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Neoliberal war on reality

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false" ~ CIA Director William Casey (attributed)

"Empire of illusions": The  triumph of entertainment and fake news under neoliberalism

News Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite Recommended Links Media as a weapon of mass deception Lewis Powell Memo Deception as an art form
Groupthink Disciplined Minds Belief-coercion in high demand cults Fake News scare and US NeoMcCartyism Conspiracy theory label as a subtle form of censorship Discrediting the opponent as favorite tactic of neoliberals
Neoliberal newspeak US and British media are servants of security apparatus British elite hypocrisy Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Anti Trump Hysteria Pathological Russophobia of the US elite
Corruption of the language Doublespeak Patterns of Propaganda Diplomacy by deception War propaganda Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle
Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Patterns of Propaganda Bullshit as MSM communication method Manipulation of the term "freedom of press" Identity politics as divide and conquer The Guardian Slips Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment
Color revolutions Co-opting of the Human Rights to embarrass governments who oppose neoliberalism Democracy as a universal opener for access to natural resources What's the Matter with Kansas Understanding Mayberry Machiavellians  
Neo-fascism Nation under attack meme Nineteen Eighty-Four Manufactured consent Groupthink Big Uncle is Watching You
Who Shot down Malaysian flight MH17? Ukraine: From EuroMaidan to EuroAnschluss Pussy Riot Provocation and "Deranged Pussy Worship Syndrome" MSM Sochi Bashing Rampage Is national security state in the USA gone rogue ? Totalitarian Decisionism & Human Rights: The Re-emergence of Nazi Law
Soft propaganda Classic Papers Media Ownership Propaganda Quotes Humor Etc

"The truth is that the newspaper is not a place for information to be given, rather it is just hollow content, or more than that, a provoker of content. If it prints lies about atrocities, real atrocities are the result."

Karl Kraus, 1914

WAR IS PEACE. FREEDOM IS SLAVERY. IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

1984

We are the world, we are exceptional, we cannot fail. The elite will lie, and the people will pretend to believe them. Heck about 20 percent of the American public will believe almost anything if it is wrapped with the right prejudice and appeal to passion. Have a pleasant evening.

jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com, Feb 04, 2015


Introduction

Controlling the narrative is how  society operate -- it preserves the society cohesion. Which  is a good thing, unless price is too high. If the question of controlling the narrative arise, that means  that elite became too detached from the regular people (let then eat cakes situation), and there are cracks in the society facade, line now there are cracks in neoliberals facade today. They are patched with lies and distortions. And it work until it does not.

In such cases the elite usually resort to policies which in the USA are called McCarthyism: attempt to smear and suppress dissidents claiming that they are associated with the particular (presented as hostile like Russia today, or really hostile like the USSR was) power.

While MSM supporting the "Party line" are masquerading as impendent new outlets.

Correlation with the foreign power policies might  be actually accidental if this particular power " see future deeper" as unforgettable  Madeline "Not So Bright" Allbright quipped. For example now correlation with RT policies does undermine the US foreign policy. We need only decide whether this is a good or bad thing and whether the US imperial policies are good for American people, or only for large transnational corporations. I think Tucker Carlson also undermines the US foreign policy and as such you can find a correlation between his positions and RT position. Now what ?

In such case elite presents association with the foreign power as a "politically correct" reason for suppression. So the only new moment is blatant hypocrisy. But that's how all societies work and in this sense there is nothing special in the fact that dissident voices are suppressed. In middle ages heretics were burned at the stake.  If you are a dissident you fate in most societies  are far from rosy.

The current situation in the USA is interesting because neoliberalism is definitely on the decline and as such represent now (unlike say 10 year ago) a rich target of attacks. And as the USA acquired since WWII, expanded after collapse of the USSR and try to preserve its neoliberal empire such attacks usually attack the US foreign policy. The real question is what alternative the particular outlet proposes -- the return to the New Deal Capitalism in some form or shape, or new socialist experiment is some form of shape.

Does the cocoon of lies spread by MSM protects the society, or undermines  it, or it does both

In many respects, the media creates reality, so perhaps the most effective route toward changing reality runs through the media.  "Controlling the narrative" is the major form of neoliberal MSM war on reality. By providing "prepackaged" narrative for a particular world event and selectively suppressing alternative information channels that contradict the official narrative, neoliberals control and channel emotions of people in the direction they want.  Often in the direction of yet another war for the expansion of the global neoliberal empire led from Washington, DC.

libezkova said in reply to Fred C. Dobbs...  January 29, 2017 at 08:31 AM  

Neoliberal MSM want to control the narrative. That's why "alternative facts" should be called an "alternative narrative". https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/06/09/controlling-the-narrative/?_r=0

== quote ==

Maybe this is the same kind of clinical detachment doctors have to cultivate, a way of distancing oneself from the subject, protecting yourself against a crippling empathy. I won’t say that writers or artists are more sensitive than other people, but it may be that they’re less able to handle their own emotions.

It may be that art, like drugs, is a way of dulling or controlling pain. Eloquently articulating a feeling is one way to avoid actually experiencing it.

Words are only symbols, noises or marks on paper, and turning the messy, ugly stuff of life into language renders it inert and manageable for the author, even as it intensifies it for the reader.

It’s a nerdy, sensitive kid’s way of turning suffering into something safely abstract, an object of contemplation.

I suspect most of the people who write all that furious invective on the Internet, professional polemicists and semiliterate commenters alike, are lashing out because they’ve been hurt — their sense of fairness or decency has been outraged, or they feel personally wounded or threatened.

It is hard to disagree with the notion which was put by several authors that American society is living  in a cocoon of illusion which conveniently isolates them from reality: entertainment and escapism infuse our society, economy, and political system with severe consequences. Among such authors are Aldous Huxley, C. Wright Mills, Sheldon Wolin, Ralph Nader, Karl Polanyi, Jared Diamond, Paul Craig Roberts, Chris Hedge and several others. If we compare dystopias of Huxley and Orwell, and it clear that Huxley in his famous  New Brave World predicted the future much better:

"Huxley feared was that would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one... the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance."

The central idea here is that we now live as a society in which citizens become so distracted (and by extension detached) from reality that they lost any ability to influence their political or economic destiny. It is the same phenomenon that is described under the label of Inverted Totalitarism

This is one of the truly malevolent aspects of today's modern neoliberal world order and we need to confront it. It allows the old game of blaming the weak and the marginal, a staple of neo-fascist and despotic regimes; this illusion empower the dark undercurrents of sadism and violence in American society and deflect attention from the neoliberal financial vampires who have drained the blood of the country

"The tragedy is that we have become a screen culture, televisions, computers, phones, tablets, etc. Our electronic hallucinations have produced a society that has little time or patience for introspection or deep thinking. It reinforced my decision to maintain a television free life. For some, what Chris has to say may cut to close to the bone. But those with the courage to do so are usually the ones that care the most."

The biggest and most invisible elephant in the American psyche is this: our government has long since abandoned the goal of managing this nation as a nation. Instead, America as a nation is managed as a means to global empire.

For example the loss of the critical skills of literacy (seven million total illiterates, another 27 million unable to read well enough to complete a job application, and still another 50 million who read at a 4th-5th-grade level)  have led large part of the US population to become incapable of thinking for ourselves.

In fact they have become as malleable as children. 80% of U.S. families did not buy or read a single book in a year.  Despite technology and internet access we are becoming a society of functionally ignorant and illiterate people.

For example there is widespread illusion of inclusion. This is the illusion that we are or will be included among the fortunate few because misfortune happens only to those who deserve it. There are plenty of people who understand that the corporate model is one in which there are squeezers and those who are to be squeezed. So the illusion of inclusion provides what can be called "a plantation morality" that exalts the insiders and denigrates the outsiders. Those content with this arrangement obviously view themselves as insiders even when they work for companies that are actively shedding employees. Many of these people are happy to be making good money for digging graves for others, never stopping to wonder if maybe someday one of those graves might be their own.

One of the first recorded metaphors which explained this phenomenon of substitution of reality with  illusion was Plato's tale about cave dwellers, who thought the shadows on the wall were the actual reality. Illusion can also serve as a deliberate distraction, isolation layer that protects form unpleasant reality. The point is that now it is illusions that dominate American life; both for those that succumb to them, and for those that promote and sustains them. It is the use of illusions in the US  society that become  prevalent today, converting like into the cinema or theater, where primary goal is entertainment.

Modern MSM are driven by postmodernism which includes among other things substitution of reality with artificial reality, fragmentation of history and push for historical amnesia, substitution of the subject with emotions,  and juxtaposition of opposites. But the key feature is controlling the narrative.

Controlling the narrative means control and deliberate selection of the issues which can be discussed

The Journalist Udo Ulfkotte ashamed today that he spent 17 years in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. ...he reveals why opinion leaders produce tendentious reports and serve as the extended Arm of the NATO press office. ...the author also was admitted into the networks of American elite organizations, received in return for positive coverage in the US even a certificate of honorary citizenship.

In this book you will learn about industry lobby organisations. The author calls hundreds of names and looks behind the Scenes of those organizations, which exert bias into media, such as: Atlantic bridge, Trilateral Commission, the German Marshall Fund, American Council on Germany, American Academy, Aspen Institute, and the Institute for European politics. Also revealed are the intelligence backgrounds of those lobby groups, the methods and forms of propaganda and financing used, for example, by the US Embassy. Which funds  projects for the targeted influencing of public opinion in Germany 

...You realize how you are being manipulated - and you know from whom and why. At the end it becomes clear that diversity of opinion will now only be simulated. Because our "messages" are often pure brainwashing.

Gekaufte Journalisten - Medienwelt Enthüllungen Bücher - Kopp Verlag

Controlling the narrative means control and deliberate selection of the issues which can be discussed (and by extension which are not)  in MSM. It represents real war on reality.  Non-stop, 24 by 7 character of modern media help with this greatly (The Unending Anxiety of an ICYMI World - NYTimes.com):

We used to receive media cyclically. Newspapers were published once (or sometimes twice) a day, magazines weekly or monthly. Nightly news was broadcast, well, each night. Television programs were broadcast on one of the major networks one night a week at a specific time, never to return until a rerun or syndication. Movies were shown first in theaters and on video much later (or, before the advent of VCRs, not until a revival). There were not many interstices, just discrete units — and a smaller number of them.

Now we’re in the midst of the streaming era, when the news industry distributes material on a 24-hour cycle, entire seasons of TV shows are dumped on viewers instantaneously, most movies are available at any time and the flow of the Internet and social media is ceaseless. We are nearly all interstitial space, with comparatively few singularities.

Media became out windows to the world and this window is broken. The notion of 'controlling the narrative' points to dirty games played by PR gurus and spin merchants with event coverage (especially foreign event coverage) to ensure the rule of elite.  A good part of the White House budget and resources is spent on controlling the narrative. Creation of the narrative and "talking points" for MSM is the task of State Department. Former State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki was a pretty telling "incarnation"  of the trend. 

And MSM are doing an exemplary job controlling the political narrative. This way they demonstrate their faithful service to the state and the ruling political class. Nowhere is more evident then in coverage of wars.

Only social media can smash the official version of events. And in some case that has happened. The USA MSM honchos are now scratching heads trying to understand  how to control their version of events despite Twitter, Facebook and other social networks.

On Ukraine, despite the most coordinated propaganda offensive of Western MSMs, the Western elite failed to fully control the narrative:  a sizable number of Europeans are still clinging to the notion that this story had two sides. You can see this trend from analysis of Guardian comments (The Guardian Presstitutes Slip Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment ). More importantly the EU political establishment has failed to maintain a central lie inside official narrative -- that the EU is benign and a force for good / peace / prosperity. EU elite has shown its ugly face supporting Ukrainian far right.

Another example were initially MSM totally controlled the narrative (the first two-three weeks) and then when the narrative start slipping away they need to silence the subject  Shooting down Malaysian flight MH17

The thing is, once you've lost control of the narrative, as happened with coverage MH17 tragedy, there's no way back. Once Western MSM lost it, no-one any longer believed  a word they said about the tragedy.

And little can be done to win back that credibility on the particular subject. Moreover, due to this Europeans are becoming more and more receptive of a drip of alternative media stories that completely destroy official EU narrative. They came from a multitude of little sources, including this site and they collectively  cements the loss of trust to the EU elite. 

More subtle nuances of controlling the narrative: the role of the scapegoat

 There also more subtle nuances of controlling the narrative. Actually controlling the narrative does not mean that you need to suppress all the negative news (like propagandists in the USSR often did -- leading to complete discreditation of official propaganda in minds of the USSR people -- it simply became the subject of jokes). As John V. Walsh noted:

There is a simple rule that is followed scrupulously by U.S. commentators of every stripe on world affairs and war – with a very few notable exceptions, Paul Craig Roberts and Pepe Escobar among them.

This rule allows strong criticism of the U.S. But major official adversaries of the U.S., Iran, Russia and China, must never, ever be presented as better than the US in any significant way. The US may be depicted as equally bad (or better) than these enemies, but never worse.

In other words, any strong criticism of the US presuppose scapegoating and vicious propaganda campaign against  major official adversaries of the US such as Russia. It  must never, ever be presented in a better light then the US in any significant way. In selected cases, the US may be depicted as equally bad, but never worse.

The most recent incarnation of this rule was during Hillary Clinton campaign for POTUS in 2016.

Chris Hedge book Empire of Illusion

 
The informational function of the media would be this to help us forget, to serve as the very agents and mechanism for our historical amnesia.

But in that cast of two features of postmodernism on which I have dwelt here -- the transformation of reality into images, the fragmentation of 'me' into a series of perpetual presents -- are bother extraordinary consolant with this process.

... We have seen that there is a way in which postmodernism replicates or reproduces -- reinforces -- the logic of consumer capitalism.

Frederic Jameson “Postmodernism and Consumer Society

Chris Hedge Empire of Illusion  is a penetrating analysis of this effort of "entertainment society" and converting everything including politics into entertainment. It was published in 2010. Hedges discuss  complex issues and a clear, succinct way. You might agree with him, you might disagree with him but you will enjoy his brilliant prose. 

Those who manipulate  from the shadows our lives are the agents, publicists, marketing departments, promoters, script writers, television and movie producers, advertisers, video technicians, photographers, bodyguards, wardrobe consultants, fitness trainers, pollsters, public announcers, and television news personalities who create the vast stage for the Empire of Illusion. They are the puppet masters. No one achieves celebrity status, without the approval of cultural enablers and intermediaries. The sole object is to hold attention and satisfy an audience. These techniques of theater leeched into politics, religion, education, literature, news, commerce, warfare, and even crime. It converts that society into wrestling ring mesh with the ongoing dramas on television, in movies, and in the news, where "real-life" stories, especially those involving celebrities, allow news reports to become mini-dramas complete with a star, a villain, a supporting cast, a good-looking host, and a neat, if often unexpected, conclusion (p. 15-16).

The first big achievement of Empire of Illusion was "glorification of war" after WWIII. As the veterans of WW II saw with great surprise their bitter, brutal wartime experience were skillfully transformed into an illusion, the mythic narrative of heroism and patriotic glory sold to the public by the Pentagon's public relations machine and Hollywood. The extreme brutality and meaninglessness of war could not compete against the power of the illusion, the fantasy of war as a ticket to glory, honor, and manhood. It was what the government and the military wanted to promote. It worked because it had the power to simulate experience for most viewers who were never at Iwo Jima or in a war. Few people understood that this illusion was a lie. p. 21-22.

Media evolved into branch of entertainment. He gives great insight on American society. Several chapters should be a required read for all sociology, film, journalism students, or government leaders. Much like Paul Craig Robert's How America Was Lost you might feel unplugged from the matrix after reading this book. This is the book that corporate America, as well as the neoliberal elite, do not want you to read. It's a scathing indictment against everything that's wrong with the system and those that continue to perpetuate the lie in the name of the almighty dollar. In a way the USA as the rest of the world are amusing itself into a post apocalyptic state, without an apocalypse. It is simply cannibalizing itself.

That books also contains succinct, and damning condemnation of globalization (and, specifically, the USA's role in it). You can compare it with Klein's 'Shock Doctrine', but it cuts a wider swath. 

The discussion the follows was by-and-large adapted from  D. Benor  Amazon review of the book

We consume countless lies daily, false promises that if we buy this brand or that product, if we vote for this candidate, we will be respected, envied, powerful, loved, and protected. The flamboyant lives of celebrities and the outrageous characters on television, movies,  and sensational talk shows are peddled to us, promising to fill up the emptiness in our own lives. Celebrity culture encourages everyone to think of themselves as potential celebrities, as possession unique if unacknowledged gifts. p. 26-7. Celebrity is the vehicle used by a corporate society to sell us these branded commodities, most of which we do not need. Celebrities humanize commercial commodities. They present the familiar and comforting face of the corporate state. p. 37.

Reporters, especially those on television, no longer ask whether the message is true but rather whether the pseudo-event worked or did not work as political theater for supporting particular (usually State Department in case of foreign events) talking points.  Pseudo-events are judged on how effectively we have been manipulated by illusion. Those events that appear real are relished and lauded. Those that fail to create a believable illusion are deemed failures. Truth is irrelevant. Those who succeed in politics, as in most of the culture, are those who create the most convincing fantasies. This is the real danger of pseudo-events and why pseudo-events are far more pernicious than stereotypes. They do not explain reality, as stereotypes attempt to, but replace reality. Pseudo-events redefines reality by the parameters set by their creators. These creators, who make massive profits selling illusions, have a vested interest in maintaining the power structures they control. p. 50-1.

A couple quotes: "When a nation becomes unmoored from reality, it retreats into a world of magic. Facts are accepted or discarded according to the dictates of a preordained cosmology. The search for truth becomes irrelevant." (p. 50) "The specialized dialect and narrow education of doctors, academics, economists, social scientists, military officers, investment bankers, and government bureaucrats keeps each sector locked in its narrow role. The overarching structure of the corporate state and the idea of the common good are irrelevant to specialists. They exist to make the system work, not to examine it." (p. 98) I could go on and on citing terrific passages.

The flight into illusion sweeps away the core values of the open society. It corrodes the ability to think for oneself, to draw independent conclusions, to express dissent when judgment and common sense tell you something is wrong, to be self-critical, to challenge authority, to grasp historical facts, to advocate for change, and to acknowledge that there are other views, different ways, and structures of being that are morally and socially acceptable. A populace deprived of the ability to separate lies from truth, that has become hostage to the fictional semblance of reality put forth by pseudo-events, is no longer capable of sustaining a free society.

Those who slip into this illusion ignore the signs of impending disaster. The physical degradation of the planet, the cruelty of global capitalism, the looming oil crisis, the collapse of financial markets, and the danger of overpopulation rarely impinge to prick the illusions that warp our consciousness. The words, images, stories, and phrases used to describe the world in pseudo-events have no relation to what is happening around us. The advances of technology and science, rather than obliterating the world of myth, have enhanced its power to deceive. We live in imaginary, virtual worlds created by corporations that profit from our deception. Products and experiences - indeed, experience as a product - offered up for sale, sanctified by celebrities, are mirages. They promise us a new personality. They promise us success and fame. They promise to mend our brokenness. p. 52-3.

We have all seen the growth of a culture of lies and deception in politics, banking, commerce and education. Hodges points out how this has been facilitated by our abandoning the teaching of values and analysis in our schools.

The flight from the humanities has become a flight from conscience. It has created an elite class of experts who seldom look beyond their tasks and disciplines to put what they do in a wider, social context. And by absenting themselves from the moral and social questions raised by the humanities, they have opted to serve a corporate structure that has destroyed the culture around them.

Our elites - the ones in Congress, the ones on Wall Street, and the ones being produced at prestigious universities and business schools - do not have the capacity to fix our financial mess. Indeed, they will make it worse. They have no concept, thanks to the educations they have received, of how to replace a failed system with a new one. They are petty, timid, and uncreative bureaucrats superbly trained to carry our systems management. They see only piecemeal solutions that will satisfy the corporate structure. Their entire focus is numbers, profits, and personal advancement. They lack a moral and intellectual core. They are as able to deny gravely ill people medical coverage to increase company profits as they are to use taxpayer dollars to peddle costly weapons systems to blood-soaked dictatorships. The human consequences never figure into their balance sheets. The democratic system, they believe, is a secondary product of the free market - which they slavishly serve. p. 111.

I quote Hodges at some length because of his cogent, clear summaries of the problems leading us to self-destruction and to ways we might someday restructure society to be supportive and healing to the individual - rather than exploiting people and viewing them only as valuable as they can be manipulated into being gullible consumers.

This is one of the clearest and best focused discussions I have seen on the problems of modern society that are leading us to societal suicide

Hedges points out how a cycle sustains itself between elite educational institutions (Harvard, Yale, Princeton, etc.), the Government (think Congress in particular) and Corporations. Ivy league schools basically turn-out lackeys that do whatever is necessary to maintain their elite, self-absorbed status. The last chapter is entitled, "The Illusion of America," and this is where Hedges does a fantastic job of pulling together all the elements of this dysfunctional society. Other books touch the same themes, sometimes more forcefully but in this book most important elements of this picture put together.

Among the booksHedges cites:

Gekaufte Journalisten by Udo Ulfkotte

The book Gekaufte Journalisten by Udo Ulfkotte was a revelation. Of cause, we suspected many things he  described, but now we know detailed methods and mechanisms of suppressing alterative opinion in German society, methods that are probably more effective that anything propagandists in the DDR and the USSR ever attempted.  One of the central concept here is the concept of "Noble Lie".

Guardian became neoliberal as soon as Tony Blaire became Prime minister. As any neoliberal publication is subscribes to the notion of "noble lie". The latter actually came from neocons playbook.   No they knowingly try to dumb down their reader substituting important topic with celebrity gossip and hate speech. Even political issue now are "served" to the public as dishes under heavy sauce of personalities involved, which is a perfect way to obscure the subject and distract the readers.

geronimo -> MurkyFogsFutureLogs 14 Mar 2015 12:31

Indeed...

Under the retiring editor, all politics seems to have been reduced to 'identity' politics. Forget about class, war, class war and so on... If it can't be reduced to Hillary's gender or Putin's, er... transcendental evil... then it's barely worth a comment above the line.

As I've said before, for the Guardian 'the personal is the political' - or rather, for the Guardian as for Hillary, the political reduces to the personal.

A marriage made, not so much in heaven, but somewhere in political-fashionista North London.

In reality most prominent journalists are on tight leash of "'deep state". As Udo Ulfkotte book attests this is a rule, not an exception. While this was known since Operation Mockingbird  was revealed, nothing changed. As revealed by Senator Frank Church investigations (Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities) in 1975. In his Congress report published in 1976 the authors stated:

"The CIA currently maintains a network of several hundred foreign individuals around the world who provide intelligence for the CIA and at times attempt to influence opinion through the use of covert propaganda. These individuals provide the CIA with direct access to a large number of newspapers and periodicals, scores of press services and news agencies, radio and television stations, commercial book publishers, and other foreign media outlets."

According to the "Family Jewels" report, released by the National Security Archive on June 26, 2007, during the period from March 12, 1963, and June 15, 1963, the CIA installed telephone taps on two Washington-based news reporters. Church argued that misinforming the world cost American taxpayers an estimated $265 million a year.[20]

In February 1976, George H. W. Bush, the recently appointed Director of the CIA, announced a new policy:

"Effective immediately, the CIA will not enter into any paid or contract relationship with any full-time or part-time news correspondent accredited by any U.S. news service, newspaper, periodical, radio or television network or station." He added that the CIA would continue to "welcome" the voluntary, unpaid cooperation of journalists.[21]

But at this point only handlers and methods changed, not the policy. They are still all controlled by deep state. The most recent revelations of this fact were published by Udo Ulfkotte’s in his bestseller book  Bought Journalists. Here is one Amazon review of the book: 

Unicorns & Kittenson May 1, 2015

I've managed to read a bit of the German version ...
 
I've managed to read a bit of the German version and now I think I understand why this is still not available in English although it was supposed to be released in this and other languages seven months ago. I will be very surprised if this shocking and destabilizing book (which names names) is made available to Americans ... even though it's primarily about the abusive tactics of American intelligence agencies. Please keep asking why it isn't published - despite being a best-seller in Germany -- and how we can get it here on Kindle.

As one Amazon reviewer said "This book will change for ever the way you read and watch the mainstream media! " Here is some additional information from russia-insider:

... ... ...

Ironically, however, it’s likely that one of the biggest threats (especially in Europe) to Anglo-American media credibility about Ukraine and other issues is coming from a very old-fashioned medium – a book.

Udo Ulfkotte’s bestseller Bought Journalists has been a sensation in Germany since its publication last autumn. The journalist and former editor of one of Germany’s largest newspapers, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, revealed that he was for years secretly on the payroll of the CIA and was spinning the news to favour U.S. interests. Moreover he alleges that some major media are nothing more than propaganda outlets for international think-tanks, intelligence agencies, and corporate high-finance.

“We’re talking about puppets on a string,” he says, “journalists who write or say whatever their masters tell them to say or write. If you see how the mainstream media is reporting about the Ukraine conflict and if you know what’s really going on, you get the picture. The masters in the background are pushing for war with Russia and western journalists are putting on their helmets.” [8]

In another interview, Ulfkotte said:

“The German and American media tries to bring war to the people in Europe, to bring war to Russia. This is a point of no return, and I am going to stand up and say…it is not right what I have done in the past, to manipulate people, to make propaganda against Russia, and it is not right what my colleagues do, and have done in the past, because they are bribed to betray the people not only in Germany, all over Europe.” [9]

... ... ...

Apparently, Pomeranzev has forgotten that important October 2004 article by Ron Suskind published in the New York Times Magazine during the second war in Iraq (which, like the first, was based on a widely disseminated lie). Suskind quoted one of George W. Bush’s aides (probably Karl Rove): “The aide said that guys like me [journalists, writers, historians] were ‘in what we call the reality-based community,’ which he defined as people who ‘believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality…That’s not the way the world really works anymore,’ he continued. ‘We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality – judiciously, as you will – we’ll act again, creating other new realities which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do’.” [12]

It’s a rather succinct description of Orwellian spin and secrecy in a media-saturated Empire, where discerning the truth becomes ever more difficult.

That is why people believe someone like Udo Ulfkotte, who is physically ill, says he has only a few years left to live, and told an interviewer,

 “I am very fearful of a new war in Europe, and I don’t like to have this situation again, because war is never coming from itself, there is always people who push for war, and this is not only politicians, it is journalists too… We have betrayed our readers, just to push for war…I don’t want this anymore, I’m fed up with this propaganda. We live in a banana republic and not in a democratic country where we have press freedom…” [13]

Recently, as Mike Whitney has pointed out in CounterPunch (March 10), Germany’s newsmagazine Der Spiegel dared to challenge the fabrications of NATO’s top commander in Europe, General Philip Breedlove, for spreading “dangerous propaganda” that is misleading the public about Russian “troop advances” and making “flat-out inaccurate statements” about Russian aggression.

Whitney asks, “Why this sudden willingness to share the truth? It’s because they no longer support Washington’s policy, that’s why. No one in Europe wants the US to arm and train the Ukrainian army. No wants them to deploy 600 paratroopers to Kiev and increase U.S. logistical support. No one wants further escalation, because no wants a war with Russia. It’s that simple.” [14] Whitney argued that “the real purpose of the Spiegel piece is to warn Washington that EU leaders will not support a policy of military confrontation with Moscow.”

So now we know the reason for the timing of the April 15 U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing, “Confronting Russia’s Weaponization of Information.” Literally while U.S. paratroopers were en route to Kiev, the hawks in Washington (and London) knew it was time to crank up the rhetoric. The three witnesses were most eager to oblige.


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[Dec 14, 2019] Can we impeach the FBI instead of Trump ?

Dec 14, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Manthong , 2 hours ago link

Does Alcatraz have enough wall space to accommodate all

Bricker , 3 hours ago link

The majority of the US would be in favor of shutting the FBI down.

j0nx , 3 hours ago link

No. We cannot.

ZENDOG , 3 hours ago link

35,000 Humans work directly for the FBI.

[Dec 14, 2019] You Backing The Russians, Boy - Illinois Man Charged With Threatening To Murder GOP Congressman

Dec 14, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Karl Malden's Nose , 7 minutes ago link

I didn't know Illinois was part of the deep south. "You backin' them Russians there, boy?"

BigSpruce , 21 minutes ago link

Hes definitely a shooter..but just not that sharp

Shesquirts , 26 minutes ago link

I give the guy credit for being very honest, but damn you dumb as ****.

BigSpruce , 31 minutes ago link

Gives new meaning to the line " As Seen On TV"

[Dec 14, 2019] At the end of the day, money talks. The peoples from the former Iron Curtain should already had learned that, it's been 30 year already...

Dec 14, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , Dec 13 2019 15:56 utc | 68

Hungary has no plans to leave European Union -- top diplomat

At the end of the day, money talks. The peoples from the former Iron Curtain should already had learned that, it's been 30 year already...

[Dec 14, 2019] Here are some of Nancy's best stumbles and bumbles

Jul 27, 2019 | backroombuzz.com
Here are some of Nancy's best stumbles and bumbles.

"It's wonder to be here "

"Imagine the honor to get the NAACP cem -- , centen -- , NAACT centennial anniversary."

"And now it is a great pleasure to be with you here in New York -- in Detroit for the NAAC's 110th anniversary."

"In our new house, the house, the house congressional black caucus "

"We, too, must continue to stand firm for fairness, for generin -- , genuine equality."

"Once we, once we restore the vote and break the grass, the gas, the grasp of special interest "

"A pay raise that is so ex -- , in the workplace, we must achieve health -- , justice and healthcare."

[Dec 14, 2019] Full Interview: Barr Criticizes Inspector General Report On The Russia Investigation

Dec 14, 2019 | www.youtube.com

h m , 2 days ago

NBC doing an honest interview? Is the world over?

[Dec 14, 2019] "The Republicans have shifted to the right and the Dems have shifted right into the insane asylum."

Dec 14, 2019 | off-guardian.org

George Cornell ,

"Share On Twitter" target="_blank" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?text=So+your+argument+consists+essentially+of+name-...+&url=https%3A%2F%2Foff-guardian.org%2F2019%2F12%2F12%2Fwill-pelosi-have-the-votes-to-impeach%2F%23comment-105752">

So your argument consists essentially of name-calling to exercise your own demons. You make Trump look good, like the other stark raving lunatics opining on this , many in the Democratic Party. You have zero chance of unseating Trump by impeachment and by the looks of things that might not be such a bad thing, he said, making the sign of the cross and mouthing pagan incantations, begging forgiveness from the ether.

You recall Bill Maher's comment before a previous election. "The Republicans have shifted to the right and the Dems have shifted right into the insane asylum."

[Dec 14, 2019] An Amazon surveillance device in your child's bedroom, what could possibly go wrong?

Dec 14, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

notabanker , December 13, 2019 at 6:02 pm

An Amazon surveillance device in your child's bedroom, what could possibly go wrong?

I'm past the point of blaming big tech companies. If you are fool enough to pay money to do this, you deserve what you get. American Idiots.

[Dec 14, 2019] I have seen more rational and convincing arguments in emails from Nigerian banisters

Dec 14, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Mac Slavo via SHTFplan.com,

In a truly bizarre and insane moment during the ongoing impeachment hearing, democrat Congressman Hank Johnson asked fellow lawmakers to imagine the teenage daughter of Ukraine's president tied up in Trump's basement. Apparently, he wanted to summon mental images of an "imbalance of power" between the two world leaders.

"They're standing there, President Trump is holding court. And he says, 'Oh, by the way, no pressure.' And you saw President Zelensky shaking his head as if his daughter was downstairs in the basement, duct-taped," Johnson said, drawing laughter from the room.

Decimus Lunius Luvenalis , 1 hour ago link

That dude was a judge. A judge that adjudicated cases.

[Dec 14, 2019] Warmongeing is the national sport for the neoliberal elite in the USA

As Tony Kevin reported (watch-v=dJiS3nFzsWg) at one small fundraiser Bill Clinton made an interesting remark. He said that the USA should always have enemies. That's absolutely true, this this is a way to unite such a society as we have in the USA. probably the only way. And Russia simply fits the bill. Very convenient bogeyman.
Notable quotes:
"... The experience of the USSR in that country should have sent up all kinds of red flags to the invading US military but it apparently did not. Both USSR and America lost thousands of military lives -- but nothing has changed in the country. Life in Afghanistan is actually worse now than before the multiple invasions. The only think which has improved is the cultivation of poppies and the export of opium. ..."
Dec 14, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Twolfe , 10 Dec 2019 16:30

One aspect of this report in the NYT is very troubling but not a great surprise to those who pay attention to Asian affairs.

The reports that US military leaders had no idea of what to do in Afghanistan and constantly lied to the public should rouse citizens in America to take a different view of military leaders. That view must be to trust nothing coming from the Pentagon or from spokespersons for the military. Included must be any and all secretaries of defence, and all branches of the military.

It is totally unacceptable that 1-2 trillion dollars and several thousand lives were spent by America for some nebulous cause. This does not include many thousands of civilians.

During the Vietnam disaster, it became obvious that American military was lying to the public and taking many causalities in an unwinnable war. Nothing was learned about Asia or Asian culture because America entered Afghanistan without a real plan and no understanding of the country or it's history.

The experience of the USSR in that country should have sent up all kinds of red flags to the invading US military but it apparently did not. Both USSR and America lost thousands of military lives -- but nothing has changed in the country. Life in Afghanistan is actually worse now than before the multiple invasions. The only think which has improved is the cultivation of poppies and the export of opium.

[Dec 14, 2019] Impeachment Drama Doomed To Fail From Bad Casting

Dec 14, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Martin Sieff via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

The Democratic leaders in Congress really should have checked with Central Casting before picking the stars of their passion play: "The Impeachment and Destruction of Donald Trump."

Former National Security Council staffer Fiona Hill was supposed to appear as a principled and dignified heroine. Instead, her virulent hate, ignorance and contempt for Russia were apparent to all. And she looked uncannily identical to the late Alan Rickman playing Severus Snape in the Harry Potter movies.

Congressman Adam Schiff chaired the House Intelligence Committee hearing and was supposed to be the wise, fearless and incorruptible chairman. Instead, the camera's cruel, unblinking eye revealed him as a buffoon – and a sinister one at that.

Schiff's round bald dome was identical to Mussolini's and his ridiculous bulging eyes are those of Christopher Lloyd's evil cartoon villain Judge Doom in the Hollywood movie "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?"

The supposedly heroic Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman of the National Security Council was even worse – Presented as an all-American Patriot, instead he resembled the thick, hulking brutal thug that Hollywood Central Casting always chooses to play endless Russian intelligence service or criminal villains in thousands of bad primetime TV shows.

Kurt Volker was almost as bad. He was the quiet cool, calm, bespectacled villain – always a CIA bureaucrat and usually played by Ronnie Cox – who wants to feed Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, Steven Seagal or Bruce Willis to the villains.

And of course – the Real Hero could not appear at all. The Whistleblower's identity is being jealously guarded – though as Senator Rand Paul has pointed out, everyone knows who he is and – far from being a Disinterested Pure Hero, he was a CIA veteran and former senior National Security Council official outspoken in his contempt for the President of the United States: In other words, yet another anonymous Deep State manipulator and apparatchik.

No doubt he will be revealed as the winner on the Fox Television Channel's popular show, "The Masked Singer."

Or perhaps he will reveal himself in an exclusive interview with a fawning Rachel Maddow, still masked and identified as "The Lone Ranger."

( Is this The Whistleblower ?)

Now Rand Paul does have the looks, the bearing, the moral fervor and the dramatic character to play the hero in this botched fiasco of a drama. But there is only one small problem. He is on the other side. He has forcefully publicly defended President Donald Trump.

Gravity – Albert Einstein assures us – "bends" light (A dubious assertion at best but at least Einstein, unlike Schiff and Company Looked the Part he always played – Lovable, Child-Like Jewish Genius Who Never Gets a Hair Cut) And Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS) has bent the brains of movie directors Nancy Pelosi and Schiff.

Trump Derangement Syndrome: a fearful, incurable affliction more terrible and humiliating than Alzheimer's: Better to forget who you are than remember you are a hate-crazed, foaming at the mouth, credulous idiot who will believe anything.

Like all policy wonks of their aging generation of corrupt and complacent Baby Boomers, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Schiff have salivated at the thought of inflicting a "Watergate 2" impeachment drama comeuppance on Donald Trump.

But the Villain of Watergate, Richard Nixon, was indeed an inept and more than slightly sinister creep (and lifelong liberal). He looked the part and he exuded pious bogus ineptitude on camera his entire career. (Nixon's inspiration for how he projected himself on television was clearly Jack Webb playing Sergeant Joe Friday in the wonderfully badly acted "Dragnet" police series on US television in the 1950s.)

By contrast, Donald Trump channels John Wayne, the most popular and enduring movie star in American history:

Trump is a physically big and fearless New York construction businessman turned immensely successful popular entertainer. He, like Wayne is a natural athlete. It is a matter of public record ignored by all fearful liberal wimps that Trump really was offered a contract after college to be Major League Baseball player for the Phillies, but he turned it down to focus on his business career.

Working class American Heartland men and women over 40 instinctively loved Wayne and therefore they love Trump too. Aging American feminists like Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren – and the further they are over 50, the more rabid and rage crazed and insane they become – hated Wayne and are traumatized by his resurrection as a defining national culture hero nearly four decades after his physical death echoing in the figure of Trump.

It was Trump's genius at silent reaction shots that ridiculed 17 Republican Congress members, Senators and Governors in the 2015-16 campaign before he even began to turn his wit and video skills on Hillary Clinton – a creepy Richard Nixon clone if there was one.

Trump was crafted by Fate and his brilliant media career from The Apprentice to Worldwide Wrestling Central Casting to be the Hero of Impeachment. Making him the villain reverses the entire emotional dynamic of the drama. It is like casting James Stewart as Nixon. (At worst, Trump is classic King Kong eternally plagued by those pesky biplanes: And everybody roots for Kong)

Liberals who loved Watergate went into emotional frenzies over Nixon's imagined humiliation at the hands of such ludicrous pompous and overpaid fools as Dan Rather of CBS.

Pelosi and her laughably misnamed "advisers" have learned nothing from all this. This week, we are seeing yet more interminable biased show-trial hearings and the even more ludicrous Jerrold Nadler has taken center stage. He looks like Frankenstein's dwarf –servant Igor in Mel Brooks' classic 1973 comic horror movie " Young Frankenstein ."

The bottom line on why Impeachment has failed so miserably to whip up a storm or convince anyone beyond the already committed "Trump Must Go", babies-throwing-tantrums across Liberal America lies in the childishness and elemental incompetence of its cast and directors. Being repulsive and ridiculous human beings themselves, they have no clue how obvious it would be that they would appear that way to everyone else.

[Dec 14, 2019] Instead of ending Afghan war

Dec 14, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

TheLogan , 10 Dec 2019 16:41

The Washington DC foreign policy establishment are too busy appearing before the impeachment inquiry and telling them how the orange man hurt their feelings.
jmac55 , 10 Dec 2019 16:40
File under: Tell us something that we didn't know already!

The reality is of course: that the media knows and understands that we are being lied to all the time about these interventions, be it in Iraq, Libya, Syria, Honduras, Venezuela and soon Iran, but they go along with it all because they are in the regime change echo chamber club!

As George Carlin said: "It's a big club...but you ain't in it!"

[Dec 14, 2019] If Sanders got nominated, he could do what you suggest. He ( or surrogates) . could also coin the phrase The Cowardly Lyin' . . . Trump . . . with a picture of Trump's facial features photoshopped into the center of the face of the Cowardly Lion from the Wizard of Oz

Dec 14, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

drumlin woodchuckles , December 14, 2019 at 12:42 am

If Sanders got nominated, he could do what you suggest. He ( or surrogates) . could also coin the phrase The Cowardly Lyin' . . . Trump . . . with a picture of Trump's facial features photoshopped into the center of the face of the Cowardly Lion from the Wizard of Oz. It would be a clever political pun and a memorable visual image. I give it away for free to anyone who wants to use it.

But the CenDems don't want to see Sanders nominated. Or Warren or Gabbard. So they will do all they can to prevent it. The only hope Sanders or Warren or Gabbard has for winning the nomination is to win it on the First Ballot. The only way one of them can do that is if All of their delegates uNANimously combine ALL their delegate votes behind ONE of those three candidates. And ALL the combined delegates for those three candidates would have to ALL uNANimously aGREE to do that . . . and which one to do it for. Because the First Ballot is the one only single chance that the Decent Three have to prevent a Catfood Nominee by getting one of themselves nominated. The CenDems actively and fervently prefer losing with C. Anof Catfood than winning with Sanders or Warren or Gabbard.

As Yoda would say . . . " First Ballot or First Ballot Not! There is no Second Ballot."

If the Decent Three cannot collectively co-win the nomination for one of themselves on Ballot Number One, all they will have left is to obstruct every effort to stop the balloting for a Brokered Convention. They have to make the ballotng go on and on and on . . . until Balloting becomes such torture for the Catfood Delegates that the Catfood Conventioneers will give in to whatever the Decent Three choose to extort from the Catfood Leadership to make the pain stop.

[Dec 14, 2019] I don't want to see the following headline: "Nigel Farage returns hated Conervatives to power" but then such is perfidious Albions style

Dec 14, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

uncle tungsten , Dec 12 2019 21:36 utc | 9

I don't want to see the following headline:
Nigel Farage returns hated Conervatives to power

but then such is perfidious Albions style.

Alternatively this headline would make my day:

Blairite traitors decimated in Corbyn WIN

[Dec 14, 2019] Nationasm bomb within Russia and how to defuse it

Dec 14, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , Dec 13 2019 12:03 utc | 47

@ Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Dec 13 2019 7:26 utc | 34

We don't need to waste time discussing it: Putin himself publicly said (more than once) that he also would like to have the USSR back.

His scuffle with Lenin lies in the fact of the ethnicities issue.

This debate indeed happened during the very formation of the USSR: Lenin defended each ethnicity of the old Russian Empire should have the right to have their own republic, and, after the fact, they should have the right to freely decide if they want to join the Union or not (many did, others, like Poland and Finland, did not; the Baltic nations were conquered during WWII). Stalin defended the ethnicites shouldn't have any rights to any kind of nation (he even published a book about it).

Putin claims Lenin commited a huge mistake by giving the ethnicities their own republics. He said it caused a lot of problems, some of them still existing today.

I don't doubt Lenin would have preferred to have one single soviet republic without any ethnic distinctions if he could. The problem was that the situation in the Russian Empire was unsustainable. It was a melting pot ready to explode. And he had to win the civil war before he had to think about any political system -- the support of the ethnic minorities being of fundamental importance.

In my opinion, Putin is anachronic by blaming Lenin for the fragmentation of the Russian Empire. First, he has a very idyllic vision of the Empire: its capitalist reforms of the 1860s were a monumental failure, it had just came from a humiliating loss to the Japanese (1905) and the economy had deteriorated to a point it had to constantly crush ethnic revolts in its corners. By 1917, the Russian Empire was still considered a power -- but definitely a second rate one, and falling (even the Japanese were considered a more important empire by that time). The situation was so unsustainable that the Provisory Government of February invited Nicholas II to head it as head of State -- and he refused. The tsardom had simply given up.

Secondly, Putin may be disproportionally influenced by that French sociologist's theory from the 1980s, which stated the USSR would fall through its ethnic divisions -- specially the Muslim populations of its "underbelly". The USSR definitely didn't fall because of its ethnic divisions, although it may have appeared to be the case in the Iron Curtain -- in which Putin served as KGB.

Whatever his reasons, the fact is that the Russian Federation is an objectively worse social experiment than the USSR. It will grow only 1.5% this year. Even Putin's boom of the early 2000s were nothing spectacular, being worse than all the Soviet booms and comparable to Brazil Lula's boom at exactly the same time.

Passer by , Dec 13 2019 12:18 utc | 48

Posted by: vk | Dec 13 2019 12:03 utc | 47

Actually the IMF estimates that Russia, even under sanctions and low oil prices, will be growing faster than the US and the EU for the next 5 years (2 % vs 1,5 %). Not to mention that it is zero debt economy with triple surpluses - in trade, current account and federal budget. So this is not a small achievment.

[Dec 13, 2019] How the USA stepped on their own rake in Afghanistan

Dec 13, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

kropotkinsf => Spillage93, 10 Dec 2019 11:19

Since you bring up the issue of educating schoolgirls, it's worth remembering that when the U.S. connived to drag the Soviet Union into its own Afghanistan conflict, one of the tactics we used to inflame the mujahedeen was to remind them that, under Afghanistan's communist government, girls were being educated as a matter of policy.

[Dec 13, 2019] The Afghan war is 18 years old now. It's no longer a minor in the eyes of the law. It's old enough to think for itself, to vote, to move out of the house and get it's own place

Dec 13, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Chiropolos , 10 Dec 2019 15:56

This war is 18 years old. It's no longer a minor in the eyes of the law. It's old enough to think for itself, to vote, to move out of the house and get it's own place. Afghanistan will figure it out. Once we withdraw to allow Afghanistan to return to self-governance.

[Dec 12, 2019] Trump Signs Order Interpreting Judaism as a Nationality and Race

Dec 12, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Name 7 hours ago

If Judaism is a nationality, then what nationality do American Secular Jews belong to?

[Dec 11, 2019] They'll literally do this on the SAME DAYS.

Dec 11, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

emmanuelthoreau , 7 minutes ago link

Watch the dates.

Clinton was impeached on December 19, 1998. The multiple Senate votes to acquit were on February 12, 1999.

Arlen Specter flaked out with a "not proven" vote. You'll get something like that this time, too.

Same ****. Wake up, Neo. They'll literally do this on the SAME DAYS.

[Dec 10, 2019] Barr says FBI May Have Acted In 'Bad Faith'

Notable quotes:
"... Yea that's what it was, perhaps just a little bad faith. ..."
Dec 10, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Calvertsbio , 8 minutes ago link

Yep, some good people, made bad choices...

turbojarhead , 4 minutes ago link

Not exactly -- Obammy isn't out of the woods yet, maybe we will catch that crook after all -- and his wingman too!

wmbz , 27 minutes ago link

"FBI May Have Acted In 'Bad Faith'

Yea that's what it was, perhaps just a little bad faith. Surely there was no intentional intent to do harm to Donald Trump.

...

HardlyZero , 22 minutes ago link

They have a "good faith" in Moloch and Mammon over there. The other faiths have withered and fallen off the branch...

[Dec 10, 2019] An interesting view on Professors corps in US university

Dec 10, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Greg B , 33 minutes ago

3 crazy professors and 1 NOT crazy professor. That's 75% crazy and 25% not crazy. I am afraid for this country.

[Dec 10, 2019] Pelosi vs Trump: The detestable in full pursuit of the deplorable.

Pelosi is a war criminal due to her role in Iraq war. And this is not a joke...
Notable quotes:
"... "Politics is show business for ugly people". ..."
Dec 10, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Lee , December 9, 2019 at 5:50 pm

The detestable in full pursuit of the deplorable.

With apologies to Mr. Wilde.

Henry Moon Pie , , December 10, 2019 at 4:08 am

"Rep. Schiff as he was sent on a fool's errand"

At least they had the right man for the job.

Tom Stone , , December 10, 2019 at 9:48 am

"Politics is show business for ugly people".

Enjoy the show!

[Dec 10, 2019] And now ladies and gentlemen please listen to an important announcement: FBI investigation of Trump campaign staff and interception of his communications was not politically motivated

Dec 10, 2019 | www.youtube.com

equaliser , 52 seconds ago

I have a mental age of 4 so let me see if I get this, Your presidential opponent pays for a dossier of dirt that is untrue, and hands it to the FBI who can't be bothered to verify it, lie, to a court, imprison innocent people, with a view to preventing your opponent from winning and should he win use all law enforcement agencies to over turn that election with the dossier being the bulk of evidence.

But it's not politically motivated? OK

[Dec 09, 2019] its all about narrative control. And that control belongs to the right, especially since the time the neoliberals hijacked the Democratic Party and turned it into GOP-lite.

Dec 09, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

john brewster , Dec 9 2019 4:29 utc | 64

uncle tungsten @ 40
I loved your metaphor of Germans during WW11 listening to the BBC.

Thank you for the compliment; but I felt sad about the comparison. We are as useless as clear-thinking Germans were against Nazis. And, the allies didn't cut German's any slack postwar just because they had listened to the BBC.

I observe Bannon and his global shenanigans setting up a global 'right sector'. He and the Cambridge Analytica crew have refined social engineering and are putting it in practice in an alarming hurry.

It certainly seems that only the rightwing has weapons of mass propaganda. There is not one powerful voice for the leftwing, just a bunch of midgets constantly being smashed up by TPTB. I agree with Caitlin J - its all about narrative control. And that control belongs to the right, especially since the time the neoliberals hijacked the Democratic Party and turned it into GOP-lite.

The politicisation of all media has run amok in the past few decades it seems. The use of the belligerent debate technique supported by ad hominem attack is a widely practiced tactic these days and it is a sad turn. In this calm space at MoA we thrive.

I think you mean the politicization of the American media, since it is the only media that ever pretended to objective journalism. European media always assumed that a media outlet had a political POV, and that readers consumed the media that matched their politics. The shock of belligerency and ad hominem tactics are only shocking to Americans, raised to believe that the Mighty Wurlitzer was a neutral, fact-based proposition. IMHO, we have passed Frank Zappas's moment when the curtain is pulled back and we see the brick wall at the back of the theater.


[Dec 09, 2019] It is a Warren Commission deja vu all over again

Dec 09, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

DEDA CVETKO , 32 seconds ago link

Like I said. The Horowitz Report has become a Whore-o-witz report.

Folks, this is what happens when the Deep State is allowed to investigate the Deep State. It is a Warren Commission deja vu all over again.

[Dec 09, 2019] You cannot have a corrupt FBI without a corrupt DOJ: All animals are equal, but some animals, especially pigs, are more equal than others.

Dec 09, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

JoeTurner , 12 minutes ago link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipI-uHKizbg&feature=youtu.be

Wow, even fake news NBC is pooping themselves over FISA mishandling. I predict whiplash with how fast the fake news, drive-by media throws Comey, Clapper and Brennan under the bus to protect Hillary and Obongo.

Ophiuchus , 9 minutes ago link

Don't bet on anyone taking a fall. All animals are equal, but some animals, especially pigs, are more equal than others.

Lie_Detector , 17 minutes ago link

Deep state covering the deep state.

At what point do the masses decide enough is enough?

[Dec 09, 2019] Instilling Sino/Russo-phobia in their otherwise empty heads is but the prelude to splitting them off from demonic Eurasia/Eastasia, and also so they'll be happy with whatever they get in Oceania. They'll be living in the Free World again! Smaller this time around, but Freeeee!!!

Dec 09, 2019 | www.unz.com

Erebus , says: December 8, 2019 at 5:50 am GMT

@denk Relax denk.

The world is simply re-bifurcating into 2 camps. More specifically, the Anglo-World is splitting away from whatever parts it can't bring into their sphere of dominance. They couldn't dominate the whole playground, so they're taking their toys and carving out a corner of it for themselves.

The current demonisation of China and Russia sets the stage for the real split that will happen in the 2020s. Gotta get the sheeple used to the notion so that they will accept, even demand, bringing the Bamboo Curtain down when the time comes.

What we're seeing now in Europe, the M.E., S. America etc is nothing more than the Anglo-World's attempt to bring more along with them, and the RoW's attempts to minimize their success.

With people like these, who needs the ptb ???

The PTB needs the people, not the other way around. People are happy to believe anything that makes them comfortable. Instilling Sino/Russo-phobia in their otherwise empty heads is but the prelude to splitting them off from demonic Eurasia/Eastasia, and also so they'll be happy with whatever they get in Oceania.

They'll be living in the Free World again! Smaller this time around, but Freeeee!!!

It worked the last time. It'll work this time too. One stands in awe of how easy it is.

[Dec 09, 2019] Who is running this country

Dec 09, 2019 | www.unz.com

annamaria , says: December 7, 2019 at 7:11 pm GMT

@National Institute for Study of the Obvious

"CIA runs your country." -- Correct. As a subsidiary of Mossad.

[Dec 09, 2019] Sex and US Foreign Policy

Dec 09, 2019 | www.unz.com

melpol , says: December 5, 2019 at 8:04 pm GMT

Millions of mistresses are being expensively supported by defense contractors and their employees. Horny men are not ready to give up defense spending needed to support their gals for the sake of international peace. Blame it on those expensive Harlots for keeping them bullets flying.
Z-man , says: December 6, 2019 at 3:28 pm GMT
@melpol Brahahaaaaa! Your are right. It was truer then ('60's) than now but it's still happening for sure.

George C. Scott as General Buck Turgidson
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtJzF6PD2nMhttps https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8icpnrLqx0
Funny and true.

[Dec 09, 2019] Why is Putin silent against Israel repeated attack on Syria? Syria is an 'ally' of Russia, isn't it? And has a base in Syria, does not?

Dec 09, 2019 | www.unz.com

Vojkan , says: December 7, 2019 at 11:16 pm GMT

@anonymous Because Israel is cautious not to cross a line beyond which Russia will have no choice but to retaliate. Contrary to Americans, Russians don't have a short fuse and don't feel the need to "pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world she means business".

Since Russia got involved, Israel's actions have had exactly zero effect on the course of events in Syria. Russia's goal is not to further ignite the Middle East. Overreacting to Israel's gesticulations would be counterproductive.

AnonFromTN , says: December 8, 2019 at 4:59 pm GMT
@Er e

Clamoring for retaliation. Putin only retaliated economically, although it was pretty bad for Turkey. The Uncle showed his "gratitude" by helping the coup. Putin likely forewarned the sultan about that coup, so it failed miserably as the result.

Now he holds sultan firmly by the balls, economically, politically, and militarily, using Turks to push the US around in Syria and selling them S-400, so that Uncle won't be able to "democratically" bomb Turkey.

That's the game worthy of the Grand Master, while Trump and pathetic Europeans play checkers, at best (their game often degenerates to the level of tick-tack-toe).

[Dec 08, 2019] The Delusions Of The Impeachment Witnesses Point To A Larger Problem

Notable quotes:
"... For one the Ukraine is not fighting "the Russians". The Kiev government is fighting against east-Ukrainians who disagree with the Nazi controlled regime which the U.S. installed after it instigated the unconstitutional Maidan coup. Russia supplies the east-Ukrainians and there were a few Russian volunteers fighting on their side but no Russian military units entered the Ukraine. ..."
"... But aside from that how can anyone truly believe that the Ukraine "fights the Russians so we don't have to fight them here"? Is Russia on the verge of invading the United States? Where? How? And most importantly: What for? How would that be in Russia's interest? ..."
"... And how is it in U.S. interest to give the Ukraine U.S. taxpayer money to buy U.S. weapons? The sole motive behind that idea was greed and corruption , not national interest: ..."
"... To claim that it hurt U.S. national interests is nonsense. ..."
"... It is really no wonder that U.S. foreign policy continuously produces chaos when its practitioners get taught by people like Karlan. In the Middle East as well as elsewhere Russian foreign policy runs circles around U.S. attempts to control the outcome. One reason it can do that is the serious lack of knowledge and realism in U.S. foreign policy thinking. It is itself the outcome of an educational crisis. U.S. 'political science' studies implement a mindset that is unable to objectively recognize the facts and fails to respond to them with realistic concepts. ..."
"... In the meantime Trump is eliminating food stamps for some 700,000 recipients and the Democrats are doing nothing about it. Their majority in the House could have used the time it spent on the impeachment circus to prevent that and other obscenities. ..."
"... The same bs argument about "not fighting the Russians here" was used a couple of weeks ago by another witness, Tim Morrison. This shows you that the hysteria is bipartisan... ..."
"... I don't believe that the so called "Professor's View" is normative for the educated class of Americans. It is the normative view of the Ivy League pseudoeducated individuals that have been placed in leadership positions in the US Goverment and Politics but they are not EDUCATED in any way. Karlan is almost certainly a Jew. She is without a doubt a whore who will do anything for her John as directed by her pimp. ..."
"... Being a brain dead feminist helps her with that role in life. I had an ex wife who fought me post divorce for 10 years trying to destroy me in any way she could. She finally stopped with the Breast Cancer she had for 7 of those years finally killed her. I see the same psychotic, sociopathic and off scall narcissitic behavior in every one of these women in politics and academics today. So don't think that something will get better without a terminal solution. ..."
"... Americans are entranced by the kayfabe (mock combat). Just as in wrestling it is designed to look 'real' but just keeps people engrossed in the action, unable to think of what they are NOT being told. ..."
"... Her delusions are a prerequisite for teaching at an academic level. ..."
"... The military industrial complex is in the people of usa's interest.. they think they benefit from the rayatheons, lockheed martins, boeings and etc - as they have relatives working at these places... the usa is one sick puppy, and Pamela Karlan, a Stanford law professor is just further proof of this... sorry if someone else said what i did, as i didn't read the comments yet.. ..."
"... The fact that the "papers of record" have become mouthpieces for the CIA/deep state has played a huge role in the brainwashing of academia and the rise of neoliberalism. The false narratives these "trusted sources" of information have been serving up create a very real Matrix, a false reality that is ingrained into those who rely upon them for their daily "news". Karlan is merely repeating what she accepts as truth, garnered from the NY Times and Wash Post, CNN, NPR, etc. ..."
"... The US is dysfunctional on purpose to keep the masses under control and dumbed down/brainwashed ..."
"... BTW, it is totally lost on the entirety of Western establishment that you cannot make Ukraine strong (wouldn't we all love to see strong Ukraine?) while wrecking its economy by encouraging policies like spending 5% of GDP on the military, switching to more expensive energy sources, cutting itself from traditional markets and supplies, replacing with rather worthless "cooperation" agreement with a trading block that is neither particularly interested in trading with Ukraine (Ukraine strongest exports are in surplus within EU) nor inclined to subsidize it (budgets are tights and plenty of recent EU members are in dire needs already) ..."
"... Unfortunately this is endemic in the western world. 'Democracy' seems to consist of dumbing down the population as much as possible, and telling them what they have to think so the self-anointed leaders of society can have their way (both those in front, and behind the scenes). I'm far from certain this is a recipe for success. ..."
"... Russians and Chinese in particular, and BRICS/SCO in general, are showing the way. The countries involved have very different political systems, but they understand that co-operation is much more beneficial than constant conflict. ..."
"... This is a typical example of the stupidity and often dementia of most of the highly educated. Especially those in academia, who exist in a funhouse hall of propagandist and ideological mirrors. But it's true of the educated in the general. I personally know plenty of highly educated people who make themselves more stupid and mentally ill by the day by uncritically reading the NYT and watching CNN. ..."
"... So it's no wonder that an elite Stanford law professor is in practice the exact same stupid, ignorant, deranged yahoo as you could easily find in a trailer park, just with better manners and diction. ..."
"... After all, Karlan's Russia comment would receive enthusiastic thumbs up from at least Biden, Obama, W. Clinton, H. Clinton, Rubio, Klobuchar, Pelosi, Warren, Graham, Buttigieg, Romney, the late McCain, Pompeo, Bolton, Mattis...the list goes on and on. ..."
"... It's even worse than that. The economy will never recover while oligarchs have a stranglehold on economic activity and government. And USA's capitalist dementia ensures that will never change. (The West as a whole is headed in the direction of unabashed oligarchic rule.) ..."
"... Many of the dumbest people I met were university students or graduates. They are thought to absorb information as given, reproduce once, forget. They are not trained to question anything, they follow a narrative. Some even denounced everything they ever learned and became a follower of some religion, which is just another narrative. ..."
"... I've seen Jonathan Turley on TV a number of times. He always seemed to be a person of integrity. One needs to add courage to the list after testifying against impeachment on the presented "evidence". I will be very surprised to see him on PBS or CBS ever again. Their news readers are nearly giddy with excitement about impeachment. They never consider what could happen if Trump is convicted but refuses to leave the White House. Then what? ..."
"... Karlan type of academics is scattered all over the US universities. They are the Academia´s gatekeepers, watching over & "spotting" of our future leaders. the majority of them are claptraps selling jingoism to our youth in order to fulfill the Judeo-Zionist agenda. ..."
"... You hit the nail on the head. Karlan's loyalty is to her tribe, not this nation. That's the crux of almost every major problem and injustice we're suffering from in this country, from private prisons to Wall Street looting to endless foreign wars to censorship. There is one group of people behind it with a very bad track record in terms of how they treat their host nations. I wonder when we will finally get our act together and become the 110th country to expel them. ..."
"... IF Trump is removed from office then the war on Lebanon and Iran would be accelerated. Israel will likely go for all the marbles and annex the last remaining Palestinian holdings. Some here believe this couldn't happen but we all live in bizarro world now. ..."
"... it was obvious (on the video) that Karlan really thought she was (wait for it! It's on the way) landing a very clever bon mot! ..."
"... It is a small thing, yet it speaks volumes about the spirit of this clearly clueless human being (and others of her ilk), and her handlers, who must have cleared this little gotcha for prime time. Been up on the podium too long, bleating to students who can't/don't bleat back! No common sense. ..."
"... As the great wise man, Frank Zappa proclaimed about the USA: "Politics/government is the entertainment division of the Military-Industrial Government." American politics makes much greater sense (and is a hell of a lot more entertaining) if you understand this truism. ..."
Dec 05, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

During yesterday's impeachment hearing at the House House Judiciary Committee one of the Democrats' witnesses made some rather crazy statements. Pamela Karlan, a Stanford law professor, first proved to have bought into neo-conservative delusions about the U.S. role in the world:

America is not just 'the last best hope,' as Mr. Jefferies said, but it's also the shining city on a hill. We can't be the shining city on a hill and promote democracy around the world if we're not promoting it here at home.

As people in Bolivia and elsewhere can attest the United States does not promote democracy. It promotes rightwing regimes and rogue capitalism. The U.S. is itself not a democracy but a functional oligarchy as a major Harvard study found:

Economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence.

But worse than Karlan's pseudo-patriotic propaganda claptrap were her remarks on the Ukraine and Russia:

This is not just about our national interests to protect elections or make sure Ukraine stays strong and fights the Russians so we don't have to fight them here , but it's in our national interest to promote democracy worldwide.

That was not an joke. From the video it certainly seems that the woman believes that nonsense.

For one the Ukraine is not fighting "the Russians". The Kiev government is fighting against east-Ukrainians who disagree with the Nazi controlled regime which the U.S. installed after it instigated the unconstitutional Maidan coup. Russia supplies the east-Ukrainians and there were a few Russian volunteers fighting on their side but no Russian military units entered the Ukraine.

But aside from that how can anyone truly believe that the Ukraine "fights the Russians so we don't have to fight them here"? Is Russia on the verge of invading the United States? Where? How? And most importantly: What for? How would that be in Russia's interest?

One must be seriously disturbed to believe such nonsense. How can it be that Karlan is teaching at an academic level when she has such delusions?

And how is it in U.S. interest to give the Ukraine U.S. taxpayer money to buy U.S. weapons? The sole motive behind that idea was greed and corruption , not national interest:

[U.S. special envoy to Ukraine] Volker started his job at the State Department in 2017 in an unusual part-time arrangement that allowed him to continue consulting at BGR, a powerful lobbying firm that represents Ukraine and the U.S.-based defense firm Raytheon. During his tenure, Volker advocated for the United States to send Raytheon-manufactured antitank Javelin missiles to Ukraine -- a decision that made Raytheon millions of dollars.

The missiles are useless in the conflict . They are kept near the western border of Ukraine under U.S. control. The U.S. fears that Russia would hit back elsewhere should the Javelin reach the frontline in the east and get used against the east-Ukrainians. That Trump shortly held back on some of the money that would have allowed the Ukrainians to buy more of those missiles thus surely made no difference.

To claim that it hurt U.S. national interests is nonsense.

It is really no wonder that U.S. foreign policy continuously produces chaos when its practitioners get taught by people like Karlan. In the Middle East as well as elsewhere Russian foreign policy runs circles around U.S. attempts to control the outcome. One reason it can do that is the serious lack of knowledge and realism in U.S. foreign policy thinking. It is itself the outcome of an educational crisis. U.S. 'political science' studies implement a mindset that is unable to objectively recognize the facts and fails to respond to them with realistic concepts.

The Democrats are doing themselves no favor by producing delusional and partisan witnesses who repeat Reaganesque claptrap. They only prove that the whole affair is just an unserious show trial.

In the meantime Trump is eliminating food stamps for some 700,000 recipients and the Democrats are doing nothing about it. Their majority in the House could have used the time it spent on the impeachment circus to prevent that and other obscenities.

Do the Democrats really believe that their voters will not notice this?

Posted by b on December 5, 2019 at 15:40 UTC | Permalink


Mischi , Dec 5 2019 15:45 utc | 1

next page " never underestimate the stupidity of people. Even professors.
bevin , Dec 5 2019 15:56 utc | 2
This is the woman that Common Dreams describes as a leading legal scholar. And maybe she is, it would certainly help explain the current state of the US Judiciary and the legal system, which reflects internally the utter contempt for law and custom which characterises US behaviour in international affairs.
DG , Dec 5 2019 15:56 utc | 3
The same bs argument about "not fighting the Russians here" was used a couple of weeks ago by another witness, Tim Morrison. This shows you that the hysteria is bipartisan...
Duncan Idaho , Dec 5 2019 16:00 utc | 4
History is not a strong point for the Dims., as it conflicts with ideology. The Repugs just loot and plunder, with little regard for history.
oldhippie , Dec 5 2019 16:00 utc | 5
There is a large cohort of Americans who believe every word the professor spoke. Whatever you and I may think about it the professor's view of the world is normative for the educated class in America.
rednest , Dec 5 2019 16:02 utc | 6
Regarding those food stamps, it is actually just a small rule change lowering the unemployment rate to 6% (from 10%) above which a state can waive the existing work requirement for single, non-disabled recipients aged 18-49. States can still also waive it if they deem that job availability is low.
Likklemore , Dec 5 2019 16:13 utc | 7
Attributed to Mark Twain. Perhaps the learned professor karlan may affirm: "Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience."

AND Ukraine wishing to join NATO: well, not so fast for Hungary. Hungary says it will block Ukraine from joining NATO over controversial language law

Budapest has signaled that it will not support Ukraine's bid to join NATO until Kiev reverses a law that places language restrictions on ethnic Hungarians and other minorities living in the country.

Legislation that limits the use of Hungarian, Russian, Romanian, and other minority languages in Ukraine must be repealed before Hungary backs Ukraine's NATO membership, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Wednesday.

"We ask for no extra rights to Hungarians in Transcarpathia, only those rights they had before," Szijjarto told Hungarian state media at a NATO summit in London. He alleged that 150,000 ethnic Hungarians living in the region have been "seriously violated" by Ukraine.[.]

In February, Ukraine's parliament ratified amendments to the constitution which made NATO membership a key foreign policy objective. However, a number of hurdles still remain before its membership is likely to be seriously considered. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker predicted in 2016 that it would be 20-25 years before Ukraine would be able to join NATO and the EU.

Tick Tock , Dec 5 2019 16:18 utc | 8
I don't believe that the so called "Professor's View" is normative for the educated class of Americans. It is the normative view of the Ivy League pseudoeducated individuals that have been placed in leadership positions in the US Goverment and Politics but they are not EDUCATED in any way. Karlan is almost certainly a Jew. She is without a doubt a whore who will do anything for her John as directed by her pimp.

Being a brain dead feminist helps her with that role in life. I had an ex wife who fought me post divorce for 10 years trying to destroy me in any way she could. She finally stopped with the Breast Cancer she had for 7 of those years finally killed her. I see the same psychotic, sociopathic and off scall narcissitic behavior in every one of these women in politics and academics today. So don't think that something will get better without a terminal solution.

Jackrabbit , Dec 5 2019 16:18 utc | 9
Americans are entranced by the kayfabe (mock combat). Just as in wrestling it is designed to look 'real' but just keeps people engrossed in the action, unable to think of what they are NOT being told.

People must free themselves of partisan affiliations that are just levers used to manipulate them.

The establishment uses Democracy Works! propaganda to give you a false sense of power and security. But the people are an afterthought in US/Western politics. The politicians and their Parties work for the money. Much of that money comes from AIPAC, MIC, and other EMPIRE FIRST organizations that are leading us to WAR.

Lazy Americans must get off the couch and form protest Movements. Movements that the establishment works hard to prevent. This is what it takes: France Paralyzed By Largest General Strike In Decades .

It's messy and inconvenient but power only responds to power.

The stoopid cult-thinking must stop. This is where it leads: Buffalo Bishop Resigns Over Sex Abuse Cover-Up . Why do people cling to a corrupt Catholic Church? It's NOT just a few bad apples!! The pedophilia and cover-ups have been worldwide and reach into the highest levels of the Church.

This Buffalo Bishop, like dozens of other Bishops in the last decades, lied to cover for pedophiles and then used the power of his position to remain in his position. His wasn't for the children or any higher morality but for himself. He will get a nice, peaceful retirement - paid for by the deluded Catholic flock.

!!

vk , Dec 5 2019 16:19 utc | 10
In the meantime Trump is eliminating food stamps for some 700,000 recipients and the Democrats are doing nothing about it.

The reason for that if very simple: the Democrats agree with Trump on this.It's the same question many ask when studying Roman History for the first time: where were the legions when the Goths invaded? The answer is that the Goths were the legions, there was no invasion.

The same logic applies to the Right-Left political spectrum in modern Western Democracies. "Where are the lefties?" is the modern question the first worlders ask themselves since 2008.

--//--

As for the Pamela Karlan thing, it's an issue I've been commenting on here for some time now, so I won't repeat everything.

I'll just say again that imbecilization is a completely normal historical phenomenon in declining empires: the earlier example we have is the Christianization of the Roman Empire after Marcus Aurelius' death. The rise of Christianity was the messenger of the Crisis of the Third Century, the historic episode which ended the Roman Empire by giving birth to its demented form after the Diocletian Reforms.

Empires tend to have a very plastic conception of truth, that is, they believe they can fabricate reality for the simple reason they are geopolitically dominant.

It's easy to visualize this. The greatest philosopher of the end of the 18th Century and beginning of the 19th Century was a German, not a British. While Hegel wrote his proto-revolutionary works which would pave the way to Karl Marx, in UK we had the likes of Mackinder and Mahan dominating British philosophical thinking. And even then they weren't the dominant intellectual figures: the UK was the land of accountants and economists, not philosophers. The reason for this is that neither Hegel nor Marx had any ships to do gunboat diplomacy in Asia, as the British did.

Empires tend to think and rationalize the world in a much more plastic/practical way than the periphery. As the old saying goes: the stronger side doesn't need to think before it acts.

Bart Hansen , Dec 5 2019 16:21 utc | 11
"...make sure Ukraine stays strong and fights the Russians so we don't have to fight them here"

Is this 2019 or 2003?

Bill H , Dec 5 2019 16:32 utc | 12
"In the meantime Trump is eliminating food stamps for some 700,000 recipients and the Democrats are doing nothing about it."

Bill Clinton took millions off of welfare support and was applauded for it.

Likklemore , Dec 5 2019 16:37 utc | 13
Scroll down the page @ Steven Cheung {VID} on Twitter to watch this exchange where the RATS are told they are the ones who have abused power. Professor Jonathan Turley, a lawyer's go-to-Constitutional Expert:

"The Record does not establish corruption in this case - no bribery, no extortion, no obstruction of justice, no abuse of power."

Trump should include Prof. Turley on his legal team. The RATS have not thought this through to what will unfold in the Senate. A real court trial; No hearsay and no! no! no! "I was made aware" And the Bidens, Schiff, and Pelosi under cross-examination. And the Whistleblower!!!

Year 2025 it is.

Mischi , Dec 5 2019 16:39 utc | 14
I used to think that stupid was a characteristic of the American right. It took Donald Trump getting elected to see that stupid knows no political borders. Seriously. I thought that education and progressive thinking also led to a clarity of thought. Boy, was I wrong. The most pro-war people in the USA seem to be Democrats. Bizarro world.
Vonu , Dec 5 2019 16:40 utc | 15
Her delusions are a prerequisite for teaching at an academic level.
Chevrus , Dec 5 2019 16:47 utc | 16
To "...make sure Ukraine stays strong and fights the Russians so we don't have to fight them here"

This predates 2003 and stems from the red menace days when it was the communist legions would behave like a set of dominoes and eventually we (USA) would be fighting them in the streets of New York etc. Thus it was imperative that they defeat the commies in French Indo-China despite the fact that they could easily have simply bought the nation by supporting Uncle Ho who had been working for the OSS during WW2. But no, they had to win brownie points with the French by bankrolling their effort to retake the nation and when that didn't work a little "false flag" event employed to keep the ball rolling. I use quotations because while being false, the Tonkin Gulf event wasn't much of a flag.....

At any rate the fact that both Demublicans AND Republocrats are falling back on such antiquated rhetoric is bitterly laughable! It can also be seen as an indicator of just how dumbed down the USAn populace has become. As noted above article, how could anyone think that the RF would plan much less attempt an attack on the continental US?! A closer look at recent history has the US and it's poodles surrounding the RF with missile bases, sanctioning and embargoing the fhaak out it, and generally trying to destroy the nation as a whole with whatever clandestine methods are available. But hey, take a page from the book of Cheney: deny everything and make counter accusations.....

james , Dec 5 2019 16:52 utc | 17
thanks b... propaganda is the usa's education... see your breakdown of the nyt articles... most people don't get this...

The military industrial complex is in the people of usa's interest.. they think they benefit from the rayatheons, lockheed martins, boeings and etc - as they have relatives working at these places... the usa is one sick puppy, and Pamela Karlan, a Stanford law professor is just further proof of this... sorry if someone else said what i did, as i didn't read the comments yet..

james , Dec 5 2019 16:55 utc | 18
wikipedia on pamela karlan.. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pamela_S._Karlan

"Throughout her career, Karlan has been an advocate before the U.S. Supreme Court.[10] She was mentioned as a potential candidate to replace Supreme Court Justice David Souter when he retired in 2009.[11]

Personal life

Karlan told Politico in 2009, "It's no secret at all that I'm counted among the LGBT crowd".[12] She has described herself as an example of a "snarky, bisexual, Jewish women".[13] Her partner is writer Viola Canales.[14]

she is not an American women apparently.. she is a Jewish women.. oh well, lol...

Perimetr , Dec 5 2019 16:56 utc | 19
The fact that the "papers of record" have become mouthpieces for the CIA/deep state has played a huge role in the brainwashing of academia and the rise of neoliberalism. The false narratives these "trusted sources" of information have been serving up create a very real Matrix, a false reality that is ingrained into those who rely upon them for their daily "news". Karlan is merely repeating what she accepts as truth, garnered from the NY Times and Wash Post, CNN, NPR, etc.

Believe me, even here in the red states, you won't find a hell of a lot of faculty members at large universities who are Trump supporters. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsL6mKxtOlQ

Lorenz , Dec 5 2019 16:56 utc | 20

What I find absent in most discussions about impeachment of Trump is the 800 pound gorilla - what will happen to the US if against all odds, Trump gets impeached. Could the US survive that cataclysmic event or would it rip the empire apart? What contingency plans does everybody make for that unlikely, but not impossible singularity?
Dave , Dec 5 2019 17:00 utc | 21
"In the meantime Trump is eliminating food stamps for some 700,000 recipients and the Democrats are doing nothing about it. Their majority in the House could have used the time it spent on the impeachment circus to prevent that and other obscenities."

That's why it's called bread and circus. The loot and pillage party's two separate funding arms get their funding and privilege from the same sociopath/psychopaths who operate the mass murder for profit economy we now live in.

They will continue the slaughter until the enforcers within society finally understand they work for criminally insane cultists who will never have enough money, power, and prestige.

Piotr Berman , Dec 5 2019 17:02 utc | 22
I see that distrust to everything that is good and decent is extended to law professors. Stanford is a short (if sometimes slow) ride from Berkeley that has a more famous professor in its own law school (Wiki):[you know

John Choon Yoo (born July 10, 1967)[4] is a Korean-American attorney, law professor, former government official, and author. Yoo is currently the Emanuel S. Heller Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law.[1] Previously, he served as the Deputy Assistant U.S. Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) of the Department of Justice, during the George W. Bush administration.

He is best known for his opinions concerning the Geneva Conventions that attempted to legitimize the Bush administration's War on Terror. He also authored the so-called Torture Memos, which provided a legal rationale for so-called [you know what] =====

First, they torture logic... The ignorants who could not tell tollens from a toilet brush would not even know what to twist, hence the need for professors.

psychohistorian , Dec 5 2019 17:15 utc | 23
@ b who wrote

"The U.S. is itself not a democracy but a functional oligarchy as a major Harvard study found:"

My only quibble with another great post is the assertion that the US is functional. Functional would mean it had supportive infrastructure but instead we have homeless shitting in the street because they are driven out of the parks to do so and they must be bad people that don't deserve public toilets.

Functional would mean, as Jackrabbit linked to above, and a I i did a few hours ago in the Weekly Open Thread, that there wouldn't be 117 sexually abusive Catholic priests in the Buffalo NY area doing the same thing as Epstein was doing to his clients.

Functional would mean we would not have the blatant hypocrisy Chervus quoted from the posting above

"To "...make sure Ukraine stays strong and fights the Russians so we don't have to fight them here"

I agree with Chervus that this is same BS that got us the Iron Curtain with Russia after WWII because they wanted Godless communism instead of global private finance. And also, as I ranted recently in the Open Thread, this gave us the 1950's change to the US Motto to In God We Trust which gets back to the control of the obfuscatory/hypocrisy narrative telling us that the private finance cult are doing God's work and that "competition is good/sharing is bad"

The US is dysfunctional on purpose to keep the masses under control and dumbed down/brainwashed

Piotr Berman , Dec 5 2019 17:15 utc | 24
Ha! More connections to Stanford: "Ancient Logic: Forerunners of Modus Ponens and Modus Tollens". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

BTW, it is totally lost on the entirety of Western establishment that you cannot make Ukraine strong (wouldn't we all love to see strong Ukraine?) while wrecking its economy by encouraging policies like spending 5% of GDP on the military, switching to more expensive energy sources, cutting itself from traditional markets and supplies, replacing with rather worthless "cooperation" agreement with a trading block that is neither particularly interested in trading with Ukraine (Ukraine strongest exports are in surplus within EU) nor inclined to subsidize it (budgets are tights and plenty of recent EU members are in dire needs already)

Ant. , Dec 5 2019 17:17 utc | 25
I think it's tragic that that creatures like Karlan are not simply seen as the blatant bigots and Nazi's that they are. You have to be wearing a large set of blinkers not to be able to see that.

Unfortunately this is endemic in the western world. 'Democracy' seems to consist of dumbing down the population as much as possible, and telling them what they have to think so the self-anointed leaders of society can have their way (both those in front, and behind the scenes). I'm far from certain this is a recipe for success.

The biggest tragedy is that Americans seem to think that the only way to succeed is to tear down any other country that isn't essentially a puppet government, necessarily defining them as 'enemies', and therefore someone/thing that must be hated and destroyed, by any means, fair or foul.

Russians and Chinese in particular, and BRICS/SCO in general, are showing the way. The countries involved have very different political systems, but they understand that co-operation is much more beneficial than constant conflict. Unless, of course, a quarter of your government tax income is dedicated to supporting an amazingly corrupt Military-Industrial-Intelligence Complex.

steven t johnson , Dec 5 2019 17:27 utc | 26
Trump supporters approve of cutting food stamps. The majority of Democratic Party politicians approve of cutting food stamps. Both parties agree times are good and the future is rosy. The only thing they disagree on is foreign policy. The guy who couldn't even win the election (and merely fluked in on a technicality that undermines all progress since 1788,) refuses to play by the rules on foreign policy. And he is not justified by success, not in any terms, not in making peace, not in winning, not in anything. The only people who are upset about impeaching Trump are Trump lovers and cranks who think being president is like being elected God and no one but sinners can defy Him.

The Trump supporters were going to turn out for him anyway, barring an economic crisis even they couldn't ignore. Impeachment has no downside so long as it is from the right, and doesn't rile up the rich people. Except the rich donors are leaving the Democratic Party anyway. The strategy for a nicey-nice campaign that leaves enough Trump voters soothed enough to sit it out has one enormous defect: Trump was not elected by the people anyhow.

But the Democratic Party politicians are anti-Communist, which means pro-Fascist, so yes, they do see this as (im)moral principles to die for, though they hope to politically kill for it. Their problem is, Trump is also anti-Communist and pro-Fascist, which everyone knows, which means Trump was merely his office for campaigning. That may be hypocritical and a violation of campaign laws. But in the eyes even of the anti-Communist/pro-Fascist population missiles for Ukrainian fascists with strings or without strings is merely a tactical disagreement. Even worse, the president breaking laws is perceived as strong leadership, smashing the machine, getting rid of those awful politicians and their oppressive government.

Russ , Dec 5 2019 17:37 utc | 27
This is a typical example of the stupidity and often dementia of most of the highly educated. Especially those in academia, who exist in a funhouse hall of propagandist and ideological mirrors. But it's true of the educated in the general. I personally know plenty of highly educated people who make themselves more stupid and mentally ill by the day by uncritically reading the NYT and watching CNN.

I don't know why anyone would expect anything different. All system schooling at whatever level boils down to the same two goals:

  1. Instill the basic literacy necessary for a given cog position within the hierarchy.
  2. Instill obedience to authority, including indoctrination into its ideology.

From kindergarten to grad school these are the same; whether one's being trained to pump gas or to assume a high position in the corporate world/government/academia these are the same.

So it's no wonder that an elite Stanford law professor is in practice the exact same stupid, ignorant, deranged yahoo as you could easily find in a trailer park, just with better manners and diction.

That's the American system.

mrr52 , Dec 5 2019 17:42 utc | 28
"One must be seriously disturbed to believe such nonsense. How can it be that Karlan is teaching at an academic level when she has such delusions?"

I assume this question was meant rhetorically. After all, Karlan's Russia comment would receive enthusiastic thumbs up from at least Biden, Obama, W. Clinton, H. Clinton, Rubio, Klobuchar, Pelosi, Warren, Graham, Buttigieg, Romney, the late McCain, Pompeo, Bolton, Mattis...the list goes on and on.

For a related, institutionalized, revolting example packaging multiple instances of such delusional thought, see "russias-dead-end-diplomacy-syria" . Have a pail nearby to catch the spew.

Russ , Dec 5 2019 17:46 utc | 29
steven t johnson 26

"The guy who couldn't even win the election (and merely fluked in on a technicality that undermines all progress since 1788,)"

I don't think you ever answered when I asked you last time: Are you saying you think Hillary was so stupid she didn't know about the electoral college, and that it was electoral votes she had to fight for, not popular ones? Because if you're not saying that, then nothing is changed: Trump beat Hillary in the electoral fight they were both trying to win. It's pure nonsense to babble about "technicalities".

And if any significant Democrat faction was saying throughout 2016, and not just after the election, that the election should NOT be about electoral votes, please direct me to where and when they were saying that, because I don't recall ever hearing it. And I think the reason I never heard it was because the Dems were so smugly sure of electoral college victory. And if Hillary had won, we never would've heard a word from you or anyone else about the electoral college.

Jackrabbit , Dec 5 2019 17:47 utc | 30
Piotr Berman @24:
it is totally lost on the entirety of Western establishment that you cannot make Ukraine strong while wrecking its economy
It's even worse than that. The economy will never recover while oligarchs have a stranglehold on economic activity and government. And USA's capitalist dementia ensures that will never change. (The West as a whole is headed in the direction of unabashed oligarchic rule.)

Why would anyone invest in Ukraine? Sometimes I think Putin was happy for the Western coup to succeed and simply planned to keep the best parts.

!!

casey , Dec 5 2019 17:48 utc | 31
But do they really believe what they (the mid-level elites) say or is it all some kind of theater of the increasingly absurd? I am never clear on who among the narrative managers is sincere and who is simply acting sincere. Are people like this woman or the Bellingcat narrative managers or any of their numerous colleagues in their mid-level narrative management positions occupying their positions simply due to their acting abilities? They seem to be both delusional and ill-informed. When these people get together at their conferences and dinner parties, does the mask come off?
juannie , Dec 5 2019 17:49 utc | 32
Mischi #1
never underestimate the stupidity of people. Even professors.

Or as I think it was Einstein that reportedly said: (I paraphrase from memory)

To truly understand the infinite, just contemplate human stupidity.
vk , Dec 5 2019 18:02 utc | 33
Related news (on the subject of "American delusion"):

NATO Is Full of Freeloaders. But It's How We Defend the Free World. -- Europe without American protection is a continental disaster waiting to happen.

Well, mr. Stephens kind of tells the truth on the headline. But at least he could be more polite.

Jackrabbit , Dec 5 2019 18:03 utc | 34
casey @31: When these people get together ... does the mask come off?

I doubt it. They have convinced themselves that they are right and/or are following the wishes of people who are right-thinking. In USA, most people are brainwashed to assume that people with lots of money are right-thinking (as in: they must be doing something right!).

Upton Sinclair:

It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.

!!

Really?? , Dec 5 2019 18:25 utc | 36
Wasn't the "so we won't be fighting them here" meme used also to justify the Iraq invasion and the War on Terror?
karlof1 , Dec 5 2019 18:31 utc | 38
Upton Sinclair self-published a book in 1922 about education in America entitled Goose Step . Predating the infamous era of the Nazi/Fascist Goose Stepping thugs then armies, I read a preview and found an inexpensive copy. The subject as might be assumed was about the use of school systems to indoctrinate young Americans at all educational levels and nationwide to conform to the views of the rather few wealthy people who sat on interlocking boards that controlled curriculum--sort of like the oligarchic control over media today.

And as we've seen with the study of political-economy, the ability to erase rather recent developments and personages and inserting false doctrines and their priests was done rather easily and with little noted protest. And so it's gone on down through the decades until today--just look at the War Criminals hired by Stanford and other universities for proof of its being an ongoing problem.

That ideological blinders are omnipresent is easily proven by the various defense planning documents referenced here over the last several years, all of which relate to the unilateral, might makes right mindset that's one of the Evil Outlaw US Empire's longstanding traits that predates the 20th Century. Too many will never learn humility and the reality accompanying it until it's enforced. But there's a wiser group residing within the Empire, some of us present at this bar ready to deal with the mess once humpty-dumpty falls from its perch upon which it's currently tottering.

Beibdnn , Dec 5 2019 18:40 utc | 42
I just looked up Pamala Karlan. Apparently there is a story that when she was a baby she was so ugly her parents had to put shutters on her pram. She claims to have a partner? There's no accounting for taste I suppose but even for a U.S. citizen there must be a red line. Somewhere? someone! As to her intellectual prowess, in my limited understanding, intellect depends on the platform it rests upon. Put a Jaguar engine into a Mobility scooter and see how well that performs. Plenty of power but no means of utilising it. Logical mechanisms such as law require as little emotion as possible. People like her just bring the demise of a great nation into action sooner rather than later. I suppose we should be grateful such fools consider Russia an adversary, it's makes predicting what comes next much more clear and succinct action can be instigated. Professor Pamela Karlan. Oh dear, how sad, never mind.
james , Dec 5 2019 18:58 utc | 44
@29 russ...steven is making himself look like a fool regularly with that crap.. oh well..

@36 really? yes, indeed.. same faulty logic one would expect from a stanford law prof.. as @22 piotr rightly notes - john yoo, the freak who could make torture in abu graib okay is another one cut from the very same cloth..

i see one of Pamela Karlans comments got the ire of melania trump.. article here..

"The Constitution states that there can be no titles of nobility. So while the president can name his son Barron, he can't MAKE him a baron." Pamela S. Karlan

"A minor child deserves privacy and should be kept out of politics. Pamela Karlan, you should be ashamed of your very angry and obviously biased public pandering, and using a child to do it." -- Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) December 4, 2019

Karlan apologized for her remark as the hearing continued late Wednesday. "It was wrong of me to do that,'' she said, according to the Associated Press. "I do regret it."

nwwoods , Dec 5 2019 19:19 utc | 45
Universally accepted fact among the devoted is that "America is fighting Russia in the Ukraine", though there are exactly zero confirmed reports of Russian troops in the region in the past five years.
Joost , Dec 5 2019 19:22 utc | 46
Many of the dumbest people I met were university students or graduates. They are thought to absorb information as given, reproduce once, forget. They are not trained to question anything, they follow a narrative. Some even denounced everything they ever learned and became a follower of some religion, which is just another narrative.

I remember one student dorm in particular. Someone came in and decided it was too warm. Put the central heating thermostat on "arctic winter", opened all doors and windows while it was freezing outside. Then someone else came in and decided it was cold, closed all doors and windows, put the thermostat on "incinerate". Repeat 24/7. The few times I tried to explain how a thermostat works, I felt like being rubbed out of existence. Only one guy understood that you set a room thermostat at a comfortable level and it would regulate to desired temperature. He was an alcoholic, always stoned up to his eyeballs, not a student except for the 3 or 4 studies he briefly tried and failed, and had given up on life in general. He was also the only one there who questioned things.

!!

Yevgeny , Dec 5 2019 19:36 utc | 51
Why assume that democracy was not always a trick? Pax Romana anyone?

Also there are some pretty nasty comments on here about the confused professor that say a whole lot more about the hangups of the poster.

Trailer Trash , Dec 5 2019 19:39 utc | 52
I've seen Jonathan Turley on TV a number of times. He always seemed to be a person of integrity. One needs to add courage to the list after testifying against impeachment on the presented "evidence". I will be very surprised to see him on PBS or CBS ever again. Their news readers are nearly giddy with excitement about impeachment. They never consider what could happen if Trump is convicted but refuses to leave the White House. Then what?

--------- The food stamp program changes will kill people. As intended. One of the most affected groups will be people who are too sick or otherwise too impaired to work, and maybe unable to even leave their home, but still can't get social support. The system says there is no problem because desperate people can get a free meal on Thanksgiving and Christmas. For the other 363 days a year, go find a dumpster to dive in.

Almost all Social Security Disability applicants are denied on the initial application. There are no interim payments or support of any kind. Many give up, as intended. The rest file appeals and wait years for a hearing before an "administrative law judge", who is not a "real" judge, but just some lawyer with fancy title.

ALJ decisions tend to be rather arbitrary, so a favorable decision depends on which ALJ hears a case. Sure there are more levels to appeal, and many more years of no social support, if an applicant can find a way to survive for years on zero income, all the while being sick with probably no medical care.

Social Security and disability lawyers have colluded to keep lawyers in business. Social Security requires the use of a standard contract that gives the lawyer a fixed percentage of the retroactive benefits. "Retroactive benefits" are the regular monthly benefits that accrue from the officially determined "date of disability". So if it takes three years to get benefits, the lawyer gets a nice chunk of change for a few hours work writing a brief and showing up for the hearing.

The lawyer who signed my contract did nothing to help my case, and he even hired someone else to write the brief and attend the hearing. One wonders if ALJs get some benefit from lawyers to encourage long wait times, since long wait times increase lawyer profits at zero cost.

The US system really is that cruel and barbaric. It would be kinder to take us out back and shoot us, but that's too obvious. Much better to let people die slowly in the shadows so the rest of society doesn't have to see us.

And I'm one of the fortunates who managed to hang on, despite bankruptcy, a civil suit, the disability benefits process (only took six years), and state attempts to revoke Medicaid, all at the same time. I know it sounds melodramatic, made up, or at least exaggerated. That's understandable, because it seems that way to me, too!

About 1000 people a week kill themselves in the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave. Does anyone wonder why, or even notice? The reason for many of these deaths is the lack of social supports. In Uncle Sam Land, social apoptosis is a feature, not a bug.

chet380 , Dec 5 2019 20:07 utc | 54
Did anyone really expect the Dems to appoint unbiased legal scholars to advise them on the finer legal points of the Articles of Impeachment?
Kooshy , Dec 5 2019 20:10 utc | 55
This fucking shining city on the hill, is so f*ing shiny that it's flames is burning the world.
steven t johnson , Dec 5 2019 20:11 utc | 56
Russ@29 forgot the comments where I've reviewed exactly how everybody rejected the Electoral College, holding legitimacy came from winning the real election. Until Gore, every time the EC violated the expectation that it was a technical way of recording the popular vote, there was justified outrage. Bush's camp in 2000 had plans to contest an EC loss, until that shoe turned out to be on the other foot. If Trump had won the popular vote and lost the Electoral College, he would no more accept the results. Only liars take refuge in the simplistic legalisms. And only Trump ass-lickers are so contemptible as to pretend Trump was the stable genius who outplayed Clinton in the real game. Trump had no more idea how to win the EC without winning the popular vote than anyone else. Further, by the witless pretended principles of Russ' ilk, a presidential candidate who managed to win faithless electors who ignored even their own states' pluralities* would still be the legitimate president! Every single defender of Trump the one legitimate president is witless and worthless.

But very likely the real objection to the response is the insistence that Trump isn't magically guaranteed re-election because...well, the real reason is slavish devotion to a God named Trump. Even with the advantage of incumbency this time around, with even more support from the wealthy (the people who have really turned away from the Democratic Party to favor political gangsterism,) Trump is likely to lose the election again. If I were in Congress I would offer a compromise, where the Republicans were assured Trump would not be investigated any more, much less impeached, for abolition of the Electoral College. But I think Trump would say no, because he knows deep down he's a loser.

steven t johnson , Dec 5 2019 20:13 utc | 57
*US politicians rarely win majorities of the electorate. Politicians of all stripes have agreed that non-voting is always to be deemed as "Satisfied" with either choice instead of "Alienated, with no choice." Decent people suspect otherwise.
goldhoarder , Dec 5 2019 20:23 utc | 58
@38 Karloff1 You can still Read the late John Taylor Gatto's The Underground History of American Education online. He did a great job highlighting the history and purpose of copying the Prussian style of education to replace the one room school houses and instill the "martial spirit" in the American public. I have to hand it to the Oligarchs of old too. They were very effective in their implementation.

[malformed/wrong link deleted - b.]

nietzsche1510 , Dec 5 2019 20:31 utc | 60
Karlan type of academics is scattered all over the US universities. They are the Academia´s gatekeepers, watching over & "spotting" of our future leaders. the majority of them are claptraps selling jingoism to our youth in order to fulfill the Judeo-Zionist agenda.
Trailer Trash , Dec 5 2019 20:39 utc | 61
I knew that name sounded familiar...
John Taylor Gatto, former New York City and New York State teacher of the year, stated:

The truth is that schools don't really teach anything except how to obey orders; and John Holt concluded, School is a place where children learn to be stupid . . . Children come to school curious; within a few years most of that curiosity is dead, or at least silent.

http://www.naturalchild.org/guest/john_gatto.html

Jen , Dec 5 2019 21:15 utc | 66
I recall when I was a student at the University of Technology, Sydney, way back in the Mesozoic era (1980s), the economics dept there had a lecturer there with a Harvard University background so the staff made him head of the department. Just because he had a Harvard University PhD. He was hardly a great administrator and the subjects he taught (compared with other lecturers' subjects) were much less structured. Of course this meant the courses he taught were easier on students' time and energy, though if you made use of the opportunity a less structured course gave, you could turn in an end-of-term essay with impressive research equivalent to the level required of a post-grad.

The university also had an exchange program with the University of Oregon, and most of the Oregon students who came to UTS (usually in their second or third year) found the UTS coursework very heavy-going and difficult.

In those days, UTS was only supposed to be a second-tier university in Australia.

ac , Dec 5 2019 21:34 utc | 68
This hearing is a theatre performance (kabuki -- hey, I learned a new word, thanks) and PK's lines are an invocation of the official US myth (the shinning city on the hill, the exceptional, indispensible nation). No one in the room took that seriously or literally (especially PK herself) and IMHO these national myths are not really anything to freak out about - every nation has got its myth, and this is an arrogant one, but compared to a few others it's almost likeable.

Of course it is at odds with historical records and the reality, but all of them are, because, frankly, the truth, being descendants of genocidal, religious nutters and slavers, is apparently very motivational -- in the KSA...

The RU/UK lines are slightly more worrisome, but that's just a matching background for her story - the fluff. She doesn't have to belive it - it's just a performance, an elegant one but meaningless in the end.

A lot of the visitors comment about the deep state, most of the time mentioning three letter agencies. Here comes a piece about a four letters one, acting more or less in the plain sight: OIRA, E.O. 12866

A group of virtually anonymous, unaccountable people wields quite considerable power over both legislative and executive. A very interesting construction...

information_agent , Dec 5 2019 22:08 utc | 70
Posted by: nietzsche1510 | Dec 5 2019 21:03 utc | 65

You hit the nail on the head. Karlan's loyalty is to her tribe, not this nation. That's the crux of almost every major problem and injustice we're suffering from in this country, from private prisons to Wall Street looting to endless foreign wars to censorship. There is one group of people behind it with a very bad track record in terms of how they treat their host nations. I wonder when we will finally get our act together and become the 110th country to expel them.

And Goldhoarder, while you may not mind how your posts look, you've managed to damage this comment thread and until b deletes your poorly structured post, we all suffer for it.

psychohistorian , Dec 5 2019 22:31 utc | 71
@ Posted by: Lochearn | Dec 5 2019 21:51 utc | 72 who seems to disagree with my concept "dysfunctional on purpose" and wants to use decadence instead and wrote: " Surely there must be some functionality to be able to keep the masses dumbed down/brainwashed; it implies some sort of thought out strategy. How do we get the same narrative trotted out in media in exactly the same format from LA to Warsaw, from Lima to Bangalore if it's all so dysfunctional? "

I posit that strategy of "dysfunctional on purpose" is control of the narrative and language and it is purposefully used.

Consider the current seeming understanding of the terms, socialism and capitalism by many of your fellow barflies. Many of our fellow barflies would have one believe that China is socialist and the West is capitalist...exclusively. I and a few others keep trying to point out that both China and the West are, to varying degrees mixed economies, including aspects of both socialism and capitalism

Consider the implicit definition of government if you will. Is government, as compared to dictatorships, not explicitly socialistic? Are not the provision of water, sewage treatment and in many case electricity explicitly socialistic by definition? Is it not dumbing down and brainwashing that many don't understand reality but spout the words and concepts they are fed by those in control of the narrative and media pushing it?

And, not to make too fine a point of it, does all of the West not live under the dictatorship of global private finance at this time? So how much more would I get ignored if I beat that drum as part of my comments here?

Ian2 , Dec 5 2019 23:07 utc | 75
Lorenz | Dec 5 2019 16:56 utc | 20:

IF Trump is removed from office then the war on Lebanon and Iran would be accelerated. Israel will likely go for all the marbles and annex the last remaining Palestinian holdings. Some here believe this couldn't happen but we all live in bizarro world now.

Also, don't expect the Electoral College to oust Pence after the general election since he's more pro-war; even the electors from Democrat controlled states would support him. IMHO, the US would continue on; business as usual.

However, if the Democrats are crazy enough to follow through, the Republican dominated Senate would reject it. Basically a repeat of what happened to Clinton. In the end, nothing changed.

Really?? , Dec 5 2019 23:07 utc | 76
James #44

""It was wrong of me to do that,'' she said, according to the Associated Press. "I do regret it.""

Ya but . . .as Tucker Carlson spot-on reacted, that comment sure looked as though it had been rehearsed in front of the bathroom mirror. It was sooooo lame!!! I mean, it was obvious (on the video) that Karlan really thought she was (wait for it! It's on the way) landing a very clever bon mot!

It is a small thing, yet it speaks volumes about the spirit of this clearly clueless human being (and others of her ilk), and her handlers, who must have cleared this little gotcha for prime time. Been up on the podium too long, bleating to students who can't/don't bleat back! No common sense.

Never a connection with a child, I'll bet, or she could never have said such a thing. Painful to look at the pinched little face, decent hairdo missing in action, with the rant coming out of the tight little mouth. A pathetic individual.

Ditto Noah Feldman from the Felix Frankfurter Dept of the Harvard Law School: Pure bloviation with skin like a baby's bottom. Better coiffed, actually, than Karlan. Quels types!!!

Jen , Dec 5 2019 23:21 utc | 80
Jackrabbit @ 68:

My comment @ 67 was actually just to highlight the (most undeserved) reputations that places like Harvard and Stanford have among certain faculties in Australian universities. In those days Stanford, Harvard and MIT were the holiest of holy shrines to do business studies / economics degrees. Years later I read a book by someone who actually did do a Stanford MBA and the scales fell from my eyes then. The work was similar to what I'd done as an undergraduate (albeit collapsed in the space of 18 months; I had the luxury of doing part-time and then going full-time as a student).

I should have added that the Harvard PhD guy who taught me comparative economics was a lousy teacher as well as a lousy administrator. I visited his office once and it looked as if a tornado had just hit it. To be fair though, he really wasn't cut out to be a lecturer, he was much better at research and analysis.

Before he became a lecturer, he worked at the CIA as a researcher. He knew next to no German (he was of Polish background) so he was assigned to the section to read East German newspapers. A fellow he knew who could speak and read German but no Bulgarian was assigned to the ... Bulgarian section. That experience must account for my lecturer's sloppy personal style.

But now that you draw my attention to the link, yes you are right that the study was done at Princeton University.

oldhippie , Dec 6 2019 0:18 utc | 87
@81

Why do you assume a technical illiterate could read those instructions? I can't even begin to do anything with that. It is never simple enough for those who have not been initiated.

HTML works by magic. Your instructions do not convince me otherwise.

Better solution is to forgo links altogether if not competent. Or spell out the link and force the really interested to transcribe. Of course no one is going to go to effort of spelling out a link as long as that one above. Which would be a good thing.

Jen , Dec 6 2019 0:27 utc | 88
She's been gone some time now (she died in April 2018) but Karen Dawisha , a so-called expert on Russian and post-Soviet politics who obtained a higher degree at the London School of Economics, was another deluded academic twat who wrote the book "Putin's Kleptocracy: Who Owns Russia?"

The 1-star, 2-star and 3-star reviews on Amazon.com of the book refer to the tabloid quality of many of the claims in the book, poor sourcing, cherry-picking of facts and the author's inability to write at a level that would attract a readership outside the academic community.

The least we can say for her is that she is no longer in a position to, erm, "advise" the US and UK governments on issues and help formulate policy that would backfire on Washington and London anyway.

ak74 , Dec 6 2019 2:14 utc | 98
As the great wise man, Frank Zappa proclaimed about the USA: "Politics/government is the entertainment division of the Military-Industrial Government." American politics makes much greater sense (and is a hell of a lot more entertaining) if you understand this truism.

US Presidential Debates and impeachment hearings are a swell occasion for drinking games. Every time a political hack, media shill, or academic invokes some variant of American Exceptionalism, take a shot of your favorite alcoholic beverage. You will be drunk within half an hour--guaranteed!

Gal , Dec 6 2019 2:19 utc | 99
I'd say unbelievable but I know that is only wishful thinking on my part. What's scary is that these people populate the "educational" system which explains why we're as screwed as we are.

[Dec 08, 2019] Nadler: Trump Will 'Rig' 2020 Election If He Isn't Impeached And Removed

Rephrasing Fran Zappa: "Dems Impeachment hearings is the Entertainment division of the intelligences agencies."
Dec 08, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Nadler also said he would reject witnesses requested by the GOP, calling them "not relevant" to the allegations.

For example, he said House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), whom the Republicans have requested as a witness, did not witness any of the actions and therefore is not relevant to call as a witness.

[Dec 08, 2019] Anti-Semite is any person who does not contribute to Jewish settlements; who does not believe in God-chosen Jewish nation being above all laws

Dec 08, 2019 | www.unz.com

I am all for such definitions; their scope is too narrow, if anything.

I'd prefer a broad definition that would describe as anti-Semite any person who attends a church or a mosque; who does not contribute to Jewish settlements; who does not believe in God-chosen Jewish nation being above all mortal laws.

Maybe then the Gentiles would be healed of their fear of being labelled 'anti-Semite'.

[Dec 08, 2019] Washington as the Sinning City of the neocon shills: neo-conservative delusions about the US role in the world, and Iraq war propaganda redux

Notable quotes:
"... Wasn't the "so we won't be fighting them here" meme used also to justify the Iraq invasion and the War on Terror? ..."
Dec 08, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Really?? , Dec 5 2019 18:25 utc | 36

Wasn't the "so we won't be fighting them here" meme used also to justify the Iraq invasion and the War on Terror?
AntiSpin , Dec 5 2019 21:09 utc | 65
Kooshy | Dec 5 2019 20:10 utc | 55

It's really the Sinning City of the Shills

[Dec 08, 2019] Pentagon Alarmed Russia Is Gaining 'Sympathy' Among US Troops

Notable quotes:
"... Remember when Russia bombed Belgrade back to the middle ages, invaded and occupied Iraq, started an eighteen-year long quagmire in Afghanistan, created anarchy in Libya, funded and armed al-Qaeda in Syria, and expanded its bases right up to US borders? Neither do we. ..."
Dec 08, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

An alarmist headline out of US state-funded media arm Voice of America : "Pentagon Concerned Russia Cultivating Sympathy Among US Troops". The story begins as follows:

Russian efforts to weaken the West through a relentless campaign of information warfare may be starting to pay off, cracking a key bastion of the U.S. line of defense: the military. While most Americans still see Moscow as a key U.S. adversary, new polling suggests that view is changing, most notably among the households of military members .

Remember when Russia bombed Belgrade back to the middle ages, invaded and occupied Iraq, started an eighteen-year long quagmire in Afghanistan, created anarchy in Libya, funded and armed al-Qaeda in Syria, and expanded its bases right up to US borders? Neither do we.

[Dec 08, 2019] Putin did it again: Pentagon Alarmed Russia Is Gaining 'Sympathy' Among US Troops

Dec 08, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Pentagon Alarmed Russia Is Gaining 'Sympathy' Among US Troops by Tyler Durden Sun, 12/08/2019 - 17:40 0 SHARES

An alarmist headline out of US state-funded media arm Voice of America : "Pentagon Concerned Russia Cultivating Sympathy Among US Troops". The story begins as follows:

Russian efforts to weaken the West through a relentless campaign of information warfare may be starting to pay off, cracking a key bastion of the U.S. line of defense: the military. While most Americans still see Moscow as a key U.S. adversary, new polling suggests that view is changing, most notably among the households of military members .

Remember when Russia bombed Belgrade back to the middle ages, invaded and occupied Iraq, started an eighteen-year long quagmire in Afghanistan, created anarchy in Libya, funded and armed al-Qaeda in Syria, and expanded its bases right up to US borders? Neither do we.

File image via EPA/NBC

Perhaps American soldiers are simply sick and tired of the US military and intelligence machine's legacy of ashes across the globe and recognize the inconvenient fact that Russia most often has been on the complete opposite side of Washington's disastrous regime change wars .

Nothing to see here...

The second annual Reagan National Defense Survey, completed in late October, found nearly half of armed services households questioned, 46%, said they viewed Russia as ally .

Overall, the survey found 28% of Americans identified Russia as an ally, up from 19% the previous year .

...While a majority, 71% of all Americans and 53% of military households, still views Russia as an enemy, the spike in pro-Russian sentiment has defense officials concerned . -- VOA

Perhaps US military households are also smart enough to know the Cold War is long over, and only bad things can come from a direct confrontation with Russia, not to mention that involvement in proxy war in Ukraine has nothing to do with America's national defense or to "protect and defend the Constitution" .

To be expected, the VOA's presentation of the new poll which finds more service members are 'sympathetic' to Russia is heavy on the supposed 'Trump-Russia nexus' narrative and emphasizes an uptick in Kremlin propaganda, while failing to acknowledge a failed legacy of 'endless wars' and destabilizing US influence across the globe.

It's 2019, and US solders are still in Iraq. Image via Getty/NYT

The poll itself claimed the changing numbers were "predominantly driven by Republicans who have responded to positive cues from [U.S.] President [Donald] Trump about Russia."

"There is an effort, on the part of Russia, to flood the media with disinformation to sow doubt and confusion ," DoD spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Carla Gleason was cited in the VOA report as saying. Ah yes, a few Kremlin-sponsored Facebook posts and Trump's expressed desire for better relations with Putin, and suddenly the military too is 'pro-Putin'! apparently.

Perhaps the "doubt and confusion" comes via trillion dollar endless wars of regime change and pointless occupations which cost American lives? In other words, this is not a 'Russia problem' at all, but lies too close to home for Washington pundits and pollsters to admit.

* * *

Finally, we should ask, would US military members see in today's foreign policy adventurism anything remotely resembling John Quincy Adams' famous 1821 admonition?

" But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will commend the general cause by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example. She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom. The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force.... She might become the dictatress of the world. She would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit..."

[Dec 08, 2019] Never argue with stupid people, if then want to join NATO

Well, spending 5% of GDP on military and lowering further the standard of living of population will definitely increase the security of the US MIC. Not so much the security of Ukraine.
Dec 08, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Likklemore , Dec 5 2019 16:13 utc | 7

Attributed to Mark Twain. Perhaps the learned professor Karlan may affirm: "Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience."

AND Ukraine wishing to join NATO: well, not so fast for Hungary. Hungary says it will block Ukraine from joining NATO over controversial language law

[Dec 08, 2019] US Presidential Debates and impeachment hearings are a swell occasion for drinking games

Dec 08, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

ak74 , Dec 6 2019 2:14 utc | 98

As the great wise man, Frank Zappa proclaimed about the USA: "Politics/government is the entertainment division of the Military-Industrial Government." American politics makes much greater sense (and is a hell of a lot more entertaining) if you understand this truism.

US Presidential Debates and impeachment hearings are a swell occasion for drinking games. Every time a political hack, media shill, or academic invokes some variant of American Exceptionalism, take a shot of your favorite alcoholic beverage. You will be drunk within half an hour--guaranteed!

[Dec 08, 2019] I used to think that stupid was a characteristic of the American right. It took Donald Trump getting elected to see that stupid knows no political borders.

Dec 08, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Mischi , Dec 5 2019 16:39 utc | 14

I used to think that stupid was a characteristic of the American right. It took Donald Trump getting elected to see that stupid knows no political borders. Seriously. I thought that education and progressive thinking also led to a clarity of thought. Boy, was I wrong. The most pro-war people in the USA seem to be Democrats. Bizarro world.

[Dec 08, 2019] Time back machine in action in the USA

Dec 08, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Bart Hansen , Dec 5 2019 16:21 utc | 11

"...make sure Ukraine stays strong and fights the Russians so we don't have to fight them here"

Is this 2019 or 2003?

[Dec 08, 2019] How much smarter and better educated Americans are

Dec 08, 2019 | www.unz.com

dearieme , says: December 5, 2019 at 3:19 pm GMT

how much smarter and better educated than Americans Russians are

I know; just compare Putin to Trump or Hillary and you can see the folly of the claim.

Patricus , says: December 5, 2019 at 6:55 pm GMT
@dearieme Russians are certainly brilliant. Their per capita GDP is about the same as Mexico or Turkey.
Anonymous [607] Disclaimer , says: December 5, 2019 at 11:39 pm GMT
@benion101

Saker and Martyanov are desperately trying to wake you morons from your narcissistic coma. Wanna stay asleep? Fine. Then reality will wake you up.

EoinW , says: December 6, 2019 at 3:12 pm GMT
@Andrei Martyanov

If only Those Russians could play chess or compose classical music or write a few serious novels. Oh well, I guess you can't expect everything from people with no GDP.

[Dec 08, 2019] Why do we say "defense spending" when we mean "military spending"? America has no military to defend against.

Dec 08, 2019 | www.unz.com

Frederick V. Reed , says: Website December 5, 2019 at 4:19 pm GMT

Why do we say "defense spending" when we mean "military spending"? America has no military to defend against.

[Dec 08, 2019] Aux Armes, Citoyens! The Americans Attack by Eric Margolis

I suppose the main threat is that Russia could claim the north pole, and hold Santa hostage.
Dec 08, 2019 | www.unz.com

Citizens of France. To arms! Man the ramparts. The American barbarians are coming. They shall not pass!

Le Trump's threat to France's splendid wines and Roquefort cheese are the gravest menace France has faced since the Germans invaded this fair land in 1914. Burgundy wines and France's 300 fromages form the very soul of la Belle France.

Trump does not know or care that France saved America from British mis-rule. He wants revenge because France – which taxes nearly everything – seeks to tax US IT firms like Google and Amazon. Trump considers this a personal affront. Besides, he dislikes wine and lives on desiccated burgers made with petrochemical cheese, washed down by acidic Diet Cokes.

On top of this outrage comes the squabble over NATO. Trump used to scoff at the Alliance, saying it was 'obsolete' as well as under-armed and short of money. The president and his backers really dislike France and all it stands for, including wine and cheese.

[Dec 07, 2019] To paraphrase Lennie Briscoe

Dec 07, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

RC (Ron) Weakley , December 06, 2019 at 05:34 AM

To paraphrase Lennie Briscoe "You can get the House of Representatives to indict a ham sandwich."
RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to RC (Ron) Weakley... , December 06, 2019 at 05:36 AM
Of course that assumes that the ham sandwich is not a member of the House majority political party.

[Dec 07, 2019] Obama vs Bill Clinton

Dec 07, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

ilsm -> Fred C. Dobbs... , December 01, 2019 at 05:51 AM

Obama is Bill Clinton with fewer skeletons.

[Dec 07, 2019] Orange is the new black: Trump main crime is that he offends neoliberal sense of decorum.

Dec 07, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

ilsm -> RC (Ron) Weakley... , December 01, 2019 at 04:10 AM

#resistance is a coup attempt. Make up offenses!

As my son observed, at least the deranged subversives are not mucking up the country with doing appropriations, USMCA.....

RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to ilsm... , December 01, 2019 at 06:29 AM
What coup? There have been loads of offenses, mostly to the liberal sense of decorum and mildly to the republican notion of fair play. Orange is the new black.

[Dec 07, 2019] Russia is an Oligarchy. Putin is the richest man in the world

Dec 07, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

likbez -> kurt... , December 07, 2019 at 12:45 AM

"Russia is an Oligarchy. Putin is the richest man in the world."

Russia is an oligarchy. Like the USA and all Western countries. Oligarchy is the "rule of the few", the rule of elite. We know that this is where any state (or mass party) lands due to the "Iron law of oligarchy". So what's new ?

FYI the USA is a neoliberal plutocracy, which is pretty bad, degraded form of oligarchy. And it is currently experiences its deep crisis as neoliberal ideology is dead, and economics entered the phase of a secular stagnation.

This created the situation in which neoliberal elite can't rule "as usual" and "deplorable" do not want to live "as usual".

Such a situation is called a Classic Marxism a "revolutionary situation" and there is something in this definition. That's why we got Trump. So he is just a sign of the deep crisis of the USA neoliberal plutocracy.

In any case this is adeep political crisis. In this sense "impeachment Kabuki theatre" is just a tip of the iceberg and manifests the same problem

Presence on the political stage of people with noticeable senility problem like Biden and increased age of politicians in general is yet another sign of the same (can probably be called "Soviet Politburo syndrome").


But only completely brainwashed by neoliberal propaganda person can claim the Putin is "the richest man in the world"

Putin is way too clever to get into such a trap, when a person became Western powers marionette (like corrupt Yanukovich became ) because they can pull the strings and confiscate the ill gotten wealth anytime. BTW it was Biden, who threatened Yanukovich that if he uses force against protesters, his Western banks stored wealth is gone. We know what happened next with the help of Victoria Nuland.

Like Kissinger aptly said, neoliberal oligarchs are always pro-Western oligarch, because they have nowhere to go to store their wealth.

That means that Putin is "the richest man in the world" level of thinking can be viewed as typical for a person with severe senility problem due to his/her age.

This statement actually does not even deserve a comment, because person with such level of mental degradation can't understand argument of the other side.

[Dec 06, 2019] US empire vs the freedom of choice...

Dec 06, 2019 | www.unz.com

Robjil , says: December 7, 2019 at 2:11 am GMT

@Bardon Kaldian BK

Czech and Slovakia divided into two nations in 1993. It was the people's choice.

East Germany wanted to join West Germany in 1989. It was the people's choice.

Crimea wanted to join Russia after fall of the Soviet Union. It was the people's choice just like the two above.

The only thing that makes it "different" it was not a people's choice that the rulers of Zion US empire likes.

[Dec 06, 2019] The CIA sees it differently

Dec 06, 2019 | www.unz.com

Realist , says: December 6, 2019 at 12:00 pm GMT

@sally

IMO, The CIA exists at the pleasure of the President.

The CIA sees it differently; and they are part of the Deep State.

[Dec 06, 2019] Putin derangement syndrome in full display: As a Catholic, I resent you using the word 'hate' said full of hate Nanci. "All roads lead to Putin," she told reporters.

Hating Putin became fashionable in Washington, DC. The fact that Obama wrecked Ukraine is, of course, is swiped under the rug.
Dec 06, 2019 | www.msn.com

Exiting the news conference as she was addressed, Pelosi turned around, walked up to the journalist -- James Rosen of Sinclair Broadcast Group -- and proceeded to wag her finger with scorn.

"As a Catholic, I resent you using the word 'hate' in a sentence that addresses me," she said. "Don't mess with me when it comes to words like that."

To Republicans eager to paint Democrats as out-of-control partisans, the forceful rebuttal was a sign of the speaker losing her grip.

"It's caused them to lose sight of why they got the majority," House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) said of impeachment and Pelosi's outburst. "I think things are starting to unravel."

... ... ...

Indeed, Pelosi also has cast the constitutional clash in terms of defending an ally against Russia, calling the concerns raised by the whistleblower complaint the "aha moment" and repeating a phrase that she used in challenging Trump face-to-face at the White House in October.

"All roads lead to Putin," she told reporters.

Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.), a former CIA officer who was among the "national security freshmen" who pushed Pelosi toward supporting an impeachment inquiry, praised her handling of the process. From the beginning, she said, she asked Pelosi to ensure that the investigation was done in a strategic, efficient and serious manner, and she said Pelosi has followed through.

[Dec 06, 2019] St. Nancy the hypocrite: the miles distance between words and deeds for this Catholic

Dec 06, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

St. Nancy the hypocrite a reporter asked Pelosi yesterday if she acts from hatred of Trump. She responded that having been raised as a Catholic she does not hate anyone because we are taught to hate the sin and love the sinner. Well, pilgrims, Catholics are expected to practice their religion through both faith and deeds and to accept the teaching of the Church...

[Dec 06, 2019] Kabuki theater in Washington, CD. Act 2: Pelosi and Trump Derangement Syndrome

Her statement are a little it too much. Even for a Catholic. BTW is she child molester?
Dec 06, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Civilization as we know it today is at stake in the next election, and certainly, our planet," said Pelosi.

"The damage that this administration has done to America, America's a great country. We can sustain. Two terms, I don't know," she added.


Ledlak , 20 seconds ago link

First, Trump was going to destroy democracy. That didn't persuade voters. Now it's he'll destroy civilization itself...and the planet. When that doesn't work where will they go next? He'll destroy to Solar System? The Universe? How do such people get into power in the first place? Oh yeah, San Francisco.

Free range bear , 55 seconds ago link

Translation: The Pelosi Crime Family will be out of business if DJT is re elected. The days of foreign aid kickbacks and influence peddling will come to an end. Who does this ******* Trump think he is putting country before personal gain.

BlueLightning , 2 minutes ago link

How old is this wax figure? WTF

Blackhawks , 7 minutes ago link

Bread and circus. The swamp is full and Clinton is not in jail. The southern border is wide open. We're sending more troops to the Middle East. The status quo is completely intact. If it weren't for the hysterics you'd think Obama was still president. The only thing that's changed is Trump's wife doesn't have a ****.

[Dec 06, 2019] Fighting Russians of Florida beaches

Dec 06, 2019 | twitter.com

Aaron Maté ‏ 3:47 PM - 4 Dec 2019

Thanks to Pamela Karlan for so aptly capturing Democratic elites' delusional, Reaganite, jingoistic Cold Warrior mindset in your claim that we need to arm Ukraine "so they fight the Russians there and we don't have to fight them here" & we remain "that shining city on the hill."

[Dec 06, 2019] The Delusions Of The Impeachment Witnesses Point To A Larger Problem

Dec 06, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Mischi , Dec 5 2019 15:45 utc | 1

never underestimate the stupidity of people. Even professors.

Likklemore , Dec 5 2019 16:13 utc | 7

Attributed to Mark Twain. Perhaps the learned professor karlan may affirm:

"Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience."

[Dec 06, 2019] Western nations have survived tyranny, despots, and brutal civil wars. It is not at all clear whether the nations of the West will survive your beloved democracy.

Dec 06, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Seoulite Max Rockatansky 6 hours ago ,

Democracies are earned not given, that lesson cost us trillions and in blood!

Yes please give us more democracy, so the uniparty can sell our jobs to global capital and our children's future to foreigners. Nations have survived tyranny, despots, and brutal civil wars. It is not at all clear whether the nations of the West will survive your beloved democracy.

[Dec 06, 2019] No neoliberal should be assumed to have self-respect. If they did, they wouldn't be neoliberals

Dec 06, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Darius , December 5, 2019 at 3:37 pm

I think Warren is running for treasury secretary in a Biden administration. The theory being that that will be her reward for stopping Sanders. Everybody has an angle. Except Bernie. Can someone show me his angle?

NotTimothyGeithner , December 5, 2019 at 4:44 pm

Warren may be many things, but she despises Biden. She has enough self respect to never work for the turd.

hunkerdown , December 5, 2019 at 4:56 pm

No neoliberal should be assumed to have self-respect. If they did, they wouldn't be neoliberals.

NotTimothyGeithner , December 5, 2019 at 3:58 pm

Three things:

-one, 2016 what ifs.

-two, how does Warren look in the light of Sanders and a few newer types like AOC or Omar? If there is no Sanders, she is the nominal left, a former Republican which shows how right wing Team Blue is. Zebras don't change their stripes, but I think what is and isn't acceptable does change. The three I mentioned moved the perceptions of enough people who otherwise would support Warren. Warren is a day late and a dollar short in 2019. Okay, she's $0.02, but she is still short of where she would need to be to take her advantages over Sanders to next level.

-Misinterpreting popularity. One of the more detailed ratings of Warren a few years indicated she wasn't wildly popular in Taxachusetts, but she was very popular with a narrow subset of women around the country. In a sense, she is trying to grow from this group instead of understanding a big tent is the only way forward if you aren't an effective incumbent or VP. Its similar to Clinton's 90's worship of "soccer moms" (surburban white women), basically the only group that outpaced or met expectations in support for Bill and company. Instead of recognizing problems with the generic Democratic coalition, they worked to make their friends really like them.

-not recognizing, the importance of sitting out in 2016. She didn't win friends. She relied on msm punditry instead of recognizing politicians and elections are about pushing, not waiting for David Brooks to weigh in. She failed a basic leadership test because she was afraid of offending Hillary Clinton who was going to collapse over the finish line and then have been on the defense before she was even inaugurated.

[Dec 06, 2019] Clinton apparently has super-special powers for sniffing out Russian mischief-makers that mere mortals like us cannot comprehend.

Dec 06, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Hepativore , December 5, 2019 at 11:19 pm

Here is a clip from the Hillary interview with Howard Stern courtesy of Secular Talk

https://invidio.us/watch?v=QjK8Ghxi5Zk

Clinton apparently has super-special powers for sniffing out Russian mischief-makers that mere mortals like us cannot comprehend.

Also, she says that she refuses to go away because "that is what her adversaries want". I knew that Hillary was a narcissist, but this takes being a sore loser to a whole other level. Somebody like this as president would be just as bad as Trump, and Hillary would have the entire DNC leadership apparatus to carry out her royal decrees.

sierra7 , December 6, 2019 at 12:29 am

HC contemplating running in 2020 is like Gorganzola cheese way past pull date!

[Dec 06, 2019] Ever wonder why google changed its name to "alphabet"... suspicious minds want to know

Dec 06, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

4 wheel drift , 3 hours ago link

Federal authorities have indicted two Russian cybercriminals who allegedly lead a shadowy organization called "Evil Corp" that has stolen more than $100 million using a powerful malware that has spread to more than 40 countries.

now... how come the FBI, (NOT to mention, CIA, and the rest of the alphabet soup agencies) are not spending their efforts and monies to pursue this ENRON, (LOGO LOOK-A-LIKE) company, instead of initiating an illegal coup d'etat against the president of USA?

-----

Members of Evil Corp are living a lavish lifestyle, funded by the life savings of their victims.

If Maksim Yakubets, who used the online identity of 'Aqua', ever leaves the safety of Russia he will be arrested and extradited to the US.

Well duh.... lol !

Why would he....????

Wouldn't it make sense to make a deal with... "lord Putin" to cease this shield of protection ?.... hmmm I wonder why...

Ask some Biden guy...

Oh wait... the US Gov. and alphabet agencies are supposed to be doing so, yes ?

Hmm ever wonder why google changed its name to "alphabet"... suspicious minds want to know ... -lol

Dickweed Wang , 4 hours ago link

Next time on the Twilight Zone:

'Russian hacker by the name of Boris Beatinoff steals millions from **** producers and gets life plus 20 years.'

'The US Department of Defense and HUD steal 13+ trillion dollars of federal funding over the last 15 years and it is not reported or prosecuted.'

[Dec 06, 2019] It's not a mature democracy, if the party in power uses the criminal process to go after its enemies.

Dec 06, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Marshal 9 hours ago ,

it's not a mature democracy, if the party in power uses the criminal process to go after its enemies.

Is this a reference to the Obama Administration investigating the Trump Campaign at the behest of the Clinton Campaign?

[Dec 06, 2019] "The Kamaleon": Fixing Biden quote about Senator Harris

Dec 06, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

a different chris , December 5, 2019 at 2:20 pm

>Senator Harris has the capacity to be anything she wants to be

Senator Harris has the capacity to appear to be anything she wants to appear to be.

Fixed it for them.

chuckster , December 5, 2019 at 5:21 pm

Yeah, that's the ticket – Biden/Harris 2020!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What would their slogan be? "Just wanted to prove to you that Clinton/Kaine wasn't the worst ticket we could come up with"

The Rev Kev , December 5, 2019 at 6:03 pm

'Senator Harris has the capacity to appear to be anything she wants to appear to be.'

There is a word for that. It is a chameleon so yeah, Kamala Chameleon works. But Biden picking her as a running mate would be the same as back in 2008 when John McCain picked Sarah Palin as a running mate which went down like a lead balloon.

Brett , December 5, 2019 at 7:31 pm

I can hear the stage entrance song now.. Kama Kama Kama Chameleon. Boy George can open for their rallies to appeal to the IdentiPol crowd.

[Dec 06, 2019] BBC and logic

Dec 06, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

SOFTWARE. A law has passed requiring electronic gadgets to have Russia software in them. The BBC idiotically says : "Others have raised concerns that the Russian-made software could be used to spy on users". "Idiotically" because one of the reasons for the law is that US-made software is spying on users .

[Dec 04, 2019] Overweight Trump thinks that poor people eat too much

Dec 04, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

gjohnsit on Wed, 12/04/2019 - 5:44pm

After slashing taxes on the ruling elites by $1.5 Trillion , The Donald has decided that poor people need to skip some meals "to restore their dignity" and "be respectful of the taxpayers".

[Dec 04, 2019] Biden is trending steadily (but very slowly) downward

Dec 04, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Fake polls, fake trends, fake candidate

[Dec 04, 2019] The attorney handpicked by Attorney General William Barr to investigate the origins of the probe into the Trump campaign and Russian election interference has reportedly found no evidence to support claims from conservatives that the case was a setup by U.S. intelligence officials

Now it looks like Lavreniy Beria was a law abiding, forward looking legal scholar, and his quip "Show me the man and I'll find you the crime" was just an well founded legal opinion. And the term "entrupment" in this case lost all its meaning.
Dec 04, 2019 | thehill.com

The attorney handpicked by Attorney General William Barr to investigate the origins of the probe into the Trump campaign and Russian election interference has reportedly found no evidence to support claims from conservatives that the case was a setup by U.S. intelligence officials.

Sources told The Washington Post that John Durham , the U.S. attorney chosen by Barr to lead an investigation, told the Justice Department's inspector general (IG), who conducted his own probe, that he has found no evidence to support claims that a Maltese professor who spoke with former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos was secretly a U.S. intelligence asset.

Allies of the president have claimed for months that the professor, Josef Mifsud, who spoke with Papadopoulos about the possibility of obtaining Hillary Clinton stolen emails, was actually an asset of U.S. intelligence agencies seeking to set up the Trump campaign on criminal charges.

[Dec 04, 2019] This four-minute video of British folks reacting to US health care prices is delightful

Dec 04, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Conrad , December 3, 2019 at 7:10 pm

This four-minute video of British folks reacting to US health care prices is delightful. https://twitter.com/PoliticsJOE_UK/status/1201826927520161792
I see Bernie retweeted it as well.

[Dec 04, 2019] Which one attended on the FBI payroll?

Dec 04, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

DonCoyote , December 3, 2019 at 3:48 pm

Political trivia:

According to John Nichols of The Nation , what two sitting U.S. senators attended MLK's "I Have A Dream" speech in 1963?

(Answer in the reply)

DonCoyote , December 3, 2019 at 3:49 pm

Bernie Sanders & Mitch McConnell.

cuibono , December 3, 2019 at 4:16 pm

which one attended on the FBI payroll?

[Dec 04, 2019] A wish ;-)

Dec 04, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

drumlin woodchuckles , December 3, 2019 at 5:48 pm

I have seen other versions of that same story with other characters. For example, several decades ago, Herman Kahn of the Hudson Institute illustrated "revenge culture" with the story of the Greek and the Turk.

God HimSelf appeared to the Greek Peasant hoping to teach the Greek Peasant something about charity and kindness to others. So God said to the Greek Peasant . . . " I will grant you one wish, any wish at all. And whatever you wish for, I will give your Turkish neighbor twice as much of it."

So Greek Peasant says: "Put out one of my eyes."

[Dec 04, 2019] Europian are lauching at Trump but simulatiouly are paying more for NATO. Looks like Trump has the last laugh

Notable quotes:
"... It's likely that Trudeau is referring to his joint press conference with President Trump, where the president veered wildly off-topic and answered questions about the burgeoning impeachment inquiry while lashing out at his democratic rivals. ..."
"... The draft showed that leaders made "burden sharing" - Trump's top priority re: Nato - the centerpiece of the communique. ..."
Dec 04, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

The world leaders were joined by Princess Anne, the Queen's daughter, who naturally was invited to the Buckingham Palace reception where the footage was taken. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte also appears to be in the scrum. At one point, Rutte can be heard laughing while saying "fake news media".

Though Trump's name isn't heard spoken, the subject of their gossipy little pow-wow is pretty clear. At one point, Trudeau can be heard telling his pals about how a certain leader's team members' jaws dropped when he launched into a rambling tangent during a press conference.

A loosened up Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, seen sipping from a glass of beer, could barely contain himself, gesturing wildly and shouting "You just watched his team's jaws drop to the floor!"

It's likely that Trudeau is referring to his joint press conference with President Trump, where the president veered wildly off-topic and answered questions about the burgeoning impeachment inquiry while lashing out at his democratic rivals.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, leaders wrapped up the two-day summit with a draft communique that made on thing clear: The rest of Nato wants to keep Trump happy, and is much more concerned about what Trump wants than what the president of France wants right now, BBG reports.

The draft showed that leaders made "burden sharing" - Trump's top priority re: Nato - the centerpiece of the communique.


NIRP Diggler , 2 minutes ago link

Well, Trump is a joke for sure. But, for these three arrogant, pompous aholes to be laughing at anybody, is itself laughable.

The EveryThing Bubble , 2 minutes ago link

Season 3 episode 287 of the hit reality series "Somehow I Became US President".

ibeanbanned , 7 minutes ago link

He who laughs last laughs best.

Spiritual Anunnaki , 8 minutes ago link

Political leaders like those above have no loyalty to the Counties they were elected to.

They all tow the Globalist line that is negligent, if not out right destructive to their domestic responsibilities.

AI Agent , 11 minutes ago link

Just get out of NATO. Europe is in no danger of Russia and should be more than able to defend itself.

[Dec 04, 2019] The Anti-Trust Election

This is from 2016 election cycle but still relevant. Money quote: "Trump_vs_deep_state will outlive Trump and the people's faith in economists will only be restored after the next financial collapse if all of the financial sector is liquidated, all the universities and think tanks go bankrupt and the know-nothing free traders disappear from our public discourse. "
Despicable neoliberal MSM do not like to discuss real issue that facing people in 220 elections. They like to discuss personalities. Propagandists of Vichy left like Madcow spend hours discussing Ukrainegate instead of real issues facing the nation.
Notable quotes:
"... Donald Trump has promised to make deregulation one of the focal points of his presidency. If Trump is elected, the trend toward rising market concentration and all of the problems that come with it are likely to continue. ..."
"... If Clinton is elected, it's unlikely that her administration would be active enough in antitrust enforcement for my taste. But at least she acknowledges that something needs to be done about this growing problem, and any movement toward more aggressive enforcement of antitrust regulation would be more than welcome. ..."
"... Once again we have a stark 'choice' in this election...one party who won't enforce existing laws and another who will just get rid of them. Like flipping a coin: heads, the predator class wins; tails, we lose. ..."
"... "Vote third party to register your disgust..." and waste the opportunity, at least in a few states, to affect the national outcome (in many states the outcome is not in doubt, so, thanks to our stupid electoral college system, millions of voters could equally well stay home, vote third party, or write in their dog). ..."
"... But then it dawned on me: antitrust enforcement is largely up to the president and his picked advisers. If Democrats really think it is so damned important, why has Clinton's old boss Barack Obama done so very, very little with it? ..."
"... Josh Mason thinks a Clinton administration may push on corporate short-termism if not on anti-trust. We'll see, but seeing as the Obama administration didn't do much I wouldn't be surprised if Hillary doesn't either. ..."
"... They ignored the housing bubble, don't seem to understand the connection between manufacturing and wealth (close your eyes and imagine your life with no manufactured goods, because they are all imported and your economy only produces a few low value-added raw materials such as timber or exotic animals) then you will see that allowing the US to deindustrialize was a really, world-historic mistake. ..."
"... Trump_vs_deep_state will outlive Trump and the people's faith in economists will only be restored after the next financial collapse if all of the financial sector is liquidated, all the universities and think tanks go bankrupt and the know-nothing free traders disappear from our public discourse. ..."
Oct 08, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com
Economist's View
I have a new column:

The Anti-Trust Election of 2016 :

... ... ...

Donald Trump has promised to make deregulation one of the focal points of his presidency. If Trump is elected, the trend toward rising market concentration and all of the problems that come with it are likely to continue.

We'll hear the usual arguments about ineffective government and the magic of markets to justify ignoring the problem.

If Clinton is elected, it's unlikely that her administration would be active enough in antitrust enforcement for my taste. But at least she acknowledges that something needs to be done about this growing problem, and any movement toward more aggressive enforcement of antitrust regulation would be more than welcome.

JohnH : October 07, 2016 at 09:10 AM , October 07, 2016 at 09:10 AM
"We'll hear the usual arguments about ineffective government" which has been amply demonstrated during the last 7 years by negligible enforcement of anti-trust laws.

Once again we have a stark 'choice' in this election...one party who won't enforce existing laws and another who will just get rid of them. Like flipping a coin: heads, the predator class wins; tails, we lose.

Vote third party to register your disgust and to open the process to people who don't just represent the predator class.

supersaurus -> JohnH... October 07, 2016 at 10:05 AM , October 07, 2016 at 10:05 AM
"Vote third party to register your disgust..." and waste the opportunity, at least in a few states, to affect the national outcome (in many states the outcome is not in doubt, so, thanks to our stupid electoral college system, millions of voters could equally well stay home, vote third party, or write in their dog).
JohnH -> JohnH... , Friday, October 07, 2016 at 04:32 PM
Thomas Frank: "I was pleased to learn, for example, that this year's Democratic platform includes strong language on antitrust enforcement, and that Hillary Clinton has hinted she intends to take the matter up as president. Hooray! Taking on too-powerful corporations would be healthy, I thought when I first learned that, and also enormously popular. But then it dawned on me: antitrust enforcement is largely up to the president and his picked advisers. If Democrats really think it is so damned important, why has Clinton's old boss Barack Obama done so very, very little with it?"
http://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/10/07/some-clintons-pledges-sound-great-until-you-remember-whos-president

One party who won't enforce existing laws and another who will just get rid of them...a distinction without a difference.

Who do you prefer to have guarding the chicken house...a fox or a coyote? Sane people would say, 'neither.'

Peter K. -> DrDick... , Friday, October 07, 2016 at 01:13 PM
Yes and Clinton supporters attacked Sanders over this during the primaries.

Josh Mason thinks a Clinton administration may push on corporate short-termism if not on anti-trust. We'll see, but seeing as the Obama administration didn't do much I wouldn't be surprised if Hillary doesn't either.

http://jwmason.org/slackwire/links-for-october-6/

"At Vox,* Rachelle Sampson has a piece on corporate short-termism. Supports my sense that this is an area where there may be space to move left in a Clinton administration."

* http://www.vox.com/the-big-idea/2016/10/3/13141852/short-term-capitalism-clinton-economics

Henry Carey's ghost : , Friday, October 07, 2016 at 09:35 PM
Economists have said for thirty years that free trade will benefit the US. Increasingly the country looks like a poor non-industrialized third world country. Why should anyone trust US economists?

They ignored the housing bubble, don't seem to understand the connection between manufacturing and wealth (close your eyes and imagine your life with no manufactured goods, because they are all imported and your economy only produces a few low value-added raw materials such as timber or exotic animals) then you will see that allowing the US to deindustrialize was a really, world-historic mistake.

Trust in experts is what has transformed the US from a world leader in 1969 with the moon landing to a country with no high speed rail, no modern infrastructure, incapable of producing a computer or ipad or ship.

Trump_vs_deep_state will outlive Trump and the people's faith in economists will only be restored after the next financial collapse if all of the financial sector is liquidated, all the universities and think tanks go bankrupt and the know-nothing free traders disappear from our public discourse.

>

[Dec 04, 2019] A new way to indict a ham sandwich, courtesy to intelligence community Inspector General

Dec 04, 2019 | theconservativetreehouse.com

sedge2z , September 28, 2019 at 6:05 pm

Somebody over at The_Donald on reddit copied the new Whistle Blower Complaint Form. They checked the new box saying they heard it from someone else.
In the space to explain their source, they wrote "SETH RICH"

[Dec 04, 2019] Putin sees himself as the CEO of Russia and as an heir to the early 20th Century Russian reformer Prime Minister Pyotr Stolypin

Dec 04, 2019 | www.amazon.com

David Shulman , July 4, 2019

Putin: The New Tsar

...Simply put, Trump is short-term and transactional while Putin is long-term and strategic.

The authors trace Putin's life from growing up in the deprivation of postwar Leningrad to his rise to power in Moscow via his work as a KGB operative in East Germany. Putin comes into his own working for Anatoly Sobchak, a reform minded mayor of now Saint Petersburg in the early 1990s. From there he goes to Moscow where he has a ringside seat into the disintegration of the Yeltsin government and the economic failure of post-Soviet Russia. In succeeding Yeltsin Putin's mandate is to restore order and to restore the economy.

Putin sees himself as the CEO of Russia and as an heir to the early 20th Century Russian reformer Prime Minister Pyotr Stolypin. What they have in common is that they both viewed themselves as modernizers within the context of authoritarian capitalism. Although Putin may view himself as a free marketer...

Above all else Putin is a statist. Everything has to be done in service of the state. He is critical of the Bolsheviks in that they betrayed the Russian state by fomenting revolution while its soldiers were dying in World War I. As an heir to the Tsars Putin sees Russia as a bulwark against western liberalism and he has allied himself with the Russian Orthodox Church against the perceived licentiousness of the West.

In thinking strategically Putin first had to put Russia's fiscal house in order. In doing that he was aided by one of his Leningrad buddies, Alexie Kudrin who served as his finance minister. Widely respected in the West, Kudrin paid off Russia's foreign debt and thereby removed a major leverage point the West had over Russia. ...

[Dec 03, 2019] China No Longer Needs US Parts In Its Phones

Dec 03, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

The Palmetto Cynic , 43 minutes ago link

Trade wars are good...

...and easy to win!

[Dec 03, 2019] Something about Bellingcat credibility

Dec 03, 2019 | www.nytimes.com

The blogger Eliot Higgins made waves early in the decade by covering the war in Syria from a laptop in his apartment in Leicester, England, while caring for his infant daughter. In 2014, he founded Bellingcat, an open-source news outlet that has grown to include roughly a dozen staff members, with an office in The Hague. Mr. Higgins attributed his skill not to any special knowledge of international conflicts or digital data, but to the hours he had spent playing video games , which, he said, gave him the idea that any mystery can be cracked.
...
Bellingcat journalists have spread the word about their techniques in seminars attended by journalists and law-enforcement officials. Along with grants from groups like the Open Society Foundations, founded by George Soros, the seminars are a significant source of revenue for Bellingcat, a nonprofit organization.

[Dec 03, 2019] Nothing goes together better than impeachment and Christmas

Dec 03, 2019 | www.nytimes.com

Richard FL 34m ago

Ah, yes, nothing goes together better than impeachment and Christmas. I can just hear Nadler and Schiff singing, "It's the most wonderful time of the year," during the hearings.

[Dec 02, 2019] The Fake Myth of American Meritocracy by Barbara Boland

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... As part of the scam, parents would "donate" money to a fake charity run by Singer. The funds would then be laundered to either pay off an SAT or ACT administrator to take the exams or bribe an employee in college athletics to name the rich, non-athlete children as recruits. Virtually every scenario relied on multiple layers of corruption, all of which eventually allowed wealthy students to masquerade as "deserving" of the merit-based college slots they paid up to half a million dollars to "qualify" for. ..."
"... When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organised interests, they generally lose. Moreover, because of the strong status quo bias built into the US political system, even when fairly large majorities of Americans favor policy change, they generally do not get it. ..."
"... The conclusion of the study? We live in an oligarchy: ..."
Mar 15, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The college bribery scandal reveals an ugly truth: our society is unjust, dominated by a small elite. Actress Lori Loughlin, who has been implicated in the Operation Varsity Blues scandal. Credit: Featureflash Photo Agency/Shutterstock The most destructive and pervasive myth in America today is that we live in a meritocracy. Our elites, so the myth goes, earned their places at Yale and Harvard, on Wall Street and in Washington -- not because of the accident of their birth, but because they are better, stronger, and smarter than the rest of us. Therefore, they think, they've "earned" their places in the halls of power and "deserve" to lead.

The fervor with which so many believe this enables elites to lord over those worse off than they are. On we slumber, believing that we live in a country that values justice, instead of working towards a more equitable and authentically meritocratic society.

Take the Operation Varsity Blues scandal. On Tuesday, the FBI and federal prosecutors announced that 50 people had been charged in, as Sports Illustrated put it , "a nationwide college admissions scheme that used bribes to help potential students cheat on college entrance exams or to pose as potential athletic recruits to get admitted to high-profile universities." Thirty-three parents, nine collegiate coaches, two SAT/ACT exam administrators, an exam proctor, and a college athletics administrator were among those charged. The man who allegedly ran the scheme, William Rick Singer, pled guilty to four charges of racketeering conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, conspiracy to defraud the U.S., and obstruction of justice.

As part of the scam, parents would "donate" money to a fake charity run by Singer. The funds would then be laundered to either pay off an SAT or ACT administrator to take the exams or bribe an employee in college athletics to name the rich, non-athlete children as recruits. Virtually every scenario relied on multiple layers of corruption, all of which eventually allowed wealthy students to masquerade as "deserving" of the merit-based college slots they paid up to half a million dollars to "qualify" for.

Cheating. Bribery. Lying. The wealthy and privileged buying what was reserved for the deserving. It's all there on vivid display. Modern American society has become increasingly and banally corrupt , both in the ways in which "justice" is meted out and in who is allowed to access elite education and the power that comes with it.

The U.S. is now a country where corruption is rampant and money buys both access and outcomes. We pretend to be better than Russia and other oligarchies, but we too are dominated by a rich and powerful elite.

The average American citizen has very little power, as a 2014 study by Princeton University found. The research reviewed 1,779 public policy questions asked between 1981 and 2002 and the responses by different income levels and interest groups; then calculated the likelihood that certain policies would be adopted.

What they found came as no surprise: How to Fix College Admissions

A proposed policy change with low support among economically elite Americans (one-out-of-five in favor) is adopted only about 18 percent of the time, while a proposed change with high support (four-out-of-five in favor) is adopted about 45% of the time.

That's in stark contrast with policies favored by average Americans:

When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organised interests, they generally lose. Moreover, because of the strong status quo bias built into the US political system, even when fairly large majorities of Americans favor policy change, they generally do not get it.

The conclusion of the study? We live in an oligarchy:

our analyses suggest that majorities of the American public actually have little influence over the policies our government adopts. [T]he preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.

The belief in the myth of merit hurts the smart kid with great grades who aced his SATs but was still rejected from Yale and Harvard. It hurts talented athletes who have worked their tails off for so many years. It hurts parents who have committed hundreds of school nights and weekends to their children. It hurts HR departments that believe degrees from Ivy League schools mean that graduates are qualified. It hurts all of us who buy into the great myth that America is a democratic meritocracy and that we can achieve whatever we want if only we're willing to expend blood, toil, sweat, and tears.

At least in an outright class system like the British Houses of Lords and Commons, there is not this farcical playacting of equal opportunity. The elites, with their privilege and titles, know the reason they are there and feel some sense of obligation to those less well off than they are. At the very least, they do not engage in the ritual pretense of "deserving" what they "earned" -- quite unlike those who descend on Washington, D.C. believing that they really are better than their compatriots in flyover country.

All societies engage in myth-making about themselves. But the myth of meritocracy may be our most pervasive and destructive belief -- and it mirrors the myth that anything like "justice" is served up in our courts.

Remember the Dupont heir who received no prison time after being convicted for raping his three-year-old daughter because the judge ruled that six-foot-four Robert Richards "wouldn't fare well in prison"? Or the more recent case of billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, who had connections to both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and faced a 53-page federal indictment for sex-trafficking over two dozens underage girls ? He received instead a sweetheart deal that concealed the extent of his crimes. Rather than the federal life imprisonment term he was facing, Epstein is currently on house arrest after receiving only 13 months in county jail. The lead prosecutor in that case had previously been reprimanded by a federal judge in another underage sex crimes case for concealing victim information, the Miami Herald reports .

While the rich are able to escape consequences for even the most horrific of crimes , the U.S. has the highest incarceration rate in the world. Approximately 7 million people were under some form of correctional control by the end of 2011, including 2.2 million who were detained in federal, state, and local prisons and jails. One in every 10 black men in his thirties is in prison or jail, and one out of three black men born in 2001 can expect to go to prison in their lifetimes.

While black people make up only 13 percent of the population, they make up 42 percent of death row and 35 percent of those who are executed . There are big racial disparities in charging, sentencing, plea bargaining, and executions, Department of Justice reviews have concluded, and black and brown people are disproportionately found to be innocent after landing on death row. The poor and disadvantaged thereby become grist for a system that cares nothing for them.

Despite all this evidence, most Americans embrace a version of the Calvinist beliefs promulgated by their forebears, believing that the elect deserve their status. We remain confident that when our children apply to college or are questioned by police , they will receive just and fair outcomes. If our neighbors' and friends' kids do not, then we assure ourselves that it is they who are at fault, not the system.

The result has been a gaping chasm through our society. Lives are destroyed because, rather than working for real merit-based systems and justice, we worship at the altar of false promises offered by our institutions. Instead we should be rolling up our sleeves and seeing Operation Varsity Blues for what it is: a call to action.

Barbara Boland is the former weekend editor of the Washington Examiner . Her work has been featured on Fox News, the Drudge Report, HotAir.com, RealClearDefense, RealClearPolitics, and elsewhere. She's the author of Patton Uncovered , a book about General Patton in World War II. Follow her on Twitter @BBatDC .

MORE FROM THIS AUTHOR

The GOP's Laughable Call for a Balanced Budget Amendment Congress's "One Spending Bill to Rule Them All" is a Debt-Fueled Disgrace Hide 11 comments 11 Responses to The Myth of American Meritocracy

Collin March 15, 2019 at 1:46 pm

If conservatives are going to dance the graves of Aunt Beckie, the backlash is going to be big. Sure this is a 'scandal' but it seems these parents weren't rich enough to bribe their kids in college the right way, like Trumps and Kushner, and probably slightly duped into going along with this scheme. (It appears the government got the ring leader to call all defendants to get evidence they participated in a crime.)

Just wait until the mug shot of Aunt Beckie is on the internet and Olivia Jade does 60 minutes doing teary eyed interview of how much she loves her mother. And how many parents are stress that their kids will struggle in the global competitive economy.

Fran Macadam , , March 15, 2019 at 1:52 pm
I fully recall the days of getting government computing contracts. Once a certain threshold was reached, you discovered you had to hire a "lobbyist," and give him a significant amount of money to dole out to various gatekeepers in the bureaucracy for your contracts to be approved. That was the end of our government contracts, and the end was hastened by the reaction to trying to complain about it.
prodigalson , , March 15, 2019 at 1:56 pm
Great article, well done. More of this please TAC.
Kurt Gayle , , March 15, 2019 at 2:17 pm
Thank you, Barbara Boland, for "The Myth of American Meritocracy" and for linking ("Related Articles" box) to the 2012 "The Myth of American Meritocracy" by Ron Unz, then publisher of the American Conservative.

The 26,000-word Ron Unz research masterpiece was the opening salvo in the nation-wide discussion that ultimately led to the federal court case nearing resolution in Boston.

"The Myth of American Meritocracy -- How corrupt are Ivy League admissions?" by Ron Unz, The American Conservative, Nov 28, 2012:

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-myth-of-american-meritocracy/

Kurt Gayle , , March 15, 2019 at 2:18 pm
Barbara Boland "While black people make up only 13 percent of the population, they make up 42 percent of death row and 35 percent of those who are executed."

Ms. Boland: According to the US Department of Justice, African Americans [13 per cent of the population] accounted for 52.5% of all homicide offenders from 1980 to 2008.

JeffK , , March 15, 2019 at 2:46 pm
I agree with prodigalson. This is the type of article that TAC should uphold as a 'gold standard'. One reason I read, and comment on, TAC is that it offers thought provoking, and sometimes contrarian, articles (although the constant harping on transgender BS gets annoying).

America has always been somewhat corrupt. But, to borrow a phrase, wealth corrupts, and uber wealth corrupts absolutely.

As Warren Buffet says "There's class warfare, all right, but it's my class, the rich class, that's making war, and we're winning".

I have said it before, and I will say it again. During the next severe financial recession, if the rich are protected and coddled and everybody else is left to fend for themselves the ARs will come out of the closets when the sheriff comes to take the house or the pickup truck. My sense is that average Americans have had enough.

Imagine if the digital transfer of money was abolished. Imagine if everybody had to have their money in a local bank instead of on an account in one of the major banks. Imagine if Americans saw, day after day, armored vehicles showing up at local banks to offload sacks of currency that went to only a few individual accounts.

Instead, the elites get their financial statements showing an ever increasing pile of cash at their disposal. They see it, but nobody else does. But, if everybody physically saw the river of wealth flowing to the elites, I believe things would change. Fast. Right now this transfer of wealth is all digital, hidden from the view of 99.99% of Americans. And the elites, the banking industry, and the wealth management cabal prefer it that way.

Mike N in MA , , March 15, 2019 at 2:49 pm
You said it sister. Great article.

I am amazed by the media coverage of this scandal. Was anyone actually under the impression that college admissions were on the level before these Hollywood bozos were caught red handed?

BDavi52 , , March 15, 2019 at 2:49 pm
What total silliness!

No, the meritocracy is not dead; it's not even dying. It is, in fact, alive and well and the absolute best alternative to any other method used to separate wheat from chaff, cream from milk, diamonds from rust.

What else is there that is even half as good?

Are merit-based systems perfect? Heck, no. They've never been perfect; they will never be perfect. They are administered by people and people are flawed. Not just flawed in the way Singer, and Huffman are flawed (and those individuals are not simply flawed, they're corrupt) but flawed in the everyday kind of sense. Yes, we all have tendencies, biases, preferences that will -- inevitably -- leak into our selection process, no matter how objectively strict the process may be structured, no matter how rigorously fair we try to be.

So the fact that -- as with most things -- we can find a trace of corruption here that fact is meaningless. We can find evidence of human corruption, venality, greed, sloth, lust, envy (all of the 7 Deadly Sins) pretty much everywhere. But if we look at the 20M students enrolled in college, the vast majority are successfully & fairly admitted through merit-based filtering systems (which are more or less rigorous) which have been in place forever.

Ms. Boland tells us (with a straight face, no less) that "The U.S. is now a country where corruption is rampant and money buys both access and outcomes." But what does that even mean?

Certainly money can buy access and certainly money can buy outcomes. But that's what money does. She might as well assert that money can buy goods and services, and lions and tigers and bears -- oh my! Of course it can. Equally networks can 'buy' access and outcomes (if my best friend is working as the manager for Adele, I'm betting he could probably arrange my meeting Adele). Equally success & fame can buy access and outcomes. I'm betting Adele can probably arrange a meeting with Gwen Stefani .and both can arrange a meeting with Tom Brady. So what? Does the fact that money can be used to purchase goods & services mean money or the use of money is corrupt or morally degenerate? No, of course not. In truth, we all leverage what we have (whatever that may be) to get what we want. That's how life works. But the fact that we all do that does not mean we are all corrupt.

But yes, corruption does exist and can usually be found, in trace amounts -- as I said -- pretty much everywhere.

So is it rampant? Can I buy my way into the NBA or the NFL? If I go to Clark Hunt and give him $20M and tell him I want to play QB for the Chiefs, will he let me? Can I buy my way into the CEO's position at General Electric, Apple, Microsoft, Google, Sprint, Verizon, General Motors, Toyota or any of the Fortune 500? Heck, can I even buy my way into the Governor's mansion? To become the Mayor of Chicago? Or the Police Commissioner? No -- these things are not possible. But what I can buy is my presence on the media stage.

What happens after cannot be purchased.

So no, by any measure, corruption is not rampant. And though many things are, in fact, for sale -- not everything is. And no matter how much money I give anyone, I'm never gonna QB the Chiefs or play for the Lakers.

She tells us, "we are dominated by a rich and powerful elite." No, we're not. Most of us live our lives making the choices we want to make, given the means that each of us has, without any interference from any so-called "elite". The "elite" didn't tell me where to go to school, or where to get a job, or how to do my job, or when to have kids, or what loaf of bread to buy, or what brand of beer tastes best, or where to go on the family vacation. No one did. The elite obviously did not tell us who to vote for in the last presidential election.

Of course one of the problems with the "it's the fault of the elite" is the weight given institutions by people like Ms.Boland. "Oh, lordy, the Elite used their dominating power to get a brainless twit of a daughter into USC". Now if my kid were cheated out of a position at USC because the Twit got in, I'd be upset but beyond that who really cares if a Twit gets an undergraduate degree from USC or Yale .or Harvard .or wherever. Some of the brightest people I've known earned their degrees at Easter PolyTechnic U (some don't even have college degrees -- oh, the horror!); some of the stupidest have Ivy League credentials. So what?

Only if you care about the exclusivity of such a relatively meaningless thing as a degree from USC, does gaming the exclusivity matter.

She ends with the exhortation: "The result has been a gaping chasm through our society. Lives are destroyed because, rather than working for real merit-based systems and justice, we worship at the altar of false promises offered by our institutions. Instead we should be rolling up our sleeves and seeing Operation Varsity Blues for what it is: a call to action."

To do what, exactly?

Toss the baby and the bathwater? Substitute lottery selection for merit? Flip a coin? What?
Again the very best method is and always will be merit-based. That is the incentive which drives all of us: the hope that if we work hard enough and do well enough, that we will succeed. Anything else is just a lie.

Yes, we can root out this piece of corruption. Yes, we can build better and more rigorously fair systems. But in the end, merit is the only game in town. Far better to roll-up our sleeves and simply buckle down, Winsocki. There isn't anything better.

Sid Finster , , March 15, 2019 at 2:52 pm
Gee, and people wonder why the rubes think that the system is gamed, why the dogs no longer want to eat the dog food.
Jim Jatras , , March 15, 2019 at 3:22 pm
"While black people make up only 13 percent of the population, they make up 42 percent of death row and 35 percent of those who are executed. There are big racial disparities in charging, sentencing, plea bargaining, and executions, Department of Justice reviews have concluded, and black and brown people are disproportionately found to be innocent after landing on death row. The poor and disadvantaged thereby become grist for a system that cares nothing for them."

So to what degree are these "disparities" "disproportionate" in light of actual criminal behavior? To be "proportionate," would we expect criminal behavior to correlate exactly to racial, ethnic, sex, and age demographics of society as a whole?

Put another way, if you are a victim of a violent crime in America, what are the odds your assailant is, say, an elderly, Asian female? Approximately zero.

Conversely, what are the odds your assailant is a young, black male? Rather high, and if you yourself are a young, black male, approaching 100 percent.

Pam , , March 15, 2019 at 3:42 pm

Mostly thumbs up to this article. But why you gotta pick on Calvinism at the end? Anyway, your understanding of Calvinism is entirely upside down. Calvinists believe they are elect by divine grace, and salvation is something given by God through Jesus, which means you can't earn it and you most assuredly don't deserve it. Calvinism also teaches that all people are made in the image of God and worthy of respect, regardless of class or status. There's no "version" of Calvinism that teaches what you claim.

[Dec 02, 2019] US No doubt That Villain-Of-The-Day Has Banned Weapons

Notable quotes:
"... "There can be no doubt in the international community's mind that Syria has retained chemical weapons in violation of its agreement and its statement that it had removed them all. There is no longer any doubt ," Mattis told reporters. ..."
"... there's absolutely No Doubt that the Outlaw US Empire's mouthpieces are lying yet again. ..."
"... Perhaps the more disturbing alternative is Mattis is fully aware of everything surrounding the run up to the 2003 Iraq war and is thinking to himself: "Declaring there is no doubt worked last time..." ..."
"... The particular genius of our oppressors has been to erode the public's collective memory. With a dumbed-down educational system, a 24-hour propaganda, and an utterly vacuous popular culture, we are deprived of precisely that faculty on which following Burke's admonition depends. With our "post-literate" reliance on the Internet, it's a wonder any of us can remember what happened last week. ..."
"... If the Syrians used them, then clearly they have them. Did the Syrians use them? The US does not recognize that as a valid question. That is where Mattis goes astray. It is a valid question. We were fooled by false flag use before. There are signs it may have happened again. It is not clear enough to be sure, but it is not clear enough to be sure the other way either. ..."
"... That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history. ~Aldous Huxley ..."
Apr 30, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

U.S.: 'No doubt' That Villain-Of-The-Day Has Banned Weapons

Mattis: ' No doubt ' Syrian regime has chemical weapons , April 21, 2017

"There can be no doubt in the international community's mind that Syria has retained chemical weapons in violation of its agreement and its statement that it had removed them all. There is no longer any doubt ," Mattis told reporters.

Full text of Dick Cheney's speech , August 27, 2002

Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us. And there is no doubt that his aggressive regional ambitions will lead him into future confrontations with his neighbors ...

"Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it."

― Edmund Burke

karlof1 | Apr 21, 2017 1:46:09 PM | 1

And there's absolutely No Doubt that the Outlaw US Empire's mouthpieces are lying yet again. Makes me even more curious as to what Putin said to Tillerson, as both Putin's and Lavrov's remarks about the global situation are blunter and more accusatory than ever before. Given the info provided by Lavrov at the press conference following the meeting of their Foreign Ministers Astana, I must assume the SCO nations are on the same page regarding the entire International Situation. In June in Astana, the SCO Summit will admit India and Pakistan as full members and begin the process to enroll Iran. Here, again, is the link to that press release, http://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/2734712
WG | Apr 21, 2017 1:47:24 PM | 2
Perhaps the more disturbing alternative is Mattis is fully aware of everything surrounding the run up to the 2003 Iraq war and is thinking to himself: "Declaring there is no doubt worked last time..."
Harry | Apr 21, 2017 1:56:09 PM | 3
The particular genius of our oppressors has been to erode the public's collective memory. With a dumbed-down educational system, a 24-hour propaganda, and an utterly vacuous popular culture, we are deprived of precisely that faculty on which following Burke's admonition depends. With our "post-literate" reliance on the Internet, it's a wonder any of us can remember what happened last week.
Mark Thomason | Apr 21, 2017 1:58:45 PM | 4
If the Syrians used them, then clearly they have them. Did the Syrians use them? The US does not recognize that as a valid question. That is where Mattis goes astray. It is a valid question. We were fooled by false flag use before. There are signs it may have happened again. It is not clear enough to be sure, but it is not clear enough to be sure the other way either.

Therefore, Mattis is wrong to conclude anything either way. However, given the official position of the US, he can hardly say anything different in public.

We ought to be looking at this very closely, but we vetoed such a close look by the international body that would do it. That would put into question the missile strikes we launched based on assumptions.

karlof1 | Apr 21, 2017 2:09:35 PM | 5
Pepe Escobar evokes T.S. Eliot's Hollow Men in his latest enumeration of Russia & China's strategic relationship. Oh, and I forgot to mention in #1 that BRICS also stands with Russia regarding all events Syria and Ukraine; and despite many efforts to destabilize it, BRICS still stands in solidarity and continues its work to economically counter the Outlaw US Empire, which Pepe also reminds us about, https://sputniknews.com/columnists/201704211052866086-washington-terrified-of-russia-china/

SmoothieX12 | Apr 21, 2017 2:10:55 PM | 6
@2, WG

Perhaps the more disturbing alternative is Mattis is fully aware of everything surrounding the run up to the 2003 Iraq war and is thinking to himself:

"Declaring there is no doubt worked last time..."

Mattis' motivation is completely different.

Mina | Apr 21, 2017 2:11:30 PM | 7
http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/265369/World/Region/Syria-evacuees-on-move-again-after-hour-delay.aspx
De Mistura admits that someone lured the children with some sweets
http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/265361/World/Region/Iraqi-officials--hostages,-including-Qatari-royals.aspx
Does he admit it may have something to do with Qataris in iraq?

laserlurk | Apr 21, 2017 2:16:33 PM | 8
Why would insignificant village be intentionally "gassed by Assad" while he has an absolute upper hand on the field? - is the question nobody in the Western media asks, nor has an answer to it.

Bio-chem weapons would be last resort to use on the battlefield in a desperate situation - was an original thought of making and having them.

Me and probably all of us here have no doubt that it is just a false flag perpetrated, oversaturated and pathetically served to us to validate continuation to oust Assad for Saudi's concessions, oil and money. Pure con and a rather amateurish one.
As expected, no doubt. :)

chet380 | Apr 21, 2017 2:20:39 PM | 9
Which state is Iran's greatest enemy? - Israel .. Where was the statement made? .. Who are the greatest financial political contributors in America? Res Ipsa Loquitur.

ruralito | Apr 21, 2017 2:21:37 PM | 10
Their lies are pitched to induce psychosis.

Mike Maloney | Apr 21, 2017 2:21:38 PM | 11
The importance of Mattis's pronouncement, as well as some " tilling of the soil " in the prestige press, is that another false flag attack is coming. The Hillary-McCain directive to take out Syrian airfields is going to be implemented.

MadMax2 | Apr 21, 2017 2:27:09 PM | 12
@1 karlof1
Talking Lavrov, talking history... The comprehensive history lesson Lavrov delivers to Tillerson is worth watching a number of times. It is an absolute shut down, in Tillersons face...rolling straight off the tongue.
Tillerson: 'trust us, we are sure, beyond doubt, Assad has chemical weapons'
Lavrov: 'here have this 5 minute history lesson you cabbage. '

The Mattis/Cheney comparison reminds me of the statements of the Canadian & Australian Prime Ministers prior to the Iraq 2003.

Eugene | Apr 21, 2017 2:30:06 PM | 13
And then when Mattis is dumped, he'll do the same as Colin Powell did. Welcome to the show. Bring your own popcorn.

Marko | Apr 21, 2017 2:36:44 PM | 14
@10

"Their lies are pitched to induce psychosis."

Speaking for myself , I think it's working.

harrylaw | Apr 21, 2017 2:38:55 PM | 15
SmoothieX12 Difference this time is Syria has Russian backing and the BRICS [almost half the population of the World].Russia knows Syria is the key to the Middle East, if Syria fell, Hezbollah could not resist the head choppers from the North and East and attacks from the aparthied state from the South. Iran would then be exposed and attacked financially and militarily. Of course its a huge gamble, will those nutcases in Washington take it? These are existential stakes for many states in the region.

Perimetr | Apr 21, 2017 2:46:14 PM | 16
https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201704211052869570-israel-warplanes-syria-army/
Israeli aviation launched a missile attack on Syrian army's positions in the province of Quneitra bordering Israeli-controlled Golan Heights, a Syrian military source told Sputnik.

wwinsti | Apr 21, 2017 3:05:38 PM | 17
@harrylaw #15

Assad's recent announcement about wanting to buy more Russian air defense systems comes close to addmiting that the Russians will not be defending Syrian airspace.

To paraphrase tRump:

...the submarines, even more powerful than the carriers...

So, all the assets are in place. We're starting to see the accusation swarm against Assad occur at a rate that's too fast to refute individual charges against the Syrian president.

Don't be surprised if the decapitation strikes against Syria and N.Korea happen simultaneously.


Mina | Apr 21, 2017 3:30:35 PM | 18
Macron gave a martial speech explaining that he would defend France from more terror and that would imply out of the borders...

dh | Apr 21, 2017 4:05:30 PM | 19
@18 This probably won't appear in the MSM so I'll post it here...

"Emmanuel Macron fears this as well. The 39-year-old presidential candidate – an unknown quantity here just two years ago– is campaigning for the Jewish vote, keenly aware of the threat. But when France goes to the polls on Sunday, its Jews will face a unique choice: To vote in the spirit of Jewish Americans, prioritizing principles of welfare and liberal democratic values, or in the Israeli posture, with security first in mind.

Macron is betting on the former, appealing to Jewish community values shared with the French Republic of liberty, equality and fraternity.

"He knows there is a real danger from a double extremism – from the far-Right with Marine Le Pen, and from the far-Left," said Gilles Taieb, a prominent member of the French Jewish community who joined Macron's En Marche! campaign in August. "He understands the specific needs of the Jewish community.""


http://www.jpost.com/Diaspora/Macron-fights-for-Frances-Jewish-vote-488269

Yul | Apr 21, 2017 4:11:51 PM | 20
@ dh #19

He does not have to worry - he used to work for the Edmond de Rothschild Bank (Jewish family -closed ties to Israel)

SmoothieX12 | Apr 21, 2017 4:15:37 PM | 21
@17

Assad's recent announcement about wanting to buy more Russian air defense systems comes close to addmiting that the Russians will not be defending Syrian airspace.

This is rather a confusing (in BBC's or NYT vein) statement, since Russia, through a number of her high ranking representatives openly stated that she will upgrade Syria's AD. Syria IS NOT going to buy them, since has very little precious money, but what Syria is doing already is letting a truck load of Russia's extracting and construction companies on her market. Google Translate will do the job (link is in Russian)

https://vz.ru/news/2017/4/21/867336.html

SmoothieX12 | Apr 21, 2017 4:22:12 PM | 22
@15, Harrylaw

Iran would then be exposed and attacked financially and militarily.

I have a different opinion about this dynamics and I will not be surprised if Iran "suddenly" will become a full member of ODKB. At least for a little while.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collective_Security_Treaty_Organization

wwinsti | Apr 21, 2017 4:28:15 PM | 23
@SmoothieX12

Fog of war warning and all, but Assad definitely mentioned price as a factor in getting New AD systems in a sputniknews interview.

https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201704211052845528-russia-syria-assad-air-defense/

SmoothieX12 | Apr 21, 2017 4:49:15 PM | 24
@23

Fog of war warning and all, but Assad definitely mentioned price as a factor in getting New AD systems in a sputniknews interview.

Of course, mechanism of what in Russian is called vzaimoraschety (mutual "payments" or "coverage") is always established. The price of military technology may be compensated through other means, such as contractual preferences or any other privileges. I think Russia's oil companies will be quite happy and so will be weapons' manufacturers. Come to think about it--they already are.

harrylaw | Apr 21, 2017 5:17:08 PM | 25
The question of Russian air defence missiles to Syria should not even be asked, Israel has nuclear weapons, the US don't care, the US supplies Israel with the latest OFFENSIVE weaponry and aircraft [f35, f16 ect]plus Iron Dome. It would be the height of folly for Russia not to give Syria the means to defend themselves.

harrylaw | Apr 21, 2017 5:31:08 PM | 26
I forgot nuclear capable submarines from Germany [with a discount thrown in].

Alaric | Apr 21, 2017 5:37:17 PM | 27
The Russians and Iranians need to end this already. The US clearly wants to try regime change again.

Information_Agent | Apr 21, 2017 5:38:24 PM | 28
Just as an FYI, I'm unable to access this site when I use a VPN server based in Canada, however VPN servers located elsewhere connect without issue. Anyone else experience this?

jfl | Apr 21, 2017 5:55:59 PM | 29
what's the sound of one mad dog jarhead barking? if it sounds off in the media echo-chamber, does it make a noise? it only echoes in the tnc msm. every american knows he's howling at the moon. it may well be that there's plenty of energy among those clipping coupons on american war bonds for more war, and no energy among those who fruitlessly opposed empire in the face of those same coupon-clippers.

its all-war, all-the-time with tee-rump just as it was with obama, bush, and clinton before him. people who are surprised at this are no more acute than those who might salute the flag the mad dogs have again run up the flag pole.

speaking of russia 'extracting' and 'constructing' in syria, the us of a is doing same in iraq : US approves nearly $300 million weapons deal to Kurdish Peshmerga . hi ho, you owe.

it would be exceptionally keen if all those cruise missiles unleashed on syria and/or north korea not only turned around, but struck their origin. wouldn't that be the end?

ben | Apr 21, 2017 5:56:34 PM | 30
The American public has to be the most ignorant and gullible group of ass-hats on the planet, if they fall for this BS being shoveled at them again. God-almighty this crap gets old!!!

All for the sake of global hegemony, and more wealth for the Trumps of the world.

peter | Apr 21, 2017 6:16:39 PM | 31
@12 madmax

First of all, I don't know how you can tell those speeches are the same though I heard them both mention WMDs. But here's the kicker, that's not the Canadian PM, not on that date, he was the Leader of the Opposition at that time. Harper became PM later.

Jean Chretien was the PM and he kept Canada out of Iraq. End of story.

likklemore | Apr 21, 2017 6:19:02 PM | 32
b cites Edmund Burke "Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it."

There is also this little ditty:

"If at first you don't succeed try and try and try again. Never stop trying."

It works very well for TPTB who hold the sheeples are too dumbed down and will never recall moving lips.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

@ Perimetr 16

Israel needs to take the other side of the Golan - that's where the oil bubbles bigly. Ask Genie HQ NJ and while at it check out their Board of Directors, Strategic Advisory Board.
Hint, it's the gang and No One dares to spank
[Alert: page may load slowly but a worthy wait].

So forget about it. The op word is Strategic

Israel can strike Syria with 10 MOABs per second 24hr/7 and lips will be festiviously sealed tighter than a crabs rear-end.

A long essay by Robert Kennedy Jr Feb 2016:


"[W]e may want to look beyond the convenient explanations of religion and ideology and focus on the more complex rationales of history and oil, which mostly point the finger of blame for terrorism back at the champions of militarism, imperialism and petroleum here on our own shores," Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., intoned in an April editorial for Ecowatch

Peter AU | Apr 21, 2017 6:26:21 PM | 33
US Embassey Syria twitter acount is worth a read through. Reality has ceased to exist for the US admin.
https://twitter.com/USEmbassySyria

woogs | Apr 21, 2017 7:24:19 PM | 34
Also from Edmund Burke:

When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.

Not from Edmund Burke, but a favorite if mine:

The mightiest oak is just a little nut that wouldn't give up.

james | Apr 21, 2017 7:37:56 PM | 35
thanks b... waiting for the exceptional empire to collapse.. not holding my breathe here.. the same game is being played and the same folks are hoping for the same results.. they are already getting them when it comes to money thrown into war and prep for war.. they are winning regardless if they can convince everyone to go deeper..

@17 wwinsti.. could be a head fake... no one knows for sure other then assad and russia.. welcome to the world of endless speculation..


@28 ia... this canuck is not having any issues accessing moa.. who nose.. maybe trudeau and freeland have set up a firewall to protect us from a different perspective then the 'rah, rah, rah - war 24/7 we support twitter mans agenda'..

@34 woogs.. good quote on the bottom. thanks.

MadMax2 | Apr 21, 2017 8:06:30 PM | 36
@31 peter
Indeed you're correct re: Chretien - and fair play to him. Though, the transcripts are fairly damning, as is the resignation of the plagiarist:
http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/canada/harper-staffer-quits-over-plagiarized-2003-speech-on-iraq-1.756590

ALberto | Apr 21, 2017 8:19:17 PM | 37
When WWIII commences I wonder which side Switzerland will throw their lot in with?

iegee | Apr 21, 2017 9:23:52 PM | 38
The verdict on the chemical attack was swift and certain. When it comes to the recent bus bombing, somehow it is so different:
We are investigating, but I don't have any specific ... But we think it's exaggerated .
Inqury on Syria. Security Council Stakeout, 21 April, 2017

Those people have no shame. They are not going to investigate the Khan Sheikhoun chemical attack. All the want is the flight plans from the Syrian government to finish their "work".

x | Apr 21, 2017 10:10:23 PM | 39
"No doubt" is not a statement about an objective reality out there (in country x); it is a statement about the subjective reality in the mind of the speaker (observer). A cunning ploy to speak a non-falsehood (about the mental conditioning of speaker and audience) that is merely opinion implying it is fact about a situation lacking empirical evidence.

Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 21, 2017 10:42:45 PM | 40
This hype is getting so tedious.
The WMD crap from The International (Christian Colonial) Community isn't about 'manufacturing consent'. It's about manufacturing CONSENSUS within the Christian Colonial Community itself. The Jew-controlled MSM takes care of the brainwashing. We already know that bribed politicians are paid to disregard the Will Of The People.

stumpy | Apr 21, 2017 11:24:26 PM | 41
@40, HW, the power of their glory...

Marko | Apr 22, 2017 12:14:53 AM | 42
@38

"Those people have no shame. They are not going to investigate the Khan Sheikhoun chemical attack."

They're just plugging stuff into the dossier so that historians will be able to look back and see how reasonable and restrained the U.S. was before deciding to bomb the crap out of Assad and his country.

Here's how they can do that : They say " Look , we admit that proving guilt absolutely is next to impossible in these events , and that we may have been a bit hasty in bombing Syria's airfield before the investigation was done. We'll even concede the odds in Assad's favor , say 3:1 , or only a 25% chance he was guilty for any given sarin attack , even though we're pretty sure he's been the culprit. Just know this , when we're sure - let's set a higher standard here and say 90% certainty - when we're sure about his culpability for just one use of sarin , big or small , that's our red line, after that he gets the full Gaddafi , no questions asked. OK ? Understand ? "

Everyone nods , probably including some here. When there's any uncertainty , which there always is , he gives Assad the benefit of the doubt , and then requires a higher threshold to hold him accountable. You can't get more reasonable than that.

Well , maybe somewhat predictably , false-flag activity picks up - two sarin attacks per month over the following two months , always with the typical doubts about who dunnit. The U.S. keeps their word , with no significant escalation. With the next event , as soon as sarin is confirmed but well before we think we know who was guilty , the U.S. announces breach of the red line and launches a full-scale attack on Assad and his partners , demanding that he step down immediately or watch as his country is turned to rubble. Why ?

Counting the three sarin attacks to date , and the five more that follow , the probability that the rebels committed all eight attacks is .75^8 , or 10%. That means there's a 90% chance that Assad was responsible for at least one attack - i.e. , he crossed the red line.

That's why the false-flags will continue , and why a regime-change war with Syria is inevitable , and why the buy-in by the public when it happens will be nearly unanimous.

lysander | Apr 22, 2017 12:49:39 AM | 43
@ 17, wwinsti,

That could just as easily be interpreted as Russia planning to intervene while claiming that "Syrian" air defenses have shot down US aircraft/tomohawaks. I certainly don't know for sure that Russia has actually decided to take it to that level. Perhaps the Russians will never do that, or perhaps they themselves have not yet decided but want to keep that option open to them if later they do. At any rate, there is no advantage at all to reassuring the Americans that they will NOT intervene. It is best to keep Mattis and McMaster guessing just like we are.

I do not know to what degree US planners are confident of easily overcoming serious air defenses. They probably feel that if they defeat the S400s then US military dominance will remain unchallenged for a very long time. I'm not sure if they've gamed the opposite outcome. If "Syria" shoots down a few F22s or 35s the US is in deep trouble and any victory (to the extent bringing jihadists to power can be called a victory) would be a Pyrhic one.

V. Arnold | Apr 22, 2017 1:30:21 AM | 44
Well, fuck! Here we go again; U.S. is blitzing the international airways with propaganda and lies.
Zieg heil, zeig heil, herr Trump...
You bloody, rotten, bastard!

guy | Apr 22, 2017 1:54:30 AM | 45
Karlof1 and Harrylaw: talking about BRICS'support to Russia, never trust Brazil. After Lula and Rousseff,the right-wing president Michel Temer has transformed the country in just another latin american lackey of Trump...

james | Apr 22, 2017 3:12:32 AM | 46
@42 hey marko.. your writing style reminds me of paveways..

wwinsti | Apr 22, 2017 3:24:45 AM | 47
@ lydander #42:

Of course, there's no way to predict the outcomes of certain actions or read minds of any of the various actors involved with this sarin drama, but the events in Syria since Sept. 2015 or even Sept. 2001 do allow us to lean our interpretations a certain way, don't you think?

At the end of the day, an increasingly desperate USA has available 4 Ohio class submarines that carry just short of 200 cruise missiles each. They are, with some quibbling, decapitation weapon systems designed to overwhelm nearly any defense. I can't see the US not making use of such a capacity if they are as hell bent on regime change as they claim.

wwinsti | Apr 22, 2017 3:27:00 AM | 48
I meant lysander@ 43. Apologies.

Marko | Apr 22, 2017 3:37:48 AM | 49
@46

"your writing style reminds me of paveways"

James,

My writing style reminds you of a laser-guided bomb ? Really ? Cool.

I've always thought of it more like a barrel bomb full of cluster munitions , with a dash of incendiary and a few cow pies.

michaelj72 | Apr 22, 2017 3:39:37 AM | 50
"no doubt" and "no longer any doubt" always means to me that there's plenty of good reasons to doubt everything they say.

in fact, I consider it to be an indicator that they are lying about whatever they are saying. and they "no doubt" know it....


harrylaw | Apr 22, 2017 4:07:12 AM | 51
Because the strike on Syrian territory was against International law http://www.dw.com/en/us-missile-strike-on-syria-a-violation-of-international-law/a-38389950 Putin has to make up his mind, if the US strike Syria again or repeatedly without harming Russial personnel or assets and without a military response, Russia should sue for peace and get the hell out of Syria, thereby acknowledging that the US are the only Nation that can decide the fate of Nations with regard to International affairs. In other words the unanimous agreement of the 5 veto wielding members of the UNSC will no longer be applicable and article 2 of the UN Charter is null and void.

Article 2. [3] UN Charter All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered.

[4] All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.

Peter AU | Apr 22, 2017 4:25:43 AM | 52
51 "Russia should sue for peace and get the hell out of Syria"
??

col from oz | Apr 22, 2017 4:56:26 AM | 53
number 4

Are you the NEW York Times commentator. I really enjoy your comments their. I hardly drop by NYT however this week you were the only sane poster on North Korea. Your a jem keep it up. In fact I think cut and pasted you comment onto a Australian paper. Bravo.

lysander | Apr 22, 2017 5:19:47 AM | 54
@ 47 wwinsti,

Yes, the US has an enormous amount of cruise missiles. But judging by the damage done by the last 60 tomohawaks, it does not have enough to destroy Syrian air power with tomohawaks alone. In past invasions, they were used to destroy radars so that the subsequent air campaign can be conducted without contending with air defenses. They are not an end in and of themselves. In this case, that isn't possible unless the US plans on attacking Russian forces on both land and sea directly. The US is so far extremely reluctant to kill any Russian personnel and that is not likely to change. And this reluctance is not because of good sportsmanship.

Add to that, the Russians have shut down the deconfliction line. It means the US can't warn the Russians to get out of the way during the next attack. In other words, the Russians are prepared to be human shields to protect Syria. That does not scream "we are backing down" to me. There are also indications that US and allied sortie rates over Syria have dropped in number quite substantially since communication has been shut down.

While I agree the US is absolutely determined to destroy Syria, it is not at all clear that Russia plans to step aside while the US does it.

Pft | Apr 22, 2017 6:20:11 AM | 55
OT but LA, SF, NYC all experience power outages at the same and only RT makes the connection while MSM oblivious. Meanwhile exercises for an EMZ attack over a major US city ongoing. Strange

harrylaw | Apr 22, 2017 6:34:57 AM | 56
Peter AU @52. Sorry Peter I was being a little sarcastic. I think it has already been established that any US attack on Syria must be countered in the first instance by Syrian forces, since Russia was invited into Syria to help put down terrorism, it might not be in Russia's interest or anybody's [unless their forces are hit] to start WW3. Hence my point about arming Syria up the same way the US does with Israel and Saudi Arabia.All 5 veto wielding powers are of course above International law for all time, so that if the other members of the Security Council propose a Resolution condemning US aggression, the US simply uses its veto and that Resolution goes down the memory hole. Here is an excellent article on the veto.. http://www.david-morrison.org.uk/iraq/ags-legal-advice.pdf

Felicity | Apr 22, 2017 6:36:24 AM | 57

As you, remembering the last lies. Thank you for your peerless, ever spot on, shining pieces.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/legal-bombshell-former-iraqi-army-chief-of-staff-to-prosecute-tony-blair/5586196

ashley albanese | Apr 22, 2017 7:15:01 AM | 58
Lysander 54
The U S should keep in mind that the Russians did burn Moscow in 1812 .

Eric Zuesse | Apr 22, 2017 7:15:46 AM | 59
"Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it" does not appear in the complete 12-volume set of Works of Edmund Burke, and Bartlett's books of quotations have never included it, but the allegation nowadays is common that Burke said this, because many writers say things that are false. Anyone who trusts a mere allegation, like gossip, is not reliable and cannot be trusted in what that person alleges, because falsehoods mix in with truths for any such person. The person isn't necessarily fabricating, not necessarily intentionally falsifying; the person just doesn't care whether what he or she alleges to be true IS true. Any such person is untrustworthy to cite on anything.

Furthermore, that alleged Burke-quotation doesn't even sound like Burke's writing-style, which was a very distinctive style. So, anyone who has actually read Burke would suspect that this apocryphal statement from him was probably never said by him. Only pretentious people would allege that Burke said it -- people who pretend to have read Burke.

jfl | Apr 22, 2017 7:29:32 AM | 60
@54 lysander, 'In other words, the Russians are prepared to be human shields to protect Syria.'

i don't think that's the message sent or that it's indicative of the action to be taken in the event of another us attack on syria. as it stood pre-tee-rump-attack the us could call the russians and 'warn' them that the cruise missiles were theirs ... now they can no longer do that, and the russians have made a point of stating that an attacking aircraft/missile - and the originating vessel/station - are going to be shot down/taken down ... that the russians will not waste time in trying to figure out just whose attacking missiles/aircraft they are destroying.

i think it will be a cold day in hell before the russians 'sacrifice' themselves to make a point.

V. Arnold | Apr 22, 2017 7:38:51 AM | 61
Eric Zuesse | Apr 22, 2017 7:15:46 AM | 59
"Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it"

This from, of all places, Yahoo answers (blech); however it is referenced;
CITES: George Santayana, The Life of Reason or The Phases of Human Progress: Reason in Common Sense 284 (2nd ed., Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, New York 1924 (originally published 1905 Charles Scribner's Sons)(appears in chapter XII, "Flux and Constancy in Human Nature")). George Santayana, The Life of Reason or The Phases of Human Progress 82 (one-volume edition, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, New York 1954)(appears in Book I, Reason in Common Sense, chapter 10, "Flux and Constancy in Human Nature").

This information was found at: http://members.aol.com/Santayana/gsguestbook.htm
``Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it,'' said Penton, echoing philosopher George Santayana's famous admonition.

http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/VA-news/VA-Pilot/issues/1995/vp951119/11170741.htm

In any event, I agree with your admonition...

Addendum; cannot access references, so maybe more garbage.

Posted by: V. Arnold | Apr 22, 2017 7:41:25 AM | 62

Addendum; cannot access references, so maybe more garbage.

Posted by: V. Arnold | Apr 22, 2017 7:41:25 AM | 62

Anon1 | Apr 22, 2017 7:42:55 AM | 63
All this lies, fake news, psyop by US, NATO and MSM is possibly just because they rule the world. They refuse any other views, parties, nations questioning their wars and propaganda. Its quite scary when you think about it.
Like, is there ANYONE condemning this in the MSM nowadays? No one.
Every journalist (MSM) from Germany, to US, to Spain, to Portugal, to Columbia, to Sweden, to South Korea etc, all western MSM peddle this same propaganda for the american empire and their endless wars.

1984?

@ 60, I don't think sacrifice is the word I would use. The US understands that killing openly Russian soldiers soldiers (vs indirectly by arming terrorist proxies) would mean Russian retaliation. And therefore will not do it.

Posted by: lysander | Apr 22, 2017 7:46:14 AM | 64

@ 60, I don't think sacrifice is the word I would use. The US understands that killing openly Russian soldiers soldiers (vs indirectly by arming terrorist proxies) would mean Russian retaliation. And therefore will not do it.

Posted by: lysander | Apr 22, 2017 7:46:14 AM | 64

V. Arnold | Apr 22, 2017 7:48:07 AM | 65
...and then there is this;
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." (George Santayana)

I've got news for Mr. Santayana: we're doomed to repeat the past no matter what. That's what it is to be alive."
― Kurt Vonnegut

john | Apr 22, 2017 7:50:16 AM | 66
Eric Zuesse

well, we're real impressed that you've memorized all 12 volumes of Edmund Burke, but for those of us who haven't, Google does credit him with this remark. a simple oversight, perhaps? so thanks for the lesson(even if you haven't cleared anything up), and the mini diatribe, teach, even though your scholarly footnotes have fuck all to do with b's intent.

Curtis | Apr 22, 2017 7:56:57 AM | 67
"no doubt"
Did they get this from Bush's speech to congress in March, 2003?
"Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised."
Real intelligence left all kinds of doubt especially from the family members of Iraqi scientists who went into Iraq to ask. They risked their lives for this and were ignored.

"we assess" - recent prepeated mantra from USG declarations. I'm waiting for The Donald or his CIA minion to declare Syrian WMDs to be a "slam dunk." I think Cheney used to say "we have it on good authority." The rule for most politicians and media is if their lips move they're lying.

Curtis | Apr 22, 2017 7:59:29 AM | 68
Perhaps after another coalition of the willing has destroyed Syria will the US president joke about searching for WMDs like Bush did. An insult to us all.

Formerly T-Bear | Apr 22, 2017 8:41:31 AM | 69
@ 59 and ff commentary

The Oxford Concise Dictionary of Quotations has the quote "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it" made by George Santayana (1863 - 1952) in The Life of Reason (1905) vol. 1, ch. 12

Oxford is fairly reliable sourcing for such questions, FWIW. As far as the western world and history another quote comes to mind from Dante Alighiere (1265-1321) that translates: Abandon all hope, you who enter! [with regard to history].

Curtis | Apr 22, 2017 10:34:43 AM | 70
We need a Jon Stewart style montage of all these people saying "no doubt" followed by the group No Doubt saying it. (like he did with the GOP/FNC meme of "It's A Trap")

Curtis | Apr 22, 2017 10:36:27 AM | 71
"The mightiest oak is just a little nut that wouldn't give up."
woogs 34

I am Groot.

james | Apr 22, 2017 12:22:11 PM | 72
@49 marko.. - good stuff either way, lol..

Piotr Berman | Apr 22, 2017 12:22:18 PM | 73
"Counting the three sarin attacks to date , and the five more that follow , the probability that the rebels committed all eight attacks is .75^8 , or 10%. That means there's a 90% chance that Assad was responsible for at least one attack - i.e. , he crossed the red line."

I understand that this was presented as an incorrect reasoning, but perhaps not all readers here see the mistakes. First, probability is used to describe random events and not historical events. The post that you see here could be written by Piotr Berman, an identifiable individual, or by an impostor. In itself the claim that it was written by Piotr Berman is true or false, it does not have probability. However, from the point of view of a reader, it is but one of a large number of comments posted on internet so one can apply some guessed estimates, like "10% of comments signed with uniquely identifiable names are written by impostors". This of course begs the question how we arrive at such estimates etc. In short, the probability assigned to a single sarin attack is an exhalation from someones terminal end of the digestive system and quite hazardous if used.

However, even if we form an abstract model in which a chemical attack is randomly perpetrated by X with probability p and not by X with probability 1-p, and we have 8 attacks, the probability that X perpetrated at least one attack is anywhere between 0 and 1. The formula (1-p)^8 applies only if the events are independent. For example, if X possesses the means to perpetrate an attack with probability q, then the probability that it perpetrated any of many attacks is never larger than q.

That said, probabilities have their place in war strategy. If a false flag attack has a random effect on a key decision maker, that repeating it many times may increase the probability that a desired decision will be made. And Trump's and Obama's behavior has (and had) a degree of randomness.

james | Apr 22, 2017 12:33:58 PM | 74
@73 piotr.. that logic is insane of course..

Marko | Apr 22, 2017 1:54:22 PM | 75
@73

piotr,

You're correct about the technical probability considerations , of course , but I think the real-life effect of each new false-flag may fall closer to the line drawn by the bad model than by the good. I think all parties involved know that each new false-flag has an incremental impact driving us closer to war ,in addition to the random one you mention , at least as long as there remains considerable doubt about the true culprit with each new event.

From Khan al-Assal to Ghouta to Khan Sheikhoun we've moved closer and closer to the real "red line". For the anti-Assad camp , the false-flag strategy is still working and they'll keep it up , though I'm sure they're getting impatient. For the Assad side , gaining territory has the opposite effect , moving us away from the red line. Had Assad and Putin doubled-down on battlefield intensity after Aleppo and made further gains , rather than pausing as they did , I think they'd be in much better shape today.

Dean | Apr 22, 2017 2:10:38 PM | 76
How close is the USA and Israel? Look at Mattis's lapel pin during his presser.

https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/us-led-coalition-methodically-remove-defense-secretary/

Isn't that normally the country he represents?

IMO this shows that Israel foreign policy = USA foreign policy.

MusicofE | Apr 22, 2017 5:30:48 PM | 77
I I follow the link to the U.S. embassy Twitter page @33, unbelievable!. The Trump administration partying like it is 1984.

Piotr Berman | Apr 22, 2017 7:37:20 PM | 78
The usage of "there can be no doubt" is a bit different from what we could learn in English classes. First, "doubt" is a kind of thought-weed that is at times harmless, and at times seriously detrimental and thus subjected to eradication efforts. "There is no doubt" declares the success of the eradication campaign while "There can be no doubt" is more like "There should not be any doubt", i.e. an exhortation to continue and expand eradication campaign. Usually the large fields of major agribusiness companies are well tended with copious amounts of herbicides, while on the edges, meadows, smaller organically tended fields etc. the weeds can survive and in isolated places they can even thrive.

From that point of view excessive consumption of, say, NYT or TV news can make people positive for "symptoms of sarin or sarin-like chemicals" like Roundup when we take swabs from their mucosal surfaces and analyze with sensitive instruments. Smaller but proudly "mainstream" publications like New Yorker have no doubt either (in this case it is easy, because New Yorker is very compartmentalized, few individuals are allowed to write on the topic, this way they can keep doubt from showing without mass use of chemicals). The Nation has some articles written by doubt-free persons (like Katha Pollit) but doubt levels are significant -- kept down mostly by small number of articles on Syria. And Counterpunch is a weed in itself.

AKSA | Apr 22, 2017 7:56:06 PM | 79
@ Dean | Apr 22, 2017 2:10:38 PM | 76

No kidding!? How old are you?

How about this: The US is prime Nazi country/regime, and the Zionist state is modeled after the US, or the European racism. The settler states are known for its unprecedented violence. Unfortunately, still the phenomenon of extermination is connected with Germany and not the US.

http://warisacrime.org/content/how-us-race-laws-inspired-nazis

One of many U.S. state laws that Nazis examined was this from Maryland:

"All marriages between a white person and a Negro, or between a white person and a person of Negro descent, to the third generation, inclusive, or between a white person and a member of the Malay race or between a Negro and a member of the Malay race, or between a person of Negro descent to the third generation, inclusive, and a member of the Malay race . . . [skipping over many variations] . . . are forever prohibited . . . punished by imprisonment in the penitentiary for not less than eighteen months nor more than ten years."

jfl | Apr 22, 2017 8:31:15 PM | 80
@78 bp. 'From that point of view excessive consumption of, say, NYT or TV news can make people positive for "symptoms of sarin or sarin-like chemicals" like Roundup when we take swabs from their mucosal surfaces and analyze with sensitive instruments.'

very nice piotr berman. the metaphor is so well drawn, and in the following cases as well. One has a malady, here, a malady. One feels a malady.

the dysfunctions all swell from a common source, into a slum of bloom. the wigs despoiling the Satan ear.

karlof1 | Apr 22, 2017 10:24:15 PM | 81
guy @45--

Yes, I was apprehensive at first, but the new regime toed BRICS's lines, participated in its functions as usual, and has tried to use it in its national interest. Brazil's internal contradictions don't allow it to abandon its one big success story. And as I stated, BRICS policy declarations are all in line with Russia and China's in every area.

psychohistorian | Apr 23, 2017 2:32:49 AM | 82
@ karlof1 who writes about geopolitics

While many of the big brains go to Wall St. to front guess Mr. Market, there are others, "no doubt", that build geopolitical dashboards, models and simulations for the elite to monitor all the countries/governments/militaries/public.

In spite of their visibility of their universe, they are losing control and know it. The absurdity of the ongoing global debt situation is a tell.

All countries have evolving relationships with both the US and China as well as within the various groups of nations. China is talking growth and the US/private finance is talking austerity. It is not if but a matter of when growth wins out and global finance is put under public control.

Temporarily Sane | Apr 23, 2017 8:43:48 AM | 83
That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history. ~Aldous Huxley

Afghan officials have said nearly 100 militants and no civilians were killed, but the remoteness of the area, the presence of Islamic State fighters, and, more recently, American security forces, has left those claims unverified.

[Dec 02, 2019] Stimulating, entertaining article from John Helmer if you are interested..

Dec 02, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

james , Dec 1 2019 21:59 utc | 13

stimulating / entertaining article from john helmer if you are interested..

GEORGES SIMENON ANNIVERSARY -- INSPECTOR MAIGRET MEETS THE SINCERE, LYING LADY FROM THE CIA'S RUSSIA OFFICE, ANDREA KENDALL-TAYLOR

[Dec 02, 2019] The new meaning of intelligence: Adam Schiff, the man who every time he talks, shows his incompetence and lack of integrity is the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

May 01, 2019 | anamericancomment.blogspot.com
Adam Schiff, the man who every time he talks, shows his incompetence and lack of integrity, but he is the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

Think about that for a while.

[Dec 02, 2019] What Friendly Subpoena actually means

Notable quotes:
"... Thats sorta like a "suggestion" from a gun toting thug to hand over your wallet ain't it? ;-) ..."
Apr 15, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

nmewn , 21 minutes ago link

A "friendly subpoena"...lol.

Thats sorta like a "suggestion" from a gun toting thug to hand over your wallet ain't it? ;-)

[Dec 02, 2019] Legitimate questions that need answers by The Saker

Dec 02, 2019 | www.unz.com

Priss Factor , says: Website November 28, 2019 at 4:40 am GMT

https://www.youtube.com/embed/yZk-fZUI8VI?feature=oembed

[Dec 01, 2019] The more people change the more they stay the same

Dec 01, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit , Dec 2 2019 0:19 utc | 26

Trump 2016: "I love Wikileaks."

Trump 2019: "I don't know Wikileaks."

!!

[Dec 01, 2019] Neoliberalism Tells Us We're Selfish Souls How Can We Promote Other Identities by Christine Berry,

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... As the Gramscian theorists Chantal Mouffe and Ernesto Laclau observed, our political identities are not a 'given' – something that emerges directly from the objective facts of our situation. We all occupy a series of overlapping identities in our day-to-day lives – as workers or bosses, renters or home-owners, debtors or creditors. Which of these define our politics depends on political struggles for meaning and power. ..."
"... The architects of neoliberalism understood this process of identity creation. By treating people as selfish, rational utility maximisers, they actively encouraged them to become selfish, rational utility maximisers. As the opening article points out, this is not a side effect of neoliberal policy, but a central part of its intention. As Michael Sandel pointed out in his 2012 book 'What Money Can't Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets' , it squeezes out competing values that previously governed non-market spheres of life, such as ethics of public service in the public sector, or mutual care within local communities. But these values remain latent: neoliberalism does not have the power to erase them completely. This is where the hope for the left lies, the crack of light through the doorway that needs to be prised open. ..."
"... More generally, there is some evidence that neoliberalism didn't really succeed in making us see ourselves as selfish rational maximisers – just in making us believe that everybody else was . For example, a 2016 survey found that UK citizens are on average more oriented towards compassionate values than selfish values, but that they perceive others to be significantly more selfish (both than themselves and the actual UK average). Strikingly, those with a high 'self-society gap' were found to be less likely to vote and engage in civic activity, and highly likely to experience feelings of cultural estrangement. ..."
"... Perhaps a rational system is one that accepts selfishness but keeps it within limits. Movements like the Chicago school that pretend to reinvent the wheel with new thinking are by this view a scam. As J.K. Galbraith said: "the problem with their ideas is that they have been tried." ..."
"... They tried running an economy on debt in the 1920s. The 1920s roared with debt based consumption and speculation until it all tipped over into the debt deflation of the Great Depression. No one realised the problems that were building up in the economy as they used an economics that doesn't look at private debt, neoclassical economics. ..."
"... Keynes looked at the problems of the debt based economy and came up with redistribution through taxation to keep the system running in a sustainable way and he dealt with the inherent inequality capitalism produced. ..."
"... Neoliberalism, which has influenced so much of the conventional thinking about money, is adamant that the public sector must not create ('print') money, and so public expenditure must be limited to what the market can 'afford.' Money, in this view, is a limited resource that the market ensures will be used efficiently. Is public money, then, a pipe dream? No, for the financial crisis and the response to it undermined this neoliberal dogma. ..."
"... The financial sector mismanaged its role as a source of money so badly that the state had to step in and provide unlimited monetary backing to rescue it. The creation of money out of thin air by public authorities revealed the inherently political nature of money. But why, then, was the power to create money ceded to the private sector in the first place -- and with so little public accountability? ..."
Nov 01, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Lambert here: Not sure the soul is an identity, but authors don't write the headlines. Read on!

By Christine Berry, a freelance researcher and writer and was previously Director of Policy and Government for the New Economics Foundation. She has also worked at ShareAction and in the House of Commons. Originally published at Open Democracy .

"Economics is the method: the object is to change the soul." Understanding why Thatcher said this is central to understanding the neoliberal project, and how we might move beyond it. Carys Hughes and Jim Cranshaw's opening article poses a crucial challenge to the left in this respect. It is too easy to tell ourselves a story about the long reign of neoliberalism that is peopled solely with all-powerful elites imposing their will on the oppressed masses. It is much harder to confront seriously the ways in which neoliberalism has manufactured popular consent for its policies.

The left needs to acknowledge that aspects of the neoliberal agenda have been overwhelmingly popular: it has successfully tapped into people's instincts about the kind of life they want to lead, and wrapped these instincts up in a compelling narrative about how we should see ourselves and other people. We need a coherent strategy for replacing this narrative with one that actively reconstructs our collective self-image – turning us into empowered citizens participating in communities of mutual care, rather than selfish property-owning individuals competing in markets.

As the Gramscian theorists Chantal Mouffe and Ernesto Laclau observed, our political identities are not a 'given' – something that emerges directly from the objective facts of our situation. We all occupy a series of overlapping identities in our day-to-day lives – as workers or bosses, renters or home-owners, debtors or creditors. Which of these define our politics depends on political struggles for meaning and power.

Part of the job of politics – whether within political parties or social movements – is to show how our individual problems are rooted in systemic issues that can be confronted collectively if we organise around these identities. Thus, debt becomes not a source of shame but an injustice that debtors can organise against. Struggles with childcare are not a source of individual parental guilt but a shared societal problem that we have a shared responsibility to tackle. Podemos were deeply influenced by this thinking when they sought to redefine Spanish politics as 'La Casta' ('the elite') versus the people, cutting across many of the traditional boundaries between right and left.

The architects of neoliberalism understood this process of identity creation. By treating people as selfish, rational utility maximisers, they actively encouraged them to become selfish, rational utility maximisers. As the opening article points out, this is not a side effect of neoliberal policy, but a central part of its intention. As Michael Sandel pointed out in his 2012 book 'What Money Can't Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets' , it squeezes out competing values that previously governed non-market spheres of life, such as ethics of public service in the public sector, or mutual care within local communities. But these values remain latent: neoliberalism does not have the power to erase them completely. This is where the hope for the left lies, the crack of light through the doorway that needs to be prised open.

The Limits of Neoliberal Consciousness

In thinking about how we do this, it's instructive to look at the ways in which neoliberal attempts to reshape our identities have succeeded – and the ways they have failed. While Right to Buy might have been successful in identifying people as home-owners and stigmatising social housing, this has not bled through into wider support for private ownership. Although public ownership did become taboo among the political classes for a generation – far outside the political 'common sense' – polls consistently showed that this was not matched by a fall in public support for the idea. On some level – perhaps because of the poor performance of privatised entities – people continued to identify as citizens with a right to public services, rather than as consumers of privatised services. The continued overwhelming attachment to a public NHS is the epitome of this tendency. This is partly what made it possible for Corbyn's Labour to rehabilitate the concept of public ownership, as the 2017 Labour manifesto's proposals for public ownership of railways and water – dismissed as ludicrous by the political establishment – proved overwhelmingly popular.

More generally, there is some evidence that neoliberalism didn't really succeed in making us see ourselves as selfish rational maximisers – just in making us believe that everybody else was . For example, a 2016 survey found that UK citizens are on average more oriented towards compassionate values than selfish values, but that they perceive others to be significantly more selfish (both than themselves and the actual UK average). Strikingly, those with a high 'self-society gap' were found to be less likely to vote and engage in civic activity, and highly likely to experience feelings of cultural estrangement.

This finding points towards both the great conjuring trick of neoliberal subjectivity and its Achilles heel: it has successfully popularised an idea of what human beings are like that most of us don't actually identify with ourselves. This research suggests that our political crisis is caused not only by people's material conditions of disempowerment, but by four decades of being told that we can't trust our fellow citizens. But it also suggests that deep down, we know this pessimistic account of human nature just isn't who we really are – or who we aspire to be.

An example of how this plays out can be seen in academic studies showing that, in game scenarios presenting the opportunity to free-ride on the efforts of others, only economics students behaved as economic models predicted: all other groups were much more likely to pool their resources. Having been trained to believe that others are likely to be selfish, economists believe that their best course of action is to be selfish as well. The rest of us still have the instinct to cooperate. Perhaps this shouldn't be surprising: after all, as George Monbiot argues in 'Out of the Wreckage' , cooperation is our species' main survival strategy.

What's Our 'Right to Buy?'

The challenge for the left is to find policies and stories that tap into this latent sense of what makes us human – what Gramsci called 'good sense' – and use it to overturn the neoliberal 'common sense'. In doing so, we must be aware that we are competing not only with a neoliberal identity but also with a new far-right that seeks to promote a white British ethno-nationalist group identity, conflating 'elites' with outsiders. How we compete with this is the million dollar question, and it's one we have not yet answered.

Thatcher's use of flagship policies like the Right to Buy was a masterclass in this respect. Deceptively simple, tangible and easy to grasp, the Right to Buy also communicated a much deeper story about the kind of nation we wanted to be – one of private, property-owning individuals – cementing home-ownership as a cultural symbol of aspiration (the right to paint your own front door) whilst giving millions an immediate financial stake in her new order. So what might be the equivalent flagship policies for the left today?

Perhaps one of the strongest efforts to date has been the proposal for ' Inclusive Ownership Funds ', first developed by Mathew Lawrence in a report for the New Economics Foundation, and announced as Labour policy by John McDonnell in 2018. This would require companies to transfer shares into a fund giving their workers a collective stake that rises over time and pays out employee dividends. Like the Right to Buy, as well as shifting the material distribution of wealth and power, this aims to build our identity as part of a community of workers taking more collective control over our working lives.

But this idea only takes us so far. While it may tap into people's desire for more security and empowerment at work, more of a stake in what they do, it offers a fairly abstract benefit that only cashes out over time, as workers acquire enough of a stake to have a meaningful say over company strategy. It may not mean much to those at the sharpest end of our oppressive and precarious labour market, at least not unless we also tackle the more pressing concerns they face – such as the exploitative practices of behemoths like Amazon or the stress caused by zero-hours contracts. We have not yet hit on an idea that can compete with the transformative change to people's lives offered by the Right to Buy.

So what else is on the table? Perhaps, when it comes to the cutting edge of new left thinking on these issues, the workplace isn't really where the action is – at least not directly. Perhaps we need to be tapping into people's desire to escape the 'rat race' altogether and have more freedom to pursue the things that really make us happy – time with our families, access to nature, the space to look after ourselves, connection with our communities. The four day working week (crucially with no loss of pay) has real potential as a flagship policy in this respect. The Conservatives and the right-wing press may be laughing it down with jokes about Labour being lazy and feckless, but perhaps this is because they are rattled. Ultimately, they can't escape the fact that most people would like to spend less time at work.

Skilfully communicated, this has the potential to be a profoundly anti-neoliberal policy that conveys a new story about what we aspire to, individually and as a society. Where neoliberalism tapped into people's desire for more personal freedom and hooked this to the acquisition of wealth, property and consumer choice, we can refocus on the freedom to live the lives we truly want. Instead of offering freedom through the market, we can offer freedom from the market.

Proponents of Universal Basic Income often argue that it fulfils a similar function of liberating people from work and detaching our ability to provide for ourselves from the marketplace for labour. But in material terms, it's unlikely that a UBI could be set at a level that would genuinely offer people this freedom, at least in the short term. And in narrative terms, UBI is actually a highly malleable policy that is equally susceptible to being co-opted by a libertarian agenda. Even at its best, it is really a policy about redistribution of already existing wealth (albeit on a bigger scale than the welfare state as it stands). To truly overturn neoliberalism, we need to go beyond this and talk about collective ownership and creation of wealth.

Policies that focus on collective control of assets may do a better job of replacing a narrative about individual property ownership with one that highlights the actual concentration of property wealth in the hands of elites – and the need to reclaim these assets for the common good. As well as Inclusive Ownership Funds, another way of doing this is through Citizens' Wealth Funds, which socialise profitable assets (be it natural resources or intangible ones such as data) and use the proceeds to pay dividends to individuals or communities. Universal Basic Services – for instance, policies such as free publicly owned buses – may be another.

Finally, I'd like to make a plea for care work as a critical area that merits further attention to develop convincing flagship policies – be it on universal childcare, elderly care or support for unpaid carers. The instinctive attachment that many of us feel to a public NHS needs to be widened to promote a broader right to care and be cared for, whilst firmly resisting the marketisation of care. Although care is often marginalised in political debate, as a new mum, I'm acutely aware that it is fundamental to millions of people's ability to live the lives they want. In an ageing population, most people now have lived experience of the pressures of caring for someone – whether a parent or a child. By talking about these issues, we move the terrain of political contestation away from the work valued by the market and onto the work we all know really matters; away from the competition for scarce resources and onto our ability to look after each other. And surely, that's exactly where the left wants it to be.

This article forms part of the " Left governmentality" mini series for openDemocracy.

Carolinian , November 1, 2019 at 12:36 pm

The problem is that people are selfish–me included–and so what is needed is not better ideas about ourselves but better laws. And for that we will need a higher level of political engagement and a refusal to accept candidates who sell themselves as a "lesser evil." It's the decline of democracy that brought on the rise of Reagan and Thatcher and Neoliberalism and not some change in public consciousness (except insofar as the general public became wealthier and more complacent). In America incumbents are almost universally likely to be re-elected to Congress and so they have no reason to reject Neoliberal ideas.

So here's suggesting that a functioning political process is the key to reform and not some change in the PR.

Angie Neer , November 1, 2019 at 12:42 pm

Carolinian, like you, I try to include myself in statements about "the problem with people." I believe one of the things preventing progress is our tendency to believe it's only those people that are the problem.

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , November 1, 2019 at 4:55 pm

Human nature people are selfish. It's like the Christian marriage vow – which I understand is a Medieval invention and not something from 2,000 years ago – for better or worse, meaning, we share (and are not to be selfish) the good and the bad.

"Not neoliberals, but all of us." "Not the right, but the left as well." "Not just Russia, but America," or "Not just America, but Russia too."

Carolinian , November 1, 2019 at 5:54 pm

Perhaps a rational system is one that accepts selfishness but keeps it within limits. Movements like the Chicago school that pretend to reinvent the wheel with new thinking are by this view a scam. As J.K. Galbraith said: "the problem with their ideas is that they have been tried."

The Rev Kev , November 1, 2019 at 8:06 pm

My small brain got stuck on your reference to a 'Christian marriage vow'. I was just sitting back and conceiving what a Neoliberal marriage vow would sound like. Probably a cross between a no-liabilities contract and an open-marriage agreement.

Carey , November 1, 2019 at 9:05 pm

"people are selfish"?; or "people can sometimes act selfishly"? I think the latter is the more accurate statement. Appeal to the better side, and more of it will be forthcoming.
Neolib propaganda appeals to trivial, bleak individualism..

Carolinian , November 2, 2019 at 9:14 am

I'm not sure historic left attempts to appeal to "the better angels of our nature" have really moved the ball much. It took the Great Depression to give us a New Deal and WW2 to give Britain the NHS and the India its freedom. I'd say events are in the saddle far more than ideas.

Mark Anderlik , November 2, 2019 at 10:58 am

I rather look at it as a "both and" rather than an "either or." If the political groundwork is not done beforehand and during, the opportunity events afford will more likely be squandered.

And borrowing from evolutionary science, this also holds with the "punctuated equilibrium" theory of social/political change. The strain of a changed environment (caused by both events and intentionally created political activity) for a long time creates no visible change to the system, and so appears to fail. But then some combination of events and conscious political work suddenly "punctuates the equilibrium" with the resulting significant if not radical changes.

Chile today can be seen as a great example of this: "Its not 30 Pesos, its 30 Years."

J4Zonian , November 2, 2019 at 4:40 pm

Carolinian, you provide a good illustration of the power of the dominant paradigm to make people believe exactly what the article said–something I've observed more than enough to confirm is true. People act in a wide variety of ways; but many people deny that altruism and compassion are equally "human nature". Both parts of the belief pointed out here–believing other people are selfish and that we're not–are explained by projection acting in concert with the other parts of this phenomenon. Even though it's flawed because it's only a political and not a psychological explanation, It's a good start toward understanding.

"You and I are so deeply acculturated to the idea of "self" and organization and species that it is hard to believe that man [sic] might view his [sic] relations with the environment in any other way than the way which I have rather unfairly blamed upon the nineteenth-century evolutionists."

Gregory Bateson, Steps to an Ecology of Mind, p 483-4
This is part of a longer quote that's been important to me my whole life. Worth looking up. Bateson called this a mistake in epistemology–also, informally, his definition of evil.
http://anomalogue.com/blog/category/systems-thinking/

"When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it."
― Frédéric Bastiat

Doesn't mean it's genetic. In fact, I'm pretty sure it means it's not.

Capital fn 4 , November 1, 2019 at 1:11 pm

The desire for justice is the constant.

The Iron Lady once proclaimed, slightly sinisterly: "Economics is the method. The object is to change the soul." She meant that British people had to rediscover the virtue of traditional values such as hard work and thrift. The "something for nothing" society was over.

But the idea that the Thatcher era re-established the link between virtuous effort and just reward has been effectively destroyed by the spectacle of bankers driving their institutions into bankruptcy while being rewarded with million-pound bonuses and munificent pensions.

The dual-truth approach of the Neoliberal Thought Collective (thanks, Mirowski) has been more adept at manipulating narratives so the masses are still outraged by individuals getting undeserved social benefits rather than elites vacuuming up common resources. Thanks to the Thatcher-Reagan revolution, we have ended up with socialism for the rich, and everyone else at the mercy of 'markets'.

Pretending that there are not problems with free riders is naive and it goes against people's concern with justice. Acknowledging free riders on all levels with institutions that can constantly pursue equity is the solution.

Anarcissie , November 2, 2019 at 10:09 am

At some points in life, everyone is a free rider. As for the hard workers, many of them are doing destructive things which the less hard-working people will have to suffer under and compensate for. (Neo)liberalism and capitalism are a coherent system of illusions of virtue which rest on domination, exploitation, extraction, and propaganda. Stoking of resentment (as of free riders, the poor, the losers, foreigners, and so on) is one of the ways those who enjoy it keep it going.

Capital fn. 4 , November 1, 2019 at 1:16 pm

The desire for justice is the constant.

The Iron Lady once proclaimed, slightly sinisterly: "Economics is the method. The object is to change the soul." She meant that British people had to rediscover the virtue of traditional values such as hard work and thrift. The "something for nothing" society was over.

But the idea that the Thatcher era re-established the link between virtuous effort and just reward has been effectively destroyed by the spectacle of bankers driving their institutions into bankruptcy while being rewarded with million-pound bonuses and munificent pensions.

The dual-truth approach of the Neoliberal Thought Collective (thanks, Mirowski) has been more adept at manipulating narratives so the masses are still outraged by individuals getting undeserved social benefits rather than elites vacuuming up common resources. Thanks to the Thatcher-Reagan revolution, we have ended up with socialism for the rich, and everyone else at the mercy of 'markets'.

Pretending that there are not problems with free riders is naive and it goes against people's concern with justice. Acknowledging free riders on all levels with institutions that can constantly pursue equity is the solution.

Synoia , November 2, 2019 at 12:58 pm

The Iron Lady had a agenda to break the labor movement in the UK.

What she did not understand is Management gets the Union (Behavior) it deserves. If there is strife in the workplace, as there was in abundance in the UK at that time, the problem is the Management, (and the UK class structure) not the workers.

As I found out when I left University.

Thatcher set out to break the solidarity of the Labor movement, and used the neo-liberal tool of selfishness to achieve success, unfortunately,

The UK's poor management practices, (The Working Class can kiss my arse) and complete inability to form teams of "Management and Workers" was, IMHO, is the foundation of today's Brexit nightmare, a foundation based on the British Class Structure.

And exploited, as it ever was, to achieve ends which do not benefit workers in any manner.

The Historian , November 1, 2019 at 1:43 pm

The left needs to acknowledge that aspects of the neoliberal agenda have been overwhelmingly popular: it has successfully tapped into people's instincts about the kind of life they want to lead, and wrapped these instincts up in a compelling narrative about how we should see ourselves and other people.

Sigh, no this is not true. This author is making the mistake that everyone is like the top 5% and that just is not so. Perhaps she should get out of her personal echo chamber and talk to common people.

In my travels I have been to every state and every major city, and I have worked with just about every class of people, except of course the ultra wealthy and ultra powerful – they have people to protect them from the great unwashed like me – and it didn't take me long to notice that the elite are different from the rest of us but I could never explain exactly why. After I retired, I started studying and I've examined everything from Adam Smith, to Hobbes, to Kant, to Durkheim, to Marx, to Ayn Rand, to tons of histories and anthropologies of various peoples, to you name it and I've come to the conclusion that most of us are not neoliberal and do not want what the top 5% want.

Most people are not overly competitive and most do not seek self-interest only. That is what allows us to live in cities, to drive on our roadways, to form groups that seek to improve conditions for the least of us. It is what allows soldiers to protect each other on the battlefield when it would be in their self interest to protect themselves. It is what allowed people in Europe to risk their own lives to save Jews. And it is also what allows people to live under the worst dictators without rebelling. Of course we all want more but we have limits on what we will do to get that more – the wealthy and powerful seem to have no limits. For instance, most of us won't screw over our co-workers to make ourselves look better, although some will. Most of us won't turn on our best friends even when it would be to our advantage to do so, although some will. Most of us won't abandon those we care about, even when it means severe financial damage to us, although some will.

For lack of a better description, I call what the 5% have the greed gene – a gene that allows them to give up empathy and compassion and basic morality – what some of us call fairness – in the search for personal gain. I don't think it is necessarily genetic but there is something in their makeup that cause them to have more than the average self interest. And because most humans are more cooperative than they are competitive, most humans just allow these people to go after what they want and don't stand in their way, even though by stopping them, they could make their own lives better.

Most history and economics are theories and stories told by the rich and powerful to justify their behavior. I think it is a big mistake to attribute that behavior to the mass of humanity. Archeology is beginning to look more at how average people lived instead of seeking out only the riches deposited by the elite, and historians are starting to look at the other side of history – average people – to see what life was really like for them, and I think we are seeing that what the rulers wanted was never what their people wanted. It is beginning to appear obvious that 95% of the people just wanted to live in their communities safely, to have about what everyone else around them had, and to enjoy the simple pleasures of shelter, enough food, and warm companionship.

I'm also wondering why the 5% think that all of us want exactly what they want. Do they really think that they are somehow being smarter or more competent got them there while 95% of the population – the rest of us – failed?

At this point, I know my theory is half-baked – I definitely need to do more research, but nothing I have found yet convinces me that there isn't some real basic difference between those who aspire to power and wealth and the rest of us.

Foy , November 1, 2019 at 5:09 pm

" ..and I've come to the conclusion that most of us are not neoliberal and do not want what the top 5% want. Most people are not overly competitive and most do not seek self-interest only. That is what allows us to live in cities, to drive on our roadways, to form groups that seek to improve conditions for the least of us. It is what allows soldiers to protect each other on the battlefield when it would be in their self interest to protect themselves. "

I really liked your comment Historian. Thanks for posting. That's what I've felt in my gut for a while, that the top 5% and the establishment are operating under a different mindset, that the majority of people don't want a competitive, dog eat dog, self interest world.

SKM , November 1, 2019 at 5:52 pm

me too, great observation and well put. Made me feel better too! Heartfelt thanks

Mo's Bike Shop , November 1, 2019 at 8:00 pm

I agree with Foy Johnson. I've been reading up on Ancient Greece and realizing all the time that 'teh Greeks' are maybe only about thirty percent of the people in Greece. Most of that history is how Greeks were taking advantage of each other with little mention of the majority of the population. Pelasgians? Yeah, they came from serpents teeth, the end.

I think this is a problem from the Bronze Age that we have not properly addressed.

Mystery Cycles are a nice reminder that people were having fun on their own.

Carey , November 1, 2019 at 5:15 pm

Thanks very much for this comment, Historian.

deplorado , November 1, 2019 at 5:22 pm

I have more or less the same view. I think the author's statement about neoliberalism tapping into what type of life people want to lead is untenable. Besides instinct (are we all 4-year olds?), what people want is also very much socially constructed. And what people do is also very much socially coerced.

One anecdote: years ago, during a volunteer drive at work, I worked side by side with the company's CEO (company was ~1200 headcount, ~.5bn revenue) sorting canned goods. The guy was doing it like he was in a competition. So much so that he often blocked me when I had to place something on the shelves, and took a lot of space in the lineup around himself while swinging his large-ish body and arms, and wouldn't stop talking. To me, this was very rude and inconsiderate, and showed a repulsive level of disregard to others. This kind of behavior at such an event, besides being unpleasant to be around, was likely also making work for the others in the lineup less efficient. Had I or anyone else behaved like him, we would have had a good amount of awkwardness or even a conflict.

What I don't get is, how does he and others get away with it? My guess is, people don't want a conflict. I didn't want a conflict and said nothing to that CEO. Not because I am not competitive, but because I didn't want an ugly social situation (we said 'excuse me' and 'sorry' enough, I just didn't think it would go over well to ask him to stop being obnoxious and dominant for no reason). He obviously didn't care or was unaware – or actually, I think he was behaving that way as a tactical habit. And I didn't feel I had the authority to impose a different order.

So, in the end, it's about power – power relations and knowing what to do about it.

Foy , November 1, 2019 at 7:43 pm

Yep, I think you've nailed it there deplorado, types like your CEO don't care at all and/or are socially unaware, and is a tactical habit that they have found has worked for them in the past and is now ingrained. It is a power relation and our current world unfortunately is now designed and made to suit people like that. And each day the world incrementally moves a little bit more in their direction with inertia like a glacier. Its going to take something big to turn it around

Jeremy Grimm , November 1, 2019 at 6:49 pm

I too believe "most of us are not neoliberal". But if so, how did we end up with the kind of Corporate Cartels, Government Agencies and Organizations that currently prey upon Humankind? This post greatly oversimplifies the mechanisms and dynamics of Neoliberalism, and other varieties of exploitation of the many by the few. This post risks a mocking tie to Identity Politics. What traits of Humankind give truth to Goebbels' claims?

There definitely is "some real basic difference between those who aspire to power and wealth and the rest of us" -- but the question you should ask next is why the rest of us Hobbits blindly follow and help the Saurons among us. Why do so many of us do exactly what we're told? How is it that constant repetition of the Neoliberal identity concepts over our media can so effectively ensnare the thinking of so many?

Foy , November 1, 2019 at 7:47 pm

Maybe it's something similar to Milgram's Experiment (the movie the Experimenter about Milgram was on last night – worth watching and good acting by Peter Sarsgaard, my kind of indie film), the outcome is just not what would normally be expected, people bow to authority, against their own beliefs and interests, and others interests, even though they have choice. The Hobbits followed blindly in that experiment, the exact opposite outcome as to what was predicted by the all the psychology experts beforehand.

Mo's Bike Shop , November 1, 2019 at 8:12 pm

people bow to authority , against their own beliefs and interests, and others interests, even though they have choice

'Don't Make Waves' is a fundamentally useful value that lets us all swim along. This can be manipulated. If everyone is worried about Reds Under the Beds or recycling, you go along to get along.

Some people somersault to Authority is how I'd put it.

Foy , November 1, 2019 at 11:17 pm

Yep, don't mind how you put that Mo, good word somersault.

One of the amusing tests Milgram did was to have people go into the lift but all face the back of the lift instead of the doors and see what happens when the next person got in. Sure enough, with the next person would get in, face the front, look around with some confusion at everyone else and then slowly turn and face the back. Don't Make Waves its instinctive to let us all swim along as you said.

And 'some people' is correct. It was actually the majority, 65%, who followed directions against their own will and preferred choice in his original experiment.

susan the Other , November 1, 2019 at 8:07 pm

thank you, historian

The Rev Kev , November 1, 2019 at 8:14 pm

That's a pretty damn good comment that, Historian. Lots to unpick. It reminded me too of something that John Wyndham once said. He wrote how about 95% of us wanted to live in peace and comfort but that the other 5% were always considering their chances if they started something. He went on to say that it was the introduction of nuclear weapons that made nobody's chances of looking good which explains why the lack of a new major war since WW2.

Mr grumpy , November 1, 2019 at 9:56 pm

Good comment. My view is that it all boils down to the sociopathic personality disorder. Sociopathy runs on a continuum, and we all exhibit some of its tendencies. At the highest end you get serial killers and titans of industry, like the guy sorting cans in another comment. I believe all religions and theories of ethical behavior began as attempts to reign in the sociopaths by those of us much lower on the continuum. Neoliberalism starts by saying the sociopaths are the norm, turning the usual moral and ethical universe upside down.

Janie , November 1, 2019 at 11:59 pm

Your theory is not half-baked; it's spot-on. If you're not the whatever it takes, end justifies the means type, you are not likely to rise to the top in the corporate world. The cream rises to the top happens only in the dairy.

Grebo , November 2, 2019 at 12:25 am

Your 5% would correspond to Altemeyer's "social dominators". Unfortunately only 75% want a simple, peaceful life. 20% are looking for a social dominator to follow. It's psychological.

Kristin Lee , November 2, 2019 at 5:21 am

Excellent comment. Take into consideration the probability that the majority of the top 5% have come from a privileged background, ensconced in a culture of entitlement. This "greed" gene is as natural to them as breathing. Consider also that many wealthy families have maintained their status through centuries of calculated loveless marriages, empathy and other human traits gene-pooled out of existence. The cruel paradox is that for the sake of riches, they have lost their richness in character.

Davenport , November 2, 2019 at 7:57 am

This really chimes with me. Thanks so much for putting it down in words.

I often encounter people insisting humans are selfish. It is quite frustrating that this more predominant side of our human nature seems to become invisible against the propaganda.

Henry Moon Pie , November 1, 2019 at 1:49 pm

I'm barely into Jeremy Lent's The Patterning Instinct: A Cultural History of Humanity's Search for Meaning , but he's already laid down his central thesis in fairly complete form. Humans are both competitive and cooperative, he says, which should surprise no one. What I found interesting is that the competitive side comes from primates who are more intensely competitive than humans. The cooperation developed after the human/primate split and was enabled by "mimetic culture," communication skills that importantly presuppose that the object(s) of communication are intentional creatures like oneself but with a somewhat different perspective. Example: Human #1 gestures to Human #2 to come take a closer look at whatever Human #1 is examining. This ability to cooperate even came with strategies to prevent a would-be dominant male from taking over a hunter-gatherer band:

[I]n virtually all hunter-gatherer societies, people join together to prevent powerful males from taking too much control, using collective behaviors such as ridicule, group disobedience, and, ultimately, extreme sanctions such as assassination [This kind of society is called] a "reverse dominant hierarchy because rather than being dominated, the rank and file manages to dominate.

SKM , November 1, 2019 at 6:02 pm

yes, this chimes in with what I`ve been thinking for years after puzzling about why society everywhere ends up as it does – ie the fact that in small groups as we evolved to live in, we would keep a check on extreme selfish behaviour of dominant individuals. In complex societies (modern) most of us become "the masses" visible in some way to the system but the top echelons are not visible to us and are able to amass power and wealth out of all control by the rest of us. And yes, you do have to have a very strange drive (relatively rare, ?pathological) to want power and wealth at everyone else`s expense – to live in a cruel world many of whose problems could be solved (or not arise in the first place) by redistributing some of your wealth to little palpable cost to you

Mo's Bike Shop , November 1, 2019 at 8:37 pm

Africa over a few million years of Ice Ages seems to have presented our ancestors with the possibility of reproducing only if you can get along in close proximity to other Hominids without killing each other. I find that a compelling explanation for our stupidly big brains; it's one thing to be a smart monkey, it's a whole different solution needed to model what is going on in the brain of another smart monkey.

And communications: How could spoken language have developed without levels of trust and interdependence that maybe we can not appreciate today? We have a word for 'Blue' nowadays, we take it for granted.

Anarcissie , November 2, 2019 at 10:18 am

There is a theory that language originated between mothers and their immediate progeny, between whom either trust and benevolence exist, or the weaker dies. The mother's chances for survival and reproduction are enhanced if she can get her progeny to, so to speak, help out around the house; how to do that is extended by symbolism and syntax as well as example.

chuck roast , November 1, 2019 at 2:00 pm

I recall the first day of Econ 102 when the Prof. (damned few adjuncts in those days) said, "Everything we discuss hereafter will be built on the concept of scarcity." Being a contrary buggah' I thought, "The air I'm breathing isn't scarce." I soon got with the program supply and demand upward sloping, downward sloping, horizontal, vertical and who could forget kinked. My personal favorite was the Giffen Good a high priced inferior product. Kind of like Micro Economics.

Maybe we could begin our new Neo-Economics 102 with the proviso, "Everything we discuss hereafter will be based on abundance." I'm gonna' like this class!

Off The Street , November 1, 2019 at 2:27 pm

Neo-lib Econ does a great job at framing issues so that people don't notice what is excluded. Think of them as proto-Dark Patternists.

If you are bored and slightly mischievous, ask an economist how theory addresses cooperation, then assume a can opener and crack open a twist-top beer.

jrs , November 1, 2019 at 3:11 pm

Isn't one of the problems that it's NOT really built on the concept of scarcity? Most natural resources run into scarcity eventually. I don't know about the air one breaths, certainly fish species are finding reduced oxygen in the oceans due to climate change.

shtove , November 2, 2019 at 3:45 am

Yes, I suppose people in cities in south-east Asia wearing soot-exclusion masks have a different take on the abundance of air.

Jeremy Grimm , November 1, 2019 at 6:57 pm

If you would like that class on abundance you would love the Church of Abundant Life which pushes Jesus as the way to Abundant Life and they mean that literally. Abundant as in Jesus wants you to have lots of stuff -- so believe.

I believe Neoliberalism is a much more complex animal than an economic theory. Mirowski builds a plausible argument that Neoliberalism is a theory of epistemology. The Market discovers Truth.

Mo's Bike Shop , November 1, 2019 at 8:53 pm

"The air I'm breathing isn't scarce."

Had a lovely Physics class where the first homework problem boiled down to "How often do you inhale a atom (O or N) from Julius Caesar's last breath". Great little introduction to the power and pratfalls of 'estimations by Physicists' that xkcd likes to poke at. Back then we used the CRC Handbook to figure it out.

Anyway, every second breath you can be sure you have shared an atom with Caesar.

Susan the Other , November 1, 2019 at 2:08 pm

I don't think Maggie T. or uncle Milty were thinking about the future at all. Neither one would have openly promoted turfing quadriplegic 70-year-olds out of the rest home. That's how short sighted they both were. And stupid. We really need to call a spade a spade here. Milty doesn't even qualify as an economist – unless economics is the study of the destruction of society. But neoliberalism had been in the wings already, by the 80s, for 40 years. Nobody took into account that utility-maximizing capitalism always kills the goose (except Lenin maybe) – because it's too expensive to feed her. The neoliberals were just plain dumb. The question really is why should we stand for another day of neoliberal nonsense? Albeit Macht Frei Light? No thanks. I think they've got the question backwards – it shouldn't be how should "we" reconstruct our image now – but what is the obligation of all the failed neoliberal extractors to right society now? I'd just as soon stand back and watch the dam burst as help the neolibs out with a little here and a little there. They'll just keep taking as long as we give. This isn't as annoying as Macron's "cake" comment, but it's close. I did like the last 2 paragraphs however.

Susan the Other , November 1, 2019 at 2:42 pm

Here's a sidebar. A universal one. There is an anomaly in the universe – there is not enough accumulated entropy. It screws up theoretical physics because the missing entropy needs to be accounted for for their theories to work to their satisfaction. It seems to be a phenomenon of evolution. Thus it was recently discovered by a physics grad student that entropy by heat dissipation is the "creator" of life. Life almost spontaneously erupts where it can take advantage of an energy source. And, we are assuming, life thereby slows entropy down. There has to be another similar process among the stars and the planets as well, an evolutionary conservation of energy. So evolution takes on more serious meaning. From the quantum to the infinite. And society – it's right in the middle. So it isn't too unreasonable to think that society is extremely adaptable, taking advantage of any energy input, and it seems true to think that. Which means that society can go long for its goal before it breaks down. But in the end it will be enervated by lack of "resources" unless it can self perpetuate in an evolving manner. That's one good reason to say goodbye to looney ideologies.

djrichard , November 1, 2019 at 3:05 pm

For a view of humanity that is not as selfish, recommend "The Gift" by Marcel Mauss. Basically an anthropological study of reciprocal gift giving in the oceanic potlatch societies. My take is that the idea was to re-visit relationships, as giving a gift basically forces a response in the receiver, "Am I going to respond in kind, perhaps even upping what is required? Or am I going to find that this relationship simply isn't worth it and walk away?"

Kind of like being in a marriage. The idea isn't to walk away, the idea is you constantly need to re-enforce it. Except with the potlatch it was like extending that concept to the clan at large, so that all the relationships within the clan were being re-enforced.

Amfortas the hippie , November 1, 2019 at 3:26 pm

"Kind of like being in a marriage. The idea isn't to walk away, the idea is you constantly need to re-enforce it. "
amen.
we, the people, abdicated.

as for humans being selfish by default i used to believe this, due to my own experiences as an outlaw and pariah.
until wife's cancer and the overwhelming response of this little town,in the "reddest" congressional district in texas.
locally, the most selfish people i know are the one's who own everything buying up their neighbor's businesses when things get tough.
they are also the most smug and pretentious(local dems, in their hillforts come a close second in this regard) and most likely to be gop true believers.
small town and all everybody literally knows everybody, and their extended family and those connections are intertwined beyond belief.
wife's related, in some way, to maybe half the town.
that matters and explains my experience as an outcast: i never belonged to anything like that and such fellowfeeling and support is hard for people to extend to a stranger.
That's what's gonna be the hard sell, here, in undoing the hyperindividualist, "there is no such thing as society" nonsense.

Mo's Bike Shop , November 1, 2019 at 9:23 pm

I grew up until Junior High in a fishing village on the Maine coast that had been around for well over a hundred years and had a population of under 1000. By the time I was 8 I realized there was no point in being extreme with anyone, because they were likely to be around for the rest of your life.

I fell in love with sun and warmth when we moved away and unfortunately it's all gentrified now, by the 90s even a tar paper shack could be sold for a few acres up in Lamoine.

djrichard , November 1, 2019 at 10:49 pm

Yep, small towns are about as close as we get to clans nowadays. And just like clans, you don't want to be on the outside. Still when you marry in, it would be nice if the town would make you feel more a member like a clan should / would. ;-)

But outside of the small town and extended families I think that's it. We've been atomized into our nuclear families. Except for the ruling class – I think they have this quid pro quo gift giving relationship building figured out quite nicely. Basically they've formed their own small town – at the top.

By the way, I understand Mauss was an influence on Baudrillard. I could almost imagine Baudrillard thinking how the reality of the potlatch societies was so different than the reality of western societies.

Anarcissie , November 2, 2019 at 10:29 am

That's the big problem I see in this discussion. We know, or at least think we know, what's wrong, and what would be better; but we can't get other people to want to do something about it, even those who nominally agree with us. And I sure don't have the answer.

David , November 1, 2019 at 3:07 pm

Neoliberalism, in its early guise at least, was popular because politicians like Thatcher effectively promised something for nothing. Low taxes but still decent public services. The right to buy your council house without putting your parents' council house house in jeopardy. Enjoying private medical care as a perk of your job whilst still finding the NHS there when you were old and sick. And so on. By the time the penny dropped it was too late.
If the Left is serious about challenging neoliberalism, it has to return to championing the virtues of community, which it abandoned decades ago in favour of extreme liberal individualism Unfortunately, community is an idea which has either been appropriated by various identity warriors (thus fracturing society further) or dismissed (as this author does) because it's been taken up by the Right. A Left which explained that when everybody cooperates everybody benefits, but that when everybody fights everybody loses, would sweep the board.

deplorado , November 1, 2019 at 8:30 pm

>>Neoliberalism, in its early guise at least, was popular because politicians like Thatcher effectively promised something for nothing.

This. That's it.

Thank you David, for always providing among the most grounded and illuminating comments here.

Mo's Bike Shop , November 1, 2019 at 9:54 pm

If the Left is serious about challenging neoliberalism, it has to return to championing the virtues of community

I agree. The tenuous suggestions offered by the article are top down. But top-down universal solutions can remove the impetus for local organization. Which enervates the power of communities. And then you can't do anything about austerity, because your Rep loves the PowerPoints and has so much money from the Real Estate community.

Before one experiences the virtue, or power, of a community, one has to go through the pain in the ass of contributing to a community. It has to be rewarding process or it won't happen.

No idea how to do that from the top.

Capital fn. 4 , November 1, 2019 at 3:12 pm

Jeez louise-
one more attempt to get past Skynet

PKMKII , November 1, 2019 at 4:05 pm

Anyone have a link to the studies mentioned about how Econ majors were the only ones to act selfishly in the game scenarios?

Rod , November 2, 2019 at 3:30 pm

this may not get the ECON majors specifically but this will raise your eyebrows

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2018/06/embark-essay-tragedy-of-the-commons-greed-common-good/

this is next gen coming up here

Summer , November 1, 2019 at 5:33 pm

"An example of how this plays out can be seen in academic studies showing that, in game scenarios presenting the opportunity to free-ride on the efforts of others, only economics students behaved as economic models predicted: all other groups were much more likely to pool their resources. Having been trained to believe that others are likely to be selfish, economists believe that their best course of action is to be selfish as well. The rest of us still have the instinct to cooperate. Perhaps this shouldn't be surprising: after all, as George Monbiot argues in 'Out of the Wreckage', cooperation is our species' main survival strategy."

Since so many people believe their job is their identity, would be interssting to know what the job training or jobs were of the "others."

Summer , November 1, 2019 at 5:35 pm

"Ultimately, they can't escape the fact that most people would like to spend less time at work."

And that is a key point!

Carey , November 1, 2019 at 7:39 pm

>so many people believe their job is their identity

Only because the social sphere, which in the medium and long term we *all depend on* to survive, has been debased by 24/7/365 neolib talking points, and their purposeful economic constrictions..

Jeremy Grimm , November 1, 2019 at 7:13 pm

How many people have spent their lives working for the "greater good"? How many work building some transcendental edifice from which the only satisfaction they could take away was knowing they performed a part of its construction? The idea that Humankind is selfish and greedy is a projection promoted by the small part of Humankind that really is selfish and greedy.

Sound of the Suburbs , November 2, 2019 at 4:59 am

Let's work out the basics, this will help.

Where does wealth creation actually occur in the capitalist system?

Nations can do well with the trade, as we have seen with China and Germany, but this comes at other nation's expense.
In a successful global economy, trade should be balanced over the long term.
Keynes was aware of this in the past, and realised surplus nations were just as much of a problem as deficit nations in a successful global economy with a long term future.

Zimababwe has lots of money and it's not doing them any favours. Too much money causes hyper-inflation.
You can just print money, the real wealth in the economy lies somewhere else.
Alan Greenspan tells Paul Ryan the Government can create all the money it wants and there is no need to save for pensions.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNCZHAQnfGU
What matters is whether the goods and services are there for them to buy with that money. That's where the real wealth in the economy lies.
Money has no intrinsic value; its value comes from what it can buy.
Zimbabwe has too much money in the economy relative to the goods and services available in that economy. You need wheelbarrows full of money to buy anything.
It's that GDP thing that measures real wealth creation.

GDP does not include the transfer of existing assets like stocks and real estate.
Inflated asset prices are just inflated asset prices and this can disappear all too easily as we keep seeing in real estate.
1990s – UK, US (S&L), Canada (Toronto), Scandinavia, Japan
2000s – Iceland, Dubai, US (2008)
2010s – Ireland, Spain, Greece
Get ready to put Australia, Canada, Norway, Sweden and Hong Kong on the list.
They invented the GDP measure in the 1930s, to track real wealth creation in the economy after they had seen all that apparent wealth in the US stock market disappear in 1929.
There was nothing really there.

Now, we can move on further.

The UK's national income accountants can't work out how finance adds any value (creates wealth).
Banks create money from bank loans, not wealth.
https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/-/media/boe/files/quarterly-bulletin/2014/money-creation-in-the-modern-economy.pdf
We have mistaken inflating asset prices for creating wealth.

How can banks create wealth with bank credit?
The UK used to know before 1980.
https://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/uploads/monthly_2018_02/Screen-Shot-2017-04-21-at-13_53_09.png.e32e8fee4ffd68b566ed5235dc1266c2.png
Before 1980 – banks lending into the right places that result in GDP growth (business and industry, creating new products and services in the economy)
After 1980 – banks lending into the wrong places that don't result in GDP growth (real estate and financial speculation)
What happened in 1979?
The UK eliminated corset controls on banking in 1979 and the banks invaded the mortgage market and this is where the problem starts.

Real estate does make the economy boom, but there is no real wealth creation in inflating asset prices.
What is really happening?
When you use bank credit to inflate asset prices, the debt rises much faster than GDP.
https://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/uploads/monthly_2018_02/Screen-Shot-2017-04-21-at-13_53_09.png.e32e8fee4ffd68b566ed5235dc1266c2.png
The bank credit of mortgages is bringing future spending power into today.
Bank loans create money and the repayment of debt to banks destroys money.
https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/-/media/boe/files/quarterly-bulletin/2014/money-creation-in-the-modern-economy.pdf
In the real estate boom, new money pours into the economy from mortgage lending, fuelling a boom in the real economy, which feeds back into the real estate boom.
The Japanese real estate boom of the 1980s was so excessive the people even commented on the "excess money", and everyone enjoyed spending that excess money in the economy.
In the real estate bust, debt repayments to banks destroy money and push the economy towards debt deflation (a shrinking money supply).
Japan has been like this for thirty years as they pay back the debts from their 1980s excesses, it's called a balance sheet recession.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YTyJzmiHGk
Bank loans effectively take future spending and bring it in today.
Jam today, penury tomorrow.
Using future spending power to inflate asset prices today is a mistake that comes from thinking inflating asset prices creates real wealth.
GDP measures real wealth creation.

Sound of the Suburbs , November 2, 2019 at 5:37 am

Did you know capitalism works best with low housing costs and a low cost of living? Probably not, you are in the parallel universe of neoliberalism.

William White (BIS, OECD) talks about how economics really changed over one hundred years ago as classical economics was replaced by neoclassical economics.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6iXBQ33pBo&t=2485s

He thinks we have been on the wrong path for one hundred years.

Some very important things got lost 100 years ago.

Disposable income = wages – (taxes + the cost of living)

"Wait a minute, employees get their money from wages and businesses have to cover high housing costs in wages reducing profit" the CBI

It's all about the economy, and UK businesses will benefit from low housing costs. High housing costs push up wages and reduce profits. Off-shore to make more profit, you can pay lower wages where the cost of living is lower, e.g. China; the US and UK are rubbish.

Sound of the Suburbs , November 2, 2019 at 8:11 am

What was Keynes really doing? Creating a low cost, internationally competitive economy. Keynes's ideas were a solution to the problems of the Great Depression, but we forgot why he did, what he did.

They tried running an economy on debt in the 1920s. The 1920s roared with debt based consumption and speculation until it all tipped over into the debt deflation of the Great Depression. No one realised the problems that were building up in the economy as they used an economics that doesn't look at private debt, neoclassical economics.

Keynes looked at the problems of the debt based economy and came up with redistribution through taxation to keep the system running in a sustainable way and he dealt with the inherent inequality capitalism produced.

The cost of living = housing costs + healthcare costs + student loan costs + food + other costs of living

Disposable income = wages - (taxes + the cost of living)

High progressive taxation funded a low cost economy with subsidised housing, healthcare, education and other services to give more disposable income on lower wages.

Employers and employees both win with a low cost of living.

Keynesian ideas went wrong in the 1970s and everyone had forgotten the problems of neoclassical economics that he originally solved.

Sound of the Suburbs , November 2, 2019 at 8:44 am

Economics, the time line:

We thought small state, unregulated capitalism was something that it wasn't as our ideas came from neoclassical economics, which has little connection with classical economics.

On bringing it back again, we had lost everything that had been learned in the 1930s, by which time it had already demonstrated its flaws.

Kristin Lee , November 2, 2019 at 5:54 am

Ultimately, neoliberalism is about privatization and ownership of everything. This is why it's so important to preserve the Common Good, the vital resources and services that support earthly existence. The past 40 years has shown what happens when this falls out of balance. Our value system turns upside down – the sick become more valuable than the healthy, a violent society provides for the prisons-for-profit system and so on. The biggest upset has been the privatization of money creation.

This latest secret bank bailout (not really secret as Dodd-Frank has allowed banks to siphon newly created money from the Fed without Congressional approval. No more public embarrassment that Hank Paulson had to endure.) They are now up to $690 billion PER WEEK while the media snoozes. PPPs enjoy the benefits of public money to seed projects for private gain. The rest of us have to rely on predatory lenders, sinking us to the point of Peak Debt, where private debt can never be paid off and must be cancelled, as it should be because it never should've happened in the first place.

"Neoliberalism, which has influenced so much of the conventional thinking about money, is adamant that the public sector must not create ('print') money, and so public expenditure must be limited to what the market can 'afford.' Money, in this view, is a limited resource that the market ensures will be used efficiently. Is public money, then, a pipe dream? No, for the financial crisis and the response to it undermined this neoliberal dogma.

The financial sector mismanaged its role as a source of money so badly that the state had to step in and provide unlimited monetary backing to rescue it. The creation of money out of thin air by public authorities revealed the inherently political nature of money. But why, then, was the power to create money ceded to the private sector in the first place -- and with so little public accountability? And if money can be created to serve the banks, why not to benefit people and the environment? "

Paul Hirshman , November 2, 2019 at 3:33 pm

The Commons should have a shot at revival as the upcoming generation's desires are outstripped by their incomes and savings. The conflict between desires and reality may give a boost to alternate notions of what's desirable. Add to this the submersion of cities under the waves of our expanding oceans, and one gets yet another concrete reason to think that individual ownership isn't up to the job of inspiring young people.

A Commons of some sort will be needed to undo the cost of generations of unpaid negative externalities. Fossil fuels, constant warfare, income inequality, stupendous idiocy of kleptocratic government these baked in qualities of neo-liberalism are creating a very large, dissatisfied, and educated population just about anywhere one looks. Suburbia will be on fire, as well as underwater. Farmlands will be parched, drenched, and exhausted. Where will Larry Summers dump the garbage?

[Dec 01, 2019] Why the best political interviews in the USA are done by comedians?

May be because this is a right genre? , ,
Dec 01, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

fdr-fan , , November 29, 2019 at 2:11 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PdYud9re7-Q

Joe Rogan finally got around to interviewing Tulsi, along with another vet named Jocko Willink. Tulsi does splendidly but unsurprisingly, finally allowed to complete a sentence without fighting stupid questions. Around the middle of the clip, Willink has a passionate description of the rebirth of manufacturing in Maine, which is surprising!

[Dec 01, 2019] Borat is actually as stupid as he presented other nationalities to be. But he is much more aggorant.

Dec 01, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

clarky90 , November 29, 2019 at 6:17 pm

ADL International Leadership Award Presented to Sacha Baron Cohen at Never Is Now 2019

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymaWq5yZIYM

This is an astonishing speech. Borat ..?

The comments have been turned off.

urblintz , November 30, 2019 at 1:33 am

Binoy Kampmark responds; https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/11/29/sacha-baron-cohen-comes-out-swinging/

Not that he's wrong about social media but he actually said this (I imagine with a straight face) – " "let's hold these companies responsible for those who use their sites to advocate mass murder of children because of their race or religion."

Apparently he doesn't know that Israel is on both Faceplant and Twitster

[Dec 01, 2019] The essence of Black Friday

Dec 01, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Dannyh , November 29, 2019 at 4:26 pm

"I loathe Black Friday: Degrading scenes of people wrestling for shoddy merchandise."

[Dec 01, 2019] Angry Bear " Putin Beating Up People At Russia's Top University

Dec 01, 2019 | angrybearblog.com

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https://acdn.adnxs.com/ib/static/usersync/v3/async_usersync.html Putin Beating Up People At Russia's Top University That would be Moscow State University, the "Harvard" of Russia.

Not in the MSM at all, but I have mu sources, and apparently sometime last week the FSB, the successor to the domestic arm of the old KGB, raised Moscow State (whose main building is one of those "Stalin Gothic" skyscrapers) to capture a student who had been posting leaflets on walls protesting recent government actions. He was reortedly taken into the library and severely beaten to the point of torture.

Oh yes, VV Putin is such a lover of knowledge and science, just like his flunky, Donald J. Trump.

Happy Thanksgiving, you all.

Barkley Rosser

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  1. likbez , December 1, 2019 1:31 am

    Barkley,

    I think you suffer from chronic Russophobia. Or smoked something really strong. You should read Stephen Cohen more., although I am not sure that it can help.

    You just describes the set of action so stupid that they are unrealistic.

    Putin after all is a lawyer and he understand how the neoliberal MSM fueled by Western money would react to such an incident.

    Can you explain why this student was not taken to court and charged with vandalizing property and forces to couple of month of community work plus to pay the cost of cleaning as is typical in such cases?

    IMHO this is not how Russian authorities usually behave is such case -- they always suspect well organize western provocation -- look at Pussies provocations and the authorities reaction.

    Why FSB needs to chaise a poor student giving neoliberal MSMs another golden opportunity to smear Russia, Not like you did -- without any evidence, but with a credible evidence? This is police work.

[Nov 30, 2019] We can all agree that humans have had a devastating impact on every corner the environment, every ecosystem. However, it is a leap of manufactured faith (manipulation) to claim that humans are responsible for climate change

Nov 30, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

How about the hysteria that led to the Spanish War? "Remember the Maine," The ship was supposedly sunk in Havana Harbor by Spanish perfidy. In fact the Maine blew up because a coal bunker fire burned through a bulkhead and set off something or other. That was the US Navy's investigative finding after the war. Don't tell me about Hearst. Hearst was just selling newspapers. The American people went into a hysteric rage against Spain and that was the cause of war. Hearst just wanted to find "Rosebud." Figure it out.

And now we have the approaching end of the world through man made climate change. It would be funny if there were not so many who believe it.

Science? Hah! For every study you can produce in support of this fantasy I will find you one to rebut it. All you ecofreaks! Don't send me material about this. I will not help you support the hysteric fantasy. Send money to the Democratic Party. They believe this crap. pl.


Bandit , 29 November 2019 at 10:29 PM

Now this is a post I can get behind. For me it has been the hysteria and the ease with which people are manipulated through propaganda that has astonished me, because that is what the climate change agenda is all about. We can all agree that humans have had a devastating impact on every corner the environment, every ecosystem. However, it is a leap of manufactured faith (manipulation) to claim that humans are responsible for climate change.

To support this bogus hypothesis, scientists strangle and manipulate data in an effort to justify draconian laws and policies that can only line the pockets of the very rich at the expense of the rest of the tax paying population. Carbon tax is the real aim here, a totally bullshit pretext to suck more trillions of dollars from the economies of the world. Self-selecting "experts" join the chorus because of fear of censorship and loss of status while the brave ones are called, as always, climate change denialists, and thus denigrated.

Mr Zarate , 29 November 2019 at 10:41 PM
The hysteria that erupts when anyone questions climate change says pretty much all you need to know about it.
ambrit , 29 November 2019 at 10:41 PM
Oh man! Even most of the lefties I associate with believe it. They are supposed to, through the tenets of their secular 'religion,' use solid evidence as their guides. The evidence is not persuasive. The Earth has gone through fluctuations in climate for ever. The dinosaurs made do in a much hotter earth, if the geologic evidence be true. It took a cosmic strike to do them in.
Humans are the top predators here because they can adapt to change much quicker than any other animal. Modern human civilization may not be recognizable to any of us in two hundred years. That would be true with or without "climate change." We will carry on, one way or another.
Similarly to what Bandit wrote above, I see various 'elites' angling to make book on whatever does happen. The Science Fiction writer William Gibson has proposed in his book "The Peripheral," a near future based on a massive world population die back that he calls "The Jackpot."
Read: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Peripheral
All in all, we live in 'Interesting Times.'
Thank you for your indulgence.

[Nov 30, 2019] Newsweek Reporter Fired After Peddling Fake News That Trump Golfed On Thanksgiving

Nov 30, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Trump tweeted "I thought Newsweek was out of business?,"

The Persistent Vegetable , 4 minutes ago link

Now if they will just fire those reporters who claim dems are going to jail for spying on the president!

5fingerdiscount , 17 minutes ago link

Everyone is wound up pretty tight today.

What happened?

Someone shoot your crack dealer?

[Nov 28, 2019] Joe Rogan Experience #1386 - Matt Taibbi

Nov 28, 2019 | www.youtube.com

timothy curlee , 4 days ago (edited)

What do drywall , christmas ornaments and Jeffrey Epstein have in common ? None of the three can hang themselves.

Savannah Thomas , 1 week ago (edited)

"Biden to me is like having a flashlight with a dying battery and going for a long hike in the woods" - Joe Rogan 😅 1:28:33

Darin Singleton , 20 hours ago

... "Looking for news in the corporate-media is like looking for love in a brothel. Not saying it can't happen. Just that it comes at a price."

My Movers Inc Moving , 1 week ago

Journalist: "How are we going to impact the world if people think we are a joke?" Comedian: "a billion downloads."

Rosablue Hand-Made Originals , 16 hours ago (edited)

"People are increasingly careful about what they put into their bodies. But they do not think about the news that way, or social media. They don't think about what they put in their brains. It's also a consumer product." -- This by Matt Taibbi has to be the Quote of the Day I will use to bore my former colleagues on LinkedIn today.

[Nov 28, 2019] The slogan of the day

Nov 28, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

bjd , Nov 28 2019 14:51 utc | 3

No Turkey for NATO.
No NATO for Turkey.

[Nov 28, 2019] How you can outdo Jeff Bezos in charity

This is not completely fair comparison, but the valid point is that still philanthropy cannot be used as an excuse to glorify absurd levels of wealth inequality
Nov 28, 2019 | www.reddit.com

something different

Rafael Shimunov

@rafaelshimunov

Bezos gives 0.0906% to charity.

If you make $25 an hour, and drop a $20 bill on 2 gofundme's per year, you're giving more of your income to charity than the richest person on earth.

[Nov 28, 2019] Times change and we change with them

Nov 28, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Jack Dee 21 hours ago

Interesting to note how the phrase "Deep State" has gone mainstream. 3 years ago it was just a conspiracy theory

[Nov 28, 2019] 2020 Democratic Debate - SNL

Nov 28, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Presidential candidates Andrew Yang (Bowen Yang), Pete Buttigieg (Colin Jost), Cory Booker (Chris Redd), Elizabeth Warren (Kate McKinnon), Amy Klobuchar (Rachel Dratch), Tom Steyer (Will Ferrell), Michael Bloomberg (Fred Armisen), Tulsi Gabbard (Cecily Strong) Bernie Sanders (Larry David), Joe Biden (Woody Harrelson) and Kamala Harris (Maya Rudolph) speak at MSNBC's 2020 Democratic Debate.


Neel Desai , 2 days ago

Yang gets ignored even in a fake debate lol.

Shane Towne , 1 day ago (edited)

This is the funniest SNL in awhile, love Bernie and Bidens character.

meha K , 1 day ago (edited)

Lmao spot on "I'm one second away from calling Corey Booker 'Barack.'"

Garrett Lee , 3 days ago

"Trump don't want me to be the nominee. Putin don't want me to be the nominee. No one in America wants me to be the nominee."

The Illusion , 1 day ago

"I'm America's cool Aunt that lies about smoking weed in college so people think I'm cool."

Aimen Abduljelil , 1 day ago

Cecily Strong's Tulsi is pretty accurate :-)

Incomudro , 13 hours ago

Got to say, they nailed it well. "Tulsi" is hot.

[Nov 28, 2019] Browder insinuates that Fusion GPS was agent for Russia

That's the same bottomfeeder and tax fraud Browder, who most probably killed Magnitsky. and who abruptly changed his citizenship from the USA to British after his adventures in Russia. What a Chutzpah on the part of a person involved in fleecing Russia after dissolution of the USSR, the activity supported by MI6 and CIA.
Nov 28, 2019 | www.washingtonexaminer.com

Businessman Bill Browder alleged Fusion GPS acted as an agent for Russian interests in 2016, when the country was trying to combat the Magnitsky Act and its sanctions on Russian officials.

[Nov 28, 2019] New revelations about Trump, Putin and Tulsi

Nov 27, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

dltravers , Nov 27 2019 22:31 utc | 27

I talked to the maid who cleaned Trump's room in Moscow after he pissed in the bed Obama slept in. She says he did it. She is now working on the submarine used by Putin to have sex with Tulsi Gabbart off the coast of Hawaii. She routinely makes up the bed and cleans the wardroom after they have sex.

All of this can be found if one searches for the facts. CNN is reporting on this daily, it must be true.

Brendan , Nov 27 2019 22:46 utc | 28
No surprise that Wikipedia has a page entitled "Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections" that begins with the words "The Russian government interfered in (...)", as if it is a proven fact.
David G , Nov 27 2019 23:47 utc | 33
The final price tag for the 2016 election was $6.5 billion . The IRA spend only some $45,000 . It was 0.000007 cent for every election dollar that was spend during that time.
Actually that's 0.000007 IRA dollars , or all of 0.0007 cents, per election dollar.

Doesn't look so minor now, does it?

FSD , Nov 28 2019 2:32 utc | 38

...As for the IRA indictments, they were a sham from top to bottom. Here's the Powerline blog:

"One hates to be in the position of rooting for the Russians, but the Mueller Switch Project is so distasteful that it is hard not to enjoy the prospect of Mueller having to deal with an actual adversary in court. Meanwhile, this is probably the first time in the history of litigation that a plaintiff (here, prosecutor) has told a court that it may not have obtained good service of process on a defendant that has appeared to defend the case on the merits. Mueller to Court: We didn't really mean it, Judge! We had no idea they might actually show up!"

[Nov 27, 2019] Futures Tumble After Trump Signs Bill Backing Hong Kong Protesters, Defying China

Nov 27, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Justin Case , 30 minutes ago link

This is unacceptable in a democracy and China needs to get involved to regain their freedumb.

[Nov 27, 2019] It's Going To Be Bad - Heavy Snow And Wind Could Affect Millions Of Travelers This Week

Nov 27, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

_JOHNLGALT. , 1 minute ago link

It's them pesky RUSSIANS again.

[Nov 27, 2019] I always said Obama spoke like he had oatmeal stuck to the roof of his mouth because he usually stood for exactly nothing.

Nov 27, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

timbers , November 27, 2019 at 5:49 am

I always said Obama spoke like he had oatmeal stuck to the roof of his mouth because he usually stood for exactly nothing.

Obama was such a parsed speaker devoid of conviction except to be in service to a dutiful fulfillment to neoliberal establishment policies, I'm surprised the headline doesn't go something like:

"Obama Privately Considered to Privately Consider Leading a Consideration to Consider a Stop Bernie Consideration "

[Nov 27, 2019] Is Macron Right Is NATO, 70, Brain Dead

Nov 27, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Under NATO, we are now committed to go to war for 28 nations

[Nov 27, 2019] Who need Putin when you can get election manipulation by CIA

Edited for clarity
Nov 27, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

VladLenin , 2 hours ago link

Who need Putin when you can get election manipulation by CIA

Pareto , 2 hours ago link

Welcome all my friends to the show that never ends...

[Nov 27, 2019] A good news for Lindsey Graham: Pompeo might soon join the Senate and Lindsey Graham will not feel lonely as now has no one he is able to talk to about exporting democracy by blowing up the planet since Joe Lieberman retired and John McCain died

Nov 27, 2019 | www.unz.com

A story has been circulating suggesting that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will soon be resigning because he needs to focus on planning for his campaign to become a Senator from Kansas in 2020.

This is good news for the United States, as Senator Lindsey Graham has had no one he is able to talk to about exporting democracy by blowing up the planet since Joe Lieberman retired and John McCain died.

[Nov 27, 2019] Perhaps Bloomberg can one up Trump by not only showing up at the Iowa fair in his helicopter but hopping out in a flight suit. Worked for Dubya

Nov 08, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Carolinian , November 8, 2019 at 5:31 pm

Counterpunch' St Clair quotes his late friend Alex Cockburn that anyone rich enough to own a helicopter should be smart enough not to fly in one. Bloomberg pilots his own helicopter.

Perhaps Bloomberg can one up Trump by not only showing up at the Iowa fair in his helicopter but hopping out in a flight suit. Worked for Dubya.

NotTimothyGeithner , November 8, 2019 at 5:44 pm

Chris Matthews talked himself off on air during that stunt.

https://www.mediamatters.org/laura-ingraham/mission-accomplished-look-back-medias-fawning-coverage-bushs-premature-declaration

Here's a president who's really nonverbal. He's like Eisenhower. He looks great in a military uniform. He looks great in that cowboy costume he wears when he goes West. I remember him standing at that fence with Colin Powell. Was [that] the best picture in the 2000 campaign?

He looks for real. What is it about the commander in chief role, the hat that he does wear, that makes him -- I mean, he seems like -- he didn't fight in a war, but he looks like he does.

Women like a guy who's president. Check it out. The women like this war. I think we like having a hero as our president. It's simple. We're not like the Brits. We don't want an indoor prime minister type, or the Danes or the Dutch or the Italians, or a [Russian Federation President Vladimir] Putin. Can you imagine Putin getting elected here? We want a guy as president.

Yep, this is just hard hitting analysis from MSNBC! Trump didn't break these people. He's simply a louder version of them, and they are all jealous they didn't go full in on an anti-immigrant, anti Jeb Bush platform in the GOP primary.

[Nov 26, 2019] 'Idea Laundering' The American Conservative

Nov 26, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

We tend to think of propaganda as something generated by the state. This is a prime example of it coming from ideologues within universities, and making its way to the public via sympathizers in the mass media. Eventually, these lies become de facto truths, either because people really do believe in them, or the cost of questioning them becomes too great, so people conform. In time, younger people -- those who grew up being socialized into the lie -- don't know any different. In my interviews for my forthcoming book on lessons we must learn from the communist experience, a Ukrainian immigrant named Olga Grigorenko, recalling her Soviet childhood, said "Nobody told me that I was living in a lie. I was just living my life in my country, the Soviet Union. Nobody said it was a lie."

As she grew older, she came to see that in fact she lived within a system of lies. Her husband, Vladimir, spoke about how the ideology corrupted all knowledge. From the transcript:

Vladimir: For example, all history was represented as the fight between capitalism and the workers. It takes a really creative mind to see the system of classes from Marxism-Leninism presenting itself in ancient Egypt. But that's what they did. All history books were filled with that point of view. The Florentine Republic was the equal of the Great October Revolution – things like that. All our history books were like that. Every scientific paper was supposed to have a prefatory chapter describing how Marx and Engels were geniuses in that particular field of science, and how their findings anticipated whatever this scientific article described. Any and all sciences had to show a connection to the decision of the party in a previous convention.

Olga: But nobody believed in it.

Vladimir: But everybody knew that you had to say these things in order to be published.

More:

Olga: In high school and middle school, we had to write essays, like normal school kids do. But you never could write what you think about the subject. Never, ever. The subject could be interesting, but you never could put what do you think. You have to find some way to relate that to the communist view.

Vladimir: The general culture taught you this doublethink.

Olga: I remember when I was eight or nine years old, I came home from school and told my parents a funny anecdote about a famous Red Army hero, one that made him look bad. I just started to tell my parents, and my father looked at me and said, 'Never do that again. Not in our house, not anywhere. Just stop, and forget. You can't tell funny stories about communist leaders.' And I was afraid.

Vladimir: Sooner or later, society would tell you what you shouldn't say. And if you said it, you would end up in the camp.

We are reproducing that system here, in an American way. It begins with the ideological corruption of knowledge in the institutions of higher education, then moves out from there. How difficult do you imagine it would be within the New York Times newsroom, or any major American newsroom, to mount a serious challenge to the concepts of "whiteness," "patriarchy," and the like? In fact, we have an example of it, from this summer: the leaked transcript of the Times 's internal town hall meeting , in which an unnamed staffer told editor-in-chief Dean Baquet that "I just feel like racism is in everything. It should be considered in our science reporting, in our culture reporting, in our national reporting."

Baquet declined the opportunity to deliver a Journalistic Standards 101 lecture to this person, and instead gave a fuzzy non-answer ( read the transcript ; you'll see) praising the paper's then-upcoming "1619 Project," a massive initiative attempting to "reframe" American history around slavery.

If you'll recall, the 1619 Project was named for the year the first African slave arrived on American shores; the Times said that year, not 1776, ought to be remembered as the founding of America.

[Nov 26, 2019] Why Pompeo Gives Away the Palestinian West Bank

Nov 26, 2019 | www.unz.com

BannedHipster , says: November 26, 2019 at 3:21 pm GMT

Trump must be doing some really terrible stuff on all those Ghislaine Maxwell/Jeffrey Epstein tapes.

[Nov 26, 2019] The Illiberal World Order

Notable quotes:
"... Despite massive amounts of evidence to the contrary, such people now enthusiastically whitewash the decades preceding Trump to turn it into a paragon of human liberty, justice and economic wonder. You don't have to look deep to understand that resistance liberals are now actually conservatives, brimming with nostalgia for the days before significant numbers of people became wise to what's been happening all along. ..."
"... Lying to yourself about history is one of the most dangerous things you can do. If you can't accept where we've been, and that Trump's election is a symptom of decades of rot as opposed to year zero of a dangerous new world, you'll never come to any useful conclusions ..."
"... Irrespective of what you think of Bernie Sanders and his policies, you can at least appreciate the fact his supporters focus on policy and real issues ..."
"... An illiberal democracy, also called a partial democracy, low intensity democracy, empty democracy, hybrid regime or guided democracy, is a governing system in which although elections take place, citizens are cut off from knowledge about the activities of those who exercise real power because of the lack of civil liberties; thus it is not an "open society". There are many countries "that are categorized as neither 'free' nor 'not free', but as 'probably free', falling somewhere between democratic and nondemocratic regimes". This may be because a constitution limiting government powers exists, but those in power ignore its liberties, or because an adequate legal constitutional framework of liberties does not exist. ..."
Nov 26, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

The Illiberal World Order by Tyler Durden Mon, 11/25/2019 - 21:45 0 SHARES

Authored by Michael Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

From a big picture perspective, the largest rift in American politics is between those willing to admit reality and those clinging to a dishonest perception of a past that never actually existed. Ironically, those who most frequently use "post-truth" to describe our current era tend to be those with the most distorted view of what was really happening during the Clinton/Bush/Obama reign.

Despite massive amounts of evidence to the contrary, such people now enthusiastically whitewash the decades preceding Trump to turn it into a paragon of human liberty, justice and economic wonder. You don't have to look deep to understand that resistance liberals are now actually conservatives, brimming with nostalgia for the days before significant numbers of people became wise to what's been happening all along.

They want to forget about the bipartisan coverup of Saudi Arabia's involvement in 9/11, all the wars based on lies, and the indisputable imperial crimes disclosed by Wikileaks, Snowden and others. They want to pretend Wall Street crooks weren't bailed out and made even more powerful by the Bush/Obama tag team, despite ostensible ideological differences between the two. They want to forget Epstein Didn't Kill Himself.

Lying to yourself about history is one of the most dangerous things you can do. If you can't accept where we've been, and that Trump's election is a symptom of decades of rot as opposed to year zero of a dangerous new world, you'll never come to any useful conclusions. As such, the most meaningful fracture in American society today is between those who've accepted that we've been lied to for a very long time, and those who think everything was perfectly fine before Trump. There's no real room for a productive discussion between such groups because one of them just wants to get rid of orange man, while the other is focused on what's to come. One side actually believes a liberal world order existed in the recent past, while the other fundamentally recognizes this was mostly propaganda based on myth.

Irrespective of what you think of Bernie Sanders and his policies, you can at least appreciate the fact his supporters focus on policy and real issues. In contrast, resistance liberals just desperately scramble to put up whoever they think can take us back to a make-believe world of the recent past. This distinction is actually everything. It's the difference between people who've at least rejected the status quo and those who want to rewind history and perform a do-over of the past forty years.

A meaningful understanding that unites populists across the ideological spectrum is the basic acceptance that the status quo is pernicious and unsalvageable, while the status quo-promoting opposition focuses on Trump the man while conveniently ignoring the worst of his policies because they're essentially just a continuation of Bush/Clinton/Obama. It's the most shortsighted and destructive response to Trump imaginable. It's also why the Trump-era alliance of corporate, imperialist Democrats and rightwing Bush-era neoconservatives makes perfect sense, as twisted and deranged as it might seem at first. With some minor distinctions, these people share nostalgia for the same thing.

This sort of political environment is extremely unhealthy because it places an intentional and enormous pressure on everyone to choose between dedicating every fiber of your being to removing Trump at all costs or supporting him. This anti-intellectualism promotes an ends justifies the means attitude on all sides. In other words, it turns more and more people into rhinoceroses.

Eugène Ionesco's masterpiece, Rhinoceros, is about a central European town where the citizens turn, one by one, into rhinoceroses. Once changed, they do what rhinoceroses do, which is rampage through the town, destroying everything in their path. People are a little puzzled at first, what with their fellow citizens just turning into rampaging rhinos out of the blue, but even that slight puzzlement fades quickly enough. Soon it's just the New Normal. Soon it's just the way things are a good thing, even. Only one man resists the siren call of rhinocerosness, and that choice brings nothing but pain and existential doubt, as he is utterly profoundly alone.

– Ben Hunt, The Long Now, Pt. 2 – Make, Protect, Teach

A political environment where you're pressured to choose between some ridiculous binary of "we must remove Trump at all costs" or go gung-ho MAGA, is a rhinoceros generating machine. The only thing that happens when you channel your inner rhinoceros to defeat rhinoceroses, is you get more rhinoceroses. And that's exactly what's happening.

The truth of the matter is the U.S. is an illiberal democracy in practice, despite various myths to the contrary.

An illiberal democracy, also called a partial democracy, low intensity democracy, empty democracy, hybrid regime or guided democracy, is a governing system in which although elections take place, citizens are cut off from knowledge about the activities of those who exercise real power because of the lack of civil liberties; thus it is not an "open society". There are many countries "that are categorized as neither 'free' nor 'not free', but as 'probably free', falling somewhere between democratic and nondemocratic regimes". This may be because a constitution limiting government powers exists, but those in power ignore its liberties, or because an adequate legal constitutional framework of liberties does not exist.

It's not a new thing by any means, but it's getting worse by the day. Though many of us remain in denial, the American response to various crises throughout the 21st century was completely illiberal. As devastating as they were, the attacks of September 11, 2001 did limited damage compared to the destruction caused by our insane response to them. Similarly, any direct damage caused by the election and policies of Donald Trump pales in comparison to the damage being done by the intelligence agency-led "resistance" to him.

So are we all rhinoceroses now?

We don't have to be. Turning into a rhinoceros happens easily if you're unaware of what's happening and not grounded in principles, but ultimately it is a choice. The decision to discard ethics and embrace dishonesty in order to achieve political ends is always a choice. As such, the most daunting challenge we face now and in the chaotic years ahead is to become better as others become worse. A new world is undoubtably on the horizon, but we don't yet know what sort of world it'll be. It's either going to be a major improvement, or it'll go the other way, but one thing's for certain -- it can't stay the way it is much longer.

If we embrace an ends justifies the means philosophy, it's going to be game over for a generation. The moment you accept this tactic is the moment you stoop down to the level of your adversaries and become just like them. It then becomes a free-for-all for tyrants where everything is suddenly on the table and no deed is beyond the pale. It's happened many times before and it can happen again. It's what happens when everyone turns into rhinoceroses.

* * *

If you enjoyed this, I suggest you check out the following 2017 posts. It's never been more important to stay conscious and maintain a strong ethical framework.

Do Ends Justify the Means?

[Nov 26, 2019] Democrats Empower a Pack of Paranoid Neocon Morons both in State Department and Pentagon by David Stockman

Nov 22, 2019 | original.antiwar.com

But in their frenzied pursuit of the Donald’s political scalp, the Dems may be inadvertently sabotaging their Deep State masters. That’s because the neocon knuckleheads they are dragging out of the NSC and State Department woodwork are such bellicose simpletons – just maybe their utterly preposterous testimony about the Russkie threat and Ukrainian "front line" will wake up the somnolent American public to the absurdity of the entire Cold War 2.0 campaign.

Indeed, you almost have to ask whether the bit about fighting the Russkies in the Donbas rather than on the shores of New Jersey from Morrison’s opening statement quoted above was reprinted in the New York Times or The Onion?

[Nov 26, 2019] Amazing natural symmetry of "Full of Schiff" cohort lies

Nov 26, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

prawnik , 25 November 2019 at 01:57 PM

I recall that the Russiagate conspiracy theory was "proven" factual as well, and by many of the same people who claim that Biden's corruption has been "debunked". Even though it was absurd on its face and had been debunked numerous times, many people in fact continue to insist otherwise.

[Nov 26, 2019] Stay Strong, Go Long Bulletproof Russia Becomes Contrarian Haven

Nov 26, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Stay Strong, Go Long – Bulletproof Russia Becomes Contrarian Haven by Tyler Durden Tue, 11/26/2019 - 02:00 0 SHARES

Authored by Tom Luongo via Gold, Goats, 'n Guns blog,

It's a tough road being a contrarian on Russia. This is especially true today when the entirety of the U.S. and European political system is aligned to demonize Russia at nearly every level.

And the main reason for this is that Russia under President Vladimir Putin refuses to do the West's bidding both at home and abroad. The central tenet of U.S. foreign policy is that U.S. concerns, no matter where they are, are supreme and everyone else's are subordinate.

Russia under Putin doesn't play that game. He hasn't for nearly twenty years now. This is not to say, of course, that objectively speaking Putin is a good man or even a good leader. In studying Putin for the past seven years I've come to one inescapable conclusion.

He was exactly the leader Russia needed to dig the country out of the abyss it found itself in when he took over. He is exactly the kind of leader Russia needs to guide it through the next period of history.

So much analysis of Putin and Russia is so thoroughly ideologically tainted that, on that basis alone, it should be dismissed out of hand. And it has been successful enough that even the best analysts who are truly skeptical of the U.S. narrative still get some of the basics about Russia and Putin horribly wrong.

I've been recommending Russia as an investment to people since early 2015 and its state-owned gas giant Gazprom (NYSE:OGZPY) since mid-2014. I haven't wavered in that recommendation, despite the ups and downs.

And the reason for this is simple. While markets do not trade on fundamentals every day, over the long run a market's or stock's fundamentals do eventually overcome sentiment and assert themselves on the price.

So, in 2014 when oil prices collapsed so did the price of Gazprom. The ruble went through a crisis intended to oust Putin from power in revenge for his thwarting the U.S. takeover of Crimea.

Putin's deft handling of the ruble crisis and Russia's impeccable national balance sheet allowed both to survive and begin digging the country out of the latest hole placed in front of it.

Since then the U.S. has piled on obstacle after obstacle in front of Russia in the global marketplace for capital. The Magnitsky Act has been used like a bludgeon to scare investors away from the land of the Evil Putin.

False flags and overt provocations to war in Syria, Ukraine and the U.K. have slowed the pace of investment in Russia's capital markets. Gazprom for years languished both because of the political risks of U.S. pressure in Europe to stop first the South Stream and then the Nordstream 2 pipelines.

Frivolous lawsuits from Ukraine, the EU and the Baltics have dogged the company for years. The EU has changed its laws to retroactively try and gain a legal upper hand on Gazprom's pricing of natural gas. But, ultimately, none of it has worked.

Slowly, but surely, Russia's fundamentals and its stable and improving political situation are winning the hearts of investors looking for yield in a yield-free world.

An article in Forbes last week documented this shift in sentiment perfectly.

"They've made themselves bulletproof," says James Barrineau, co-head of emerging-market debt for Schroders Investment in New York.

"They can pay off all their foreign debts with their central bank reserves. Plus, they're cutting interest rates. The currency is very stable. And they have room on the fiscal side to spend on their economy."

The first point is something I pointed out in 2015. The numbers were this good then. And yet, the ratings agencies, like dutiful quislings, cut Russia's ratings to junk status.

And they did this against fundamentals like having enough money to pay off the entire country's debt load, public and private, and at the time at 13.3% debt-to-GDP ratio . Today that ratio stands, after a currency crisis, at just 11.8%.

Someone remind me what the U.S.'s is?

As always, what the world responded to was the hardship of the U.S. all but kicking Russia out of the dollar-funding markets. The only step not taken against Russia was removing it from the SWIFT interbank messsaging system.

That wasn't done for the same reasons that it wasn't reinstated by Trump on Iran after he pulled out of the JCPOA. It doesn't work. All it does is hasten the rate at which the country learns to work without U.S. dollars.

By 2019 Russia, China and Iran have alternatives to SWIFT to prosecute international trade outside of the U.S.'s purview. Once those transactions leave SWIFT the U.S. loses a very powerful monitoring tool.

And in surviving this full court press to destroy Russia financially and keep capital from fleeing there the U.S. has made it a stronger destination today than it would have ever been had it not gone this route.

Instead of isolating Russia financially and destroying the ruble, it actually made the dollar more suspect and raised the profile of the ruble across central Asia.

President Trump has weaponized the dollar to such an extent that he's raised the costs of using it for countries that do significant business with Russia above that of the ruble.

And it starts with the political stability created by Putin and his deft diplomatic corps, led by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Putin has made it a point of always keeping his promises on the world stage, no matter how rocky the relationship.

Trump on the other hand has unilaterally bullied and sanctioned most of the world for not doing what he wants. Putin keeps making this point over and over again, Trump is destroying the long-term viability of the dollar. The key to that statement being 'long-term.'

Because a country that acts honorably on the world stage, encourages trade over blackmail, honors its contracts even when the rules are arbitrarily changed against them and stands by its allies will generate the kind of good will that will increase the willingness of people locally to accept that country's currency.

Since Trump went on his sanction the world policy, the ruble has been on a tear in international markets. While mildly strengthening versus the dollar (0.8%), the ruble has risen 11% versus the total basket of its trading partners (REER).

This is the clearest picture I can paint of the ruble decoupling from the U.S. dollar and it's a trend worth watching into the future. Because as the dollar rises into the teeth of the brewing financial crisis (think European banking meltdown currently underway) the ruble will act as a port in the storm for those economies terminally short dollars.

With the Bank of Russia finally letting its boot off the neck of the Russian economy by lowering interest rates aggressively over the past four months, the Ruble hasn't degraded one bit.

If anything all this has done is strengthen demand for the ruble as pent-up demand in the form of huge domestic savings now can be deployed as new business loans and corporate bond issues at far better rates a few months ago.

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That said the Bank of Russia is still behind the curve by looking at the spread between the Overnight lending rate (a proxy for the benchmark rate) and the yield on a 1 year government note.

All that's happened since Elvira Nabullina began cutting rates is demand for Russian debt has skyrocketed as investors in the West search for safe returns and across Emerging Markets starved of dollars. And while the ruble is nowhere close to overthrowing the dollar on the global stage and likely never will, it only takes a small shift in demand to create outsized effects on markets as comparatively small as Russia's.

The rate of de-dollarization of the Russia economy is not as fast as the headlines would have you believe, but it is happening. The ruble now accounts for more than 30% of Russian exports and 20% of its overall international trade.

The world is insanely short dollars at this point and will continue to be for the next decade. That much is certain. It will fuel a massive dollar rally ove the next few years.

But Russia isn't alone in the woods anymore on this path. India, Turkey, China, Iran and others understand what that reliance on the dollar means during economic downturns. And they are working with Putin to lay the groundwork to keep their economies from collapsing as the dollars flow out.

This is why Putin and Xi have been adamant about building ways to bypass the dollar for local trade. It will allow the dollar short positions of local companies to fade just like did for Russian companies after the ruble crisis in 2015.

Now that we're four years beyond the worst of that and the political reality surrounding Russia far better than it was then, its stock market is booming, demand for its debt is rising and contrarian investors are looking for the next generational play to park their cash despite the obstacles the U.S. places in front of them.

The key for this will be the EU, as Russia's trade with the EU in euros is nearly as big as it is in dollars now. This is what will prompt the rescinding of sanctions against Russia this year.

When that happens you can expect a big pop in the Moscow Exchange.

* * *

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[Nov 25, 2019] Note of a State Deparment neocons giving testimony on Ukrainegate: please do not forget to mention Russia's aggressive training whales to spy on Norway, crickets to drive the US embassy in Cuba nuts, weaponizing Masha and the bear, using Pokemon to sow the seeds of discord, as well as contemplating on freezing up a few states,

Nov 25, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Zoran Aleksic bumbershoot 6 days ago • edited

Agreed. However, an addendum, you seem to have forgotten to mention Russia's aggressive training whales to spy on Norway, crickets to drive the US embassy in Cuba nuts, weaponizing Masha and the bear, using Pokemon to sow the seeds of discord, contemplating on freezing up a few states, any many others the mere thought of gets one wound up.
Sid Finster Zoran Aleksic 6 days ago
Your irony is going to be lost on the average frustrated russiagate conspiracy theorist.

[Nov 25, 2019] Democrats Empower a Pack of Paranoid Neocon Morons both in State Department and Pentagon by David Stockman

Nov 22, 2019 | original.antiwar.com

[Nov 24, 2019] Chris Hedges on Death of the Liberal Class - YouTube

Highly recommended!
Jan 04, 2011 | www.youtube.com

riccardo estavans , 4 months ago

Colin Shaw , 5 months ago Think Mackay , 5 months ago

Bill Clinton destroyed the USA economy and middle class like no president has ever done. Bush II and Obama exacerbated the destruction by the hundred folds.

Orion's Ghost , 5 months ago

I believe Hedges statement that "the true correctives to society were social movements that never achieved formal political power" is perhaps one of the most important things for each of us to understand.

Fred Slocombe , 3 months ago (edited)
Ali Naderzad , 3 months ago (edited)

16:50 GENIUS. WELL DONE. So true.go Chris !!!

cubismo85 , 4 weeks ago

hauntingly accurate in every aspect, im speehless

Eris123451 , 3 days ago

I watched this with interest and curiosity and growing skepticism although he makes some killer points and cites some extremely disturbing facts; above all he accepts and uncritically so the American narrative of history.

Brian Valero , 4 months ago

The message from democrats is "hey we're not bigots". Most people (repubs+dems) aren't. If they keep calling on that for energy the Dems will forever continue to lose. If they don't come back to the working class they might as well just call themselves conservatives.

jimmyolsenblues , 4 months ago

he did/wrote this in 2011, he really understood then how things are in 2019.

Andy Russ , 3 years ago (edited)

Prescient 'post-mortem' of the 2016 election

2009starlite , 5 months ago (edited)

Those of us who seek the truth can't stop looking under every stone. The truth will set you free but you must share it with those who are ready to hear it and hide it from those who can hurt you for exposing it. MT

Aubrey De Bliquy , 2 days ago (edited)

"A Society that looses the capacity for the sacred cannibalizes itself until it dies because it exploits the natural world as well as human beings to the point of collapse."

Clark WARS News , 1 day ago

I learned something from watching this thank you powerful teacher love you ⭐

Rebel Scum , 5 months ago

I think he meant Washington State University which is in Pullman. The University of Washington is in Seattle. 16:43

phuturephunk , 6 years ago

Damn, he's grim...but he makes a whole lot of sense.

davekiernan1 , 2 weeks ago

Like Mr bon ribentrof said in monty Python. He's right you know...

Rich Keal , 5 months ago

Search YouTube for Dr. Antony Sutton the funding of the Bolshevik Revolution. The Act of 1871 as well. Take the Red Pill and go deeper.

kevin joseph , 5 days ago

loony republicans? did they open the borders, legalize late abortions and outright infanticide?

Michael Maya , 5 months ago

I've listened to this twice both twice it played on accident bcuz I had you tube on autoplay, it woke me up while I was sleeping but I'm glad it did.

Bryce Hallam , 1 week ago

Set the Playback Speed to: 1.25 . Great lecture.

Buddy Aces , 5 months ago

It makes sense and we can smell it! Those varmints must be shown no mercy.

VC YT , 5 months ago

To get in the mood, I watched this lecture from behind some Hedges. :-)

Orion's Ghost , 5 months ago

I believe Hedges statement that "the true correctives to society were social movements that never achieved formal political power" is perhaps one of the most important things for each of us to understand.

Fred Slocombe , 3 months ago (edited)

15:05 The subjugation of Education 21:15 Theatrical Manipulation of Expectations 24:08 U.S. Debt and Borrowing

Ali Naderzad , 3 months ago (edited)

16:50 GENIUS. WELL DONE. So true.go Chris !!!

cubismo85 , 4 weeks ago

hauntingly accurate in every aspect, im speehless

Eris123451 , 3 days ago

I watched this with interest and curiosity and growing skepticism although he makes some killer points and cites some extremely disturbing facts; above all he accepts and uncritically so the American narrative of history. The Progressive movement, for example, (written into American history as being far more important that it ever really was,) unlike Socialism or Communism was primarily just a literary and a trendy intellectually movement that attempted, (unconvincingly,) to persuade poor, exploited and abused Americans that non of those other political movements, (reactive and grass-roots,) were needed here and that capitalism could and might of itself, cure itself; it conceded little, promised much and unlike either Communism or Socialism delivered fuck all. Personally I remain unconvinced also by, "climate science," (which he takes as given,) and which seems to to me to depend far too much on faith and self important repeatedly insisting that it's true backed by lurid and hysterical propaganda and not nearly enough on rational scientific argument, personally I can't make head nor tail of the science behind it ? (it may well be true, or not; I can't tell.) But above all and stripped of it his pretensions his argument is just typical theist, (of any flavor you like,) end of times claptrap all the other systems have failed, (China for example somewhat gives the lie to death of Communism by the way and so on,) the end is neigh and all that is left to do is for people to turn to character out of first century fairly story. I wish him luck with that.

penny kannon , 5 months ago

CHRIS HEDGES YOUR BOOK MUST BE HIGH SCHOOL STUDY!!! wtkjr.!!!

Brian Valero , 4 months ago

The message from democrats is "hey we're not bigots". Most people (repubs+dems) aren't. If they keep calling on that for energy the Dems will forever continue to lose. If they don't come back to the working class they might as well just call themselves conservatives.

jimmyolsenblues , 4 months ago

he did/wrote this in 2011, he really understood then how things are in 2019.

Andy Russ , 3 years ago (edited)

Prescient 'post-mortem' of the 2016 election

Jean Lloyd Bradberry , 5 months ago

Shared! Excellent presentation!

Mike van Wijngaarden , 4 months ago

What if, to fail is the objective? That would mean they planned everything that's happened and will happen.

Michael Hutz , 1 month ago (edited)

Loved Chris in this one. First time I've heard him talking naturally instead of reading verbatim from a text which makes him sound preachy.

Bill Mccloy , 4 months ago (edited)

Chris is our canary in a coal mine! Truly a national treasure and a champion for humanity. And he's more Christian than he thinks he is.

Herr Pooper , 4 months ago

I have always loved Chris Hedges, but ever since becoming fully awake it pains me to see how he will take gigantic detours of imagination to never mention Israel, AIPAC or Zionism, and their complete takeover of the US. What a shame.

ISIS McCain , 4 months ago

Hey Chris, please look up Dr. Wolfe and have a big debate with him!!! I believe you guys would mostly hit it off, but please look him up!

UtopiaMinor666 , 8 years ago

The reality of this is enough to make you want to cry.

Terri Pebsworth , 3 months ago

Excellent! And truer today (2019) than even in 2010.

Russell Olausen , 4 months ago

Notes From the Underground,my favourite book.

John Doe , 3 weeks ago

Gosh I thought it was being broadcasted today. Then I heard it and it was really for today.

George C. May , 2 months ago

Not once did I hear the word corruption which in this speech sums up the bureaucratic control of the country !

L N , 5 months ago

I think Chris Has saved my life! ✊🏼✌️ 👍🏼🌅

Laureano Luna , 4 months ago

43:53 Cicero did not even live the imperial period of Rome...

andrew domenitz , 4 months ago

The continued growth of unproductive debt against the low or nonexistent growth of GDP is the recipe for collapse, for the whole world economic system.

Thomas Simmons , 5 months ago

I agree with Chris about the tragedy of the Liberal Church. Making good through identity politics however, is every bit as heretical and tragic as Evangelical Republican corrupted church think, in my humble, Christian opinion.

Alexandros Aiakides , 2 weeks ago (edited)

The death of the present western hemisphere governments and "democratic" institutions must die right now for humanity to be saved from the zombies that rule it. 'Cannibalization" of oikonomia was my idea, as well as of William Engdahl. l am glad hearing Hedges to adopt the expression of truth. ( November 2019. from Phthia , Hellas ).

Heathcliff Earnshaw , 4 months ago div cl

ass="comment-renderer-text-content expanded"> Gosh , especially that last conclusion ,was terrific so I want to paste the whole of that Auden poem here:- September 1, 1939 W. H. Auden - 1907-1973

... ... ...

I sit in one of the dives
On Fifty-second Street
Uncertain and afraid
As the clever hopes expire
Of a low dishonest decade:
Waves of anger and fear
Circulate over the bright
And darkened lands of the earth,
Obsessing our private lives;
The unmentionable odour of death
Offends the September night.

[Nov 24, 2019] Something about the logic of Schiff investigation

Nov 24, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Oldwood , 30 minutes ago link

Let me get this straight.

Got it.

[Nov 24, 2019] Can t say that the powers that be don t have a sense of humor.

Nov 24, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

For some bizarre reason, The New York Times asked Paul Wolfowitz to write about U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East

john 2 days ago

He testified that the Iraq war would be "self financing" his reward for that brilliant bit of financial prediction was to be put in charge of the World Bank. Can't say that the powers that be don't have a sense of humor.

[Nov 23, 2019] The Pitfalls of a Pit Bull Russophobe by Ray McGovern

Ray raised interesting question: was Fiona Hill on the list on Brennan experts who created 17 intelligence agencies.
Notable quotes:
"... Fiona Hill's "Russian-expert" testimony Thursday and her deposition on Oct. 14 to the impeachment inquiry showed that her antennae are acutely tuned to what Russian intelligence services may be up to but, sadly, also displayed a striking naiveté about the machinations of U.S. intelligence. ..."
"... Hill's education on Russia came at the knee of the late Professor Richard Pipes, her Harvard mentor and archdeacon of Russophobia. I do not dispute her sincerity in attributing all manner of evil to what President Ronald Reagan called the "Evil Empire." But, like so many other glib "Russia experts" with access to Establishment media, she seems three decades out of date. ..."
"... I have been studying the U.S.S.R. and Russia for twice as long as Hill, was chief of CIA's Soviet Foreign Policy Branch during the 1970s, and watched the "Evil Empire" fall apart. She seems to have missed the falling apart part. ..."
"... Hill has been conditioned to believe Russian President Vladimir Putin and especially his security services are capable of anything, and thus sees a Russian under every rock -- as we used to say of smart know-nothings like former CIA Director William Casey and the malleable "Soviet experts" who bubbled up to the top during his reign (1981 – 1987). Recall that at the very first meeting of Reagan's cabinet, Casey openly told the president and other cabinet officials: "We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." Were Casey still alive, he would be very pleased and proud of Hill's performance. ..."
"... "The unfortunate truth is that Russia was the foreign power that systematically attacked our democratic institutions in 2016. This is the public conclusion of our intelligence agencies, confirmed in bipartisan Congressional reports. It is beyond dispute, even if some of the underlying details must remain classified." [Emphasis added.] ..."
"... A modicum of intellectual curiosity and rudimentary due diligence would have prompted her to look into who was in charge of preparing the (misnomered) "Intelligence Community Assessment" published on Jan. 6, 2017, which provided the lusted-after fodder for the "mainstream" media and others wanting to blame Hillary Clinton's defeat on the Russians. ..."
"... President Barack Obama gave the task to his National Intelligence Director James Clapper, whom he had allowed to stay in that job for three and a half years after he had to apologize to Congress for what he later admitted was a "clearly erroneous" response, under oath, to a question from Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) on NSA surveillance of U.S. citizens. ..."
"... Just eight weeks after she joined the National Security Council staff, Clapper, during an NBC interview on May 28, 2017, recalled "the historical practices of the Russians, who typically, are almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor, whatever, which is a typical Russian technique." Later he added, "It's in their DNA." Clapper has claimed that "what the Russians did had a profound impact on the outcome of the election." ..."
"... As for the "Intelligence Community Assessment," the banner headline atop The New York Times on Jan. 7, 2017 set the tone for the next couple of years: "Putin Led Scheme to Aid Trump, Report Says." During my career as a CIA analyst, as deputy national intelligence officer chairing National Intelligence Estimates (NIEs), and working on the Intelligence Production Review Board, I had not seen so shabby a piece of faux analysis as the ICA. The writers themselves seemed to be holding their noses. They saw fit to embed in the ICA itself this derriere-covering note : "High confidence in a judgment does not imply that the assessment is a fact or a certainty; such judgments might be wrong ..."
"... "According to several current and former intelligence officers who must remain anonymous because of the sensitivity of the issue," as the Times says when it prints made-up stuff, there were only two "handpicked analysts." Clapper picked Brennan; and Brennan picked Clapper. That would help explain the grossly subpar quality of the ICA. ..."
"... The general problem IMHO, to state obvious, is that there is no truth in the public discourse, only lies which support the narrative. And there is no penalty for the continuous lies, certainly not from what is called the press these days. ..."
"... I remember Phil Giraldi's comment months ago. He had worked for the CIA and now heads the Council for the National interest. He noted his surprise at how many within the CIA still clung to the cold war view of the Russians, ready to accept almost anything bad about the evil Russians. ..."
"... And it does seem the Russian haters still are living in the past and many have a huge impact on public policy and public opinion. It is a very dangerous affliction for the rest of the world. ..."
"... The greatest nation ever's permanent war system requires much deception & permanent enemies to keep the our economy going strong & the people distracted from the real issues. If everyone knew the truth, the world's biggest racket ever would fall apart and world peace would break out. ..."
"... American "intelligence" agencies will do exactly what "intelligence" agencies have done since time immemorial – they will perpetuate their position and power. The fact that that strips you of some of your freedom is a feature, not a bug. ..."
"... Hill's career advancement and access to the MSM depends on her faith in our "intelligence" agencies. And I doubt very much that Durham will be allowed to do his job probing the origins of RussiaGate. The evil ones will stop at nothing to keep control of the narrative. ..."
"... "It is easier to fool people than to convince them they have been fooled." Mark Twain ..."
Nov 22, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

7 Comments

Like so many other glib "Russia experts" with access to Establishment media, Fiona Hill, who testified Thursday in the impeachment probe, seems three decades out of date.

Special to Consortium News

Fiona Hill's "Russian-expert" testimony Thursday and her deposition on Oct. 14 to the impeachment inquiry showed that her antennae are acutely tuned to what Russian intelligence services may be up to but, sadly, also displayed a striking naiveté about the machinations of U.S. intelligence.

Hill's education on Russia came at the knee of the late Professor Richard Pipes, her Harvard mentor and archdeacon of Russophobia. I do not dispute her sincerity in attributing all manner of evil to what President Ronald Reagan called the "Evil Empire." But, like so many other glib "Russia experts" with access to Establishment media, she seems three decades out of date.

I have been studying the U.S.S.R. and Russia for twice as long as Hill, was chief of CIA's Soviet Foreign Policy Branch during the 1970s, and watched the "Evil Empire" fall apart. She seems to have missed the falling apart part.

Selective Suspicion

Are the Russian intelligence services still very active? Of course. But there is no evidence -- other than Hill's bias -- for her extraordinary claim that they were behind the infamous "Steele Dossier," for example, or that they were the prime mover of Ukraine-gate in an attempt to shift the blame for Russian "meddling" in the 2016 U.S. election onto Ukraine. In recent weeks U.S. intelligence officials were spreading this same tale, lapped up and faithfully reported Friday by The New York Times.

Hill has been conditioned to believe Russian President Vladimir Putin and especially his security services are capable of anything, and thus sees a Russian under every rock -- as we used to say of smart know-nothings like former CIA Director William Casey and the malleable "Soviet experts" who bubbled up to the top during his reign (1981 – 1987). Recall that at the very first meeting of Reagan's cabinet, Casey openly told the president and other cabinet officials: "We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." Were Casey still alive, he would be very pleased and proud of Hill's performance.

Beyond Dispute?

On Thursday Hill testified:

"The unfortunate truth is that Russia was the foreign power that systematically attacked our democratic institutions in 2016. This is the public conclusion of our intelligence agencies, confirmed in bipartisan Congressional reports. It is beyond dispute, even if some of the underlying details must remain classified." [Emphasis added.]

Ah, yes. "The public conclusion of our intelligence agencies": the same ones who reported that the Communist Party of the Soviet Union would never surrender power peaceably; the same ones who told Secretary of State Colin Powell he could assure the UN Security Council that the WMD evidence given him by our intelligence agencies was "irrefutable and undeniable." Only Richard-Pipeline-type Russophobia can account for the blinders on someone as smart as Hill and prompt her to take as gospel "the public conclusions of our intelligence agencies."

A modicum of intellectual curiosity and rudimentary due diligence would have prompted her to look into who was in charge of preparing the (misnomered) "Intelligence Community Assessment" published on Jan. 6, 2017, which provided the lusted-after fodder for the "mainstream" media and others wanting to blame Hillary Clinton's defeat on the Russians.

Jim, Do a Job on the Russians

President Barack Obama with Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, 2011. (White House/ Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama gave the task to his National Intelligence Director James Clapper, whom he had allowed to stay in that job for three and a half years after he had to apologize to Congress for what he later admitted was a "clearly erroneous" response, under oath, to a question from Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) on NSA surveillance of U.S. citizens.

And when Clapper published his memoir last year, Hill would have learned that, as Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's handpicked appointee to run satellite imagery analysis, Clapper places the blame for the consequential "failure" to find the (non-existent) WMD "where it belongs -- squarely on the shoulders of the administration members who were pushing a narrative of a rogue WMD program in Iraq and on the intelligence officers, including me, who were so eager to help that we found what wasn't really there." [Emphasis added.]

But for Hill, Clapper was a kindred soul: Just eight weeks after she joined the National Security Council staff, Clapper, during an NBC interview on May 28, 2017, recalled "the historical practices of the Russians, who typically, are almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor, whatever, which is a typical Russian technique." Later he added, "It's in their DNA." Clapper has claimed that "what the Russians did had a profound impact on the outcome of the election."

As for the "Intelligence Community Assessment," the banner headline atop The New York Times on Jan. 7, 2017 set the tone for the next couple of years: "Putin Led Scheme to Aid Trump, Report Says." During my career as a CIA analyst, as deputy national intelligence officer chairing National Intelligence Estimates (NIEs), and working on the Intelligence Production Review Board, I had not seen so shabby a piece of faux analysis as the ICA. The writers themselves seemed to be holding their noses. They saw fit to embed in the ICA itself this derriere-covering note : "High confidence in a judgment does not imply that the assessment is a fact or a certainty; such judgments might be wrong."

Not a Problem

With the help of the Establishment media, Clapper and CIA Director John Brennan, were able to pretend that the ICA had been approved by "all 17 intelligence agencies" (as first claimed by Clinton, with Rep. Jim Himes, D-CT, repeating that canard Thursday, alas "without objection)." Himes, too should do his homework. The bogus "all 17 intelligence agencies" claim lasted only a few months before Clapper decided to fess up. With striking naiveté, Clapper asserted that ICA preparers were "handpicked analysts" from only the FBI, CIA and NSA. The criteria Clapper et al. used are not hard to divine. In government as in industry, when you can handpick the analysts, you can handpick the conclusions.

Maybe a Problem After All

"According to several current and former intelligence officers who must remain anonymous because of the sensitivity of the issue," as the Times says when it prints made-up stuff, there were only two "handpicked analysts." Clapper picked Brennan; and Brennan picked Clapper. That would help explain the grossly subpar quality of the ICA.

If U.S. Attorney John Durham is allowed to do his job probing the origins of Russiagate, and succeeds in getting access to the "handpicked analysts" -- whether there were just two, or more -- Hill's faith in "our intelligence agencies," may well be dented if not altogether shattered.

Ray McGovern works for Tell the Word , a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. After earning an M.A. in Russian Studies and serving as an Army Infantry/Intelligence officer, he worked as a CIA analyst, then branch chief, of Soviet foreign policy; then as a Deputy National Intelligence Officer, and finally as a morning briefer of the President's Daily Brief .

Tags: Fiona Hill Impeachment Ray McGovern Richard Pipes Russophobia


Tarus 77 , November 23, 2019 at 16:10

The general problem IMHO, to state obvious, is that there is no truth in the public discourse, only lies which support the narrative. And there is no penalty for the continuous lies, certainly not from what is called the press these days.

Susan J Leslie , November 23, 2019 at 10:49

Truth be told – the US is the real "Evil Empire"!

John Lamenzo , November 22, 2019 at 22:24

Great takedown Ray I managed a few minutes listening to her bloviation, even that was too much! Fascists always need an enemy even if they have to fictionalize one.

Herman , November 22, 2019 at 20:47

I remember Phil Giraldi's comment months ago. He had worked for the CIA and now heads the Council for the National interest. He noted his surprise at how many within the CIA still clung to the cold war view of the Russians, ready to accept almost anything bad about the evil Russians. Given the history since the dissolution of the USSR, it surprised Mister Giraldi as I recall. And it does seem the Russian haters still are living in the past and many have a huge impact on public policy and public opinion. It is a very dangerous affliction for the rest of the world.

Hard to forget Mueller (not a spook) when he announced that there was no collusion but vehemently stated that the Russians had interfered in the 2016 election and are a threat to do so in the future. That Russian might have interfered is not surprising since others countries do it far more and more effectively. That we do it far, far more often would seem to put a damper on the Russian narrative but it doesn't because the whole thing about Russia is crazy.

Another John , November 22, 2019 at 20:27

The greatest nation ever's permanent war system requires much deception & permanent enemies to keep the our economy going strong & the people distracted from the real issues. If everyone knew the truth, the world's biggest racket ever would fall apart and world peace would break out.

Jeff Harrison , November 22, 2019 at 20:08

American "intelligence" agencies will do exactly what "intelligence" agencies have done since time immemorial – they will perpetuate their position and power. The fact that that strips you of some of your freedom is a feature, not a bug.

Skip Scott , November 22, 2019 at 17:44

Hill's career advancement and access to the MSM depends on her faith in our "intelligence" agencies. And I doubt very much that Durham will be allowed to do his job probing the origins of RussiaGate. The evil ones will stop at nothing to keep control of the narrative.

"It is easier to fool people than to convince them they have been fooled." Mark Twain

[Nov 23, 2019] Fiona Hill a rabid neocon promoting UK foreign policy within the USA government, a book writer of Luke Harding mold, was appointed by Trump in 2017 when Russiagate was in full broom

This is another remnant for Bush neocon team, a protégé of Bolton. Trump probably voluntarily appointed this rabid neocon, a chickenhawk who would shine in Hillary State Department. Interestingly she came from working class background. So much about Marx theory of class struggle. Brown, David (March 4, 2017). "Miner's daughter tipped as Trump adviser on Russia" . The Times. She also illustrate level pf corruption of academic science, because she got PhD in history from Harvard in 1998 under Richard Pipes, Akira Iriye, and Roman Szporluk. But at least this was history, not languages like in case of Ciaramella.
Such appointment by Trump is difficult to describe with normal words as he understood what he is buying. So he is himself to blame for his current troubles and his inability to behave in a diplomatic way when there was important to him question about role of CrowdStrike in 2016 election and creation of Russiagate witch hunt.
There is something in the USA that creates conditions for producing rabid female neocons, some elevator that brings ruthless female careerists with sharp elbows them to the establishment. She sounds like a person to the right of Madeline Albright, which is an achievement
With such books It is unclear whether she is different from Max Boot. She buys official Skripal story like hook and sinker. The list of her book looks like produced in UK by Luke Harding
Being miner daughter raised in poverty we can also talk about betrayal of her class and upbringing.
This also rises wisdom of appointing emigrants to the Administration and the extent they pursue policies beneficial for their native countries.
Nov 23, 2019 | en.wikipedia.org

Impeachment testimony

On October 14, 2019, responding to a subpoena , Hill testified in a closed-door deposition for ten hours before special committees of the United States Congress as part of the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump . [9] [10] [11]

Testimony to the House Intelligence Committee by Hill and David Holmes, November 21, 2019 , C-SPAN

She testified in public before the same body on November 21, 2019. [12] While being questioned by Steve Castor , the counsel for the House Intelligence Committee's Republican minority, Hill commented on Gordon Sondland 's involvement in the Ukraine matter: "It struck me when (Wednesday), when you put up on the screen Ambassador Sondland's emails, and who was on these emails, and he said these are the people who need to know, that he was absolutely right," she said. "Because he was being involved in a domestic political errand, and we were being involved in national security foreign policy. And those two things had just diverged." [13] In response to a question from that committee's chairman, Rep. Adam Schiff , Hill stated: "The Russians' interests are frankly to delegitimize our entire presidency. The goal of the Russians [in 2016] was really to put whoever became the president -- by trying to tip their hands on one side of the scale -- under a cloud." [

Hill's books include:

[Nov 23, 2019] Never Believe Anything Until It Is Officially Denied

Nov 23, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

In an interview with Associated Press, US Attorney General William Barr put all conspiracy theories to rest once and for all by assuring the world that alleged sex trafficker and alleged billionaire Jeffrey Epstein's death was simply the result of a very, very, very long series of unfortunate coincidences.

"I can understand people who immediately, whose minds went to sort of the worst-case scenario because it was a perfect storm of screw-ups," Barr told AP on Thursday .

[Nov 23, 2019] Highlights of yesterday's testimony (funny version)

Nov 21, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Highlights of yesterday's testimony (funny version)

https://youtu.be/rWoZBvoCiE4

[Nov 23, 2019] NYTimes Pans Cult Leader Gabbard's White Pant Suit After Praising Hillary For Same Outfit

Notable quotes:
"... Authored by Paul Joseph Watson via Summit News, ..."
"... My favorite paragraph from the NYT article depicting Tulsi as a fringe, divisive cult leader because she wears white pants suits - by the same author and paper who heaped praise on how Hillary's white pants suit shows she's ready to carry the nuclear codes. ..."
Nov 23, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Paul Joseph Watson via Summit News,

Green Greenwald

My favorite paragraph from the NYT article depicting Tulsi as a fringe, divisive cult leader because she wears white pants suits - by the same author and paper who heaped praise on how Hillary's white pants suit shows she's ready to carry the nuclear codes.

Her white suits are not the white suits of Ms. Clinton, nor even the white of Ms. Williamson, whose early appearances in the shadeoften seemed tied to her wellness gospel and ideas of renewal and rebirth. Rather, they are the white of avenging angels and flaming swords, of somewhat combative righteousness (also cult leaders').

And that kind of association, though it can be weirdly compelling, is also not really community building. It sets someone apart, rather than joining others together. It has connotations of the fringe, rather than the center.

A New York Times writer who praised Hillary Clinton for wearing a white pantsuit called Tulsi Gabbard a "cult leader" for wearing exactly the same thing.

[Nov 23, 2019] Testimony to the House Intelligence Committee by Hill and David Holmes

The most interesting part of testimony is that CrowdStrike machinations in case of DNC leak which was artificially turns into Russian hack (and probably not without Crowdstyle server located in Ukraine). As this is connected to Steel which is a hot spot for the UK government was swiped under the carpet.
She actually met with Steele. She was shown Steele dossier before it was published.
Nov 21, 2019 | www.c-span.org

CrowdStrike was mentioned only is passing and was instantly dismissed by rabid neocon Hill. While this was the central issue with Zelensky administration.

All questioning was about semi-senile Biden, who is probably the most favorable contender on Democratic side for Trump.

[Nov 22, 2019] New neologism Putophrenia

Nov 22, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Adding to his useful Russophrenia , Bryan MacDonald has coined " Putophrenia ": "A condition where the sufferer believes Vladimir Putin is a crazed Russian nationalist who wants to destroy the West, and simultaneously, is, together with his cronies, robbing Russia blind & hiding all the dosh in the same West." These two neatly point up the absurdities of the Western propaganda line.