OUT OF ESSEX – CHAPTER 18
“Whatever we build in the imagination, will accomplish itself in the circumstances of our lives.”
On a warm, early August evening, a resurrected Mike Burper paced Southchurch Park’s perimeter. He paused at the park’s west entrance. Eyeing the battered residential facades of Kensington Road, he noticed a crew working late on streetlight repairs.
Mike swivelled east, surveying tents littering a football pitch, still covered in the flood’s thin white legacy. A spot where, 35 years ago, he had half-crippled an opponent, behind the referee’s back. Rubbing his right shoulder, he wondered whether a community could “secede from the sovereign”, as nearby graffiti recommended.
He had just come away from Little Venice, the nickname for the cafe and its surrounds. The park’s heart and hub, the cramped old building had survived the May 12 waters. Now, amid chairs and picnic benches, overlooking the model boating and duck lake, residents congregated, ate, voted and relaxed. Mike preceded each night shift with a coffee and a chat, often to a rousting backbeat from Parklife, the community’s DIY punk band.
After his deep salting in the estuary, which sat just two hundred yards away, Mike had felt inexplicably drawn in by Dan’s ad, splashed across print and online media and plastered on Essex billboards. “Do you want to live without money, close to your fellows? Can you contribute, in return for food and shelter? Southchurch Park is now open for a community adventure.”
The incomers were diverse, not easily stereotyped. Mike chuckled quietly at the pretentions of a few who had likened themselves to the Plymouth Pilgrims reaching Massachusetts in 1620, seeking religious freedom or a fresh start. He was more open to a couple who had touted the Wachowski Brothers’ futuristic notion of ‘quitting the Matrix’. But only because he had seen the film.
Some called the park the ‘Ark’. One or two reckoned they were ‘escaping tick-tock’. Mike saw these ideas as complete bollocks. Another occasional point of reference was Dial House, an anarchist-pacifist establishment in Epping Forest, on London’s outskirts.
He passed five tents pitched in horseshoe shape, wrapping around a gaggle of dirty-looking children, still up and playing. Southend’s growing poverty, and the hardships among its single parents, had become evident in the increasingly popular ‘Girl Named Jack’ blog, written since 2012 by journalist Jack Munroe, to help people cook as cheaply as possible. Yet only a few Southend family units had shown the willingness to swap familiar consumer traps and comforts for the unknown challenges and freedoms of the park.
Nearby sat a bright orange tent, home to Dutch captain Johan van Hoyte, still traumatised by his ride on a tsunami. After his release by police, Johan had quit the merchant navy. He had wandered into Southend, ending up in what he called “this liminal place”. Over a mug of tea one evening, he insisted to Mike that Britain had become a mentally ill society. “For so many, good times are gone, Michael. Now the monkey comes out of the sleeve.” He described a cave overhanging the River Mersey in Stockport, Greater Manchester, in which homeless people were reportedly living.
Nearer to home, the magnet of three daily meals and accommodation had pulled several dozen homeless individuals into Southchurch Park, both long-term sufferers and those usurped by the Big Wave.
Heading north, away from the river, Mike saw another new friend, Claire, filling a wheelbarrow with the whitened turf. She threw back her head of rainbow-streaked locks. “People here are creators, part of the 5% for whom mind control doesn’t work,” she was telling her fellow diggers. An Atlantis, Essex tattoo adorned her left forearm. She bubbled about the new solar panels adorning park buildings; and teaching the community’s children to engage in spiritual development. “Stan, we need new journeys to replace old greed-based models,” she incanted to a guy with a red beanie and a ponytail.
This was her brother-in-law. Almost another ATOS victim. Stan had survived his wife’s death, and a kidney transplant. Although the medication used to control the rejection process had caused severe problems, ATOS had cleared Stan as capable to work, stopping his benefits. Unable to buy food or heat his flat, and with nothing to live for, he had ceased taking his medication.
Now he was digging up the heavily salinated topsoil. In return for being nurtured back to health by acupuncture, aromatherapy, herbal and other park treatments – not least fellowship – he had supplied a car boot of bagged lentils and oats to the park kitchen. His laptop was available in the wi-fi area. Others cooked and cleaned for their keep, or deployed building, electrical and plumbing skills.
Mike reached the park’s northern border, where crews were also working on streetlights. Adjacent houses bore water tidemarks. He looked again at the sports field. It was bleached with salt residues, aside from a dark area, whose top layer was being stripped away. But for what purpose? How could you plan to cultivate land that would be infertile for years?
Gandhi seemed undeterred. In a quiet address to the Little Venice crowd, he had stated that a first crop of homegrown vegetables would be available from spring 2014.
Mike was opening to the idea of miracles. When Claire had described her Old Leigh escape from drowning, and the subsequent disappearance of her rash, he had volunteered his own unique story. How, when the tsunami ignored his punch and swept him across Chalkwell esplanade, his body had slammed into a hedge. How a rebounding surge flung him back out to sea, where his upper torso and right shoulder smashed into a stone monument. How he had floated down a vibrating tunnel where a 25-year old version of his mother waved cheerily. How she kissed him briefly, urged him to “stop wasting your life”, and faded. How, somehow, he had found the strength to grip the monument, the Crow Stone, which represented the furthermost reach of the Port Authority of London.
Now he patrolled Southchurch Park by night, keeping his new ‘family’ safe from intruders. By day he slept in the cricket pavilion, sharing a tiny room with an ex-soldier, Alex, who worked the daytime shift.
“Dad what are you doing here, with these weirdos?” his 30-year old son had asked several days ago, sitting outside the cafe. Mike told it straight. “I nearly lost my life, Josh. It makes you think. I never enjoyed my job. My pension entitlement covered my debts. I thought ‘fuck it’ and cashed in.”
Josh didn’t look persuaded. “When I heard about this place, something told me to take a proper look,” Mike continued. “Right away I could see some of the poor buggers needed protecting from yobs coming in the park. I asked if they needed a security guard. We made the job up, on the spot. I get a place to kip, three meals a day and physio treatment for my shoulder.”
Satan walked past, carrying plumbing pipes. “Who’s he?” asked Josh “He looks well hard. How much do they pay you?”
“That’s Sal. He trouble-shoots and tackles problems. Two other guys, Dave Dawson and Micky Gaze, organise things. Gandhi teaches people to make clothes. The pay is never money, we don’t use it. Like I said, food, a roof, a daily shower, medical care if I need it, and companionship. Friendship like I’ve never known. The big plan – which I can’t get my head around – is to grow enough food to be self-sufficient.”
“Gandhi? Wasn’t he some Indian git? Is he still alive?”
“He stood over there yesterday, telling us all that the future depends on what we do in the present.”
“Dad, none of this sounds like you. What about beers and watching Spurs?”
Mike’s hands ran through salt and pepper hair that was once ginger, and abundant. “Doing those things mean I have to scramble around for cash. And I’m not so sure about winning anymore. Does it matter? I know, it does sound weird. But Josh…This place. I love it.”
More than once he had thought these were the happiest days of his life. Mike’s first job had been to clamp down on theft. A group of Romanians in the first wave of incomers had baulked at earning the ‘merits’ tradeable for food and shelter. They had quit, taking community tents and sleeping bags. Males returned on night-time stealing sprees before Mike caught one and marched him to Satan, arm halfway up his back. Inexplicably, his hearing had sharpened. He would sit in the dark, pinpointing sounds.
Josh had more earnest questions. “How does this place pay for itself Dad? How will you get by in winter? You’re not young anymore.” Honest concern on his face.
Mike relayed what he had been told. “We have two main benefactors. Micky Gaze used his lottery proceeds to buy the park, and to pay for things like the solar panels. The journalist who scooped the tsunami story, Dan, has bought in a shed load of tents and camping equipment, a load of refrigerators and washing machines, and a job lot of sewing machines. Together, they have promised enough food basics to get us through year one. Dave Dawson – he’s a diamond bloke – has pledged seeds to get the farming plan motoring. After that we’re on our own.”
“Dad you’re gonna freeze your nuts off in winter.”
“Micky also bought some damaged houses around the park. He’ll draw up rotas. People here can get warm beds a few times a week. There are other houses at Leigh where people can learn meditation and yoga. Dave’s wife Sarah calls it ‘going inwards’; reckons it’s the other part of this adventure.”
Satan walked past again, winking at Mike. “He is unlike anyone I’ve met, Josh. He says we are doing God’s work.”
Mike handed his son some keys. “There’s only a week to run on my rent. I’ve taken the laptop and a few other bits for the park. I need you to chuck out the crap and give anything half-decent to charity or take it for yourself and the kids.” His other son, in Ireland, showed no inclination to make contact. “I’ll transfer you the deposit, in case I do need money.”
Josh spoke quietly. “Dad I think you’ve gone slightly mad.” His eyes moistened. “Let me know if you want to watch Spurs. The kids send their love.”
Back in the present, long shadows covered the car park, as the evening burned down. Not one of the park’s new residents cared that Mike had been a claims adjuster.
Another Old Leigh ‘survivor’, Sheena, always detained him. “People have joined together before and survived by barter and farming,” she said, arranging wood inside a chiminiere. “We must act as a big family, and earn our freedom by helping others, mustn’t we Mike,” she half-pleaded. In her tent teddy bears and family pictures were arrayed next to physiotherapy oils.
She had quit her job at Southend Hospital. Her husband carried on at home, paying the bills. “How’s the shoulder?” She spoke again before he could reply. “One of the ways we can work on minimising pains and swellings is by creating our own natural antibiotics. We can grow garlic, ginger and turmeric. We’re all too dependent on instant-fix pharmaceuticals, which is symptomatic of a larger problem – we have forgotten how to commune. Look at us talking now, Mike. It’s like an old-fashioned fireside chat.”
She lit the wood, flames darting. He smiled as she switched topic to Gandhi, who had set up in the Southend Manor changing rooms, overseeing the sewing machinists. “Did you know that Gandhi is the only human ever to lead a successful, non-violent mass civil disobedience campaign? He got a whole nation to boycott British exports, schools, jobs and courts. How can that person be here?” Mike shrugged, kept his thoughts to himself.
One warm hug later he set off for the children’s playground, bathed in crepuscular light. One of his tasks, in conjunction with Alex, was keeping an eye on the area, which adjoined Lifstan Way, on the park’s eastern side. The vote in Little Venice to maintain public access was almost unanimous. But locals sometimes snuck in at night for drinks and recreational drugs.
Three lads had jumped over the gate “How’s it going guys?” he said, focusing on the biggest. Satan quietly watched from the nearby flower gardens how Mike handled the boys, ushering them out while maintaining the banter.
By two o’clock on weekday nights – and later at weekends – any external threats had abated. Mike would sit outside the cafe, knowing Satan would bring a bottle to ‘see in the dawn’. The ritual involved the most impossible conversations. Sal opened their first session with a teasing delivery. “Your life turned upside down after you laid into that tsunami Mike,” he smiled, wickedly.
Mike’s face contorted. “Who the fucking hell are you?”
Sal introduced himself, fully. Before Mike could object, enquire or run away, Sal related how Maggie had persuaded God to slow down the surging currents as Burper slumped against the Crow Stone. “He punched a tsunami! We need that type of bravery,” she had urged.
“He’s a psychopath, for God’s sake!” God had said.
“Those people can be useful,” retorted Maggie, remembering various Cabinet Ministers.
Several large shots later, Mike had adapted to the notion that he had befriended the Devil, was working with Gandhi, and would duly meet Buddha and Maggie. The 18-year old Macallan Gran Reserva was to die for, with powerful sherry hues that soon numbed critical faculties.
“Just so I’m clear.” He paused. “God is female. And you know Jesus?”
“Know him? I’ve lost track of how often we’ve got rat-arsed.”
Satan told Mike they had argued over whole crates of single malt in The Place about starting a community without money, as opposed to using a new currency, or even a cryptocurrency. “God swears that it always goes wrong whenever money becomes common currency.” Mike scratched his ear.
“She swears wealth travels up the chain of command every time, and that central banks ultimately give their power away to private bankers. Only a handful of countries – like Cuba, Iran and North Korea – now run independent central banks. Libya had one before NATO invaded and sent the country back to the Stone Age.”
Mike tried to nod knowingly. As they stood taking a piss into the boating lake, after Satan untied the tail around his trousers, he was glad any sobriety had long departed.
Back at the table, Sal told how often Jesus had saved him from the worst part of himself. “Whenever I encounter the damaged DNA of any senior banking family, I completely lose it. How many trillions of dollars do these cold-hearted fucks, the blue-blooded gangsters, think they need, while hundreds of millions struggle or starve?”
It was bizarre to hear how Jesus would sit with Satan, sending his purple light. “But the hatred that those families breed, all that service-to-self shit, is getting worse.” Satan looked at him: “You reckon we can start to change that Mike?”
A new tack was introduced. “Nobody needs a bible. The censorship in the fourth century left a shell of the original, but the truth is simple. Jesus would urge you to focus on just a few things. Tell the truth; stick to it; don’t be vain, or power hungry; be very generous and kind; but watch out for those who would harm you, because they are in every group. Take care of the weak who cannot fend for themselves; and never judge by appearances. And forget the Church – you are divine, with no need of a middleman to contact spirit!”
Satan talked about “tricks of the eyes”, comparing this with “the true spirit of God that opens your eyes, and works through you”. Mike had to change subject. A big sip of the Gran Reserva made the field’s tents and half-white surface resemble a mad dream poking through the darkness. “Tell me again how old your three boys are?”
“Beelzebub is 2,254, Lucifer 1,570, and Belial is 990, still a nipper.” Hooting at that improbability, Mike felt his blood run cold at Satan’s constant disdain for the United States political, military and financial systems. “While we speak, elites in Washington DC are conspiring with Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey to fund and arm jihadists in Syria. I’m talking support for ISIS and Al-Qaeda. On the watch of “peace president” Obama.”
Mike was even more perplexed by Satan’s insistence that the Bush family had helped fund the Nazis. “That cannot be true Sal. I love America.”
“Sadly, it is true. But what do you expect from people that bear blood linkages to Europe’s royal families? Union Banking Corporation and Brown Brothers Harriman are on public record as channelling money to Hitler’s Germany for several years after the war began. Prescott Bush was a board member of both.”
Mike recoiled as Satan recounted how Hitler’s war machine was entwined with Western businesses. “Nazi trucks carried Ford components. US ball bearings were used in German warships. Royal Dutch Shell provided millions of gallons of free oil to the Nazis. Standard Oil invested millions in IG Farben, which opened a gasoline factory within Auschwitz. Allied bombers were told this was off bounds. These things are seldom mentioned by Disney Media, but don’t just take it from me – research it.”
Satan was insistent that core pockets of Nazi mentality still flourished. “Germany lost the war, but huge numbers of Nazi scientists ended up working at NASA after hiding in South America.” Mike chipped in. “Not much difference in the words Nazi and NASA”.
“That sort of frivolity gets the word ‘theory’ added when some very real conspiracies are discussed.”
Mike wondered how he had ended up as Satan’s drinking partner in a Southend-on-Sea park. He awoke each afternoon with upended beliefs. Watching TV on a café laptop, he noticed how a BBC news item on World War One veterans described the horrors of French and Belgian trenches. It was followed by straight-faced newsreaders announcing that the US – and possibly Britain and France – were preparing to drop bombs on Syria to ‘address’ its complex problems. He watched programmes where experts argued that taking away UK welfare benefits would “make work pay”. In a market where even graduates struggled for employment.
Satan’s over-arching idea was that traditional society was finished, as old mental patterns and habits would soon be cast off like snakeskin. “Think about this: you live in a country so out of balance that a government let Jimmy Savile, a psychopath and paedophile, run a high-security psychiatric hospital at Broadmoor.”
New dawns peeked out each day as Sal talked the sun up. “You are part of a new model unravelling here Mike. God wants one great last period for humans – and you will have the utter privilege of building your soul and exercising your free will as you live through the death rattle of capitalism and neoliberalism. Those twin fuckers have been eating away at loving human culture like some kind of invisible Pacman, and you will help steer their demise.”
He was a realist though. “Hierarchies have had it, but Rome didn’t collapse in a day.”
10 thoughts on “228. Liminality”
Your opening quote intrigues me for many reasons: “Whatever we build in the imagination, will accomplish itself in the circumstances of our lives.”
Not only do some people say “we make our own reality” but obviously in this chapter, much of the new plan is laid out how things will be done in the park.
The interesting thing is, although this is fiction, the bones of your plan are strong: it makes me wonder why people (more?) haven’t actually taken a cause like that up.
Maybe it’s the same as my reasons: being *stuck* in a job, always reaching for a future that never comes, all the ins and outs of daily life gluing us in one place.
But your plan is so strong-sounding! 🙂
Laugh of the day: “He’s a psychopath, for God’s sake!” God had said.
“Those people can be useful,” retorted Maggie, remembering various Cabinet Ministers.
The Nazi history I’m familiar with, and it’s so so so so so distressing and depressing. That nobody REALLY cares about anything except what they can get from it. And that may be naive because sometimes people do have to *put up* with some kind of crap for a greater good.
I don’t know, hopefully many of them were just sort of “Nazi” in name only, like they had to follow the crowd to stay under the radar, but they didn’t subscribe to the actual horrors? I know some of them WERE really horrible monsters, but do you think the majority were just caught up in it…….?
Regardless, the evident lack of ethnics and morality here reminds me of this 21-year-old black guy who was held in contempt of court here in the U.S. Did you hear this story? He had jury duty, but he slept through his alarm, and either didn’t go that do, or was late. At any rate, once he went back, the judge in a rage arrested him for “contempt of court”, JAILED HIM FOR 10 DAYS, assigned him hundreds of hours of community service AND A FINE to pay.
The judge backed down on some of the other things, like less community hours and maybe waiving the fee, but this kid DID spend 10 DAYS IN JAIL for sleeping through his alarm.
While we backed Nazis and destroyed Greenwood (a black town in the 1920s, bombed from the air with Molatov cocktails) and put our own U.S. citizens in camps (Japanese during WWII).
Makes you wanna cry.
I reckon it’s mainly “all the ins and outs of daily life gluing us in one place”, but also fear of the unknown. You probably have to be on society’s margins to even consider it. Reasonable doubts about discomfort in winter? Nothing like a warm bed when it lashes down with cold rain.
The judge you mention needs a visit from Satan!
And that Greenwood thing is terrifying. That’s about as Nazi as it gets. (Although didn’t Bill Clinton have a strong hand in creating the US legislation that has jailed a massive percentage of young black males?)
A pack of neo-Nazis were put in power in Ukraine, by the coup in 2014. Engineered, I’m afraid to say, by the CIA, and with Joe Biden and his lad up to their necks in it. I’m no fan of Trump, or his manipulative cunning, but he has a strong point in looking to root out whatever antics went on.
What a world. Have you seen the stuff about Prince Andrew? He looks as guilty as sin from this angle. The British Royal Family is a dinosaur, needing to be dumped in a faraway Jaurassic Park.
Okay, so sadly, I have no knowledge of the goings-on of Biden and his son. I would have to look up what you’re speaking of. However, without any information, my only question would be: why? Why would Biden and/or the CIA back neo-Nazis? My knee-jerk reaction is I don’t see what good could come of that on any level for anybody. Is fascism and racism really the number one choice of everyone on earth nowadays?
As for Trump…manipulative cunning is what normal politicians have, I think. That’s way too benign for this prez. He’s a dangerous narcissistic sociopath who’s probably also on the autistic spectrum–a good thing for some people, but not for him. I do find it interesting that there’s a perception in the rest of the world (using you as an example) that this reality TV star cares anything about corruption anywhere–his entire life is based on greed, lies, corruption, white supremacy. That’s how he was able to abandon the Kurds so easily and just sort of shrugged when the Saudi prince had the Turkish journalist tortured and murdered and calls Kim Jong Un a friend. Testimony is coming out next week concerning his lack of empathy for or even the remotest consideration of Ukraine. If he’s got YOU fooled….then we might all be royally effed!! Even after the boys that were wrongly accused and jailed for the Central Park jogger incident in the ’90s were exonerated through The Innocence Project, this hideous pig that’s in the White House was STILL saying they should be put on death row. He’s cheated people in business, he’s cheated workers, he’s robbed and cheated in real estate his whole life. So I can in no way on this earth or even a parallel earth agree with D.T. is doing anything but looking out for his own butt. That’s the beginning and end of his presidency. Him covering his own ass and making this country worse off and having a terrible domino effect elsewhere in the world too.
Prince Andrew…..are you talking about him being friends with the sex addict/pedophile that killed himself in jail?
If the walls could talk……..
I don’t know much about it. Unless you mean something else. 🙂
PS, I know what you mean about Clinton. I was mad about that too, except my husband gave me an interesting point of view on that recently. I’ll leave that for next time, tho….
I think I’ve blabbed your ear off enough for tonight.
Seems like I inadvertently pushed a button there Stacey – it wasn’t intentional. Respect your very passionate reply, which made me think hard about what I said.
I had come across the Biden thing in Ukraine long before any of us ever thought much about Trump.
What a gross human the orange one is, with his mafia connections and groping of females and lack of respect for everyone and everything except power. Like a wannabe Goodfellas character. He has said and done a gazillion nauseating and corrupt things that I loathe. But on Biden, I believe he is onto something tangible that can and will be used as a weapon against the Democrats. I should have made that plain. Should have said “a strong electioneering point”.
Ukraine is a disaster…..I can recall looking at the 2014 Orange/Maidan revolution on TV, and thinking that it was probably ‘democratic’ (I was still hoodwinked by the media use of this word). Then slowly discovering the EU and US meddling. Victoria Nuland at the US State Department was the public face of the ‘coup’ that deposed President Yanukovych (an elected president, just like Morales in Bolivia). Yanukovych had previously made a deal with Putin that thwarted EU accession talks, and, critically, gas access. That had to be reversed.
As part of the West’s solution, the advent of the new guy, President Poroshenko, literally unleashed neo-Nazism. The Ukrainian factions backed by Washington lost control of the protests to armed ultra-nationalists known as the Right Sector and Svoboda. Both groups had roots going back to those who fought for Hitler during World War 2. One of the promoted politicians was Oleh Tyahnybok, who called for a purge of the “Moscow-Jewish mafia” and “other scum”, including gays, feminists and those on the political left. Others included Andry Parubiy, who founded the Social National Party of Ukraine, modelled on Hitler’s Nazis. Parrubiy oversaw the new government’s armed forces with Dmytro Yarosh, leader of the Right Sector, whose members paraded in uniforms bearing far-right insignia.
Shortly after the coup, US Senator James Inhofe introduced a bill that would authorise American arms for the Kiev regime. Yep, US weapons. The new government in Kiev quickly used these to engage in a full-blown war against Russian-speaking Ukrainians in the east, surrounding and shelling citizens, and cutting off their electricity and pensions. On May 2, in Odessa, 41 ethnic Russians were burned alive in the trade union headquarters while police stood by. The delightful Yarosh hailed the massacre as “another bright day in our national history”. Obama congratulated the new junta for its “restraint”.
Post-Maidan Ukraine actually contained a neo-Nazi formation in its armed forces. The Azov Battalion. With a proclivity for swastikas and salutes, and access to American grenade launchers. Andriy Biletsky, the gang’s leader who became Azov’s commander, and a deputy in Ukraine’s parliament from 2014-19, once penned his view that Ukraine’s mission is to “lead the White Races of the world in a final crusade…against the Semite-led Untermenschen.”
In 2019, not much has changed. There have been neo-Nazi pogroms against the Romany gypsies, rampant attacks on feminists and LGBT groups, anti-semitism, book bans, bans on the official use of regional languages, and state-sponsored glorification of Nazi collaborators. Paramilitary units are still given free rein on the streets. Five years after Maidan, you could easily confuse Ukraine’s ‘democracy’ with a torchlit march.
Vladimir Putin, whose country lost over 20 million lives to a Nazi invasion that came through the borderland of Ukraine, spoke up regularly about the revival of fascism in the heart of Europe. (I’m no Putin fan, just stating what happened).
None of this mattered to our caring western leaders, because they had prioritised another agenda, looting and carving up Ukraine’s abundant natural gas and other resources.
The new parliament, post-coup, passed a law that will allow US and EU investors to lease up to 49 percent of Ukraine’s transit pipelines and underground gas storage facilities. Biden’s son was appointed a director of oil and gas concern Burisma Holdings, the largest oil, gas and fracking company in Ukraine, just one month after his father was named the administration’s “point person” on Ukraine. Joe Biden later admitted that he pressured Ukraine to fire a prosecutor investigating his son, Hunter.
Please correct me if I’m wrong anywhere. It’s a regular occurrence! But to these eyes, it all looks horribly like a corrupt ‘pay-to-play’ model. That’s all Trump would need. Was his pursuit of that illegal? Worthy of impeachment? No idea. We will see.
The over-arching horror, above these nasty bit players, is that actual Nazis have been incorporated into US state agencies since the conclusion of World War II. Wernher von Braun was the “father” of both the Nazi V-2 terror bomb and the US space programme. The Nazi wartime intelligence network – the Gehlen Org – was run by the US in parallel to the CIA to provide postwar intel from Europe and begin the setup of Operation Gladio. This destabilised any overly leftist government on the continent for decades.
The macabre, ironic truth is that these murky corners of the intelligence industry are supposed to be there to protect us against Nazis and fascists. But the McCarthyist anti-Russia nonsense persists, because Washington’s strategy is more like “my enemy’s enemy is my friend.” Hence the Bidens getting involved in something unwholesome that Tulsi Gabbard, for example, would run a mile from.
Have you listened to her? A good Democrat who wants an end to US tinkering and intervention abroad. She would have my vote. Someone with experience on the ground of how millions of foreign lives are sacrificed on the altar of think-tanks in Washington.
She reminds me of JFK, who had some kind of wilful decency allied to independence of mind. And so he met his untimely end. Trump…just another puppet, like Obama/Bush/Clinton/Reagan etc.
Big apologies for rattling on and on. And on. It was very useful to go through some old notes and remind myself of what goes on in lesser-known parts of the world.
That’s pretty funny, you apologizing for “rattling on.” Because you’re basically apologizing to the “rattle on” queen here.
I could learn a thing or two from you. I have to look all this stuff up and discuss this with hubby to better understand all the above–but it paints a dark, bleak picture. Standard operating procedure for the west, of course, but still…..my God. The things *we* do to get what we want. I thought backing Nazis or fascism must have something to do with Ukraine’s natural resources somehow, because why else would you do it?
I understand what you’re saying about Trump, too, but the thing is, someone fed him whatever information he has about Biden and his son. When the phone call got out, he probably had a tantrum in the Oval Office and screamed that somebody better get him out of the mess he’d just made, and they threw that stuff at him. But as for Trump himself looking into it–he’s not. I don’t know how to stress that he doesn’t care about corruption, Biden, his son, Ukraine, children getting molested and dying in the concentration camps at our borders (while he employs quite a lot of undocumented workers himself–or at least did). So when you say “was his pursuit of that illegal?” he’s not pursuing that. It’s his excuse, his way to get out of the phone call, and it’s the phone call and his orchestration with others to get Ukraine to look into Biden that’s illegal. I can’t stress it enough, Kevin, lol !! The orange monkey IS NOT looking into corruption. Biden was the frontrunner and Trump wants to stay president so he doesn’t have to face the music of the gazillions of lawsuits New York and other states are going to unleash on him–hopefully ending in jail time tout suite. He made this call asking another country to look into one of our candidates for his own personal gain, and that’s illegal. Maybe Biden and his son are involved in something crooked–who isn’t, right? But we have to look into that ourselves. Not Ukraine.
I also heard about the prosecutor and Biden getting him fired, etc., but the side of the story over here (which is backed by the Ukraine prez, for what it’s worth) is the prosecutor was corrupt. Which, of course, means very little, even if it’s true, if Biden’s involved on any level with supporting neo-Nazis and fascism over there.
Anyway, yeah, a lot of people over here like Tulsi G and what she stands for, me included.
One of my deepest disappointments is Obama. It seemed almost surreal that a black man had been elected president; it was like….maybe we ARE changing and getting better and growing. But no. Not only did the ugliness and racism and hatred just go underground for a while, but Obama was SUCH A PUSSY with the Republicans all the time. I thought he would unleash himself in full force his second term, since he had nothing to lose, but he remained polite, and that was endlessly frustrating. But that’s nothing hearing about backing Neo-Nazis and calling murderers “restrained” or whatever the hell happened. I know he just picked up the reins and kept driving the horse that was already being driven, but…it would have been nice if he’d been a *real* person instead of just a politician.
BTW, yes, what Trump has done lately IS worthy of impeachment. If the GOP can impeach Bill Clinton for basically relieving sexual tension (as I said in another blog recently) and then claim, well, it’s not because of his antics with Monica L. and the cigar, but because he LIED about it….well, come on. I don’t think Trump has ever told the truth in his life. And he definitely lied about the call. So per the GOP’s argument for Bill Clinton, Trump should have been impeached, like, ten thousand times already.
God, I still have to go into the Clinton enabling of the prison industrial complex but I barely had time to write this. I’m at work and now I have to go back to a cooking show I’m not allowed to talk about because of confidentiality clauses. So……next time, lol !!
It’s been nice chatting with you, tho.
It’s refreshing to hear your side of things Stacey. I don’t live in the country. You see it on the ground. I trust what you say about the impeachment. Appreciate the thought and consideration that went into your reply.
I did see Trump as a two-term prez (because most Democrat candidates are so lacking in charisma and policy) but hopefully the orange will fade.
Obama the pussy. Totally agree. You can only judge a man by what he does, not his talk. Reneging on whistleblowing, and Guantanamo Bay, were two things that irked. (Foreign policy was a murderous disaster, but that’s probably true of all US presidents?). That said, his stand on Julian Assange was admirable. First Amendment has to be respected. Whereas Trump’s team has basically put the fear in any journalist who reports classified info from another source.
Once the Assanges of this world disappear (btw the UK and Australia are forever tainted by not telling Washington to go f**k itself) then it will be so much harder to contest the view of the world hurled our way by the Disney media.
It’s always good to hear your passion and humour.
Speak soon 🙂
Ha ha. Thanks, Kevin.
So Clinton…………my husband told me this. My husband’s a much more keen observer of world politics than I am and an admitted news junkie, to boot. He’s Dominican and grew up in the armpit of Brooklyn–East New York. He said it was actually a great place until the Vietnam War, then the poor vets came back and were all drug-addicted and lost, flooding into his neighborhood and wreaking havoc. When crack hit in the ’80s, it was like the end of the world. He saw firsthand the effects of crack, the families and neighborhoods it destroyed, the chaos that seemed to have no end. On top of which, nobody cared. I’m sure you’ve noticed the outpouring of concern for the “opioid” epidemic and all the “we have to do something!” and “it’s so tragic!” because it’s mainly happening to white people. Nobody cared that ethnic people–mainly American blacks–were on crack.
But crack was horrible and because of all neighborhoods and communities that were drowning under the ongoing nightmare, black people basically BEGGED Clinton to do something. They didn’t care what it was, they didn’t care if they locked everyone up–they just wanted it to stop. So the clamoring voices of the overwhelmed and exhausted urban dwellers–mostly black–were a catalyst for him to start up the three strikes bill.
So…I thought that was an interesting little bit of knowledge.
Of course, three strikes ended up being a horrible decision, because homeless people who stole some pizza three times would end up in prison, and that’s just absurd. And of course I’m not for the prison complex system and the privatization of prisons. Barbaric and unforgivable. I’m actually a little proud of California right now because it’s banning privatization. AND they just signed a bill for controlling rent hikes, starting next year. I don’t know if I told you that already when I went into my diatribe about skyrocketing rents out here. Kudos, Cally!
Sounds like Cally is fighting back…..really good to hear Stacey. The Clinton context is also well worth telling, so thanks.
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Thanks, Kevin. Not defending him, as you probably can glean, just sayin’…. a little insight I don’t think most people know.