Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Der Kosmonaut On Forget The Box Video Podcast 20 November 2015

Panelists Cat McCarthy and Der Kosmonaut discuss political art following the Trump victory and the legacy of the late, great Leonard Cohen with host Jason C. McLean.

News Roundup Topics: Pence at Hamilton, Montreal Police spying on journalists, historic building burned, Sarkozy losing power and the International Infringement Conference.


Cat McCarthy: Burlesque performer, artist and FTB contributor

Der Kosmonaut: Spoken word artist, author and blogger

Host: Jason C. McLean

Producers: Hannah Besseau (audio), Enzo Sabbagha (video)

Reports by Hannah Besseau

Recorded Sunday, November 20, 2016 in Montrea

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Monday, November 28, 2016

Police Brutality Bingo

By Eluned Jones
Police Brutality Bingo

It's a game that anyone can play
It's on at least three times a day
From Florida to Toronto
It's Police Brutality Bingo
It's in both official tongues
Montreal cops got guns
Just tune into the news
Any channel will do
Twitter and your Facebook page
And if black people don't wanna engage
You can comment without an intro
Police Brutality Bingo
So let's review the lingo
Police Brutality Bingo
There's so many ways you can win
As long as you have white skin
If you're ready we can begin
Just fill the reasons in
B1, he must have run
I2, what did she do
N3, shouldn't sell CDs
G4, the officer said he reached through the door
O5, it's their fault they're not alive
Bingo, they're not alive
He had something that looked like a knife
Shouldn't have carried the gun down the aisles
Shouldn't have played with the bb outside
Well he didn't look like a child
You can play the columns or rows
Police Brutality Bingo
Well he had a wide set nose
Shouldn't have worn those clothes
Shouldn't have worn that hoodie
Should have shown her ID
Should have kept her hands in sight
Shouldn't have asked for her rights
Was probably suicide
Shouldn't have been in that cell
The body cameras will tell
Oops seems that they were erased
Sorry the footage misplaced
Shouldn't have reached for your phone
Whatever you did you should have known
Must have done something the tape cut out
Benefit of the doubt
Even if the police were in the wrong
Only idiots don't play along
Should have shown respect
What do you expect
And on and on it goes
Police Brutality Bingo
We can go for the whole card
The police job is so hard
Shouldn't have stolen cigars
Shouldn't have been in that car
He's been pulled over many times
Shouldn't have committed those crimes
I always do what I'm told when I'm stopped
Hashtag all lives matter
Hashtag not all cops
Should have fixed his tail lights
Shouldn't speed when you drive
If their parents had raised them right
It's their fault they're not alive
It's their fault they're not alive
Then misuse a Martin Luther King quote
Police Brutality Bingo
From the bottom of the card to the top
How dare you demand no cops
Just wait till you need to call
The number of violent cops is so small
It's not the United States
We don't have the same problem with race
Shouldn't be ruining my commute
Can't support them with that attitude
White people just want to have a conversation
Seems like they just want segregation
Seems like they're the real racists
Why can't they just quietly sit
It's not the place or time
Why don't you address black crime
Well you call each other nigger
Rap music is the trigger
You shoot each other in Chicago
Police Brutality Bingo
White people you can teach your kids
It must be something that they did
There's always something you can prove
Did they reach or did they move
Were their hands up, did they freeze
Were they on their back or knees
Well then they're threatening you know
It's Police Brutality Bingo
You can get both diagonals
Shouldn't be acting like animals
They're just trying to sue for damages
His body was strong like a savage is
In the middle it's a free square
Their criminal record goes there
It's always good for a smear
You can always rely on white fear
You can always call in a threat
Think how many squares you can get
He was reading suspiciously long
Must be doing something wrong
Just didn't look like they belong
Better call 911
Nothing to do with me though
Police Brutality Bingo
Whole family can join in the fun
You can pass your racism on
And that's how the cycle runs
It's a game that's never done
You can hang your cards on the fridge
Free square white privilege
You can put them back when you're bored
Turn off the news report
Put Black people out of your mind
Until you're ready to play next time
That was such a long time ago
It's time to move on you know
And that's how this whole thing goes
It's Police Brutality Bingo.

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Sunday, November 27, 2016

A Letter To Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

Dr. Roberts,
I have been reading your articles as well listening to your many interviews over the past 7 years. You are an intelligent man, who obviously has experience in government and journalism. However, over the past couple of years I have observed with dismay your increasingly shrill and unhinged essays, in which you have thrown restraint and professionalism to the wind. While there's nothing wrong with the use of profanity in of itself (profanity is a lost art form indeed), your excessive use of it only degrades and detracts from your usually sober, if often hilarious analysis.
We all have our contradictions and I won't single you out for unfair criticism concerning yours. However, in the wake of the election and your enthusiastic support for Trump as well as your libel and slander of Anti-Trump partisans, I am compelled to wade into the debate.
For a couple of years now you have variably referred to the American people as "dumbshit" and to show off your diction, "insouciant". I agree with you that the majority of Americans are indeed that. Where our first and sadly last point of agreement is that by voting for Trump, the Americans have ratified your assessment. Unfortunately, you seem to think that Americans have gone from insouciant dumbshits to brilliant patriots overnight.
To say that the anti-Trump protesters are tools of George Soros, "Hillarybots" or ignorant idiots is not only a libel and slander but it is false. I've been involved in radical political scenes since 1991 in the USA, Canada, UK, Germany, Austria and Serbia. I have many criticisms of the radical left scene but none of them are agents of Soros. None of them are Democratic party members or supporters and many of them are academic researchers. I know many of them personally. While I have many disagreements with them, they are not what you make them out to be. It's true that many so-called "Black Bloc" anarchists are indeed agent provocateurs. But there's a difference between being undercover police officers and tools of Soros.
Why are they protesting? Trump ran a despicable adolescent campaign. Indeed, Trump is the personification of the average American; bombastic, crass, ignorant, stupid and arrogant. That's why many Americans voted for him because they saw their reflection in his character. He ran a classic divide and rule campaign. You often say: "Trump hurt people's feelings. So what?" It's not that Trump is a private citizen who's protected by the First Amendment to say whatever he wants to. Trump ran as a serious contender for the presidency. An office that is supposed to come with dignity. No doubt many presidents have disgraced the office for 4 decades and counting. However, a serious candidate for president should not go out of his way to single out various segments of the citizenry for scorn and hatred. Ideally the candidate should want to represent all the citizens and residents of the country. However, when a candidate goes out of his way to disparage and humiliate vast swathes of the electorate, it reveals that he isn't interested in being the president of all citizens and residents. Rather he only wants to represent certain segments of the population against the other. Regardless of the policies and politics of the candidate, he or she should not malign and marginalize any segment of the population. To make the sordid affair more wretched, he did so by resorting to blatant lies. He began his campaign by slandering Mexican illegal immigrants as murders and rapists by citing the "Crime Statistics Bureau-San Francisco". The problem is that no such bureau exists! Yes Hillary Clinton is a liar but Trump is more than that. He invents truths and reality. He has deliberately stoked up xenophobia and racism. Yes, American politicians have been doing that for more than 150 years. That doesn't make it good politics. It's the Great American Tradition to race bait and whip up xenophobia to win elections. Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush did so successfully. As a Reagan administration official, you know that Reagan's visit to a white segregationist festival in Philadelphia, MS was a clear political message that he was against civil rights and the modest political and social gains made by Blacks in the deep South. H.W. Bush was losing to Dukakis until he ran the Willie Horton ads. Trump is following this tradition of the Republican Party.
This obviously carries no importance for you. You are well within your rights not to care about racial minorities. But there are still segments of the American population that do. As far as the claim that Trump got 8% of the Black vote and that he has appointed some reactionary Uncle Toms to his transition team doesn't change the fact that he ran a racist campaign. There have always been and unfortunately will always be Black race traitors. This goes back to the Africans that sold their brethren into slavery. This continued on to the House Slaves that always sided with Master. As Harriet Tubman replied when asked how she felt about freeing thousands of slaves: “I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.”
Moreover, if there were a national referendum to bring back Jim Crow segregation it's possible that between 20-29% of Blacks would vote in favor of it. It's a long tradition in the United States for the white power establishment to elevate Blacks into positions of influence. Booker T. Washington gave his blessing to Jim Crow segregation. Marcus Garvey worked intimately with the Ku Klux Klan and was a self professed "fascist". So yes it's quite possible to be racist and still collaborate with Blacks and other racial minorities. Racism isn't clear cut black and white. There are many nuances to it. Silicon Valley overwhelmingly supported Barack Obama but has discriminatory hiring practices. Many white residents of Oakland voted for Obama but at the same time they are actively pushing Blacks out of the city. San Francisco has been ethnically cleansed of Blacks yet it overwhelmingly voted for Obama. I don't expect you as an older white gentleman from Georgia to appreciate or even care to think too deeply about this.
As for Trump getting 66% of the white woman vote, this is more complex. Part of it is that women are no less racist and no less white supremacist than men. Another part of it is the competitive nature of women. Contrary to stereotypes about males being more aggressive and competitive, women are far more competitive personally and socially with each other than men are. Many white women were probably jealous of  and resented Hillary Clinton for various reasons and decided that they were going to knock her down a few pegs. Yet there's something more sinister and hidden than that. According to a SUNY Buffalo research report from 1997 90% of American white women have experienced physical violence from the husbands, partners, and male family members. The academic Ishmael Reed suggests that white women were threatened and coerced in voting for Romney in 2012. There's a high likelihood that the white female vote for Trump was coerced. There's no concrete evidence of course. But considering the academic research of the high levels of violence committed against white women by white men, this cannot be ruled out. Trump's degrading of women is a reflection of this state of affairs.. Hence the reason why so many young women are on the streets protesting Trump. Again, you may reply "So what? Men have always been violent against women. Who cares?" Well Dr. Roberts many care.
This dovetails with Trump's anti-Muslim racism. The main propaganda against Islam and Muslim society is how women are mistreated. In point of fact, violence against women is much more prevalent in the Christian West. According to a UN report on the status of women worldwide back in 2011-12, the country with the most violence against women is Roman Catholic Austria! Coupled with the fact that 90% of American white women are brutalized by men, this makes Trump and his supporters maligning of Muslims not only revolting but hypocritical in the extreme. You have written in detail about the virtues of Christianity. But history has shown that Christian civilization is the most violent and repressive over the past millennia. Three years ago CKUT Radio McGill in Montreal produced a radio documentary which reported that over the past 500 years Western Christian civilization has murdered/killed 75 billion people. No other religious culture can make such a claim!
The ideas of democracy, free speech, the rights of man, humanism, in short The Enlightenment have nothing to do with Christianity. In fact, The Enlightenment was more than a backlash against Christianity, it was explicitly anti-Christian. Christianity fought tooth and nail to keep civilization in ignorance and darkness. Yes the message of Christ was about compassion and treating others with dignity but the struggle for human rights and equality was for the most part bitterly opposed by Christians who cited their beloved Bible.
While everyone has the basic democratic right to pursue the religion of their choice, there is the equal right not to believe in God. Malcolm X was a very religious man of faith but even he said: "I'm not here to try and change your religion."
People are protesting because they don't want to live in a theocracy. They want to live in a secular state. They do not want repressive Christian or Muslim morality forced upon them. The victory of Trump is not only a victory for the advocates of the compulsory religious morality but a strategic blow against the freedom not to believe in God. People are protesting because they want to have the right to have an abortion. They are protesting to retain the vital need  for access to contraceptives. No, waiting until marriage to have sex and being compelled to have only one sexual partner is not for tens of millions of Americans. While I have personal reservations about homosexuality, they should not be discriminated against or persecuted for who they chose to have sex with. That's why people are on the streets.
Many young people in high schools and universities have friends of different races, religions and sexuality. They have been raised to believe in the equality and respect for all regardless of their race, color, religion and sexuality. Many young people fear that their best friends, neighbors and lovers are going to be discriminated against and persecuted. When the door of a Jewish student at The New School for Social Research was painted with a Swastika and the word "Trump" the morning after the election, people are not only afraid but they're angry. The New School isn't just any institution of higher learning.  It was founded by Jewish emigres that had escaped Nazi persecution in Europe. I studied at The New School for a semester. This is one of the most left wing academic institutions in the country. Never before had a Swastika been painted on the doors or walls anywhere in the history of the institution. When a Swastika is painted on the door of a Jewish student with the word Trump written underneath, people rightfully think that Nazis and white supremacists are emboldened by Trump. These people are neither ignorant nor stupid. They are certainly not tools of George Soros. Just because they voted for Clinton doesn't make them "Hillarybots". This is why people are on the streets protesting against Trump.
Then there's the farce that you and other writers whom I had respected until this month peddle that the protesters are "anti-Democratic" who don't respect the "democratic will of the people. As of today 26 November 2016, Clinton is leading in the popular vote by over 2 million! Trump cannot claim any democratic mandate. Nor can any sober and serious thinker believe that this election was an exercise in democracy! The reason why people want to abolish the Electoral College is not because they want Trump out and Clinton in. I won't deny that many want to achieve this goal but the Electoral College is inherently anti-democratic. Many people would've begrudgingly accepted the result if the result was closer as in the year 2000. Trump losing by half a million votes would have been hard to stomach but people would've accepted it. Trump losing my one million would've made people restless. But Trump losing by over 2 million votes is simply unacceptable! This is why there's anger.
Portland, Oregon is the epicenter, as of now, for the anti-Trump protests. However, the Oregonian newspaper has investigated and examined many of those that were arrested. There isn't a shred of evidence to suggest that they are "paid activists" of Soros.
I want to to refute the so-called "smoking gun" evidence that the protests are paid agents. The Craigslist ads were actually for canvassing jobs for Clean Water Action, an ecological advocacy group and Washington CAN, which is a local grassroots organization for more democratic representation in D.C. The response of you and others made me scoff in disgust because it reveals your profound ignorance. I doubt that you've had a real job since you were a teenager. You've written that as an university student, you worked at the White House under JFK. I know your biography quite well. You're more or less part of the petit-bourgeois segment of society such as Alex Jones and the writers of Zero Hedge, et al. Well those of us that have to work real jobs have a better grasp of reality. Back in 1990, in the want ads section of the Village Voice I came upon the following headline: Paid Activist Work for Grassroots Campaign. It turned to be a job for New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG). Today in the back pages of most of the alternative weekly newspapers in major cities, one will often find jobs under the heading Paid Activist work. Since 1990 I've worked for NYPIRG, MASSPIRG, USPIRG, Greenpeace and most recently Working America. Perhaps if you were to walk down the major thoroughfares of the major cities, you will find young people on the street with clipboards desperately trying to get your attention. They are usually for animal rights or organizations like Amnesty International or even Planned Parenthood. This is why the ads read: paid activist work on the streets. As a canvasser one goes to various suburban districts spending 4-5 hours pounding the pavement knocking on doors to raise money. The street canvassers found downtown are the same. They are paid to WORK ON THE STREETS. There is nothing illegal or nefarious about these groups. NYPIRG was founded by Ralph Nader as a consumer advocacy and environmental lobby. Perhaps one doesn't like Nader or is against consumerism or consumer protection. Maybe one doesn't believe that we should take care of the environment. That's fine but these are legitimate and legal groups. Perhaps you're against abortion and hate Panned Parenthood. Perhaps you don't care about Human Rights violations at home and abroad. That's fine but stop maligning these organizations as fronts for George Soros. Even the PIRGS have nothing to do with Ralph Nader personally anymore.
Let's say for the sake of argument that these groups were in fact fronts for Soros. So what? They're acting within the laws of the country. Political protest and interventions in elections are protected by the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the US Constitution as well as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. People rightfully fear that with the appointment of Jeff Sessions, a well known opponent of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, will undo the enforcement of civil rights. The fact that Trump won the presidency losing by more than 2 million votes highlights why people feel that their voting rights have been violated. So please stop this non-sense of Anti-Trump protesters as paid agents of Soros, the Democratic Party, or being ignorant and stupid people! These people have much more awareness of everyday life than someone such as yourself who has spent most of his life in the top 10%. As an Assistant Treasurer and editor of the Wall Street Journal, that places you not in the top 1% but certainly the top 10%. Please stop acting and talking as if you know anything about the reality that the 90% of the population face.
Now we arrive to the most important point of contention. You have claimed that this election was about the choice was between a vote for nuclear annihilation and for life on the planet. This is as absurd as it is preposterous. I didn't vote for Clinton. Outside of New York City and State politics, I've never voted Democrat nor Republican. I've only ever voted for Democrat candidates for mayor and governor. I've never even bothered to vote for either party for US House seats of US Senate seats. I most certainly didn't vote for Hillary Clinton as US Senator in 2000. In the two presidential elections that I did participate in, Ralph Nader received my vote both times. I first moved abroad when Rudy Giuliani was re-elected in 1997 and left for good after W. Bush stole the 2000 election. I'm well aware of the dirtiness and crookedness of the Clintons. However as a native of Manhattan, I know much more about Donald Trump than about the Clintons. To say that Trump isn't part of the oligarchy is a pathetic joke. Trump is the third largest owner of Real Estate in Manhattan after New York University and Colombia University. Donald Trump is often referred to as The King of New York. It's very true that Trump doesn't represent Wall Street but he is the top representative of FIRE (finance, insurance, real estate). The rise of Trump in New York coincided with the astronomical rise in rents. I remember when Trump Tower was built and opened in 1981. In the decade which followed, inequality soared in New York City. New York City used to be the most equal city in the Western world until the 1980s. It was Trump that got involved in real estate speculation. Prior to the 1980s, there were no condos in New York City. Thanks to Trump most affordable middle and low income housing was abolished and torn down. Trump did more to advocate the abolition of rent control than any other person in New York City. Trump personifies the rise of the oligarchy in New York City more than anyone else. Trump is the primary reason why there's a housing shortage and that affordable housing is scarce.  While you were down within the Beltway, Trump was tearing down the social equality structures of New York. You can deny it all that you want but under your watch the rich got richer and the poor got poorer in New York City. You can blame it on the Federal Reserve but it occurred on your watch. The more property Trump bought and speculated on, the more middle class and lower class families were forced to leave the city. You may be able to convince your middle American and international audience that Trump doesn't represent the oligarchy and excessive rapacious capitalism, but I'm from New York and I'm down by law. Everyone in New York City knows this. That's why Clinton won handily. Of course Trump won racist fascist Staten Island. (This is not a broad stroked slander, I know this because I fought them on the streets of that borough. I fought White Aryan Resistance at Victory Blvd overpass of the Staten Island Expressway. It was the only place in the 5 boroughs which had a huge white supremacist banner displayed in public. We removed it. I worked with a Staten Island bus driver who told me how the Amalgamated Transit Union is a racist and fascist union. The racism and fascism goes down to individual bus drivers. Not to mention the personal and political ties that exist between former Staten Island Borough President Guy Molinari and his daughter Susan with White Aryan Resistance.)
As for the ludicrous notion that Trump will bring back and create jobs, there's nothing in his history as a businessman that he will do any such thing. Trump has never created many jobs in New York City. In a city of 8 million, he has at most produced a few hundred jobs. Most were construction jobs in the racist and exclusive unions and menial labor jobs. In a city of which he's the top boss, he has never created any significant number of jobs. So if he has no record of job creation in the city that he effectively owns, how does anyone expect that he will create millions of jobs desperately needed in the country? Every New Yorker over the age of 40 and they will tell you the same thing, if in other words.
Anyone with a superficial understanding of the New York Real Estate industry understand how corrupt it is. Trump is about as shady as they come. Why do you think that he has refused to turn over his tax files? It has little or nothing to do that he may not be as wealthy as he says. Rather he has gained his wealth through corruption, crooked deals and worse.
Let's travel two hours south of New York City to Atlantic City, New Jersey. Up until the rise of Trump in the 1980s, Atlantic City was the premier resort town in the Northeast. It was the first resort city which didn't discriminate against Blacks. It was a family city. I went to Atlantic City regularly as a child in the 1970s. My family and I would usually spend a week each summer in Atlantic City. Then suddenly in 1981, the same year that Trump Tower was completed, Atlantic City was converted from a family and entertainment beach resort to a casino mecca. It's well known that Atlantic City is run and controlled by the Mafia. Back in 1984 or 85, WNEW TV 5, which used to be Metromedia until Rupert Murdoch took it over, aired a 4 part series about "The Mob in Atlantic City". Each of the segments were 2 hours long. So in total it was 8 hours of the best investigative journalism that I've ever seen on American TV. How do you think that Trump was able to build a casino empire in a city controlled by the mafia? Obviously he had to pay protection money and was in on the racket. So here we have the record of Donald Trump going back 35 years. He's a shady, crooked and mafia tied "businessman". To say that the election was about the squeaky clean Trump against the dirty corrupt Clinton is simply not true.
Yes you are right that Clinton recklessly called Russian president Putin the "new Hitler". However, Trump's policy of trade war and economic warfare against China is no less reckless. Trump has called for building up the navy and wants to vastly increase the number of soldiers in the US Army. This sounds like he's preparing for war. Perhaps not against Russia but against China. Trump likely believes that he'll be able to bully China into submission with British gunboat diplomacy 2.0. How can you not see that Dr. Roberts? Are you really so afflicted by tunnel vision that your justifiable fears of nuclear war with Russia has made you blind to nuclear war against China? Let's look at his bellicose and threatening statements against Iran. There is nothing that Trump has said or has written in his platform that remotely suggests that he's an "anti-war" let alone "peace" candidate. Do you really think that if he attacks Iran or China that Russia will just stand on the sidelines and watch? Or perhaps do you think that Trump will make some type of white racial alliance with Putin against Iran and China as the African intellectual Ronald Segal predicted back in 1966 with his prescient book "The Race War"?
Moreover, do you think that if Trump imposes a 45% tariff on Chinese goods that this will be beneficial for the US economy? That means all the low wage workers at Wal-Mart, Kmart, Target will be out of work. This will cause many retail outlets to go out of business because their profit margins will be squeezed too hard. Do you think that in middle America where the only jobs available are at Wal-Mart and Kmart is going to prosper? Most crucially, don't you think that China which currently holds trillions in US debt will start selling of Treasury bonds which will crash the dollar? In my opinion, Trumps threat is just as gravely reckless as Clinton. But again, as you might argue, it's better to have a destitute but living population than for all life on earth to end. In other words, it's fine to let hundreds of millions starve to death to save the majority billions on the planet! What psychopathic madness!
Let's pretend for a moment that Trump will actually produce jobs. It's very unlikely that he will produce any well paid jobs. His employees in Atlantic City were making poverty wages before he managed to sack them all but closing his casinos. Do you think that the jobs produced by Trump will pay at least $15/Hr? Do you think that the jobs will offer work place safety? He wants to abolish all regulations centered around occupational safety and other safeguards to protect workers. The jobs Trump will produce will be low wage jobs without benefits, sick leave, paid vacations, health care or even a defined guaranteed pension. Just look at how his workers were treated in Atlantic City. By that measure,Trump spells doom for the American workers who were stupid enough to vote for him.
Now I come to the ultimate point. You were half right when you said that the election was a choice between world war and something else. I will grant you that. However, you missed something far more serious. The choice was between world war and civil war. You are also somewhat correct that the choice for Trump was better for the planet. However, civil war will be coming to the USA in 2017. There are many reasons for this which is beyond the scope of this already long letter. You are also right when you say that the inhabitants of the Northeast and West Coast and those in the metropolitan areas have diametrically opposed interests to those of the provincial hinterland. The mayor of New York has already warned Trump that he will not obey any orders from the Executive or even the Legislative branches that contravene the laws and social values of the city. Legislators from California, Oregon and Washington are in the initial stages of convening a meeting to take the West Coast out of the Union. In states like Michigan and Pennsylvania, there is already tense standoffs between the cities and the states. Republican Rick Snyder has placed a few majority Black municipalities under his direct control. The mayor and city councils of Detroit, Flint and Benton Harbor are under dictatorship. You will see cities declare their independence from the states as well as the West Coast leaving the union.
Moreover, thanks to Trump white nationalists are emboldened. The appointment of Stephen Bannon has caused the Ku Klux Klan to celebrate. The former Grand Wizard of the KKK David Duke is claiming victory. Blacks are not going to accept a return to conditions prior to 1954. Young women and women in the Northeast and West Coast are not going back to the kitchen. Young people are not going to allow their social values and morals to be trashed by Trump and his ilk. 40% of white Americans are not going to accept the abolition of civil rights. Yes Trump won 60% of the white vote but that doesn't mean that even all his voters are going to tolerate a white supremacist regime.
One last point. You have written extensively about the epidemic of police violence in the country. Reading your columns, the reader would get the impression that this was one of the biggest domestic problems facing the country. Suddenly,now that Trump has won, you've become mute on that issue, When asked about his solution to racial profiling and police brutality, Trump answered "law and order". His Gettysburg declaration is not only a green light for more violent repression but it's a plan to fully transform the police into a deadly military force sending them into the Black and Latino districts of the country. In short, Trump is calling for a Fallujah style siege of inner city America. This is going to lead to riots bigger than Watts, Detroit and Los Angeles combined. Perhaps the only positive thing is that perhaps the Black and Latino gang members will stop shooting and killing each other and turn on the police. Again Dr. Roberts, how do you not see this? Trump wants to expand the Prison Industrial Complex. This is also where people get the fear of "fascism". You have no idea how fearful Blacks and Latinos are in The Bronx, South Side Chicago, North Philadelphia are. They've already endured 25 years of police state occupation. Trump promises to make it worse. Black Americans have every right to be fearful. American history and society has never been kind to them, even under the first and probably last Black president. There's going to be a race war. I was 17 years old when Trump took out paid advertisements viciously attacking the Black teenagers falsely convicted of raping a white woman in Central Park. In that ad and in public speeches he referred to them as "animals" and "savages". He called for the reinstatement of capital punishment, even for crimes that don't result in the death of the victim. In 1989, Trump agitated for these innocent Black lads to be lynched. Trump did more to inflame racial tensions in 1989 than Ed Koch or Bernard Goetz combined. In many respects, Trump contributed to the poisonous racial atmosphere that led to the racist murder of Yusef Hawkins in Bensonhurst Brooklyn later that year. You are not going to spit in the face of Black people and call it rain by denying that Trump is a racist. Perhaps your majority white audience will buy it, but Blacks and Latinos, especially in New York have a firm grasp on reality, which you cannot nor will not never have. We have seen Trump's racism front and center.
One last thought about civil war. It was quite telling when Trump announced his "Contract with the American Voter" at Gettysburg, PA. As a historian the symbolism wasn't lost on me. The fact that he made his fascist platform at the site of the turning point of the Civil War means that he has decided to nullify the results of the war. Civil War is coming. Mark my words Dr. Roberts.
In conclusion, I will continue to read your columns from time to time though I won't take them as seriously as I once did. Your site will mostly be comic relief and lighthearted reading. I still have respect for you as a writer. I used to consider you to be an ally but not anymore. I don't consider you to be an enemy yet. However, as the US descends into civil war and chaos, it's going to be interesting to see what the true colors of many intellectuals actually are. We are in a period of unprecedented social and political upheavals. Be prepared and be careful!
With friendly greetings,
Der Kosmonaut

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Saturday, November 26, 2016

Thought Of The Day

One has to pick their fights. One can't go about kicking every dog that barks at you, only at the ones that bite.
-Der Kosmonaut
26 November 2016
Montreal, Quebec Canada

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Friday, November 25, 2016

Thought of The Year

Light design and text by Robin Bell photographed by Liz Gorman

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Sunday, November 20, 2016

Enlightenment In Reverse

By Der Kosmonaut
  In this age of Enlightenment in reverse when the collective memory has been disconnected, one really wonders it they're in a cartoon. 20 years ago I first noticed how residents of New York looked more like characters out of comic book illustrations. Back then a friend commented how he watched the Atlanta Olympics and thought that he was watching cartoons.
  Depending on where one's technological perception is, the view seems to vacillate between surreality and virtual reality. In other words, from the bizarre to the absurd. Everywhere that I go on this doomed planet the bombardment of our deficient consciousness is all around. What's most startling is the technique to reduce consciousness to its most redundant.
  This is the tragic reality of this lamentable period in history. A repeat of the dark ages when wizards were the visionaries of society. When occurrences of natural phenomena were passed off as mystical. What makes our contemporary age worse and more corrupt is how our own perceptions, both imaginary and real, which we can comprehend ourselves, are packaged and resold to us as new and improved.
  The mass scale of humans losing their independent though is alarming. It's terrifying that some are not just losing but are surrendering their independent thoughts. It's time for us to disconnect the world of totalitarian capitalism, In these paradoxical times the need to connect the dots to see the complete image is the way to disconnect it altogether. Perhaps I am on too much reality and need a dose of virtue.

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Monday, November 14, 2016

Der Kosmonaut At Montreal Infringement Festival November 15, 18, 19 2016

Der Kosmonaut returns to the Montreal Infringement Festival for the first time in a decade! He will give two spoken word and music performances plus a presentation at the World Infringement Congress.

Tuesday 15 Nov 2016
Infringement Open Mic Kick Off Party
@Rusty Shuttle 
3655 Blvd St. Laurent Loft 411 

Friday 18 Nov 2016
Der Kosmonaut Performs Spoken Word Selection Plus His Prior To Der Kosmonaut EP
@Rusty Shuttle 
3655 Blvd St. Laurent Loft 411

Saturday 19 Nov 2016
World Infringement Congress
Der Kosmonaut address: "Trump, Globalization and Infringement"
1900 Rue Wellington
10:30-11:00 AM

For more information about the 2016 Montreal Infringement Festival visit:

For more information about and directions to the World Infringement Congress visit:

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Saturday, November 12, 2016

Against Clinton, Trump and Totalitarian Capitalism

By Der Kosmonaut
In response to my recent editorial some readers have taken me to task as being a tool of George Soros or a stooge for Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party. I most certainly am not. I didn't endorse Clinton. I have never been a member of the Democratic party nor have I ever voted for any Democrat politician outside of New York City politics. I've never voted Democrat for president, US senator or governor. I've been in political opposition to Barack Obama before he was elected.
The Clintons are are reactionary crime family. I was well aware that a Trump win would usher in the final and complete discrediting of capitalism and American "democracy". Clinton would've continued holding up the see through tattered rag that "democracy" still functions. With Trump, the fangs of capitalism are revealed. The masses now have no choice but to fight which will inevitably take revolutionary forms. The United States will have a civil war very soon. For the world, an American civil war, break up and collapse is better than the continuation of its endless wars of conquest, slaughter and plunder.
Hillary Clinton is just as bad and many ways worse than Donald Trump. Clinton is a warmonger and a murder. Trump is neither. The Clintons are probably more racist than Trump as can be seen by their political record over the past 35 years. Bill Clinton bears direct responsibility for the rise of Trump and the fall of the Union through his actions and policies both as governor of Arkansas and president. I want to see Bill and Hillary Clinton hang along with Trump and all the other totalitarian capitalists
All this non-sense about anti-Trump protests orchestrated by George Soros is absurd in the extreme. The USA has been heading inevitably towards civil and race war for some two decades already. Soros has nothing to do with these objective social and political developments that have been happening since 1982. There were many progressives, who while opposed to the politics of Trump, had hoped that he would win as it would spur political organization and help unify radical movements. It seems that it has. The social and political upheavals that are to come in 2017 won't be directed by Soros or by some other shadowy figures lurking in the background pulling the strings. They will be the organic authentic uprisings that won't be under the control of establishment protest movements such as Move On or Black Lives Matter or the AFL-CIO for that matter. This is another positive development. These various liberal groups and the trade unions serve to stifle the resistance of the masses against totalitarian capitalism. They will find themselves quickly discredited and sidelined. We will see independent community and workers organize themselves building up new structures.
With thousands of people presently organizing the succession of California from the Union, this recalls events after the 1860 election when South Carolina was the first state to succeed. The United States will fracture. Indeed, the USA is following the path of USSR. This will partly come about thanks to Trump being elected president. It will have nothing to do with Soros or the Democratic Party. People that don't understand this are condemned to be swept aside by the brutal force of history.
Again, I can't stress enough the need for social and political solidarity in the days and months ahead. It's the only way that the planet will survive.

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Friday, November 11, 2016

Leonard Cohen 1934-2016

By Der Kosmonaut
2016 is a nightmare on every conceivable level. This year has seen the passing of three of the most important and influential musicians. First we lost David Bowie. Then we lost Prince. Today we have lost Leonard Cohen. I suspect that the election of Donald Trump crushed Cohen. Cohen spent half of his life in the United States. Though he knew all its horrors, he really believed that the United States would retain it's democracy and ideals of social equality.
Yet he feared for the future. Already he foresaw the coming of fascism in New York with his seminal record "First We Take Manhattan:". In 1992 he predicted that "The Future" would bring worse horrors than experienced in the 20th century. Finally this year, he had his finger on the social and political pulse with his song "You Want It Darker". Unfortunately, Cohen was prescient as always. Poets are the prophets of today. We sense, feel, smell and see things deeper than others. Often we see things which are invisible to the rest of society.
I first heard his music when I was 16 when "First We Take Manhattan" was released. I didn't really appreciate his music until much later when I moved to his hometown of Montreal. Cohen did influence one poem of mine. I will never have the talent of Cohen. He will most certainly be remembered as Canada's greatest poet. He will probably be one of the few poets born in the 20th century whose work will sit alongside the great classical English language poets.
I will forever kick myself in the ass for missing the opportunity to see him live in concert. He performed a concert in Belgrade in 2009 when I lived there. My girlfriend at the time went to see him. At the time I was too broke to go even though the tickets were pennies on the dollar compared to the price of tickets for the same tour in Western Europe.
Thank you Leonard Cohen for your contribution to music and poetry. You will be missed. You departed at the moment when people needed you most. We are now in the darkness without your voice and wisdom as navigation lights to guide us through.

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Editorial: Don't Panic! Solidarity Is The Key To Survival!

By Der Kosmonaut
  It's understandable the anger, disappointment, disgust, fear and revulsion that hundreds of millions around the world are feeling in the wake of the biggest political catastrophe in world history since Adolf Hitler was appointed Reichskanzler in 1933. These feelings are justified. With that said, we can't panic. We can't give in to despair. We are not alone! The forces of reaction are at their peak but we must remember that it reveals the not only the weakness but most importantly the death rattle of totalitarian capitalism. We have reached the crossroads of human history. We are not powerless. We need to unify and support each other. Solidarity is key if we are to survive as a species.
 The election of Donald Trump is the final alarm. Neither capitalism nor liberal democracy has anything more to offer us. We can't react as fans of a sports team that fails the win the champion with the attitude, wait til next year. Or in the case of the US, wait for 2-4 years for the next election cycles. The biggest political lesson of the Barack Obama era is that no politician or political party is going to save us. We have been pushed to the abyss but we haven't fall in quite yet. The only option is to organize and fight. We cannot be afraid. We must not only fight politically but we are going to have to get physical. The capitalists, fascists and motley crew of their reactionary supporters must be physically liquidated. As the band Ministry sampled: "We're going to rip this motherfucker off. We're going to tear this motherfucker down." This must be our attitude and approach to Donald Trump and totalitarian capitalism. Either they must perish or we will perish. There's no other way. We can't ask, beg, plead or negotiate with Trump and the capitalists. We can't accommodate or make a deal with them. We can't co-exist anymore with them. The battle lines have been drawn. This is our last chance to exterminate capitalism once and for all. If we do not even try, capitalism will exterminate the planet. The choice is very simple: Is the planet going to survive or will it perish? This isn't a rhetorical question. It is the choice thrust against us.

Read more »

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Blind Americans

"Now tell me what the Hell have we become?
Some dirty little bastards! What the Hell is going on?"
When David Byrne wrote this song, he was referring to the degeneration of American politics after 8 years of Ronald Reagan. The election of Donald Trump 28 years later not only ratifies Byrne's insight but reveals how the rise of Trump didn't come suddenly out of the blue.
White Americans are duped and manipulated because they're blinded to reality by racism combined with a lack of education and  ignorance based on naivety.

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Monday, November 07, 2016

Duci Simonović Live Interview on Balkan Info

In this wide ranging interview revolutionary Serb philosopher talks straight about the Rio Summer Olympics, Sport, Totalitarian Capitalism, Geo-politics and the destruction of cultural and social life.
Courtesy of Balkan Info 

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