|Home||Switchboard||Unix Administration||Red Hat||TCP/IP Networks||Neoliberalism||Toxic Managers|
May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Skepticism and critical thinking is not panacea, but can help to understand the world better
|News||Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite||Recommended Links||Quiet coup||The Deep State||National Security State / Surveillance State||In Goldman Sachs we trust: classic example of regulatory capture by financial system hackers|
|Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism||Two Party System as polyarchy||The Iron Law of Oligarchy||The Pareto Law||Media-Military-Industrial Complex||Groupthink||Bureaucracy as a Political Coalition|
|Corporatism||Inverted Totalitarism||US and British media are servants of security apparatus||Casino Capitalism||Ayn Rand and Objectivism Cult||Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite||Corruption of Regulators|
|Neoliberal Brainwashing: Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few||The Guardian Slips Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment||The importance of controlling the narrative||New American Caste System||The Essential Rules for Dominating Population||What's the Matter with Kansas||Big Uncle is Watching You|
|Nation under attack meme||American Exceptionalism||Neo-fascism||Bureaucracies||Military Bureaucracy||Military Incompetence||Bureaucratic Collectivism|
|Toxic Managers||The psychopath in the corner office||Female Sociopaths||Office Stockholm Syndrome||Quotes about Psychopaths||Humor||Etc|
|There is an 'audacious oligarchy' of self-defined rulers who move freely between private industry and government, whose primary objective is preserving and furthering their own power and self-interest.|
Audacious behaviour is often connected with the weakened self-preservation instinct, typical for sociopaths. So their audacity take the form of Chutzpah (shameless audacity; impudence, unmitigated effrontery or impudence; gall). It's inherently connected with the lack of empathy, which is a defining feature of sociopaths. The key question here is: to what extent the US elite became infected with substantial or even dominant number of sociopaths? Including female sociopaths as we saw recently in the reaction of behaviour of a wife of former president on killing Gaddafy (Hillary Clinton on Gaddafi: We came, we saw, he died ) ?
In fact this process of self-selection of sociopaths into neoliberal elite reached dangerous level was noted be many, including famous remark of Robert Johnson at Culture Project's IMPART 2012 Festival that essentially defined the term ("Legitimate if you can, coerce if you have to, and accommodate if you must."):
Oligarchy now is audacious. They don't really care if they are legitimate.
"Legitimate if you can, coerce if you have to, and accommodate if you must."
Robert Johnson serves as the Executive Director of the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET) and a Senior Fellow and Director of the Global Finance Project for the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute in New York. Previously, Johnson was a Managing Director at Soros Fund Management where he managed a global currency, bond and equity portfolio specializing in emerging markets. Prior to working at Soros Fund Management, he was a Managing Director of Bankers Trust Company managing a global currency fund.
Johnson served as Chief Economist of the US Senate Banking Committee under the leadership of Chairman William Proxmire (D. Wisconsin) and of Chairman Pete Domenici (R. New Mexico). Johnson received a Ph.D. and M.A. in Economics from Princeton University and a B.S. in both Electrical Engineering and Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
As you can see this idea "Legitimate if you can, coerce if you have to, and accommodate if you must." does not differ much with the modus operandi of three-letter agencies, so the terms "audacious oligarchy" and "deep state" are closely related: deep state can be viewed as a social system in this audacious oligarchy rules the population.
We can also think about the term "audacious oligarchy" as the term related to the rise of neo-fascism, (be it neoliberal fascism or Inverted Totalitarism). For some details National Security State / Surveillance State: Review of Literature and a very interesting discussion of Robert Johnson remarks on financial oligarchy at “They’re All Standing on the Deck of the Titanic Looking in Each Other’s Eyes” (naked capitalism, April 21, 2013). That means the key elements of fascist ideology are preserved, with the replacement of Arian Nation for financial oligarchy, but without ruthless physical suppression of opposition which are replaced by financial instruments, blacklisting, economic sanctions and color revolutions in "deviant" countries. Like in Third Reich dominance is supported by relentless propaganda and brainwashing with mechanisms polished since Reagan to perfection. there is now no problem to create an "enemy of the people" when the elite wants and it does not matter which country or individual is selected as an enemy. The essence of elite politics in this area was best formulated by Hermann Goering, President of the Reichstag, Nazi Party, and Luftwaffe Commander in Chief
Naturally the common people don't want war: Neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.
One interesting side effect of the dominance of financial oligarchy is loss of trusts in experts, especially economic expects, professors who now are nothing more then a prostitutes at the service of financial capital Ian Klaus in "Forging Capitalism: Rogues, Swindlers, Frauds, and the Rise of Modern Finance gives the following definition:
Trust, to be simple with our definition, is an expectation of behavior built upon norms and cultural habits. It is often dependent upon a shared set of ethics or values. It is also a process orchestrated through communities and institutions. In this sense, it is a cultural event and thus a historical phenomenon.
As Robert Johnson noted:
"People don't trust experts. If you saw 'Inside Job', you know why. People do not trust the private markets, and they don't trust government."
See also Neoclassical Pseudo Theories and Crooked and Bought Economists as Fifth Column of Financial Oligarchy.
In the case of neoliberal transformation of the USA the state to a large extent seized to defend the population. Instead the state became a predictor, defender of international corporations, as hostile to the US people as Bolshevik rule was to Russians and other nationalities of the USSR. In other word the USA population became hostages of the system much like population of the USSR was. In a way nothing is new in human history.
The most important side effect of neoliberal transformation of the US society is the destruction (or more correctly emasculation) of legal system, which effectively lead to the situation when like in monarchy, some people are above the law. And we can suspect, judging from recent the USSR nomenklatura experience that such a caste might quickly degrades. As Long Aston said "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely". If you willfully and recklessly tear down the laws in the name of some misbegotten ideology the benefit to "chosen" few, blowback might come sooner or later. even if you successfully hide this in a smokescreen of sophisticated scam ideology (neoliberalism in case of current crony or casino capitalism, which replaced the New Deal "live and giver other chance to live" motto) the blowback eventually might knock the particular country down. In such system nobody trust anybody and the whole society gradually disintegrates becoming just extended version of a mafia clan. With typical for such clans deadly internal fights for power. Mexican drug cartels saying - plomo y plobo ('silver or lead'): either you accept our bribes or accept our bullets is perfectly applicable in this situation. And that's how "audacious oligarchy really operates at least of international scène. But the law of the jungle has one important difference with the regular law system: any more powerful group of states can became both a judge and executioner for less powerful, or competing group of states.
When you take some self-serving fairy tale and take it an extreme by sticking an 'ism' on the end of it, like is the case with neoliberalism, at the beginning everything is fine and population is carries by this lie with ease. But as soon as people discover this despite all the power of propaganda their standard of living is going down, some trouble appear on the horizon and there is no other way then to concert the state into national security state, as proponent of communism have found in the USSR. And under neoliberalism, the essence of which is redistribution of wealth in favor of the top 0.01% of the world population, this disillusionment in inevitable, unless we experience a new technological revolution, similar to computer revolution. it can't be hidden with fairly tales about "undemocratic nature" of poor state or corruption. People can only be suppressed by brute force. and the lead to overextension of the neoliberal empire.
When the financial oligarchy is completely exempt from the law and in this particular area regulation is burned to the ground to serve the interests of financial oligarchy, strange things start to happen. The first glimpse on which we already saw in 2008. There was a demonstration of an immanent feature of neoliberal regimes which might be called financial sector induced systemic instability of economy. The latter which lead to periodic booms and busts with unpredictable timing, severity and consequences for the society at large, but so far all of those crisis work also as mechanism of redistribution of the society wealth toward the top . this time the US oligarchy managed to swipe the dirt under the rug.
This instability happens automatically and does not depend on the presence of "bad apples" in the system, because the financial sector under neoliberalism functions not as the nerve system of the economy of the particular country, but more like an autoimmune disease. In other words financial sector destabilizes the "immune system" of the country by introducing positive feedback look into economic (and not only economic, look at the USA foreign policy since 1991) activities.
When we say audacious oligarchy we essentially mean neoliberal oligarchy, and first of all financial oligarchy. Oligarchy is a form of power structure in which power effectively rests with an elite class distinguished by wealth, family ties, commercial, government and/or military positions. The actual literal translation from the Greek is the "rule of the few". The word oligarchy is derived from the Greek words "ὀλίγος" (olígos), "a few" and the verb "ἄρχω" (archo), "to rule, to govern, to command".
Throughout history, most oligarchies have been tyrannical, relying on public servitude to exist, although some have been relatively benign. Plato pioneered the use of the term in Chapter Four, Book Eight of "The Republic" as a society in which wealth is the criterion of merit and the wealthy are in control.
However oligarchy is not always a rule according to the size of the wealth, as oligarchs can simply be a privileged group, and do not have to be distinguished from plebs by iether personal wealth or bloodlines as in a monarchy. Although often those two types of distinction are present too. For example, in the USSR the oligarchy was represented by special class of government and party servants (nomenklatura). The same is by-and-large true for Communist China. Those types of oligarchy has a lot of features in common with neoliberal oligarchy, although they are national in character. First of all in both system oligarchs are "working oligarchs". They actively participate in the their business or government activities. The second thing is that neoliberal oligarchy has very interesting connection with the idea of Communist International, and can be viewed as an interesting perversion of this concept ("Capitalism International") with some flavor of Trotskyism -- as it strives for and adopts Trotskyism central idea of permanent revolution as the method of reaching of the world dominance (see, neocons and color revolutions)
At the same time starting from 80th in the USA oligarchy by-and-large started to correspond to European aristocracy as vertical mobility became very limited and suppressed in the USA (actually more then in European countries, despite all the hype about the American dream).
|The USA oligarchy by-and-large corresponds to European aristocracy, with substantial number of its members being children of oligarchic families. Vertical mobility, despite hype, is very limited and suppressed (actually more then in European countries). In no way the USA con be considered "the county of opportunities" anymore.|
Russian oligarchy is very atypical in this sense, and is a pretty interesting case of a very high vertical mobility. As a country Russia is unique that in its history it several times wiped out its entrenched oligarchy. Two last "rotations" happened in 1917 then large part of old oligarchy lost their power and after neoliberal revolution of 1991 which brought into power the corrupt government of Boris Yeltsin. The drunkard, who imitated French proclaiming "enrich yourself" and launches (with gentle support from USA in a form of Harvard mafia) the most corrupt privatization of state wealth in human history.
But most members of the new, Post-Soviet Russian oligarchy did demonstrated tremendous level of upward mobility. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union on 31 December 1991, many directors and sometimes middle managers of state owned Russia-based corporations, especially producers of petroleum, natural gas, and metals managed to privatize their holdings and have become oligarchs. Criminal privatization under Yeltsin regime allowed them to amass phenomenal wealth and power almost overnight. In May 2004, the Russian edition of Forbes identified 36 of these oligarchs as being worth at least US$1 billion. And not of all them came from Nomenklatura. Many members of nomenklatura (even on the level of Politburo) did not fit in the new economic system and stopped being oligarchs.
Robert Michels believed that any political system eventually evolves into an oligarchy. He called this the iron law of oligarchy. According to this school of thought, modern democracies should be considered to be oligarchies. this is what his "iron law of oligarchy" is about. In other word when we speak the word democracy about such regimes as current exist in the USA or Western Europe, it is most self-deception.
That gives a pretty sinister meaning to the "promotion of democracy" and "support of democracy" activities, as in reality it is installation of more favorable to the promoter oligarchic group in power, often via coup d'état (with a specific neoliberal variant, which use developed by Gene Sharp political technology, called Color revolution), as recently happened in Libya and Ukraine.
In "modern democracies", the actual differences between viable political rivals are small, the oligarchic elite impose strict limits on what constitutes an acceptable and respectable political position, and politicians' careers depend heavily on unelected economic and media elites. Thus the popular phrase: there is always only one political party, the party of oligarchy.
This is especially true for winner takes all election systems, which create two party environment, with both party being a factions of the same elite. See Two Party System as Polyarchy
The term "Quiet coup" which means the hijacking of the political power in the USA by financial oligarchy was introduced by Simon H. Johnson (born January 16, 1963). Simon Johnson is a British-American economist, who currently is the Ronald A. Kurtz Professor of Entrepreneurship at the MIT Sloan School of Management and a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. From March 2007 through the end of August 2008, he was Chief Economist of the International Monetary Fund.
The term was introduced in Simon Johnson article in Atlantic magazine, published in May 2009(The Quiet Coup - Simon Johnson - The Atlantic). Which opens with a revealing paragraph:
The crash has laid bare many unpleasant truths about the United States. One of the most alarming, says a former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, is that the finance industry has effectively captured our government—a state of affairs that more typically describes emerging markets, and is at the center of many emerging-market crises. If the IMF’s staff could speak freely about the U.S., it would tell us what it tells all countries in this situation: recovery will fail unless we break the financial oligarchy that is blocking essential reform. And if we are to prevent a true depression, we’re running out of time.
The wealth of financial sector gave it unprecedented opportunities of simply buying the political power:
Becoming a Banana Republic
In its depth and suddenness, the U.S. economic and financial crisis is shockingly reminiscent of moments we have recently seen in emerging markets (and only in emerging markets): South Korea (1997), Malaysia (1998), Russia and Argentina (time and again). In each of those cases, global investors, afraid that the country or its financial sector wouldn’t be able to pay off mountainous debt, suddenly stopped lending. And in each case, that fear became self-fulfilling, as banks that couldn’t roll over their debt did, in fact, become unable to pay. This is precisely what drove Lehman Brothers into bankruptcy on September 15, causing all sources of funding to the U.S. financial sector to dry up overnight. Just as in emerging-market crises, the weakness in the banking system has quickly rippled out into the rest of the economy, causing a severe economic contraction and hardship for millions of people.
But there’s a deeper and more disturbing similarity: elite business interests—financiers, in the case of the U.S.—played a central role in creating the crisis, making ever-larger gambles, with the implicit backing of the government, until the inevitable collapse. More alarming, they are now using their influence to prevent precisely the sorts of reforms that are needed, and fast, to pull the economy out of its nosedive. The government seems helpless, or unwilling, to act against them.
Top investment bankers and government officials like to lay the blame for the current crisis on the lowering of U.S. interest rates after the dotcom bust or, even better—in a “buck stops somewhere else” sort of way—on the flow of savings out of China. Some on the right like to complain about Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, or even about longer-standing efforts to promote broader homeownership. And, of course, it is axiomatic to everyone that the regulators responsible for “safety and soundness” were fast asleep at the wheel.
But these various policies—lightweight regulation, cheap money, the unwritten Chinese-American economic alliance, the promotion of homeownership—had something in common. Even though some are traditionally associated with Democrats and some with Republicans, they all benefited the financial sector. Policy changes that might have forestalled the crisis but would have limited the financial sector’s profits—such as Brooksley Born’s now-famous attempts to regulate credit-default swaps at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, in 1998—were ignored or swept aside.
The financial industry has not always enjoyed such favored treatment. But for the past 25 years or so, finance has boomed, becoming ever more powerful. The boom began with the Reagan years, and it only gained strength with the deregulatory policies of the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations. Several other factors helped fuel the financial industry’s ascent. Paul Volcker’s monetary policy in the 1980s, and the increased volatility in interest rates that accompanied it, made bond trading much more lucrative. The invention of securitization, interest-rate swaps, and credit-default swaps greatly increased the volume of transactions that bankers could make money on. And an aging and increasingly wealthy population invested more and more money in securities, helped by the invention of the IRA and the 401(k) plan. Together, these developments vastly increased the profit opportunities in financial services.
Not surprisingly, Wall Street ran with these opportunities. From 1973 to 1985, the financial sector never earned more than 16 percent of domestic corporate profits. In 1986, that figure reached 19 percent. In the 1990s, it oscillated between 21 percent and 30 percent, higher than it had ever been in the postwar period. This decade, it reached 41 percent. Pay rose just as dramatically. From 1948 to 1982, average compensation in the financial sector ranged between 99 percent and 108 percent of the average for all domestic private industries. From 1983, it shot upward, reaching 181 percent in 2007.
The great wealth that the financial sector created and concentrated gave bankers enormous political weight — a weight not seen in the U.S. since the era of J.P. Morgan (the man). In that period, the banking panic of 1907 could be stopped only by coordination among private-sector bankers: no government entity was able to offer an effective response. But that first age of banking oligarchs came to an end with the passage of significant banking regulation in response to the Great Depression; the reemergence of an American financial oligarchy is quite recent.
He further researched this theme in his book 2010 book 13 Bankers: The Wall Street Takeover and the Next Financial Meltdown (ISBN 978-0307379054), coauthored with James Kwak. They also founded and regularly contributes to the economics blog The Baseline Scenario.
Corporate oligarchy is a form of power, governmental or operational, where such power effectively rests with a small, elite group of inside individuals, sometimes from a small group of educational institutions, or influential economic entities or devices, such as banks, commercial entities that act in complicity with, or at the whim of the oligarchy, often with little or no regard for constitutionally protected prerogative. Monopolies are sometimes granted to state-controlled entities, such as the Royal Charter granted to the East India Company. In this regime people move freely from government posts to private industry and back.
In the USA the most rapidly rising part of national oligarchy is financial oligarchy. As Senator Dick Durbin noted referring to the US Congress Banks Frankly Own The Place. Moreover in many cases it is unclear who owns whom, for example whether Goldman Sachs owns NY FED or NY FED Goldman Sachs ( The Fed Under Goldman's Thumb - Bloomberg )
Senators questioned Dudley, 61, on issues ranging from whether some banks are too big to regulate to the Fed’s role in overseeing their commodities businesses.
Some of the criticism was pointed. Warren, a frequent critic of financial regulators, asked Dudley if he was “holding a mirror to your own behavior.”
Jeff Merkley, an Oregon Democrat, complained that bank employees involved in misdeeds haven’t been prosecuted and are “too big to jail.”
Dudley repeatedly disagreed with assertions that the New York Fed wasn’t doing enough to regulate banks and said lenders have become stronger and safer in the past few years.
... ... ...
Today’s Senate hearing follows reports that Goldman Sachs fired two bankers after one of them allegedly shared confidential documents from the New York Fed within the firm.
A junior banker, who had joined the company in July from the New York Fed, was dismissed a week after the discovery in late September, along with another employee who failed to escalate the issue, according to an internal memo obtained by Bloomberg News. Goldman Sachs confirmed the memo’s contents.
As Adair Turner noted in The Consequences of Money Manager Capitalism
In the wake of World War II, much of the western world, particularly the United States, adopted a new form of capitalism called “managerial welfare-state capitalism.”
The system by design constrained financial institutions with significant social welfare reforms and large oligopolistic corporations that financed investment primarily out of retained earnings. Private sector debt was small, but government debt left over from financing the War was large, providing safe assets for households, firms, and banks. The structure of this system was financially robust and unlikely to generate a deep recession. However, the constraints within the system didn’t hold.
The relative stability of the first few decades after WWII encouraged ever-greater risk-taking, and over time the financial system was transformed into our modern overly financialized economy. Today, the dominant financial players are “managed money” — lightly regulated “shadow banks” like pension funds, hedge funds, sovereign wealth funds, and university endowments—with huge pools of capital in search of the highest returns. In turn, innovations by financial engineers have encouraged the growth of private debt relative to income and the increased reliance on volatile short-term finance and massive uses of leverage.
What are the implications of this financialization on the modern global economy? According to Adair Lord Turner, a Senior Fellow at the Institute for New Economic Thinking and a former head of the United Kingdom’s Financial Services Authority, it means that finance has become central to the daily operations of the economic system. More precisely, the private nonfinancial sectors of the economy have become more dependent on the smooth functioning of the financial sector in order to maintain the liquidity and solvency of their balance sheets and to improve and maintain their economic welfare. For example, households have increased their use of debt to fund education, healthcare, housing, transportation, and leisure. And at the same time, they have become more dependent on interest, dividends, and capital gains as a means to maintain and improve their standard of living.
Another major consequence of financialized economies is that they typically generate repeated financial bubbles and major debt overhangs, the aftermath of which tends to exacerbate inequality and retard economic growth. Booms turn to busts, distressed sellers sell their assets to the beneficiaries of the previous bubble, and income inequality expands.
In the view of Lord Turner, currently there is no countervailing power (in John Kenneth Galbraith terms) able to deal with the consequences of neoliberalism, as he calls it "money manager capitalism.” The net result likely will be years more of economic stagnation and deteriorating living standards for many people around the world.
As Michael Hudson aptly noted in Replacing Economic Democracy with Financial Oligarchy (2011)
Finance is a form of warfare. Like military conquest, its aim is to gain control of land, public infrastructure, and to impose tribute. This involves dictating laws to its subjects, and concentrating social as well as economic planning in centralized hands. This is what now is being done by financial means, without the cost to the aggressor of fielding an army. But the economies under attacked may be devastated as deeply by financial stringency as by military attack when it comes to demographic shrinkage, shortened life spans, emigration and capital flight.
This attack is being mounted not by nation states as such, but by a cosmopolitan financial class. Finance always has been cosmopolitan more than nationalistic – and always has sought to impose its priorities and lawmaking power over those of parliamentary democracies.
Like any monopoly or vested interest, the financial strategy seeks to block government power to regulate or tax it. From the financial vantage point, the ideal function of government is to enhance and protect finance capital and “the miracle of compound interest” that keeps fortunes multiplying exponentially, faster than the economy can grow, until they eat into the economic substance and do to the economy what predatory creditors and rentiers did to the Roman Empire.
Simon Johnson, former IMF Chief Economist, is coming out in May’s 2009 edition of The Atlantic with a fascinating, highly provocative article, on the collusion between the US’ “financial oligarchy” and the US government and how its persistence will contribute to prolonging the economic crisis. Here is the summary (hat tip to Global Conditions):
One thing you learn rather quickly when working at the International Monetary Fund is that no one is ever very happy to see you (…)
The reason, of course, is that the IMF specializes in telling its clients what they don’t want to hear.(…)
No, the real concern of the fund’s senior staff, and the biggest obstacle to recovery, is almost invariably the politics of countries in crisis. (…)
Typically, these countries are in a desperate economic situation for one simple reason—the powerful elites within them overreached in good times and took too many risks. Emerging-market governments and their private-sector allies commonly form a tight-knit—and, most of the time, genteel—oligarchy, running the country rather like a profit-seeking company in which they are the controlling shareholders (…)
Many IMF programs “go off track” (a euphemism) precisely because the government can’t stay tough on erstwhile cronies, and the consequences are massive inflation or other disasters. A program “goes back on track” once the government prevails or powerful oligarchs sort out among themselves who will govern—and thus win or lose—under the IMF-supported plan. (…)
In its depth and suddenness, the U.S. economic and financial crisis is shockingly reminiscent of moments we have recently seen in emerging markets (…).
(…) elite business interests—financiers, in the case of the U.S.—played a central role in creating the crisis, making ever-larger gambles, with the implicit backing of the government, until the inevitable collapse. More alarming, they are now using their influence to prevent precisely the sorts of reforms that are needed, and fast, to pull the economy out of its nosedive. The government seems helpless, or unwilling, to act against them.
Top investment bankers and government officials like to lay the blame for the current crisis on the lowering of U.S. interest rates after the dotcom bust or, even better—in a “buck stops somewhere else” sort of way—on the flow of savings out of China. Some on the right like to complain about Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, or even about longer-standing efforts to promote broader homeownership. And, of course, it is axiomatic to everyone that the regulators responsible for “safety and soundness” were fast asleep at the wheel.
But these various policies—lightweight regulation, cheap money, the unwritten Chinese-American economic alliance, the promotion of homeownership—had something in common. Even though some are traditionally associated with Democrats and some with Republicans, they all benefited the financial sector. Policy changes that might have forestalled the crisis but would have limited the financial sector’s profits—such as Brooksley Born’s now-famous attempts to regulate credit-default swaps at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, in 1998—were ignored or swept aside.
The financial industry has not always enjoyed such favored treatment. But for the past 25 years or so, finance has boomed, becoming ever more powerful. The boom began with the Reagan years, and it only gained strength with the deregulatory policies of the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations.
(…) the American financial industry gained political power by amassing a kind of cultural capital—a belief system. Once, perhaps, what was good for General Motors was good for the country. Over the past decade, the attitude took hold that what was good for Wall Street was good for the country. (…)
One channel of influence was, of course, the flow of individuals between Wall Street and Washington. Robert Rubin, once the co-chairman of Goldman Sachs, served in Washington as Treasury secretary under Clinton, and later became chairman of Citigroup’s executive committee. Henry Paulson, CEO of Goldman Sachs during the long boom, became Treasury secretary under George W.Bush. John Snow, Paulson’s predecessor, left to become chairman of Cerberus Capital Management, a large private-equity firm that also counts Dan Quayle among its executives. Alan Greenspan, after leaving the Federal Reserve, became a consultant to Pimco, perhaps the biggest player in international bond markets.
A whole generation of policy makers has been mesmerized by Wall Street, always and utterly convinced that whatever the banks said was true (…).
By now, the princes of the financial world have of course been stripped naked as leaders and strategists—at least in the eyes of most Americans. But as the months have rolled by, financial elites have continued to assume that their position as the economy’s favored children is safe, despite the wreckage they have caused (…)
Throughout the crisis, the government has taken extreme care not to upset the interests of the financial institutions, or to question the basic outlines of the system that got us here. In September 2008, Henry Paulson asked Congress for $700 billion to buy toxic assets from banks, with no strings attached and no judicial review of his purchase decisions. Many observers suspected that the purpose was to overpay for those assets and thereby take the problem off the banks’ hands—indeed, that is the only way that buying toxic assets would have helped anything. Perhaps because there was no way to make such a blatant subsidy politically acceptable, that plan was shelved.
Instead, the money was used to recapitalize banks, buying shares in them on terms that were grossly favorable to the banks themselves. As the crisis has deepened and financial institutions have needed more help, the government has gotten more and more creative in figuring out ways to provide banks with subsidies that are too complex for the general public to understand (…)
The challenges the United States faces are familiar territory to the people at the IMF. If you hid the name of the country and just showed them the numbers, there is no doubt what old IMF hands would say: nationalize troubled banks and break them up as necessary (…)
In some ways, of course, the government has already taken control of the banking system. It has essentially guaranteed the liabilities of the biggest banks, and it is their only plausible source of capital today.
Ideally, big banks should be sold in medium-size pieces, divided regionally or by type of business. Where this proves impractical—since we’ll want to sell the banks quickly—they could be sold whole, but with the requirement of being broken up within a short time. Banks that remain in private hands should also be subject to size limitations.
This may seem like a crude and arbitrary step, but it is the best way to limit the power of individual institutions in a sector that is essential to the economy as a whole. Of course, some people will complain about the “efficiency costs” of a more fragmented banking system, and these costs are real. But so are the costs when a bank that is too big to fail—a financial weapon of mass self-destruction—explodes. Anything that is too big to fail is too big to exist.
To ensure systematic bank breakup, and to prevent the eventual reemergence of dangerous behemoths, we also need to overhaul our antitrust legislation (…)
Caps on executive compensation, while redolent of populism, might help restore the political balance of power and deter the emergence of a new oligarchy. (…)
(…) Over time, though, the largest part may involve more transparency and competition, which would bring financial-industry fees down. To those who say this would drive financial activities to other countries, we can now safely say: fine”.
The nature of financial oligarchy is such that the government’s capacity to take control of an entire financial system, and to clean, slice it up and re-privatize it impartially is almost non-existent. Instead we have growing, corrupt collusion between financial elites and government officials which is hall mark of corporatism in its most modern form -- neoliberalism.
Second probably is that institutions are more powerful them individuals and replacement or even jailing of corrupt current officials while a quite welcome move, can't by itself lead to drastic changes. You need to reinstall the whole system of government controls dismantled by Clinton-Bush regime. Otherwise one set of players will be simply replaced by the other, no less corrupt, hungry and unprincipled. As Daron Acemoglu pointed out recently, we are in a situation that attempt to fix the financial system will have to involve those same bankers (albeit in lower positions at the time of the crisis) that created the mess in the first place. To push the analogy a bit strongly, even in Germany post 1945 and Iraq post 2003 new governments still needed to work with some civil servants in the judicial and educational system from the previous regime as well as with tainted industrialists.
In theory, the best way to diminish the power of financiers is to limit the size (limiting the damage) and let them fail and crash badly. Also introduction of a tax of transactions (Tobin tax) can help to cool the frenzy of derivative trading. But there is nobody in power who can push those changes. That means the "silent coup" in which financial oligarchy got control of the state is complete.
Paranoya of financial oligarchy after 2008 when most of the country wished them what was reflected in the slogan of the corner of Wallstreet (see the picture), led to speed up of creation of comprehensive network of spying over the citizens.
According to UN Human Right Council Report (17 April 2013) innovations in technology not only have increased the possibilities for communication and protections of free expression and opinion, enabling anonymity, rapid information-sharing and cross-cultural dialogues. They also simultaneously increased opportunities for State surveillance and interventions into individuals’ private communications facilitating to transformation of the state into National Security State, a form of corporatism characterized by continued and encompassing all forms of electronic communication electronic surveillance of all citizens.Even if we assume that data collection is passive and never used it is like a ticking bomb or "skeleton in the closet" it is a powerful method of control of population, not the different from what was used by KGB in the USSR or STASI in East Germany.
So it does not really matter much what the data are collected for and what if official justification of such a collection. The mere fact of collection changes the situation to the worse, making opposition to the system practically impossible. The net result is what is matter. And the net result definitely resembles a move in the direction of a tyranny. US Senator Frank Church said in 1975:
"I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency [the National Security Agency] and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision, so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return.".
Today his words sound even more true then in 1975 when computers were still in their infancy and mainframes dominated the computer landscape. With the proliferation of cheap electronic devices such as PCs and laptops, tablets and cell phones this really became "the abyss from which there is no return".
So the real, the key goal is not what is officially declared. Convenience of access to information has a side effect that it makes collection of information about you trivial and at the same time comprehensive. It is to keep the elite safe from common folks, not all those lies about national security. It is all about the security of the elite.
In other words 1984 dystopia materialized in slightly different, slightly more gentle form. The elite as a whole is not interesting in dismantling the tool that serve its interests so well even if it has some side effects on the elite members themselves. This is another confirmation of The Iron Law of Oligarchy
All-in-all it's a good time to smell the coffee and talk about the rise of a new mutation of totalitarism in the USA. That's exactly what this "Internet-inspired" flavor of total surveillance due to modern technical capabilities means. There is also distinct shadow of Stasi in all those activities. As countries of the USSR camp got into similar trap before, nothing is new under the sun. As Reinhold Niebuhr noted
"Communism is a vivid object lesson in the monstrous consequences of moral complacency about the relation of dubious means to supposedly good ends."
There is actually little difference between total surveillance as practiced by NSA and what was practiced by three letters agencies of Eastern block dictatorships. The key goal in both cases is protection and preservation of power of existing elite against the will of common people. So this is more about oppression of 99.9% from top 0.1% then surveillance per see.
Phone hacking and police corruption represent neoliberalism attempt to cling to life even entering in 2008 a zombie status. And we do not know if the change is possible (The zombie of neoliberalism can be beaten)
Poor growth figures put a "new" financial collapse back on the cards. The response from politicians, bankers and business leaders is more of the same – more of the same neoliberal policies that got us into this situation in the first place.
Neoliberalism no longer "makes sense", but its logic keeps stumbling on, without conscious direction, like a zombie: ugly, persistent and dangerous. Such is the "unlife" of a zombie, a body stripped of its goals, unable to adjust itself to the future, unable to make plans. It can only act habitually as it pursues a monomaniacal hunger. Unless there is a dramatic recomposition of society, we face the prospect of decades of drift as the crises we face – economic, social, environmental – remain unresolved. But where will that recomposition come from when we are living in the world of zombie-liberalism?
... ... ...
Neoliberalism, however, requires more than the internal realignment of a national ruling class. Every semi-stable form of capitalism also needs some sort of settlement with the wider population, or at least a decisive section of it. While the postwar Keynesian settlement contained an explicit deal linking rising real wages to rising productivity, neoliberalism contained an implicit deal based on access to cheap credit. While real wages have stagnated since the late 1970s, the mechanisms of debt have maintained most people's living standards. An additional part of neoliberalism's tacit deal was the abandonment of any pretence to democratic, collective control over the conditions of life: politics has been reduced to technocratic rule. Instead, individuals accepted the promise that, through hard work, shrewd educational and other "life" choices, and a little luck, they – or their children – would reap the benefits of economic growth.
The financial crisis shattered the central component of this deal: access to cheap credit. Living standards can no longer be supported and, for the first time in a century, there is widespread fear that children will lead poorer lives than their parents.
After 2008 the irresponsibility of the financial elites, the power and proliferation of special interest groups that defend interests of oligarchy, the paralysis of Congress and executive power to deal with challenges the financial oligarchy created have created atmosphere of public cynicism.
This correlated with withdrawal from public activity and elections. voter participation in the 1996 Presidential election reached similar to 1924 figure of 49%, less then half of eligible population. And with electronic surveillance reaching it zenith after 9/11/2001, the country quietly slid in the darkness of Inverted Totalitarism
Disillusionment with government and large corporation is a noticeable feature of contemporary America. There is a the widespread sense that big companies and those who run them are immune from prosecution and can't be held accountable by government for their crimes as that they are ... Too Big To Jail. Part of this leniency is connected with corruption of regulators. Which is an immanent part of neoliberal social order. There is also the issue off gaming the system. For very large and profitable multinationals paying some law firm or accounting firm a couple of million dollars to game the tax system in some sleazy way to park most of the income in tax havens represents a small fraction of their tax savings. So the big boys get away with this and middle market firms are the only ones who really pay corporate taxes.
The fact that no one has been imprisoned for the crime committed before 2008 is seen as outrageous by most Americans and large part of Main Street. At the same time, the multibillion-dollar fines and enforcement actions against financial institutions are providing large TBTF firms such as Goldman Sachs with wrong incentives. Paying with shareholders’ money as the price of protecting themselves is a very attractive trade-off. Punishment of individual executives who committed crimes or who failed in their managerial duty to monitor the behavior of their subordinates is short-changed because the principle that leaders should take responsibility for failure and resign contradicts neoliberal worldview.
For the list of top articles see Recommended Links section
|Neoliberalism Bulletin, 2014||Neoliberalism Bulletin, 2013||Casino Capitalism Bulletin, 2012||Neoliberalism Bulletin, 2011||Casino Capitalism Bulletin, 2010||Neoliberalism Bulletin 2009||Neoliberalism Bulletin 2008|
Jul 04, 2020 | www.bloomberg.com
The coronavirus is inflicting a price shock on low income Americans that risks further driving up inequality.
In a study released this week, Bloomberg Economics estimated higher grocery and housing costs for lockdown necessities meant those households whose incomes are in the bottom 10% currently face inflation of 1.5% compared with 1.0% for the top 10% and the official 0.1% overall average recorded in May.
The explanation for the difference lies in how the Covid-19 pandemic has changed consumption patterns by forcing households to buy more food while spending less on transportation or recreational activities.
"In a period of protest and increasing anger about inequality, the differential inflation rate experienced by low- and high-income households is a concern," said Bloomberg Economics' Björn van Roye and Tom Orlik.
The suggestion the virus is less disinflationary than many economists believe poses a challenge for the Federal Reserve which is eyeing a slower inflation rate than that experienced by lower earners, who are instead facing a steady erosion of their purchasing power.
"Taken together with concerns about central banks bailing out investors ahead of firms and workers, and the benefits rich, asset-owning households gain from quantitative easing, it adds to the sense that central banks are unintentional contributors to the problem of inequality," van Roye and Orlik said.
Jul 03, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.orguncle tungsten , Jul 3 2020 7:08 utc | 107
Mina #101Maxwell's arrest makes me wonder if it is not about Trump throwing down the gauntlet?
Thank you Mina, yes that or the deep state throwing down the gauntlet. I don't think we can assume that Trump actually has control of the FBI. If he did he would likely have deep sixed the Democrazis through the Awan family spy and blackmail scam. But he didn't. They and Debbie Wasserman Shultz were protected/had dirt on DT.
If the kiddy fiddlers get outed following Ghislaine dropping some of her likely thousands of hours of home movies then that includes Trump and Biden.
In the fetid atmosphere of accusations against pussy grabbers and finger f#ckers and hair sniffers neither could survive. The pack will run rabid.
Is there a woman in the house? Yes, they cried AND she has experience!! Plus the campaign will be televised and it would be a virtual campaign because Covid. No need to rig audience, the polls or the balllot.
Jul 01, 2020 | www.unz.com
Jeff Stryker , says: June 30, 2020 at 5:59 pm GMT@Rev. Spooner bout the Bill of Rights or the Constitution or community. Those are a joke to people whose money is made transnational.
The lumpens who have never traveled out of their state have no concept of geographic dimensions. They have never even left home. They think everyone is as patriotic as them and will fight and die for their country and their community.
I assure none of the elite care a whit. Penthouses look the same from Manhattan to Tokyo.
Ask the Boers in South Africa or Polish in Detroit who did not "sniff the wind" in time.
The guy who has a gun loaded in his pocket as an insurance policy has a plan and it does not end well for the person who hit him.
The elites have two or three passports, own businesses overseas, own houses.
Jun 24, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
The national security elite now wants us to believe we are seeing things that aren't really there. 'Gaslight' lobbycard, from left, Charles Boyer, Ingrid Bergman, 1944. (Photo by LMPC via Getty Images)
Ten years ago, "restraint" was considered code for "isolationism" and its purveyors were treated with nominal attention and barely disguised condescension. Today, agitated national security elites who can no longer ignore the restrainers -- and the positive attention they're getting -- are trying to cut them down to size.
We saw this recently when Peter Feaver, Hal Brands, and William Imboden, who all made their mark promoting George W. Bush's war policies after 9/11, published "In Defense of the Blob" for Foreign Affairs in April. My own pushback received an attempted drubbing in The Washington Post by national security professor Daniel Drezner ( he of the Twitter fame ): "For one thing, her essay repeatedly contradicts itself. The Blob is an exclusive cabal, and yet Vlahos also says it's on the wane."
One can be both, Professor. As they say, Rome didn't fall in a day. What we are witnessing are individuals and institutions sensing existential vulnerabilities. The restrainers have found a nerve and the Blob is feeling the pinch. Now it's starting to throw its tremendous girth around.
The latest example is from Michael J. Mazarr, senior political scientist at the Rand Corporation, which since 1948 has essentially provided the brainpower behind the Military Industrial Congressional Complex. Mazarr published this voluminous warrant against restrainers in the most recent issue of The Washington Quarterly, which is run by the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University. Its editorial board reeks of the conventional internationalist thinking that has prevailed over the last 70 years.
In "Rethinking Restraint: Why It Fails in Practice," Mazarr insists that the critics have it all wrong: "American primacy" is way overstated and the U.S. has been more moderate in military interventions than it's given credit for. Moreover, he says, the restrainers divide current "US strategy into two broad caricatures -- primacy or liberal hegemony at one extreme, and restraint at the other. Such an approach overlooks a huge, untidy middle ground where the views of most US national security officials reside and where most US policies operate."
There is much to unpack in his nearly 10,000-word brief, and much to counter it. For example, Monica Duffy Toft has done incredible research into the history of U.S. interventions over the last 70 years, in part studying the number of times we've used force in response to incidents of foreign aggression. While the United States engaged in 46 military interventions from 1948 to 1991, from 1992 to 2017, that number increased fourfold to 188 (chart below). Kind of calls Mazarr's "frequent impulse to moderation" theory into question.
But I would like to zero in on the most infuriating charge, which mimics Drezner, Brands, Feaver, et al.: that the idea of a powerful, largely homogeneous foreign policy establishment dominating top levels of government, think tanks, media, and academia is really all in our heads. It's not real.
This weak attempt to gaslight the rest of us is an insult to George Cukor's 1944 Hollywood classic . It's unworthy. In the section "There is No Sinister National Security Elite," Mazarr turns to Stephen Walt (who wrote an entire book on the self-destructive Blob) and Andrew Bacevich (who has written that the ideology of American exceptionalism and primacy "serves the interests of those who created the national security state and those who still benefit from its continued existence"). This elite, both men charge, enjoy "status, influence, and considerable wealth" in return for supporting the consensus.
To this Mazarr contends, "Apart from collections of anecdotes, those convinced of the existence of such a homogenous elite offer no objective evidence -- such as surveys, interviews, or comprehensive literature reviews -- to back up these sweeping claims." Then failing to offer his own evidence, he argues:
on specific policy questions -- whether to go to war or conduct a humanitarian intervention, or what policy to adopt toward China or Cuba or Russia or Iran -- debates in Washington are deep, intense, and sometimes bitter. To take just a single example from recent history, the Obama administration's decision to endorse a surge in Afghanistan came only after extended deliberation and soul-searching, and it included a major, and highly controversial, element of restraint -- a very public deadline to begin a graduated withdrawal.
Let's go back to 2009, because some of us actually remember these "deep, intense, and sometimes bitter" times.
First, the only "bitter debates" were between the military, which wanted to "surge" 40,000 troops into Afghanistan in the first year of Obama's presidency, and the president, who had promised to bring the war to an end. After months, Obama "compromised" when in December 2009, he announced a plan for 30,000 new troops (which would bring the then-current number to 98,000) and a timetable for withdrawal of 18 months hence, which really pleased no one , not even the outlier restrainers, like Mazarr suggests.
In fact, restrainers knew the timetable was bunk, and it was. In 2011, there were still 100,000 troops on the ground. In fact, it didn't get down to pre-2009 levels until December 2013.
But let it be clear: the only contention in December 2009 was over the timetable (the hawks at the Heritage Foundation and AEI wanted an open-ended commitment) and whether the president should have been more deferential to his generals (General Stanley McCrystal had just been installed as commander in Afghanistan and the mainstream media was fawning ). Otherwise, every major think tank in town and national security pundit blasted out press releases and op-eds supporting the presidents strategy with varying degrees of enthusiasm. None, aside from the usual TAC suspects, raised a serious note against it. Examples:
John " Eating Soup with a Knife " Nagl, Center for a New American Security : "This strategy will protect the Afghan population with international forces now and build Afghan security forces that in time will allow an American drawdown–leaving behind a more capable Afghan government and a more secure region which no longer threatens the United States and our allies." Each of the CNAS fellows on this press release offer a variation on the same theme, with some more energetic than others. Ditto for this one from The Council on Foreign Relations .
Vanda Felhab-Brown, Brookings Institution : "there would have been no chance to turn the security situation around, take the momentum away from the Taliban, and hence, enable economic development and improvements in governance and rule of law, without the surge."
David Ignatius, The Washington Post : "Obama has made what I think is the right decision: The only viable 'exit strategy' from Afghanistan is one that starts with a bang -- by adding 30,000 more U.S. troops to secure the major population centers, so that control can be transferred to the Afghan army and police."
Ahead of Obama's decision (during the "bitter debate"), the Brookings Institution's Michael O'Hanlon, a fixture on The Washington Pos t op-ed pages and cable news shows -- was pushing for the maximum : "President Barack Obama should approve the full buildup his commanders are requesting, even as he also steels the nation for a difficult and uncertain mission ahead."
Meanwhile, all of the so-called progressive national security groups, including the Center for American Progress, Third Way, and the National Security Network, heralded Obama's plan as "a smarter, stronger strategy that stated clear objectives and is based on American security interests, namely preventing terrorist attacks."
"Counterintuitively," they said in a joint statement , "sending more troops will allow us to get out more quickly."
Anthony Cordesman at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) has always been a thoughtful skeptic, but he never fails to offer a hedge on whatever new plan comes down the pike. Here he is on Obama's surge , exemplifying how difficult it was/is for the establishment to just call a failure a failure:
The strategy President Obama has set forth in broad terms can still win if the Afghan government and Afghan forces become more effective, if NATO/ISAF national contingents provide more unity of effort, if aid donors focus on the fact that development cannot succeed unless the Afghan people see real progress where they live in the near future, and if the United States shows strategic patience and finally provides the resources necessary to win.
That's a lot of "ifs," but they provide amazing cover for those who don't want to admit the cause is lost -- or can't -- because their work depends on giving the military and State Department something to do. This is what happens when your think tank relies on government contracts and grants and arms industry money . According to The New York Times, major defense contractors Lockheed Martin and Boeing gave some $77 million to a dozen think tanks between 2010 and 2016.
They aren't getting the money to advocate that troops, contractors, NGO's, and diplomats come home and stay put. Money and agenda underwrites who is heading the think tanks, who speaks for the national security programs, and who populates conferences, book launches, speeches, and television appearances. Mazarr doesn't think this can be quantified but it's rather easy. Google "2009 Afghanistan conference/panel/speakers" and plenty of events come up. Pick any year, the results are predictable.
Here's a Brookings Panel in August 2009 , assessing the Afghanistan election, including Anthony Cordesman, Kimberly Kagan, and Michael O'Hanlon. Not a lot of "diversity" there. Here's a taste of the 2009 annual CNAS conference, which featured the usual suspects, including David Petraeus, Ambassador Nicholas Burns, and 1,400 people in attendance. Aside from Andrew " Skunk at the Garden Party " Bacevich, there was little to distinguish one world view from another among the panelists. (CNAS was originally founded in support of Hillary Clinton's 2008 campaign; she spoke at the inaugural conference in 2007. Former president Michele Flournoy later landed in the E-Ring of the Pentagon.) Meanwhile, here's a Hudson Institute tribute to David Petraeus, attended by Scooter Libby, and a December 2009 Atlantic Council panel with -- you guessed it -- Kimberly Kagan and two military representatives thrown in to pump up McChrystal and NATO and staying the course.
On top of it all, these events and their people never failed to get the attention of the major corporate media, which just loved the idea of warrior-monk generals "liberating" Afghanistan through a "government in a box" counterinsurgency (COIN) strategy.
Honestly, thank goodness for Cato , which before the new Quincy Institute, was the only think tank to feature COIN critics like Colonel Gian Gentile , and not just as foils. The Center for the National Interest also harbored skeptics of the president's strategy. But they were outnumbered too.
This is what I want to convey. Mazarr boasts there is a galaxy of opinion today over U.S. policy in Iran, China, Russia, NATO. I would argue there is a narrow spectrum of technical and ideological disagreement in all these cases, but nowhere was it more important to have strong, competing voices than during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and there was none of that in any realistic sense of the word.
I challenge him and the others to take down the straw men and own the ecosystem to which they owe their success in Washington (Mazarr just published a piece called "Toward a New Theory of Power Projection" for goodness sake). Stop trying to pretend what is there isn't. Realists and restrainers are happy to debate the merits of our different approaches, but gaslighting is for nefarious lovers and we're no Ingrid Bergman. about the author
Kelley Beaucar Vlahos, executive editor, has been writing for TAC since 2007, focusing on national security, foreign policy, civil liberties and domestic politics. She served for 15 years as a Washington bureau reporter for FoxNews.com, and at WTOP News in Washington from 2013-2017 as a writer, digital editor and social media strategist. She has also worked as a beat reporter at Bridge News financial wire (now part of Reuters) and Homeland Security Today, and as a regular contributor at Antiwar.com. A native Nutmegger, she got her start in Connecticut newspapers, but now resides with her family in Arlington, Va.
Jun 22, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
kiwiklown , Jun 18 2020 4:20 utc | 35
This statement by Jeffrey Sachs may as well also describe America's leadership crisis: "At the root of America's economic crisis lies a moral crisis: the decline of civic virtue among America's political and economic elite."
Jun 19, 2020 | www.unz.com
Nixon 68 is back with a vengeance, with President Trump placing himself as the guarantor/enforcer of Law & Order.
That slogan guaranteed Nixon's election, and was coined by Kevin Phillips, then an expert in "ethnic voting patterns" .
Philips makes for a very interesting case. In 1999, he became the author of a seminal book: The Cousins' Wars: Religion, Politics, and the Triumph of Anglo-America, where he tracks how a "small Tudor kingdom" ended up establishing global hegemony.
The division of the English-speaking community into two great powers -- "one aristocratic, 'chosen' and imperial; and one democratic, 'chosen' and manifest destiny-driven", as Philips correctly establishes -- was accomplished by, what else, a war triptych: the English Civil War, the American revolution and the U.S. Civil War.
Now, we may be at the threshold of a fourth war -- with unpredictable and unforeseen consequences.
As it stands, what we have is a do-or-die clash of models: MAGA against an exclusivist Fed/Wall Street/Silicon Valley-controlled system.
MAGA -- which is a rehash of the American dream -- simply cannot happen when society is viciously polarized; vast sectors of the middle class are being completely erased; and mass immigration is coming from the Global South.
In contrast, the Fed as a Wall Street hedge fund meets Silicon Valley model, a supremely elitist 0.001% concoction, has ample margins to thrive.
The model is based on even more rigid corporate monopoly; the preeminence of capital markets, where a Wall Street boom is guaranteed by government debt-buybacks of its own debt; and life itself regulated by algorithms and Big Data.
This is the Brave New World dreamed by the techno-financial Masters of the Universe.
Trump's MAGA woes have been compounded by a shoddy geopolitical move in tandem with Law and Order: his re-election campaign will be under the sign of "China, China, China." When in trouble, blame a foreign enemy.
That comes from serially failed opportunist Steve Bannon and his Chinese billionaire sidekick Guo Wengui, or Miles Guo. Here they are in Statue of Liberty mode announcing their no holds barred infowar campaign to demonize the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to Kingdom Come and "free the Chinese people".
Bannon's preferred talking point is that if his infowar fails, there will be "kinetic war". That is nonsense. Beijing's priorities are elsewhere. Only a few neo-conned Dr. Strangeloves would envisage "kinetic war"- as in a pre-emptive nuclear strike against Chinese territory.
Alastair Crooke has masterfully shown how the geoeconomic game, as Trump sees it, is above all to preserve the power of the U.S. dollar : "His particular concern would be to see a Europe that was umbilically linked to the financial and technological heavyweight that is China. This, in itself, effectively would presage a different world financial governance."
But then there's The Leopard syndrome: "If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change". Enter Covid-19 as a particle accelerator, used by the Masters of the Universe to tweak "things" a bit so they not only stay as they are but the Master grip on the world tightens.
The problem is Covid-19 behaves as a set of -- uncontrollable -- free electrons. That means nobody, even the Masters of the Universe, is able to really weigh the full consequences of a runaway, compounded financial/social crisis.
Russiagate, now totally debunked , has unfolded in effect as a running coup: a color non-revolution metastasizing into Ukrainegate and the impeachment fiasco. In this poorly scripted and evidence-free morality play with shades of Watergate, Trump was cast by the Democrats as Nixon.
Big mistake. Watergate had nothing to do with a Hollywood-celebrated couple of daring reporters. Watergate represented the industrial-military-security-media complex going after Nixon. Deep Throat and other sources came from inside the Deep State. And it was not by accident that they were steering the Washington Post -- which, among other roles, plays the part of CIA mouthpiece to perfection.
Trump is a completely different matter. The Deep State keeps him under control. One just needs to look at the record: more funds for the Pentagon, $1 trillion in brand new nuclear weapons, perennial sanctions on Russia, non-stop threats to Russia's western borders, (failed) efforts to derail Nord Stream 2. And this is only a partial list.
So, from a Deep State point of view, the geopolitical front -- containment of Russia-China -- is assured. Domestically, it's much more complicated.
As much as Black Lives Matter does not threaten the system even remotely like the Black Panthers in the 60s, Trump believes his own Law & Order, like Nixon, will once again prevail. The key will be to attract the white women suburban vote. Republican pollsters are extremely optimistic and even talking about a "landslide".
Yet the behavior of an extra crucial vector must be understood: what corporate America wants.
When we look at who's supporting Black Lives Matter -- and Antifa -- we find, among others, Adidas, Amazon, Airbnb, American Express, Bank of America, BMW, Burger King, Citigroup, Coca Cola, DHL, Disney, eBay, General Motors, Goldman Sachs, Google, IBM, Mastercard, McDonald's, Microsoft, Netflix, Nike, Pfizer, Procter & Gamble, Sony, Starbucks, Twitter, Verizon, WalMart, Warner Brothers and YouTube.
This who's who would suggest a completely isolated Trump. But then we have to look at what really matters; the class war dynamics in what is in fact a caste system , as Laurence Brahm argues.
Black Lives Matter, the organization and its ramifications, is essentially being instrumentalized by selected corporate interests to accelerate their own priority: to crush the U.S. working classes into a state of perpetual anomie, as a new automated economy rises.
That may always happen under Trump. But it will be faster without Trump. What's fascinating is how this current strategy of tension scenario is being developed as a classic CIA/NED playbook color revolution. An undisputed, genuine grievance -- over police brutality and systemic racism -- has been completely manipulated, showered with lavish funds, infiltrated, and even weaponized against "the regime".
Just to control Trump is not enough for the Deep State -- due to the maximum instability and unreliability of his Demented Narcissus persona. Thus, in yet another priceless historical irony, "Assad must go" metastasized into "Trump must go".
The cadaver in the basement
One must never lose track of the fundamental objectives of those who firmly control that assembly of bought and paid for patsies in Capitol Hill: to always privilege Divide and Rule -- on class, race, identity politics.
After all, the majority of the population is considered expendable. It helps that the instrumentalized are playing their part to perfection, totally legitimized by mainstream media . No one will hear lavishly funded Black Lives Matter addressing the real heart of the matter: the reset of the predatory Restored Neoliberalism project, barely purged of its veneer of Hybrid Neofascism. The blueprint is the Great Reset to be launched by the World Economic Forum in January 2021.
It will be fascinating to watch how Trump deals with this "Summer of Love" remake of Maidan transposed to the Seattle commune . The hint from Team Trump circles is that he will do nothing: a coalition of white supremacists and motorcycle gangs might take care of the "problem" on the Fourth of July.
None of this sweetens the fact that Trump is at the heart of a crossfire hurricane: his disastrous response to Covid-19; the upcoming, devastating effects of the New Great Depression; and his intimations pointing to what could turn into martial law.
Still, the legendary Hollywood maxim -- "no one knows anything" -- rules. Even running with a semi-cadaver in a basement, the Democrats may win in November just by doing nothing. Yet Teflon Trump should never be underestimated. The Deep State may even realize he's more useful than they think.
Curmudgeon , says: Show Comment June 18, 2020 at 11:28 pm GMT
An undisputed, genuine grievance – over police brutality and systemic racism…
Even Candace Owens understands that police are more likely to be killed or injured by “suspects” than the “suspects” are to be killed or injured by police. The militarization of police departments is a genuine grievance. The relatively few acts of actual police brutality out of millions of contacts in a year is not.
If there is “systemic racism”, it is systemic against White males.
There is no genuine systemic racism other than non-specific word games. Is there systemic racism in China? How about Japan?
Societies are a racial construct. They are built for the people/drivers that “invented” the society. Why would a Chinese or Japanese care about what a German or Nigerian thought should be done for their society?
Jun 16, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
A User , Jun 16 2020 3:36 utc | 87I'm always amused, nah that is a little harsh - dumbfounded is more reasonable, when Americans express dismay that 'their' constitution is not being adhered to by the elites.
The minutiae of American political history hasn't greatly concerned me after a superficial study at high school, when I realized that the political structure is corrupt and was designed to facilitate corruption.
The seeming caring & sharing soundbites pushed out by the 'framers' scum such as Thomas Jefferson was purely for show, an attempt to gather the cannon fodder to one side. This was simple as the colonial media had been harping on about 'taxation without representation' for decades.
It wasn't just taxes, in fact for the American based elites that was likely the least of it. The objective of the elites was to wrest control of resources eg land and/or timber plus so-called royal warrants that controlled who was allowed to produce, sell export products to who, grab allocation out of the control of the mobs of greedy royal favorites, then into the hands of the new American elites.
A well placed courtier would put a bagman into the regional center of a particular colony (each colony becoming a 'state' post revolution), so that if someone wanted to, I dunno, say export huge quantities of cotton, the courtier would charge that 'colonial' for getting the initial warrant, then take a hefty % of the return on the product - all collected by the on-site bagman then divvied up.
The bagmen & courtiers grew fat at the expense of the colonists and generally the bagman, who also spied on the locals for obvious reasons, would go back to England once he had made his stash.
The system was ponderous inaccurate & very expensive. Something had to be done, but selling revolutionary change to the masses on the basis of the need to enrich the already wealthy was not likely to be a winner. Consequently the high faulting blather.
The American elites wanted and, after the revolution got, the power to control economic development for themselves.Hence the birth of lobbyists simultaneous with the birth of the American nation state.
IMO the constitution was about as meaningful to the leaders of the revolution as campaign promises are to contemporary politicians.That is, something to be used as self protection without ever implementing.
Jun 16, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Richard Steven Hack , Jun 16 2020 1:11 utc | 73Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 15 2020 17:36 utc | 24
This happened prior to Crooke writing his current article
Just read that piece. I was fascinated to see him referencing an article by "Walrus" over at SST (which was a particularly BS article in my view.) However, he referenced the concept of Walrus' article about a "billionaire network" controlling everything by corrupting people over 40.
My reaction to that is: Isn't that how it was always done throughout history? The rich control the less-rich who control the less-rich - using his matryoshka example.
His main thesis is that younger ideologist are setting up a more serious divide in US society than the old "Liberal vs Conservative" or "North vs South" division, and that this is putting pressure on the "billionaires network."
I'm not sure how to regard that concept yet. On the one hand, I know that the old "young vs old" dynamic is always at work - and generally irrelevant since it is the old that controls the money and the military power. OTOH, there is a new phenomenon in the last decades, starting with the availability of networks, and then growing with the availability of affordable personal computers, and now exploding with the presence of the Internet. That phenomenon is hacking. And it is the youth that control that technology.
I referenced the "cyberpunk" sci-fi genre a few threads back. If one is familiar with the hacker community and the infosec profession, ne if struck by the massive disparity between the capabilities of the attackers and that of the defenders of networks. No matter what the defenders do, there is no stopping an adversary which has motivation, resources and time. The defender has to always be right, the attacker only has to be right once.
This translates to the current situation socially - but only to a limited degree. Hackers are a particular breed intellectually and emotionally. Their attitudes and abilities do not translate to the rest of people their age. Their political and social attitudes *may*, to some degree, depending on the hacker.
But most hackers have a decidedly anti-authoritarian, if not libertarian, or dare I say anarchist, attitude. They can join with others, but that tends to be at arm's length. So I don't see the majority of them empowering a "youth collectivism" or whatever one wants to call the general social and political attitude of the young today.
I *do* see them being willing to take on political and social power. That was the entire reference point of the cyberpunk genre: technically proficient iconoclasts marginalized as criminals taking on (and frequently losing) TPTB depicted as corporations and the state.
I see the rise of hacking as a direct threat to the "billionaires network" (if such a thing actually exists as a coordinated entity.) The only question is whether the hackers have a coherent view of their potential. I suspect they don't, much like the "Woke" (see below). But they could - and if they did, they'd be very dangerous since there is no real way to stop them, and their numbers are growing worldwide as more Third World societies develop middle classes that can afford to own computers while still not providing an adequate economy for their people (places like India, Malaysia and Indonesia.)
"One aspect he apparently overlooks is the very poor understanding of history and contemporary events exhibited on all sides--the "woke" are asleep as they know nothing of Anti-Federalism or of the Class-based rationale related to the genesis of Police, although they seem to be aware of the social control goals of that Genesis in both North and South as we examined last week."
Agreed. That's my problem with the "Woke" - they're even more ignorant than their parents were, even if they're more socially conscious. They believe things that aren't correct just as much as their parents did - they just believe different incorrect things.
"The Class War is also sidelined despite the reality of it being the most important factor in the equation--The .1% being the genuine looters..."
"IMO, there's no discernable ideological direction aside from some basic demands related to policing and the racism connected to it because those in the streets lack the tools to articulate a complete vision--something that's very difficult to do when you don't know where you've actually been and the happenings over the past 75 years that have shaped the current landscape"
Indeed. One has to burrow rather deeply into first principles to formulate a coherent philosophy - and I don't see anyone doing that. I had nine years in a Federal prison to re-orient myself and I benefited from having a previous forty years of exposure to concepts outside the mainstream "left vs right" dichotomy. I doubt many of these people on the streets have a clue as to what should be done either on their personal level or a social level.
Jun 15, 2020 | www.youtube.com
Sky News Australia In this Special Investigation Sky News speaks to former spies, politicians and investigative journalists to uncover whether US President Donald Trump is really at war with "unelected Deep State operatives who defy the voters".
Cee Zee , 7 months agoTron Javolta , 6 months ago
Was it not for Trump, we would never have had a clue just how evil and corrupt the fbi, cia, leftist media and big tech giants are!k-carl Manley , 1 month ago
George Soros, The clintons, The royal family, The Rothschild's, the Federal reserve as a whole, The modern Democrat, cia, fbi, nsa, Facebook, Google, not to mention all the faceless unelected bureaucrats who create and push policies that impact our every day lives. This, my lads, is the deep state. They run our world and get away with whatever they want until someone in their circle loses their use (Epstein)Nick Krikorian , 7 months ago
JFK was right: dismantle the CIA and throw the remaining dust to the wind - same for the traitorous leaders in the FBI!Joe Mamma , 1 week ago
The deep state killed JFKJoe Graves , 1 month ago
The deep state is real and they are powerful and have an evil agenda!ceokc13 , 3 days ago (edited)
Anyone that says a "deep state" doesn't exist in America, is part of the American deep state.Francis Gee , 1 week ago (edited)
The Cabal owns the US intelligence agencies, the media, and Hollywood. That's how all these big name corrupted figure heads aren't in prison for their crimes. The Clinton email scandal is a prime example. This is much bigger than the USA... it's effects are world wide.TheConnected Chris , 1 day ago
The Four Stages of Ideological Subversion: 1 - Demoralization 2 - Destabilization 3 - Crisis 4 - Normalization Are you not entertained? The above is "their" roadmap. Learn what it means and spread this far & wide, as that will be the means by which to end this.Fact Chitanda , 2 weeks ago
President JFK on April 17, 1961: "Today no war has been declared--and however fierce the struggle may be, it may never be declared in the traditional fashion. Our way of life is under attack. Yet no war has been declared, no borders have been crossed by marching troops, no missiles have been fired. If the press is awaiting a declaration of war before it imposes the self-discipline of combat conditions, then I can only say that no war ever posed a greater threat to our security. If you are awaiting a finding of 'clear and present danger,' then I can only say that the danger has never been more clear and its presence has never been more imminent. It requires a change in outlook, a change in tactics, a change in missions--by the government, by the people, by every businessman or labor leader, and by every newspaper. For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence--on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations. Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed. It conducts the Cold War, in short, with a war-time discipline no democracy would ever hope or wish to match." thoughts: by saying, 'conducts the Cold War' did he directly call out the CIA???David Stanley , 3 days ago
The secret services are only one arm of the deep state. Its bigger than them!Miroslav Skoric , 2 months ago
Most troubling now it is known about the deep state: is Trump a double agent just another puppet just giving the appearance of working against the deep state?Franco Lust , 2 months ago
"I' never saw corruption" said the blind monkey "I never heard any corruption " said the deaf monkey The mute monkey,of course said nothing.Always Keen , 7 months ago
Thank you Australians for having rhe courage to speak out for us Patriots!!! We know the Deep State Cabal retaliated with the fires. We love you guys from 💖💗joe wood , 2 days ago
Drain that swamp!Peter Kondogonis , 1 month ago (edited)
Found and cause all wars. Mislead both sides .silva lloyd , 1 month ago
Well done Skynews. THE DEEP STATE IS REAL. I woke up 10+ years ago. Turn off the TV for 1-2 years to study and awaken. Make a start on learning with David ickes Videos and books. WWG1 WGARhsheeda Russell , 5 days ago
"How does democracy survive" We don't live in a democracy. The English isles and commonwealth are a constitutional monarchy, America is a republic.Jerry Kays , 1 day ago
And President Trump was right. Senator Graham is a sneaky, lying, sloth who enjoys his status and takes taxpayers money to do nothing.Jonathan King , 7 months ago (edited)
Before I go and pass this on to as many as I can get to follow it I just wanted to commend those that produced this and I hope that it gets fuller dissemination because it is such a rare truth in such a time of utter deceit by most all of the MSM (Main Stream Media) that this country I reside in uses to supposedly inform the American people ...what a crock! Thank You, Australia for making this available (but beware, the Five Eyes are always very active in related matters to this) ... This has been welcome confirmation of what many of us have known and attempted to tell others for about 5 years now. Sadly, I doubt that has or will help very much, The System is so corrupted from top to bottom ... IMnsHO and E.GB3770 , 1 month ago (edited)
Firstly your definition of 'deep state' is too limited, it includes the bureaucracy, much of the judiciary, banks and other financial institutions, and the major political parties. It is not restricted only to the intelligence agencies. It is not a US-specific issue, but a global one. For the deep state exists everywhere, and is often more powerful in commonwealth countries, such as here in apathetic Australia.BassBreath100 , 2 months ago
When the CIA kills Kennedy you know you've got problems... And whilst agents in the CIA probably did not pull the trigger - their "assets" did... If you don't believe me spare me your tiresome ignorant replies and go and do some research...Scocasso Vegetus , 1 month ago (edited)
" We were warned about the Military Industrial Complex, Sadly the Government Media Complex, has done way more damage, and will be much harder to overcome" ~ Dr. Mike Savage 2008cuppateadee , 3 days ago
14:20 I met a guy from Canada in the early 2000s, a telephone technician, told me about when he worked at the time for the government telephone company in the early 80s. He was given a really strange job one day, to go do some work in the USA. Some kind of repair work that required someone with experience and know-how, but apparently someone from out-of-country, he guesses, because there certainly must have been many people in the USA who could have done it, he figured. He flew down to oregon, then was driven for hours out into the middle of nowhere in navada, he said. They came to a small building that was surrounded by fencing etc. Nothing interesting. Nothing else around, he said, as far as he could see. They went in, and pretty much all that was there was an elevator. They went in, and he said, he didn't know how many floors down it went, or how fast it was moving, but seemed to take quite sometime, he figured about 8 stories down, was his guess, but he didn't know. He was astounded to see that there was telephone recording stuff in there about the size of two football-fields. He said they were recording everything. He said, even at that time, it was all digital, but they didn't have the capacity to record everything, so it was set up to monitor phone calls, and if any key words were spoken, it would start recording, and of course it would record all phone calls at certain numbers. "So, who knows what they've got in there today, he said" back in the early 2000s. So, imagine what they've got there today, in the 2020s. I didn't know whether or not to believe this story, until I saw a doc about all of the telephone recording tapes they have in storage, rotting away, which were used to record everyone's phone calls onto magnetic tape. Literally tonnes and tonnes of tapes, just sitting there in storage now, from the 1970s, the pre-digital days. They've always been doing it. They're just much better at it today than ever. Now they can tell who you are by your voice, your cadence, your intonation, etc. and record not just a call here and there, but everything.Shaun Ellis , 7 months ago
Assange got banged up because he exposed war crimes by this lot on film Chelsea Manning also. They are heroes.Cheryl Lawlor , 2 weeks ago
"The greatest trick the devil ever pulled is convincing the world he didnt exist" Credit the --- Usual Suspects ---- That's the playbook of the "Deep State"NeXus Prime , 1 week ago
Even Obama said, "the CIA gets what the CIA wants." Even he wouldn't upset them.zetayoru , 1 month ago
The last guy (denying the deep state's existence) was lying. When someone shakes their head when talking in the affirmative you can be 100% sure it is a lie (micro expressions 101).adolthitler , 1 week ago
JFK said he wanted to expose a deeper and more sinister group. And when he was moving closer to it, he got killed.Ed P , 3 weeks ago
Yuri Bezmenov will tell you the deepstate has too much power. Yuri was right about much.Shirley van der Heijden , 1 month ago
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ULZdtvhtYQIThe Vault , 5 days ago
Evil never is satisfied!Bitcoin Blockchain , 1 day ago
https://www.facebook.com/kyle.darbyshire/posts/1085832538454860Ken Martin , 5 months agoBitcoin Blockchain 1 day ago 1950–1953: Korean War United States (as part of the United Nations) and South Korea vs. North Korea and Communist China 1960–1975: Vietnam War United States and South Vietnam vs. North Vietnam 1961: Bay of Pigs Invasion United States vs. Cuba 1983: Grenada United States intervention 1989: U.S.Invasion of Panama United States vs. Panama 1990–1991: Persian Gulf War United States and Coalition Forces vs. Iraq 1995–1996: Intervention in Bosnia and Herzegovina United States as part of NATO acted as peacekeepers in former Yugoslavia 2001–present: Invasion of Afghanistan United States and Coalition Forces vs. the Taliban regime in Afghanistan to fight terrorism 2003–2011: Invasion of Iraq The United States and Coalition Forces vs. Iraq 2004–present: War in Northwest Pakistan United States vs. Pakistan, mainly drone attacks 2007–present: Somalia and Northeastern Kenya United States and Coalition forces vs. al-Shabaab militants 2009–2016: Operation Ocean Shield (Indian Ocean) NATO allies vs. Somali pirates 2011: Intervention in Libya U.S. and NATO allies vs. Libya 2011–2017: Lord's Resistance Army U.S. and allies against the Lord's Resistance Army in Uganda 2014–2017: U.S.-led Intervention in Iraq U.S. and coalition forces against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria 2014–present: U.S.-led intervention in Syria U.S. and coalition forces against al-Qaeda, ISIS, and Syria 2015–present: Yemeni Civil War Saudi-led coalition and the U.S., France, and Kingdom against the Houthi rebels, Supreme Political Council in Yemen, and allies 2015–present: U.S. intervention in Libyapharcyde110573 , 6 months ago (edited)
Deep State is the "Wealthy Oligarchy", an "International Mafia" who controls the Central Bank (a privacy owned banking system which controls the worlds currencies). The Wealthy Oligarchy "aka Deep State" controls most all Democratic countries, and controls the International Media. In the United States, both the Republican and Democrat parties are controlled by the Wealthy Oligarchy aka Deep State.Gord Pittman , 22 hours ago
A beautifully crafted and delivered discourse, impressive! As a Londoner I have become increasingly interested in Sky News Australia, you are a breath of fresh air and common sense in this world of ever growing liberal media hysteria!joe wood , 1 week ago
I have to laugh at the people, including our supposedly unbiased and intelligent media, who said the Russia thing was the truth when it was nothing but a conspiracy theory. Everything else was a conspiacy theory according to the dems ans the mainstream media..Joseph Hinton , 1 month ago
CIA did 9-11 with bush cabal pulling stringsKaren Reaves , 2 weeks ago (edited)
Wall Street and the banksters control the CIA. One can imagine the ramifications of control of the world via the moneyed interests backed by James Bond and the Green Berets, the latter, under control of the CIA.killtheglobalists , 2 days ago (edited)
Every nation has the same deep state. CIA Mossad MI6 and CCP protect the deep state like one big Mafia. Thank you Sky News. outofshadows.orgKauz , 1 week ago
Deep State Powers have been messing with your USA long before your War of Independence . Your Founding Fathers knew , why do you think they wrote your Constitution that way. Now everyone is always crying about something but fail to realize you gave your freedoms away over time . The Deep State never left it just disguised itself and continued to regain control under a new face or ideaology. Follow the money . "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."― Edmund BurkeSierra1 Tngo , 2 weeks ago
Timothy Leary gives the CIA TOTAL CREDIT for sponsoring and initiating, the entire consciousness movement and counter-culture events of the 1960's.iwonka k , 3 hours ago
After the John F. Kennedy assassination the took full power,those who are in power now are the descendants of the criminals who did it,some of their sons just have a different last name but they are the same family,like George Bush and John Kerry are cousins but different last name and the list goes and goes.R Tarz , 2 months ago
Council on Foreign Relation is more Deep State than CIA and FBI . The two worked for CFR. CFR tel president whom to appoint to what positions. Nixon got a list of 22 deep state candidates for top US position and all were hired. Obama appointed 11 from the list. Kissinger is behind the scenes strings puller also.Adronicus -IF- , 2 months ago
Thanks Sky and Peter for bringing this to the mainstream attention, it really is time! Wished you had aired John Kiriakou,s other claims off child sex trafficking to the elites which has been corroborated by so many other sources now and is the grossest deformity of this deep state which you can see footage of trump talking about. I am amazed and greatful to see Trump has done more about this than all other presidents in the last 20 years. Lets end this group. All we need to do is shine the light on themJohn Doe , 1 month ago
The CIA are only an intelligence and operations functioning part of the deep state its much more complex and larger than just the CIA. The British empire controls the deep state they always have it is just a modern version of the old East India Company controlled by the same families with the same ideology. https://theduran.com/the-origins-of-the-deep-state-in-north-america/Nicholas Napier , 2 months ago (edited)
It's funny how for decades "the people" were crying on their knees about how bad every president was n how corrupt n controlled they were. Now you've got a president with no special interest groups publicly calling out the deep state n ur still bitching. U know you've got someone representing the people when the cia n fbi r out to get him. In 50 years trump will be looked back at with the likes of Washington, Lincoln n jfk. Once the msm smear campaign is out of everyone's brain.itsmemuffins , 7 months ago
When they start spying on people within the United States and when they used in National Defense authorization act that gave them a lot of power since after 911 to give them more power now they have Homeland Security which is the next biggest threat to the United States it can be abused and some of these people have a higher security clearance than the president.... they're not under control the NSA is one of them you don't mention in here either one is about the more that you don't even know about that they don't have names are acronyms that we knew about that's why the American people have been blindsided by this overtime they've been giving all this money to do things... allocation of money they gathered to do this and now Congress itself doesn't know temperature of Schumer when you caught him saying to see I can get back at you three ways to Sunday I mean he's got some words in this saying to the president of usa donald trump... basically threatening the President right there.. you can see it's alive and well when Congress is immune from prosecution from anything or anyone....msciciel14therope , 1 month ago
"I think in light of all of the things going on, and you know what I mean by that: the fake news, the Comeys of the world, all of the bad things that went on, it's called the swamp you know what I did," he asked. "A big favor. I caught the swamp. I caught them all. Let's see what happens. Nobody else could have done that but me. I caught all of this corruption that was going on and nobody else could have done it."Vaclav Haval , 6 days ago
there is no big secret that CIA is deeply involved in drug smuggling operations...i remember interview with ex marine colonel who said that he was indirectly involved in such operations in panama...Wilf Jones , 1 week ago
The Deep State (CIA, NSA, FBI, and Israeli Mossad) did 9/11.Chubs Fatboy , 2 weeks ago
Super Geek Zuckerberg was made a CIA useful Idiot ... I mean agent , lol .Rue Porter , 1 day ago
Attempting to infiltrate News rooms😆😅😂 all those faces you see in the MSM are all working for Cia. In 1967 one of the 3 letter agencys bragged about having a reporter working in 1 of the 3 letter news channel!peemaster Bjarne , 1 week ago
Wow this was really good. It's funny you showed a clip from abc of kouriakow and it reminded me how much the news in america has been propagandized and just fake. I'm 38 and it's sad that these days the news is unpatriotic. Well most . Ty sky news Australiarichard bello , 2 weeks ago
Why no mention of what facilitates the surveilance? Telecom infrastructure is a nations nerve system and the powergrid its bloodsystem. Who controls them? That is where you find the head of the deep state!AussieMaleTuber , 7 months ago (edited)
What people aren't aware of is that Facebook YouTube Twitter Instagram Google maps and Google search are all NSA CIA and DIA creations and CEO's are only highly paid operatives who are not the creators but the face of a product and what better way to collect all of your information is by you giving it to themTrevor Pike , 2 months ago
More please? A subject for another installment regarding the Deep State could be Banking, Federal Reserves and Fiat currencies. Later, another video could be Russia's success at expelling the Deep State in 2000 after it took them over (for a 2nd time) in 1991. Be cognizant, the Deep State initially had for a short time from 1917 via 'it's' 'Bolshivics,' orchestrated the creation of the Soviet Union through the Bolshivic take over of Russia from it's independence minded and Soveriegn Czarist led Eastern Orthodox State. Now, President Trump is preventing a similar Deep State take-over by Intelligence agencies, Corporations and elected political thugs as bad as Leon Trotsky and V I Lennin were to the Russian Czar. The Soviets soon after their (1917) take-over went Rogue on the Deep State and therefore the Soviet Union was independent until The Deep State orchestrated it's downfall and anexation of it's substantial wealth and some territory (1991). More, more, more please Sky News, this video was great!Michael Small , 1 month ago
Amazing, Sky News is the ONLY TV News Service in Australia Trying to deliver true news. Australia's ABC news are CIA Deep State Shills and propagandists - Sarah Ferguson Especially - see her totally CIA scripted Four Corners Report on the Russia Hoax. John Gantz IS a Deep State Operative Liar.Barry Atkins , 7 months ago (edited)
Isnt it time to see TERM LIMITS in Co gress and to realign our school education to teach the real history of these unites states? End the control of Congress and watch the agencies fall in step with OUR Conatitution. No one should ever be allowed in Congress or any other elected position of trust if they are not a devout Constitutionalist. Anyone who takes the oath to see w the people and fails to so so should be charged with TREASON and removed immediately. Is there a DEEP STATE? Damn right there is and has been for many decades. Where is our sovereignty? Where is the wealth of a capitalist nation? Why so much poverty and welfare and why do communists and socialist get away with damaging our country, state or communities. Yes, there has been a deep state filled with criminals who all need to be charged, tried and executed for TREASON.price , 7 months ago
The CIA and Australias Federal police have One main Job/activity to feed their Populations with Propaganda & Lies to give them their Thoughts & Opinions on Everything using their psyOps through MSM News & Programming...you prolly beLIEve this informative News Story as well. : (Marie Hurst , 6 days ago
Sky news is owned by rupert Murdoch...the same guy that owns fox news. Nuff said😘Debbie Kirby , 7 months ago
These people denying a deep state with such straight faces are psychopaths. Unwittingly, or maybe not, Schumer made liars of them with his comment to MaddowJames dow , 1 week ago
President Trump is correct. He knows exactly what's going on. The 3 letter agencies are up to no good and work against the fabric of our nation's founding fathers. It's despicable behavior. Just one example is John Brennan (CIA Director) and Barack Hussein Obama's Terror Tuesdays. Read all about it on the internet now before it's permanently removed. Thank you for creating this video.mary rosario , 5 days ago
When was the last time we ever witnessed an American President openly abused continually attacked over manufactured news treated with absolutely no respect for him or the office his family unfairly attacked and misrepresented etc, etc, that's right never, which proves he threatens the existence of the deep state as discussed. He should declare Martial Law Hang the consequences and remove every single deep state player everywhere. Foreign influence? read Israel.evan c , 2 weeks ago
People are so fixated on trumps outspoken Sometimes outrageous demeanor which in my opinion it's just being really honest and yes he can Be rude at times but when you look at the facts He's the only one that has gone against the deep state! those are the real devils dressed up in sheep's clothing! Wake up!
You are missing the point. It goes further then intelligence agency working against the people. It's the ultra rich literally trillionaires like the rothchilds that control the cia etc. That is who trump is fighting. The globalists line gates soros etc.
Jun 14, 2020 | nationalinterest.org
Kirkpatrick's essay begins by insisting that, because of world events since 1939, America has given to foreign affairs "an unnatural focus." Now in 1990, she says, the nation can turn its attention to domestic concerns that are more important because "a good society is defined not by its foreign policy but its internal qualities . . . by the relations among its citizens, the kind of character nurtured, and the quality of life lived." She says unabashedly that "there is no mystical American 'mission' or purposes to be 'found' independently of the U.S. Constitution and government."
One cannot fail to notice that this perspective is precisely the opposite of George W. Bush's in his second inauguration. According to Bush, America's post –Cold War purpose was to follow our "deepest beliefs" by acting to "support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture." For three decades neoconservative foreign policy has revolved around "mystical" beliefs about America's mission in the world that are unmoored from the actual Constitution.
In Trumpian fashion, Kirkpatrick then goes on to warn Americans about the danger of an unaccountable "deep state" in foreign policy that is immune to popular pressures. She rejects emphatically the views of some elitists who argue that foreign policy is a uniquely esoteric and specialized discipline and must be cushioned from populism. She says that, no, "it has become more important than ever that the experts who conduct foreign policy on our behalf be subject to the direction of and control of the people."
She points out that because America had for much of the twentieth century assumed global responsibilities, our foreign policy elites had developed "distinctive views" that are different from those of the electorate. Again, in Trumpian fashion, she argued that foreign policy elites "grew accustomed to thinking of the United States as having boundless resources and purposes . . . which transcended the preferences of voters and apparent American interests . . . and eventually developed a globalist attitude."
In support of Kirkpatrick's concern, Tufts professor Michael Glennon has more recently argued that the national security establishment has now become so "distinctive" in their separation from our constitutional processes that they represent one wing of a now "double government" that is not unaccountable to, and unsupervised by, the popular branches of government. The Russiagate investigations and the attempt to disable the Trump presidency, aided by many in the establishment, would appear to confirm Kirkpatrick's warning that foreign policy elites want no part of the electoral preferences of voting Americans.
Kirkpatrick concludes her essay with thoughts on "What should we do?" and "What we should not do." Remarkably, her first recommendation is to negotiate better trade deals. These deals should give the U.S. "fair access" to foreign markets while offering "foreign businesses no better than fair access to U.S. markets." Next, she considered the promotion of democracy around the world and, on this subject, she took the John Quincy Adams position : that "Wherever the standard of freedom and Independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be." However, she insisted: "it is not within the United States' power to democratize the world."
When Kirkpatrick goes on to discuss America's post –Cold War alliances, she makes clear that she is advocating, quite simply, an America First foreign policy. Regarding the future of the NATO alliance, a sacrosanct pillar of the American foreign policy establishment, she argued that "the United States should not try to manage the balance of power in Europe." Likewise, we should be humble about what we can accomplish in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union: "Any notion that the United States can manage the changes in that huge, multinational, developing society is grandiose." Finally, with regard to Asia: "Our concern with Japan should above all be with its trading practices vis-à-vis the United States. We should not spend money protecting an affluent Japan, though a continuing alliance is entirely appropriate."
She famously concludes her essay by making the plea for the United States to become "a normal country in a normal time" and "to give up the dubious benefits of superpower status and become again an unusually successful, open American republic."
Kirkpatrick became Ronald Reagan's United Nations ambassador because her 1979 article in Commentary , "Dictatorships and Double Standards," caught the eye of the future president. In that article, she sensibly points out that authoritarian governments that are allies of the United States should not be kicked to the curb because they are not free and open democracies. The path to democracy is a long and perilous one, and nations without republican traditions cannot be expected to make the transition overnight. Regarding the world's oldest democracy, she remarked: "In Britain, the road from the Magna Carta to the Act of Settlement, to the great Reform Bills of 1832, 1867, and 1885, took seven centuries to traverse."
While at the time neoconservatives opportunistically embraced her for this position as a tactic to fight the Cold War, the current foreign policy establishment would consider Kirkpatrick's argument to be beyond the bounds of decent conversation, as it would lend itself to an accommodation with authoritarian Russia as a counterweight to totalitarian China.
Kirkpatrick died in 2006 and had, like many neoconservatives, evolved from a Humphrey Democrat into a member of the GOP establishment. With William Bennett and Jack Kemp, in 1993 she cofounded a neoconservative group, Empower America, which took a very aggressive stance against militant Islam after the 9/11 attacks. However, she was quite ambivalent about the invasion of Iraq and was quoted in The Economist as saying that George W. Bush was "a bit too interventionist for my taste" and that Bush's brand of moral imperialism is not "taken seriously anywhere outside a few places in Washington, DC."
The fact that Kirkpatrick's recommendations in her 1990 essay coincide with some of Donald Trump's positions in the 2016 campaign (if not with many of his actual actions as president) make her views, ipso facto, not serious. The foreign policy establishment gives something like pariah status to arguments that we should negotiate better trade deals, reconsider our Cold War alliances and, most especially, subject American foreign policy to popular preferences. If she were alive today and were making the arguments she made in 1990, then she would be an outcast. That a formidable intellectual like Kirkpatrick would be dismissed in such a fashion is a sign of how obtuse our foreign policy debate has become.
William S. Smith is Senior Research Fellow and Managing Director of the Center for the Study of Statesmanship at The Catholic University of America. His recent book, Democracy and Imperialism , is from the University of Michigan Press. He studied political philosophy under Professor Jeane Kirkpatrick as an undergraduate at Georgetown University.
Jun 14, 2020 | www.serendipity.li
And now there is the Epstein matter, which threatens not only former president Bill Clinton, but a cosmos of political, financial, and entertainment "stars" in countless ugly incidents that involve a kind of personal corruption that has no political context but says an awful lot about the obliteration of moral and ethical boundaries by the people who ended up running things in this fretful moment of US history.
Jun 13, 2020 | www.serendipity.li
These idiots in Washington and all these think tanks that talk about regime change and bringing democracy to the world and so forth -- never even think about the consequences -- the message that these violent episodes send -- and the unfortunate reaction that people take in order to defend themselves. ... The problem is there's lasting damage when you engage in all this regime change over so many years and episodes. They don't trust you. Trump has worked very hard, using an odd, idiosyncratic personal diplomacy to build up trust with Kim. It seems to be working, but there are just so many forces at work behind the scenes that are aiming to undermine that trust-building so that nothing happens. They want to keep 29,000 troops in South Korea, in harm's way, as a tripwire, so that the North Koreans obey us ... If you take away the Korean threat, if you recognize the Iranians aren't a threat, if you see that Russia is a tiny little country that's not going to invade Western Europe ... [Suddenly] somebody is going to do the math as we get into the coming fiscal crisis and say, "We can't afford all this defense that we don't need [anyway]. Let's cut it back dramatically." They [the Deep State] don't want this to happen. And so, they have to keep these hot spots burning and these threats maintained or inflated, because they know if the real truth of the world were considered by Congress, the defense budget would be slashed dramatically.
Jun 12, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com
There is a need for competent counterintelligence to, in effect, crack the egg and isolate and take action against the hardcore network of trained provocateurs who have the capacity to hijack genuine protest to further their goal: Chaos and civil conflict as the endgame.
TV , 11 June 2020 at 01:03 PMAnyone see the photo of the FBI agents kneeling at the "protest" in DC?Diana Croissant , 11 June 2020 at 01:09 PM
Think this FBI is going to find out ANYTHING about these scumbags?
If they (accidently) did, they'd bury it.
Only thing preventing the FBI's corruption from doing real damage is their massive incompetence.Antifa is not really again Fascism as far as I can tell...Jose , 11 June 2020 at 02:12 PMRegretfully, our intelligence agencies are too busy participating in the coup-revolution to act on your great advice.exiled off mainstreet , 11 June 2020 at 03:46 PMPlus this is an existential war for the deep state. They have the most to gain and the most direct interests in winning. Just don't be blind to the underlying motivations - there are no coincidences, right? Past is prologue - get a copy of the 2012 Breitbart documentary "Occupy Unmasked". The similarities exposed to what is again happening in 2020 will give one pause.
Posted by: Deap | 11 June 2020 at 02:38 PM
If the deep state can't pr won't handle it, perhaps vigilantes can come in from the surrounding areas to liquidate the seditious secession move. It is obvious that the official elements of the imperium have left the reservation so an unofficial initiative is necessary.
Jun 10, 2020 | www.unz.com
anon8383892 , says: Show Comment June 10, 2020 at 5:53 pm GMT@Alfa158 It won't work though. There isn't a significant generation of 'hyper-competent' people amidst a suppressed populace. Instead you get idiocracy, where even the elites show signs of mental impairment, increasingly as time goes by. The Romans were rendered idiotic by arbitrary and ruthless imperial autocracy, which scythed through families and ancient clans, leaving only careerist slaves in its wake.
Eventually even the emperors were idiots. Some of them think they can compartmentalize competencies, so you see these absolutely castrated and chemically autistic nerds working the buttons in technical academia. You can produce bureaucrats of technocracy this way, but nothing much new will come of it.
Elon Musk is not the most competent. He is the scion of a diamond magnate family if I'm not mistaken. He is a silly man, nothing against him, but most of us don't admire him all.
We feel sorry for people that have this kind of cultish infatuation with the man, his golf-carts, and space-rockets. He is complete with our own Marie Antoinette, Grimes, each an absolute clown, clown royals for a clown society. Idiocracy.
Hilarious to see Alex Jones pimping him as like a new Howard Hughes. Most of the alt press is fizzled, co-opted or neutralized in some way. Infatuation with big, great people, heroes from the heavens of the stars, is a pathology, whether it's directed at Trump or Bernie or whoever.
People need to cultivate the hero within, and generate the ground level sovereignty that could restore (from the earth and man up) a free republic. There are a lot of authority figures from the deathstar on Youtube telling us how they are patriots and are fighting back. May be. Could also be the enemy fucking with us. Really no way to know, which again, is a motivating factor for de-centralization and vesting sovereignty into free men, free communities, and up. The federal entity is necessary, but cannot hover self-sufficiently over a devastated (by corporate dictat -- for human resource extraction) populace. If the states withdraw their channeled sovereignty from the federal entity, it should collapse. Otherwise it is a foreign entity. To the extent we are ruled by a tiny cabal of vampires, we lose justification for the belief that our rulers are ours at all. Such an arrangement of power presents an attractive target (minimal points of failure) for a strategic adversarial compromise.
One reason I don't want people being anti-antifa, is I understand most of those people just want local self-governance. Food-not-bombs people mostly just want to have a nice little community garden and not be turned into slaves by the system. These are the 'anarchists'. I've met them, mostly they are not so bad. It's a lot of divide-and-conquer going on.
Apologies for the stream-of-consciousness; I've posted some of this before, just pounding on the nail.
Jun 09, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.comdiv Has "The Deep State" Won? By Walrus.
I want to advance a fanciful theory - an extension of Col. Lang's question; Perhaps money talks. The test is at the end of this post.
Suppose some very rich folks bought the majority of American media. They control that by influencing who is hired, promoted and fired throughout their networks. Smaller players, internet businesses, etc. are dependent on the larger players for content. They are similarly controlled by the big players.
Now suppose there is also a global foundation, operated by the most skilled politicians of their era. Their business model is simple. They control and operate a global influence network. People with money can buy influence from this network.
The network, which we will call "the respectable tendency", to borrow Andrew Roberts term, extends deep into worldwide media and perhaps more importantly, public services around the globe. Of course all of this is benign because the purpose of this endeavor is the advancement of planetary human well being. To this end it seamlessly creates or combines with a variety of good causes, to advance its agenda, for example, the advancement of women, minority rights, gay rights, the environmental movement.
Now we come to practical matters. As the behaviourists posit: "where you stand is where you sit" - Miles Law. The foundation lives by this saying and drives it deep into every organ it touches. Be aware that when the foundation touches you it makes a Faustian bargain. You do something for it, one day it returns the favor. For example, you might be asked as a civil servant to do something that is perhaps borderline corrupt. You are found out but no matter; you reappear as a professor at a prestigious University, or a fellow at a think tank, or a media personality on a Tee Vee network or perhaps a judge. The foundation takes great care to ensure it keeps its end of the bargain. It also publicly destroys the careers of those that reject its overtures using whatever weapon comes to hand, for example sexual innuendo, allegations of discrimination, whatever. Fear and greed are its tools.
Lets assume that the foundation has had almost total success in recruiting Congress and the higher ranks of the career public service. There are two exceptions; the first is President Trump who is fireproof against the entreaties of the foundation. More about the other later.
So now let's look at the events of Trumps Presidency through this lense.
Russiagate - explained.
The illegal and obvious judicial persecution of Flynn and others who have associated with Trump - explained.
The conversion and public recantings of former Trump appointees - explained.
The criticisms of Trump and public professions of love for foundation causes like #metoo and BLM by senior business leaders - explained.
The deliberate frustration of President Trumps agenda by Congress - explained.
The relentless and unjustified criticism of Trump by the media - explained.
As a vignette; Why even today Trumps decision to pull troops out of Germany is criticized by MSN for breaking up a happy relationship with a German town:
"President Donald Trump's directive to pull 9,500 troops from Germany hits home hard for friends of America like Edgar Knobloch, whose Bavarian town has been home to U.S. service members for seven decades."
So now we come to recent events.
The criticism of Trump for his Covid19 response, first not fast enough, then too fast and hard - explained.
So now we come to George Floyd. The black community, deliberately oversensitised by the media to the statistically insignificant problem of Police brutality against blacks, arcs up. Their lawmakers, sensing the foundations approval, amplify the BLM message. After all, this is a ticket to righteous reelection or maybe a seat in Congress courtesy of the foundation.
The blacks start looting. President Trump calls for the rule of law to be upheld and promises military assistance if necessary. The foundation springs the trap. This is no longer about BLM, this is about HIM. The media comply.
Actions taken as part of this foundation agenda are deliberate and designed to create a climate of fear, uncertainty and doubt in all Americans.
Threats to defund the police in various states are false. What they are designed to achieve is the perversion of police forces into instruments of political control. The first requirement being the suppression of any white backlash against the black mobs. That is about militias and gun control.
Expect to see more media censorship of anything that contradicts BLM, #metoo, or any other foundation pet cause.
Expect to see more lawmakers, public servants and personalities publicly denounce Trump.
Expect to see each and every national business leader pledge fealty to the foundation on penalty of the destruction of their businesses, careers or both. This will then morph into a requirement to "donate" to BLM and similar good causes as is practiced in most third world countries. That is followed by a requirement to hire and promote minority members for no good reason except political safety.
Expect all investigations into possible malpractice by foundation operatives to stop.
All public institutions will be required to pledge fealty to the foundation, the Universities did this thirty years ago.
Trump, if he is even Presidential Candidate is going to be facing Joe Biden and...Michelle Obama.
The more probable Republican candidate is Romney, who will lose.
And now the exception. The United States Defence Forces. The CJCS Gen. Miley, will now be under intense pressure from the foundation to distance himself as far as possible from the President, perhaps to the point of insubordination. This is a "five days in May 1940" moment although we may never know.
The pressure already got to Esper who folded. The pressure on Miley, IMHO, will be coming from his colleagues and the next rank below them and take the form of extreme fear of massive budget cuts foreshadowed by foundation lawmakers unless the defence forces disavow their Commander in Chief.
The test to watch is which way our Rupert Murdoch jumps. He is renowned for his extremely accurate political antennae.
Soros predicting revolution prior to election in US at Davos earlier this year
Posted by: Terence Gore | 07 June 2020 at 04:19 PM
"Suppose some very rich folks bought the majority of American media." It really isn't hard to figure out which entities control the major news outlets or where their corporate revenue stream is coming from. The democrat led lockdown orders had an effect very beneficial to monopolist media firms: It destroyed local media by destroying the small and mid-sized firms in every Blue city and state. Which economic class wins? You can't hide that to actual black voters without BLM riots to provide emotional cover and burnging buildings to provide an actual smokescreen. "The ni*****" are out to get you" has been replaced with "Whitey did it" because a third of the democratic party voting base is black and urban. Trump was making actual inroads because he was delivering actual results to the bottom of the economic pyramid.
"Now suppose there is also a global foundation"
There are multiple NGOs and not just the Clinton Foundation or the one run by Soros.
"They control and operate a global influence network."
Remind us all again of your multiple years in international business and the need for China to save face? Any other interconnections that might be of interest? Bilderberg and Davos are just the eurocentric starting points.
"Threats to defund the police in various states are false." That is untrue. Police agencies have already been copopted in multiple cities and at the leadership ranks of the FBI. Defunding them will happen in LA and elsewhere with predictable results. It will drive out those close to retirement, thus allowing an ideological purge of the leadership ranks.
"This is no longer about BLM, this is about HIM. "
This was always about Trump because he is capable of rolling up the corrupt operatives within FBI/DOJ/DOD and the rest of government. He has already shown how corrupt the major media companies are. Look at "Fake News CNN" which can't even mention its own building was damaged in a riot.
"That is followed by a requirement to hire and promote minority members for no good reason except political safety." Afirmative Action and minority set-assides are lawful means of racial discrimination in favor of protected classes and have been for decades.
" The first requirement being the suppression of any white backlash against the black mobs. That is about militias and gun control."
There was never going to be a flag waving militia marching into NYC, LA, Detroit or elsewhere to save anyone from their own neighbors and ideological allies of the hard left. Bernie Bro James Hodgkinson, already erased from your memory, was just that - a lefty Bernie Bro. The FBI's finest still can't figure out why a man in Vegas would unleash a half hour barage of gunfire at a country music concert. Do you need anyone to explain what percent of country music fans vote for which party?
"Trump, if he is even Presidential Candidate"
Pray tell how Romeny or anyone else gets the nomination without forcably removing Trump from office? Romney lost when he ran and nobody outside what is contemptiously referred to as a "cuckservative" is going to back him.
(Keith) Rupert Murdoch, AC, KCSG, is almost 90. Do you think he is running day-to-day operations of his media holding company? Perhaps you read that in the New York Times...
Posted by: Fred | 07 June 2020 at 04:59 PM
An excellent interview of Ric Grenell, discussing the Deep State, courtesy of CTH.
I never knew him before but I am impressed with his clarity.
Posted by: Jack | 07 June 2020 at 05:21 PM
of course it is an attempted coup. The media, rigged worse than Hilary's DNC debate, didn't help her win, Russian probe fraud, Ukraine Fraud, Stormy Daniels fraud, China's manipulative virus attack on the west, the CDC/FDA corrupt conduct and criminal actions of multiple governors who in effect murdered thousands of seniors in nursing homes by returning infected patients by executive order, an economy locking shutdown; all of that failed. Where the hell was the left when poor St. George was trying to make a living; Travon, Michael Brown, Freddie Grey, Eric Garner? Where was holy Joe Biden and his boss, Barack? The bore from NYC via reality TV has been the only effective leader in delivering economic results to the lower middle and working class communities, especially the black ones, in decades.
"A politicized Army with 1000+ nuclear weapons under its control is a nightmare."
Oh, you figured that part out? What do you think is going to result if the left succeeds in the erasure of American culture and transformational change of what is left of the Republic? Perhaps the never Trumper's should have a road to Damascus moment that doesn't include treating the cult of St. George of Minneapolis as the second coming. The only thing to stop them is their own guilt or complicity in any of the afformentioned plots.
Posted by: Fred | 07 June 2020 at 06:29 PM
I'm more with Fred on this. IMO, an incestuous multigenerational clique comprised of devious, selfish, mediocre intelligences who are never held accountable -and those seeking entrance into the clique - can explain the whole thing. Though I am surprised they that even men like Gen Mad Dog Mattis have fallen into the that network. Then again, those stars always make me suspicious.
j. casey , 07 June 2020 at 08:13 PMDiana Croissant , 07 June 2020 at 08:24 PM
Ischenko has a similar perspective, with perhaps a wider historical POV. https://www.stalkerzone.org/test-by-maidan-what-strikes-protests-in-the-us-other-countries-really-mean/Deap , 07 June 2020 at 08:24 PM
I attended church IN CHURCH for the first time in a long time. It felt right and good. But, besides feeling right and good about being in church, I felt cheated when I thought of the last few months on the COVID19 restrictions, the ridiculous masks, the use of shaming if one spoke up against some of the restrictions......because not one person I know thinks Fauci is anything but an incompetent fool.
After church I ate lunch with family and extended family in a restaurant while sitting close to each other and NOT wearing masks. We actually mentioned our beliefs that the BLM outcries had gone too far. The police officers who were the cause of his death make us sick. But the result of Floyd's death now being the seeming vilification of all people of NO color (meaning of white color) hurts all of us white people terribly since many, many, many of us do not live in places where there are large populations of Blacks. We live here because these places are our home towns. We do have Hispanic populations and some blacks and other minorities such as Asian minorities and those from other parts of the world. We resent a little the protesters in our town, mostly young women in the local teacher training University who marched and held several noisy demonstrations with their ONE token Black person, the only one they could find, I assume.
We sat and each agreed with the basic assertion of your piece: that there is a definite conspiracy against Trump in the crazy areas of our country controlled by Democrats, by the corrupted media (which has been that way for a long, long time) and the extremely wealthy class.
There are many of us still keeping our MAGA hats ready; and I don't know one single Republican where I live who would not rise up against a movement to push Romney again as the Republican nominee.
We may not be as noisy as the young impressionable mis-educated youth that are rioting and marching in the streets. In fact, we are quietly sitting back and preparing for the next Trump rally and for the next chance we have to show our support for Trump.
I have seen NO movement against Trump from the friends and family I know who supported him before.
Fly-over country denizens sit and waits, as they are disgusted by the failures of the idiots who run the coasts. Some of us write to our Congressional representative and Senators warning them against even thinking of not supporting Trump. We watch FOX News and enjoy it most when they mock and make fun of the supposed journalists who appear on the MSM.
The mention of any effort to again give the Obamas any sort of say in our government, much less Hillary and the idiot speaking out of his basement who is now the Democrats' chosen one, the reins of the government makes our stomachs turn and causes us to think of giving up our dignity in order to riot against Democrats, BLM, and those Antifa jerks and their sponsors. We will bring semis, tractors, and construction equipment, and angry people with rifles on horses--whoever and whatever to the fight.
I think there are many here not wanting to think about it, but resolving to finally rise up ourselves if we have to.tedrichard , 07 June 2020 at 08:59 PM
Don't forget there is an army of NoTrumpers who became Pro-Trumpers after the election, realizing the Democrats were too toxic to ever stomach again.
While Trump may be losing some of his former base, he is also gaining in unexpected quarters. Like me, who at one time marched for Hilary in Denver and finally saw what the Obama Democrat party had become.
The hot issue this election is where will the police unions go since they have been hard core Democrats but have lately defected. Democrats naturally will now revile police in any way they can, and they are certainly beating the drums to take the renegade police unions down.
How will this come across to the voters -- and to the rank and file police themselves. It is war now between the police unions and the Democrats - it is an issue and a voting block to carefully tease out.
Drain the swamp is to lessen the power of the public sector unions on our lives and elections. But now the police unions, who have taken the lions share of local tax dollars for themselves already, will go along with "draining the swamp with trump, or will the Democrats seduce them back into the fold.
In California, police unions are lining up to take a knee for BLM, so they have made their choice - scurry back to the Democrat plantation.
The unknown unknown - when will Biden officially implode and who will replace him?Mathias Alexander , 08 June 2020 at 02:59 AM
"A politicized Army with 1000+ nuclear weapons under its control is a nightmare."
i posit this is the ONLY worry that russia and china have at this point regarding the united states. they know with absolute surety washington and the 'hidden rulers behind them' are simply no longer powerful enough or capable enough to subdue and force them to submit to private control.
they worry someone enters the white house and is delusional enough or insecure enough to feel the need to prove they have what it takes........my wager is on a female president fitting that bill and minority racist female president would likely give these leaders real worries.........not because they can be defeated but because of the millions of deaths and destruction she will bring in her wake.
if/when the democrats return to the oval office and if that resident is female and more so if she is black world war against russia or china which means BOTH is very much more likely.
because the pentagon can no longer prevail conventionally against either russia or china and against both will be summarily defeated almost immediately the urge to go nuclear even tactically will be overwhelming if not INEVITABLE. this is the danger of an identity politics anti white female president.
the russians have stated in no uncertain terms through their published war doctrine.........if a war is inevitable and CAN NOT be avoided then they will strike first....and as a cherry on the sunday putin has stated multiple times that the next war will NOT be fought on russian soil which means at the least nato disappears as a fighting force in 72 hours if they last that long, then america gets a taste of what the russians and chinese have suffered.LondonBob , 08 June 2020 at 05:19 AM
This is obviously an approved movement. MSM love 'em and the protestors don't get kettled. I think the BLM crowd have a point but also that they are being manipulated. Antifa are an obvious bunch of agent prococateurs.
There have always existed networks and patronage. Soros, Clinton, Zionist, neocons, military industrial. Problem for Trump many of these are bitterly opposed to him, he has little support in the Imperial City, except for some parts of the Israel lobby, although it is mostly actual Israelis.
Russiagate, Obama people.
Flynn to protect the Obama people.
Denouncing Trump is so the gravy train in DC doesn't get upset. Look at Sgt Bilko, James Mattis, complete grifter with a puffed up persona, painted like a latter day Patton, except he has only seen combat in Desert Storm. Theranos, Cohen Group. Useful neocon idiot McCain or Rubio, or bitter loser Romney.
We had the exposure of the journolist network in the media, no doubt something similar exists still, we know the media collude with various parties to put across certain viewpoints.
Like JFK was, Trump is seen as a threat to a few well established interest groups, much opposed to a change in the status quo.
The only thing I don't get is why business in America is so 'woke'. You get a bit of this in Britain, but nowhere near the same, is it the larger Jewish population, lack of a public school network?
Jun 09, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.comMikeyHeLikesIt Laura Joakimson • 14 hours ago
"Elite" refers to a clique of people with the "right" credentials and the "right" ideas and philosophy from the "right" parts of the country who are connected, look out for each other, and deny opportunities to those outside the the clique.
They also fervently believe they are intellectually and morally superior to those outside the clique, while often being completely untested in the real world, know nothing directly, and believe the fables they are told about life. Money is only a small part of it.
So, if a West Virginia hillbilly gets an advanced degree from a no-name University and starts a succesful billion dollar company, then he is "non-elite" because he doesn't have the "right" background, or connections, or ideas.
Like the rich son of a hardscrabble Queens builder who took the benefits he was given and expanded them 30 fold, instead of sitting on his keister, being a trust fund parasite, and attempting to become a member of the Hamptons/Martha's Vineyard chattering class.
Replace "elite" with "snob" and you have it about right.
Jun 08, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Global Crisis: The Convergence Of Marx, Kafka, Orwell, & Huxley by Tyler Durden Mon, 06/08/2020 - 16:45 Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print
Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,
The global crisis is not merely economic; it is the result of profound financial, sociological and political trends described by Marx, Kafka, Orwell and Huxley.
The unfolding global crisis is best understood as the convergence of the dynamics described by Marx, Kafka, Orwell and Huxley. Let's start with Franz Kafka , the writer (1883-1924) who most eloquently captured the systemic injustices of all-powerful bureaucratic institutions--the alienation experienced by the hapless citizen enmeshed in the bureaucratic web, petty officialdom's mindless persecutions of the innocent, and the intrinsic absurdity of the centralized State best expressed in this phrase: "We expect errors, not justice."
If this isn't the most insightful summary of the current moment in history, then what is? A lawyer by training and practice, Kafka understood that the the more powerful and entrenched the institution and its bureaucracy, the greater the collateral damage rained on the innocent, and the more extreme the perversion of justice.
We are living in a Kafkaesque nightmare where suspicion alone justifies the government stealing from its citizens, and an unrelated crime (possessing drug paraphernalia) is used to justify state theft.
As in a Kafkaesque nightmare, the state is above the law when it needs an excuse to steal your car or cash. There is no crime, no arrest, no due process--just the state threatening that you should shut up and be happy they don't take everything you own.
All these forms of civil forfeiture are well documented. While some would claim the worst abuses have been rectified, that is far from evident. What is evident is how long these kinds of legalized looting have been going on.
Taken: Under civil forfeiture, Americans who havenâ€™t been charged with wrongdoing can be stripped of their cash, cars, and even homes. Is that all weâ€™re losing? (2013)
Stop and Seize (six parts) (2013)
When the state steals our cash or car on mere suspicion, you have no recourse other than horrendously costly and time-consuming legal actions. So you no longer have enough money to prove your innocence now that we've declared your car and cash guilty?
Tough luck, bucko--be glad you live in a fake democracy with a fake rule of law, a fake judiciary, and a government with the officially sanctioned right to steal your money and possessions without any due process or court proceedings-- legalized looting .
They don't have to torture a confession out of you, like the NKVD/KGB did in the former Soviet Union, because your cash and car are already guilty.
This is where Orwell enters the convergence , for the State masks its stripmining and power grab with deliciously Orwellian misdirections such as "the People's Party," "democratic socialism," and so on.
Orwell understood the State's ontological imperative is expansion, to the point where it controls every level of community, markets and society. Once the State escapes the control of the citizenry, it is free to exploit them in a parasitic predation that is the mirror-image of Monopoly capital. For what is the State but a monopoly of force, coercion, data manipulation and the regulation of private monopolies?
What is the EU bureaucracy in Brussels but the perfection of a stateless State?
As Kafka divined, centralized bureaucracy has the capacity for both Orwellian obfuscation (anyone read those 1,300-page Congressional bills other than those gaming the system for their private benefit?) and systemic avarice and injustice.
The convergence boils down to this: it would be impossible to loot this much wealth if the State didn't exist to enforce the "rules" of parasitic predation.
Aldous Huxley foresaw a Central State that persuaded its people to "love their servitude" via propaganda, drugs, entertainment and information-overload. In his view, the energy required to force compliance exceeded the "cost" of persuasion, and thus the Powers That Be would opt for the power of suggestion.
He outlined this in a letter to George Orwell :"My own belief is that the ruling oligarchy will find less arduous and wasteful ways of governing and of satisfying its lust for power, and these ways will resemble those which I described in Brave New World .
Within the next generation I believe that the world's rulers will discover that infant conditioning and narco-hypnosis are more efficient, as instruments of government, than clubs and prisons, and that the lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging and kicking them into obedience."
As prescient as he was, Huxley could not have foreseen the power of mobile telephony, gaming and social media hypnosis/addiction as a conditioning mechanism for passivity and self-absorption. We are only beginning to understand the immense addictive/conditioning powers of 24/7 mobile telephony / social media.
What would we say about a drug that caused people to forego sex to check their Facebook page? What would we say about a drug that caused young men to stay glued to a computer for 40+ hours straight, an obsession so acute that some actually die? We would declare that drug to be far too powerful and dangerous to be widely available, yet mobile telephony, gaming and social media is now ubiquitous.
... ... ...
Last but not least, we come to Marx. As Marx explained, the dynamics of state-monopoly-capitalism lead to the complete dominance of capital over labor in both financial and political "markets," as wealth buys political influence which then protects and enforces capital's dominance.
Marx also saw that finance-capital would inevitably incentivize over-capacity, stripping industrial capital of pricing power and profits. Once there's more goods and services than labor can afford to buy with earnings, financialization arises to provide credit to labor to buy capital's surplus production and engineer financial gains with leveraged speculation and asset bubbles.
But since labor's earnings are stagnant or declining, there's an end-game to financialization. Capital can no longer generate any gain at all except by central banks agreeing to buy capital's absurdly over-valued assets. Though the players tell themselves this arrangement is temporary, the dynamics Marx described are fundamental and inexorable: the insanity of central banks creating currency out of thin air to buy insanely over-priced assets is the final crisis of late-stage capitalism because there is no other escape from collapse.
Having stripped labor of earnings and political power and extracted every last scrap of profit from over-capacity (i.e. globalization) and financialization, capital is now completely dependent on money-spewing central banks buying their phantom capital with newly printed currency, a dynamic that will eventually trigger a collapse in the purchasing power of the central banks' phantom capital (i.e. fiat currencies).
When there is no incentive to invest in real-world productive assets and every incentive to skim profits by front-running the Federal Reserve, capitalism is dead. Paraphrasing Wallerstein, "Capitalism is no longer attractive to capitalists."
We can see this for ourselves in the real world: if "renewable energy" was as profitable as some maintain, private capital would have rushed in to fund every project to maximize their gains from this new source of immense profits. But as Art Berman explained in Why the Renewable Rocket Has Failed To Launch , this hasn't been the case. Rather, "green energy" remains dependent on government subsidies in one form or another. If hydropower is removed from "renewables," all other renewables (solar, wind, etc.) provide only 4% of total global energy consumption.
Japan's stagnation exemplifies Marx's analysis: Japan's central bank has created trillions of yen out of thin air for 30 years and used this phantom capital to buy the over-valued assets of Japan's politically dominant state-capitalist class, a policy that has led to secular stagnation and social decline. If it weren't for China's one-off expansion, Japan's economy would have slipped into phantom capital oblivion decades ago.
Kafka, Orwell, Huxley and Marx called it, and we're living in the last-gasp stage of the cruel and unsustainable system they described. So sorry, but investing your phantom capital in FANG stocks, Tik-Tok and virtual-reality games will not save phantom capital from well-deserved oblivion.
Jun 08, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
- Racism or "White privilege"
- Police violence
- Social alienation and despair
- The liberals pouring fuel on social fires
- The infighting of the US elites/deep state
They are not about any of these because they encompass all of these issues, and more.
It is important to always keep in mind the distinction between the concepts of " cause " and "pretext". And while it is true that all the factors listed above are real (at least to some degree, and without looking at the distinction between cause and effect), none of them are the true cause of what we are witnessing. At most, the above are pretexts, triggers if you want, but the real cause of what is taking place today is the systemic collapse of the US society.
The next thing which we must also keep in mind is that evidence of correlation is not evidence of causality . Take, for example, this article from CNN entitled "US black-white inequality in 6 stark charts" which completely conflates the two concepts and which includes the following sentence (stress added) " Those disparities exist because of a long history of policies that excluded and exploited black Americans, said Valerie Wilson, director of the program on race, ethnicity and the economy at the Economic Policy Institute, a left-leaning group. " The word "because" clearly point to a causality, yet absolutely nothing in the article or data support this. The US media is chock-full of such conflations of correlation and causality, yet it is rarely denounced.
For a society, any society, to function a number of factors that make up the social contract need to be present. The exact list that make up these factors will depend on each individual country, but they would typically include some kind of social consensus, the acceptance by most people of the legitimacy of the government and its institutions, often a unifying ideology or, at least, common values, the presence of a stable middle-class, the reasonable hope for a functioning "social life", educational institutions etc. Finally, and cynically, it always helps the ruling elites if they can provide enough circuses (TV) and bread (food) to most citizens. This is even true of so-called authoritarian/totalitarian societies which, contrary to the liberal myth, typically do enjoy the support of a large segment of the population (if only because these regimes are often more capable of providing for the basic needs of society).
Right now, I would argue that the US government has almost completely lost its ability to deliver any of those factors, or act to repair the broken social contract. In fact, what we can observe is the exact opposite: the US society is highly divided, as is the US ruling class (which is even more important). Not only that, but ever since the election of Trump, all the vociferous Trump-haters have been undermining the legitimacy not only of Trump himself, but of the political system which made his election possible. I have been saying that for years: by saying "not my President" the Trump-haters have de-legitimized not only Trump personally, but also de-legitimized the Executive branch as such.
This is an absolutely amazing phenomenon: while for almost four years Trump has been destroying the US Empire externally, Trump-haters spent the same four years destroying the US from the inside! If we look past the (largely fictional) differences between the Republicrats and the Demolicans we can see that they operate like a demolition tag-team of sorts and while they hate each other with a passion, they both contribute to bringing down both the Empire and the United States. For anybody who has studied dialectics this would be very predictable but, alas, dialectics are not taught anymore, hence the stunned "deer in the headlights" look on the faces of most people today.
Finally, it is pretty clear that for all its disclaimers about supporting only the "peaceful protestors" and its condemnation of the "out of town looters", most of the US media (as well as the alt media) is completely unable to give a moral/ethical evaluation of what is taking place. What I mean by this is the following:
- obwandiyag says: Show Comment June 4, 2020 at 11:22 pm GMT Cops don't protect nothing but rich people's money. You been watching too much TV.
And this ain't nothing. Nothing. Not compared to 1967-68.
But you young people don't know nothing. Especially about history. So, no surprise there.
- Si1ver1ock says: Show Comment June 5, 2020 at 3:14 am GMT • 100 Words If I had to guess, I'd say it's the neoliberal, CIA-Obama faction vs the Trump-Military faction, (Pompeo et al)
This came to a head just as Obama-gate was picking up steam. Obama is still a player. He is the reason we have Biden for President on the Dem side, for example.
My guess is that you are seeing the power of a CIA community organizer, color-revolutionary, Jedi psyop master, pulling strings across multiple strata of society.
Trump and Obama don't like each other for some reason.
- Just another serf says: Show Comment June 5, 2020 at 4:35 am GMT • 200 Words
The Systemic Collapse of the US Society Has Begun
Begun? It's been in process for many decades. It might have begun in the early 20th century. What's new here? Focusing on recent times, jobs disappeared in the 70's. Inflation exploded at the same time. Negro antagonism began in the 60's. Replacement of the white population accelerated in 1965 and continued relentlessly to the current moment.
We are seeing the looting phase of the business known as the United States of America. Refer to an informative scene from the movie Goodfellas. The criminals got control of a business, looted it into bankruptcy and burned the place down. Except in this case there are no Italians involved. And you know who replaces them in our real life experience.
- Espinoza says: Show Comment June 5, 2020 at 6:44 am GMT It's controlled demolition. First unjustified lockdown. Then unjustified race riots. The deep state is intent on destroying Trump.
If US is divided into mutually hostile territories, guess where the majority will go. That is right. They will go to white dominated areas as they do now to white dominated neighborhoods.
Can no one stop the deep state?
- Brewer says: Show Comment June 5, 2020 at 7:17 am GMT • 100 Words Seen it all before. How short do memories have to be to forget Kent State, Rodney King, the Civil Rights protests of the sixties, Harlem riot of 1964, the Watts riot of 1965 et al ?
America is and will remain a deeply disturbed society given that their entire philosophy, lifestyle and Politics is based on consumerism. Winners (no matter how unethical) are heroes, losers (no matter how unjustly) are despised.
America will bump and grind on through bankruptcy, both morally and economically. It is the Judaic way.
Simple fact is that most Americans are ignorant of History and are therefore condemned to go on repeating the past.
Jun 08, 2020 | www.unz.com
Cyrano , says: Show Comment June 5, 2020 at 2:53 am GMTWhy (Oh, why) do the empires – or at least very successful countries collapse? The answer is actually very simple. Because the elites of such successful entities lose touch with reality.animalogic , says: Show Comment June 5, 2020 at 8:01 am GMT
The elites in every country, even the worst s ** tholes on the planet earth are always going to be OK, better than the ordinary citizens – that's the whole point of being an elite – to avoid the suffering of the common people.
And because there is no mechanism to increase the suffering of the elites in tandem with the suffering of the ordinary population – when the times are tough – the elites fail to respond to the difficulties that ordinary citizens face.
The elites start living in a fantasy world where they believe that as long as they are OK, the country is OK. But the elites are going to be OK right up to the moment the country collapses, so that's not an accurate measure of how the country is doing. The country can be in the doldrums and the elites will still be OK.
That disconnect from reality is what prevents them to undertake measures that will alleviate the plight of the majority of the population.
To make the things even worse, the elites of the enlightened west (that's how you call countries that are struck by lightning) seems to have found a way to progressively increase the benefits for themselves proportionately to the decrease of good fortunes coming the way of the common citizens, thus further removing any incentive to act on behalf of the majority of the population and further increasing the chasm that separates the haves from the have nots.@Cyrano Really good comment Cyrano.St-Germain , says: Show Comment June 5, 2020 at 11:18 am GMT
"Because the elites of such successful entities lose touch with reality."
Elites have "found a way to progressively increase the benefits for themselves proportionately to the decrease of good fortunes coming the way of the common citizens, thus further removing any incentive to act on behalf of the majority of the population and further increasing the chasm that separates the haves from the have nots."
In fact, the wealthier Elites become, the greater the chasm between them & the 99.9% becomes, the more desperate Elites come to feel about their situation. Call it subconscious guilt or conscious fear & insecurity but the richer & more powerful they feel, the more they demand -- more .
The idea that they could at least fore-stall problems by a few reforms that would cost them little (ie, a "people's QE") is unthinkable. "If we give 'em an inch, they'll demand a mile"
Such acts of sensible benevolence are felt to be demeaning & dangerous.
And further, they've spent 40 years restructuring society & economy to serve their interests, any reform now, however trivial, could undermine that structure. Reform itself is an act of self contradiction to a class that has never missed a chance to take-take-take for 40 years.
US Elites are not a tree that can bend in the wind. They are completely rigid. Only events of god-almighty significance will break them.
The current shenanigans will not do that. But, given rates of unemployment, & contraction of GDP, given the distinct possibility of vast future immiseration, current events may be the first breathe of a god almighty wind set to blow the whole shithouse down.
Unfortunately, current events are politically vacuous & offer no sign of real political conscious.
Lack of political direction can only lead to anarchy -- & anarchy is just as likely to strengthen the Elite hand as anything else.Current History , says: Show Comment June 5, 2020 at 11:53 am GMT
Irrespective of whether either faction will succeed in instrumentalizing the riots, what we are seeing today is a systemic collapse of the US society.
Amen. The collapse is systemic , it is social , and it has been gathering momentum for decades. Thank you, Saker, for pointing that out. It's about time someone above the battle invested serious thought in what's really going on in the hearts, minds and streets. Your analysis is head and shoulders above the rabble-rousing we get from parochial home-grown U.S. pundits, who deal only in labelling their personal heroes or villains du jour (Blacks, Cops, White Supremacists, Jews, Climate Change, Empire, Bat viruses, Trump, and so forth).
Those who agree with Saker's brilliant analysis and seek a deeper understanding of mechanism at work may want to consult Joseph A. Tainter's The Collapse of Complex Societies (Cambridge 1988). He invokes archaeological case studies to prove that what we are seeing is actually a function of the law of diminishing returns (which is way broader than economics). Complexity advances to a point at which the rulers' latest fixes for arising problems do more harm than good since all these separate "solutions" invariably have an unforeseen systemic effect.
At that point a system's traditional cheer-leading investment to engender social esprit and voluntary compliance for a common good is no longer credible and the ruling elite is then forced to resort to raw repression of dissent, which is much more costly than just benign propaganda. All key institutions collapse not in isolation but systemically, and chunks of a fragmenting society must spall off in order to save themselves from ruin. The inevitable systemic collapse runs its course.@Cyrano Excellent post Cyrano:Simpleguest , says: Show Comment June 5, 2020 at 12:55 pm GMT
"And because there is no mechanism to increase the suffering of the elites in tandem with the suffering of the ordinary population – when the times are tough – the elites fail to respond to the difficulties that ordinary citizens face."
As you said: That's what makes them an elite.
"The elites start living in a fantasy world where they believe that as long as they are OK, the country is OK. But the elites are going to be OK right up to the moment the country collapses, so that's not an accurate measure of how the country is doing."
And when America finally does collapse, and their "fantasy world" ends, they'll fly off in their private jet to one of their homes in New Zealand, Australia, or Switzerland.@Cyrano
The elites start living in a fantasy world where they believe that as long as they are OK, the country is OK. But the elites are going to be OK right up to the moment the country collapses, so that's not an accurate measure of how the country is doing. The country can be in the doldrums and the elites will still be OK.
That disconnect from reality is what prevents them to undertake measures that will alleviate the plight of the majority of the population.
I beg to differ a bit. This is true only as far elites are of capitalist and/or aristocratic kind. You probably draw your conclusions from the French and Russian revolutions.
However, I would argue that political elites in the former communist countries did try to reform the system for the benefit of the citizens and, after seeing their efforts fail, had the integrity to step down peacefully. The only possible exception being China where reforms were fruitfull.
Unironically, one could argue that communist elites, having no personal wealth and stakes, remained honest and true to their essential creed of serving the greater common good. When the deep crisis of socialism in 1980s seemed to require that they step down and contries abandon socialist order, they indeed steped down in the interest of the common good as it was perceived at the time.
Now we see that we may have to reconsider the whole "fall of communism" thing again, but, this theme is, off course, tangential to this article's topic.
Apr 02, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by CJ Hopkins via The Unz Review,
So the Mueller report is finally in, and it appears that hundreds of millions of Americans have, once again, been woefully bamboozled . Weird, how this just keeps on happening. At this point, Americans have to be the most frequently woefully bamboozled people in the entire history of woeful bamboozlement.
If you didn't know better, you'd think we were all a bunch of hopelessly credulous imbeciles that you could con into believing almost anything, or that our brains had been bombarded with so much propaganda from the time we were born that we couldn't really even think anymore.
That's right, as I'm sure you're aware by now, it turns out President Donald Trump, a pompous former reality TV star who can barely string three sentences together without totally losing his train of thought and barking like an elephant seal, is not, in fact, a secret agent conspiring with the Russian intelligence services to destroy the fabric of Western democracy.
After two long years of bug-eyed hysteria, Inspector Mueller came up with squat. Zip. Zero. Nichts. Nada. Or, all right, he indicted a bunch of Russians that will never see the inside of a courtroom, and a few of Trump's professional sleazebags for lying and assorted other sleazebag activities (so I guess that was worth the $25 million of taxpayers' money that was spent on this circus).
Notwithstanding those historic accomplishments, the entire Mueller investigation now appears to have been another wild goose chase (like the "search" for those non-existent WMDs that we invaded and destabilized the Middle East and murdered hundreds of thousands of people pretending to conduct in 2003). Paranoid collusion-obsessives will continue to obsess about redactions and cover-ups , but the long and short of the matter is, there will be no perp walks for any of the Trumps. No treason tribunals. No televised hangings. No detachment of Secret Service agents marching Hillary into the White House.
The jig, as they say, is up.
But let's try to look on the bright side, shall we?
... ... ...
Jun 02, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
karlof1 , Jun 1 2020 17:58 utc | 26This one better pierces the veil:
"Partisan politics has created severe divisions in society. Such divisions restrict and disturb people's thinking. People's support for a particular party is only a matter of stance, which provides a shelter to politicians who violate people's interests.
"As elections come and go, it is simply about one group of elites replacing the other. The intertwined interests between the two groups are much greater than those between the victorious one and the electorate who vote for them.
"To cover such deception, the key agenda in the US is either a partisan fight or a conflict with foreign countries. The severe racial discrimination and wealth disparities are marginalized topics."
I wonder if the writer would like to see his conclusion proven wrong:
"Judging from the superficial comments and statements from US politicians on the protests, the outsiders can easily draw the conclusion that solving problems is not on the minds of the country, and elites are just fearlessly waiting for this wave of demonstrations to die out."
In order to solve problems, one must know their components and roots, and that demands honesty in making the assessment. Looking back at the assessments of Cornel West and the producers of the Four Horsemen documentary, the main culprit is the broken political system/failed social experiment, which are essentially one in the same as the flawed system produced the failure. Most of us have determined that changing the system via the system will never work because the system has empowered a Class that has no intentions on allowing its power to be diminished, and that Class is currently using the system to further impoverish and enslave the citizenry into Debt Peonage while increasing its own power. The #1 problem is removing the Financial Parasite Class from power. Yes, at the moment that seems as difficult as destroying the Death Star's reactor before it blows up Yavin 4, but the stakes involved are every bit as high as those portrayed in Lucas's Star Wars , as the Evil of the Empire and that of the Parasite Class are the same Evil.
H.Schmatz , Jun 1 2020 18:09 utc | 27vk , Jun 1 2020 18:27 utc | 31What political demand could one possibly make by now, and of whom would you make it? Reform is impossible, and there's no legitimate authority left (if there ever was in the first place).
Posted by: Russ | Jun 1 2020 17:49 utc | 23
Indeed, apart from the shock of witnessing one of them murderd in plain daylight as if he were a vermin, I think that the people, especially young, reacted that anarchic way because they really see no future. They see how their country functions at steering wheel blows especially through the pandemic, preview they will e in the need soon, even that they will be murdered without contemeplation,and go out there to grab whatever they could...
We forget that they are under Trump regime and Trump has supported always their foes, witnessing such assassination in plain daylight, without any officila doing nothing, not even charging the obvious culprits was felt by tese people as if the hunting season on nigers and lefties" had been declared. No other way yo ucan explain the sudden union of such ammount of black and white young people. Thye felt all targets of the ops or of Trump´s white supreamcist militias after four years of being dgreaded as subhumans. In fact, were not for the riots to turn so violent, I fear carnages of all these peoples would have started.
The people, brainwashed or not, at least when they are young, still conserve some survival instincts and some common sense too.@ Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 1 2020 17:58 utc | 26Kali , Jun 1 2020 18:52 utc | 35
Yes, the republican model of organization is naturally unstable and doomed to collapse. Everybody knows what happened to the Roman Republic: tendency to polarization, civil war and collapse.
However, the reverse is also true: when the economy is flying high, every political system works. Everybody is happy when there's wealth for everybody.
The present problem, therefore, is inherent to the capitalist system, not with the republican system per se.A Story: How The Chickens Came Home To Roost
The media and politicians have repeated a mantra for years n order to gain power by exploiting social and racial faultlines. They didn't want to deal with the actual cause of societal discontent which is their own support of an exploitative economic system which disempowers and pushed down everyone but the 1%. So they invented a false cause of discontent in order to appear as saviors who are bringing a message of Hope and ChangeWhite people are racist. White people are inherently evil and greedy. THAT IS THE PROBLEM. Black and Brown people are good, Black and Brown people are victims of the racist greedy evil white people.
White people are racist. White people are inherently evil and greedy. THAT IS THE PROBLEM. Black and Brown people are good, Black and Brown people are victims of the racist greedy evil white people.
After enough time has gone by, we have a generation of young people of all colors who believe the above mantra with all their heart because of hearing that mantra every day in the media, in schools, in movies, from leaders. The media knowing that, would then look for ways to exploit their hatred of "white racism against black and brown people."
The media would sensationalize any act of violence involving white on black and brown. They ignored all the violence of black and brown on white. This uneven media reporting was based on their desire to reinforce the mantra of "white people are evil racists, black and brown people are victims and good."
Because it would paint themselves as supporters of "social justice" they created a false version of reality where everything bad in society was because of white people being racist. Never mind the actual causes of societal discontent being the exploitation by the elite. Because the media is the elite they don't want you to hate them. So they created a false victimizer they could blame for all the problems of society.
Because violence from black and brown on white was never reported by the media except in local news, people only heard from the national narrative of white violence of black and brown because people don't pay attention to local news. They grew up believing the police only abused black and brown people, they grew up believing that random street violence was only from white people against black and brown. None of which is true.
This was bound to end up with a generation of people who believed the false narrative where America is a nation where black and brown people are always the victims, and white people are always the victimizers. And as you can see in the riots, the rioters are almost all under 30. A generation has grown up being brainwashed by the mantra:White people are racist. White people are inherently evil and greedy. THAT IS THE PROBLEM. Black and Brown people are good, Black and Brown people are victims of the racist greedy evil white people.
That is why so many people are perfectly fine with the violence and looting based on a few recent incidents of white on black violence. During the same time period there was plenty of black on black violence, plenty of brown on brown violence, and plenty of black and brown on white violence. But the national media never highlights any violence but white on black and brown. That is what has led to the new normal where any violence involving white on black or brown will be blown up WAY out of proportion to the reality of violence in America. Which is an equal opportunity game. A generation of people has grown up to believe that white racism is the cause of all the problems.
Meanwhile the elites sit in their yachts and laugh. The rabble are busy fighting over race when the real issue is ignored. The media has done their job admirably. Their job is to deflect rage from the elite to racism. From wealthy exploitation of the commons, to racism. As long as the underclasses are busy blaming racism then the politicians, business leaders, and media are satisfied because they are the actual ones to blame. They are the enemy. They blame racism for all the problems as a way to hide that truth of their own culpability for the problems in society. THEIR OWN GREED AND CONTEMPT FOR THE UNDERCLASS.
May 31, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
NemesisCalling , May 31 2020 17:45 utc | 26@ vk 23
You are completely wrong, of course. What is happening now is the exact same thing as Hong Kong. In any given instance of mass revolt, you have two warring factions, usually funded at the top by diametrically opposed elites.
In Hong Kong, it is pro-western, old-guard/money versus Chinese new-guard. In America, we have the old-guard/money represented currently by the DJT-phenomenon, meaning Anti-globalist nationalists, and, on the other side, you have new-money internationalists and neolibs represented by billionaires, big-tech, the democratic party and garden-variety globalists.
Look at the degree of organization (or lack thereof) which was able to politically assassinate Gen. Flynn! You had the dem establishment and billionaires like the Clintons, Obama-faction sycophants all the way up to the top.
You think that this event is entirely grassroots? Give me a f*cking break, vk. You are such a blatantly obvious Chinese shill, no doubt probably employed by globalist entities, that the fact you are unable to employ an effective and probable analysis on these current "protests" reaffirm to me exactly what you are and what you stand for.
Blue Dotterel , May 31 2020 17:55 utc | 27@NemesisCalling | May 31 2020 17:45 utc | 26Abe , May 31 2020 18:05 utc | 30
You could also have the same oligarchs funding both sides in a divide and conquer strategy. This is a common strategy that has been used in Turkey among others in the runup to the 1980 coup. It was also used by the US and Israel in their funding of both sides in the Iran/Iraq war in the 80s.
In the former it was used to ramp up violence to justify a military coup. That is very probable here, except that martial law might be the objective. Similar to the Iran/Iraq, the stoking of violence between liberals and conservatives may simply be to wear them out for when the economy truly tanks to justify in the minds of the sheeple a greater oppression of demonstrations in future.US is becoming like Israel even more. Considering same people rule both countries, and same people train cops in both of them, is it surprising 99%-ers in US are becoming treated like Palestinians?
May 26, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
They also left worker wages stagnant and increased the deficit. Where is our more nationalist economic policy?
Much has been written about the disappointment of certain segments of the right in the apparent capitulation of Donald Trump to the agenda of the conservative establishment.
Instead of reining in the "globalist elites" he so vociferously ran against or those corporations "who have no loyalty to America," his one legislative achievement has been to award them a massive tax cut. Through it, he has maintained their favorite mix of low revenue intake and high deficits which gives Republicans a pretext to "starve the beast" and induce fiscal anorexia.
The president has granted them as well their ideal labor market through an ingenious formula: double down on mostly symbolic raids (as opposed to systemic solutions like Mandatory E-Verify) and ramp up the rhetoric about "shithole countries" to distract the media, but keep the supply of cheap, exploitable low-skill labor (legal and illegal) intact for the business lobby.
Trump ran as a populist firebrand -- a fusion of Huey Long and Ross Perot -- and while he never abandoned that style, he has governed for the most part as a milquetoast free market Republican in perfect tandem with Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, one whose solution to everything is more tax cuts and deregulation: a kind of turbo-charged "high-energy Jeb."
With the outbreak of COVID-19, many on the reformist right are hoping for the emergence of the President Trump they thought they were promised, a leader just as ready to break out of the donor-enforced "small government" straitjacket while in power as he was during the campaign.
Despite signs of progress, what's more likely is a return to business as usual. Already the GOP's impulse for austerity and parsimony is proving to be stronger than any willingness to think and act outside the box.
The heightened rhetoric against China will continue -- the one thing Trump is good at -- but it is unlikely to be matched with the required policy, such as a long-term plan to reshore U.S. industry (that doesn't just rely on blindly giving corporations the benefit of the doubt). At this point, we already know where the president's priorities lie when given a choice between the advancement of America's workers or continued labor arbitrage and carte blanche corporate handouts.
Lest they be engulfed by it like everyone else, the reformist right should ask: is there any way to stand athwart the supply-side swamp yelling Stop?
Many of these conservatives lament the Trump tax cut not just because it was a disaster that failed to spark reinvestment, left wages stagnant, needlessly blew up the deficit and served as a slush fund for stock buybacks, but more fundamentally because it betrayed the overwhelming intellectual inertia and lack of imagination that characterizes conservative policymaking.
More than in any other issue then, a distinct position on taxes would make the new conservatism truly worth distinguishing from the old: tax cuts were after all the defining policy dogma of the neoliberal Reagan era.
If neoliberalism excused inequality at home by extolling the equalization of incomes across the globe (millions of Chinese raised from poverty, while millions of American workers fall back into it!), the new position must shift emphasis back to ensuring a more equitable domestic distribution of wealth and opportunity across all classes and communities in this country.
A reformulation of fiscal policy along populist economic nationalist lines can help with that.
It is worth pondering what might have happened if the administration had gone the other way and followed the last piece of policy advice given by Steve Bannon before his ouster in August 2017. Bannon suggested raising the top marginal income tax rate to 44 percent while "arguing that it would actually hit left-wing millionaires in Silicon Valley, on Wall Street, and in Hollywood."
Such a move would have been nothing short of revolutionary: it would have been a faithful and full-blown expression of the populist economic nationalism Trump ran on; it would have presented a genuine material threat to the elite ruling class of both parties, and likely would have pre-empted the shock value of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez proposing a 70 percent top marginal rate.
It might well have put Trump on the path to becoming what Daniel Patrick Moynihan once proposed as a model for Richard Nixon when he gifted the 37th president a biography of Disraeli, namely a Tory Republican who could outsmart the left by crafting broad popular coalitions based on a blending of patriotic cultural conservatism with class-conscious economic and social policy.
Not that Trump would have needed to go back to Nixon or Disraeli for instruction on the matter. In 1999, long before Elizabeth Warren came along on the national scene, a presidential candidate eyeing the Reform Party nomination contemplated the imposition of a 14.25 percent wealth tax on America's richest citizens in order to pay off the national debt: his name was Donald Trump.
What ever happened to that guy? The Trump of 1999 was onto something. Maybe this could be a way to deal with our post-pandemic deficits.
Then and even more so now, the idea resonates: a Reuters/Ipsos poll from January found that 64 percent of Americans support a wealth tax, a majority of Republicans included. Poll after poll has reaffirmed this. It seems as if there is right-wing populist support for taxing the rich more.
To the common refrain, "the rich are just going to find ways to shelter their income or relocate it offshore," I have written elsewhere about the concrete policy measures countries can and have taken to clip the wings of mobile global capital and prevent such an outcome.
I have written as well about how taxing the rich and tightening the screws on tax enforcement have implications that go beyond the merely redistributive approach to fiscal policy conventionally favored by the left; about how it can be a form of leverage against an unaccountable investor class used to shopping at home and abroad for the most opaque assets in which to hoard vast amounts of essentially idle capital.
A deft administration would use aggressive fiscal policy as an inducement for this irresponsible class to make things right by reinvesting in such priorities as the wages and well-being of workers, the vitality of communities, the strength of strategic industries and the productivity of the real economy – or else Uncle Sam will tax their wealth and do it for them.
It would also be an assertion of national sovereignty against globalization's command for countries to stay "competitive" by immiserating their citizens with ever-lower taxes on capital holders and ever more loose and "flexible" labor markets in a never-ending race to the bottom.
Mike Lofgren has penned a marvelous essay in these pages about the virtual secession of the rich from the American nation, "with their prehensile greed, their asocial cultural values, and their absence of civic responsibility."
What better way to remind them that they are still citizens of a country and members of a society -- and not just floating streams of deracinated capital -- than by making them perform that most basic of civic duties, paying one's fair share and contributing to the commonweal? America need not revert to the 70-90 percent top marginal rates of the bolshevik administrations of Truman, Eisenhower or Kennedy, but proposals for modest moves in that direction would be welcome.
There is one more thing to be said about the significance of taxing the rich. Up until very recently, there has been a prevailing tendency among the reformist right (with some important exceptions) to couch criticism of the elites primarily or even exclusively in cultural terms. There seems to have been a polite hesitation at taking the cultural critique to its logical economic conclusions. It is easy to excoriate the excesses of elite identity politics, the "woke" part of woke capitalism; it's something all conservatives -- and indeed growing numbers of liberals and socialists -- agree on. Fish in a barrel.
But to challenge the capitalism part, i.e. free market orthodoxy, not in a secondary or tertiary way, but head on and in specific policy terms as Lofgren and a few others have done, would involve confronting difficult truths, namely that the biggest beneficiaries of tax cuts and Reaganite economic policy in general, which most conservatives enthusiastically promoted for four decades, are the selfsame decadent coastal elites they claim to oppose. It is they who more than anyone else thrive on financialized globalization, arbitrage and offshoring.
In other words, it amounts to an honest recognition of the complicity of conservatism in the mess we're in, which is perhaps a psychological bridge too far for too many on the right, reformist or not. (Trigger Warning!) This separation of culture and economics has led to the farce of a self-styled nationalist president lining the pockets of his nominal enemies, the globalist ruling class.
Already, the White House is proposing yet another gigantic corporate tax cut. Using the exact same discredited logic as the last one, senior economic advisor Larry Kudlow wants Americans to trust him when he says that halving the already lowered 2017 rate to 10.5 percent will encourage these eminently reasonable multinationals to reinvest. There he goes again.
A conservative call to tax the rich would signal that the right is ready to end this charade and chart a course toward a more patriotic, public-spirited and yes, proudly hyphenated capitalism.
Michael Cuenco is a writer on politics and policy. He has also written for American Affairs.
Kent • 3 days ago"America need not revert to the 70-90 percent top marginal rates of the bolshevik administrations of Truman, Eisenhower or Kennedy, but proposals for modest moves in that direction would be welcome."Winston Nevis Kent • 3 days ago • edited
Those tax rates were offset by direct investment in the US economy. So if I invested in the stock market, I'd get a 90% tax rate because that doesn't produce actual wealth. On the other hand, if I invested in building factories that created thousands of jobs for American citizens, my tax rate may fall to 0%. And those policies created a fantastic economy that we oldsters remember as the golden age. That wasn't bolshevism, it was competitive capitalism. What we have today is libertarianism. And as long as conservatives are going to let the libertarian boogey-man's nose under the tent, we are going to have this ugly, bifurcated economy. Your choice. Man up.You ever tell hear of sarcasm, bud? I think that's what the author was going for. Don't think he was trying to say that Ike and Truman were Bolsheviks but was rather making fun of libertarians who hyperbolically associate high tax rates with socialism and Soviet Communism...K squared Winston Nevis • 3 days agoPlenty of goldwater's supporters in 1964 called President Eisenhower a communistGAguilar K squared • 2 days agoParticularly the John Birchers, including my parents!SKPeterson Kent • 3 days ago • editedWe absolutely do not have libertarianism operating in this country today. There is simply no evidence that there is any sort of libertarian economic or political system in place. Oh sure, you'll whine "but globalism without actually defining what globalism is, or what is wrong about precisely, but just that it's somehow wrong and that libertarians are to blame for it. There's a good word for such an argument: bullshit.marku52 SKPeterson • 3 days ago
We have an economy that is extraordinarily dominated by the state via mandates, regulations, and monetary interference that is most decidedly not libertarian in any way whatsoever. The current system though does create and perpetuate a system of rent-seeking cronies who conform rather nicely to the descriptions of said actors by Buchanan and Tullock. The problems of the modern economy are the result of state interference, not its absence, and Cuenco's sorry policy prescriptions do nothing to minimize the state but instead just create a different set of rent-seeking cronies for which the wealth and incomes of the nation are to be expropriated.O dear, No True Scotsman....SKPeterson marku52 • 2 days agoIf you can point to how the current situation is in any way "libertarian" without creating your own perfect little lazy straw man definition then by all means do so. Until then your retort is withoutcka2nd SKPeterson • 3 days ago
substance (you see a no true Scotsman reply doesn't work if the facts are in the favor of the person supposedly making such an argument. Here you fail to establish why what I said is such a case; saying it doesn't make it so). When Kent makes some throwaway comment that we're somehow living in some sort of libertarian era he's full of it, you know it, and all you can do is provide some weak "no true Scotsman" defense? Come on and man up, stop appealing to artificial complaints of fallacious argumentation, and give me an actual solid argument with evidence beyond "this is so libertarian" that we're living in some libertarian golden age that's driving the oppression of the masses.Busted unions, contracting out and privatization, deregulation of vast swaths of the economy since the late 1970's (Jimmy Carter has gotten kudos from libertarian writers for his de-regulatory efforts), lowered tax rates, especially on financial speculation and concentrated wealth, a blind eye or shrugged shoulder to anti-trust law and corporate consolidation. Yeah, nothing to see here, no partial victories for the libertarian wings of the ruling class or the GOP, at all. The Koch Brothers accomplished nothing, absolutely nothing, since David was the Libertarian Party's nominee for Vice President in 1980; all that money gone to waste. Sure.SKPeterson cka2nd • 2 days agoSo, now some sort of "partial victory" means we're living in some sort of libertarian era? And what exactly was so wonderful about all the things you listed being perpetuated? So, union "busting" is terrible, but union corruption was a great part of our national solidarity and should have been protected? Deregulation of vast swathes of the economy? You mean the elimination of government controlled cartels in the form of trucking and airlines? You mean the sorts of things that have enabled the working class folks you supposedly favor to travel to places that were previously out of reach for them and only accessible to the rich for their vacations? Yes, that's truly terrible. Again, you're on the side of the little guy, right? Lowered taxes? Are you seriously going to argue that the traditional conservative position has been for high tax rates? What are taxes placed upon? People and property. What do conservatives want to protect? People and property. So... arguing for higher taxes or saying that low taxes are bad or even especially, libertarian, is really going off the rails. That's just bad reasoning. And regarding financialization, those weren't especially libertarian in their enacting, but rather flow directly out of the consequences of the modern Progressive implementation of neo-Keynesian monetary and fiscal policy. Suffice it to say, I don't think you'll find too many arguments from libertarians that the policies encouraging financialization were good or followed libertarian economic policy prescriptions. Moreover, they led entirely to the repulsive "too big to fail" situation and if there's one thing that libertarians hold to is that there is no such thing (or shouldn't be) as "too big to fail." The objection to anti-trust law is that it was regularly abused and actually created government-protected firms that harmed consumers. If you think anti-trust laws are good things and should be supported by conservatives then by all means encourage Joe Biden to have Elizabeth Warren as his vice-presidential running mate and go vote Democrat this fall.Blood Alcohol SKPeterson • 3 days ago"The problems of the modern economy are the result of state interference, not its absence". That's because the "state interference" is working as proxy for the interests of vulture capitalist.DUNK Blood Alcohol • 2 days ago • edited
What we have today is vulture capitalism as opposed to free enterprise capitalism.You could also call it "crony capitalism" or "inverted totalitarianism".GAguilar DUNK • 2 days ago
Chris Hedges: "Sheldon Wolin and Inverted Totalitarianism" (November 2, 2015)Princeton professor Sheldon Wolin's excellent book is entitled, "Democracy Incorporated."SKPeterson Blood Alcohol • 2 days ago
He lays out how we're living in a totalitarian, capitalist surveillance state, as if that's not already obvious to most people around here.Exactly. The existence of a vulture capitalist or crony capitalist economy, which we have in many sectors, is evidence that "libertarianism" is nothing more than a convenient totem to invoke as a rationale for complaint against the outcomes of the existing crony capitalist state of affairs. My contention is that Cuenco, et al are simply advocating for a replacement of the cronies and vultures.1701 • 3 days agoA very similar article(but probably coming at it from a slightly different angle) wouldn't look out of place in a socialist publication.bumbershoot • 3 days ago
The culture war really is a pointless waste of time that keeps working class people from working towards a common solution to shared problems.Trump wants to "keep the supply of cheap, exploitable low-skill labor (legal and illegal) intact for the business lobby."SKPeterson • 3 days ago
Well of course he does -- otherwise how would he staff Mar-A-Lago and other Trump Organization businesses?I used to think that conservatism was about protecting private property and not, like Cuenco, in coming up with ever more excuses for expropriating it.Kent SKPeterson • 3 days agoNo, that's libertarianism (or more properly propertarianism). Conservatism is first and foremost about responsibility to God, community, family and self. Property is only of value in its utility towards a means.GAguilar Kent • 2 days ago • editedAs I see it, here are examples of how "conservatives" have actually practiced their "responsibility to God, community, family and self":AdmBenson SKPeterson • 2 days ago
The genocide of Native Americans
The slavery and murder of blacks
Their opposition to child labor laws, to womens' suffrage, etc.
Their support of Jim Crow laws
Their opposition to ending slavery and opposition to desegregation
Opposition to Civil Liberties Laws
Willingness to block, or curtail, voting rights.
Hyping the "imminent threat" of an ever more powerful communist menace bearing
down on us from the late 40s to the "unanticipated" collapse of the
USSR in '91. All of which was little more than endless "threat inflation" used
by our defense industry-corporate kleptocrats to justify monstrous increases
in deficits that have been "invested" in our meddlesome, murderous militarism all around the world, with the torture and deaths of millions from S. E. Asia, to Indonesia, to Latin America, to the Middle East, to Africa, etc.
Violations of privacy rights (conservative hero J. Edgar Hoover's illegal domestic surveillance and acts of domestic terrorism, "justified" by
his loopy paranoia about commies on every corner and under every bed.)
Toppling of democracies to install totalitarian despots in Iran
("Ike" '53), Guatemala (Ike, again, '54), Chile (Nixon '73), Brazil (LBJ, '64) and many, many more countries.
Strong support of the Vietnam War, the wars in Laos and Cambodia, and the Iraq War, which, according to conservative W. Bush, God had inspired.
The myriad "dirty wars" we've fought around the world, and not only in Latin America.
With a few, notable exceptions, conservatives have routinely been on the wrong side of these issues. For the most part, it has been the left, particularly the "hard left," that has gotten it right."conservatism was about protecting private property"SKPeterson AdmBenson • 2 days ago
You're conflating conservatism and libertarianism. Conservatives realize they are citizens of a country. Libertarians wish they weren't.So conservatism should be entirely about taking people's property "for the good of the country"? That the purpose of a country is to loot the people? That the people exist for the government and not the government for the people? Seems Edmund Burke and Russell Kirk would like to have a word with you Adm.Winston Nevis SKPeterson • 2 days ago • edited
To quote Kirk as just one example of your fundamental error:Seventh, conservatives are persuaded that freedom and property are closely linked . [Apparently, Adm. you dispute Kirk's assertion and accuse him thereby of conflating libertarianism and conservatism. Yes, I know Kirk was a hater of the idea of patriotism, but he was such a raging libertarian what else could he do?] Separate property from private possession, and Leviathan becomes master of all. Upon the foundation of private property, great civilizations are built. The more widespread is the possession of private property, the more stable and productive is a commonwealth. Economic levelling [this is the outcome of Cuenco's policy prescriptions by the way] , conservatives maintain, is not economic progress. Getting and spending are not the chief aims of human existence; but a sound economic basis for the person, the family, and the commonwealth is much to be desired.
So, either "Mr. Conservative" Russell Kirk wasn't really a conservative but a man who horribly conflated libertarianism and conservatism, or we can say that Kirk was a conservative and that he recognized the protection of private property as crucial in minimizing the control and reach of the Leviathan state. If the latter holds, then maybe what we've established is that AdmBenson isn't particularly conservative."The more widespread is the possession of private property, the more stable and productive is a commonwealth." This status quo has produced precisely the opposite of this. Wealth, assets, capital has been captured by the elite. The pitchforks are coming. See this CBO chart: View HideAdmBenson SKPeterson • 2 days agoConservatives accept taxes as a part of citizenship. Since taxes can't be avoided, a conservative insists on democratic representation and has a general desire to get maximum bang for their taxpayer buck.SKPeterson AdmBenson • 2 days ago
Libertarians, on the other hand, see everything through the lens of an individual's property rights. Taxes and regulation are infringements on those rights, so a libertarian is always at war with their own government. They're not interested in bang for their taxpayer buck, they just want the government to go away. I can't fault people for believing this way, but I can point out that it is severely faulty as the operating philosophy beyond anything but a small community.
As for me not being particularly conservative, ya got me. It really depends on time of day and the level of sunspot activity.Sunspots, eh? And here I thought it was your reliance on tinfoil.AdmBenson SKPeterson • 2 days agoThe tinfoil and the mask were scaring people. The tinfoil had to go, but that's had side effects.SKPeterson AdmBenson • 2 days agoI should have put the /s on my reply, but your response did give me a good chuckle. Besides, for that finger pointing at you, there were three more pointing back at me.JMWB • 3 days agoAnd somehow people continually fall for the Trickle Down economic theory. George HW Bush was correct when he called this VooDoo economics. Fiscal irresponsibility at it's finest.Victor_the_thinker JMWB • 3 days agoNah people don't fall for it, republicans do. The rest of us know this stuff doesn't work. We didn't need an additional datapoint to realize that. The Tax Cuts and Jobs act was the single most unpopular piece of legislation to ever pass since polling began. It never had support outside of the Republican Party which is why it's never had majority support.Blood Alcohol JMWB • 3 days ago
https://news.gallup.com/pol...John Kenneth Galbraith called Trickle Down "economics", "Oats and Horse Economics". If you feed the horse a lot of oats, eventually some be left on the road...Nelson • 3 days agoThe leader of Republicans isn't Trump. It's Mitch McConnell.J Villain Nelson • 3 days agoMitch is fully owned by Trump as is every republican that holds office except Romney. Mitch can't go to the bathroom with out asking Trumps permission.Nelson J Villain • 3 days agoMitch is owned by corporations and he likes it that way. He basically says as much whenever campaign finance reform pops up and he defends the status quo.aha! Nelson • 2 hours agoYep. The guy who declared war on the Tea Party. The guy who changed his tune entirely about China when he married into the family of a shipping magnate.SeekingTruth • 3 days agoI'm eagerly awaiting a GOP plan for economic restructuring. I've been waiting for decade(s). Surely there is someone in the entire body of think tanks, congressional staffers, and political class that can propose a genuine and comprehensive plan for how to rebalance production, education, and technology for the better of ALL Americans. Surely...Tradcon SeekingTruth • 3 days agoAmerican Affairs (the policy journal this author writes for) and The American Compass are both very good.cka2nd SeekingTruth • 3 days agoI honestly wonder if Jack Kemp might have had a "Road to Damascus" conversion away from his pseudo-libertarian and supply side economic convictions if he had lived through the decade after the Great Recession. Probably not, given his political and economic activity up until his death.Barry_II • 3 days ago"They also left worker wages stagnant and increased the deficit. Where is our more nationalist economic policy?"Name • 3 days ago
In your dreams, just like those many large projects which Trump drove into bankruptcy.
Right alongside the money owed to the many people he's stiffed.So after 30 years or more of " globalism" , the GOP is adopting Bernie Sanderism?Johnny Larue Name • 3 days agoUh, no.Name Johnny Larue • 2 days agoUh, it seems so. Did you even read?TheSnark • 3 days ago • editedTrump pushed the tax cut because it saves him at least $20 million each year in taxes, probably closer to $50 million. That's the only reason he does anything, because he benefits personally.kouroi • 3 days agoThank you very much for posting the link to the wonderful essay by Mike Lofgren. Written 8 years ago it feels even more actual than then. I have bookmarked it for future reference.Kent kouroi • 3 days ago
Looking at the US it always comes to my mind the way Rome and then Byzantium fell: a total erosion of the tax-base the rich refused to pay anything to the imperial coffers, and then some of the rich had land bigger than some modern countries... And then the barbarians came...And, by then, the population welcomed the barbarians.kouroi Kent • 3 days agoLikely true, with some exceptions... The Huns - and on that one I keep wondering if there isn't a whiff of "Yellow Peril" smell in all that outcry...Ray Woodcock kouroi • 2 days ago • editedLofgren: "What I mean by secession is a withdrawal into enclaves, an internal immigration, whereby the rich disconnect themselves from the civic life of the nation and from any concern about its well being except as a place to extract loot."kouroi Ray Woodcock • 2 days ago
That was in 2012, but that was what struck me about my well-to-do classmates when I transferred from Cal State Long Beach to Columbia University in 1977 . Suddenly I was among people who saw America, American laws, and a shared sense of civic responsibility as quaint, bothersome, rather tangential to the project of promoting oneself and/or one's special interest.Cold, eh mate? Reptiles, lizards...?Adriana Pena • 3 days agoDid you ever hope that Trump would do what you wanted? You are adorablesam • 3 days agoThe only way that factories would come back is when Americans start buying made in America. We can't wait for ANY government to bring those factories and jobs ( and technology) . Only people voting with their pocketbooks can do it.J Villain • 3 days agoStill waiting for the day the first American asks "What have WE done wrong?" Rather than just following in Trumps step and playing the victim card every step of the way and wondering why nothing gets better.Blood Alcohol J Villain • 3 days agonuffsaid. The blood is on everyone's hands.
May 22, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Joe B , May 23 2020 0:23 utc | 43... ... ...
That article notes "The so called 'pro-democracy' parties in Hong Kong have lost in each and every local election. The pro-China parties always receive a majority of votes" so that is the issue to be cited.
2. The political issue presented by the US is of the legitimacy of secession of an alleged democracy from what it alleges is not a democracy. Governments never permit secession, whether legitimate or not, so US action would be provocation with only symbolic effect.
If the US was a democracy and the PRC was a tyranny, the US claim would be at least ethical. But the US form of government is bribery via political parties, masquerading as democracy to keep the proles in line. It simply claims that the PRC is not as much of a democracy, to a public that has no information on that. So the missing ethical issue is: is the PRC more of a democracy, some kind of democracy, etc.?
May 15, 2020 | www.unz.com
450.org , says: Show Comment May 14, 2020 at 12:29 pm GMTCase in point. America has a surveillance state but it refuses to use it to save lives. Instead, it uses it to save Wall Street and protect the extractive elite from any TRUE REAL threat. I relish the notion of this virus running rampant across America until it ravages, and decimates actually, the Praetorian Guard Class, the managerial class if you will, that licks the ass of the extractive elite for some bread crust, discarded steak fat and a Tesla. I want to see them truly suffer for their sins.
After weeks cooped up at home following governors' orders to contain the coronavirus outbreak, U.S. residents appear eager to get moving again. As more states began to relax restrictions, about 25 million more people ventured outside their homes on an average day last week than during the preceding six weeks, a New York Times analysis of cellphone data found .
In nearly every part of the country, the share of people staying home dropped, in some places by nearly 11 percentage points.
As the death toll from this pandemic rises in America with no end in sight, Wall Street, as reflected in the DJIA, doesn't even blink and actually cheers. It doesn't get any sicker than that. Wall Street sees the carnage as an opportunity to make more profit off of death and the extractive elite see it as an opportunity to concentrate wealth even further and rid the world of burdensome useless eaters. It's sick. It's sadistic. It's malevolent. It's evil. It's our reality.
Damn them all to hell.
May 14, 2020 | www.unz.com
Realist , says: Show Comment May 14, 2020 at 11:01 am GMTTom , says: Show Comment May 14, 2020 at 11:37 am GMT
A Bicephalous Monoparty and the Four Pillars
Yes the Deep State is a two sided coin. One side Republicans, the other Democrats.
The Deep State doesn't care about the unimportant internecine squabbles of the two parties as long as their important issues (wealth and power) are advanced. As a matter of fact it strengthens the false perception that there is a choice when voting.Fred nails it to the wall here. We're free to argue what color the Titanic should be paintedAnonymous  Disclaimer , says: Show Comment May 14, 2020 at 12:34 pm GMT
but don't dare mention the iceberg. When you cross the line on social media, the neo-Hundred Roses campaign has it all for the day that they decide to really clip your wings.
Even off-limits dissidence is encouraged in certain quarters so as to identify those with views inimical to the official state narratives. So you see, free speech can be a tool of the Leviathan State to enslave its enemies. The intrepid Winston Smith's of this site and everywhere beware!Hermetic control of information isn't needed, and would be noticed.450.org , says: Show Comment May 14, 2020 at 12:54 pm GMT
Hermetic control of information is precisely what is needed and also achieved by the faux left-right shadow boxing on TV news that predictably converges on the identical narrative during events like 9-11 and CV-19.
In almost 100% of the cases from what I can tell, CNN or MSNBC fields the narrative and then Fox News suffocates reaction with maundering imbecilities about democracy being our greatest strength when, in truth, it now guarantees extermination in our own land -- thanks also to the Republican stooges' empty handwringing that amounts to their assent as well.Trump supporters love them some totalitarianism. The East Germany model of democratic capitalism, right?vot tak , says: Show Comment May 14, 2020 at 3:13 pm GMT
McConnell and Trump are Siamese Twins. This is Trump as much as it's McConnell. Trump, who has repeatedly decried the FBI and thrown it under the bus, wants to empower it and retool it into a brownshirt organization as if it isn't already. Trump supporters want tyranny. They want totalitarianism. They just want their brand of it. Their own shade of totalitarian lipstick so to speak. Hypocrites. Fools. Numbskulls. Scumbags.
Two independent sources provided a copy of the amendment to Reason. As Ackerman reported, the amendment would give the FBI the authority under the PATRIOT Act to secretly collect the browsing records and search history of Americans without a warrant.
McConnell's amendment accomplishes this by adding the words "internet website browsing records, internet search history records" to the list of records described in FISA law that covers FBI searches that require businesses to provide customer records. In other words, this amendment would permit the FBI to turn to your internet provider and demand they fork over your browser history."We have now listed the fundamentals of American government."
No you have not. Fundamental #1 is that the government is essentially a subsidiary of big business, and operated as an enforcement and regulatory tool. U.s. government is mostly a front which oligarchic corporate/capitalist power sits behind to wield their power. IE: it is business that uses government for their ends, and not the other way around, government wielding business, as Reed appears to posit here in his discussion of how american government works.
May 06, 2020 | www.unz.com
Debates like the 5G one have not emerged in a vacuum. They come at a moment of unprecedented information dissemination that derives from a decade of rapid growth in social media. We are the first societies to have access to data and information that was once the preserve of monarchs, state officials and advisers, and in more recent times a few select journalists.
Now rogue academics, rogue journalists, rogue former officials -- anyone, in fact -- can go online and discover a myriad of things that until recently no one outside a small establishment circle was ever supposed to understand. If you know where to look, you can even find some of this stuff on Wikipedia (see, for example, Operation Timber Sycamore ).
The effect of this information overload has been to disorientate the great majority of us who lack the time, the knowledge and the analytical skills to sift through it all and make sense of the world around us. It is hard to discriminate when there is so much information -- good and bad alike -- to digest.
Nonetheless, we have got a sense from these online debates, reinforced by events in the non-virtual world, that our politicians do not always tell the truth, that money -- rather than the public interest -- sometimes wins out in decision-making processes, and that our elites may be little better equipped than us -- aside from their expensive educations -- to run our societies.
Two decades of lies
There has been a handful of staging posts over the past two decades to our current era of the Great Disillusionment. They include:the lack of transparency in the US government's investigation into the events surrounding 9/11 (obscured by a parallel online controversy about what took place that day); the documented lies told about the reasons for launching a disastrous and illegal war of aggression against Iraq in 2003 that unleashed regional chaos, waves of destabilising migration into Europe and new, exceptionally brutal forms of political Islam; the astronomical bailouts after the 2008 crash of bankers whose criminal activities nearly bankrupted the global economy (but who were never held to account) and instituted more than a decade of austerity measures that had to be paid for by the public; the refusal by western governments and global institutions to take any leadership on tackling climate change , as not only the science but the weather itself has made the urgency of that emergency clear, because it would mean taking on their corporate sponsors; and now the criminal failures of our governments to prepare for, and respond properly to, the Covid-19 pandemic, despite many years of warnings.
Anyone who still takes what our governments say at face value well, I have several bridges to sell you.
Experts failed us
But it is not just governments to blame. The failings of experts, administrators and the professional class have been all too visible to the public as well. Those officials who have enjoyed easy access to prominent platforms in the state-corporate media have obediently repeated what state and corporate interests wanted us to hear, often only for that information to be exposed later as incomplete, misleading or downright fabricated.
In the run-up to the 2003 attack on Iraq, too many political scientists, journalists and weapons experts kept their heads down, keen to preserve their careers and status, rather than speak up in support of those rare experts like Scott Ritter and the late David Kelly who dared to sound the alarm that we were not being told the whole truth.
In 2008, only a handful of economists was prepared to break with corporate orthodoxy and question whether throwing money at bankers exposed as financial criminals was wise, or to demand that these bankers be prosecuted. The economists did not argue the case that there must be a price for the banks to pay, such as a public stake in the banks that were bailed out, in return for forcing taxpayers to massively invest in these discredited businesses. And the economists did not propose overhauling our financial systems to make sure there was no repetition of the economic crash. Instead, they kept their heads down as well, in the hope that their large salaries continued and that they would not lose their esteemed positions in think-tanks and universities.
We know that climate scientists were quietly warning back in the 1950s of the dangers of runaway global warming, and that in the 1980s scientists working for the fossil-fuel companies predicted very precisely how and when the catastrophe would unfold -- right about now. It is wonderful that today the vast majority of these scientists are publicly agreed on the dangers, even if they are still trapped in a dangerous caution by the conservatism of scientific procedure. But they forfeited public trust by leaving it so very, very late to speak up.
And recently we have learnt, for example, that a series of Conservative governments in the UK recklessly ran down the supplies of hospital protective gear , even though they had more than a decade of warnings of a coming pandemic. The question is why did no scientific advisers or health officials blow the whistle earlier. Now it is too late to save the lives of many thousands, including dozens of medical staff, who have fallen victim so far to the virus in the UK.
Lesser of two evils
Worse still, in the Anglosphere of the US and the UK, we have ended up with political systems that offer a choice between one party that supports a brutal, unrestrained version of neoliberalism and another party that supports a marginally less brutal, slightly mitigated version of neoliberalism. (And we have recently discovered in the UK that, after the grassroots membership of one of those twinned parties managed to choose a leader in Jeremy Corbyn who rejected this orthodoxy, his own party machine conspired to throw the election rather than let him near power.) As we are warned at each election, in case we decide that elections are in fact futile, we enjoy a choice -- between the lesser of two evils.
Those who ignore or instinctively defend these glaring failings of the modern corporate system are really in no position to sit smugly in judgment on those who wish to question the safety of 5G, or vaccines, or the truth of 9/11, or the reality of a climate catastrophe, or even of the presence of lizard overlords.
Because through their reflexive dismissal of doubt, of all critical thinking on anything that has not been pre-approved by our governments and by the state-corporate media, they have helped to disfigure the only yardsticks we have for measuring truth or falsehood. They have forced on us a terrible choice: to blindly follow those who have repeatedly demonstrated they are not worthy of being followed, or to trust nothing at all, to doubt everything. Neither position is one a healthy, balanced individual would want to adopt. But that is where we are today.
Big Brother regimes
It is therefore hardly surprising that those who have been so discredited by the current explosion of information -- the politicians, the corporations and the professional class -- are wondering how to fix things in the way most likely to maintain their power and authority.
They face two, possibly complementary options.
One is to allow the information overload to continue, or even escalate. There is an argument to be made that the more possible truths we are presented with, the more powerless we feel and the more willing we are to defer to those most vocal in claiming authority. Confused and hopeless, we will look to father figures, to the strongmen of old, to those who have cultivated an aura of decisiveness and fearlessness, to those who look like down-to-earth mavericks and rebels.
This approach will throw up more Donald Trumps, Boris Johnsons and Jair Bolsonaros. And these men, while charming us with their supposed lack of orthodoxy, will still, of course, be exceptionally accommodating to the most powerful corporate interests -- the military-industrial complex -- that really run the show.
The other option, which has already been road-tested under the rubric of "fake news", will be to treat us, the public, like irresponsible children, who need a firm, guiding hand. The technocrats and professionals will try to re-establish their authority as though the last two decades never occurred, as though we never saw through their hypocrisy and lies.
They will cite "conspiracy theories" -- even the true ones -- as proof that it is time to impose new curbs on internet freedoms, on the right to speak and to think. They will argue that the social media experiment has run its course and proved itself a menace -- because we, the public, are a menace. They are already flying trial balloons for this new Big Brother world, under cover of tackling the health threats posed by the Covid-19 epidemic.
Surveillance a price worth paying to beat coronavirus, says Blair thinktank https://t.co/AAb1nnv4pG
-- Guardian news (@guardiannews) April 24, 2020
We should not be surprised that the "thought-leaders" for shutting down the cacophony of the internet are those whose failures have been most exposed by our new freedoms to explore the dark recesses of the recent past. They have included Tony Blair, the British prime minister who lied western publics into the disastrous and illegal war on Iraq in 2003, and Jack Goldsmith, rewarded as a Harvard law professor for his role -- since whitewashed -- in helping the Bush administration legalise torture and step up warrantless surveillance programmes.
Fmr. Bush admin lawyer/current Harvard Law prof Jack Goldsmith goes full-Thomas Friedman, credits China's enlightened authoritarian approach to information as "largely right" and laments the US' provincial fealty to the First Amendment as "largely wrong." https://t.co/1WyQtgE8bK pic.twitter.com/1M03ybxh0I
-- Anthony L. Fisher (@anthonyLfisher) April 26, 2020
Need for a new media
The only alternative to a future in which we are ruled by Big Brother technocrats like Tony Blair, or by chummy authoritarians who brook no dissent, or a mix of the two, will require a complete overhaul of our societies' approach to information. We will need fewer curbs on free speech, not more.
The real test of our societies -- and the only hope of surviving the coming emergencies, economic and environmental -- will be finding a way to hold our leaders truly to account. Not based on whether they are secretly lizards, but on what they are doing to save our planet from our all-too-human, self-destructive instinct for acquisition and our craving for guarantees of security in an uncertain world.
That, in turn, will require a transformation of our relationship to information and debate. We will need a new model of independent, pluralistic, responsive, questioning media that is accountable to the public, not to billionaires and corporations. Precisely the kind of media we do not have now. We will need media we can trust to represent the full range of credible, intelligent, informed debate, not the narrow Overton window through which we get a highly partisan, distorted view of the world that serves the 1 per cent -- an elite so richly rewarded by the current system that they are prepared to ignore the fact that they and we are hurtling towards the abyss.
With that kind of media in place -- one that truly holds politicians to account and celebrates scientists for their contributions to collective knowledge, not their usefulness to corporate enrichment -- we would not need to worry about the safety of our communications systems or medicines, we would not need to doubt the truth of events in the news or wonder whether we have lizards for rulers, because in that kind of world no one would rule over us. They would serve the public for the common good.
Sounds like a fantastical, improbable system of government? It has a name: democracy. Maybe it is time for us finally to give it a go.
Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His books include "Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East" (Pluto
May 05, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.orgThe dems are incapable of finding a credible stand in for Biden. Some flunky might come to the fore but thet will most likely be the result of a 'committee' decision as the dems have cancelled democracy and decency.
Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 5 2020 18:31 utc | 4
Jackrabbit , May 5 2020 20:31 utc | 15Seeing everyone get worked up over Biden is funny. Do you think you'll get a better candidate? Bernie dropped out for a reason. He was never a real candidate. There will not be any real candidate for change.ptb , May 5 2020 19:09 utc | 9
Killary's pretended "health problems" in 2016 seem like a fore-shadowing of Biden's. May be she really is the ultimately "the one" in 2020.
All we can do is watch and LOL.
!!burnemall , May 5 2020 19:17 utc | 10
nah, as long as DC Democrats run the show, it'll be Biden all the way.
VP nominee: Jeb Bush in drag.Burn em all!Elephant , May 5 2020 19:20 utc | 11It doesn't matter who the nominee is, and that's true for both parties. As I believe we all know, Wall Street, the military-industrial complex and, to some extent, the bureaucracy, are what drives the agenda. The goons heading up the parade are simply an odd form of bread and circus.Lozion , May 5 2020 19:30 utc | 12I say its time for Cthulhu.Jen , May 5 2020 20:08 utc | 14
After all, Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn..
Right?Lozion @ 14:
Cthulhu couldn't destroy the US any more than its politicians and other leaders in its other institutions (in education, in the entertainment and media industries, in the financial sector, in the defence industry) have already done so perhaps his time has come.
Yog Sothoth for Vice President!
Apr 30, 2020 | www.informationclearinghouse.info
Previously undisclosed documents in the case of former national security adviser Michael Flynn offer us a chilling blueprint on how top FBI officials not only sought to entrap the former White House aide but sought to do so on such blatantly unconstitutional and manufactured grounds.
These new documents further undermine the view of both the legitimacy and motivations of those investigations under former FBI director James Comey. For all of those who have long seen a concerted effort within the Justice Department to target the Trump administration, the fragments will read like a Dead Sea Scrolls version of a "deep state" conspiracy.
One note reflects discussions within the FBI shortly after the 2016 election on how to entrap Flynn in an interview concerning his conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. According to Fox News, the note was written by the former FBI head of counterintelligence, Bill Priestap, after a meeting with Comey and his deputy director, Andrew McCabe.
The note states, "What is our goal? Truth and admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired?" This may have expressed an honest question over the motivation behind this targeting of Flynn, a decision for which Comey later publicly took credit when he had told an audience that he decided he could "get away" with sending "a couple guys over" to the White House to set up Flynn and make the case.
The new documents also explore how the Justice Department could get Flynn to admit breaking the Logan Act, a law that dates back to from 1799 which makes it a crime for a citizen to intervene in disputes between the United States and foreign governments. It has never been used to convict a citizen and is widely viewed as flagrantly unconstitutional.
In his role as the national security adviser to the president elect, there was nothing illegal in Flynn meeting with Kislyak. To use this abusive law here was utterly absurd, although other figures such as former acting Attorney General Sally Yates also raised it. Nevertheless, the FBI had latched onto this abusive law to target the retired Army lieutenant general .
Another newly released document is an email from former FBI lawyer Lisa Page to former FBI special agent Peter Strzok, who played the leadership role in targeting Flynn. In the email, Page suggests that Flynn could be set up by making a passing reference to a federal law that criminalizes lies to federal investigators. She suggested to Strzok that "it would be an easy way to just casually slip that in." So this effort was not about protecting national security or learning critical intelligence. It was about bagging Flynn for the case in the legal version of a canned trophy hunt.
It is also disturbing that this evidence was only recently disclosed by the Justice Department. When Flynn was pressured to plead guilty to a single count of lying to investigators, he was unaware such evidence existed and that the federal investigators who had interviewed him told their superiors they did not think that Flynn intentionally lied when he denied discussing sanctions against Russia with Kislyak. Special counsel Robert Mueller and his team changed all that and decided to bring the dubious charge. They drained Flynn financially then threatened to charge his son.
Flynn never denied the conversation and knew the FBI had a transcript of it. Indeed, President Trump publicly discussed a desire to reframe Russian relations and renegotiate such areas of tensions. But Flynn still ultimately pleaded guilty to the single false statement to federal investigators. This additional information magnifies the doubts over the case.
Various FBI officials also lied and acted in arguably criminal or unethical ways, but all escaped without charges. McCabe had a supervisory role in the Flynn prosecution. He was then later found by the Justice Department inspector general to have repeatedly lied to investigators. While his case was referred for criminal charges, McCabe was fired but never charged. Strzok was also fired for his misconduct in the investigation.
Comey intentionally leaked FBI material, including potentially classified information but was never charged. Another FBI agent responsible for the secret warrants used for the Russia investigation had falsified evidence to maintain the investigation. He is still not indicted. The disconnect of these cases with the treatment of Flynn is galling and grotesque.
Even the judge in the case has added to this disturbing record. As Flynn appeared before District Judge Emmet Sullivan for sentencing, Sullivan launched into him and said he could be charged with treason and with working as an unregistered agent on behalf of Turkey. Pointing to a flag behind him, Sullivan declared to Flynn, "You were an unregistered agent of a foreign country while serving as the national security adviser to the president of the United States. That undermines everything this flag over here stands for. Arguably, you sold your country out."
Flynn was never charged with treason or with being a foreign agent. But when Sullivan menacingly asked if he wanted a sentence then and there, Flynn wisely passed. It is a record that truly shocks the conscience. While rare, it is still possible for the district court to right this wrong since Flynn has not been sentenced. The Justice Department can invite the court to use its inherent supervisory authority to right a wrong of its own making. As the Supreme Court made clear in 1932, "universal sense of justice" is a stake in such cases. It is the "duty of the court to stop the prosecution in the interest of the government itself to protect it from the illegal conduct of its officers and to preserve the purity of its courts."
Flynn was a useful tool for everyone and everything but justice. Mueller had ignored the view of the investigators and coerced Flynn to plead to a crime he did not commit to gain damaging testimony against Trump and his associates that Flynn did not have. The media covered Flynn to report the flawed theory of Russia collusion and to foster the view that some sort of criminal conspiracy was being uncovered by Mueller. Even the federal judge used Flynn to rail against what he saw as a treasonous plot. What is left in the wake of the prosecution is an utter travesty of justice.
Justice demands a dismissal of his prosecution. But whatever the "goal" may have been in setting up Flynn, justice was not one of them.
Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. You can find his updates online @JonathanTurley . - " Source "
May 01, 2020 | www.unz.com
Priss Factor , says: Website Show Comment April 29, 2020 at 5:22 pm GMTHere's something to be disillusioned about. Deep State as Deep Corruption.AaronInMVD , says: Website Show Comment April 29, 2020 at 9:45 pm GMT
But what happened to the Trump who was going to drain the swamp? He filled it with more sewage.
He murdered Soleimani and interferes in Venezuelan politics in ways that Russia has been accused(falsely) of interfering in US politics.@Priss Factor I suspect the true backbreaker when it comes to disillusioning for me was seeing how thoroughly Trump was disconnected from the levers of power except for those few cases when he'd been surrounded by war lobby shills.
Whatever welcome change Trump could have brought has been completely negated by the fact everyone he hired or could have hired is too stuck in the status quo to welcome change. Even the people he though could have been the "rebels" on his side lead him down that path of seeing Iranian ballistic missiles hitting US troop positions in Iraq.
The only thing that might have worked would have been firing everyone he could during the first 7 days and filling as many posts as he could with clean cut (as opposed to neck bearded) alt-right 20-somethings.
I voted for Trump, but Trump still wasn't enough to keep me in the US.
Apr 24, 2020 | www.unz.com
A quick study of history shows that when exploiting elites are doing great, they all faithfully support each other, but when things start to go south, they immediately turn on each other. The best recent example of this phenomenon is the schism in the US ruling elites who, since the election of Trump, have immediately turned on each other and are now viciously fighting like "spiders in a can" (to use a Russian expression). In fact, this is so true that it can even be used as a very reliable diagnostic tool: when your enemies are all united, then they are probably confident in their victory, but as soon as they turn on each other, you *know* that things are looking very bad for your opponents. Likewise, we now see how southern Europeans are getting really angry with their northern "EU allies" ( Macron seems to be falling in line behind Trump even if he uses a more careful and diplomatic language). Finally, the way the US CIA has one foreign policy, the Pentagon another and Foggy Bottom one of its own (even if limited to sanctions and finger-pointing) tells you pretty much all you need to know to see how deep the systemic crisis of the Empire has become.
Apr 24, 2020 | www.unz.com
Jake , says: Show Comment April 23, 2020 at 12:27 pm GMTThis cannot be overemphasized: "Last, but most certainly not least, the Europeans will find out (and some already have), that the US literally does not give a damn about not only regular Europeans, but even about the European ruling classes."
That has been the defining pattern of WASP culture since its formation (or completion with the rise of Anglo-Saxon Puritanism). But it is more generally a hallmark of Germanic pagans/warlords. It is about endless rapine with honor given to those who help those above them secure more spoils. There is zero concern for the working man (whether he tends cattle to feed the rich or rows the viking boats), and the honor for others in the chain of command lasts only as long as they profit those above them.
The chief Elites of the Anglo-Zionist Empire are, obviously, all tied directly to the US. The Brit Elites have the honorary position of being the second most prestigious. Every other nation's Elites are on rather thin ice. The second that French Elite stop pimping for Uncle Sam is the second that the Elites of the Anglo-Zionist Empire see them as trash that must be removed.
The naive backers of the EU still assume that that alliance is what saves them from the US inflicting direct overlordship. They are damned fools, because the EU acts in concert with the Anglo-Zionist Empire on all major matters that, ultimately, will make all of Western Europe a playpen for the Anglo-Zionist Elites.
And for our VDARE crowd – that is the reality of the spread of English language and of WASP run empire. When it moves from a small local church and community, WASP culture must be perpetually imperialistic and philoSemitic. It must destroy non-WASP European cultures, forcing their leaders to bow and assimilate to WASP hegemony.
Apr 24, 2020 | www.unz.com
Jake , says: Show Comment April 23, 2020 at 12:52 pm GMTLet's place a couple of things together:
1. "The US political culture is that 99.99% of Americans will believe literally ANY lie, no matter how self-evidently stupid, about the rest of the world rather than accepting any unpleasant truth about the US. "
2. "Eventually, and inevitably, this strategic PSYOP upped the ante and FOXnews (logically) aired this true masterpiece: "Sen. Hawley: Let coronavirus victims sue Chinese Communist Party". Truly, this is brilliant. "I lost my job, let the evil Chinese commies pay me back" is music to the ears of most Americans."
This is what Anglo-Zionist religious/political culture produces. And it is not restricted to jingoistic blaming of the peoples of other nations; it also features blaming those who are citizens of the nation but are more outsiders to the WASP Elites that the group doing the blaming. That pattern keeps the non-Elites from ever seeing that their enemy is the national/imperial Elite they serve.
For example, the horrors the Brit WASP Elites and their system inflicted on Lancashire factory workers would have made any real life Simon Legree giddy at the possibilities. And those abused masses could be counted on at every turn to retard their own demands any time the Elites could turn the conversation to how the Irish or Highlanders would come in and take their jobs for even less and ruin their delightful communities. Or how the evil empires on the Continent were causing trouble and to save lives of British soldiers the factory workers must be reasonable.
Orwellian fiction is steeped deeply in the actual ways that WASP Empire operates to grind its own citizens and ue them as mindless pawns to make Anglo-Zionist Elites ever richer, ever more entrenched in power.
Apr 17, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com
AMERICA-HYSTERICA. US Attorney General Barr just said the Russia collusion probe was a travesty, had no basis and was intended to sabotage Trump . All true of course. May we take this as a sign that at last (at last!) Durham is ready to go with indictments? Or will it prove to be another false alarm? There's certainly a lot to reveal: A recent investigation showed that every FISA application (warrant to spy on US citizens) examined had egregious deficiencies. It's not just Trump.
MEANINGLESSNESS. Remember the Steele dossier? Now it's being spun as Russian disinformation . So we're now supposed to believe that Putin smeared Trump because he really wanted Clinton to win? Gosh, that Putin guy is so clever that it's impossible to figure out what he's doing!
COVID BLAME I. Back in the day I read a certain amount of Soviet propaganda about the wicked West. And, while it was quite often over the top, pretty monotonous and probably – judging from what ex-Soviets have told me – not all that effective in the long run, it usually had, buried deep inside, a tiny kernel of reality. Western anti-Russia propaganda, on the other hand, is nothing but free-association nonsense. Take the NYT's latest: the headline alone tells you it's crap: " Putin's Long War Against American Science: A decade of health disinformation promoted by President Vladimir Putin of Russia has sown wide confusion, hurt major institutions and encouraged the spread of deadly illnesses ." Another difference was that Soviet propaganda at least ran on the assumption that the Soviet system was preferable: this, on the other hand, is a pitiful attempt to blame the US COVID failure on somebody else. Nonetheless, this is not rock-bottom for the NYT's anti-Russian fantasies: that target was hit a couple of years ago with " Trump and Putin: A Love Story ". (But, the goalposts keep moving: if you accuse a Dem of Trumpish grabbing, you're probably a Putinbot .) I guess it will only get more: " The old world is dying, and the new world struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters ."
COVID BLAME II. Maybe it's not Putin or Xi who's to blame: maybe it's your own propaganda outlet: " VOA too often speaks for America's adversaries -- not its citizens... VOA has instead amplified Beijing's propaganda. "
Apr 14, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
PJB , Apr 14 2020 12:02 utc | 91@Wlliam Gruff
Whether social democrat or socialist - I agree Sanders did progress the cause for needed societal, financial and political change.
But why did he fold so weakly and meekly in both 2016 and again now?
Especially in the face of obvious vote rigging by the Hillary campaign (as proven in a Florida civil court ruling - albeit with the judge's decision accepting the DNC Defense argument that the DNC has the right to appoint their candidate and override the primaries - sudden untimely death of two of the lawyers for the Bernie Sanders supporters who brought the case as well).
This time the totally unexpected victory on "Super Thursday" as Sleepy Joe called it in 9 state primaries stinks to high heaven. Maybe he did win given the media support and enough ignoramuses voted for a man who is blatantly suffering dementia as well as having been a corrupt nepotist of the highest order and an alleged rapist and video documented serial creepy fondler of women and young children.
Something is seriously sick about the DNC and it's collusion with the media. The pretence of democracy is crashing and the oligarchy exposed.
Trump will win - because many will hope he is a renegade oligarch who has some moral compass even if a broken one.
William Gruff , Apr 14 2020 12:32 utc | 93PJB @89
A social democrat will refuse to demand that General Motors make concessions to the workers unless General Motors is making solid profits. Extend the concept to the entire economy. Capitalism is in crisis. For a social democrat that means heavy demands are off the table until the crisis is resolved and capitalism returns to profitability. How could Sanders deliver on his promises even if he won? Better to just throw in the towel, at least from a social democrat perspective.
"Something is seriously sick about the DNC and it's collusion with the media."
Indeed, but there is more to it. The mass media isn't so much colluding with the Dems as the media has been largely taken over by a criminal gang ( Operation Mockingbird ), and the same gang has taken over the Democrat party. Instructions to both the mass media and the Dems are coming from the same folks, so it looks like collusion, but actual direct connections between the two will not be so conspicuous.
Apr 03, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Bemildred , Apr 2 2020 20:25 utc | 69Ian Welsh:
Why Western Elites Are So Incompetent And What The Consequences AreLet's chalk this up to aristocratic elites. Aristocrats, unlike nobles, are decadent, but don't stop with that word, understand what it means.
Elites who are not aligned with the actual productive activities of society and are engaged primarily in activities which are contrary to production, are decadent. This was true in Ancien Regime France (and deliberately fostered by Louis XIV as a way of emasculating the nobility.) It is true today of most Western elites: they concentrate on financial numbers, and not on actual production. Even those who are somewhat competent, tend not to be truly productive: see the Waltons, who made their money as distributers–merchants.
Apr 02, 2020 | thehill.com
Abron olepi • 10 hours agoTrump is planning the blame game already. He's blaming Governors, stating that this is really a state and local issue.
And he's blaming the impeachment trials, saying they took the focus off the virus, etc. etc.
Always has to blame someone else. Oh, and Obama! Don't forget Obama!
Apr 01, 2020 | off-guardian.org
Suicides and Drug Abuse
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, over 48,000 suicides occurred in the US in 2018. This equates to an annual rate of about 14 suicides per 100,000 people. As expected, suicides increase substantially during times of economic depression. For example, as a result of the 2008 recession there was an approximate 25% increase. Similarly, during a peak year of the Great Depression, in 1932, the rate rose to 17 suicides per 100,000 people.
Recent research ties high suicide rates "to the unraveling of the social fabric" that happens when societal breakdowns occur. People become despondent over economic hardship, the loss of social structures, loneliness, and related factors.
There is probably no greater example of these kinds of losses than what we are experiencing today with the extreme response to COVID-19 and the effects will be felt for many years. The social structures might return in a few months but the economy will not.
Some think that the economy will recover in three years and others think it will never recover in terms of impact to low-income households, as was the case for the 2008 recession. However, if we estimate a full recovery in six years, the effects will contribute around 3 suicides per 100,000 people every year during that time for a total of over 59,000 deaths in the United States.
Related to suicides are drug abuse deaths. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, over 67,000 deaths from overdose of illicit or prescription drugs occurred in 2018. This does not include alcohol abuse. Only 7% were suicides and 87% were known to be unintentional deaths largely due to drug abuse caused by depression or other mental conditions. Such conditions can be expected to rise during times of economic collapse and if we estimate the impact due to COVID-19 over six years as being a 25% increase (as with suicides) that projects about 87,000 additional deaths due to drug abuse.Lack of Medical Coverage or Treatment
Unemployment is expected to rise dramatically as a result of the COVID-19 response and the effect is already being seen in jobless claims. One of the major impacts of unemployment, apart from depression and poverty, is a lack of medical coverage.
A Harvard study found nearly 45,000 excess deaths annually linked to lack of health coverage. That was at the pre-COVID-19 unemployment rate of 4%.
As reported recently, millions of Americans are losing their jobs in the COVID-19 recession/depression. For every 2% increase in unemployment, there are about 3.5 million lost jobs.
The US Secretary of Treasury has predicted a 20% unemployment level, which translates to 12 million lost jobs. If the 45,000 excess deaths due to lack of medical coverage increases uniformly by unemployment rate, we can expect about 225,000 deaths annually due to lack of medical coverage in the US at 20% unemployment. Extrapolating this over a 6-year period would mean 1.35 million deaths .
This assumes that funding for important health-related programs are not further cut or ignored, a bad assumption that means the estimate is probably low.
Beyond lack of coverage, medical services are being reprioritized to respond preferentially to COVID-19, causing less resources to be available for treatment of other medical conditions. The capacity of medical service providers has already been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 response in some areas.
Additionally, clinical trials and drug development are expected to be severely impacted. This means that important new medicines will not reach the market and people will die who otherwise would have lived. There is not yet enough information on the overall impact to medical service provision therefore we will not include an estimate.Poverty and Food Access
The Columbia University School of Public Health studied the effects of poverty on death rates. The investigators found that 4.5% of US deaths were attributable to poverty. That's about 130,000 deaths annually.
How will this be affected by COVID-19? One way to begin estimating is to consider how the number of people living in poverty will increase.
Before the COVID-19 response, approximately 12% of Americans lived below the officially defined poverty line. That percentage will undoubtedly rise significantly due to the expected increase in unemployment. If unemployment rises to 20% (from 4%) as predicted, the number of people living in poverty could easily double. If that is the extent of the effect, we will see another 130,000 deaths per year from general poverty.
Although deaths due to poverty are not entirely about food access, it is a significant factor in that category. In times of economic hardship many people can't afford good food, causing malnutrition and, in some cases, starvation. People also can't access food causing the same outcomes. Limited access to nutritious food is a root cause of diet-related diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and infant mortality issues. A recent estimate suggests 20% of all deaths worldwide are linked to poor diets.
Food access issues will be further exacerbated with the COVID-19 problem due to the anticipated issues with food production and prices. If the COVID-19 response lasts for years as expected, our estimate will need to be a multiple of the 130,000 annual figure. Using the 6-year estimate, we get 780,000 deaths.Conclusion
The total deaths attributable to the COVID-19 response, from just this limited examination, are estimated to be:Suicides 59,000 Drug abuse 87,000 Lack of medical coverage or treatment 1,350,000 Poverty and food access 780,000
These estimates, totaling more than two million deaths above the estimated 150,000 expected from the virus itself, do not include other predictable issues with the COVID-19 response. An example is the lack of medical services as stated above. Other examples include the EPA's suspension of environmental regulations. It has been estimated that the EPA's Clean Air Act alone has saved 230,000 lives each year.
Moreover, the anticipated failure of the US Postal Service (USPS) will lead to more illness and death. The USPS "delivers about 1 million lifesaving medications each year and serves as the only delivery link to Americans living in rural areas."
Even using these low estimates, however, we can see that the response will be much worse than the virus. The social devastation and economic scarring could last more than six years, with one expert predicting that it will be "long-lasting and calamitous."
That expert has noted that he is not overly concerned with the virus itself because "as much as 99 percent of active cases [of COVID-19] in the general population are 'mild' and do not require specific medical treatment."
Yet he is deeply concerned about the "the social, economic and public health consequences of this near total meltdown of normal life." He suggests a better alternative is to focus only on those most susceptible to the virus. Others have reasonably suggested that only those who are known to be infected should self-quarantine.
Some public health professionals have been pleading with authorities to consider the implications of the unreasonable response. Many experts have spoken out publicly, criticizing the overreaction to COVID-19. A professor of medical microbiology, for example, has written an open letter to German Chancellor Merkel in an attempt to draw attention to the concerns.
The real problem we face today is not a virus. The greater problem is that people have failed to engage in critical thinking due to the fear promoted by some media and government officials. Fear is the mind killer, as author Frank Herbert once wrote. Ultimately, the fear of COVID-19 and the lack of critical thinking that has arisen from it are likely to cause far more deaths than the virus itself.
George Mc ,List of the effects of this virus (not exhaustive):
• Total shut down on all other news items.
• The speeding up of an economic meltdown which was going to happen anyway but which now can be attributed to the virus alone.
• The speeding up of the inevitable confrontation between the overlords and the masses on conditions favourable to the former.
• The reduction of the public to a condition in which most welcome draconian restrictions
• The harsh and vitriolic gap between those who are urging on the restrictions and those who are suspicious i.e. a divide and rule matter which threatens to become physically violent.
• The curtailing and indeed destruction of the rights and protections for the general population that have been hard won over the last century.
• The reduction of social life to a social media matrix. (And yes I'm using the word "matrix" in a knowing way.)
• The seemingly legitimate emergence of a police state
• The wrecking of the public sector. Of course this also means the wrecking of the private sector but that will happen in a bottom up way i.e. smaller businesses tanking, then slightly larger, then larger still. But by the time it affects the giants, the game can be called off since the public sector will be gone.
Joerg ,Some weeks ago on youtube there was a video with an interview with a German virologist Dr. Köhnlein. Youtube removed this video – but now it is back on youtube again (only in German): "CORONA – Alles nur Panik (Dr. Köhnlein)" – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVHZ1bLceRw&feature=youtu.be
Toby Russell ,I've been trying to get a grip on the extent to which the PCR test is used to establish who has been infected with this alleged virus. Part of my research led me to this very recent presentation on YouTube by a well credentialed doctor called Andrew Kaufman. In it, he sets out how inaccurate the test is, that there isn't even a gold standard against which to assess its accuracy, but the one attempt to do so he could find arrived at an 80% false-positive rate. I heard from a doctor friend that its inventor, Kary Mullis, insisted it should never be used for diagnosis. My understanding is that it is being used everywhere but China, where a new test is being developed. If this is true, the figures we are being bombarded with are not remotely trustable.
But the main thrust of the presentation by Dr Kaufman is the identity between exosomes and covid-19. Exosomes are natural cellular defense mechanisms recently becoming known amongst molecular biologists. They are largely unknown by doctors and nurses. Kaufman's assertion is that covid-19 is in fact an exosome. He quotes James Hildreth, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer at Meharry Medical College and a former professor at John Hopkins: " the virus is fully an exosome in every sense of the word."
The presentation is about 40 minutes long and followed by a fairly lengthy question and answer session. Because falsifiable, and because it explains all the oddities of this case, I feel his theory deserves widespread attention.
In other news I had time today to translate:
The New England Journal of Medicine is the world's leading medical journal. In its 26 March 2020 edition, we find: "[ ] This suggests that the overall clinical consequences of COVID-19 may ultimately be more akin to a severe seasonal influenza (which has a case fatality rate of approximately 0.1%) or a pandemic influenza (similar to those in 1957 and 1968) rather than a disease similar to SARS or MERS [ ]"
This article was penned by a few authors, one of whom was none other than Anthony S Fauci. Yes, THE Anthony S Fauci. Note the case fatality rate. If anyone is interested in a full translation, please let me know
Cassandra2 ,The human race is being 'played' and the majority have been conditioned to accept it.
The really SCARY aspect of all this is that even if 97% of the global population were given a complete insight into what was actually going on and who was (and has been for a considerable time) manipulating events – what could they do about it?
The people are atomised, disconnected and totally powerless as they have no control over MASS MEDIA COMMUNICATION . . . . . they do (RE: BBC).
A catalyst is required to unite the human race to establish an effective Counter-Offensive capable of cleaning the earth of the dark forces currently in play.
Mar 29, 2020 | www.unz.com
aandrews , says: Show Comment March 29, 2020 at 4:58 pm GMT" I always considered him a fraud for this (and many other) reasons. Now Tulsi Gabbard is doing the same thing ."
There's really no one to vote for. I don't intend to bother. And they love it when people don't vote.
Mar 29, 2020 | www.unz.com
PTG Mann , says: Show Comment March 28, 2020 at 5:11 am GMT"The historical unity of the ruling classes is realized in the State." – Antonio GramsciCyrano , says: Show Comment March 29, 2020 at 4:48 am GMT
Its somewhat bemusing that we discuss American politics ad nauseam, when it's been amply demonstrated that voters in the USA cannot make changes to government policy through their electoral process.
In fact, I would contend that American democracy has been non-existant since the JFK assassination (57 years after the event with no charges having been laid) which was essentially a coup d'état
Don't believe me? Read it and weep
A 2014 study from Princeton University spells bad news for American democracy – namely, that it no longer exists:
Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens – Martin Gilens & Benjamin I. Page
"Each of 4 theoretical traditions in the study of American politics -- which can be characterized as theories of Majoritarian Electoral Democracy, Economic-Elite Domination, and 2 types of interest-group pluralism, Majoritarian Pluralism and Biased Pluralism -- offers different predictions about which sets of actors have how much influence over public policy: average citizens; economic elites; and organized interest groups, mass-based or business-oriented.
A great deal of empirical research speaks to the policy influence of one or another set of actors, but until recently it has not been possible to test these contrasting theoretical predictions against each other within a single statistical model. We report on an effort to do so, using a unique data set which includes measures of the key variables for 1,779 policy issues.
Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on US government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence .
The results provide substantial support for theories of Economic-Elite Domination and for theories of Biased Pluralism, but not for theories of Majoritarian Electoral Democracy or Majoritarian Pluralism." [Emphasis mine]
Ref: https://scholar.princeton.edu/sites/default/files/mgilens/files/gilens_and_page_2014_-@PTG Mann This is my attempt to shed some light on the "democracy" reality show. In grade 11 I had a subject called Marxism. Yes, I did study Marxism for 1 year only – in high school. One of the benefits of living in a "communist" country, I guess.Hans Vogel , says: Show Comment March 29, 2020 at 8:41 am GMT
My Marxism professor, when he talked about capitalism, always used USA as an example. Not because he was impressed with them, but because he believed that it was a common knowledge that US was running the most austere form of capitalism possible. It's still like that today, they are just using multiculturalism as a smoke screen to cover up the fact that their capitalism is the most severe that they could get away with. And the stupid Europeans copy them, believing that multiculturalism is what makes a country truly liberal. Sure.
Another interesting thing that I remember from my high school Marxism classes is that they taught us that US has 2 types of elites. 1.Regular elites 2. Political elites. The regular elites are the real elites, the economic ones, the real movers and shakers. The political elites are just domestic help, a hired nobodies who do the rich men's bidding. The lines between these 2 are almost never crossed. As many perks as there are to becoming political elite, the benefits that you can milk from this new-found bonanza can never amount to the point of making you qualified to join the real – economic elites. And it goes vice versa as well. Economic elites usually don't have the interest (unless you are senile old guy like Bloomberg) to waste time on personally participating in politics – it just doesn't pay well enough by their standards. Of course, there are always exceptions – Donald Trump. That's why the real elites hate him so much. Because he wants to sit on 2 chairs, to belong to both the real elites and the political ones as well. The idea behind the political elites is to pay them so you can influence them and tell them what to do. How do you influence someone who doesn't really qualify as a hired help, who is one of you? It makes it more difficult to boss around. I am not saying that Trump is unbossable, the problem is that the real elites can't stomach the fact that Trump wants to boss THEM. Unforgivable.
The "democracy" has always been a pipe-dream, designed to prevent the rich f ** ks getting at each other throats, more than anything else. That's why voting and elections are just a mirage, political elites are not elected by voters, they are elected by the real (economic) elites. That's why they throw millions of dollars on campaigns and lobbies and so on. So they can have the final say about how things should be done, and not leave it to the political "elites" initiatives.
Trump proved that the move from the economic elites into political elites is feasible, even though it can be very unpopular with the economic elites, but the move from political elites into real elites is almost impossible – despite occasional valiant efforts – like Joe Biden and his son. The political elites simply lack any real cashable skills that are required in order to make tons of money and qualify for the prestigious club of real (economic) elites.
Sure the political elites can make a lot of money, but only from the perspective of the poor. The money that the political elites make compared to the economic ones – is pocket change. This is actually one of the positives of the American system, people who are interested in making really big money, don't usually go into politics, because there are much more and better ways to make more money. This is actually a feature of most of the developing countries – where there is almost no distinction between real elites and political elites and the only way to make money is to go into politics, and use corruption as a driving force for becoming rich.
Sure the political elites can accomplish relative financial successes as well, and sometimes this can get to their heads, making them delusional, like when Hillary – white trash herself– called her own people – deplorables. The "democracy" pipe dream serves another purpose – to create the illusion that the real elites (the rich) and the poor are in the same predicament together – suffering under the unscrupulous political elites. Yeah, right.
The other thing that people talk a lot about is communist propaganda. Sure there was some of it. Having experienced living in both systems – capitalism and "communism" – I can say that there is a big difference between capitalist and communist propaganda. Communist propaganda was more of the wishful thinking type, trying to cover up reality because they wished things could be better. Capitalist propaganda is much more sinister. The sole purpose of existence of capitalist propaganda is not because they want things to be different and better, but because they want things to stay the same as long as possible. The purpose of the capitalist propaganda is to impede progress. Communists at least felt bad that their system wasn't good enough to satisfy all the needs of the people. Capitalists have no such qualms. The message that they convey through their "democracy" is that this is as good as it's going to get, so you better get used to it. No regrets, no attempts to make things better.
It's funny that they bothered to teach us about different kinds of American elites way back in high school, like that was going to have any practical application in our lives. It's also unusual that I remember it, because I wasn't a particularly good student in any subject, including Marxism. Maybe the reason why I remember it, is because after all these years it still rings true.Most discussions about and references to the US two-party system presidential elections remain oblivious to the fact that for all practical purposes the US has only one political party.
The US has the exact same political system that Mexico had for decades under the PRI: the party elite decided on who was going to be the next president and then organized elections. The US is essentially a none-party state (just read or reread Michael Parenti's Democracy for the Few ).
The fact that the American voter can choose between a psychopath like Mrs. Clinton and a guy like Trump, or between Trump and a senile moron like Biden (as may be the case this year), merely serves to prove that the real political decisions are not made by the president and that he is just a figurehead.
How can it be that a country with 330 million people cannot select even moderately intelligent, decent, capable candidates for the highest office?
It is a good sign that most Americans understand this and don't bother to vote. Democracy is a fake anyway, because if our votes would really count, we wouldn't have the right to vote.
Mar 22, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
William Gruff , Mar 22 2020 12:57 utc | 155In essence, the misnamed "intelligence community" is a distillation of the gravest intellectual flaws in contemporary neoliberal (non-STEM) academia.
So naturally when China tries to "out-victim" them by pointing out that the virus was a bioweapon attack, these members of the misnamed "intelligence community" feel honor bound to defend the supremacy of their own victim status by minimizing China's victim status. That may sound crazy to people from prior generations, but it is the logical destination for victim culture.
Mar 22, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
kiwiklown , Mar 22 2020 10:11 utc | 128@Jackrabbit | Mar 21 2020 22:32 utc | 50
"These officials "failed us" in the same way that our media "fails us": they serve the interests of the EMPIRE-FIRST Deep State."
Yuppp. Our error is to assume all 17 intelligence agencies; the presstitudes; and US "leadership" exist to serve the American people. And so, yes, they "fail" the people. But, from the point of view of the controllers of those agencies and of those "leaders", they hardly ever fail !!!
While the people argue over virulent minutae, they are once again helping themselves to the US Treasury.... Trillions of USDs.... LOL
kiwiklown , Mar 22 2020 10:36 utc | 132@Jackrabbit | Mar 21 2020 23:10 utc | 54kiwiklown , Mar 22 2020 11:25 utc | 137
"Caitlin Johnstone also sees the response being manipulated to focus hate on China...."
Yuppp, blaming China, hating on China achieves several objectives:
- it misdirects Americans from blaming Trump's "leadership";
- it excuses Trump's mismanagement ("...the Chinese LIED...")
- it absolves the CDC, 17 "intelligence" agencies, etc;
- it continues The Great China Pivot started by Great Pretender Obama;
- it uses current fear to mobilise Americans to hate China more;
- it prepares Americans for when war on China becomes feasible;
Just look at how US leadership has been hating on Russia for the last 100 years, waiting to whack them with a sneak attack if feasible.@Jackrabbit | Mar 22 2020 2:45 utc | 79
".... was then told to STOP TESTING...... A medical person would not try to suppress testing. That would be a "management decision" and its the Nation Security Council that was running the show (and which had classified all discussions related to virus preparations)...."
Thanks for reminding us of Dr Chu's story. What if the US leadership:
- Knew the coronavirus was already out in the wild in the US by Sep 2019;
- Decided to set up China to be the "origin" to be blamed;
- Realized that a "pandemic" can be the cover for kicking the table over to do the Great Financial Reset;
Mar 19, 2020 | www.unz.com
Miro23 , says: Show Comment March 18, 2020 at 4:23 pm GMT@Spanky
No doubt global elites present a united front to protect their common interest in maintaining the petrodollar and international banking system, insofar as it supports their individual interests. However, other than that shared interest, the elite are rife with factions -- both domestically and especially internationally.
Incredibly globalization as a system seems to have mostly disappeared in 6 weeks. There are closed frontiers, no more container ships, the ports are empty, no flights and the malls are closing.
It's not clear where the US public are going to get their electronics, clothing and other Walmart items unless everything rebounds 100%. If there's no rebound, then it starts to look like some kind of watershed event equivalent to WW1.
If elites and their interests are the foundation of the NWO, then right now they seem to be all over the place.
– The globalists want a strong dollar which they ensure with the dollar's reserve currency role (particularly the petrodollar). The dollar is doing fine now as a refuge, but with oil approaching $20 a barrel it doesn't look like such a great link longer term, and what use is a reserve currency when there's no trade?
– Globalism is based on ZIRP (Zero Interest Rate Policy) to keep the West consuming and allow the issuance of massive debt. Now international bond markets are hesitating in the face of more massive international issuance to deal with the economic fallout of the Coronavirus. Interest rates only have to rise to their historic averages to collapse the whole thing.
– The LGBT, SJW crowd find that racism, diversity and generally anti-White propaganda has become a non-issue. Everything has become Coronavirus which is actually sort of equalizing , and putting the focus on what the government needs to do to protect all the public including Deplorables (unusual turnaround).
– Frontiers are closing with the cheap labour/ multicultural crowd having gone quiet.
– Many globalist interests are facing bankruptcy as demand disappears, new share and bond issuance is blocked, credit disappears and a myriad of counterparty risks (finacialized opaque derivatives) turn into counterparty failures.
– The general inability of Western government elites to handle all these combined events. Monetary policy doesn't work in a ZIRP environment so they may just resort to "Helicopter Money" but with shortages of goods this is guaranteed to feed directly into inflation.
Altogether a remarkable change of direction in a very short time.
Mar 19, 2020 | www.unz.com
Spanky , says: Show Comment March 18, 2020 at 12:25 pm GMT@Miro23 Coronavirus is certainly a useful way to deflate a speculative bubble. The virus gets the blame rather the Dumpers in the Pump and Dump cycle. -- Miro23
But, given the precarious state of the global financial system, wouldn't any black swan of sufficient magnitude suffice to accomplish both deflation and take the blame?
No doubt global elites present a united front to protect their common interest in maintaining the petrodollar and international banking system, insofar as it supports their individual interests . However, other than that shared interest, the elite are rife with factions -- both domestically and especially internationally.
Which explains Tom Dye's assertion that one of the critical roles of the Counsel on Foreign Relations (CFR) is conflict resolution between competing elite factions. Or, in other words, I am having a bit of difficulty with the currently popular theory that a unified, omnipotent and near infallible global elite is behind everything single thing that happens on the world stage
Mar 19, 2020 | www.unz.com
Anonymous  Disclaimer , says: Show Comment March 18, 2020 at 6:53 pm GMT@Sean
Here was me thinking the Western elites wanted to continue making money on Chinese growth.
Much of the US elite is sinecured in the media, foreign policy, and national security state establishments, whose status depends on the relative power and prestige of the US state. The relative power and prestige of the US state is jeopardized by the continued growth of China.
If you follow US coverage of China in the US, you'll find that this US elite is generally critical of China, although style and presentation vary. The liberal "China watchers" among the US elite in the media and foreign policy establishment tend to focus on human rights, democracy promotion, and liberalism as vectors to attack the Chinese state. They tend to be polished and more subtle rather than explicitly hostile.
The US elite in the national security establishment tend to be more overt about military containment and or confrontation with China, and on developing an anti-China coalition in the Pacific.
Mar 04, 2020 | www.amazon.com
The populist revolution succeeded tonight for the same reason it did nearly two centuries ago. The main reason Trump won wasn't economic anxiety. It wasn't sexism. It wasn't racism. It was that he was anti-elitist. Hillary Clinton represented Wall Street, academics, policy papers, Davos, international treaties, and peo- ple who think they're better than you. People like me. Trump represented something far more appealing, which is beating up people like me. A poll taken a month before the 2016 election showed that only 24 percent of voters disagreed with the statement "The real struggle for America is not between Democrats and Republicans but between mainstream America and the ruling political elites."
People are foolish to get rid of us. Elites are people who think; populists are people who believe. Elites de- fer to experts; populists listen to their own guts. Elites value cooperation; populists are tribal. Elites arc masters at delayed gratification, long-range planning, and
controlling our emotions...
...We can t afford that. Populists believe our complex society is so secure that disaster is near impossible no matter who is in charge. Elites know it's not. Most of our work is calculating risk and planning for contingencies. We invented reinsurance, and if you give us a few years, we'll come up with rereinsurance. The myth that the elite are selfishly rigging the system while do- ing nothing useful conveniently ignores the fact that the system we've built is great. If this were a book about any other group of people besides the elite, this would be the part where I list all the amazing contributions we've made throughout history. I do not need to do that because elites created everything that ever existed...
4.0 out of 5 stars Hamartia of Elitism Exposed Reviewed in the United States on December 27, 2019 Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase With In Defense of Elitism, Joel Stein goes where few elites would dare step foot, intellectually or literally - to the panhandle, bible-thumping, gun-toting town of Miami, Texas.
At this first stop on his tour of populist and elite hotspots of America, Stein elucidates a no-brainer: nobody is always right all the time about everybody else. That includes we elites.
What is my takeaway from this marvelous book, besides the fact that Stein is completely hilarious? That elites need a crash course in tolerance. Populists could use a big dose of it too, but at least when they do not demonstrate this virtue, they don't pretend to possess it. The tragic flaw of elites is that they fail to see the hypocrisy in their own cries for tolerance and equality.
It was the "deplorables" moment that opened my eyes to the current trajectory of America. I fear that intellectual elites, of which I am admittedly one, have not learned from this unfortunate blunder. And time is running out for us. Perhaps all we elites need to start toting Reader's Digest crosses.
Bonnie Cobert Millender , Reviewed in the United States on December 4, 2019
Important Message Delivered with Humor and Insight!Chele Hipp , Reviewed in the United States on November 10, 2019
Joel Stein's new book is both engaging and enlightening. He begins by immersing himself in the small town culture of rural Miami, Texas, where he mingles with the locals and tries to understand their customs. He enjoys their hospitality but examines their values with a critical eye. The rest of the book is mostly a comparison of "elitism" with the ethos of Miami. He distinguishes between two kinds of elitism: "boat elitism" which worships money and power, and "intellectual elitism" which elevates reason and intelligence. Stein obviously champions intellectual elitism which he feels is imperative for a successful democracy: "Democracy is a government of the nerds, by the nerds and for the nerds. And the Boat Elite do not respect nerds." Ultimately, Stein concludes, "The elite, with our pesky qualifiers and annoying exceptions, are the thin line between democracy and tyranny." The great charm of this excellent book is that these very valid truths are presented with so much humor and insight that the reader cannot help but agree with Joel Stein's illuminating conclusions.
If This Book Were a High School Debate, Mr. Stein Would LoseFlying Scot , Reviewed in the United States on November 10, 2019
If this book was evaluated like an elite high school debate held on the Stanford campus each year, Mr. Stein would be winning the debate handily in each round and scoring exceedingly high speaker points. But, in the end, while he would still get the Top Speaker Award, he would not win the tournament trophy because he gave up his argument in his closing statement. This book is written five parts, four of which are hilarious and compelling arguments for finding connection with every type of elite and populist one can come across. Those four parts make equally compelling arguments for why having experts and intellectual elites run the world does the greatest good for society as a whole. Mr. Stein is winning the debate with compassion, good humor, and style. I'm rooting for him to win the debate! My debate judge objectivity has flown out the window. And then part five happens. His closing argument. Oh no! Mr. Stein decides to withdraw from the battle for expert and intellectual elite leadership. He says it's not our time. It's time to wait out the populists. That we can do that. That we must do that. And then he says that the need for human connection is greater than anything - that humility is the job elites need to pursue. Wait. What? You just contradicted your entire case. You surrendered your position. Your conclusion is the opposite of your thesis! That's it. You lose on technical failure. Victory awarded to your opponent. If this book were a research project using the scientific method, it would be entirely possible to have a conclusion that did not match the hypothesis. But the title of the book, "In Defense of Elitism" is suggestive of a debate or an argument. And, in such case, the conclusion must necessarily match the opening statement. If I were to recommend this book to a friend, which I still may very likely do, I would recommend that my friend read only parts one through four. Or, maybe read all five parts with very low expectations for intellectual follow-through on part five. Mr. Stein still has my utmost respect and admiration for both his efforts and his humor. I almost wonder if his editor insisted on a soft landing for the book and the conclusion was a negotiated settlement.
Elite People Make Superior ChoicesJosé Sotolongo , Reviewed in the United States on February 7, 2020
The thing I most admire about intellectual elites is how skillfully they choose their parents.
A Sly Sociological StudyReginald H. Henderson , Reviewed in the United States on November 2, 2019
In self-deprecating, often hilarious language, Joel Stein gives us a study of the gulf between the bicoastal United States and the heartland. The socially and politically conservative, religious citizens of Miami, Texas, vastly different from the author in values, religion, and background, are profiled with humor and affection. By establishing common ground with these citizens and shedding light on their beliefs, Stein lets us understand them despite the different, even foreign ideas compared to those of us who are "elites." By "elites" the author means reasonably educated, anti-racist, not-very-religious-if-at-all folks who tend to vote for progressive candidates. The middle of the book puts us back in California, where Stein lives, and his gimlet eye skewers the elites that surround him, again with humor and insight. I am somewhat surprised that this impressive work, which has so much to say about the present divisions and polarization in our country, has not been better promoted by the publisher. A search in the New York Times fails to find a review or even mention of it, and a full web search renders scant results. Highly recommended.
Elite by cheating your way to wealth, versus an elite level of intelligenceReviewer Dr. Beth , Reviewed in the United States on December 30, 2019
Being anti-elite can make sense if you're against the elite due to wealth gained by taking advantage of people (Stein refers to as the "boat elite"), but being against elite by intelligence doesn't make sense (the "intellectual elite"). Stein talks with anit-elite Scott Adams (Dilbert creator) who talks about a medical issue for which he had to go to the most elite doctor there was to be cured, and Scott somehow concludes that this is why doctors are useless and he knows better than them. Stein points out Sarah Palin bragging that she will never claim to know more than anyone else, instead of trying to study and learn more. You read about people striving to make a difference, and somehow Republican America rejecting intelligent elite and embracing wealthy elite (which is the opposite of what a democratic government should do, it should reign in those that gain all the power through wealth). The jokes make this serious and passionate subject fun to read.
Make America elite againRyan Mease , Reviewed in the United States on December 19, 2019
How can one be both self-deprecating and aggrandizing at the same time? Somehow author Joel Stein manages this. A long-time humorist writer for TIME (who was eventually fired, as he points out), Stein offers a book that is as insightful as it is funny. Stein's humor ranges from cheap to clever, and yet is unfailingly smart and on the mark. The premise of this book has already been thoroughly covered. Stein seeks to explain the backlash against so-called elites which led to the election of Trump. He starts by visiting the county in the US which had the highest percentage of Trump voters in the 2016 election. He finds many things that he expected to find (religion, guns) and many things he did not. Does he leave Miami, Texas thinking that the Trump voters were right? No. But he leaves with a better appreciation of people different from him and less of an us versus them mindset. After spending time with the populists, Stein visits with his own group, the elites, providing a short and somewhat mocking look at our country's most privileged...living in ivory towers, maybe, but also doing great work. Next come the populist elites, a group which includes Stein's "boat elites," or people like Trump. The section on elite populists is the shortest in the book; obviously elites generally aren't wining any popularity contests. Finally, in "Saving the Elite," Stein attempts to figure out how elites can re-emerge on top, where they belong. Solutions include fighting back, which many liberals seem to be doing to little or no avail; taking the high road, which appeals to the self-satisfied nature of elitists but which tends to be ultimately frustrating; and moving towards change, perhaps through greater humility, kindness, and--dare we say it?--love. Stein himself admits both that he is smug...and also that his smugness is his downfall. We cannot dismiss those with whom we do not agree. Stein makes this point in a way that is intelligent, compelling, moving...and also very, very funny.
Fun Tour of (Right-Wing) Populism in Americaplubius tullius , Reviewed in the United States on February 22, 2020
This is a sometimes-humorous, sometimes-serious review of different populist voices in the Trump era. Klein scored a number of perfect interviews with figureheads in / critics of the populist movement -- Tucker Carlson, the Dilbert guy and Bill Kristol. It's a shame he couldn't get Steve Bannon. He's very effective at interviewing opponents. I actually walked away from the Tucker chapter feeling less confused about Tucker's position on race and immigration. I can see his journey and his current rhetorical postures seem wrong, but reasonable. He has a point of view that's well-reasoned. The Dilbert guy is another story. I'm not even sure if he belongs in this book; he's just a sophist like Ann Coulter or Milo. I'm trying to use that term precisely, in the elitist Plato's dialogue sense of the term. If you read the book or listen to an interview with him, you'll understand what I mean. He's a bad faith relativist who enjoys attention. There's a lot more to this book! I didn't even mention the long opening section where the author travels to Texas to interview Trump supporters while living with them for an extended period. There are moments in the book where we're allowed to see how we might heal our national wounds. The major flaw here is the lack of depth concerning left-wing populism. The author points to Bernie Sanders and the populist left without really interviewing anyone or considering those voices too carefully. That's a shame, because they would have made an excellent companion chapter to the content on Tucker. The author ends up luring elite readers to a place where they feel comfortable receiving criticism. It would have been nice to hear that critique from each side. This was a fun read. Definitely recommended.
Less about elite, more about [neoliberal] aristocracy
I listened to this as an audiobook, read by Joel Stein himself. Even as read by the author, I can't tell if this book is a joke or supposed to be taken seriously. An honest discussion of experts vs non-experts would be useful. This is not it. Stein picks points that back his views up, which extend well beyond expertise, and into entitlement, connection, and general condescension to the "great unwashed." For example, he interviews cartoonist Scott Adams... why not Nassim Nicholas Taleb - on the fallacy of expertise. Of course, lots and lots of name dropping in this book. Figures - thats how those insecure in their elitist claims attempt to establish their membership.
Dec 31, 2019 | democracyjournal.orgfrom Winter 2019, No. 51 – 31 MIN READ
Tagged Authoritarianism Democracy Foreign Policy Government nationalism oligarchy
Ever since the 2016 election, foreign policy commentators and practitioners have been engaged in a series of soul-searching exercises to understand the great transformations taking place in the world -- and to articulate a framework appropriate to the challenges of our time. Some have looked backwards, arguing that the liberal international order is collapsing, while others question whether it ever existed. Another group seems to hope the current messiness is simply a blip and that foreign policy will return to normalcy after it passes. Perhaps the most prominent group has identified today's great threat as the rise of authoritarianism, autocracy, and illiberal democracy. They fear that constitutional democracy is receding as norms are broken and institutions are under siege.
Unfortunately, this approach misunderstands the nature of the current crisis. The challenge we face today is not one of authoritarianism, as so many seem inclined to believe, but of nationalist oligarchy. This form of government feeds populism to the people, delivers special privileges to the rich and well-connected, and rigs politics to sustain its regime.
... ... ..
Authoritarianism or What?
Across the political spectrum, commentators and scholars have identified -- and warned of -- the global rise of autocracies and authoritarian governments. They cite Russia, Hungary, the Philippines, and Turkey, among others. Distinguished commentators are increasingly worried. Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright recently published a book called Fascism: A Warning . Cass Sunstein gathered a variety of scholars for a collection titled, Can it Happen Here? Authoritarianism in America .
The authoritarian lens is familiar from the heroic narrative of democracy defeating autocracies in the twentieth century. But as a framework for understanding today's central geopolitical challenges, it is far too narrow. This is mainly because those who are worried about the rise of authoritarianism and the crisis of democracy are insufficiently focused on economics. Their emphasis is almost exclusively political and constitutional -- free speech, voting rights, equal treatment for minorities, independent courts, and the like. But politics and economics cannot be dissociated from each other, and neither are autonomous from social and cultural factors. Statesmen and philosophers used to call this "political economy." Political economy looks at economic and political relationships in concert, and it is attentive to how power is exercised. If authoritarianism is the future, there must be a story of its political economy -- how it uses politics and economics to gain and hold power. Yet the rise-of-authoritarianism theorists have less to say about these dynamics.
To be sure, many commentators have discussed populist movements throughout Europe and America, and there has been no shortage of debate on the extent to which a generation of widening economic inequality has been a contributing factor in their rise. But whatever the causes of popular discontent, the policy preferences of the people, and the bloviating rhetoric of leaders, the governments that have emerged from the new populist moment are, to date, not actually pursuing policies that are economically populist.
The better and more useful way to view these regimes -- and the threat to democracy emerging at home and abroad because of them -- is as nationalist oligarchies. Oligarchy means rule by a small number of rich people. In an oligarchy, wealthy elites seek to preserve and extend their wealth and power. In his definitive book titled Oligarchy , Jeffrey Winters calls it "wealth defense." Elites engage in "property defense," protecting what they already have, and "income defense," preserving and extending their ability to hoard more. Importantly, oligarchy as a governing strategy accounts for both politics and economics. Oligarchs use economic power to gain and hold political power and, in turn, use politics to expand their economic power.
Those who worry about the rise of authoritarianism and fear the crisis of democracy are insufficiently focused on economics.
The trouble for oligarchs is that their regime involves rule by a small number of wealthy elites. In even a nominally democratic society, and most countries around the world today are at least that, it should be possible for the much larger majority to overthrow the oligarchy with either the ballot or the bullet. So how can oligarchy persist? This is where both nationalism and authoritarianism come into play. Oligarchies remain in power through two strategies: first, using divide-and-conquer tactics to ensure that a majority doesn't coalesce, and second, by rigging the political system to make it harder for any emerging majority to overthrow them.
The divide-and-conquer strategy is an old one, and it works through a combination of coercion and co-optation. Nationalism -- whether statist, ethnic, religious, or racial -- serves both functions. It aligns a portion of ordinary people with the ruling oligarchy, mobilizing them to support the regime and sacrifice for it. At the same time, it divides society, ensuring that the nationalism-inspired will not join forces with everyone else to overthrow the oligarchs. We thus see fearmongering about minorities and immigrants, and claims that the country belongs only to its "true" people, whom the leaders represent. Activating these emotional, cultural, and political identities makes it harder for citizens in the country to unite across these divides and challenge the regime.
Rigging the system is, in some ways, a more obvious tactic. It means changing the legal rules of the game or shaping the political marketplace to preserve power. Voting restrictions and suppression, gerrymandering, and manipulation of the media are examples. The common theme is that they insulate the minority in power from democracy; they prevent the population from kicking the rulers out through ordinary political means. Tactics like these are not new. They have existed, as Matthew Simonton shows in his book Classical Greek Oligarchy , since at least the time of Pericles and Plato. The consequence, then as now, is that nationalist oligarchies can continue to deliver economic policies to benefit the wealthy and well-connected.
It is worth noting that even the generation that waged war against fascism in Europe understood that the challenge to democracy in their time was not just political, but economic and social as well. They believed that the rise of Nazism was tied to the concentration of economic power in Germany, and that cartels and monopolies not only cooperated with and served the Nazi state, but helped its rise and later sustained it. As New York Congressman Emanuel Celler, one of the authors of the Anti-Merger Act of 1950, said, quoting a report filed by Secretary of War Kenneth Royall, "Germany under the Nazi set-up built up a great series of industrial monopolies in steel, rubber, coal and other materials. The monopolies soon got control of Germany, brought Hitler to power, and forced virtually the whole world into war." After World War II, Marshall Plan experts not only rebuilt Europe but also exported aggressive American antitrust and competition laws to the continent because they believed political democracy was impossible without economic democracy.
Framing today's threat as nationalist oligarchy not only clarifies the challenge but also makes clear how democracy is different -- and what democracy requires. Democracy means more than elections, an independent judiciary, a free press, and various constitutional norms. For democracy to persist, there must also be relative economic equality. If society is deeply unequal economically, the wealthy will dominate politics and transform democracy into an oligarchy. And there must be some degree of social solidarity because, as Lincoln put it, "A house divided against itself cannot stand."
We see a number of disturbing signs the United States is breaking down along these dimensions. Electoral losers in places like North Carolina seek to entrench their power rather than accept defeat. The view that money is speech under the First Amendment has unleashed wealthy individuals and corporations to spend as much as they want to influence politics. The "doom loop of oligarchy," as Ezra Klein has called it, is an obvious consequence: The wealthy use their money to influence politics and rig policy to increase their wealth, which in turn increases their capacity to influence politics. Meanwhile, we're increasingly divided into like-minded enclaves, and the result is an ever-more toxic degree of partisanship.
Addressing our domestic economic and social crises is critical to defending democracy, and a grand strategy for America's future must incorporate both domestic and foreign policy. But while many have recognized that reviving America's middle class and re-stitching our social fabric are essential to saving democracy, less attention has been paid to how American foreign policy should be reformed in order to defend democracy from the threat of nationalist oligarchy.
The Varieties of Nationalist Oligarchy
Just as there are many variations on liberal democracy -- the Swedish model, the French model, the American model -- there are many varieties of nationalist oligarchy. The story is different in every country, but the elements of nationalist oligarchy are trending all over the world.
... ... ...
... the European Union funds Hungary's oligarchy, as Orbán draws on EU money to fund about 60 percent of the state projects that support "the new Fidesz-linked business elite." Nor do Orbán and his allies do much to hide the country's crony capitalist model. András Lánczi, president of a Fidesz-affiliated think tank, has boldly stated that "if something is done in the national interest, then it is not corruption." "The new capitalist ruling class," one Hungarian banker comments, "make their money from the government."
The commentator Jan-Werner Müller captures Orbán's Hungary this way: "Power is secured through wide-ranging control of the judiciary and the media; behind much talk of protecting hard-pressed families from multinational corporations, there is crony capitalism, in which one has to be on the right side politically to get ahead economically."
Crony capitalism, coupled with resurgent nationalism and central government control, is also an issue in China. While some commentators have emphasized "state capitalism" -- when government has a significant ownership stake in companies -- this phenomenon is not to be confused with crony capitalism. Some countries with state capitalism, like Norway, are widely seen as extremely non-corrupt and, indeed, are often held up as models of democracy. State capitalism itself is thus not necessarily a problem. Crony capitalism, in contrast, is an "instrumental union between capitalists and politicians designed to allow the former to acquire wealth, legally or otherwise, and the latter to seek and retain power." This is the key difference between state capitalism and oligarchy.
... ... ...
Ganesh Sitaraman is a professor of law and Chancellor's faculty fellow at Vanderbilt Law School, and the author of The Counterinsurgent's Constitution: Law in the Age of Small Wars and The Crisis of the Middle-Class Constitution: Why Economic Inequality Threatens our Republic .
Jan 21, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Cynthia Chung via The Strategic Culture Foundation,
"There is a kind of character in thy life, That to the observer doth thy history, fully unfold."
– William Shakespeare
Once again we find ourselves in a situation of crisis, where the entire world holds its breath all at once and can only wait to see whether this volatile black cloud floating amongst us will breakout into a thunderstorm of nuclear war or harmlessly pass us by. The majority in the world seem to have the impression that this destructive fate totters back and forth at the whim of one man. It is only normal then, that during such times of crisis, we find ourselves trying to analyze and predict the thoughts and motives of just this one person. The assassination of Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, a true hero for his fellow countrymen and undeniably an essential key figure in combating terrorism in Southwest Asia, was a terrible crime, an abhorrently repugnant provocation. It was meant to cause an apoplectic fervour, it was meant to make us who desire peace, lose our minds in indignation. And therefore, that is exactly what we should not do.
In order to assess such situations, we cannot lose sight of the whole picture, and righteous indignation unfortunately causes the opposite to occur. Our focus becomes narrower and narrower to the point where we can only see or react moment to moment with what is right in front of our face. We are reduced to an obsession of twitter feeds, news blips and the doublespeak of 'official government statements'.
Thus, before we may find firm ground to stand on regarding the situation of today, we must first have an understanding as to what caused the United States to enter into an endless campaign of regime-change warfare after WWII, or as former Chief of Special Operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff Col. Prouty stated, three decades of the Indochina war.An Internal Shifting of Chess Pieces in the Shadows
It is interesting timing that on Sept 2, 1945, the very day that WWII ended, Ho Chi Minh would announce the independence of Indochina. That on the very day that one of the most destructive wars to ever occur in history ended, another long war was declared at its doorstep. Churchill would announce his "Iron Curtain" against communism on March 5th, 1946, and there was no turning back at that point. The world had a mere 6 months to recover before it would be embroiled in another terrible war, except for the French, who would go to war against the Viet Minh opponents in French Indochina only days after WWII was over.
In a previous paper I wrote titled "On Churchill's Sinews of Peace" , I went over a major re-organisation of the American government and its foreign intelligence bureau on the onset of Truman's de facto presidency. Recall that there was an attempted military coup d'état, which was exposed by General Butler in a public address in 1933, against the Presidency of FDR who was only inaugurated that year. One could say that there was a very marked disapproval from shadowy corners for how Roosevelt would organise the government.
One key element to this reorganisation under Truman was the dismantling of the previously existing foreign intelligence bureau that was formed by FDR, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) on Sept 20, 1945 only two weeks after WWII was officially declared over. The OSS would be replaced by the CIA officially on Sept 18, 1947, with two years of an American intelligence purge and the internal shifting of chess pieces in the shadows. In addition, de-facto President Truman would also found the United States National Security Council on Sept 18, 1947, the same day he founded the CIA. The NSC was a council whose intended function was to serve as the President's principal arm for coordinating national security, foreign policies and policies among various government agencies.
In Col. Prouty's book he states,
" In 1955, I was designated to establish an office of special operations in compliance with National Security Council (NSC) Directive #5412 of March 15, 1954. This NSC Directive for the first time in the history of the United States defined covert operations and assigned that role to the Central Intelligence Agency to perform such missions , provided they had been directed to do so by the NSC, and further ordered active-duty Armed Forces personnel to avoid such operations. At the same time, the Armed Forces were directed to "provide the military support of the clandestine operations of the CIA" as an official function . "
What this meant, was that there was to be an intermarriage of the foreign intelligence bureau with the military, and that the foreign intelligence bureau would act as top dog in the relationship, only taking orders from the NSC. Though the NSC includes the President, as we will see, the President is very far from being in the position of determining the NSC's policies.An Inheritance of Secret Wars
" There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare. "
– Sun Tzu
On January 20th, 1961, John F. Kennedy was inaugurated as President of the United States. Along with inheriting the responsibility of the welfare of the country and its people, he was to also inherit a secret war with communist Cuba run by the CIA.
JFK was disliked from the onset by the CIA and certain corridors of the Pentagon, they knew where he stood on foreign matters and that it would be in direct conflict for what they had been working towards for nearly 15 years. Kennedy would inherit the CIA secret operation against Cuba, which Prouty confirms in his book, was quietly upgraded by the CIA from the Eisenhower administration's March 1960 approval of a modest Cuban-exile support program (which included small air drop and over-the-beach operations) to a 3,000 man invasion brigade just before Kennedy entered office.
This was a massive change in plans that was determined by neither President Eisenhower, who warned at the end of his term of the military industrial complex as a loose cannon, nor President Kennedy, but rather the foreign intelligence bureau who has never been subject to election or judgement by the people. It shows the level of hostility that Kennedy encountered as soon as he entered office, and the limitations of a President's power when he does not hold support from these intelligence and military quarters.
Within three months into JFK's term, Operation Bay of Pigs (April 17th to 20th 1961) was scheduled. As the popular revisionist history goes; JFK refused to provide air cover for the exiled Cuban brigade and the land invasion was a calamitous failure and a decisive victory for Castro's Cuba. It was indeed an embarrassment for President Kennedy who had to take public responsibility for the failure, however, it was not an embarrassment because of his questionable competence as a leader. It was an embarrassment because, had he not taken public responsibility, he would have had to explain the real reason why it failed. That the CIA and military were against him and that he did not have control over them. If Kennedy were to admit such a thing, he would have lost all credibility as a President in his own country and internationally, and would have put the people of the United States in immediate danger amidst a Cold War.
What really occurred was that there was a cancellation of the essential pre-dawn airstrike, by the Cuban Exile Brigade bombers from Nicaragua, to destroy Castro's last three combat jets. This airstrike was ordered by Kennedy himself. Kennedy was always against an American invasion of Cuba, and striking Castro's last jets by the Cuban Exile Brigade would have limited Castro's threat, without the U.S. directly supporting a regime change operation within Cuba. This went fully against the CIA's plan for Cuba.
Kennedy's order for the airstrike on Castro's jets would be cancelled by Special Assistant for National Security Affairs McGeorge Bundy, four hours before the Exile Brigade's B-26s were to take off from Nicaragua, Kennedy was not brought into this decision. In addition, the Director of Central Intelligence Allen Dulles, the man in charge of the Bay of Pigs operation was unbelievably out of the country on the day of the landings.
Col. Prouty, who was Chief of Special Operations during this time, elaborates on this situation:
" Everyone connected with the planning of the Bay of Pigs invasion knew that the policy dictated by NSC 5412, positively prohibited the utilization of active-duty military personnel in covert operations. At no time was an "air cover" position written into the official invasion plan The "air cover" story that has been created is incorrect. "
As a result, JFK who well understood the source of this fiasco, set up a Cuban Study Group the day after and charged it with the responsibility of determining the cause for the failure of the operation. The study group, consisting of Allen Dulles, Gen. Maxwell Taylor, Adm. Arleigh Burke and Attorney General Robert Kennedy (the only member JFK could trust), concluded that the failure was due to Bundy's telephone call to General Cabell (who was also CIA Deputy Director) that cancelled the President's air strike order.
Kennedy had them.
Humiliatingly, CIA Director Allen Dulles was part of formulating the conclusion that the Bay of Pigs op was a failure because of the CIA's intervention into the President's orders. This allowed for Kennedy to issue the National Security Action Memorandum #55 on June 28th, 1961, which began the process of changing the responsibility from the CIA to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. As Prouty states,
" When fully implemented, as Kennedy had planned, after his reelection in 1964, it would have taken the CIA out of the covert operation business. This proved to be one of the first nails in John F. Kennedy's coffin. "
If this was not enough of a slap in the face to the CIA, Kennedy forced the resignation of CIA Director Allen Dulles, CIA Deputy Director for Plans Richard M. Bissell Jr. and CIA Deputy Director Charles Cabell.
In Oct 1962, Kennedy was informed that Cuba had offensive Soviet missiles 90 miles from American shores. Soviet ships with more missiles were on their way towards Cuba but ended up turning around last minute. Rumours started to abound that JFK had cut a secret deal with Russian Premier Khrushchev, which was that the U.S. would not invade Cuba if the Soviets withdrew their missiles. Criticisms of JFK being soft on communism began to stir.
NSAM #263, closely overseen by Kennedy, was released on Oct 11th, 1963, and outlined a policy decision " to withdraw 1,000 military personnel [from Vietnam] by the end of 1963 " and further stated that " It should be possible to withdraw the bulk of U.S. personnel [including the CIA and military] by 1965. " The Armed Forces newspaper Stars and Stripes had the headline U.S. TROOPS SEEN OUT OF VIET BY '65. Kennedy was winning the game and the American people.
This was to be the final nail in Kennedy's coffin.
Kennedy was brutally shot down only one month later, on Nov, 22nd 1963. His death should not just be seen as a tragic loss but, more importantly, it should be recognised for the successful military coup d'état that it was and is . The CIA showed what lengths it was ready to go to if a President stood in its way. (For more information on this coup refer to District Attorney of New Orleans at the time, Jim Garrison's book . And the excellently researched Oliver Stone movie "JFK")Through the Looking Glass
On Nov. 26th 1963, a full four days after Kennedy's murder, de facto President Johnson signed NSAM #273 to begin the change of Kennedy's policy under #263. And on March 4th, 1964, Johnson signed NSAM #288 that marked the full escalation of the Vietnam War and involved 2,709,918 Americans directly serving in Vietnam, with 9,087,000 serving with the U.S. Armed Forces during this period.
The Vietnam War, or more accurately the Indochina War, would continue for another 12 years after Kennedy's death, lasting a total of 20 years for Americans.
Scattered black ops wars continued, but the next large scale-never ending war that would involve the world would begin full force on Sept 11, 2001 under the laughable title War on Terror, which is basically another Iron Curtain, a continuation of a 74 year Cold War. A war that is not meant to end until the ultimate regime changes are accomplished and the world sees the toppling of Russia and China. Iraq was destined for invasion long before the vague Gulf War of 1990 and even before Saddam Hussein was being backed by the Americans in the Iraq-Iran war in the 1980s. Iran already suffered a CIA backed regime change in 1979.
It had been understood far in advance by the CIA and US military that the toppling of sovereignty in Iraq, Libya, Syria and Iran needed to occur before Russia and China could be taken over. Such war tactics were formulaic after 3 decades of counterinsurgency against the CIA fueled "communist-insurgency" of Indochina. This is how today's terrorist-inspired insurgency functions, as a perfect CIA formula for an endless bloodbath.
Former CIA Deputy Director (2010-2013) Michael Morell, who was supporting Hillary Clinton during the presidential election campaign and vehemently against the election of Trump, whom he claimed was being manipulated by Putin, said in a 2016 interview with Charlie Rose that Russians and Iranians in Syria should be killed covertly to 'pay the price' .
Therefore, when a drone stroke occurs assassinating an Iranian Maj. Gen., even if the U.S. President takes onus on it, I would not be so quick as to believe that that is necessarily the case, or the full story. Just as I would not take the statements of President Rouhani accepting responsibility for the Iranian military shooting down 'by accident' the Boeing 737-800 plane which contained 176 civilians, who were mostly Iranian, as something that can be relegated to criminal negligence, but rather that there is very likely something else going on here.
I would also not be quick to dismiss the timely release, or better described as leaked, draft letter from the US Command in Baghdad to the Iraqi government that suggests a removal of American forces from the country. Its timing certainly puts the President in a compromised situation. Though the decision to keep the American forces within Iraq or not is hardly a simple matter that the President alone can determine. In fact there is no reason why, after reviewing the case of JFK, we should think such a thing.
One could speculate that the President was set up, with the official designation of the IRGC as "terrorist" occurring in April 2019 by the US State Department, a decision that was strongly supported by both Bolton and Pompeo, who were both members of the NSC at the time. This made it legal for a US military drone strike to occur against Soleimani under the 2001 AUMF, where the US military can attack any armed group deemed to be a terrorist threat. Both Bolton and Pompeo made no secret that they were overjoyed by Soleimani's assassination and Bolton went so far as to tweet "Hope this is the first step to regime change in Tehran." Bolton has also made it no secret that he is eager to testify against Trump in his possible impeachment trial.
Former CIA Director Mike Pompeo was recorded at an unknown conference recently, but judging from the gross laughter of the audience it consists of wannabe CIA agents, where he admits that though West Points' cadet motto is "You will not lie, cheat, or steal, or tolerate those who do.", his training under the CIA was the very opposite, stating " I was the CIA Director. We lied, we cheated, we stole. It was like we had entire training courses. (long pause) It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment. "
Thus, it should be no surprise to anyone in the world at this point in history, that the CIA holds no allegiance to any country. And it can be hardly expected that a President, who is actively under attack from all sides within his own country, is in a position to hold the CIA accountable for its past and future crimes .
Tags Politics War Conflict
ThomasChase1776 , 3 minutes ago linkIs-Be , 8 minutes ago link
General Smedley Butler had an answer. Read his book.
https://www.americanswhotellthetruth.org/portraits/major-general-smedley-butlerElement , 15 minutes ago link
Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, a true hero for his fellow countrymen
All his countrymen?ThomasChase1776 , 5 minutes ago link
Who's Really In Charge Of The US Military? - Cynthia Chung via The Strategic Culture Foundation
Donald Trump, you stupid time-wasting twat .
InTheLandOfTheBlind , 1 hour ago link
LOL. That's a good one.
Assuming Trump is doing what he said he would, why isn't our military guarding our border?
Why hasn't our military left the middle east already?
Who really runs our government?ThomasChase1776 , 4 minutes ago link
As much as I hate the CIA, mi6 had more of hand in overthrowing iran than Langley didGRDguy , 1 hour ago link
Is that supposed to be an excuse?ThomasChase1776 , 4 minutes ago link
". . . the CIA holds no allegiance to any country." But they sure kiss the *** of the financial sociopaths who write their paychecks and finance the black ops.Slaytheist , 1 hour ago link
and Mossadoneno , 1 hour ago link
Does this bitch not know that the CIA is the currency mafia police....ffs, that's a **** ton of words.SRV , 1 hour ago link
She knows ...cynicalskeptic , 1 hour ago link
Fletcher Prouty's book The Secret Team is a must read... he was on the inside and watched the formation of the permanent team established in the late 50s that assumed the power of the president.
JFK fought that team...InTheLandOfTheBlind , 43 minutes ago link
Look at who the OSS recruited - Ivy League Skull and Bones types from rich families that made their fortunes in often questionable ventures.
If you're the patriarch of some super wealthy family wouldn't you be thrilled to have younger family members working for the nation's intelligence agencies? Sort of the ultimate in 'inside information'. Plus these families had experience in things like drug smuggling, human trafficking and anything else you can imagine..... While the Brits started the opium trade with China, Americans jumped right in bringing opium from Turkey.
Didn't take long before the now CIA became owned by the families whose members staffed it.Spiritual Anunnaki , 2 hours ago link
Again ignoring the British influence. The CIA does not have a monopoly on intelligenceHaboob , 2 hours ago link
One major aspect pertaining American involvment in Veitnam was something like 90% of the rubber produced Globally came from the region.
It is more diverse now, being 3rd, with the association revealing that in 2017, Vietnam earned US$2.3 billion from export of 1.4 million tonnes of natural rubber, up 36% in value and 11.4% in volume year on year.Benito_Camela , 1 hour ago link
Fighting for rubber monopoly in Vietnam,fighting for oil monopoly in the middle east.
That's life.InTheLandOfTheBlind , 38 minutes ago link
Gunboat diplomacy is nothing new. War is and always has been a racket.Art_Vandelay , 2 hours ago link
Unfortunately it is a winning racket.Benito_Camela , 1 hour ago link
Betrayals, secrets, tyranny? Who's in charge? **** Cheney & Co.InTheLandOfTheBlind , 36 minutes ago link
Mike Pimpeo. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPt-zXn05acKan , 2 hours ago link
The British crownTeethVillage88s , 1 hour ago link
Rockfellers formed the OSS then the CIA which is the brute force for the CFR which they also run and own. The bankers run y our country and bought and blackmailed all your politicians... Only buttplug and pedo's get to be in charge now folks.... and some 9th circle witches of course...
OSS & CIA were formed from Ivy League Schools/Uni's... who turned out to be Traitors to England & USSR... Same today I
Feb 28, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
A new focus on the Deep State in undermining the national interests has become a serious thought for many citizens. Not known to many, the Deep State has its origin in the British Empire and how the Round Table infiltrated former British colonies (including India) through America.
Last year, fuel was added to this fire when internal memos were leaked from the British-run Integrity Initiative featuring a startling account of the techniques deployed by the anti-Russian British operation to infiltrate American intelligence institutions, think tanks and media.The Integrity Initiative
For those who may not know, The Integrity Initiative is an anti-Russian propaganda outfit funded to the tune of $140 million by the British Foreign office. Throughout 2019, leaks have been released featuring documents dated to the early period of Trump's election, demonstrating that this organization, already active across Europe promoting anti-Russian PR and smearing nationalist leaders such as Jeremy Corbyn, was intent on spreading deeply into the State Department and setting up "clusters" of anti-Trump operatives. The documents reveal high level meetings that Integrity Initiative Director Chris Donnelly had with former Trump Advisor Sebastien Gorka, McCain Foundation director Kurt Volker, Pentagon PR guru John Rendon among many others.
The exposure of the British hand behind the scenes affords us a unique glimpse into the real historical forces undermining America's true constitutional tradition throughout the 20th century, as Mueller/the Five Eyes/ Integrity Initiative are not new phenomena but actually follow a modus operandi set down for already more than a century. One of the biggest obstacles to seeing this modus operandi run by the British Empire is located in the belief in a mythology which has become embedded in the global psyche for over half a century and which we should do our best to free ourselves of.Myth of the "American Empire"
While there has been a long-standing narrative promoted for over 70 years that the British Empire disappeared after World War II having been replaced by the "American Empire", it is the furthest thing from the truth. America, as constitutionally represented by its greatest presidents (who can unfortunately be identified by their early deaths while serving in office), were never colonialist and were always in favor of reining in British Institutions at home while fighting British colonial thinking abroad.
Franklin Roosevelt's thirteen year-long battle with the Deep State, which he referred to as the "economic royalists who should have left America in 1776″, was defined in clear terms by his patriotic Vice-President Henry Wallace who warned of the emergence of a new Anglo-American fascism in 1944 when he said :
"Fascism in the postwar inevitably will push steadily for Anglo-Saxon imperialism and eventually for war with Russia. Already American fascists are talking and writing about this conflict and using it as an excuse for their internal hatreds and intolerances toward certain races, creeds and classes."
The fact is that already in 1944, a policy of Anglo-Saxon imperialism had been promoted subversively by British-run think tanks known as the Round Table Movement and Fabian Society, and the seeds had already been laid for the anti-Russian cold war by those British-run American fascists. It is not a coincidence that this fascist Cold War policy was announced in a March 5, 1946 speech in Fulton, Missouri by none other than Round Table-follower and the butcher of Bengal, Winston Churchill .The Round Table Movement
When the Round Table Movement was created with funds from the Rhodes Trust in 1902, a new plan was laid out to create a new technocratic elite to manage the re-emergence of the new British Empire and crush the emergence of nationalism globally. This organization would be staffed by generations of Rhodes Scholars who would receive their indoctrination in Oxford before being sent back to advance a "post-nation state" agenda in their respective countries.
As this agenda largely followed the mandate set out by Cecil Rhodes in his Seventh Will who said "Why should we not form a secret society with but one object: the furtherance of the British Empire and the bringing of the whole uncivilized world under British rule, for the recovery of the United States , and for the making of the Anglo-Saxon race but one Empire?"
Q: Is @ShashiTharoor serving the RETURN OF THE EAST INDIA COMPANY ecosystem? His new boss is Shoaib Bajwa, son of British spy, and from same community as Pakistan's General Bajwa head of military. https://t.co/f74pgkDfQU-- Rajiv Malhotra (@RajivMessage) November 30, 2019
With the help of an anglophile, racist president in America, leading figures organizing these think tanks first advanced a program to create a "League of Nations" as the solution to the "nationalist problem" which humanity was told "caused" World War One. Nationalist forces in America rejected the idea that the constitution should be rendered obsolete and the plan for global governance failed. However that did not stop the Round Table Movement from trying again. Leading Round Table controller Lord Lothian (British Ambassador to the USA) complained of the "American problem" in 1918.
There is a fundamentally different concept in regard to this question between Great Britain and the United States as to the necessity of civilized control over politically backward peoples . The inhabitants of Africa and parts of Asia have proved unable to govern themselves . Yet America not only has no conception of this aspect of the problem but has been led to believe that the assumption of this kind of responsibility is iniquitous imperialism.
They take an attitude towards the problem of world government exactly analogous to the one they [earlier] took toward the problem of the world war. If they are slow in learning we shall be condemned to a period of strained relations between the various parts of the English-speaking world. [We must] get into the heads of Canadians and Americans that a share in the burden of world government is just as great and glorious a responsibility as participation in the war ".
A Chinese leader of the American-inspired republican revolution of 1911 named Sun Yat-sen warned of the likes of Lord Lothian and the League of Nations in 1924 when he said:Council on Foreign Relations
"The nations which are employing imperialism to conquer others and which are trying to maintain their own favored positions as sovereign lords of the whole world are advocating cosmopolitanism [aka: global governance/globalization -ed] and want the world to join them Nationalism is that precious possession by which humanity maintains its existence. If nationalism decays, then when cosmopolitanism flourishes we will be unable to survive and will be eliminated".
By 1919, the Round Table Movement changed its name to the Royal Institute for International Affairs (aka: Chatham House) with the "Round Table" name relegated to its geopolitical periodical. In Canada and Australia, branches were created in 1928 under the rubrics of "Canadian and Australian Institutes for International Affairs" (CIIA, AIIA). However in America, where knowledge of the British Empire's subversive role was more widely known, the name "American Institute for International Affairs" was still too delicate. Instead the name "Council on Foreign Relations" was chosen and was chartered in 1921.
Rhodes Scholar William Yandall Elliot surrounded by a few of his leading disciples: Sir Kissinger, Zbigniew Brzezinski Samuel Huntington and Pierre Trudeau
Staffed with Rhodes Scholars and Fabians, the CFR (and its International Chatham House counterparts) dubbed themselves "independent think tanks" which interfaced with Rhodes Scholars and Fabians in academia, government and the private sector alike with the mission of advancing a foreign policy agenda that was in alignment with the British Empire's dream of an Anglo-American "special relationship" . One such Rhodes Scholar was William Yandall Elliot, who played a major role mentoring Henry Kissinger and a generation of geo-politicians from Harvard, not the least of whom include Zbigniew Brzezinski, Pierre Elliot Trudeau and Samuel (Clash of Civilizations) Huntington.Coup Against FDR
In Canada, five leading Rhodes Scholars were busy creating the League of Social Reconstruction as a self-described "Fabian Society of Canada" in 1931 which was meant to be a fascist/technocratic answer to the chaos of "greedy nationalism" that supposedly caused the economic collapse of Black Friday in 1929. During the same time in America, a different path to fascism was taken by these networks during the early 1930s. This plan involved installing a General named Smedley Butler into power as a puppet dictator steered by the Anglo-American establishment. Luckily for America and the world, General Butler blew the whistle on the coup against Franklin Roosevelt at the last minute.Kissinger's British Takeover of America
Though it took a few assassinations throughout the post war years, Kissinger's takeover of the State Department ushered in a new era of British occupation of American foreign policy, whereby the republic increasingly became the "Dumb Giant" acting as " American Brawn for the British brains " using Churchill's words. While a nihilistic generation of youth were tuning in on LSD, and an old guard of patriots surrounding Wallace and Kennedy had fallen to the "red scare" witch hunt, geopolitical theory was fed like a sweet poison down the throat of a sleeping nation, replacing a policy of peace and "win-win cooperation" advanced by true nationalist patriots as FDR, Wallace and the Kennedys, with an imperial clone masquerading as a republic.
Sir Kissinger did nothing less than reveal his total allegiance to the British Empire on May 10, 1981 during a Chatham House conference in Britain when he described his relationship with the British Foreign office in the following terms:
"The British were so matter-of-factly helpful that they became a participant in internal American deliberations, to a degree probably never practiced between sovereign nations In my White House incarnation then, I kept the British Foreign Office better informed and more closely engaged than I did the American State Department It was symptomatic ".
During this period, Kissinger worked closely with CIA director George Bush Senior, who was later rewarded for his role in advancing the British-planned first war on Kuwait with a knighthood. This war set the stage for the second wave of Middle East wars beginning with the Anglo-Saudi orchestrated operation known as 9/11 and the ushering in of the new "post-nation state order" by Kissinger and Blair.
This was the era which was celebrated by both Kissinger and Bush in sundry places as "the New World Order".CTD Advisors – Rebuilding British Empire of Modern Times
CTD Advisors is a UK-based advisory that with insider information from its highly-placed members aims to rebuild the British Empire of modern times. The firm is founded by the son of a Pakistani British spy and heavily infested with former British intelligence chiefs advocating foreign intervention in Kashmir .
CTD Advisors is full of spies decorated as the Commanders of the British Empire.
Isn't providing "insider knowledge" for cracking business deals to former intelligence chiefs of a foreign country by serving member of Indian Parliament a conflict of interest, if not an economic offense and an act of #espionage ?
Our exclusive report 》 https://t.co/7B6EhWZXiK pic.twitter.com/h84eIO7JJM-- GreatGameIndia (@GreatGameIndia) November 22, 2019
- Chris Nickols – a Retd Air Marshal in the Royal Air Force, whose final appointment was Chief of Defence Intelligence. Prior to that he served as Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff (Operations).
- Lord Stuart Polak is the last Commander of the British Empire at CTD Advisors. A British Conservative politician and member of the House of Lords, he is the Honorary President of the Conservative Friends of Israel Group and widely known as an Israeli lobbyist.
- Theresa Mary May the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is perhaps the most high-profile member of CTD Advisors. After graduating in 1977, May worked at the Bank of England and is a member of the Church of England. In 2003 May was appointment to the Privy Council of the United Kingdom.
- Sir Mark Lyall Grant awarded the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George before being promoted to Knight Commander (KCMG).
- Shoaib Bajwa , founder of CTD Advisors and the son of a Pakistani born British spy. In his obituary, Salim Nasir Bajwa, the father of Shoaib is said to have served in British security services for almost 10 years in 1950s and was engaged in multiple entrepreneurial activities in Pakistan and abroad during his life.
- Shashi Tharoor is a serving Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, since 2009 (Mr. Tharoor has in a tweet claimed that "this is premature. They've been in discussions about a consultancy role but no agreement has yet been signed.")
In an interview to the London based Asian Voice, Shoaib explains the reason for founding CTD Advisors. He says, "Since the time of the Second World War, Britain has gradually lost influence in commonwealth states and the emerging markets. It has constricted itself by the EU and kept itself tied to that region."
He says, "western businesses severely lack insider knowledge" and through his company, he "wants to help construct new economic corridors, from within places such as Nigeria to countries and continents that are as far flung as India and Asia. Essentially, rebuilding a "Global Britain" in modern times."General David Petraeus – Deep State Pointman in India Operation Timber Sycamore
The Pentagon project Operation Timber Sycamore that spawned ISIS was the brainchild of former CIA Director General David Petraeus. It is now coordinated by the investment fund KKR, established by Henry Kravis and whose military activities are led by Petraeus.Intervention in India
KKR where Petraeus sits as Chairman belongs to the equity partners who owns 80% stake in NXP Semiconductors who supplied chips for the Electronic Voting Machines in India – the integrity of which is being investigated by Indian agencies. Gen Petraus is also credited to have trained former United States National Security Advisor Herbert Raymond McMaster who is responsible for pulling India into the Anglo-American orbit as a "major defense partner" implemented through 'Washington's Man in New Delhi'.Deep State Airbase in Kashmir
Gen Petraeus is also the key in the ongoing plot for an Anglo-American base in #Kashmir under the trusteeship of the United Nations. The original policy drafted by Mountbatten himself. Read more here 》 Kashmir Conflict - An Anglo American Operation https://t.co/4wg0oUEKXF-- GreatGameIndia (@GreatGameIndia) September 12, 2019
Gen Petraeus is also the key player in the ongoing plot for an Anglo-American Airbase in Kashmir under the trusteeship of the United Nations – a policy drafted by Mountbatten himself. When asked about US intervention in Kashmir, then US Central Command Chief Gen Petraeus disclosed in a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Kashmir : "Together with my great diplomatic wingman Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, this effort actually has started".
As per intel with GreatGameIndia , Petraeus is the pointman for Deep State in India. In 2018, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and former CIA Director David Petraeus together formed strategies for the "dramatic transition of India in the New World Order" at a six-day Raisina Dialogue also attended by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Recently, a high-level conference was organized in London to chart our the strategies for this transition. Needless to say the key speaker for this UK-India Summit 2019 was Petraeus. The event is well known in intelligence circles to be organized by British intelligence.
It has been suggested that KKR had a role to play in Cafe Coffee Day founder V G Siddhartha's death. But what is KKR? Who owns it? What has KKR to do with the CIA?
Here we chart a brief overview of the various covert operations of KKR in India. https://t.co/N9DYF436V8-- GreatGameIndia (@GreatGameIndia) September 14, 2019
It were such meeting, albeit secret that took place in London in the late 90s where the blueprint for the return of East India Company was drafted. Called Vision 2020 the scheme was a brainchild of an American consultancy firm born out of US military, McKinsey and the Big Four. Fortunately the project was met with a lot of opposition and as a result was stopped in its tracks. Since then they have their eyes set on Kashmir now.
* * *
We need your support to carry on our independent and investigative research based journalism on the external and internal threats facing India. Your contribution however small helps us keep afloat. Kindly consider donating to GreatGameIndia. ow
Jim in MN , 11 minutes agoPush , 41 minutes ago
Here, if folks think the Deep State originated with Trump getting ambushed, think again:
Bill Moyers and The Atlantic, 2013-2014
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/07/the-deep-state-the-permanent-campaign-and-the-frayed-fabric-of-american-democracy/277828/Pandelis , 35 minutes ago
And that's the truth. There is one guy in the US who spent his entire career revealing this reality and the establishment went after him harder than any other political figure in American history. George Bush in cooperation with Kissinger and Mueller threw the entire organization in prison - actual political prisoners right here in the US. His name is Lyndon LaRouche and the LaRouche organization is the ONLY organization telling it like it is.
For truth seekers and those looking to really get into what the forces are behind the chaos we see in today's world then you'd be well served to read Lyndon LaRouche and find out for yourself just how influential the British Empire still is today. It's the big secret that's right in front of your faces.
WWW.LaRouchePAC.comPush , 30 minutes ago
to understand "deep state" you have to go back to venice and most probably rome ... same methods (hand), as Abba songs says "the history book on the shelf just keep repeating itself"
no coincidence Lombard street in london takes it name after the italian region next to venice where the pawnshops come from (no banking system yet) ....it shows where the players came from and took over the city.
no coincidence either of the special status of city of london - it shows it is not controlled by "the british"state but by the deep states ... the likes soros works for ... yeah well, in due time they will be handed their verdict by the real power above.
Well it's an ideology. You don't really need to look that far back but it helps to understand the families and the transfer of power from one empire to the next. The ideology is a concept of what man is, and their concept is challenged in the first two sentences of the Declaration of Independence. Which, I believe, 99% of Americans read those first two sentences and have no clue wtf our founders were talking about.
Feb 26, 2020 | www.unz.com
Levtraro , says: Show Comment February 25, 2020 at 6:52 pm GMTI suspect his open-borders advocacy and Russia-bashing too are lies; these are lines of defence against internal forces. It makes sense for him to take those positions while he seeks the nomination. If he gets it, he can betray those positions. A serious politician has to demonstrate a large capacity for betrayal. At the end of the day, he is a hardened politician like the rest.
Feb 26, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Jefferson Morley via TruthDig.com,
President Trump's ongoing purge of the intelligence community, along with Bernie Sanders' surge in the Democratic presidential race, has triggered an unprecedented intervention of U.S. intelligence agencies in the U.S. presidential election on factually dubious grounds.
Former CIA director John Brennan sees a "full-blown national security crisis" in President Trump's latest moves against the intelligence community.
Brennan charges, "Trump is abetting a Russian covert operation to keep him in office for Moscow's interests, not America's." But congressional representatives, both Democratic and Republican, who heard a briefing by the intelligence community about the 2020 election earlier this month say the case for Russian interference is "overstated."
On February 21, it was leaked to the Washington Post that "U.S. officials," meaning members of the intelligence community, had confidentially briefed Sanders about alleged Russian efforts to help his 2020 presidential campaign .
Special prosecutor Robert Mueller documented how the Russians intervened on Trump's behalf in 2016, while finding no evidence of criminal conspiracy. Mueller did not investigate the Russians' efforts on behalf of Sanders, but the Computational Propaganda Research Project at Oxford University did. In a study of social media generated by the Russia-based Internet Research Agency (IRA), the Oxford analysts found that the IRA initially generated propaganda designed to boost all rivals to Hillary Clinton in 2015. As Trump advanced, they focused almost entirely on motivating Trump supporters and demobilizing black voters. In short, the Russians helped Trump hundreds of thousand times more than they boosted Sanders.
The leak to the Post, on the eve of the Nevada caucuses, gave the opposite impression : that help for Trump and Sanders was somehow comparable. The insinuation could only have been politically motivated.
What's driving the U.S. intelligence community intervention in presidential politics is not just fear of Trump, but fear of losing control of the presidency. From 1947 to 2017, the CIA and other secret agencies sometimes clashed with presidents, especially Presidents Kennedy, Nixon and Carter. But since the end of the Cold War, under Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama, the secret agencies had no such problem.
Under Trump, the intelligence community has seen a vast loss of influence. Trump is contemptuous of the CIA's daily briefing. As demonstrated by his pressure campaign on Ukraine, his foreign policies are mostly transactional. Trump is not guided by the policy process or even any consistent doctrine, other than advancing his political and business interests. He's not someone who is interested in doing business with the intelligence community.
The intelligence community fears the rise of Sanders for a different reason. The socialist senator rejects the national security ideology that guided the intelligence community in the Cold War and the war on terror. Sanders' position is increasingly attractive, especially to young voters, and thus increasingly threatening to the former spy chiefs who yearn for a return to the pre-Trump status quo. A Sanders presidency, like a second term for Trump, would thwart that dream. Sanders is not interested in national security business as usual either.
In the face of Trump's lawless behavior, and Sanders' rise, the intelligence community is inserting itself into presidential politics in a way unseen since former CIA director George H.W. Bush occupied the Oval Office. Key to this intervention is the intelligence community's self-image as a disinterested party in the 2020 election.
Former House Intelligence Committee chair Jane Harman says Trump's ongoing purge of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence is a threat to those who "speak truth to power." As the pseudonymous former CIA officer "Alex Finley" tweeted Monday,NEVER MISS THE NEWS THAT MATTERS MOST
the "'Deep state' is actually the group that wants to defend rule of law (and thus gets in the way of those screaming 'DEEP STATE' and corrupting for their own gain)."
ZEROHEDGE DIRECTLY TO YOUR INBOX
Receive a daily recap featuring a curated list of must-read stories.
Self-image, however, is not the same as reality. When it comes to Trump's corruption, Brennan and Co. have ample evidence to support their case. But the CIA is simply not credible as a "defender of the rule of law." The Reagan-Bush Iran-contra conspiracy, the Bush-Cheney torture regime, and the Bush-Obama mass surveillance program demonstrate that the law is a malleable thing for intelligence community leaders. A more realistic take on the 2020 election is that the U.S. intelligence community is not a conspiracy but a self-interested political faction that is seeking to defend its power and policy preferences. The national security faction is not large electorally. It benefits from the official secrecy around its activities. It is assisted by generally sympathetic coverage from major news organizations.
The problem for Brennan and Co. is that "national security" has lost its power to mobilize public opinion. On both the right and the left, the pronouncements of the intelligence community no longer command popular assent.
Trump's acquittal by the Senate in his impeachment trial was one sign. The national security arguments driving the House-passed articles of impeachment were the weakest link in a case that persuaded only one Republican senator to vote for Trump's removal. Sanders' success is another sign.
In the era of endless war, Democratic voters have become skeptical of national security claims - from Iraq's non-existent weapons of mass destruction, to the notion that torture "works," to "progress" in Afghanistan, to the supreme importance of Ukraine - because they have so often turned out to be more self-serving than true.
The prospect of a Trump gaining control of the U.S. intelligence community is scary. So is the intervention of the U.S. intelligence community in presidential politics.
the "'Deep state' is actually the group that wants to defend their power and remain above the law (and thus corrupting the rule of law for their own gain)."
True... the Washington secret police community together with their comrades inside and outside the Regime and their foreign comrades in the secret police community... are only interested in covering up their crime spree and abusing power... though Trump goes along with the Washington regimes abuses of power... play_arrow 1 play_arrow
RepealThe16th , 1 minute agoEquinox7 , 2 minutes ago
So the author repeats the charge of intelligence agencies 'insertion' into domestic politics (which they are FORBIDDEN to do anyway.....especially the CIA and NSA).......and he ends the piece with "Based on Trump's lawless behavior"......
Uh. Dickhead. You might want to point the 'lawless' finger at the proper targets. The intelligence agencies.
WTF???oromae , 3 minutes ago
U.S. Intelligence Is Intervening In The 2020 Election....
Let's correct this misleading headline.
U. S. INTELLIGENCE IS INTERFERING IN THE 2020 ELECTION!Alis Aquilae , 3 minutes ago
What a load of trash.A_Huxley , 4 minutes ago
" The prospect of a Trump gaining control of the U.S. intelligence community is scary."
What an asinine statement. Since its inception, by Harry Truman in 1947 the CIA has been an instrument of the deep state, working against America.
Having said that the corruption inside the CIA seems almost to the point where it can't be salvaged. The FBI is in the same shape as it has been handcrafted by the likes of Mueller, Comey and now Wray to a hollow farce of law enforcement that brings back fond memories of the Keystone cops. It seems the FBI with all of its technical wizardry and surveillance capabilities couldn't find their azzholes in a snowstorm. The list of failed investigations and stasi fascist tactics is growing daily.
At this point it seems the only real cure for these two hemorrhoids on the sphincter of America is a dissection, just like JFK planned before Dallas.
I'm all in on the phasing out of both the CIA and the FBI and creating a new sector of military intelligence to assume the duties that these 2 agencies have squandered.Thalamus , 4 minutes ago
Who are the gov of Australia and MI6 supporting this year?Shemp 4 Victory , 11 minutes ago
The intelligence agencies are the mob getting government pay.Shifter_X , 12 minutes ago
So this is US "intelligence"? What a bunch of narcissistic, dim-witted, hypocritical, unimaginative poltroons.
Jane Harman must think everyone is huffing gasoline if she expects people to believe that the "intelligence" community speaks truth to power. If she actually believes it herself, then she must come back from lunch reeking like Sunoco Gold 94 octane. Anyone who actually does speak truth to power ends up like Assange, Manning, or Snowden, or gets the Seth Rich treatment, or simply disappears.
Pseudonymous former CIA officer "Alex Finley" is just one of many self-serving racketeers in the "intelligence" community worried that their racket may be exposed. He's also a shabby liar. Here is his statement after it's been stripped of the cheap ********:
the "'Deep state' is actually the group that wants to defend their power and remain above the law (and thus corrupting the rule of law for their own gain)."
And Johnny "one-note" Brennan (whose eye sockets appear to be empty) keeps playing the same "the Russians are gonna get us" song because he is scared shitless. He knows the extent of his crimes and is desperately trying to deflect attention away from himself. He's such a dullard, though, that he can't think of any way to do so except to bleat the same tired old fake Cold War propaganda from 50 years ago.
As an American, I'd be embarrassed if these creepy freaks were working for America. It's pretty clear that they're not, though.Shue , 15 minutes ago
This whole Red scare is just a boatload of ********.ISEEIT , 16 minutes ago
" Brennan charges, "Trump is abetting a Russian covert operation to keep him in office for Moscow's interests, not America's."
WTF?! Are you ******* kidding me? Are Americans really that ******* stupid? Trump has been the worst possible POTUS towards Russia.nuerocaster , 16 minutes ago
Whoever wrote this crap is pretty slick, I'll give 'em that.
The thing is I simply can't accept the embedded assumptions that render the entire article intellectually poo-poo.
The real story that would be dominating any legit public discourse would be the ******* coup attempt and the matter of lack of accountability.
Once we peel off that layer of the onion, we can begin talking about 12-3 and one on one.
The lack of perspective issue is fatal.Falconsixone , 17 minutes ago
Editors?seryanhoj , 20 minutes ago
Your All Fired! Get Your **** And Get Out!BankSurfyMan , 16 minutes ago
From the CIA viewpoint, " why should we few hundred thousand citizens and their votes **** up our best laid schemes? That would be crazy ?Railiciere , 20 minutes ago
Angel 5 dispatched 7 at WUHAN, ~ From the CIA viewpoint ~ on the HEDGE! U Next!Shemp 4 Victory , 8 minutes ago
I've made $64,000 so far this year working online and I'm a full time student. Im using an online business opportunity I heard about and I've made such great money. It's really user friendly and I'm just so happy that I found out about it.
Heres what I do............... FoxLifeStyles.comSicSemperTyrannus , 26 minutes ago
***.valjoux7750 , 26 minutes ago
Or, we finally woke up to the fact that the intelligence "community" is a cabal of psychopathic murdering satanists who only cares to stay in power. Keeping the American people in thrall. I could be wrong.BankSurfyMan , 20 minutes ago
Is that Brenan **** still running his mouth? That ******* is out there.JohnG , 13 minutes ago
Speak often on the HEDGE, sign up and post up, Comment of the Month Club Awarded! AMAZING, BUT NEVER COMMON U Next!CamCam , 30 minutes ago
You are coming close to being ignored.
Post no more obviously retarded comments.insanelysane , 31 minutes ago
The intelligence community intervened in every election, everywhere and all of the timeChain Man , 31 minutes ago
Not even a majority of sheeple believe anything the alphabet agencies have to say.Shemp 4 Victory , 5 minutes ago
The CIA needs to be helping ICE get rid of illegal aliens in the USA. They can do some investigating and leg work.gcjohns1971 , 33 minutes ago
Sounds nice, except the CIA doesn't give a **** about America.Shifter_X , 11 minutes ago
"Brennan and Co. have ample evidence to support their case. "
Oh where oh where have I heard THAT before??
I wouldn't believe Brennan & Co if they told me, "The Sun will rise tomorrow morning".
And if I shook hands with "Brennan & Co" I would count my fingers afterwards.chubbar , 34 minutes ago
If there was any, much less, ample evidence, we would have all seen it by now 24/7 for the last three years.The Palmetto Cynic , 34 minutes ago
The author is an idiot. Anytime you are listening to Brennan or Mueller, you know you are way off track.BankSurfyMan , 32 minutes ago
Intelligence has nothing to do with elections. HL Mencken pointed this out a long time ago:
"Politicians rarely if ever get there [into public office] by merit alone, at least in democratic states. Sometimes, to be sure, it happens, but only by a kind of miracle. They are chosen normally for quite different reasons, the chief of which is simply their power to impress and enchant the intellectually under privileged .... Will any of them venture to tell the plain truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about the situation of the country, foreign or domestic? Will any of them refrain from promises that he knows he can't fulfill-that no human being could fulfill? Will any of them utter a word, however obvious, that will alarm and alienate any of the huge pack of morons who cluster at the public trough, wallowing in the pap that grows thinner and thinner, hoping against hope? Answer: maybe for a few weeks at the start. ... But not after the issue is fairly joined, and the struggle is on in earnest .... They will all promise every man, woman and child in the country whatever he, she or it wants. They'll all be roving the land looking for chances to make the rich poor, to remedy the irremediable, to succor the unsuccorable, to unscramble the unscrambleable, to dephlogisticate the undephlogisticable. They will all be curing warts by saying words over them, and paying off the national debt with money that no one will have to earn. When one of them demonstrates that twice two is five, another will prove that it is six, six and a half, ten, twenty, n. In brief, they will divest themselves from their character as sensible, candid and truthful men, and become simply candidates for office, bent only on collaring votes. They will all know by then, even supposing that some of them don't know it now, that votes are collared under democracy, not by talking sense but by talking nonsense, and they will apply themselves to the job with a hearty yo-heave-ho. Most of them, before the uproar is over, will actually convince themselves. The winner will be whoever promises the most with the least probability of delivering anything." – HL Mencken "A Mencken Chrestomathy"The Palmetto Cynic , 29 minutes ago
I read your entire comment in less than a second on the HEDGE of Doom 2020! No votes from me, MING!BankSurfyMan , 25 minutes ago
What matters is that you took at least 30 seconds to write that response ;-)J J Pettigrew , 38 minutes ago
My instincts on the Hedge told me to expect a reply, Courtesy and Respect ~ Due to You ~ up voted!BankSurfyMan , 31 minutes ago
And what of Hunter Biden...?
Notice the deals were made somewhere to drop the issue....the corruption...the linkages...bizarroworld , 38 minutes ago
JJ in the House and on the Hedge getting up voted AGAIN!Roanman , 41 minutes ago
I hope the moron who wrote this (clearly a TDS infected moron) gets covid-19. Soon.Balance-Sheet , 42 minutes ago
Dumb *** piece written by a dumb ***.
Corrupt Trump, corrupt CIA out to get poor Bernie.
To quote Bugs, "What a maroon. What an ignoranimous."seryanhoj , 15 minutes ago
The top level of the Military and the Intelligence Agencies will consider themselves as holders of the Sovereignty of the USA not Congress, the President, and certainly not the average citizen.
As such they will defend their position on the basis that all politicians are very temporary and will not tolerate any person or group to threaten their primacy and President Trump or anyone else doesn't have to do or say much of anything one way or the other to cause the Mil/Intel community to block the elected government and remove people from office by any and all means.
As the Sovereign Power of the USA they are above all law outside the USA and increasingly inside the country as well.tunEphsh , 43 minutes ago
Right. The CIA aren't about to let voters inntefere with their plans for the world. What do they know ? Only what we tell them.Balance-Sheet , 40 minutes ago
John Brennan is a wacko, and he lied to congress about all 17 intelligence agencies supporting the claim of Russia hacking of the DNC emails. The determination was in reality made by a small group of people hand-picked by Brennan. Brennan needs to go to jail for about twenty years. The U.S. should put him in Cuba to be with the Middle Eastern murderers.tunEphsh , 39 minutes ago
If the CIA really opposes Brennan they can instantly remove him by accident.chunga , 44 minutes ago
They could but they will not.TheBeholder , 23 minutes ago
I just watched the maverick reformer and his team of experts talk about how awesome the US is prepared for the zombie apocalypse and I still don't know if CDC even has a test for this virus.
I don't think they do.Cabreado , 44 minutes ago
Not a very accurate test, lots of false positivesGovernment needs you to pay taxes , 53 minutes ago
Enough of the gibberish.
How 'bout a Rule of Law?
Where are the indictments?Steele Hammerhands , 53 minutes ago
That goddamn traitor dunecoon Brennan can suck my balls.LordMaster , 51 minutes ago
What happened to breaking the CIA into a thousand pieces and scattering the bits to the wind? That seemed like a good plan.Freespeaker , 49 minutes ago
CIA is basically MOSSAD. If you don't know this, you could be a moron.LordMaster , 50 minutes ago
They are close MI6/5Eyes as wellDaiRR , 57 minutes ago
There should be a people's rally outside CIA headquarters. They are scummy bastards who DO NOT act on the behalf of American Interests.Reaper , 58 minutes ago
LOL, yeah sure, Brennan spoke "truth to power." I volunteer to pull the lever on his gallows at no cost to the taxpayer. Hell, I volunteer to build the gallows gratis.
One of the only high level intel chiefs from the Obamunist Administration I trust was Adm. Michael S. Rogers, Director of the National Security Agency. President Trump has been getting Roger's counsel on who to fire.Wow72 , 58 minutes ago
Everything they say is a fabrication.J'accuse , 1 hour ago
Brennan charges, "Trump is abetting a Russian covert operation to keep him in office for Moscow's interests, not America's." But congressional representatives, both Democratic and Republican, who heard a briefing by the intelligence community about the 2020 election earlier this month say the case for Russian interference is "overstated."
This from the democratic side...The side which has sold every valuable thing in the country to foreign interests... The Hypocrisy is insane here.. Where was he when foreigners were donating to the Clinton Foundation for favors?darkenergy-KNOT , 57 minutes ago
It's a sad situation when the DOJ remains unable to prosecute the Intel agencies' corrupt actors that plotted a coup against Candidate/Pres Trump in 2016 to this day. And Mr. Brennan is already setting up a 2020 pre-coup and the MSM/DOJ et al are willingly participating - again! Sad times for America.Freespeaker , 1 hour ago
same as it ever was.Farts and Leaves , 1 hour ago
CIA is a much bigger electoral threat to the US than Russia could ever dream of.Freespeaker , 1 hour ago
Hey Brennan...NOBODY BELIEVES YOU!typeatme , 1 hour ago
Brennan and Mike Morrell pushed the Steele dossier along with Harry Reid. This was prior to the election.nmewn , 54 minutes ago
"When it comes to Intelligence agency corruption, Trump and the American People have ample evidence to support their case."
There, Fixed it for ya...
Something about kettles and black comes to mind...
Ain't it great that Senator Di-Fi is no longer a member of the Gang of Eight on intelligence matters? It kinda lowered her stature after everyone found out she had a Chi-Com spy in her employ for years...lol.
And is subject to divulging classified information just because she's taking "cold medicine" ;-)
Feb 26, 2020 | www.unz.com
Realist , says: Show Comment February 26, 2020 at 12:25 pm GMT9/11 Inside job , says: Show Comment February 26, 2020 at 12:43 pm GMT
In a struggle between oligarchy and democracy, something must give
America hasn't been a democracy for decades there is no contest oligarchy (Deep State) won a long time ago. The only struggle is to continue the facade/charade that we are a democracy/democratic republic.
The Deep State doesn't care about the unimportant internecine squabbles of the 'two parties' as long as their important issues are maintained. As a matter of fact it strengthens the false perception that there is a choice when voting.
The Deep State consists of the very wealthy who are greedy for more wealth and power. There are 607 billionaires in the US. There is no reason for the Deep State members to formally collude they all know what needs to be done and how to do it. They use a relatively small amount of their money to place their minions in positions of power heads of the movie industry, the media, the federal government, academia. From then on if the lessers in these groups want to keep their jobs/lives they will toe the line. It becomes self sustaining from tax money and the Deep State glories in more wealth and power. Here is an excellent example of the Deep State in action: The SCOTUS has passed down egregious decisions that abridge the First Amendment and show contempt for the concept of a representative democracy. Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1976 and exacerbated by continuing stupid SCOTUS decisions First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission.
These decisions have codified that money is free speech thereby giving entities of wealth and power almost total influence in elections. By gaining control of the SCOTUS the Deep State is able to further their goals.
Another take on the Deep State:
https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/11/14/understanding-the-deep-states-propaganda/Is the US presently a :AnonFromTN , says: Show Comment February 26, 2020 at 11:17 pm GMT
6.All of the above ?There is no quandary. The US democracy has long become "one dollar – one vote". Those who still believe that Dems represent working people should not take IQ test to avoid being deeply disappointed.
Feb 25, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
The Russians are back, alongside the American intelligence agencies playing deep inside our elections. Who should we fear more? Hint: not the Russians.
On February 13, the election security czar in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) briefed the House Intelligence Committee that the Russians were meddling again and that they favored Donald Trump. A few weeks earlier, the ODNI briefed Bernie Sanders that the Russians were also meddling in the Democratic primaries, this time in his favor. Both briefings remained secret until this past week, when the former was leaked to the New York Times in time to smear Trump for replacing his DNI, and the latter leaked to the Washington Post ahead of the Nevada caucuses to try and damage Sanders.
Russiagate is back, baby. Everyone welcome Russiagate II.
You didn't think after 2016 the bad boys of the intel "community" (which makes it sound like they all live together down in Florida somewhere) weren't going to play their games again, and that they wouldn't learn from their mistakes? Those errors were in retrospect amateurish. A salacious dossier built around a pee tape? Nefarious academics befriending minor Trump campaign staffers who would tell all to an Aussie ambassador trolling London's pubs looking for young, fit Americans? Falsified FISA applications when it was all too obvious even Trumpkin greenhorns weren't dumb enough to sleep with FBI honeypots? You'd think after influencing 85 elections across the globe since World War II, they'd be better at it. But you also knew that after failing to whomp a bumpkin like Trump once, they would keep trying.
Like any good intel op, you start with a tickle, make it seem like the targets are figuring it out for themselves. Get it out there that Trump offered Wikileaks' Julian Assange a pardon if he would state publicly that Russia wasn't involved in the 2016 DNC leaks. The story was all garbage, not the least of which because Assange has been clear for years that it wasn't the Russians. And there was no offer of a pardon from the White House. And conveniently Assange is locked in a foreign prison and can't comment.
Whatever. Just make sure you time the Assange story to hit the day after Trump pardoned numerous high-profile, white-collar criminals, so even the casual reader had Trump = bad, with a side of Russian conspiracy, on their minds. You could almost imagine an announcer's voice: "Previously, on Russiagate I "
Then, only a day after the Assange story (why be subtle?), the sequel hit the theaters with timed leaks to the NYT and WaPo . The mainstream media went Code Red (the CIA has a long history of working with the media to influence elections).
CNN concluded that "America's Russia nightmare is back." Maddow was ecstatic, bleating "Here we go again," recycling her failed conspiracy theories whole. Everybody quoted Adam Schiff firing off that Trump was "again jeopardizing our efforts to stop foreign meddling." Tying it all to the failed impeachment efforts, another writer said , "'Let the Voters Decide' doesn't work if Trump fires his national security staff so Russia can help him again." The NYT fretted , "Trump is intensifying his efforts to undermine the nation's intelligence agencies." John Brennan (after leaking for a while, most boils dry up and go away) said , "we are now in a full-blown national security crisis." The undead Hillary Clinton tweeted , "Putin's Puppet is at it again."
It is clear we'll be hearing breaking and developing reports about this from sources believed to be close to others through November. Despite the sense of desperation in the recycled memes and the way the media rose on command to the bait, it's intel community 1, Trump 0.
But it's still a miss on Bernie. He did well in Nevada despite the leaks, though Russiagate II has a long way to go. Bernie himself assured us of that. Instead of pooh-poohing the idea that the Russians might be working for him, he instead gave it cred, saying , "Some of the ugly stuff on the internet attributed to our campaign may well not be coming from real supporters."
Sanders handed Russiagate II legs, signaling that he'll use it as cover for the Bros' online shenanigans, which were called out at the last debate. That's playing with fire: it'll be too easy later on to invoke all this with "Komrade Bernie" memes in the already wary purple states. "Putin and Trump are picking their opponent," opined Rahm Emanuel to get that ball rolling.
Summary to date: everyone is certain the Russians are working to influence the election (adopts cartoon Russian accent) but who is the cat and who is the mouse?
Is Putin helping Trump get re-elected to remain his asset in place? Or is Putin helping Bernie "I Honeymooned in the Soviet Union" Sanders to make him look like an asset to help Trump? Or are the Russkies really all in because Bernie is a True Socialist sleeper agent, the Emma Goldman of his time (Bernie's old enough to have taken Emma to high school prom)? Or is it not the Russians but the American intel community helping Bernie to make it look like Putin is helping Bernie to help Trump? Or is it the Deep State saying the Reds are helping Bernie to hurt Bernie to help their man Bloomberg? Are Russian spies tripping over American spies in caucus hallways trying to get to the front of the room? Who can tell what is really afoot?
See, the devil is in the details, which is why we don't have any.
The world's greatest intelligence team can't seem to come up with anything more specific than "interfering" and "meddling," as if pesky Aunt Vladimir is gossiping at the general store again. CBS reports that House members pressed the ODNI for evidence, such as phone intercepts, to back up claims that Russia is trying to help Trump, but briefers had none to offer. Even Jake Tapper , a Deep State loyalty card holder, raised some doubts. WaPo , which hosted one of the leaks, had to admit "It is not clear what form that Russian assistance has taken."
Yes, yes, they have to protect sources and methods, but of course the quickest way to stop Russian influence is to expose it. Instead the ODNI dropped the turd in the punchbowl and walked away. Why not tell the public what media is being bought, which outlets are working, willingly or not, with Putin? Did the Reds implant a radio chip in Biden's skull? Will we be left hanging with the info-free claim "something something social media" again?
If you're going to scream that communist zombies with MAGA hats are inside the house , you're obligated to provide a little bit more information. Why is it when specifics are required, the response is always something like "Well, the Russians are sowing distrust and turning Americans against themselves in a way that weakens national unity" as if we're all not eating enough green vegetables? Why leave us exposed to Russian influence for even a second when it could all be shut down in an instant?
Because the intel community learned its lesson in Russiagate I. Details can be investigated. That's where the old story fell apart. The dossier wasn't true. Michael Cohen never met the Russians in Prague. The a-ha discovery was that voters don't read much anyway, so just make claims. You'll never really prosecute or impeach anyone, so why bother with evidence (see everything Ukraine)? Just throw out accusations and let the media fill it all in for you. After all, they managed to convince a large number of Americans Trump's primary purpose in running for president was to fill vacant hotel rooms at his properties. Let the nature of the source -- the brave lads of the intelligence agencies -- legitimize the accusations this time, not facts.
It will take a while to figure out who is playing whom. Is the goal to help Trump, help Bernie, or defeat both of them to support Bloomberg? But don't let the challenge of seeing the whole picture obscure the obvious: the American intelligence agencies are once again inside our election.
The intel community crossed a line in 2016, albeit clumsily (what was all that with Comey and Hillary?), to play an overt role in the electoral process. When that didn't work out and Trump was elected, they pivoted and drove us to the brink of all hell breaking loose with Russiagate I. The media welcomed and supported them. The Dems welcomed and supported them. Far too many Americans welcomed and supported them in some elaborate version of the ends justifying the means.
The good news from 2016 was that the Deep State turned out to be less competent than we originally feared. But they have learned much from those mistakes, particularly how deft a tool a compliant MSM is. This election will be a historian's marker for how a decent nation, fully warned in 2016, fooled itself in 2020 into self-harm. Forget about foreigners influencing our elections from the outside; the zombies are already inside the house.
Peter Van Buren, a 24-year State Department veteran, is the author of We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People , Hooper's War: A Novel of WWII Japan , and Ghosts of Tom Joad: A Story of the #99 Percent .
49 minutes ago
Feb 23, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Danny Sjursen via TomDispatch.com,
There once lived an odd little man - five feet nine inches tall and barely 140 pounds sopping wet - who rocked the lecture circuit and the nation itself. For all but a few activist insiders and scholars, U.S. Marine Corps Major General Smedley Darlington Butler is now lost to history. Yet more than a century ago, this strange contradiction of a man would become a national war hero, celebrated in pulp adventure novels, and then, 30 years later, as one of this country's most prominent antiwar and anti-imperialist dissidents.
Raised in West Chester, Pennsylvania, and educated in Quaker (pacifist) schools, the son of an influential congressman, he would end up serving in nearly all of America's " Banana Wars " from 1898 to 1931. Wounded in combat and a rare recipient of two Congressional Medals of Honor, he would retire as the youngest, most decorated major general in the Marines.
A teenage officer and a certified hero during an international intervention in the Chinese Boxer Rebellion of 1900, he would later become a constabulary leader of the Haitian gendarme, the police chief of Philadelphia (while on an approved absence from the military), and a proponent of Marine Corps football. In more standard fashion, he would serve in battle as well as in what might today be labeled peacekeeping , counterinsurgency , and advise-and-assist missions in Cuba, China, the Philippines, Panama, Nicaragua, Mexico, Haiti, France, and China (again). While he showed early signs of skepticism about some of those imperial campaigns or, as they were sardonically called by critics at the time, " Dollar Diplomacy " operations -- that is, military campaigns waged on behalf of U.S. corporate business interests -- until he retired he remained the prototypical loyal Marine.
But after retirement, Smedley Butler changed his tune. He began to blast the imperialist foreign policy and interventionist bullying in which he'd only recently played such a prominent part. Eventually, in 1935 during the Great Depression, in what became a classic passage in his memoir, which he titled "War Is a Racket," he wrote:
"I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service... And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street, and for the Bankers."
Seemingly overnight, the famous war hero transformed himself into an equally acclaimed antiwar speaker and activist in a politically turbulent era. Those were, admittedly, uncommonly anti-interventionist years, in which veterans and politicians alike promoted what (for America, at least) had been fringe ideas. This was, after all, the height of what later pro-war interventionists would pejoratively label American " isolationism ."
Nonetheless, Butler was unique (for that moment and certainly for our own) in his unapologetic amenability to left-wing domestic politics and materialist critiques of American militarism. In the last years of his life, he would face increasing criticism from his former admirer, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the military establishment, and the interventionist press. This was particularly true after Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany invaded Poland and later France. Given the severity of the Nazi threat to mankind, hindsight undoubtedly proved Butler's virulent opposition to U.S. intervention in World War II wrong.
Nevertheless, the long-term erasure of his decade of antiwar and anti-imperialist activism and the assumption that all his assertions were irrelevant has proven historically deeply misguided. In the wake of America's brief but bloody entry into the First World War, the skepticism of Butler (and a significant part of an entire generation of veterans) about intervention in a new European bloodbath should have been understandable. Above all, however, his critique of American militarism of an earlier imperial era in the Pacific and in Latin America remains prescient and all too timely today, especially coming as it did from one of the most decorated and high-ranking general officers of his time. (In the era of the never-ending war on terror, such a phenomenon is quite literally inconceivable.)
Smedley Butler's Marine Corps and the military of his day was, in certain ways, a different sort of organization than today's highly professionalized armed forces. History rarely repeats itself, not in a literal sense anyway. Still, there are some disturbing similarities between the careers of Butler and today's generation of forever-war fighters. All of them served repeated tours of duty in (mostly) unsanctioned wars around the world. Butler's conflicts may have stretched west from Haiti across the oceans to China, whereas today's generals mostly lead missions from West Africa east to Central Asia, but both sets of conflicts seemed perpetual in their day and were motivated by barely concealed economic and imperial interests.
Nonetheless, whereas this country's imperial campaigns of the first third of the twentieth century generated a Smedley Butler, the hyper-interventionism of the first decades of this century hasn't produced a single even faintly comparable figure. Not one. Zero. Zilch. Why that is matters and illustrates much about the U.S. military establishment and contemporary national culture, none of it particularly encouraging.Why No Antiwar Generals
When Smedley Butler retired in 1931, he was one of three Marine Corps major generals holding a rank just below that of only the Marine commandant and the Army chief of staff. Today, with about 900 generals and admirals currently serving on active duty, including 24 major generals in the Marine Corps alone, and with scores of flag officers retiring annually, not a single one has offered genuine public opposition to almost 19 years worth of ill-advised, remarkably unsuccessful American wars . As for the most senior officers, the 40 four-star generals and admirals whose vocal antimilitarism might make the biggest splash, there are more of them today than there were even at the height of the Vietnam War, although the active military is now about half the size it was then. Adulated as many of them may be, however, not one qualifies as a public critic of today's failing wars.
Instead, the principal patriotic dissent against those terror wars has come from retired colonels, lieutenant colonels, and occasionally more junior officers (like me), as well as enlisted service members. Not that there are many of us to speak of either. I consider it disturbing (and so should you) that I personally know just about every one of the retired military figures who has spoken out against America's forever wars.
The big three are Secretary of State Colin Powell's former chief of staff, retired Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson ; Vietnam veteran and onetime West Point history instructor, retired Colonel Andrew Bacevich ; and Iraq veteran and Afghan War whistleblower , retired Lieutenant Colonel Danny Davis . All three have proven to be genuine public servants, poignant voices, and -- on some level -- cherished personal mentors. For better or worse, however, none carry the potential clout of a retired senior theater commander or prominent four-star general offering the same critiques.
Something must account for veteran dissenters topping out at the level of colonel. Obviously, there are personal reasons why individual officers chose early retirement or didn't make general or admiral. Still, the system for selecting flag officers should raise at least a few questions when it comes to the lack of antiwar voices among retired commanders. In fact, a selection committee of top generals and admirals is appointed each year to choose the next colonels to earn their first star. And perhaps you won't be surprised to learn that, according to numerous reports , "the members of this board are inclined, if not explicitly motivated, to seek candidates in their own image -- officers whose careers look like theirs." At a minimal level, such a system is hardly built to foster free thinkers, no less breed potential dissidents.
Consider it an irony of sorts that this system first received criticism in our era of forever wars when General David Petraeus, then commanding the highly publicized " surge " in Iraq, had to leave that theater of war in 2007 to serve as the chair of that selection committee. The reason: he wanted to ensure that a twice passed-over colonel, a protégé of his -- future Trump National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster -- earned his star.
Mainstream national security analysts reported on this affair at the time as if it were a major scandal, since most of them were convinced that Petraeus and his vaunted counterinsurgency or " COINdinista " protégés and their " new " war-fighting doctrine had the magic touch that would turn around the failing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In fact, Petraeus tried to apply those very tactics twice -- once in each country -- as did acolytes of his later, and you know the results of that.
But here's the point: it took an eleventh-hour intervention by America's most acclaimed general of that moment to get new stars handed out to prominent colonels who had, until then, been stonewalled by Cold War-bred flag officers because they were promoting different (but also strangely familiar) tactics in this country's wars. Imagine, then, how likely it would be for such a leadership system to produce genuine dissenters with stars of any serious sort, no less a crew of future Smedley Butlers.
At the roots of this system lay the obsession of the American officer corps with " professionalization " after the Vietnam War debacle. This first manifested itself in a decision to ditch the citizen-soldier tradition, end the draft, and create an "all-volunteer force." The elimination of conscription, as predicted by critics at the time, created an ever-growing civil-military divide, even as it increased public apathy regarding America's wars by erasing whatever " skin in the game " most citizens had.
More than just helping to squelch civilian antiwar activism, though, the professionalization of the military, and of the officer corps in particular, ensured that any future Smedley Butlers would be left in the dust (or in retirement at the level of lieutenant colonel or colonel) by a system geared to producing faux warrior-monks. Typical of such figures is current chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army General Mark Milley. He may speak gruffly and look like a man with a head of his own, but typically he's turned out to be just another yes-man for another war-power -hungry president.
One group of generals, however, reportedly now does have it out for President Trump -- but not because they're opposed to endless war. Rather, they reportedly think that The Donald doesn't "listen enough to military advice" on, you know, how to wage war forever and a day.What Would Smedley Butler Think Today?
In his years of retirement, Smedley Butler regularly focused on the economic component of America's imperial war policies. He saw clearly that the conflicts he had fought in, the elections he had helped rig, the coups he had supported, and the constabularies he had formed and empowered in faraway lands had all served the interests of U.S. corporate investors. Though less overtly the case today, this still remains a reality in America's post-9/11 conflicts, even on occasion embarrassingly so (as when the Iraqi ministry of oil was essentially the only public building protected by American troops as looters tore apart the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, in the post-invasion chaos of April 2003). Mostly, however, such influence plays out far more subtly than that, both abroad and here at home where those wars help maintain the record profits of the top weapons makers of the military-industrial complex.
That beast, first identified by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, is now on steroids as American commanders in retirement regularly move directly from the military onto the boards of the giant defense contractors, a reality which only contributes to the dearth of Butlers in the military retiree community. For all the corruption of his time, the Pentagon didn't yet exist and the path from the military to, say, United Fruit Company, Standard Oil, or other typical corporate giants of that moment had yet to be normalized for retiring generals and admirals. Imagine what Butler would have had to say about the modern phenomenon of the " revolving door " in Washington.
Of course, he served in a very different moment, one in which military funding and troop levels were still contested in Congress. As a longtime critic of capitalist excesses who wrote for leftist publications and supported the Socialist Party candidate in the 1936 presidential elections, Butler would have found today's nearly trillion-dollar annual defense budgets beyond belief. What the grizzled former Marine long ago identified as a treacherous nexus between warfare and capital "in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives" seems to have reached its natural end point in the twenty-first century. Case in point: the record (and still rising ) "defense" spending of the present moment, including -- to please a president -- the creation of a whole new military service aimed at the full-scale militarization of space .
Sadly enough, in the age of Trump, as numerous polls demonstrate, the U.S. military is the only public institution Americans still truly trust. Under the circumstances, how useful it would be to have a high-ranking, highly decorated, charismatic retired general in the Butler mold galvanize an apathetic public around those forever wars of ours. Unfortunately, the likelihood of that is practically nil, given the military system of our moment.
Of course, Butler didn't exactly end his life triumphantly. In late May 1940, having lost 25 pounds due to illness and exhaustion -- and demonized as a leftist, isolationist crank but still maintaining a whirlwind speaking schedule -- he checked himself into the Philadelphia Navy Yard Hospital for a "rest." He died there, probably of some sort of cancer, four weeks later. Working himself to death in his 10-year retirement and second career as a born-again antiwar activist, however, might just have constituted the very best service that the two-time Medal of Honor winner could have given the nation he loved to the very end.
Someone of his credibility, character, and candor is needed more than ever today. Unfortunately, this military generation is unlikely to produce such a figure. In retirement, Butler himself boldly confessed that, "like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical..."
Today, generals don't seem to have a thought of their own even in retirement. And more's the pity...2 minutes agoAm I the only one to notice that Hollywood and it's film distributors have gone full bore on "war" productions, glorifying these historical events while using poetic license to rewrite history. Prepping the numbheads.14 minutes agoTULSI GABBARD.14 minutes ago
Forget rank. As Mr Sjursen implies, dissidents are no longer allowed in the higher ranks. "They" made sure to fix this as Mr Butler had too much of a mind of his own (US education system also programmed against creative, charismatic thinkers, btw).
The US Space Force has been created as part of a plan to disclose the deep state's Secret Space Program (SSP), which has been active for decades, and which has utilized, and repressed, advanced technologies that would provide free, unlimited renewable energy, and thus eliminate hunger and poverty on a planetary scale.14 minutes ago
- What imperialism?
- We are spreading freedumb and dumbocracy.
- We are saving the world from socialism and communism.
- We are energy independent, with innate exceptionalism and #MAGA# will usher in a new era of American prosperity.
- Any and all accusations of USSA imperialism, are made by the "woke" and those jealous of the greatest Capitalist system in the world.
- The swamp is being drained as I speak, and therefore will continue with unwavering support for my 5x draft dodging, Zionist supporting, multiple times bankrupt, keeper of broken promises POTUS.
- Smedley Butler's book is not worthy of reading once you have the seminal work known as "The Art Of The Deal"
#MIGA#29 minutes ago
ALL wars are EVIL. Period .30 minutes ago
Sadly enough, in the age of Trump, as numerous polls demonstrate, the U.S. military is the only public institution Americans still truly trust. Under the circumstances, how useful it would be to have a high-ranking, highly decorated, charismatic retired general in the Butler mold galvanize an apathetic public around those forever wars of ours. Unfortunately, the likelihood of that is practically nil, given the military system of our moment.
This is why I feel an oath keeping constitutionally oriented American general is what we need in power, clear out all 545 criminals in office now, review their finances (and most of them will roll over on the others) and punish accordingly, then the lobbyist, how many of them worked against the country? You know what we do with those.
And then, finally, Hollywood, oh yes I long to see that **** hole burn with everyone in it.Republicrat: the two faces of the moar war whore.32 minutes ago35 minutes ago
Given the severity of the Nazi threat to mankind
Do tell, from what I've read the Nazis were really only a threat to a few groups, the rest of us didn't need to worry.Today, the "Masters of the Permawars" refer to the international extortion, MIC, racket as "Defending American Interests"! .....With never any explanation to the public/American taxpayer just what "American Interests" the incredible expenditures of American lives, blood, and treasure are being defended!41 minutes ago
Why are we sending our children out into the hellholes of the world to be maimed and killed in the fauxjew banksters' quest for world domination.
How stupid can we be!(Edited) "Smedley Butler"... The last time the UCMJ was actually used before being permanently turned into a "door stop"!49 minutes agoHe was correct about our staying out of WWII. Which, BTW, would have never happened if we had stayed out of WWI.22 minutes ago(Edited) Both wars were about the international fauxjew imposition of debt-money central bankstering.53 minutes ago
Both wars were promulgated by the Financial oligarchyof New York. The communist Red Army of Russia was funded and supplied by the Financial oligarchyof New York. It was American Financial oligarchythat built the Russian Red Army that vexed the world and created the Cold War. How many hundreds of millions of goyim were sacrificed to create both the Russian and the Chinese Satanic behemoths.......and the communist horror that is now embedded in American academia, publishing, American politics, so-called news, entertainment, The worldwide Catholic religion, the Pentagon, and the American deep state.......and more!
How stupid can we be. Every generation has the be dragged, kicking and screaming, out of the eternal maw of historical ignorance to avoid falling back into the myriad dark hellholes of history. As we all should know, people who forget their own history are doomed to repeat it.Today's General is a robot with with a DNA.54 minutes agoAll the General Staff is a bunch of #asskissinglittlechickenshits57 minutes agowant to stop senseless Empire wars>>well do this
War = jobs and profit..we get work "THEY" get the profit.. If we taxed all war related profit at 99% how many wars would our rulers start? 1 hour agoHere is a simple straightforward trading maxim that might apply here: if it works or is working keep doing it, but if it doesn't work or stops working, then STOP doing it. There are plenty of people, now poorer, for not adhering to that simple principle. Where is the Taxpayer's return on investment from the Combat taking place on their behalf around the globe? 'Nuff said - it isn't working. It is making a microscopic few richer & all others poorer so STOP doing it. 36 seconds ago We don't have to look far to figure out who they are that are getting rich off the fauxjew permawars.
How can we be so stupid???
1 hour agoSee also:
1 hour agoThe main reason you don't see the generals criticizing is that the current crop have not been in actual long term direct combat with the enemy and have mostly been bureaucratic paper pushers.
Take the Marine Major General who is the current commander of CENTCOM. By the time he got into the Iraq/Afghanistan war he was already a Lieutenant Colonel and far removed from direct action.
He was only there on and off for a few years. Here are some of his other career highlights aft as they appear on his official bio:
- 2006-07: he served as the Military Secretary to the 33rd and 34th Commandants of the Marine Corps
- 2008: he was selected by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to be the Director of the Chairman's New Administration Transition Team (CNATT)
- 2009: he reported to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Kabul, Afghanistan to serve as the Deputy to the Deputy Chief of Staff (DCOS) for Stability. ..... Deputy to the Deputy for Stability ???? WTF is that?
- 2010: he was assigned as the Director, Strategy, Plans, and Policy (J-5) for the U.S. Central Command
- 2012: he reported to Headquarters Marine Corps to serve as the Marine Corps Representative to the Quadrennial Defense Review
In short, these top guys aren't warriors they're bureaucrats so why would we expect them to be honest brokers of the truth?
51 minutes agoare U saying Chesty Puller he's NOT? 1 hour ago(Edited) The purpose of war is to ensure that the Federal Reserve Note remains the world reserve paper currency of choice by keeping it relevant and in demand across the globe by forcing pesky energy producing nations to trade with it exclusively.
It is a 49 year old policy created by the private owners of quasi public institutions called central banks to ensure they remain the Wizards of Oz doing gods work conjuring magic paper into existence with a secret spell known as issuing credit.
How else is a technologically advanced society of billions of people supposed to function w/out this divinely inspired paper?
1 hour agoGoebbels in "Churchill's Lie Factory" where he said: "The Americans follow the principle that when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous." - Jospeh Goebbels, "Aus Churchills Lügenfabrik," 12. january 1941, Die Zeit ohne Beispiel
1 hour agoThe greatest anti-imperialist of our times is Michael Parenti:
Imperialism has been the most powerful force in world history over the last four or five centuries, carving up whole continents while oppressing indigenous peoples and obliterating entire civilizations. Yet, it is seldom accorded any serious attention by our academics, media commentators, and political leaders. When not ignored outright, the subject of imperialism has been sanitized, so that empires become "commonwealths," and colonies become "territories" or "dominions" (or, as in the case of Puerto Rico, "commonwealths" too). Imperialist military interventions become matters of "national defense," "national security," and maintaining "stability" in one or another region. In this book I want to look at imperialism for what it really is.
"Imperialism has been the most powerful force in world history over the last four or five centuries, carving up whole continents while oppressing indigenous peoples and obliterating entire civilizations. Yet, it is seldom accorded any serious attention by our academics, media commentators, and political leaders."
Why would it when they who control academia, media and most of our politicians are our enemies.
1 hour ago
1 hour ago
"The big three are Secretary of State Colin Powell's former chief of staff, retired Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson ; ..."
Yep, Wilkerson, who leaked Valerie Plame's name, not that it was a leak, to Novak, and then stood by to watch the grand jury fry Scooter Libby. Wilkerson, that paragon of moral rectitude. Wilkerson the silent, that *******.
" A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence against foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home. Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended. Throughout all Europe, the armies kept up under the pretext of defending, have enslaved the people."
James Madison Friday June 29, 1787
"What, Sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty.... Whenever Governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins." (Rep. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, spoken during floor debate over the Second Amendment [I Annals of Congress at 750, August 17, 1789])
1 hour ago
A particularly pernicious example of intra-European imperialism was the Nazi aggression during World War II, which gave the German business cartels and the Nazi state an opportunity to plunder the resources and exploit the labor of occupied Europe, including the slave labor of concentration camps. - M. PARENTI, Against empire
See Alexander Parvus
1 hour ago
Collapse is the cure. It's too far gone.
1 hour ago
Russia Wants to 'Jam' F-22 and F-35s in the Middle East: Report
1 hour ago
ZH retards think that the American mic is bad and all other mics are good or don't exist. That's the power of brainwashing. Humans understand that war in general is bad, but humans are becoming increasingly rare in this world.
1 hour ago
The obvious types of American fascists are dealt with on the air and in the press. These demagogues and stooges are fronts for others. Dangerous as these people may be, they are not so significant as thousands of other people who have never been mentioned. The really dangerous American fascists are not those who are hooked up directly or indirectly with the Axis. The FBI has its finger on those. The dangerous American fascist is the man who wants to do in the United States in an American way what Hitler did in Germany in a Prussian way. The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information. With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power.2 hours ago
If we define an American fascist as one who in case of conflict puts money and power ahead of human beings, then there are undoubtedly several million fascists in the United States. There are probably several hundred thousand if we narrow the definition to include only those who in their search for money and power are ruthless and deceitful. Most American fascists are enthusiastically supporting the war effort.
The swamp is bigger than the military alone. Substitute Bureaucrat, Statesman, or Beltway Bandit for General and Colonel in your writing above and you've got a whole new article to post that is just as true.2 hours ago
(Edited) War = jobs and profit..we get work "THEY" get the profit..If we taxed all war related profit at 99% how many wars would our rulers start?2 hours ago [edited for clarity]
War is a racket. And nobody loves a racket more than Financial oligarchy. Americans come close though, that's why Financial oligarchy use them to project their own rackets and provide protection reprisals.
Jan 23, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.orgTrailer Trash , Jan 23 2020 18:30 utc | 44>This is the most critical U.S. election in our lifetime
> Posted by: Circe | Jan 23 2020 17:46 utc | 36
Hmmm, I've been hearing the same siren song every four years for the past fifty. How is it that people still think that a single individual, or even two, can change the direction of murderous US policies that are widely supported throughout the bureaucracy?
Bureaucracies are reactionary and conservative by nature, so any new and more repressive policy Trumpy wants is readily adapted, as shown by the continuing barbarity of ICE and the growth of prisons and refugee concentration camps. Policies that go against the grain are easily shrugged off and ignored using time-tested passive-aggressive tactics.
One of Trump's insurmountable problems is that he has no loyal organization behind him whose members he can appoint throughout the massive Federal bureaucracy. Any Dummycrat whose name is not "Biden" has the same problem. Without a real mass-movement political party to pressure reluctant bureaucrats, no politician of any name or stripe will ever substantially change the direction of US policy.
But the last thing Dummycrats want is a real mass movement, because they might not be able to control it. Instead Uncle Sam will keep heading towards the cliff, which may be coming into view...
Per/Norway , Jan 23 2020 19:31 utc | 62The amount of TINA worshipers and status quo guerillas is starting to depress me.Piotr Berman , Jan 23 2020 20:19 utc | 82
HOW IS IT POSSIBLE to believe A politician will/can change anything and give your consent to war criminals and traitors?
NO person(s) WILL EVER get to the top in imperial/vassal state politics without being on the rentier class side, the cognitive dissonans in voting for known liars, war criminals and traitors would kill me or fry my brain. TINA is a lie and "she" is a real bitch that deserves to be thrown on the dump off history, YOUR vote is YOUR consent to murder, theft and treason.
DONT be a rentier class enabler STOP voting and start making your local communities better and independent instead.
NorwayThe amount of TINA worshipers and status quo guerillas is starting to depress me. <- Norway
Of course, There Is Another Way, for example, kvetching. We can boldly show that we are upset, and pessimistic. One upset pessimists reach critical mass we will think about some actions.
But being upset and pessimistic does fully justify inactivity. In particular, given the nature of social interaction networks, with spokes and hubs, dominating the network requires the control of relatively few nodes. The nature of democracy always allows for leverage takeover, starting from dominating within small to the entire nation in few steps. As it was nicely explained by Prof. Overton, there is a window of positions that the vast majority regards as reasonable, non-radical etc. One reason that powers to be invest so much energy vilifying dissenters, Russian assets of late, is to keep them outside the Overton window.
Having a candidate elected that the curators of Overton window hate definitely shakes the situation with the potential of shifting the window. There were some positive symptoms after Trump was elected, but negatives prevail. "Why not we just kill him" idea entered the window, together with "we took their oil because we have guts and common sense".
From that point of view, visibility of Tulsi and election of Sanders will solve some problems but most of all, it will make big changes in Overton window.
Jan 20, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Bryce Buchanan via The Burning Platform blog,
Many government officials with long entrenched power are unwilling to give up any of that power. In their minds, they have a right to control our lives as they see fit, with complete indifference to our wishes. To avoid rebellion, they need to hide this fact as much as possible. They want the citizens to believe the lie that we are a nation of laws with equal justice under the law. To advance this lie, they have staged many theatrical productions that they call "investigations". They try to give us the impression that they want to expose the facts and punish wrongdoing.
Most of the big 'investigations' in the news in recent years have not been at all what they pretended to be. The sham investigations of Hillary's email, or the Clinton Foundation, or Weiner's laptop, or Uranium One, or Mueller's witch hunt, or Huber's big nothing, or the IG's whitewash, or the Schiff-Pelosi charades, have all been premeditated deceptions.There are three types of investigations that call for different deceptions by the Deep State.
- The first type is the rare honest investigation . Examples would be the attempt to find the truth about Fast and Furious (Obama's gunrunning operation), or the IRS scandal (Obama's weaponizing of government). In response to real investigations, the criminals do two things lie and hide evidence. Key evidence, even if it is under subpoena, just disappears. In the IRS case, Lois Lerner's relevant email and the email of 6 others involved in the scheme was just "lost". The IRS "worked tirelessly" to find the email, but hard drives had been destroyed and back-up drives were missing, so the subpoenaed evidence could not be provided.
For the Deep State, hiding and destroying evidence of guilt is standard operating procedure. They simply report a "glitch" that destroyed the key evidence and that's the end of it. Or, they simply redact the portions of the record that would expose the truth. To my memory, no one ever suffers any consequences for this. Even now, Director Wray and others are tenaciously withholding evidence.
- The second type of 'investigation' is when the Deep State pretends to investigate the Deep State . In these 'investigations' the outcome is known in advance, but the script calls for pretending, sometimes for years, that it an honest investigation is underway.
There was nothing about the Hillary investigations that had anything to do with finding facts. The purpose from the beginning was exoneration. Key witnesses were given immunity and many were allowed to attend each other's interviews. There were no early morning swat team raids to gather evidence. Evidence was destroyed with no consequences.
When Anthony Weiner's laptop was found to contain over 340,000 Hillary emails in a file named "insurance", the FBI did not rejoice about finally getting the 'lost' email. No, they hid the discovery for weeks until a New York agent threatened to go public. Then, quite miraculously, Peter Strzok found a way to very quickly examine 340,000 messages and found that there was nothing at all that was incriminating. No rational person would believe that.
The dirty cops are so comfortable about getting away with lies like this that Huber can announce that he found no corruption, when it is readily apparent that he did not interview key witnesses . He even turned away whistleblowers who wanted to submit evidence. A real investigator, Charles Ortel, could have given Huber a long list of Clinton Foundation crimes . Like the Weiner laptop fake investigation, you don't find crimes if you don't really look for them.
The dirty cops are so confident in their ability to deceive the public that they just announced that the FISA court reforms will be managed by David Kris. Kris has been a defender of FBI misconduct and he attacked Devin Nunes for telling the truth about the FISA court. They don't even care about the appearance of fairness. They do what they want.
IG investigations have proven to be flimsy exonerations of Deep State criminality. Any honest observer can see that there was a carefully organized plan by top officials to control the outcome of the Presidential election. This corrupt plan involved lying to the FISA court, illegal surveillance and unmasking of citizens and conspiring with media partners to make sure lies were widely circulated to voters. The government conspirators and the majority of the media were functioning as nothing more than a branch of Hillary's campaign. That's a lot of power aimed at destroying Trump.
To an IG investigator, this monumental scandal was presented to us as nothing to be very concerned about. Yes, a few minor rules were inadvertently broken and there did appear to be some bias, but there was no reason at all to think that bias effected any actions. If the agencies involved make a training video and set aside a day for a training meeting, then that should satisfy us completely.
- The third type of investigation involves investigating an imaginary crime for political reasons . The Mueller investigation and the impeachment investigation are two examples of this. Probably as a justification for illegal surveillance they were already doing, the conspirators pretended that there was powerful evidence that Trump was colluding with Putin to win the election. Lies about this issue propelled the country into 3 years of stories about nothing stories and investigations about something that never happened. Never in the history of nothing has nothing been so thoroughly covered.
Because there was nothing, and because it was known from the start that, " there is no big there, there ", the Mueller Team used several irrelevant legal actions to prolong the belief that they were closing in on Trump. Mueller arranged for their media partner, CNN, to film the early morning swat team raid on 67 year old Roger Stone's home. It was very dramatic and very un-necessary. Also, some small-time Russian troll farms were indicted so that the word "Russia" could fill the news, prolonging the desired myth. One of the indicted firms did not even exist. The others did not appear to favor any one candidate and much of their activity was after the election .
Mueller led a 40 million dollar investigation looking for a crime. That effort failed at finding any collusion, but it did play a role in the Democrats winning a majority in the House of Representatives. That then enabled another investigation of an imaginary crime for political purposes. A scripted hearsay 'whistleblower' submitted lies that allowed Adam Schiff to continue his own campaign of lies. You know the rest of the story. Trump is being falsely charged for doing what Biden bragged about doing.
The Deep State and the media appear to believe that we are fooled by these fraudulent investigations. We are not fooled. We are tired of the lies and the arrogance.
We are increasingly angry that there is a double standard of justice in this country. There is a protected class of people who are not prosecuted for their crimes. This needs to end.
insanelysane , 9 minutes ago linkDonGenaro , 10 minutes ago link
The sheeple are easily led including the opposition sheeple. Two quick examples:
1. In the email scandal, Hillary was guilty, beyond a shadow of a doubt, of violating the FOIA by conducting all State Department business via a personal email She was guilty. Yet her team, listen up sheeple, her team made it about whether or not classified information was transmitted. This is a gray area which could be defended. She knew she was guilty of the FOIA violation because it was the whole reason the server was set up in the first place. Yet she got away with it because everyone focused on the classifications of emails which was a gray area.
2. In the Weiner / Abedin laptop matter, it is and was illegal for any of these emails to be on a personal computer. Again, guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt. Yet again everyone focused on what was in the emails and not the fact that just possessing the emails was illegal. So the FBI was able to say nothing new here and let it drop. If another group such as the US Marshals was in charge of this investigation, Weiner / Abedin would have been fully charged with possessing these emails. They would have been pressured to reveal why it was named Insurance and have been asked to cut a deal.East Indian , 23 minutes ago link
Assange rots in jail, and Maxwell walks free, while Trump is busy pleasuring every Zionist in sighthardmedicine , 38 minutes ago link
A comment in 'The Gateway Pundit':
"Andy McCabe admits lying to the FBI and nothing happens. The FBI lies to Gen. Flynn and he faces jail time. Justice in Deep State America."
- reader ricocat1hoffstetter , 40 minutes ago link
his name was Seth Rich!buckboy , 57 minutes ago link
The purpose of show trials is to fool those that don't pay attention. There are millions of US citizens that get their news from their neighbor or a narrow set of information that is disseminated by media that parrot their providers verbatim without challenge. Such people are quite regularly fooled and some vote.marlin2009 , 1 hour ago link
We, the People are free to bitch and moan.Deep Snorkeler , 1 hour ago link
The double standard justice system in America is appalling and even worse than communists. Americans really don’t have any credit to criticize communist countries. The ruling class is no better than them.
The media and ruling classes have tried decades to brainwashed the mass to believe that the less or even not corrupted.Old Hippie Patriot , 1 hour ago link
Trump University Fraud: Trump paid fine
Trump Taj Mahal Casino Money Laundering: Trump paid fine
Trump Foundation Fraud: Trump paid fine
Trump Campaign Law Violations: pending
Trump Abuse of Power:
Trump...HANGTHEOWL , 1 hour ago link
They could have never pulled off the JFK assassination had the internet existed back in 1963. Time for the Epstein *********** to be posted on the internet. Even the asleep would realize the unimaginable evil that has been controlling this world for millenia.monty42 , 1 hour ago link
I am not sure about that,,we have the net now,,and although there are many of us that pay attention and figure out their crimes and hoax's,,,,they still get away with them,,,,,,NASA still gets 59 million a day to fake the space program,,,HANGTHEOWL , 57 minutes ago link
Why not? They pulled off 9/11. And what do we have? The same as with the JFK murder. People still arguing over how it was done, and ignoring the obvious, historically established now, of who benefited and why. Grassy knoll, 2nd shooter, or directed energy weapons or explosives, internet or not, still chasing the tail.
True, they murdered 3,000 of us on 9-11,,right on TV, using plainly obvious controlled demolitions, and to date they have still gotten away with it...
Jan 19, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Clinton Cash author Peter Schweizer is out with a new book, " Profiles in Corruption: Abuse of Power by America's Progressive Elite," in which he reveals that five members of the Biden family, including Hunter, got rich using former Vice President Joe Biden's "largesse, favorable access and powerful position."Frank Biden, Vice President Joe Biden, & Mindy Ward
While we know of Hunter's profitable exploits in Ukraine and China - largely in part thanks to Schweizer, Joe's brothers James and Frank, his sister Valerie, and his son-in-law Howard all used the former VP's status to enrich themselves.
Of course, Biden in 2019 said "I never talked with my son or my brother or anyone else -- even distant family -- about their business interests. Period."
As Schweizer puts writes in the New York Post ; "we shall see."
James Biden : Joe's younger brother James has been deeply involved in the lawmaker's rise since the early days - serving as the finance chair of his 1972 Senate campaign. And when Joe became VP, James was a frequent guest at the White House - scoring invites to important state functions which often "dovetailed with his overseas business dealings," writes Schweizer.
Consider the case of HillStone International , a subsidiary of the huge construction management firm, Hill International. The president of HillStone International was Kevin Justice, who grew up in Delaware and was a longtime Biden family friend. On November 4, 2010, according to White House visitors' logs, Justice visited the White House and met with Biden adviser Michele Smith in the Office of the Vice President .
Less than three weeks later, HillStone announced that James Biden would be joining the firm as an executive vice president . James appeared to have little or no background in housing construction, but that did not seem to matter to HillStone. His bio on the company's website noted his "40 years of experience dealing with principals in business, political, legal and financial circles across the nation and internationally "
James Biden was joining HillStone just as the firm was starting negotiations to win a massive contract in war-torn Iraq. Six months later, the firm announced a contract to build 100,000 homes. It was part of a $35 billion, 500,000-unit project deal won by TRAC Development , a South Korean company. HillStone also received a $22 million U.S. federal government contract to manage a construction project for the State Department. - Peter Schweizer, via NY Post
According to Fox Business 's Charlie Gasparino in 2012, HillStone's Iraq project was expected to "generate $1.5 billion in revenues over the next three years," more than tripling their revenue. According to the report, James Biden split roughly $735 million with a group of minority partners .
David Richter - the son of HillStone's parent company's founder - allegedly told investors at a private meeting; it really helps to have "the brother of the vice president as a partner."
Unfortunately for James, HillStone had to back out of the major contract in 2013 over a series of problems, including a lack of experience - but the company maintained "significant contract work in the embattled country" of Iraq, including a six-year contract with the US Army Corps of Engineers.
In the ensuing years, James Biden profited off of Hill's lucrative contracts for dozens of projects in the US, Puerto Rico, Mozambique and elsewhere.
Frank Biden , another one of Joe's brothers (who said the Pennsylvania Bidens voted for Trump over Hillary), profited handsomely on real estate, casinos, and solar power projects after Joe was picked as Obma's point man in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Months after Joe visited Costa Rica, Frank partnered with developer Craig Williamson and the Guanacaste Country Club on a deal which appears to be ongoing.
In real terms, Frank's dream was to build in the jungles of Costa Rica thousands of homes, a world-class golf course, casinos, and an anti-aging center. The Costa Rican government was eager to cooperate with the vice president's brother.
As it happened, Joe Biden had been asked by President Obama to act as the Administration's point man in Latin America and the Caribbean .
Frank's vision for a country club in Costa Rica received support from the highest levels of the Costa Rican government -- despite his lack of experience in building such developments. He met with the Costa Rican ministers of education and energy and environment, as well as the president of the country. - NY Post
And in 2016, the Costa Rican Ministry of Public Education inked a deal with Frank's Company, Sun Fund Americas to install solar power facilities across the country - a project the Obama administration's OPIC authorized $6.5 million in taxpayer funds to support.
This went hand-in-hand with a solar initiative Joe Biden announced two years earlier, in which "American taxpayer dollars were dedicated to facilitating deals that matched U.S. government financing with local energy projects in Caribbean countries, including Jamaica," known as the Caribbean Energy Security Initiative (CESI).
Frank Biden's Sun Fund Americas announced later that it had signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) to build a 20-megawatt solar facility in Jamaica.
Valerie Biden-Owens , Joe's sister, has run all of her brother's Senate campaigns - as well as his 1988 and 2008 presidential runs.
She was also a senior partner in political messaging firm Joe Slade White & Company , where she and Slade White were listed as the only two executives at the time.
According to Schweizer, " The firm received large fees from the Biden campaigns that Valerie was running . Two and a half million dollars in consulting fees flowed to her firm from Citizens for Biden and Biden For President Inc. during the 2008 presidential bid alone."
Dr. Howard Krein - Joe Biden's son-in-law, is the chief medical officer of StartUp Health - a medical investment consultancy that was barely up and running when, in June 2011, two of the company's execs met with Joe Biden and former President Obama in the Oval Office .
The next day, the company was included in a prestigious health care tech conference run by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) - while StartUp Health executives became regular White House visitors between 2011 and 2015 .
StartUp Health offers to provide new companies technical and relationship advice in exchange for a stake in the business. Demonstrating and highlighting the fact that you can score a meeting with the president of the United States certainly helps prove a strategic company asset: high-level contacts. - NY Post
Speaking of his homie hookup, Krein described how his company gained access to the highest levels of power in D.C.:
"I happened to be talking to my father-in-law that day and I mentioned Steve and Unity were down there [in Washington, D.C.]," recalled Howard Krein. "He knew about StartUp Health and was a big fan of it. He asked for Steve's number and said, 'I have to get them up here to talk with Barack.' The Secret Service came and got Steve and Unity and brought them to the Oval Office."
And then, of course, there's Hunter Biden - who was paid millions of dollars to sit on the board of Ukrainian energy giant Burisma while his father was Obama's point man in the country.
But it goes far beyond that for the young crack enthusiast.
With the election of his father as vice president, Hunter Biden launched businesses fused to his father's power that led him to lucrative deals with a rogue's gallery of governments and oligarchs around the world . Sometimes he would hitch a prominent ride with his father aboard Air Force Two to visit a country where he was courting business. Other times, the deals would be done more discreetly. Always they involved foreign entities that appeared to be seeking something from his father.
There was, for example, Hunter's involvement with an entity called Burnham Financial Group , where his business partner Devon Archer -- who'd been at Yale with Hunter -- sat on the board of directors. Burnham became the vehicle for a number of murky deals abroad, involving connected oligarchs in Kazakhstan and state-owned businesses in China.
But one of the most troubling Burnham ventures was here in the United States, in which Burnham became the center of a federal investigation involving a $60 million fraud scheme against one of the poorest Indian tribes in America , the Oglala Sioux.
Devon Archer was arrested in New York in May 2016 and charged with "orchestrating a scheme to defraud investors and a Native American tribal entity of tens of millions of dollars." Other victims of the fraud included several public and union pension plans. Although Hunter Biden was not charged in the case, his fingerprints were all over Burnham . The "legitimacy" that his name and political status as the vice president's son lent to the plan was brought up repeatedly in the trial. - NY Post
Read the rest of the report here .
Jan 18, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
karlof1 , Jan 17 2020 19:24 utc | 6Yes! The inability to tell the truth about the genuine aim of policy despite its being published because that policy goal--to attain Full Spectrum Dominance over the planet and its people such that neoliberal bankers can rule the world--is actually 100% against genuine American Values as expressed by the Four Freedoms (1.Freedom of speech; 2.Freedom of worship; 3.Freedom from want; 4.Freedom from fear) and the articulated goals/vision of the UN Charter--World Peace arrived at via collective security and diplomacy, not war--which are still taught in schools along with Wilson's 14 Points. Then of course, there's the war against British Tyranny known as the Spirit of '76 and the Revolutionary War for Independence and the documents that bookend that era. In 1948, Kennan stated, in an internal discussion that was never censored, the USA consumed 60% of global resources with only 5% of the population and needed to somehow come up with a policy to both continue and justify that great disparity to both the domestic and international audience. Yet, those truths were never provided in an overt manner to the American public or the international audience. The upshot being the US federal government since it dropped the bombs on Japan has been lying or misleading its people such that it's now habitual. And Trump's diatribe against the generals reflects the reality that he too was taken in by those lies.
Dec 20, 2019 | off-guardian.org
J_Garbo ,I suspected that Deep State has at least two opposing factions. The Realistists want him to break up the empire, turn back into a republic; the Delusionals want to extend the empire, continue to exploit and destroy the world. If so, the contradictions, reversals, incoherence make sense. IMO as I said.
Gary Weglarz ,I predict that all Western MSM will begin to accurately and vocally cover Mr. Binney's findings about this odious and treasonous U.S. government psyop at just about the exact time that -- "hell freezes over" -- as they say.
Jen ,They don't need to, they have Tony Blair's fellow Brit psycho Boris Johnson to go on autopilot and blame the Russians the moment something happens and just before London Met start their investigations.
Dec 20, 2019 | www.unz.com
Realist , says: December 19, 2019 at 5:17 pm GMT
The Year of Manufactured Hysteria
The purpose of manufactured hysteria in the US is to obfuscate the issues important to the Deep State like destroying the first amendment, renewing the 'Patriot' act, extremely increasing the war/hegemony budget, etc.
The unimportant internecine squabbles of the 'two parties' strengthens the false perception that there is a choice when voting.
Dec 19, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Russ , Dec 18 2019 22:00 utc | 19Historically the ability of unelected, unaccountable, secretive bureaucracies (aka the "Deep State") to exercise their own policy without regard for the public or elected officials, often in defiance of these, has always been the hallmark of the destruction of democracy and incipient tyranny.
Today's Deep State most resembles the colonial administrations during the heyday of European imperialism. These too worked to run their own secret foreign policy, and to bring their power to bear on domestic policy as well.
Although both halves of the One-Party really want the effective tyranny of state and corporate bureaucracies, it's not surprising that it's the Democrats (along with the MSM) taking the lead in openly defending the tyrannical proposition that the CIA should be running its own foreign (and implicitly domestic) policy, and that the president should be just a figurehead which follows orders. That goes with the Democrats' more avowedly technocratic style, and it goes with the ratchet effect whereby it's usually Democrats which push the policy envelope toward ever greater inequality, ecocide and tyranny.
Now is a time of rising irredentism and the decline of all the ideas of globalization and technocracy, though the reality is likely to hang on for awhile. The whole Deep State-Zionist-Russia-Deranged-Trump-Deranged-MSM-social media censorship campaign is globalization trying to maintain its monopoly of ideas by force, since it knows it can never win in a free clash of ideas.
Impeachment, and the pro-bureaucracy anti-democracy campaign related to it, besides its more petty purposes (distraction from real social problems; forestalling Sanders), is the culmination of technocracy's attempted coup against a president who, even though he agrees with this cabal on all policy matters, is considered too unreliable, too undisciplined, too damn honest about the evil of the US empire. If they can take him down, they think they can restore the full business-as-usual status quo including the compliance of the rest of the world.
Since impeachment's going to fail, we can expect the system to try other ways.
james , Dec 19 2019 1:51 utc | 57hey b... i like your title - "How The Deep State Sunk The Democratic Party" ... could change it to" How the Deep State Sunk the USA" could work just as well...ptb , Dec 19 2019 2:07 utc | 62
Seven of the 11 security state representatives who had joined the Democrats in 2018 gave the impulse for impeachment.
is this intentional?? it sort of looks like it...
good quote from @ 26 lk - "The contradictions of US empire and global capitalism cannot be mitigated by either more liberal strategies or realist ones."@babyl-on 35
yes that is about right. The top power networks are all a tight mix of names from govt, MIC, and private equity (incl. top 2-3 investment banks). With the latter group naturally paying the salaries of the whole policy making ecosystem, and holding the positions that select future generations who will eventually take their place.
They want the security of knowing noone in the world will mess with them. This necessitates that noone in the world *can* mess with them. Pretty straightforward from there.
Dec 07, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com
Fred C. Dobbs , December 06, 2019 at 06:22 AMImpeach the presidentJohnH -> Fred C. Dobbs... , December 06, 2019 at 08:34 AM
Boston Globe - editorial - December 5
From the founding of this country, the power of the president was understood to have limits. Indeed, the Founders would never have written an impeachment clause into the Constitution if they did not foresee scenarios where their descendants might need to remove an elected president before the end of his term in order to protect the American people and the nation.
The question before the country now is whether President Trump's misconduct is severe enough that Congress should exercise that impeachment power, less than a year before the 2020 election. The results of the House Intelligence Committee inquiry, released to the public on Tuesday, make clear that the answer is an urgent yes. Not only has the president abused his power by trying to extort a foreign country to meddle in US politics, but he also has endangered the integrity of the election itself. He has also obstructed the congressional investigation into his conduct, a precedent that will lead to a permanent diminution of congressional power if allowed to stand.
The evidence that Trump is a threat to the constitutional system is more than sufficient, and a slate of legal scholars who testified on Wednesday made clear that Trump's actions are just the sort of presidential behavior the Founders had in mind when they devised the recourse of impeachment. The decision by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to proceed with drafting articles of impeachment is warranted.
Much of the information in the Intelligence Committee report, which was based on witness interviews, documents, telephone records, and public statements by administration officials, was already known to the public. The cohesive narrative that emerges, though, is worse than the sum of its parts. This year, the president and subordinates acting at his behest repeatedly tried to pressure a foreign country, Ukraine, into taking steps to help the president's reelection. That was, by itself, an outrageous betrayal: In his dealings with foreign states, the president has an obligation to represent America's interests, not his own.
But the president also betrayed the US taxpayer to advance that corrupt agenda. In order to pressure Ukraine into acceding to his request, Trump's administration held up $391 million in aid allocated by Congress. In other words, he demanded a bribe in the form of political favors in exchange for an official act -- the textbook definition of corruption. The fact that the money was ultimately paid, after a whistle-blower complained, is immaterial: The act of withholding taxpayer money to support a personal political goal was an impermissible abuse of the president's power.
Withholding the money also sabotaged American foreign policy. The United States provides military aid to Ukraine to protect the country from Russian aggression. Ensuring that fragile young democracy does not fall under Moscow's sway is a key US policy goal, and one that the president put at risk for his personal benefit. He has shown the world that he is willing to corrupt the American policy agenda for purposes of political gain, which will cast suspicion on the motivations of the United States abroad if Congress does not act.
To top off his misconduct, after Congress got wind of the scheme and started the impeachment inquiry, the Trump administration refused to comply with subpoenas, instructed witnesses not to testify, and intimidated witnesses who did. That ought to form the basis of an article of impeachment. When the president obstructs justice and fails to respect the power of Congress, it strikes at the heart of the separation of powers and will hobble future oversight of presidents of all parties.
Impeachment does not require a crime. The Constitution entrusts Congress with the impeachment power in order to protect Americans from a president who is betraying their interests. And it is very much in Americans' interests to maintain checks and balances in the federal government; to have a foreign policy that the world can trust is based on our national interest instead of the president's personal needs; to control federal spending through their elected representatives; to vote in fair elections untainted by foreign interference. For generations, Americans have enjoyed those privileges. What's at stake now is whether we will keep them. The facts show that the president has threatened this country's core values and the integrity of our democracy. Congress now has a duty to future generations to impeach him.How can Trump have sabotaged American foreign policy, when he has full responsibility and authority to set it?likbez -> Fred C. Dobbs... , December 07, 2019 at 01:27 AM
IMO this impeachment is partly about Trump personally asking a foreign country for help against a domestic political opponent. But it is mostly about geopolitics and the national security bureaucracy's need for US world domination.
Just listen to the impeachment testimony--most of it is whining about Trump's failure to follow the 'interagency' policies of the deep state."Impeachment does not require a crime."
Stalin would approve that. And if so, what is the difference between impeachment and a show trial, Moscow trials style? The majority can eliminate political rivals, if it wishes so, right? This was how Bolsheviks were thinking in 30th. Of course, those backward Soviets used "British spy" charge instead modern, sophisticated "Putin's stooge" charge, but still ;-)
The facts show that the president has threatened this country's core values and the integrity of our democracy.
This is just low level Soviet-style propaganda: "Beacon of democracy" and "Hope of all progressive mankind" cliché. My impression is that the train left the station long ago, especially as for democracy. Probably in 1963. The reality is a nasty struggle of corrupt political clans. Which involves intelligence agencies dirty tricks. BTW, how do you like that fact that Corporate Democrats converted themselves in intelligence agencies' cheerleading squad?
In short Boston Globe editors do not want that their audience understand the situation, in which the county have found itself. They just want to brainwash this audience (with impunity)
And both Corporate Dems and opposing them Republican are afraid to discuss the real issues facing the country, such as loss of manufacturing, loss of good middle class jobs (fake labor statistics covers the fact the most new jobs are temps/contractors and McJobs), rampant militarism with Afghan war lasting decades, neocon dominance in foreign policy which led to increase of country debt to level that might soon be unsustainable.
Both enjoy impeachment Kabuki theater. With Trump probably enjoying this theatre the most: if they just censure him, he wins, if charges go to Senate, he wins big.
Can you imagine result for Corporate Dems of Schiff (with his contacts with Ciaramella ) , or Hunter Biden (who was just a mule to get money to Biden's family for his father illegal lobbing) testifying in Senate under oath.
The truth is that they are all criminals (with many being war criminals.) So Beria statement "Show me the man and I'll find you the crime" is fully applicable. That really is something that has survived the Soviet Union and has arrived in the good old USA.
Fran Macadam , , March 15, 2019 at 1:52 pm
Mar 15, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
The college bribery scandal reveals an ugly truth: our society is unjust, dominated by a small elite. Actress Lori Loughlin, who has been implicated in the Operation Varsity Blues scandal. Credit: Featureflash Photo Agency/Shutterstock The most destructive and pervasive myth in America today is that we live in a meritocracy. Our elites, so the myth goes, earned their places at Yale and Harvard, on Wall Street and in Washington -- not because of the accident of their birth, but because they are better, stronger, and smarter than the rest of us. Therefore, they think, they've "earned" their places in the halls of power and "deserve" to lead.
The fervor with which so many believe this enables elites to lord over those worse off than they are. On we slumber, believing that we live in a country that values justice, instead of working towards a more equitable and authentically meritocratic society.Take the Operation Varsity Blues scandal. On Tuesday, the FBI and federal prosecutors announced that 50 people had been charged in, as Sports Illustrated put it , "a nationwide college admissions scheme that used bribes to help potential students cheat on college entrance exams or to pose as potential athletic recruits to get admitted to high-profile universities." Thirty-three parents, nine collegiate coaches, two SAT/ACT exam administrators, an exam proctor, and a college athletics administrator were among those charged. The man who allegedly ran the scheme, William Rick Singer, pled guilty to four charges of racketeering conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, conspiracy to defraud the U.S., and obstruction of justice.
As part of the scam, parents would "donate" money to a fake charity run by Singer. The funds would then be laundered to either pay off an SAT or ACT administrator to take the exams or bribe an employee in college athletics to name the rich, non-athlete children as recruits. Virtually every scenario relied on multiple layers of corruption, all of which eventually allowed wealthy students to masquerade as "deserving" of the merit-based college slots they paid up to half a million dollars to "qualify" for.
Cheating. Bribery. Lying. The wealthy and privileged buying what was reserved for the deserving. It's all there on vivid display. Modern American society has become increasingly and banally corrupt , both in the ways in which "justice" is meted out and in who is allowed to access elite education and the power that comes with it.
The U.S. is now a country where corruption is rampant and money buys both access and outcomes. We pretend to be better than Russia and other oligarchies, but we too are dominated by a rich and powerful elite.
The average American citizen has very little power, as a 2014 study by Princeton University found. The research reviewed 1,779 public policy questions asked between 1981 and 2002 and the responses by different income levels and interest groups; then calculated the likelihood that certain policies would be adopted.What they found came as no surprise: How to Fix College Admissions
A proposed policy change with low support among economically elite Americans (one-out-of-five in favor) is adopted only about 18 percent of the time, while a proposed change with high support (four-out-of-five in favor) is adopted about 45% of the time.
That's in stark contrast with policies favored by average Americans:
When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organised interests, they generally lose. Moreover, because of the strong status quo bias built into the US political system, even when fairly large majorities of Americans favor policy change, they generally do not get it.
The conclusion of the study? We live in an oligarchy:
our analyses suggest that majorities of the American public actually have little influence over the policies our government adopts. [T]he preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.
The belief in the myth of merit hurts the smart kid with great grades who aced his SATs but was still rejected from Yale and Harvard. It hurts talented athletes who have worked their tails off for so many years. It hurts parents who have committed hundreds of school nights and weekends to their children. It hurts HR departments that believe degrees from Ivy League schools mean that graduates are qualified. It hurts all of us who buy into the great myth that America is a democratic meritocracy and that we can achieve whatever we want if only we're willing to expend blood, toil, sweat, and tears.
At least in an outright class system like the British Houses of Lords and Commons, there is not this farcical playacting of equal opportunity. The elites, with their privilege and titles, know the reason they are there and feel some sense of obligation to those less well off than they are. At the very least, they do not engage in the ritual pretense of "deserving" what they "earned" -- quite unlike those who descend on Washington, D.C. believing that they really are better than their compatriots in flyover country.
All societies engage in myth-making about themselves. But the myth of meritocracy may be our most pervasive and destructive belief -- and it mirrors the myth that anything like "justice" is served up in our courts.
Remember the Dupont heir who received no prison time after being convicted for raping his three-year-old daughter because the judge ruled that six-foot-four Robert Richards "wouldn't fare well in prison"? Or the more recent case of billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, who had connections to both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and faced a 53-page federal indictment for sex-trafficking over two dozens underage girls ? He received instead a sweetheart deal that concealed the extent of his crimes. Rather than the federal life imprisonment term he was facing, Epstein is currently on house arrest after receiving only 13 months in county jail. The lead prosecutor in that case had previously been reprimanded by a federal judge in another underage sex crimes case for concealing victim information, the Miami Herald reports .
While the rich are able to escape consequences for even the most horrific of crimes , the U.S. has the highest incarceration rate in the world. Approximately 7 million people were under some form of correctional control by the end of 2011, including 2.2 million who were detained in federal, state, and local prisons and jails. One in every 10 black men in his thirties is in prison or jail, and one out of three black men born in 2001 can expect to go to prison in their lifetimes.
While black people make up only 13 percent of the population, they make up 42 percent of death row and 35 percent of those who are executed . There are big racial disparities in charging, sentencing, plea bargaining, and executions, Department of Justice reviews have concluded, and black and brown people are disproportionately found to be innocent after landing on death row. The poor and disadvantaged thereby become grist for a system that cares nothing for them.
Despite all this evidence, most Americans embrace a version of the Calvinist beliefs promulgated by their forebears, believing that the elect deserve their status. We remain confident that when our children apply to college or are questioned by police , they will receive just and fair outcomes. If our neighbors' and friends' kids do not, then we assure ourselves that it is they who are at fault, not the system.
The result has been a gaping chasm through our society. Lives are destroyed because, rather than working for real merit-based systems and justice, we worship at the altar of false promises offered by our institutions. Instead we should be rolling up our sleeves and seeing Operation Varsity Blues for what it is: a call to action.
Barbara Boland is the former weekend editor of the Washington Examiner . Her work has been featured on Fox News, the Drudge Report, HotAir.com, RealClearDefense, RealClearPolitics, and elsewhere. She's the author of Patton Uncovered , a book about General Patton in World War II. Follow her on Twitter @BBatDC .
MORE FROM THIS AUTHORThe GOP's Laughable Call for a Balanced Budget AmendmentCongress's "One Spending Bill to Rule Them All" is a Debt-Fueled DisgraceHide 11 comments 11 Responses to The Myth of American Meritocracy
Collin March 15, 2019 at 1:46 pmIf conservatives are going to dance the graves of Aunt Beckie, the backlash is going to be big. Sure this is a 'scandal' but it seems these parents weren't rich enough to bribe their kids in college the right way, like Trumps and Kushner, and probably slightly duped into going along with this scheme. (It appears the government got the ring leader to call all defendants to get evidence they participated in a crime.)
Just wait until the mug shot of Aunt Beckie is on the internet and Olivia Jade does 60 minutes doing teary eyed interview of how much she loves her mother. And how many parents are stress that their kids will struggle in the global competitive economy.
I fully recall the days of getting government computing contracts. Once a certain threshold was reached, you discovered you had to hire a "lobbyist," and give him a significant amount of money to dole out to various gatekeepers in the bureaucracy for your contracts to be approved. That was the end of our government contracts, and the end was hastened by the reaction to trying to complain about it.prodigalson , , March 15, 2019 at 1:56 pm
Great article, well done. More of this please TAC.Kurt Gayle , , March 15, 2019 at 2:17 pm
Thank you, Barbara Boland, for "The Myth of American Meritocracy" and for linking ("Related Articles" box) to the 2012 "The Myth of American Meritocracy" by Ron Unz, then publisher of the American Conservative.Kurt Gayle , , March 15, 2019 at 2:18 pm
The 26,000-word Ron Unz research masterpiece was the opening salvo in the nation-wide discussion that ultimately led to the federal court case nearing resolution in Boston.
"The Myth of American Meritocracy -- How corrupt are Ivy League admissions?" by Ron Unz, The American Conservative, Nov 28, 2012:
Barbara Boland "While black people make up only 13 percent of the population, they make up 42 percent of death row and 35 percent of those who are executed."JeffK , , March 15, 2019 at 2:46 pm
Ms. Boland: According to the US Department of Justice, African Americans [13 per cent of the population] accounted for 52.5% of all homicide offenders from 1980 to 2008.
I agree with prodigalson. This is the type of article that TAC should uphold as a 'gold standard'. One reason I read, and comment on, TAC is that it offers thought provoking, and sometimes contrarian, articles (although the constant harping on transgender BS gets annoying).Mike N in MA , , March 15, 2019 at 2:49 pm
America has always been somewhat corrupt. But, to borrow a phrase, wealth corrupts, and uber wealth corrupts absolutely.
As Warren Buffet says "There's class warfare, all right, but it's my class, the rich class, that's making war, and we're winning".
I have said it before, and I will say it again. During the next severe financial recession, if the rich are protected and coddled and everybody else is left to fend for themselves the ARs will come out of the closets when the sheriff comes to take the house or the pickup truck. My sense is that average Americans have had enough.
Imagine if the digital transfer of money was abolished. Imagine if everybody had to have their money in a local bank instead of on an account in one of the major banks. Imagine if Americans saw, day after day, armored vehicles showing up at local banks to offload sacks of currency that went to only a few individual accounts.
Instead, the elites get their financial statements showing an ever increasing pile of cash at their disposal. They see it, but nobody else does. But, if everybody physically saw the river of wealth flowing to the elites, I believe things would change. Fast. Right now this transfer of wealth is all digital, hidden from the view of 99.99% of Americans. And the elites, the banking industry, and the wealth management cabal prefer it that way.
You said it sister. Great article.BDavi52 , , March 15, 2019 at 2:49 pm
I am amazed by the media coverage of this scandal. Was anyone actually under the impression that college admissions were on the level before these Hollywood bozos were caught red handed?
What total silliness!Sid Finster , , March 15, 2019 at 2:52 pm
No, the meritocracy is not dead; it's not even dying. It is, in fact, alive and well and the absolute best alternative to any other method used to separate wheat from chaff, cream from milk, diamonds from rust.
What else is there that is even half as good?
Are merit-based systems perfect? Heck, no. They've never been perfect; they will never be perfect. They are administered by people and people are flawed. Not just flawed in the way Singer, and Huffman are flawed (and those individuals are not simply flawed, they're corrupt) but flawed in the everyday kind of sense. Yes, we all have tendencies, biases, preferences that will -- inevitably -- leak into our selection process, no matter how objectively strict the process may be structured, no matter how rigorously fair we try to be.
So the fact that -- as with most things -- we can find a trace of corruption here that fact is meaningless. We can find evidence of human corruption, venality, greed, sloth, lust, envy (all of the 7 Deadly Sins) pretty much everywhere. But if we look at the 20M students enrolled in college, the vast majority are successfully & fairly admitted through merit-based filtering systems (which are more or less rigorous) which have been in place forever.
Ms. Boland tells us (with a straight face, no less) that "The U.S. is now a country where corruption is rampant and money buys both access and outcomes." But what does that even mean?
Certainly money can buy access and certainly money can buy outcomes. But that's what money does. She might as well assert that money can buy goods and services, and lions and tigers and bears -- oh my! Of course it can. Equally networks can 'buy' access and outcomes (if my best friend is working as the manager for Adele, I'm betting he could probably arrange my meeting Adele). Equally success & fame can buy access and outcomes. I'm betting Adele can probably arrange a meeting with Gwen Stefani .and both can arrange a meeting with Tom Brady. So what? Does the fact that money can be used to purchase goods & services mean money or the use of money is corrupt or morally degenerate? No, of course not. In truth, we all leverage what we have (whatever that may be) to get what we want. That's how life works. But the fact that we all do that does not mean we are all corrupt.
But yes, corruption does exist and can usually be found, in trace amounts -- as I said -- pretty much everywhere.
So is it rampant? Can I buy my way into the NBA or the NFL? If I go to Clark Hunt and give him $20M and tell him I want to play QB for the Chiefs, will he let me? Can I buy my way into the CEO's position at General Electric, Apple, Microsoft, Google, Sprint, Verizon, General Motors, Toyota or any of the Fortune 500? Heck, can I even buy my way into the Governor's mansion? To become the Mayor of Chicago? Or the Police Commissioner? No -- these things are not possible. But what I can buy is my presence on the media stage.
What happens after cannot be purchased.
So no, by any measure, corruption is not rampant. And though many things are, in fact, for sale -- not everything is. And no matter how much money I give anyone, I'm never gonna QB the Chiefs or play for the Lakers.
She tells us, "we are dominated by a rich and powerful elite." No, we're not. Most of us live our lives making the choices we want to make, given the means that each of us has, without any interference from any so-called "elite". The "elite" didn't tell me where to go to school, or where to get a job, or how to do my job, or when to have kids, or what loaf of bread to buy, or what brand of beer tastes best, or where to go on the family vacation. No one did. The elite obviously did not tell us who to vote for in the last presidential election.
Of course one of the problems with the "it's the fault of the elite" is the weight given institutions by people like Ms.Boland. "Oh, lordy, the Elite used their dominating power to get a brainless twit of a daughter into USC". Now if my kid were cheated out of a position at USC because the Twit got in, I'd be upset but beyond that who really cares if a Twit gets an undergraduate degree from USC or Yale .or Harvard .or wherever. Some of the brightest people I've known earned their degrees at Easter PolyTechnic U (some don't even have college degrees -- oh, the horror!); some of the stupidest have Ivy League credentials. So what?
Only if you care about the exclusivity of such a relatively meaningless thing as a degree from USC, does gaming the exclusivity matter.
She ends with the exhortation: "The result has been a gaping chasm through our society. Lives are destroyed because, rather than working for real merit-based systems and justice, we worship at the altar of false promises offered by our institutions. Instead we should be rolling up our sleeves and seeing Operation Varsity Blues for what it is: a call to action."
To do what, exactly?
Toss the baby and the bathwater? Substitute lottery selection for merit? Flip a coin? What?
Again the very best method is and always will be merit-based. That is the incentive which drives all of us: the hope that if we work hard enough and do well enough, that we will succeed. Anything else is just a lie.
Yes, we can root out this piece of corruption. Yes, we can build better and more rigorously fair systems. But in the end, merit is the only game in town. Far better to roll-up our sleeves and simply buckle down, Winsocki. There isn't anything better.
Gee, and people wonder why the rubes think that the system is gamed, why the dogs no longer want to eat the dog food.Jim Jatras , , March 15, 2019 at 3:22 pm
"While black people make up only 13 percent of the population, they make up 42 percent of death row and 35 percent of those who are executed. There are big racial disparities in charging, sentencing, plea bargaining, and executions, Department of Justice reviews have concluded, and black and brown people are disproportionately found to be innocent after landing on death row. The poor and disadvantaged thereby become grist for a system that cares nothing for them."Pam , , March 15, 2019 at 3:42 pm
So to what degree are these "disparities" "disproportionate" in light of actual criminal behavior? To be "proportionate," would we expect criminal behavior to correlate exactly to racial, ethnic, sex, and age demographics of society as a whole?
Put another way, if you are a victim of a violent crime in America, what are the odds your assailant is, say, an elderly, Asian female? Approximately zero.
Conversely, what are the odds your assailant is a young, black male? Rather high, and if you yourself are a young, black male, approaching 100 percent.
Mostly thumbs up to this article. But why you gotta pick on Calvinism at the end? Anyway, your understanding of Calvinism is entirely upside down. Calvinists believe they are elect by divine grace, and salvation is something given by God through Jesus, which means you can't earn it and you most assuredly don't deserve it. Calvinism also teaches that all people are made in the image of God and worthy of respect, regardless of class or status. There's no "version" of Calvinism that teaches what you claim.
Nov 21, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Don Wills , Nov 14 2019 15:33 utc | 105snake @95 argues "the deep state does not exist" with circular logic that is massively off target.
The deep state is individuals INSIDE the government that do the bidding of the banksters, the military-industrial complex, the globalists and other nefarious interests. None of those interests have the ability to make policy and implement regime changes without the deep state. Yes, outside interests drive the actions of the deep state, but no, those outside interests have no ability to accomplish anything without their deep state operatives.
If the US federal government bureaucracy was a) much less powerful, b) much more transparent, and c) more responsive to elected leaders, then none of the bad things would happen. A pipe dream? Yes - but it is erroneous to make a simple declaration "the deep state doesn't exist" without any rational arguments to refute my points in @72.
juliania , Nov 14 2019 16:06 utc | 106Don Wills @ 72:Don Wills , Nov 14 2019 17:06 utc | 108
Thank you for your post. You say that there is a deep state, but you then go on to tell us it is not as deep as we imagine. So, I posit we should call it "the shallow state". It is the foam on the edge of the sea as it begins to recede from a high tide of corrupt practices, delicate and lacy at the edges and so mesmerizing and attractive to some. But it is receding. And out there as it departs the Deep People are waiting. They are the depths of an ocean that never disappears. At low tide they are still there, and they will feed the incoming tide. At the turn.
And I also say, you may not care what the future brings, but I do. I have a little granson, born on my birthday, gazing at me with twinkling eyes from his photograph across the room. Family is also something we can call Deep and be truthful about that. It runs in both directions, past and future. The Deep People have Deep Families.
And yes, I know, other grandsons have met untimely deaths this century and are counted as 'collateral damage' by the shallow state. Still they are with us as the past is always with us; they deepen our persons in unaccountable but irreversible ways. They strengthen our family commitments. They are always here, in our memories and in our strengths. They are not collateral; they are the fabric of our determinations, our life blood.
The Deep People do care what happens. The twinkle in their grandsons' eyes burns in their hearts. It is a fire, a consuming force. It never dies."deep state", "deep people", "the swamp" .. a rose by any other name would smell just as rancid.
"deep people" implies a small, isolated group. IMO, it's more like an iceberg than seashore foam. 90% of it is hidden from view.
My point was that snake's blame of the oligarchs misses the target. I look at them the way I look at any other predator - if the opportunity exists, they will take it. The deep state is THE necessary ingredient for the evil that the US government does.
I too have grandchildren. I am convinced that their lives will be less free, less prosperous, with less opportunity than what the seven generations of Wills family before me have experienced in the US for the last 275 years. So what can I do about it? Typing on my keyboard certainly won't make one whit of difference...
Nov 07, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Elizabeth Vos via ConsortiumNews.com,
Establishment Democrats and those who amplify them continue to project blame for the public's doubt in the U.S. election process onto outside influence, despite the clear history of the party's subversion of election integrity. The total inability of the Democratic Party establishment's willingness to address even one of these critical failures does not give reason to hope that the nomination process in 2020 will be any less pre-ordained.
The Democratic Party's bias against Sen. Bernie Sanders during the 2016 presidential nomination, followed by the DNC defense counsel doubling down on its right to rig the race during the fraud lawsuit brought against the DNC , as well as the irregularities in the races between former DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Tim Canova, indicate a fatal breakdown of the U.S. democratic process spearheaded by the Democratic Party establishment. Influences transcending the DNC add to concerns regarding the integrity of the democratic process that have nothing to do with Russia, but which will also likely impact outcomes in 2020.
The content of the DNC and Podesta emails published by WikiLeaks demonstrated that the DNC acted in favor of Hillary Clinton in the lead up to the 2016 Democratic primary. The emails also revealed corporate media reporters acting as surrogates of the DNC and its pro-Clinton agenda, going so far as to promote Donald Trump during the GOP primary process as a preferred " pied-piper candidate ." One cannot assume that similar evidence will be presented to the public in 2020, making it more important than ever to take stock of the unique lessons handed down to us by the 2016 race.Social Media Meddling
Election meddling via social media did take place in 2016, though in a different guise and for a different cause from that which are best remembered. Twitter would eventually admit to actively suppressing hashtags referencing the DNC and Podesta emails in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election. Additional reports indicated that tech giant Google also showed measurable "pro-Hillary Clinton bias" in search results during 2016, resulting in the alleged swaying of between 2 and 10 millions voters in favor of Clinton.
On the Republican side, a recent episode of CNLive! featured discussion of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which undecided voters were micro-targeted with tailored advertising narrowed with the combined use of big data and artificial intelligence known collectively as "dark strategy." CNLive! Executive Producer Cathy Vogan noted that SCL, Cambridge Analytica's parent company, provides data, analytics and strategy to governments and military organizations "worldwide," specializing in behavior modification. Though Cambridge Analytica shut down in 2018, related companies remain.
The Clinton camp was hardly absent from social media during the 2016 race. The barely-legal activities of Clintonite David Brock were previously reported by this author to have included $2 million in funding for the creation of an online " troll army " under the name Shareblue. The LA Times described the project as meant to "to appear to be coming organically from people and their social media networks in a groundswell of activism, when in fact it is highly paid and highly tactical." In other words, the effort attempted to create a false sense of consensus in support for the Clinton campaign.
In terms of interference in the actual election process, the New York City Board of Elections was shown to have purged over one hundred thousand Democratic voters in Brooklyn from the rolls before the 2016 primary, a move that the Department of Justice found broke federal law . Despite this, no prosecution for the breach was ever attempted.
Though the purge was not explicitly found to have benefitted Clinton, the admission falls in line with allegations across the country that the Democratic primary was interfered with to the benefit of the former secretary of state. These claims were further bolstered by reports indicating that voting results from the 2016 Democratic primary showed evidence of fraud.DNC Fraud Lawsuit
The proceedings of the DNC fraud lawsuit provide the most damning evidence of the failure of the U.S. election process, especially within the Democratic Party. DNC defense lawyers argued in open court for the party's right to appoint candidates at its own discretion, while simultaneously denying any "fiduciary duty" to represent the voters who donated to the Democratic Party under the impression that the DNC would act impartially towards the candidates involved.
In 2017, the Observer reported that the DNC's defense counsel argued against claims that the party defrauded Sanders' supporters by favoring Clinton, reasoning that Sanders' supporters knew the process was rigged. Again: instead of arguing that the primary was neutral and unbiased in accordance with its charter, the DNC's lawyers argued that it was the party's right to select candidates.
The Observer noted the sentiments of Jared Beck, the attorney representing the plaintiffs of the lawsuit:
"People paid money in reliance on the understanding that the primary elections for the Democratic nominee -- nominating process in 2016 were fair and impartial, and that's not just a bedrock assumption that we would assume just by virtue of the fact that we live in a democracy, and we assume that our elections are run in a fair and impartial manner. But that's what the Democratic National Committee's own charter says. It says it in black and white."
The DNC defense counsel's argument throughout the course of the DNC fraud lawsuit doubled down repeatedly in defense of the party's right to favor one candidate over another, at one point actually claiming that such favoritism was protected by the First Amendment . The DNC's lawyers wrote:
"To recognize any of the causes of action that Plaintiffs allege would run directly contrary to long-standing Supreme Court precedent recognizing the central and critical First Amendment rights enjoyed by political parties, especially when it comes to selecting the party's nominee for public office ." [Emphasis added]
The DNC's shameless defense of its own rigging disemboweled the most fundamental organs of the U.S. body politic. This no indication that the DNC will not resort to the same tactics in the 2020 primary race,Tim Canova's Allegations
If Debbie Wasserman Schultz's role as disgraced chairwoman of the DNC and her forced 2016 resignation wasn't enough, serious interference was also alleged in the wake of two contests between Wasserman Schultz and professor Tim Canova in Florida's 23rd congressional district. Canova and Wasserman Schultz first faced off in a 2016 Democratic primary race, followed by a 2018 general congressional election in which Canova ran as an independent.
Debacles followed both contests, including improper vote counts, illegal ballot destruction , improper transportation of ballots, and generally shameless displays of cronyism. After the controversial results of the initial primary race against Wasserman Schultz, Canova sought to have ballots checked for irregularities, as the Sun-Sentinel reported at the time:
"[Canova] sought to look at the paper ballots in March 2017 and took Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes to court three months later when her office hadn't fulfilled his request. Snipes approved the destruction of the ballots in September, signing a certification that said no court cases involving the ballots were pending."
Ultimately, Canova was granted a summary judgment against Snipes, finding that she had committed what amounted to multiple felonies. Nonetheless, Snipes was not prosecuted and remained elections supervisor through to the 2018 midterms.
Republicans appear no more motivated to protect voting integrity than the Democrats, with The Nation reporting that the GOP-controlled Senate blocked a bill this week that would have "mandated paper-ballot backups in case of election machine malfunctions."Study of Corporate Power
A 2014 study published by Princeton University found that corporate power had usurped the voting rights of the public: "Economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence."
In reviewing this sordid history, we see that the Democratic Party establishment has done everything in its power to disrespect voters and outright overrule them in the democratic primary process, defending their right to do so in the DNC fraud lawsuit. We've noted that interests transcending the DNC also represent escalating threats to election integrity as demonstrated in 2016.
Despite this, establishment Democrats and those who echo their views in the legacy press continue to deflect from their own wrongdoing and real threats to the election process by suggesting that mere discussion of it represents a campaign by Russia to attempt to malign the perception of the legitimacy of the U.S. democratic process.
Hillary Clinton's recent comments to the effect that Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is being "groomed" by Russia, and that the former Green Party Presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein is a "Russian asset", were soon echoed by DNC-friendly pundits. These sentiments externalize what Gabbard called the "rot" in the Democratic party outward onto domestic critics and a nation across the planet.
Newsweek provided a particularly glaring example of this phenomenon in a recent op-ed penned by columnist Naveed Jamali, a former FBI double agent whose book capitalizes on Russiagate. In an op-ed titled: " Hillary Clinton Is Right. Tulsi Gabbard Is A Perfect Russian Asset – And Would Be A Perfect Republican Agent," Jamali argued :
"Moscow will use its skillful propaganda machine to prop up Gabbard and use her as a tool to delegitimize the democratic process. " [Emphasis added]
Jamali surmises that Russia intends to "attack" our democracy by undermining the domestic perception of its legitimacy. This thesis is repeated later in the piece when Jamali opines : "They want to see a retreat of American influence. What better way to accomplish that than to attack our democracy by casting doubt on the legitimacy of our elections." [Emphasis added]
The only thing worth protecting, according to Jamali and those who amplify his work (including former Clinton aide and establishment Democrat Neera Tanden), is the perception of the democratic process, not the actual functioning vitality of it. Such deflective tactics ensure that Russia will continue to be used as a convenient international pretext for silencing domestic dissent as we move into 2020.
Given all this, how can one expect the outcome of a 2020 Democratic Primary -- or even the general election – to be any fairer or transparent than 2016?
* * *
Elizabeth Vos is a freelance reporter, co-host of CN Live! and regular contributor to Consortium News. If you value this original article, please consider making a donation to Consortium News so we can bring you more stories like this one.
Oct 24, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Trump-Haters, Not Trump, Are The Ones Wrecking America's Institutions, WSJ's Strassel Says by Tyler Durden Thu, 10/24/2019 - 17:15 0 SHARES
Authored by Irene Luo and Jan Jekielek via The Epoch Times,
The anti- Trump "Resistance" has devastated core American institutions and broken longstanding political norms in seeking to defeat and now oust from office President Donald Trump, said Kimberley Strassel, a columnist for the Wall Street Journal and member of the Journal's editorial board.
"And this, to me, is the irony, right? We've been told for three years that Donald Trump is wrecking institutions," Strassel said in an interview with The Epoch Times for the "American Thought Leaders" program.
" But in terms of real wreckage to institutions, it's not on Donald Trump that public faith in the FBI and the Department of Justice has precipitously fallen. That's because of Jim Comey and Andy McCabe. It's not on Donald Trump that the Senate confirmation process for the Supreme Court is in ashes after what happened to Brett Kavanaugh. It's not on Donald Trump that we are turning impeachment into a partisan political tool."
The damage inflicted by the anti-Trump Resistance is the subject of Strassel's new book, "Resistance (At All Costs): How Trump Haters Are Breaking America."
Strassel uses the term "haters" deliberately, to differentiate this demographic from Trump's "critics."
In Strassel's view, all thoughtful critics of Trump - and she counts herself among them - would look at Trump the same way that they have examined past presidents - namely, to call him out when he does something wrong, but also laud him when he does something right.
" The 'haters' can't abide nuance. To the Resistance, any praise - no matter how qualified - of Trump is tantamount to American betrayal, " Strassel writes in "Resistance (At All Costs)."
She told The Epoch Times: "Up until the point at which Donald Trump was elected, what happened when political parties lost is that they would retreat, regroup, lick their wounds, talk about what they did wrong.
"That's not what happened this time around. Instead, you had people who essentially said we should have won."
From the moment Trump was elected, this group believed Trump to be an illegitimate president and therefore felt they could use whatever means necessary to remove him from office , Strassel said.'Unprecedented Acts'
"One thing I try really hard to do in this book is enunciate what rules and regulations and standards were broken, what political boundaries were crossed, because I think that that's where we're seeing the damage," Strassel said.
The "unprecedented acts" of the Resistance have caused the public to lose trust in longstanding institutions such as the FBI, the CIA, and the Department of Justice, and cheapened important political processes like impeachment, she said.
The Resistance fabricated and pushed the theory that it was Trump's collusion with Russia that won him the presidency, not the support of the American people, and lied about the origins of the so-called evidence -- the Steele dossier -- that was used by the FBI to justify a counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign, Strassel said.
"We have never, in the history of this country, had a counterintelligence investigation into a political campaign," she said.
In an anecdote that Strassel recounts in her book, she asked former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) if there was anything in America's laws that could have prohibited this situation.
Nunes, who had helped write or update many laws concerning the powers of the intelligence community, replied, "I would never have conceived of the FBI using our counterintelligence capabilities to target a political campaign.
"If it had crossed any of our minds, I can guarantee we'd have specifically written: 'Don't do that.'"
In Strassel's view, the Resistance is partially fueled by deep-seated anger, or what others have termed "Trump derangement syndrome" -- an inability to look rationally at a man so far outside of Washington norms.
But at the same time, in Strassel's view, much of the Resistance is motivated by a desire to amass political power using whatever means necessary.
"That involves removing the president who won. That involves some of these other things that you hear them talking about now: packing the Supreme Court, getting rid of the electoral college, letting 16-year-olds vote," she said.
"These are not reforms. Reforms are things that the country broadly agrees are going to help improve stuff. This is changing the rules so that you get power, and you stay in power."
The impeachment inquiry into the president, based on his phone call with Ukraine's president, is just another example of how the Resistance is violating political norms and relying on flimsy evidence to try to remove him from office, she said.
Testimony in the inquiry has taken place behind closed doors, led by three House committees, and Democrats have so far refused to release transcripts from the depositions of former and current State Department employees.
"[Impeachment] is one of the most serious and huge powers in the Constitution. It was meant always by the founders to be reserved for truly unusual circumstances. They debated not even putting it in because they were concerned that this is what would happen," Strassel said.
In the impeachment inquiries against Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton, Strassel said, American leaders "understood the great importance of convincing the American public that their decision to use this tool was just and legitimate.
"So if you look back at Watergate, they had hundreds of hours of testimony broadcast over TV that people tuned into and watched. It's one of the reasons that Richard Nixon resigned before the House ever held a final impeachment vote on him, because the public had been convinced. He knew he had to go," she said.
But now, instead of access to the testimonies, the public is receiving only leaked snippets and dueling narratives.Bureaucratic Resistance
"You have Democrats saying, 'Oh, this is very bad.' And Republicans saying, 'Oh, it's not so bad at all.' What are Americans supposed to think?" Strassel said.
Within the federal bureaucracy, there is a "vast swath of unelected officials" who have "a great deal of power to slow things down, mess things up, file the whistleblower complaints, leak information, actively engage against the president's policies," Strassel said.
"It's their job to implement his agenda. And yet a lot of them are part of the Resistance, too," she said.
Data shows that in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election, government bureaucrats overwhelmingly contributed toward the Clinton campaign over the Trump campaign.
Ninety-five percent, or about $1.9 million, of bureaucrats' donations went to Clinton, according to The Hill's analysis of donations from federal workers up until September 2016. In particular, employees at the Department of Justice gave 97 percent of their donations to Clinton. For the State Department, it was even higher -- 99 percent.
"Imagine being a CEO and showing up and knowing that 95 percent of your workforce despises you and doesn't want you to be there," Strassel said.
Strassel pointed to when former acting Attorney General Sally Yates, a holdover from the Obama administration, publicly questioned the constitutionality of Trump's immigration ban and directed Justice Department employees to disobey the order.
"It was basically a call to arms," Strassel said. "What she should've done is honorably resigned if she felt that she could not in any way enforce this duly issued executive order.
"It really kicked off what we have seen ever since then: The nearly daily leaks from the administration, the whistleblower complaints," as well as "all kind of internal foot-dragging and outright obstruction to the president's agenda."
According to a report by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, in Trump's first 126 days in office, his administration "faced 125 leaked stories -- one leak a day -- containing information that is potentially damaging to national security under the standards laid out in a 2009 Executive Order signed by President Barack Obama."Activist Media
Strassel says the media has played a critical role in bolstering the anti-Trump Resistance.
"I've been a reporter for 25 years," Strassel said.
"I've always felt that the media leaned left. That wasn't a surprise to anyone. "But what we've seen over the past three years is something entirely different. This is the media actively engaging on one side of a partisan warfare. It's overt."
Along the way, the media have largely abandoned journalistic standards, "whether it be the use of anonymous sources, whether it be putting uncorroborated accusations into the paper, whether it's using biased sources for information and cloaking them as neutral observers," she said.
Among the many examples of media misinformation cited in Strassel's book is a December 2017 CNN piece that claimed to have evidence that then-candidate Trump and his son Donald Trump Jr. had been offered early access to hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee. But it turned out the date was wrong . Trump Jr. had received an email about the WikiLeaks release one day after WikiLeaks had made the documents public.
"If it hurts Donald Trump, they're on board," Strassel said. And in many cases, the attacks on Trump have been contradictory.
"He's either the dunce you claim he is every day or he's the most sophisticated Manchurian candidate that the world has ever seen. You can't have it both ways.
"He's either a dictator and an autocrat who is consolidating power around himself to rule with an iron fist, or he's the evil conservative who's cutting regulations."
Contrary to claims of authoritarianism, Trump has significantly decreased the size of the federal government. Notably, he reduced the Federal Register, a collection of all the national government's rules and regulations, to the lowest it's been since Bill Clinton's first year in office.
"You can't be a libertarian dictator," Strassel said.
In addition to the barrage of attacks on Trump, the media has actively sought to "de-legitimize anybody who has a different viewpoint than they do, or who is reporting the facts and the story in a way other than they would like them to be presented."
"They would love to make it sound as though none of us are worthy of writing about this story," she said.
"The media is supposed to be our guardrails, right? When a political party transgresses a political boundary, they're supposed to say 'No, that's beyond the pale.'"
Instead, "they indulged this behavior," Strassel said.
"We had a media cheerleading the FBI for meddling in American politics. Can you ever imagine a time in American history where the media would have played such a role?
"In a way, I blame that for so much else that has gone wrong."Long-Term Consequences
Strassel says the actions taken by the Resistance will have long-term consequences for America.
"I keep warning my friends on the other side of the aisle: Think about the precedent you are setting here," Strassel said.
For example, if Joe Biden wins the presidency in 2020 but Republicans take back the House, would the Republican-dominated House immediately launch impeachment proceedings against Biden for alleged corruption in Ukraine?
"I wouldn't necessarily use the word [corruption], but there's a lot of Republicans who happily would. And if they thought they'd get another shot at the White House, why not?" Strassel said.
It's short-term thinking, she said, just like Sen. Harry Reid's decision in 2013 to drop the number of votes needed to overcome a filibuster for lower-court judges.
"Did he really stop to think about the fact that it paved the way for Republicans to get rid of the filibuster for Supreme Court judges?" Strassel said.
If there's any rule in Washington, "it's that when you set the bar low, it just keeps going lower," Strassel said.
"Donald Trump is going to be president for at most another five years. But the actions and the destruction that's coming with some of this could be with us for a very long time," she said.
"Should anyone allow their deep disregard for one particular man to so change the structure and the fabric of the country?"
Oct 23, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by John Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute,
" Politicians are more likely than people in the general population to be sociopaths . I think you would find no expert in the field of sociopathy/psychopathy/antisocial personality disorder who would dispute this... That a small minority of human beings literally have no conscience was and is a bitter pill for our society to swallow -- but it does explain a great many things, shamelessly deceitful political behavior being one."
- Dr. Martha Stout, clinical psychologist and former instructor at Harvard Medical School
Twenty years ago, a newspaper headline asked the question: " What's the difference between a politician and a psychopath? "
The answer, then and now, remains the same: None . There is no difference between psychopaths and politicians. Nor is there much of a difference between the havoc wreaked on innocent lives by uncaring, unfeeling, selfish, irresponsible, parasitic criminals and elected officials who lie to their constituents , trade political favors for campaign contributions, turn a blind eye to the wishes of the electorate, cheat taxpayers out of hard-earned dollars, favor the corporate elite, entrench the military industrial complex, and spare little thought for the impact their thoughtless actions and hastily passed legislation might have on defenseless citizens.
Psychopaths and politicians both have a tendency to be selfish, callous, remorseless users of others, irresponsible, pathological liars , glib, con artists, lacking in remorse and shallow.
Charismatic politicians, like criminal psychopaths, exhibit a failure to accept responsibility for their actions , have a high sense of self-worth, are chronically unstable, have socially deviant lifestyles, need constant stimulation, have parasitic lifestyles and possess unrealistic goals.
It doesn't matter whether you're talking about Democrats or Republicans.
Political psychopaths are all largely cut from the same pathological cloth, brimming with seemingly easy charm and boasting calculating minds . Such leaders eventually create pathocracies: totalitarian societies bent on power, control, and destruction of both freedom in general and those who exercise their freedoms.
Once psychopaths gain power, the result is usually some form of totalitarian government or a pathocracy. "At that point, the government operates against the interests of its own people except for favoring certain groups," author James G. Long notes. "We are currently witnessing deliberate polarizations of American citizens, illegal actions, and massive and needless acquisition of debt. This is typical of psychopathic systems , and very similar things happened in the Soviet Union as it overextended and collapsed."
In other words, electing a psychopath to public office is tantamount to national hara-kiri, the ritualized act of self-annihilation, self-destruction and suicide. It signals the demise of democratic government and lays the groundwork for a totalitarian regime that is legalistic, militaristic, inflexible, intolerant and inhuman.
Incredibly, despite clear evidence of the damage that has already been inflicted on our nation and its citizens by a psychopathic government, voters continue to elect psychopaths to positions of power and influence.
According to investigative journalist Zack Beauchamp , "In 2012, a group of psychologists evaluated every President from Washington to Bush II using 'psychopathy trait estimates derived from personality data completed by historical experts on each president.' They found that presidents tended to have the psychopath's characteristic fearlessness and low anxiety levels -- traits that appear to help Presidents, but also might cause them to make reckless decisions that hurt other people's lives."
The willingness to prioritize power above all else, including the welfare of their fellow human beings, ruthlessness, callousness and an utter lack of conscience are among the defining traits of the sociopath.
When our own government no longer sees us as human beings with dignity and worth but as things to be manipulated, maneuvered, mined for data, manhandled by police, conned into believing it has our best interests at heart, mistreated, jailed if we dare step out of line, and then punished unjustly without remorse -- all the while refusing to own up to its failings -- we are no longer operating under a constitutional republic.
Instead, what we are experiencing is a pathocracy: tyranny at the hands of a psychopathic government, which " operates against the interests of its own people except for favoring certain groups ."
Worse, psychopathology is not confined to those in high positions of government. It can spread like a virus among the populace. As an academic study into pathocracy concluded , "[T]yranny does not flourish because perpetuators are helpless and ignorant of their actions. It flourishes because they actively identify with those who promote vicious acts as virtuous."
People don't simply line up and salute. It is through one's own personal identification with a given leader, party or social order that they become agents of good or evil.
Much depends on how leaders " cultivate a sense of identification with their followers ," says Professor Alex Haslam. "I mean one pretty obvious thing is that leaders talk about 'we' rather than 'I,' and actually what leadership is about is cultivating this sense of shared identity about 'we-ness' and then getting people to want to act in terms of that 'we-ness,' to promote our collective interests. . . . [We] is the single word that has increased in the inaugural addresses over the last century . . . and the other one is 'America.'"
The goal of the modern corporate state is obvious: to promote, cultivate, and embed a sense of shared identification among its citizens. To this end, "we the people" have become "we the police state."
We are fast becoming slaves in thrall to a faceless, nameless, bureaucratic totalitarian government machine that relentlessly erodes our freedoms through countless laws, statutes, and prohibitions.
Any resistance to such regimes depends on the strength of opinions in the minds of those who choose to fight back. What this means is that we the citizenry must be very careful that we are not manipulated into marching in lockstep with an oppressive regime.
Writing for ThinkProgress , Beauchamp suggests that " one of the best cures to bad leaders may very well be political democracy ."
But what does this really mean in practical terms?
It means holding politicians accountable for their actions and the actions of their staff using every available means at our disposal: through investigative journalism (what used to be referred to as the Fourth Estate) that enlightens and informs, through whistleblower complaints that expose corruption, through lawsuits that challenge misconduct, and through protests and mass political action that remind the powers-that-be that "we the people" are the ones that call the shots.
Remember, education precedes action. Citizens need to the do the hard work of educating themselves about what the government is doing and how to hold it accountable. Don't allow yourselves to exist exclusively in an echo chamber that is restricted to views with which you agree. Expose yourself to multiple media sources, independent and mainstream, and think for yourself.
For that matter, no matter what your political leanings might be, don't allow your partisan bias to trump the principles that serve as the basis for our constitutional republic. As Beauchamp notes, "A system that actually holds people accountable to the broader conscience of society may be one of the best ways to keep conscienceless people in check."
That said, if we allow the ballot box to become our only means of pushing back against the police state, the battle is already lost.
Resistance will require a citizenry willing to be active at the local level.
Yet as I point out in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People , if you wait to act until the SWAT team is crashing through your door, until your name is placed on a terror watch list, until you are reported for such outlawed activities as collecting rainwater or letting your children play outside unsupervised, then it will be too late.
This much I know: we are not faceless numbers. We are not cogs in the machine. We are not slaves.
We are human beings, and for the moment, we have the opportunity to remain free -- that is, if we tirelessly advocate for our rights and resist at every turn attempts by the government to place us in chains.
The Founders understood that our freedoms do not flow from the government. They were not given to us only to be taken away by the will of the State. They are inherently ours. In the same way, the government's appointed purpose is not to threaten or undermine our freedoms, but to safeguard them.
Until we can get back to this way of thinking, until we can remind our fellow Americans what it really means to be free , and until we can stand firm in the face of threats to our freedoms, we will continue to be treated like slaves in thrall to a bureaucratic police state run by political psychopaths.
fudly , 4 minutes ago linkIs-Be , 13 minutes ago link
"There is no difference between psychopaths and politicians."
Could have just left it at that.BiloxiMarxKelly , 18 minutes ago link
The solution, dear Zerohedge, is to pass a law demanding any official's psychological profile for public scrutiny. (By humans and by our superiors, Artificial Intelligence.)
(I think Is-Be just cracked a funny.)Max.Power , 27 minutes ago link
http://www.ponerology.com/herbivore , 29 minutes ago link
The problem of democracy is that too many are unbelievably naive, and even more are poorly educated.
That's why propaganda always works, regardless of how absurd the narrative is.IntercoursetheEU , 29 minutes ago link
"Psychopaths and politicians both have a tendency to be selfish, callous, remorseless users of others, irresponsible, pathological liars , glib, con artists, lacking in remorse and shallow".
And the people who elect them are colloquially known as dumbasses.Manthong , 32 minutes ago link
The countries with the best psychopaths win ... they call it history.SocratesSolves , 22 minutes ago link
Gimme a break.
Just because they do not care about hurting people, are irritable, narcissistic, avaricious and lascivious does not mean they are psychopaths.
They are morally superior.Four chan , 22 minutes ago link
Bravo! The inner workings of psychopathy. All is justified. Included the Joker cults 911 mass murder with dancing after the fact. I want to see real dancing Israelis now. Dancing like hell to try to save their own murderous lives now. That's what we do with murderers out here in the west. We line them up and watch them DANCE for their lives.Manthong , 21 minutes ago link
one could say gods chosen, or is this lie where the false sence of entitlement began?PrintCash , 32 minutes ago link
They are doing "God's work".
Don't worry about the slave trading, usury or death count thing.Epstein101 , 35 minutes ago link
What I find hilarious is the psychopathic politicians/bureaucrats/cia-fbi types/all matter of deep staters getting upset at Trumps words/tweets/style.
Pilfering the country for profit perfectly ok. Unseemly (by their standards) speech or tweets are not.
See, while they are pilfering Uncle Sam, ie you, they do it with charm (one of the strongest signs of a psychopath) and manners. What a narcissist/psychopath fears most is being outed as a fraud. And unfortunately, as long as Washington DC plays nice, throws in some lines about American values, helping the less fortunate, helping the kids, the majority fall in line with their pilfering, and whatever they want goes.
What they fear most about Trump is he hurts their Big Government brand. Either by his rhetoric, his logic, his investigative actions, or his brassness. This also includes Republicans, who only fell in line when the base forced them to fall in line.SocratesSolves , 18 minutes ago link
Big Tech Oligarchs' Best Tool for Censoring the Internet: The ADLOmni Consumer Product , 37 minutes ago link
Just another *** shell game
Ahh, now we're talking about topics of substance:
There is no form of government, no perfect "ism" that can withstand the real-world effects of psycopaths at the top.
Until that problem is solved, history will continue to repeat.
Sep 30, 2019 | www.youtube.com
john scott , 3 hours agoWe2 , 21 minutes ago
This hit job is George Soros and Son and his LawyersYahshuaLovesMe , 8 seconds ago
Wallace is one of the Deep State swamp creature plants that he is talking about!Salvador , 46 seconds ago
this interviewer Chris Wallace is a subversive. so it seems to me. he is a saboteur.vermeea1 , 17 minutes ago
Stephen Miller is amazing at wrestling and smacking down this Democratic Operative Chris WallaceReverend Fry , 7 minutes ago
FOX is a part of the Oligarch Deep State.YahshuaLovesMe , 14 seconds ago
Wallace is a minion of the globalists.Flash , 5 minutes ago
Stephen Miller is a genius.Russ Hansen , 1 minute ago
Stephen Miller is CORRECT -- there is no more integrity and confidence in government affairs when it can be turned into ammunition against the President of the United States. Chris Wallace really ought to work for CNN.Lloyd Noland , 6 minutes ago
Biden and the whistle blower hahaha they need to go to jail
Chris Wallace Incorrect. We have the Docs that expose the corruption on the part of the Biden. We have his legal team basically threatening the new prosectutor saying in lawyer speak "Hey you saw how we got the last prosecutor fired? I'd suggest you cooperate with us or you will get fired next" .450 pages from Biden's son legal team at Burisma, Ukrainian Embassy Official Docs and State Department Docs.
Wallace you sir you are a paritsan hack. Anyone can read the docs too thats whats sad. I'm only 70 pages in and its bad for the Biden's jailtime bad.
Also last time I checked Donald Trump is the head of the executive branch he can direct anyone to go find anything, and I haven't seen one person show me where he can't.
Sep 22, 2019 | www.unz.com
Evidence continues to mount that the official narrative itself is the irrational narrative of September 11, and it becomes ever more clear that the media remains committed to preventing legitimate questions about that day from receiving the scrutiny they deserve.
Today the event that defined the United States' foreign policy in the 21st century, and heralded the destruction of whole countries, turns 18. The events of September 11, 2001 remains etched into the memories of Americans and many others, as a collective tragedy that brought Americans together and brought as well a general resolve among them that those responsible be brought to justice.
While the events of that day did unite Americans in these ways for a time, the different trajectories of the official relative to the independent investigations into the September 11 attacks have often led to division in the years since 2001, with vicious attacks or outright dismissal being levied against the latter.
Yet, with 18 years having come and gone -- and with the tireless efforts from victims' families, first responders, scientists and engineers -- the tide appears to be turning, as new evidence continues to emerge and calls for new investigations are made. However, American corporate media has remained largely silent, preferring to ignore new developments that could derail the "official story" of one of the most iconic and devastating attacks to ever occur on American soil.
For instance, in late July, commissioners for a New York-area Fire Department, which responded to the attacks and lost one of their own that day, called for a new investigation into the events of September 11. On July 24, the board of commissioners for the Franklin Square and Munson Fire District, which serves a population of around 30,000 near Queens, voted unanimously in their call for a new investigation into the attacks.
While the call for a new investigation from a NY Fire Department involved in the rescue effort would normally seem newsworthy to the media outlets who often rally Americans to "never forget," the commissioners' call for a new investigation was met with total silence from the mainstream media. The likely reason for the dearth of coverage on an otherwise newsworthy vote was likely due to the fact that the resolution that called for the new investigation contained the following clause:
Whereas, the overwhelming evidence presented in said petition demonstrates beyond any doubt that pre-planted explosives and/or incendiaries -- not just airplanes and the ensuing fires -- caused the destruction of the three World Trade Center buildings, killing the vast majority of the victims who perished that day;"
In the post-9/11 world, those who have made such claims, no matter how well-grounded their claims may be, have often been derided and attacked as "conspiracy theorists" for questioning the official claims that the three World Trade Center buildings that collapsed on September 11 did so for any reason other than being struck by planes and from the resulting fires. Yet, it is much more difficult to launch these same attacks against members of a fire department that lost a fireman on September 11 and many of whose members were involved with the rescue efforts of that day, some of whom still suffer from chronic illnesses as a result.
Rescue workers climb on piles of rubble at the World Trade Center in New York, Sept. 13, 2001. Beth A. Keiser | AP
Another likely reason that the media monolithically avoided coverage of the vote was out of concern that it would lead more fire departments to pass similar resolutions, which would make it more difficult for such news to avoid gaining national coverage. Yet, Commissioner Christopher Gioia, who drafted and introduced the resolution, told those present at the meeting's conclusion that getting all of the New York fire districts onboard was their plan anyway.
"We're a tight-knit community and we never forget our fallen brothers and sisters. You better believe that when the entire fire service of New York State is on board, we will be an unstoppable force," Gioia said. "We were the first fire district to pass this resolution. We won't be the last," he added.
While questioning the official conclusions of the first federal investigation into 9/11 has been treated as taboo in the American media landscape for years, it is worth noting that even those who led the commission have said that the investigation was "set up to fail" from the start and that they were repeatedly misled and lied to by federal officials in relation to the events of that day.
For instance, the chair and vice-chair of the 9/11 Commission, Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton, wrote in their book Without Precedent that not only was the commission starved of funds and its powers of investigation oddly limited, but that they were obstructed and outright lied to by top Pentagon officials and officials with the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA). They and other commissioners have outright said that the "official" report on the attacks is incomplete, flawed and unable to answer key questions about the terror attacks.
Despite the failure of American corporate media to report these facts, local legislative bodies in New York, beginning with the fire districts that lost loved ones and friends that day, are leading the way in the search for real answers that even those that wrote the "official story" say were deliberately kept from them.
Persuasive scientific evidence continues to roll in
Not long after the Franklin Square and Munson Fire District called for a new 9/11 investigation, a groundbreaking university study added even more weight to the commissioners' call for a new look at the evidence regarding the collapse of three buildings at the World Trade Center complex. While most Americans know full well that the twin towers collapsed on September 11, fewer are aware that a third building -- World Trade Center Building 7 -- also collapsed. That collapse occurred seven hours after the twin towers came down, even though WTC 7, or "Building 7," was never struck by a plane.
It was not until nearly two months after its collapse that reports revealed that the CIA had a "secret office" in WTC 7 and that, after the building's destruction, "a special CIA team scoured the rubble in search of secret documents and intelligence reports stored in the station, either on paper or in computers." WTC 7 also housed offices for the Department of Defense, the Secret Service, the New York Mayor's Office of Emergency Management and the bank Salomon Brothers.
Though the official story regarding the collapse of WTC 7 cites "uncontrolled building fires" as leading to the building's destruction, a majority of Americans who have seen the footage of the 47-story tower come down from four different angles overwhelmingly reject the official story, based on a new YouGov poll released on Monday.
Source | Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth
That poll found that 52 percent of those who saw the footage were either sure or suspected that the building's fall was due to explosives and was a controlled demolition, with 27 percent saying they didn't know what to make of the footage. Only 21 percent of those polled agreed with the official story that the building collapsed due to fires alone. Prior to seeing the footage, 36 percent of respondents said that they were unaware that a third building collapsed on September 11 and more than 67 percent were unable to name the building that had collapsed.
Ted Walter, Director of Strategy and Development for Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, told MintPress that the lack of awareness about WTC 7 among the general public "goes to show that the mainstream media has completely failed to inform the American people about even the most basic facts related to 9/11. On any other day in history, if a 47-story skyscraper fell into its footprint due to 'office fires,' everyone in the country would have heard about it."
The fact that the media chose not to cover this, Walter asserted, shows that "the mainstream media and the political establishment live in an alternative universe and the rest of the American public is living in a different universe and responding to what they see in front of them," as reflected by the results of the recent YouGov poll.
Another significant finding of the YouGov poll was that 48 percent of respondents supported, while only 15 percent opposed, a new investigation into the events of September 11. This shows that not only was the Franklin Square Fire District's recent call for a new investigation in line with American public opinion, but that viewing the footage of WTC 7's collapse raises more questions than answers for many Americans, questions that were not adequately addressed by the official investigation of the 9/11 Commission.
The Americans who felt that the video footage of WTC 7's collapse did not fit with the official narrative and appeared to show a controlled demolition now have more scientific evidence to fall back on after the release of a new university study found that the building came down not due to fire but from "the near-simultaneous failure of every column in the building." The extensive four-year study was conducted by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Alaska and used complex computer models to determine if the building really was the first steel-framed high-rise ever to have collapsed solely due to office fires.
The study, currently available as a draft , concluded that "uncontrolled building fires" did not lead the building to fall into its footprint -- tumbling more than 100 feet at the rate of gravity free-fall for 2.5 seconds of its seven-second collapse -- as has officially been claimed. Instead, the study -- authored by Dr. J. Leroy Hulsey, Dr. Feng Xiao and Dr. Zhili Quan -- found that "fire did not cause the collapse of WTC 7 on 9/11, contrary to the conclusions of NIST [National Institute of Standards and Technology] and private engineering firms that studied the collapse," while also concluding "that the collapse of WTC 7 was a global [i.e., comprehensive] failure involving the near-simultaneous failure of every column in the building."
This "near-simultaneous failure of every column" in WTC 7 strongly suggests that explosives were involved in its collapse, which is further supported by the statements made by Barry Jennings, the then-Deputy Director of Emergency Services Department for the New York City Housing Authority. Jennings told a reporter the day of the attack that he and Michael Hess, then-Corporation Counsel for New York City, had heard and seen explosions in WTC 7 several hours prior to its collapse and later repeated those claims to filmmaker Dylan Avery. The first responders who helped rescue Jennings and Hess also claimed to have heard explosions in WTC 7. Jennings died in 2008, two days prior the release of the official NIST report blaming WTC 7's collapse on fires. To date, no official cause of death for Jennings has been given.
Still "crazy" after all these years?
Eighteen years after the September 11 attacks, questioning the official government narrative of the events of those days still remains taboo for many, as merely asking questions or calling for a new investigation into one of the most important events in recent American history frequently results in derision and dismissal.
Yet, this 9/11 anniversary -- with a new study demolishing the official narrative on WTC 7, with a new poll showing that more than half of Americans doubt the government narrative on WTC 7, and with firefighters who responded to 9/11 calling for a new investigation -- is it still "crazy" to be skeptical of the official story?
Firefighters hose down the smoldering remains of 7 World Trade Center Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2001, in New York. Ryan Remiorz | AP
Even in years past, when asking difficult questions about September 11 was even more "off limits," it was often first responders, survivors and victims' families who had asked the most questions about what had really transpired that day and who have led the search for truth for nearly two decades -- not wild-eyed "conspiracy theorists," as many have claimed.
The only reason it remains taboo to ask questions about the official narrative, whose own authors admit that it is both flawed and incomplete, is that the dominant forces in the American media and the U.S. government have successfully convinced many Americans that doing so is not only dangerous but irrational and un-American.
However, as evidence continues to mount that the official narrative itself is the irrational narrative, it becomes ever more clear that the reason for this media campaign is to prevent legitimate questions about that day from receiving the scrutiny they deserve, even smearing victims' families and ailing first responders to do so. For too long, "Never Forget" has been nearly synonymous with "Never Question."
Yet, failing to ask those questions -- even when more Americans than ever now favor a new investigation and discount the official explanation for WTC 7's collapse -- is the ultimate injustice, not only to those who died in New York City on September 11, but those who have been killed in their names in the years that have followed.
Whitney Webb is a MintPress News journalist based in Chile. She has contributed to several independent media outlets including Global Research, EcoWatch, the Ron Paul Institute and 21st Century Wire, among others. She has made several radio and television appearances and is the 2019 winner of the Serena Shim Award for Uncompromised Integrity in Journalism.
tanabear , says: September 11, 2019 at 7:45 pm GMTLeroy Hulsey et al. of the University of Alaska Fairbanks released their draft report on WTC7 on September 3rd. These are the major findings and conclusions:Osama Bin SEE I A , says: September 12, 2019 at 1:12 am GMT
" The principal conclusion of our study is that fire did not cause the collapse of WTC 7 on
9/11, contrary to the conclusions of NIST and private engineering firms that studied the collapse. The secondary conclusion of our study is that the collapse of WTC 7 was a global failure involving the near-simultaneous failure of every column in the building.
This conclusion is based primarily upon the finding that the simultaneous failure of all
core columns over 8 stories followed 1.3 seconds later by the simultaneous failure of all exterior columns over 8 stories produces almost exactly the behavior observed in videos of the collapse, whereas no other sequence of failures that we simulated produced the observed behavior."
So World Trade Tower 7 was an engineered demolition. This is something that the 9/11 "conspiracy theorists" believed all along. Now a major engineering study confirms it....The infuriating thing about 9/11 and the multitude of lesser false flags which both preceded and followed it is that, although most Americans know it was as phoney as a three and a half dollar fed reserve note, everyone seems content to put up with the extremely phoney "war on terror" it was designed to create and which has already destroyed a hand full of countries in the world, caused the murder of upwards of two million people, mostly using U.S. military, and turned the U.S. into a ruthlessly insane police state wherein everyone is made to obey patently unlawful statutes in the name of "emergency" while the ruling elite has quit obeying any laws at all while gathering a massive military presence to cow the now restless and resentful public. – See more at:Christopher Bollyn: The Man Who Solved 9/11davidgmillsatty , says: September 12, 2019 at 6:58 pm GMT
https://www.youtube.com/embed/pLWIV0TTcbI?feature=oembed@The Alarmist An aerospace engineer. Good for you. Maybe you need a refresher course with some architects and building engineers. Architects and Engineers for 911 Truth is a good place to start.Adam Smith , says: September 19, 2019 at 3:56 am GMT
As for steel losing 90% of its strength at half its melting temperature -- that does not imply that heat not will stack on steel. The whole building was a steel radiator. And the fires in building 7 were very small so just how do small fires get to half the melting temperature of steel when the radiator effect is bleeding what little heat these fires have from a certain spot.
Lets see the steel buildings you claim were demolished by fires, because I have heard many architects and engineers say the number is zero. We are talking a total collapse of the buildings not just a partial collapse. Let's see them.Anonymous  • Disclaimer , says: September 19, 2019 at 11:24 pm GMT
Eighteen years after the September 11 attacks, questioning the official government narrative of the events of those days still remains taboo for many
This topic illustrates a few things about humans and their societies that many of us do not realize, or are too afraid to realize. It's bigger than just the cognitive dissonance, though this is part of it. Admittedly it is uncomfortable for most people to think about such things Ignorance is bliss, and it is much easier to follow the herd.
Humans have been selectively bred and conditioned for obedience to authority for at least the last 10,000 years. Stanley Milgram made the ramifications of this clear when he showed us some of the dangers this fact presents for our world. Couple Milgram's findings with those of Solomon Asch's conformity experiments and it starts becoming clear why a large part, about 30%, of the population will never be able to question the official orthodoxy regarding this "New Pearl Harbor".
Many people simply do not have the mental ability to question those in a perceived position of authority. These people are used to following orders. They are trained very well. These are the people who will electrocute a stranger just because a man in a white coat says to. These are the people who will throw a grenade into your babies crib while storming your home in the middle of the night because some junkie informant told them they bought drugs there in exchange for cash or a lighter sentence. These are the people who will not believe their lying eyes when it contradicts the words of their masters or if it risks going against the apparent consensus of a group of strangers.
I call them authoritarian followers. They love punishing members of the outgroup. They love following rules no matter how arbitrary, nonsensical or detrimental. They expect others to follow too.
We all know September 11, 2001, was an inside/outside job. Cui bono? The axis of kindness. The U.S./Nato, Saudi Arabia and Israel committed the events of September 11, 2001 so they could escalate their wars in the middle east to redraw the map for Greater Israel while securing the oil in the middle east and the trillions in minerals in Afghanistan. The military industrial complex needs endless wars to justify their one trillion plus dollar annual budget and all the power that comes with it. Some people, like lucky Larry Silverstein, made billions off the transaction. There is plenty of profiteering and graft that comes with waging forever war.
The same people who profited from the event are the same people who planned and executed the event. They are also the people who had the tools to make it happen. Fortunately for the criminals who committed the crimes of that day a large part of the population will line up to ridicule anyone who has the audacity to question the official narrative.
So buy police brutality bonds and pay your victory tax. Your work will set you free.@Adam Smith It's so unbelievably rare to run into a sincere description of the average fellow. Because one cam't lie to himself about the others less than he does about himself (he can't know the others more than he can know himself), so usually evident features of people (thus of mainstream culture, history, journalistic narratives, ) must he denied because evident features of the self must be denied.Anonymous  • Disclaimer , says: September 19, 2019 at 11:32 pm GMT
And then, aren't they a social species? You have surely observed that a group of them functions in ways very close to the ant colony, the bee hive, and so on. So many more billion neurons but what rules the mind is still so close to what rules it in the other social species.
The thing to consider is that for God knows how many thousands of years in mankind's history, whenever two differently sized came to a confrontation, belonging in the largest equated survival, in the smallest death.
Then there is the intragroup confrontations and dangers: here flattering the pack leaders best equated to better chances of survival + a more comfortable life. On the other hand, injuring their sense of power had the same outcome that it has for the ordinary bee or ant to do the same to the colony's or hive's leader.
This has embedded a couple of instincts, which truth and fairness can't be where they are, at the deepest level of the regular human mind.
Some minds are different, but they don't matter, first of all they don't matter numerically.
So official accounts of historic events are no more and no less truth-free of the accounts people make-up of their own lives' essential events.
If you assess the average divorce-asking woman's narrative on her marriage and why she wants to break it up and the average account of, say, World War 2 in the average school book, the % of untruth will be circa the same.
What happens at the higher levels follows from the nature of the majority.@Adam SmithPaul Vonharnish , says: • Website September 20, 2019 at 3:45 pm GMT
They love following rules no matter how arbitrary, nonsensical or detrimental. They expect others to follow too.
Following rules as long as nobody above them tells them to make an exception.
They expect not all others, but only those below them in the power pole, to follow rules.
If they see/realize/know someone above them has broken a rule, they are awesomely good at, wbile they have seen/realized/learned the fact, not having seen/realized/learned it.
This kind of mind can't afford unity and individuality, of course. There are always inconsistencies, and even contradictory things believed at the same time.
And boy, how do the other authorities/authoritarian followers (depending whom they are dealingwith) who make up the psych professions praise that kind of person! How do they master selective blindness/forgetfulness/ignorance.It's obvious from most reader comments that the educational systems in America (and elsewhere) have completely decayed. "Cognitive dissonance" is just another cowardly way of accepting lies as truths Most of you are lying to yourselves and expecting others to buy into hype and bullshit.D-FENS , says: September 21, 2019 at 7:09 pm GMT
Anyone who's worked with cutting steel plate knows that 5 inch thick steel plating (as used in most lower columns of the towers) requires a perfect mixture of acetylene and oxygen just to get the cutting area hot enough to apply the oxygen burst that cuts along the line. Any cooling of the plate and it's no cigar. There is no way air craft fuel (kerosene) and normal building materials can get anywhere near the melting point of steel, much less cause complete structural failure of a perfectly engineered steel beamed structure.
Christopher Bollyn and many other dedicated journalists have connected all the relevant dots, yet the unwashed continue to hide behind their collage degrees and talk complete nonsense.
The first and second laws of thermodynamics should be mastered before graduating from eighth grade People need to quit lying about the efficacy of truthI am an agnostic on whether the twin towers were brought down by supplemental explosives. My question is, what is gained by actually bringing the buildings down? If the attacks were to serve as a pretext for war in the middle east, wouldn't the acts of hijacking the planes and crashing them have been sufficient without the risks involved in planting explosives and being being detected?
The only reasons I can offer are financial, such as the insurance payments, voided contracts, shorting stocks etc. and perhaps destruction of evidence in criminal or civil cases.
What is interesting is the 9/11 Commission's conclusion regarding the financing of 9/11: " the U.S. government has not been able to determine the origin of the money used for the 9/11 attacks. Ultimately the question is of little practical significance."
Then why do we have all the financial transaction laws?
Sep 17, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com
anne , September 15, 2019 at 11:33 AMhttps://twitter.com/BrankoMilan/status/1173204669356740608anne -> anne... , September 15, 2019 at 11:47 AM
Branko Milanovic @BrankoMilan
Homoploutia, a concept I introduce in "Capitalism, Alone". In today's liberal capitalism, it is common that the same people are rich *both* in terms of capital they own and earnings they receive. This was almost unheard of in classical capitalism where capitalists seldom doubled as wage workers.
4:59 AM - 15 Sep 2019https://twitter.com/BrankoMilan/status/1173204677611196416anne -> anne... , September 15, 2019 at 11:49 AM
Branko Milanovic @BrankoMilan
So here, using @lisdata, you have a nice illustration of advanced capitalist countries where people in the top decile by capital and labor income increasing coincide (right end) and Brazil and Mexico where they do not.
4:59 AM - 15 Sep 2019https://twitter.com/BrankoMilan/status/1173204681184751617likbez -> anne... , September 16, 2019 at 09:03 PM
Branko Milanovic @BrankoMilan
Note the ambivalence * of homoploutia: in some sense it is desirable (and risk-reducing) that capitalists also work, or that high earners possess capital too. But in another way, it makes inequality-reducing policies more difficult.
4:59 AM - 15 Sep 2019Yes, under neoliberalism like under Bolshevism, your social position is not determined solely by the capital you own. It is also determined by the position you hold in the industry or government (and your earnings/wages are derivative of that).
So we see the reincarnation of the idea of Soviet Nomenklatura on a new level in a different social system. The term can still serve its purpose, and IMHO is better than "Homoploutia."
It is also interesting that older middle-class folk, who due to their private savings, 401K, Roth and ISA accounts, SS pension (say $6K-7K a month for a couple), and sometimes government or industry pension are formally millionaires (with some multimillionaires) are not generally viewed as belonging to the upper 10%. They are looked at as an aberration by the most sociologists.
That's because they are now retired and no longer hold any meaningful for the upper 10% level position in the industry or government. In other words, they do not belong to Nomenklatura. Or more correctly no longer belong to Nomenklatura (for those who retired from high level positions)
And, correspondingly, often are treated as junk in the neoliberal society.
Aug 21, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
As the Russiagate circus attempts to quietly disappear over the horizon, with Democrats preferring to shift the anti-Trump narrative back to "racist", "white supremacist", "xenophobe", and the mainstream media ready to squawk "recession"; the Trump administration may have a few more cards up its sleeve before anyone claims the higher ground in this farce we call an election campaign.
As The Hill's John Solomon details, in September 2018 that President Trump told my Hill.TV colleague Buck Sexton and me that he would order the release of all classified documents showing what the FBI, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and other U.S. intelligence agencies may have done wrong in the Russia probe.
And while it's been almost a year since then, of feet-dragging and cajoling and deep-state-fighting, we wonder, given Solomon's revelations below, if the president is getting ready to play his 'Trump' card.
Here are the documents that Solomon believes have the greatest chance of rocking Washington, if declassified:
1.) Christopher Steele 's confidential human source reports at the FBI. These documents, known in bureau parlance as 1023 reports, show exactly what transpired each time Steele and his FBI handlers met in the summer and fall of 2016 to discuss his anti-Trump dossier. The big reveal, my sources say, could be the first evidence that the FBI shared sensitive information with Steele, such as the existence of the classified Crossfire Hurricane operation targeting the Trump campaign. It would be a huge discovery if the FBI fed Trump-Russia intel to Steele in the midst of an election, especially when his ultimate opposition-research client was Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee (DNC). The FBI has released only one or two of these reports under FOIA lawsuits and they were 100 percent redacted. The American public deserves better.
2.) The 53 House Intel interviews. House Intelligence interviewed many key players in the Russia probe and asked the DNI to declassify those interviews nearly a year ago, after sending the transcripts for review last November. There are several big reveals, I'm told, including the first evidence that a lawyer tied to the Democratic National Committee had Russia-related contacts at the CIA.
3.) The Stefan Halper documents. It has been widely reported that European-based American academic Stefan Halper and a young assistant, Azra Turk, worked as FBI sources . We know for sure that one or both had contact with targeted Trump aides like Carter Page and George Papadopoulos at the end of the election. My sources tell me there may be other documents showing Halper continued working his way to the top of Trump's transition and administration, eventually reaching senior advisers like Peter Navarro inside the White House in summer 2017. These documents would show what intelligence agencies worked with Halper, who directed his activity, how much he was paid and how long his contacts with Trump officials were directed by the U.S. government's Russia probe.
4.) The October 2016 FBI email chain. This is a key document identified by Rep. Nunes and his investigators. My sources say it will show exactly what concerns the FBI knew about and discussed with DOJ about using Steele's dossier and other evidence to support a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant targeting the Trump campaign in October 2016. If those concerns weren't shared with FISA judges who approved the warrant, there could be major repercussions.
5.) Page/Papadopoulos exculpatory statements. Another of Nunes' five buckets, these documents purport to show what the two Trump aides were recorded telling undercover assets or captured in intercepts insisting on their innocence. Papadopoulos told me he told an FBI undercover source in September 2016 that the Trump campaign was not trying to obtain hacked Clinton documents from Russia and considered doing so to be treason. If he made that statement with the FBI monitoring, and it was not disclosed to the FISA court, it could be another case of FBI or DOJ misconduct.
6.) The 'Gang of Eight' briefing materials. These were a series of classified briefings and briefing books the FBI and DOJ provided key leaders in Congress in the summer of 2018 that identify shortcomings in the Russia collusion narrative. Of all the documents congressional leaders were shown, this is most frequently cited to me in private as having changed the minds of lawmakers who weren't initially convinced of FISA abuses or FBI irregularities.
7.) The Steele spreadsheet. I wrote recently that the FBI kept a spreadsheet on the accuracy and reliability of every claim in the Steele dossier. According to my sources, it showed as much as 90 percent of the claims could not be corroborated, were debunked or turned out to be open-source internet rumors. Given Steele's own effort to leak intel in his dossier to the media before Election Day, the public deserves to see the FBI's final analysis of his credibility. A document I reviewed recently showed the FBI described Steele's information as only "minimally corroborated" and the bureau's confidence in him as "medium."
8.) The Steele interview. It has been reported, and confirmed, that the DOJ's inspector general (IG) interviewed the former British intelligence operative for as long as 16 hours about his contacts with the FBI while working with Clinton's opposition research firm, Fusion GPS. It is clear from documents already forced into the public view by lawsuits that Steele admitted in the fall of 2016 that he was desperate to defeat Trump , had a political deadline to make his dirt public, was working for the DNC/Clinton campaign and was leaking to the news media. If he told that to the FBI and it wasn't disclosed to the FISA court, there could be serious repercussions.
9.) The redacted sections of the third FISA renewal application. This was the last of four FISA warrants targeting the Trump campaign; it was renewed in June 2017 after special counsel Robert Mueller 's probe had started, and signed by then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein . It is the one FISA application that House Republicans have repeatedly asked to be released, and I'm told the big reveal in the currently redacted sections of the application is that it contained both misleading information and evidence of intrusive tactics used by the U.S. government to infiltrate Trump's orbit.
10.) Records of allies' assistance. Multiple sources have said a handful of U.S. allies overseas – possibly Great Britain, Australia and Italy – were asked to assist FBI efforts to check on Trump connections to Russia. Members of Congress have searched recently for some key contact documents with British intelligence . My sources say these documents might help explain Attorney General Bill Barr's recent comments that "the use of foreign intelligence capabilities and counterintelligence capabilities against an American political campaign, to me, is unprecedented and it's a serious red line that's been crossed."
These documents, when declassified, would show more completely how a routine counterintelligence probe was hijacked to turn the most awesome spy powers in America against a presidential nominee in what was essentially a political dirty trick orchestrated by Democrats.
rahrog , 2 minutes ago linkLibertyVibe , 3 minutes ago link
America's Ruling Class is laughing at all you fools still falling for the Rs v Ds scam.
Stupid people lose.Lord Raglan , 5 minutes ago link
I disagree with Solomon. Nothing will "doom" the swamp unless the righteous few are willing to indict, prosecute and carry out sentencing for the guilty. Exposing the guilty accomplishes nothing, because anyone paying attention already knows of their crimes. Those who want to believe lies will still believe them after the truth comes out.
It's ALL A WASTE OF TIME unless we follow through.
#TheDailyNews #DrainTheSwampTheFQ , 16 minutes ago link
Where's all the other, earlier docs Trump was going to declassify? Just wondering..............benb , 12 minutes ago link
Does anyone see a pattern here after the 2009 Tea Party movement began?
2009 - Republicans: "If we win back the House, we can accomplish our agenda."
2011 - Republicans: "If we win back the Senate, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: After winning back the House)
2012 - Republicans: "If we win back the Senate, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: 2 YEARS After winning back the House)
2013 - Republicans: "If we win back the Presidency, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: 1 YEAR after winning back the House and the Senate)
2014 - Republicans: "If we win back the Presidency, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: 2 YEARS after winning back the House and the Senate)
2015 - Republicans: "If we win back the Presidency, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: 3 YEARS after winning back the House and the Senate)
2016 - Republicans: "If we win back the Presidency, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: 4 YEARS after winning back the House and the Senate)
2017 - Republicans: "Now that we've won back the Presidency, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: After winning back the House 6 YEARS AGO and the Senate 4 YEARS AGO)
2018 - Republicans: "Now that we've won back the Presidency, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: After winning back the House 7 YEARS AGO and the Senate 5 YEARS AGO)
2019 - John Solomon - "If Trump Declassifies These 10 Documents, Democrats Are Doomed"
I hate to say it, but I DON'T BELIEVE YOU, JOHN.
ALL WE HAVE HEARD OVER THE COURSE OF THIS DECADE IS "IF THIS HAPPENS...THEN THEY ARE DOOMED / WE CAN ACCOMPLISH OUR AGENDA / YADDA YADDA YADDA.
WHEN THE FOLLOWING ARE FOUND GUILTY OF TREASON, THEN AND ONLY THEN WILL I BELIEVE YOU:
- ET AL
WHY ARE THESE TREASONOUS, VILE, CORRUPT CRIMINALS NOT INDICTED FOR TREASON?
FFS...enfield0916 , 36 minutes ago link
WHY ARE THESE TREASONOUS, VILE, CORRUPT CRIMINALS NOT INDICTED FOR TREASON?
Because the people doing the indicting are in on it.
As if there's any major philosophical difference between the Librtads and Zionist Cocksuckvatives.
Both sides use the .gov agencies to subvert and ignore the Constitution whenever possible. Best example is WikiLeaks and how each party wished Assange would just go away when he revealed damaging information about both sides on multiple occasions.
Aug 18, 2019 | dergipark.org.tr
To Michels organizations are the only means for the creation of a collective will and they work under the Iron Law of Oligarchy. He explicitly points out the indispensability of oligarchy from the organizations by saying that "It is organization which gives birth to the domination of the elected over electors, of the mandatanes over the mandators, of the delegates over delegators, who says organization, says oligarchy" (Michels 1966, p.365).
Oligarchical tendencies in organizations is not related to ideology or ends of the organizations. Of course, it is evident that any organization which is set up for autocratic aims , it is oligarchic by nature. To Michels, regardless of any ideological concerns, all types of organizations have oligarchic tendencies. It was his major question in political parties that "how can oligarchic tendencies be explained in socialist and democratic parties, which they declared war against it?"( Michels 1966, pp. 50-51).
When he examines this question throughout in his book: Political Parties, he sees organization itself particularly bureaucracy, nature of human being and the phenomenon of leadership as major factors for oligarchical tendencies in organizations. According to Michels' assessments, the crowd is always subject to suggestion and the masses have an apathy for guidance of their need. In contrast the leaders have a natural greed of power ( Michels 1966, pp. 64, 205). To Michels, leadership itself is not compatible with the most essential postulates of democracy, but leadership is a necessary phenomenon in every form of society. He says "At the outset, leaders arise spontaneously, their functions are ACCESSORY and GRATUITOUS. Soon however, they become professional leaders, and in this second stage of development they are stable and irremovable"(
Michels 1966, p. 364).
Leaders also have personal qualities that make them successful as a ruling class. These qualities are , the force of will, knowledge, strength of conviction, self sufficiency, goodness of heart and disinterestedness ( Michels 1966, p. 100 ). Furthermore there is a reciprocal relationship between leadership functions and the organizational structure. Majority of leaders abuse organizational opportunities for their personal aims by using their personal qualities and by creating means, organizational process or principles like party discipline.
As for as organization itself is considered as a source of oligarchy, Michels says that it is generally because of "PSYCHOLOGY OF ORGANIZATION ITSELF, that is to say, upon the tactical and technical necessities which result from the consolidation of every disciplined political aggregate."( Michels 1966, p. 365). Further as a particular type of organization bureaucracy and its features require an oligarchic structure.
At the societal level, although development in the democracy, oligarchy still exists. First of all he says by looking at the state as an organization, which needs a bureaucracy that is the source of enemy of individual freedom, the state represents a single gigantic oligarchy. An attempt to destroy this gigantic* oligarchy in fact brings a number of smaller oligarchies in society but does not eliminate it ( Michels 1966, p. 188,191,202). Secondly he agrees with Jean Jack Rousseau on the idea that "it is always against the natural order of things that the majority rule and the minority ruled." (Michels 1965, p. 106). Along with this idea professional leadership is seen by Michels as an incompatible phenomenon with
democracy, because , although the leaders at once are not more than executive agents off collective will, as soon as they gain the technical specialization, they emancipate themselves form the masses and start to use their power against the majority. ( Michels 1966, p.70). In addition to this, representative political system is not compatible with the ideal democracy, because to Michels, "a mass which delegates its sovereignty, that is to say transfer its sovereignty to the hands of the few individuals, abdicates its sovereign function ( Michels 1966, p. 73).
The third factor is related to level of socio-economic development of societies and experience of democracy in history. To him in this time ideal democracy is impossible due to socio-economic conditions, that further more he says that," The democracy has an inherent preference for the authoritarian solution of the important questions" (Michels 1966, p. 51, 342).
As a logical result of his iron law of oligarchy, he admits there are elites in society but not elite circulation in terms of replacing one another. He does not redefine the concept of elite, he took Pareto's theory of circulation of elites and modified it. To Michels, there is a battle between the old and new elites, leaders.
The end of this war is not an absolute replacement of the old elites by the new elites, but a reunion of elites, a perennial amalgamation. Complete replacement of elites is rare in history. The old elites attract, absorb and assimilate the new ones, and it is a continuous process (Michels 1966, p. 182, 343; Michels 1949, p. 63). Because for Michels, first " old aristocracy does not disappear, does not become proletarian or impoverished ( at least in absolute sense ), does not make way for new group of rulers , but that always remains at the head of nations, which it led over the course of centuries...[and second]...the old aristocracy be it very old rejuvenated, does not exercise the rule alone but is forced to shave it with some kind of new ruler" (Michels 1965, p. 75-76).
Aristocracy for Michels is not homogenous stratum, and consists of nobility and ruling class. Nobility represents a small but strong part of aristocracy. In this sense it seems that nobility represents real oligarchical power in the society. To Michels nobility holds itself at the helm and does not even dream of disappearing from the stage of history. Though not coinciding with aristocracy,
To Michels nobility holds itself at the helm and does not even dream of disappearing from the stage of history. Though not coinciding with aristocracy, and not constituting more than a part of it, nobility generally takes hold of it and makes itself its master. It pervades, conquers, and molds, the high middle class according to its own moral and social essence" ( Michels 1949,p. 77, 80 ). In contrast to nobility aristocracy is heterogeneous and a place where lower classes' members can easily rise and members of aristocracy can be subject to downward social mobility. For his time, he describes elements of aristocracy (1) aristocrats by birth (2) aristocracy of government clerks, (3) aristocracy of money (4) aristocracy of knowledge . All this groups also represent ruling class (Michels 1965, p. 76 ).
Michels does not get in too much special analysis of the relationships between aristocracy, ruling class and majority. I think he doesn't see that there are much differences in oligarchy in organization and oligarchy in society at large.
To me these two must be separated because (1) for individuals society in a sense an unavoidable place to be in contrast to organizations, particularly voluntary organization , (2) while society represent a more natural entity, organizations are more artificial entities and (3) organizations are set to realize certain targets in a certain period of time, in contrast society's targets are relatively unstable, and subject to reconstruction by people. To think of these questions, does not necessarily reject the existence of oligarchical tendencies in societies. In fact as Michels pointed out democracy has a legacy to solve important questions of society, by using oligarchic methods. Furthermore he also points out that at any social organization there is an intermixture of oligarchic and democratic tendencies. He says that"... In modem party life, aristocracy gladly present itself in democratic guise, while the substance of democracy is permeated with aristocratic elements. On the one side we have aristocracy is a democratic form, and on the other hand democracy with an aristocratic context" (Michels 1966, p.50).
... ... ...
In terms of replacement of old elites by new ones, there is a distinction between Pareto and Michels. Michels does not admit replacement of elites, but admits, amalgamation of new and old elites. In fact historically we can see both of them happened. In short term amalgamation of old and new elites, and in long terms replacement of old elites by new ones. This time period depends on changes in society at large. For example, consider socialist revolutions and aftermath of independent movement in developing countries where these two movements took place, old elites were wiped out. This type of changes are rarely in history. In short term, amalgamation of elites takes place and new elites gradually increases its proportion in the elite strata and ruling class. For example as a result of
industrialization in burope, Hughes observes that at the beginning ...upper class oligarchy shared power with the old aristocracy-but with each year that passed the balance seemed to incline more heavily in favor of the former" (Hughes 1965, pp.149-150). It can be concluded that new elites are bom as a result of socio- economic , political, and historical changes in society, and then these new elites via upward mobility, and that in the end the new elites take place the highest position in the society. In this process the adaptation ability of old elites determine their fates.
On democracy, Pareto always separate ideal democracy and democracy applied, and prefers to talk about the subjects of democracy rather than democracy itself. Michels is clearly in favor of democracy, Mosca was previously against democracy but after the experience of Fascism in Italy, he changed his mind.
How elitist theories affected democracy ? Two answers have given for this question. On the negative side, it has been said that these anti-democratic theories helped European ruling classes by restoring their self confidence and by increasing their consciousness about their privileges; therefore, elite theories become a vehicle for ruling classes (Hughes 1965 (b), p. 149), On the positive side, it has said that elitist theories have helped to enhance democratic theories, Michels himself believed that research on oligarchies necessary for development of democracy by saying that "...a serene and frank examination of oligarchical dangers of democracy will enable us to minimize these dangers,...(Michels 1966, p.370).
It can be said that elitist theories extended and increased awareness of masses and scientist against governments and ruling classes. As a result, many researches have been conducted on application of democracy in organizations.
Researches have shown that oligarchical tendencies are dominant in organizations and can not be eliminated totally. Further more, attempts to reduce oligarchic contrgl in organizations with very few exception have failed. In general, in voluntary organizations, the functional requirements of democracy con not be met most of the time (Lipset, Trow, and Coleman 1956, p.4,6,452).
Is democracy still compatible with elite theories? That has been the question that lead to redefine, reconceptualize the democracy. Here we must pay attention that Pareto, Mosca, and Michels worked J.J. Rousseau's definition of democracy: government by the people, but not government for the people (Burnham 1943, pp.156-7).
New democratic theories like political pluralism, theory of the mass society are compatible with elitist theories. Schumpeter was one of the earliest thinker that he redefined democracy considering elitists 1 arguments. To him democracy defined as "...institutional arrangement for arriving the power to decide by means of competitive struggle for the people's vote" (Bottomore 1964, p.10).
In contrast to compatibility of elitist theories with democracy, it can not be compatible with Marxism. Michels pointed out that M [t]he law of circulation of elites destroy the thesis of the possibility of a society without social levels...[and]... destroy equally the supposition of a ruling class that remains closed and inaccessible" (Michels 1965, p. 106). In terms of preference of political systems he clearly says that "the defects inherent in democracy are obvious. It is none the less true that as a form of social life we must choose democracy as the least of evils" (Michels 1966, p.370).
Elitist theorists not only introduced elites but also contributed on better understanding of social and political life of societies. The key concept is "power" and who has the power she/he is the leader of society. Heredity, wealth, intellect, organizations are the means to get power.
Aug 14, 2019 | averypublicsociologist.blogspot.com
... ... ...
The problem, however, is because this is overlaid by factional struggle ...
This, of course, is compounded by the over-amplifying of anti-Semitism by the media and the alacrity with which it has been taken up by Corbyn opponents, including hypocrites who floated "rootless cosmopolitan" criticisms of Ed Miliband when it suited just a few years ago.
Here's the thing. Just because your opponents take up an issue, some times cynically and in bad faith. and use it to inflict as much damage as they can does not mean the problem is fictitious.
Precisely because they can point to Facebook groups full of useful fools, and Twitter accounts with Corbyn-supporting hashtags acting as if the Israel lobby and "Zionists" are the only active force in British politics, this is the stuff that makes the attacks effective and trashes the standing of the party in the eyes of many Jews and the community's allies and friends.
The institutional anti-Semitism in the Labour Party is, therefore, somewhat different to the kind you find in other institutions. It is sustained by the battle for the party, a grim battlefront in a zero sum game of entrenched position vs entrenched position. As such, whatever the leadership do, whatever new processes the General Secretary introduces for one side it will never be enough because, as far as many of them concerned, the leadership are politically illegitimate; and for the other it's a sop and capitulation.
The resolution of the anti-Semitism crisis then is not a matter of compromise -- for each side the issue will only go away with the complete crushing and driving out of the party of the other. A situation that can only poison the well further, and guarantee anti-Semitism won't honestly and comprehensively be confronted.
Boffy said... 3 March 2019 at 16:42A good analysis. But, it emphasizes the point I made in the previous post, which is that, the right are currently engaged in an all out push to remove Corbyn and crush the left with the same old bureaucratic means. Whatever else Williamson may or may not be guilty of, his point that the leadership have facilitated this situation by their continual appeasement of the right is absolutely valid. Its that he is being attacked for, not anti-Semitism.asquith said... 3 March 2019 at 18:54
It is first necessary to close ranks, and defeat the assault of the Right. As Marr said to Blair this morning, had Prescott announced he was forming a separate group, and was establishing his own witch-hunting bureaucratic apparatus in the party, Blair would have sacked him immediately - actually not so easy as the Deputy is elected. But the thrust is valid. Unless Corbyn deals with Watson, the Right will roll over the Left, despite the huge disparity in numbers.
Again it comes down to whether Corbyn is up for that task, or whether we need a leadership of the left with a bit more backbone to see it through.I'm afraid this IS due to the "intersectionality" cult, whereby certain groups are always privileged and wrong, and some are always oppressed and right. Jews are, according to this "analysis", the uber-privileged and uber-white.Ian Gibson said... 4 March 2019 at 05:30
We've heard several times that according to "intersectionality" that it's impossible to be racist against white people because racism requires both prejudice and power, and white people are by definition powerful. Therefore, anti-Semitism is dismissed because it can't be a thing because Jews are all-powerful and even more oppressive than other whites.
Those who don't subscribe to all of these beliefs are nevertheless tinged with them, which is why people who aren't staunch antisemites will nevertheless fail to take anti-Semitism seriously.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66qe76gkCxo&t=166sComing on the day when the FT have a column seriously positing that criticizing capitalism is inherently anti-Semitic, it seems to me that dancing on the head of a pin about whether the 'careless' anti-Semitism you've described means the party is institutionally anti-Semitic is rather missing the point. (OK, the column is by John McTernan, but the FT gave him column inches to argue that case, and I guess they didn't mean it as the satire it most certainly is.)Boffy said... 4 March 2019 at 09:47
As many of the comments on your blog on Williamson attest, the salient feature of this - well, call it witch-hunt for the sake of argument - is the double standards where we have to be whiter than white, whilst no account whatsoever is taken of the most egregious racism elsewhere. We live in society: we can never, ever be that whiter than white - especially when it comes to Israel/Palestine, which is so full of contradictions and traps for the unwary (e.g. the position of the Israeli state claiming to speak for all Jewry around the world, in the way that the Board of Deputies position themselves as speaking for all British Jews - neither close to being true, but small wonder that opponents of what they do and stand for take that universality at face value.)
The fight we need to take up is to compare and contrast just how pro-active the current party is against anti-Semitism in its constitution and machinery with the glaring absence of such elsewhere, and to present a positive picture of what we are doing, rather than mumbling apologetically into our beards. We need to take the fight to the rigged system at the same time as being unstinting in rooting out the troubling stuff.The other nonsense that has grown up is that it is only those that suffer any form of discrimination who can define what that discrimination is, i.e. only Jews can define anti-Semitism, only black people can define racism against them, only women can define discrimination against women.Jim Denham said... 4 March 2019 at 15:25
That then assumes that the members of each of these groups are themselves homogeneous, and agreed in such definitions. In reality, it means that dominant elements, i.e. those connected to the ruling class and ruling ideas get to make those determinations.
If we look at anti-Semitism, for example, it is quite clear that there is no agreement amongst Jews on what constitutes anti-Semitism. The JVL, certainly have a different definition than the JLM.
But, just rationally, the concept that only those discriminated against get to define the discrimination is bonkers. Suppose you come from Somalia or some other country that practices FGM, you could argue that it is part of your cultural heritage, and that anyone seeking to prevent you from undertaking this barbaric practice was thereby racist, on your self-definition of what that discrimination against you amounts to. Or Saudis might argue that it is racist to argue against their practice of lopping off women's heads, or stoning them to death for adultery, including having been raped, etc.The JVL come pretty close to arguing that there is *no* anti-Semitism in the Labour party (Jenny Manson, for instance, says she's never witnessed any)and Glyn Secker wrote a piece in the Morning Star last year comparing claims of anti-Semitism within Labour to the story of the emperor's new clothes.Boffy said... 5 March 2019 at 09:00Given that the actual data, even allowing for all of the spurious and mischievous accusations of anti-Semitism in the party, made by right-wing enemies of the the party, and particularly of Corbyn and his supporters, amounts to only 0.1% of the membership, and given that of these, 40% were straight away found to be accusations against people who were not even LP members, with a further 20%, being found to have absolutely no evidence to back them, its quite possible that individual members of the LP, have never seen any instance of it.Boffy said... 5 March 2019 at 09:22
Take out all those mischievous and malicious allegations made in order to whip up the hysteria, so as to to damage the party, by its enemies, and you arrive at a figure of only 400 potential cases, out of a membership of 600,000, which is 1 member in 1500. If the average branch size if 100 active members, it means on average there is one potential case of anti-Semitism in every 15 branches. So, if you are a member in any of the other 14 branches, you would never see that one potential case of anti-Semitism.
In fact, based upon the actual facts, as opposed to the fiction and factional hysteria that is being whipped up by right-wing opponents of Corbyn and the party, and by supporters of Zionism for their own narrow political reasons, the chances are about 14: that you will never see any even potential instance of anti-Semitism, even on the narrow definition that the party has now imposed upon itself, which comes pretty close if not entirely to identifying anti-Semitism with anti-Zionism, or even just criticism of the current Bonapartist regime of Netanyahu.
In the US, Jewish groups that have long been ardent defenders of Israel have more recently come out to criticize the regime of Netanyahu, and the actions of the Israeli state. The main defenders of Zionism, besides the actual Zionists themselves, appear to be people like the AWL, who for whatever reason hitched their wagon to Zionist ideology some time ago, probably in their usual knee-jerk reaction of putting a plus sign wherever the SWP put a minus. Having done so, and as a result of the bureaucratic centrist nature of the sect, they find themselves now having to follow through on the position they adopted on the basis of the "practical politics" - opportunism - as it dictated itself to them at the time.
If, and probably more likely when, they change position, it will come as with all their previous changes of position with the assertion that "nothing has changed", as when after claiming a few years ago that the LP was a stinking corpse - as they ridiculously stood their own candidates in elections with the inevitable result - and the next minute proclaimed themselves as its most ardent militants, as they sought to use their sharp elbows to gain positions on Momentum's leading bodies!Incidentally, on the question of "observance", the only time I have seen someone get stabbed, is more than 50 years ago, when I was at school. I've seen plenty of other violent stuff in the intervening period, for example, people getting glassed, people having wrought iron tables smashed over their heads. My sister, who is several years older than me, and was out bopping during the days of the Teddy Boys, saw more people getting slashed, in the 1950's, because the flick knife was the Ted's favoured weapon.Jim Denham said... 5 March 2019 at 11:14
But, that doesn't mean that I disbelieve the media when it talks about the current spate of knife crimes. Its just that, however, terrible such crimes are for those that suffer or witness them, and no matter how much the media that has to sensationalise every story, for its own commercial purposes, talks about an epidemic or a knife crime crisis, the number of knife crimes per head of population is extremely small.
The chances that 999 out of 1,000 of us will never be the victim of, or witness knife crime does not mean it doesn't exist. But, those that then claim that the 999 out of 1,000 of us who say we have not seen it, must be somehow being dishonest, are not dealing with the facts, and are simply fuelling a moral panic.
When some phenomena is statistically insignificant, which 1 in 1,500 cases, is, and when as with many such phenomena there is no normal distribution of the occurrence of such cases - for example, knife crime will tend to be concentrated in particular areas - trying to present any kind of rational analysis based upon personal observation is a mug's game.
Just because the only case of stabbing I have witnessed was more than 50 years ago, does not, and should not lead me to think that knife crime was worse 50 years ago than it is today. The actual data would seem to suggest that cases of anti-Semitism were greater in the LP in previous times than they are currently, contrary to what the media and those with factional motives would have us believe. It is certainly thec ase that anti-Semitism is a bigger problem in the Tory party, and other right-wing organisations than it is in the LP, again not that you would know that from the reporting of it, or from the attitude of certain factional sects, such as the AWL.Speedy said... 6 March 2019 at 06:39
Labour has 'much larger' group of antisemitic members which Corbyn has failed to deal with, Momentum founder warns
By Rob Merrick Deputy Political Editor The Independent, Monday 25 February 2019 16:10 |
Labour has "a much larger" group of antisemitic members than it recognises which Jeremy Corbyn has failed to "deal with", Momentum founder Jon Lansman has warned.
The Labour leader's long-standing ally said "conspiracy theorists" had infiltrated the party – a consequence of its huge surge in membership in recent years.
Mr Lansman stopped short of backing the call from Tom Watson, Labour's deputy leader, for Mr Corbyn to take personal charge of the antisemitism complaints dogging Labour.
But he said: "I do think we have a major problem and it always seems to me that we underestimate the scale of it. I think it is a widespread problem.
"I think it is now obvious that we have a much larger number of people with hardcore antisemitic opinions which, unfortunately, is polluting the atmosphere in a lot of constituency parties and in particular online. We have to deal with these people."Approaching this from another angle...Boffy said...
The apparent level of anti-semitism in Labour is a modern phenomenon turbo-charged and amplified by social media. People have their views reinforced within their bunkers where anti-Israeli memes become anti-Zionist and then become anti-Semitic. It is much easier to send an anonymous email than a letter.
History is very much the tale of new technology transforming the potential of human behaviour and beliefs, and one of the oldest beliefs ("the blood libel") is anti-Semitism.
This is how Labour has changed - ie, the rise of Corbyn has coincided with the ubiquity of this technology. In fact, arguably the rise of Corbyn was aided by it.
Corbyn's nuanced position on Israel/Palestine gives permission to social media extremists.
The rest is history.
Incidentally, this is why you are less likely to confront anti-Semitism in real-life while the internet may be awash with it - there are the real and virtual identities which only occasionally bleed into each other.
Which is true and which is not? We might wonder if technology has evolved ahead of human adaptation - the "real world" filters that govern apparently "real" behaviour missing.
I'm sure even certain posters here are less bananas in "real life" than their online comments might suggest!