Horse Grinder

#TakeAKnee – The Dissonant National Anthem

by Nash Turley on September 27

Standing with the people of color who are disproportionately the victims of police brutality and institutional oppression, I #TakeAKnee like Colin Kaepernick while playing the national anthem Horse Grinder style, with the dissonance that reflects this tattered nation’s injustice and inequality.

Evidence of Plutocracy

by Nash Turley on May 10

The United States is a plutocracy (government by and for the wealthy) not a democracy. And here are four lines of evidence to support that.

First, a recent study shows that campaign donations from banks are correlated with votes on legislation that regulates banks. Specifically, a donation of $100,000 from financial institutions increases a politician’s odds of voting to deregulate financial institutions by about 14%.

Second, a study looked at the relationship between voter opinions on an issue and how congress then voted on that issue. In a functioning democracy you’d think that relationship would look something like a positive 1:1 relationship, if nobody in the population wants something there would be zero change that legislation would pass it, if 50% of people people want something there would be a 50% change it would pass, and so on. Well, based on data from over 20 years there is no such pattern, no relationship at all in fact. But, if you look just at the opinions of the wealthiest 10% of the population there is then a strong positive correlations. So the views of the general public play no role in shaping politicians’ actions but the wealthiest 10% play a huge role. Sounds like the definition of plutocracy to me.

Third, politicians on both sides of the isle openly admit they are corrupt and that the wealthy run the political system in Washington. Some quotes:

“Now [the United States is] just an oligarchy, with unlimited political bribery being the essence of getting the nominations for president or to elect the president. And the same thing applies to governors and U.S. senators and congressmembers. … So now we’ve just seen a complete subversion of our political system as a payoff to major contributors …” — Jimmy Carter

“I think many people have the mistaken impression that Congress regulates Wall Street. … The real truth is that Wall Street regulates the Congress.”— Bernie Sanders

“I think it is because of the corrupt paradigm that has become Washington, D.C., whereby votes continually are bought rather than representatives voting the will of their constituents. … That’s the voice that’s been missing at the table in Washington, D.C. — the people’s voice has been missing.” — Michele Bachmann

“Lobbyists and career politicians today make up what I call the Washington Cartel. … [They] on a daily basis are conspiring against the American people. … [C]areer politicians’ ears and wallets are open to the highest bidder.” — Ted Cruz

And fourth, polls consistently show that the general population thinks that money in politics is a problem. A 2015 New York Times poll showed that 84% of people thought that money played too big a role in politics. Polls over the years on similar issues all agreed: 80%, 77%, 78%, 75%, 70%, 57%, 73%. Other polls found that political corruption was by far voters’ largest fear in 2016, and millennials rank money in politics as a major issue that influences both parties.

Since September 11, 2001, The War on Terror has expanded violently across the globe. Hundreds of thousands, perhaps over a million, are dead, a vast majority of people in the Middle East view the US as an enemy and radicalized groups have grown, trillions of dollars have been spent, and there is no end in sight. It’s a massive fucking disaster. Read this pithy summary in the Intercept.

Also from The Intercept today, a reminder that 9/11, and other tragedies, were immediately seen as great opportunities in the eyes of US leaders. Opportunities for them to violently spread their ideologies. It’s the Shock Doctrine in action, and it’s disgusting.

Battle at the Dakota Access Pipeline

by Nash Turley on September 11

Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman was on the scene while private security guards attack protesters with dogs and pepper spray.

It’s sad that no other media was present. And now Amy Goodman has been issued an arrest warrant for criminal trespassing.

This interview with Marc Lamont Hill & Mychal Denzel Smith is one of the most important things I’ve seen in a while and covers so much. Police killings of black people, racism, white supremacy, class, mental health, patriarchy, it’s all interconnected and the failings of capitalism are at the root of it all.

Part 1:

Part 2:

There is a big money war blood triangle happening with the Clintons, foreign nations, and defense contractors. It works like this: defense contractors and nations donate millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation, then the Clintons approve massive arms deals with those nations and contractors and promote those countries to up their counter terrorism efforts. Everyone wins!! Well, except all the poor people that get killed and maimed with the glut of weapons. Fuck.

Read all about it in this Mother Jones report.

Hamilton says: New Horse Grinder album out today! Dr. Nash Turley on his fiercest detuned guitar and political mutterings and me on the classic three-piece Horse Grinder drum kit. Plutocracy EP Part 2 is about money running the government and is exceedingly relevant. Recorded by renaissance man Tom Meyers and mastered by Ed Brooks at the freshly inaugurated Resonant Mastering. Listen to it! It’s 12 tracks and 20 minutes in traditional Horse Grinder style. There is beauty; there is carnage. ❤️

Nash says: The new Horse Grinder album is now out! It’s probably the best thing I’ve had a part in making and I’m very glad Hamilton Boyce and I got to work together on this, thanks Hamilton! I’m proud of the music and the messages and emotions within these songs. We cover a lot of topics including a song about my aunt learning that her son died in the war, our frustrations with gun violence and corruption, and my experiences when Occupy Toronto was broken up by the police. When I recorded the vocals for that I broke down in tears and every time I listen I get chills. For that song I was channeling all the people who’ve fought for the right thing in the world only to be repressed, often violently, by a powerful force that profits from their misery. Overall these are statements about how money in politics, and the subsequent erosion of democracy and empathy, causes suffering for all but a very few wealthy and powerful people. But there is a bit of hope at the end of the album inspired by the growing progressive movements in this country. I hope you take a listen and share it.

Gun Violence and Mourning

by Nash Turley on June 15

New clip for Gun Violence and Mourning, topics that are, sadly, always very relevant.

This song is from Plutocracy EP Part 2, to be released soon.

Dedicated to the victims of the hate crime against the LGBT community in Orlando and the approximately 100 people a day who are killed by firearms in America every day. We hope this inspires people to take political action on gun control, patriarchy, and toxic masculinity. People are dying because the government refuses to address these issues. Force those hateful and corrupt assholes to do something!

Some quotes from Green Party Presidential candidate Jill Stein on the current political landscape in a recent DemocracyNow! interview:

“Because at the end of the day, they [the democratic and republican parties] are not on your side. They need you to be afraid of them, because they are not for you”

“Trump says very scary things—deporting immigrants, massive militarism and, you know, ignoring the climate. Well, Hillary, unfortunately, has a track record for doing all of those things.”

“don’t be a victim of this propaganda campaign, which is being waged by people who exercise selective amnesia. They’re very quick to tell you about the terrible things that the Republicans did, but they’re very quick to forget the equally terrible things that have happened under a Democratic White House, with two Democratic houses of Congress. It’s time to forget the lesser evil, stand up and fight for the greater good.”

“in the words of Frederick Douglass, “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never has, and it never will.” This is why third parties are effective, whether they’re in power or whether they are simply pushing. Otherwise, there is no counterweight of the power of corporations, which have basically taken over the two major corporate political parties.”

Elizabeth Warren vs. Hillary Clinton

by Nash Turley on March 11

Elizabeth Warren explains how Hillary Clinton came to oppose legislation when she learned about the details, then she switched to supporting it once she started getting money from the corporations who benefit from that legislation, watch:

Amy Goodman!

by Nash Turley on March 10

Amy Goodman is a fucking incredible journalist. “But we [the media] are not supposed to be simply stenographers to power. We are there to ask serious questions and to follow the money.” she says after her thwarted attempts to question David Koch about the influence of money in politics, watch:

Here I am very excited to stand next to Amy Goodman after she spoke in Flint, MI last year.

nash amy goodman in flint copy

If you don’t know about Amy Goodman check out this speech where she shows the power and necessity of an independent and adversarial media:

If you are not a regular watcher/listener of Amy Goodman’s show Democracy Now! you are making a terrible mistake.

Hillary Will Continue Brutal Foreign Policy

by Nash Turley on February 18

Maybe you saw in the last democratic debate where Bernie called out Hillary for being friends with, and taking advice from, Henry Kissinger. And for good reason because he is a fucking monster. Greg Grandin provides a list of his atrocities in his new book:

He (1) prolonged the Vietnam War for five pointless years; (2) illegally bombed Cambodia and Laos; (3) goaded Nixon to wiretap staffers and journalists; (4) bore responsibility for three genocides in Cambodia, East Timor, and Bangladesh; (5) urged Nixon to go after Daniel Ellsberg for having released the Pentagon Papers, which set off a chain of events that brought down the Nixon White House; (6) pumped up Pakistan’s ISI, and encouraged it to use political Islam to destabilize Afghanistan; (7) began the U.S.’s arms-for-petrodollars dependency with Saudi Arabia and pre-revolutionary Iran; (8) accelerated needless civil wars in southern Africa that, in the name of supporting white supremacy, left millions dead; (9) supported coups and death squads throughout Latin America; and (10) ingratiated himself with the first-generation neocons, such as Dick Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz, who would take American militarism to its next calamitous level.

In a review that Hillary Clinton wrote about Kissinger’s most recent book she states that she shares the “belief in the indispensability of continued American leadership in service of a just and liberal order”. So we can expect that Clinton will follow in Kissinger’s ideology of brutal and jingoistic interventionism around the world. And it makes you wonder, who will Clinton surround herself with to guide her foreign policy? As an article by Dan Froomkin in The Intercept points out, there is a go-to collective of interventionist neocons that Clinton and the Republicans are buds with. This supports the idea that there is an unelected and unaccountable group of political insiders that drive US foreign policy, and that is bullshit. Maybe someone like Sanders will be able to break away from their influence, but who knows…

Definitely read that Intercept article if this scares you.

You’ve probably heard about the crisis in Flint where a city of 100,000 people was poisoned by their government. Governor Snyder of Michigan switched their water supply to the corrosive Flint River and ended anti-corrosion treatment to the water. The corrosive water leached lead from the pipes into the water, which is now permanently locked in the blood of Flint’s residents, causing permanent neurological damage. On top of that, 10 people died of legionnaires disease with >80 hospitalized, a bacterial disease that had only a handful of cases in the years before the water switch. Now we’ve learned that the Governor’s office knew about the poisoned water over a year ago and despite many warnings, did nothing about it.

So why did this happen? The argument is that the water supply was switched to save the state some money, about $1-2 million. But during that same period the Governor pushed through legislation that cut taxes for corporations reducing tax revenue by $1.8 billion a year, yes BILLION. This lost tax income has to come from somewhere. As the government flows billions a year into the corporations and wealthy elite that funded Snyder’s campaign the rest of the population faces crippling austerity. So like so many other issues, the poisoning of 100,000 people in one of the countries poorest cities comes back to money in politics. As long as we continue to have a fucking plutocracy, where the government does everything in their power to help their rich backers and fuck everyone else, nothing will change. And all the benefits of government, the welfare, the money, the protection, will all go to the tiny sliver of the population who are already filthy fucking rich. It’s past time to do something about money in politics, lets get that fucking constitutional amendment. If you are not convinced watch this reporting on the story:

A new report shows that 62 most wealthy people now have more wealth than the 3.6 billion poorest people in the world, half the world’s population. Much of this inequality is attributed to tax avoidance and corporate deregulation. Hear more about the causes and consequences of this massive inequality, and what can be done to reverse this troubling trend, in the Democracy Now stories below:

Koch Brothers

by Nash Turley on January 22

The Koch Brothers have built a “comprehensive political machine manufacturing political change in the country”, they spend as much money on politics as the Republican party and they promote radical right-wing ideology. They fund political candidates that hold their views, they fund think tanks that write bogus “scientific” papers trying to debunk climate change, they battle environmental and corporate regulations, their corporation is the top producer of toxic waste in the US, just to name the actions of just a few of their slimy tentacles.

Check out this three part interview with the author of a new book about their empire:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

And if you want to learn more check out this documentary about their various modes of evil:

Money in Politics Poll

by Nash Turley on January 21

A recent the New York Times poll shows most people think that money in politics is a serious issue:

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And when asked if we should make changes to the system of campaign finance basically everyone says there needs to be changes, and most say large changes:

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If you want to know something about a political candidate look at their top donors and how much they give. The differences between Hillary and Bernie’s donors speak for themselves.

Bernie’s top donor over his career is Machinists/Aerospace Workers Union with $105K and the rest of the list is filled with other unions and no corporations.

Hillary’s top donor over her career is Citigroup Inc with $824K in donations and the rest of the list is mostly populated by other financial institutions (also look at how much she made from speaking fees from banks), media conglomerates, and law firms along with some other stuff like a pro-choice group and University of California.

So when Hillary says she’ll be tough on the banks:

Bernie Sanders Fighting Against Plutocracy

by Nash Turley on January 16

Katrine Vanded Heuvel, editor of The Nation magazine, explains why they have endorsed Bernie Sanders:

“…Bernie Sanders who is the real deal, who is honest, who has integrity and is a truth teller about the rigged system that is shafting so many people in this country, the inequality that is leading this country to be a plutocracy, not a democracy. …in Bernie Sanders, there’s a political revolution that could upend the distorted priorities of this country, the sweetheart deals too many are getting, the grip of banks and insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies on this country, and speak to a better future.”

Watch the full interview below:

Corruption and Climate Change

by Nash Turley on December 22

Why does congress not believe the scientific community when it comes to climate change? “It has everything to do with our corrupt campaign finance laws which allow large corporations and billionaires to contribute as money as they want into the political process” says Bernie Sanders. From this speech.

The Battle for Africa

by Nash Turley on November 28

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The virus of US military presence has spread to at least 60 locations around Africa, which include bases with troops and planes, many are launching sites for drones or special forces, and other are ports and strategic locations able to be utilized when needed. Almost all of this in complete secrecy as the military used to only admit to 1 base but now reluctantly admits 11 locations. In reality, the military has activities in 90% of African nations and conducted 674 missions in Africa last year. This is part of a larger expansion of military activity around the globe with special forces this year present in 147 countries and on any given day are on the ground in 70-90 countries. Proxy wars and secret assassination programs follow where US military set up shop.

The tactics of dirty warfare which have been experimented with in the Middle East and beyond for the last decade are spreading, and we can expect that with it will come mass violence and radicalization of the people who are subject to our assassinations and proxy wars.

Check out to the extended interview (in three parts) with Nick Turse where he discusses these disturbing revelations:

[ image from this article by Nick Turse on ]