The Dangers of ‘Minstrel Diplomacy’

Black faces are being used by the failing empire to sell failed racist, neocolonial militarism, writes Wilmer J. Leon.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Congressman Gregory Meeks arrive in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, on July 5. (State Department, Ron Przysucha)

By Wilmer J. Leon, III
The Seattle Medium

“When you control a man’s thinking you do not have to worry about his actions…He will find his own ‘proper place’ and will stay in it…You do not need to send him to the back door.  He will go without being told.  In fact, if there is no back door, he will cut one for his special benefit.  His education makes it necessary….” Carter G. Woodson, The Mis-Education of the Negro

There have been defining times in history-moments, epochs and periods that are typically marked by notable events or particular characteristics that have changed the world forever. 

Nicolaus Copernicus’ publication of On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres in 1543, postulating the model of the universe that placed the Sun rather than Earth at its center was such a moment. 

The Industrial Revolution (1760 – 1840), was a defining period in the methods and processes of global production that transitioned most of the world away from hand production, towards more efficient and stable mechanical manufacturing. 

In 1957, the Soviet Union successfully launched Sputnik I, the Earth’s first artificial satellite, launching the “space race” that led to America landing the first humans on the moon in 1969.

These are just a few examples of moments in time that have changed people’s perceptions of the world as it was known.  The world-humankind, once again finds itself in the midst of one of those epochs. 

Humankind is witnessing the fall of the Western empire.  The shift is away from the unipolar world, financed by the U.S. dollar and controlled by American military power projection and hegemony, to a new multipolar geo-political landscape. 

This “new world order” will not be controlled by American interests. It will be managed by the cooperation of numerous countries, with a goal of establishing, “… a more just, balanced and stable multipolar world order, firmly opposing all types of international confrontation…” 

People naturally tend to think that a “fall” or collapse of this nature would be more immediate, dramatic and easily recognized. To the contrary, empires tend to collapse over time.  It’s analogous to going bankrupt. 

In Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, Mike Campbell, a bankrupt Scottish war veteran, was asked how he went bankrupt. Mike replied, “Two ways …Gradually and then suddenly.” When asked what brought his bankruptcy on, Mike replied, “Friends. I had a lot of friends. False friends. Then I had creditors, too.”  

Just as Mike had “friends,” the U.S. has allies.  As Mike had “creditors,” the U.S. is trying to finance multiple wars on multiple fronts. 

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s pronouncements that “…the U.S. can afford to support both Ukraine and Israel in their respective war efforts without hindering the nation’s economy…”, reeks of overreach. Financial overreach and military overreach are among the contributing factors that have historically led to the fall of empires.

Messaging in a Time of Decline   

U.s. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on Oct. 13 in Tel Aviv, which he visited to “underscore the unwavering support of the U.S. … to ensuring Israel has what it needs to defend itself.” (DoD, Chad J. McNeeley)

As empires begin their decline, messaging becomes very important. The narrative that’s created to control people’s perceptions of reality are key. 

MSNBC told us, the “…U.S. is using intel to fight an info war with Russia, even when the intel isn’t rock solid.” Simply put, the government is lying to you in order to maintain some semblance of order. 

It’s Plato’s “noble lie.” This is very important.  These are the lies that need to be told so Americans will believe that more U.S. taxpayer dollars need to be sent to Ukraine and Israel while American infrastructure disintegrates. 

We’re told that the U.S. needs to reinvade Haiti, that sovereign African countries should be sanctioned for doing business with Russia and a humanitarian pause in hostilities in Occupied Palestine is a bad idea and only benefits Hamas. 

These distortions and lies are part of the narratives that directly impact the development of our perceptions. These manufactured or misinformed realities then determine the policies put into place and actions taken. This becomes a vicious cycle as in the Easton model of systems analysis.

In telling the narrative, who tells it can be as important as what is being told. This is where the minstrel and “minstrel diplomacy” rears its ugly head. 

In the 19th century in the United States, a minstrel was a band of entertainers or an individual, typically white who would blacken their faces with burnt cork referred to as “corking up.”  They performed songs, dances, and formulaic comic routines based on stereotyped and demeaning depictions of African Americans. Sometimes, African American performers wore blackface when taking the stage in order to make their presentations more acceptable to White audiences.

What was once found to be an effective entertainment device, the minstrel show has now become a device to disseminate the dominant imperialist and racist, Western narrative of American foreign policy.  

Since the phenotype of many of the victims of these policies are people of the darker hue; the disseminators of the narrative have decided to “cork up” the people being used to sell the story.

In a nutshell, using Black faces to explain and rationalize racism/white supremacy in order to make the audience more comfortable with and receptive to the message.  These people are easy to find. 

They are part of what the late Glen Ford called “The Black Misleadership Class” who have “been busy selling out Black people for half a century….”  The late Amiri Baraka called them “functionaries of the U.S. government.” They know their proper place, stay in it and do their jobs well.

Baraka addressing the Malcolm X Festival in San Antonio Park, Oakland, California, while performing with Marcel Diallo and his Electric Church Band, May 2007. (David Sasaki, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 2.0)

Obama on Israel & Gaza 

Former President Barack Obama recently published an op-ed entitled, “Thoughts on Israel and Gaza” in which he wrote that Israel had a right to defend itself against the Oct. 7 attacks and he reiterated the need to abide by “international law.” 

I agree that Israel has a right to exist, but not on occupied Palestinian land! 

According to the Anti-Defamation League, the Balfour Declaration continues to represent the first international recognition of the establishment of a Jewish national homeland in the land of Palestine.

The declaration clearly states, “His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people … it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine….” 

Notice, the word “State” is never mentioned nor is the word “Israel.”  Why are Zionists allowed to ignore their own documents and rewrite the historical narrative?

Obama’s non contextual and ahistorical talking points are being passed off as substantive analysis.  Obama goes on to write, 

“But even as we support Israel, we should also be clear that how Israel prosecutes this fight against Hamas matters… that Israel’s military strategy abides by international law….”  

He does not acknowledge the humanity of the Palestinians. It’s as if Obama thinks that it’s okay to bomb them as long as we’re nicer about it or just use a nicer form of genocide. Also, Obama totally ignores that Israel’s entire anti-Hamas strategy is based on the concept of “collective punishment” and is in violation of international law and is itself a war crime. 

Many ignore the historic realities of this conflict.  If Obama is saying it and he’s Black, it can’t be racist.

Thomas-Greenfield at the UN

From left, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres ahead of the Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East on Oct. 24. (UN Photo/Manuel Elías)

The U.S. recently vetoed Brazil’s proposed U.N. resolution condemning all violence against civilians in the Israel-Hamas war. 

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., said the council needs to allow current diplomatic efforts to unfold. She also criticized the measure for failing to underline Israel’s right to self-defense. 

It’s hard to negotiate the terms of delivering humanitarian aid to a people suffering genocide when, as was the case with African Americans, their very humanity is in question. 

The U.S. veto of the proposed resolution amounted to the U.S. giving Israel as much time as it wants to, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “…to turn them into rubble.” 

Former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations Dan Gillerman recently described Palestinians as “horrible, inhuman animals.” 

Israel’s defense minister called for a “complete siege” of Gaza, describing the Palestinian fighters who attacked Israel on Oct. 7 as “human animals.”  

None of this can be considered racist if Thomas-Greenfield believes that humans can be exterminated because she does like the language in Brazil’s proposed resolution. The statements of both Obama and Thomas-Greenfield fail to provide historical context relating to the atrocities being committed against the Palestinians in Historic Palestine.

Jeffries on Tlaib & Haiti 

U.S. House Minority Leader Jeffries, President Joe Biden and Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-CA), during the Democratic House Caucus Retreat on March 1 in Baltimore. (White House, Adam Schultz)

Other examples of “minstrel diplomacy” include U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) [who voted on Tuesday in the U.S. House of Representatives to censure Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), the only Palestinian member of the House for speech. Jeffries said before the vote:

“Slogans [used by Tlaib] that are widely understood as calling for the complete destruction of Israel — such as ‘from the river to the sea’ — does not advance progress toward a two-state solution. Instead, it unacceptably risks further polarization, division and incitement to violence.”


The House censure resolution ignorantly called the phrase “a genocidal call to violence to  destroy the state of Israel and its people to replace it with a Palestinian state extending from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.” Tlaib said the cry represents “an aspirational call for freedom, human rights and peaceful coexistence, not death, destruction or hate.”

In other words, it means  creating a one-state solution in which all people in historic Palestine have a vote, which does not mean killing or expelling one Jew.] 

Jeffries also supports the Global Fragilities Act and the U.S.-backed reinvasion of Haiti.  Dr. Jemima Pierre, associate professor of African American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, writes, “The act and its prologue clearly articulate that the main goals are to advance ‘U.S. national security and interests’ and to ‘manage rival powers,’ presumably Russia and China.” 

The U.S. understands the poor optics of it leading the invasion into Haiti, so it is trying desperately to find a “Black led” country or “Black face” to take the lead.  Vice President Kamala Harris and Jeffries traveled to Nassau in June for the U.S.-Caribbean Leaders Meeting in a failed attempt to convince a CARICOM country to back the play.  They would not. 

Eventually, the U.S. was able to convince Kenya to take the lead in this U.S. misadventure and has agreed to pay Kenya over $100M.  This has also resulted in U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin signing a five-year agreement with Kenya to shill for U.S. militarism on the continent.  Much to the U.S.’ dismay, a Kenyan court has temporarily suspended the government plan to send Kenyan troops into Haiti.  

Anti-Russia Sanctions in Africa 

Another example of this minstrelsy is U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) championing the Countering Malign Russian Activities in Africa Act that sanctions sovereign African nations that decide to do business with Russia. 

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has vehemently expressed their collective opposition to this law.  In a recent statement they said,

“Africa Is Not For Sale. Africa is open for business not for sale or looting. We must defend what is ours and make sure that no one takes from us what is ours…” 

We must be vigilant and aware of the Black faces that are being used by the failing empire to sell us on failed racist, white-supremacist, imperial, and neo-colonial militarism. 

If we continue to allow these narratives to go unchallenged, Americans will continue to blindly support money laundering schemes disguised as military and humanitarian support bills for countries such as Ukraine, Israel and Haiti. As Woodson stated, “When you control a man’s thinking you do not have to worry about his actions…”

The real goal is to pay stock dividends to investors in the military-industrial complex and bonuses to the CEOs of companies like Raytheon and Lockheed Martin with Americans’ hard-earned tax dollars.  Defense Secretary Austin sat on the board of Raytheon before heading the Pentagon. 

These are just some of the dangers of minstrel diplomacy. As the late Fred Hampton told us,

“it’s a class struggle… We know that in order to be able to talk about power, that what you’ve got to be able to talk about is the ability to control and define phenomena and make it act in a desired manner….” 

Listening to the minstrels we continue to get confused. We continue to come up with, as Hampton said,

“…answers that don’t answer, explanations that don’t explain and conclusions that don’t conclude.”

Dr. Wilmer Leon is a nationally broadcast talk radio host, adjunct professor of political science and author of Politics Another Perspective. Go to or email: [email protected], on Twitter @DrWLeon and Dr. Leon’s Prescription at

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

An earlier version of this article was published by The Seattle Medium

30 comments for “The Dangers of ‘Minstrel Diplomacy’

  1. Emma M.
    November 10, 2023 at 21:30

    I’m especially glad Obama would publish his thoughts on recent events in Israel and Palestine, as they are very unique and original; I had not previously heard of this Israeli “right to defend itself” against Palestine before he wrote about it, and in fact, had he not, I likely would not have heard of it at all, because I live underneath a rock (due to the rising prices of rent, you know).

    I do not know what any of we the common people (who all live under rocks) would do or think without the guidance of such leading intellectuals—er, sorry, thought leaders—of our time who feel obliged to share their wisdom with us, since after all, we all know nothing about anything, unlike the great minstrel-loving class that knows everything. Had Obama himself not clarified the Palestinian question, I might have thought everything going on against them was racist.

    “Minstrel diplomacy”—what a term that will stick with me past this article!

  2. November 9, 2023 at 15:51

    I was once in a discussion group in which we were discussing politics and current events. One woman whose political leanings are very conservative said that two black people that she admired were Ben Carson and Herman Cain.

    Enough said. Of all the black people that there are, those two are who she would choose. Her idea as to who is a “good” black person.

    I was disgusted and walked out.

    • Tony
      November 10, 2023 at 10:01

      I see what you mean. Both Trump supporters.

  3. Vera Gottlieb
    November 9, 2023 at 10:27

    What an utterly disgusting and shameful spectacle. Thousands are dying, massive destruction…and the best the UN can do is keep ‘debating and discussing’??? And now race is entering the picture too? Running out of ‘whites’ to blame? UN members go home to a secure, warm, cozy home…with plenty of food, water, etc. Do these hypocrites feel any pain? So much under ‘the boot’ of Zionists – these assassins? I want NO part of israel…and don’t go whining when starting to reap that which it has so assiduously sown.

  4. TP Graf
    November 9, 2023 at 07:26

    I voted for Obama (once!) under the naive notion that an intelligent, man of color–the first for our nation–would work damn hard to ensure a legacy worthy of his place in history. Instead of an MLK, Jr., we got just another lackey for the MIC, Wall Street and Israeli lobby. He chose excrement over statesmanship, and yet too many still exalt him as someone on whose words we should all hang onto. And then we see our Secretary of Defense lie, unchallenged, under oath.

  5. Morey
    November 9, 2023 at 00:29

    Thank you for your insightful article.

  6. Chris Cosmos
    November 8, 2023 at 22:40

    Great article, great perspective. I suggest, from what I’ve seen in recent years, that “black” people are being used, increasingly, both to bolster imperialism and sell products on TV. It’s cynical ploy, obviously to keep everyone in their “place.” They use “women” and have used them for the same sort of thing. Women, blacks, trans people and all being used to fill important posts in government and the corporate world because of their skin color and sex. They can do it because it doesn’t really matter what people there are in these posts since ability is not needed to man important posts in society. All people need to do is follow procedures and avoid being honest or authentic.

    • Julia
      November 10, 2023 at 09:37

      Spot on. Nothing illustrates this better than the current ‘government’ – and I use the word very loosely – in the UK. At first glance its make-up is as diverse a government the UK has ever had, but the women and people of colour are exactly as described in this excellent article, part of the ‘minstrel’ mindset.

      The current Home Secretary is a prime example. A daughter of immigrants herself, she has done absolutely nothing whilst in office but treat immigrants with the utmost cruelty, and stoke hatred with her continuous vile rhetoric. One wonders, do people like this ever think that at some stage in the future, when they have outlived their usefulness, it will all be turned against them? Or do they think their wealth and privilege will protect them…

  7. Adam Gorelick
    November 8, 2023 at 22:37

    It amazes me that wokeism is still breathing. It’s only possible upside is the screaming desperation behind it. Because, at this stage of corporate dominance of politics, the duopoly has nothing else to differentiate it’s two branches. The faux Left can express faux outrage about perceived disrespect for minorities it doesn’t really care about and the Right can pretend it’s deeply threatened by the woke police. Though the latter isn’t necessarily divorced from reality, given wokeism’s use as cover for censorship and blasting too progressive candidates or punishing someone like Rashida Talib. While both sides generally agree on endless wars, blocking any attempts to implement universal health care, and continued upward transfer of wealth. Wokeism makes the lack of substantive difference obvious.

  8. Adam Gorelick
    November 8, 2023 at 20:58

    “But even as we support Israel…” Even as YOU support Israel, Obama. Having reached the highest office in the land, America’s first black president turned his back on black Americans and the grass roots movement that supported him. Whether conceding that “We tortured some folks” or pantomiming drinking a glass of Flint, Michigan water, Barak Obama should have been the last black face of white corporate, military industrial complex hegemony. For Obama proved to be at least as loathsome as anyone before or after who have inhabited the Oval Office. Though he is black, as we’re reminded by his recent “analysis” of Israel / Palestine, he is as morally bankrupt as the office requires. Israel, like The United States, was built on a firm foundation of racism and racial supremacy that necessitates ethnic cleansing or genocide to meet the goals of stealing all the land before it and ridding the region of it’s indigenous population. In that sense, and sporting 250 nuclear weapons, the self-proclaimed “Jewish State” has had imperial ambitions in the Unholy Land it created and the Middle East in general. Besides it’s usefulness for the U.S., Israel is sort of a doppelganger of America; in it’s goals and methods. It’s also now mask-off, full blown fascist, as The Land of the Free is rapidly becoming as well. Empires always bring tyranny home when foreign dominance is crumbling. In the case of America’s special friend in the Middle East, it’s always been dependent on the shadow of empire – Britain or the U.S.A.- to make it’s own seem greater. As a perennial foe of nascent democracies in the world { especially one’s with dusky-complected inhabitants } for nearly 80 years, The United States is not going quietly as the sun rises and sets elsewhere in the world. In it’s decline, representing the greatest threat to the world’s security – if the planet and it’s inhabitants can survive it’s obstinance and rancor – a post-U.S. empire may not have to contend with the maniacal little monster, Israel. Because once America comes down in the world, so will it’s dependent in the Levant.

  9. David Otness
    November 8, 2023 at 19:03

    “As empires begin their decline, messaging becomes very important. The narrative that’s created to control people’s perceptions of reality are key.”
    A rare few had keen vision. this. Here is one:

    From “The Ashes Will Come First:”
    As Alexis de Tocqueville presciently foresaw way back in the 1830s, American democracy would inevitably lead to a massive permanent state, impervious to the will of the people:

    “The democratic tendency … leads men unceasingly to multiply the privileges of the state and to circumscribe the rights of private persons … often sacrificed without regret and almost always violated without remorse … men become less and less attached to private rights just when it is most necessary to retain and defend what little remains of them.”

    “After having thus successively taken each member of the community in its powerful grasp, and fashioned him at will, the supreme power then extends its arm over the whole community. It covers the surface of society with a network of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd.

    “The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided; men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting: such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to be nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.”

  10. John Zeigler
    November 8, 2023 at 18:04

    Yes, the West is fading into a sunset as a dominating force in the world. I seriously doubt, however, that any other global arrangement that rises, phoenix-like for its ashes, will be an improvement, other than very briefly, before the world returns to its ugly tribal format, intent on an us vs. them mentality and some form of classism. Egalitarian views and aspirations are quite noble, but never long in vogue. Truth more often occupies the scaffold while evil sits on the throne. One may hope that M.L. King was right, that the arc of the universe bends toward justice. That hope is certainly worthy of hitching one’s wagon to for a lifetime, and that hope in itself is its own reward.

  11. Deb Hill
    November 8, 2023 at 16:58

    Identity Politics is a way of selling a very right-wing set of policies to a group that thinks that the color of the skin or the gender of the person defines character. It is a politics of the rich get richer, and wars around the world, all wrapped up in the politics of hate of getting this group to hate that group and because of their hate they vote for the ‘fake left’ who hate all the right people, Any decent ‘leftist’ values are lost and gone with this crowd. They’ve sold their lefty souls to get a few appointments for a few elites who get to sit in important chairs and everyone can see them there and think that we are so very progressive because while Wall Street runs the economy, its a woman in the chair.

    Focus on skin color or other ‘identity’, and people end up getting fooled into voting for right-wing elites like Hillary or Obama.
    What you end up at the end of that line is this Green Progressive World War, while the rich get richer, and the bankers laugh.

    Don’t get mad, organize. Then when you’ve organized enough, then nominate the person who’s been right beside during every fight.

    • November 8, 2023 at 18:13

      “Don’t get mad, organize. Then when you’ve organized enough, then nominate the person who’s been right beside during every fight.”

      Who nominated Obama?
      At what point was he “captured”?
      Was it before, during, or after that process?

      • herm
        November 8, 2023 at 22:50

        Definitely before, he wouldn’t have been nominated if he wasn’t already captured.

      • Arch Stanton
        November 9, 2023 at 05:28

        What a sellout of a human being he was.

        He had the platform to speak out, a chance to reveal the real influencers & constrainers on his job as POTUS, but he said nothing, instead he took the shilling, carried on as normal, and even ramped up Drone warfare across the Muslim world as a bonus.

        An utter failure of a man

  12. gcw919
    November 8, 2023 at 16:13

    Leon writes, “Humankind is witnessing the fall of the Western empire.” It can’t happen soon enough. And we don’t need a replacement empire, only the acknowledgement that people can determine their own destiny, not one based on a conjured-up ‘rules based international order.’ If Americans wake up and see how many trillions of dollars have been wasted on destroying the lives of others, in just this century, they will figure a way to replace the current cast of fools with people who have a genuine interest in improving the lives of Americans and those in need elsewhere.

    • Deb Hill
      November 8, 2023 at 17:06

      “What do you think of Western Civilization?”
      — yelled by a European Reporter to Mahatma Gandhi
      “I think it would be a good idea.”
      — Gandhi’s famous reply.

      Too bad we figured out how to destroy the planet, in a couple of ways, before we could invent western civilization.

  13. Susan Siens
    November 8, 2023 at 16:03

    I deeply appreciate Dr Leon’s writing on this subject. As he well knows, imperialism always has its collaborators, people with no conscience, no decency, no humanity. They infiltrate movements for peace and justice, they are willing mouthpieces for the worst among us, they become the worst among us. Who cares what’s between the legs of those who dominate and exploit others, who cares what color their skin is? What concerns me is that the same people who believe these “minstrels” will someday turn on them, which would be quite satisfactory to those behind the throne.

  14. Will Durant
    November 8, 2023 at 15:54

    Odd how that many people whose ancestors suffered because of their race and ethnicity are loyal servants of the ruling class and eager participants in the oppression of those who are on the wrong side of their master’s imperial and hegemonic designs. That’s what typically happens when educated and ambitious individuals from minority backgrounds are given positions of honor and responsibility by the elite power-brokers in our society and government. It is no heavy lifting to forget where they came from and the legacy of oppression and avidly join in whatever cynical and amoral project of their new masters. But they have “paved the way” for others of their race, gender or ethnicity to be just as amoral and cynical as they have become in their positions of privilege. The masters see the clear benefits of putting minority faces (but not too many, understand?) on their morally bankrupt projects. Ellison’s Invisible Man is a great book on how intelligent people are used to further power. I’m also reminded of the difference that Malcolm X dtew between the “house” slaves and the “field” hands. Easy to forget who you are when you have the keys to the house. Jeffries, Greenfield-Thomas, Austin, have no problem supporting ethnic cleansing in Palestine because they have the keys to the House, God bless’em.

    • Dr. Hujjathullah M.H.B. Sahib
      November 8, 2023 at 23:15

      A near excellent article propelled to greater significance by your excellent comment here. I whole-heartedly second it, every word in it is worthy of sincere reflection. This same obscene trick is also deployed widely by cheeky elites across the world in various exploiter-Majority societies with significant exploitable-minorities to repeatedly befool !

  15. Joy Al-Sofi
    November 8, 2023 at 15:50

    Excellent analysis with a broad, global, and historical perspective. Thanks, I needed that. Maybe we all do.

  16. Caroline Fisher
    November 8, 2023 at 15:38

    Brilliant thank you Dr Leon. As a white person, something I have thought watching the black (and female to boot), US speaker in the UN. But I thought as a white female, I was being racist and sexist but now I feel that no, I was reading the underlying manipulative narrative correctly.

    • Deb Hill
      November 8, 2023 at 17:15

      Follow your heart. It knows right from wrong. Don’t doubt your heart.

      We all live in a surrealistic world where we are frequently told that up is down and white is black and that it can all change tomorrow if someone pushes that button on the media machines. In such a confusing, uncertain and unpredictable world, listen to your heart. It knows right from wrong. It can tell the difference between hate and friendship, as well as the difference between a green field and a cold steel rail, a smile from a veil …

      • Valerie
        November 8, 2023 at 20:20

        I always follow my heart, but sometimes give the benefit of the doubt, only to be dismayed at my folly.

      • John Zeigler
        November 9, 2023 at 08:58

        A very sweet, but misguided sentiment. In Genesis 6 the writer records, “The Lord saw that the wickedness of humankind was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the the thoughts of their hearts was only evil continually.” The more things change, the more they stay the same.

  17. Robert
    November 8, 2023 at 15:24

    “Witnessing the fall of the Western empire”

    The empire comparison to bankruptcy going “slowly, then quickly” is interesting. I have been surprised year after year, starting in 2009 through 2021, that the US could borrow gigantic sums of money and yet the USD held its value and the world continued to not only purchase US debt but to do so at paltry interest rates. That finally ended in 2022 after 13 years. So maybe the slowly part is over.

    I don’t see a way out of the debt problem other than to inflate it away. The other two options are # 1 reduce spending ain’t going to happen and # 2 increase tax revenue is only minimally possible. So inflation it will be although the Fed Chairman of the day will constantly remind Americans that he is working really, really hard to bring it down to 2%.

    PS: And collective DC is going to go kicking and screaming at anyone who tries to reduce the absurd $850 Billion dollar per year Department of War budget.

    • Tim N
      November 9, 2023 at 08:11

      Increasing tax revenue won’t do anything, since taxes the Federal government collects does NOT go to pay for anything. The Federal government creates the money it spends into the economy. By all means increase taxes on the wealthy; the main reason to do so is to keep them from getting rich. Dr. Leon actually repeats a right-wing libertarian slogan (“Americans’ hard-earned tax dollars”) to point out that war profiteers are given public money that should be going for things like Med4All. It’s important to make this distinction. In another irony, Dr. Leon’s frequent guest, Dr. Jim Kavanagh, has explained this perfectly over at his site, The Polemicist.

  18. Richard Romano
    November 8, 2023 at 14:27

    WHEN will they ever see? Can they keep lying. Will we ever acknowledge that they are ruthless liers.

    • cfmmax
      November 8, 2023 at 20:23

      They are also incompetent fools.

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