Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
DOUBLE YOUR DONATION!
We don’t run corporate ads. We don’t shake our readers down for money every month or every quarter like some other sites out there. We provide our site for free to all, but the bandwidth we pay to do so doesn’t come cheap. A generous donor is matching all donations of $100 or more! So please donate now to double your punch!
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Bring Out Your Dead!

A 14th century cry during the Black Plague to let people know that the cart for dead bodies was passing by. Anyone with a dead friend or relative would “bring out their dead” and throw the person on top of the pile.  Also: see Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Don’t fret overmuch about Steve Bannon’s cabinet picks announced by his stooge Trump.  Of course each new appointment will be worse than the other, from “Burgers in a Bikini” Andy Puzder to a labor secretary who despises labor.  But keep your eye on the out-of-sight lower government levels where a loyalty cleanup is already happening.

You may not agree, but  government bureaucrats make the best parts work.  Admittedly, I’m biased since they sent me free of charge to college and manage Social Security, Medicare and my Veterans Admin doctors.  Sometime they stupidly screw up, but so?

The Bannon-Trump plan is to make life so unbearable for decent hardworking (and unionized) government employees that they either quit or shut up.  Think Hollywood blacklist but vaster.

The point of a blacklist is to get your own ass kissers in while strongarming all the clancysigalblackothers into obedience.

I’ve lived with blacklists all my life.  My labor-oriented folks and extended family (cousins Charlie and Davie) saw a blacklist’s derailing their lives as the price of doing business as union organizers.  But most govt workers today probably want to keep their jobs by zipping their lips and hunkering down in a trumpstorm.

Here’s how it works even before Jan 20.

Steve Bannon’s “transition team” springs a 74-point questionnaire at the Department of Energy demanding names of all employees and contractors who have attended climate change policy, as well as emails and documents associated with the conferences.  Names, names, we gotta have names.

Scott Pruitt, a climate change “denialist” and atty gen of frack-caused earthquake-exploding Oklahoma, who hates the Environmental Protection Agency, is the EPA’s new boss.  He will cull the Energy Dept’s disloyalists who want to limit carbon dioxide emissions.

Put yourself in the shoes of a mid- or lower-level EPA or Energy Dept. employee when your new boss asks if you love him you better have the right answer.

The lasting impact of the old Hollywood blacklist, where I have experience, was less in who got fired than the ripple effect of bullying and browbeating.  Whole communities dependent on film making were scared into silence or cynicism.  History books say Sen. McCarthy fell due to his “excesses”. Untrue.  He lives on in these 74 point questionnaires.

The 1930s Germans called it gleichschaltung.  Look it up.

More articles by:

Clancy Sigal is a screenwriter and novelist. His latest book is Black Sunset

Weekend Edition
October 19, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jason Hirthler
The Pieties of the Liberal Class
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Day in My Life at CounterPunch
Paul Street
“Male Energy,” Authoritarian Whiteness and Creeping Fascism in the Age of Trump
Nick Pemberton
Reflections on Chomsky’s Voting Strategy: Why The Democratic Party Can’t Be Saved
John Davis
The Last History of the United States
Yigal Bronner
The Road to Khan al-Akhmar
Robert Hunziker
The Negan Syndrome
Andrew Levine
Democrats Ahead: Progressives Beware
Rannie Amiri
There is No “Proxy War” in Yemen
David Rosen
America’s Lost Souls: the 21st Century Lumpen-Proletariat?
Joseph Natoli
The Age of Misrepresentations
Ron Jacobs
History Is Not Kind
John Laforge
White House Radiation: Weakened Regulations Would Save Industry Billions
Ramzy Baroud
The UN ‘Sheriff’: Nikki Haley Elevated Israel, Damaged US Standing
Robert Fantina
Trump, Human Rights and the Middle East
Anthony Pahnke – Jim Goodman
NAFTA 2.0 Will Help Corporations More Than Farmers
Jill Richardson
Identity Crisis: Elizabeth Warren’s Claims Cherokee Heritage
Sam Husseini
The Most Strategic Midterm Race: Elder Challenges Hoyer
Maria Foscarinis – John Tharp
The Criminalization of Homelessness
Robert Fisk
The Story of the Armenian Legion: a Dark Tale of Anger and Revenge
Jacques R. Pauwels
Dinner With Marx in the House of the Swan
Dave Lindorff
US ‘Outrage’ over Slaying of US Residents Depends on the Nation Responsible
Ricardo Vaz
How Many Yemenis is a DC Pundit Worth?
Elliot Sperber
Build More Gardens, Phase out Cars
Chris Gilbert
In the Wake of Nepal’s Incomplete Revolution: Dispatch by a Far-Flung Bolivarian 
Muhammad Othman
Let Us Bray
Gerry Brown
Are Chinese Municipal $6 Trillion (40 Trillion Yuan) Hidden Debts Posing Titanic Risks?
Rev. William Alberts
Judge Kavanaugh’s Defenders Doth Protest Too Much
Ralph Nader
Unmasking Phony Values Campaigns by the Corporatists
Victor Grossman
A Big Rally and a Bavarian Vote
James Bovard
Groped at the Airport: Congress Must End TSA’s Sexual Assaults on Women
Jeff Roby
Florida After Hurricane Michael: the Sad State of the Unheeded Planner
Wim Laven
Intentional or Incompetence—Voter Suppression Where We Live
Bradley Kaye
The Policy of Policing
Wim Laven
The Catholic Church Fails Sexual Abuse Victims
Kevin Cashman
One Year After Hurricane Maria: Employment in Puerto Rico is Down by 26,000
Dr. Hakim Young
Nonviolent Afghans Bring a Breath of Fresh Air
Karl Grossman
Irving Like vs. Big Nuke
Dan Corjescu
The New Politics of Climate Change
John Carter
The Plight of the Pyrenees: the Abandoned Guard Dogs of the West
Ted Rall
Brett Kavanaugh and the Politics of Emotion-Shaming
Graham Peebles
Sharing is Key to a New Economic and Democratic Order
Ed Rampell
The Advocates
Louis Proyect
The Education Business
David Yearsley
Shock-and-Awe Inside Oracle Arena
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail