Sunday, August 29, 2021

Everybody Hates Kamala Harris

 It was the perfect plot for a desperate hour. It was 2019 going on 2020 and the Clintonians who had run the Democratic Party since the early nineties were on the cusp of losing the parties presidential primary to a 300 year old pseudo-socialist lawn gnome named Bernie Sanders. He was a partisan pushover going way back but his supporters terrified the DNC's neoliberal base by insisting that they actually do shit besides jerking off Jeff Bezos at Bay Area wine tastings. They couldn't have this. They needed a new Obama to keep the kids distracted with empty overtures to identity politics while the self-appointed adults kept cutting deals with Wall Street and blowing up the Third World. But every shiny new puppet that this malignant wing of the party tried to push on the youngsters, from Booker to Buttigieg, just kept getting rejected in favor of that grouchy old social democrat from Vermont. The only other candidate who somehow held his own was a fossil named Joe Biden who might have been perfect if he didn't have more skeletons in his crawl space than John Wayne Gacy and wasn't disintegrating faster than an Indiana Jones Nazi before the Arc of the Covenant.

They would need a ringer. Biden was chosen as Obama's running mate back in 2008 to comfort the parties covert closet racists and now they needed the opposite. While the future of neoliberalism did require a minority face, the DNC didn't so much as pick Kamala Harris because she was a woman of color as they did because Joe Biden was essentially a career white supremacist responsible for passing many of the laws that the parties target demographic was in the streets protesting against. Their only hope of beating both Sanders and Trump was milking millennial's irrational nostalgia for the Obama years by teaming the old Dixiecrat up with another biracial ceiling smasher whom they could groom to take the reigns from Biden once her White House experience rendered her sufficiently presidential and Alzheimer's rendered Biden sufficiently vegetable. It was the perfect plot for a desperate hour, and it won both the Clintonians another sketchy win over the Sandernistas and the Democrats another four years in the White House. There was just one problem; the longer the public spent with Kamala the neoliberal wunderkind, the less they liked her.

A little over a year after their presidential coup and the Democratic Party is freaking the fuck out in bat country. After a century of devoted service to the military industrial complex, Biden has done the unthinkable and pulled a Kennedy by finally pulling us the fuck out of Afghanistan. Perhaps the old bastard felt the Reaper's breath and decided he didn't want to join his drinking buddies in the Klan in hell after all. Nobody knows. But all the stupid people are pissed, including Biden's cheerleaders over at CNN. Biden's poll numbers have dipped below 50% for the first time in his carefully choreographed White House and his heir apparent, Kamala Harris, is doing even worse, with Rasmussen finding that only 43% of those polled found her qualified while a whopping 55% found her unqualified. Democrats and Republicans alike have made themselves perfectly clear; with Biden coming apart at the seams, everybody hates Kamala Harris and the Democrats are up shit creek without a paddle in sight.

But why? Most right wing pundits put the blame squarely on her performance or lack there of, but an overwhelming amount of Americans still support leaving Afghanistan even if they believe the Biden/Harris administration did a shitty job of pulling it off. Naturally, most left wing pundits put the blame on the notion that we're all just a bunch of chauvinist pigs, but previous polls found that more men found Kamala favorable than women. But if not sexism or Afghanistan, then what? The harsh reality that the Democrats need to face is that Kamala Harris is simply just pathologically unlikable. She is a genuinely shitty human being with the emotional intelligence of a sea cucumber and she lacks the Obamaite skills to cover it up with charm and feel-good catchphrases.

A big part of why the DNC fell for Kamala is that she is a political shapeshifter. She spent the first half of her career as California's top cop, using her position first as DA of San Francisco and then as the state's attorney general to throw tens of thousands of minorities into the jaws of the prison industrial complex for largely non-violent drug offenses. She locked up parents who's kids failed to show up to California's notoriously heinous public schools and threw transwomen into men's prisons before denying their basic medical rights. Kamala got rich off the fact that Black lives don't matter and then turned an about face when she joined Congress by selling herself as the countries wokest sitting senator. A lot of people forget that Tulsi Gabbard nearly single handedly decapitated Kamala's presidential campaign in five minutes by bringing up these inconvenient truths, and the power brokers of the DNC and the mainstream media honestly believed they could sell this flip-flopping psychopath to us a second time.

The arrogance of the elites in this country honestly never ceases to disgust me. Rome could be burning and they would bitch about the thermostat with cocktails in their hands. They tried to pull this same shit with their darling Hillary twice and they still don't fucking get it. Most Americans didn't vote for a ghastly crook like Trump because they're racist. They voted for the candidate that made you shriek the loudest because they hate you. Many of the same people would have gladly voted for Bernie for the same damn reason and both Bernie and Trump are cowards who generally do what their told by the war machine but you can't stand them because you can't stand the reality that the plebeians don't want to see their arrogant masters in power. Americans hate Kamala Harris because Americans hate Washington. You're never going to win back their love, so just sell them false rebels instead. It might buy you a few decades before they catch on and bring back the guillotines. 

Peace, Love, & Empathy- Nicky/CH

Soundtrack; songs that influenced this post

*  You Can't Always Get What You Want by the Rolling Stones

*  Locust Laced by Sleigh Bells

*  Like a Rolling Stone by Bob Dylan

*  Common People by Pulp

*  She Walks On Me by Hole

*  I Am the Resurrection by Stone Roses

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Afghanistan and the Racism of Imperial Progress

 In case you haven't noticed, the shit has kind of hit the fucking fan in Kabul. If you haven't noticed, you must be Amish and I envy you because the banshees of cable news have been screaming about that god forsaken city nonstop since it fell to the Taliban last week. They've been screaming about the thousands of refugees flooding the airport and packing military transport planes like sardines around the clock. They've been screaming about the plight of Afghan women back under the tutelage of the bearded barbarians our benevolent occupation shielded them from. And they've been screaming bloody fucking murder about the shame our glorious empire now faces before the international community for botching the exit of that twenty year occupation so heinously.

Of coarse much of this is true, but like usual, the bloodsucking vampires of the mainstream media have only covered the parts of the story convenient to their imperial narrative. They conveniently leave out the fact that this sudden collapse was precipitated by an offensive that the Taliban began in May when Biden first violated the peace deal carefully inked by the Trump Administration by pushing back the militaries departure date by five months. They leave out the fact that the Taliban managed to take most of the country with minimal bloodshed and Kabul without even firing a goddamn shot because most Afghanis actually prefer these homegrown despots to the obscenely corrupt Vichy state that we've been propping up superficially for decades. They leave out the fact that most of the refugees packing our transport planes are as frightened of their own neighbors who might seek revenge against them for collaborating with a foreign occupier as they are of the actual Taliban. And they leave out the fact that the Taliban's brutally sexist style of governance is basically identical to that of the wealthy Gulf states that they tolerate and our nation's tax dollars covetously prop up.

One thing those vampires are right about is that the Biden Administration definitely should have seen this disaster coming because plenty of others did. The Afghanis sure as fuck saw it coming. They've done this a few times before, including once against the Soviet Union with our help. Every empire since Alexander the Great has stubbornly learned the hard way that the buck really stops at the Hindu Kush with a people who just as stubbornly refuse to be governed by any force but their own. Our own sacred heroes in the military brass had to have seen this coming too. Washington's confidence in the abilities of the Pentagon's Potemkin paladins in the Afghan Army comes straight from the assurances by the corrupt officer class that the trillions in tax dollars we squandered on their twisted little adventure wouldn't be in vain. In many ways, we didn't just witness the collapse of Afghanistan last week, we witnessed the epic collapse of the American military machine itself which has become too corrupt and greedy even for their own masters to control.

The hardest truth about Afghanistan is that we never should have came there in the first place. As sick as the Taliban's misinterpretations about Islamic law are, they were never really terrorists in the international sense of the word. They are stone cold quietists who want absolutely nothing to do with the outside world. They were apposed to the 9/11 attacks and were more than willing to hand us over Al-Qaeda on a silver platter provided that Bush made them an offer that they could save face with among the local tribes. But America was never particularly interested in actually capturing Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda. We made that pretty clear when we let them slip away to Pakistan through the caves of Tora Bora and we continue to make that perfectly clear when we shield Al-Qaeda's real 9/11 collaborators in Saudi Arabia from anything resembling justice. America was much more interested in their bipartisan experiments in imperial nation building.

In many ways Afghanistan is far from unique. There are hundreds of Afghanistans scattered across the Third World. Complex indigenous tribal societies that America and its other enlightened allies in the First World insist on violently stuffing into the neoliberal Jello mold of the Westphalian nation state. We rely on a network of dictators, quislings, and corrupt local plutocrats to manage this collection of neo-colonialist ant farms, a network that is every bit as brutal and cruel as the terrorists and fundamentalists constructed indigenously to fight them and at least twice as greedy. These western concubine states don't give a flying fuck about feminism or social progress, that's just propaganda used to justify their errant existence to foolish middle class liberals back at home. The people who can't be sold on imperialism by the overt racism of 'We need to get em over there before they get us back here' are sold on the more covert racism of curing the savages of their wicked ways with the wonders of western social progress.

Afghanistan is now run by a horde of bloodthirsty bearded barbarians, but at least they are their bloodthirsty bearded barbarians. As much as my heart may desire rights for women, children, and Queer people in that region of the world, I am not foolish and racist enough to believe that I can give it to them, especially not from the barrel of a drone. The Afghan people have to want it for themselves. They have to develop their own forms of progress based on their own complex indigenous customs that westerners can't begin to comprehend. But this kind of progress will never occur as long as Afghanis across the globe continue to struggle beneath the boot of western imperialism.

Peace, Love, & Empathy- Nicky/CH

Soundtrack; songs that influenced this post

*  Sympathy for the Devil by the Rolling Stones

*  On a Plain by Nirvana

*  Here It Comes by the Brian Jonestown Massacre

*  American Ruse by the MC5

*  Boys and Girls by Blur

*  Back in the USSR by the Beatles

*  (Nothing But) Flowers by Talking Heads

*  Loaded by Primal Scream

*  Violet by Hole

*  Don't Look Back In Anger by Oasis

Sunday, August 15, 2021

The American Dream of Secession

 Do you smell that, dearest motherfuckers? Secession is in the air and not just among freaky anarchists like me. From coast to coast, from border to border, Americans of all stripes, shades and sizes are openly discussing and considering the possibility of a national divorce. A recent poll by the pearl clutching neolibs over at Bright Line Watch and YouGov found support for some form of regional secession at 37%, up from 29% since January alone. That means that roughly a third of Americans are at least hypothetically prepared to call it quits on this gigantic death trap of a nation. 

While the numbers are highest where you'd expect them, with 66% of Southerners, including 50% of Southern Republicans, ready to see the South rise again after the mythic Big Steal, the national numbers suggest something way bigger than post-electoral partisan animosity. The second highest numbers in support of breaking up were found on the progressive Pacific Coast, with 39%, including 47% of supposedly happy Democrats. Another recent poll by Reuters found shockingly similar numbers. I think it's finally happening. People are beginning to recognize that we live on a continental sinking ship and, in rapidly growing numbers, they're ready to get off. As far as I'm concerned, it couldn't happen soon enough.

A nation divided needn't be a bad thing, especially when that nation is a colossal murder machine feasting on the planet's resources and the corpses of the very poor. America was born an empire. It began as a European colonial experiment and rapidly grew into a slave trading, genocidal Frankenstein. Why the fuck are we trying to save this thing? Any of us? There was never a benevolent American Empire. The idea that somehow, through some kind of progressive social therapy, we can reform this beast into anything that's not an existential threat to humanity is a fanciful farce. There is a reason America has never not been at war since the time of its inception and that's because war is all it is. The entire country was taken by force and all 50 states have only been united in waging endless war against the rest of the planet since they were old enough to pick up a smart bomb. The idea of avoiding the Balkanization of this infernal project because it could lead to violence would be laughable if it wasn't so goddamn offensive. Any internal squabble will pale in comparison to what we do to the third world every day, let alone what the neocons have planned for a final showdown with Eurasia.

With that being said, I still honestly believe that there is still room for this nation to break up peacefully. With the aforementioned 50 states already in place, it could begin as simply as dissolving the Federal Government and letting everyone go their own way. Some states will cling together and form larger regional unions while other like the massive California and the culturally diverse Oregon will likely break into even smaller polities. Secession really does have something for everyone. 

West Oregon can legalize medicinal heroin while Utah bans Starbucks. Alabama can make Uzis mandatory and Texas can surround itself with a flaming border moat while California opens up its borders completely to pick up the migrant slack. Everyone can become a sanctuary for something and traditionally rambunctious parts of the map like Alaska and New Hampshire can go the fuck ahead and legalize pretty much everything. You're likely to see a bustling map defined by competing ideas and it's my hope and the hope of every other type of ideologue that the good ones will win out in popularity and that this process can be a completely voluntary one, with people choosing the societies that best fit their values while still being free to succeed into even smaller communities when they don't.  

This is my ultimate goal for breaking up the United States. While originally I was just motivated to dismantle the ugliest empire in modern history and prevent the formation of anything else large enough to replace it, I've come to see secession as an ideal way of life and hopefully a path to statelessness. My hope is to see this country divide into smaller and smaller communities until the map looks like an abstract constellation of overlapping blips of light with more polities than there are colors to paint them with. In time, I hope to see the very notion of the nation evolve into something too fluid for geography with no need for borders or fixed physical locations. Governments will become like tribal social clubs with benefits. Think of the Elks or the Shriners with unions, militias and healthcare. Forty nations could share a single apartment block with complex organizations devoted to everything from Quasi Hoxaism to pan Samoan nationalism to My Little Pony. And with any luck this model can spread globally, creating indigenous solutions for every possible culture and minority. No one will be forced to change their \way of life or assimilate ever again. All they have to do is divide and diversify.

Secession has received an ugly name as a plaything for statism, but once you remove the state from the scenario and make every association entirely voluntary what you're left with is a world of peace through diversity with nations too small and porous for conquest and subjugation. So what do you say, dearest motherfuckers, why don't we just stop all this fighting and get a divorce, if not for us, then at least for the children.

Peace, Love, & Empathy- Nicky/CH

Soundtrack; songs that influenced this post

D.I.V.O.R.C.E. by Tammy Wynette

Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana

Everyday People by Sly & The Family Stone

Too Many Puppies by Primus

Pilot Can at the Queer God by Flaming Lips

Mountain Song by Jane's Addiction

Go Your Own Way by Fleetwood Mac

Search & Destroy by the Stooges

Sunday, August 8, 2021

Canceling Critical Race Theory

 I am not a politically correct animal. Out of the good of my bleeding heart, I've tried, but my species of genderfuck extraterrestrial just doesn't swing that way. When the good lord Kali made this mess, she made her with a big fucking mouth and no filter. I swear like a sailor, I crack awful jokes at funerals, and I still think January 6 was the best Monty Python sketch in decades. Beyond my more juvenile instincts though, I also happen to be something of a free speech purist. I grew up on punk rock and John Water flicks, and I still worship the ground Lenny Bruce, Mario Savio, and Abbie Hoffman spat on. Cancel culture is a real thing and it fucking sucks. I despise censorship whether it's practiced by Facebook or the Federal Government, and I don't believe anyone should be banned from any platform, ever.

I feel like the left has lost its way with this bullshit. We've become so concerned with not hurting anyone's feelings that we've forgotten how to kick some fucking ass. A revolution isn't a pride parade. We have to break things and own our slurs. We have to become faggots with attitude. We've seen first hand over the last few decades what political correctness achieves and it's absolutely nothing. Americans have never been more culturally sensitive or polite and racial inequality is still at an all time high and Donald Trump could still be a two term president. Political correctness doesn't solve any of this nation's underlying issues with hate, it just makes it easier for bigots to camouflage their cultural indiscretions with good manors until the next election. I'm as appalled by racism as any other leftist, I just don't think we're doing dick to correct it by becoming a bunch of censorious church ladies.  

With all that junk in mind, when I first heard about the hottest thing in identity politics, Critical Race Theory, my natural primordial instinct was to roll my eyes and say "Here we go again." On the surface, CRT appeared to be another tool of corporate diversity training. Some set of culturally sensitive rituals Fortune 500 companies can perform to throw sensitive lefties off the trail of all the Black people they poison in the Niger Delta just to make their stock price move up half a point. But once I actually dug into the meat and potatoes of this school of a thought I discovered there was nothing particularly politically correct about it and that, if anything, its opponents were the real champions of cancel culture.

Critical Race Theory is the basic recognition that racism in America is an institution that didn't just come to a screeching halt because a few lily white liberal do-gooders passed a few civil rights acts. It's the study of how racism continues to impact the legal system and other power structures long after we learned to be polite and use the right pronouns. You have to be a fucking moron living on a cul-de-sac six miles up your own asshole to deny that this is a racist country. And yet that is essentially what many of the opponents of CRT are attempting to force all of us to do. They would much rather our children be raised on fairy tales about the Founding Fathers curing cancer and Native Americans just handing over their land for a horn of plenty. It's goddamn infantile and it's precisely what I despise about political correctness. It's a bunch of assholes putting feelings before facts and dealing with them in an adult fashion.

This doesn't mean that some progressive morons don't take this thing too far and turn it into self-flagellating guilt porn. Every political philosophy gets misinterpreted by a few errant imbeciles. But at its heart, CRT isn't just an exercise in blaming whitey. It's about getting the record straight, and a lot of Caucasian Americans could benefit a great deal by following CRT's lead and learning about their own complicated relationship with racial oppression. Arguably the most important thing CRT teaches us is that race is a manufactured concept predicated largely on class, and in no place is that more evident than the creation of whiteness. You see, honkies weren't always honkies. A lot of us use to be marginalized people too.

There were no white people in early colonial America. No Black people either for that matter. There were nobleman and peasants and indentured servants. The last category included both Europeans and Africans sold into temporary servitude. Provided that they converted to Christianity, any indentured servant could eventually earn their freedom and even rise up the social ladder to own servants themselves. At one time it wasn't altogether unheard of for an African landowner to own European servants. But for the most part this was a social status reserved for an elite hierarchy of well connected Englishmen. The rest of us peasants were penniless mongrels. For better or worse, we lived together, we fucked together, we got drunk together, but most alarming of all, we rebelled together.

The concept of whiteness didn't become prevalent until the late 1600's, after a series of multiracial uprisings threatened to overthrow the landed gentry and tare the New World and beyond apart at the seams. Both Africans and European peasants participated in these rebellions, the most infamous of which, Bacon's Rebellion, succeeded in burning Jamestown to the fucking ground. The elites back in Europe freaked out. They sought a way to divide the peasant class that greatly outnumbered them. So they invented the white race. All those of European bloodline were granted a payola of petty privileges to keep them docile while Africans became Black and designated as a permanent slave class.

Black folks clearly received the violent end of the stick on this and it haunts them to this day, but poor whites had sold themselves out too. United in fury with their darker brethren, they had a real chance at real equality. It was an opportunity to annihilate the one percent in their infancy, and we gave it up for what? Forty trailers and a mule? We also forfeited our own cultures to be assimilated into this globalist brand called whiteness. Black people managed to forge a new tribal identity built on anti-colonial resistance. But white people remain shackled to an identity defined by oppression. This is why so many white wokesters are so lost. They've rightfully come to reject whiteness but they have nothing but guilt to take its place. 

This is why I think it's important for any discussion on Critical Race Theory to include a discussion on decolonizing whiteness by encouraging people of European descent to reclaim pre-white identities like Irish, Italian, French, or German, as well as identities built on resistance to aristocracy like Rednecks, Queers, and Hillbillies. For too long, poor whites in this country have been convinced to identify with their masters in the one percent against our Black brothers and sisters for an allowance of petty privileges. But it is those very privileges that keep us divided from other poor people and the equality we all deserve. When we stop seeing ourselves as white people, we start to see ourselves as poor people first, and united, the poor people of this country, be they Black hood rats or Scotch-Irish trailer trash, are unstoppable.

These are the kind of politically incorrect conversations that Critical Race Theory can spark if we're all bold enough to take part in the conversation and not give in to the censorious temptations of cancel culture. Let's fucking learn some shit, dearest motherfuckers. And lets pass it on.

Peace, Love, & Empathy- Nicky/CH

Soundtrack; songs that influenced this post

*  Scenario by A Tribe Called Quest

*  (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love & Understanding by Elvis Costello

*  I Against I by Bad Brains

*  Rock N Roll N*gger by Patti Smith

*  Express Yourself by NWA

*  My Way by Sid Vicious

*  Young Americans by David Bowie

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Cuba Reconsidered or: How to Break a Revolution in 60 Years

 When I was twenty years old, Fidel Castro and Che Guevara stood taller than Jesus on the cross. Wild eyed, twin fisted, bearded banditos taking on the greatest empire the world has ever known with nothing but a thick veil of cigar smoke shielding their flaming hearts from swords the size of shark's fins. The Cuban Revolution seemed like something out of a Werner Herzog epic. A tale too absurdly fantastic to possibly be true yet somehow it was. Somehow a rickety ship full of broken seasick renegades crash landed into an ambush and the bullet riddled survivors managed to escape with their lives, deep into the dark heart of the Sierra Maestra Mountains. Somehow this ragged flock of bloodstained anti-heroes managed to immerge from the heavily jungled jaws of defeat to smash an American made dictator to bits and launch a raucous rum soaked revolution ninety miles from the belly of the beast. Somehow they did it. Somehow, against all the odds, they persevered. Even when they died, they persevered. Staring down the barrel of a nuclear holocaust, they sneered 'So the fuck what?' with such gravitas that it made every freak with a dream written in flames stand a little taller than Christ.

When I was twenty years old, I believed that the Cuban Revolution was the greatest act of love that machine guns could possibly perform. I thought Havana was Valhalla. At 33, I've managed to wring the cigar smoke from my eyes to reveal a very different picture. I've come to realize that the reality of the Cuban Revolution is a bit different from what it came to symbolize in the flaming hearts of disenchanted loser like me. Cuba may not be the tyrannical horror story cooked up by those rabid jackals in the Southern Florida press but it's hardly the outlaw utopia I once dreamed of either. The unvarnished reality is that Cuba may not be a dictatorship in the traditional sense of the word, but it is an authoritarian state. The Cuban people vote for their favorite local Communist Party kiss-ass to represent them at the National Assembly and that National Assembly then chooses their fearless leader. It's essentially British Parliament with less respect for civil rights. And that's the greatest kept secret of the Cuban Revolution, in spite of all the fiery rhetoric pouring from both ends of the narrative, the result was just another bourgeoise, top-down, social democracy. There's really nothing revolutionary about it beyond the propaganda. The people there are about as oppressed and bored as the rest of us and some of them want another revolution.

How the fuck did we get here? How did we get from the Quixotic-Leninist dreams of Che Guevara to another carceral bureaucratic purgatory. The truth is there is one piece of communist propaganda that is very true. Castro may have fucked up the revolution but he had a lot of help from his enemies back in Washington. Even before taking power, the Cuban Revolution has been under a constant state of siege from the American Empire who continues to find their very existence insulting. The CIA and their terrorist cronies in Little Havana have spent the last sixty years hurling everything they could get their bloody mitts on in Havana's general direction. The infamous failure of the Bay of Pigs Invasion was only the tip of a very ugly iceberg. 

Scores of raids and insurrections were planned and financed by Washington over the decades with Batista-ite exiles running rampant across the country in the dead of night, mining harbors, sabotaging oil refineries and chemical plants, and blowing up railroad bridges. Sugarcane fields were attacked from the skies in bombing raids and strafing attacks. Biological weapons were used to destroy crops and livestock and occasionally even people. An unprecedented outbreak of Asian swine flu forced the fledgling nation to slaughter half a million pigs and another outbreak of dengue fever killed 113 children. Massive terrorist attacks have been launched. A French freighter unloading Belgian munitions exploded, killing 75 and injuring 200 others. A civilian airliner was blown out of the sky, killing another 73 civilians on board. And no fewer than 637 plots to assassinate the Beard himself have been foiled.

As heinous as America's bottomless bag of dirty tricks has been, nothing has been crueler and more devastating to the Cuban people than the embargo. Half a century of the strictest sanctions the world has ever seen has pushed these people to the brink of desperation. During the height of the coronavirus, while Cuba was busy producing affordable vaccines for the Third World, Donald Trump ambushed the tiny nation with hundreds of new sanctions, restricting everything from ventilators to syringes. This is what has pushed the Cuban people into the streets. Not a desire for American style neoliberalism but a desperation just to survive its economic terrorism. That and a social media campaign that bares an uncanny resemblance to a program launched by the US Agency for International Development in 2010 to foment "smart mobs" with an American made and manipulated Cuban Twitter knock-off. In any other nation this would sound crazy but documents released on the ZunZuneo program in 2014 confirm it. There is absolutely nothing too petty, outlandish, or downright weird for America's time honored anti-Castro industry to try.

Under the circumstances above, it's a miracle that Cuba isn't way more fucked up than it is. The Cuban Revolution may be a dud but at least it's kept people fed and highly literate. Many people point to the survival of the Cuban regime as proof that sanctions don't work as a method of regime change but that really all depends on how you define regime change. When Castro first came to power he was a non-denominational left wing populist promising direct democracy and open elections. It was only after years of American sponsored abuse that he turned to Soviet style Marxist-Leninist drudgery in an act of desperation and maybe this is the real intention of American sanctions, not to starve a nation into overthrowing a regime unacceptable to the empire, but to shellshock a revolutionary experiment into becoming an aching authoritarian nightmare so Uncle Sam can tell kids like me with red stars in our eyes, "See, I told you revolution was some messed up shit."

America has been playing this game of revolutionary sabotage going back to the Russian Revolution, another fiery leftist eruption that even jaded anarchists like Emma Goldman believed had libertarian potential. But after 13,000 American dough boys helped the Czar's White terrorists to fucking ransack this new nation, the Bolsheviks became angry, bitter, and paranoid. The whole damn nation was so traumatized by the chaos that they practically begged for a vicious red czar like Stalin to keep them safe from the hordes and that's how the Russian Revolution died. And that's how the Iranian and Bolivarian Revolutions died, not with a .45 double-tap to the skull but with gallant dreamers pushed into authoritarianism by campaigns of American sponsored terrorism. I may be wrong. There is probably a good chance that Lenin and Castro's lack of respect for truly stateless revolution damned theirs to authoritarian ends from the start. But we'll never know for sure and, once again, I think that's part of the point.

Regardless of how you feel about their direction, popular indigenous revolutions need to be given at least enough respect to thrive or fail on their own merits. I hope the kids in the streets of Havana find what they're looking for, but be careful, with the American shark breathing down your neck, it will always be a dirty game of pool.

Peace, Love, & Empathy- Nicky/CH

Soundtrack: songs that influenced this post

Keep the Car Running by Arcade Fire

I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For by U2

Ballad of Big Nothing by Elliot Smith

All These Things That I've Done by the Killers

Road to Nowhere by Talking Heads

You Get What You Give by New Radicals

Radio Free Europe by REM

Monkey Gone to Heaven by the Pixies