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When The Unthinkable Becomes Quotidian: Thermic runaway and Strangelovian Palaver


When The Unthinkable Becomes Quotidian: Thermic runaway and Strangelovian Palaver

Phil Rockstroh

I understand the desperate need for hope. To crave the quality is inherently human. Yet: All and all, an obsessive focus on Trump, the Orange Scylla, buffets one into the maw of the Washington Establishment’s Charybdis.

'A socio-cultural-political structure," writes Rockstroh, "is in place wherein the individual is bombarded, to the point of psychical saturation, with self-serving, elitist manufactured media content."


“In essence, US citizens/consumers are the most successfully psychologically colonised people on planet earth.” (Phil)

“the first measure towards a restoration of equilibrium is to call out a lie.” (again - Phil)


This was the way I woke up this morning - seeing Phil’s article.

Perhaps ‘the second measure’ required, after recognizing ‘the lie’ - is to do something about it.

“Become yourself” - in the immortal words of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (Teach Your Children…)

Not as easy as it sounds - but it can be done.

Phil is so right !

I was looking over all the articles on CD last evening - none was worth commenting on - totally ‘captured’ by the monster Phil describes in this essay.

Ciao Phil - over there in Allemagne - from the West, here in Calgary.


Hope is a lie. Love is the counterbalance to despair. Although with love you will not be spared any pain. It’s so much later than you think. No vote, petition, reform, or personality will turn Empire aside, while like Saturn, it consumes it’s own children.

Now there are nets with electric currents in them to stun the fish on the bottom of the rising sea. It’s called omnicide and you are not exempt, not even the perpetrators.

The best you can expect from this story is to be passed over and rejected as worthless. Of course, there’s fighting. You could fight. The hard thing about that is the cost of success. What you will lose if you win. Then you look in the mirror and see your enemy. If you are human. As gentle as any of us are… if someone holds your head under water you will fight. You think there is a choice. The hope of a choice, while the powerful find new ways to extract value from you before you become worthless to them.

Decolonizing is painful. Most infantalized Americans aren’t going to do it. We get to watch while history rhymes, unable to look away, because we love.


While Trump himself represents a great danger, particularly since he now controls nuclear weapons, it the rise of the a right extremist movement that played a major role in electing him which should be the center of our focus. This is not a small movement. Perhaps one out of three Americans could be included or least it could be say express compatible views with this extremist movement. The most extreme elements what to form a white nation and talk about deporting millions of Hispanics and Muslims and in the most extreme cases eliminating nonwhite and Jews. This movement is very paranoid, even more paranoid then the extreme left where there are concerns about control by corporate elites. Many of these people can be violent and a number have committed terrorist acts. They are concerned about being enslaved by the New World Order, the taking away of all their guns, having to follow laws passed by the federal and state governments as the consider the county sheriff to be highest legitimate office, the white race being overwhelmed, etc. And they now have a friend in the White House. No matter what happens to Trump this movement will continue and since it is in our midst and includes people we work with see in the supermarket it is going to be very hard to deal with. It is hard to change their views since the essentially live in an alternative reality. The are more and more the base of the Republican Party. The most effective way to stop them would seem to be through the ballot box but the internal conflicts raging on the left may make that difficult to accomplish.


You don’t stop racists at the ballot box.

They vote too. They run for office. They carve out bases of political power.

You slowly reduce their numbers by exposing and triumphing over the evil and irrationality of their viewpoints in open debate. Trump and his childish followers can run but they can’t hide from the truth: The Others that they fear and hate are just like themselves, with all their terrible flaws, stunning beauty, and need for love.

That’s what a leader can find a away to communicate, as did Dr King:

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

I’ll save my argument about your assertion concerning the paranoia of “the extreme left where there are concerns about control by corporate elites” for another day…

Merry Christmas, Lrx.


Sorry to say, but these claims that the Democratic party is pursuing some kind of neo-McCarthyist “Russians are coming” in the Muller Investigation is itself a yarn being spun by the “Putin-Assad-and-Gaddfi-are/were-men-of-the-people” pseudo-left such a Greenwald, Assange and now, it seems Mr. Rockstroh.

The reality is that they are pursuing Trump over real legal issues. While we have plenty of domestic capitalist gangsters running US politics, the fact that they employed sympathetic foreign ones like Putin to help them out is significant violation of law.

And the idea that the current situation resembles in any way the cold war days is patently ridiculous to anyone is enough to remember those days. The attacks those days were against world socialism and communism - Russia/Soviet Union only figured in becasue it happening to be the only socialist state, with the power to prevent a US invasion or covert intervention.

But today, Russia is a under a gangster plutocratic capitalist regime and the world left should not be defending it in any way.


Speaking of calling out lies, the self-driving car is a lie.
Since we’re discussing empire, cars are the weak link in the chain
of transportation, the means of imperial reach. All cars,
air travel/transport, ocean freighter, trucking, shipping
is fossil fuel powered exploitation of subsidence labor,
mindless consumers, wage slaves and canon fodder.

The impediment cars present to other travel modes and to their own optimal use,
makes their dominance a travel monopoly and constitutional inequity. Cars are
like the global economy, disempowering lesser though no less fundamental
modes of travel and economies of scale - local, regional, state and nation.
Calling out this self-driving car lie hurts the big boys playing with lives like toys.


“Open debate” only works between parties working in good faith with a commitment to objectivity. Fascists.do not engage with others in good faith and are experts at using all of the deceptive tools to sway public views. I refer you to the site “rational wiki” if you are not familiar with them.

So, the idea that one can have an open debate with a fascist is preposterous. Fascists are defeated by refusing them a forum whenever legally possible while mobilizing the right thinking but largely silent majority.


Russia is making moves against the US just not the way the story is being told. The investigation is more about something else but equally important to someone. Like finding out if your accountant is stealing from you and how much. It doesn’t make sense because no one can see this as investigative at this point.

It is similar to what Russian billionaires did in Israel with their soccer team.


Gotta jump in here again - Phil makes THE MOST SENSE, of any and all contributors to Common Dreams, for me at any rate.

Phil Rockstroh - if you get around to reading the comments - I am re-reading, for the umpteenth time, my favorite iconoclast, Himal Bill - aka Bill Tilman - William Harold Tilman, b. February 14, 1898 - WWI & II - Royal Artillery officer, behind the lines patriot liaison - and, when not fighting in war, mountaineer and explorer extraordinaire - whose reaction after his impressionable first hand look at war in the trenches in the war to end all wars saw him go to Africa for fourteen years - ‘for to see an’ for to admire’ (Robert Louis Stevenson) - there being little in civilized life to fulfill this most human aspiration.

In my own way I did the same - and for similar reasons.

Bill wrote fourteen travelogues - seven on Mountains - seven on small sail powered boats to the farthest reaches of the planet.

I would love to see yourself Phil, and any and all actually, read these - in order to gain a sense of self - our only way out of the Anthropocene in one piece, as far as I can see.

Occasionally, a new person would ask to come along on a mountain trip of mine - and would say, ‘but I have to back by such and such a time’… to which I would reply - ‘you can stay home - or change your thinking - where we are going - you are not in charge’.

That applies equally to our advance into the Anthropocene.

All bets are off - our best chance - always the mountaineer’s credo - is to stay light, but not too light - and look for the silver linings - stay in balance - each footfall is important - a veritable ‘work of art’.

That’s what we need - artisans of life - devil take the businessman and all his ilk.


Thanks for that recommendation and here is one you might enjoy.

Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah. This link is a free copy.



The two combined statements are the real reason we are forever going to war.

At my age, reading a piece by Phil is better than an orgasm.


It is our current monetary system that we have to abandon.
Trump has stuck his little thingy in people’s faces to generate this thing we today call wealth. The culture that values one upmanship over truth is what supports our monetary system.

divest and ween.
agree on truth as the only value.


I keep seeing this assertion that a self driving car is a lie.
Curious if you have ever seen any of these in action and the decades of research that germans have put into this effort.

Oh well.


The business of business is not inherently evil - the subversion of humanity during a transaction or deal is.


Excellent post, and wisdom is knowing the difference.


Nice thoughts; convoluted, self-conscious prose.


Of course I’ve seen videos of single cars operating, but this does not mean they can operate as proposed by the millions in common everyday traffic situations. Most believers incuriously await a future of self-driving cars because they’re psychologically programmed Pavlovian slobber-mouths salivating at the sound of a bell.


The majority of the amerikan people have gotten exactly what they have voted for over the last forty years, so screw em!


The great Mark Twain was the one who said - "History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme."
You’re right. We are seeing that rhyme play itself out in the U.S. Empire just like it did with many others down through history. Rome is the one most referred to when the people who question American “exceptionalism” talk about our decadence and decline. There are many who say that our Commodus/Nero, Trumpo the Klown, AKA the Mango Mussolini is some kind of aberration. It is hard for them to accept that he is anything but a freak of the system that can ultimately be defeated starting next year with the midterms and perhaps even impeached. I doubt that. I think that Trumpo the Obscene is actually quite a good representation of much of what we have become including the complacency that led more than 90 million eligible Americans not to vote last year. I also think that a large number of Americans have engaged in the process of “normalizing” this putrid monster the same way that they have also begun to normalize the heinous war criminal, George W. Bush. Among our many faults we have little memory or sense of history and George Santayana’s words of warning become true once again.
I am delighted that Mr. Rockstroh has returned to Common Dreams with his insightful and brilliant essays. I see that he and his family have moved to Germany. An excellent vantage point. To live in a far more progressive country as you watch the writhing of a country that could have been “great” but now is heading in the opposite direction under the “leadership” of an obscene, ignorant, reckless and buffoonish clown who brings out the very worst of what we are. Imagine, this bloated piece of shit has been in office less than a year and he has already accelerated the process of our ruin as a democracy and a republic with a thoroughly corrupt and incompetent regime using the most tragically ironic political slogan in U.S. history - “Make America Great Again”. The mind boggles.