Restoring the Rule of Law

The rule of law is in grave danger in the U.S. and can be saved by ending perpetual war, prosecuting war crimes, and reforming campaign finance and the judicial system, argues Inder Comar.

By Inder Comar   Special to Consortium News

The rule of law is in serious jeopardy in the United States.

The executive branch is unconstrained, engaging in foreign wars without oversight even while it dismantles the regulatory and administrative state that protects citizens from abuses of power. 

The legislative branch has been hopelessly bought-and-sold by monied interests.

And the judicial branch refuses to intervene, actively closing the doors to any accountability over other elected officials.

Some scholars like Ryan Alford, a professor of international law at Lakehead University in Ontario, even argue that the U.S. is no longer a rule of law state, but a government that is essentially run by dictator elected every four years. If this is true, then the U.S. is effectively a rogue nation. 

Here are five suggestions that could restore the United States to the rule of law:

Revoke the 9/11 Military Authorization

Perpetual war is a systemic threat to democratic government. War increases the powers of the presidency and acts as an excuse to increase presidential powers. Money disappears through appropriations for military expenditure, or just through corruption. War destroys civil society by producing a culture that glorifies the military. War and democracy cannot coexist. As James Madison, a chief author of the U.S. Constitution observed:

Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people . . . No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.”

Madison: “No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.”

The 9/11 Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF), passed immediately after the 9/11 attacks, has morphed into a blank check for unending war, worldwide. As of May 2016, the AUMF was cited at least 37 times to support or sustain military action in at least 13 different countries, by both President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama.

And President Donald Trump has indicated his broad support for maintaining the 9/11 AUMF.

Enough is enough. The AUMF, enacted to fight al-Qaeda, should be terminated, immediately. Al Qaida has been crippled or has emerged as a de facto ally of the U.S. in Syria. As new, legitimate threats emerge, Congress can pass new authorizations.

Join the International Criminal Court

We live in a world where there is an independent, international, permanent tribunal whose primary purpose is to prosecute war crimes and crimes against humanity. The U.S. was initially committed to the International Criminal Court (ICC). President Bill Clinton signed the Rome Statute, but President George W. Bush infamously “unsigned” the treaty, and the Senate was never asked to ratify it.

The ICC is 16-years old. American support for the ICC could be significant, if it did not try to politicize it, and could strengthen the international rule of law in ways that could herald a new era of international accountability for torturers, war criminals, and illegal aggressors.

Investigate U.S. Officials who Break International Law

But it would be meaningless if the rule of law stops at the door step of the powerful. Since 9/11, U.S. leaders have committed acts that should be prosecuted in U.S. courts as they violate U.S. law: torture, unlawful surveillance, wars of aggression, crimes against humanity and war crimes. It would be a painful social process. But Americans have no choice but to expel the venom that infect its politics, society and culture.

The American judicial system, including its prosecutorial agencies, attorneys, social activists and even brave members of the political class, are the anti-bodies we need to restore democratic governance. The impunity of high ranking officials must end, whatever their rank and title, if we wish to live in a truly free and democratic society. 

Create a Truly Independent Judiciary

It is troubling that the outcome of a major case before the U.S. Supreme Court can usually be determined just by looking at the court’s composition.  Independent, impartial review has been jettisoned in favor of nakedly political judicial appointees. 

U.S. Supreme Court

Justices across the political system should find no controversy in protecting and defending civil rights, providing access to justice to vulnerable groups, and acting as a mechanism of last resort for fair and impartial decision making. 

Judges and justices themselves must have the integrity and vision to understand that an independent judiciary is the last defense of a dying democracy. They must reject attempts by either the president or Congress to politicize the judiciary.

End the Influence of Money in Politics 

Most pundits glorify elections as the end-all and be-all of democracy. But take a look at any dictatorship in the world today, and there was almost certainly an election that was rigged to manufacture the intended outcome.

Elections are essential, but not the only condition of democracy, especially when voting has become little more than a hollow stage-play where nearly all electoral choices have been arranged by plutocratic supporters.   

In the U.S., money has infected the electoral process to such a degree that outcomes are effectively tied to the degree of wealth that supports any given candidate. Candidates and elected officials take positions that please their wealthy donors, and not ones that reflect the true will of those who elected them to serve, as this Princeton University study showed.

For elections to be meaningful, they must express the will of an informed citizenry. Public funding of elections and limits on campaign finance expenditure are critical to restore legitimacy to the electoral process. Elections must free, fair, and open to every citizen. 

 

Inder Comar is the executive director of Just Atonement Inc., a legal non-profit dedicated to building peace and sustainability, and the Managing Partner of Comar LLP, a private law firm working in technology. He is a recognized expert on the crime of aggression, the legality of the Iraq War, and international human rights. He holds a law degree from the New York University School of Law, a Master of Arts degree from Stanford University and Bachelor of Arts degrees from Stanford University.

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31 comments for “Restoring the Rule of Law

  1. Mike P
    April 14, 2018 at 7:13 pm

    Asking the people to pick the most “trustworthy” from line-up of cloven-hoofed and sulphur-smelling con artists every four years is a cruel caricature of democracy. Any “representative democracy” can be subverted with money – you can always bribe the few representatives to betray the many represented. The whole concept is outdated – it may have been a practical necessity in the horse-and-buggy era, but in this day and age, there is no good reason to deny the people the right to vote on the issues themselves. It works rather well in Switzerland – there is a reason why the world’s most democratic country is also the most wealthy (save for a couple of resource economies and tax heavens) and the best governed one.

    Would take a while to get right starting from conditions as they exist in the U.S. now, but get better with time.

  2. April 14, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    You can’t hold anyone accountable until the NSC 10/2 legislation is repealed. But, will any Congress do that until we have legislators who take no corporate money? I think not. Therefore, supporting parties that take no corporate money has to come first.

  3. Unfettered Fire
    April 13, 2018 at 9:15 am

    “If you’re not willing to kill everybody who has a different idea than yourself, you cannot have Frederick Hayek’s free market. You cannot have Alan Greenspan or the Chicago School, you cannot have the economic freedom that is freedom for the rentiers and the FIRE (finance, insurance, real estate) sector to reduce the rest of the economy to serfdom.” ~ Michael Hudson

    Forty years of this rentier economy is what must change. The “Crisis of Democracy” (report done by the Trilateral Commission in 1973) after the 60’s social revolution coincided with the famous Lewis Powell memo of 1971, a call to arms for the corporate sector to defend against an activated democracy, since human rights and environmental protections are viewed as threats to profits. The driving policy of corporations to maximize shareholder value must be redesigned to accommodate these rights and protections.

    No amount of monetary QE is going to kickstart job growth. The only answer is a return to strong fiscal policy to inject new money into our dilapidated public sector and to end further privatization, which has been proven a dismal failure. Forget the financial myths about deficits and debt ceilings, “going broke” and other lies that’ve been used to perpetuate the withholding of government funding. End the teaching of these myths to economics students in mainstream universities. In fact, the media, politicians, professors and mainstream economists are nothing more than PR agents for this sham economic policy.

    “Economics students are forced to spend so much time with this complex calculus so that they can go to work on Wall St. that there’s no room in the course curriculum for the history of economic thought.

    So all they know about Adam Smith is what they hear on CNN news or other mass media that are a travesty of what these people really said and if you don’t read the history of economic thought, you’d think there’s only one way of looking at the world and that’s the way the mass media promote things and it’s a propagandistic, Orwellian way.

    The whole economic vocabulary is to cover up what’s really happening and to make people think that the economy is getting richer while the reality is they’re getting poorer and only the top is getting richer and they can only get rich as long as the middle class and the working class don’t realize the scam that’s being pulled off on them.” ~ Michael Hudson

    End the neoliberalism era, begin a new economic paradigm inspired by heterodox economists like Michael Hudson, Steve Keen, Warren Mosler, L. Randall Wray, Stephanie Kelton, Bill Mitchell and the growing worldwide MMT students for change movement and the fascist takeover of the world will subside.

  4. Rohit
    April 13, 2018 at 7:45 am

    I agree with much of what you say, but the judiciary also needs limits. When justices overturn the results of referenda, the people are deprived of power. True, that power cannot be taken away from the judiciary and given to corporations or to presidents. But the power must reflect the people and not nine people in black robes interpreting a two hundred year old document. Lawyers are not known for wisdom. Nor of course is anyone else. But wisdom must return to society.

  5. Daniel
    April 13, 2018 at 1:41 am

    All good and necessary (but not sufficient) things. Not sure how to set about accomplishing any of them. At this point, our electoral system is completely rigged. Congress and President Obama even gave control of it to the frigging Department of homeland security.

  6. Terry Washington
    April 12, 2018 at 3:52 pm

    I agree with all of the above recommendations, esp joining the ICC. Sixteen years on, it is clear that many of the negative consequences allegedly threatened by the Court(popularized by the Bush Administration and the likes of Trump’s new National Security Advisor, John Bolton)- “frivolous or politically motivated lawsuits”( repeated requests from me to the editor of The Wall Street Journal to define what the term “frivolous or politically motivated lawsuits” or even to point to any such lawsuit have gone unanswered) have NOT come to pass!

  7. Jeff
    April 12, 2018 at 12:17 pm

    As many commenters have noticed, the rule of law is dead in the United States. Exactly when it died is a matter that reasonable men may disagree about but not about the fact that it is dead. And, I don’t really know how else to put this but ….

    We are so totally screwed…….

    The nostrums prescribed by both the author and several of the commenters are appropriate, wise, and necessary. And they’ll never happen. Change like that requires honest, hard working leaders who have the integrity to spurn the siren calls of easy money, sinecures, and power and work for the good of the Republic. People like that no longer exist in the United States and certainly not in Washington DC. I find it amusing that so many people call Putin a dictator. He is not. He is a democratically elected President in Russia who is operating within the confines of the Russian government. And the Russian government is pretty authoritarian. Just remember that 100 years ago Russia was an absolute monarchy with the Czar possessing absolutely unrestrained power. But he is operating within the confines of the powers that the Russian government vests in their President. That’s more than you can say about the Cheeto-in-Chief or his henchmen or his predecessor or his predecessor… etc for some time. They have all been expanding the powers of the so-called “imperial presidency” in the face of a gutless and partisan congress who have failed to provide a check on a runaway executive. The toothpaste is out of the tube. It ain’t going back in.

  8. anastasia
    April 12, 2018 at 11:34 am

    It is growing more obvious that we are in our present state by a long design. Trump said during his campaign that he wanted to cooperate with Russia to defeat once and for all ISIS in Syria and to get out of the mid-east. Using that pretensek he deployed more than one thousand troops who are now in Syria on military bases we set up. Did they “defeat ISIS” truly? The Russian and Assad army defeated ISIS, and the US is there doing everything they can to stop the end of of this terrorist activity in Syria, going so far as to send drone and mortar fire on Putin’s military base in Syria. On top of this, there is bogus accusation on top of bogus accusation against Russia since the Trump election – i.e. they interfered with our election (the evidence produced is lauighable); they are using propaganda on the internet on Americans, they stuffed the ballot boxes in their own election (completely absurd); they poisoned the Skripals (patently bogus); they are using chemical weapons in Syria; (never believable) etc, all in a clear attempt to lather Americans up for the present moment.
    There is one chorus in the media, the Executive Branch and Congress against Russia, ringing more hollow r by the minute. And now, after all this preparation for so long, we get the final tweet, “the missiles are coming”. I think by now we can say that Trump has been exposed for the psychotic war-monger that he truly is. Does he truly care about American lives? We see how much he cares about his own family life when his wife was having a baby, a time when families are usually closest. What did Trump do to show his allegiance to his family – to show his deep and abiding love for them at that particular and crucial time in their lives? He had some fun with a low down dirty whore porn star – he played in the mud, and brought the mud home to his wife and baby. Do people really believe he has greater allegiance or care about their lives – that he is concerned about “veterans”, “soldiers”, “American lives”. I am completely ashamed not to have listened to my better angels at the time of the election. I knew he was immoral. I should have used my better judgment and stayed home. At least I would not share in the responsibility for putting this callous maniac in the White House. At this point, I hope Mueller tweets back, “the missiles are coming…………..”

  9. anastasia
    April 12, 2018 at 10:50 am

    Rule of law? While they obtain hegemony throughout the world, refusing to allow the existence of sovereignty in any country, we are losing our rights. Not only do they have through manipulation their Red Guard on the street demanding that our second amendment rights be removed, they are, through the backdoor and tech companies, taking away our first amendment rights. The tech companies are not acting on their own. They are acting in what they believe is in accord with the “Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act”, in case anyone was wondering why they are now incessantly being called “Russian bots”. And what is truly the message we are getting through the raid of the lawyer’s office of the President of the U.S.. The message is that if he doesn’t have fourth amendment rights, we certainly do not have them either. Are people even aware the entire bill of rights has been eradicated under the Patriot Act, just be using the magic word, “terrorist.” They could have used that magic word “terrorist” for the “professional school shooter” student, but that may have awakened too many people to the fact that anyone’s rights can be taken away.

  10. Skip Scott
    April 12, 2018 at 8:50 am

    “Some scholars like Ryan Alford, a professor of international law at Lakehead University in Ontario, even argue that the U.S. is no longer a rule of law state, but a government that is essentially run by dictator elected every four years. If this is true, then the U.S. is effectively a rogue nation.”

    I don’t know Ryan Alford, but although he is correct that the USA is no longer a “rule of law” state, he is way off base about our president being an elected dictator. No president has been in control of foreign policy since Nov. 22, 1963. They are all either willfully complicit or have had their “trip to the woodshed” by the puppet masters. TPTB use the carrot and stick, and have their way. It is naive to think otherwise.

  11. polistra
    April 12, 2018 at 3:55 am

    Rule of law disappeared in 1776 and hasn’t come back since. The revolution replaced law with bizarre delusions about ‘equality’ and ‘liberty’ which have always served the psychotic theorists well.

  12. Zachary Smith
    April 11, 2018 at 11:00 pm

    Some scholars like Ryan Alford, a professor of international law at Lakehead University in Ontario, even argue that the U.S. is no longer a rule of law state, but a government that is essentially run by dictator elected every four years. If this is true, then the U.S. is effectively a rogue nation.

    I’ve been using the terms “elected King” and “elected Emperor”, but believe I like your “elected Dictator” better.

    For elections to be meaningful, they must express the will of an informed citizenry. Public funding of elections and limits on campaign finance expenditure are critical to restore legitimacy to the electoral process. Elections must free, fair, and open to every citizen.

    There is one other requirement, and one which I think needs to be added to your list.

    Elections must be real, and record the actual votes by the citizens

    Until we discard computer voting machines in all forms, our “elections” are a bad joke. Paper ballots, these heavily guarded until and throughout public counting of those ballots.

    • Realist
      April 12, 2018 at 4:38 am

      I wouldn’t characterise the chief executive as king, emperor, dictator or anything like that. Gives him too much presumptive autonomy. I see him more like a figure-head, a puppet whose strings are pulled by those behind the scenes who put him in office with their “contributions,” connections and promises of future wealth after he has served them well. According to faded legend, the person is elected to act as the citizenry’s public servant. In reality, he is more the personal house slave of the controlling aristocracy. To be considered great in the history books, the individual was expected to show high honesty, integrity and character, and if necessary to sacrifice advantages today for a better tomorrow. The idea was to help as many people as possible to achieve the “American dream.” (Read the preamble to the constitution, the goals are outlined there.) Today, the day of his inauguration is when he starts breaking his campaign promises to the people and selling out to the special interests.

      No doubt that the “rule of law” is better than chaos and self-serving corruption, but even the most onerous tyrannies based their legitimacy on some set of laws, whatever the source. We have laws, oft times very unjust ones, capriciously drafted and unequally applied. It’s not only the laws but the moral compass of the land and an understanding of the reciprocal responsibilities of citizen and state that need re-jiggering in 21st century America. That will be one tough nut to crack with fewer people agreeing on fewer issues as the future unfolds.

      For example, we used to believe, as a people, that “to whom much is given, much is required.” The passage is in the bible (Luke 12:48) and President Kennedy cited it in his inaugural address–the speech in which he said “Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country.” Today, those words have been implicitly re-written as “to whom much is given, even more will be received,” and “Ask not what your country can do for you because it is always short of revenues and needs your tax money to cover interest on the debt.”

      Of course, we won’t get to a better place through any proclamations or edicts. We may not even recognise we have arrived at a new consensus if we ever do. Any change will probably entail a long uncharted process of trial and error, especially as new social forces tug this way and that in an ever more diverse population. Maybe unity is no longer possible in such a country and secession and fragmentation is inevitable. So be it. That’s for the future inhabitants of this continent to settle. I, for one, won’t be here. I just hope most don’t have something highly oppressive imposed upon them by some miniscule ruling class. But first the world must get past the present obsession of America’s leadership routinely threatening to blow up the planet if it doesn’t get its way on everything.

  13. Sam F
    April 11, 2018 at 9:22 pm

    Action, Not Identity Squabbles:
    1. Alternative groups must create a substitute power, not an alternative social milieu;
    2. Neutral luxury issues like climate change, maternity leaves, gun control, and gay bathrooms are mass media squabbles to divide reformers and maintain oligarchy;
    3. Lives are more important: ignore luxury issues until we have restored democracy and eliminated war and the tyranny of the rich;
    4. Action requires courage; but without political Action there is no progress;
    5. Do your duty as a citizen while limiting the personal cost, otherwise all is lost for your future and your children; otherwise you consent to the enslavement of all humanity.
    6. The challenge is to speak the language of force without losing moral perspective.

    US democracy may not be restored by political action. It may be a slow train wreck much celebrated in the future. But surprises happen, and we must be prepared to sweep in and do all that can be done. This is the good fight, and humanity will win at last.

  14. Sam F
    April 11, 2018 at 9:22 pm

    Individual Actions To Recommend:
    1. Never watch mass media or vote Rep or Dem, and advise others to do so;
    2. Let people know where you stand, but not work, relatives, or broad social groups;
    3. Watch candidate funding and dump any with MIC or zionist sympathies;
    4. Boycott military companies and BDS Israel; carefully denounce MIC and zionists;
    5. Refuse to take mortgages or keep large sums in banks or investments;
    6. Support foreign rejection of US products, currency, and NATO.

    Do Not Expect Pacifism to Remove Tyranny:
    1. Restoring democracy requires elimination of oligarchy funding of mass media and elections, which cannot be done peacefully because those are the tools of democracy.
    2. The judiciary has no role at all in reform: it is almost 100 percent corrupt fake patriots who deny rights or law beyond their party and identity group;
    3. Political demonstrations are no longer covered by mass media;
    4. Political commentary groups are educational families but do not achieve the results;
    5. Functioning movements do not end tyranny without a political and a militant wing;
    6. The US is run by tyrants, who are persuaded only in their language of force and fear: organized attacks on the rich/media/parties/officials, infiltration of agencies to deny enforcement, riots, and strikes: those are the only first signs of progress;

  15. Sam F
    April 11, 2018 at 9:22 pm

    Only then can literature, media, education, and public interaction encourage moral community, and only then can public debate find the moral policies that honor the rights of all persons and seek justice for all.

    The Means of Reform:
    1. Executive overreach to dismiss the corrupt and hold new elections requires massive replacement of agency top levels by a well organized political coalition;
    2. Organize new parties that truly represent voters and form majority coalitions;
    3. Use small groups, false names, no email, and eliminate possible informers;
    4. Organize strikes, riots, and visible demonstrations to demand action;
    5. Infiltrate military/intel/police/nat guard and deny these to oligarchy in strikes and riots;
    6. Blow the whistle on corruption wherever it is found, but hide your identity;

  16. Sam F
    April 11, 2018 at 9:21 pm

    The article focuses well on the need for foreign policy reform by dumping AUMFs, joining the ICC, investigating war crime, and reforming the judiciary, but neglects the structural reform needed to do this, and the means to get there.

    The problem is that we no longer have a democracy, but a loose oligarchy or dictatorship of the rich, a form of economic tyranny. To restore democracy, it must be stabilized by:
    1. Amendments to protect elections and mass media debate from economic power;
    2. Better checks and balances within the government branches;
    3. Investigation and purging of our corrupt judiciary and Congress;
    4. Monitoring of government officials for corruption;
    5. Regulating business so that oligarchic bullies cannot control economic power;
    6. Re-purposing 80% of our MIC to foreign aid, later making that a distinct agency;
    7. Reforming our secret agencies to end secret political wars and operations.

    Only when we have the power to do that, can we dump AUMFs, join the ICC, dump our law to attack the Hague etc., re-negotiate NATO as strictly defensive, limit foreign wars to UN auspices, repudiate deals with warmonger nations, end our secret wars, and thereby eliminate US warmongering.

  17. Sam F
    April 11, 2018 at 8:33 pm

    The article focuses well on the need for foreign policy reform by dumping AUMFs, joining the ICC, investigating war crime, and reforming the judiciary, but neglects the structural reform needed to do this, and the means to get there.

    The problem is that we no longer have a democracy, but a loose oligarchy or dictatorship of the rich. To restore democracy, it must be stabilized by
    1. amendments to protect elections and mass media debate from economic power;
    2. better checks and balances within the government branches;
    3. investigation and purging of our corrupt judiciary and Congress;
    4. monitoring of government officials for corruption;
    5. regulate business so that oligarchic bullies cannot control economic power;
    6. re-purposing 80% of our MIC to foreign aid, later made that a distinct agency;
    7. reforming our secret agencies to end secret political wars and operations.

    Only when we have the power to do that, can we dump AUMFs, join the ICC, dump our law to attack the Hague etc., re-negotiate NATO as strictly defensive, limit foreign wars to UN auspices, repudiate deals with warmonger nations, end the secret wars, and thereby eliminate US warmongering.

    Only then can literature, media, education, and public interaction encourage moral community, and only then can public debate find the moral policies that honor the rights of all persons and seek justice for all.

    The Means of Reform are:
    1. Executive overreach to dismiss the corrupt and hold new elections requires massive replacement of agency top levels by a well organized political coalition;
    2. Organize new parties that truly represent voters and form majority coalitions;
    3. Use small groups, false names, no email, and eliminate possible informers;
    4. Organize strikes, riots, and visible demonstrations to demand action;
    5. Infiltrate military/intel/police/nat guard and deny these to oligarchy in strikes and riots;
    6. Blow the whistle on corruption wherever it is found, but hide your identity;

    Individual Actions To Recommend:
    1. Never watch mass media or vote Rep or Dem, and advise others to do so;
    2. Let people know where you stand, but not work, relatives, or broad social groups;
    3. Watch candidate funding and dump any with MIC or zionist sympathies;
    4. Boycott military companies and BDS Israel; carefully denounce MIC and zionists;
    5. Refuse to take mortgages or keep large sums in banks or investments;
    6. Support foreign rejection of US products, currency, and NATO.

    Do Not Expect Pacifism to Work
    1. The judiciary has no role in reform: it is almost 100 percent corrupt flag-waving scammers who always deny rights or law beyond their party and identity group;
    2. Political demonstrations are no longer covered by mass media;
    3. Political commentary groups are educational families but do not persuade or achieve direct results;
    4. The tyrants who run the US occurs are persuaded only in their language of force and fear: organized attacks on the rich/media/parties/officials, infiltration of agencies to deny enforcement, riots, and strikes: all the rest never happened. Functioning movements have a political and a militant wing, and get nowhere at all without both.

    Restoring democracy requires elimination of oligarchy funding of mass media and elections, which cannot be done peacefully because those are the tools of democracy, which is never restored peacefully.

    While alternative groups must attract a diverse base, they must create a substitute power, not an alternative social milieu of neutral luxury issues. Climate change, maternity leaves, gun control, and gay bathrooms are along the way but they are mass media squabbles to divide reformers and maintain oligarchy. Lives are more important: ignore these issues until we have restored democracy and eliminated warmongering tyranny.

    Without political Action there is no progress. Action requires great courage. Do your duty as a citizen regardless of personal cost, otherwise all is lost for your future and your children. Otherwise you consent to the enslavement of all humanity. The challenge is to speak the language of force without losing moral perspective.

    US democracy may not be restored by political action. It may be a slow train wreck much celebrated in the future. But surprises happen, and we must be prepared to sweep in and do all that can be done.

    • Sam F
      April 11, 2018 at 9:57 pm

      This was moderated for a while so I inserted it in four sections below with minor corrections.
      The moderator should feel free to delete either version and this note as redundant if preferred.

  18. Drew Hunkins
    April 11, 2018 at 6:44 pm

    Shows the strength of non-econ identity politics issues when we witness tens of thousands in the streets of DC for crotch grabbing, pussy hats, and guns yet the streets of the capital are deadly silent when we’re on the brink of serious war in Syria where Russia’s a major player.

    If anything points out the colossal wreck that is politics and activism in the US, this is surely it. (“Colossal wreck” is the late great Alexander Cockburn’s term for early 21st century left politics.)

    • Stygg
      April 12, 2018 at 1:36 pm

      I can’t hear “colossal wreck” without thinking of Ozymandias.

  19. April 11, 2018 at 6:39 pm

    A most discerning and timely article. I fear that most of it is correct and true. Shall we be able to listen? I suspect not. The teller of the truth is usually doomed as there is always someone willing to tell us the lie we want to hear. Anyway, thank you, Mr Comar!

  20. mike k
    April 11, 2018 at 5:45 pm

    In the US criminals write the laws, and enforce them when it suits them. You will never be able to use their phony laws and rigged elections to get rid of them. They have the police and army under their control to prevent anyone from touching them. Only a mass change in consciousness could displace them, and we do not know how to induce this. The brainwashed public represent their greatest defenders.

    • mike k
      April 11, 2018 at 5:48 pm

      Translation: we are screwed. Welcome to our ongoing dystopia.

      • KiwiAntz
        April 11, 2018 at 6:14 pm

        Yes I agree, you are screwed? I expect to see within the next few days a mass exodus of rich A-Listers such as Peter Thiel & others, legging it to their boltholes, here in New Zealand, where I live? You be amazed the amount of people trying to emigrate here, especially the rich? There like rats leaving a sinking ship called America, which if it doesn’t alter course, is going to hit a nuclear iceberg called Russia & will face the same fate as the Titanic? I can’t see any hope of your Leaders pulling you back from the brink of Armageddon, just today that moron, you American people elected to office as President has tweeted that he’s going to attack Russia? Better start building that bomb shelter & make doomsday preparations?

        • mike k
          April 11, 2018 at 7:15 pm

          I built a nuclear bomb shelter under our house back during the Berlin Air Lift days, complete with barrels of water, Geiger counter, etc. It was actually a pretty shabby and totally useless project, of course. My plan now is to do what the dark joke advises: When they sound the sirens, go to the southeast corner of your basement, put your head between your legs, and kiss your mother f***in ass goodbye!

  21. Cassandra
    April 11, 2018 at 5:25 pm

    “The rule of law is in serious jeopardy in the United States.”

    Is this a joke? There hasn’t been any rule of law in quite some time.

    • jose
      April 11, 2018 at 9:19 pm

      Dear Cassandra: you make a very good point. I would only add the following. According to UCLA “Just 45 days after the attacks of September 11, 2001, a panicked Congress passed, with virtually no debate, the USA Patriot Act. The law amounted to an overnight revision of the nation’s surveillance laws that vastly expanded the government’s authority to spy on its own citizens, while simultaneously reducing checks and balances on those powers.” I could not come up with a better example of a clear violation and total disregard for the rule of law. It is fascism made in America. Huey Long once asserted that “When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the American flag.” I could not agree more. I would like to hear from you Cassandra.

      • angryspittle
        April 11, 2018 at 10:28 pm

        That wasn’t Huey Long. And the quote was “when fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross”….that was Upton Sinclair.

        • angryspittle
          April 11, 2018 at 10:31 pm

          And there is some dispute as to whether either man said that……..

        • Jose
          April 12, 2018 at 10:09 am

          Thanks for your correction. I did some research about the quote and found the following: “You’ve probably heard some variation on this quote: “When fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in the flag and waving a cross,” possibly attributed to Sinclair Lewis or Huey Long. The only problem: there’s no evidence that either men said it.”

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