Friday Morning Thoughts

Here are some old Friday morning thoughts that still seem fresh to me.

The generals are most certainly getting more, and more, and more. Meanwhile, most Americans have already forgotten (if they ever paid any attention to) the Afghan War. Also, the U.S. government is still pursuing Julian Assange and punishing principled whistle blowers like Daniel Hale with extensive prison time.

And of course we had a pseudo-Reichstag moment a year ago with the Capitol riot; even if it was more cosplay coup than coup, it caught the growing authoritarianism and lawlessness of America, as well as a certain desperation for anything other than the status quo, even if that “anything” is an unprincipled wannabe strongman like Trump.

With both parties compromised by corporate capture, and with Democrats failing to deliver on the most important campaign promises (higher wages, affordable health care, debt relief, and so on), conditions are ripe for a Trumpist revival this fall, even as Biden approaches his 80th birthday.

Readers, what do you think on this Friday?

Bracing Views

rocco Johnny Rocco (with gun) wants more

W.J. Astore

A few thoughts on this Friday morning:

1. Andrew Bacevich at describes 24 stories/questions that are being ignored or neglected by the mainstream media as they obsess about Donald Trump. I’d like to add #25 to his list, as follows: Why is everything in America classified? The constant appeal to classification, to secrecy, prevents the discussion of vitally important military and security matters in public.  Is the real target of all this secrecy our rivals and enemies, or is it the American people?

Related to my #25, of course, is the persecution of “whistleblowers” for allegedly violating secrecy.  Under the Obama administration, people were accused of sedition and treason when their real “crime” was trying to keep the American people informed about what their government is really doing.

In short, when did the USA become the former Soviet Union, with its…

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9 thoughts on “Friday Morning Thoughts

  1. Thank you for reprinting this important article by Andrew Bacevich. The 24 questions plus your own 25th are indeed important and in one way or another most of us have been wondering what the answers are for a very long time. Do you have any suggestions for how get our media to start discussing them?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The media is also captured and controlled by corporations. So the best way to motivate them is to hurt their ratings by not watching them. Meanwhile, seek out alternative voices. There are many excellent journalists. Matt Taibbi, Chris Hedges, Glenn Greenwald, and many others. The truth is out there!

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      1. I agree with your assessment of the media. I feel sad for many of the real journalists who lost jobs over the last decade due to online “news” sources, especially regional news media. I suspect that there are still many in the corporate run major media organizations who really want to do a better job but are constrained by the ownership.I sometimes think the death of local journalism is a greater danger than the watering down of the national news. It isn’t surprising that more government watchdog stories aren’t being produced. It just doesn’t seem possible anyone could make a living doing it. Journalists have to eat, just like all of us who work for a boss, we have to do what we’re told.

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        1. You’re right about journalism, Jerry. In my years of working for a regional business journal, I saw that, although editors did generate their own story ideas, there were definite guardrails, and special sections were dictated by the corporate office, according to the kind of “news” that attracted advertisers. There were frequent “fluff” sections that consisted of articles having nothing to do with actual news. The journal would make up some kind of award, then solicit corporate nominations, then profile the “winners,” all the while pushing winners’ companies to buy accompanying advertising. A total racket.


  2. I’ve had the occasional brief email exchange with Andrew. I got this reply from him to my email on October 16, 2018
    Dear Ray,
    I don’t want to minimize the problem, but I feel certain that democracy will make it to 2021. So hang in there.
    Andrew Bacevich

    I emailed him again last month asking, Do you still feel Today, as you did 3 years ago?
    He replied same Day this way,
    Dear Ray,
    I am less confident today than I was a year ago.
    Andrew Bacevich

    I was hoping for more of a dialogue than just the simple direct reply to my question 😦


  3. The chance for real change, to make a move to upset the status quo in a democratic way was blown when Bernie was bumped off the stage by all-elbows Hillary. The Democrats blew the chance to be a party for the future and Bernie blew it by passing on the opportunity to start a new party.

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  4. The only point on which I disagree with Bracevich is that, with the advantage of examining his post 4 1/2 years after it was written, it turns out that TFG was NOT a transient phenomenon. I’d argue that his warping of this country is as critical an issue as any on Bracevich’s list, for the simple reason that a crippled nation (for indeed we are, at this point) is incapable of addressing any international issue.

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