Russiagate and Washington Meddling

With all the clamor over “Russiagate” (which is really just self-serving deflection of blame for Hillary Clinton’s loss in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election), it is worth noting a few examples of more extreme meddling by the USA in the affairs of other nations:

“Exposed: The Pentagon’s Cyberwar Against Russia”

“US Meddling in 1996 Russian Elections in Support of Boris Yeltsin”

Michael Hudson: I’m told that there was wholesale bribery. Officials in the Reagan administration told me that they just paid off foreign officials to support the U.S. position, not a New International Economic Order. U.S. agencies maneuvered within the party politics of European and Near Eastern countries to promote pro-American officials and sideline those who did not agree to act as U.S. satellites. A lot of money was involved in this meddling.

“De-Dollarizing the American Financial Empire”


Killing Hope

Maggie Levantovskaya – Identity Shaping on Social Media

Link to a review by Maggie Levantovskaya of Jia Tolentino’s Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion (2019):

“Identity Shaping on Social Media: On Jia Tolentino’s ‘Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion'”


Bonus links: Status Update: Celebrity, Publicity, and Branding in the Social Media Age and “The Programs of Neoliberal Feminism” and “‘If Only There Were More Female Billionaires!’— New York Times” and “Capitalism and Female Labor”

Articles About USA-Iran Provocations

Selected links to articles about military provocations between the USA (and its allies) and Iran:

“Eve of Destruction: Iran Strikes Back”

“If Iran Is Responsible for the Fuel Tanker Attacks in the Gulf of Oman (and It May Not Be), It Is Only a Reaction to Washington’s Outrageous Conduct in the Middle East”

“What Right Has Britain to Seize an Iranian Tanker Off Spain?”

“Why the World is Watching the Fate of an Iranian Tanker in the Mediterranean”

Rob Urie – Toward an Eco-Socialist Revolution

Link to an article by Rob Urie:

“Toward an Eco-Socialist Revolution”


There are many reasons to question the proffered solution here, which would be unpopular and prone to the all the problems that have historically accompanied peasant societies (rigid social hierarchies, etc.).  Still, this article thinks seriously about real issues and the necessary scope of solutions, and actually ventures to offer a solution.

Ted Rall – The Difference Between Liberals and Leftists

Link to an article by Ted Rall:

“The Difference Between Liberals and Leftists”


Bonus links: “‘Far Left’? There’s No Such Thing in This Democratic Party” and Virtue and Terror and Review of Domenico Losurdo’s Liberalism: A Counter-History and  Non-violence: A History Beyond the Myth and War and Revolution: Rethinking the Twentieth Century and Violence and Slavoj Žižek On Political Struggle and Trouble in Paradise and Revolution at the Gates and The State and Revolution and “The Guardian’s Populism Panic” and “Left is the New Right, or Why Marx Matters” and “Oregon’s Republican ‘Walkout’ Was a Serious Defeat For the Left” and “Democracy Is the Enemy” and “Don’t Mourn, Repoliticize!”

Philip Alcabes – No Peace of Mind in Psychiatry

Link to a review by Philip Alcabes of the book Mind Fixers: Psychiatry’s Troubled Search for the Biology of Mental Illness (2019) by Anne Harrington:

“No Peace of Mind in Psychiatry”


Bonus links: “Psychiatry’s Incurable Hubris” (takes an implicitly anti-Freudian perspective, ignoring Lacan) and “Élisabeth Roudinesco Interviewed on the 30th Anniversary of Jacques Lacan’s Death”

Malloy Owen – Don’t Mourn, Repoliticize!

Link to an article by Malloy Owen:

“Don’t Mourn, Repoliticize!”


Bonus links:  Mladen Dolar on “university discourse” and Review of Domenico Losurdo’s Liberalism: A Counter-History and Slavoj Žižek On Political Struggle and Read My Desire (Chapter 6) and “Was I Right to Back Donald Trump Over Hillary Clinton? Absolutely” (“Democratic elections are a method to settle disagreements between people who already agree on the basics. When this agreement on basics falters, the only procedures at our disposal are negotiations or (civil) war.”)

Scapegoating Mountain Bikers

There is a small but determined group of people claiming to protect wilderness by scapegoating mountain biking and mountain bikers.  Their normal tactic is to highlight one or two absolutely true—but nonetheless isolated—facts about how mountain bikers are a threat to wildlife in particular areas to suggest that mountain biking should be banned to protect wilderness/wildlife.  On the surface, this seems appealing.  But the problem is that once you scratch the surface this is a highly chauvinistic approach that involves absolving hikers/backpackers/horseback riders/etc. from their own threats to wilderness/wildlife.  This can be detected even in the language that these self-styled protectors of wilderness use.  The best is “backcountry”.  This is a term that denotes at least limited openness to hiking/camping/homesteading!  When deployed in conjunction with words like “protecting”, what we see is not a plea to protect wildlife and wilderness, but to protect certain human uses in certain sparsely populated areas from certain other human uses thus reserving those areas for selected uses.  Here is an article that sums up this phenomenon:  “Griz Expert Says Mountain Bikes Are a Threat To Montana’s Bears.”  (actually, the headline was changed in response to some of the negative feedback).  It is worth reading the comments because people absolutely nail the author’s anti-bike bias (which the author explicitly denies!) and cite countervailing evidence that the author ignores or actively minimizes.  This article is not isolated, though.  People like George Wuerthner write similarly—for instance, he deplores the self-identities that mountain bikers and ATV operators cultivate but excludes from his scorn the self-identities that hikers, etc. cultivate (he does note in passing that hikers can also harm wilderness, but minimizes those admissions and quickly returns to biker-bashing scapegoating).  This is basically typical political liberalism: policing the line between the community of the free (the “good” hikers/backpackers/etc.) and those unworthy of liberal freedoms (the “bad” mountain bikers).  What is pernicious is that this is “discourse of the university”, that is, the advancement of normative political/ideological positions in support of a disguised mode of social domination.