And per usual....only Putin cares
That strange country no one would touch when I was a kid. That country I was ashamed to have my family be from when I was a kid
When my grandmother came to live with us for six months, I was mortified when she spoke to me in Slovenian in a clothing store, and this was witnessed by a classmate
It was this weird embarrassing place with weird languages and weird mannerisms and ideas, a European country that wasn't "cool" like France, or Spain, or Italy
This strange place with weird Emir Kustirica gypsies that always seemed to exist on this plane where it simultaneously did and didn't actually register in people's ignorant minds
You know....the land of the southern slavs?
Slavs? Slavs are just Russians
When I was a kid, growing up in the eighties, you never heard about it on the TV news or on TV shows, heralded in movies
It was almost like the place didn't exist
But when you did hear about it, in those rare moments, it was always in a disparaging manner, like a joke I recall some blonde actress recited once (Heather Locklear?) on some TV show, ridiculing the looks of Yugoslav women, saying they all looked like men
It was a "socialist" country, and presumably had all the problems attending all "socialist" countries, like a curtailment of the freedoms of its citizens
Yugoslavs couldn't travel outside of the country for instance
Oh wait; that's not true
(Because I remember one lone article from that time period debunking that myth)
The "smartest boy" in my class in elementary school was asked to recite the capitals of the world, and he could tell us a great majority of them, especially the European ones, OF COURSE the European ones, but he gave me the blankest of stares when I asked him what the capital of Yugoslavia was
And what about good 'ol Nikola Tesla? The greatest scientist of the twentieth century? When I was growing up, the Smithsonian refused to erect a bust to him, and I had a sweatshirt proclaiming that everyone should "Bust the Smithsonian" because my dad was a member of the Tesla Memorial Society of New York, and they were working to increase the public's awareness of his achievements. I thought the sweatshirt was silly and embarrassing, and I don't remember wearing it much as a kid. In my twenties I appreciated it more, but unfortunately eventually gave it away to a thrift store.
Do you know how many bloody reports I did about Nikola Tesla? To go along with all the times I had to do a project about a foreign country for school, and I consistently chose the homeland of my parents, Yugoslavia?
I also spent many summers there as a little girl, and I remember feeling how the atmosphere was different
How I could walk through the streets of Ljubljana, and Varazdin, Pula, and Zagreb ( and wherever else we went, I have a poor memory) and feel the history of the ages wafting through the air and through my soul (especially in Ljubljana)
There were no billboards or advertisements in the streets. There was no ghastly commercial television, and definitely no television stations inundated with gaudy American TV shows
The soul of the country was alive and well, and I felt like I was really and actually alive. Like blood could flow unimpeded, like life could happen, and it could go full speed ahead like it was supposed to, instead of it always being at a muffled standstill like in the States. People fell in love, and got married, and died, and had fights, and it felt real, and there was real flesh and blood interaction with other human beings, and not the desolate, lonely, static, insular existence back home in Ohio
After I got over my silly pre-teen pretensions about not being American enough for my classmates and my family not being American enough for everyone-on-Earth, I fell in love with the place and wished and dreamed that I had been born there, and that my family there accepted me (which they didn't, but that's another story)
Then the nineties came, and Yugoslavia was destroyed by the powers of the West, who didn't like socialism, who no longer needed any states defiant to any Soviet Union (because it was no longer around), who didn't like defiant states to the West, and who wanted new markets for their goods and cultural products
My parents' homeland, simultaneously mocked and ignored by Western mainstream society for so long, was ironically finally accepted into the fold after being torn apart criminally and brutally by the bullies of the West, and made into a TV show set for "Game of Thrones" and a cool new hip place for American hipsters to visit; Nikola Tesla started becoming "cool" too
A place nobody from here ever fucking cared about before
Recently, in response to claims of Russian interference in well, hell, lets just say it, everything the United States does, like our elections, (and apparently the elections of others too, apparently Mexico is up to bat LOL) , critics have responded that why should the 17 intelligence agencies of the US be trusted when they say that "it seems" that the Russians interfered. They couldn't be trusted when it came to the claims about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, so why here?
Yes, those WMD's that really weren't
And while that is a really good argument when questioning the accuracy and motives of US intelligence agencies, why is it the only example given?
There are plenty of other examples of the nefariousness of US intelligence agencies, examples like COINTELPRO where the FBI spied on political dissidents in our own country, and the CIA's nefarious doings in South America
But there is one really good example, on a par with Iraq, that happened more recently, that people on the left, I'm sorry, I mean anyone critical of the official narrative, either left or right, could be using in their defense
What about the lies surrounding the so-called "humanitarian intervention" of Yugoslavia?
Milosevic not only was never found guilty of war crimes, he actually worked to bring peace back to the region and prevent more bloodshed and end sanctions against his country with the concessions he made at the Dayton Accords. People like Richard Holbrooke, former US ambassador to the UN, more richly deserved to sit in judgement at a war crimes tribunal due to his participation in the slaughters that took place in Vietnam, Afghanistan, East Timor, Iraq, and yes, Yugoslavia, where he helped the Bosnian Muslims prolong the war and played a minimal role in the Dayton Accords but was given all the credit and slandered Milosevic when he died; he's dead now too / photo taken from the-american-interest.com and source for this info from Diana Johnstone's article "Holbrooke or Milosevic: Who was the greater murderer?" December 15, 2010 published the week Holbrooke died and god damn she was so prescient when she writes that nobody had proven that he was guilty of war crimes and this was back in freaking 2010!!!
In March of 2016, several months before the Presidential election, it was announced by the ICTY ( International Criminal Tribunal on Yugoslavia) that Slobodan Milosevic, the "Butcher of the Balkans", had been exonerated of his supposed war crimes
It was found that he actually WASN'T on board with ethnically cleansing Bosnia of Muslims and Croats
One of the major reasons the US went into its "humanitarian intervention" in Yugoslavia in the first place, was because of what this monster was supposedly doing, and it turns out, he wasn't doing it all
Now don't you think our intelligence agencies would have picked up on that?
I would think that this is a MAJOR BOMBSHELL, but the only news outlets who reported on it didn't do so until the summer of that year, and complained how this decision had been buried under the ICTY's conviction of Ratko Mladic
But when it was reported, it wasn't picked up in the mainstream press; I can recall only seeing it on RT and Counterpunch, and hardly anyone mentioned it on Twitter (Neil Clark is another really good journalist on Yugoslavia by the way, he reported on this for RT; along with Diana Johnstone)
So okay fine, mainstream political pundits and fake news are not going to pursue this, but you would think more critical types, some anti-establishment types, would be jumping on this?
To this day, the new year of our lord 2018, hardly anyone talks about it
"Just like you believe that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq?" Here, 60 Minutes' attack dog Leslie Stahl attacks RT's editor-in-chief, Margarita Simonyan, on the issue of Russian interference, and Ms. Simonyan responds with that same 'ol Iraq line. Again, no offense to RT, I love them, but to be honest, they're not bringing up Yugoslavia, although to be honest, their website has done fabulous reporting on it but is it too complicated to bring up in an interview? By the way, reporting more than the US mainstream press does is NOT controversial or even special, if you were normal
Is it the curse of Yugoslavia?
The weird country that no one understands and no one cares about? Even when it could be useful to them?
Is it just too icky weird to be comprehended? Was I right, all those years ago, my pre-teen intuition in overdrive, my radar going off that my family simply came from a country SO FRICKING CRAAAAZZZY, that it instantly obliterated itself from people's minds? That it just really doesn't matter?
Is it the spell of the Clintons, and anything done by the Democrats, that makes people not want to be critical? If it's done during a Democratic administration, is it automatically OKAY, just like all those deportations and foreign interventions were okay under Obama? Because apparently cutting welfare under the Clinton administration was A-okay
There are so many lies and manipulations that took place during those heady Clinton days in the late nineties that culminated in the deconstruction of Yugoslavia: the demonization of its leaders, the manipulation and exaggeration of ethnic tensions, hoaxes of massacres and demonizations of whole ethnic groups, the manipulation of Western leftists who supported the US's new role as a "humanitarian interventionist'; lust for mineral mines (Trepca) and the violation of sovereign nations; suspicious dealings and "erroneous maps" resulting in mysterious bombings of Chinese embassies and 78-day bombings of innocent civilians with depleted uranium and people walking around today scot-free who also deserved a place at a War Crimes Tribunal at the Hague
That will be for another article (or read one of the excellent books on the subject "Fool's Crusade" by Diana Johnstone)
But back to soundbites
"There were no WMD's in Iraq" can be joined by "Milosevic was not a war criminal, and he was not guilty of ethnic cleansing in Bosnia" and therefore in either case, you had no cause to bomb anyone US of A
Another notch in your belt, US intelligence agencies!
Mikhaila Martinovic is a pseudonym for Kate Meyers, who has always wished she could either be a witch or a Yugoslav
knitting is a lifestyle
any craft, if you really believe in it, is a lifestyle
then you start to take on other crafts, or crafty ways of living, because the first craft, that you finally loved ( or immediately fell in love with), opened the door from the fast-paced, corporate-driven, dehumanizing, mundane world, to the strange pagan, dorky, relaxing world (of craft)
you soon want to move to a farm or the woods, and grow your own vegetables and raise your own wool
well, i do, at least
but while I live in a city, it's kind of like a cabin-in-the-woods but in a back alley in a desolate, midwestern city
where i can have a garden, and hang out the clothes to dry, and forage for berries and fruits, and walk to the bank
knitting was so popular in the beginning of the 2000's
amongst proto-neoliberal feminists, BUST magazine and its publisher and founder, Debbie Stoller, reignited interest in this craft that had seemed to fall by the wayside. while second wave feminism seemed to look down on the activities that had thus far been relegated to women, things like housework, the third wave said "hey! we're women, we just happen to like pretty things, and it's sexist to demean activities and objects because they are associated with women. therefore knitting and shopping and other domestic activities are now cool"
this sentiment decontaminated housework and crafts, and revolutionized crafting from stupid bulky wooden cutout crap found at stale craft fairs to sophisticated, organic, handmade products featured at chic "bizarre bazaars" and "fleas"
unfortunately knitwear items found at craft fairs still fall under cheesy, uncreative, and limited. we can say this is due to the impracticality of knitting larger items; it takes too long, and you would have to charge hundreds of dollars for each item
which might be cool for those handful of mega wealthy individuals who can throw money away like that, but not feasible for the rest of us
a friend of mine modeling some of my creations
I blocked out her face because I didn't get her permission to show these photos and she may not want to be affiliated with the political opinions of this online magazine
The first one on the left is a book pattern and the next two are my own
A cursory examination of etsy has revealed that there are individuals who are selling homemade sweaters for hundreds a dollars a pop, and they're not bad either
And erstwhile movie actress Karen Allen (last I heard) makes gorgeous creations on a loom that she sells for hundred of dollars ( apparently she liked to go off and disappear somewhere to knit while on the set of such blockbusters like Indiana Jones)
Other famous women who are into knitting ( because I don't know of any men) are Kelly Deal of the Breeders and Madonna ( I don't know about that one, I think they just stick her name next to any new trend because she likes to keep up with trends )
But for the most part, knitwear at fairs is scant and relegated to scarves and hats and mittens
My ambition it to sell full-blown sweaters
knitty.com is a website dedicated to really expert amateur knitters who can submit their patterns and finished designs to its seasonal online magazine. They also came out on the tide of when-knitting-was-big
one of the liberating things about knitting, aside from having control over a finished project that you can wear and reveling in a skill you perfect with your hands, is the inclusivity of the art in the mainstream
all kinds of women ( and men) submit patterns to knitty.com - women of all shapes and sizes and colors and they are super creative
no airbrushed models here
so aside from its DIY pleasures, knitting can lead to a portal hole of self acceptance and a chucking of mainstream fashion trends and models, which just make us feel bad about ourselves anyway
one of the first times i ever viewed knitty i felt a great sense of relief, because all those ladies modeling their original designs, that they created from their brains and knit with their hands, looked like me
Because I am so insanely loyal, I still enjoy knitting, even though it has passed by the wayside, as so many once trendy things have passed through my observation in the great social media soaked world
I still use it as a way to add accessories and clothes to my life
Some of my pieces are showcased in this article
They are once in a lifetime pieces that will never exist again ( and are hardly ever worn ) so I plan to sell them as large pieces of knitwear available for sale to obliterate the neverending torrent of quick knit kitsch that reside at almost every craft fair
The only problem is they do take time, and the prospect is a little daunting, but if I just post a few at a time on my etsy shop, they will probably gradually SLOWLY sell off in just enough time for me to replace them
Corina Sheen-Easton will knit you the ugliest sweater in town, just in time for Christmas next year
11/28/2017 0 Comments
Three movements are examined here: ballet, medicine, and clothing for children
Suddenly masculine, suddenly feminine is a lyric from this song:
I don't know if trans women are really women, I don't know what makes a woman, but I do believe I am one, if not a totally effeminate one
I used to be whole-heartedly open and supportive of the transgender and gay communities, mostly because i only seemed to attract these kinds of people into my life as friends. I feel as a woman who never really had maternal feelings ( and has just turned forty and STILL doesn't want kids but still wants adventures), I was an unfit fish for the general pond, and these people could smell it on me. (I also used to have lots of black friends, before I totally eschewed the concept of friendship now and forever)
I tend to be more of the school that humanity has a variety that goes beyond gender, race, anything ; people have different personalities and wants and dreams and why does it matter what they do? Why do you even care? You will always find someone who is like you,THEY EXIST, so what do you care about the others (unless they willfully irk you, but otherwise, if they don't) ? Groups end up being oppressed and then they become the oppressor when the pendulum of capitalism starts to swing in their direction
But in the interest of the further acquisition of general knowledge in my life, it was fascinating to learn that certain things we currently are used to being under the auspices of one gender, used to actually be dominated by the contrary gender oh so many years ago ( and according to certain white men, the mantle of oppression has switched shoulders now too)
Let's make a foray into hidden history and examine lightly the transition of three modern day phenomena that we take for granted for their supposedly immutable gender roles, (and we can also take in some other startling conclusions along the way)
excerpts from "Ballerina" by deirdre kelly
I had no idea being a ballerina was such a dirty profession. And I finally understand where the term "working girl" comes from
I have never liked ballet. I have always thought it so narrow, too binding, too unwelcoming of difference, so unrelatable, TOO BORING
All that changed when I learned about its seedy underbelly and its true evolution. How miserable the working-class women who entered it were, so many of them, especially in France, forced to supplement their meager incomes from dancing with prostitution
But the practice of ballet started out male - it started out as a hobby for male royals who gradually allowed women to participate
Also originally used as a way to exercise military maneuvers, it's not really such a strange thing when in some eighties sitcom a teenage boy admits he takes ballet to help with his football moves (although we are all meant to be stunned and intrigued when we hear this; how unusual! ) Female roles were danced by men, same as we find in theater with the roles found in ancient Greek tragedies and Shakespearean plays
After a gradual introduction of women into the balletic sphere, the inevitable happened one day, and the male royals had been almost completely run out and the world said "Okay ladies - it's YOURS now..."
Its main participants may have become women, and originally very wealthy and influential ones, but these became lower class women who struggled to survive at the mercy of male patrons who could make or break their careers. And hello Harvey Weintstein! They had to sleep with them too, so for women, sleeping your way to the top of a profession has always been the norm (thank goodness that never changed! Some consistency!)
(I also learned that Edgar Degas was a total asshole who relished the poverty and the suffering of the young women he captured in his art. What is that you say? "The great people in history" have personalities? Commit errors? Have faults? Can be mean? And demean?)
Especially if they are men? That's also something not very new
evolution of the "working girl"
I remember a stigma being attached to women who entered the workforce in the beginning of the last century. It was showcased in movies and television shows, older ones, and I never understood it. I could understand the sexism of not wanting to see women able to support themselves though gainful employment, but that didn't seem to quite explain it completely for me; now I finally understand
Women who have to work are sluts
Both ballerinas and sweet little children could burst into flames due to their highly flammable outfits
In recent years there has been an ongoing kafuffle instigated by two seemingly random and dangerous developments in our culture: the emergence of unisex clothing for children, and the emergence of the tendency to break gender clothing rules for children, allowing them to wear the "uniform" of the gender they may currently "feel" more like
And when I say random, I mean it seems that way because the majority of us 'Muricans don't know much history, and even fewer of us even bother to investigate it, so we act surprised ( because we are) when we hear of stuff like this, when it dares to accost our ears!
We see this trend that we don't recognize because of our ignorance and we say "hohoho, what's going ON HERE!??!! This is an abomination, never before seen! This will not be allowed by any powers that be!!!"
And that just isn't so...
photos from "pink and blue: telling the boys from the girls in america" by jo b. paoletti
In Victorian times, babies were considered just babies. No emphasis on the gender, not until they reached a certain age. Until then, both girl and boy babies wore long white dresses of plain white cotton which was the easiest material to wash and least expensive to procure. Babies were innocent creatures whom the notions of sex and the sexes had not yet contaminated, so white seems to have been a fitting color.
Styles have varied more dramatically for men through the centuries, going from shorter pants to longer pants while women pretty much wore long skirts until about the last century. Older children's clothing tended to imitate adult styles, but colors had not yet been relegated to each sex.
The most emblematic example of childhood sartorial gender bias is the decision to assign colors, and this occurred much more recently than most people suppose
excerpts from "pink and blue: telling the boys and girls in america" by jo b. paoletti
So such and such a color being for boys and the other for girls, and this style for boys, and that style for girls, is kinda arbitrary, and just a style trend.
Not a real indication of being a pansy or "gay"
be gone the urban, literate woman: witches, midwives and medicine
In keeping with the "burn" theme, we turn now to another group of disparaged individuals whose probability of ending their lives in a blaze was also very high
For centuries (and again, we're looking at this from a Western, European perspective), women were relegated to home chores: cooking, cleaning, taking care of the children, and consequently, taking care of all the medical issues
Because they had to be the head caretakers, women cultivated a deep knowledge and understanding of plants and other natural substances: how to identify them, how to prepare them, what were their medical uses
Then high and noble men decided they wanted to dominate the field and a consequent purge of the witches occurred, singling out the women who were lay healers, the wise women the people of the village would consult. There were probably other reasons involved as well, like finding excuses to take people's property, keeping women in their place, and asserting the authority of the church, but this was a pretty compelling one in the mix
excerpts from "Witches, midwives, and nurses: a history of women healers" by barbara ehrenreich and deirdre english
Ignaz Semmelweis (1818 - 1865) went insane trying to convince the medical orthodoxy of his time that it was super important to wash your hands before delivering a baby, especially after dealing with corpses all day long. One of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of puerperal fever, the death rates amongst new mothers was higher when the babies were delivered by the dirty-handed doctors rather than the midwives. Women feared having the maverick male doctors deliver their babies, because you know, they might have died
The tide of course, started to turn in the other direction as the century wore on
Established medical orthodoxy (i.e. male obstetricians) launched campaigns to undermine the reputation of the safety and efficacy of midwives. Cleveland was an example of one such city where this occurred
exhibit panels from the dittrick museum of medical history at case western reserve university
As I have gone through reviewing these phenomena and "the switch" between the sexes, I have noticed there is a negative connotation assigned to a movement once it becomes associated with the feminine
Pink is hard to extract from femininity, and is saturated with the notion that it is the color of weakness and frivolity
The history of medicine took a turn for the worst with the purge of female lay healers whose talents and skills have been all but obliterated from history, and their historically designated position as midwives has been tarnished in an attempt to discredit them in the eyes of the public: male obstetrician good, female midwife bad. Old time female healer=witch; old time male healer= scientist, doctor
Ballet fell from being the lofty hobby of male kings to the refuge of poor working class females trying to eke out an existence in the 18th and 19th centuries, an art form dominated by men in its management, and basically a venue of prostitution that funded the great opera houses of France
This could be a very important point to the article, apart from the observation that while things may change very little in history, if you don't know history, you'll think stuff is always changing for the worst
Fluorine Magellan hates nature and loves evil
One section of this online magazine (which is what I prefer to refer to all of this as, and not as a blog) will be devoted to crafts
Living outside the grid of the mind, because making your own stuff can feel quite liberating
You can be creative and self sufficient, and the two are a heady combination
Today, we will examine my years-long pseudo-obsession with soap making
Soap making is a dangerous sport
For the hard stuff, it requires lye, or sodium hydroxide, a granular white substance resembling table salt that reacts readily with water and burns the skin and lungs easily. That's why you gotta have some windows open while you're doing this, and maybe a fan. Also, some vinegar on standby to neutralize the alkaline soda
I have been trying my hand at soap for years now, and even managed to sell some of it at a farmer's market even though it looked all twisted and gnarled (it still worked) I think people were fascinated with how unpolished and ridiculous it looked ( and I loved the stuck up comments from random women brushing off soap making as something blasé or "how cute" to mask their jealousy)
I have been lied to by soap gurus and their misleading books, and I have discussed with other soap makers the secrets of THEIR success and my constant failure, but to no avail. For instance, I had an acquaintance who quite leisurely explained to me how he would create his lye solution upstairs in his house and then come downstairs to heat up his oils on the stove and by the time he had done that and gone back upstairs to retrieve his lye solution, it was the perfect time to combine the two. He never bothered with thermometers and his soap always came out fantastic. I was pissed because I used to agonize about temperatures because this one book told me so, and my soap always came out horrible.
And then I just got sick of having my batches be hit or miss, so I gave up and my supplies lay fallow for many years
Then a year ago I discovered the website the Nerdy Farm Wife, and I have completed almost all of her recipes! They have worked pretty great, and are great practice recipes for perfecting the art https://thenerdyfarmwife.com
She kinda tells you the truth about soap making, and doesn't agonize about temperature
She even explained that you don't have to wrap your soap in blankets once you've poured it into your molds. I thought this was crucial, but apparently for soaps with some sugar content ( like if you used milk or honey in it), the sugars will create higher than usual temperatures which don't necessitate wrapping with a blanket. Amazing! A way more nuanced and educated approach to soapmaking
The first book I ever used for soap making frustrated me so badly that I thought the author had made up these false rules on purpose to foil others' attempts at soap making and clear the field of any competition for her soap making business
I have soap for a million years
It makes my skin soft
I also have homemade bars of shampoo, so I don't have plastic bottles of crap sitting in the shower
Creating your own soap can help you reach your life long goal of reducing/ completely eliminating the presence of plastic containers in your house for good, and no longer contributing to landfill deposits of plastic and islands of plastic in our oceans
(you do have to purchase oils to create the soaps, but those frequently come in glass and metal containers)
examples of crappy soap
I have many goals on my horizon regarding soap
Laundry detergent - still trying different kinds and methods, everything from "natural" laundry detergents to soap nuts to borax, but I have yet to create my own ( I will have to acquire washing soda)
Dish detergent - I have yet to make liquid soap. That is one of my next projects, and when that is mastered, dish detergent in glass pump bottles is the next frontier. Potassium hydroxide is used for the soft stuff, and I have that on standby, until the day I decide to do the deed
Shampoo - Done. Won and done. I even made a batch with henna, and I like to think it tinges my hair red. My homemade shampoo is fabulous, because it softens my hair and I don't need conditioner
When I start selling my outrageously ugly vintage acrylic sweaters online, I will include a free bar of my homemade soap because people love getting something for free
Pumpy Malheusen has supported herself her entire life making crafts and writing strange propaganda for the government.
Another great collage essay competition between two competing books!
Between two competing ideologies....
I do apologize. I had a review of the book by Dan Kovalik for a previous article but I didn't publish it (although it was advertised on this site).
Something told me to hold off, and here is the great reason why!
This book was published by the same company as the book that it will be fighting today (but one of the local bookstores only had the "hillary version", as it is a liberal, Clinton-sycophant type of bookstore) but maybe they also had had the book I favor, at some point, and someone just bought it, and that's why it wasn't displayed. (I would like to give this bookstore the benefit of the doubt because there are so few bookstores in the city and this one actually has a decent vibe and a slew of great titles (many of which i take pictures of and then find at the library because I cannot afford to buy books right now))
Basically two ideologies exist within "leftism" today
One is represented by the phony Democratic-party-sycophant-corporatist-neoliberal crew, who currently exploit identity politics to pursue their regime of US interventionism in the rest of the world. People who supported and continue to march for the likes of a Hillary Clinton because she is a woman and without taking into account her warmongering, imperialistic ambitions. This group would have you believe that the Russians are out to get us, interfered with our elections, and that Trump is the worst president EVER, so they can toss out whichever mediocre candidate they so choose without having to offer any real plan for change or any candidate of any real value because it's sufficient for the masses that their candidate is "not Trump"
The other ideology is represented by what I like to call "the old crew": the people that have always believed that capitalism is wrong, that US imperialism is wrong, and it doesn't matter who heads it. These people thought Bernie Sanders was "okay" and would vote for Ralph Nader again if given the opportunity. They really believe that the two party political system in this country truly is a scam, and don't run scared to vote for Dems when a supposedly more horrific Republican candidate is on deck. They are acquainted with the history of US imperialism and are critical of it
The first group want to blame Russia for Clinton's failure to win the 2016 election and attack Russia for standing up to the United States (in arenas like actually helping the situation in Syria and banning GMO's) - let's kill two birds with one stone. The projection onto Russia of culpability in election scams distracts from the fact the United States is always meddling with other people's elections and has been engineering political events for a while now, but if your understanding of politics in the US is relegated to Democrat versus Republican, wow, I have to say first, how sorry I am for you, and two, that you're really missing a lot
The US doesn't really have any enemies - it just has the peoples it has provoked into hating it, because it has interfered with their government's elections (HELLO) and has paved the way for Western corporations to further exploit their countries. If you need examples of this, you can read them in Dan Kovalik's book - you won't see head or tail of them in Malcolm Nance's
Nance's book represents the first group, and he has to rely heavily on a tone of storytelling that is both irritating and condescending. The author tells us in feigned confidence as if we were children he was letting in on a secret what it's like to be an "intelligence officer" and their tricks for determining the bloodthirsty ruthlessness of THE ENEMY. There's no context as to WHY someone is an enemy, they JUST ARE, and the insidious way Nance describes their existence is consistent proof of how awful they are (like how the mainstream media makes someone guilty by simply relentlessly repeating how awful they are)
It reminds me of the day the new bank manager at the local branch of my bank couldn't execute the little financial transaction I needed done one day, even though he assured me he could do it. Instead he just went on and on about how the bailout of the auto industry and the banks really helped our economy ( lies), and it was really pissing me off; Mr. Nance is attempting the same sort of ruse, and if you are true believer and you don't have any historical perspective, you will believe him
I cannot take seriously someone who contends that a country whose GDP is a "small fraction of America's, whose share in global trade is a mere one percent, and even whose defense budget is a tenth of the Pentagon's" (Kovalik, page 23) is capable of completely sabotaging our country's elections. A country whose own elections were interfered with BY US with the installation of Boris Yeltsin in the 90's, and also the complete disintegration of the Russian economy and society, facilitated BY US, is a threat to our democracy ( which isn't even much of a democracy to begin with). With one brush stroke Nance has declared that this large group of conspirators, this ragtag band of smaller, disparate groups, including left-wing activists and Russia Today, are all in cahoots with Russia; this is what is called a "conspiracy theory" ( a term concocted by the CIA by the way).
Basically anyone who is critical of the US government has been determined to be a Russian agent, and to not be able to see through this pretty obvious farce kinda makes you an idiot
Fidel Castro did warn other countries that to accept help from the Soviet Union was a trap the United States wants you to fall into: it's a great excuse to interfere with you, and you're usually in the throes of a liberation struggle if you're asking the Soviet Union for help
The story Dan Kovalik weaves is one of having started as a follower of anti-communist ideology ( it was the current propaganda trend when he was growing up) to disavowing this mindset when he observed how our country behaved itself in Latin America, supporting bloody dictatorships and suppressing the will of its peoples.
Malcolm Nance on the other hand just describes having been interested in espionage and foreign languages and showing us that he is STILL a follower of "anti-communism" and the narrative that Russia is a threat. He goes on and on about how complicated and significant the pattern-identification techniques of our intelligence agencies are; no evidence mind you, but "a strong confidence" that all this Russian nefariousness is true
Luckily the saga with the bank manager was over in less than a day ( and a bank teller helped me), but the US government to this day still cannot prove Russia interfered in our elections
Nance's book has no historical background and places the Russian interference story in a vacuum - you're just supposed to trust him and the fact that he's an intelligence officer. You don't need proof, you don't need to know any historical background, oh and by the way, you should trust US intelligence agencies implicitly, because they never execute surveillance programs against their own citizens and they never lie; they also never kill people
Dan will indicate that people who have worked for US intelligence agencies have left in disgust and some have decided to be whistleblowers ( Obama had a thing about punishing whistleblowers, but who cares???!? Right?) Malcolm is a die-hard spy who claims to see everyone else as a spy.
The old cold war scheme just couldn't be pulled off the same way this time. Too many people today would recognize it, so it has been re engineered and has re emerged in a new guise. This scheme has revealed the true colors of quite a few Democrats and "liberals", in a way more dramatic than in the past (because apparently pleading for the bombs to drop on Yugoslavia didn't out these warmongering liberals then). Nor did defending Bill Clinton's sexual escapades.
The more things change, the more they stay the same
Coranda Cashew constantly needs a resentment drain after reading neoliberal propaganda or her head will explode. These treatments have racked up quite the bills and she desperately needs your help. She could just stop reading neoliberal propaganda, but then she couldn't do her job.