• Monthly
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $other
  • use PayPal

SPRING FUNDRAISER

Is it time for our Spring fundraiser already? If you enjoy what we offer, and have the means, please consider donating. The sooner we reach our modest goal, the faster we can get back to business as (un)usual. Please, stay safe and we’ll see you down the road.
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

History’s Actors

Somebody’s contradicting the contradiction of someone else. WTF’s going on here? The more I know, the less I know or the more I think I know the more I realize I’m powerless to understand.

When I read the daily onslaught of news, attempt to separate the accurate from the fake, I’m reminded of Donald Rumsfeld’s response to a question at a 2002 news briefing during which he was asked about evidence linking Iraq to weapons of mass destruction:

Reports that say that something hasn’t happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don’t know we don’t know. And if one looks throughout the history of our country and other free countries, it is the latter category that tend to be the difficult ones.

This quote leads to another George Bush regime horror, that hideous ogre often referred to as Bush’s brain, Karl Rove. During an interview with journalist Ron Suskind, Rove said that guys like Suskind were in “what we call the reality-based community” and defined this as people who “believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” Rove continued:

That’s not the way the world really works anymore. We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors … and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.

For weeks now, we’ve been bombarded with distractions: Russia, Russia, Russia. Distractions obscuring the relevant: poverty, homelessness, war, troop escalation in Afghanistan, immigrant deaths at sea, climate devastation, and the recent tunnel collapse at Hanford nuclear site.

I’ve read mainstream and alternative accounts of Trump’s months in office. You know, studying what he’s doing. Studying Hillary Clinton’s analysis of her embarrassing defeat. Studying Obama’s payoff, the huge amount of money for that speech. His and Michelle Obama’s book deals. The number of zeros, commas, and position of decimal points. Are these Rumsfeld’s known unknowns? Or his unknown unknowns? Are they Rove’s characters, playing roles to convince us of whatever?

And speaking of actors, I’ve just finished re-watching four seasons of House of Cards in preparation for the end-of-May release of season five. If you haven’t seen season 4 and intend to, don’t read the rest of this piece.

Frank Underwood is president of the U.S., in office because he’s orchestrated the impeachment of the former president who resigned. Underwood and his wife Claire are running for the presidency and the vice presidency. When scandal threatens their chance, they decide to wage war:

Claire Underwood: We can’t fight everything off one by one, Francis. But if we make this – we make it work for us.
Frank Underwood: Create chaos…
Claire Underwood: More than chaos.
Frank Underwood: War…
Claire Underwood: Fear.
Frank Underwood: Fear. Brutal. Total.
Claire Underwood: I’m done trying to win over people’s hearts.
Frank Underwood: Let’s attack their hearts.
Claire Underwood: We can work with fear.
Frank Underwood: Yes, we can.

And then Frank Underwood says, That’s right. We don’t submit to terror. We make the terror.

Indeed. Art imitating the egregious truth of American Exceptionalism. Politicians delivering their lines. Crying on cue. Presidents as place holders, emoting as they carry out an agenda written years prior.

Perhaps a crucial known is that these are Golden Globe and Oscar-worthy performances to perpetuate U.S Empire.

More articles by:

Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in BaltimoreEmail: missybeat@gmail.com

June 01, 2020
Joshua Frank
It’s a Class War Now Too
Richard D. Wolff
Why the Neoliberal Agenda is a Failure at Fighting Coronavirus
Henry Giroux
Racial Domestic Terrorism and the Legacy of State Violence
Ron Jacobs
The Second Longest War in the United States
Kanishka Chowdhury
The Return of the “Outside Agitator”
Lee Hall
“You Loot; We Shoot”
Dave Lindorff
Eruptions of Rage
Jake Johnston
An Impending Crisis: COVID-19 in Haiti, Ongoing Instability, and the Dangers of Continued U.S. Deportations
Nick Pemberton
What is Capitalism?
Linda G. Ford
“Do Not Resuscitate”: My Experience with Hospice, Inc.
Medea Benjamin - Nicolas J. S. Davies
Who Are the Secret Puppet-Masters Behind Trump’s War on Iran?
Manuel García, Jr.
A Simple Model for Global Warming
Howard Lisnoff
Is the Pandemic Creating a Resurgence of Unionism? 
Frances Madeson
Federal Prisons Should Not be Death Chambers
Hayley Brown – Dean Baker
The Impact of Upward Redistribution on Social Security Solvency
Raúl Carrillo
We Need a Public Option for Banking
Kathy Kelly
Our Disaster: Why the United States Bears Responsibility for Yemen’s Humanitarian Crisis
Sonali Kolhatkar
An Open Letter to Joe Biden on Race
Scott Owen
On Sheep, Shepherds, Wolves and Other Political Creatures
John Kendall Hawkins
All Night Jazz All The Time
Weekend Edition
May 29, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Tim Wise
Protest, Uprisings, and Race War
Nick Pemberton
White Supremacy is the Virus; Police are the Vector
T.J. Coles
What’s NATO Up to These Days? Provoking Russia, Draining Healthcare Budgets and Protecting Its Own from COVID
Benjamin Dangl
Bibles at the Barricades: How the Right Seized Power in Bolivia
Kevin Alexander Gray - Jeffrey St. Clair - JoAnn Wypijewski
There is No Peace: an Incitement to Justice
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Few Good Sadists
Jeff Mackler
The Plague of Racist Cop Murders: Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd and the COVID-19 Pandemic
Joshua Frank
In Search of a Lost Socialism
Charles Pierson
Who are the “Wrong Hands” in Yemen?
David Schultz
Trump isn’t the Pope and This Ain’t the Middle Ages
Andrew Levine
Trump Is Unbeatable in the Race to the Bottom and So Is the GOP
Ramzy Baroud
Political Ambiguity or a Doomsday Weapon: Why Abbas Abandoned Oslo
Pam Martens - Russ Martens
A Growing Wave of Bankruptcies Threatens U.S. Recovery
Joseph Natoli
Conditions Close at Hand
N.D. Jayaprakash
No Lessons Learned From Bhopal: the Toxic Chemical Leak at LG Polymers India 
Ron Jacobs
The Odyssey of Elias Demetracopoulos
J.P. Linstroth
Arundhati Roy on Indian Migrant-Worker Oppression and India’s Fateful COVID Crisis
Melvin Goodman
Goodness Gracious, David Ignatius!!
Roger Harris
Blaming the COVID-19 Pandemic on Too Many Humans:  a Critique of Overpopulation Ideology
Sonali Kolhatkar
For America’s Wealthiest, the Pandemic is a Time to Profit
Prabir Purkayastha
U.S. Declares a Vaccine War on the World
David Rosen
Coronavirus and the Telecom Crisis
Paul Buhle
Why Does W.E.B. Du Bois Matter Today?
Mike Bader
The Only Way to Save Grizzlies: Connect Their Habitats
Dave Lindorff
Pandemic Crisis and Recession Can Spark a Fight for Real Change in the US
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail