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Neoliberalism

The ideology that dare not speak it's name is actually a New, More Dangerous, Form of Corporatism

Version 6.6

Skepticism and Pseudoscience > Who Rules America > Neoliberal Brainwashing

News An introduction to Neoliberalism Recommended books Recommended Links Neoliberalism war on organized labor Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich Globalization of Financial Flows
Brexit as the start of the reversal of neoliberal globalization Neoliberal rationality Neoliberal "New Class" as variant of Soviet Nomenklatura Neoliberalism and Christianity Key Myths of Neoliberalism Ayn Rand and her Objectivism Cult Anti-globalization movement
Zombie state of neoliberalism and coming collapse of neoliberalism Pope Francis on danger of neoliberalism Over-consumption of Luxury Goods as Market Failure Definitions of neoliberalism Neoliberal Brainwashing Neoclassical Pseudo Theories US Presidential Elections of 2016 as a referendum on neoliberal globalization
Neocon stooge formerly known as Anti-Globalist and Trump betrayal of his voters Is national security state in the USA gone rogue ? The problem of control of intelligence services in democratic societies Casino Capitalism Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism War is Racket Inverted Totalitarism
Financial Crisis of 2008 as the Crisis of Neoliberalism and shift to neo-fascism Neoliberal corruption Financial Sector Induced Systemic Instability of Economy Corruption of Regulators "Fight with Corruption" as a smoke screen for neoliberal penetration into host countries Deconstructing neoliberalism's definition of 'freedom' Resurgence of neofascism as reaction on crisis of neoliberalism and neoliberal globalization
Alternatives to Neo-liberalism Elite Theory Compradors Fifth column Color revolutions Key Myths of Neoliberalism Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners"
If Corporations Are People, They Are Psychopaths IMF as the key institution for neoliberal debt enslavement Gangster Capitalism Neoliberalism as a Cause of Structural Unemployment in the USA Neoliberalism and inequality Blaming poor and neoliberalism laziness dogma Corporatist Corruption: Systemic Fraud under Clinton-Bush-Obama Regime
Peak Cheap Energy and Oil Price Slump The Deep State Predator state Disaster capitalism Harvard Mafia Small government smoke screen Super Capitalism as Imperialism
The Great Transformation Monetarism fiasco Neoliberalism and Christianity Republican Economic Policy In Goldman Sachs we trust: classic example of regulatory capture by financial system hackers Ronald Reagan: modern prophet of profligacy Milton Friedman -- the hired gun for Deification of Market
Media-Military-Industrial Complex Neocons New American Militarism
Libertarian Philosophy Media domination strategy Neoliberal Brainwashing -- Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few YouTube on neoliberalism History of neoliberalism Humor Etc


Even though I agreed with him, I warned that whenever someone tried to raise the issue, he or she was accused of fomenting class warfare. “There’s class warfare, all right, "Mr. Buffett said, “but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning."

- New York Times

Make no mistake, the neo-Liberal fuckers are just as bad as the Stalinists

May '68 and its Afterlives [Review]

GB: once a great cultured nation, now a poorly-educated gangster mafia state, ruled by oligarchs and inhabited by soccer hooligans

The Kremlin Stooge

The terms Neoliberalism and Casino Capitalism are used interchangeably. They define the same phenomenon. The term "Casino Capitalism" stresses that neoliberalism glorifies stock market, and creates powerful incentives for financial speculation and excessive risk-taking on the part of the public (mass ownership of stocks via 401K plans), financial institutions (derivatives, currency speculations, "naked" commodity futures, intentional blowing of bubbles), and even Main Street entrepreneurs (dot-com crisis on 2000).  That's why neoliberalism is also called "market fundamentalism." But Neoliberalism is not market-fetishism, unless fetishism is understood as fake devotion. Like Bolshevism, Neoliberalism is a State ideology. Its central tenet is that the State must directly help the rich, the poor will be better off as a by-product. In other words, neoliberalism is welfare for the top 1%, the "free market" jungle for the rest ("socialism for rich").

While many think about neoliberalism as "Ubercapitalism" or return to "Robber Barons" era on a new level, ideologically Neoliberalism is close to Trotskyism ( and thus can be called Neo-Trotskyism ). It stresses the solidarity of neoliberal elite across the countries, with the dominant role of Anglo-Saxon elite.  In the famous slogan "Proletarians of all countries, Unite!" neoliberalism substituted the word "proletarians" with the word "elites" (as in "Transnational elites, Unite!" ).

Like Trotskyism neoliberalism in the ideology of expansion, ideology of neo-colonialism. The idea of "Permanent Revolution" was substituted with the idea of permanent "Color revolutions." Methods used remain a variation and enhancement of methods used by Trotskyites for destabilizing the government, with a special emphasis on use of the students and acquiring the control of mass media. Caste of "professional revolutionaries"  now consists of  well-paid functionaries sitting in comfortable chairs in various lavishly financed think tanks and NGO. In the USA they constitute the core of both parties which cares very little about the interest of rank-and-file members with "bait and switch" maneuver as the major tool for election success (Clinton, Bush, Obama, Trump). Marx is probably rolling in his grave.

Despite being a flavor of Trotskyism, Neoliberalism is still a very interesting, unique social system which by-and-large defeated and replaced both New Deal capitalism and socialism (and facilitated the dissolution of the USSR by buying out Soviet nomenklatura, including KGB brass). It is the only social system in which the name of the system is somehow is prohibited by MSM to mention. In this system, like under Stalin's version of socialism, the state play the leading role in enforcing the social system upon the people, brainwashing them with wall-to-wall 24 x 7 USSR-style propaganda an, if necessary, by state violence (As Sheldon Wolin mentioned neoliberalism tries to use violence selectively, as overuse of state violence undermines the social system, see Inverted Totalitarism). Essentially neoliberalism lifted intelligence services into full fledged political player (which means that later stage of neoliberal state is always a variant of the national security state) as we can see in color revolution launched by them against Trump (Trump is the proponent of a renegade version of neoliberalism, which can be called "national neoliberalism" or neoliberalism without globalization). And color revolution against Trump is not the isolated case when the USA intelligence agencies have gone rogue,  it is just a step in natural evolution of neoliberalism and is a "new normal".

Instead of regulating predatory tendencies of capitalism like under New Deal, state became just a corrupt policeman that serve large corporations and against the people. In this sense any neoliberal country is to a certain extent is an "occupied country", and the neoliberal regime is the occupying regime, much like Bolsheviks (with their theocratic state) were in USSR space. Much like during Robber barons era, when the state helped to squash West Virginia miner upraising in 1912-21. Foreign policy under neoliberalism is marked by rampant militarism and constant wars for expanding of the global, USA-led neoliberal empire. Neocons dominate the USA foreign policy since 1980th.

The neoliberal state justifies its decisions, policies, and rules by deification of the markets and by perversion of the meaning of term the "freedom". In this Hayek inspired sophistry the negative definition is used as in  "freedom from coercion" and interpreted mainly in  economic space ( as the freedom of unlimited enrichment.)  Compare with "Four Freedoms" definition used Roosevelt administration during the New Deal: "freedom from want" and "freedom from fear" are not included in neoliberal definition. Those freedoms are simply denied under neoliberalism. 

Neoliberalism might therefore be defined as the elevation of market-based principles and techniques of evaluation to the level of state-endorsed norms and state-sponsored religion.  This theological dimension of neoliberalism is very important (some researchers called neoliberalism "perverted Buddhism" in institualized suffering of lower classes ) and like in Marxism the economics is used for indoctrination on university students into this ideology.  Neoliberals (in a form of adherents to neoclassical economics)  dominate economics departments of major universities and not by some chance -- this is result of deliberate policy (borrowed from Trotskyism) of acquiring and maintaining the political power ("Quite coup").

The level of a secular religion in which "market" and "competition" are new deities ("market fundamentalism") is especially visible in university education, were alternative approaches were mercilessly crushed. It is not an exaggeration to say that the main goal of teaching of economics in universities is the indoctrination, and it has very little in common with teaching economic as a complex and contradictory science. Mathematics serves as powerful smoke screen for hiding the neoliberal ideological core (mathiness)

Neoliberalism radically transforms welfare state. The idea of welfare that was the core of New Deal Capitalism is not completely abolished. But under neoliberalism only corporations are desirable welfare recipients and the bigger they are, the more handouts they suck up.

In labor relations neoliberal pursue a staunch anti-union stance. Labor is atomized, unions suppressed and individuals put on the market "naked" on conditions dictated by employees. Which means squeezing goo paying job in favor of terms and contractors, outsourcing and other anti--labor measure designed to preserve falling profitability in the market condition characterized by falling consumer demand (due to lower standard of living for the majority of population). And this is done at any cost. Even at the cost of human life. That situation gave rise to the term "naked capitalism".

The idea of welfare is not abolished. But under neoliberalism only corporations are desirable welfare recipients and the bigger they are, the more handouts they suck up.

Neoliberalism sees competition as the defining characteristic of human relations. that gave a rise of various (often stupid) "performance metrics" and cult of "performance reviews". It redefines citizens as consumers, who exercise they political power mainly buying and selling, the process which supposedly rewards merit (producing market winners) and punishes inefficiency. It postulates a primitive (and wrong) dogma that “the market” always delivers benefits that are superior and could never be achieved by planning. Which is definitely untrue for military contractors. In a way the "market" under neoliberalism is a kind of "all powerful deity". Which makes neoliberalism a variation of a secular religion (compare with "God building" faction of Bolsheviks Party which included such prominent figures as Lynacharsky). As such neoliberalism, like Marxism before, is hostile to Christianity. And while Marxism absolutize the power of human compassion and redefines paradise as a social system that supposedly can be built on Earth (communism), neoliberalism denigrates the power of human compassion and enforces "greed is good" and "homo homini lupus est" morale. Which turns into law of jungle for lower and middle class. In this sense it is more like a branch of Satanism, with greed as a virtue ("Greed is good"), speculation as a noble activity (while according to Chris Hedges "Speculation in the 17th century was a crime. Speculators were hanged." ) and the slogan "Homo homini lupus est" as one of the key Commandments. See Neoliberalism and Christianity

Neoliberalism sees competition as the defining characteristic of human relations, and greed as a virtue

This social system can be viewed as dialectical denial of socialism and represents the other extreme in classic triad "Thesis, antithesis, synthesis". We do not know yet what the synthesis will be like, but neoliberalism as a social system after 2008 shows definite cracks. Much like the USSR after the WWII when people serving in Red Army discovered what the standard of living in Central and Eastern Europe for workers was far superior that existed in the USSR and start to understand that "state socialism" as practiced in the USSR can't deliver promised higher standard of living for ordinary citizens and that Soviet "nomenklatura" is not that different from the capitalist class in appropriation in Marx terms of "surplus value of labor".

The economic inefficiency of the USSR "state capitalism" model (one state -- one giant corporation) helped to undermine the validity and effectiveness of communist propaganda. And once the ideology is undermined, the elite can't restore the trust of population, which start viewing it with suspicion and contempt. The process of irreversible deterioration started and proceed rather slowly. After WWII Bolshevism survived for another 40 years or so, but eventually failed as the elite (aka Soviet nomenklatura) changed sides and joined neoliberal camp.

Like Bolshevism before it, neoliberalism proved to be unstable social system and the collapse of neoliberalism is not question of "if", but "when".  A utopian system which is unable to deliver promised benefits to the common people, and which destabilizes capitalism in comparison with New Deal capitalism, producing periodic financial crisis with increasing severity.   The first of such crisis was "savings and loans" crisis, followed by dot com bubble burst, and the financial crisis in 2008. The latter led to the Great Recession from which the USA never fully recovered.

In 2008 the large banks, which are the core of neoliberal economics, were saved from facing consequences of their "transgressions" only by massive state intervention. All powerful market was unable to save those sick puppies. The consequences of 2008 crisis did buried neoliberal ideology which from this point looks like cruel and primitive hypocrisy designed to restore the power of financial oligarchy to the level the latter enjoyed in 1930th. That did not mean that neoliberalism became completely toothless. It managed to stage comeback in several Latin American countries (the USA backyard). But in 2016 it led to the election of Trump who managed to defeat establishment candidate, neocon warmonger Hillary Clinton despite all the efforts of the neoliberal/neocon establishment to derail him. Trump pursues the version of neoliberalism which can be called "national neoliberalism" -- neoliberalism limited to the USA with implicit rejection of globalization (or at least large part of it). Which makes Trumpism somewhat similar to Stalinism. Unlike Trotsky, Stalin did not believe in the "World Revolution" mantra.

In the absence of alternatives neoliberalism managed somewhat recover after 2008 debacle, and even successfully counterattacked in some Latin American and European countries (Argentina, Brazil, Greece), but the Great Recession still left of huge and ugly scar on the neoliberal face. In any case glory days of triumphal march of neoliberalism all over globe are over. Crisis of neoliberalism also logically led to increase of share of "guard labor" in economics. On state level this resulted in hypertrophied growth of repressive apparatus including intelligence agencies. So when in 2016 neoliberalism in the USA experienced its first political crisis (when electorate rejected Hillary Clinton and elected Trump, creating the legitimacy crisis of the USA ruling neoliberal elite) the Deep State (the core of which consists of intelligence  agencies and "Wall Street" ) launched a "color revolution" to depose him. Fake changes of falling under Russian control concocted by intelligence agencies in order to depose Trump  which collectively are called "Russiagate" (which properly should be called Intelligence-gate) is the defining feature of this "color revolution".

With lower standard of living of the middle class is no longer possible to hide that "it 's not enough cookies for everybody" under neoliberal and the myth that rising tide lifts all boats"(Trickle-down economics )  is not applicable.

The economist John Kenneth Galbraith noted that "trickle-down economics" had been tried before in the United States in the 1890s under the name "horse and sparrow theory", writing:

Mr. David Stockman has said that supply-side economics was merely a cover for the trickle-down approach to economic policy—what an older and less elegant generation called the horse-and-sparrow theory: 'If you feed the horse enough oats, some will pass through to the road for the sparrows.'

Resentment of working class and lower middle class reached in 2016 unprecedented level, creating a real political crisis in the USA. Which was not unexpected.  As Pope Francis aptly noted:

... Such an [neoliberal] economy kills. How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points? This is a case of exclusion. Can we continue to stand by when food is thrown away while people are starving? This is a case of inequality. Today everything comes under the laws of competition and the survival of the fittest, where the powerful feed upon the powerless. As a consequence, masses of people find themselves excluded and marginalized: without work, without possibilities, without any means of escape.

Human beings are themselves considered consumer goods to be used and then discarded. We have created a “disposable” culture which is now spreading. It is no longer simply about exploitation and oppression, but something new. Exclusion ultimately has to do with what it means to be a part of the society in which we live; those excluded are no longer society’s underside or its fringes or its disenfranchised – they are no longer even a part of it. The excluded are not the “exploited” but the outcast, the “leftovers”.

Outsourcing and offshoring of manufacturing in the USA -- the citadel of neoliberalism led to epidemic of opiod abuse similar to epidemic of alcoholism among workers in the late USSR.  Overdose Death Rates National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) (

Impoverishment of lower 20% of the society (those who have so called McJobs) reached the level when we can talk about a third world country within the USA.

All those factors created pre-conditions for a sharp rise of far right nationalism. In a way neoliberalism naturally generated far right nationalism splash much like Gilded Age and the market crash of Sept 4, 1929 capitalism created precondition for the rise of national socialism. Reading NDSAP 25 points program (adopted in 1920) we can instantly feel that many problem that existed then are now replayed on the new level. After approximately 40 years of global dominance neoliberalism facade shows cracks. Backlash against neoliberal globalization became strong enough to provide upsets, albeit temporary, which demonstrated itself in Brexit, and election of Trump. Who, despite his election-time claims to be a fighter against neoliberal globalization, for restoration of local jobs, and against the wars for expanding neoliberal empire, he essentially folded in two-or three months after the inauguration.

Like Soviet version of Communism before it, Neoliberalism failed to meet its promises of rising standard of living (and the key idea of justifying of raising of inequality and redistribution of wealth up under neoliberalism was "rising water lifts all boats" mantra, or as Kenneth Galbraith famously defined it “Trickle-down theory - the less than elegant metaphor that if one feeds the horse enough oats, some will pass through to the road for the sparrows.” ). We can stress again, that the current opiod epidemics in the USA is not that different from epidemics of alcoholism in the USSR under Brezhnev's "well developed socialism" and has the same social roots.

It is important to understand that under neoliberalism the key priority is the maintenance of global neoliberal empire for the benefits of multinationals (with the associated idea of Global Neoliberal Revolution which, as we mentioned before, makes is similar to Trotskyism). Opening new markets is vital for the interests of transnational corporations and that means that the USA government supports the war for the expansion of the USA-led global neoliberal empire at the expense of interests of regular US citizens. Outsourcing and atomization of the US workforce (squeezing unions) means that neoliberal government has an adversarial attitude towards its common citizenry. They are, by definition, the second class citizens (Undermensch, or as Hillary Clinton elegantly coined it "basket of deplorables" ) . While neoliberal themselves ("creative class") are new Ubermench and like old aristocracy are above the law. So the idea of the "nomenklatura" as a ruling class in the USSR is now replayed on a new level. The fact the Ann Rand was a Soviet émigré tells you something ;-)

As it evolved with time, neoliberalism is a somewhat fuzzy concept ( much like Bolshevism evolved from Leninism to Stalinism, then to Brezhnev's socialism and at last to Gorbachov "perestroika" ). In various countries it can morph into quite different "regimes", despite the common "market fundamentalism" core. The simplest and pretty precise way to define is to view it as "socialism for the rich, feudalism for the poor" or, more correctly "Trotskyism for the rich" ("Elites of all countries unite !" instead of “Proletarians of all countries, Unite! ...). It is "socialism for the upper strata of population and corporations, especially transnationals".

In this sense neoliberals are as "internationalists" as communists were at their time, and may be even more (the term "globalism" is commonly used instead of "internationalism".) And like "Communist International", the "Neoliberal International" accepts the elite from any country, but only a very narrow strata of the elite and only on a certain conditions, with the leading role reserved for the USA elite and a part of G7 elite. Much like in Comintern the role of Moscow as a leader was something that can't be even discussed. Only taken for granted. Although spying capabilities of "Neoliberal International" via "five eyes" are tremendously more powerful then the rudimentary capabilities of Comintern. And the technology of staging "color revolutions" is more polished then Trotskyite approach to staging proletarian revolutions. As a proverb say "One is a bad student, if he can't exceed the level of his teacher". Or "The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires."(William Arthur Ward). Neoliberals proved to be a very good students of Trotskyite method of subversion of elected governments, as many of them were actually former Trotskyites.

Neoliberals also have more money and that matters. This fact alone allows them to create a powerful "fifth column" in countries other then G7 who are on the receiving end of neoliberal expropriation of wealth to the top countries of Neoliberal International. Like in Comintern, "all pigs are created equal, but some pigs are more equal then others."

The key idea of obtaining power by training the cadre of "professional revolutionaries" introduced by social-democratic parties and, especially, Bolsheviks are replaced with no less effective the network of neoliberal think tanks. In other words neoliberalism borrowed and perverted almost all major ideas of social-democratic parties. Including the existence of a paid "party core" typical for Bolsheviks, and instrumental to the success of their coup d'état in October 1917 against Provisional government by Kerensky. Under neoliberalism this idea transformed into the network of think tanks that Koch and other billionaires have sponsored.

Monte Perelin society (the initial neoliberal think tank) explicitly tried to adapt successful idea of western social democratic parties and Bolsheviks to neoliberal doctrine. One such "appropriations" is the level of secrecy and existence of "underground" part of the party along with "legal" parliamentary faction, a set of figureheads who are controlled by "invisible hand" (honorable politician is the one who after he was bought stays bought). Some important theoretical work in this direction was done USA renegade Trotskyites (aka neoconservatives, especially by James Burnham as well as staunch neoliberals like James Buchanan (The Guardian)

The papers Nancy MacLean discovered show that Buchanan saw stealth as crucial. He told his collaborators that “conspiratorial secrecy is at all times essential”. Instead of revealing their ultimate destination, they would proceed by incremental steps. For example, in seeking to destroy the social security system, they would claim to be saving it, arguing that it would fail without a series of radical “reforms”... Gradually they would build a [well-paid] “counter-intelligentsia”, allied to a “vast network of political power” that would become the new establishment.

The control of MSM is another idea borrowed from Bolsheviks. Like Bolshevism, neoliberalism created it's own Neoliberal newspeak and a set of myths ("greed is good", "invisible hand", "the efficient markets hypothesis", "rational expectations scam", Shareholder value scam, supply side voodoo aka "rising tide lifts all boats", etc). In "neoliberal newspeak" the term "freedom" is used as the excuse for ripping down public protections on behalf of the very rich. For example, "free market" means the market free from any coercion by the state (read "free from regulations") which makes it the corporate jungle where the most powerful corporation dictate the rules of the game and eat alive small fish with complete impunity. In no way neoliberal "free market" is fair. Actually neoliberals try to avoid to discuss the issue of farness of the market. This is anathema for them. As such neoliberalism has distinct Social Darwinism flavor and enforces scapegoating and victimization of poor and unemployed

In no way neoliberal "free market" is fair. Actually neoliberals try to avoid to discuss the issue of farness of the market. This is anathema for them. As such neoliberalism has distinct Social Darwinism flavor and enforces scapegoating and victimization of poor and unemployed

As neoliberalism inherited consumerism of the New Deal Capitalism, it adapted it for it own purposes. One distinct feature is trying to get into dent the majority of the population of the country as well as "lesser" countries (neo-colonialism)/

On the individual workers levels neoliberalism has sophisticated mechanisms of enforcing excessive debt on unsuspecting population with such mechanisms as credit card companies, mortgages, student debt, etc. And a worker with a large debt is, essentially, a debt-slave. Atomization (neoliberalism is openly and forcefully anti-union) and enslavement of the workforce is exactly what neoliberalism is about: recreation of the plantation economy on a new technological and social levels. Not that unions are without problems in their own right, but crushing the union is the goal of every neoliberal government starting with Thatcher and Reagan. The same model that is depicted in famous song Sixteen Tons. With replacement of the company store debt and private corporate currencies with credit card debt.

On "lesser" countries level IMF and World banks does the heavy lifting of converting countries into debt-slaves. Sometimes with the help of Wall Street firms like Goldman Sachs.

Like Trotskyism, neoliberalism is a militaristic creed, the only different is that dream of global Communist empire led from Moscow was replaced by the dream of global neoliberal empire led by Washington. Neocons in this sense is just a specific flavor of neoliberals --" neoliberals with the gun" as in Al Capone maxim "You Can Get Much Further with a Kind Word and a Gun than with a Kind Word Alone" ;-). This "institualized gangsterism" of the US neocons represents probably the greatest threat to the survival of modern civilization.

Neoliberalism elevates of market-based principles and techniques of evaluation to the level of state-endorsed norms. The authority of the neoliberal state is heavily dependent on the authority of neoliberal economics (and economists). When this authority collapses the eventual collapse of neoliberalism is imminent. This is a classic "the castle built of sand story. "

Due to the size the introduction was moved to a separate page -- Neoliberalism: an Introduction


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Old News ;-)

(Research materials to the paper Neoliberalism: an Introduction)

Neoliberalism Bulletin, 2017 Neoliberalism Bulletin, 2016 Neoliberalism Bulletin, 2015 Neoliberalism Bulletin, 2014 Neoliberalism Bulletin, 2013 Neoliberalism Bulletin, 2011 Neoliberalism Bulletin 2009 Neoliberalism Bulletin 2008

[Sep 20, 2018] The western financial system is on shaky ground for many reasons, never having recovered from the 2008 crisis.

Sep 20, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

financial matters , Sep 19, 2018 2:41:52 PM | link

The western financial system is on shaky ground for many reasons, never having recovered from the 2008 crisis.

Ellen Brown has a great article up about how central banks are actively participating in the stock market. This is not for the common good.

Central Banks Have Gone Rogue, Putting Us All at Risk

""The two most aggressive central bank players in the equity markets are the Swiss National Bank and the Bank of Japan. The goal of the Bank of Japan, which now owns 75% of Japanese exchange-traded funds, is evidently to stimulate growth and defy longstanding expectations of deflation. But the Swiss National Bank is acting more like a hedge fund, snatching up individual stocks because "that is where the money is." About 20% of the SNB's reserves are in equities, and more than half of that is in US equities.""

""Abolishing the central banks is one possibility, but if they were recaptured as public utilities, they could serve some useful purposes. A central bank dedicated to the service of the public could act as an unlimited source of liquidity for a system of public banks, eliminating bank runs since the central bank cannot go bankrupt. It could also fix the looming problem of an unrepayable federal debt, and it could generate "quantitative easing for the people," which could be used to fund infrastructure, low-interest loans to cities and states, and other public services.""

------------------------

This Ellen Brown article was referenced in Michael Hudson's latest article

The Lehman 10th Anniversary spin as a Teachable Moment


""Today's financial malaise for pension funds, state and local budgets and underemployment is largely a result of the 2008 bailout, not the crash. What was saved was not only the banks – or more to the point, as Sheila Bair pointed out, their bondholders – but the financial overhead that continues to burden today's economy.

Also saved was the idea that the economy needs to keep the financial sector solvent by an exponential growth of new debt – and, when that does not suffice, by government purchase of stocks and bonds to support the balance sheets of the wealthiest layer of society. The internal contradiction in this policy is that debt deflation has become so overbearing and dysfunctional that it prevents the economy from growing and carrying its debt burden.""

""The beneficiaries are the stockholders who are concentrated in the wealthiest percentiles of the population. Governments are not underwriting homeownership or the solvency of labor's pension plans, but are underwriting the value of collateral backing the savings of the narrow financial class.""

[Sep 20, 2018] Decoding Putin's Response To Attack In Syria by Tom Luongo

Russia needs to be very careful as NATO has huge military advantage int he area.
Sep 20, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Tom Luongo,

The fog of war and geopolitics makes initial responses to the attack on Russian and Syrian forces recently difficult to assess.

Russian President Vladimir Putin's response seemed timid and was at odds with statements from his Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and more recent statements from Russia's Foreign Ministry.

Putin backed off on explicitly blaming Israel for the downing of the IL-20 ELINT aircraft which killed 15 Russian servicemen, but made it clear he holds them responsible for the attack as a whole.

My thoughts on what the goals of the attack were are the focus of my latest article at Strategic Culture Foundation.

It was obvious to me that this attack was designed as a provocation to start World War III in Syria and blame the Russians for attacking a NATO member without proper cause , since the Syrian air defense forces were the ones responsible for shooting down the plane.

Lying us into war is a time-honored American political tradition, whether we're talking Fort Sumter, Pearl Harbor or the Gulf of Tonkin. All of these incidents were avoidable by Presidents intent on getting into a conflict while simultaneously playing the victim card by getting the other side to shoot first.

I'm sorry if that is a controversial statement but the historical record on them is very, very clear.

From Strategic Culture:

The setup is pretty clear. Israel and France coordinated an attack on multiple targets within Syria without US involvement but with absolute US knowledge of the operation to provoke Russia into going off half-cocked by attacking the inconsequential French frigate which assisted Israel's air attack.

Any denunciation of sinister intent by Israeli Defense Forces is hollow because if they had not intended to provoke a wider conflict they would have given Russia more than one minute to clear their planes from the area .

That would constitute an attack on a NATO member state and require a response from NATO, thereby getting the exact escalation needed to continue the war in Syria indefinitely and touch off WWIII.

This neatly bypasses any objections to a wider conflict by President Trump who would have to respond militarily to a Russian attack on a NATO ally. It also would reassert NATO's necessity in the public dialogue, further marginalizing Trump's attacks on it and any perceived drive of his for peace.

Now take that basic, honestly off-the-cuff, analysis of what happened and mix it with a skillful bit of decoding of Russia's statements on the attacks by Fort Russ News and you have, I think, a pretty clear picture of what the intent was and why P utin seemed to downplay the event calling it a " chain of tragic circumstances, because the Israeli plane didn't shoot down our jet."

My hat is off to Joachin Flores for his analysis here. It is long and involved and worth your time to read. I will summarize it here. His thesis? Putin is trying to save Russian/French relations by not naming France as the culprit for the lost plane and the 15 men.

That Russia noted French missile launches but didn't say what or who they hit. And before the Russians said anything about the attack the French denied they had any involvement in the attack.

Instead, Russia went along with the story the U.S. et.al. prepared in advance, which doesn't fit what facts we know about the situation, that Syrian Air Defenses shot down the IL-20 by mistake.

Both the French denial and the U.S. statements about Syrian air defenses being the culprit came before anything official came from the Russians.

This is a classic "preparing the narrative" technique used by the West all the time. Seize the story, plant seeds of doubt and put your opponent into a rhetorical box they can't wiggle out of with the truth.

MH-17, Skripal, Crimea, chemical weapons attacks in Ghouta, Douma etc. These operations are scripted.

And Flores is exactly right that this script was going off as planned with one small problem.

The Russians went along with it.

Russia, and Putin, did the one thing that makes this whole thing look like a frame job, it accepted the narrative of Israeli malfeasance in the interest of stopping a wider conflict by accusing and/or attacking a NATO member, France.

Flores makes the salient point that the S-200 friendly fire scenario is highly unlikely. That, in fact, France shot down the plane, was prepared to accept blame (which it did by preemptively denying it was involved) and destroy what was left of Russian/French relations.

Now Russia can use the excuse of Israeli betrayal as justification for upgrading Syria's air defenses. Citing the very thing that caused the tragic death of their soldiers, antiquated air defense systems which didn't properly identify friend from foe.

It may be a lie, but since when did that matter in geopolitics?

And as I point out in my other article

This is Israel's worst nightmare. A situation where any aerial assault on targets within Syria would be suicide missions, puncturing the myth of the Israeli air force's superiority and shifting the delicate balance of power in Syria decidedly against them.

This is why Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu worked Putin so hard over the last two years. But, this incident wipes that slate clean. This was a cynical betrayal of Putin's trust and patience. And Israel will now pay the price for their miscalculation.

Giving Syria S-300's does not avenge the fifteen dead Russian soldiers. Putin will have to respond to that in a more concrete way to appease the hardliners in his government and at home. His patience and seeming passivity are being pushed to their limit politically. This is, after all, a side benefit to all of this for the neoconservative and globalist hawks in D.C., Europe and Tel Aviv.

But, the real loss here for Israel will be Russia instituting a no-fly zone over western Syria. Any less response from Putin will be seized upon by and the situation will escalate from here. So, Putin has to deploy S-300's here. And once that happens, the real solution to Syria begins in earnest.

And it means that if the FUKUS alliance -- France, the U.K. and the U.S. -- want an invasion of Syria they will have to do so openly without a casus belli. And this is something we have avoided for five years now.

Because lying us into war is how we maintain the illusion of fighting wars of conquest under the rubric of Christian Just War Theory which supports our national spirit of manifest destiny.

* * *

Join my Patreon because you don't like war-mongers.


turkey george palmer , 15 hours ago

Ok, what of the assets mixed in with the idlib bunch. The FUKUS has pretty valuable people in that group and maybe some information the west dos not want made available to Russia. I think Putin can get some of those people and use them.

There's some other things the US has over there that they don't want anyone to be able to show on TV

africoman , 18 hours ago

With the downing of the IL-20 ELINT aircraft which killed 15 Russian servicemen, by the aggressions of Israhell

Putin's response seemed timid/weak and was at odds with strong statements from his Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu who put the blame directly on Israhell condemning and more recent statements from Russia's Foreign Ministry.

Putin backed off on explicitly blaming Israel, saying it was chain of reaction that caused the situation etc instead of pining it to that parasite

Yes, i observed the tondown by Putin, maybe we don't know the big boys like Putin knew what is at stake than 15 Russian service men,RIP

It seems to me Putin/Russia is in the game for greater good than such provocation by the middle finger and are paying dearly.

Russia didn't stick her nake for nothing as i said above,geopolitics and long term national interest etc

The attack by Israhell came just after the "Idlib liberation deconfliction zone" deal reached with Russia/Putin & Turkey/Erdogan after many hours of talk

That was something, not seen/wanted by the enemy of Syria.

So it was expected, provokation?

Maybe Putin's answer/response not verbally, it would gonna come practically, by ratcheting up the defensive shield of Russian position and eventually upgrading Syrian air defense, as both are now targeted if they pursue liberating Idlib from the filthy jihadist infestations, including Iran.

The USA/UK warned Russia/Syria/Iran if they dare touch their 'rebel boys' then we will respond UNSC dramatic talk on which what i found it interesting was that

the Syrian ambassador to UN,Dr.Bashar Jaafari exposed their hypocrisy asking the absurdity that if they will let say 15,000 'rebels' aka terrorist in manchester city doing terrorism and they will let Russia wanted to do same.

So i see toning down of Vlad is good in avoiding another provocation by Israhell/USA

One can see, Israhell blamed Syria right, then if Syria increased her ability of defense then that will be seen as danger/aggression by Israhell

that is the statu quo there, criminals

OverTheHedge , 20 hours ago

There is another interpretation, over at MoonOfAlabama, which seems to be more sensible than the doom-laden war-mongering rhetoric in this article.

As explained at this blog: http://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2018/09/some-fast-thoughts-on-il-20.html

1. Israel and Russia have a deconfliction agreement, so Russia would have notified Israel about its IL-20 flight plans.

2. Israel would have agreed not to have fighter aircraft in that area, as part of the agreement.

3. Israeli fighter planes used the IL-20 to mask their run in, which is a breach of the agreement, and just rude, frankly. Israel appears to believe that agreements don't apply.

4. The Syrian air defence saw the Israeli planes, targeted and locked on. Panic in the cockpit.

5. The Israeli pilot(s) used the bulk of the IL-20 to mask their radar reflection, and the S-200 missile, being old and dim, went for the biggest radar cross-section. In other words, the Israeli pilot saved his life by sacrificing the russian plane. Note that the missile itself doesn't do IFF, and can't be recalled or retargeted once it is in the air. It has a brain that an Atari 200 would be embarrassed by.

Whether this was in the plan, or just a brown trouser moment, is another question. If there happened to be a civilian airliner in the vacinity, would the Israeli pilot have done the same?

So, Israel is at fault for ignoring the agreement with Russia, and attacking despite russian presence in a restricted area. It all went wrong. Lots of Israeli damage control with Russia - offers to send the Israeli air force commander to Moscow to grovel in person, etc. You can conspiracy theory as much as you like, and the French missile is not included in the above, but I like ****-up over conspiracy, and idiot commanders not considering the consequences more likely than vast overarching 200 move secret plans to rule the universe by Thursday.

NB - the above is not my work, just in case you thought I was clever (unlikely, I know).

rita , 21 hours ago

Putin as usual is brilliant, unlike the others who are continually trigger happy trying desperately to inflate the situation in Syria!

RG_Canuck , 21 hours ago

Agreed, but I would like to see Putin grab that little frog by the te$ticle$ until he gets on the ground and begs for mercy.

Posa , 22 hours ago

I totally agree with this interpretation. The tide is running with Russia-friendly right-wing European parties who eventually will depose the Macron- Merkel axis, thanks to the Social Dems accepting a flood of refugees from Bush-Clinton-Obama Regime Change War Crimes. The writing is on the wall and Putin does not want to disrupt the inevitable flow of events by being suckered into firing the first shots.

Loss of personnel and aircraft is accepted as war-time casualties... BUT I also agree that retaliation will be more subtle, coming in the form of upgrades to defense of Syrian air space defense. Of course, if Putin really wants to stick it to France- Israel he can also complete the deal with Iran to sell the S series upgrades to Iran.

BrownCoat , 22 hours ago

Some of the interpretation is accurate. Some is Russian spin. The part I liked best was:

"whether we're talking Fort Sumter, Pearl Harbor or the Gulf of Tonkin."

Darn right accurate! I would have added WMD's in Iraq to the list.

indus creed , 12 hours ago

According to Joel Skousen, Russia and China are not yet militarily ready to take on West. Then again, Skousen used to be a CIA asset. Whom to believe these days?

Joiningupthedots , 23 hours ago

It changes nothing.

Russia, Syria, Iran and Hezbollah won the war.

The West is desperately trying to turn Syria into another Libya and is desperately failing.

ZeroLounger , 23 hours ago

A video on one of the links describes large quantities of captagon were seized, along with motorcycles and weapons, near Palmyra.

So a war fueled by meth, basically.

thisandthat , 11 hours ago

Always was, at least since ww2

Is-Be , 23 hours ago

Because lying us into war is how we maintain the illusion of fighting wars of conquest under the rubric of Christian Just War Theory which supports our national spirit of manifest destiny

I'm getting the distinct impression that monotheism is a very bad idea.

A curse upon Charlemagne the Butcher and Oathbreaker!

Captain Nemo de Erehwon , 1 day ago

The fog of war and geopolitics makes initial responses to the attack on Russian and Syrian forces recently difficult to assess.

That would have been excellent one-line article. But no. We have to expand on it.

Yellow_Snow , 12 hours ago

Just heard that Russia is indeed setting up a 'No Fly Zone' and will be doing Naval training/testing in zones around Syria... between 0 and 19000 altitude

IsaHell has attacked Syria by air 200 times while the world has stood by...

S-400 needs to get deployed - now is the time - what's the point of having these SAM's and never using them...

Needs to stop

DEMIZEN , 1 day ago

the Russian heads will stay cool. militarily, it is too early to move in and go full ****** with air defences the Jews are too close and will study their gear and structure.

Russian voter is beginning to rise eyebrows i assume, and Putins reputation is taking a hit. i bet there will some tough Putin videos following this mess to restore his image in public. Russian public wants Jewish blood, but i cant see a good immediate response.Revenge is best served cold.

this mess will be followed up with more gear and more training for SAA, you cant blame Syrian Army for any of this, they sacrifice two dozens of soldiers on a good day. most of Syria SAM crews were executed in the first months of the war.

ships will keep coming. SAA will keep growing, Russians will likely focus on Ukraine and EU diplomacy now. Assad and Kurds need to sit down and look at the option. Opposition in idlib will disarm or die.Guerillas w/o insignia will keep hitting SDF. US will leave AL Tanf. Its going to be a slow winter.

BrownCoat , 22 hours ago

Putin's reputation is not taking a hit!

What did Israel achieve in this attack? No one is reporting. Maybe Israel wanted to hit Iranian militia units that were concentrating for the attack on Idlib before the units were redeployed. We don't know.
Israel did not claim any success, just an attack without the loss of any F-16s.

In the eyes of Russians, Putin stood up to the "evil empire" once again. The cost was 15 soldiers. Russian's mothers are very vocal about sons coming home in body bags. That causes social unrest. Support for Putin does not waver however. The deaths are the price Russia pays to protect the mother land.

The author is correct that Putin's restraint shows skill and courage. Putin's weakness was assigning blame for the 15 soldiers. Assigning blame was probably the work of some sycophantic underlings.

turkey george palmer , 15 hours ago

Ok, what of the assets mixed in with the idlib bunch. The FUKUS has pretty valuable people in that group and maybe some information the west dos not want made available to Russia. I think Putin can get some of those people and use them.

There's some other things the US has over there that they don't want anyone to be able to show on TV

africoman , 18 hours ago

With the downing of the IL-20 ELINT aircraft which killed 15 Russian servicemen, by the aggressions of Israhell

Putin's response seemed timid/weak and was at odds with strong statements from his Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu who put the blame directly on Israhell condemning and more recent statements from Russia's Foreign Ministry.

Putin backed off on explicitly blaming Israel, saying it was chain of reaction that caused the situation etc instead of pining it to that parasite

Yes, i observed the tondown by Putin, maybe we don't know the big boys like Putin knew what is at stake than 15 Russian service men,RIP

It seems to me Putin/Russia is in the game for greater good than such provocation by the middle finger and are paying dearly.

Russia didn't stick her nake for nothing as i said above,geopolitics and long term national interest etc

The attack by Israhell came just after the "Idlib liberation deconfliction zone" deal reached with Russia/Putin & Turkey/Erdogan after many hours of talk

That was something, not seen/wanted by the enemy of Syria.

So it was expected, provokation?

Maybe Putin's answer/response not verbally, it would gonna come practically, by ratcheting up the defensive shield of Russian position and eventually upgrading Syrian air defense, as both are now targeted if they pursue liberating Idlib from the filthy jihadist infestations, including Iran.

The USA/UK warned Russia/Syria/Iran if they dare touch their 'rebel boyes' then we will respond UNSC dramatic talk on which what i found it interesting was that

the Syrian ambassador to UN,Dr.Bashar Jaafari exposed their hypocrisy asking the absurdity that if they will let say 15,000 'rebels' aka terrorist in manchester city doing terrorism and they will let Russia wanted to do same.

So i see toning down of Vlad is good in avoiding another provocation by Israhell/USA

One can see, Israhell blamed Syria right, then if Syria increased her ability of defense then that will be seen as danger/aggression by Israhell

that is the statu quo there, criminals

pluto the dog , 19 hours ago

To paraphrase Jean-Marie le Pen- Putin has described the Jewish takeover of Russia in 1917 and the slaughter of 62

million Christian Slavs that followed as "an incident of history" - and best forgotten.

Putin is so deep in bed with Jewish oligarchs - and Bibi - it aint funny. LOL

Pleas note - the figure of 62 million dead is the most accurate yet. Was deduced by researchers who had access to Kremlin archives for short period of time after the Soviet Union imploded. So round that down to approx. 60 million and you will be safely in the ball park.

Mustahattu , 20 hours ago

FUKUS alliance? More like FUCKUS alliance.

OverTheHedge , 20 hours ago

There is another interpretation, over at MoonOfAlabama, which seems to be more sensible than the doom-laden war-mongering rhetoric in this article.

As explained at this blog: http://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2018/09/some-fast-thoughts-on-il-20.html

1. Israel and Russia have a deconfliction agreement, so Russia would have notified Israel about its IL-20 flight plans.

2. Israel would have agreed not to have fighter aircraft in that area, as part of the agreement.

3. Israeli fighter planes used the IL-20 to mask their run in, which is a breach of the agreement, and just rude, frankly. Israel appears to believe that agreements don't apply.

4. The Syrian air defence saw the Israeli planes, targeted and locked on. Panic in the cockpit.

5. The Israeli pilot(s) used the bulk of the IL-20 to mask their radar reflection, and the S-200 missile, being old and dim, went for the biggest radar cross-section. In other words, the Israeli pilot saved his life by sacrificing the russian plane. Note that the missile itself doesn't do IFF, and can't be recalled or retargeted once it is in the air. It has a brain that an Atari 200 would be embarrassed by.

Whether this was in the plan, or just a brown trouser moment, is another question. If there happened to be a civilian airliner in the vacinity, would the Israeli pilot have done the same?

So, Israel is at fault for ignoring the agreement with Russia, and attacking despite russian presence in a restricted area. It all went wrong. Lots of Israeli damage control with Russia - offers to send the Israeli air force commander to Moscow to grovel in person, etc. You can conspiracy theory as much as you like, and the French missile is not included in the above, but I like ****-up over conspiracy, and idiot commanders not considering the consequences more likely than vast overarching 200 move secret plans to rule the universe by Thursday.

NB - the above is not my work, just in case you thought I was clever (unlikely, I know).

not-me---it-was-the-dog , 20 hours ago

" If there happened to be a civilian airliner in the vacinity, would the Israeli pilot have done the same? "

only civilian airliners over syria......as far as i can tell, are from iran. so, answer would be yes.

Southerly Buster , 18 hours ago

Have you not just described the 'official' story, a " chain of tragic circumstances."

Nothing 'alternative' or 'clever' with the MoA's interpretation.

not-me---it-was-the-dog , 21 hours ago

no-fly zone over western syria? no.

no-fly zone over lebanon.

.........you read it here first.

rita , 21 hours ago

Putin as usual is brilliant, unlike the others who are continually trigger happy trying desperately to inflate the situation in Syria!

RG_Canuck , 21 hours ago

Agreed, but I would like to see Putin grab that little frog by the te$ticle$ until he gets on the ground and begs for mercy.

Posa , 22 hours ago

I totally agree with this interpretation. The tide is running with Russia-friendly right-wing European parties who eventually will depose the Macron- Merkel axis, thanks to the Social Dems accepting a flood of refugees from Bush-Clinton-Obama Regime Change War Crimes. The writing is on the wall and Putin does not want to disrupt the inevitable flow of events by being suckered into firing the first shots.

Loss of personnel and aircraft is accepted as war-time casualties... BUT I also agree that retaliation will be more subtle, coming in the form of upgrades to defense of Syrian air space defense. Of course, if Putin really wants to stick it to France- Israel he can also complete the deal with Iran to sell the S series upgrades to Iran.

BrownCoat , 22 hours ago

Some of the interpretation is accurate. Some is Russian spin. The part I liked best was:

"whether we're talking Fort Sumter, Pearl Harbor or the Gulf of Tonkin."

Darn right accurate! I would have added WMD's in Iraq to the list.

indus creed , 12 hours ago

According to Joel Skousen, Russia and China are not yet militarily ready to take on West. Then again, Skousen used to be a CIA asset. Whom to believe these days?

Joiningupthedots , 23 hours ago

It changes nothing.

Russia, Syria, Iran and Hezbollah won the war.

The West is desperately trying to turn Syria into another Libya and is desperately failing.

ZeroLounger , 23 hours ago

A video on one of the links describes large quantities of captagon were seized, along with motorcycles and weapons, near Palmyra.

So a war fueled by meth, basically.

thisandthat , 11 hours ago

Always was, at least since ww2

Is-Be , 23 hours ago

Because lying us into war is how we maintain the illusion of fighting wars of conquest under the rubric of Christian Just War Theory which supports our national spirit of manifest destiny

I'm getting the distinct impression that monotheism is a very bad idea.

A curse upon Charlemagne the Butcher and Oathbreaker!

Baron Samedi , 23 hours ago

Had my champagne and a bottle of potassium iodide in my pocket ...

dibiase , 23 hours ago

" Join my Patreon because you don't like war-mongers."

nice touch. 181 people pay 1500 a month a for few articles like this a month...

gdpetti , 23 hours ago

Israel is a kill zone anyway, no smart 'Jews' live there, only psychos and the downtroddened Palestinians and other 'jews'... christians, moslem etc.

Russia has to deal with its own "Jews" and Western friendlies remember: http://www.thetruthseeker.co.uk/?p=176526

Like China, Putin is thinking the long game... not a quick score before the next commercial timeout... and he's a chess player, so thinking ahead to the next set of moves is the norm.... when this is lost, so is life.. think of Caesar as an example of those that don't know when to say when... when to stop and smell the roses... when to consolidate operations before the next set are begun.

What will the West do when their plans do go as planned? Sit around in the Med Sea for how long? The Kurds will get played as the fools they are, same as always... this is the basic script of all of our lives here in 'Purgatory'.. a school in self conscious awareness.. and this is how we learn.... how many times does a lesson need to repeat before we learn? THink of the example of Neo in that film 'The Matrix'.... "You've been done that street before Neo..."

15 lives lost.... but no excuse yet given to start WW3 and lose many, many more... the idiot puppets in the Western capitals get frustrated and lose their sanity.. as their OWO puppet show is steered over the cliff by their own puppet masters in the SG... 'out with the OWO, in with the NWO'... the best puppets are those that never even think they could be one.... and so it goes.

pluto the dog , 23 hours ago

Putins in bed with Bibi just like Trump is. And Putins daughter is married to a ******* ****. Does that sound familiar?

Yous are gonna be waitin a long time for WW3 to start

Blankone , 22 hours ago

What? Is Putin's daughter really married to a ***.

Holy ---, Just like all of Trump's kids who have married.

Damn

pluto the dog , 20 hours ago

Putins daughter now divorced from his buddy Nikolai Shamalovs son Kirill

no one in Russia is allowed to talk about this stuff

below link takes you to photo of Nikolai Shamalov. Please examine photo - looks very ashkenazi to me LOL

https://www.stormfront.org/forum/t1136705/

Blankone , 6 hours ago

The links of the stormfront article lay things out well.

I have the bad feeling again. I knew Putin's background was Russian mafia/corruption in taking over from Yeltsin and that Putin was catering to the jews, but this was a surprise.

Damn

Jung , 20 hours ago

She is married to a Dutchman and many were angry with them about MH17, so they left the Netherlands. Don't worry about what he is, Putin knows his Grand Chessboard and has to avoid problems with his fifth column in Russia (a group of Jewish people with a lot of clout.

One of these is not like the others.. , 23 hours ago

12$ a month!

Who do you think I am, Rothschild??

(I looked at the patreon link).

Is-Be , 23 hours ago

Here's a novel idea, France.

How about protecting France? It is, after all, called a Defence Force.

Or do tired eyes deceive me?

RG_Canuck , 21 hours ago

Defence Farce, more like it.

ZeroLounger , 23 hours ago

It appears that Armageddon is underway before our very eyes.

Buy stawks.

Is-Be , 23 hours ago

You have Armageddon, we have Ragnarok.

The difference is, we don't lust after Ragnarok.

Odin fears Ragnarok, for his doom is fortold.

Only Ask and Embla survive Ragnarok.

eyesofpelosi , 20 hours ago

Yes, the three (***/christian/islam) "*** cults" really WANT the end for all things. Sickening, childish, and...evil. I'm a follower of Hela for the most part, yet I do not "rush what is inevitable" either, lol.

terrific , 23 hours ago

The FUKUS alliance. Who thought that one up? It's hilarious.

FreeEarCandy , 23 hours ago

A false flag attack on any Christian historical site within Israel is all Israel needs to do to drag the west into starting WW3. Historically, we know Israel has special place in their heart for Christians.

besnook , 1 day ago

putin will respond in a way to get the most roi. he played this masterfully. concede on issues when you have a lot to gain and nothing to lose.

tel aviv has a red dot on it's forehead now.

Captain Nemo de Erehwon , 1 day ago

The fog of war and geopolitics makes initial responses to the attack on Russian and Syrian forces recently difficult to assess.

That would have been excellent one-line article. But no. We have to expand on it.

Yellow_Snow , 1 day ago

Russia should use Syria as a testing ground for the S-400 and the new S-500 systems... A No fly Zone and 'hot' testing site

BrownCoat , 22 hours ago

It would be nice for the West, but...

1. Creating a No Fly Zone would force Russia to respond to any infraction. That reduces Putin's options and diverts effort from Russia's objectives in Syria.

2. Installing S-400 or S-500 or S-999 would only show Israel and the US the capabilities of these advanced weapon systems. According to the author, the S-300 is sufficient to keep Israeli planes in check.

Yellow_Snow , 12 hours ago

Just heard that Russia is indeed setting up a 'No Fly Zone' and will be doing Naval training/testing in zones around Syria... between 0 and 19000 altitude

IsaHell has attacked Syria by air 200 times while the world has stood by...

S-400 needs to get deployed - now is the time - what's the point of having these SAM's and never using them...

Needs to stop

caconhma , 1 day ago

Prostitutin is a CIA asset and a total POS.

Shemp 4 Victory , 23 hours ago

Yeah, you're the adequacy, of course.

Your reactions are worthy of Pavlov's dog. You, I suppose, were trained with the same methods.

Victor999 , 21 hours ago

Throw him a treat.

Anunnaki , 1 day ago

Putin is a Ziomist

Brazen Heist II , 1 day ago

Rooting for the collapse of FUKUS and Pissraeli imperialism.

But evil takes time to weaken because evil still has much more power than it deserves.

Putin is playing the long game, he knows these devils don't value anything they preach, and they are sore losers about Syria, and he is neutering their scumbag behaviour, which may seem like acquiesence to some, but it is merely realpolitik because he knows the FUKUS + Pissrael can overpower Russia if they are united, esp when Russia is seen to strike back with force directly.

They were united in Syria until their ragtag army of headchoppers fell apart, thanks to Russian and Iranian realpolitik. So Russia, like China and Iran, is biding its time and deflecting some big hits, taking a few blows, but they are in it for the victory in the long run which means weakening the FUKUS + Pissraeli imperialist alliance through attrition and clever maneuvering.

ThanksChump , 1 day ago

This analysis is compelling. It would be nice to have corroborating evidence that it was the French vessel that shot down the IL-20, but even without that evidence, this story satisfies the Occam's Razor test. This was a major gamble against a better player.

So, is Assad going to get new S-300 or new S-400 systems? The Iranians might feel slighted if Assad gets S-400s.

DEMIZEN , 1 day ago

the Russian heads will stay cool. militarily, it is too early to move in and go full ****** with air defences the Jews are too close and will study their gear and structure.

Russian voter is beginning to rise eyebrows i assume, and Putins reputation is taking a hit. i bet there will some tough Putin videos following this mess to restore his image in public. Russian public wants Jewish blood, but i cant see a good immediate response.Revenge is best served cold.

this mess will be followed up with more gear and more training for SAA, you cant blame Syrian Army for any of this, they sacrifice two dozens of soldiers on a good day. most of Syria SAM crews were executed in the first months of the war.

ships will keep coming. SAA will keep growing, Russians will likely focus on Ukraine and EU diplomacy now. Assad and Kurds need to sit down and look at the option. Opposition in idlib will disarm or die.Guerillas w/o insignia will keep hitting SDF. US will leave AL Tanf. Its going to be a slow winter.

nowhereman , 1 day ago

OOOH Nastradamus

DEMIZEN , 1 day ago

i actually knew your were going to comment.

BrownCoat , 22 hours ago

Putin's reputation is not taking a hit!

What did Israel achieve in this attack? No one is reporting. Maybe Israel wanted to hit Iranian militia units that were concentrating for the attack on Idlib before the units were redeployed. We don't know.
Israel did not claim any success, just an attack without the loss of any F-16s.

In the eyes of Russians, Putin stood up to the "evil empire" once again. The cost was 15 soldiers. Russian's mothers are very vocal about sons coming home in body bags. That causes social unrest. Support for Putin does not waver however. The deaths are the price Russia pays to protect the mother land.

The author is correct that Putin's restraint shows skill and courage. Putin's weakness was assigning blame for the 15 soldiers. Assigning blame was probably the work of some sycophantic underlings.

sevensixtwo , 1 day ago

Who's going to say, "The Israelis attacked behind the Russian plane because they knew it would mess up the radar on the S-200?"

BrownCoat , 22 hours ago

We don't know what caused the IL-20 destruction. Was it a French rocket? Was it a Syrian or Russian working the missile defense system? My hunch is "friendly fire," but I wasn't there.

Hindsight, the pilot should have disobeyed his flight plan and left the theater when the SHTF. The plane could have landed in Cyprus. The pilot would have gotten grief (and probably a demotion), but he would have saved the plane and its crew.

Mister Ponzi , 15 hours ago

You're making the mistake to let your emotions dominate your analysis. First, Russia does not owe Syria (or any other Arab country for that matter) anything. As The Saker some time ago rightly pointed out: Where was the Arab support for Russia in Chechenya or Georgia? Which Arab country does recognize the indepence of Abkhasia, South Ossetia or Transnistria? What was their reaction to Western sanctions against Russia? And how do they support Russia in the case of Donbass or Crimea? Russia is in Syria only for her own interest and will do the things that help her most. This will support the Assad government only in those areas where the interest is aligned. If it were in Russian interest (which it isn't) they wouldn't hesitate to get rid of Assad. Second, of course they give their S400s to Turkey because Turkey is the big prize out there strategically. Sure, Erdogan is a despicable politicians whose actions evoke memories of the darkest periods of the Ottoman Empire. But Russian foreign policy is not driven by the hysterical human rights howling the West usually displays (but only against governments that are not pro-Western) but by Realpolitik. You may welcome it or reject it you must always analyze Russian foreign policy through this lens. Would Russia tear Turkey out of the NATO phalanx if they could? Of course! Turkey would be a tremendous loss for NATO strategically. This explains Russia's attitude towards Erdogan including the chatter that it was Putin who warned Erdogan of the coup that was underway. Third, the claim that Russia is too passive has been discussed so extensively that anyone who wanted to understand the arguments of both sides and to weigh the pros and cons could have done so, therefore, I'm not going to repeat the discussion here. For those who do not support warmongering or cry "*****" all the time you can find a more balanced analysis of the Russian position here:

http://thesaker.is/reply-to-paul-craig-roberts-crucial-question/

zoghead , 1 day ago

Obviously a well planned operation and huge assault. No one is talking of the missiles fired on Homs, Tartus and Latakia.

"One minute notice" by Israel, is patently unfair.

And the innocent US who took no part, but had a few nuclear subs and half a dozen warships loaded and ready . . waiting for high noon!

Putin needs to get serious, or this will repeat in short time.

FBaggins , 1 day ago

Putin in dealing with three sociopath governments of three sociapathetic nations (Isreal, the UK and the US) whose people are unable to elect leaders independent of the the sociopath unelected puppet masters. He is not going to take the death of 15 servicemen lightly and the sociopaths know this, but he is also not going to start WWIII over the incident. Sociopaths like Netanyahu who want to escalate conflict in the area for the growth of Israel are unpredictable.

Putin's job is to drive out the terrorist and stabilize the nation which is exactly the opposite of what Israel, the UK and the US set out to do, but those nations continue to support and even pay the terrorist insurgents they initially sent into Syria. They are sociopaths because they do not give a rap about all of the killing and destruction they have directly caused with their destabilization and regime change efforts to serve their own designs. The entire world is aware of their crimes and increasingly will turn away from any reliance on these nations or on their money.

The Ram , 1 day ago

FUKUS - forgot the 'I'. Should be written - I FUK US The 'I' being the real leader of the pack.

Posa , 22 hours ago

Wrong. Getting into a shooting war at precisely the time when the US poodles in the EU are ripe to be deposed would be a huge strategic mistake WHICH THE Anglo-Americans ARE TRYING to provoke... not taking the bait is a smart move... in contrast to the USSR in Afghanistan, for example, which became their Vietnam.

justdues , 1 day ago

Here is the oh so predictable Blankbrain with his usual demands that Putin act like a punch drunk street thug and lash out at every provocation . Putin is way smarter than you CIA/Mossad boy and those of us that aint in a hurry to see our loved ones vaporised thank God for that.

[Sep 20, 2018] What do you say about libertarians?

A lot of people see society in organic terms, and think the maintenance of the whole over-rides the welfare of any particular bit – even if that particular bit happens to be themselves (Trump recently hit this theme when he tweeted that "patriotic" Americans were prepared to sacrifice for the greater good in the trade war).
Heirarchy is probably unavoidable, not for reasons of individual difference but because one-to-many organisation is the only form that scales readily. We can all have an equal voice on a jury, but not when building a henge or a operating a car-factory.
Notable quotes:
"... A lot of non-conservatives have a very difficult time grappling with the notion that a commitment to inequality, that a belief in the inherent superiority of some people over others, that one group has the the right to rule and dominate others, is a moral belief. ..."
"... Since, according to this argument, you are amongst other things, your social class, I cannot judge your moral actions unless I understand your social circumstances. But morality is a form of judgement, or to put it another way a ranking. Morality is means nothing unless I can say: 'you are more moral then him, she is more moral than you' and so on. (Nietzsche: 'Man is Man the esteemer' i.e. someone who ranks his or her fellow human beings: human beings cannot be morally equal or the phrase has no meaning). ..."
"... Therefore, unless people have a role in life (i.e. butcher, baker, candlestick maker) then morality collapses (this is the weak point in the argument and if you wanted to tear the whole edifice down you would start here). ..."
"... And of course this social order must be hierarchical, or else anyone can be anything one wants to be, and in that case, who will sweep the streets? ' ..."
"... In other words Conservatives believe that without hierarchy, without ranking and without a stratified (and therefore meaningful) social order, morality actually disintegrates. You simply cannot have a morality without these things: everything retreats into the realm of the subjective. Conservatives don't believe that things like the Khmer Rouge's Killing Fields, the Great Terror, the Cultural Revolution are bad things that happened to happen: they believe that they are the necessary and inevitable end result of atheistical, relativistic, egalitarian politics. ..."
"... To the Right, the Left has no morality, as they understand the term, and cannot in fact do so. Leftist morality is a contradiction in terms, in this worldview. ..."
Sep 20, 2018 | crookedtimber.org

Hidari 09.18.18 at 8:50 am ( 105 )

I think this is an incredibly important point here:

'One last point: A lot of non-conservatives have a very difficult time grappling with the notion that a commitment to inequality, that a belief in the inherent superiority of some people over others, that one group has the the right to rule and dominate others, is a moral belief. For many people, particularly on the left, that idea is not so much immoral as it is beyond the pale of morality itself. So that's where the charge that I'm being dismissive or reductive comes from, I'm convinced. Because I say the animating idea of the right is not freedom or virtue or limited government but instead power and privilege, people, and again I see this mostly from liberals and the left, think I'm making some sort of claim about conservatism as a criminal, amoral enterprise, devoid of principle altogether, whereas I firmly believe I'm trying to do the exact opposite: to focus on where exactly the moral divide between right and left lies.'

Both the Right and the Left, think that they are moral. And yet they disagree about moral issues. How can this be?

The solution to this problem is to see that when Rightists and Leftists use the word 'moral' they are using the word in two different (and non compatible) senses. I won't dwell on what the Left mean by morality: I'm sure most of you will be familiar with, so to speak, your own moral code.

What the Right mean by morality is rather different, and is more easily seen in 'outliers' e.g. right wing intellectuals like Evelyn Waugh and T.S. Eliot rather than politicians. Intellectuals can be rather more open about their true beliefs.

The first key point is to understand the hostility towards 'abstraction': and what purposes this serves. Nothing is more alien to right wing thought that the idea of an Abstract Man: right wing thought is situational, contextual (one might even call it relativistic) to the core. de Maistre states this most clearly: 'The (French) constitution of 1795, like its predecessors, has been drawn up for Man. Now, there is no such thing in the world as Man . In the course of my life, I have seen Frenchmen, Italians, Russians, etc.; I am even aware, thanks to Montesquieu, that one can be a Persian. But, as for Man, I declare that I have never met him in my life.'

This sounds postmodern to us, even Leftist (and of course Marx might have given highly provisional approval to this statement). But the question is not: is this statement true? It's: 'what do the right do with this statement?'

Again to quote another reactionary thinker Jose Ortega y Gasseett: 'I am myself plus my circumstances'. Again this is simply a definition of contextualism. So what are your circumstances? They are, amongst other things, your social circumstances: i.e. your social class.

Since, according to this argument, you are amongst other things, your social class, I cannot judge your moral actions unless I understand your social circumstances. But morality is a form of judgement, or to put it another way a ranking. Morality is means nothing unless I can say: 'you are more moral then him, she is more moral than you' and so on. (Nietzsche: 'Man is Man the esteemer' i.e. someone who ranks his or her fellow human beings: human beings cannot be morally equal or the phrase has no meaning).

But I can't hermeneutically see what moral role you must play in life, I cannot judge you, unless I have some criteria for this judgement, and for this I must know what your circumstances are.

Therefore, unless people have a role in life (i.e. butcher, baker, candlestick maker) then morality collapses (this is the weak point in the argument and if you wanted to tear the whole edifice down you would start here). Because unless we know what one's social role is then we can't assess whether or not people are living 'up to' that role. And of course this social order must be hierarchical, or else anyone can be anything one wants to be, and in that case, who will sweep the streets? '

And if anyone has any smart arse points to raise about that idea, God usually gets roped in to function, literally, as a Deux ex Machina.

' The rich man in his castle,
The poor man at his gate,
He made them, high or lowly,
And ordered their estate.'

Clive James put it best when discussing Waugh: 'With no social order, there could be no moral order. People had to know their place before they knew their duty he (and, more importantly society) needed a coherent social system (i.e. an ordered social system, a hierarchical social system)'

In other words Conservatives believe that without hierarchy, without ranking and without a stratified (and therefore meaningful) social order, morality actually disintegrates. You simply cannot have a morality without these things: everything retreats into the realm of the subjective. Conservatives don't believe that things like the Khmer Rouge's Killing Fields, the Great Terror, the Cultural Revolution are bad things that happened to happen: they believe that they are the necessary and inevitable end result of atheistical, relativistic, egalitarian politics. Social 'levelling', destroying meaningful (i.e. hierarchical ('organic' is the euphemism usually used)) societies will usually, not always but usually, lead to genocide and/or civil war. Hence the hysteria that seizes most Conservatives when the word relativism is used. And their deep fear of postmodernism, a small scale, now deeply unfashionable art movement with a few (very few) philosophical adherents: as it destroys hierarchy and undermines one's capacity to judge and therefore order one's fellow human beings, it will tend to lead to the legalisation of pedophilia, the legalisation of rape, the legalisation of murder, war, genocide etc, because, to repeat, morality depends on order. No social order= no morality.

Hence the Right's deep suspicion of the left's morality. To the Right, the Left has no morality, as they understand the term, and cannot in fact do so. Leftist morality is a contradiction in terms, in this worldview.

[Sep 19, 2018] The Minsky Moment Ten Years After by Barkley Rosser

Notable quotes:
"... My take on Minsky moment is that banking introduces positive feedback loop into the system, making it (as any dynamic system with strong positive feedback loop) unstable. ..."
"... To compensate you need to introduce negative feedback loop in a form of regulation and legal system that vigorously prosecute financial oligarchy "transgressions," instilling fear and damping its predatory behavior and parasitic rents instincts. In a way number of bankers who go to jail each year is metric of stability of the system. Which was a feature (subverted and inconsistent from the beginning and decimated in 70th) of New Deal Capitalism. ..."
Sep 18, 2018 | angrybearblog.com

These days are the tenth anniversary of the biggest Minsky Moment since the Great Depression. While when it happened most commentators mentioned Minsky and many even called it a "Minsky Moment," most of the commentary now does not use that term and much does not even mention Minsky, much less Charles Kindleberger or Keynes. Rather much of the discussion has focused now on the failure of Lehman Brothers on September 15, 2017. A new book by Lawrence Ball has argued that the Fed could have bailed LB out as they did with Bear Stearns in February of that year, with Ball at least, and some others, suggesting that would have resolved everything, no big crash, no Great Recession, no angry populist movement more recently, heck, all hunky dory if only the Fed had been more responsible, although Ball especially points his finger at Bush's Treasury Secretary, Hank Paulson, for especially pressuring Bernanke and Geithner at the Fed not to repeat Bear Stearns. And indeed when they decided not to support Lehman, the Fed received widespread praise in much of the media initially, before its fall blew out AIG and brought down most of the pyramid of highly leveraged derivatives of derivatives coming out of the US mortgage market ,which had been declining for over two years.

Indeed, I agree with Dean Baker as I have on so many times regarding all this that while Lehman may have been the straw that broke the camel's back, it was the camel's back breaking that was the problem, and it was almost certainly going to blow big time reasonably soon then. It it was not Lehman, it was going to be something else. Indeed, on July 12, 2008, I posted here on Econospeak a forecast of this, declaring "It looks like we might be finally reaching the big crash in the US mortgage market after a period of distress that started last August (if not earlier)."

I drew on Minsky's argument (backed by Kindleberger in his Manias, Panics, and Crashes ) that the vast majority of major speculative bubbles experience periods of gradual decline after their peaks prior to really seriously crashing during what Minsky labeled the "period of financial distress," a term he adopted from the corporate finance literature. The US housing market had been falling since July, 2006. The bond markets had been declining since August, 2007, the stock market had been declining since October, 2007, and about the time I posted that, the oil market reached an all-time nominal peak of $147 per barrel and began a straight plunge that reached about $30 per barrel in November, 2008. This was a massively accelerating period of distress with the real economy also dropping, led by falling residential consumption. In mid-September the Minsky Moment arrived, and the floor dropped out of not just these US markets, but pretty much all markets around the world, with world economy then falling into the Great Recession.

Let me note something I have seen nobody commenting on in all this outpouring on this anniversary. This is how the immediate Minsky Moment ended. Many might say it was the TARP or the stress tests or the fiscal stimulus, All of these helped to turn around the broader slide that followed by the Minsky Moment. But there was a more immediate crisis that went on for several days following the Lehman collapse, peaking on Sept. 17 and 18, but with obscure reporting about what went down then. This was when nobody at the Board of Governors went home; cots made an appearance. This was the point when those at the Fed scrambled to keep the whole thing from turning into 1931 and largely succeeded. The immediate problem was that the collapse of AIG following the collapse of Lehman was putting massive pressure on top European banks, especially Deutsches Bank and BNP Paribas. Supposedly the European Central Bank (ECB) should have been able to handle this But along with all this the ECB was facing a massive run on the euro as money fled to the "safe haven" of the US dollar, so ironic given that the US markets generated this mess.

Anyway, as Neil Irwinin The Alchemists (especially Chap. 11) documented, the crucial move that halted the collapse of the euro and the threat of a fullout global collapse was a set of swaps the Fed pulled off that led to it taking about $600 billion of Eurojunk from the distressed European banks through the ECB onto the Fed balance sheet. These troubled assets were gradually and very quietly rolled off the Fed balance sheet over the next six months to be replaced by mortgage backed securities. This was the save the Fed pulled off at the worst moment of the Minsky Moment. The Fed policymakers can be criticized for not seeing what was coming (although several people there had spotted it earlier and issued warnings, including Janet Yellen in 2005 and Geithner in a prescient speech in Hong Kong in September, 2006, in which he recognized that the housing related financial markets were highly opaque and fragile). But this particular move was an absolute save, even though it remains today very little known, even to well-informed observers.

Barkley Rosser


run75441 , September 18, 2018 7:07 am

Barkley:

A few days ago, it was just a housing bubble to which a few of us pointed out an abnormal housing bubble created by fraud and greed on Wall Street. The market was riddled with false promises to pay through CDS, countering naked-CDS both of which had little if any reserves in this case to back up each AIG CDS insuring Goldman Sachs securities. When Goldman Sachs made that call to AIG, there were few funds to pay out and AIG was on the verge of collapse.

And today, some of those very same created banks under TARP which were gambling then and some of which had legal issues are free from the stress testing Dodd – Frank imposed upon banks with assets greater than $50 billion. Did the new limit need to be $250 billion? Volcker thought $100 billion was adequate and Frank argued for a slightly higher limit well under $250 billion. The fox is in the chicken coop again with Deutsche Bank, BNP Paribas, UBS, and Credit Suisse not being regulated as closely and 25 of the largest 38 banks under less regulation. These are not community banks and they helped to bring us to our knees. Is it still necessary for American Express to be a bank and have access to low interest rates the Fed offers? I think not; but, others may disagree with me. It is not a bank.

You remember the miracle the Fed pulled off as detailed in The Alchemists which I also read at your recommendation. I remember the fraud and greed on Wall Street for which Main Street paid for with lost equity, jobs, etc. I remember the anger of Wall Street Execs who were denied bonuses and states who had exhausted unemployment funding denying workers unemployment. We were rescued from a worse fate; but, the memory of the cure the nation's citizenry had to take for Wall Street greed and fraud leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.

EMichael , September 18, 2018 8:39 am

This never ending meme about Tarp saving the banks is really starting to aggravate me. The Fed saved the banking system(on both sides of the Atlantic) before Tarp issued one dollar, and they did so with trillions, not billions, of loans and guarantees that stopped the run on the banks and mutual funds on both sides of the Atlantic.

Just look at the amounts. Tarp gave out $250 billion to the banks. Do people seriously think this saved the banking system? Or that Wells goes under without their $25 billion loan?

Tarp was window dressing and pr, not a solution by any stretch of the imagination.

"Bloomberg ran quite a story, yesterday. It stems from a Freedom of Information Act Request that yielded the details of previously secret borrowing from the federal government to the biggest banks.

The bottom line, reports Bloomberg, by March of 2009, the Fed had committed $7.77 trillion "to rescuing the financial system, more than half the value of everything produced in the U.S. that year." The lending began in August of 2007.

The reporting from Bloomberg Markets Magazine is spectacular, so we hope you click over and give the exhaustive piece a read."

https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2011/11/28/142854391/report-fed-committed-7-77-trillion-to-rescue-banks

run75441 , September 18, 2018 11:57 am

EM:

If you pick up The Alchemist, I believe you will see all of this ($7 trillion) explained in there. TARP was used to buy up junk MBS from banks by the Treasury and separate from the FED. It was also used to buy up bank stock to give them reserves. It saved two of the three OEMs too.

Ken Houghton , September 18, 2018 11:52 am

The general U.S. mortgage market died on Hallwe'en 2006. By the first quarter of 2007, it was dead even for IBs who owned originators.

There were two IBs who were dependent on MBS for their profits: Bear and Lehmann. Doesn't mean they didn't have other businesses, but their earnings would go from a V-8 to a 3-cylinder.

Bear went first, and ShitforBrains Fuld & Co. had six months after that to shore up capital, find a buyer, or go under.

We all knew that the reason Bear was saved wasn't out of generosity, but because it really would have had a systemic effect had it gone through bankruptcy proceedings. But THAT was because Bear had two core businesses, and the other one was Custodial Services.

Had Bear gone through bankruptcy, those Customer funds would have been inaccessible for at least 30 days.

Lehmann had no similar function; failure of Lehmann was failure of Lehmann.

Fuld knew all of this and still fucked around for six months pretending he was driving a 911 instead of a Geo Metro.

Lawrence Ball is a brain-dead idiot if he thinks saving that firm would have in any way made things better.

likbez , September 18, 2018 12:41 pm

My take on Minsky moment is that banking introduces positive feedback loop into the system, making it (as any dynamic system with strong positive feedback loop) unstable.

To compensate you need to introduce negative feedback loop in a form of regulation and legal system that vigorously prosecute financial oligarchy "transgressions," instilling fear and damping its predatory behavior and parasitic rents instincts. In a way number of bankers who go to jail each year is metric of stability of the system. Which was a feature (subverted and inconsistent from the beginning and decimated in 70th) of New Deal Capitalism.

As neoliberalism is essentially revenge of financial oligarchy which became the ruling class again, this positive feedback loop is an immanent feature of neoliberalism.

Financial oligarchy is not interesting in regulation and legal framework that suppresses its predatory and parasitic "instincts." So this is by definition is an unstable system prone to periodic financial "collapses." In which the government needs to step in and save the system.

So the question about the 2008 financial crisis is when the next one commences and how destructive it will be. Not why it happened.

likbez , September 18, 2018 12:47 pm

In a perverse way the percentage of financial executives who go to jail each year might be viewed as a metric of stability of the financial system ;-)

[Sep 19, 2018] A lot of non-conservatives have a very difficult time grappling with the notion that a commitment to inequality, that a belief in the inherent superiority of some people over others, that one group has the the right to rule and dominate others, is a moral belief

Notable quotes:
"... You say 'Marxist/postmodernist' as though that were perfectly natural, but Marxism is almost the antithesis of postmodernism on every score. ..."
Sep 19, 2018 | crookedtimber.org

Hidari 09.18.18 at 8:50 am 97

I think this is an incredibly important point here:

'One last point: A lot of non-conservatives have a very difficult time grappling with the notion that a commitment to inequality, that a belief in the inherent superiority of some people over others, that one group has the the right to rule and dominate others, is a moral belief. For many people, particularly on the left, that idea is not so much immoral as it is beyond the pale of morality itself. So that's where the charge that I'm being dismissive or reductive comes from, I'm convinced. Because I say the animating idea of the right is not freedom or virtue or limited government but instead power and privilege, people, and again I see this mostly from liberals and the left, think I'm making some sort of claim about conservatism as a criminal, amoral enterprise, devoid of principle altogether, whereas I firmly believe I'm trying to do the exact opposite: to focus on where exactly the moral divide between right and left lies.'

Both the Right and the Left, think that they are moral. And yet they disagree about moral issues. How can this be?

The solution to this problem is to see that when Rightists and Leftists use the word 'moral' they are using the word in two different (and non compatible) senses. I won't dwell on what the Left mean by morality: I'm sure most of you will be familiar with, so to speak, your own moral code.

What the Right mean by morality is rather different, and is more easily seen in 'outliers' e.g. right wing intellectuals like Evelyn Waugh and T.S. Eliot rather than politicians. Intellectuals can be rather more open about their true beliefs.

The first key point is to understand the hostility towards 'abstraction': and what purposes this serves. Nothing is more alien to right wing thought that the idea of an Abstract Man: right wing thought is situational, contextual (one might even call it relativistic) to the core. de Maistre states this most clearly: 'The (French) constitution of 1795, like its predecessors, has been drawn up for Man. Now, there is no such thing in the world as Man . In the course of my life, I have seen Frenchmen, Italians, Russians, etc.; I am even aware, thanks to Montesquieu, that one can be a Persian. But, as for Man, I declare that I have never met him in my life.'

This sounds postmodern to us, even Leftist (and of course Marx might have given highly provisional approval to this statement). But the question is not: is this statement true? It's: 'what do the right do with this statement?'

Again to quote another reactionary thinker Jose Ortega y Gasseett: 'I am myself plus my circumstances'. Again this is simply a definition of contextualism. So what are your circumstances? They are, amongst other things, your social circumstances: i.e. your social class.

Since, according to this argument, you are amongst other things, your social class, I cannot judge your moral actions unless I understand your social circumstances. But morality is a form of judgement, or to put it another way a ranking. Morality is means nothing unless I can say: 'you are more moral then him, she is more moral than you' and so on. (Nietzsche: 'Man is Man the esteemer' i.e. someone who ranks his or her fellow human beings: human beings cannot be morally equal or the phrase has no meaning).

But I can't hermeneutically see what moral role you must play in life, I cannot judge you, unless I have some criteria for this judgement, and for this I must know what your circumstances are.

Therefore, unless people have a role in life (i.e. butcher, baker, candlestick maker) then morality collapses (this is the weak point in the argument and if you wanted to tear the whole edifice down you would start here). Because unless we know what one's social role is then we can't assess whether or not people are living 'up to' that role. And of course this social order must be hierarchical, or else anyone can be anything one wants to be, and in that case, who will sweep the streets? '

And if anyone has any smart arse points to raise about that idea, God usually gets roped in to function, literally, as a Deux ex Machina.

' The rich man in his castle,
The poor man at his gate,
He made them, high or lowly,
And ordered their estate.'

Clive James put it best when discussing Waugh: 'With no social order, there could be no moral order. People had to know their place before they knew their duty he (and, more importantly society) needed a coherent social system (i.e. an ordered social system, a hierarchical social system)'

In other words Conservatives believe that without hierarchy, without ranking and without a stratified (and therefore meaningful) social order, morality actually disintegrates. You simply cannot have a morality without these things: everything retreats into the realm of the subjective. Conservatives don't believe that things like the Khmer Rouge's Killing Fields, the Great Terror, the Cultural Revolution are bad things that happened to happen: they believe that they are the necessary and inevitable end result of atheistical, relativistic, egalitarian politics. Social 'levelling', destroying meaningful (i.e. hierarchical ('organic' is the euphemism usually used)) societies will usually, not always but usually, lead to genocide and/or civil war. Hence the hysteria that seizes most Conservatives when the word relativism is used. And their deep fear of postmodernism, a small scale, now deeply unfashionable art movement with a few (very few) philosophical adherents: as it destroys hierarchy and undermines one's capacity to judge and therefore order one's fellow human beings, it will tend to lead to the legalisation of pedophilia, the legalisation of rape, the legalisation of murder, war, genocide etc, because, to repeat, morality depends on order. No social order= no morality.

Hence the Right's deep suspicion of the left's morality. To the Right, the Left has no morality, as they understand the term, and cannot in fact do so. Leftist morality is a contradiction in terms, in this worldview.

Z 09.18.18 at 9:02 am ( 98 )

arcsecond @95 Robin thinks that different conservatives are different phenomena already ,

Sure, I agree that this what Robin thinks, and I agree with the statement.

so I don't think there is any real disagreement here.

Unfortunately (?), there is indeed one.

He thinks the importing uniting feature is an inclination to reactionary oppression.

Again, I agree that this is what he says, and I agree with the statement.

So to disagree with Robin about Trump means to think that Trump has no important inclination towards reactionary oppression

And finally I agree with your logic. So you correctly concluded that I am logically committed to the statement that Trump has no inclination towards reactionary oppression. How can that be?

The trick is that I fully agree that Trump has violent inclinations towards oppression and that they are daily on display. What I disagree is that the oppression he favors is reactionary in the sense of being a re-action against something. Reactionaries of the past were immersed in a tremendous social change – lower orders were asserting their agency – and they re-acted to it by trying (in theory or in practice) to keep them in their subordinate positions by a variety of means, some novel. It's Tancredi famous dictum: everything has to change so that everything will stay the same.

At the moment, we are immersed in a tremendous social change that in itself puts back the lower orders in even more subordinate positions, so theories or policies which are intensifying the level of oppression they suffer (as Trump's do) aren't reactions properly construed. They are just riding along. As I said above, same ideas, same theories (sometimes), same political passion (surely) but the historical arrow of change has switched sides, so the proper characterization of what is happening should be changed as well (if we want to maintain intellectual clarity).

A couple of years ago, Corey Robin actually expressed similar sentiments (mostly on his own blog, IIRC). At the time, he was upon occasions theorizing that conservatism might die as an ideology because it had triumphed in putting the lower orders back in their place (turning the arrow of change, in the terminology above).

Thomas William Beale 09.18.18 at 5:22 pm ( 99 )
arcseconds @ 92
You say 'Marxist/postmodernist' as though that were perfectly natural, but Marxism is almost the antithesis of postmodernism on every score.

Indeed and I didn't mean to imply that with my shorthand, which should have been 'Marxist+postmodernist'. I took it for granted that people here wouldn't mistake the intention. McDonell and others (possibly Corbyn) are the Marxists; my impression from various campaign material is that significant numbers of younger members in Momentum are in the radical SJW mould, which is a kind of postmodernism viewpoint, since it usually rails against any critical look at cultural or religious practices.

[Sep 19, 2018] The battles between conservatives and [neo]liberals involve only which elite should rule the masses, and has more to do with Pareto's foxes and lions than any general egalitarianism;

Sep 19, 2018 | crookedtimber.org

bob mcmanus 09.13.18 at 1:43 pm 28

13: Gonna really miss Anderson and Jameson. From the cited piece:

'war is the concern of the rich and powerful, that the poor should have nothing to do with it " Marc Bloch

'Morocco is not and has never been an Arab country.' Marcel Mauss

Also reading Adolph Reed on Dubois, and his principled progressive elitism;also a book on Lenin walking back his "cooks can run governments"

Liberals love hierarchies; the battles between conservatives and liberals involve only which elite should rule the masses, and has more to do with Pareto's foxes and lions than any general egalitarianism; the built-in enthusiastic hierarchies liberal capitalism automatically generates are it's point, and why actual leftists like Anderson and Jameson spend so much time attacking the center and left-center ( as essentially a variant of conservatism) and barely bother with the Right. I like Robin, and believe he gets it; I just really don't understand him.

It's about factions, power and opportunism; rising demographics in transition.

Kaepernick and BLM Cash In BLM got a freakish 100 million from Ford Foundation, with stipulations of course. They'll behave. Meanwhile, black men keep getting killed by cops, Dallas, manslaughter instead of murder. BLM can commission a tv ad produced by their friends. That's power. That's hierarchy. But that's fine because we like them.

Resisting Trump is easy. Resisting BLM or Clinton is really hard, which is why leftists focus there. Cause otherwise it's just out with the old boss, in with the new, and the war goes on.

[Sep 19, 2018] Open Thread Russian Plane Brought Down in Syria

Sep 19, 2018 | off-guardian.org

The questions raised: Who really did shoot down this plane? Was it an accident or did France and/or Israel attack? If France are attacking Russia/Syria what prompted this? What do they have to gain? Is it possible for Syria to "accidentally" bring down an allied plane? Don't they have IFFs? Are Russia publicly accepting a false narrative to avoid having to retaliate? Will Russia retaliate against Israel? They have claimed that right already. What will they expect to extract as a quid pro quo on this issue? How will the media report this? Will they call it a "near miss"? That's surely what it was. Do they even understand how close we're coming to global war, whenever a NATO country operates in Syria? How long can we rely on Russian common sense to avoid WWIII?


Admin says September 19, 2018

What do you think Putin should have done?

Your reply needs to acknowledge the following:

1) the neocon hardline and Israel are currently trying to manufacture an excuse for a massive attack on Syria, aimed at widening the war.

2) the Israeli action was aimed at provoking a military response from Russia/Syria that could be used as such an excuse.

3) a widened war would play into western hands and destroy Russia's current ascendancy

What action should Russia take that would punish Israel but avoid giving the neocon hardliners exactly what they wanted?

Admin says September 19, 2018
Try to remain calm.

I notice you don't advocate that Russia should have immediately retaliated militarily. All the things you do advocate (well, most) – quite rationally – would not have shown any results as yet, so we don't know they haven't been done, do we?

But, to repeat, you don't defeat a man who is trying to lure you into a fight by punching him in the face. Intelligence is underrated by the non-intelligent. Subtlety is unappreciated by the crass. The Russian govt's actions tend to be both subtle and intelligent – whether you approve of them or not, and so can go unappreciated by many on all sides of the debate.

As to ascendancy – Syria was intended to be a new Libya by now. That this has been avoided, that the various terrorists are in retreat, that the country remains largely functional, and all without direct confrontation between east and west (so far), is an achievement anyone with any intelligence should recognise, and which the Russia government has every right to be proud of.

Forgive me, but people have been saying variants of "if Putin doesn't DO SOMETHING HUGE right now he's going to burn" for at least the last four years, and they are still saying it, despite the fact he hasn't burned (and neither have we), and, if their sage advice had been followed, we might all be cinders on a dead and cindered planet right now.

ragheadthefiendlyterrorist says September 19, 2018
The only reason it hasn't come to that yet is that the ground was not prepared fully before. Russia is slowly being pushed back to the ropes, the average Western citizen is being conditioned to racially hate Russians (did you read Nikki Haley's comment today that Russians are culturally conditioned to lie and cheat?) and the consent is being steadily manufactured. As I said in my original comment, by showing "restraint" and not that he has teeth, Putin is encouraging his country's enemies. Personally, I don't give a damn about what he does about people he doesn't like, but he's not a private citizen; he is in control of Russia, for good or ill. Most of my Russian friends, all of the far left variety, despise him, incidentally, but that's neither here nor there. The simple fact is that if Russia is to avoid a big war it has to actively deter one, not act like someone attempting to disarm an armed drunk by logical words and sweet reason. That is not going to work.
Paul X says September 19, 2018
If the Russians got a cruise missile down the funnel of the French frigate Auvegne (assuming there is a funnel) what do you think NATO would do? Would they shrug and say it serves Macron right or would they take off the safety locks and blast Russia from every direction in order to protect their partner who had been so 'wrongly' attacked? Haven't they been waiting for the chance for years? Aren't they already loaded up expecting the 'chemical weapons' shout to go up this very week? It would be vey foolish of Russia to take the bait of these provocations and it makes for uneasy reading when Westerners, sitting comfortably in safety, complain that Russians aren't prepared to die for us in large enough numbers to keep them safe. You first guy!
Paul X says September 19, 2018
When provoked so blatantly you need to look to see what the guy is hiding behind his back. In this case the West had built up their forces for a full scale attack on Syria as soon as the White Helmets released their video of choking children filmed a week or so ago. Putin disappointed them by coming to an agreement with Turkey that means the jihadis are further isolated and pushed into possible conflict with radicals.

The time scales of the agreement are vague/unknown but it's unlikely we will see a Jihadi Caliphate set up under Turkish protection.

Like the Syrians it's the crazy foreign fighters that alarm the Turks, the Chinese especially of whom there are 6000 heavily armed in the South. Turkey is keen to see the extremists pushed South making it difficult for them to enter Turkey. Putin's reaction is far more sensible than firing the gun for a major conflict which Russia is most unlikely to win.

Russia is still on track to squeeze the jihadis into smaller and smaller areas where they might be eliminated. It might make liberals happy to see Russia sacrifice herself a la 1941 but it's not going to help anybody except their enemies.

You can't help thinking Putin knows exactly what he's doing.

Admin says September 19, 2018
There can never be a non-nuclear war between the US and Russia. Every strategist worth anything knows this. It's the belief – created by the PNAC neocons – that this isn't true that drives the hardcore nuts in Washington and London and elsewhere.

This is the problem. They are delusional and believe they can fight a limited war with Russia. Those who know they are wrong, and that any such war would go nuclear very very fast are stuck in a profound dilemma. – How to defend oneself and one's interests while avoiding the conflict the lunatics want, which will destroy life on earth?

Answers on a post card please for anyone who thinks they can do better than the current Russian govt is doing.

白矛 says September 19, 2018
It's a complex web.. one has to bear this in mind.. the inter-relationships.. the connections.. Putin for example has to tread the razor edge and fight with one hand tied behind his back due to the Zionist influence atop the Russian hierarchy .
Matt says September 19, 2018
S-200 uses the SAHR guidance system. The radar signal is fairly wide, and if multiple objects fall within the signal, the one with the largest cross-section will be targeted. The Russian IL is much larger than the American F-16. Larger missiles like the 200's 5V21 also tend to hit from above (they come down in a parabolic arc after the motors burned out). So if the F-16's stayed a little behind and below the IL they'd basically guarantee the IL get's killed.

As "Partisangirl" claims, but does not properly understand, Russia integrated Syrian AD into their network some time ago. The purpose of such a integration was to avoid similar accidents.

One problem: That was only for the newer stuff.

A Pantsir, for example, can be told where targets are and what to shoot at by a larger system (they work in a pyramid hierarchy). S-200s are older than h*ll though. It's basically a dumb system from the 60's. (even dumber than a BUK)
What it'll do is spot a target, fire the missile and then when the missile "thinks" it's in the right area (the kill box), it's seeker head goes active (it's a semi active seeker). It starts looking for radar 'reflections' and then homes in on the biggest one it can see. It doesn't actually know what it's looking at and doesn't care. Just goes for the shiniest thing it can detect.

My favourite part is how all these lies are held up as if they merit discussion and as if they deserve to be given equal treatment with what actually happened. It's like holding a "discussion" as to whether or not Aliens rule the Earth.

grandstand says September 19, 2018
I tend to agree with you, on the whole, Mulga, about issues to do with Israel, though perhaps not so stridently. But on this occasion I think Matt is honestly telling things how he sees it.

On the other hand, one should ask why Israel is arbitrarily attacking targets in a sovereign country that is not threatening it. Of course, the answer is that this is what Israel does with impunity – witness USS Liberty among many others. On this occasion, it appears, from what I have read, that Israel was targeting the delivery of Iranian S300 copies to Syria – that is weapons to defend from this kind of attack in future. In reality, far from attacking Israel, Syria has even done nothing about recovering territory lost to Israel in 1967, though in international law Israel – that Israel signed up to – it should be given back to Syria. A few days ago, Israel attacked Damascus airport during an international fair with many visitors and potential for massive loss of life. It seems clear that Israel is trying (probably with US approval) to provoke a response.

Putin always keeps his eye on the long term view but it is time for him to put a stop to this activity if he is to maintain credibility with his allies and his voters. This attack will serve to weaken Putin's hitherto Israel friendly stance unless he wants to lose support in Russia. Putin is the best friend Israel has in Russia. It seems that Russian military is saying that there will be a response – much stronger than Putin.

grandstand says September 19, 2018
On the other hand – re my previous comment, Matt, IAF was clearly using the Russian ELINT plane as cover. It is tantamount to using civilians as human shields. Though the crew were Russian military, they were not involved in the action, apparently, and Israel had agreed not to target Russian assets in Syria. One cannot absolve Israel on this and the Russian military know it. They will be looking to Putin to permit a response.
Jen says September 19, 2018
Then you surely would not object if Russia were to ask Israel to hand over the pilots involved so they can explain in a Russian military court or a similar setting their actions and the thinking and expectations that motivated them to hide their jets in the Ilyushin transport plane's radar shadow.
Yarkob says September 19, 2018
israel is breaking international law (again) its pilots, and their commanders and any FAO they use, are criminals. plain and simple
Guest Columnist says September 19, 2018
Yes, there is a large element of theatre at play in this conflict. What many people don't want to accept is that they have no way of knowing what the entire truth is. All the information about situations and events comes from partisan organizations with vested interests. Expecting the side one personally favours to present objective truths is wishful thinking at best, downright delusional at worst.

The post-truth era means everybody walks around believing they have 'figured out' the truth, no hard evidence required, but they can't all be right can they?

It's neoliberal individualism gone mad.

Harry Law says September 18, 2018
Not so long ago Netanyahu was pleading with Putin [successfully] not to supply the S300 anti aircraft system [defensive] to Syria, at the same time Israel was the first country to get a fleet of F35's [offensive] from the US. Putin defers far to much to the US/Israel, we now see the results. Incidentally how come Saudi Arabia can buy the S400 system, when they were one of the instigators of Syrian regime change. Russia's "partners" want Syria destroyed, the warmonger McCain always said the US should take on Syria and that Russia would 'do nothing', was he right?
Admin says September 18, 2018
Let's recall the realities here and not succumb to hysteria. One of the reasons these provocations are happening is that Russia is winning in Syria, militarily and politically. Loading...
Big B says September 18, 2018
What are the realities: we are not being told?

Harry has touched on an important point: that Russia and Israel are becoming closer and closer strategic Russophone partners. Russia was the first country in the world to recognise W Jerusalem as Israel's capital (before even Trump). There was only one foreign dignitary at the May 9th Victory Parade their growing economic, military and cultural ties (Customs Union negotiations and visa free travel for instance) cannot be ignored.

The IDF's 200 strikes in 18 months must lead to serious consideration of tacit Russian approval because they could be quite quickly stopped without it? But that would escalate the situation. Where does Iran stand in this, because VVP made quite clear to Netanyahu that Iran was Russia's principle strategic partner in the region. Is that set to change?

Netanyahu has met VVP what, three times this year, behind closed doors. What was said, and what agreements were made? It is also reputed that they have a direct one-to-one encrypted comms network (though I can't confirm it was activated). But that they are in regular contact is undoubted.

There is a lot more going on beneath the surface than first meets the eye. VVP's relations with Netanyahu blurs the boundaries and greys the narrative. The fact that VVP is saying it "looks accidental" doesn't ring true it looks anything other than accidental to me. Was there a communication breakdown as VVP is in Hungary?

I do not know, and based on what we have been told, neither does anyone else. The FS Auvergne fired missiles just as the Il-20 HQ went off screen. They weren't firing at the IDF, I wouldn't be too sure they were "window dressing" for them either. Whatever went on, we are being kept in the dark. Not precipitating WW3 is a good thing. Other than that, Russia's foreign policy and ME relations are a 3D chess game that we know little of the motivation behind: but I can infer that Russia's strategic needs are primary. At what point can that be labelled imperialist?

Frankly Speaking says September 18, 2018
"What are the realities: we are not being told?"

Are you expecting to be spoon fed? And by the biased BBC, Guardian, etc!

It's pretty clear that Assad has won with Putin's support. China is on side too as evidenced by recent military manoeuvres. What is happening now is the US, UK, France, Israel, Turkey, Saudi just saving face and been allowed the odd small success or two.

However, Israel royally fucked up last night and Netanyahu will lose a plane or three if he tries it again.

Big B says September 18, 2018
You didn't really read my comment: this "odd small success " has happened 200 times in the last 18 months with the downing of how many IDF planes 1? Russia providing S-300s, or S-400s, or upgrading the 1960's SAM 2s would secure Syrian airspace. But these supplies are not forthcoming. Because Israel will not allow them.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/liberman-to-russian-media-israel-did-not-join-western-action-against-moscow/

The situation is a lot more complex: and no, I don't want to be spoonfed by the BBC. The Saker posits a "Zionist 5th Column" in Russia that VVP has to accommodate. You seem to want a simplistic ZioNATO v Russia narrative, all I am saying it is a lot more nuanced than that. And I didn't get that from the Graun!

Big B says September 19, 2018
200 IDF strikes in 18 months, that could be stopped by turning on their S-400s, would be an instance.. Israel has lobbied successfully to prevent Syria from securing its own airspace. The majority of these attacks are to prevent Assad acquiring what Haaretz terms "lethal weaponry" a euphemism for Iranian supplied air defences that could secure Syrian airspace. As could a Russian declared NFZ (though the IDF would just standoff over Lebanon or the Med, and not penetrate Syrian airspace). Or Russian supplied S-300s.

So my answer is yes and no. The Russophone alliance of Russia and Israel seems to be ascendant over Syrian sovereignty. Or it was, until Monday. There appears to have been a breakdown in the de-confliction agreement, or a deliberate misuse and provocation by Israel. The jury is out on that one for the moment. If the attacks are stopped, I would tend to agree with you.

There is the small matter of the international silence surrounding the FS Auvergne firing missiles concurrent with the downing of the Il-20 HQ. These either hit the Il-20 or Latakia. Has anyone considered the Il-20 WAS the target? That there was no accident, but a deliberate targeting? Did the IDF or French take out the Russian early warning system and electronic warfare capability to leave Latakia vulnerable? I don't know, and Rothschild Macron said no! It is worth considering though, I feel.

Integrated into the systems view of militaristic, imperialistic, and sub-imperialistic, and extractivist proliferation: it hardly matters who did what when. They are not giving us an insight into their collective insanity and power games, where the stakes are humanities very survivability. Russia only seemed to remember on Monday that the serial numbers on the MH-17 BUK, means it was made in 1986. What else have they forgotten? What else do they not know?

Humanity has no strategic allies within the global neoliberal ruling class. Arming the world is a "pro-conflict policy", wouldn't you agree? Where militaristic proliferation can't facilitate peace: the only possible de-confliction becomes system change? There are good and bad actors within the current globally hegemonic cultural system: VVP is possibly the best, so it would be unfair to heap the woes of an essentially evil system upon him especially in isolation. So it must fall to those outside the transnational globally integrated system to call out where this insanity will lead. That's you and me?

What I am suggesting is rather than the inevitably favourable comparison of VVP, and well, just about anyone else let's look at the bigger picture. International World Capitalism, as Guattari termed it, has faced us with the choice of three suicides. Without a radical transformation of the oppressed consciousness (a la Guattari, Deleuze, Freire, Bookchin, Naess, but better still the secular Buddha) there will soon enough come the day that does not dawn Monday night was a foreshadowing of that very day?

Admin says September 19, 2018
The idea a head of state can function as a moral paragon is naive of course. Putin pursues Russia's interests, not world peace and brotherhood. But at the same time we can't ignore the fact he does so while adhering to the requirements of international law far more than the west does. In that sense, he has some claim to respect from those who value ethical conduct. Whatever his motives may be this fact deserves to be stated and made clear.
manfromatlan says September 18, 2018
Ronald Reagan and the US were complicit in the downing of KAL Flight 007. Similar moves afoot again to build up military race between Russia and US and bog Russia in Syria https://www.nybooks.com/articles/1985/09/26/the-fate-of-ke007-an-exchange/
vexarb says September 18, 2018
BTL SyrPer, vot tak on September 18, 2018 · at 12:22 pm EST/EDT

Interesting take from an israeli.

Israel Unlikely to Fly Freely Over Syria After Il-20 Incident – Ex-Official

https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201809181068132500-israel-syria-il-20-incident-airspace/

"Israel is unlikely to freely use Syrian airspace in the wake of the crash of a Russian Il-20 military aircraft over the Mediterranean Sea, Yakov Kedmi, a former high-ranking Israeli intelligence official, told Sputnik.

"There was an agreement between Israel and Russia that the actions of Israel in Syria's airspace would not endanger lives of Russian troops. Israel breached this commitment What happens next will depend on the position of Israel. Most likely, Israel will no longer be able to enjoy the same freedom in the sky of Syria as it did before the incident," Kedmi said.

"Israel's attack in itself, regardless of the consequences, was an irresponsible step, because there is not a single facility on the territory of Syria that might have been used by Iran and whose destruction would have justified an attack on it, which could endanger the Russian troops," Kedmi said."

Mulga Mumblebrain says September 19, 2018
The idea that Israel would honour ANY 'agreement' made with anyone is quite mirth-inducing.
archie1954 says September 18, 2018
The US must be the worst nation on the face of the Earth. Everywhere it goes, death and destruction follow. To top it all off, the blatant hypocrisy is too much to handle. America is treacherous and duplicitous in the extreme. It has supported terrorists of all stripes in the Middle East and elsewhere for its own selfish geopolitical reasons. It is an entity not to be trusted, ever!
Cassandra says September 18, 2018
admin you might find some answers to your questions here:

http://www.voltairenet.org/article202998.html

Regarding (the long tradition of ) British-French-Israeli collusion

"Not only Russian and (allegedly) Israeli and French aircraft and missiles were in the air. Civilian radar also tracked British Royal Air Force aircraft, which, unusually, had switched on their transponders and gone into holding patterns – most likely to avoid being somehow involved in the exchange of fire over Latakia." (source: Haaretz)

we should remember Sykes-Picot and "Operation Revised" (the 1956 Suez-deception)

http://users.ox.ac.uk/~ssfc0005/The%20Protocol%20of%20Sevres%201956%20Anatomy%20of%20a%20War%20Plot.html

"The documentary evidence does not leave any room for doubt that at Sèvres, during the three days in late October 1956, an elaborate war plot was hatched against Egypt by the representatives of France, Britain and Israel. The Protocol of Sèvres is the most conclusive piece of evidence for it lays out in precise detail and with a precise time-table how the joint war against Egypt was intended to proceed and shows foreknowledge of each other's intentions .

The central aim of the plot was the overthrow of Gamal Abdel Nasser. This aim is not explicitly stated in the protocol but it emerges clearly and unambiguously from all the records of the discussions surrounding it. Yet each of the three partners had a very different perspective on this war plot, and it was not at all clear how even the agreed aim was to be achieved.
The French were the most straight-forward, unwavering and unabashed advocates of military force. As far as they were concerned, Colonel Nasser supported the Algerian rebels and that, along with his nationalization of the Suez Canal Company, was enough to justify a war to overthrow him. For their part, the French did not need any further pretext for taking military action. It was the British, unwilling to incur Arab hostility by appearing as ally of Israel, who needed a pretext and Israel was able and willing to provide it but only at a price. Israel also required the elimination of Nasser's air force, for which task Britain alone had the heavy bomber bases sufficiently near at hand."

https://ratical.org/ratville/JFK/USO/chp1_p2.html (Col.Fletcher Prouty's insights into the engineered "Suez Crisis")

MI6, the CIA the long history of covert ops in Syria

https://www.youtube.com/embed/511W2O-fPrY?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

John Gilberts says September 19, 2018
I was also struck by the Haaretz report that "Something strange was definitely in the air over Syria on Monday night with British and French forces reportedly present." I hope this open thread may bring more information on this alleged NATO involvement. I am beginning to think this incident may have rather more actors than we've been told. Loading...
grandstand says September 19, 2018
Yes – agreed. FUKUS ships have moved closer to the Syrian coast in the last few days, presumably in anticipation of an attack (chemical or otherwise) that they could justify a response to. The Russians have been doing a great job in the (non-Western) media of predicting potential chemical fake attacks and thereby defusing them. The one minute warning from Israel suggests the possibility (no more than that) that the Israelis saw the ELINT plane approaching the airfield and quickly decided to use it as cover for whatever reason.

As I've said in other posts, the Israelis have narrowed Putin's options. Of FUKUS +I they are the easiest to pick off.

A very different and is some ways attractive theory is presented here:

https://www.fort-russ.com/2018/09/full-analysis-russian-disinfo-campaign-blames-israel-for-il-20-plane-downing-yet-exonerates-france/

I am not totally convinced – Matt's view on the capability of the Syrian SAMs seems more convincing and it is not clear that Russian fighters could have scrambled in time, especially as the Israelis had agreed not to target Russian assets, but if true it perhaps is a clever – nay Machiavellian – way of opening up options for Putin vis-a-vis his Israeli/Russian Jewish oligarchs and hanging the Israelis out to dry.

Paul X says September 19, 2018
Is there any information about whether the Auvergne did or didn't fire missiles? The Syrians (and Russians?) said they had witnessed the firing of missiles which seemed to be aimed at the same government buildings as that being attacked by Israel which suggests collusion. Loading...
Admin says September 19, 2018
Apparently France is denying it
Philpot says September 18, 2018
The US and NATO's compliant poodles are clearly willing to risk WWIII as they think Russia will simply back down when they instigate open warfare and regime change in Syria. My own belief is that poor honest broker Russia has been left to decide the fate of world peace. Personally, for all our futures, I believe Russia must declare a no fly zone over Syria – anyone entering to bomb will be at mercy of S400. Otherwise this will continue and if the US gets Syria it will be Iran next and WWIII – that is, armageddon.
Gary Weglarz says September 18, 2018
The entire of the West has now become simply a huge collective criminal enterprise operating completely outside the bounds of international law and threatening to bring about armageddon in the process. Of course one would never know this by reading or watching Western media where our clueless psychopathic leaders are portrayed as gallantly fighting for "human rights" and "democracy" through "regime change" and endless slaughter.
vexarb says September 18, 2018
BTL SyrPer Auslander on September 18, 2018 · at 7:54 am EST/EDT

Israeli plane apparently passed just in front of the plane, SAA got a lock, Israeli doglegged left, missile lost lock and chose the biggest target ..our plane. Israel violated protocol, called one minute before the attack, not enough time for our bird to get out of the way. The french frigate was window dressing.

It was a setup.

europeannewright says September 18, 2018
Interesting that both Trump and Macron involved both stooges is the Israel military trying to trigger the third European War ? Loading...
Rigged Democracy says September 18, 2018
Here are a couple of quotes that show how far the system has been rigged/corrupted:

"one of the things we need to do is give young Jewish people the confidence to be proud of their identity – as British, Jewish and Zionist too .. There is no contradiction between these identities and we must never let anyone try to suggest that there should be ..
"You can also count on my commitment to Israel's security .. I am clear that we will always support Israel's right to defend itself."
– UK Prime Minister Theresa May, at the United Jewish Israel Appeal

"I've never seen a President -- I don't care who he is -- stand up to them (Israel). It just boggles the mind. They always get what they want. The Israelis know what is going on all the time. I got to the point where I wasn't writing anything down. If the American people understood what a grip these people have got on our government, they would rise up in arms. Our citizens certainly don't have any idea what goes on."
– U.S. Navy Admiral and former head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Thomas Moorer

Paul X says September 18, 2018
The BBC report no longer mentions the French frigate. Vanished!
0use4msm says September 18, 2018
The significance of direct military involvement by Israel and France is that the facade of a "civil war" (albeit by proxy) can no longer be maintained. The only thing that prevents it from being a regular war between nations is the omission of a declaration.
SO. says September 18, 2018

Is it possible for Syria to "accidentally" bring down an allied plane? Don't they have IFFs?

Yup, and kinda. It's perfectly possible to do it and IFF doesn't really work the way a lot of people think. (IFF transponder beacon works by transmitting a signal to the ground station or launcher).

If the ground station recognises the beacon it labels the aircraft as friendly and either denies launch permission or warns the operator beforehand.

However with a system like the S-200 that will not actually matter. The SA-5 (S-200) is an old system from the 60's which uses a semi active radar homing missile and how it works is quite simple.

When the ground system detects a target it illuminates the target with it's radar like a torch and launches the missile.

The missile then follows the radar reflection from the target until it gets close enough to detonate, goes bang, shoots plane down.

However the beam from the radar 'torch' can be quite wide (miles wide), F-16's are quite small, IL-20's quite big.. and the missile itself is pretty dumb.

As such by hiding in behind the larger aircraft the smaller aircraft can almost guarantee an incoming missile will prioritise the large aircraft reflection and kill that instead. It doesn't actually matter if the missile was launched against the smaller target in the first instance or if IFF came into play. The missile itself is too dumb to care. It just goes for the largest thing it can see.

BigB says September 18, 2018
Thanks for clearing that up: but it raises the question that the Il-20 was on a pre-planned flight path known in advance to both Russian and Syrian air traffic control (whom I believe are sitting next to each other?) Knowing what you have just posted (which I do not doubt) it can hardly be termed "accidental"?

I suspect the FS Auvergne fired its Aster missiles, but I'm not expecting a clarification of that. The situation is greyed by the burgeoning Russian-Israeli Russophone alliance. A simple narrative will not be forthcoming, I suspect.

SO. says September 18, 2018
The IL-20's been on station flying figure 8's on constant rotation for months so it's flight and landing path would be known to everyone with half assed radar or even functional eyeballs.
Paul X says September 18, 2018
Putin can't afford to get it wrong – for everybody's sake. His power is limited. He has done an excellent job in defeating the West in Syria but how could he react to missiles from the French frigate without triggering a massive NATO attack not just on Syria but Russia? In the current climate and the West's readiness it could happen in hours. He has always emphasised he puts Russian interests first – and those included eliminating thousands of Russian Jihadis before they returned home to create mayhem. He has never said he'll take on the World. So the French missiles were a mirage and the plane an accident? Well that's better than an even bigger war maybe?
vexarb says September 19, 2018
@BigB. Igor Bundy ABTL SyrPer supplies additonal info plus timeline, concludes that attack from only 4 planes is not lkely.

Russia not received data from #Israel on situation with IL-20 in #Syria – Peskov
https://sptnkne.ws/j9ce

-#Russia launched an S-400 missile/s against the Israeli jets which were dropping bombs 100Km away, so we're kept in the dark for now.

-#Russia responded immediately to the attack before the il-20M was lost Because the S-200 missiles were launched 20 min after the first wave.

-The attack lasted about 50 min, so only 4 F-16 doing the bombing is unlikely

Paul X says September 18, 2018
If the French and Israeli's attacked at the same time then they must have liased with each other. Or conspired is another way of putting it. Shades of 1956? But nowadays there wouldn't be the slightest outrage at such a collusion; it's oar for the course. And where is the missing partner, the UK? "No longer up to it" the French would say. "Too busy" say the Brits. NB which bit of Syria are the French after this time? Or do they see it descending into the chaos of a Libya, their last successful destabilisation.
Jo says September 18, 2018
Note Russian and IDF planes in direct line from s-200 being fired ..with French frigate ..looks like deliberate coordination to provide cover for each .but if frigate attacked then IDF planes available to directly attack Bashir in Damascus .and frigate to provide a source of provocation for excuse for Nato forces to launch their massive attack they desparately wish to do .especially as Putin agreed no military attack in Idlib ..and Russian MoD presentation yesterday it was a Ukraine BUK .in fact it is tempting to say Nato did this to get back at Russian MoD and punish them for this and expose in any way Russia's belief in trust and agreements and hotlines as a laughing stock ..and they have succeeded .a Russian plane shot down by an outdated Russian missile launched by Syria and Russia failing to supply s-300 but Turkey and everyone else can have s-400 which might ? have not ended up like this.
And did not Russia promise to deal with the "launch source" of any more missiles against Syria since the previous lot? Surely their are Russians in Latakia
Paul X says September 18, 2018
But you seem to be expecting or encouraging Russia to take on the World when in fact it's resources are limited
Jo says September 19, 2018
The elephant in the room is Iran .no responses from them yet even though Israel uses excuses to say it is defending itself from them and continues to attack what tjey call Iranian assets or anything they might vaguely claim have any connections to Iran ..does Iran follow Putins example to keep calm and carry on .thinking their"partnership" is being put to the test as of course it is in order to provoke it to invite a response by usa and associates .does it say to Putin enough is enough we are going to do our thing as you have said Russia is only in Syria to protect its own interests so cannot we do the same ..what options covert or overt does Iran have one wonders ..
David Macilwain says September 18, 2018
One question you didn't ask is whether this act, which appears to be an Israeli provocation assisted by the French, is related to the Sochi talks/agreement? Seems that supporters of the Syrian Opposition, of which France is right behind Turkey, might not like the agreement, partly because it stalls the plans for a "Syrian gas attack" by removing the pretext.
However I think the wider question is why and how has France been involved in this, described on SBS as "Israeli and French forces conducting aerial attacks on Syrian State assets"? Israel is a law unto itself, but France's intervention without any pretext whatsoever is a blatant war crime and escalation. The whole thing looks like a provocation, and one wonders when Russia will break. If Putin was unhappy having to make a peace agreement with the psycho Erdogan, he will be more unhappy now.
Paul X says September 18, 2018
If Russia was 'obliged' to retaliate to Israeli or French attacks its inherent weaknesses would be exposed. It remains a relatively poor country and Putin must be well aware it can't take on the US, Israel, the KSA and the other Gulf Emirs as well as France and the UK. It's done a fantastic job saving Syria but it can't take on The Rest of the World. If it has accepted Syrian missile defences brought it down that may well be the way out of a bigger war – this time.
manfromatlan says September 18, 2018
Putin's main interest is preserving Russian interests. Here, turning the other cheek likely is the best course. Loading...
writerroddis says September 18, 2018
I agree, Paul X. These are not only perilous waters, but untested to boot. In fact not one of the military powers you cite has had its strength tested against a non third world adversary. I know there are infantile tendencies crying "bring it on!" – as though speaking of a long awaited prize fight involving their heavyweight boxer of choice – but saner voices can only express alarm and profound dismay at what Western rulers seem bent on dragging us into. I say enough of this macho nonsense about who would prevail. I do take some comfort in the possibility – https://www.unz.com/tsaker/book-review-losing-military-supremacy-the-myopia-of-american-strategic-planning-by-andrei-martyanov/- that US military power is overstated, but it is comfort of the bleakest possible kind. Loading...
archie1954 says September 18, 2018
The point is this, Russia can take on the whole World if it had to, but it would be a pyrrhic victory, because to do so would require nuclear weapons which no nation could survive. However, Russia has many allies, the largest of which is China, so it probably would only be taking on one major opponent, the US and a few of its erstwhile allies (France, Britain etc.), not by any stretch of the imagination, the whole World!
Paul X says September 18, 2018
China is even weaker than Russia and not long ago said it was 10 years behind the US in military terms and it's hard to see they'd welcome a bit of sacrifice to pull Putin's chestnuts out of the fire. That Alliance is for the future. Right now a full blooded NATO response would be quite enough. Many in America would be delighted if Russia used a nuke; total annihaltion of Russia would follow, something they've been dying to do for 75 years. And of course they might go for the First Strike.

[Sep 19, 2018] Guardian journos are proclaiming themselves the bastion of free speech, when in reality they are the enemies of it.

Sep 19, 2018 | thesaker.is

I gave up on the Guardian's comment site myself, 10 years ago, as the censorship on there made it pointless. Has something changed?

There was one prolific commenter there, MrPikeBishop, who was so popular, he was even commissioned to write articles above the line. Then one day, bam, he is banned, and his entire posting history gone. That did it for me; little emperors not fit to clean his boots, just rubbed him out. I spat on the site that day and never went back. Proclaiming themselves the bastion of free speech, when they actually the enemies of it.

Actually, I was caught out here in the UK, by the demise of the old five pound note, and then the ten pound note, because I stopped reading and watching MSM years ago. It's worth it, to get their irritating buzzing out of my head.

Back to the linked Guardian article; this is indeed interesting – these questions asked by the journalist:

– Who really did shoot down this plane? Was it an accident or did France and/or Israel attack?
– Are Russia publicly accepting a false narrative to avoid having to retaliate?
– Do they even understand how close we're coming to global war, whenever a NATO country operates in Syria?
– How long can we rely on Russian common sense to avoid WWIII?

[Sep 19, 2018] It's really hard to have a decrease in GDP when you are running a deficit near a trillion dollars.

Sep 19, 2018 | peakoilbarrel.com

Watcher

x Ignored says: 09/15/2018 at 1:39 am
There are a lot of folks out there talking recession in the near-term. Most of that derives from history. Recession occurs every so often, or rather it used to.

It's really hard to have a decrease in GDP when you are running a deficit near a trillion dollars. A trillion dollars is about 4.8% of GDP. If GDP grew by less than that then you have some sort of word to invent to describe growth absent created money. (Not by the Fed, but also not by capitalism). And there's a lot of cash being repatriated, and that damn sure hasn't finished yet. So it's really hard to get a GDP decrease until all of that works through.

As has been noted before, the real danger in all of this is drawing attention to what Bernanke did. When it is completely visible that money was created whimsically, and that the Chinese have proven that you don't have to allow your currency to trade completely outside government controls, then the system gets dicey.

The only thing stopping exporting country leadership from concluding that the oil is better off underground for the grandchildren rather than being traded for pieces of paper with ink on it -- the only thing preventing that conclusion is an array of advisors whose own personal wealth would be endangered by such an exposure about money in general. They are the ones whispering in the ears of their leadership, and their advice is not sourced in the best interests of that country.

To a certain extent we could label all such advisors for all oil exporting countries as, dare one say it, Deep State. Establishment political infrastructure in each country giving advice sourced in their own well-being and not that of the country.

[Sep 19, 2018] The Lehman 10th Anniversary spin as a Teachable Moment by Michael Hudson

Notable quotes:
"... A basic principle should be the starting point of any macro analysis: The volume of interest-bearing debt tends to outstrip the economy's ability to pay. This tendency is inherent in the "magic of compound interest." The exponential growth of debt expands by its own purely mathematical momentum, independently of the economy's ability to pay – and faster than the non-financial economy grows. ..."
Sep 19, 2018 | www.unz.com

Wall Street did not let the Lehman Brothers crisis go to waste. The banks that have paid the largest fines for financial fraud are now much bigger and more profitable. The victims of their junk mortgage loans are poorer, and the economy is facing debt deflation.

Was it worth it? What was not saved was the economy.

[Sep 19, 2018] Trump Says FBI Is A Cancer In Our Country

That's a bold statement but cancerous growth is typical of any intelligence agency, especially CIA: all of them want more and more budget money and try to influence both domestic and foreign policy. That's signs of cancel.
FBI actually has dual mandate: suppressing political dissent (STASI functions) and fight with criminals and organized crime.
The fact the President does not control his own administration, especially State Department isclearly visible now. He is more like a ceremonial figura that is allowed to rant on Twitter, but can't change any thing of substance in forign policy. and Is a typucal Repiblican in domenstic policy, betraying the electorate like Obama did
Notable quotes:
"... Sessions recused himself from the "Russia Collusion" investigation. Now that it is known to have been an extension of Democratic election rigging, and DC bureaucratic "Resistance," he could be initiate a broad sweep investigation into Washington, DC based bureaucratic bias and corruption. ..."
Sep 19, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Shifting from Sessions to the much-maligned FBI, Trump said the agency was "a cancer" and that uncovering deep-seated corruption in the FBI may be remembered as the "crowning achievement" of his administration, per the Hill .

"What we've done is a great service to the country, really," Trump said in a 45-minute, wide-ranging interview in the Oval Office.

"I hope to be able put this up as one of my crowning achievements that I was able to ... expose something that is truly a cancer in our country."

Moreover, Trump insisted that he never trusted former FBI Director James Comey, and that he had initially planned to fire Comey shortly after the inauguration, but had been talked out of it by his aides.

Trump also said he regretted not firing former FBI Director James Comey immediately instead of waiting until May 2017, confirming an account his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, gave Hill.TV earlier in the day that Trump was dismayed in 2016 by the way Comey handled the Hillary Clinton email case and began discussing firing him well before he became president.

"If I did one mistake with Comey, I should have fired him before I got here. I should have fired him the day I won the primaries," Trump said. "I should have fired him right after the convention, say I don't want that guy. Or at least fired him the first day on the job. ... I would have been better off firing him or putting out a statement that I don't want him there when I get there."

The FISA Court judges who approved the initial requests allowing the FBI to surveil employees of the Trump Campaign also came in for some criticism, with Trump claiming they used "poor Carter Page, who nobody even knew, and who I feel very badly for...as a foil...to surveil a candidate or the presidency of the United States." Trump added that he felt the judges had been "misled" by the FBI.

He criticizing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court's approval of the warrant that authorized surveillance of Carter Page, a low-level Trump campaign aide, toward the end of the 2016 election, suggesting the FBI misled the court.

"They know this is one of the great scandals in the history of our country because basically what they did is, they used Carter Page, who nobody even knew, who I feel very badly for, I think he's been treated very badly. They used Carter Page as a foil in order to surveil a candidate for the presidency of the United States."

As for the judges on the secret intelligence court: "It looks to me just based on your reporting, that they have been misled," the president said, citing a series of columns in The Hill newspaper identifying shortcomings in the FBI investigation. "I mean I don't think we have to go much further than to say that they've been misled."

"One of the things I'm disappointed in is that the judges in FISA didn't, don't seem to have done anything about it. I'm very disappointed in that Now, I may be wrong because, maybe as we sit here and talk, maybe they're well into it. We just don't know that because I purposely have not chosen to get involved," Trump said.

Trump continued the assault on Sessions during a brief conference with reporters Wednesday morning. When asked whether he was planning to fire Sessions, Trump replied that "we're looking into lots of different things."

To be sure, Sessions has managed to hang on thus far. And if he can somehow manage to survive past Nov. 6, his fate will perversely rest on the Democrats' success. Basically, if they wrest back control of the Senate (which, to be sure, is unlikely), Sessions chances of staying on would rise dramatically. But then again, how much abuse can a man realistically endure before he decides that the costs of staying outweigh the benefits of leaving?


DingleBarryObummer , 19 minutes ago

Sessions works for Trump, because Trump is running the uniparty russia-gate stormy-gate anti-trump show. Sessions was intentionally placed there to stonewall and make sure the kabuki goes on. Rosenstein is a Trump appointee. This **** garners sympathy for him as the persecuted underdog, rallies his base; and distracts from the obvious zio-bankster influence over his admin and his many unfulfilled campaign promises. He's deceiving you. Why do you think Giuliani acts like such a buffoon? It's because that's what he was hired for. All distractions and bullshit. He will not get impeached, Hillary is not going to jail, nothing will happen. The zio-Banksters will continue to stay at the top of the pyramid, because that's who trump works for, NOT you and me.

"While Trump's fascination with the White House still burned within him [re: 2011], he also had The Apprentice to deal with--and it wasn't as easy as you might think. He loved doing the show and was reluctant to give it up. At one point, he was actually thinking of hosting it from the oval office if he made it all the way to the White House. He even discussed it with Stephen Burke, the CEO at NBCUniversal, telling Burke he would reconsider running if the network was concerned about his candidacy." -Roger Stone

"To some people the notion of consciously playing power games-no matter how indirect-seems evil, asocial, a relic of the past. They believe they can opt out of the game by behaving in ways that have nothing to do with power. You must beware of such people, for while they express such opinions outwardly, they are often among the most adept players at power. They utilize strategies that cleverly disguise the nature of the manipulation involved. These types, for example, will often display their weakness and lack of power as a kind of moral virtue. But true powerlessness, without any motive of self-interest, would not publicize its weakness to gain sympathy or respect. Making a show of one's weakness is actually a very effective strategy, subtle and deceptive, in the game of power." -Robert Greene

Sparkey , 31 minutes ago

This is why the 'little' people love President 'The Donald' Trump, he says the things they would like to say, but have no platform to speak from, Mushroom man The Donald has no fear he has got Mushroom power, and he has my support in what ever he does!

Secret Weapon , 43 minutes ago

Is Sessions a Deep State firewall? Starting to look that way.

TrustbutVerify , 48 minutes ago

Sessions recused himself from the "Russia Collusion" investigation. Now that it is known to have been an extension of Democratic election rigging, and DC bureaucratic "Resistance," he could be initiate a broad sweep investigation into Washington, DC based bureaucratic bias and corruption.

I suspect Sessions will last until after the mid-term elections. Then Trump will fire him and bring someone like Gowdy in to head the DOJ and to bring about investigations.

And, my gosh, there seems to be so much to investigate. And to my mind prosecute.

loop, 49 minutes ago

"I've never seen a President - I don't care who he is - stand up to them (Israel). It just boggles the mind. They always get what they want. The Israelis know what is going on all the time. I got to the point where I wasn't writing anything down. If the American people understood what a grip these people have got on our government, they would rise up in arms.

Our citizens certainly don't have any idea what goes on."

- U.S. Navy Admiral and former head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Thomas Moorer

mendigo, 59 minutes ago

Cool stuff. But really the cancer goes much deeper. That is the scary part. Trump is now largely controlled by the Borg.

Government employees and elected officials have a choice: can either play along and become wealthy and powerful or have their careers destroyed, or worse.

[Sep 18, 2018] Advocacy of progressive causes usually involves punching up an inherently more dangerous occupation than punching down.

Sep 18, 2018 | crookedtimber.org

Peter T 09.16.18 at 11:40 pm 86

Stephen

Some, but a "fair proportion"? Probably not. Advocacy of progressive causes usually involves punching up – an inherently more dangerous occupation than punching down.

People forget that the older Soviet nomenklatura won their positions in World War II, when being a commissar meant leading from the front, being shot out of hand by the Germans, rallying the partisans in mountain villages to another desperate defense and similar. Survivor bias – we don't see the dead.

In more genteel times, the outspoken progressive will often face social ostracism, lack of promotion, attacks in the conservative press

Human motives are complex – no doubt there were confederates who genuinely believed the fight was for states rights, and no doubt there are libertarians who genuinely believe that the poor will have it much better in a free market utopia.

I doubt the proportion, either counting individuals or in the swirl inside minds, is very large, but there's always some.

Faustusnotes 09.16.18 at 11:45 pm 87 ( 87 )

Now we're making progress Thomas. The Berkowitz definition is sleazy, and sets up anyone not conservative as an amoral lump in need of guidance, or worse still as dangerous to society. Perhaps that's why Hayek (a supposedly type b conservative) had his opponents thrown out of helicopters. Or was that Friedman?

The appeal of conservatism and it's electoral success is easily explained. Because their real ideology is just treachery, theft and rape they need to hide these ideas from normal people, who already in general support the moral ideas fundamental to civilized society regardless of their politics. So they hide their true agenda through appeals to racism, or by cloaking themselves in the type b definition (isn't this robins point?!) In doing this they benefit from the work of yeomen like you, who insist that conservatism is a real moral project rather than banditry. In most countries they also only win when the left is divided, and only when their elite friends are pouring money into corrupt media. If they didn't have these advantages, these lies, and help from people like you they would never succeed.

I focus on Trump et Al because they are the leaders of your sect,the people who sell your ideas (manafort was a campaign manager ffs), and the people who turn the ideology into action. Didn't you learn in primary school to judge people by their actions, not their words? And why would I ignore these particular conservatives because they're "vulgar clowns"? You're all dangerous, vulgar clowns.

[Sep 18, 2018] The Minsky Moment Ten Years After

Sep 18, 2018 | angrybearblog.com

Barkley Rosser | September 18, 2018 6:01 am

Taxes/regulation US/Global Economics The Minsky Moment Ten Years After These days are the tenth anniversary of the biggest Minsky Moment since the Great Depression. While when it happened most commentators mentioned Minsky and many even called it a "Minsky Moment," most of the commentary now does not use that term and much does not even mention Minsky, much less Charles Kindleberger or Keynes. Rather much of the discussion has focused now on the failure of Lehman Brothers on September 15, 2017. A new book by Lawrence Ball has argued that the Fed could have bailed LB out as they did with Bear Stearns in February of that year, with Ball at least, and some others, suggesting that would have resolved everything, no big crash, no Great Recession, no angry populist movement more recently, heck, all hunky dory if only the Fed had been more responsible, although Ball especially points his finger at Bush's Treasury Secretary, Hank Paulson, for especially pressuring Bernanke and Geithner at the Fed not to repeat Bear Stearns. And indeed when they decided not to support Lehman, the Fed received widespread praise in much of the media initially, before its fall blew out AIG and brought down most of the pyramid of highly leveraged derivatives of derivatives coming out of the US mortgage market ,which had been declining for over two years.

Indeed, I agree with Dean Baker as I have on so many times regarding all this that while Lehman may have been the straw that broke the camel's back, it was the camel's back breaking that was the problem, and it was almost certainly going to blow big time reasonably soon then. It it was not Lehman, it was going to be something else. Indeed, on July 12, 2008, I posted here on Econospeak a forecast of this, declaring "It looks like we might be finally reaching the big crash in the US mortgage market after a period of distress that started last August (if not earlier)."

I drew on Minsky's argument (backed by Kindleberger in his Manias, Panics, and Crashes ) that the vast majority of major speculative bubbles experience periods of gradual decline after their peaks prior to really seriously crashing during what Minsky labeled the "period of financial distress," a term he adopted from the corporate finance literature. The US housing market had been falling since July, 2006. The bond markets had been declining since August, 2007, the stock market had been declining since October, 2007, and about the time I posted that, the oil market reached an all-time nominal peak of $147 per barrel and began a straight plunge that reached about $30 per barrel in November, 2008. This was a massively accelerating period of distress with the real economy also dropping, led by falling residential consumption. In mid-September the Minsky Moment arrived, and the floor dropped out of not just these US markets, but pretty much all markets around the world, with world economy then falling into the Great Recession.

Let me note something I have seen nobody commenting on in all this outpouring on this anniversary. This is how the immediate Minsky Moment ended. Many might say it was the TARP or the stress tests or the fiscal stimulus, All of these helped to turn around the broader slide that followed by the Minsky Moment. But there was a more immediate crisis that went on for several days following the Lehman collapse, peaking on Sept. 17 and 18, but with obscure reporting about what went down then. This was when nobody at the Board of Governors went home; cots made an appearance. This was the point when those at the Fed scrambled to keep the whole thing from turning into 1931 and largely succeeded. The immediate problem was that the collapse of AIG following the collapse of Lehman was putting massive pressure on top European banks, especially Deutsches Bank and BNP Paribas. Supposedly the European Central Bank (ECB) should have been able to handle this But along with all this the ECB was facing a massive run on the euro as money fled to the "safe haven" of the US dollar, so ironic given that the US markets generated this mess.

Anyway, as Neil Irwinin The Alchemists (especially Chap. 11) documented, the crucial move that halted the collapse of the euro and the threat of a fullout global collapse was a set of swaps the Fed pulled off that led to it taking about $600 billion of Eurojunk from the distressed European banks through the ECB onto the Fed balance sheet. These troubled assets were gradually and very quietly rolled off the Fed balance sheet over the next six months to be replaced by mortgage backed securities. This was the save the Fed pulled off at the worst moment of the Minsky Moment. The Fed policymakers can be criticized for not seeing what was coming (although several people there had spotted it earlier and issued warnings, including Janet Yellen in 2005 and Geithner in a prescient speech in Hong Kong in September, 2006, in which he recognized that the housing related financial markets were highly opaque and fragile). But this particular move was an absolute save, even though it remains today very little known, even to well-informed observers.

Barkley Rosser


run75441 , September 18, 2018 7:07 am

Barkley:

A few days ago, it was just a housing bubble to which a few of us pointed out an abnormal housing bubble created by fraud and greed on Wall Street. The market was riddled with false promises to pay through CDS, countering naked-CDS both of which had little if any reserves in this case to back up each AIG CDS insuring Goldman Sachs securities. When Goldman Sachs made that call to AIG, there were few funds to pay out and AIG was on the verge of collapse.

And today, some of those very same created banks under TARP which were gambling then and some of which had legal issues are free from the stress testing Dodd – Frank imposed upon banks with assets greater than $50 billion. Did the new limit need to be $250 billion? Volcker thought $100 billion was adequate and Frank argued for a slightly higher limit well under $250 billion. The fox is in the chicken coop again with Deutsche Bank, BNP Paribas, UBS, and Credit Suisse not being regulated as closely and 25 of the largest 38 banks under less regulation. These are not community banks and they helped to bring us to our knees. Is it still necessary for American Express to be a bank and have access to low interest rates the Fed offers? I think not; but, others may disagree with me. It is not a bank.

You remember the miracle the Fed pulled off as detailed in The Alchemists which I also read at your recommendation. I remember the fraud and greed on Wall Street for which Main Street paid for with lost equity, jobs, etc. I remember the anger of Wall Street Execs who were denied bonuses and states who had exhausted unemployment funding denying workers unemployment. We were rescued from a worse fate; but, the memory of the cure the nation's citizenry had to take for Wall Street greed and fraud leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.

EMichael , September 18, 2018 8:39 am

This never ending meme about Tarp saving the banks is really starting to aggravate me. The Fed saved the banking system(on both sides of the Atlantic) before Tarp issued one dollar, and they did so with trillions, not billions, of loans and guarantees that stopped the run on the banks and mutual funds on both sides of the Atlantic.

Just look at the amounts. Tarp gave out $250 billion to the banks. Do people seriously think this saved the banking system? Or that Wells goes under without their $25 billion loan?

Tarp was window dressing and pr, not a solution by any stretch of the imagination.

"Bloomberg ran quite a story, yesterday. It stems from a Freedom of Information Act Request that yielded the details of previously secret borrowing from the federal government to the biggest banks.

The bottom line, reports Bloomberg, by March of 2009, the Fed had committed $7.77 trillion "to rescuing the financial system, more than half the value of everything produced in the U.S. that year." The lending began in August of 2007.

The reporting from Bloomberg Markets Magazine is spectacular, so we hope you click over and give the exhaustive piece a read."

https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2011/11/28/142854391/report-fed-committed-7-77-trillion-to-rescue-banks

run75441 , September 18, 2018 11:57 am

EM:

If you pick up The Alchemist, I believe you will see all of this ($7 trillion) explained in there. TARP was used to buy up junk MBS from banks by the Treasury and separate from the FED. It was also used to buy up bank stock to give them reserves. It saved two of the three OEMs too.

Ken Houghton , September 18, 2018 11:52 am

The general U.S. mortgage market died on Hallwe'en 2006. By the first quarter of 2007, it was dead even for IBs who owned originators.

There were two IBs who were dependent on MBS for their profits: Bear and Lehmann. Doesn't mean they didn't have other businesses, but their earnings would go from a V-8 to a 3-cylinder.

Bear went first, and ShitforBrains Fuld & Co. had six months after that to shore up capital, find a buyer, or go under.

We all knew that the reason Bear was saved wasn't out of generosity, but because it really would have had a systemic effect had it gone through bankruptcy proceedings. But THAT was because Bear had two core businesses, and the other one was Custodial Services.

Had Bear gone through bankruptcy, those Customer funds would have been inaccessible for at least 30 days.

Lehmann had no similar function; failure of Lehmann was failure of Lehmann.

Fuld knew all of this and still fucked around for six months pretending he was driving a 911 instead of a Geo Metro.

Lawrence Ball is a brain-dead idiot if he thinks saving that firm would have in any way made things better.

likbez , September 18, 2018 12:41 pm

My take on Minsky moment is that banking introduces positive feedback loop into the system, making it (as any dynamic system with strong positive feedback loop) unstable.

To compensate you need to introduce negative feedback loop in a form of regulation and legal system that vigorously prosecute financial oligarchy "transgressions," instilling fear and damping its predatory behavior and parasitic rents instincts. In a way number of bankers who go to jail each year is metric of stability of the system. Which was a feature (subverted and inconsistent from the beginning and decimated in 70th) of New Deal Capitalism.

As neoliberalism is essentially revenge of financial oligarchy which became the ruling class again, this positive feedback loop is an immanent feature of neoliberalism.

Financial oligarchy is not interesting in regulation and legal framework that suppresses its predatory and parasitic "instincts." So this is by definition is an unstable system prone to periodic financial "collapses." In which the government needs to step in and save the system.

So the question about the 2008 financial crisis is when the next one commences and how destructive it will be. Not why it happened.

likbez , September 18, 2018 12:47 pm

In a perverse way the percentage of financial executives who go to jail each year might be viewed as a metric of stability of the financial system ;-)

[Sep 18, 2018] Michael Hudson talks maintream economics

Sep 18, 2018 | angrybearblog.com

Dan Crawford | September 16, 2018 3:20 pm

US/Global Economics Mainstream Economics become the celebration of the wealthy rentier class

To paraphrase Mark Twain, everyone complains about inequality, but nobody does anything about it.

What they do is to use "inequality" as a takeoff point to project their own views on how to make society more prosperous and at the same time more equal. These views largely depend on whether they view the One Percent as innovative, smart and creative, making wealth by helping the rest of society – or whether, as the great classical economists wrote, the wealthiest layer of the population consist of rentiers, making their income and wealth off the 99 Percent as idle landlords, monopolists and predatory bankers.

urban legend , September 17, 2018 3:59 pm

False choice. There's no either/or heare. Many are innovative, smart and creative, but they are just using political power to grab too much of the revenue others help them generate. I have yet to see any proposals suggesting that the 1%'s wealth should be confiscated. They do say to take more of the marginal dollar in taxes -- usually proposing relatively modest increases to 42% or 45% or even 50% on incomes above $1 million or so -- and propose various ways of increasing the bargaining power of workers.

Then again, those born on 3rd base and living off their wealth -- whether they think they hit a triple or know they were just lucky -- are rentiers.

[Sep 18, 2018] The declining US fights for human rights as declining Serena fights for women's rights. Both invoke exceptionalism and higher principles and go nuclear when they cannot win any more under the established international rules

Sep 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Kiza , Sep 17, 2018 8:33:14 AM | link

A quick observation and a fascinating parallele. Serena Williams and the US global hyperpower.

Serena at 36 got bitten fair and square at US open by a girl of 20, almost half her age. So she throws up a nuclear tantrum, publicly calling the referee a thief, threatening that he will never referee again, obviously thanks to her money, power and gender.

During her post-game interview, Serena told a news conference, "I'm here, fighting for women's rights, for women's equality, and for all kind of stuff it made me think that it was a sexist remark [referring to the penalty the referee Ramos awarded her]."

The declining US fights for human rights as declining Serena fights for women's rights. Both invoke exceptionalism and higher principles and go nuclear when they cannot win any more under the established international rules. The irony of killing the Yemenis en mass whilst "fighting" for the human rights of terrorists in Syria is just like Serena fighting for women's rights against another younger and more capable woman.

donkeytale , Sep 17, 2018 9:21:31 AM | link

Kiza - interesting point. Yes clearly Serena retrofitted the women's movement to justify what was an old-fashioned Connors/McEnroe male tennis tantrum, although extremely mild comapred to some of the crap those two pulled back in the day.

What goes without saying is the behaviour is as repulsive when Serena does it as when McEnroe/Connors did.

Serena at 36 is no longer the dominant force just as America is no longer. However, it is fair to say the winner is where she is because she trained extensively and I believe lives in America so really she is an example of globalism and racial diversity, if not American exeptionalism.

Women's tennis post Serena will not be dominated by Americans, but by American training of the best players regardless of their origination

[Sep 18, 2018] Liberals love to lampoon the Prophet Muhammad, but hands off Serena Williams by Robert Bridge

Notable quotes:
"... "I'm here, fighting for women's rights, for women's equality, and for all kind of stuff it made me think that it was a sexist remark [referring to the penalty Ramos awarded her] ..."
"... "I don't believe it's a good idea to apply a standard of 'If men can get away with it, women should be able to, too,' ..."
"... "Rather, I think the question we have to ask ourselves is this: What is the right way to behave to honor our sport and to respect our opponents?" ..."
"... "we cannot measure ourselves by what we think we should also be able to get away with this is the sort of behavior that no one should be engaging in on the court." ..."
"... "visual imperialism," ..."
"... "a black grotesque seeming natural." ..."
Sep 14, 2018 | www.rt.com

After being penalized for calling chair umpire Carlos Ramos a "thief," Williams summoned up the evil spirits of political correctness to plead her case. She was heard telling officials that many male tennis players have done "much worse" without any sort of retribution. In other words, Ramos was a cave-dwelling "sexist" put on earth to thwart the progress of womanhood.

During her post-game interview, Serena told a news conference, "I'm here, fighting for women's rights, for women's equality, and for all kind of stuff it made me think that it was a sexist remark [referring to the penalty Ramos awarded her] .

There were faint echoes of Oprah Winfrey's famous speech at the Golden Globes in that it was the right message delivered at exactly the wrong time and place.

Read more Steph Curry says Serena Williams showed 'grace & class' in US Open final, internet raises eyebrows

So now, America's dethroned tennis queen, playing the gender card game instead of tennis, is acting spokesperson for downtrodden women everywhere. Yet certainly Williams has heard of John McEnroe, the former American tennis star whose on-court temper tantrums are now legendary. In 1990, for example, this loudmouthed male was tossed out of the Australian Open – not just penalized – for verbally abusing the chair umpire, much like Williams did.

Since it may come off as chauvinistic for me – a burly male – to criticize Serena, perhaps it would be more appropriate to quote Martina Navratilova, 61, one of the greatest female tennis players of all time.

"I don't believe it's a good idea to apply a standard of 'If men can get away with it, women should be able to, too,' Navratilova wrote in a New York Times op-ed regarding Williams' epic meltdown. "Rather, I think the question we have to ask ourselves is this: What is the right way to behave to honor our sport and to respect our opponents?"

The Czech-born American went on to comment that "we cannot measure ourselves by what we think we should also be able to get away with this is the sort of behavior that no one should be engaging in on the court."

Eureka! Navratilova – who hails from a bygone era when the vision of political correctness, 'virtue signaling' and 'social justice warriors' was just a flash in the pan – nailed it. Instead of looking to some external other to explain our life circumstances – like losing a tennis match, for example, or a presidential election (wink, wink) – people should look to themselves as the agents for proactive and positive change. Such a message, however, would quickly sink the Liberal ship, which is predicated upon the idea that the world is forever divided between oppressor and oppressed. What the Liberals fail to appreciate, however, is that they are becoming the real oppressors as they continue to sideline anybody who does not think and act exactly as they do.

Following Serena's epic meltdown, the Melbourne-based Herald Sun published a cartoon by Mark Knight that shows the American tennis star as she proceeds to stomp on her racket, mouth open and hair going straight up. It was not a flattering or subtle drawing, but given the circumstances, that should probably come as no surprise.

2015: 12 Charlie Hebdo illustrators shot dead for depiction of prophet Muhammad - thousands line streets demonstrating for freedom of sattire & humour

2018: Mark Knight draws caricature of Serena Williams - thousands shout racist & demand his removal from Twiter and the media pic.twitter.com/NDpFrbigca

-- Danny Armstrong (@DannyWArmstrong) September 12, 2018

The Liberal outrage came fast and heavy as critics slammed the caricature as racist and offensive. It would take hundreds of pages to recite them all, but as one example, CNN columnist Rebecca Wanzo labeled the cartoon as an example of – wait for it – "visual imperialism," which is manifest by "a black grotesque seeming natural."

Never mind that the behavior of Serena Williams was "grotesque," which is what inspired Knight's unflattering drawing of her in the first place. That is what is meant by a 'caricature', where the artist attempts to convey the essence of an event through imagery. Yes, sometimes brutal imagery.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Robert Bridge is an American writer and journalist. Former Editor-in-Chief of The Moscow News, he is author of the book, 'Midnight in the American Empire,' released in 2013.

[Sep 17, 2018] Bill Browder Strikes Back In Europe

Sep 17, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

by Tyler Durden Mon, 09/17/2018 - 09:34 27 SHARES Authored by Tom Luongo,

"I am altering the deal. Pray I don't alter it any further."
-- The Empire Strikes Back

Since Vladimir Putin brought up Bill Browder's name in Helsinki, events have escalated to a fever pitch. Russia is under extreme attack the U.S./European financial and political establishment.

And part of that push is coming from Browder himself. In July, just a week after Helsinki, Browder opened up a money laundering complaint against Denmark's largest bank, Danske , alleging over $8 billion in money 'laundered' from Russia, Moldova and Azerbaijan through its Estonian Branch.

The details here are important so bear with me.

Danske's report on these allegations are due on Wednesday.

No matter what they say, however, the die has been cast.

Danske is being targeted for termination by the U.S. and possible takeover by the European Central Bank.

There's precedent for this but let me lay out some background first.

The Oldest Trick

Browder's complaint says the money laundered is in connection with the reason why he was thrown out of Russia and the $230 million in stolen tax money which Browder's cause célèbre , the death of accountant Sergei Magnitsky, hangs on.

That crusade got the Magnitsky Act passed not only in the U.S. but all across the West, with versions on the books in Canada, Australia the EU and other places.

Danske's shares have been gutted in the wake of the accusation.

The U.S. is now investigating this complaint and that shouldn't come as much of a shock.

The Treasury Department can issue whatever findings it wants, and then respond by starving Danske of dollars, known as the "Death Blow" option the threat of which was plastered all over the pages of the Wall St. Journal on Friday.

Note this article isn't behind the Journal's pay-wall. They want everyone to see this.

Browder filed complaints both in Demmark and in Estonia, and the Estonian government was only too happy to oblige him.

The Devil Played

To see the whole picture I have to go back a littler further.

Back in March, Latvian bank, ABLV, was targeted in a similar manner, accused of laundering money. Within a week the ECB moved in to take control of the bank even though it wasn't in danger of failing.

It was an odd move, where the ECB exercised an extreme response utilizing its broader powers given to it after the 2008 financial crisis, like it did with Spain's Banco Popular in 2017.

Why? The U.S. was looking for ways to cut off Russia from the European banking system. And the ECB did its dirty work.

I wrote about this back in May in relation to the Treasury demanding all U.S. investors divest themselves of Russian debt within thirty days.
It threw the ruble and Russian debt markets into turmoil since Russian companies bought a lot of euro-denominated debt after the Ruble Crisis of 2014, having been shut off from dollars.

ABLV was a conduit for many Russian entities to keep access to Europe's banks, having been grandfathered in as clients when the Baltics entered the Euro-zone.

So, now a replay of ABLV's seizure is playing out through Browder's money laundering complaint against Danske.

Was Convincing Everyone

The goal of this lawsuit is two-fold.

The first is to undermine the faith in the Danish banking system. Dutch giant ING is also facing huge AML fines.

This is a direct attack on the EU banking system to being it under even more stringent government control.

The second goal, however, is far more important. As I said, the U.S. is desperate to cut money flow between the European Union and Russia, not just to stop the construction of Nordstream 2, but to keep Russia's markets weak having to scramble for euros to make coupon payments and create a roll-over nightmare.

Turkey is facing this now, Russia went through it in 2014/15.

In response to the Ruble's sharp drop this year on improving fundamentals, the Bank of Russia finally had to raise rates on Friday .

So, attacking a major bank like Danske for consorting with dirty Russians and using Mr. Human Rights Champion Browder to file the complaint is pure power politics to keep the EU itself from seeking rapprochement with Russia.

Anti-Money Laundering laws are tyrannical and vaguely worded. And with the Magnitsky Act and its follow-up, CAATSA, in place, they help support defining money laundering to include anything the U.S. and the EU deem as supporting 'human rights violations.'

Seeing the trap yet?

Now all of it can be linked through simple accusation regardless of the facts. The bank gets gutted, investors and depositors get nervous, the ECB then steps in and there goes another tendril between Russia and Europe doing business.

And that ties into Browder's minions in the European Parliament, all in the pay of Open Society Foundation, issued a threat of invoking Article 7 of the Lisbon Treaty to Cyprus over assisting Russia investigate Browder's financial dealings there.

Why? Violations of Mr. Browder's human rights because, well, Russia!

What's becoming more obvious to me as the days pass is that Browder is an obvious asset of the U.S. financial and political oligarchy, if not U.S. Intelligence. They use his humanitarian bona fides to visit untold misery on millions of people simply to:

1) cover up their malfeasance in Russia

2) wage hybrid war on anyone willing to stand up to their machinations.

He Didn't Exist

Because when looking at this situation rationally, how does this guy get to run around accusing banks of anything and mobilize governments into actions which have massive ramifications for the global financial system unless he's intimately connected with the very people that operate the top of that system?

How does this no-name guy in the mid-1990's, fresh 'off the boat' as it were, convince someone to give him $25 million in CASH to go around Russia buying up privatization vouchers at less than pennies on the dollar?

It simply doesn't pass a basic sniff test.

Danske is the biggest bank in Denmark and one of the oldest in Europe. The message should be clear.

If they can be gotten to this way, anyone can.

Just looking at the list of people named in the Magnitsky Act, a list given to Congress by Browder and copied verbatim without investigation, and CAATSA as being 'friends of Vladimir' it's obvious that the target isn't Putin himself for his human rights transgressions but anyone in Russia with enough capital to maintain a business bigger than a chain of laundromats in Rostov-on-Don.

Honestly, even some in the U.S. financial press said it looked like they just went through the Moscow phone book.

But, here the rub. In The Davos Crowd's single-minded drive to destroy Russia, which has been going on now for close to two generations in various ways, they are willing to undermine the very institutions on which a great deal of their power rests.

The more Browder gets defended by people punching far above his weight, the more obvious it is that there is something wrong with his story. Undermining the reputation of the biggest bank in Denmark is a 'playing-for-keeps' moment.

But, it's one that can and will have serious repercussions over time.

It undermines the validity of government institutions, exposing corruption that proves we live in a world ruled by men, not laws. That the U.S. and EU are fundamentally no different in their leadership than banana republics.

And that's bad for currency and debt markets as capital always flows to where it is treated best.

But, it's one that can and will have serious repercussions over time. The seizure of ABLV and 2017's liquidation of Spain's Banco Popular were rightly described by Martin Armstrong as defining moments where no one in their right mind would invest in a European banks if there was the possibility of losing all of your capital due to a change in the political winds overnight.

Using the European Parliament to censure Cyprus via Article 7 over one man's financial privacy, which no one is guaranteed in this world today thanks to these same AML and KYC laws, reeks of cronyism and corruption of the highest degree.

If you want to know what a catalyst for the collapse of the European banking system looks like, it may well be what happens this week if Danske tries to fight the spider's web laid down by Bill Browder and his friends in high places.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Z_s5cRp5Ikk

* * *

To support more work like this and get access to exclusive commentary, stock picks and analysis tailored to your needs join my more than 170 Patrons on Patreon and see if I have what it takes to help you navigate a world going quickly mad.


hanekhw , 1 minute ago

Browder, the Clintons, Soros and the EU were made for each other weren't they? They've been screwing us publicly for what, over two generations? And without a condom! We've gotten how many FTDs (financially transmitted diseases) from these people? They never unzip their flys.

geno-econ , 1 hour ago

According to Browder, Putin is worth over $100 Billion most of it stashed away in foreign banks through intermediates and relatives. If true, it will bring down Putin and many western banks. Perhaps a Red Swan is about to take off exposing an unsustainable .financial system and corrupt political enterprise on both sides of the divide sur to cause chaos. Ironically, Putin who represents Nationalism in Russia is under attack by Globalists accusing Putin of Capitalistic Greed utilizing western banks Suicidal !

hanekhw , 16 minutes ago

Browder, the Clintons, Soros and the EU were made for each other weren't they? They've been screwing us publicly for what, over two generations? And without a condom! We've gotten how many FTDs (financially transmitted diseases) from these people? They never unzip their flys.

zeroboris , 24 minutes ago

They use his humanitarian bona fides

Browder's bona fides? LOL

monad , 8 minutes ago

Minion (((Browder))) snitches on his masters. Nowhere to hide.

Vanilla_ISIS , 18 minutes ago

Someone should just kill this dude. Browder has certainly earned it.

roadhazard , 14 minutes ago

But what about the money laundering.

Panic Mode , 15 minutes ago

You better run. Your buddy McCain is gone and see who else will fight for you.

pndr4495 , 42 minutes ago

Somehow - Mnuchkin's desire to sell his Park Ave. apartment fits into this tale of intrigue and bullshit.

markar , 47 minutes ago

Send this guy Browder a polonium cocktail. It's on me.

TahoeBilly2012 , 1 hour ago

((Browder)) ??

Clogheen , 37 minutes ago

Yes. Did you really need to ask?

geno-econ , 1 hour ago

According to Browder, Putin is worth over $100 Billion most of it stashed away in foreign banks through intermediates and relatives. If true, it will bring down Putin and many western banks. Perhaps a Red Swan is about to take off exposing an unsustainable .financial system and corrupt political enterprise on both sides of the divide sur to cause chaos. Ironically, Putin who represents Nationalism in Russia is under attack by Globalists accusing Putin of Capitalistic Greed utilizing western banks Suicidal !

Max Cynical , 1 hour ago

I watch the banned documentary...The Magnitsky Act - Behind the Scenes.

Here's a link... https://seed02.bitchute.com/40940/lQ3qEwX66pIL.mp4

Browder seems like a real scumbag.

LA_Goldbug , 1 hour ago

Only the slimiest rats get into the club of "Can Do No Wrong" and these types of gigs.

Thaxter , 1 hour ago

This documentary is first class, a really absorbing look into the mind of the sociopath Browder, a pathological, absolutely shameless liar and a very stupid and weak person. To understand the influence that this insignificant invertebrate yields, look to his father, Earl Russell Browder, who was the leader of the Communist Party in the United States during the 1930s and the first half of the 1940s.

blindfaith , 22 minutes ago

Look no further than our own political circus to see that mighty hands pull the strings. Like all strings, they will fray and break...eventually.

Jim in MN , 1 hour ago

Yes well the Big Question for us now is the degree to which the President is in control of any of this.

Recall, dear ZH fighters, how we worked out a sound strategy for the Trump Administration in the early days. Key aspects were to leave the generals and the bankers alone for a couple of years. This would allow immigration, trade, health care and deregulation including tax reform to form the early core wins, along with Supreme Court nominees of course.

Lo, cometh the Deep State and its frantic attempts to both save and conceal itself.

One key tentacle was to rouse the intelligence community into an active enemy of the POTUS. This partially fouled up the 'leave the generals alone' strategy.

Another is to try to force war with the emergent Eurasian hegemony comprised of China and Russia. This is seen all across the 'hinterland' of Russia.

The USA has no vital strategic interests in Eurasia at this juncture of history. Everyone should be clear on that.

The USA's logical and sane policy stance is to support peace, free and fair trade, and stable democracy, including border controls and the rule of law through LEADING BY EXAMPLE.

So for Trump to continue to allow the financial sector Deep State traitors to operate against a peaceful Eurasia is becoming increasingly intolerable.

Where to from here?

BandGap , 1 hour ago

Keep opening it up to scrutiny.

This article opened my eyes, I did not fully understand why Russia was all over Browder except the stealing aspect, but bigger yet, why he was being protected by the EU/US.

No wonder Putin wants to work with the Donno. Taking Browder out and exposing this manipulation works for both sides.

LA_Goldbug , 40 minutes ago

If Browder is a surprise to you then look at Khodorkovsky (there is more of these types from he came from).

Good start is here,

http://thebirdman.org/Index/Others/Others-Doc-Economics&Finance/+Doc-Economics&Finance-GovernmentInfluence&Meddling/BankstersInRussiaAndGlobalEconomy.htm

I am a Man I am Forty , 1 hour ago

This guy is so shady. He's playing some dangerous games.

gmak , 1 hour ago

Huh? Could this be written more poorly?

TheBigOldDog , 1 hour ago

Houston, we have a problem..

akrainer , 1 hour ago

The twice banned book, "Grand Deception" deconstructing Browder's very dangerous game is here, since Amazon delisted its two previous editions:

Pdf / Kindle / Nook

Paperback

LA_Goldbug , 1 hour ago

"He Didn't Exist

Because when looking at this situation rationally, how does this guy get to run around accusing banks of anything and mobilize governments into actions which have massive ramifications for the global financial system unless he's intimately connected with the very people that operate the top of that system?"

Exactly. He was sent by the Anglo-Zionist Tribe otherwise he would be a nobody.

JacquesdeMolay , 1 hour ago

Also, a very good book on the topic: "suppressed and banned by the CIA's supplier, Amazon, The Grand Deception: The Browder Hoax is a highly intelligent, frank and entertaining take-down of one of the biggest hoaxes ever perpetrated on the US public and the world – The Magnitsky Act. Krainer's study of Bill Browder's book and actions is a riveting, unflinching expose of what might end up being pivotal in revealing one of this decade's big hoaxes."

https://thirdalliance.ch/product/grand-deception-the-browder-hoax/

JacquesdeMolay , 2 hours ago

Skullduggery: Confessions of a CIA Asset Bill Browder

[Sep 17, 2018] The declining US fights for human rights as declining Serena fights for women's rights. Both invoke exceptionalism and higher principles and go nuclear when they cannot win any more under the established international rules

Sep 17, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Kiza , Sep 17, 2018 8:33:14 AM | link

A quick observation and a fascinating parallele. Serena Williams and the US global hyperpower.

Serena at 36 got bitten fair and square at US open by a girl of 20, almost half her age. So she throws up a nuclear tantrum, publicly calling the referee a thief, threatening that he will never referee again, obviously thanks to her money, power and gender.

During her post-game interview, Serena told a news conference, "I'm here, fighting for women's rights, for women's equality, and for all kind of stuff it made me think that it was a sexist remark [referring to the penalty the referee Ramos awarded her]."

The declining US fights for human rights as declining Serena fights for women's rights. Both invoke exceptionalism and higher principles and go nuclear when they cannot win any more under the established international rules. The irony of killing the Yemenis en mass whilst "fighting" for the human rights of terrorists in Syria is just like Serena fighting for women's rights against another younger and more capable woman.

donkeytale , Sep 17, 2018 9:21:31 AM | link

Kiza - interesting point. Yes clearly Serena retrofitted the women's movement to justify what was an old-fashioned Connors/McEnroe male tennis tantrum, although extremely mild comapred to some of the crap those two pulled back in the day.

What goes without saying is the behaviour is as repulsive when Serena does it as when McEnroe/Connors did.

Serena at 36 is no longer the dominant force just as America is no longer. However, it is fair to say the winner is where she is because she trained extensively and I believe lives in Amerikkka so really she is an example of globalism and racial diversity, if not Amerikkkan exeptionalism.

Women's tennis post Serena will not be dominated by Amerikkkans but by Amerikkkan training of the best players regardless of their origination

[Sep 16, 2018] After the iron curtain fell, there was a big demand for Russian-trained programmers because they could program in a very efficient and light manner that didn't demand too much of the hardware, if I remember correctly

Notable quotes:
"... It's a bit of chicken-and-egg problem, though. Russia, throughout 20th century, had problem with developing small, effective hardware, so their programmers learned how to code to take maximum advantage of what they had, with their technological deficiency in one field giving rise to superiority in another. ..."
"... Russian tech ppl should always be viewed with certain amount of awe and respect...although they are hardly good on everything. ..."
"... Soviet university training in "cybernetics" as it was called in the late 1980s involved two years of programming on blackboards before the students even touched an actual computer. ..."
"... I recall flowcharting entirely on paper before committing a program to punched cards. ..."
Aug 01, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Bill Herschel 2 days ago ,

Very, very slightly off-topic.

Much has been made, including in this post, of the excellent organization of Russian forces and Russian military technology.

I have been re-investigating an open-source relational database system known as PosgreSQL (variously), and I remember finding perhaps a decade ago a very useful whole text search feature of this system which I vaguely remember was written by a Russian and, for that reason, mildly distrusted by me.

Come to find out that the principle developers and maintainers of PostgreSQL are Russian. OMG. Double OMG, because the reason I chose it in the first place is that it is the best non-proprietary RDBS out there and today is supported on Google Cloud, AWS, etc.

The US has met an equal or conceivably a superior, case closed. Trump's thoroughly odd behavior with Putin is just one but a very obvious one example of this.

Of course, Trump's nationalistic blather is creating a "base" of people who believe in the godliness of the US. They are in for a very serious disappointment.

kao_hsien_chih Bill Herschel a day ago ,

After the iron curtain fell, there was a big demand for Russian-trained programmers because they could program in a very efficient and "light" manner that didn't demand too much of the hardware, if I remember correctly.

It's a bit of chicken-and-egg problem, though. Russia, throughout 20th century, had problem with developing small, effective hardware, so their programmers learned how to code to take maximum advantage of what they had, with their technological deficiency in one field giving rise to superiority in another.

Russia has plenty of very skilled, very well-trained folks and their science and math education is, in a way, more fundamentally and soundly grounded on the foundational stuff than US (based on my personal interactions anyways).

Russian tech ppl should always be viewed with certain amount of awe and respect...although they are hardly good on everything.

TTG kao_hsien_chih a day ago ,

Well said. Soviet university training in "cybernetics" as it was called in the late 1980s involved two years of programming on blackboards before the students even touched an actual computer.

It gave the students an understanding of how computers works down to the bit flipping level. Imagine trying to fuzz code in your head.

FarNorthSolitude TTG a day ago ,

I recall flowcharting entirely on paper before committing a program to punched cards. I used to do hex and octal math in my head as part of debugging core dumps. Ah, the glory days.

Honeywell once made a military computer that was 10 bit. That stumped me for a while, as everything was 8 or 16 bit back then.

kao_hsien_chih FarNorthSolitude 10 hours ago ,

That used to be fairly common in the civilian sector (in US) too: computing time was expensive, so you had to make sure that the stuff worked flawlessly before it was committed.

No opportunity to seeing things go wrong and do things over like much of how things happen nowadays. Russians, with their hardware limitations/shortages, I imagine must have been much more thorough than US programmers were back in the old days, and you could only get there by being very thoroughly grounded n the basics.

[Sep 16, 2018] Amazon Employees Investigated Over Suspected Black Market For Information, Favors by Tyler Durden

So your information and private data can be traded for some small amount of money to God knows whom
Notable quotes:
"... Considering that Amazon employees in the US are some of the most poorly paid in tech and retail (Jeff Bezos was recently booed by his own employees over low wages), perhaps the WSJ' s theory holds water. ..."
Sep 16, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Amazon has launched an investigation to track down a sophisticated network of employees running a "black market" of confidential information and favors, illegally sold through intermediaries to site merchants in order to give them a competitive advantage over other sellers, reports the Wall Street Journal .

In addition to providing sales metrics, search keywords and reviewers' email addresses, bribed Amazon employees would delete negative feedback for around $300 per review, with middleman brokers typically demanding a five-review minimum from merchants looking to game the system.

Employees of Amazon, primarily with the aid of intermediaries , are offering internal data and other confidential information that can give an edge to independent merchants selling their products on the site, according to sellers who have been offered and purchased the data, brokers who provide it and people familiar with internal investigations.

...

In exchange for payments ranging from roughly $80 to more than $2,000 , brokers for Amazon employees in Shenzhen are offering internal sales metrics and reviewers' email addresses, as well as a service to delete negative reviews and restore banned Amazon accounts , the people said.

...

Amazon is investigating a number of cases involving employees, including some in the U.S., suspected of accepting these bribes , according to people familiar with the matter. -WSJ

The data brokers primarily operate ion China, as the number of new Amazon sellers in the country has been skyrocketing. The Journal speculates that " Amazon employees in China have relatively small salaries, which may embolden them to take risks. "

Considering that Amazon employees in the US are some of the most poorly paid in tech and retail (Jeff Bezos was recently booed by his own employees over low wages), perhaps the WSJ' s theory holds water.

The internal probe was launched after a tip over the practice in China was sent to Eric Broussard, an Amazon VP in charge of overseeing global marketplaces. The company has since moved key executives into different positions in China to try and "root out the bribery," reports the Journal .

"We hold our employees to a high ethical standard and anyone in violation of our Code faces discipline, including termination and potential legal and criminal penalties," an Amazon spokeswoman said of the situation, confirming that the company is investigating the claims. The same applies to sellers: "We have zero tolerance for abuse of our systems and if we find bad actors who have engaged in this behavior, we will take swift action against them ," she said.

Merchant network

A major component of Amazon's success is its massive network of third-party merchants, where the company derives the majority of merchandise sales. Over two million merchants now offer an estimated 550 million products over Amazon, which constitutes over half of all units sold on the site. Third party sales constituted an estimated $200 billion in gross merchandise volume last year, according to estimates by FactSet.

As such, "Sellers must aggressively compete to get their products noticed on the first page of search results, where customers typically make most of their purchase decisions," notes the Journal .

Evolving manipulations

Merchants have long sought competitive advantages over each other - first gaming Amazon's automated ranking system, by paying people to leave fake reviews and drive traffic to products.

After some time, the black market for internal information emerged, as bribed employees began providing data and access to various benefits, according to a person who has facilitated by brokers.

Brokers are the middlemen between Amazon employees and sellers who want negative reviews deleted or access to internal sales information. Brokers search for Amazon employees on Chinese messaging platform WeChat and send messages asking them if they would like to provide these services in exchange for cash , according to brokers and sellers who say they have been approached by brokers.

The going rate for having an Amazon employee delete negative reviews is about $300 per review , according to people familiar with the practice. Brokers usually demand a five-review minimum, meaning that sellers typically must pay at least $1,500 for the service, the people said. -WSJ

For a lower fee, merchants can pay Amazon employees for the email addresses of verified reviewers, giving them the opportunity to reach out to those who have left negative reviews for the opportunity to persuade them to adjust or delete their comment - sometimes bribing the reviewer with a free or discounted product.

Also offered for sale is proprietary sales information, "such as the keywords customers typically use to search for items on Amazon's site, sales volume and other statistics about buyers' habits, according to the people," enabling Amazon sellers to better craft product descriptions in a manner which will boost their search result rankings.

At a recent conference hosted for sellers -- which wasn't run by Amazon -- a broker pulled up internal keyword results on his laptop. The broker said $80 can buy information on sales data, the number of times users searched for a certain product and clicked on a product page, which sellers are bidding for advertisements and how much those cost, according to the person who viewed the results. -WSJ

One seller in China told the Journal that competition on the website had become so intense that he needs to cheat in order to gain a competitive advantage. " If I don't do bad things I will die ," he said.

If all else fails in rooting out the black market, perhaps Bezos will simply release the hounds:


surf@jm , 9 minutes ago

China's motto......

Who needs Christian morality, when lying, cheating and stealing is our religion.....

surf@jm , 9 minutes ago

China's motto......

Who needs christian morality, when lying, cheating and stealing is our religion.....

Suicyco , 44 minutes ago

If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys

Last of the Middle Class , 44 minutes ago

Just like Wal Mart charging by the inch for shelf space. Same game different monkeys.

Normal , 44 minutes ago

Prime example of how the US is a fascist state: the corporation gets government to enforce law on poor people.

DoctorFix , 1 hour ago

When Amazon opened the flood gates of corruption and scams by allowing Chinese sellers to compete with Americans on the US site... well, the locals were fucked! Lying, scamming Chinese fuckers don't care who or how they screw you. And Amazon doesn't give a shit so long as it makes money. Fuck Amazon! That's why I cancelled any prime membership and haven't bought a damn thing from them in ages.

803Mastiff , 1 hour ago

And the Pentagon farmed out their servers to AWS.....What are Amazon employees getting paid for military intel?

richsob , 1 hour ago

If local retailers have a crappy inventory and the stores are staffed with surly Millennials, then why shouldn't I buy stuff on Amazon at a better price? I support local businesses that deserve being supported. The rest of them sound like a bunch of whiny liberals who feel "entitled" to my money.

cornflakesdisease , 2 minutes ago

Everything on Amazon can be found online somewhere else cheaper. You check out the item on Amazon and then buy it elsewhere. Any seller has to mark up on Amazon to pay Amazon. Logically, then, from his direct website, he would be slightly cheaper.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Stanley-Hardware-S758-305-Chest-Handle/dp/B000FKF1NQ/ref=sr_1_16?ie=UTF8&qid=1537135278&sr=8-16&keywords=chest+handles

https://www.midlandhardware.com/185512.html

Cardinal Fang , 1 hour ago

I'm sorry, did I miss the part where Disgruntled Amazon employees sell access to the CIAs web farms?

Being Free , 1 hour ago

I have a letter from a woman who used to work with Bezos at a McDonalds restaurant when they were both in high school in Miami. She says Bezos walked her home from McDonalds one day after work and sexually attacked her in her home. He tried to rip her clothes off her but she managed to escape his evil clutches. She was and is so distraught over this incident that she is still afraid especially now that he is such a wealthy and powerful man.

just the tip , 44 minutes ago

well played.

JoeTurner , 1 hour ago

Oligarchs bitchez ! it's their country....you just pay the taxes...

ZD1 , 1 hour ago

"A major component of Amazon's success is its massive network of third-party merchants, where the company derives the majority of merchandise sales. Over two million merchants now offer an estimated 550 million products over Amazon, which constitutes over half of all units sold on the site. Third party sales constituted an estimated $200 billion in gross merchandise volume last year, according to estimates by FactSet."

Mostly Chicom sweatshop shit.

abgary1 , 1 hour ago

Giving away our privacy for convenience sake is inane and insane.

Have we become that lazy and ignorant?

Without privacy and thus freedom we have nothing.

Midas , 37 minutes ago

Give me convenience or give me death!

--Jello Biafra

pitz , 1 hour ago

That's nothing. Amazon has access to the business data of a large number of businesses that use AWS. The possibilities of abuse there are nearly endless.

bluebird100 , 1 hour ago

Get fucked Amazon, that's what you get for doing business in China.

ExplodingEntropy , 1 hour ago

tiny dick chicom down-voted you

http://www.auricmedia.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/the_matrix_deciphered.pdf

wetwipe , 1 hour ago

Fuckin' sick of people moaning about Amazon, Google, Facebook, etc, yet spending half their life on there and buying shit from them.

Personally I can't stand what Amazon has become and would never spend £1 with them.

Facebook is evil shit designed to re-wire the brain to make you a self conscious narcissist which will ultimately end in misery.

Google are a million miles away from 'do no evil' but TBH they have a very good product however they are evil scumbags.

These companies literally believe they are gods, that they control the world.... just like the big banks did before 2008.

I hope the crash comes soon.

-WetWipe

mrtoad , 1 hour ago

Banks do control the world

MARDUKTA , 1 hour ago

President will destroy them soon/CIA.

MedicalQuack , 1 hour ago

Heck, this is not just China being solicited, a couple weeks ago I had 4 voicemails, all the same recording stating "making $17.00 to $35.00 an hour posting reviews to Amazon. I didn't answer the calls and saw that they were junk and didn't run upon them until I checked my voicemail for a real message I had missed and there they were.

They all had a different number to call and a different company name, but it was the same recorded message on all 4 of them and this happened in a couple days, 2 on one day, and another 2 the next day. I guess they figured I was not going to respond and took me off attempt #5:)

Why wouldn't folks in the inside go after a scam like this, look at their CEO, a big fat quant from Wall Street..and of course we have all heard and read the stories about how Amazon pays...

This being said, I don't think this scam was just limited to China..if I remember correctly, this was promoted as part time work with posting reviews to Amazon and work as many hours as you like. I deleted all of them so I can't go back and listen again as they were just nuisance calls like others that I just get rid of.

MARDUKTA , 1 hour ago

Bezos partnered with some tribal chieftain in Nigeria who is CEO of Scams-R-Us.

RafterManFMJ , 1 hour ago

Everything's a lie, and the lie is everything

[Sep 16, 2018] Challenging Freedom: Neoliberalism and the Erosion of Democratic Education by Robert Karaba

"Teaching to the test" is a perversion of education. Excessive quantification is bad. Both are primary features of neoliberal education.
Notable quotes:
"... If we care about the prospects of democratic education, we must take neoliberalism's success seriously, for it is a philosophical framework in which freedom and democratic education are mutually exclusive. ..."
"... We must intentionally challenge the neoliberal notion of the value freedom and the usefulness of its associated philosophical assumptions. ..."
Sep 16, 2018 | democracyeducationjournal.org

Goodlad, et al. (2002) rightly point out that a culture can either resist or support change. Schein's (2010) model of culture indicates observable behaviors of a culture can be explained by exposing underlying shared values and basic assumptions that give meaning to the performance. Yet culture is many-faceted and complex. So Schein advised a clinical approach to cultural analysis that calls for identifying a problem in order to focus the analysis on relevant values and assumptions. This project starts with two assumptions:

  1. The erosion of democratic education is a visible overt behavior of the current U.S. macro-culture, and
  2. This is a problem.

I intend to use this problem of the erosion of democratic education as a basis for a cultural analysis. My essential question is: What are the deeper, collective, competing value commitments and shared basic assumptions that hinder efforts for democratic education? The purpose of this paper is to start a conversation about particular cultural limitations and barriers we are working with as we move toward recapturing the civic mission of education.

... ... ...

Neoliberalism's success in infiltrating the national discourse shuts out alternative discourses and appears to render them irrelevant in everyday American culture (R. Quantz, personal communication, Summer 2006). If we care about the prospects of democratic education, we must take neoliberalism's success seriously, for it is a philosophical framework in which freedom and democratic education are mutually exclusive. Dewey (1993), in all his wisdom, warned:

And let those who are struggling to replace the present economic system by a cooperative one also remember that in struggling for a new system of social restraints and controls they are also struggling for a more equal and equitable balance of powers that will enhance and multiply the effective liberties of the mass of individuals. Let them not be jockeyed into the position of supporting social control at the expense of liberty [emphasis added]. (p. 160)

Yet, that is exactly the situation in which we find ourselves today. Democratic education is viewed as a social control policy, as an infringement on the supremacy of the [neoliberal] freedom. We witness a lack of democratic citizenship, moral, and character education in our schools. We see a lack of redistributing resources for equality of educational opportunity. We observe a lack of talk about education's civic mission, roles, and goals. Democratic education is viewed as tangential, secondary, and mutually exclusive from the prioritized value of "liberty." How can we foster alternative notions of freedom, such as Lincoln's republican sense of liberty as collectively inquiring and deciding how we rule ourselves?

We must intentionally challenge the neoliberal notion of the value freedom and the usefulness of its associated philosophical assumptions.

[Sep 16, 2018] Conservatism as an ideology of protection of aristocracy against the agency of the subordinate classes

Sep 16, 2018 | crookedtimber.org

Z 09.14.18 at 2:49 pm ( 54 )

Thomas Beale prohibition of abortion, support for 'the family' (usually code for banning gay marriage etc) and/or economic disciplinarian

Leaving aside the new social circumstances that I think nowadays prevail (and which make the terms "conservative" equivocal at best, if not meaningless), someone who supports a prohibition of abortion wants to take the decision of carrying a pregnancy out of the hands of the woman experiencing the pregnancy; someone who supports "the family" under your interpretation wants to take the decision of entering an existing legal arrangements between loving couples out of the hands of certain loving couples; someone who supports economic "discipline" (I'm guessing this means supporting policies that favor upward redistribution rather than policies that favor downward redistribution) wants the currently poor to have even less choices and opportunities in the ways to go on about their material lives than they do now (hard to defend as something promoting individual freedom, unless this discussion takes place in a country where the poor already have plenty of such opportunities already whereas the burden placed on the rich is already considerable, which seems to me hard to argue at least for the UK, US and Brazil).

So I find these political choices quite in agreement with the thesis of "conservatism as animus against the agency of the subordinate classes", myself. And I think a consistent conservative would have to agree (and say for instance that yes, he wants to deny the agency of a pregnant woman because he gives a higher value to the sanctity of life or that yes, he wants to deny the agency of the poor, because the agency of the rich is much more valuable, perhaps because they have demonstrated that they have higher creative powers, or are morally superior or whatever )

Lee A. Arnold 09.15.18 at 12:14 pm (no link)
"Protection of aristocracy against the agency of the subordinate classes" could be a good first pass at describing the Wittgensteinian family resemblance of all conservatisms. In the mid-18th Century the final public inversion of theories of dispensation from the Absolute (i.e. the Great Chain of Being), inverted in the face of increasing scientific knowledge and technological advance, served to overthrow the privileges of aristocracy and divine right, and brought forward the question of the will of the rabble as a new, constant norm in the political process (i.e. "democracy"). The left-right divide blossomed.

We may still be living in an era of shadow cast from that event. It could be that some "language games" perpetuate as dialogical, rhetorical, antiphonal, oppositional. Yet the referents can change, as in any emotional argument. In the case of a language game emerging to the immediate concerns of property ownership and political power, it might persist over time in the emotional shadow of the ancien regime, yet it would transmute over time in response to change and contingency, and use varying political issues of the moment to stay alive. So we have a sort of dialogic meta-organism with an autopoietic (i.e. self-maintaining) social ontogeny, leaving behind itself the tracks of a dialectical history.

In our present moment, the "protection of aristocracy against the agency of the subordinate classes" has transmuted to "protection of the free market as a way for any subordinate person to ascend by personal effort into the modern open aristocracy".

But this could be the end of that game. Yes, it is a clever trick: it perpetuates the belief in individualism, because anyone can try to do it. But it is also fatally flawed. Not everyone can do it because there are formal limitations: over long periods of time some few people invent new goods and services and achieve success, but at any one moment there is a lot of unemployed and underpaid. In addition some members of the modern open aristocracy are pushing programs that increase inequality and environmental destruction, and these results become more visible to the public.

"Protection of aristocracy against the agency of the subordinate classes" moved historically to "protection of the free market as a way for anyone to become one of the aristocrats" -- and now may finally be eclipsed, because that is not believable. It would be the end of the pro-hierarchic bent of conservatism. Mainstream conservatives won't have much to distinguish themselves from progressives, who otherwise believe in individualism and personal achievement. The social-conservative varieties would spin off to single-issue advocacies. We may see a book entitled, Varieties of Conservatism Against One Another.

[Sep 16, 2018] Neoliberal nomenklatura

Sep 16, 2018 | crookedtimber.org

Stephen 09.16.18 at 4:11 pm

Peter T: contrariwise, if it is that as you say "There's surely a reasoned case to be made that hierarchies are essential to complex societies" and "someone has to be at the top and therefore someone else at the bottom", is it legitimate to suspect that a fair proportion (not all, of course) of those advocating progressive change believe that after the defeat of the evil conservative forces, there will still be an essential hierarchy, only they will be on top?

See nomenklatura, etc.


Sebastian H 09.16.18 at 5:27 pm ( 83 )

"is it legitimate to suspect that a fair proportion (not all, of course) of those advocating progressive change believe that after the defeat of the evil conservative forces, there will still be an essential hierarchy, only they will be on top?"

Usually yes, but they will be benevolent so we don't have to worry about them. That is why there are a lot of naïve progressive rule proposals that make me want to scream "what if someone less pure than the purest person you ever met gets a hold of it"? Though I usually just say "what if Ralph Nader were in charge ?", but that is admittedly trolling. For the most current example see the EU copyright rules. The same people who complain about conservative twitter mobs think that telling facebook, twitter, and google to automatically screen out copyright violations and somehow automatically allow fair use of copyright is going to work out well.
I suck at guessing at malignant uses of technology and I can already see the Russian copyright upload experts getting prominent left wing voices tied up in interminable litigation over political speeches. Or some troll reporting the entire internet as copyrighted in one paragraph increments. Or the speech censorship discussions. Dissolving free speech norms is 1000% more likely to be used against left wing voices than right wing ones if they get mainstreamed.

likbez 09.16.18 at 9:16 pm ( 84 )
@Lee A. Arnold 09.15.18 at 12:14 pm (66)

In our present moment, the "protection of aristocracy against the agency of the subordinate classes" has transmuted to "protection of the free market as a way for any subordinate person to ascend by personal effort into the modern open aristocracy."

That is a very deep observation. Thank you!

Protection of inequality as a "natural human condition" is the key to understanding both conservatism and neoliberalism. The corresponding myth of social mobility based on person's abilities under neoliberalism (as Napoleon Bonaparte observed "Ability is of little account without opportunity" and the opportunity is lacking under neoliberal stagnation -- the current state of neoliberalism ) is just icing on the cake.

As soon as you accept Hayek sophistry that the term "freedom" means "the freedom from coercion" you are both a neoliberal and a conservative. And if you belong to Democratic Party, you are a Vichy democrat ;-)

likbez 09.16.18 at 9:50 pm ( 85 )
@Stephen 09.16.18 at 4:11 pm (82)

"is it legitimate to suspect that a fair proportion (not all, of course) of those advocating progressive change believe that after the defeat of the evil conservative forces, there will still be an essential hierarchy, only they will be on top?"

In a way yes ;-)

Neoliberalism/conservatism means that the state enforces the existing hierarchy and supports existing aristocracy ("socialism for rich"). If you deny the existence of a flavor of the Soviet nomenklatura (aristocracy in which position in social hierarchy mainly depends on their role in the top management of government or corporations, not so much personal fortune) in the USA, you deny the reality.

So the question is not about hierarchy per se, but about the acceptable level of "corporate socialism" and inequality in the society.

The progressive change means the creation of the system of government which serves as a countervailing force to the private capital owners, curbing their excesses. I would say that financial oligarchy generally should be treated as a district flavor of organized crime.

The key issue is how to allow a decent level of protection of the bottom 90% of the population from excesses of unfettered capitalism and "market forces" and at the same time not to slide into excessive bureaucracy and regulation ("state capitalism" model).

For a short period after WWII the alliance of a part of state apparatus, upper-level management, and trade unions against owners of capital did exist in the USA (New Deal Capitalism). In an imperfect form with multiple betrayals and quick deterioration, but still existed for some time due to the danger from the USSR

Around 80th the threat from USSR dissipate, and the upper-level management betrayed their former allies and switched sides which signified the victory of neoliberalism and dismantling of the New Deal Capitalism.

After the USSR collapse (when Soviet nomenklatura switched to neoliberalism) the financial oligarchy staged coup d'état in the USA (aka "Quiet Coup") and came to the top.

We need depose this semi-criminal gang. Of course, the end of "cheap oil" will probably help.

Peter T 09.16.18 at 11:40 pm ( 86 )
Stephen

Some, but a "fair proportion"? Probably not. Advocacy of progressive causes usually involves punching up – an inherently more dangerous occupation than punching down. People forget that the older nomenklatura won their positions in World War II, when being a commissar meant leading from the front, being shot out of hand by the Germans, rallying the partisans in mountain villages to another desperate defence and similar. Survivor bias – we don't see the dead.

In more genteel times, the outspoken progressive will often face social ostracism, lack of promotion, attacks in the conservative press

Human motives are complex – no doubt there were confederates who genuinely believed the fight was for states rights, and no doubt there are libertarians who genuinely believe that the poor will have it much better in a free market utopia. I doubt the proportion, either counting individuals or in the swirl inside minds, is very large, but there's always some.

Faustusnotes 09.16.18 at 11:45 pm ( 87 )
Now we're making progress Thomas. The Berkowitz definition is sleazy, and sets up anyone not conservative as an amoral lump in need of guidance, or worse still as dangerous to society. Perhaps that's why Hayek (a supposedly type b conservative) had his opponents thrown out of helicopters. Or was that Friedman?

The appeal of conservatism and it's electoral success is easily explained. Because their real ideology is just treachery, theft and rape they need to hide these ideas from normal people, who already in general support the moral ideas fundamental to civilized society regardless of their politics. So they hide their true agenda through appeals to racism, or by cloaking themselves in the type b definition (isn't this robins point?!) In doing this they benefit from the work of yeomen like you, who insist that conservatism is a real moral project rather than banditry. In most countries they also only win when the left is divided, and only when their elite friends are pouring money into corrupt media. If they didn't have these advantages, these lies, and help from people like you they would never succeed.

I focus on Trump et Al because they are the leaders of your sect,the people who sell your ideas (manafort was a campaign manager ffs), and the people who turn the ideology into action. Didn't you learn in primary school to judge people by their actions, not their words? And why would I ignore these particular conservatives because they're "vulgar clowns"? You're all dangerous, vulgar clowns.

[Sep 16, 2018] Challenging Freedom: Neoliberalism and the Erosion of Democratic Education

Sep 16, 2018 | democracyeducationjournal.org

Goodlad, et al. (2002) rightly point out that a culture can either resist or support change. Schein's (2010) model of culture indicates observable behaviors of a culture can be explained by exposing underlying shared values and basic assumptions that give meaning to the performance. Yet culture is many-faceted and complex. So Schein advised a clinical approach to cultural analysis that calls for identifying a problem in order to focus the analysis on relevant values and assumptions. This project starts with two assumptions:

(1) The erosion of democratic education is a visible overt behavior of the current U.S. macro-culture, and

(2) this is a problem.

I intend to use this problem of the erosion of democratic education as a basis for a cultural analysis. My essential question is: What are the deeper, collective, competing value commitments and shared basic assumptions that hinder efforts for democratic education? The purpose of this paper is to start a conversation about particular cultural limitations and barriers we are working with as we move toward recapturing the civic mission of education.

[Sep 16, 2018] Spygate Operative Nellie Ohr To Testify Before Congress This Week About Work For Fusion GPS

Sep 16, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Nellie Ohr will sit for an interview with Congress next week, according to Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX).

Ohr, an expert on Russia who speaks fluent Russian, is a central figure in the nexus between Fusion GPS - the opposition research firm paid by the Clinton campaign to produce the "Steele Dossier " - and the Obama Justice Department - where her husband, Bruce Ohr, was a senior official. Bruce was demoted twice after he was caught lying about his extensive involvement with Fusion's activities surrounding the 2016 US election.

Notably, the Ohrs had extensive contact with Christopher Steele, the ex-MI6 spy who authored the salacious anti-Trump dossier used to justify spying on the Trump campaign during the election, and later to smear Donald Trump right before he took office in 2017. According to emails turned over to Congress and reported in late August, the Ohrs would have breakfast with Steele on July 30 at the downtown D.C. Mayflower hotel - days after Steele had turned in several installments of the infamous dossier to the FBI . The breakfast took place one day before the FBI/DOJ launched operation "Crossfire Hurricane," the codename for the official counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign.

"Great to see you and Nellie this morning Bruce," Steele wrote shortly following their breakfast meeting. " Let's keep in touch on the substantive issues/s (sic). Glenn is happy to speak to you on this if it would help," referring to Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson.

No stranger to the US intelligence community, Nellie Ohr represented the CIA's "Open Source Works" group in a 2010 " expert working group report on international organized crime" along with Bruce Ohr and Glenn Simpson .


Nayel , 56 minutes ago

I'd bet she gets up there and denies everything, lust like Strozk. And the DOJ does nothing, and even allows the perjury to slide.

Sessions is clearly complicit. Loretta Lynch might as well be still running the show...and perhaps she is...

Seeing as how the Shadow Government seems to be running the "Collusion Investigation" on themselves...

thebriang , 1 hour ago

Is she going to name the 3 "journalists" that Fusion paid to start pushing the Russia narrative in the MSM?

I want names, goddammit.

samsara , 1 hour ago

Thread by Thread the garment is unraveled for all to see

" Needless to say, Congress will have no shortage of questions to ask Nellie. "

Like why did she get a ham radio? I guess she didn't trust the NSA?

[Sep 16, 2018] Ending the Secrecy of the Student Debt Crisis

Pervasive racketeering rules because we allow it to, especially in education and medicine. Both are self-destructing under the weight of their own money-grubbing schemes.
Notable quotes:
"... Because of the loans' disgracefully high interest rates, my family and I have paid more or less the equivalent of my debt itself in the years since I graduated, making monthly payments in good faith -- even in times of unemployment and extreme duress -- to lenders like Citigroup, a bank that was among the largest recipients of federal bailout money in 2008 and that eventually sold off my debt to other lenders. This ruinous struggle has been essentially meaningless: I now owe more than what I started out owing, not unlike my parents with their mortgage . ..."
"... By Daniela Senderowicz. Originally published in Yes! Magazine ..."
"... Activists are building meaningful connections among borrowers to counter the taboo of admitting they can't pay their bills. ..."
"... Gamblers and reality TV stars can claim bankruptcy protections when in financial trouble, but 44 million student loan borrowers can't. Unemployed, underpaid, destitute, sick, or struggling borrowers simply aren't able to start anew. ..."
"... With a default rate approaching 40 percent , one would expect armies of distressed borrowers marching in the streets demanding relief from a system that has singled out their financial anguish. Distressed student debtors, however, seem to be terror-struck about coming forward to a society that, they say, ostracizes them for their inability to keep up with their finances. ..."
"... When we spoke to several student borrowers, almost none were willing to share their names. "I can't tell anyone how much I'm struggling," says a 39-year-old Oregon physician who went into student loan default after his wife's illness drained their finances. He is terrified of losing his patients and reputation if he speaks out about his financial problems. ..."
"... Debtors are isolated, anxious, and in the worst cases have taken their own lives . Simone confirms that she has "worked with debtors who were suicidal or had psychological breakdowns requiring psychiatric hospitalization." ..."
"... "Alienation impacts mental health issues," says New York mental health counselor Harriet Fraad. "As long as they blame themselves within the system, they're lost." ..."
"... A recent manifesto by activist and recent graduate Eli Campbell calls for radical unity among borrowers. "Young people live in constant fear that they'll never be able to pay off their debt. We're not buying houses or able to afford the hallmarks of the American dream," he explains. ..."
"... Do a little research on car selling and you will see the pressures on the dealer sales force to suck the vast majority of buyers into long term debt. Car loans are now five or six years, routinely. ..."
Sep 16, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Yves here. This article describes how the stigma of struggling to pay student debt is a burden in and of itself. I wish this article had explained how little it take to trigger an escalation into default interest rates and how punitive they are. The piece also stresses the value of activism as a form of psychological relief, by connecting stressed student debt borrowers with people similarly afflicted.

But the bigger issue is the way indebtedness is demonized in a society that makes it pretty much impossible to avoid borrowing. One reader recounted how many (as in how few) weeks of after tax wages it took to buy a car in the 1960s versus now. Dealers don't want to talk to buyers who want to pay in full at the time of purchase. And if you don't have installment credit or a mortgage, the consumer credit agencies ding you!

It goes without saying that the sense of shame is harder to endure due to how shallow most people's social networks are, which is another product of neoliberalism.

In keeping, the New York Times today ran an op-ed by one of its editors on how student debtors are also victims of the crisis, reprinted from a longer piece in The Baffler (hat tip Dan K). Key sections :

Because of the loans' disgracefully high interest rates, my family and I have paid more or less the equivalent of my debt itself in the years since I graduated, making monthly payments in good faith -- even in times of unemployment and extreme duress -- to lenders like Citigroup, a bank that was among the largest recipients of federal bailout money in 2008 and that eventually sold off my debt to other lenders. This ruinous struggle has been essentially meaningless: I now owe more than what I started out owing, not unlike my parents with their mortgage .

Many people have and will continue to condemn me personally for my tremendous but unexceptional student debt, and the ways in which it has made the recession's effects linger for my family. I've spent quite a lot of time in the past decade accepting this blame. The recession may have compounded my family's economic insecurity, but I also made the conscious decision to take out loans for a college I couldn't afford in order to become a journalist, a profession with minimal financial returns. The amount of debt I owe in student loans -- about $100,000 -- is more than I make in a given year. I am ashamed and embarrassed by this, but as I grow older, I think it is time that those profiting from this country's broken economic system share some of my guilt

[At my commencement in 2009] Mrs. Clinton then echoed a fantasy of boundless opportunity that had helped guide the country into economic collapse, deceiving many of the parents in attendance, including my own, into borrowing toward a future that they couldn't work hard enough to afford. "There is no problem we face here in America or around the world that will not yield to human effort," she said. "Our challenges are ones that summon the best of us, and we will make the world better tomorrow than it is today." At the time, I wondered if this was accurate. I now know how wrong she was.

By Daniela Senderowicz. Originally published in Yes! Magazine

Activists are building meaningful connections among borrowers to counter the taboo of admitting they can't pay their bills.

Gamblers and reality TV stars can claim bankruptcy protections when in financial trouble, but 44 million student loan borrowers can't. Unemployed, underpaid, destitute, sick, or struggling borrowers simply aren't able to start anew.

With a default rate approaching 40 percent , one would expect armies of distressed borrowers marching in the streets demanding relief from a system that has singled out their financial anguish. Distressed student debtors, however, seem to be terror-struck about coming forward to a society that, they say, ostracizes them for their inability to keep up with their finances.

When we spoke to several student borrowers, almost none were willing to share their names. "I can't tell anyone how much I'm struggling," says a 39-year-old Oregon physician who went into student loan default after his wife's illness drained their finances. He is terrified of losing his patients and reputation if he speaks out about his financial problems.

"If I shared this with anyone they will look down upon me as some kind of fool," explains a North Carolina psychologist who is now beyond retirement age. He explains that his student debt balance soared after losing a well-paying position during the financial crisis, and that he is struggling to pay it back.

Financial shame alienates struggling borrowers. Debtors blame themselves and self-loathe when they can't make their payments, explains Colette Simone, a Michigan psychologist. "There is so much fear of sharing the reality of their financial situation and the devastation it is causing in every facet of their lives," she says. "The consequences of coming forward can result in social pushback and possible job -- related complications, which only deepen their suffering."

Debtors are isolated, anxious, and in the worst cases have taken their own lives . Simone confirms that she has "worked with debtors who were suicidal or had psychological breakdowns requiring psychiatric hospitalization."

With an average debt of just over $37,000 per borrower for the class of 2016 , and given that incomes have been flat since the 1970s , it's not surprising that borrowers are struggling to pay. Student loans have a squeaky-clean reputation, and society tends to view them as a noble symbol of the taxpayers' generosity to the working poor. Fear of facing society's ostracism for failure to pay them back has left borrowers alienated and trapped in a lending system that is engulfing them in debt bondage.

"Alienation impacts mental health issues," says New York mental health counselor Harriet Fraad. "As long as they blame themselves within the system, they're lost."

Student debtors can counter despair by fighting back through activism and political engagement, she says. "Connection is the antidote to alienation, and engaging in activism, along with therapy, is a way to recovery."

Despite the fear of coming forward, some activists are building a social movement in which meaningful connections among borrowers can counter the taboo of openly admitting financial ruin.

Student Loan Justice, a national grassroots lobby group, is attempting to build this movement by pushing for robust legislation to return bankruptcy protections to borrowers. The group has active chapters in almost every state, with members directly lobbying their local representatives to sign on as co-sponsors to HR 2366. Activists are building a supportive community for struggling borrowers through political agitation, local engagement, storytelling, and by spreading a courageous message of hope that may embolden traumatized borrowers to come forward and unite.

Julie Margetaa Morgan , a fellow at The Roosevelt Institute, recently noted that student debt servicers like Navient have a powerful influence on lawmakers. "Student loan borrowers may not have millions to spend on lobbying, but they have something equally, if not more, powerful: millions of voices," she says.

A recent manifesto by activist and recent graduate Eli Campbell calls for radical unity among borrowers. "Young people live in constant fear that they'll never be able to pay off their debt. We're not buying houses or able to afford the hallmarks of the American dream," he explains.

In his call for a unified national boycott of student loan payments, inevitably leading to a mass default on this debt, Campbell hopes to expose this crisis and instigate radical change. In a recent interview he explained that the conditions for borrowers are so bad already that debtors may not join the boycott willingly. Instead, participation may simply happen by default given the lack of proper work opportunities that lead to borrowers' inability to pay.

While a large-scale default may not happen through willful and supportive collective action, ending the secrecy of the crisis through massive national attention may destigmatize the shame of financial defeat and finally bring debtors out of the isolation that causes them so much despair.

Activists are calling for a significant conversation about the commodification of educating our youth, shifting our focus toward investing into the promise of the young and able, rather than the guarantee of their perpetual debt bondage. In calling for collective action they soothe the hurt of so many alienated debtors, breaking the taboos that allow them to say, "Me, too" and admit openly that in this financial climate we all need each other to move forward.


Jane , September 16, 2018 at 4:15 am

How much are the interest rates on student loans there in the USA? Here in India its 11.5% if you want to finance studies abroad. 8.5 for some select institutions.

JVR , September 16, 2018 at 5:36 am

I wonder if the media's obsession with "millenials" isn't primarily a way to try to divide people with shared interests, above all around the topics of student debt and the job market and to make the problems seem like they have shallower roots than they really do. The individuals mentioned here are older than that 24-37 age cohort, one of them much older.

Epistrophy , September 16, 2018 at 6:42 am

Dealers don't want to talk to buyers who want to pay in full at the time of purchase.

Yes Yes. Car manufacturers are actually finance houses selling products manufactured by subcontractors – such is the state of American industry – but their dream is to move to a SaaS model where ownership, of anything, becomes a relic of the past (except for the overlords and oligarchs).

This could not be possible without government corruption and revolving-door regulation. Maybe these PAYG vehicles will contain built-in body scanners too; for our own security, of course.

In his call for a unified national boycott of student loan payments, inevitably leading to a mass default on this debt, Campbell hopes to expose this crisis and instigate radical change.

Default, or radical change, would bring the economy to it's knees. But when there is another economic downturn, this is going to happen anyway. Terrible situation; negative real interest rates destroying the pensions of the elderly, student loan servitude destroying the youth and the middle class being squeezed to oblivion. What can be done to fix it, I ask?

Yet they are doing God's work, are they? Well, this is not a God I choose to worship.

JTMcPhee , September 16, 2018 at 8:33 am

Well good for you. How many cars, of what age, have you bought, for your anecdote to rate as anything vaguely resembling the wide reality, and how does your personal financial situation let you just write checks for $30 or $70,000?

Do a little research on car selling and you will see the pressures on the dealer sales force to suck the vast majority of buyers into long term debt. Car loans are now five or six years, routinely.

And one wonders what the investment is in trying to impeach the points of this report, wth such an unlikely and atypical claim.

UserFriendly , September 16, 2018 at 6:57 am

NYT ran the same story , interesting they edited out his total debt and major though.

JTMcPhee , September 16, 2018 at 8:39 am

Maybe a little traction, then, for the notion, and increasingly the inescapable reality, of #juststoppaying on those "remember Joe Biden" virtually non-dischargeable, often fraudulently induced, "student loan" debt shackles?

[Sep 16, 2018] These Four Predicted The Global Financial Crisis; Here's What They Think Causes The Next One

Notable quotes:
"... Rajan turned out to be a party pooper, questioning whether "advances" in the financial sector actually increased, rather than reduced, systemic risk . Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers called him a Luddite . " I felt like an early Christian who had wandered into a convention of half-starved lions ," he wrote. But though delivered in genteel academic lingo, his paper was powerful and prescient. ..."
"... "There has been a shift of risk from the formal banking system to the shadow financial system." He also told me the post-crisis reforms did not address central banks' role in creating asset bubbles through accommodative monetary policy, which he sees as the financial markets' biggest long-term challenge. ..."
"... 99% of all people should invest in themselves first. That means having no debt and also having a small company that you only put sweat equity into to make it work starting out as a side business and keeping it as a side business even if it grows bigger. That also means going to college and earning a money making degree that is in demand. ..."
Sep 16, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

"The ultimate thing that brings down financial markets is excess leverage So, you look where's the big leverage, and right now I think it's in emerging markets."

Shilling is particularly worried about the $8 trillion in dollar-denominated emerging-market corporate and sovereign debt, especially as the U.S. dollar rises along with interest rates. "The problem is as the dollar increases," he said, "it gets tougher and tougher for them to service [that debt] because it takes more and more of their local currency to do so." Of that, $249 billion must be repaid or refinanced through next year , Bloomberg reported.

... ... ...

That housing-related stocks "saw a parabolic run-up" in 2016-17, but in January his index "peaked and now it's coming down hard." And this spells "bad news on the housing market looking 12 months down the road."

Per Howard Gold's interview :

But the biggest danger, Stack told me, is from low-quality corporate debt. Issuance of corporate bonds has "gone from around $700 billion in 2008 to about two and a half times that [today]."

And, he added, more and more of that debt is subprime . Uh-oh.

In 2005, he pointed out, companies issued five times as much high-quality as subprime debt, but last year "we had as much subprime debt, poor quality-debt issued, as quality debt on the corporate level," he said, warning "this is the kind of debt that does get defaulted on dramatically in an economic downturn."

Per Howard Gold:

Rajan turned out to be a party pooper, questioning whether "advances" in the financial sector actually increased, rather than reduced, systemic risk . Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers called him a Luddite . " I felt like an early Christian who had wandered into a convention of half-starved lions ," he wrote. But though delivered in genteel academic lingo, his paper was powerful and prescient.

His predictions pre-2008:

"Managers have greater incentive to take risk because the upside is significant, while the downside is limited."

"Moreover, the linkages between markets, and between markets and institutions, are now more pronounced. While this helps the system diversify across small shocks, it also exposes the system to large systemic shocks "

"The financial risks that are being created by the system are indeed greater [potentially creating] a greater (albeit still small) probability of a catastrophic meltdown."

What he says now:

"There has been a shift of risk from the formal banking system to the shadow financial system." He also told me the post-crisis reforms did not address central banks' role in creating asset bubbles through accommodative monetary policy, which he sees as the financial markets' biggest long-term challenge.

"You get hooked on leverage. It's cheap, it's easy to refinance, so why not take more of it? You get lulled into taking more leverage than perhaps you can handle."

And what might be coming:

Rajan also sees potential problems in U.S. corporate debt, particularly as rates rise, and in emerging markets, though he thinks the current problems in Turkey and Argentina are "not full-blown contagion."

"But are there accidents waiting to happen? Yes, there are."

What he says now:

"I think the choice of Europe is going to have to put [all the debt] on the balance sheet of the European Central Bank. If they don't, then the euro zone breaks apart and we're going to get a 50% valuation collapse."

"Greece...is a rounding error. Italy is not . And Brussels and Germany are going to have to allow Italy to overshoot their persistent debt, and the ECB is going to have to buy that debt."

"If it doesn't happen, the debt triggers a crisis in Europe, [and] that triggers the beginning of a global recession" but... "there are so many little dominoes, if they all start falling, one leads to the next."

Comments Howard Gold ,

Mauldin estimates the world has almost "half a quadrillion dollars," or $500 trillion, in debt and unfunded pension and other liabilities, which he views as unsustainable.

But the flashpoint for the next crisis is likely to be in Europe, especially Italy, he maintains.


Fed-up with being Sick and Tired , 3 minutes ago

It is an interesting piece. I do recall seeing A. Gary Shilling speaking back then when I watched mainstream financial news which I no longer do. It would be interesting now to hear what these four would have to see to actually see de-leveraging occur, and a reset put in motion. I am tiring of the shenanigans of Central Bankers who clearly are trying everything to keep this mess propped up.

Iskiab , 21 minutes ago

These guys are all right in their risk assessments but are being cautious on saying how it will play out. Debt is one factor; but protectionism, demographic changes, and dedollarization are the other threats.

The truth is no one knows how things will unfold, but I'm betting stagflation will be in the works for the US for an extended period soon.

smacker , 1 hour ago

The 2008 financial crash was fundamentally caused by excessive DEBT.

That excessive debt was in the hands of: government, corporates and private individuals and the banksters were making huge profits out of it, so they had no incentive to rein it in. Clowns like UK Chancellor Gordoom Brown went on record claiming that he'd abolished boom & bust, so the borrow/spend culture went on. ho-ho.

But borrowers eventually got to the point where they simply couldn't take on any more debt, so the economy crashed, given that it was based on rising never-ending debt.

All of the labels given to this debt mountain such as: sub-prime mortgages, derivatives, excessive leverage etc are all valid for analysts to analyse but the common connection between them all was excessive DEBT.

That is what I concluded at the time and it has been confirmed 1,000,000 times since then.

I am on record saying that this huge debt pile would take a generation to work its way thru the economy which implied a long recession or depression.

I also predicted there'd likely be a BIG RESET to speed up the adjustment process. Despite central banks irresponsibly printing vast amounts of fiat to alleviate the consequences for their friends the banksters (but in reality to create new asset price bubbles) and dropping interest rates to near zero to encourage more debt and mal-investment, nothing that has happened has changed my mind.

The situation today, 10 years later, is that debt levels are hugely higher than in 2008 and the solution which existed then remains on the table. It's just that central banks falsely believe their money-printing actions will solve the problem whereas in truth they are in denial.

You cannot solve a debt problem by printing more money and taking on more debt. Central banks and the likes of Krugman think otherwise.

The day of reckoning is on the horizon: either there will be a huge long recession/depression to work debt out of the system with all of its implications to asset values and social cohesion AND/OR a BIG RESET will be enacted. The latter will destroy the wealth of vast numbers of ordinary people with their savings and investments going down the flusher.

Neither solution will be a pretty sight.

Prepare accordingly.

Cincinnatuus , 1 hour ago

I think you are spot on with your assessment of the situation, and it seems a great many other knowledgeable people agree with you. In fact, many market prognosticators are openly talking about a RESET as a result of the dollar value collapsing and a resulting hyper-inflation. Too many people think this.

The Contrarian in me says because everybody is expecting that, it's not going to play out that way. I too, talk about the value of the dollar getting cut in half from here. Instead of a RESET, I expect the collapse of the value of the dollar to usher in a deflationary implosion as all that unpayable debt and financial obligations collapses and gets marked down to zero. Likely the Banksters try some sort of money printing orgy along the way... Never let a good crisis go to waste.

smacker , 1 hour ago

This article from Robert Prechter dating back to 2010 predicted the:

" US economy is heading for systemic collapse into hyperinflation "

Prechter wasn't wrong, he just couldn't predict when it would happen. He understood that the only solution to the huge debt crises was to clear it by letting it work its way thru the economy (a generation or so to do) or by a BIG RESET.

Nothing has changed. Except that in the last 10 years, central banks have taken actions to kick the can down the road because they're in denial and think they know better.

What the central banks never took into account in 2008 was that ((other things)) have changed in the past 10 years, most notably the waning power of the USD as the Global Reserve Currency which can only have negative consequences.

Fed-up with being Sick and Tired , 3 minutes ago

It is an interesting piece. I do recall seeing A. Gary Shilling speaking back then when I watched mainstream financial news which I no longer do. It would be interesting now to hear what these four would have to see to actually see de-leveraging occur, and a reset put in motion. I am tiring of the shenanigans of Central Bankers who clearly are trying everything to keep this mess propped up.

Iskiab , 21 minutes ago

These guys are all right in their risk assessments but are being cautious on saying how it will play out. Debt is one factor; but protectionism, demographic changes, and dedollarization are the other threats.

The truth is no one knows how things will unfold, but I'm betting stagflation will be in the works for the US for an extended period soon.

bunkers , 1 hour ago

Greg Hunter, on YouTube, interviews Catherine Austin Fitts in an early Sunday morning release. It's excellent.

turkey george palmer , 1 hour ago

Ha, good times bad times like the song says

But when I whispered in her ear, I lost another friend, oooh.

smacker , 1 hour ago

The 2008 financial crash was fundamentally caused by excessive DEBT.

That excessive debt was in the hands of: government, corporates and private individuals and the banksters were making huge profits out of it, so they had no incentive to rein it in. Clowns like UK Chancellor Gordoom Brown went on record claiming that he'd abolished boom & bust, so the borrow/spend culture went on. ho-ho.

But borrowers eventually got to the point where they simply couldn't take on any more debt, so the economy crashed, given that it was based on rising never-ending debt.

All of the labels given to this debt mountain such as: sub-prime mortgages, derivatives, excessive leverage etc are all valid for analysts to analyse but the common connection between them all was excessive DEBT.

That is what I concluded at the time and it has been confirmed 1,000,000 times since then.

I am on record saying that this huge debt pile would take a generation to work its way thru the economy which implied a long recession or depression.

I also predicted there'd likely be a BIG RESET to speed up the adjustment process. Despite central banks irresponsibly printing vast amounts of fiat to alleviate the consequences for their friends the banksters (but in reality to create new asset price bubbles) and dropping interest rates to near zero to encourage more debt and mal-investment, nothing that has happened has changed my mind.

The situation today, 10 years later, is that debt levels are hugely higher than in 2008 and the solution which existed then remains on the table. It's just that central banks falsely believe their money-printing actions will solve the problem whereas in truth they are in denial.

You cannot solve a debt problem by printing more money and taking on more debt. Central banks and the likes of Krugman think otherwise.

The day of reckoning is on the horizon: either there will be a huge long recession/depression to work debt out of the system with all of its implications to asset values and social cohesion AND/OR a BIG RESET will be enacted. The latter will destroy the wealth of vast numbers of ordinary people with their savings and investments going down the flusher.

Neither solution will be a pretty sight.

Prepare accordingly.

U. Sinclair , 1 hour ago

"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results".

Cincinnatuus , 1 hour ago

I think you are spot on with your assessment of the situation, and it seems a great many other knowledgeable people agree with you. In fact, many market prognosticators are openly talking about a RESET as a result of the dollar value collapsing and a resulting hyper-inflation. Too many people think this.

The Contrarian in me says because everybody is expecting that, it's not going to play out that way. I too, talk about the value of the dollar getting cut in half from here. Instead of a RESET, I expect the collapse of the value of the dollar to usher in a deflationary implosion as all that unpayable debt and financial obligations collapses and gets marked down to zero. Likely the Banksters try some sort of money printing orgy along the way... Never let a good crisis go to waste.

smacker , 1 hour ago

This article from Robert Prechter dating back to 2010 predicted the:

" US economy is heading for systemic collapse into hyperinflation "

Prechter wasn't wrong, he just couldn't predict when it would happen. He understood that the only solution to the huge debt crises was to clear it by letting it work its way thru the economy (a generation or so to do) or by a BIG RESET.

Nothing has changed. Except that in the last 10 years, central banks have taken actions to kick the can down the road because they're in denial and think they know better.

What the central banks never took into account in 2008 was that ((other things)) have changed in the past 10 years, most notably the waning power of the USD as the Global Reserve Currency which can only have negative consequences.

Wahooo , 56 minutes ago

Got the collapse right, but not the hyperinflation.

smacker , 51 minutes ago

Time will tell... if the huge debt problem is resolved correctly by actions intended to clear it and the USD loses its GRC status, deflation followed by hyperinflation will likely follow as USDs flood back into the US economy.

CoCosAB , 16 minutes ago

The simple solution is - an old fashion I know - a DEBT JUBILEE !

The last time some schmuck tried to make the millennia tradition return he got himself crucified!

There's NO OTHER SOLUTION in the present status of the MONETARY SYSTEM to re-balance it. Of course that the OWNERS of the SYSTEM and the WEALTH (DEBT) don't wont to see their WEALTH disappear in a click of a button...

So, the next Great Transference of Wealth (1st in 2007/8 and so on) its about to start!

The example given above its just a peanut " Paulson, of course, loaded up on CDS's and made $4 billion in what has been called "the greatest trade ever." "We made 15 times our money," Shilling says. "...

Keep it up SLAVES... "WORK, DEBT, CONSUME"

smacker , 7 minutes ago

A "debt jubilee" is equal to a BIG RESET. I believe this will be enacted but for .govs to get away with it, there'll have to create a huge distraction so they can blame it on someone else.

That distraction will almost certainly be WAR or some other major event on a big enough scale to distract attention away from what they're doing.

Push , 2 hours ago

I guess Tyler has never heard of Lyndon LaRouche? He accurately predicted the 2008 crash, and others previously. The fact is that monetary policy is not economics, and when you look at the inter-connectivity of human labor from the perspective of scientific progress it's easy to see where the financial system is heading, for a huge collapse.

If you study what the United States did coming out of the Revolutionary War to build this nation, then the subsequent dismantling of Hamilton's system by Andrew Jackson, the the re-implementation of Hamilton's system by Carey and Clay through Lincoln, you can see that what people today consider "economics" has nothing to do with the productive powers of the labor force. British Free Trade, floating exchange rates, the offshore banking industry, Wall Street, and the City of London are subverting economic fortitude in favor of the consolidation of power in a process to build a new kind of empire.

The Real Tony , 2 hours ago

Eventually America will run out of lies to tell. This will be the catalyst for the next crises.

truthalwayswinsout , 2 hours ago

No reason to listen to any of this or even care. Do not invest in the stock market; it is a scam and will always be a scam.

99% of all people should invest in themselves first. That means having no debt and also having a small company that you only put sweat equity into to make it work starting out as a side business and keeping it as a side business even if it grows bigger. That also means going to college and earning a money making degree that is in demand.

Everyone in our family has no mortgages. Everyone in our family has small companies that because they have no debt churn out cash like ATMs from $6K to $170K per year. And when the markets crash or assets become extremely cheap we buy assets. We bought homes in the last fiasco, did minor fixes, rented them, and sold them all 3 years ago. We made a 220% return in 6 years.

We are going to do it again with homes because they will again fall off dramatically and this time we can pay cash for all the purchases. We will also be looking at unique food companies that are over leveraged that we can buy at 10 cents on the dollar. (One of our family is a chef and makes all kinds of stuff that can be packaged and sold but we have no market access).

Batman11 , 3 hours ago

Problem solving involves two steps.

  1. Understand the problem
  2. Find a solution

Post 2008 - "It was a black swan". We didn't complete step 1, so we couldn't learn anything. The Chinese have now completed step one and have seen their Minsky moment on the horizon. The indicators of financial crises are over inflated asset prices and the private debt-to-GDP ratio. Debt is being used to inflate asset prices.

https://cdn.opendemocracy.net/neweconomics/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2017/04/Screen-Shot-2017-04-21-at-13.52.41.png

They are called Minsky moments. Too late for Australia, Canada, Sweden, Norway and Hong Kong as they've been inflating their real estate markets with mortgage lending. Wall Street leverages up the asset price bubble to make the bust much worse.

"It's nearly $14 trillion pyramid of super leveraged toxic assets was built on the back of $1.4 trillion of US sub-prime loans, and dispersed throughout the world" All the Presidents Bankers, Nomi Prins.

Leverage is just a profit and loss multiplier. The bankers take the bonuses on the way up and taxpayers cover the losses on the way down.

Batman11 , 3 hours ago

Bankers only have one real product and that's debt. When they are messing about you can see it in the private debt-to-GDP ratio. It's that simple. They are clever and hide what they are doing on the surface, you just look underneath.

https://cdn.opendemocracy.net/neweconomics/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2017/04/Screen-Shot-2017-04-21-at-13.52.41.png

It's easy to see when you know where to look. Even the FED should be able to understand it. Well, we can just tell them where to look anyway; Harvard PhDs aren't what they used to be.

Batman11 , 2 hours ago

How can bankers use their debt products to create real wealth and increase GDP for growth? The UK:

https://cdn.opendemocracy.net/neweconomics/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2017/04/Screen-Shot-2017-04-21-at-13.53.09.png

Before 1980 – banks lending into the right places that result in GDP growth. After 1980 – banks lending into the wrong places that don't result in GDP growth. The UK eliminated corset controls on banking in 1979 and the banks invaded the mortgage market and this is where the problem starts.

Richard Werner was in Japan in the 1980s when it went from a very stable economy and turned into a debt fuelled monster. He worked out what happened and had all the clues necessary to point him in the right direction. Bank credit (lending) creates money.

https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/-/media/boe/files/quarterly-bulletin/2014/money-creation-in-the-modern-economy.pdf

The three types of lending:

  1. Into business and industry - gives a good return in GDP and doesn't lead to inflation
  2. To consumers – leads to consumer price inflation
  3. Into real estate and financial speculation – leads to asset price inflation and gives a poor return in GDP and shows up in the graph of debt-to-GDP

Bank credit has been used for all the wrong things during globalisation.

https://cdn.opendemocracy.net/neweconomics/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2017/04/Screen-Shot-2017-04-21-at-13.52.41.png

Inflating asset prices with debt (type 3 lending).

Batman11 , 56 minutes ago

Economic liberalism – the fundamental flaw. Everyone looks to make as much money as possible, doing as little as possible. Asset stripping, activist shareholders being a very good example. Real wealth creation involves making real goods and providing real services, and involves real work.

It doesn't look very attractive; there are easier ways to make money.

hillwalker , 3 hours ago

The Parasites! No mention of the over $600 TRILLION opaque OFF BALANCE SHEET derivatives market!

Nelbev , 5 hours ago

I think these guys miss the obvious.

1.) There is a housing bubble in London, OZ, Canada in Vancouver and Toronto. US prices have bounced back nominally, but financing better than prior. The banking crisis will start with housing bubble abroad.

2.) US deficits and debts are at a stage where inflation will lead to higher rates. The amount to service the public and private debt load will increase with interest rates. You cannot just print money forever and expect it never to catch up, or excess reserves not to escape the banking system blowing air on the fire. The debt load publicly is dangerously high and will trigger a fiscal crisis when add about $200+ billion a year to fiscal budget.

3.) The EU will disintegrate over next few years, global recession will just accelerate that and be a feedback, could be a bit of a buffer on US with flight to quality. Think about when UK contribution to EU budget drys up in March 2019, will EU raise taxes on rest by 20% to pay for Eurocrats salaries?, and what if Italy has a referendum? EU is mess in making.

4.) Next recession, which could be triggered by stochastic shock of a trade war (err ... gov managing economy always f*cks it up), the monetary authorities have no buffer to lower interest rates due to policy since housing bubble, only more useless QE, little stimulus, just inflation in works.

5.) Last was housing bubble, next is bond bubble . 30 yr tb at 3.13 - you have to be idiot (or PBC which cannot unload their trill $ portfolio of US toilet paper without depressing prices) to hold and expect inflation next 30 years at less. You think magically a trillion dollar year federal deficit will shrink under DT? It really does not matter what the fed does, stuck in a hard space, print more money to keep ponzi scheme going or neutralize federal with higher rates and try to shrink balance sheet. You cannot keep interest rates low when commodity futures arbitrage during inflation offer an alternate return. Easy money will just fuel fire.

Md4 , 3 hours ago

The Fed can, and does, manipulate some interest rates, and it's balance sheet, all the time.

But, as I see it, (hyper) inflation isn't just a money supply issue.

It's also a vote of confidence...

Ballooning deficits, and rising debt loads are not elements of fundamentally healthy economies.

Rather than disappearing dumped U.S. debt, the Fed may just add it to it's "holdings", and therefore, ensure there's always a "buyer".

Theoretically, perhaps.

But, it can't buy all U.S. debt, lest there be no real "market".

So, that means debt issued won't be free.

It also means there's a real limit to just how much the Fed can manage inflation...

Normalisation of Deviance , 4 hours ago

Excellent comment. Reminds me of the good old days when the comments at ZH were more more informative and well written than the articles, (which were also informative and well written).

Also Gold Bitchezz!

Superlat , 4 hours ago

Whether or not this matters, the housing bubble in Seattle has peaked, if not completely popped. However, it's gone far enough that just about everyone including the media is admitting a downturn is happening. Whether it persists is anyone's guess.

Maybe the next crisis is just cumulative, not one big thing.

The Real Tony, 2 hours ago

More like the Chinese buying up everything in Seattle has peaked.

The Real Tony , 2 hours ago

The Pakis in Brampton and Mississauga Ontario, Canada will throw their last welfare cheque towards housing before losing their home/homes to the bank. It might take longer than you think.

ZIRPdiggler , 5 hours ago

Sorry to rain all over your doom porn ZH'ers but I don't think we are going to have an "economic collapse". Also, I just heard a new Lindsay Williams.....he says the Trump election changed everything for the dark cabal's plans lol. Says they're gonna take the DOW over 40,000. Of course, Armstrong has been predicting that for a long long time. So go figure. Maybe cycles are bullet proof, regardless of who's trying to do the manipulation. keep buying that gold though....maybe your great grand children can benefit from it.

Md4 , 5 hours ago

"If it doesn't happen, the debt triggers a crisis in Europe, [and] that triggers the beginning of a global recession" but... "there are so many little dominoes, if they all start falling, one leads to the next."

What people don't seem to understand yet, is that this is no longer just an economic or even a debt problem ex parte.

The non-solution of the last ten years have now made this a human quality of life problem.

The loss of so many middle class income opportunities over the now-near 50 years of outsourcing, has not only caused more insurmountable debt loads to form, but the chronic income insufficiency is hammering even first-world social psyches as never before.

After all, rising debt is rising for a reason.

It's a big mistake to automatically assume a financial collapse has to precede a social calamity.

It can easily be the other way around...

Captain Nemo de Erehwon , 3 hours ago

You have to design financial systems for human needs, taking into account human characteristics. There are no "laws" of social sciences that "must" be followed. Physics is the only constraint.

Fred box , 6 hours ago

Bottom line folks,this party is over done.One of many different things can cause at the least a 20% correction(-5000pts) as well as bigger.The TBTF are now To Humungous To Fail.We live in interesting times!

TRN , 6 hours ago

Likely 40% correction.

LeftandRightareWrong , 6 hours ago

Public pension systems and unfettered illegal immigration.

Normal , 6 hours ago

$500 trillion, in debt. That means that some kind of system had it to lend. Makes me want to puke and then go start a revolution.

Bricker , 7 hours ago

All 3 in common...Debt bomb. 1929 Debt, 2008 Debt, 20?? debt; IMO its student loans wrapped up as commercial paper and bonds.

Someone is going to miss an interest payment after tranches are bet on with student loans

GoldHermit , 7 hours ago

Watch the Big Short. Those guys came as close as anyone IMO

daedon , 7 hours ago

No, READ The Big Short.

Erwin643 , 7 hours ago

Yeah, try making a movie based on a book. You have to take a lot of shortcuts. I think The Big Short was one of the very best films ever made, based on a book. The actors played their real-life counterparts perfectly.

daedon , 7 hours ago

Forget (broken clock) Schiff, I read a great book in 1993, The Great Reckoning: Protect Yourself in the Coming Depression. That was 25 years ago, I'm getting impatient. French president Charles de Gaulle saw this shit coming in 1968 and he died waiting for it.

The Roman Empire lasted 500 years, so be patient, Trump's bosses have an armada of think tanks staffed with Aspies that have IQs well above low earth orbit at their disposal, so they could drag this out another 1000 years.

So don't worry, be happy !

TeethVillage88s , 3 hours ago

Four Horsemen - Feature Documentary - Official Version https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fbvquHSPJU

[Sep 16, 2018] What is neoliberalism

Sep 16, 2018 | anotherangryvoice.blogspot.com

Origins

The economic model that the word "neoliberalism" was coined to describe was developed by Chicago school economists in the 1960s and 1970s based upon Austrian neoclassical economic theories, but heavily influenced by Ayn Rand's barmy pseudo-philosophy of Übermenschen and greed-worship .

The first experiment in applied neoliberal theory began on September 11th 1973 in Chile , when a US backed military coup resulted in the death of social-democratic leader Salvador Allende and his replacement with the brutal military dictator General Pinochet (Margaret Thatcher's friend and idol). Thousands of people were murdered by the Pinochet regime for political reasons and tens of thousands more were tortured as Pinochet and the "Chicago boys" set about implementing neoliberal economic reforms and brutally reppressing anyone that stood in their way. The US financially doped the Chilean economy in order to create the impression that these rabid-right wing reforms were successful. After the "success" of the Chilean neoliberal experiment, the instillation and economic support of right-wing military dictatorships to impose neoliberal economic reforms became unofficial US foreign policy.

The first of the democratically elected neoliberals were Margaret Thatcher in the UK and Ronald Reagan in the US. They both set about introducing ideologically driven neoliberal reforms, such as the complete withdrawal of capital controls by Tory Chancellor Geoffrey Howe and the deregulation of the US financial markets that led to vast corruption scandals like Enron and the global financial sector insolvency crisis of 2007-08 .

By 1989 the ideology of neoliberalism was enshrined as the economic orthodoxy of the world as undemocratic Washington based institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the US Treasury Department signed up to a ten point economic plan which was riddled with neoliberal ideology such as trade liberalisation, privatisation, financial sector deregulation and tax cuts for the wealthy. This agreement between anti-democratic organisations is misleadingly referred to as "The Washington Consensus".

These days, the IMF is one of the most high profile pushers of neoliberal economic policies. Their strategy involves applying strict "structural adjustment" conditions on their loans. These conditions are invariably neoliberal reforms such as privatisation of utilities, services and government owned industries, tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy, the abandonment of capital controls, the removal of democratic controls over central banks and monetary policy and the deregulation of financial industries.

[Sep 16, 2018] The Guardian is a blatant example of the turnaround from "reasonably reliable" to "paid shill"

Notable quotes:
"... Another example is the Danish newspaper "Information" founded during WWII, as very leftist it has today morphed, in the dark, into a center right neo- liberal rag, full of no- news and idiotic scribbles by irrelevant formerly known peoples talent-less sons and daughters. ..."
"... Wel thanks b, for telling the truth and letting me start my Sunday moderately depressed, I guess news that Washington D.C had been swallowed by a giant sink-hole, would cheer me partly up. ..."
Sep 16, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Den Lille Abe , Sep 16, 2018 12:47:49 AM | 49 ">link

Thank you b, for yet another good article!

Your article made me reflect the situation in general. While it is good the The White Frauds have been called out as an Empire front and as Western propaganda psy-op, I do thing the real Enemy is the MSM. These crimes by our governments, the White Frauds, Isil, ect,ect, would not be possible without the control of the MSM. But I am completely at a loss how to fight them, or just diminish their influence.

The Guardian s a blatant example, and its turnaround from "reasonable reliable" to "paid shill" was clumsily and obviously executed. Looking at the UK for real news , there is only the blogoshere left, all opposition has been subverted. And it is not only in the UK.

Another example is the Danish newspaper "Information" founded during WWII, as very leftist it has today morphed, in the dark, into a center right neo- liberal rag, full of no- news and idiotic scribbles by irrelevant formerly known peoples talent-less sons and daughters.

The situation in Sweden is even more depressing (it is!) the newspapers here are on level with the Sun and the Daily Heil.

Wel thanks b, for telling the truth and letting me start my Sunday moderately depressed, I guess news that Washington D.C had been swallowed by a giant sink-hole, would cheer me partly up.

[Sep 16, 2018] I m delighted we can see the true face of American exceptionalism on display everyday. The last thing I want to see is back to normal.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Most here voted for or supported Obama whose record of incarcerating and persecuting journalists, punishing whistle-blowers, extra-judicial executions including citizens of the United States, placing children in cages, violent regime change abroad, spying on citizens, and expanding the security state was as bad or worse as that of Bush and Trump, in some cases by some margin. ..."
"... The current heroes of the 'resistance' lied America into Iraq or Libya, hacked into the computers of the elected representatives/lied about it, and support torture/enhanced interrogations, all under Obama. 'Liberals' lionize these clown criminals along with 'responsible' republicans whilst embracing open bigots such as Farrakhan. And, yes, if one is willing to share the podium with Farrakhan that's tacit support of his views. ..."
Sep 16, 2018 | crookedtimber.org

Thomas Beale 09.13.18 at 9:58 am ( 16 )

I'd suggest that the two strains of 'conservatism' that matter are:

a) maintaining oppression/rule over subordinate classes to prevent them up-ending the status quo (the Robin view) and

b) maintaining philosophical +/- cultural values fundamental to a civilised society, typically so-called enlightenment values, freedom of mind, body and property etc. These are understood in a wide spectrum of concrete interpretations, from free-market purists to social democrats, and don't therefore correspond to one kind of on-the-ground politics.

Progressives tend attack a) (a non-philosophical form of conservatism – it's just about preserving a power structure), and usually claim that b) (the one that matters) doesn't exist or isn't 'conservative', or else ignore it.

We have the basic problem of same term, variable referents

Lobsterman 09.13.18 at 10:27 pm ( 40 )

(b) doesn't exist. Conservatives are, as a group, in eager favor of concentration camps for toddlers, the drug war, unrestrained surveillance, American empire, civil forfeiture, mass incarceration, extrajudicial police execution, etc. etc. They have internal disagreements on how much to do those things, but the consensus is for all of them without meaningful constraint. And they are always justified in terms of (a).

ph 09.14.18 at 11:50 am ( 58 )

@40

Most here voted for or supported Obama whose record of incarcerating and persecuting journalists, punishing whistle-blowers, extra-judicial executions including citizens of the United States, placing children in cages, violent regime change abroad, spying on citizens, and expanding the security state was as bad or worse as that of Bush and Trump, in some cases by some margin.

The current heroes of the 'resistance' lied America into Iraq or Libya, hacked into the computers of the elected representatives/lied about it, and support torture/enhanced interrogations, all under Obama. 'Liberals' lionize these clown criminals along with 'responsible' republicans whilst embracing open bigots such as Farrakhan. And, yes, if one is willing to share the podium with Farrakhan that's tacit support of his views.

Conservative as a political category post 1750 works and the basic argument of the OP holds. The comments not so much.

[Sep 15, 2018] The key goal of the USA two party system since 1980th is the protection of neoliberal aristocracy against plebs

Sep 15, 2018 | crookedtimber.org

Lee A. Arnold 09.15.18 at 12:14 pm 66

"Protection of aristocracy against the agency of the subordinate classes" could be a good first pass at describing the Wittgensteinian family resemblance of all conservatisms. In the mid-18th Century the final public inversion of theories of dispensation from the Absolute (i.e. the Great Chain of Being), inverted in the face of increasing scientific knowledge and technological advance, served to overthrow the privileges of aristocracy and divine right, and brought forward the question of the will of the rabble as a new, constant norm in the political process (i.e. "democracy"). The left-right divide blossomed.

We may still be living in an era of shadow cast from that event. It could be that some "language games" perpetuate as dialogical, rhetorical, antiphonal, oppositional. Yet the referents can change, as in any emotional argument. In the case of a language game emerging to the immediate concerns of property ownership and political power, it might persist over time in the emotional shadow of the ancien regime, yet it would transmute over time in response to change and contingency, and use varying political issues of the moment to stay alive. So we have a sort of dialogic meta-organism with an autopoietic (i.e. self-maintaining) social ontogeny, leaving behind itself the tracks of a dialectical history.

In our present moment, the "protection of aristocracy against the agency of the subordinate classes" has transmuted to "protection of the free market as a way for any subordinate person to ascend by personal effort into the modern open aristocracy".

But this could be the end of that game. Yes, it is a clever trick: it perpetuates the belief in individualism, because anyone can try to do it. But it is also fatally flawed. Not everyone can do it because there are formal limitations: over long periods of time some few people invent new goods and services and achieve success, but at any one moment there is a lot of unemployed and underpaid. In addition some members of the modern open aristocracy are pushing programs that increase inequality and environmental destruction, and these results become more visible to the public.

"Protection of aristocracy against the agency of the subordinate classes" moved historically to "protection of the free market as a way for anyone to become one of the aristocrats" -- and now may finally be eclipsed, because that is not believable. It would be the end of the pro-hierarchic bent of conservatism. Mainstream conservatives won't have much to distinguish themselves from progressives, who otherwise believe in individualism and personal achievement. The social-conservative varieties would spin off to single-issue advocacies. We may see a book entitled, Varieties of Conservatism Against One Another.

James Wimberley 09.15.18 at 12:59 pm ( 67 )

In Robin's theory of conservatism, do the lower orders have to be human? Will an army of robot slaves do? If the objective of the ruling class is simply "more freedom to do what I want", robots are actually better than serfs, who may always potentially answer back or rebel. But what if it is in part to enjoy the submission of the serfs to their will? That is the pattern of sexual predation: the wife (or another man's wife) beaten or tricked into subservience is more gratifying a sexual object to Valmont than the prostitute who provides the same services under a dick's-length contract.
likbez 09.15.18 at 9:58 pm ( 69 )
I think it is impossible to discuss modern conservatism, especially its neocon variety without discussing neoliberalism. Too many people here concentrate on superficial traits, while the defining feature of modern conservatives is the unconditional support of "hard neoliberalism." There is also a Vichy party which supports "soft neoliberalism"

See Monbiot at https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/apr/15/neoliberalism-ideology-problem-george-monbiot

It may seem strange that a doctrine promising choice and freedom should have been promoted with the slogan "there is no alternative." But, as Hayek remarked on a visit to Pinochet's Chile – one of the first nations in which the programme was comprehensively applied – "my personal preference leans toward a liberal dictatorship rather than toward a democratic government devoid of liberalism." The freedom that neoliberalism offers, which sounds so beguiling when expressed in general terms, turns out to mean freedom for the pike, not for the minnows.

Freedom from trade unions and collective bargaining mean the freedom to suppress wages. Freedom from regulation means the freedom to poison rivers, endanger workers, charge iniquitous rates of interest and design exotic financial instruments. Freedom from tax means freedom from the distribution of wealth that lifts people out of poverty.

The other important area is the attitude to the existence and maintenance of the global US empire and the level of indoctrination into "American exceptionalism" which I view as a flavor of far-right nationalism. But here we need to talk not about conservatism but neofascism.

In a way, the current crisis of neoliberalism in the USA (one of the features of which was de-legitimization of the neoliberal elite which led to the election of Trump) develops strange similarities with the events of 1920-1935 in Europe.

[Sep 15, 2018] What is the meaning of the term "US conservative"

Sep 15, 2018 | crookedtimber.org

these days.


Thomas Beale 09.13.18 at 9:58 am ( 16 )

I'd suggest that the two strains of 'conservatism' that matter are:

a) maintaining oppression/rule over subordinate classes to prevent them up-ending the status quo (the Robin view) and

b) maintaining philosophical +/- cultural values fundamental to a civilised society, typically so-called enlightenment values, freedom of mind, body and property etc. These are understood in a wide spectrum of concrete interpretations, from free-market purists to social democrats, and don't therefore correspond to one kind of on-the-ground politics.

Progressives tend attack a) (a non-philosophical form of conservatism – it's just about preserving a power structure), and usually claim that b) (the one that matters) doesn't exist or isn't 'conservative', or else ignore it.

We have the basic problem of same term, variable referents

Heshel 09.13.18 at 10:59 am ( 17 )
Lumpers over splitters!
oldster 09.13.18 at 11:26 am ( 18 )
What unifies my friends is their noblest common aspirations.

What unifies my enemies is their lowest common denominator.

Donald 09.13.18 at 11:34 am ( 19 )
I think Thomas Beale is correct, though like him, I haven't done the work either. But one does come across conservatives who seem genuinely motivated by principles other than keeping the peasantry in line. I am thinking, for instance, of Larison over at the American Conservative, whose views on the evils of US foreign policy are determined in part by his sense of moral outrage at the suffering we cause.

That said, he seems to be a member of a fairly small minority, so Corey is probably right most of the time.

Donald 09.13.18 at 11:54 am ( 20 )
Probably a better example would be Burke, who obviously felt moral outrage about British actions in India. I haven't read Corey's book, so I don't know how that fits into his thesis. And I will also stop posting after this.
Lee A. Arnold 09.13.18 at 12:19 pm ( 21 )
The level between the ideal and the history is where the action is!

Contemporary conservatism is premised on the fiction that everyone can move up into the modern open aristocracy, by their personal effort in the free market.

However, this doesn't happen. When globalism took the jobs away, the people did not invent new goods and services to get back in the market game. Why not?

Instead of dealing with the failure of the premise that there are endless goods and services to invent, conservatives (and libertarians) find other ideas to explain, or to blame: the people are naturally unequal, or they are failing to live up to past cultural standards, or immigrants are overwhelming the system, or government gets in the way.

Round and round they go. The drama might be called Waiting for Rando.

Mike Huben 09.13.18 at 12:28 pm ( 22 )
> "Why would anybody bother trying to find that red herring?" Do you wonder this generally about political philosophy? That is, consistency/coherence is never interesting? Or is it just dull in the case of conservatism?

After roughly 40 years of opposing libertarianism , I have come to agree with the idea that people choose a position and then make justifications post hoc. Because no single justification works for everything, you get this flowering of innumerable excuses for what is basically an emotional choice .

In the USA, the keystone libertarian (and maybe conservative) influence as best I can tell is the Kochtopus . Those organizations exploit the efflorescence of justifications and steer them to the central goals of the Kochs.

>How can you tell what counts as a member of the species?

I'm a biological systemacist, and it is obvious that species can have fuzzy edges, no matter which concept of species you use (and several are used depending on the group you are studying.)

Alex SL 09.13.18 at 12:40 pm ( 23 )
J-D,

Looking from outside of the USA, I have always been puzzled by the contemporary insistence of boxing everybody into liberal or conservative (with potentially an "independent" box in the middle). Some people seem to go as far as to characterise liberal and conservative mindsets with the implication that they are generalisable across all of human history and the whole globe, as opposed to a parochially American dichotomy. I just did a quick Google search, and the third hit was already an exasperating "Scientists have studied the brains of conservatives and liberals and ".

For starters, 'liberal' has a very different meaning in many countries. In my country of citizenship it means what an American would call moderate libertarian. Any country with a proportional representation system would find the idea of having only two political science boxes to sort people into a complete non-starter. And that is before asking whether such a question would have made sense to the ancestors of today's Americans 300 or, say, 10,000 years ago.

Of course it makes sense to ask what defines the conservative intellectual tradition in Europe and the Anglosphere, but the way that category is treated by many pollsters and journalists feels odd.

Sebastian H 09.13.18 at 1:10 pm ( 24 )
"The form of the objection is weird. "But, Socrates, how can you say that all triangles have three sides? That implies that all triangles are the same. But we all know that there are blue ones and red ones, big ones and little ones "

The problem with Robin's book (and really large parts of his project as seen on his writings here and elsewhere) is that Robin is the one implying that because all triangles have three sides, that all triangles are big and red based on the fact that he can point to at least one or two triangles that are red and has heard of one that was big. He does this by selectively using analytic techniques in grossly tribal ways -- by applying leaps in the argument that would never be applied to members of his own tribe. He applies these Jonah Goldberg style leaps both backwards and forwards in time, erases distinctions between people with whom he disagrees while drawing hyper tight distinctions on behalf of people on his own side. He does it by looking at cherry picked outcomes which cut against his enemies, while limiting talk to stated desires without respect to outcomes of his friends. I'm broadly on his side of a lot of arguments, but my upbringing in an evangelical church has left me highly allergic to that kind of preaching to the choir.

Sebastian H 09.13.18 at 1:25 pm ( 25 )
"Instead of focusing on "freedom", I think, Robin has chosen to focus on "obedience". If conservativism is basically in the business of legitimating a certain kind of obedience, then you have an organizing principle that works better than family resemblence to identify the varieties of conservativism.."

This is precisely the type of problem I'm talking about. You can only get that from an analytic frame where you ignore huge swaths of conservative thought as propaganda and by cherry picking the real world outcomes of movements you label conservative. But if you apply that exact same technique to huge swaths of leftist thought and get to cherry pick into the gulags or even just hyper vigilant policing of thoughtcrimes or purity politics on the left, you can find the same type of enforced obedience that he wants to criticize on the right. So he doesn't. Leftists get a completely different analytic treatment. They get to keep their rhetorical gestures toward the importance of freedom, their cherry picked outcomes are Sweden not Venezuela.

The problem with that is that he claims to be discovering something particular about conservatives. But he isn't. He is drawing with such a broad brush that he would implicate a large portion of leftism if we were applying his techniques in the same way to them. So his insights don't help us understand what makes conservatives and non conservatives different.

Z 09.13.18 at 1:27 pm ( 26 )
@Stephen Does it follow that Remainers, or opponents of Trump, saying such things are in fact conservatives?

I wrote my comment before yours could be read, but as I wrote, conservatism is a specific reaction to a specific moment, or to a specific series of moments. That series is now finished, so I generally see little point in trying to fit contemporary political movements in squares belonging to a previous socio-political epoch. Trump, Brexit, Macron, AOC, Salvini, Merkel are cases in point.

Mrmr 09.13.18 at 1:41 pm ( 27 )
I'm in a similar place to Matt @12. I'd just add the following: as someone who has neither read the book nor is a scholar of the relevant area, my far off estimation of scholarship based on social epistemic cues, and, in this case, they are all giant red flags. The ONE uniting idea of conservatism is obviously perfidious? It's just so convenient. And then to hear -- well, sure, the project is of a special kind where the account isn't really beholden to historical details (too messy) or to doing best justice to the arguments (too diverse), it's unified at some intermediate level it's easy just to assume that this level was chosen precisely because underdefined and slippery, and that it's probably a polemical, highly motivated account that's not worth paying much attention to. And then it doesn't help that I see people citing the book in public discourse in a very incautious way. And it's worth emphasizing that these indirect cues are essential for managing how we approach a world full of way too much info to directly evaluate, and that they are often highly reliable.

This is admittedly all weak. I haven't read it. But it's some explanation for the purely sociological suggestion that many commenters may be going in extremely suspicious. And if they go in very suspicious, it's not that surprising that they're going to be less charitable to the intermediate level project described above.

bob mcmanus 09.13.18 at 1:43 pm ( 28 )
13: Gonna really miss Anderson and Jameson. From the cited piece:

'war is the concern of the rich and powerful, that the poor should have nothing to do with it " Marc Bloch

'Morocco is not and has never been an Arab country.' Marcel Mauss

Also reading Adolph Reed on Dubois, and his principled progressive elitism;also a book on Lenin walking back his "cooks can run governments"

Liberals love hierarchies; the battles between conservatives and liberals involve only which elite should rule the masses, and has more to do with Pareto's foxes and lions than any general egalitarianism; the built-in enthusiastic hierarchies liberal capitalism automatically generates are it's point, and why actual leftists like Anderson and Jameson spend so much time attacking the center and left-center ( as essentially a variant of conservatism) and barely bother with the Right. I like Robin, and believe he gets it; I just really don't understand him.

It's about factions, power and opportunism; rising demographics in transition.

Kaepernick and BLM Cash In BLM got a freakish 100 million from Ford Foundation, with stipulations of course. They'll behave. Meanwhile, black men keep getting killed by cops, Dallas, manslaughter instead of murder. BLM can commission a tv ad produced by their friends. That's power. That's hierarchy. But that's fine because we like them.

Resisting Trump is easy. Resisting BLM or Clinton is really hard, which is why leftists focus there. Cause otherwise it's just out with the old boss, in with the new, and the war goes on.

mpowel 09.13.18 at 1:48 pm ( 29 )
Since there are a lot of reasonable ways to approach the classification problem, I think one of the most important questions to ask is how useful any particular approach is. And it depends on your goals. I can think of 3 broad categories of goals in this case: 1) persuade the undecided, 2) rally the troops, 3) improve academic understanding. There is maybe a 4th: advance your position in a political fight on your own side, but that's a little trickier to analyze. I view Robin's approach to be mainly aimed at 2). I think it's effective for that purpose, but it's not that high of a target to aim for either.
CDT 09.13.18 at 2:47 pm ( 30 )
@Thomas Beale 16 and John @ 11:

At least in the U.S., since Reagan "conservatives" in category a have repeatedly tried to characterize their craven interest in dominance as category b, "principled conservativism," even as conservative principles like balanced budgets, non-intervention, and personal liberty against government intrusion are abandoned. Paul Ryan will somehow still retire as a perceived committed deficit hawk. U.S. political conservatives have worked for decades to dress up their ideology of dominance with some faux intellectual rigor. This purported intellectual rigor is used as a mask for mean-spirited policies–for instance, "I regret having to cut social welfare programs, but I am a principled budget balancer and the math demands it" See The National Review. That's why there are so many leftish critics who puncture this pretense. The vast majority of U.S. conservatives who claim to belong to category b are really just providing intellectual cover for the obvious category a political actors.

Lobsterman 09.13.18 at 10:27 pm (no link)
(b) doesn't exist. Conservatives are, as a group, in eager favor of concentration camps for toddlers, the drug war, unrestrained surveillance, American empire, civil forfeiture, mass incarceration, extrajudicial police execution, etc. etc. They have internal disagreements on how much to do those things, but the consensus is for all of them without meaningful constraint. And they are always justified in terms of (a).
CDT 09.14.18 at 5:33 am (no link)
I actually thought of mentioning Daniel Larison as an examle of a principled, paleoconservative. Few of his ilk survived the arrival of the neocons.

Anonymousse, since you contend we are being unduly harsh about the conservative intellectual project, please tell us which principled conservatives with influence and courage we are ignoring. I'm stumped.

ph 09.15.18 at 2:17 am (no link)
@55 You make a fair point.

I suspect you don't really understand what I think, but that's cool, too!

I believe Bill Clinton and Trump are twins separated at birth, that the US presidency is a corporation masquerading as an individual, and that nothing brings Americans together like killing brown people. I also believe Labour in the UK supports pretty much all the scummy activities we see from US presidents, as do the Socialists in France. And that's my point. I'm delighted we can see the true face of American 'exceptionalism' on display everyday. The last thing I want to see is 'back to normal.'

What I really like about your stance on Trump and 'not us' is that you've evidently convinced yourself that finding the worst in others is the path to virtue.

Good luck with that!

Faustusnotes 09.15.18 at 3:01 am ( 59 )
That Berkowitz quote is a special kind of slimy, and illustrates the problem of arguing with these slippery traitors. He suggests that conservatives are interested in preserving "the manners, mores, and principles of a self-governing people" as if leftists don't want this basic moral outcome; and he juxtaposes the conservative quest for total personal autonomy as if leftists don't want that. And, since by now conservatives are a minority, essentially he does exactly what Robin accuses all conservatives of doing: sets conservatives up as an elite with special insight and autonomy that must be defended against a lunpen mass that don't understand or care for these things. Beale above makes the same gross little error when he says conservatives aim at "maintaining philosophical +/- cultural values fundamental to a civilised society", presumably juxtaposing them with the broad mass of society who don't want this rarified moral good.

We can see the moral and cultural values that conservatives consider to be fundamental to a civilized society in the behaviour of Trump and his enablers. It's theft, sexual assault, dishonesty, racism and treachery. The Berkowitz s and Beales of the world want us to judge conservatives by the words of a few of their "thinkers" (Milo, perhaps, or Tucker Carlson?) But we can see the moral values in their actions far more clearly than their words. Everyone of these scum has a mistress he will pay to have an abortion, and bribe politicians to hide; every one of these scum will sell out their country and any moral value for money; they will allgo to great lengths to cover up each others' rapes and robberies. Yet the Beales and Berkowitz s of the world want us to think that they stand for anything except murder, rape and theft, and worse still that they are the only defenders of the moral values fundamental to civilized society. Why would we believe them, when by their actions they show that their only interest is to hold power so that they can keep taking, killing and stealing?

Thomas Beale 09.15.18 at 7:52 am (no link)
Z @ 54
I don't agree with people who are against abortion or gay marriage either; but it's easy enough to find people in society who take one or both of those stances (usually because of faith, or being part of an older generation) who are pro universal healthcare, taxes on the rich / corporations, and live modest lives.

The problem is that for us who live in pluralist societies, the full set of opinions held by most individuals don't sort cleanly into the boxes we'd like to sort the individuals into. A good concrete example is Brazil: Christian faith is very strong there, in standard and evangelical varieties, across all socio-economic levels; separately, many in the middle class want a better deal for poor people (10s of millions), and are in favour of better economic distribution rather than concentration (why? Because they see what a raw deal the poor have, it's in your face in Brazil; they also know about Petrobras, Odebrecht corruption sucking the life out of the economy). if you ask them about abortion and universal healthcare, you are likely to get answers that don't fit into your preferred political categories.

So while you might be able to show that opposition to legal abortion is philosophically of a piece with far more egregious kinds of deprivation of liberty and dignity, the reality is that most people holding the former kind of opinion don't hold the latter. As long as they respect democracy, we all get to live in peace.

[Sep 15, 2018] The way you decieve the voters is by blank-screening yourself and letting the electors project onto you, by presenting yourself as Conservative even though you're Labour (as Blair did), or conversely presenting yourself as radical even though you're a straight-down-the-line tax-cutting defense-budget-ballooning Republican.

Sep 15, 2018 | crookedtimber.org

Adam Roberts 09.13.18 at 5:30 pm ( 35 )

'Hypocrisy', though a tendentious sort of word, is the key, I think. In electoral politics 40% on either side are going to vote the way they vote regardless of how persuasive the electoral campaign of candidate A, or the unfittedness of candidate B; so the game is: persuading those 20% who used to be called 'floating voters'.

And the way you do that is by blank-screening yourself and letting the electors project onto you, by presenting yourself as Conservative even though you're Labour (as Blair did), or conversely presenting yourself as radical even though you're a straight-down-the-line tax-cutting defense-budget-ballooning Republican.

Trump's campaign persuaded many that he would in no way 'conserve', but would rather tear down the establishment.

Brexit was masterminded by a group of elite hard right wingers who somehow managed to persuade a large tranche of the electorate that it Remain were all metropolitan elites and that they were the true voice of the people.

The real challenge is not finding a definition of conservatism that can bracket a genius like Burke with a moron like Sarah Palin; it's finding a definition that enables a billionaire playboy to define himself as a man of the people; that allows him to promise eg free healthcare for all and kicking Wall Street out of politics on the campaign trail without losing his Conservative bona fides.

[Sep 15, 2018] How To Think About Conservatism

Sep 15, 2018 | crookedtimber.org

likbez 69

I think it is impossible to discuss modern conservatism, especially its neocon variety without discussing neoliberalism. Too many people here concentrate on superficial traits, while the defining feature of modern conservatives is the unconditional support of "hard neoliberalism." There is also a Vichy party which supports "soft neoliberalism" ...

See Monbiot at https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/apr/15/neoliberalism-ideology-problem-george-monbiot

It may seem strange that a doctrine promising choice and freedom should have been promoted with the slogan "there is no alternative." But, as Hayek remarked on a visit to Pinochet's Kabaservice Contra Corey -- Thoughts About How To Think About Conservatism -- Crooked Timber Chile -- one of the first nations in which the programme was comprehensively applied -- "my personal preference leans toward a liberal dictatorship rather than toward a democratic government devoid of liberalism." The freedom that neoliberalism offers, which sounds so beguiling when expressed in general terms, turns out to mean freedom for the pike, not for the minnows.

Freedom from trade unions and collective bargaining mean the freedom to suppress wages. Freedom from regulation means the freedom to poison rivers, endanger workers, charge iniquitous rates of interest and design exotic financial instruments. Freedom from tax means freedom from the distribution of wealth that lifts people out of poverty.

The other important area is the attitude to the existence and maintenance of the global US empire and the level of indoctrination into "American exceptionalism" which I view as a flavor of far-right nationalism. But here we need to talk not about conservatism but neofascism.

In a way, the current crisis of neoliberalism in the USA (one of the features of which was de-legitimization of the neoliberal elite which led to the election of Trump) develops with strange similarities with the events of 1920-1935 in Europe.

[Sep 15, 2018] Why the US Seeks to Hem in Russia, China and Iran by Patrick Lawrence

Highly recommended!
The root of the current aggressive policy is the desire to preserve global neoliberal empire the US role as the metropolia with the rest of the world as vassals.
Notable quotes:
"... The crisis of U.S. foreign policy -- a series of radical missteps -- are systemic. Having little to do with personalities, they pass from one administration to the next with little variance other than at the margins. ..."
"... It began with that hubristic triumphalism so evident in the decade after the Cold War's end ..."
"... There was also the "Washington consensus." The world was in agreement that free-market capitalism and unfettered financial markets would see the entire planet to prosperity. ..."
"... The neoliberal economic crusade accompanied by neoconservative politics had its intellectual ballast, and off went its true-believing warriors around the world. ..."
"... Failures ensued. Iraq post–2003 is among the more obvious. Nobody ever planted democracy or built free markets in Baghdad. Then came the "color revolutions," which resulted in the destabilization of large swathes of the former Soviet Union's borderlands. The 2008 financial crash followed. I was in Hong Kong at the time and recall thinking, "This is not just Lehman Brothers. An economic model is headed into Chapter 11." One would have thought a fundamental rethink in Washington might have followed these events. There has never been one. ..."
"... Midway through the first Obama administration, a crucial turn began. What had been an assertion of financial and economic power, albeit coercive in many instances, particularly with the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, took on further strategic and military dimensions. ..."
"... The NATO bombing campaign in Libya, ostensibly a humanitarian mission, became a regime-change operation -- despite Washington's promises otherwise. Obama's "pivot to Asia" turned out to be a neo-containment policy toward China. The "reset" with Russia, declared after Obama appointed Hillary Clinton secretary of state, flopped and turned into the virulent animosity we now live with daily ..."
"... The U.S.-cultivated coup in Kiev in 2014 was a major declaration of drastic turn in policy towards Moscow. So was the decision, taken in 2012 at the latest , to back the radical jihadists who were turning civil unrest in Syria into a campaign to topple the Assad government in favor of another Islamist regime. ..."
"... In 2015, the last of the three years I just noted, Russia intervened militarily and diplomatically in the Syria conflict, in part to protect its southwest from Islamist extremism and in part to pull the Middle East back from the near-anarchy then threatening it as well as Russia and the West. ..."
"... Meanwhile, Washington had cast China as an adversary and committed itself -- as it apparently remains -- to regime change in Syria. Three months prior to the treaty that established the EAEU, the Americans helped turn another case of civil unrest into a regime change -- this time backing not jihadists in Syria but the crypto-Nazi militias in Ukraine on which the government now in power still depends. ..."
"... If there is a president to blame -- and again, I see little point in this line of argument -- it would have to be Barack Obama. To a certain extent, Obama was a creature of those around him, as he acknowledged in his interview with Jeffrey Goldberg in The Atlantic ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
"... The Washington Post ..."
"... Think of Russia, China, and Iran, the three nations now designated America's principal adversaries. Each one is fated to become (if it is not already) a world or regional power and a key to stability -- Russia and China on a global scale, Iran in the Middle East. But each stands resolutely -- and this is not to say with hostile intent -- outside the Western-led order. They have different histories, traditions, cultures, and political cultures. And they are determined to preserve them. ..."
"... If you valued this original article, please consider making a donation to Consortium News so we can bring you more stories like this one. ..."
"... You don't mention corruption and profiteering, which go hand-in-hand with American Exceptionalism and the National Security State (NSS) formed in 1947. The leader of the world which is also an NSS requires enemies, so the National Security Strategy designates enemies, a few of them in an Axis of Evil. Arming to fight them and dreaming up other reasons to go to war, including a war on terror of all things, bring the desired vast expenditures, trillions of dollars, which translate to vast profits to those involved. ..."
"... How many Americans were against the assault by the Coalition of the Willing upon Iraq? Very few. ..."
"... Even in the lead up the war when the public was force fed a diet comprised entirely of State Dept. lies about WMDs by a sycophantic media, there was still a significant 25-40 percent of the public who opposed the war. ..."
"... "Conformism and its consequences, probably derived in part from Puritanism and further cemented by the alternating racisms of anti-indigenous and anti black attitudes- the history of the lynch mob and various wars against the poor which ended up in the anti-communist frenzies of the day before yesterday constitute the backbone of American history- is the disease which afflicts Washington." ..."
"... I have often wondered why the US was unable to accept the position of first among equals. Why does it have to rule the World? I know it believes that its economic and political systems are the best on the planet, but surely all other nations should be able to decide for themselves, what systems they will accept and live under? Who gave the US the right to make those decisions for everyone else? The US was more than willing to kill 20 million people either directly or indirectly since the end of WWII to make its will sovereign in all nations of the World! ..."
"... That is why I invariably raise JFK's Assassination as a logical starting point. If a truly independent commission would fix the blame, we could move on from there. Sam F., on this forum, has mentioned a formal legal undertaking many times on this site, but now is the time to begin the discussion for a formal Truth And Reconciliation Commission in America Let's figure out how to begin. ..."
"... A very good article. Spoiler and bully describe US foreign policy, and foreign policy is in the driver's seat while domestic policy takes the pickings, hardly anything left for the hollowed-out society where people live paycheck to paycheck, homelessness and other assorted ills of a failing society continue to rise while oligarchs and the MIC rule the neofeudal/futile system. ..."
"... When are we going to make that connection of the wasteful expenditure on military adventurism and the problem of poverty in the US? ..."
"... To substantiate this "crucial turn," Lawrence makes the unwarranted assumption that the goal post Soviet Union was simply worldwide free-market capitalism, not global domination: "Failures ensued. Iraq post–2003 is among the more obvious. Nobody ever planted democracy or built free markets in Baghdad"; and the later statement that the US wanted the countries it invaded to be "Just like us." ..."
"... Though he doesn't mention (ignores) US meddling in Russia after the collapse of the USSR, I presume from its absence that he attributes that, too, to the expansion of capital. Indeed, it was that, but with the more malevolent goal of control. "Just like us" is the usual "progressive" explanation for failures. "Controlled by us" was more like it, if we face the history of the country squarely. ..."
"... Is it really so wise to be speaking in terms of nationhood after we've undergone 50 years of Kochian/libertarian dismantlement of the nation-state in favor of bank and transnational governance? Remember the words of Zbigniew Brzezinski: ..."
"... "The "nation-state" as a fundamental unit of man's organized life has ceased to be the principal creative force: International banks and multinational corporations are acting and planning in terms that are far in advance of the political concepts of the nation-state." ~ Zbigniew Brzezinski, Between Two Ages, 1970 ..."
"... Globalists themselves are drawn together by an ideology. They have no common nation, they have no common political orientation, they have no common cultural background or religion, they herald from the East just as they herald from the West. They have no true loyalty to any mainstream cause or social movement. ..."
"... What do they have in common? They seem to exhibit many of the traits of high level narcissistic sociopaths, who make up a very small percentage of the human population. These people are predators, or to be more specific, they are parasites. They see themselves as naturally superior to others, but they often work together if there is the promise of mutual benefit." ..."
"... Yet there is a thread that leads through US foreign policy. It all started with NSC 68. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NSC_68 . Already in the 1950's, leading bankers were afraid of economic depression which would follow from a "peace dividend" following the end of WWII. ..."
"... To avoid this, and to avoid "socialism", the only acceptable government spending was on defense. This mentality never ended. Today 50% of discretionary govenmenrt spending is on the military. http://www.unz.com/article/americas-militarized-economy/ . ..."
"... The "why" behind the US foreign policies was spoken with absolute honest clarity in the "Statement of A. Wess Mitchell Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs" to the Senate on August 21 this year. The transcript is at : https://www.foreign.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/082118_Mitchell_Testimony.pdf ..."
"... Quote the esteemed gentleman (inter alia): "It continues to be among the foremost national security interests of the United States to prevent the domination of the Eurasian landmass by hostile powers. The central aim of the administration's foreign policy is to prepare our nation to confront this challenge by systematically strengthening the military, economic and political fundamentals of American power. " ..."
"... Patrick Lawrence's essay makes perfect sense only when it is applied to US foreign policy since the end of WW2. It is conventional wisdom that the US is now engaged in Cold War 2.0. In fact, Cold War 2.0 is an extension of Cold War 1.0. There was merely a 20 year interregnum between 1990 and 2010. ..."
"... Most analysts think that Cold War 1.0 was an ideological war between "Communism" and "Democracy". The renewal of the Cold War against both Russia and China however shows that the ideological war between East and West was really a cover for the geopolitical war between the two. ..."
"... Russia, China and Iran are the main geopolitical enemies of the US as they stand in the way of the global, imperialist hegemony of the US. In order to control the global periphery, i.e. the developing world and their emerging economies, the US must contain and defeat the big three. This was as true in 1948 as it is in 2018. Thus, what's happening today under Trump is no different than what occurred under Truman in 1948. Whatever differences exist are mere window dressing. ..."
"... There is no Cold War 2.0. It's a fallacy to create a false flag for regime change in Russia. Ms. Clinton, the Kagan family, the MIC, etc., figure if we can take out Yanukovich and replace him with Fascists/Nazis, what could stop us from doing the same to Russia. The good news: all empires fail. ..."
"... Mr. Lawrence is much too accommodating with his analysis. Imagine, linking US "foreign policy" in the same thought as "global stability", as if the two were somehow related. On the contrary, "global instability" seems to be our foreign policy goal, especially for those regions that pose a threat to US hegemony. Why? Because it is difficult to extract a region's wealth when its population is united behind a stable government that can't be bought off. ..."
"... I agree, Gerald. Enforcing the petro-dollar system seems to be the mainspring for much of our recent foreign policy militarism. If it were to unravel, the dollar's value would tank, and then how could we afford our vast system of military bases. Death Star's aren't cheap, ya know. ..."
"... +1 Gerald Wadsworth. It's not necessarily "Oil pure and simple" but "Currency Pure and Simple." If the US dollar is no longer the world's currency, the US is toast. ..."
"... And note (2) that Wall Street is mostly an extension of The City; the UK still thinks it owns the entire world, and the UK has been owned by the banks ever since it went off tally sticks ..."
"... Putin said years ago, and I cannot quote him, but remember most of it, that it doesn't matter who is the candidate for President, or what his campaign promises are, or how sincere he is in making them, whenever they get in office, it is always the same policy. ..."
"... Anastasia, I saved it: From Putin interview with Le Figaro: "I have already spoken to three US Presidents. They come and go, but politics stay the same at all times. Do you know why? Because of the powerful bureaucracy. When a person is elected, they may have some ideas. Then people with briefcases arrive, well dressed, wearing dark suits, just like mine, except for the red tie, since they wear black or dark blue ones. These people start explaining how things are done. And instantly, everything changes. This is what happens with every administration." ..."
"... Pres. Putin explained this several times when he was asked about preferring Trump to Hillary Clinton, and he carefully said that he would accept whoever the US population chose, he was used to dealing with Hillary and he knew that very little changed between Administrations. This has been conveniently cast aside by the Dems, and Obama's disgraceful expulsion of Russian diplomats started the avalanche of Russiagate. ..."
"... Many of the people involved in JFK's murder are now dead themselves, yet the "system" that demands confrontation rather than cooperation continues. These "personalities" are shills for that system, and if they are not so willingly, they are either bribed or blackmailed into compliance. ..."
"... Remember when "Dubya" ran on a "kinder and gentler nation" foreign policy? Obama's "hope and change" that became "more of the same"? And now Trump's views on both domestic and foreign policy seemingly also doing a 180? There are "personalities" behind this "system", and they are embedded in places like the Council on Foreign Relations. The people that run our banking system and the global corporate empire demand the whole pie, they would rather blow up the world than have to share. ..."
"... Bob and Joe, here's a solid review of Woodward's book Fear that points out his consistent service to the oligarchy, including giving Trump a pass for killing the Iran deal. Interesting background on Woodward in the comments as well. https://mondoweiss.net/2018/09/woodward-national-security/ ..."
"... "America's three principal adversaries signify the shape of the world to come: a post-Western world of coexistence. But neoliberal and neocon ideology is unable to to accept global pluralism and multipolarity, argues Patrick Lawrence." ..."
Sep 15, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

... ... ..

The bitter reality is that U.S. foreign policy has no definable objective other than blocking the initiatives of others because they stand in the way of the further expansion of U.S. global interests. This impoverished strategy reflects Washington's refusal to accept the passing of its relatively brief post–Cold War moment of unipolar power.

There is an error all too common in American public opinion. Personalizing Washington's regression into the role of spoiler by assigning all blame to one man, now Donald Trump, deprives one of deeper understanding. This mistake was made during the steady attack on civil liberties after the Sept. 11 tragedies and then during the 2003 invasion of Iraq: namely that it was all George W. Bush's fault. It was not so simple then and is not now.

The crisis of U.S. foreign policy -- a series of radical missteps -- are systemic. Having little to do with personalities, they pass from one administration to the next with little variance other than at the margins.

Let us bring some history to this question of America as spoiler. What is the origin of this undignified and isolating approach to global affairs?

The neoliberal economic crusade accompanied by neoconservative politics had its intellectual ballast, and off went its true-believing warriors around the world.

Failures ensued. Iraq post–2003 is among the more obvious. Nobody ever planted democracy or built free markets in Baghdad. Then came the "color revolutions," which resulted in the destabilization of large swathes of the former Soviet Union's borderlands. The 2008 financial crash followed. I was in Hong Kong at the time and recall thinking, "This is not just Lehman Brothers. An economic model is headed into Chapter 11." One would have thought a fundamental rethink in Washington might have followed these events. There has never been one.

The orthodoxy today remains what it was when it formed in the 1990s: The neoliberal crusade must proceed. Our market-driven, "rules-based" order is still advanced as the only way out of our planet's impasses.

A Strategic and Military Turn

Midway through the first Obama administration, a crucial turn began. What had been an assertion of financial and economic power, albeit coercive in many instances, particularly with the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, took on further strategic and military dimensions.

The NATO bombing campaign in Libya, ostensibly a humanitarian mission, became a regime-change operation -- despite Washington's promises otherwise. Obama's "pivot to Asia" turned out to be a neo-containment policy toward China. The "reset" with Russia, declared after Obama appointed Hillary Clinton secretary of state, flopped and turned into the virulent animosity we now live with daily.

The U.S.-cultivated coup in Kiev in 2014 was a major declaration of drastic turn in policy towards Moscow. So was the decision, taken in 2012 at the latest , to back the radical jihadists who were turning civil unrest in Syria into a campaign to topple the Assad government in favor of another Islamist regime.

Spoilage as a poor excuse for a foreign policy had made its first appearances.

I count 2013 to 2015 as key years. At the start of this period, China began developing what it now calls its Belt and Road Initiative -- its hugely ambitious plan to stitch together the Eurasian landmass, Shanghai to Lisbon. Moscow favored this undertaking, not least because of the key role Russia had to play and because it fit well with President Vladimir Putin's Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), launched in 2014.

In 2015, the last of the three years I just noted, Russia intervened militarily and diplomatically in the Syria conflict, in part to protect its southwest from Islamist extremism and in part to pull the Middle East back from the near-anarchy then threatening it as well as Russia and the West.

Meanwhile, Washington had cast China as an adversary and committed itself -- as it apparently remains -- to regime change in Syria. Three months prior to the treaty that established the EAEU, the Americans helped turn another case of civil unrest into a regime change -- this time backing not jihadists in Syria but the crypto-Nazi militias in Ukraine on which the government now in power still depends.

That is how we got the U.S.-as-spoiler foreign policy we now have.

If there is a president to blame -- and again, I see little point in this line of argument -- it would have to be Barack Obama. To a certain extent, Obama was a creature of those around him, as he acknowledged in his interview with Jeffrey Goldberg in The Atlantic toward the end of his second term. From that "Anonymous" opinion piece published in The New York Times on Sept. 5, we know Trump is too, to a greater extent than Obama may have feared in his worst moments.

The crucial question is why. Why do U.S. policy cliques find themselves bereft of imaginative thinking in the face of an evolving world order? Why has there been not a single original policy initiative since the years I single out, with the exception of the now-abandoned 2015 accord governing Iran's nuclear programs? "Right now, our job is to create quagmires until we get what we want," an administration official told The Washington Post 's David Ignatius in August.

Can you think of a blunter confession of intellectual bankruptcy? I can't.

Global 'Equals' Like Us?

There is a longstanding explanation for this paralysis. Seven decades of global hegemony, the Cold War notwithstanding, left the State Department with little to think about other than the simplicities of East-West tension. Those planning and executing American diplomacy lost all facility for imaginative thinking because there was no need of it. This holds true, in my view, but there is more to our specific moment than mere sclerosis within the policy cliques.

As I have argued numerous times elsewhere, parity between East and West is a 21st century imperative. From Woodrow Wilson to the post-World War II settlement, an equality among all nations was in theory what the U.S. considered essential to global order.

Now that this is upon us, however, Washington cannot accept it. It did not count on non-Western nations achieving a measure of prosperity and influence until they were "just like us," as the once famous phrase had it. And it has not turned out that way.

Think of Russia, China, and Iran, the three nations now designated America's principal adversaries. Each one is fated to become (if it is not already) a world or regional power and a key to stability -- Russia and China on a global scale, Iran in the Middle East. But each stands resolutely -- and this is not to say with hostile intent -- outside the Western-led order. They have different histories, traditions, cultures, and political cultures. And they are determined to preserve them.

They signify the shape of the world to come -- a post-Western world in which the Atlantic alliance must coexist with rising powers outside its orbit. Together, then, they signify precisely what the U.S. cannot countenance. And if there is one attribute of neoliberal and neoconservative ideology that stands out among all others, it is its complete inability to accept difference or deviation if it threatens its interests.

This is the logic of spoilage as a substitute for foreign policy. Among its many consequences are countless lost opportunities for global stability.

Patrick Lawrence, a correspondent abroad for many years, chiefly for the International Herald Tribune, is a columnist, essayist, author, and lecturer. His most recent book is Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century (Yale). Follow him @thefloutist. His web site is www.patricklawrence.us. Support his work via www.patreon.com/thefloutist .

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bevin , September 14, 2018 at 6:32 pm

This really is an excellent analysis. I would highlight the following point:
"There is a longstanding explanation for this paralysis. Seven decades of global hegemony, the Cold War notwithstanding, left the State Department with little to think about other than the simplicities of East-West tension. Those planning and executing American diplomacy lost all facility for imaginative thinking because there was no need of it. This holds true, in my view, but there is more to our specific moment than mere sclerosis within the policy cliques "

Conformism and its consequences, probably derived in part from Puritanism and further cemented by the alternating racisms of anti-indigenous and anti black attitudes- the history of the lynch mob and various wars against the poor which ended up in the anti-communist frenzies of the day before yesterday constitute the backbone of American history- is the disease which afflicts Washington.

Don Bacon , September 14, 2018 at 6:03 pm

You don't mention corruption and profiteering, which go hand-in-hand with American Exceptionalism and the National Security State (NSS) formed in 1947. The leader of the world which is also an NSS requires enemies, so the National Security Strategy designates enemies, a few of them in an Axis of Evil. Arming to fight them and dreaming up other reasons to go to war, including a war on terror of all things, bring the desired vast expenditures, trillions of dollars, which translate to vast profits to those involved.

This focus on war has its roots in the Christian bible and in a sense of manifest destiny that has occupied Americans since before they were Americans, and the real Americans had to be exterminated. It certainly (as stated) can't be blamed on certain individuals, it's predominate and nearly universal. How many Americans were against the assault by the Coalition of the Willing upon Iraq? Very few.

Homer Jay , September 14, 2018 at 10:09 pm

"How many Americans were against the assault by the Coalition of the Willing upon Iraq? Very few."

Are you kidding me? Here is a list of polls of the American public regarding the Iraq War 2003-2007;

https://www.politifact.com/iraq-war-polls/

Even in the lead up the war when the public was force fed a diet comprised entirely of State Dept. lies about WMDs by a sycophantic media, there was still a significant 25-40 percent of the public who opposed the war. You clearly are not American or you would remember the vocal minority which filled the streets of big cities across this country. And again the consent was as Chomsky says "manufactured." And it took only 1 year of the war for the majority of the public to be against it. By 2007 60-70% of the public opposed the war.

Judging from your name you come from a country whose government was part of that coalition of the willing. So should we assume that "very few" of your fellow country men and women were against that absolute horror show that is the Iraq war?

Don Bacon , September 14, 2018 at 11:05 pm

You failed to address my major point, and instead picked on something you're wrong on.

Iraq war poll –Pew Research: http://assets.pewresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/12/old-assets/publications/770-1.gif

PS: bevin made approximately the same point later (w/o the financial factor).

"Conformism and its consequences, probably derived in part from Puritanism and further cemented by the alternating racisms of anti-indigenous and anti black attitudes- the history of the lynch mob and various wars against the poor which ended up in the anti-communist frenzies of the day before yesterday constitute the backbone of American history- is the disease which afflicts Washington."

Archie1954 , September 14, 2018 at 2:39 pm

I have often wondered why the US was unable to accept the position of first among equals. Why does it have to rule the World? I know it believes that its economic and political systems are the best on the planet, but surely all other nations should be able to decide for themselves, what systems they will accept and live under? Who gave the US the right to make those decisions for everyone else? The US was more than willing to kill 20 million people either directly or indirectly since the end of WWII to make its will sovereign in all nations of the World!

Bob Van Noy , September 14, 2018 at 9:54 pm

Archie 1954, because 911 was never adequately investigated, our government was inappropriately allowed to act in the so-called public interest in completely inappropriate ways; so that in order for the Country to set things right, those decisions which were made quietly, with little public discussion, would have to be exposed and the illegalities addressed. But, as I'm sure you know, there are myriad other big government failures also left unexamined, so where to begin?

That is why I invariably raise JFK's Assassination as a logical starting point. If a truly independent commission would fix the blame, we could move on from there. Sam F., on this forum, has mentioned a formal legal undertaking many times on this site, but now is the time to begin the discussion for a formal Truth And Reconciliation Commission in America Let's figure out how to begin.

So,"Who gave the US the right to make those decisions for everyone else?", certainly not The People

Jessika , September 14, 2018 at 1:36 pm

A very good article. Spoiler and bully describe US foreign policy, and foreign policy is in the driver's seat while domestic policy takes the pickings, hardly anything left for the hollowed-out society where people live paycheck to paycheck, homelessness and other assorted ills of a failing society continue to rise while oligarchs and the MIC rule the neofeudal/futile system.

When are we going to make that connection of the wasteful expenditure on military adventurism and the problem of poverty in the US? The Pentagon consistently calls the shots, yet we consistently hear about unaccounted expenditures by the Pentagon, losing amounts in the trillions, and never do they get audited.

nondimenticare , September 14, 2018 at 12:18 pm

I certainly agree that the policy is bereft, but not for all of the same reasons. There is the positing of a turnaround as a basis for the current spoiler role: "What had been an assertion of financial and economic power, albeit coercive in many instances, particularly with the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, took on further strategic and military dimensions."

To substantiate this "crucial turn," Lawrence makes the unwarranted assumption that the goal post Soviet Union was simply worldwide free-market capitalism, not global domination: "Failures ensued. Iraq post–2003 is among the more obvious. Nobody ever planted democracy or built free markets in Baghdad"; and the later statement that the US wanted the countries it invaded to be "Just like us."

Though he doesn't mention (ignores) US meddling in Russia after the collapse of the USSR, I presume from its absence that he attributes that, too, to the expansion of capital. Indeed, it was that, but with the more malevolent goal of control. "Just like us" is the usual "progressive" explanation for failures. "Controlled by us" was more like it, if we face the history of the country squarely.

That is the blindness of intent that has led to the spoiler role.

Unfettered Fire , September 14, 2018 at 11:15 am

Is it really so wise to be speaking in terms of nationhood after we've undergone 50 years of Kochian/libertarian dismantlement of the nation-state in favor of bank and transnational governance? Remember the words of Zbigniew Brzezinski:

"The "nation-state" as a fundamental unit of man's organized life has ceased to be the principal creative force: International banks and multinational corporations are acting and planning in terms that are far in advance of the political concepts of the nation-state." ~ Zbigniew Brzezinski, Between Two Ages, 1970

"Make no mistake, what we are seeing in geopolitics today is indeed a magic show. The false East/West paradigm is as powerful if not more powerful than the false Left/Right paradigm. For some reason, the human mind is more comfortable believing in the ideas of division and chaos, and it often turns its nose up indignantly at the notion of "conspiracy." But conspiracies and conspirators can be demonstrated as a fact of history. Organization among elitists is predictable.

Globalists themselves are drawn together by an ideology. They have no common nation, they have no common political orientation, they have no common cultural background or religion, they herald from the East just as they herald from the West. They have no true loyalty to any mainstream cause or social movement.

What do they have in common? They seem to exhibit many of the traits of high level narcissistic sociopaths, who make up a very small percentage of the human population. These people are predators, or to be more specific, they are parasites. They see themselves as naturally superior to others, but they often work together if there is the promise of mutual benefit."

http://www.alt-market.com/articles/3504-in-the-new-qmultipolar-worldq-the-globalists-still-control-all-the-players

Unfettered Fire , September 14, 2018 at 1:43 pm

"In our society, real power does not happen to lie in the political system, it lies in the private economy: that's where the decisions are made about what's produced, how much is produced, what's consumed, where investment takes place, who has jobs, who controls the resources, and so on and so forth. And as long as that remains the case, changes inside the political system can make some difference -- I don't want to say it's zero -- but the differences are going to be very slight." ~ Noam Chomsky

Giants: The Global Power Elite – A talk by Peter Phillips: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Np6td-wzDYQ

The Elite World Order in Jitters Review of Peter Phillips' book Giants: The Global Power Elite: https://dissidentvoice.org/2018/09/the-elite-world-order-in-jitters/

backwardsevolution , September 14, 2018 at 5:14 pm

Unfettered Fire – good posts. Thank you. Peter Phillips is definitely worth listening to.

Jon Dhoe , September 14, 2018 at 11:02 am

Israel, Israel, Israel. When are we going to start facing facts?

Daniel Good , September 14, 2018 at 9:59 am

Yet there is a thread that leads through US foreign policy. It all started with NSC 68. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NSC_68 . Already in the 1950's, leading bankers were afraid of economic depression which would follow from a "peace dividend" following the end of WWII.

To avoid this, and to avoid "socialism", the only acceptable government spending was on defense. This mentality never ended. Today 50% of discretionary govenmenrt spending is on the military. http://www.unz.com/article/americas-militarized-economy/ .

We live in a country of military socialism, in which military citizens have all types of benefits, on condition they join the military-industrial-complex. This being so, there is no need for real "intelligence", there is no need to "understand" what goes on is foreign countries, there no need to be right about what might happen or worry about consequences. What is important is stimulate the economy by spending on arms. From Korean war, when the US dropped more bombs than it had on Nazi Germany, through Viet Nam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya etc etc the US policy was a winning one not for those who got bombed (and could not fight back) but for the weapons industry and military contractors. Is the NYTimes ever going to discuss this aspect? Or any one in the MSM?

Walter , September 14, 2018 at 9:26 am

The "why" behind the US foreign policies was spoken with absolute honest clarity in the "Statement of A. Wess Mitchell Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs" to the Senate on August 21 this year. The transcript is at : https://www.foreign.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/082118_Mitchell_Testimony.pdf

Quote the esteemed gentleman (inter alia): "It continues to be among the foremost national security interests of the United States to prevent the domination of the Eurasian landmass by hostile powers. The central aim of the administration's foreign policy is to prepare our nation to confront this challenge by systematically strengthening the military, economic and political fundamentals of American power. "

Tellingly the "official" State Department copy is changed and omits the true spoken words

See yourself: https://www.state.gov/p/eur/rls/rm/2018/285247.htm

This is the essence of MacKinder's Thesis https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Geographical_Pivot_of_History and was the underlying reason for both world wars in the 20th century.

An essay on this observed truth https://journal-neo.org/2018/09/11/behind-the-anglo-american-war-on-russia/

A deeper essay on the same subject https://www.silkroadstudies.org/resources/pdf/Monographs/1006Rethinking-4.pdf

I would propose that the Zionism aspect exists due to the perceived necessity of "Forward Operating Base Israel" look it a map, Comrade The ISIS?Saudi?Zionist games divides the New Silk Road and the Eurasian land mass and exists to throttle said pathways.

Interestingly the latter essay is attributed to Eldar Ismailov and Vladimir Papava

Brother Comrade Putin knows the game. The US has to maintain the fiction for the public that it does not know the game, and is consequently obliged to maintain a vast public delusion, hence "fake news" and all the rest.

OlyaPola , September 14, 2018 at 1:49 pm

"I would propose that the Zionism aspect exists due to the perceived necessity of "Forward Operating Base Israel" lookit a map, Comrade"

Some have an attraction to book-ends. Once upon a time the Eurasian book-ends were Germany and Japan, and the Western Asian book-ends Israel and Saudi Arabia. This "strategy" is based upon the notion that bookend-ness is a state of inertia which in any interactive system is impossible except apparently to those embedded in "we the people hold these truths to be self-evident".

Consequently some have an attraction to book-ends.

Dennis Etler , September 13, 2018 at 9:05 pm

Patrick Lawrence's essay makes perfect sense only when it is applied to US foreign policy since the end of WW2. It is conventional wisdom that the US is now engaged in Cold War 2.0. In fact, Cold War 2.0 is an extension of Cold War 1.0. There was merely a 20 year interregnum between 1990 and 2010.

Most analysts think that Cold War 1.0 was an ideological war between "Communism" and "Democracy". The renewal of the Cold War against both Russia and China however shows that the ideological war between East and West was really a cover for the geopolitical war between the two.

Russia, China and Iran are the main geopolitical enemies of the US as they stand in the way of the global, imperialist hegemony of the US. In order to control the global periphery, i.e. the developing world and their emerging economies, the US must contain and defeat the big three. This was as true in 1948 as it is in 2018. Thus, what's happening today under Trump is no different than what occurred under Truman in 1948. Whatever differences exist are mere window dressing.

Rob Roy , September 15, 2018 at 12:16 am

Mr. Etler,

I think you are mostly right except in the first Cold War, the Soviets and US Americans were both involved in this "war." What you call Cold War 2.0 is in the minds and policies of only the US. Russian is not in any way currently like the Soviet Union, yet the US acts in all aspects of foreign attitude and policy as though that (very unpleasant period in today's Russians' minds) still exists. It does not. You says there was "merely a 20 year interregnum" and things have picked up and continued as a Cold War. Only in the idiocy of the USA, certainly not in the minds of Russian leadership, particularly Putin's who now can be distinguished as the most logical, realistic and competent leader in the world.

Thanks to H. Clinton being unable to become president, we have a full blown Russiagate which the MSM propaganda continues to spread.

There is no Cold War 2.0. It's a fallacy to create a false flag for regime change in Russia. Ms. Clinton, the Kagan family, the MIC, etc., figure if we can take out Yanukovich and replace him with Fascists/Nazis, what could stop us from doing the same to Russia. The good news: all empires fail.

Maxwell Quest , September 13, 2018 at 1:41 pm

"This is the logic of spoilage as a substitute for foreign policy. Among its many consequences are countless lost opportunities for global stability."

Mr. Lawrence is much too accommodating with his analysis. Imagine, linking US "foreign policy" in the same thought as "global stability", as if the two were somehow related. On the contrary, "global instability" seems to be our foreign policy goal, especially for those regions that pose a threat to US hegemony. Why? Because it is difficult to extract a region's wealth when its population is united behind a stable government that can't be bought off.

Walter , September 13, 2018 at 1:30 pm

US is attempting to stop a process, to prevent Change see https://www.fort-russ.com/2017/10/v-golstein-end-of-cold-war-and/

Conjuring up Heraclitus..Time is a River, constantly changing. And we face downstream, unable to see the Future and gazing upon the Past.

The attempt has an effect, many effects, but it cannot stop Time.

The Russian and the Chinese have clinched the unification of the Earth Island, "Heartland" This ended the ability to control global commerce by means of navies – the methods of the Sea Peoples over the last 500 years are now failed. The US has no way of even seeing this fact other than force and violence to restore the status quo ante .

Thus World War, as we see

Recollecting Heraclitus again, the universe is populated by opposites as we see, China and Russia represent a cathodic opposite to the US

Jeff Harrison , September 13, 2018 at 1:29 pm

I guess I missed this one, Patrick. Great overview but let me put it in a slightly different context. You start with the end of the cold war but I don't. I could go all the way back to the early days of the country and our proclamation of manifest destiny. The US has long thought that it was the one ring to rule them all. But for most of that time the strength of individual members of the rest of the world constrained the US from running amok. That constraint began to be lifted after the ruling clique in Europe committed seppuku in WWI. It was completely lifted after WWII. But that was 75 years ago. This is now and most of the world has recovered from the world wide destruction of human and physical capital known as WWII. The US is going to have to learn how to live with constraints again but it will take a shock. The US is going to have to lose at something big time. Europe cancelling the sanctions? The sanctions on Russia don't mean squat to the US but it's costing Europe billions. This highlights the reality that the "Western Alliance" (read NATO) is not really an alliance of shared goals and objectives. It's an alliance of those terrified by fascism and what it can do. They all decided that they needed a "great father" to prevent their excesses again. One wonders if either the world or Europe would really like the US to come riding in like the cavalry to places like Germany, Poland, and Ukraine. Blindly following Washington's directions can be remarkably expensive for Europe and they get nothing but refugees they can't afford. Something will ultimately have to give.

The one thing I was surprised you didn't mention was the US's financial weakness. It's been a long time since the US was a creditor nation. We've been a debtor nation since at least the 80s. The world doesn't need debtor nations and the only reason they need us is the primacy of the US dollar. And there are numerous people hammering away at that.

Gerald Wadsworth , September 13, 2018 at 12:59 pm

Why are we trying to hem in China, Russia and Iran? Petro-dollar hegemony, pure and simple. From our initial deal with Saudi Arabia to buy and sell oil in dollars only, to the chaos we have inflicted globally to retain the dollar's rule and role in energy trading, we are finding ourselves threatened – actually the position of the dollar as the sole trading medium is what is threatened – and we are determined to retain that global power over oil at all costs. With China and Russia making deals to buy and sell oil in their own currencies, we have turned both those counties into our enemies du jour, inventing every excuse to blame them for every "bad thing" that has and will happen, globally. Throw in Syria, Iran, Venezuela, and a host of other countries who want to get out from under our thumb, to those who tried and paid the price. Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, and more. Our failed foreign policy is dictated by controlling, as Donald Rumsfeld once opined, "our oil under their sand." Oil. Pure and simple.

Maxwell Quest , September 13, 2018 at 2:18 pm

I agree, Gerald. Enforcing the petro-dollar system seems to be the mainspring for much of our recent foreign policy militarism. If it were to unravel, the dollar's value would tank, and then how could we afford our vast system of military bases. Death Star's aren't cheap, ya know.

Maxwell Quest , September 13, 2018 at 3:33 pm

I agree, Gerald. Along with ensuring access to "our" off-shore oil fields, enforcing the petro-dollar system is equally significant, and seems to be the mainspring for much of our recent foreign policy militarism. If this system were to unravel, the dollar's value would tank, and then how could we afford our vast system of military bases which make the world safe for democracy? Death Star's aren't cheap, ya know.

Anonymous Coward , September 13, 2018 at 10:40 pm

+1 Gerald Wadsworth. It's not necessarily "Oil pure and simple" but "Currency Pure and Simple." If the US dollar is no longer the world's currency, the US is toast. Also note that anyone trying to retain control of their currency and not letting "The Market" (private banks) totally control them is a Great Devil we need to fight, e.g. Libya and China.

And note (2) that Wall Street is mostly an extension of The City; the UK still thinks it owns the entire world, and the UK has been owned by the banks ever since it went off tally sticks

MichaelWme , September 13, 2018 at 12:18 pm

It's called the Thucydides trap. NATO (US/UK/France/Turkey) have said they will force regime change in Syria. Russia says it will not allow regime change in Syria. Fortunately, as a Frenchman and an Austrian explained many years ago, and NATO experts say is true today, regime change in Russia is a simple matter, about the same as Libya or Panamá. I forget the details, but I assume things worked out well for the Frenchman and the Austrian, and will work out about the same for NATO.

Anastasia , September 13, 2018 at 12:04 pm

Putin said years ago, and I cannot quote him, but remember most of it, that it doesn't matter who is the candidate for President, or what his campaign promises are, or how sincere he is in making them, whenever they get in office, it is always the same policy.

Truer words were never spoken, and it is the reason why I know, at least, that Russia did not interfere in the US elections. What would be the point, from his viewpoint, and it is not only just his opinion. You cannot help but see at this point that that he said is obviously true.

TJ , September 13, 2018 at 1:47 pm

What an excellent point. Why bother influencing the elections when it doesn't matter who is elected -- the same policies will continue.

Bart Hansen , September 13, 2018 at 3:43 pm

Anastasia, I saved it: From Putin interview with Le Figaro: "I have already spoken to three US Presidents. They come and go, but politics stay the same at all times. Do you know why? Because of the powerful bureaucracy. When a person is elected, they may have some ideas. Then people with briefcases arrive, well dressed, wearing dark suits, just like mine, except for the red tie, since they wear black or dark blue ones. These people start explaining how things are done. And instantly, everything changes. This is what happens with every administration."

rosemerry , September 14, 2018 at 8:02 am

Pres. Putin explained this several times when he was asked about preferring Trump to Hillary Clinton, and he carefully said that he would accept whoever the US population chose, he was used to dealing with Hillary and he knew that very little changed between Administrations. This has been conveniently cast aside by the Dems, and Obama's disgraceful expulsion of Russian diplomats started the avalanche of Russiagate.

James , September 13, 2018 at 9:24 am

Great to see Patrick Lawrence writing for Consortium News.

He ends his article with: "This is the logic of spoilage as a substitute for foreign policy. Among its many consequences are countless lost opportunities for global stability. "

Speaking of consequences, how about the human toll this foreign policy has taken on so many people in this world. To me, the gravest sin of all.

Bob Van Noy , September 13, 2018 at 8:46 am

I agree with Patric Lawrence when he states "Personalizing Washington's regression into the role of spoiler by assigning all blame to one man, now Donald Trump, deprives one of deeper understanding." and I also agree that 'Seven decades of global hegemony have left the State Department, Cold War notwithstanding, left the State Department with little to think about other than the simplicities of East-West tension.' But I seriously disagree when he declares that: "The crisis of U.S. foreign policy -- a series of radical missteps -- are systemic. Having little to do with personalities, they pass from one administration to the next with little variance other than at the margins.'' Certainly the missteps are true, but I would argue that the "personalities" are crucial to America's crisis of Foreign Policy. After all it was likely that JFK's American University address was the public declaration of his intention to lead America in the direction of better understanding of Sovereign Rights that likely got him killed. It is precisely those "personalities" that we must understand and identify before we can move on

Skip Scott , September 13, 2018 at 9:35 am

Bob-

I see what you're saying, but I believe Patrick is also right.

Many of the people involved in JFK's murder are now dead themselves, yet the "system" that demands confrontation rather than cooperation continues. These "personalities" are shills for that system, and if they are not so willingly, they are either bribed or blackmailed into compliance.

Remember when "Dubya" ran on a "kinder and gentler nation" foreign policy? Obama's "hope and change" that became "more of the same"? And now Trump's views on both domestic and foreign policy seemingly also doing a 180? There are "personalities" behind this "system", and they are embedded in places like the Council on Foreign Relations. The people that run our banking system and the global corporate empire demand the whole pie, they would rather blow up the world than have to share.

Bob Van Noy , September 13, 2018 at 2:42 pm

You're completely right Skip, that's what we all must recognize and ultimately react to, and against.
Thank you.

JWalters , September 13, 2018 at 6:46 pm

I would add that human beings are the key components in this system. The system is built and shaped by them. Some are greedy, lying predators and some are honest and egalitarian. Bob Parry was one of the latter, thankfully.

JWalters , September 13, 2018 at 6:30 pm

Skip, very good points. For those interested further, here's an excellent talk on the bankers behind the manufacutured wars, including the role of the Council on Foreign Relations as a front organization and control mechanism.
"The Shadows of Power; the CFR and decline of America"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=6124&v=wHa1r4nIaug

Joe Tedesky , September 13, 2018 at 9:42 am

Bob, you are right. I find it most interesting and sad at the same time that in Woodward's new book 'Fear' that he describes a pan 'almost tragic incident' whereas Trump wanted to sign a document removing our missiles and troops out of S Korea, but save for the steady hand of his 'anonymous' staffers who yanked the document off his presidential desk . wow, close one there we almost did something to enforce a peace. Can't have that though, we still have lots to kill in pursue of liberty and freedom and the hegemonic way.

Were these 'anonymous' staffers the grandchildren of the staffers and bureaucracy that undermined other presidents? Would their grandparents know who the Gunmen were on the grassy knoll? Did these interrupters of Executive administrations fudge other presidents dreams and hopes of a peaceful world? And in the end were these instigators rewarded by the war industries they protected?

The problem is, is that this bureaucracy of war has out balanced any other rival agency, as diversity of thought and mission is only to be dealt with if it's good for military purposes. Too much of any one thing can be overbearingly bad for a person, and likewise too much war means your country is doing something wrong.

Bob Van Noy , September 13, 2018 at 2:51 pm

Many thanks Joe, I admire your persistence. Clearly Bob Woodward has been part of the problem rather than the solution. The swamp is deep and murky

JWalters , September 13, 2018 at 6:36 pm

Bob and Joe, here's a solid review of Woodward's book Fear that points out his consistent service to the oligarchy, including giving Trump a pass for killing the Iran deal. Interesting background on Woodward in the comments as well. https://mondoweiss.net/2018/09/woodward-national-security/

O Society , September 13, 2018 at 6:21 pm

The document Gary Cohen removed off Trump's desk – which you can read here – states an intent to end a free trade agreement with South Korea.

"White House aides feared if Trump sent the letter, it could jeopardize a top-secret US program that can detect North Korean missile launches within seven seconds."

Sounds like Trump wanted to play the "I am such a great deal maker, the GREATEST deal maker of all times!" game with the South Koreans. Letter doesn't say anything about withdrawing troops or missiles.

Funny how ***TOP-SECRET US PROGRAMS*** find their way into books and newspapers these days, plentiful as acorns falling out of trees.

O Society , September 14, 2018 at 1:38 pm

You're welcome, Joe. These things get confusing. Who knows anymore what is real and what isn't?

Trump did indeed say something about ending military exercises and pulling troops out of South Korea. His staff did indeed contradict him on this. It just wasn't in relation to the letter Cohn "misplaced," AFAIK.

Nobody asked me, but if they did, I'd say the US interfered enough in Korean affairs by killing a whole bunch of 'em in the Korean War. Leave'em alone. Let North and South try to work it out. Tired of hearing about "regime change.'

Republicans buck Trump on Korea troop pullout talk

Joe Tedesky , September 13, 2018 at 12:24 pm

Here's what I wrote:

Bob, you are right. I find it most interesting and sad at the same time that in Woodward's new book 'Fear' that he describes a pan 'almost tragic incident' whereas Trump wanted to sign a document removing our missiles and troops out of S Korea, but save for the steady hand of his 'anonymous' staffers who yanked the document off his presidential desk . wow, close one there we almost did something to enforce a peace. Can't have that though, we still have lots to kill in pursue of liberty and freedom and the hegemonic way.

Were these 'anonymous' staffers the grandchildren of the staffers and bureaucracy that undermined other presidents? Would their grandparents know who the Gunmen were on the grassy knoll? Did these interrupters of Executive administrations fudge other presidents dreams and hopes of a peaceful world? And in the end were these instigators rewarded by the war industries they protected?

The problem is, is that this bureaucracy of war has out balanced any other rival agency, as diversity of thought and mission is only to be dealt with if it's good for military purposes. Too much of any one thing can be overbearingly bad for a person, and likewise too much war means your country is doing something wrong.

Kiwiantz , September 13, 2018 at 8:20 am

Spoiler Nation of America! You got that dead right! China builds infrastructure in other Countries & doesn't interfere with the citizens & their Sovereignty. Contrast that with the United Spoiler States of America, they run roughshod over overs & just bomb the hell out of Countries & leaves devastation & death wherever they go! And there is something seriously wrong & demented with the US mindset concerning, the attacks on 9/11? In Syria the US has ended up arming & supporting the very same organisation of Al QaedaTerrorists, morphed into ISIS, that hijacked planes & flew them into American targets! During 2017 & now in 2018, it defies belief how warped this US mentality is when ISIS can so easily & on demand, fake a chemical attack to suck in the stupid American Military & it's Airforce & get them to attack Syria, like lackeys taking orders from Terrorist's! The US Airforce is the airforce of Al Qaeda & ISIS! Why? Because the US can't stomach Russia, Syria & Iran winning & defeating Terrorism thus ending this Proxy War they started! Russia can't be allowed to win at any cost because the humiliation & loss of prestige that the US would suffer as a Unipolar Empire would signal the decline & end of this Hegemonic Empire so they must continue to act as a spoiler to put off that inevitable decline! America can't face reality that it's time in the sun as the last Empire, is over!

Sally Snyder , September 13, 2018 at 7:57 am

Here is what Americans really think about the rabid anti-Russia hysteria coming from Washington:

https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2018/08/americans-on-russia-will-of-people.html

Washington has completely lost touch with what Main Street America really believes.

Waynes World , September 13, 2018 at 7:37 am

Finally some words of truth about how we want our way not really democracy. A proper way to look at the world is what you said toward the end a desire to make people's lives better.

mike k , September 13, 2018 at 7:14 am

Simply put – the US is the world's biggest bully. This needs to stop. Fortunately the bully's intended victims are joining together to defeat it's crazy full spectrum dominance fantasies. Led by Russia and China, we can only hope for the success of the resistance to US aggression.

This political, economic, military struggle is not the only problem the world is facing now, but is has some priority due to the danger of nuclear war. Global pollution, climate disaster, ecological collapse and species extinction must also be urgently dealt with if we are to have a sustainable existence on Earth.

OlyaPola , September 13, 2018 at 4:39 am

Alpha : "America's three principal adversaries signify the shape of the world to come: a post-Western world of coexistence. But neoliberal and neocon ideology is unable to to accept global pluralism and multipolarity, argues Patrick Lawrence."

Omega: "Among its many consequences are countless lost opportunities for global stability."

Framing is always a limiter of perception.

Among the consequences of the lateral trajectories from Alpha to Omega referenced above, is the "unintended consequence" of the increase of the principal opponents, their resolve and opportunities to facilitate the transcendence of arrangements based on coercion by arrangements based on co-operation.

Opening Pandora's box was/is only perceived as wholly a disadvantage for those seeking to deny lateral process.

JOHN CHUCKMAN , September 13, 2018 at 4:32 am

Yes, I certainly agree with author's view.

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2018/07/31/john-chuckman-comment-empire-corrupts-all-the-principles-of-economics-as-well-as-principles-of-ethics-and-good-government-there-is-nothing-good-to-say-about-empire-and-the-american-one-is-no-excep/

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2018/07/22/john-chuckman-comment-how-american-politics-really-work-why-there-are-terrible-candidates-and-constant-wars-and-peoples-problems-are-ignored-why-heroes-like-julian-assange-are-persecuted-and-r/

HomoSapiensWannaBe , September 13, 2018 at 8:23 am

John Chuckman,

Wow. Thanks! I have just begun reading your commentaries this week and I am impressed with how clearly you analyze and summarize key points about many topics.

Thank you so much for writing what are often the equivalent of books, but condensed into easy to read and digest summaries.

I have ordered your book and look forward to reading that.

Cheers from Southeast USA!

[Sep 15, 2018] This is bad for Trump but not unexpected. Despite the fig leaf of 'Russian collusion' the main brief of Mueller was 'find out bad stuff about Trump and his associates' and of course it was almost inevitable that he would find such stuff because Trump and his cronies are scumbags who exist to break the law

In a way Pence is a guarantee that Trump will not be impeached no matter what ;-)
Notable quotes:
"... The Republican elite (and the Democratic elite) have always wanted Pence for President, and they may yet get their wish. But not yet. ..."
"... In terms of the current situation, Manafort is simply irrelevant. Cohen is relevant, but paying a porn start off because you are worried your wife might find out that you are a philanderer: it seems a stretch to interpret that as 'trying to influence an election' although I can sort of see the logic (I suppose Bill Clinton's behaviour vis a vis Monica Lewinsky was ultimately political too). ..."
"... It also seems weird to conceptualise hush money to a porn star as 'campaign finance violations'. But what do I know. ..."
"... Cohen is a serious problem. He has implicated Trump in criminal conduct. ..."
"... Presumably one of the key reasons that Clinton lied about the Lewinsky affair was because he thought it would make him look bad and therefore lose him votes in the 2000 elections. And in a sense it did (although others presumably voted for him 'cos they felt sorry for him). But that seems like a weird way to conceptualise his activities. ..."
"... To further clarify your statement, the issue is that the payment was transparently not to keep Ms. Trump from finding out about Ms. Cliffords or Ms. McDougal – the timing of the payment/catch-and-kill story, well after the incidents but immediately before the election, make that clear: their purpose was to avoid extramarital affairs with adult entertainers from turning into October Surprises. ..."
"... It's intentionally vague . It should be noted that when Johnson was impeached , one of the eleven articles was "Bringing disgrace and ridicule to the presidency by his aforementioned words and actions." ..."
"... And I don't see impeachment as a very useful strategy for the Ds to pursue. Even if successful at removing Trump, that just gets you Pence -- just as public policy irrational, only less politically disorganized. ..."
"... Maybe impeachment comes up as a tactic, to facilitate some other plan of action, but I don't see conviction on impeachment as a useful means of even control of Trump behavior, much less removal. ..."
Aug 24, 2018 | crookedtimber.org

Hidari 08.22.18 at 7:55 am 1

This is bad for Trump but not unexpected. Despite the fig leaf of 'Russian collusion' the main brief of Mueller was 'find out bad stuff about Trump and his associates' and of course it was almost inevitable that he would find such stuff because Trump and his cronies are scumbags who exist to break the law. This is the reality of capitalism (as has been pointed out 'crony capitalism' is the only kind of capitalism that has ever existed or ever will exist). Congress might or might not accept it, but the Senate (even more viciously 'gerrymandered' albeit de facto) won't yet. So Trump won't go down, not yet.

The only way that Trump will go down, IMHO is if and when the Republican establishment decide that they have got everything out of him that they're going to get, which means after the next Presidential election. Assuming he wins it, he may be ditched quickly. The Republican elite (and the Democratic elite) have always wanted Pence for President, and they may yet get their wish. But not yet.

In terms of the current situation, Manafort is simply irrelevant. Cohen is relevant, but paying a porn start off because you are worried your wife might find out that you are a philanderer: it seems a stretch to interpret that as 'trying to influence an election' although I can sort of see the logic (I suppose Bill Clinton's behaviour vis a vis Monica Lewinsky was ultimately political too).

It also seems weird to conceptualise hush money to a porn star as 'campaign finance violations'. But what do I know.

J. Bogart 08.22.18 at 12:13 pm ( 3 )

Manaforte is a publicity problem, which will get worse with his second trial, and, if the US Attorney decides to proceed on the hung counts, a third trial.

None of it ties to Trump; it suggests he hangs out with criminals and does not notice or care about their conduct. That is a publicity issue. Cohen is a serious problem. He has implicated Trump in criminal conduct.

As he is still facing a state investigations, there is high risk that he will exchange information for leniency in that investigation. Which will result in more, at least potentially, statements incriminating Trump. It is not clear to me what the status is relative to the Mueller investigation -- only that his current deal does not require cooperation with Mueller.

Having taken this step, I would expect him to work with Mueller as a way to further leniency in sentencing and to insure no further prosecutions. (I can't tell from news coverage whether the deal includes all federal investigations or not.) Cohen seems a credible witness and too close to Trump on the direct political issues for any very successful effort to wall him off.

His statement also is a big problem for the lawsuits by Daniels, and others, as it shreds Trump's defenses to date. But none of it will mean that significant numbers of Republicans in the Congress will back away from Trump. Nixon held most Republicans until he resigned. I don't see a reason to think the team loyalty now will be less.

Lawfare has good analysis of these issues.

J.Bogart 08.22.18 at 12:15 pm ( 4 )

Watch what Lanny Davis, Cohen's attorney, says and does. He is not a Giuliani. He is clearly telling prosecutors his client has valuable information and is willing to provide it (if not already disclosed).

Hidari 08.22.18 at 12:40 pm ( 6 )

'The Republicans simply don't care, and nothing will make them care.'

To be fair, I don't care either, and nothing will make me care. Anyway, back in the real world .

'Michael Cohen, who spent a decade as a lawyer for Trump, told a judge Tuesday that he was directed by Trump to coordinate payments to two women designed to prevent them from disclosing alleged affairs with the real estate mogul before the presidential election, in violation of campaign finance law.

Such an explosive assertion against anyone but the president would suggest that a criminal case could be in the offing, but under long-standing legal interpretations by the Justice Department, the president cannot be charged with a crime.

The department produced legal analyses in 1973 and 2000 concluding that the Constitution does not allow for the criminal indictment of a sitting president.

In comments to reporters after Cohen pleaded guilty to eight felony counts in federal court in Manhattan, Deputy U.S. Attorney Robert Khuzami said prosecutors were sending a message that they are unafraid to file charges when campaign finance laws are broken. But he did not mention Trump or offer any indication that his office planned to pursue action against the president.'

(Washington Post)

'Despite impeachment talk, it's no easy task to remove a president in such a way. Both Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson were impeached, but both were acquitted by the Senate. President Richard Nixon resigned before he could be removed from office.

There are three impeachable offenses: treason, bribery and the more opaque "high crimes and misdemeanors," but the House of Representatives has the responsibility to accuse the president of one of those things. If a majority in the House agrees, a president is then impeached. The Senate then votes on impeachment, which under the U.S. Constitiution requires a two-thirds majority.

In Trump's case, starting the impeachment process would currently require a mass revolt by Republicans against him in the House of Representatives -- controlled by the GOP -- an event even less likely than normal with midterm elections on the horizon.'

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/08/22/trump-impeachment-not-likely-despite-manafort-and-cohen-trials.html

I am not sure that hush money being paid to the porn star the President was banging in order that his pregnant wife not find out was precisely what the Founding Fathers had in mind by 'High crimes and misdemeanors,'

But again, what do I know.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/08/22/trump-impeachment-not-likely-despite-manafort-and-cohen-trials.html

Hidari 08.22.18 at 1:15 pm ( 7 )

'I am no lawyer, but apparently if you spend that much money covering up your adultery to avoid damage to your political campaign, that is a crime'.

I sort of see what you are saying, and of course, in a certain sense, what you say is not only true but self-evidently and obviously true. Any politician engages in activities to gain him or herself votes. All I am saying is that it doesn't seem like the most obvious way to conceptualise these activities. CF Bill Clinton.

Presumably one of the key reasons that Clinton lied about the Lewinsky affair was because he thought it would make him look bad and therefore lose him votes in the 2000 elections. And in a sense it did (although others presumably voted for him 'cos they felt sorry for him). But that seems like a weird way to conceptualise his activities.

Does it not seem more likely that Trump's main concern in paying the hush money was to avoid his wife, who had just given birth, finding out? Obviously the effect on votes would be of benefit to him, but I'm not sure that was his main concern.

Would it be yours, in his position?

Orange Watch 08.22.18 at 1:22 pm ( 9 )

Donald@5

I too agree with most of what Hidari said here (and there), except for their last paragraph here.

To further clarify your statement, the issue is that the payment was transparently not to keep Ms. Trump from finding out about Ms. Cliffords or Ms. McDougal – the timing of the payment/catch-and-kill story, well after the incidents but immediately before the election, make that clear: their purpose was to avoid extramarital affairs with adult entertainers from turning into October Surprises.

These functioned as (unreported) in-kind donations, insofar as they were third-party resources expended to for the explicit purpose of providing electoral support to the candidate.

Orange Watch 08.22.18 at 1:35 pm ( 12 )

Hidari@

I am not sure that hush money being paid to the porn star the President was banging in order that his pregnant wife not find out was precisely what the Founding Fathers had in mind by 'High crimes and misdemeanors,'

It's intentionally vague . It should be noted that when Johnson was impeached , one of the eleven articles was "Bringing disgrace and ridicule to the presidency by his aforementioned words and actions."

Again, though, the idea that the payoffs to Ms. Cliffords and Ms. McDougal were made to prevent Ms. Trump from learning of the affairs defies all credibility when considering that they occurred in the fall of 2016 rather than ten years earlier.

Fergus 08.22.18 at 2:22 pm ( 15 )

@Hidari

It would be a strange way to conceptualise the activity if it was based purely on the fact that the hush money was politically helpful. But:

"He told a judge in United States District Court in Manhattan that the payments to the women were made "in coordination with and at the direction of a candidate for federal office," implicating the president in a federal crime.

"I participated in this conduct, which on my part took place in Manhattan, for the principal purpose of influencing the election" for president in 2016, Mr. Cohen said."

So I don't really know how you can keep insisting this is an issue of conceptual analysis

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/21/nyregion/michael-cohen-plea-deal-trump.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

Glen Tomkins 08.22.18 at 2:37 pm ( 17 )

I don't think that a Congressional majority, and certainly not the 2/3 Senate majority needed for removal, is going to feel much ethical pressure to impeach based on the list of wrongdoing we know about so far, or that are at all likely to emerge. Quite aside from the lack of gravity of the crimes on that list, none of them are a clear betrayal of the electorate that decided he should be president. That electorate already knew he was a Russophile, had even invited Russians to hack D computers, they knew that he was a pussy-grabber, and that his privately-owned business was ethically challenged -- yet an electoral majority voted him in anyway. Removal on impeachment involves the legislature asserting its will and its judgment over that of the people. Of course the legislature is also elected by the people to accomplish duties that include holding the president to certain standards. But I don't see even a 2/3 D Senate (which we would only get by the Rs losing every race up this year, plus about 15 of them party-switching) having the cojones for such an assertion, certainly not when the electorate already knew about the crimes when they voted for the criminal. The Rs have cojones for such enterprises, and in spades, but not our beloved Ds.

And I don't see impeachment as a very useful strategy for the Ds to pursue. Even if successful at removing Trump, that just gets you Pence -- just as public policy irrational, only less politically disorganized.

Maybe impeachment comes up as a tactic, to facilitate some other plan of action, but I don't see conviction on impeachment as a useful means of even control of Trump behavior, much less removal.

If the Ds do have control of either house after the election, of course the usual that we can expect of them is not very much. Even if they control both chambers, they couldn't possibly have the 2/3 in both needed to run the govt by overriding the vetoes that any actual program of theirs would be sure to attract from the president. Even with 2/3, because this is a D 2/3 we're talking about, we can most likely discount the possibility that they would even try to exercise any oversight over what the govt does in opposition to the president's control.

An actual political party in this situation of even controlling a bare majority of just the House could do a whole lot to not only thwart Trump, but to at least make a credible effort at asserting control over the govt. They could of course block any new legislation, or the repeal of any existing law, and even the actual Ds are probably up to that. But to go further, to control or limit how Trump runs the govt under existing law, this D majority of the House would have to be willing to boldly set sail on the sea of political hardball and take up a career of budgetary hostage-taking -- so right off we should say that this is political fanfic, and not even canonic fanfic.

But a girl can dream, can't he, so let's pursue this alternate reality just a bit. Who knows, if Trump's misrule makes things sufficiently dire, maybe even the Ds will be motivated to find their inner pirate.

To take ICE as an example, it would go something like this. The House only agrees to pass the annual appropriations on a 30-day continuing resolution basis, so that their assent is needed every 30-days to the govt doing anything. They pass all the spending except for the ICE funding (keeping the funding for whatever ICE spends on housing and otherwise caring for people already apprehended -- that funding goes with the funding of the rest of the govt), which they hold back until and unless Senate and president agree to ICE funding that includes new law that keeps ICE from doing family separations, and whatever else the Ds find objectionable. After success getting control of ICE abuses, next month when the CRs come due, they do the same maneuver on their next target of Trump misrule.

The risk is that the Rs, Senate and president, just refuse to agree to the omnibus that funds everything else the govt does until the Ds let loose the ICE funding. There is a govt shutdown, and the Ds run the risk of being blamed. It turns into a game of legislative chicken. Of course, this has to be anti-canon fanfic for such a game to end other than by the Ds swerving first, so the real world Ds will never actually even start the game, because whatever their faults, they know their limitations.

Lee A. Arnold 08.22.18 at 2:58 pm ( 18 )

Hidari #13: " they 'all' want to get rid of him now?"

The Republican Senate would be happy to throw him overboard tomorrow. His voters are the problem. They won't wait for his voters to turn on him however, if the Senate receives a lengthy bill of impeachment from a Democratic House and Mueller has signed off on some of the charges.

They'd rather have Pence do the sanctimonious messaging and go into 2020 trying to reconstruct the party with an open primary.

After all, the GOP stands to lose Senate seats in 2020 anyway, just due to the map (the same problem they have this year, with the House). If the election in 76 days puts the Democrats in charge of the House, Trump won't make it to the end of his term.

Hidari 08.22.18 at 3:17 pm ( 19 )

'To further clarify your statement, the issue is that the payment was transparently not to keep Ms. Trump from finding out about Ms. Cliffords or Ms. McDougal – the timing of the payment/catch-and-kill story, well after the incidents but immediately before the election, make that clear: their purpose was to avoid extramarital affairs with adult entertainers from turning into October Surprises. '

Oh ok, I didn't really understand that. I haven't to be honest, been following the Stormy Daniels story too closely for the good reason that I don't care.

So one infers that the FL did in fact know about these things. Could we conceptualise it thus, then: Trump paid the hush money to ensure that Melania was not publicly humiliated by these things (I mean, humiliated even more than simply being married to Donald Trump)?

But obviously, in that case, Trump not wanting this to be a big story in the run up to the election was obviously a 'thing'.

[Sep 15, 2018] Dershowitz Says Manafort Plea Big Win For Mueller; White House Should Be Alarmed

Notable quotes:
"... That said, many - including Yahoo News's Michael Isikoff (the guy whose article containing info fed to him by Christopher Steele was used by the FBI to obtain Carter Page's FISA warrant) - have pointed to potential targets on the left. ..."
"... Those people include former Manafort associates Tony Podesta, Vin Weber and Greg Craig - all of whom failed to register as foreign agents in connection with work outside the United States, as well as members of the Obama administration . Of course, the thought of Mueller going after "the untouchables" seems a bit far fetched. ..."
"... The FSB ambition: to choose the least competent Presidential candidate and, unbeknownst to him, smooth his way to the White House. Thus Robert Meuller's inconvenient truth: If Donald Trump were competent enough to be entrusted with collusion, then he would be too competent for the FSB to achieve its ambitions! I bet the FSB people in charge are gobsmacked that The Donald hasn't been impaled on the 25th Amendment yet! ..."
"... I don't understand Dershowitz here. What could Manafort say that Papadopoulos and Flynn haven't already told Mueller? He was Trump's campaign manager for what three months? ..."
"... If anyone had something juicy on Trump it'd be Michael Flynn since he was in the Trump administration if just for a short time. This is about keeping this farce of a charade going as long as humanly possible. ..."
"... My guess -- a guess -- is that Mueller is under a lot of pressure from the Clinton Family including Brennan, Clapper et al to find something, anything, on enough people to make the last 2 years look legit to the Americans who watch CNN. ..."
"... My guess is that the CF has gone from supporting Mueller to making him scared. ..."
"... That should work for continuing the Conspiracy theory... It is all the DOJ, FBI, Sessions and now newcomer Manafort trying to BRING Down the POTUS. All of this is happening to such a great guy like Trump... Sad huh... ..."
"... Jesus you Trumptards are delusional. The average American is no more likely to take up arms against his masters than the North Koreans are. ..."
Sep 15, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Harvard Law professor and prominent liberal Alan Dershowitz - who has been shunned by the liberal elite of late for defending President Trump - now says that the White House should be alarmed over Paul Manafort's plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller.

" Well of course they should be ," replied Dershowitz - though he added the rather large caveat that Mueller is "not a credible witness," and would be at best be a corroborating witness against Trump.

"There's nothing he can testify to that would probably lend weight to impeachment because he didn't have close contact with President Trump while he was president," said Dershowitz. " What they are looking for is self-corroborating information that can be used against Trump if they can make him sing and then there's the possibility of him composing, elaborating on the story ."

Dershowitz added that there is "no doubt" Mueller is trying to flip Manafort against Trump.

" Once he agrees to cooperate, he has to cooperate about everything , said Dershowitz. "There's no such thing as partial cooperation."

As for Trump pardoning Manafort? That's now "off the table," and that flipping on the President "opens up a lot of doors that probably haven't been opened before."

It's a "big win" for Mueller, Dershowitz concludes.

That said, many - including Yahoo News's Michael Isikoff (the guy whose article containing info fed to him by Christopher Steele was used by the FBI to obtain Carter Page's FISA warrant) - have pointed to potential targets on the left.

Those people include former Manafort associates Tony Podesta, Vin Weber and Greg Craig - all of whom failed to register as foreign agents in connection with work outside the United States, as well as members of the Obama administration . Of course, the thought of Mueller going after "the untouchables" seems a bit far fetched.


quintus.sertorius , 19 minutes ago

The Tribe plays both sides: Dershowitz the plant in Trump team has the same real loyalty as fellow tribesman Haim Saban or Sheldon Adelson. They want to blackmail Trump into fighting Israel's war in Syria.

radbug , 55 minutes ago

The FSB ambition: to choose the least competent Presidential candidate and, unbeknownst to him, smooth his way to the White House. Thus Robert Meuller's inconvenient truth: If Donald Trump were competent enough to be entrusted with collusion, then he would be too competent for the FSB to achieve its ambitions! I bet the FSB people in charge are gobsmacked that The Donald hasn't been impaled on the 25th Amendment yet!

ZazzOne , 1 hour ago

"Big Win For Mueller"? Only if he plans on going after the founders of the Red Shoe "Pedo" Club.....John and Tony Podesta! Though I highly doubt he'll ever go down that rabbit hole!!!!!

Straddling-the-fence , 2 hours ago

Once he agrees to cooperate, he has to cooperate about everything , said Dershowitz. "There's no such thing as partial cooperation.

That's asinine. There are terms to a plea agreement. Unless those terms encompass what is claimed above, then that is simply false.

KekistanisUnite , 3 hours ago

I don't understand Dershowitz here. What could Manafort say that Papadopoulos and Flynn haven't already told Mueller? He was Trump's campaign manager for what three months?

George Papadopoulos I don't know how long he was there but if really has nothing of value to offer then neither would Manafort.

If anyone had something juicy on Trump it'd be Michael Flynn since he was in the Trump administration if just for a short time. This is about keeping this farce of a charade going as long as humanly possible.

Econogeek , 3 hours ago

My guess -- a guess -- is that Mueller is under a lot of pressure from the Clinton Family including Brennan, Clapper et al to find something, anything, on enough people to make the last 2 years look legit to the Americans who watch CNN.

My guess is that the CF has gone from supporting Mueller to making him scared.

ThePhantom , 4 hours ago

i like to think Mueller is on the plate too, and this is his chance to save his own ass. Greg Craig and Podesta's names are out in all the papers .... they worked with manafort first and foremost....

no idea what dershowitz is talking about.. none.

Calvertsbio , 4 hours ago

Yea sure he is, the SPECIAL Counsel running the show to bring down corruption is "ON THE PLATE" yea, ok...

That should work for continuing the Conspiracy theory... It is all the DOJ, FBI, Sessions and now newcomer Manafort trying to BRING Down the POTUS. All of this is happening to such a great guy like Trump... Sad huh...

Doesn't make much difference how much of this BS is posted, no one is buying it anymore... Even FAUX news has basically given up on him... Everyone know that once it all comes out, it will be labelled by HIS SHEEPLE that it is all made up BS to take him down...

Hillary did it... no ! Sessions did it, nope, it was RYAN ? McConnell... lets keep the guessing game going... The Dossier did it...

BigJim, 4 hours ago

"The swamp critters better stop ignoring the Hillary/DNC side of this or the population is going to be marching in with pitchforks and guillotines."

Jesus you Trumptards are delusional. The average American is no more likely to take up arms against his masters than the North Koreans are.

[Sep 15, 2018] Kerry Trashes Trump Amidst Iran Row 8-Year Old Boy With The Insecurity Of A Teenage Girl

It's really difficult rationally explain Trump obsession with Iran. may be Israeli lobby influence would be the most appropriate instead of "The Insecurity Of A Teenage Girl"
Sep 15, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

At the end of a week in which former Secretary of State John Kerry's unauthorized meetings with top Iranian officials have taken center stage, and in which both President Trump and current Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have publicly thrashed Kerry's "unheard of" and "illegal meetings" with Iran that "undercut" the White House, Kerry has gone on his own anti-Trump rant .

Appearing on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher Friday night, Kerry slammed the president as having "the maturity of an 8-year-old boy with the insecurity of a teenage girl" in remarks that are sure to continue the ongoing war of words. Previously in the week upon news of John Kerry's Wednesday Hugh Hewitt Show radio interview in which he admitted meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif "three or four times" since Donald Trump took office, President Trump slammed the "illegal meetings" as serving to "undercut" White House diplomatic dealings with Iran .

Trump further hinted that Kerry violated the Logan Act by rhetorically asking whether Kerry is officially registered as a foreign agent .

The president tweeted: John Kerry had illegal meetings with the very hostile Iranian Regime, which can only serve to undercut our great work to the detriment of the American people. He told them to wait out the Trump Administration! Was he registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act? BAD!

When asked about the White House's potential threats of legal inquiry into the meetings, Kerry dismissed: "There's nothing unusual about it. The conversation he really ought to be worrying about is Paul Manafort with Mueller."

"Unfortunately, we have a president, literally, for whom the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth is three different things, and you don't even know what they are," Kerry added.

We can only imagine how Trump is going to respond, whether on Twitter, or perhaps by announcing a legal inquiry over Kerry possibly breaking the Logan Act and failing to register as a foreign agent, as Trump's Thursday evening tweet suggested.

[Sep 15, 2018] BBC is skanky state propaganda

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The myth of BBC being some standard for news reporting died with the advent of the availability of international and independent news in Western countries ..."
"... Ironic when the BBC has been ceaselessly pushing fake news for at least 15 years, with disastrous results. (Iraq; Libya; what caused the deficit and who should be forced to pay it down; Russia/Syria false flags; Corbyn A/S.) ..."
"... I find it impossible to watch BBC News, primarily because most of the editorial staff and senior correspondents seem to be working for MI5/6 and are more interested in disseminating Geo-political propaganda than upholding their journalistic responsibilities as defined in the BBC charter. ..."
"... The book is obviously part of a propaganda campaign. It seems hugely fortuitous that Mark Urban should have had "hours" of interviews with Skripal before the poisoning incident. ..."
"... Isn't it much more likely that the Urban "interviews" would have happened after the event? But Urban can't say that because that would lead to demands from other journalists or news bodies to have access to Skripal. ..."
"... I'm open to alternative hypotheses but right now I think the most likely explanation for Urban's pre-poisoning contact with Sergei Skripal is that, at the time, it was assumed the Orbis dossier would be a key component of the successful takedown of Trump and Urban was putting together a mutually flattering account by interviewing the main players. ..."
"... With regard to your tongue-in-cheek point. Urban could have interviewed Skripal anytime after Trump was gone, unless he believed Skripal might be unavailable (for some reason). The fact he interviewed Skripal before does indicate foresight. If Urban really did interview Skripal before the event then he would be wiser to pull the book and burn every copy in existence (as well as all his notes). ..."
"... Urban pretends to research a book exposing Russia and part of his research is to interview Skripal. His objective is to find dirt on Putin in order to swing the war in Syria in favour of USUKIS bombing Assad to smithereens, bayonets bums etc. ..."
"... Interestingly Mark Urbans' book on Sergei Skripal was available to purchase on Amazon in July. I added it to my Amazon wishlist on 28/7/18. I've just looked at my wishlist and was rather surprised to find it is no longer available. It has been pulled. ..."
"... Can't help thinking that the answer to all this lies in Estonia. Sergei went to Estonia in June 2016, Pablo was in Estonia, the Estonians passed on sigint about Trump-Russian collusion in the summer of 2016. A Guardian article of 13 April 2017 said: ..."
"... No doubt in my mind that the Skripal affair is a planned operation carried out by US/UK intelligence. What has actually taken place is still to be determined, but the propaganda operation itself is clear. ..."
"... I know about Ireland, and I agree, it was NOT a nerve agent. That said, I don't believe anyone was 'attacked', including the Skripals. ..."
"... All foreign correspondents of major newspapers too work with MI6. Nobody who is close to them has any kind of doubt about this. ..."
"... I despise everyone who says that free markets are the solution for the problems of the third world. What they mean is mass starvation and an enormous population cull. There are international "foundations" that pay academics and politicians large amounts of money to spout this obscene line. One of them is called the John Templeton Foundation. They have had their fangs in to British universities for a long time. ..."
"... When the Tories talk about 'free markets', they are talking about markets free from democracy. ..."
Aug 30, 2018 | craigmurray.org.uk

Dave , August 28, 2018 at 17:41

BBC is skanky state propaganda. The myth of BBC being some standard for news reporting died with the advent of the availability of international and independent news in Western countries. The main thing that BBC used to have which propped up the illusion of it being a respectable news source is that there was no competition or alternative to compare its narratives against. Since that time is over, so is BBC's masquerading as an impartial or accurate news source.

Xavi , August 28, 2018 at 18:40

Agree, Dave. That's what's informing the push to rubbish dissenting sites as fake news and eventually have them removed.

Ironic when the BBC has been ceaselessly pushing fake news for at least 15 years, with disastrous results. (Iraq; Libya; what caused the deficit and who should be forced to pay it down; Russia/Syria false flags; Corbyn A/S.)

Ken Kenn , August 28, 2018 at 21:49

Well I was convinced of fake BBC news during 9/11 and not for the reasons of building 7 coming down too early but the fact that the female journalist was facing a camera standing in front of a glass window and there was no reflection of her or the camera person from the glass. Not even a faint shadow.

That's when I knew the BBC were employing vampires and have been ever since.

Green Screen technology I discovered later. All the On the spot reporters are at it apparently. Or repeating Reuters or PA.

Deb O'Nair , August 28, 2018 at 00:52

I find it impossible to watch BBC News, primarily because most of the editorial staff and senior correspondents seem to be working for MI5/6 and are more interested in disseminating Geo-political propaganda than upholding their journalistic responsibilities as defined in the BBC charter. People should not only boycott the BBC but refuse to pay the license fee on the grounds that it's a compulsory political subscription.

frankywiggles , August 28, 2018 at 09:48

Careful, Craig

BBC world affairs editor 'fed up' with complaints directed at the corporation's news output

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2018/aug/28/bbc-news-is-not-biased-in-brexit-reporting-says-john-simpson

D_Majestic , August 28, 2018 at 14:35

Of course BBC News is not biased. Most of the time it is not even factual.

Brendan , August 28, 2018 at 10:34

Dear Mark,
In a BBC article on 4 July 2018, you wrote: "I have not felt ready until now to acknowledge explicitly that we had met, but do now that the book is nearing completion."

Could you please explain that comment? I do not see why your acknowledgement of your meetings with Sergei Skripal should be delayed until your book is nearing completion.

If you felt that it was right to reveal those meetings in July, then why was it not right to do so in March, soon after the poisoning occurred? What difference would it have made if you had done so four months earlier?

I cannot think of any negative consequences of an earlier acknowledgement of the meetings. In fact, disclosures of any possible conflict of interest are generally considered to be desirable in journalism, regardless of whether the conflict of interest is real.

ADHD , August 28, 2018 at 11:00

The book is obviously part of a propaganda campaign. It seems hugely fortuitous that Mark Urban should have had "hours" of interviews with Skripal before the poisoning incident.

Isn't it much more likely that the Urban "interviews" would have happened after the event? But Urban can't say that because that would lead to demands from other journalists or news bodies to have access to Skripal.

And that can't happen because either Skripal would be asked about what happened on the day of the poisoning, or can't be guaranteed to stick to the script, or is no longer alive. And that leads to a suspicion that whatever Skripal is supposed to have said in his interviews with Urban has really just been made up by the British security services.

Kay , August 28, 2018 at 14:42

I'm open to alternative hypotheses but right now I think the most likely explanation for Urban's pre-poisoning contact with Sergei Skripal is that, at the time, it was assumed the Orbis dossier would be a key component of the successful takedown of Trump and Urban was putting together a mutually flattering account by interviewing the main players.

Tongue in cheek, it'd be worth asking Urban if his decision to cover the Skripal poisoning in his new book was made before or after the Skripals were actually poisoned.

ADHD , August 28, 2018 at 15:59

The consensus seems to be that it was an anti-Russia book, but that doesn't conflict with what you say (there is overlap, your view is just more specific). But, I just find it hard to believe that Urban and the conspirators would waste their time "counting their chickens ". Not least because such a book would form a handy list of traitors (together with confessions) if Trump were to prevail and it fell into the right hands. This is "101 – How to Organise a Revolution" (secrecy / don't put anything in writing); surely British security services know that?

With regard to your tongue-in-cheek point. Urban could have interviewed Skripal anytime after Trump was gone, unless he believed Skripal might be unavailable (for some reason). The fact he interviewed Skripal before does indicate foresight. If Urban really did interview Skripal before the event then he would be wiser to pull the book and burn every copy in existence (as well as all his notes).

Regardless, it looks like the master of the universe are losing their ability to create reality.

Brendan , August 28, 2018 at 10:37

Last month, Mark Urban was promoting the reports that the Russian assassins had been identified from CCTV footage:

"There are now subjects of interest in the police Salisbury investigation. ( ) analytic and cyber techniques are now being exploited against the Salisbury suspects by people with a wealth of experience in complex investigations."
https://twitter.com/MarkUrban01/status/1020366761848385536

That story originated with a report by PA, which Security Minister Ben Wallace called "ill informed and wild speculation". https://mobile.twitter.com/BWallaceMP/status/1019906962786484225

Or as Craig Murray put it, "Unnamed source close to unnamed British police officers tells unnamed Press Association journalist Britain knows the unnamed Russian agents ".
https://twitter.com/CraigMurrayOrg/status/1019854966327005184

Even Urban's colleagues had to admit that "The BBC has not been able to independently confirm the story."
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-44883803

Still, that didn't stop Mark Urban from reporting the story almost as fact.

Tom , August 28, 2018 at 10:38

The BBC relies on it's interpretation of the Act because it is held for the purposes of 'journalism, art or literature.' but this relies on a usually unrelated precedent and the opinions of a number of Judges which contradict this view. I'm in the process of challenging this with ICO but don't expect anything will change until another supreme court ruling:

https://medium.com/@tomcoady/bbc-foi-exemption-for-the-purposes-of-art-journalism-or-literature-c39e4fa3e36

Ian Fantom , August 28, 2018 at 10:41

I've put in a Freedom of Information request regarding meetings with Skripal other than any that were for the purpose of BBC news journalism. (https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/mark_urbans_non_journalistic_mee )

Made By Dom , August 28, 2018 at 11:04

Can I play Devil's Advocate ?

I can see the value in asking writers, journalists and artists to pose exactly the same questions as Eccles' original letter but I'm not convinced about Craig's email.

A quick google shows me that a man named Mark Urban has written a book on the Skripals. Isn't it likely that Urban was keeping the interviews to himself in order to keep his book alive?

It wouldn't surprise me if Urban cares far more about his writing career than his job at the BBC. I'm sure most journalists would rather be authors. He's written a number of books on war and military intelligence. If his sources have nothing to do with the BBC then why should he answer to an on line mob?

craig Post author , August 28, 2018 at 11:18

" Isn't it likely that Urban was keeping the interviews to himself in order to keep his book alive?"
No, entirely unlikely. a chance to plug his forthcoming book and his Skripal contacts to a massive worldwide televion audience was eschewed.
The book is now about the Skripal attack. Presumably that was not the original subject he was researching, as it hadn't happened yet. The book will just be a rehash of the "noble defector – Putin revenge" line and none of the questions I asked about the genesis of his involvement will be answered in it.

SA , August 28, 2018 at 11:29

"Presumably that was not the original subject he was researching, as it hadn't happened yet." Or it was prescience ie that it was part of the planning for the incident?

Chris Hemmings , August 28, 2018 at 14:41

@BBC, Summer 2017, in an executive office:
"Hey Mark, why don't you go down to have a chat with this guy in Salisbury. I have a hunch that a story might be going to happen involving him, you know, as an ex-Soviet spy. Spend time with him, get to know him, be able to write in depth about him. Say it's for a book ."

giyane , August 28, 2018 at 11:46

Urban is never one-sided in his BBC reports on the Middle East. I would rather have him as Foreign Secretary than a bumbling idiot like Hubris Johnson or a Tory racketeer Hunt, because however clunky the formula of BBC balance Urban is at least pretending to be governed by normal rules. After Thatcher went anyone with half a brain left the Conservative party, leaving dolts like Johnson and nasties like May and Cameron to pick up the pieces after Blair and Brown.

There's money to be made from Russian billionaires and tory shit will follow the money like flies on d**t**d.

Urban pretends to research a book exposing Russia and part of his research is to interview Skripal. His objective is to find dirt on Putin in order to swing the war in Syria in favour of USUKIS bombing Assad to smithereens, bayonets bums etc.

Tory shit Hubris Johnson finds this political research floating around the Foreign Office and decides to twist it into Russia murders Skripal by Novichok. Unfortunately Johnson is already known to be a liar and gravy-trainer Tory and nobody believes him at all. Mrs May , realising that Johnson, Fox, Rees-Mogg and Hunt are completely bonkers, does Chequers her own way.

ZigZag Wanderer , August 28, 2018 at 12:26

Interestingly Mark Urbans' book on Sergei Skripal was available to purchase on Amazon in July. I added it to my Amazon wishlist on 28/7/18. I've just looked at my wishlist and was rather surprised to find it is no longer available. It has been pulled.

From memory the books description said that Mark had interviewed Skripal 'extensively' during 2017 and also mentioned the 'new' spying war now happening between Britain and Russia.

A quick search revealed a new version of the book ( with an altered title ) will be available in early October .. details here. https://www.panmacmillan.com/authors/mark-urban/the-skripal-files

Oh dear . panic stations !

Sharp Ears , August 28, 2018 at 11:16

Salisbury poisoning: Skripals 'were under Russian surveillance'
Mark Urban Diplomatic and defence editor, Newsnight

4 July 2018

'My meetings with Sergei Skripal

I met Sergei on a few occasions last summer and found him to be a private character who did not, even under the circumstances then prevailing, wish to draw attention to himself.

He agreed to see me as a writer of history books rather than as a news journalist, since I was researching one on the post-Cold War espionage battle between Russia and the West.

Information gained in these interviews was fed into my Newsnight coverage during the early days after the poisoning. I have not felt ready until now to acknowledge explicitly that we had met, but do now that the book is nearing completion.

As a man, Sergei is proud of his achievements, both before and after joining his country's intelligence service.

He has a deadpan wit and is remarkably stoical given the reverses he's suffered in his life; from his imprisonment following conviction in 2006 on charges of spying for Britain, to the loss of his wife Liudmila to cancer in 2012, and the untimely death of his son Alexander (or Sasha) last summer.'

...

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-44717835

Agent Green , August 28, 2018 at 12:27

Laughable given that the whole world and virtually all heads of State were under US surveillance by the NSA – at least until Edward Snowden made all his revelations.

KEVIN GLENNIE , August 28, 2018 at 11:18

I have pasted and copied your Email regarding the above with a few slight alterations, it will be interesting to see the response I receive if any being just a concerned citizen of the U.

Niki Henry , August 28, 2018 at 11:21

Is this not a matter for the Police? (Even if you're not too sure if they'd do anything about it) These would be files that are to do with an attempted murder case. And definitely not Journalism if the story is fabricated.

Paul Baker , August 28, 2018 at 11:28

It feels as if you are moving in the right direction in linking Sergei to Steele. I'm intrigued by the very early media references to Sergei wanting to return home to see his elderly mother for perhaps the last time. He had apparently written to Putin making his request but again according to newspapers hadn't received a reply.

I would suggest Julia was bringing the answer via her own secret services contacts, her boyfriend and his mother, apparently Senior in the Russian Intelligence Agency. Perhaps a sentimental man Sergei was aware his mother couldn't travel so the plea to Putin was his best bet.

Such a request must have disturbed MI6 if Sergei had anything at all to do with the Steele dossier because inevitably if he returned to Russia he'd be debriefed by his old colleagues. But how can you rely on a mercenary double agent? If he decided he might want to stay in Russia with his family that might well have been attractive, away from the lonely existence in a Salisbury cul de sac with only spies for company. But the Steele dossier has great potential to turn sour on the British.

It's author was a Senior spy and Head of the Russian Desk for some years. It is – perhaps you'd agree? – inconceivable that he didn't require permission to prepare it, especially as much of it was based on his experience as a spy in Russia. Yet it's equally inconceivable that the Agency bosses didn't know the identity of the commissioners or the use to which it would be put in the US election – to boost Clinton's bid. If she'd won everything would have been fine but as it is any discussion of foreign interference in that election would have to include MI6 leading the list (they probably didn't tell any politician?) To have Sergei supporting and highlighting that embarrassment would be problematic for US-UK relations. Of course Sergei may have had other nuggets to expose as well as Steele.

Soon after Julia's arrival the pair fell ill. They both survived but are now locked away, presumably for life and never able to explain their side of the story.

It was a bodged job with a poor cover story from the start and could only be carried because of D Notices and media complicity. Is his mother still alive? Would he still like to see her before she dies? Would Russia allow it? Would MI6 allow it? I think that's 3 yeses and a resounding No.

Sharp Ears , August 28, 2018 at 11:39

Following the deaths of 55 Palestinians on the Gaza 'border' and the wounding of thousands, in this video, Urban asks the questions but the Israeli government spokesman, David Keyes, is allowed to spout all the usual propaganda against Hamas.

Gaza deaths: Who's to blame? – BBC Newsnight
Published on 15 May 2018
Subscribe 256K
Fresh protests against Israel are expected in the Palestinian territories, a day after Israeli troops killed 58 people in the Gaza Strip.
David Keyes is the spokesman for the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Mark Urban asked him whether it was appropriate for the US to open their embassy on the 70th anniversary of Israel's creation, a day that is hugely controversial for the Palestinian people.

Newsnight is the BBC's flagship news and current affairs TV programme – with analysis, debate, exclusives, and robust interviews.
Website: https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsnight
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1dec5XO53k

Mr Keyes' pronounced American accent was heard. The Occupation was not mentioned. A Palestinian voice was not heard.

This is another of his videos. On the same subject and on the opening of the Israeli Embassy in Jerusalem. This time, Jonathan Conricus spoke for the IDF.

Israel says. Same old. Same old. BBC. ZBC.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WdqoPKKkD8

Charles Bostock , August 28, 2018 at 15:58

"Urban asks the questions but the Israeli government spokesman, David Keyes, is allowed to spout all the usual propaganda against Hamas."

Yes indeed : Urban asked the questions and allowed the interviewee to answer. Perhaps you would have preferred him to interrupt the interviewee continually 'a la Today programme, or to have shouted at him similarly to the way I understand some people shout at customers inside or outside supermarkets?

Peter , August 28, 2018 at 11:39

This may or may not be relevant regarding Russia, chemical weapons and BBC/MSM bovine effluent:

"US Poised to Hit Syria Harder: The Russian Defense Ministry issued a statement on Aug. 25 stating that the Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham militants had brought eight containers of chlorine to Idlib in order to stage a false-flag attack with the help of UK intelligence agencies. A group of Tahrir al-Sham fighters trained to handle chemical warfare agents by the UK private military company Olive arrived in the suburbs of the city of Jisr ash-Shugur, Idlib, 20 km. from the Turkish border."

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/08/27/us-poised-to-hit-syria-harder.html

Jeremn , August 28, 2018 at 11:42

Can't help thinking that the answer to all this lies in Estonia. Sergei went to Estonia in June 2016, Pablo was in Estonia, the Estonians passed on sigint about Trump-Russian collusion in the summer of 2016. A Guardian article of 13 April 2017 said:

"Over the next six months, until summer 2016, a number of western agencies shared further information on contacts between Trump's inner circle and Russians, sources said. The European countries that passed on electronic intelligence – known as sigint – included Germany, Estonia and Poland."

Perhaps not the Dossier, as such, but some material on collusion?

Paul Greenwood , August 28, 2018 at 12:00

John Paul Jones also fought for the Russians and was a Rear-Admiral. He was buried in Paris 1792 and disinterred 1905 and relocated to USA

wonky , August 29, 2018 at 10:29

..then he met Jimmy Page in the 1960s and the rest is history..

Agent Green , August 28, 2018 at 12:11

No doubt in my mind that the Skripal affair is a planned operation carried out by US/UK intelligence. What has actually taken place is still to be determined, but the propaganda operation itself is clear.

Paul Carrom , August 28, 2018 at 12:12

Definitely done by the UK.

Doodlebug , August 28, 2018 at 14:53

What did the UK have against Dawn and Charlie? (Please don't say you subscribe to all that bottle-finding bullshit).

mark golding , August 28, 2018 at 17:40

Catch my last post Doodlebug, sadly MI6 diabolical elements can be traced back to Ireland in the 70's early 80's assassinations theRealTerror (theRealElvis) understands.

Doodlebug , August 28, 2018 at 18:06

I know about Ireland, and I agree, it was NOT a nerve agent. That said, I don't believe anyone was 'attacked', including the Skripals.

Jo , August 29, 2018 at 11:59

Being used as practice and to establish more "evidence"

N_ , August 28, 2018 at 12:24

Often it's been open. There was the BBC monitoring station at Caversham Park. The BBC's Foreign Broadcast Information Service split the world into two parts with the CIA.

All foreign correspondents of major newspapers too work with MI6. Nobody who is close to them has any kind of doubt about this.

N_ , August 28, 2018 at 12:20

Theresa May says a no deal Brexit "wouldn't be the end of the world".

  1. This is not a negotiating strategy. This is not a pantomime where one giant on the stage can wink to his supporters (using the British media) without his opponent (EU27) noticing.
  2. The subconscious doesn't work well with negation. Whatever you do, please DON'T imagine an elephant at this time.
  3. I would love to know what the preparations are at Trinity College, Cambridge, for food shortages. They own the port of Felixstowe, which handles more than 40% of Britain's containerised trade. They also own a 50% stake in a portfolio of Tesco stores. Soon food distribution will be what everyone is talking about. I am never going to stop making the point that the god of the Tory party is Thomas Malthus.
N_ , August 28, 2018 at 12:38

Oh dear.. Theresa May in Africa:

" As a Prime Minister who believes both in free markets and in nations and businesses acting in line with well-established rules and principles of conduct, I want to demonstrate to young Africans that their brightest future lies in a free and thriving private sector. "

I despise everyone who says that free markets are the solution for the problems of the third world. What they mean is mass starvation and an enormous population cull. There are international "foundations" that pay academics and politicians large amounts of money to spout this obscene line. One of them is called the John Templeton Foundation. They have had their fangs in to British universities for a long time.

They are keen on Prince Philip, the guy who said he wanted to come back as a virus so he could kill a large part of the population. Never trust anyone who has received a Templeton scholarship or prize or who has anything to do with these people or with the message that free markets and the private sector are the key to "development"

Nuno Strybes , August 28, 2018 at 12:43

When the Tories talk about 'free markets', they are talking about markets free from democracy.

May's rhetoric is laughable .basically all her speeches read : 'the sky is green, the snow is black etc etc' -- totally detached from reality and a spent political force, as their recent membership numbers showed, with more revenues from legacies left in wills than from actual living members.

Ros Thorpe , August 28, 2018 at 12:30

I agree with the Skripal relatives that Sergei is dead. He hasn't been seen or heard of and would have called his mother. Mind boggling deception at all levels and I struggle to believe any of it.

N_ , August 28, 2018 at 12:47

Sergei Skripal could be in US custody, either in the US itself or in a US facility somewhere.

If he is dead, then the rehospitalisation of Charlie Rowley may be to assist with the narrative. "Once you've had a drop of Novvy Chockk, you may recover but you can fall down ill at any time, and here's an Expert with a serious voice to confirm it."

Nuno Strybes , August 28, 2018 at 12:38

I follow this blog closely, particularly in relation to the Skripal case, but this is my first comment. I just watched Sky News piece on 'super recognisers' and couldn't help but wonder why, in an age of powerful facial recognition technology, the police and security services seem to have drawn such a blank. The surveillance state in the UK is known to be one of the most advanced in the world but when it comes to this highly important geopolitical crisis our technological infrastructure seems to be redundant to the point where 'human eyes' are deemed to be more accurate than the most powerful supercomputers available. Psychologically, all humans have an inherent facial recognition ability from a very young age, but the idea that some police officers have this ability developed to such an extent that they supercede computer recognition is, i feel, laughable. To me this announcement through the ever subservient Sky News reeks of desperation on the part of the ;official story'. Are we about to be shown suspects who, although facial recognition technology fails to identify them, a 'super recogniser' can testify that it actually is person A or person B and we are all supposed to accept that? Seems either a damning indictment of the judicial process, or a damning indictment of the £££££'s of taxpayers money that is spent on places like GCHQ etc whose technology is now apparently no better than a highly perceptive human brain. Give me a break !

Trowbridge H. Ford , August 28, 2018 at 13:08

Why no interest in how the Coopers died in Egypt? We will soon be told by HMG that the Russians somehow dd it too., thanks to Urban's research?

giyane , August 28, 2018 at 13:49

People do die Trowbridge. I know you haven't, but you have the motivation of outliving your persecutors. With Muckin about with Isis gone and covert operations isn't social work Kissinger looking as though he's on daily blood transfusions, you have rejected Trump for some reason. But Trump has undone much of John McCain's worst mischief in one year. If McCain was an example of a politician, we don't need politicians.

Trowbridge H. Ford , August 28, 2018 at 14:16

Give me an example, other than the Coopers. of a healthy couple one day that is found dying the next day like the Skripals.

And while i tried on another site to be generous about McCain. he got Navy Secretary John Lehman, Jr. to scare the Soviets for prevailing in the Vietnam War so much about what NATO was up to in the fallout from shooting Swedish PM Olof Palme that Moscow gave up the competition for fear that it would blow up the world, helping bring on the crappy one we have.

McCain was a continuing Cold Warrior who we don't need since we still have Trump who is just trying to do it another way.

Trowbridge H. Ford , August 28, 2018 at 15:03

Oh, I forget that couple in Amesbury. Looks like the Porton Down Plague is spread overseas.

Posting on this site in like playing bridge online – the cards are stacked against you.

Doodlebug , August 28, 2018 at 15:26

"Give me an example, other than the Coopers. of a healthy couple one day that is found dying the next day like the Skripals."

Will a 17 year old and his step-father do?

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/6918378/brit-lad-17-in-a-coma-on-family-holiday-in-spain-may-have-been-poisoned-by-cockroach-pesticide/

They both survived, but one or other (quite possibly both) would have died without medical intervention.

[Sep 15, 2018] Clapper lied on national TeeeVeee, to the American public with a straight face

Clapper and Brennan as MSM pundits are also kind of "insurance" against Trump, very true.
Sep 15, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

nmewn ,

All up to their beady little eyeballs in it...

CHUCK TODD TROTSKY: Yeah, I was just going to say, if the F.B.I., for instance, had a FISA court order of some sort for a surveillance, would that be information you would know or not know?

CLAPPER: Yes.

CHUCK TODD TROTSKY: You would be told this?

CLAPPER: I would know that.

CHUCK TODD TROTSKY: If there was a FISA court order–

CLAPPER: Yes.

CHUCK TODD TROTSKY: –on something like this.

CLAPPER: Something like this, absolutely.

CHUCK TODD TROTSKY: And at this point, you can't confirm or deny whether that exists?

>>>CLAPPER: I can deny it.<<<

The head of ObaMao's intelligence, the DNI ...(Clapper)...just lied on national TeeeVeee, to the American public, with a straight face, something we all now know to be absolutely, verifiably, true.

Something as blatantly deceptive as this needs something special in return. Like a noose.

FreedomWriter ,

Yeah, lying on CNN, apparently you can be arrested for that, it's almost as bad as lying to Congress under oath..... oh wait...

nmewn ,

They are twisted, seditious, criminal , lying, bastards.

In a nutshell: Hillary Clinton paid a foreign agent (Christopher Steele, via two entities to wipe her fingerprints, those being Perkins Coie & Fusion GPS) to fabricate the pretext of FISA warrants... which her cronies then dutifully introduced into a secret court ...and were granted FISA warrants (not once but FOUR TIMES) for US government intelligence agencies to spy on her political opponents.

Its unprecedented, a scandal more vast and all encompassing than Watergate.

And...having found NOTHING (again, four times) to charge Carter Page with, they leak to their cronies in the Alinsky Press that US government intelligence agencies do in fact have an active spying operation going on against American citizens to damage the reputations and careers having failed to find any evidence of "Russian collusion" which (again) was the pretext for the FISA warrants.

Now that those among us with a fully functional brain know FOR SURE that there are TWO SETS of laws in this nation we can go about our individual activities and businesses with total disregard to "their laws" without any self imposed moral or ethical trepidation.

herbivore ,

There's just one set of laws, but they're selectively enforced, depending on whether you're one of the little people or you're among the elite. Must be nice to be one of the elite, not having to worry about laws and stuff.

[Sep 15, 2018] Carter Paige? You mean the guy this time last year was a Russian spy? The guy who hasn't been charged with anything? The guy that the original FISA warrants were issued against in order to spy on the trump campaign? Oh yeah that guy.

Sep 15, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

indaknow ,

Carter Paige? You mean the guy this time last year was a Russian spy? The guy who hasn't been charged with anything? The guy that the original FISA warrants were issued against in order to spy on the trump campaign? Oh yeah that guy.

Is he connected to the Papadopoulos guy? You know... The guy that got 14 days for lying to meathead?

And now Manafort. Somehow hes bringing Trump down for sure. Even if it doesn't have anything to do with the Trump campaign.

As looney would say... Looney

Dilluminati ,

From my understanding the unmasking of a national security investigation does make liable to suit the press by Carter Page, additionally I'm still amazed that people are seeing this through their preconceptions. How NSL (national security letters) and FISA material made it consistently from the top echelons of government needs people asking some genuine questions. If you have followed this carefully, it is evident that despite the non-related charges brought forth by Mueller that this was a politicized prosecution by the establishment. The questioning of the narrative of this gets people called all types of names.

Talking about establishment behaving badly:

I finally came across an article where the establishment is calling people "Satan" and the article was accurate from the standpoint of an "establishment analysis" but of course left out the actual details of the ongoing criminal racketeering.

https://www.weeklystandard.com/jonathan-v-last/vigano-letter-mccarrick-wuerl-and-pope-francis-are-breaking-the-catholic-church

I had a person say that they "felt sorry for me" Pity being an expression of disrespect that I no longer attended Church, and I thought to myself that it wasn't worth the reply that saying sorry or asking forgiveness cuts it, or that the decision or another or your belief yourself guarantees you are saved if your repeated heinous crimes boil down to asking "forgiveness" a mistake, bad judgement.

And the abuse was SEVERE again the details are slowly coming out but you see how the Demonization process works. The response in both cases identical.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/pennsylvania-grand-jury-report-details-disturbing-abuse-allegations/

And remember that none of this is new.. simply signs of very corrupt people feeling non-accountable to anything. I fully expect the abuse at the Church to continue, I expect the Star Chamber establishment to become more bold.. and in summation I'm predicting very cleanly and accurately this ends badly. No escaping this.. it ends badly

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/7260306/vatican-photo-pope-francis-cardinals-laughing-sex-abuse-scandal-meeting/

[Sep 15, 2018] If there really were an insurance policy against Trump, it might include having ex-intel officials getting hired at national news outlets where they'd monitor and influence news organizations, and be invited to give daily spin on controversies surrounding their own actions.

Sep 15, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

MuffDiver69 ,

If this insurance policy were actually true, it also could include tactics memorialized in a memo, written in 2009 by a Democratic strategist working at the time for the liberal smear group Media Matters.

>It described how to fight a "well funded, presidential-style campaign to discredit and embarrass" targets. Private eyes would probe into their personal lives, courts would be used for lawsuits. "Massive demonstrations" would be organized, Michael Moore would make a negative documentary and "a team of trackers" would stake out targets at events. "Opposition research" would be collected.

The targets would be attacked on social media, yard signs posted in their neighborhoods, and a "mole" placed inside their organization.

If there really were an insurance policy against Trump, it might include having ex-intel officials getting hired at national news outlets where they'd monitor and influence news organizations, and be invited to give daily spin on controversies surrounding their own actions.

Figures such as former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former Comey aide Josh Campbell and others could get hired by CNN; former CIA Director John Brennan and ex-Mueller/Comey aide Chuck Rosenberg could get hired by NBC and MSNBC.

But all that would never really happen. Or if it did, it's downright silly to think of it as part of an organized insurance policy.

http://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/401116-what-would-the-intelligence-communitys-insurance-policy-against-trump

[Sep 15, 2018] Strzok never went to FBI school , he was just a CIA employee inserted at FBI>

Sep 15, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Albertarocks ,

Peter Strzok has single-handedly provided Webster's with an entirely new and upgraded example of "dirty cop".

neidermeyer ,

Strzok never went to "FBI school" ,, just a CIA employee inserted at FBI.

[Sep 15, 2018] Strzok Wanted To Hunt Down Trump Ties Using FBI Steele Dossier Report Leaked To CNN

Sep 15, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Newly revealed text messages between former FBI agent Peter Strzok and former FBI attorney Lisa Page reveal that Strzok wanted to use CNN's report on the infamous "Steele Dossier" to justify interviewing people in the Trump-Russia investigation, reports CNN . " Sitting with Bill watching CNN. A TON more out ," Strzok texted to Page on Jan. 10, 2017, following CNN's report.

"Hey let me know when you can talk. We're discussing whether, now that this is out, we use it as a pretext to go interview some people ," Strzok continued.

Recall that CNN used the (leaked) fact that former FBI Director James Comey had briefed then-President-Elect Donald Trump on a two-page summary of the Steele Dossier to justify printing their January report .

This is a troubling development in light of a May report that the FBI knew that CNN was " close to going forward " with the Steele Dossier story, and that " The trigger for them is they know the material was discussed, " clearly indicating active communications between CNN and the FBI.

Weeks later, as the Daily Caller 's Chuck Ross notes, the FBI approached former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos "under the guise of interviewing him about his contacts with an alleged source for the dossier."

In short, knowledge of the Comey-Trump briefing was leaked to CNN, CNN printed the story, Strzok wanted to use it as a pretext to interview people in the Trump-Russia investigation, and weeks later George Papadopoulos became ensnared in their investigation.

And when one considers that we learned of an FBI " media leak strategy " this week, it suggests pervasive collusion between Obama-era intelligence agencies and the MSM to defeat, and then smear Donald Trump after he had won the election.

Text messages discussing the "media leak strategy" were revealed Monday by Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC). The messages, sent the day before and after two damaging articles about former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, raise " grave concerns regarding an apparent systematic culture of media leaking by high-ranking officials at the FBI and DOJ related to ongoing investigations."

A review of the documents suggests that the FBI and DOJ coordinated efforts to get information to the press that would potentially be "harmful to President Trump's administration." Those leaks pertained to information regarding the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court warrant used to spy on short-term campaign volunteer Carter Page.

The letter lists several examples:

Recall that Strzok's boss, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, was fired for authorizing self-serving leaks to the press.

Also recall that text messages released in January reveal that Lisa Page was on the phone with Washington Post reporter Devlin Barrett , then with the New York Times , when the reopening of the Clinton Foundation investigation hit the news cycle - just one example in a series of text messages matching up with MSM reports relying on leaked information, as reported by the Conservative Treehouse .

♦Page: 5:19pm "Still on the phone with Devlin . Mike's phone is ON FIRE."

♥Strzok: 5:29pm "You might wanna tell Devlin he should turn on CNN, there's news on."

♦Page: 5:30pm "He knows. He just got handed a note."

♥Strzok: 5:33pm "Ha. He asking about it now?"

♦Page: 5:34pm "Yeah. It was pretty funny. Coming now."

At 5:36pm Devlin Barrett tweets:

Meadows says that the texts show " a coordinated effort on the part of the FBI and DOJ to release information in the public domain potentially harmful to President Donald Trump's administration. "

Revisiting the FBI-CNN connection

Going back to the internal FBI emails revealed in May by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), we find that McCabe had advance knowledge of CNN's plans to publish the Steele Dossier report.

In an email to top FBI officials with the subject "Flood is coming," McCabe wrote: " CNN is close to going forward with the sensitive story ... The trigger for them is they know the material was discussed in the brief and presented in an attachment." McCabe does not reveal how he knew CNN's "trigger" was Comey's briefing to Trump.

McCabe shot off a second email shortly thereafter to then-Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates along with her deputy, Matthew Alexrod, with the subject line "News."

" Just as an FYI, and as expected ," McCabe wrote , " it seems CNN is close to running a story about the sensitive reporting. " Again, how McCabe knew this is unclear and begs investigation.

Johnson also wanted to know when FBI officials " first learned that media outlets, including CNN, may have possessed the Steele dossier. "

As The Federalist noted in May, "To date, there is no public evidence that the FBI ever investigated the leaks to media about the briefing between Trump and Comey. When asked in a recent interview by Fox News Channel's Bret Baier , Comey scoffed at the idea that the FBI would even need to investigate the leak of a secret briefing with the incoming president."

" Did you or your subordinates leak that? " Baier asked .

" No ," Comey responded. " I don't know who leaked it. "

" Did you ever try to find out? " Baier asked.

" Who leaked an unclassified public document? " Comey said, even though Baier's question was about leaking details of a briefing of the incoming president, not the dossier. " No ," Comey said.

And now it looks like we have an answer for why the FBI never investigated the leak...


k3g ,

Tell me again how Watergate was impeachable and this - Obamagate, Spygate, Framegate, ReverseCollusionGate, whatever ya wanna call it - is not .

Watergate was nothing next to this. And Obama's prints are all over it. The guy used govt resources - FBI, US intel, foreign partner intel - to try to destroy a candidate in order to throw a US POTUS election, and upon failing continued to try to take the guy out. Methinks that's why Obama's been looking so gaunt and wan of late. The guy looks terminal.

herbivore ,

There is only one agency in the U.S. government that can put people in prison and it's called the DOJ. Not only that, there are only a handful of people at the top of the DOJ who can decide who and who not to prosecute. Therefore, if you're the Clinton/Obama crime family, you only need a few loyalists at the top of the DOJ and you can get away with pretty much anything. Clearly, the Clinton/Obama crime family had and STILL have those loyalists on their side. Trump has done a pathetic job of changing that.

BendGuyhere ,

The good news, if you noticed, is the big swamp creatures (Comey, McCabe, Brennan, et al), that were SO loud and proud just a few months ago seem to have gotten really quiet lately.

This could mean that SHIT IS GETTING REAL and their lawyers are telling them to STFU.

So maybe the keebler elf grandpa Sessions is in fact orchestrating a legal checkmate on all these fuckers as the drip=drip becomes a deluge.

The deep state may try to manufacture a distraction-any ideas?

Anunnaki ,

Since 9/11 the Permanent government is immune from legal responsibility and accountability

if we lived by the same Laws we used against Chelsea Manning, Snowden, Assange and the rest Obama, Hellary, Huma, Lynch. Comey, Mueller, Yates, Rice, Jarrett, McCabe, the Ohrs, Strzok and Page, Glenn Simpson would all get serious jail time

CNN should lose their broadcast license over this

Alas, Rip Van Sessions continues to do nothing and all the Crying Cheetolini can do is bitch tweet like a eunuch

urhotdogs ,

Obama must be panicking. He is all of a sudden "out of retirement" and campaigning to get Dems elected to take back the house and the Senate. If that happens, all the corruption from his Administration can be swept back under the rug and Trump impeached and his ass saved.

G-R-U-N-T ,

The ObamaSpy ring to frame Trump, his family, his campaign and the American people is a hell of a lot more extensive than most people think. The web not only extends domestically but internationally, the FVEY's, mainly Great Britain and Australia would appear to have their hand in this as well.

Yes, treason and espionage, all for a few pieces of silver and the illusion of power. All the 'gas lighting' propaganda and contempt with NO evidence was and is all a set-up by those nefarious forces that used to run the cesspool.

'They never thought she would lose' , like Hilary allegedly said: "If that fucking bastard wins we all hang from nooses", do tell, do tell.

We elected Trump to take back our country and I believe that's exactly what he's doing!

StarGate ,

Fact that Obama used Britain's GHCQ to spy on the Republican candidate he was trying to prevent win as Prez - recall Obama said emphatically "Trump will never be President" - so now we know WHY Obama was so certain;

And fact that UK/ Aussie Ambassador Downer coordinated with FBI conspirators against the Republican candidate; (recall that the Aussie Prez call with Trump was made public probably by Aussie Prez Turnbull himself)...

And fact that Obama RENEWED the British GHCQ spy op against Trump as he was Prez; puts the FBI British spy Dossier caper and all the FBI agents into the TREASON category because they were working AGAINST USA interests WITH foreign countries - Britain and Australia.

Dan'l ,

So much for the highly anticipated internal FBI investigation by that clown Horowitz, the Inspector General who said there was "no evidence" of political influence by the FBI investigators. He said that with a straight face.

thinkmoretalkless ,

Politics is the only thing forestalling swift justice in this sordid mess. The media has exposed itself as ridiculously complicit in a seditious conspiracy by a group of narcissistic elite establishment underlings. I am as impatient as anyone else who see the blatant corruption and little in the way of prosecutorial response, but if this is as some portend a sophisticated attempt to drain the swamp then there is some hope a significant and honest reckoning awaits. I don't blame those not optimistic, but personally I'm trying Trumps power of positive thinking.

Marketing Consultant ,

What a bunch of bad people.

True swamp rats that don't deserve a position in government.

MK ULTRA Alpha ,

Another angle we must consider, the CIA was deeply involved. I believe it was the CIA managing the coup, the FBI was taking orders from the CIA who was planning and leading the overthrow of Trump.

Brennan and his WH coordinator Clapper are guilty. The FBI is just an attack dog of what the CIA set up with help from MI6. Clapper contacted MI6 for electronic intercept, the WH couldn't use NSA, there would have been a paper trail. And NSA would have told. Clapper is the one who contacted and used UK MI6 assets. (Steele a former MI6 agent? No, Steele is working for MI6.)

Everything leads back to Brennan and Clapper from the beginning. Brennan was deep into the election and re-election of Obama supplying intelligence data during the campaign.

It was Brennan who set up the game plan for the coup. Even his statements from the beginning indicated this. Will Brennan fall on his sword for Obama? Will Clapper fall on his sword for Obama? Brennan is a hard core communist, he may take the bullet for Obama, but not Clapper.

We don't get MSM stating this, is it fear of the CIA. Or is it fear there will be no more anonymous sources. Remember FBI agents were taking bribes for leaking data to the MSM. I doubt they're still working for the FBI. There has been a secret purge at the top. It was stated on MSM several FBI have left the FBI.

Interesting CNN has a former homosexual CIA officer who stated the CIA would kill Trump. He's a regular CNN employee. It was CNN, the FBI used to leak data to set Trump up.

Should CNN be sued? Should the NYT be sued? It's better to hit them in the pocket book.

Another point, remember General Flynn? I believe the CIA wanted to take him out. It was said he didn't lie by the FBI who did the interview, later higher ups, Comey and the like said he lied.

I believe the CIA wanted to pay him back for exposing Brennan's unlawful operations in Syria.

Also, remember the Las Vegas hit on Trump kind of supporters, could this have been a message by the CIA to the WH to expect a hit if Brennan was exposed. Just saying, we have to review every angle to the equation because the level of corruption in the government is beyond the belief of the average American. These players are above the law, perhaps this was a reminder.

Is the FBI going to accept their fate of being the fall guy for the CIA?


freedommusic ,

GCHQ had back door into NSA...

1970SSNova396 ,

The head of GCHQ resigned days before The Don took the keys to the white house so he could spend more time with the children. The Don knows the deal. Get the new guy on the SC and then shit will hit the fan. Trump has zero to lose going forward and he is going to rock the house.

chrbur ,

The Mueller Investigation is a international embarrassment. The search for a Trump/Russia connection by Inspector Clouseau is turning up over do jaywalking tickets while the glaringly obvious crimes of the Clinton Crime Family, aka, the Democrat party are ignored. I have to tell everyone that I am Canadian and I voted for Justin Trudeau.....hey.....it is less shameful.....

StarGate ,

Those who set up the Mueller Special Counsel (Rosenstein who used to perhaps still does, work for Hillary) did so, not only to create a false impeachment process against Trump but also to undermine any of his efforts to take America back for Americans.

Are they succeeding? Yes and No.

Trump already stopped the TTP, Paris nonAccord, Iran nuclear delay, set ups. Trump began the world Peace engine with outreach to North Korea and Russia. He began an adjustment to the tax system and regulatory small business chokers. He has made inroads to curb corruption at the FBI;

But without a Congress that is on the side of America, he has not been able to stop the not-legal alien criminal inflow and "sanctuary-mafia" protection system - as yet.

1970SSNova396 ,

Trump is up against the NWO/Globalist/Jewish Bankers/Jewish MSM Cabal 24/7/365. He has cost them billions in his two years. Trump has few friends in congress because they're owned by the above as well.

There is no doubt Trump has /is bringing everybody out onto the stage and you can see just how fuking corrupt this country is and has been for 40 years. This is the last chance.

urhotdogs ,

Ryan, McConnell and many Rinos complicit in all of this. Notice they've never come out and condemn the FBI or DOJ involvement in all this. Only a few Republicans keeping this going

Thom Paine ,

ALSO those given immunity by Meuller may not have immunity , and could have it reversed, if it can be shown the only reason immunity was given them was to protect them against future prosecution.

Immunity requires that the person have important evidence for a trial and that they could be implicating themselves in a criminal act by providing that evidence, ie they were somehow involved in the commission of the crime, in some relate-able way. Immunity gives them protection against being prosecuted for related crimes.

You cannot give somebody immunity against Tax Fraud prosecution when they are providing evidence of a car accident they saw.

Providing immunity for all unrelated crimes is the same power as the POTUS power of pardon.

SO the DOJ could at some future time challenge the immunity given by Mueller on the basis that is given only to protect them, and in exchange for nothing tangible. i.e. a fraud.

Which may mean Mueller could be prosecuted for prevision of justice.

[Sep 15, 2018] So now CNN is complicit in illegal leaking, disinformation laundering

Sep 15, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Newly revealed text messages between former FBI agent Peter Strzok and former FBI attorney Lisa Page reveal that Strzok wanted to use CNN's report on the infamous "Steele Dossier" to justify interviewing people in the Trump-Russia investigation, reports CNN .


911bodysnatchers322 ,

So now CNN is complicit in illegal leaking, (dis)information laundering, citizen targetting, conspiracy against rights, subversion, sedition and treason?

No wonder it's a nonstop Trump hate fest. They aren't just trying to get Trump impeached in the court of public opinion, they're desperate to get rid of him before he 100% destroys him

Well it's too late. Impeach away. But we'll still hold CNN for treason. The two things aren't related. You can't steal from a store just because Trump set the one next to it on fire

BGO ,

Fatigue is setting in with this charade. Soon the (((pundits))) will respond with the obligatory ***yawn*** troll to all future allegations.

If Trump cannot or is unable to respond to this non-sense in the harshest terms possible, he should not be president. It's amazing no one in this drama has met their maker Hitlery style. If that cunt was in charge and dealing with this shit, bodies would have already hit the floor.

J Mahoney ,

This whole situation has to piss off anyone that is even 10% objective. How could any elected representative or senator still spew shit like "Leave Mueller Alone"

BOTTOM LINE -- If we do not get to work quickly to elect non establishment republicans in the midterms NOTHING will EVER be done and Trump may be forced out if Dems make gains

apocalypticbrother ,

All old news. No one in jail except Manafort. It really seems like Trump is powerless against agencys. He must hate being a powerless president.

squid ,

If, and I do mean IF, the GOP holds onto both houses of congress.....

Everyone of these fucks has to be indited with sedition, PERIOD.

its slam dunk. And, if the elected houses ever wants to get hold of the CIA, FBI and NSA and gain some control over those rogue agencies 20-50 agents from each will have to go down to spend the rest of their lives in Leavenworth.

These uncollected asshats have tried to change the government of the United States.

The only person on the left that appears to understand this is Glen Greenwald.

Squid

Save_America1st ,

the problem is that in my opinion the majority of the GOP is also so fucking corrupt that I don't think most of them actually want to hold control of the House. They never even wanted Trump to win in the first place. On top of that, I would say many of those treasonous scumbags probably actually wanted Hitlery to win the fucking thing even if Trump wasn't going to be her opponent!

Look at all the resignations. Never seen before in history. Why? Two reasons...Trump is using the evidence to push many of them out or they end up in Guantanamo for life. And others in the beginning were quitting in order to give up part of the majority in order to flip the House to the even more evil, treasonous Demoscums so that it would restrict Trump's full majority.

Just look how "No Name" McStain acted when voting down against repealing O-Fuck-You-Care, right???

He was a traitor, plain and fucking simple. We all know it. Fuck their bullshit funeral. That was a cathedral full of traitors to this country. Psychopaths and sociopaths. Except for General Kelly and General Mattis keeping a close eye on that room full of demons.

... ... ...

[Sep 15, 2018] Who runs this color revolution against Trump ?

If Trump did anything positive this is unmasking the Deep State and its actors
Sep 15, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

William Dorritt ,

"Strzok CERTAINLY wasn't the only one... Obozo, Hitlery, Lynch, Comey, Rice, Kerry, DOJ, FBI, CIA, MSM, et alia!" McCain, Shummer, Pelosi, Ryan, McConnell and lots of other are co-conspirators in the overthrow of the elected Govt.

And a large portion, if not the Majority, of the Oligarchs including the Owners of the 5 Media Companies and Big Tech which may have the same exact owners as the Media Companies.

Shemp 4 Victory ,

This is particularly damning in light of revelations of FBI-MSM collusion against the Trump campaign

Collusion of big government and big media? That's textbook fascism. (Of course, nobody reads textbooks, so...)

"Hey let me know when you can talk. We're discussing whether, now that this is out, we use it as a pretext to go interview some people," Strzok continued.

"Because any pretext that provides even the flimsiest plausibility means we can play our little power games and ride the gravy train to easy money instead of pretending to do the work that taxpayers think they are paying us to do."

Above the law, like they all are.

Creative_Destruct ,

"...pervasive collusion between Obama-era intelligence agencies and the MSM to defeat, and then smear Donald Trump after he had won the election. "

Yes, it was (and is) a concerted effort at collusion to politically assassinate Trump. But remember, this is a rigged game. The campaign's (non) "collusion" will be crammed into whatever "legitimate", "legal" mold it will fit; the conspiracy to "find a crime" for Trump within the Deep/In-You-Face State is simply "oversight" and "investigation."

[Sep 15, 2018] The Mueller investigation has been going on for a very long time - if he had found anything of any real value it would be out there already, trying to reduce Trump popularity and hit the GOP mid-terms

Sep 15, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Thom Paine ,

The Mueller investigation has been going on for a very long time - if he had found anything of any real value it would be out there already, trying to reduce Trump popularity and hit the GOP mid-terms.

The Mid Terms are very important to Deep State. The Dems must at least get the House back in order to stop Trump.

That Mueller and Co have virtually have found nothing to put out there to stop Trump and the GOP means they have fuck all, and are now clutching at Straws.

They are going to have to go the Bullshit path....start inventing. OH and all sorts of False Flags between now and Mid Terms are guaranteed. ALSO will the neocons dupe Trump into a Syria mistake that causes the death of many US soldiers? We know Deep State don't care who or how many they kill, so long as they get what they want.

One wonders if the Censoring of Conservative media, and Political Sites is because Deep State are planning to Assassinate President Trump , as is stated on Alex Jone's site.

BANNED VIDEOS – PENTAGON INTEL SAYS GLOBALISTS WANT TRUMP DEAD BY MARCH 2019

Watch the clips censored by over one hundred websites

https://www.infowars.com/banned-videos-pentagon-intel-says-globalists-want-trump-dead-by-march-2019/

StarGate ,

There have probably been several Trump assassination attempts since he was elected. Knowing what happened to Lincoln when he vetoed the National Bank / Fed Reserve of his time;

And what happened to JFK when he stated he would shut down the CIA;

Trump is fully aware he performs a death defying act daily. There may be others out there willing to make the Trump-JFK-Lincoln sacrifice, to take back America, but not Pence, not Sanders, not any current Democrat prez wanna be.

Thom Paine ,

It would be impossible, or an exercise in suicide by the GOP and or Democrats if they actually impeached Trump.

There has to be a legally provable breach of Federal law outside the POTUS exercise of powers. Extraordinary prosecution requires extraordinary evidence.

You cannot remove a President elected by 62 million people on flimsy hearsay, or 'he said she said' evidence, or pure circumstantial evidence. It would also set a precedence where Presidents could be impeached on the drop of a hat.

At the moment the Dems and Deep State want to impeach Trump because he beat Clinton and fucked up the last step in their plan to own America.

If Trump beat Sanders not many would be whining right now, they wouldn't care.

StarGate ,

Your premise legally appears to be accurate, that the Supreme Court is a failsafe against a retaliatory political impeachment, based primarily on fact Hillary lost.

However, that means the Supreme Court would have to been beyond corruption and Trump would have to bring a case.

j0nx ,

No. All the Dems and deep state need to know is that a lot of the deplorable would riot like mofos if they tried. No dem would be safe. You think they don't know that? Sociology 101.

Saying the deplorables wouldn't riot is like saying Obama's minions wouldn't have if the shoe were reversed 7 years ago and there was an open coup against him like there is Trump.

Withdrawn Sanction ,

Sorry to nit pick, but there are 2 steps here: the first is impeachment by the House. Akin to an indictment. Then there is a trial in the Senate which is presided over by the Chief Justice of the SC. THEN a 2/3s affirmative vote is required for conviction and removal from office.

An impeachment just like an indictment is meaningless w/o a conviction. You see how much "damage" an impeachment did to Slick Willy. Didn't skip a beat

[Sep 15, 2018] Definition_of_sedtion

Sep 15, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

hooligan2009 ,

sedition =

"Whoever, when the United States is at war, shall willfully make or convey false reports or false statements with intent to interfere with the operation or success of the military or naval forces of the United States, or to promote the success of its enemies, or shall willfully make or convey false reports, or false statements, . . . or incite insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty, in the military or naval forces of the United States, or shall willfully obstruct . . . the recruiting or enlistment service of the United States, or . . . shall willfully utter, print, write, or publish any disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language about the form of government of the United States, or the Constitution of the United States, or the military or naval forces of the United States . . . or shall willfully display the flag of any foreign enemy, or shall willfully . . . urge, incite, or advocate any curtailment of production . . . or advocate, teach, defend, or suggest the doing of any of the acts or things in this section enumerated and whoever shall by word or act support or favor the cause of any country with which the United States is at war or by word or act oppose the cause of the United States therein, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $10,000 or imprisonment for not more than twenty years, or both...."

or sedition = this

" A review of the documents suggests that the FBI and DOJ coordinated efforts to get information to the press that would potentially be "harmful to President Trump's administration. "

[Sep 15, 2018] It was Rosenstein's official recommendation to Trump to terminated Comey because Rosenstein was trying to install Mueller as FBI director, a professional "yes man" and cover up specialist. So when Trump wouldn't make Mueller FBI director, then Rosenstein had to destroy Trump to cover up. He appointed Mueller to special council

That means th