Republican presidential candidate.”

So Strzok was talking to reporters, but he didn’t have anything damning to give them, owing to the baselessness and fruitlessness of his investigation. He is now trying to turn that into a virtue. But it wasn’t. He had started an improper investigation and was desperately trying to entrap Trump campaign members in an attempt to justify it. Had he found something, Strzok would have surely leaked it to the press before election day.

It is too bad the Republicans didn’t ask Strzok about his relationship with John Brennan, to whom Strzok served as FBI liaison. Did Strzok encourage Brennan to leak information about the investigation to Harry Reid before election day? The question wasn’t asked, but it should have been. The Brennan-Strzok relationship, which was nourished by an intense hatred of Trump, lies at the root of this scandal.

Who are they kidding? They did want to destroy candidate Trump. The problem was that they didn’t have any evidence of collusion to leak, a problem they tried to remedy by running a spy into the campaign’s ranks. They needed a late-campaign surprise, but their “confidential informant” Stefan Halper, for all of his oafish entrapment attempts, couldn’t produce one. Yet that still didn’t stop Brennan from getting Reid to push anti-Trump smears out to his friends in the press.

Strzok, upon seeing Brennan’s handiwork, excitedly texted his mistress, “Here we go,” and sent her a link to an article about Reid’s leak.

You would think that an officer of the law that was just caught in massive corruption would be a little more humble and apologetic, but Strzok on display at the hearing was the same arrogant bureaucrat on display in the texts — an abusive, ruling-class jerk who still thinks he deserves a place on the Mueller probe. Making Mueller look like an ass and cementing his probe’s reputation as a partisan clown show, Strzok insisted that his removal from it had nothing to do with unprofessional behavior but with a mere “appearance” problem, one he blamed not on his own conduct but on Republicans “misinterpreting” his texts. This is chutzpah on a breathtaking scale, which would be inconceivable were the target of his blundering espionage anyone other than Trump. Strzok’s “insurance policy” against Trump had a provision for his career too. He would survive exposure by wrapping himself in the protective gauze of the anti-Trump resistance.

According to Strzok, there was no way he could get away with letting his political bias affect his performance of his duties due to the culture at the FBI and the layers of bureaucracy above and below him — yet he alone got to decide which of his texts would be turned over to investigators. That looks like the FBI culture and its layers of left wing bureaucracy facilitated his biased performance of his duties.

https://spectator.org/peter-strzok-a-cocky-liar-to-the-end/

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Treat Liberals With Indifference

The Power Of Delusion

originally from TheZMan.com,

Way back in the olden times, I was going back and forth with a liberal acquaintance about a topic related to his cult’s recent fixation on diversity. I no longer recall the details of the conversation, but at some point he said, “The reason we moved to Arlington was so our child could experience diversity.” He was speaking of Arlington Massachusetts, one of the whitest places on earth. He had moved to honkeyville USA, but he had somehow convinced himself that it was a rainbow community of racial and ethnic diversity.

Being a polite person, I laughed right in his face. There are limits to civility. I doubt he has ever forgiven me for not only laughing at the ridiculous claim, but then proceeding to point out the demographic reality of his new home. Arlington is roughly 85% white and 10% Asian and those Asians will be college professors and professionals. The tiny, tiny black and Hispanic population is clustered in one area of town. You can drive around the place all day and never see a brown face that is not riding a lawnmower or leaf blower.

Now, I have no doubt that my former acquaintance and his Progressive hive-mates glorified one another on a regular basis for their embrace of diversity. You can bet they swapped stories about how their kid had a black friend at school or about their supposed friendship with the Muslim coworkers. He actually tried that one on me once. Because it was nothing but virtue signalling, they never faced any push-back. In fact, they got nothing but confirmation from their virtue signalling hive mates, so their delusions were always reinforced.

When people outside the hive wonder how people in the hive can believe the nonsense about diversity and the blank slate, it is important to keep in mind the power of magical thinking. They want this stuff to be true, so they tend to gravitate toward others who have the same fantasies. It is exactly how cults work. The doubt or concern of one member becomes a reason for the rest to double up on their belief. Progressives are people in search of purpose and identity, so they tend to clump together for support. In general, conservatives are comfortable with their purpose and identity so you will find them scattered in all walks of life.

Whether you call it self-delusion, magical thinking, wishful thinking or whatever, this is powerful juju for them. My old Progressive acquaintance was not phased by my mockery or the facts I later sent him. In fact, he has only grown more deluded over the years. He’s now one of those old guys who still wears an “I’m With Her” t-shirt and tells people he is a moderate libertarian. He is not libertarian in any way. It’s not that he is a liar or crazy, it’s that he so desperately wants this image he has of himself to be true, that he has convinced himself it is fact.

It is not just lefty cult members who are prone to self-delusion. Magical thinking is just the grease that makes the gears of life turn smoothly for people. All of us engage in some degree of it. In fact, it may be a requirement of leadership. Read the biographies of great leaders and you almost always find that they had an extreme over-confidence in their abilities. Often, they believed it was their destiny to achieve greatness. It was what pushed them to conquer the world or accomplish some great contribution to humanity.

At the same time, over-the-top belief in some cause is the driving force behind the great evils of history. Stalin was not mindlessly evil. He believed he was on the side of the righteous, just as the Nazis, Chinese communists and other murderous movements of the last century believed they were on the side of good. The Allies in World War II incinerated cities full of women and children, in order to break the will of the other side, because they thought they were fighting a just cause. The self-righteous make the best killers. Planned Parenthood even says, “We are doing God’s work.”  And Barack Obama said, “God bless Planned Parenthood.”

The power of self-delusion is not just the belief in some cause, but belief in the face of available evidence. It’s the conflict between the delusion and reality that is the chemical reaction, releasing energy the believers harness. The American Left refers to themselves as the “resistance” even though they are in complete control. They control all government agencies (FBI, CIA, IRS, DHS, FDA, EPA…), Wall Street, and the media. It seems that the greater the gap between observable reality and the delusion, the more fanatical the believer. That conflict between reality and the delusion releases energy in relation to its contrast.

This is a useful thing to keep in mind when dealing with lefty relations. Your well-intended efforts to break the spell, only serve to make it stronger. It is counter intuitive, but the best thing you can do for a deluded friend or relative is to act disinterested. If you argue with them, they see that as proof they are speaking truth to power. If you agree with them, even on a small point, they see that as confirmation. But indifference throws water on that chemical reaction and robs them of the energy to carry on like a mad man in the face of reality.

This is why the Left forces everyone to pick a side. For example, you cannot be indifferent to the various gender fads. You are either enlightened, or a homophobe, open minded, or a gender-normative bigot. There can be no middle ground, because the delusion that fuels these causes depends upon the conflict. The indifferent are the black swans of the delusional. It’s not simply hive-mindedness. It is a need for the conflict between their beliefs about themselves and the reality of the world in which those beliefs conflict.

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CO2 Emissions Hit 67-Year Low In Trump’s America After Trump Withdraws From Paris Climate Agreement, As Rest-Of-World Rises

Remember when headlines like this were scrolling across news channels 24×7 with all scientists agreeing that we will be doomed when Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord?

 

Well you won’t hear too much about this from the liberal mainstream media, or the environmental movement, or even Al Gore – but, according to the latest energy report from The Energy Information Administration (EIA), under President Trump, per-capita carbon dioxide emissions are now the lowest they’ve been in nearly seven decades.

Even more interesting is the fact that US carbon emissions dropped while emissions from energy consumption for the rest of the world (you know the countries pressing on with the Paris climate agreement) increased by 1.6%, after little or no growth for the three years from 2014 to 2016.

The U.S. emitted 15.6 metric tons of CO2 per person in 1950. After rising for decades, it’s declined in recent years to 15.8 metric tons per person in 2017, the lowest measured levels in 67 years.

And as The Daily Caller reports, in the last year, U.S. emissions fell more than 0.5% while European emissions rose 2.5% (and Chinese emissions rose 1.6% along with Hong Kong’s 7.0% surge), according to BP world energy data – an ironic turn of events given Europe’s shaming of Trump for leaving the Paris climate accord.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-07-08/co2-emissions-hit-67-year-low-trumps-america-rest-world-rises

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“Would The Founding Fathers Recognize Modern America?”

Authored by Bill Bonner via Bonner & Partners,

The metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly is one of the most remarkable things in nature. The animal apparently digests itself, using enzymes triggered by hormones. Then, from the pupa, a whole new animal develops – one with wings.

Time and growth produce changes in institutions, too. Sometimes, they merely get bigger and older. Sometimes, they go through a metamorphosis and change into something very different.

We recently moved back to France for the summer. We lived here for nearly 20 years… and still have a house in the country, to which we retire every summer.

Here, we find our old friends and acquaintances… our old clothes and shoes… our tools and workshop… our tractor… and our favorite office.

And what a pleasure… there, on the table next to the bed, was a copy of Michel De Jaeghere’s great book, Les Derniers Jours: La Fin de l’Empire Romain d’Occident (The Last Days: The End of the Roman Empire in the West).

We picked it up and found where we left off a year ago… page 321.

Roman Example

Many of the founders of the American Republic were readers and scholars. “I can’t live without books,” said Jefferson.

He, Monroe, Madison, Adams, and others were much more aware of Roman history than our leaders today. Most had studied Latin and/or Greek.

They had read Plutarch, Seneca, Sallust, Suetonius, and Cicero.

Much was known about the Roman era… and much was discussed. People believed they could learn from it and do better.

In the same year that the Declaration of Independence was adopted, Edward Gibbon published the first volume of his masterpiece, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

The Founding Fathers were well aware of the transition – natural, and perhaps inevitable – from republic to empire. They had studied it in the Roman example. They had seen how it drew power into a few hands… and corrupted them.

They tried to prevent it from happening in the New World, putting in place limits… circuit breakers… and checks and balances… to keep the government from becoming too big, too ambitious, or too powerful.

Even then, they were doubtful that it would stick. “We give you a republic…” Franklin wrote to posterity, “if you can keep it.”

America did keep it… for nearly 100 years. Maybe a few more. Then, the metamorphosis occurred. And, like Rome, it was not very pretty.

Metamorphic Change

When a man has a wife, he has a more or less agreeable situation, depending on the circumstances. But if he has two wives, he doesn’t simply have twice as much wife. Or twice as much marriage. Or twice as much satisfaction. Or twice as much misery, such as the case may be. It is something altogether different.

Likewise, going to a small airport is very different from going to a large one. And a small, modest country has little in common with a big, aggressive, worldwide empire.

The point we have been making in our Diary is that time and scale have changed the nature, not just the age and the size, of the United States of America. It has become something the Founding Fathers had tried to avoid… and almost certainly wouldn’t like.

It was a metamorphic change, not just more of the same thing. But unlike Jesus, who turned water into wine or an ugly caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly… the change from modest republic to aggressive empire was not necessarily for the better.

The Constitution was twisted into a new shape; like when an alcoholic chaperones a school party after he has had a few drinks, the kids can get away with anything.

The Bill of Rights, too, was run through the wringer. Citizens still have the right to life, liberty, and property – but only to the extent that the feds allow.

They can keep their firearms, for example, but under the Obama Doctrine, the feds can label them terrorists… and kill them.

They still have the right to express themselves under the protection of the First Amendment, unless their opinions are considered “hate speech,” or the feds – or their neoliberal agents at Facebook and Google – just don’t like what they say.

Your property is still safe, too; but under the doctrine of civil forfeiture, the police can take your money, your cars, and your house… with no due process of law.

Thus, were Americans mugged, mangled, and manacled. And then, the feds hit them in the face with a shovel.

Beginning in 2008, they distributed nearly $4 trillion to America’s wealthy stock- and bond-owners. Trillions more were taken from savers (most of us) by reducing interest rates… and given to big borrowers (corporations, Wall Street, and the feds themselves).

Is it any wonder that ordinary Americans are feeling a little testy?

Almost everything seems to be subject to the law of declining marginal utility. Power is no exception. And like desserts, wives, and shots of whiskey, it doesn’t take too long before the returns to additional power diminish so much that they are no longer positive.

They fall below the zero line. There, another drink is not merely useless, it could be fatal… and more power turns you into a Hell-bound bully.

Evolution of Power

That is the insight we’ve struggled to bring to light. As America evolved into an aging empire, it left behind it the laws, rules, customs, and instincts of its youth, much like Rome did after the death of Crassus in 53 BC.

The U.S. empire is now more than 100 years old. It began in the late 1890s, with the annexation of the Philippines. (Some people put the start date much earlier… when the North brought the South into imperial submission.)

Empires are very different from republics. They are no longer by, for, and of the people. They’re too big… too complex… with too many fingers in too many pies for the people or their elected representatives to keep up with.

So power migrates to the center. There, where the CIA, NSA, DHS, FDA, EPA, Pentagon, NIH, FBI, IRS, and dozens of other agencies… along with the corporate headquarters of hundreds of big industries… and thousands of pressure groups, lobbyists, factotums, hacks, think tanks, NGOs, powerful families, and apparatchiks reside, is where the real power flows.

There, too, in Rome as in Washington, the power congeals.

De Jaeghere… along with hundreds of other historians, ancient and modern… brings the process to light.

After reading them, reading the news today is almost like watching an old movie. We’ve seen it before, but we may still laugh… or shed a tear.

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