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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

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 contraduct 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, decentering of subject 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. With State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki, as 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

 

Chis 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 nwo 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 adn 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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Old News ;-)

[Aug 14, 2018] Putin to Western Elites Playtime is Over by Dmitry Orlov

Notable quotes:
"... A longer version of this article originally appeared at the ClubOrlov blog . ..."
Mar 17, 2016 | russia-insider.com
An excellent blogger about Russia distills Putin's Sochi speech into 10 simple points A longer version of this article originally appeared at the ClubOrlov blog .

Most people in the English-speaking parts of the world missed Putin's speech at the Valdai conference in Sochi a few days ago, and, chances are, those who have heard of the speech didn't get a chance to read it, and missed its importance.

Western media did their best to ignore it or to twist its meaning. Regardless of what you think or don't think of Putin (like the sun and the moon, he does not exist for you to cultivate an opinion) this is probably the most important political speech since Churchill's "Iron Curtain" speech of March 5, 1946.

In this speech, Putin abruptly changed the rules of the game. Previously, the game of international politics was played as follows: politicians made public pronouncements, for the sake of maintaining a pleasant fiction of national sovereignty, but they were strictly for show and had nothing to do with the substance of international politics; in the meantime, they engaged in secret back-room negotiations, in which the actual deals were hammered out.

Previously, Putin tried to play this game, expecting only that Russia be treated as an equal. But these hopes have been dashed, and at this conference he declared the game to be over, explicitly violating Western taboo by speaking directly to the people over the heads of elite clans and political leaders.

  1. Russia will no longer play games and engage in back-room negotiations over trifles . But Russia is prepared for serious conversations and agreements, if these are conducive to collective security, are based on fairness and take into account the interests of each side.
  2. All systems of global collective security now lie in ruins . There are no longer any international security guarantees at all. And the entity that destroyed them has a name: The United States of America.
  3. The builders of the New World Order have failed , having built a sand castle. Whether or not a new world order of any sort is to be built is not just Russia's decision, but it is a decision that will not be made without Russia.
  4. Russia favors a conservative approach to introducing innovations into the social order, but is not opposed to investigating and discussing such innovations, to see if introducing any of them might be justified.
  5. Russia has no intention of going fishing in the murky waters created by America's ever-expanding "empire of chaos ," and has no interest in building a new empire of her own (this is unnecessary; Russia's challenges lie in developing her already vast territory). Neither is Russia willing to act as a savior of the world, as she had in the past.
  6. Russia will not attempt to reformat the world in her own image , but neither will she allow anyone to reformat her in their image. Russia will not close herself off from the world, but anyone who tries to close her off from the world will be sure to reap a whirlwind.
  7. Russia does not wish for the chaos to spread, does not want war, and has no intention of starting one. However, today Russia sees the outbreak of global war as almost inevitable , is prepared for it, and is continuing to prepare for it. Russia does not war -- nor does she fear it.
  8. Russia does not intend to take an active role in thwarting those who are still attempting to construct their New World Order -- until their efforts start to impinge on Russia's key interests. Russia would prefer to stand by and watch them give themselves as many lumps as their poor heads can take. But those who manage to drag Russia into this process, through disregard for her interests , will be taught the true meaning of pain .
  9. In her external, and, even more so, internal politics, Russia's power will rely not on the elites and their back-room dealing, but on the will of the people.

To these nine points I would like to add a tenth:

10. There is still a chance to construct a new world order that will avoid a world war . This new world order must of necessity include the United States -- but can only do so on the same terms as everyone else: subject to international law and international agreements; refraining from all unilateral action; in full respect of the sovereignty of other nations.

To sum it all up: play-time is over. Children, put away your toys. Now is the time for the adults to make decisions. Russia is ready for this; is the world?

[Aug 11, 2018] A White, Trump-Voting Charlottesville Survivor Reflects On "An Entire Failed System Propped Up On Lies"

Aug 11, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

What other historical events and movements have we been lied to about? And can you prop up an entire failing system based on lies?

... ... ...

Senate Democrats, using the excuse of "Russian disinformation" campaigns, are already circulating a memo that would establish more government control over Internet content, including the de facto end of online anonymity [ Senate Democrats Are Circulating Plans for Government Takeover of the Internet: Reason Roundup , by Elizabeth Nolan Brown, Reason, July 31, 2018].

Slowly, America is moving toward a system where only favored groups will be allowed to express their opinion. Arguably, America is already at the point where groups such as Antifa simply do not have to obey the law at all, while ruinous lawsuits and "lawfare" are unleashed against conservative groups.

... ... ...

The end result: a country that increasingly seems on the brink of madness as it is gaslighted by a media growing ever more shrill. America is being put on a permanent war footing -- and the enemy its people are being mobilized against is the historic American nation, those European-Americans who live this country and its heritage.

[Aug 08, 2018] Bill Clinton's Rules of Engagement on the already identified Enemies of the People

Notable quotes:
"... please recall Bill Clinton's rules of engagement as applied to the Serbs in 1999, wherein he decided that the political leaders, bureaucratic support structure, media infrastructure and intellectual underpinnings of his enemies' war effort were legitimate targets of war. ..."
Aug 08, 2018 | www.unz.com

Anonymous [207] Disclaimer , Next New Comment August 8, 2018 at 7:08 am GMT

After observing Skynet's coordinated attack on Alex Jone's Infowars yesterday, we can hardly wait to implement Bill Clinton's Rules of Engagement on the already identified Enemies of the People, and eagerly await the God-Emperor's word.

Second, please recall Bill Clinton's rules of engagement as applied to the Serbs in 1999, wherein he decided that the political leaders, bureaucratic support structure, media infrastructure and intellectual underpinnings of his enemies' war effort were legitimate targets of war.

No one else may have been paying attention to the unintended consequences of that, but many folks on our side of the present divide were. Food for thought. A reminder about the shape of the battlefield (legal and otherwise) and Bill Clinton's Rules of Engagement.

http://sipseystreetirregulars.blogspot.com/2010/03/man-bites-dog-dogs-get-pissed-off.html

[Aug 08, 2018] Ten Bombshell Revelations From Seymour Hersh's New Autobiography

Highly recommended!
Aug 08, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Here are ten bombshell revelations and fascinating new details to lately come out of both Sy Hersh's new book, Reporter , as well as interviews he's given since publication...

1) On a leaked Bush-era intelligence memo outlining the neocon plan to remake the Middle East

(Note: though previously alluded to only anecdotally by General Wesley Clark in his memoir and in a 2007 speech , the below passage from Seymour Hersh is to our knowledge the first time this highly classified memo has been quoted . Hersh's account appears to corroborate now retired Gen. Clark's assertion that days after 9/11 a classified memo outlining plans to foster regime change in "7 countries in 5 years" was being circulated among intelligence officials.)

From Reporter: A Memoir pg. 306 -- A few months after the invasion of Iraq, during an interview overseas with a general who was director of a foreign intelligence service, I was provided with a copy of a Republican neocon plan for American dominance in the Middle East. The general was an American ally, but one who was very rattled by the Bush/Cheney aggression. I was told that the document leaked to me initially had been obtained by someone in the local CIA station. There was reason to be rattled: The document declared that the war to reshape the Middle East had to begin "with the assault on Iraq. The fundamental reason for this... is that the war will start making the U.S. the hegemon of the Middle East. The correlative reason is to make the region feel in its bones, as it were, the seriousness of American intent and determination." Victory in Iraq would lead to an ultimatum to Damascus, the "defanging" of Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas, and Arafat's Palestine Liberation Organization, and other anti-Israeli groups. America's enemies must understand that "they are fighting for their life: Pax Americana is on its way, which implies their annihilation." I and the foreign general agreed that America's neocons were a menace to civilization.

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

* * *

2) On early regime change plans in Syria

From Reporter: A Memoir pages 306-307 -- Donald Rumsfeld was also infected with neocon fantasy. Turkey had refused to permit America's Fourth Division to join the attack of Iraq from its territory, and the division, with its twenty-five thousand men and women, did not arrive in force inside Iraq until mid-April, when the initial fighting was essentially over. I learned then that Rumsfeld had asked the American military command in Stuttgart, Germany, which had responsibility for monitoring Europe, including Syria and Lebanon, to begin drawing up an operational plan for an invasion of Syria. A young general assigned to the task refused to do so, thereby winning applause from my friends on the inside and risking his career. The plan was seen by those I knew as especially bizarre because Bashar Assad, the ruler of secular Syria, had responded to 9/11 by sharing with the CIA hundreds of his country's most sensitive intelligence files on the Muslim Brotherhood in Hamburg, where much of the planning for 9/11 was carried out... Rumsfeld eventually came to his senses and back down, I was told...

3) On the Neocon deep state which seized power after 9/11

From Reporter: A Memoir pages 305-306 -- I began to comprehend that eight or nine neoconservatives who were political outsiders in the Clinton years had essentially overthrown the government of the United States -- with ease . It was stunning to realize how fragile our Constitution was. The intellectual leaders of that group -- Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, and Richard Perle -- had not hidden their ideology and their belief in the power of the executive but depicted themselves in public with a great calmness and a self-assurance that masked their radicalism . I had spent many hours after 9/11 in conversations with Perle that, luckily for me, helped me understand what was coming. (Perle and I had been chatting about policy since the early 1980s, but he broke off relations in 1993 over an article I did for The New Yorker linking him, a fervent supporter of Israel, to a series of meetings with Saudi businessmen in an attempt to land a multibillion-dollar contract from Saudi Arabia . Perle responded by publicly threatening to sue me and characterizing me as a newspaper terrorist. He did not sue.

Meanwhile, Cheney had emerged as a leader of the neocon pack. From 9/11 on he did all he could to undermine congressional oversight. I learned a great deal from the inside about his primacy in the White House , but once again I was limited in what I would write for fear of betraying my sources...

I came to understand that Cheney's goal was to run his most important military and intelligence operations with as little congressional knowledge, and interference, as possible. I was fascinating and important to learn what I did about Cheney's constant accumulation of power and authority as vice president , but it was impossible to even begin to verify the information without running the risk that Cheney would learn of my questioning and have a good idea from whom I was getting the information.

4) On Russian meddling in the US election

From the recent Independent interview based on his autobiography -- Hersh has vociferously strong opinions on the subject and smells a rat. He states that there is "a great deal of animosity towards Russia. All of that stuff about Russia hacking the election appears to be preposterous." He has been researching the subject but is not ready to go public yet.

Hersh quips that the last time he heard the US defense establishment have high confidence, it was regarding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. He points out that the NSA only has moderate confidence in Russian hacking. It is a point that has been made before; there has been no national intelligence estimate in which all 17 US intelligence agencies would have to sign off. "When the intel community wants to say something they say it High confidence effectively means that they don't know."

5) On the Novichok poisoning

From the recent Independent interview -- Hersh is also on the record as stating that the official version of the Skripal poisoning does not stand up to scrutiny. He tells me: "The story of novichok poisoning has not held up very well. He [Skripal] was most likely talking to British intelligence services about Russian organised crime." The unfortunate turn of events with the contamination of other victims is suggestive, according to Hersh, of organised crime elements rather than state-sponsored actions –though this files in the face of the UK government's position.

Hersh modestly points out that these are just his opinions. Opinions or not, he is scathing on Obama – "a trimmer articulate [but] far from a radical a middleman". During his Goldsmiths talk, he remarks that liberal critics underestimate Trump at their peril.

He ends the Goldsmiths talk with an anecdote about having lunch with his sources in the wake of 9/11 . He vents his anger at the agencies for not sharing information. One of his CIA sources fires back: "Sy you still don't get it after all these years – the FBI catches bank robbers, the CIA robs banks." It is a delicious, if cryptic aphorism.

* * *

6) On the Bush-era 'Redirection' policy of arming Sunni radicals to counter Shia Iran, which in a 2007 New Yorker article Hersh accurately predicted would set off war in Syria

From the Independent interview : [Hersh] tells me it is "amazing how many times that story has been reprinted" . I ask about his argument that US policy was designed to neutralize the Shia sphere extending from Iran to Syria to Hezbollah in Lebanon and hence redraw the Sykes-Picot boundaries for the 21st century.

He goes on to say that Bush and Cheney "had it in for Iran", although he denies the idea that Iran was heavily involved in Iraq: "They were providing intel, collecting intel The US did many cross-border hunts to kill ops [with] much more aggression than Iran"...

He believes that the Trump administration has no memory of this approach. I'm sure though that the military-industrial complex has a longer memory...

I press him on the RAND and Stratfor reports including one authored by Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz in which they envisage deliberate ethno-sectarian partitioning of Iraq . Hersh ruefully states that: "The day after 9/11 we should have gone to Russia. We did the one thing that George Kennan warned us never to do – to expand NATO too far."

* * *

7) On the official 9/11 narrative

From the Independent interview : We end up ruminating about 9/11, perhaps because it is another narrative ripe for deconstruction by sceptics. Polling shows that a significant proportion of the American public believes there is more to the truth. These doubts have been reinforced by the declassification of the suppressed 28 pages of the 9/11 commission report last year undermining the version that a group of terrorists acting independently managed to pull off the attacks. The implication is that they may well have been state-sponsored with the Saudis potentially involved.

Hersh tells me: "I don't necessarily buy the story that Bin Laden was responsible for 9/11. We really don't have an ending to the story. I've known people in the [intelligence] community. We don't know anything empirical about who did what" . He continues: "The guy was living in a cave. He really didn't know much English. He was pretty bright and he had a lot of hatred for the US. We respond by attacking the Taliban. Eighteen years later How's it going guys?"

8) On the media and the morality of the powerful

From a recent The Intercept interview and book review -- If Hersh were a superhero, this would be his origin story. Two hundred and seventy-four pages after the Chicago anecdote, he describes his coverage of a massive slaughter of Iraqi troops and civilians by the U.S. in 1991 after a ceasefire had ended the Persian Gulf War. America's indifference to this massacre was, Hersh writes, "a reminder of the Vietnam War's MGR, for Mere Gook Rule: If it's a murdered or raped gook, there is no crime." It was also, he adds, a reminder of something else: "I had learned a domestic version of that rule decades earlier" in Chicago. "Reporter" demonstrates that Hersh has derived three simple lessons from that rule:

  1. The powerful prey mercilessly upon the powerless, up to and including mass murder.
  2. The powerful lie constantly about their predations.
  3. The natural instinct of the media is to let the powerful get away with it.

* * *

... ... ...

[Aug 08, 2018] Is Russia Facilitating Trump's Strangulation of Iran

Bloomberg article cited in Russia To Propose Rolling Back 1.8 Million Bpd Of Oil Cuts OilPrice.com is a rumor. Russians clearly understand that it was the USA who orchestrated 2014-2018 oil price slump which hurt Russia pretty severely with standard of living still not recovered to 2014 levels. There no trump toward the USA left. for russia the USA with its neocon foreign policy is now in a way "Great Satan" as it is for Iran.
Aug 08, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org
put forward a proposal to OPEC to increase production by 1.8million barrels per day (bpd) – and, unusually, proposed that these increases were to start kicking in within weeks. In the end, a pact to increase production by 1 million barrels per day – spearheaded by Russia and Saudi Arabia – was agreed by OPEC and non-OPEC countries in late June. The rise was opposed by Iran, Iraq, Venezuela and Algeria, with Iranian oil minister Bijan Zanganeh commenting ahead of the meeting that "OPEC is not the organization to receive instruction from President Trump OPEC is not part of the Department of Energy of the United States".

Within days of the adoption of the Russian-led production increase, the Trump administration announced its plans to "reduce Iranian oil exports to zero" by November 4th. Questioned on whether such a policy might cause disruption as countries scrambled to replace supplies, State Department policy director Brian Hooks remarked that "we are confident there is sufficient global spare oil capacity." Russia's push for increased production had, in effect, smoothed the path for the next round of Trump's strangulation of Iran. It was precisely this deal which lay behind Trump's brazen claim that world oil supplies would plug the gap created by the loss of Iranian crude; without the end to Russian-Saudi production limits, this would have been unthinkable. As things stand, however, all the pieces are in place for Trump to apply serious pressure on all importers of Iranian oil. Whilst the Russian-Saudi deal offers alternative sources of supply, the trade war now underway demonstrates Trump's willingness to use tariffs against those who do not bend to his geopolitical will. Whilst Trump has openly threatened sanctions against those who do not heed his call to end their dealings with Iran, it is quite possible that those who do heed it will be rewarded with tariff exemptions. China, in particular – Iran's biggest trading partner, and now threatened with tariffs on all $500bilion of their exports to the US – will be particularly under pressure.

On the surface, then, Russia's actions appear self-defeating. The end to the, hugely successful, production quotas of the previous 18 months immediately triggered a drop in oil prices – Russia's main export commodity – whilst facilitating the escalation of US economic warfare against key Russian ally Iran. Yet there are several reasons Russia may be supporting Trump's moves.

Most obviously, Iran is a major competitor with Russia for oil export markets – especially in Europe. European hopes to reduce dependence on Russian energy supplies are likely to be seriously dashed if they can no longer turn to Iran as an alternative supplier. Quite simply, Russia will sell more oil without Iranian competition.

More than this, however, even Trump's use of tariffs as leverage to push countries away from Iran could be to Russia's benefit. If Trump does indeed make tariff-free access to the US market conditional on cutting investment and trade with Iran, China would face a major dilemma.

China has for some years been not only Iran's major trading partner, but investment financier as well. In 2011, China signed a $20 billion agreement to boost bilateral cooperation in Iran's industrial and mining sectors. Today, China is poised to take over development of the massive South Pars oil and gas field should the French company TOTAL pull out, as they are widely expected to do, whilst a $3billion deal was recently signed giving SINOPEC the right to expand the Abadan oil refinery in Khuzestan Province. Meanwhile, reports Fox News , "With the U.S. Treasury putting pressure on Western banks to not make any deals with Iran, the Chinese state-owned CITIC bank is extending lines of credit worth $10 billion for Iranian banks. This funding will finance water, energy and transport projects. To bypass U.S. sanctions, the lines of credit will use euros and yuan currencies".

But most significant for Russia is the 2017 $1.5 billion deal made by the Chinese Export-Import Bank to finance a high-speed railway between Tehran and Mashhad. The railway is envisioned to become part of China's 'Belt and Road Initiative' , creating a high-speed transit route between central Asia and Europe that will shave weeks off current travel times.

This May – in a clear act of defiance to the US – China opened a new train line between China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and Tehran, shortening travel time by 20 days compared to cargo ship. Once the full vision of a Chinese built high-tech, high-speed rail network across central Asia is realised, however, the current 'Northern route' through Russia is likely to be rendered all but redundant.

Could it be, then, that Russia sees it as in its own interests to facilitate Trump's quest to chase Chinese investment out of Iran in order to preserve its trade routes and access to European oil markets?

If so, it is likely to be disappointed. For Iran is central not only to the Belt and Road Initiative – China's multi-trillion, multi-decade long 'geoeconomic' programme – but also to its defence strategy. As correctly observed in a recent piece published by The Diplomat, "Iran constitutes [China's] true priority. China has nurtured bilateral relations with Tehran for decades, leveraging a common resentment toward Western dominance . This partnership has great geostrategic importance to both nations. Thanks to its oil and gas reserves, Iran could help Beijing withstand a U.S. attack on its SLOCs (Sea Lines of Communication)."

For China, much as it naturally seeks to avoid further punishment from the US, Iran is simply too important to be bargained away. Unfortunately not so, it seems, for Moscow. Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Dan Glazebrook

[Aug 07, 2018] Angry Bear " Sunday Political News Funnies

Aug 07, 2018 | angrybearblog.com

likbez , August 6, 2018 9:38 pm

Those cartoons are a nice illustration of the level of polarization of the US society. And the level of distrust toward the neoliberal elite.

Polarization has grown so extreme that the two camps have a hard time even agreeing on the same facts.

Polarization has grown so extreme that Pro-globalism and Pro-isolationism camps have a hard time even agreeing on the same facts.

This looks more and more like kind of virtual Civil War fought in Internet space. With Pro-globalism camp being much stronger and controlling the narrative and Pro-isolationalism camp having an uphill battle.

Some of the cartoons listed are probably the products of the "Ministry of Truth" (a la 1984), although the Thought Police was a part of Ministry of Love.

And the history of the "Ministry of Truth" is going back at least to 2008, if not to 2001. Once it was clear that Obama administration was going to protect the banks, the new paradigm of dishonesty in high places was invented and trickled down to major MSM.

[Aug 07, 2018] Truth Decay: Living in the Age of the Big Lie

Notable quotes:
"... constitutionally impermissible for courts to take class into account under the Fourteenth Amendment. ..."
"... Genetically Modified Canola 'Escapes' Farm Fields, August 6, 2010 ..."
Aug 07, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

"Living in the Age of the Big Lie" [Stephen Gold, Industry Week ]. Gold is President and Chief Executive Officer, Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI):

All this has created the potential for an American cultural crisis of distrust, authoritatively captured in two recently published analyses.

In "Truth Decay," [cute! –lambert] the RAND Corporation lays the blame for the deteriorating role of facts and data in public life on four primary causes:

1. The rise of social media
2. An overtaxed educational system that cannot keep up with changes in the "information ecosystem"
3. Political and social polarization
4. And -- perhaps due to all of these factors -- the increasing tendency of individuals to create their own subjective social reality, otherwise known as "cognitive bias."

"The Death of Truth" by Pulitzer-Prize winning book critic Michiko Kakutani explores the waning of integrity in American society, particularly since the 2016 elections. Daniel Patrick Moynihan's observation that "everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts," is more timely than ever, Kakutani says: "polarization has grown so extreme that voters have a hard time even agreeing on the same facts." And no wonder: Two-thirds of Americans get at least some of their news through social media -- a platform that has been overwhelmed by trolls and bots, and which uses algorithms to decide what each of us gets to see.

Executives ignore the cultural shift away from honesty at their peril.

Social media has its own problems, gawd knows -- break them up and outlaw the algos, and they'd be a lot more like the public utilities they should really be -- but it's amazing how vague hand-wringing pieces like this ignore at least four seismic events since 2000, all of which involve perceived legitimacy and the nature of truth: (1) Bush v. Gore, (2) Iraq WMDs, (3) Obama's "hope and change" campaign, followed by (4) the crash, the bailouts, the free passes for bankers, and a brutal recession. The official narrative and its maintainers didn't lose credibility because of trolls and bots, who might be regarded as opportunistic infections overwhelming an already weakened immnune system.

Grassroots and/or AstroTurf?

Our Famously Free Press

"The Press Doesn't Cause Wars -- Presidents Do" [ The Atlantic ] • One of a ginormous steaming load of revisionist and defensive articles prompted by Trump's tweet that the press can "causes War." Anyone who was present for the build up to the Iraq War knows that Trump's claim is true; in fact, the "media critique" that began then was prompted by the Iraq WMDs scam, in which the press -- *** cough *** Judy Miller ***cough*** -- was not merely compliant or complicitous, but active and vociferous, especially in shunning and shaming skeptics. Of course, everybody who was wrong about Iraq was wrong in the right way, so they all still have jobs (David Frum, Bush speechwriter and Hero of the Resistance, at the Atlantic, among hundreds of others). So revisionist history is very easy for them to write.

Class Warfare

"The New Class-Blindness" [ Law and Political Economy ]. "It is true that class-based discrimination does not trigger heightened scrutiny under equal protection in the way that race-based and sex-based discrimination do . Some judges -- even some Supreme Court Justices -- have begun to argue that it is constitutionally impermissible for courts to take class into account under the Fourteenth Amendment. The Fifth Circuit reached this conclusion a few years ago in the Whole Woman's Health case, in which it asserted that judges could consider only obstacles created by "the law itself" when determining whether a law unduly burdens the right to abortion -- a category that excluded obstacles such as lack of transportation, childcare, days off from work, and money for overnight stays. When Whole Woman's Health reached the Supreme Court, some of the Justices (in dissent) expressed support for this approach."

"Vermont's Striking Nurses Want A Raise for Nonunion Workers Too" [ Labor Notes ]. "Yet when 1,800 nurses and technical staff struck for better wages July 12-13 at the state's second-largest employer, the University of Vermont Medical Center, the people of Burlington came out in force to back them up. 'We had policemen and firefighters and UPS drivers pulling over and shaking our hands' on the picket line, said neurology nurse Maggie Belensz. 'We had pizza places dropping off dozens of pizzas, giving out free ice cream.' And when a thousand people marched from the hospital through Burlington's downtown, 'we had standing ovations from people eating their dinners,' she said. 'It was a moving experience.' One reason for such wide support: these hospital workers aren't just demanding a raise themselves. They're also calling for a $15 minimum wage for their nonunion co-workers, such as those who answer the phones, mop the floors, cook the food, and help patients to the bathroom."

"What Are Capitalists Thinking?" [Michael Tomaskey, New York Times ]. "I write today with some friendly advice for the capitalist class about said socialists. You want fewer socialists? Easy. Stop creating them . I understand completely why it's happening. Given what's been going on in this country, it couldn't not have happened. And if you're a capitalist, you'd better try to understand it, too -- and do something to address the very legitimate grievances that propelled it." • Finally, reality begins to penetrate the thickened craniums of the better sort of liberal

"In 2008, America Stopped Believing in the American Dream" [Frank Rich, New York Magazine ]. (The "American Dream" being one of the official narratives.) "It's not hard to pinpoint the dawn of this deep gloom: It arrived in September 2008, when the collapse of Lehman Brothers kicked off the Great Recession that proved to be a more lasting existential threat to America than the terrorist attack of seven Septembers earlier. The shadow it would cast is so dark that a decade later, even our current run of ostensible prosperity and peace does not mitigate the one conviction that still unites all Americans: Everything in the country is broken. Not just Washington, which failed to prevent the financial catastrophe and has done little to protect us from the next, but also race relations, health care, education, institutional religion, law enforcement, the physical infrastructure, the news media, the bedrock virtues of civility and community. Nearly everything has turned to crap, it seems ." • Ditto


Arizona Slim , August 6, 2018 at 3:08 pm

Computer glitch? Well, who programmed the computer and who paid 'em? Follow the money, and you'll find that it leads back to Wells Fargo.

sierra7 , August 6, 2018 at 4:54 pm

"We ("They") Were Doing God's Work" LLoyd Blankfein then head of Goldman Sachs in his testimony to Congress on " .what went wrong".

nippersdad , August 6, 2018 at 5:48 pm

I think I would put it much earlier than that. Anyone who watched Newt Gingrich during his Contract on America days, who watched Max Cleland be attacked by Saxby Chambliss, who watched as Clinton deregulated the media in favor of Rupert Murdoch even as they slagged him, knew something was afoot.

Integrity has been in short supply ever since.

foghorn longhorn , August 6, 2018 at 8:18 pm

How about going back a bit further,
Carter, put a sweater on.
Reagan, put it on the credit card.

cm , August 6, 2018 at 3:03 pm

Shenzhen Tech Girl Naomi Wu

informative post spelling out that China is still a repressive government in ways that Americans often cannot relate.

Carey , August 6, 2018 at 3:06 pm

Tomasky at NYT:

"I have mixed feelings about this socialism boomlet. It has yet to prove itself politically viable in general elections outside a handful of areas, and by 2021 we could wake up and see that it's been a disaster for Democrats."

What is a Democrat? Are they inherently good? Is failing the Democrats OK, if doing so improves the lives of the 90%?

pretzelattack , August 6, 2018 at 3:23 pm

I would say it is required.

Pat , August 6, 2018 at 5:07 pm

Mr. Tomasky seems to have missed that Democrats throwing out the concerns of the working class to court wealthy donors for its Clintonian politics boomlet has been distinctly, well not all that long term politically viable. It has been a disaster for the Democrats. There were signs prior to 2000, but it took starting an unpopular and largely unsuccessful war and attempting to undermine Social Security for the Democrats to make a come back. That their success was pretty much over by 2010, with the exception of the Presidency is very clear in the massive loss of Governorships, State Houses and yes Congress leading up to the 2016 debacle when they foolishly nominated the Grand Dame of that 'can't give me lots of money – suck on it' political position to be their Presidential nominee.

But why let facts get in the way of a good narrative meant to convince the rubes to continue voting for polticians who have no interest in their concerns because of the right pronouns and Russia!

Carey , August 6, 2018 at 6:16 pm

All well said. I wonder also about who is included in Tomasky's "we".

Class class class

nothing but the truth , August 6, 2018 at 3:16 pm

Truth Decay

The biggest cause is spin , that has become an art form, a business and career path.

Telling the truth in public is an invitation to cut short your career. The only time when officials tell the truth is when they are comfortably retired.

Especially with economists and journalists (the conscience keepers), it is not so important what they are saying, but why they are saying it (basically lack of trust in the narrator).

jsn , August 6, 2018 at 4:38 pm

I can't remember who it was, someone like Art Buchwald or Molly Ivins way back, who said "a gaffe is when a politician accidentally tells the truth."

Craig H. , August 6, 2018 at 5:15 pm

I personally blame Bill Clinton. The turning point was the report that he told Lewinsky "deny deny deny there's nothing they can do."

Which is true but that was the point in the timeline when a critical mass of people began to live like that. Or when it became obvious to me. Perhaps it was exactly like that for a long time before and it is not BC's fault.

Synapsid , August 6, 2018 at 3:39 pm

It's cheering that coal shipment and use in the US has declined. The good news for our coal industry is that coal exports January to June 2018 have risen, in particular to Africa, Asia (largely to India which is voracious) and South America.

The current Administration can thank the previous one for increasing our capacity to export coal, I believe.

Tom Stone , August 6, 2018 at 3:40 pm

Sarah Jeong is a piece of work, is her desk next to Judy Miller's?
Good grief, the cultural differences between different parts of SE Asian Countries can be profound let alone the cultural differences between countries.
I'm reminded of a boss who told me that monopolies increase competition, with a straight face.

Carey , August 6, 2018 at 4:13 pm

My impression is that Ms. Jeong's job is and will be to start plenty of cultural "fires", so
that while the citizenry is distracted with them, the looting and pillaging of the many by the few can continue.

jsn , August 6, 2018 at 3:41 pm

" the significant benefits that Federal Reserve independence brings." For whom?

diptherio , August 6, 2018 at 3:41 pm

Re: Mastodon

You can simply "unpin" the columns you don't want to see.

diptherio , August 6, 2018 at 4:21 pm

But to answer the question you actually asked the Federated timeline includes your local timeline, which itself includes your home timeline. So if you want to see it all, just use the federated timeline. If you only want to see people you follow, use the home timeline, etc.

Montanamaven , August 6, 2018 at 4:54 pm

How do you start? What "instances" would be a good fit?

Lee , August 6, 2018 at 3:43 pm

Re Sarah Jeong

What's an Asian woman doing criticizing a white guy for commenting on a predominantly, but not exclusively, black art form? I mean, why is she even speaking English and how about that name Sarah for an egregious example of cultural appropriation? And, as I have previously queried on this site: how is it even permissible for Yo-Yo Ma to play Bach on the cello? And in case you ask: yes, identity politics has finally driven me insane. Or is it they who are mad?

fresno dan , August 6, 2018 at 4:25 pm

Lee
August 6, 2018 at 3:43 pm

Actually, after I read the below, I'm kinda warming to her ..

http://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/welcome-to-bad-faith/

She (Sarah Jeong) wrote: "After a bad day, some people come home and kick the furniture. I get on the Internet and make fun of The New York Times." "I don't feel safe in a country that is led by someone who takes Thomas Friedman seriously." "Hannah Rosin shatters ceiling by proving women writers can be as hackish as Tom Friedman, too." "[David] Brooks is an absolute nitwit tho." "Notajoke: I'm being forced to read Nicholas Kristof. This is the worst." "if I had a bajillion dollars, I'd buy the New York Times, just for the pleasure of firing Tom Friedman ."

curlydan , August 6, 2018 at 5:34 pm

combining the articles, it sounds like she's got a lot of opinions. Good for an aspiring pundit but also opening herself up for a greater possibility of errors.

WobblyTelomeres , August 6, 2018 at 6:59 pm

I'd buy the New York Times, just for the pleasure of firing Tom Friedman ."

Ah, but you"ll have to scheme to have a cabbie deliver the news. Otherwise, he wouldn't believe it.

sleepy , August 6, 2018 at 3:45 pm

it's amazing how vague hand-wringing pieces like this ignore at least four seismic events since 2000, all of which involve perceived legitimacy and the nature of truth: (1) Bush v. Gore, (2) Iraq WMDs, (3) Obama's "hope and change" campaign, followed by (4) the crash, the bailouts, the free passes for bankers, and a brutal recession.

Good list to which I would add the Katrina debacle.

Arizona Slim , August 6, 2018 at 3:51 pm

One for the thumb!

jonhoops , August 6, 2018 at 7:18 pm

9-11 anyone? Of course we should probably go back to at least Nov. 1963

foghorn longhorn , August 6, 2018 at 8:28 pm

We probably should, but then you're just a conspiracy theorist.
Ya big dummy.

foghorn longhorn , August 6, 2018 at 8:48 pm

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://m.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3DXY02Qkuc_f8&ved=2ahUKEwj61Jru2tncAhUJLKwKHYx6CZYQwqsBMAZ6BAgKEBE&usg=AOvVaw3Qc0sJeXBikn0l5vC9T388

Unless of course all the SS guys are riding on the VP limo.

fresno dan , August 6, 2018 at 3:55 pm

The New Class-Blindness" [Law and Political Economy]. "It is true that class-based discrimination does not trigger heightened scrutiny under equal protection in the way that race-based and sex-based discrimination do . Some judges -- even some Supreme Court Justices -- have begun to argue that it is constitutionally impermissible for courts to take class into account under the Fourteenth Amendment.
================
In its majestic equality, the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets and steal loaves of bread. Anatole France

flora , August 6, 2018 at 3:56 pm

Note to Frank Rich: Read Simon Johnson's 2009 Atlantic Magazine essay 'The Quiet Coup'.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2009/05/the-quiet-coup/307364/

He saw what would happen if the US govt didn't clean up the TBTF banks, Wall St., and other financial perps. This still needs to happen.

knowbuddhau , August 6, 2018 at 4:48 pm

Huh, you say that as if USG, TBTF, Wall St, other fin perps weren't all the same. /s

zagonostra , August 6, 2018 at 3:57 pm

Russia,Russia,Russia.

Not much concern over the disconnect between voter preference and policy outcome which was documented in the 2014 Gilens/Benjamin study or Jimmy Carter statement that the U.S. is a defacto oligarchy, or the massive voter fraud that is part and parcel of our voting system (see https://www.gregpalast.com/ ), or the disclosure of HRC/DNC collusion documented in wiki leaks and Donna Brasil's "tell all book", not much concern their at all.

Do you find it curious this obsession of the MSM with Russia meddling in our elections?

Montanamaven , August 6, 2018 at 5:02 pm

A compilation on Rachel Maddow and how many times she mentions Russia in ONE show on March 9 Russia, Russia, Russia

Richard , August 6, 2018 at 5:23 pm

Hilarious and mind-blowing.

Hameloose Cannon , August 6, 2018 at 8:34 pm

"Do you find it curious this obsession [ ] w/ Russia meddling [ ]?" The Russian meddling isn't the curious part; Russia tries it in every election west of the river Pina. The abnormal part is a sitting US President, on Twitter, accused his son of a felony aka violating 52 U.S. Code § 30121 (a)(2), soliciting contributions [things of value] from a foreign national. Talk about "Blue on Blue" fire. Nothing "friendly" about that. Especially given the prima facie evidence of violating 18 U.S. Code § 3, accessory after the fact, by dictating Don the Younger's response to the story.

diptherio , August 6, 2018 at 4:17 pm

I read the book Q a couple of years ago. It's real good. Especially if you're into the gory details of European religious history. There's a lot of things they didn't mention in my confirmation classes

Synoia , August 6, 2018 at 4:21 pm

Social media has its own problems, gawd knows The official narrative and its maintainers didn't lose credibility because of trolls and bots, who might be regarded as opportunistic infections overwhelming an already weakened immnune system

Well said. The official narrative, the swamp, is very good at blaming effects and ignoring causes.

Hiding , August 6, 2018 at 4:24 pm

Qanon seems like a honeypot site(s) for retribution futures. Read anything, go into a database for future reference. Unz and others have likely multiple uses and followers, NOC/NotForAttribution and other.

a different chris , August 6, 2018 at 4:30 pm

Agree with the disagreement over the list. However, this underlies so many, maybe all problems and nobody is seemingly going to clean it up:

>An overtaxed educational system

JTMcPhee , August 6, 2018 at 4:40 pm

On decline in coal shipments: look what is happening elsewhere! "Germany had so much renewable energy on Sunday that it had to pay people to use electricity!", https://qz.com/680661/germany-had-so-much-renewable-energy-on-sunday-that-it-had-to-pay-people-to-use-electricity/ "Power too cheap to meter," just like nuclear was promised to be! And that is an old 2016 article. I saw another piece, I believe in Business Insider or Bloomberg, complaining that the big energy companies are facing "profit stress" because of grid-ties from solar and wind requiring them to pay people for energy in excess of the load. And having, gasp! to shut down coal fired plants, each closure being a pretty expensive anti-profit center! I would tend to think of it being a re-internalization of costs that the power companies have dumped on us (health effects from heavy metal and carcinogen emissions, smog, CO2/climate interruption. Too bad the paybacks won't come from clawbacks of CEO paydays or any of the lobbying money spent to bribe legislatures, deceive the public/consumers, spent on getting legislative approval for nuclear power plants that WILL NEVER BE BUILT like Duke Energy has done (and besides, they get to cllect a billion or more from customers to "pay for" those plants that will never be built. Kind of like an ISDS "judgment" in favor of a megacorporation because 'regulation and market conditions' impaired said corporations' "expectations of profit "

Of course, windmills built to a price are not infallible, either: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nSB1SdVHqQ

I have to add, adding it all up and looking around, "Effing stupid humans," to get to this point

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , August 6, 2018 at 5:27 pm

And beyond this point, more ***ing stupid humans thanks to, well, population growth.

That would be a problem in any system – capitalism, socialism, communism, etc.

ewmayer , August 6, 2018 at 8:42 pm

Well, that green-energy surfeit may have something to do with the combination of a record-smashing heat wave in a country where A/C systems have not been needed at scale, historically speaking. But good on them if they are in fact doing it sustainably.

David , August 6, 2018 at 4:41 pm

. and could provide some relief to North American farmers just as Chinese tariffs are sapping demand for soybeans and other crops.

From the USDA's Export Sales Query System

Soybeans (in Metric Tons) for the week of 7/26/2018,

Country – 2018 Exports / 2017 Exports

China – 186 / 73,314

Korea – 59,999 / 0
Japan – 72,120 / 7,758
Taiwan – 86,441 / 3,853

Grand Total for the week – 856,438 / 637,737

JTMcPhee , August 6, 2018 at 4:57 pm

Of course, a good bit of that "trade" includes genetically modified soybeans. Monsanto is happy to sell their "intellectual property," immune from consequence of course, pure profit all the way down.

And of course there are NO POSSIBLE RISKS OR CONCERNS about the propagation of gene-fiddled stuff like soybeans and canola, " Genetically Modified Canola 'Escapes' Farm Fields,
August 6, 2010
, https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129010499 , just for example, I mean it's not like the World Health Organization has not kind of flagged some things that "policymakers" might want to keep in mind when confronted by the Cropporate Corrupters wanting to peddle their 'risk free innovations:'

"Frequently asked questions on genetically modified foods
May 2014

These questions and answers have been prepared by WHO in response to questions and concerns from WHO Member State Governments with regard to the nature and safety of genetically modified food." http://www.who.int/foodsafety/areas_work/food-technology/faq-genetically-modified-food/en/

"Do not worry, meine liebchen -- we do this for your own good "

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , August 6, 2018 at 5:54 pm

That's one more thing to ban – GM soybeans.

And growth hormone beef that's another.

JohnnyGL , August 6, 2018 at 5:22 pm

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/medicare-save-businesses-trillions-dollars-190500400.html

Posting this because sometimes it's more about WHO is saying it, rather than what is being said. It's not often I look at a Rick Newman column and say, 'wow, he's really making a strong case'.

Tectonic plates of politics are shifting.

Randy , August 6, 2018 at 5:26 pm

Salmonella in chickens.

The chickens are raised covered in their own filth and along with the filth comes salmonella. They attempt to contain the infection with antibiotics.

And if the conditions in the "chicken factory" aren't filthy enough the slaughterhouse ensures that the end product comes with salmonella by running the line speed so fast that punctured intestines insure that the end product comes out covered in salmonella-containing fecal matter. Which they try to contain with a chlorine bath.

If you like eating chicken shite eat store chicken. If you don't, and if you can, raise your own. Raising chickens for meat is a lot of work but they taste better and you won't be eating chicken shite.

WobblyTelomeres , August 6, 2018 at 5:59 pm

Or quit eating meat.

Polar Donkey , August 6, 2018 at 5:49 pm

Jeez, Frank Rich needs to get out of New York City more. Everything has been completely broke around Memphis since 2006. It just mostly broke before that.

Polar Donkey , August 6, 2018 at 6:06 pm

Was it Trump's election, the rise of Bernie/AOC, Obama's $32 million worth of post-presidency houses, 60,000 people dying from opiods, or the broken subways in NYC that caused Frank Rich's awakening?

WobblyTelomeres , August 6, 2018 at 6:40 pm

More likely a dollar sliding down the sidewalk

Glen , August 6, 2018 at 6:54 pm

"Obama didn't cause that broken spirit any more than Trump did."

Obama made it perfectly clear that the Democratic party was going to do nothing to correct 2008. Instead he put the very same people that wrecked the world economy back in charge. I will no longer vote for the "have no alternative" Democrat. I will vote for those that are going to enact the polices that will fix this mess. If that means we get twenty Trumps a row – so be it.

Bernie would have won.

anon , August 6, 2018 at 6:01 pm

Re: On average for the year-ended this May, 58.5 percent of the job gains were in counties that backed Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016 , and this excerpt from that Associated Press link:

The jobs data shows an economy that is as fractured as the political landscape ahead of the 2018 midterm elections. As more money pools in corporate hubs such as Houston, San Francisco or Seattle , prosperity spills over less and less to smaller towns and cities in America's interior. That would seem to undercut what Trump sees as a central accomplishment of his administration – job creation for middle class and blue-collar workers in towns far removed from glitzy urban centers.

Looking at those cities noted, especially Seattle and San Francisco – both of which now have an inhuman level of inequality and homelessness -- a further dive into the details is necessary.

Specifically, are those job gains ™ out of state imported employees from: Ivy League Schools (predominately under 26, mostly white males from elite families); along with H-1B, and Opt Program imported employees (predominately under 26, mostly males from mostly upper middle class Asian families, paid far, far less than those Ivy Leaguers) [1]; while the displaced unemployed -- yet, highly qualified for employment -- residents in those cities are continually being forced out (if they can afford the move and have somewhere they are able to move to), or made homeless.

[1] Admittedly, I'm not sure whether they are included in those job gains, but if the job gains are based on ADP reports, it might well be likely that they are; of course a search on two search sites brought up no answer to my query.

Daryl , August 6, 2018 at 6:08 pm

> Mastodon users?

I find Mastodon's user interface to be fairly unintuitive myself. Presumably it would be possible to make your own "mixed" view as it's open source and based on open protocols, but not sure if Mastodon supports it out of the box.

lyman alpha blob , August 6, 2018 at 6:22 pm

How does Mastodon work?

By rocking until you can't take it anymore.

Instructional video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFop1gTbaj8

And their drummer is a monster!

Or did you mean the Mastodon platform ?

Sorry Lambert, couldn't help myself Just saw this band recently and they are tremendous.

Arizona Slim , August 6, 2018 at 6:39 pm

Fun tutorial, lyman!

ChrisPacific , August 6, 2018 at 6:26 pm

Re: Indivisible

AOC is one of their candidates, as are Cynthia Nixon, Ayana Pressley etc. There is a prevalence of Democrat buzzwords, but I think they are aiming to be agnostic regarding left factions:

We're excited to make gains in 2018, but Indivisible 435 isn't just about notching wins. Our organization is not a wing of the Democratic party. While we care deeply about electing officials to oppose the Trump agenda, we care just as much building a strong progressive community nationwide and pushing the conversation back to the interests of the people.

This would be well off message for establishment Democrats.

I'd be inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise, but still watch what they do.

Pat , August 6, 2018 at 6:51 pm

I would posit that most of the job gains in the last decade maybe even two were probably in areas that voted for Clinton. That the Texas boom and the oil boom in the Dakota's were exceptions not the rule. I would also posit that the few Trump areas that did see job growth in that decade saw that growth in minimum wage low to no benefit jobs. (That last one wasn't much of a stretch since that has been the majority of jobs created during both the Bush 2 and Obama administration.)

Summer , August 6, 2018 at 7:18 pm

Maybe They Could Invent Houses" [Eschaton]. • After having invented the bodega, the bus

More like an "Appartment"?

drumlin woodchuckles , August 6, 2018 at 7:30 pm

Sarah Jeong . . . hmmm . . .

Things like this have led me to comment in the past and every comment on this particular subject has failed to print. I figure I am tripping some kind of auto-filter.

So I will try again with indirect spelling.

We need a new word for this sort of thing. It would emerge from the new acronym we need.
The letters would be . . . arrr peee ohhh ceee
that stands for . . . rayciss purrsuns ovv cuhluhr.

The Rev Kev , August 6, 2018 at 7:36 pm

"Dockless bike, scooter firms clash with U.S. cities over regulations"

I have a solution to these tech-companies which strew towns and cities with their bikes without coordinating or even asking to enter such a town and let the town try to adapt to their needs. It is called an impound lot. You have city workers pick them up and cart them there. If that company wants their bikes back again, they will have to pay to spring them from the lot. Rinse and repeat until that tech company gets the message. If that tech company doubles down, announce a $5 bounty for any bike driven to the impound lot till the company is ready to negotiate.

drumlin woodchuckles , August 6, 2018 at 8:51 pm

Disrupt the disrupters.

Disruptive law-enforcement.

beth , August 6, 2018 at 8:05 pm

"How a Pair of Kentucky Pols Are About to Legalize Hemp"

Please help me here. Hemp can be sold in all 50 states. The 2014 Farm bill allowed each state to decide whether hemp oil could be sold for medicinal purposes w/i that year. My first package sent to me was from a reputable company and was mailed through Amazon from Kentucky. I was experiencing severe pain and now have a better alternative.

CalypsoFacto , August 6, 2018 at 8:58 pm

I am also hoping for this bill so I can get into hemp processing for fibers into fabric!

The Rev Kev , August 6, 2018 at 8:37 pm

"How to keep young people from fleeing small towns for big cities"

Not so hard. See that there are jobs for them. You cannot do much in modern society without money and a job provides this. A job provides dignity, discipline and the money it provides lets a young person to satisfy not only their needs but many of their wants as well. It is hard for a young guy to take a girl out but having no money to do so and a job's money will help a couple set up a household and marry and have children. The drop in marriage rates as well as the birthrate speaks volumes of the lack of decent paying jobs for young people, even those that have achieved credentials. Supply good paying jobs and most kids will stay put. Not so hard to work out.

ewmayer , August 6, 2018 at 8:43 pm

Re. "Trump v. Fed" [Money and Banking], bolds mine: "Last month, interrupting decades of presidential self-restraint, President Trump openly criticized the Federal Reserve. Given the President's penchant for dismissing valuable institutions, it is hard to be surprised investors are reasonably focused on the selection of qualified academics and individuals with valuable policy and business experience the President's comments are seriously disturbing and -- were they to become routine -- risk undermining the significant benefits that Federal Reserve independence brings."

As Lambert would say, for some definition of 'valuable', 'benefits' and 'independence'.

[Aug 06, 2018] Ministry of Truth

Aug 06, 2018 | en.wikipedia.org

The Ministry of Truth ( Newspeak : Minitrue ) is the ministry of propaganda . As with the other ministries in the novel, the name Ministry of Truth is a misnomer because in reality it serves the opposite: it is responsible for any necessary falsification of historical events.

As well as administering truth, the ministry spreads a new language amongst the populace called Newspeak , in which, for example, "truth" is understood to mean statements like 2 + 2 = 5 when the situation warrants. In keeping with the concept of doublethink, the ministry is thus aptly named in that it creates/manufactures "truth" in the Newspeak sense of the word. The book describes the doctoring of historical records to show a government-approved version of events.

Description [ edit ]

Winston Smith , the main character of Nineteen Eighty-Four , works at the Ministry of Truth. [5] It is an enormous pyramidal structure of glittering white concrete rising 300 metres (980 ft) into the air, containing over 3000 rooms above ground. On the outside wall are the three slogans of the Party: "WAR IS PEACE," "FREEDOM IS SLAVERY," "IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH." There is also a large part underground, probably containing huge incinerators where documents are destroyed after they are put down memory holes . For his description, Orwell was inspired by the Senate House at the University of London . [6]

Role in information [ edit ]

The Ministry of Truth is involved with news media, entertainment, the fine arts and educational books. Its purpose is to rewrite history to change the facts to fit Party doctrine for propaganda effect. For example, if Big Brother makes a prediction that turns out to be wrong, the employees of the Ministry of Truth correct the record to make it accurate. This is the "how" of the Ministry of Truth's existence. Within the novel, Orwell elaborates that the deeper reason for its existence, the "why", is to maintain the illusion that the Party is absolute. It cannot ever seem to change its mind (if, for instance, they perform one of their constant changes regarding enemies during war) or make a mistake (firing an official or making a grossly misjudged supply prediction), for that would imply weakness and to maintain power the Party must seem eternally right and strong.

Minitrue plays a role as the news media by changing history, and changing the words in articles about events current and past, so that Big Brother and his government are always seen in a good light and can never do any wrong. The content is more propaganda than actual news.

Departments [ edit ]

The following are the sections or departments of the ministry mentioned in the text:

[Aug 06, 2018] Angry Bear " Sunday Political News Funnies

Aug 06, 2018 | angrybearblog.com

likbez , August 6, 2018 9:38 pm

Those cartoon are a nice illustration of the level of polarization of the US society. And the level of distrust toward the neoliberal elite.

Polarization has grown so extreme that two camps have a hard time even agreeing on the same facts.

Polarization has grown so extreme that Pro-globalism and Pro-isolationism camps have a hard time even agreeing on the same facts.

This looks more and more like kind of virtual Civil War fought in Internet space. With Pro-globalism camp being much stronger and controlling the narrative and Pro-isolationalism camp having an uphill battle.

Some of the cartoons listed are probably the products of the "Ministry of Truth" (a la 1984), although the Thought Police was a part of Ministry of Love.

And the history of the "Ministry of Truth" is going back at least to 2008, if not to 2001. Once it was clear that Obama administration was going to protect the banks, the new paradigm of dishonesty in high places was invented and trickled down to major MSM.

[Aug 05, 2018] What If Everything We've Been Told About Recent History Is a Lie

Notable quotes:
"... The author is a prominent American Christian conservative who was a presidential candidate for the paleoconservative Constitution Party in 2008, when he was endorsed by Ron Paul. ..."
"... He is the pastor of Liberty Fellowship, a non-denominational church in Montana, and he is a popular radio host and columnist . His weekly sermons are available on his YouTube channel. ..."
"... He is a relentless foe of neoconservatism and frequently criticizes the neocon hostility towards Russia. His views are representative of an influential and substantial part of Trump's popular support. ..."
"... Here is an archive of his excellent articles which we have published on Russia Insider , when they were relevant to the debate over Russia. ..."
"... The War on Terror ..."
"... The War On Terror: The Plot To Rule The Middle East ..."
"... The War On Terror: The Plot To Rule The Middle East ..."
"... The War On Terror: The Plot To Rule The Middle East ..."
"... The War On Terror: The Plot To Rule The Middle East ..."
"... The War On Terror: The Plot To Rule The Middle East ..."
"... The War On Terror: The Plot To Rule The Middle East ..."
Aug 05, 2018 | russia-insider.com

"Behind the War on Terror is a strategic plan crafted decades in advance to redraw the map of the Middle East. 9/11 was a false-flag operation blamed on Muslims ..." Chuck Baldwin Wed, Aug 1, 2018 | 14,261 389 MORE: History Revisionist History The author is a prominent American Christian conservative who was a presidential candidate for the paleoconservative Constitution Party in 2008, when he was endorsed by Ron Paul.

He is the pastor of Liberty Fellowship, a non-denominational church in Montana, and he is a popular radio host and columnist . His weekly sermons are available on his YouTube channel.

He is a relentless foe of neoconservatism and frequently criticizes the neocon hostility towards Russia. His views are representative of an influential and substantial part of Trump's popular support.

Here is an archive of his excellent articles which we have published on Russia Insider , when they were relevant to the debate over Russia.


What if everything we've been told about 9/11 is a lie? What if it wasn't 19 Muslim terrorist hijackers that flew those planes into the Twin Towers and Pentagon? What if the Muslims had nothing whatsoever to do with the attacks on 9/11? What if everything we've been told about the reasons we invaded two sovereign nations (Afghanistan and Iraq) is a lie?

What if the 17-year-old, never-ending "War on Terror" in the Middle East is a lie? What if our young soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who have given their lives in America's "War on Terror" died for a lie? What if G.W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump have been nothing but controlled toadies for an international global conspiracy that hatched the attacks of 9/11 as nothing more than a means to institute a perpetual "War on Terror" for purposes that have nothing to do with America's national security? Would the American people want to know? Would the truth even matter to them?

The sad reality is that the vast majority of Americans who would read the above paragraph would totally dismiss every question I raised as being unrealistic and impossible -- or even nutty. Why is that? Have they studied and researched the questions? No. Have they given any serious thought to the questions? No. They have simply swallowed the government/mainstream media version of these events hook, line and sinker.

It is totally amazing to me that the same people who say they don't believe the mainstream media (MSM) and government (Deep State) versions of current events -- which is why they voted for and love Donald Trump -- have absolutely no reservations about accepting the official story that the 9/11 attacks were the work of jihadist Muslims and that America's "War on Terror" is completely legitimate.

These "always Trumpers" are dead set in their minds that America is at war with Islam; that Trump's bombings of Syria were because President Assad is an evil, maniacal monster who gassed his own people; and that Trump's expansion of the war in Afghanistan is totally in the interests of America's national security.

BUT WHAT IF ALL OF IT IS A BIG, FAT LIE?

What if the Muslims had NOTHING to do with 9/11?

What if Bashar al-Assad did NOT gas his own people?

What if America's "War on Terror" is a completely false, manufactured, made-up deception?

What if America's military forces are mostly fighting for foreign agendas and NOT for America's national security or even our national interests?

What if America's war in Afghanistan is a fraud?

What if the entire "War on Terror" is a fraud?

The Trump robots have bought into America's "War on Terror" as much as Obama's robots and Bush's robots did. Bush was elected twice, largely on the basis of America's "War on Terror." Obama campaigned against the "War on Terror" and then expanded it during his two terms in office. Trump campaigned against the "War on Terror" and then immediately expanded it beyond what Obama had done. In fact, Trump is on a pace to expand the "War on Terror" beyond the combined military aggressions of both Bush and Obama.

But who cares? Who even notices?

America is engaged in a global "War on Terror." Just ask G.W. Bush, Barack Obama, Donald Trump, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, FOX News, The Washington Post, the New York Times and the vast majority of America's pastors and preachers. They all tell us the same thing seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day. Liberals scream against Trump, and conservatives scream against Maxine Waters; but both sides come together to support America's never-ending "War on Terror."

But what if it's ALL a lie? What if Obama and Trump, the right and the left, the MSM and the conservative media are all reading from the same script? What if they are all (wittingly or unwittingly) in cahoots in perpetuating the biggest scam in world history? And why is almost everyone afraid to even broach the question?

Left or right, liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican, secular or Christian, no one dares to question the official story about the 9/11 attacks or the "War on Terror."

And those who do question it are themselves attacked unmercifully by the right and the left, conservatives and liberals, Christians and secularists, Sean Hannity and Chris Matthews. Why is that? Why is it that FOX News and CNN, Donald Trump and Barack Obama, Chuck Schumer and Ted Cruz equally promote the same cockamamie story about 9/11 and the "War on Terror?"

Why? Why? Why?

Tell me again how Donald Trump is so different from Barack Obama. Tell me again how Ted Cruz is so different from Chuck Schumer. They all continue to perpetuate the lies about 9/11. They all continue to escalate America's never-ending "War on Terror." They are all puppets of a global conspiracy to advance the agenda of war profiteers and nation builders.

The left-right, conservative-liberal, Trump-Obama paradigm is one big giant SCAM. At the end of the day, the "War on Terror" goes on, bombs keep falling on people in the Middle East who had absolutely NOTHING to do with 9/11 and the money keeps flowing into the coffers of the international bankers and war merchants.

All of the above is why I am enthusiastically promoting Christopher Bollyn's new blockbuster book The War on Terror .

Of course, Bollyn is one of the world's foremost researchers and investigators into the attacks on 9/11. He has written extensively on the subject. But unlike most other 9/11 investigators, Bollyn continued to trace the tracks of the attacks on 9/11. And those tracks led him to discover that the 9/11 attacks were NOT "the event" but that they were merely the trigger for "the event." "What was the event?" you ask. America's perpetual "War on Terror."

As a result, Mr. Bollyn published his findings that the attacks on 9/11 were NOT perpetrated by Muslim extremists but by a very elaborate and well financed international conspiracy that had been in the planning for several decades. Bollyn's research names names, places and dates and exposes the truth behind not just 9/11 (many have done that) but behind America's "War on Terror" that resulted from the attacks on 9/11.

IT'S TIME FOR THE TRUTH TO COME OUT!

And Christopher Bollyn's investigative research brings out the truth like nothing I've read to date. His research connects the dots and destroys the myths.

Mr. Bollyn's research is published in a book entitled (full title): The War On Terror: The Plot To Rule The Middle East . I mean it when I say that if enough people read this book, it could change the course of history and save our republic.

This is written on the book's back cover:

The government and media have misled us about 9/11 in order to compel public opinion to support the War on Terror.

Why have we gone along with it? Do we accept endless war as normal? Are we numb to the suffering caused by our military interventions?

No. We have simply been propagandized into submission. We have been deceived into thinking that the War on Terror is a good thing, a valiant struggle against terrorists who intend to attack us as we were on 9/11.

Behind the War on Terror is a strategic plan crafted decades in advance to redraw the map of the Middle East. 9/11 was a false-flag operation blamed on Muslims in order to start the military operations for that strategic plan. Recognizing the origin of the plan is crucial to understanding the deception that has changed our world.

Folks, 9/11 was a deception. The "War on Terror" is a deception. The phony left-right paradigm is a deception. FOX News is as much a deception as CNN. The "always Trump" group is as much a deception as the "never Trump" group. America has been in the throes of a great deception since September 11, 2001. And this deception is being perpetrated by Republicans and Democrats and conservatives and liberals alike.

I do not know Christopher Bollyn. I've never met him. But I thank God he had the intellectual honesty and moral courage to write this book. I urge readers to get this explosive new book. If you don't read any other book this year, read Mr. Bollyn's investigative masterpiece: The War On Terror: The Plot To Rule The Middle East .

Again, I am enthusiastically recommending this book to my readers, and I make no apologies for doing so. The truth contained in this research MUST get out, and I am determined to do all I can to help make that possible.

Order Christopher Bollyn's blockbuster book The War On Terror: The Plot To Rule The Middle East here:

The War On Terror: The Plot To Rule The Middle East

I am confident that after you read this book, you will want to buy copies for your friends and relatives. The book is under 200 pages long and is not difficult reading. However, the facts and details Bollyn covers are profound and powerful. I have read the book three times so far and I'm not finished.

Frankly, Bollyn's book made so many things make sense for me. His book dovetails and tracks with much of my research on other topics. Truly, his book helped me get a much fuller understanding of the "big picture."

What if everything we've been told about 9/11 and the "War on Terror" is a lie? Well, Bollyn's book proves that indeed it is.

Again, here is where to find Christopher Bollyn's phenomenal new book The War On Terror: The Plot To Rule The Middle East :

The War On Terror: The Plot To Rule The Middle East


Source: Chuck Baldwin LIVE

[Aug 04, 2018] The US establishment behind the Helsinki Summit, by Manlio Dinucci

So the US neoliberal establishment tried to sabotage Trump-Putin summit in doer to pursue "business as usual". In other words military-industrial complex is in control of the USA government...
Notable quotes:
"... It's no coincidence that, at the very moment when the President of the United States was about to meet with the President of Russia, special prosecutor Robert Mueller III charged twelve Russians with having manipulated the US presidential elections by hacking into the data networks of the Democratic party in order to hinder candidate Hillary Clinton. The twelve Russians, accused of being agents of the military secret services (GRU), were officially defined as " conspirators ", and found guilty of " conspiracy to the detriment of the United States ". Simultaneously, Daniel Coats, National Director of Intelligence and principal advisor to the President in these matters, accused Russia of working to " undermine our basic values and our democracy ". He then sounded the alarm about the " threat of cyber-attacks which have arrived at a critical point " similar to that which preceded 9/11, on behalf not only of Russia, " the most aggressive foreign agent ", but also China and Iran. ..."
"... At the same time, in London, British " investigators " declared that the Russian military secret service GRU, which had sabotaged the Presidential elections in the USA, is the same service which poisoned ex-Russian agent, Sergueï Skripal and his daughter, who, inexplicably, survived contact with an extremely lethal gas. ..."
"... The political objective of these " enquiries " is clear – to maintain that at the head of all these " conspirators " is Russian President Vladimir Putin, with whom President Donald Trump sat down at the negotiating table, despite vast bi-partisan opposition in the USA. After the " conspirators " had been charged, the Democrats asked Trump to cancel the meeting with Putin. Even though they failed, their pressure on the negotiations remains powerful. ..."
"... In opposition to the easing of tension with Russia are not only the Democrats (who, with a reversal of formal roles, are playing the " hawks "), but also many Republicans, among whom are several highly-important representatives of the Trump administration itself. It is the establishment, not only of the US, but also of Europe, whose powers and profits are directly linked to tension and war. ..."
"... Even if an agreement on these questions were reached between Putin and Trump, would the latter be able to implement it? Or will the real deciders be the powerful circles of the military-industrial complex? ..."
Aug 04, 2018 | www.voltairenet.org

While the International Press distorted the content of the NATO Summit, the US establishment perfectly understood the unique issue – the end of enmity with Russia. Thus disturbing the bilateral summit in Helsinki between the USA and Russia became its priority. By all means possible, it had to prevent any rapprochement with Moscow.

We need to talk about everything, from commerce to the military, missiles, nuclear, and China " - this was how President Trump began at the Helsinki Summit. " The time has come to talk in detail about our bilateral relationship and the international flashpoints ", emphasised Putin.

But it will not only be the two Presidents who will decide the future relationships between the United States and Russia.

It's no coincidence that, at the very moment when the President of the United States was about to meet with the President of Russia, special prosecutor Robert Mueller III charged twelve Russians with having manipulated the US presidential elections by hacking into the data networks of the Democratic party in order to hinder candidate Hillary Clinton. The twelve Russians, accused of being agents of the military secret services (GRU), were officially defined as " conspirators ", and found guilty of " conspiracy to the detriment of the United States ". Simultaneously, Daniel Coats, National Director of Intelligence and principal advisor to the President in these matters, accused Russia of working to " undermine our basic values and our democracy ". He then sounded the alarm about the " threat of cyber-attacks which have arrived at a critical point " similar to that which preceded 9/11, on behalf not only of Russia, " the most aggressive foreign agent ", but also China and Iran.

At the same time, in London, British " investigators " declared that the Russian military secret service GRU, which had sabotaged the Presidential elections in the USA, is the same service which poisoned ex-Russian agent, Sergueï Skripal and his daughter, who, inexplicably, survived contact with an extremely lethal gas.

The political objective of these " enquiries " is clear – to maintain that at the head of all these " conspirators " is Russian President Vladimir Putin, with whom President Donald Trump sat down at the negotiating table, despite vast bi-partisan opposition in the USA. After the " conspirators " had been charged, the Democrats asked Trump to cancel the meeting with Putin. Even though they failed, their pressure on the negotiations remains powerful.

What Putin tried to obtain from Trump is both simple and complex – to ease the tension between the two countries. To that purpose, he proposed to Trump, who accepted, to implement a joint enquiry into the " conspiracy ". We do not know how the discussions on the key questions will go – the status of Crimea, the condition of Syria, nuclear weapons and others. And we do not know what Trump will ask in return. However, it is certain that any concession will be used to accuse him of connivance with the enemy. In opposition to the easing of tension with Russia are not only the Democrats (who, with a reversal of formal roles, are playing the " hawks "), but also many Republicans, among whom are several highly-important representatives of the Trump administration itself. It is the establishment, not only of the US, but also of Europe, whose powers and profits are directly linked to tension and war.

It will not be the words, but the facts, which will reveal whether the climate of détente of the Helsinki Summit will become reality - first of all with a de-escalation of NATO in Europe, in other words with the withdrawal of forces (including nuclear forces) of the USA and NATO presently deployed against Russia, and the blockage of NATO's expansion to the East.

Even if an agreement on these questions were reached between Putin and Trump, would the latter be able to implement it? Or will the real deciders be the powerful circles of the military-industrial complex?

One thing is certain – we in Italy and Europe can not remain the simple spectators of dealings which will define our future. Manlio Dinucci

Translation
Pete Kimberley

Source
Il Manifesto (Italy)

Manlio Dinucci

Geographer and geopolitical scientist. His latest books are Laboratorio di geografia , Zanichelli 2014 ; Diario di viaggio , Zanichelli 2017 ; L'arte della guerra / Annali della strategia Usa/Nato 1990-2016 , Zambon 2016. The warmonger The warmonger's response to negotiation
"The Art of War"

[Aug 02, 2018] Putin Tongue-Lashes American Journo Who Criticized Him For Promoting Stereotypes About America

Flashback: Putin about Neo-McCarthyism
Nov 10, 2017 | www.youtube.com

Putin Puts in Place American Journo Toby Gati Who is Criticizing Him for Not Wanting to Admit that America is Exceptional Nation

Steve Powell , 4 months ago

I think he behaved very well towards this lady. He was polite and respectful and open. I believe everything he said. We need more like him. I do not believe for a moment all the rubbish in the news. Its quite clearly from lack of evidence (re the UK incident) or proper dialogue that the reason for those accusing Russia is purely political and Anti-Russia as per usual.

F Zulu , 4 months ago

Bravo Putin i love this man so humble and straight to the point. He literally ripped the old hog apart .

[Jul 30, 2018] It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for an American to understand the truth by Paul Haeder

Notable quotes:
"... It is time to realize, however, that the real dangers to America today come not from the newly rich people of East Asia but from our own ideological rigidity, our deep-seated belief in our own propaganda. ..."
"... Blowback , Second Edition: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire ..."
"... The Common Good ..."
"... Reimagining Sanity: Voices Beyond the Echo Chamber ..."
"... Dissident Voice ..."
"... LA Progressive ..."
Jul 27, 2018 | dissidentvoice.org

In a sense, blowback is simply another way of saying that a nation reaps what it sows. Although people usually know what they have sown, our national experience of blowback is seldom imagined in such terms because so much of what the managers of the American empire have sown has been kept secret.

It is time to realize, however, that the real dangers to America today come not from the newly rich people of East Asia but from our own ideological rigidity, our deep-seated belief in our own propaganda.

― Chalmers Johnson, Blowback , Second Edition: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire

There are no more leaps of faith, or get out of jail cards left anymore. The first casualty of war is truth.

Lofty heights of defining the first amendment are just overlooks onto the crumbling mythology of a democracy, where the people – citizens -- vote for laws directly. We have a republic, a faulty one, the source of which is the power derived from billionaires, financiers, arms merchants, K-Streeters and the attendant moles allowing the government to break every charter of human concern. So, in that regard, we in this corptocracy have the right to be fooled every minute, suckered to not know a goddamned thing about democracy in big quotes.

The very concept of manufactured consent and a controlled opposition destroys much of the power of agency and so-called freedom of assembly, association and travel.

The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum.

― Noam Chomsky, The Common Good

The best way to control the opposition is to lead it ourselves.

― Vladimir Lenin

But, alas, we have blokes who see the world not as a black and white dichotomous illusion of the for v. against bifurcation, but a world of flowing back to what words should mean, a world that allows the filters to be smashed like high polished glass and instead deploying a magnifying glass to point toward the very source of the blasphemies and strong arm robberies that have been occurring in the Republic the very first moment the beaver hat was put on and the first treaty scripted by the powdered wigs of Washingtonian Fathers and broken, ripped to shreds, seeded with the dark force that is the white race.

Here comes Tools for Transparency into the mix of triage to uphold the declaration of independence, and the few tenets of the constitution that are supremely directed to we-by-for-because of the people, AND not the corporation, monopoly, Military-Retail-Finance-Ag-Energy-Pharma-Prison-Medical-Toxins-IT-Surveillance-Legal Complex. This project is the brainchild of a former Marine who "came to life late in the world" of pure skepticism about the powers that be and his own questioning of the motivations and machinations of his government and political representatives.

... ... ...

...we talked about Mad Men , the Edward Bernays and Milton Friedman schools of propaganda, framing stories (lies) and setting out to paint good people as bad, heroic politicians like Salvador Allende of Chile as Commie Baby Killers. Even now, Bush, the instigator of chaos in the Middle East, with all the cooked up lies and distractions of his own stupidity (like Trump), and, bam, W is reclaimed (in the mainstream mush media) as something of a good president, and especially by the likes of the Democratic Party misleadership .

... ... ...

His Tools for Transparency cuts through the opinion, and as he proposes, makes the world news and the even more Byzantine and elaborate proposed legislation and lobbying groups behind "the news" approachable, again, consumable.

He taps into his college days taking courses in industrial organizational psychology, seemingly benign when the American Psychological Association gets to mash the term into a three-fold brochure by defining it for prospective students as business as usual for corporations, and humanity is better because of this sort of manipulative psychology, but . . .

In reality, it's the science of behavior in the workplace, organizational development, attitudes, career development, decision theory, human performance, human factors, consumer behavior, small group theory and process, criterion theory and development and job and task analysis and individual assessment. It's a set of tools to keep workers down spiritually and organizationally, disconnected, fearful, confused and ineffectual as thinkers and resisters, and inept at countering the abuse of power companies or bureaucracies wield over a misinformed workforce.

The shape of corporations' unethical behavior, their sociopathic and the draconian workplace conditions today are largely sculpted and defined by these behavior shapers to include the marketers and the Edward Bernays-inspired manipulators of facts and brain functioning. This begs the question for Hanson, just what are today's hierarchy of needs for the average American? Physiological; Safety; Love/Belonging; Esteem; Self-Actualization.

... ... ...

Brian believes there is an awakening today in this country, and that the examples of movements such as those in Portland where youth are out yelling against the police state, and then how we are seeing individual officers returning firing with violence against those youth:

The viral video of an officer drawing his pistol on a group of school age children is terrifying.

We talk a lot about the devaluing of language and intentional discourse which includes the abilities of a society to engage in lively and cogent debate. For me, I know the forces of propaganda are multi-headed, multi-variant, with so much of American life seeded with lies, half-truths, duplicitous and twisted concepts, as well as inaccurate and spin-doctored history, which has contaminated a large portion of our society, up and down the economic ladder, with mind control.

Unfortunately, our language now is inextricably tied to emotions, as we see leftists (what's that?) and so-called progressives screaming at the top of their lungs how Trump is the worst president ever. Black so-called activists , journalists, stating how the empire (sky) is falling because Trump talked with Putin . Imagine, imagine, all those millions upon millions of people killed because of all the other presidents' and their thugs' policies eviscerating societies, all those elections smeared, all those democracies mauled, all those citizens in the other part of the world hobbled by America's policies, read "wars, occupations, embargoes, structural violence." It is a daily reminder for us all that today, as was true yesterday, that we are ruled by masters of self-deception and our collective society having a feel good party every day while we plunder the world. Doublethink. Here:

Orwell's point :

To tell deliberate lives while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality one denies – all this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink. For by using the word one admits one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth.

Herein lies the problem – vaunting past presidents on pedestals while attacking this current deplorable, Donald Trump. The reality is the US has been run by an elite group of militarists, and by no means is Trump the worst of the worst, which is both illogical and unsupported by facts:

Yet, we have to mark the words and wisdom of those of us who have been marking this empire's crimes, both internal and external, for years. Here, Paul Edwards over at Counterpunch hits a bulls-eye on the heart of the matter:

After decades of proven bald-faced crime, deceit and the dirtiest pool at home and abroad, the CIA, FBI, NSA, the Justice Department and the whole fetid nomenklatura of sociopathic rats, are portrayed as white knights of virtue dispensing verity as holy writ. And "progressives" buy it.

These are the vermin that gave us Vietnam, the Bay of Pigs, Chile, the Contras, Iraq's WMD, and along the way managed to miss the falls of the Shah and Communism.

Truly an Orwellian clusterfuck, this. War Party Dems misleading naive liberal souls sickened by Trump into embracing the dirty, vicious lunacy Hillary peddled to her fans, the bankers, brokers, and CEOs of the War Machine.

Trump is a fool who may yet blunder us into war; the Dems and the Deep State cabal would give us war by design.

... ... ...

Paul Kirk Haeder has been a journalist since 1977. He's covered police, environment, planning and zoning, county and city politics, as well as working in true small town/community journalism situations in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Mexico and beyond. He's been a part-time faculty since 1983, and as such has worked in prisons, gang-influenced programs, universities, colleges, alternative high schools, language schools, as a private contractor-writing instructor for US military in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Washington. A forthcoming book (Dec. 15, 2016), Reimagining Sanity: Voices Beyond the Echo Chamber , looks at 10 years of his writing at Dissident Voice , and before, to bring defiance to the world that is now lobotomizing at a rate never before seen in history. Read his autobiography, weekly chapter installments, at LA Progressive . Read other articles by Paul , or visit Paul's website .

[Jul 29, 2018] The Helsinki Debacle and US-Russian Relations

MIC is a cancer, and looks like there is no cure
Notable quotes:
"... Improving the relationship with Moscow has been and continues to be a worthwhile goal, but Trump has made it politically impossible to pursue that goal in the near term. ..."
"... I do think the credit for this goes to the Clinton campaign, the "intelligence" agencies, the neoconlib biparty and individuals like McCain, who have gone to McCarthyite lenghts since before the GOP primaries ended to prevent Trump from attempting *any* change of the status quo on foreign policy. Granted, the man might be ineffectual no matter what, but we will never know. The US establishment and the retainees of the war profiteering classes have made any negotiations with Russia impossible long before Trump even announced his campaign. ..."
"... We also should not forget to credit the GOP for test-driving the whole "weak on Russia" playbook during the Obama years. ..."
"... Additionally there has yet to be any actual evidence presented re significant election interference. Indictments are accusations, not evidence. ..."
"... I'm no Trump fan, but he was just saying he believed Putin rather than the people who are clearly trying to bring his administration down. Can't really blame him. ..."
"... CNN even used Putin's dearly departed Labrador, Konni making her look like Cujo stating that Putin use her to terrorize Angela Merkel. A U.S. Congressman fumed that the 50,000 children died in Syria because this fiend supported Assad when Syria was about to be liberated (a number suspiciously close to the true number of Yemeni children we helped to kill). ..."
"... As flawed as Trump may be, he is merely holding up a mirror to what we have become. Had we elected a conventional candidate it would just be business as usual with these seething hatreds buried just below the surface. ..."
"... No one better suggest that we should tarnish ourselves talking to the likes of a Russian leader unless we are discussing terms of surrender. We want Yeltsin or maybe Medvedev. ..."
Jul 18, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Improving the relationship with Moscow has been and continues to be a worthwhile goal, but Trump has made it politically impossible to pursue that goal in the near term. The U.S. and Russia could and should have a more constructive relationship, but it can't be based on the denial of reality and ignoring the genuine disagreements that exist between our governments.

If there is to be genuine improvement in U.S.-Russian relations, it will come from facing up to these disagreements and finding a way to work through or around them.


b. July 16, 2018 at 9:35 pm

"Trump has made it politically impossible to pursue that goal in the near term."

I do think the credit for this goes to the Clinton campaign, the "intelligence" agencies, the neoconlib biparty and individuals like McCain, who have gone to McCarthyite lenghts since before the GOP primaries ended to prevent Trump from attempting *any* change of the status quo on foreign policy. Granted, the man might be ineffectual no matter what, but we will never know. The US establishment and the retainees of the war profiteering classes have made any negotiations with Russia impossible long before Trump even announced his campaign.

We also should not forget to credit the GOP for test-driving the whole "weak on Russia" playbook during the Obama years.

Rob , says: July 16, 2018 at 11:21 pm
I agree with b. While Trump may not be savvy enough to calibrate his engagement with Putin in a way that would allow a proper dialogue with Russia in spite of the political backdrop in the US, the primary blame for any failure to allow such dialogue rests for those responsible for creating that political backdrop that makes it so difficult in the first place (hint: it's not Trump, unless you blame him for winning the election – rather it is the unholy alliance of Democrats looking for an excuse for them losing the election and Cold War hawk neocons who have Russia-hate in their DNA (and their stock portfolios)).
a spencer , says: July 17, 2018 at 1:33 am
That Putin talked up the Iran deal in the press conference makes me wonder what was said in the one-on-one. Couldn't have pleased the Adelson/Bolton wing.
Erik , says: July 17, 2018 at 2:35 am
I also agree with b.

Additionally there has yet to be any actual evidence presented re significant election interference. Indictments are accusations, not evidence.

I saw nothing particularly wrong with the press conference. I'm no Trump fan, but he was just saying he believed Putin rather than the people who are clearly trying to bring his administration down. Can't really blame him.

Christian Chuba , says: July 17, 2018 at 9:59 am
The embarrassment was the reaction in the MSM showcasing how they are now CIA state run media.

They trot out former high ranking CIA officers now employed by them recycling every meme to reinforce that we are the forces goodness and light and anyone strong enough to oppose us is evil.

CNN even used Putin's dearly departed Labrador, Konni making her look like Cujo stating that Putin use her to terrorize Angela Merkel. A U.S. Congressman fumed that the 50,000 children died in Syria because this fiend supported Assad when Syria was about to be liberated (a number suspiciously close to the true number of Yemeni children we helped to kill). These are just two random examples in a very long day. It was
a show worthy of the priests of Baal who confronted Elijah.

As flawed as Trump may be, he is merely holding up a mirror to what we have become. Had we elected a conventional candidate it would just be business as usual with these seething hatreds buried just below the surface.

No one better suggest that we should tarnish ourselves talking to the likes of a Russian leader unless we are discussing terms of surrender. We want Yeltsin or maybe Medvedev.

DanJ , says: July 18, 2018 at 1:07 am
The summit was announced by the White House and the Kremlin on June 28. The Finnish hosts probably knew about it a few days earlier. That leaves only three weeks for preparation.

The summit itself lasted one day. Putin arrived late and after lunch and diplomatic niceties there was only 2-3 hours for actual talks.

That's not a problem if everything is already carefully negotiated and the presidents just sign documents and smile for the cameras. But it seems very little was agreed on beforehand.

I'm all for world leaders meeting and talking. The more the better. But I really don't see the point of hastily calling a summit where nothing is agreed upon. At least not that we know of.

[Jul 29, 2018] The Putin-Trump Helsinki summit by The Saker

Notable quotes:
"... This is the proverbial case where the real " action is in the reaction " and, in this case, the reaction of the Neocon run US deep-state and its propaganda machine (the US corporate media) was nothing short of total and abject hysterics. ..."
"... What Trump is facing today is not a barrage of criticism but a very real lynch mob! And what is really frightening is that almost nobody dares to denounce that hysterical lynch mob for what it is. ..."
"... Even such supposed supporters of President Trump like Trey Gowdy who has fully thrown his weight behind the "Russia tried to attack us" nonsense . With friends like these... ..."
"... What has been taking place after this the summit is an Orwellian "two minutes of hatred" but now stretched well into a two weeks of hatred. And I see no signs that this lynch mob is calming down. In fact, as of this morning, the levels of hysteria are only increasing . ..."
"... By the way, these are typical Neocon-style tactics: double-down, then double-down again, then issue statements which make it impossible for you to back down, then repeat it all as many times as needed. This strategy is useless against a powerful and principled enemy, but it works miracles with a weak and spineless foe like Trump. ..."
"... The process which is taking place before our eyes splits the people of the US into two main categories: first, the Neocons and those whom the US media has successfully brainwashed and, second, everybody else. That second group, by the way, is very diverse and it includes not only bona fide Trump supporters (many of whom have also been zombified in their own way), but also paleo-conservatives, libertarians, antiwar activists, (real) progressives and many other groups. ..."
"... I am also guessing that a lot of folks in the military are watching in horror as their armed forces and their country are being wrecked by the Neocons and their supporters. Basically, those who felt "I want my country back" and who hoped that Trump would make that happen are now horrified by what is taking place. ..."
"... I believe that what we are seeing is a massive and deliberate attack by the Neocons and their deep state against the political system and the people of the United States. Congress, especially, is now guilty of engaging on a de-facto coup against the Executive on so many levels that they are hard to count (and many of them are probably hidden from the public eye) including repeated attempts to prevent Trump from exercising his constitutional powers such as, for example, deciding on foreign policy issues. ..."
"... By now there is overwhelming evidence that a creeping Neocon coup has been in progress from the very first day of Trump's presidency and that the Neocons are far from being satisfied with having broken Trump and taken over the de-facto power in the White House: they now apparently also want it de-jure too. ..."
"... From the Russian point of view, it matters very little whether Trump is removed from office or not – the problem is not one of personalities, but one of the nature of the AngloZionist Empire. ..."
"... the infighting of the US elites does and, if not, then at the very least the current crisis will further weaken the US, hence the Russian willingness to participate in this summit even if by itself this summit brought absolutely no tangible results: the action was in the reaction. ..."
"... The Deep State has opposed him at every turn, choosing to favor the policies of the Neocons and their enablers in the Democratic Party. Hence, having no team of his own, he has been saddled with personnel from the ranks of his most virulent enemies at every level. ..."
"... the Neocons and the Clinton gang are willing to say anything, no matter how destabilizing, to hurt Trump even if the US political system by itself is also put at risk. ..."
"... Saker, something is not adding up. If Trump is truly as pathetic a pushover, as "weak and spineless," as you say, why all the hysteria? If, on the other hand, he is a rather successful wrecking ball, already having put in jeopardy half the key resources of the empire, that's another story. ..."
"... He's laying waste to the Empire in the most peaceful process possible – in large part by so embarrassing the Empire's elites, allies and vassals that they withdraw first their active support, and then finally even their consent. Inducing hysteria, both foreign and domestic, is a non-trivial component of the forces giving the wrecking ball an extra push as it heads for the edifice. ..."
"... I don't think that Trump is the fool on the hill. I think that mostly all those around him are. The latest hysteria over Russia is not about any "meddling" in any "democracy". It's about throwing tantrums that Russia won't submit to US hegemony. In my opinion, they don't deserve to be in charge of their own country, let alone to be asking to be in charge of Russia. ..."
"... It is not just "unanimity of hatred and chaos", "abject hysterics", "hate-filled hysteria", "two minutes of hatred stretched well into a two weeks of hatred" etc. It's something else and, I feel, simply much worse and dangerous. ..."
Jul 29, 2018 | www.unz.com

Oh sure, there were a number of general statements made about "positive discussions" and the like, and some vague references to various conflicts, but the truth is that nothing real and tangible was agreed upon. Furthermore, and this is, I believe, absolutely crucial, there never was any chance of this summit achieving anything. Why? Because the Russians have concluded a long time ago that the US officials are " non-agreement capable " (недоговороспособны). They are correct – the US has been non-agreement capable at least since Obama and Trump has only made things even worse: not only has the US now reneged on Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (illegally – since this plan was endorsed by the UNSC ), but Trump has even pathetically backtracked on the most important statement he made during the summit when he retroactively changed his " President Putin says it's not Russia. I don't see any reason why it would be " into " I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be Russia " (so much for 5D chess!).

If Trump can't even stick to his own words, how could anybody expect the Russians to take anything he says seriously?! Besides, ever since the many western verbal promises of not moving NATO east " by one inch eastward " the Russians know that western promises, assurances, and other guarantees are worthless, whether promised in a conversation or inked on paper. In truth, the Russians have been very blunt about their disgust with not only the western dishonesty but even about the basic lack of professionalism of their western counterparts, hence the comment by Putin about " it is difficult to have a dialogue with people who confuse Austria and Australia ".

It is quite obvious that the Russians agreed to the summit while knowing full well that nothing would, or even could, come out of it. This is why they were already dumping US Treasuries even before meeting with Trump (a clear sign of how the Kremlin really feels about Trump and the US).

So why did they agree to the meeting? Because they correctly evaluated the consequences of this meeting. This is the proverbial case where the real " action is in the reaction " and, in this case, the reaction of the Neocon run US deep-state and its propaganda machine (the US corporate media) was nothing short of total and abject hysterics. I could list an immense number of quotes, statements and declarations accusing Trump of being a wimp, a traitor, a sellout, a Putin agent and all the rest. But I found the most powerful illustration of that hate-filled hysteria in a collection of cartoons from the western corporate media posted by Colonel Cassad on this page:

https://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/4330355.html

What we see today is a hate campaign against both Trump and Russia the likes of which I think the world has never seen before: even in the early 20th century, including the pre-WWII years when there was plenty of hate thrown around, there never was such a unanimity of hatred as what we see today. Furthermore, what is attacked is not just "Trump the man" or "Trump the politician" but very much so "Trump the President". Please compare the following two examples:

The US wars after 9/11: many people had major reservations about the wars against Afghanistan, Iraq and the entire GWOT thing. But most Americans seemed to agree with the "we support our troops" slogan. The logic was something along the lines of "we don't like these wars, but we do support our fighting men and women and the military institution as such". Thus, while a specific policy was criticized, this criticism was never applied to the institution which implement it: the US armed forces. Trump after Helsinki: keep in mind that Trump made no agreement of any kind with Putin, none. And yet that policy of not making any agreements with Putin was hysterically lambasted as a sellout. This begs the question: what kind of policy would meet with the approval of the US deep state? Trump punching Putin in the nose maybe? This is utterly ridiculous, yet unlike in the case of the GWOT wars, there is no differentiation made whatsoever between Trump's policy towards Putin and Trump as the President of the United States. There is even talk of impeachment, treason and "high crimes & misdemeanors" or of the "KGB" (dissolved 27 years ago but nevermind that) having a hand in the election of the US President.

What Trump is facing today is not a barrage of criticism but a very real lynch mob! And what is really frightening is that almost nobody dares to denounce that hysterical lynch mob for what it is. There are a few exceptions, of course, even in the media (I think of Tucker Carlson), but these voices are completely drowned out by the hate-filled shrieks of the vast majority of US politicians and journalists. Even such supposed supporters of President Trump like Trey Gowdy who has fully thrown his weight behind the "Russia tried to attack us" nonsense . With friends like these...

What has been taking place after this the summit is an Orwellian "two minutes of hatred" but now stretched well into a two weeks of hatred. And I see no signs that this lynch mob is calming down. In fact, as of this morning, the levels of hysteria are only increasing .

By the way, these are typical Neocon-style tactics: double-down, then double-down again, then issue statements which make it impossible for you to back down, then repeat it all as many times as needed. This strategy is useless against a powerful and principled enemy, but it works miracles with a weak and spineless foe like Trump. This is particularly true of US politicians and journalists who have long become the accomplices of the deep state (especially after the 9/11 false flag and its cover-up) and who now cannot back down under any circumstances or treat President Trump as a normal, regular, President. The anti-Trump rhetoric has gone way too far and the US has now reached what I believe is a point of no return.

The brewing constitutional crisis: the Neocons vs the "deplorables"

I believe that the US is facing what could be the worst crisis in its history: the lawfully elected President is being openly delegitimized and that, in turn, delegitimizes the electoral process which brought him to power and, of course, it also excoriates the "deplorables" who dared vote for him: the majority of the American people.

The process which is taking place before our eyes splits the people of the US into two main categories: first, the Neocons and those whom the US media has successfully brainwashed and, second, everybody else. That second group, by the way, is very diverse and it includes not only bona fide Trump supporters (many of whom have also been zombified in their own way), but also paleo-conservatives, libertarians, antiwar activists, (real) progressives and many other groups.

I am also guessing that a lot of folks in the military are watching in horror as their armed forces and their country are being wrecked by the Neocons and their supporters. Basically, those who felt "I want my country back" and who hoped that Trump would make that happen are now horrified by what is taking place.

I believe that what we are seeing is a massive and deliberate attack by the Neocons and their deep state against the political system and the people of the United States. Congress, especially, is now guilty of engaging on a de-facto coup against the Executive on so many levels that they are hard to count (and many of them are probably hidden from the public eye) including repeated attempts to prevent Trump from exercising his constitutional powers such as, for example, deciding on foreign policy issues. A perfect example of this can be found in Nancy Pelosi's official statement about a possible invitation from Trump to Putin:

"The notion that President Trump would invite a tyrant to Washington is beyond belief. Putin's ongoing attacks on our elections and on Western democracies and his illegal actions in Crimea and the rest of Ukraine deserve the fierce, unanimous condemnation of the international community, not a VIP ticket to our nation's capital. President Trump's frightened fawning over Putin is an embarrassment and a grave threat to our democracy. An invitation to address a Joint Meeting of Congress should be bipartisan and Speaker Ryan must immediately make clear that there is not – and never will be – an invitation for a thug like Putin to address the United States Congress."

Another example of the same can be found in the unanimous 98-0 resolution by the US Senate expressing Congress's opposition to the US government allowing Russia to question US officials. Trump, of course, immediately caved in, even though he had originally declared "fantastic" the idea of actually abiding by the terms of an existing 1999 agreement on mutual assistance on criminal cases between the United States of America and Russia. The White House "spokesperson", Sarah Sanders, did even better and stated : (emphasis added)

"It is a proposal that was made in sincerity by President Putin, but President Trump disagrees with it. Hopefully, President Putin will have the 12 identified Russians come to the United States to prove their innocence or guilt "

Talk about imperial megalomania! The US will not allow the Russians to interrogate anybody, but it wants Putin to extradite Russian citizens. Amazing

As for Nancy Pelosi, her latest "tweet" today is anything but subtle. It reads:

Every single day, I find myself asking: what do the Russians have on @realDonaldTrump personally, financially, & politically? The answer to that question is that only thing that explains his behavior & his refusal to stand up to Putin. #ABetterDeal.

Pretty clear, no? "Trump is a traitor and we have to stop him".

By now there is overwhelming evidence that a creeping Neocon coup has been in progress from the very first day of Trump's presidency and that the Neocons are far from being satisfied with having broken Trump and taken over the de-facto power in the White House: they now apparently also want it de-jure too. The real question is this: are there any forces inside the US capable of stopping the Neocons from completely taking all the reins of power and, if yes, how could a patriotic reaction to this Neocon coup manifest itself? I honestly don't know, but my feeling is that we might soon have a "President Pence" in the Oval Office. One way or another, a constitutional crisis is brewing.

What about the Russian interests in all this?

I have said it many times, Russia and the AngloZionist Empire (as opposed to the United States as a country) are at war, a war which is roughly 80% informational, 15% economic and only 5% "kinetic". This is a very real war nonetheless and it is a war for survival simply because the Empire cannot allow any major country on the planet to be truly sovereign. Therefore, not only does the AngloZionist Empire represent an existential threat to Russia, Russia also represents an existential threat to the Empire. In this kind of conflict for survival there is no room for anything but a zero-sum game and whatever is good for Russia is bad for the US and vice-versa.

The Russians, including Putin, never wanted this zero-sum game, it was imposed upon them by the AngloZionists, but now that they have been forced into it, they will play it as hard as they can. It is therefore only logical to conclude that the massive systemic crises in which the Neocons and their crazy policies have plunged the US are to the advantage of Russia.

To be sure, the ideal scenario would be for Russia and the US (as opposed to the AngloZionst Empire) to work together on the very long list of issues where they share common interests. But since the Neocons have seized power and are sacrificing the US for the sake of their imperial designs, that is simply not going to happen, and the Russians understand that. Furthermore, since the US constitutes the largest power component of the AngloZionist Empire, anything weakening the US also thereby weakens the Empire and anything which weakens the Empire is beneficial for Russia (by the way, the logical corollary of this state of affairs is that the people of the US and the people of Russia have the same enemy – the Neocons – and that makes them de-facto allies).

It is not my purpose here to discuss when and how the Neocons came to power in the US, so I will just say that the delusional policies followed by the various US administrations since at least 1993 (and, even more so, since 2001) have been disastrous for the United States and could be characterized as one long never-ending case of imperial hubris (to use the title of here ). The long string of lost wars and foreign policy disasters are a direct result of this lack of even basic expertise. What passes for "expertise" today is basically hate-filled hyperbole and warmongering hysterics, hence the inflation in the paranoid anti-Russian rhetoric.

The US armed forces are only good at three things: wasting immense sums of money, destroying countries and alienating the rest of the planet. They are still the most expensive and bloated armed forces on the planet, but nobody fears them anymore (not even relatively small states, nevermind Russia or China). In technological terms, the Russians (and to a somewhat lesser degree the Chinese) have found asymmetrical answers to all the key force planning programs of the Pentagon and the former US superiority in the air, on land and on the seas is now a thing of the past. As for the US nuclear triad, it is still capable of accomplishing its mission, but it is useless as an instrument of foreign policy or to fight Russia or China (unless suicide is contemplated).

[Sidebar: this inability of the US military to achieve desired political goals might explain why, at least so far, the US has apparently given up on the notion of a Reconquista of Syria or why the Ukronazis have not dared to attack the Donbass. Of course, this is too early to call and these zigs might be followed by many zags, especially in the context of the political crisis in the US, but it appears that in the cases of the DPRK, Iran, Syria and the Ukraine there is much barking, but not much biting coming from the supposed sole "hyperpower" on the planet] The US is now engaged in simultaneous conflicts not only with Iran or Russia but also with the EU and China. In fact, even relationships with vassal states such as Canada or France are now worse than ever before. Only the prostituted leaders of "new Europe", to use Rumsfeld's term , are still paying lip service to the notion of "American leadership", and only if they get paid for it.

The US "elites" and the various interest groups they represent have now clearly turned on each other which is a clear sign that the entire system is in a state of deep crisis: when things were going well, everybody could get what they wanted and no visible infighting was taking place. The Israel Lobby has now fully subordinated Congress, the White House, and the media to its narrow Likudnik agenda and, as a direct result of this, the US has lost all their positions in the Middle-East and the chorus of those with enough courage to denounce this Zionist Occupation Government is slowly but steadily growing (at least on the Internet). Even US Jews are getting fed up with the now openly Israeli apartheid state (see here or here ). By withdrawing from a long list of important international treaties and bodies (TPP, Kyoto Protocol, START, ABM, JCPOA. UNESCO, UN Human Rights Council, etc.) the United States has completely isolated themselves from the rest of the planet. The ironic truth is that Russia has not been isolated in the least, but that the US has isolated itself from the rest of the planet.

In contrast, the Russians are capitalizing on every single US mistake – be it the carrier-centric navy, the unconditional support for Israel or the simultaneous trade wars with China and the EU. Much has been made of the recent revelation of new and revolutionary Russian weapon systems (see here and here ) but there is much more to this than just the deployment of new military systems and technologies: Russia is benefiting from the lack of any real US foreign policies to advance her own interests in the Middle-East, of course, but also elsewhere. Let's just take the very latest example of a US self-inflicted PR disaster – the following "tweet" by Trump: (CAPS in the original)

To Iranian President Rouhani: NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE. WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!

This kind of infantile (does he not sound like a 6 year old?) and, frankly, rather demented attempts at scaring Iranians (of all people!) is guaranteed to have the exact opposite effect from the one presumably sought: the Iranian leaders might snicker in disgust, or have a good belly-laugh, but they are not going to be impressed .

The so-called "allies" of the US will be embarrassed in the extreme to be "led" by such a primitive individual, even if they don't say so in public. As for the Russians, they will happily explore all the possibilities offered to them by such illiterate and self-defeating behavior.

Conclusion one: a useful summit for Russia

As a direct consequence of the Helsinki summit, the infighting of the US ruling classes has dramatically intensified. Furthermore, faced with a barrage of hateful attacks Trump did what he always does: he tried to simultaneously appease his critics by caving in to their rhetoric while at the same time trying to appear "tough" – hence his latest "I am a tough guy with a big red button" antics against Iran (he did exactly the same thing towards the DPRK). We will probably never find out what exactly Trump and Putin discussed during their private meeting, but one thing is sure: the fact that Trump sat one-on-one with Putin without any "supervision" from his deep-state mentors was good enough to create a total panic in the US ruling class resulting in even more wailing about collusion, impeachment, high crimes & misdemeanors and even treason. Again, the goal is clear: Trump must be removed.

From the Russian point of view, it matters very little whether Trump is removed from office or not – the problem is not one of personalities, but one of the nature of the AngloZionist Empire. The Russians simply don't have the means to bring down the Empire, but the infighting of the US elites does and, if not, then at the very least the current crisis will further weaken the US, hence the Russian willingness to participate in this summit even if by itself this summit brought absolutely no tangible results: the action was in the reaction.

Conclusion two: the Clinton gang's actions can result in a real catastrophe for the US

Trump's main goal in meeting with Putin was probably to find out whether there was a way to split up the Russian-Chinese strategic partnership and to back the Israeli demands for Syria. On the issue of China, Trump never had a chance since the US has really nothing to offer to Russia (whereas China and Russia are now locked into a vital symbiotic relationship ). On Syria, the Russians and the Israelis are now negotiating the details of a deal which would give the Syrian government the control of the demarcation line with Israel (it is not a border in the legal sense) and Trump's backing for Israel will make no difference. As for Iran, the Russians will not back the US agenda either for many reasons ranging from basic self-interest to respect for international law. So while Trump did the right thing in meeting with Putin, it was predictable at least under the current set of circumstances, that he would not walk away with tangible results.

For all his very real failings, Trump cannot be blamed for the current situation. The real culprits are the Clinton gang and the Democratic Party which, by their completely irresponsible behavior, are creating a very dangerous crisis for the United States: the Neocons and the Clinton gang are willing to say anything, no matter how destabilizing, to hurt Trump even if the US political system by itself is also put at risk. Furthermore, the Neocons have now completely flipped around the presumption of innocence – both externally (Russian "attack" on the US elections) and internally (Trump's "collusion" with Putin). As for Trump, whatever his good intentions might have been, he is weak and cannot fight the entire US deep state by himself. The Neocons and the US deep state are now on a collision course with Russia and the people of the United States and while Russia does have the means to protect herself from the Empire, it is unclear to me who, or what could stop the Neocons from further damaging the US. Deep and systemic crises often result in new personalities entering the stage, but in the case of the US, it is now undeniable that the system cannot reform


exiled off mainstreet , July 26, 2018 at 4:47 am GMT

All of this seems profoundly depressing, but it appears to be how things are. I was disappointed by Trump's efforts to cave into the deep state on his statements. The fact he can't even control his justice ministry reveals his weakness. I'm of the view history shows that once spy agencies reach a critical mass in power they become the absolute rulers of a structure and the rule of law becomes a facade, then is sidelined completely.
Anonymous [333] Disclaimer , July 26, 2018 at 10:55 am GMT
@exiled off mainstreet

Trump was a complete outsider to politics when he decided to run for the presidency in 2015. He had no team or political allies. He really didn't have much of a philosophy of governance, a solid foundation of history and facts, a first rate vocabulary or the debating skills of an 8th grader. He has consistently failed to win over any Democratic and probably not even a majority of Republican politicians.

The Deep State has opposed him at every turn, choosing to favor the policies of the Neocons and their enablers in the Democratic Party. Hence, having no team of his own, he has been saddled with personnel from the ranks of his most virulent enemies at every level.

His lack of knowledge and primitive persuasive skills, which might work in big business but not under the microscope of politics, have not won him any converts but only encouraged a vicious escalation of antipathy from his opponents, who, controlling the media from top to bottom, are openly calling him a traitor on no objective grounds, unless trying to do the job of the office, maintain the peace, and explore possible avenues for reducing international tensions is now considered treasonous. The charge of treason is clearly bombastic but with virtually everyone of influence nodding in agreement, it's difficult for the man to retain his credibility before the public.

Actually, a smidgen south of half the public are the only base of his support. And a very eclectic base they are, including numerous liberals, progressives, intellectuals and peaceniks, in addition to conservatives, Republicans and Libertarians, who prefer to deal with the real world rather than Hillary's deliberate misrepresentation of it.

Will that be enough for him to survive? The way the maniacs are raving in the media, expect the country to throw a big celebration if he gets "taken out" one way or another tomorrow. The situation is really dangerous and utterly shameful. Most of the blame goes to Hillary Clinton and her insurrectionists for not accepting the outcome of our system of ersatz "democracy." Her husband won with something like 43% of the popular vote in 1992. I'm pretty sure Trump had a higher number. Cry me a river, Hillary, but stop trying to destroy what you can't have like a petulant child.

(I'm a liberal Democrat.)

Johnny Rottenborough , Website July 26, 2018 at 11:20 am GMT
the logical corollary of this state of affairs is that the people of the US and the people of Russia have the same enemy – the Neocons – and that makes them de-facto allies

I think it would be more accurate to say that the people of Russia had the same enemy.

Anonymous [346] Disclaimer , July 26, 2018 at 1:37 pm GMT

By the way, these are typical Neocon-style tactics: double-down, then double-down again, then issue statements which make it impossible for you to back down, then repeat it all as many times as needed.

It's like trial lawyers say: if the facts are on your side and the law is not, then argue the facts; if the law is on your side and the facts are not, then argue the law; and if neither the facts nor the law are on your side, then bang your fists on the table and shout as loud as you can! That's exactly what the neo-clowns are doing here.

the Neocons and the Clinton gang are willing to say anything, no matter how destabilizing, to hurt Trump even if the US political system by itself is also put at risk.

All of which just helps to further discredit the empire. Even with all the insanity in the media, I still thank God every day that Hellary did not become president.

War for Blair Mountain , July 26, 2018 at 2:25 pm GMT
The Paradox:

The above h0moerotic caricature of Putin and Trump is quite revealing in what it tells us about what drives the emotional life of White Liberals and White Leftist. They are driven by powerful urges to impose homosexuality-pedophilia-pederasty on both Christian Russia and the Working Class Native Born White American Christians.

sarz , July 26, 2018 at 3:28 pm GMT
Saker, something is not adding up. If Trump is truly as pathetic a pushover, as "weak and spineless," as you say, why all the hysteria? If, on the other hand, he is a rather successful wrecking ball, already having put in jeopardy half the key resources of the empire, that's another story.
Carlo , July 27, 2018 at 12:08 am GMT
@sarz

I think because Trump postulated himself as a candidate, then got nominated the Republican candidate and worst of all, despite the huge campaign against him, won the elections, without the blessing of the Deep State and the neocons. So now they want to teach him (and anyone else who might think about doing the same) a lesson: "Anyone who tries to become president without our approval will be crushed", so it never happens again.

Erebus , July 27, 2018 at 2:12 am GMT
@sarz

something is not adding up. If Trump is truly as pathetic a pushover, as "weak and spineless," as you say, why all the hysteria?

And nobody seems to like him
They can tell what he wants to do
And he never shows his feelings

But the fool on the hill
Sees the sun going down
And the eyes in his head
See the world spinning around

That Trump is a wrecking ball is a hypothesis I've held since the first GOP debate, when I also realized he would (probably) win not only the election, but may even succeed at the far more difficult challenge of bringing the Empire to a sufficiently soft landing that the nation survives. I'm less convinced of the latter now, largely because I underestimated the centrifugal forces driving the fault lines in the American body politic. The nation, tragically may not survive the Empire's twilight, but I've seen nothing that makes me want to change my hypothesis.

He's laying waste to the Empire in the most peaceful process possible – in large part by so embarrassing the Empire's elites, allies and vassals that they withdraw first their active support, and then finally even their consent. Inducing hysteria, both foreign and domestic, is a non-trivial component of the forces giving the wrecking ball an extra push as it heads for the edifice.

As for the summit, I frankly wouldn't be surprised to learn that much of it was staged for maximum hysteria-inducing effect. Their 2hrs spent alone probably was little more than comparing notes. After all, what can Trump promise that he can also deliver under the circumstances? He can only promise to keep doing what he's doing.

In any case, they both know the Empire has to go, and they both want the American nation to be a player after it goes. A vibrant America is as critical to the multipolar world as it is to Americans. Maybe more so.

Collusion? Maybe, but the Trump phenomena, IMHO, has all the earmarks of regime change done right. With or without collusion, the hystericals can't quite put their finger on what happened, which drives further hysteria, which pushes the wrecking ball even faster, which drives....

Franz , July 27, 2018 at 6:13 am GMT
now undeniable that the system cannot reform itself

Yes, Saker and that puts US politics behind European fascism of 70+ years ago. Mussolini was booted out by a fascist committee, Franco paved the way for a constitutional monarchy, but all Americans get is Bozo the Clown/President.

The destruction of the US working class amazes me in its absence from all serious debate. First subverted by the CIA then rendered null by outsourcing (which is still undercounted) the "deplorables" have no mechanism for resistence except the unthinkable one: Hope for total breakup of the United States. Or hope for a foreign invasion.

Makes one wonder. When Egyptians greeted Alexander the Great as a liberator as he conquered them, it was a fairly pungent comment on the ruling Persians. Will blue-collar former-Yanks be cheering for liberating Chinese or Russian troops anytime soon? Henry Kissinger once predicted something of the sort.

We do live in interesting times.

Cyrano , July 27, 2018 at 7:10 pm GMT
@Erebus

Well on the way, head in a cloud
The man of a thousand voices talking perfectly loud
But nobody ever hears him
Or the sound he appears to make
And he never seems to notice

He never listens to them
He knows that they're the fools
They don't like him

I don't think that Trump is the fool on the hill. I think that mostly all those around him are. The latest hysteria over Russia is not about any "meddling" in any "democracy". It's about throwing tantrums that Russia won't submit to US hegemony. In my opinion, they don't deserve to be in charge of their own country, let alone to be asking to be in charge of Russia.

All they come up with is terrible ideas which they in their generosity are way too eager to share with the world – against the wishes or the best interests of the world. Like the multiculturalism. It's bad enough that they came up with that awful idea, but then they had to force it down the throats of the stupid Europeans.

Then when Merkel showed enough brains to challenge their idea, they forced her to make 180 turn and to welcome over a 1 million refugees from the imperial misadventures.

http://www.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/10/18/frum.merkel.multicultural

peterAUS , July 28, 2018 at 7:14 am GMT
Well, Saker did put, this time, some good points here. Of course, they were well mixed with the usual Kremlin propaganda, but that's now like "good morning" with his writing. Probably all public members of "Team Russia" have that clause in their contract. The usual spin "Russia is great, winning, and all is not only good but simply getting better for Kremlin and the Great Leader".

He does point to this "thing" with MSM and public figures in West re the summit. I agree, it's surreal. If I were watching this in a serious movie I'd change the channel/walk out. If I were reading a serious book with the "thing" as a part of the plot I'd stop reading. I think there IS something there.

It is not just "unanimity of hatred and chaos", "abject hysterics", "hate-filled hysteria", "two minutes of hatred stretched well into a two weeks of hatred" etc. It's something else and, I feel, simply much worse and dangerous.

I guess we have entered a zone beyond geopolitics into mass psychology. Not my area of expertise at all, but simply feel there is something there. It feels as watching, hard to express it, hysterical people? Now, on my level, whenever I dealt with such people I simply walked away, most of the time. A couple of times, when I couldn't walk away I simply floored them (or so I say). Both men and women (talking about being a gentleman , a). With women, it's even easier, just one strike, weak hand even. With men a full combination, even with a takedown and ..anyway. Joking. Sort of. Besides, I was younger then. But how can you take out people who control, in essence, US power, nuclear weapons in particular? You simply can't . That is what makes, IMHO, this so dangerous. I simply can't recollect anything similar in relationship between superpowers. I am not so optimistic re the collapse of The Empire, multipolar world etc.

This "thing" can, I concede, deliver a couple of goods: People, at last, realizing who, or better what, are our "betters". The real power of The Empire diminishing because of the mess and chaos those species ..created. Those two things creating an opportunity to, somehow, do something about this abomination.

But, and a big but, there is the flip there. People simply not paying attention. And, those hysterics really getting the levers of power in their hands. While they are in that state, that is.

As I've said several times here so far (doesn't matter a bit, of course) Trump supporters fucked up. Not him; he didn't expect to win and when he did he found himself in a really bad position. His supporters. As soon as he won they walked home. A mistake. A terrible mistake. I feel we'll all pay, dearly, for it.

[Jul 29, 2018] The Helsinki summit, CIA-run media and U.S.-Russian Relations

MIC is a cancer, and looks like there is no cure
Notable quotes:
"... I do think the credit for this goes to the Clinton campaign, the "intelligence" agencies, the neoconlib biparty and individuals like McCain, who have gone to McCarthyism lengths since before the GOP primaries ended to prevent Trump from attempting *any* change of the status quo on foreign policy. Granted, the man might be ineffectual no matter what, but we will never know. The US establishment and the retainers of the war profiteering classes have made any negotiations with Russia impossible long before Trump even announced his campaign. ..."
"... it is the unholy alliance of Democrats looking for an excuse for them losing the election and Cold War hawk neocons who have Russia-hate in their DNA (and their stock portfolios)). ..."
"... The embarrassment was the reaction in the MSM showcasing how they are now CIA state run media. They trot out former high ranking CIA officers now employed by them recycling every meme to reinforce that we are the forces goodness and light and anyone strong enough to oppose us is evil. ..."
Jul 18, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

b. July 16, 2018 at 9:35 pm

"Trump has made it politically impossible to pursue that goal in the near term."

I do think the credit for this goes to the Clinton campaign, the "intelligence" agencies, the neoconlib biparty and individuals like McCain, who have gone to McCarthyism lengths since before the GOP primaries ended to prevent Trump from attempting *any* change of the status quo on foreign policy. Granted, the man might be ineffectual no matter what, but we will never know. The US establishment and the retainers of the war profiteering classes have made any negotiations with Russia impossible long before Trump even announced his campaign.

We also should not forget to credit the GOP for test-driving the whole "weak on Russia" playbook during the Obama years.

Rob , says: July 16, 2018 at 11:21 pm
I agree with b. While Trump may not be savvy enough to calibrate his engagement with Putin in a way that would allow a proper dialogue with Russia in spite of the political backdrop in the US, the primary blame for any failure to allow such dialogue rests for those responsible for creating that political backdrop that makes it so difficult in the first place (hint: it's not Trump, unless you blame him for winning the election – rather it is the unholy alliance of Democrats looking for an excuse for them losing the election and Cold War hawk neocons who have Russia-hate in their DNA (and their stock portfolios)).
a spencer , says: July 17, 2018 at 1:33 am
That Putin talked up the Iran deal in the press conference makes me wonder what was said in the one-on-one. Couldn't have pleased the Adelson/Bolton wing.
Erik , says: July 17, 2018 at 2:35 am
I also agree with b.

Additionally there has yet to be any actual evidence presented re significant election interference. Indictments are accusations, not evidence.

I saw nothing particularly wrong with the press conference. I'm no Trump fan, but he was just saying he believed Putin rather than the people who are clearly trying to bring his administration down. Can't really blame him.

Christian Chuba , says: July 17, 2018 at 9:59 am
The embarrassment was the reaction in the MSM showcasing how they are now CIA state run media. They trot out former high ranking CIA officers now employed by them recycling every meme to reinforce that we are the forces goodness and light and anyone strong enough to oppose us is evil.

CNN even used Putin's dearly departed Labrador, Konni making her look like Cujo stating that Putin use her to terrorize Angela Merkel. A U.S. Congressman fumed that the 50,000 children died in Syria because this fiend supported Assad when Syria was about to be liberated (a number suspiciously close to the true number of Yemeni children we helped to kill). These are just two random examples in a very long day. It was
a show worthy of the priests of Baal who confronted Elijah.

As flawed as Trump may be, he is merely holding up a mirror to what we have become. Had we elected a conventional candidate it would just be business as usual with these seething hatreds buried just below the surface.

No one better suggest that we should tarnish ourselves talking to the likes of a Russian leader unless we are discussing terms of surrender. We want Yeltsin or maybe Medvedev.

[Jul 28, 2018] Vladimir The Terrible - US Deep State Desperately Needs A Russian Villain To Cover Its Tracks Zero Hedge

Jul 28, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

by Tyler Durden Fri, 07/27/2018 - 21:05 24 SHARES Authored by Robert Bridge via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

Conventional wisdom would have us believe that Russia became America's sworn enemy in the aftermath of the 2016 presidential election. As is often the case, however, conventional wisdom can be illusory.

In the momentous 2016 showdown between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, a faraway dark kingdom known as Russia, the fantastic fable goes, hijacked that part of the American brain responsible for critical thinking and lever pulling with a few thousand dollars' worth of Facebook and Twitter adverts, bots and whatnot. The result of that gross intrusion into the squeaky clean machinery of the God-blessed US election system is now more or less well-documented history brought to you by the US mainstream media: Donald Trump, with some assistance from the Russians that has never been adequately explained, pulled the presidential contest out from under the wobbly feet of Hillary Clinton.

For those who unwittingly bought that work of fiction, I can only offer my sincere condolences. In fact, Russiagate is just the latest installment of an anti-Russia story that has been ongoing since the presidency of George W. Bush.

Act 1: Smokescreen

Rewind to September 24th, 2001. Having gone on record as the first global leader to telephone George W. Bush in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Putin showed his support went beyond mere words. He announced a five-point plan to support America in the 'war against terror' that included the sharing of intelligence, as well as the opening of Russian airspace for US humanitarian flights to Central Asia.

In the words of perennial Kremlin critic, Michael McFaul, former US ambassador to Russia, Putin's "acquiescence to NATO troops in Central Asia signaled a reversal of two hundred years of Russian foreign policy. Under Yeltsin, the communists, and the tsars, Russia had always considered Central Asia as its 'sphere of influence.' Putin broke with that tradition."

In other words, the new Russian leader was demonstrating his desire for Russia to have, as Henry Kissinger explained it some seven years later, "a reliable strategic partner, with America being the preferred choice."

This leads us to the question for the ages: If it was obvious that Russia was now fully prepared to enter into a serious partnership with the United States in the 'war on terror,' then how do we explain George W. Bush announcing the withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty just three months later?

There are some things we may take away from that move, which Putin tersely and rightly described as a "mistake."

First , Washington must not have considered a security partnership with Moscow very important, since they certainly understood that Russia would respond negatively to the decision to scrap the 30-year-old ABM Treaty.

Second , the US must not considered the 'war on terror' very serious either; otherwise it would not have risked losing Russian assistance in hunting down the baddies in Central Asia and the Middle East, geographical areas where Russia has gained valuable experience over the years. This was a remarkably odd choice considering that the US military apparatus had failed spectacularly to defend the nation against a terrorist attack, coordinated by 19 amateurs, armed with box cutters, no less.

Third , as was the case with the decision to invade Iraq, a country with nodiscernible connection to the events of 9/11, as well as the imposition of the pre-drafted Patriot Act on a shell-shocked nation, the decision to break with Russia seems to have been a premeditated move on the global chessboard. Although it would be hard to prove such a claim, we can take some guidance from Rahm Emanuel, former Obama Chief of Staff, who notoriously advised, "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste."

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Pb-YuhFWCr4

So why did Bush abrogate the ABM Treaty with Russia? The argument was that some "rogue state," rumored to be Iran, might be tempted to launch a missile attack against "US interests abroad." Yet there was absolutely no logic to the claim since Tehran was inextricably bound by the same principle of "mutually assured destruction" (MAD) as were any other states that tempted fate with a surprise attack on US-Israeli interests. Further, it made no sense to focus attention on Shia-dominant Iran when the majority of the terrorists, allegedly acolytes of Osama bin Laden, reportedly hailed from Sunni-dominant Saudi Arabia. In other words, the Bush administration happily sacrificed an invincible relationship with Russia in the war on terror in order to guard against some external threat that only nominally existed, with a missile defense system that was largely unproven in the field. Again, zero logic.

However, when it is considered that the missile defense system was tailor-made by America specifically with Russia in mind, the whole scheme begins to make more sense, at least from a strategic perspective. Thus, the Bush administration used the attacks of 9/11 to not only dramatically curtail the civil rights of American citizens with the passage of the Patriot Act, it also took the first steps towards encircling Russia with a so-called 'defense system' that has the capacity to grow in effectiveness and range.

For those who thought Russia would just sit back and let itself be encircled by foreign missiles, they were in for quite a surprise. In March 2018, Putin stunned the world, and certainly Washington's hawks, by announcing in the annual Address to the Federal Assembly the introduction of advanced weapons systems – including those with hypersonic capabilities - designed to overcome any missile defense system in the world.

These major developments by Russia, which Putin emphasized was accomplished "without the benefit" of Soviet-era expertise, has fueled the narrative that "Putin's Russia" is an aggressive nation with "imperial ambitions," when in reality its goal was to form a bilateral pact with the United States and other Western states almost two decades ago post 9/11.

Now, US officials can only wring their hands in angst while speaking about an "aggressive Russia."

"Russia is the most significant threat just because they pose the only existential threat to the country right now. So we have to look at that from that perspective," declared Air Force Gen. John Hyten, commander of US Strategic Command, or STRATCOM.

Putin reiterated in his Address, however, that there would have been no need for Russia to have developed such advanced weapon systems if its legitimate concerns had not been dismissed by the US.

"Nobody wanted to talk with us on the core of the problem," he said. "Nobody listened to us. Now you listen!"

To be continued: Part II: Reset, or 'Overcharged' Vote up! 9 Vote down! 0


Buckaroo Banzai -> powow Fri, 07/27/2018 - 21:11 Permalink

Everybody needs to get up to speed on international Jew criminal Bill Browder. He's at the center of the Deep State, and royally fucked up when he tried to rip off Putin for $400 million.

https://dxczjjuegupb.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/TheKilli

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgK7MlZDuJ8

chunga -> Buckaroo Banzai Fri, 07/27/2018 - 21:27 Permalink

And the maverick didn't want to hear it.

Skip -> Buckaroo Banzai Fri, 07/27/2018 - 21:44 Permalink

Good stuff and may I add some more...

TrumpHate rises to new heights. Will it work?
July 17, 2018 by Kevin MacDonald

I should also mention Putin's treatment of certain Jewish oligarchs who have attempted to influence Western policies toward Russia (e.g., Mikhail Khodorkovsky). A truly stunning moment in the Trump-Putin presser (all but ignored in the MSM) was Putin saying that Bill Browder and his associates had illegally earned $1.5 billion in Russia ("the way the money was earned was illegal") without paying taxes either to Russia or the United States where the money was transferred. And that he and his associates had contributed $400 million to Hillary Clinton's campaign. While the charges back and forth are impossible for me to evaluate, Browder's firm, Hermitage Capital Management, has been involved in other accusations of fraud. Browder was the main force promoting the Magnitsky Act, signed by President Obama in 2012, that barred Russian officials said to be involved in the death of Sergei Magnitsky, a Browder associate, from entering the U.S. or using the U.S. banking system.

Here the point is that American neocons have been in the forefront of hostility over Putin's treatment of Jewish oligarchs, taking the view that Browder et al. are completely innocent victims of Russian evil. Along with Russian foreign policy, Putin's actions toward the oligarchs is one factor in neocon and hence some factions of the GOP toward Russia. It's no surprise that they are now eagerly joining the hate-Trump chorus throughout the American establishment.

The Jewish Ethnic Nexus of Bill Browder' Financial Operations July 27, 2018 Kevin MacDonald
"A tweetstorm consisting of quotes from Israel Shamir's excellent article on Bill Browder showing how he operated in an entirely Jewish milieu. Jewish ethnic networking is alive and well in the twenty-first century."

Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg and Jewish Ethnic Networking

Infinite Loop: Mueller Now Back at Trump Jr. Russian Lawyer Meeting
Andrew Anglin July 27, 2018
Cohen doesn't have proof, but he is one of God's Chosen people - enough for a conviction.

[Jul 26, 2018] "Soft neoliberals" blatant hypocrisy by James Kirkpatrick

Notable quotes:
"... Guardians of the Galaxy ..."
"... Chris Pratt and more break silence after James Gunn fired from 'Guardians of the Galaxy 3 ,' ..."
"... Note: Hollywood Finds Child Rape Hilarious , ..."
"... Hollywood demonizes Roseanne, But Defends James Gunn Pedophile Tweets , Newswars, ..."
"... National Review ..."
"... Roseanne and the High Cost of Embracing Craziness . ..."
"... Lesson from the Roseanne debacle: Stop hiring hateful nutjobs , ..."
"... New York Daily News, ..."
"... Should James Gunn have lost his job at Disney ? Daily Wire, ..."
"... Roseanne's behavior is not defensible , The Maven, ..."
"... BBQ Becky, Permit Patty and why the Internet is shaming white people who police people 'simply for being black' , ..."
"... How Pizzagate Pusher Mike Cernovich Keeps Getting People Fired , ..."
"... Huffington Post, ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
Jul 23, 2018 | www.unz.com
Inc.'s Fawning Response to James Gunn Scandal Reveals Where Its True Loyalties Lie

It's the classic man-bites-dog story; a Leftist artist suffered a career setback because of his statements on social media. The person in question is Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn, who lost his gig directing Disney's next installment in the film series after independent reporters such as Mike Cernovich highlighted his "jokes" about the sexual exploitation of children. Senator Ted Cruz, among others, was outraged and suggested Gunn's comments even bordered on illegality.

Hollywood celebrities are defending Gunn and even demanding that he be rehired [ Chris Pratt and more break silence after James Gunn fired from 'Guardians of the Galaxy 3 ,' by Lisa Respers France, CNN, July 23 2018). However, one can't help but notice the same celebrities defending or telling graphic "jokes" about sexually exploiting children are also the people who want careers ended for Politically Incorrect comments directed at privileged classes such as women, homosexuals, or nonwhites [ Note: Hollywood Finds Child Rape Hilarious , by John Nolte, Breitbart, July 22, 2018].

It's not clear why Disney, a company dependent on its appeal to children, would ever employ someone who thinks horrific crimes are comedic fodder. After all, as Gunn himself once tweeted:

What's more, this comes only weeks after comedienne Roseanne Barr had her top-rated show canceled for comparing former Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett to a monkey . (Revealingly, Barr defended herself by claiming that she thought Jarett was white –Jarrett (right) is notably pale for an African-American.) Many of the celebrities now defending Gunn openly celebrated when Roseanne was fired [ Hollywood demonizes Roseanne, But Defends James Gunn Pedophile Tweets , Newswars, July 21, 2018].

Yet it isn't just Leftist celebrities who are suddenly eager to defend the sacred right of free speech when it comes to pedophilia. Shockingly, some Conservativism Inc. luminaries, particularly those who love to showily brag about their Christianity and social conservatism , have chosen this hill to die on as well.

David French, one of the most prominent Never Trump activists of the 2016 election, rushed to Gunn's defense, saying:

In contrast, however, when Roseanne was purged for a single tweet, French penned an entire piece for National Review on May 29, 2018 entitled Roseanne and the High Cost of Embracing Craziness .

Similarly, S.E. Cupp, who has a long career as one of CNN's token conservatives , decided this of all things was something that she couldn't remain silent about. She endorsed French's tweet in support of Gunn and added:

Yet only two months ago. when mob rule on Twitter decided Roseanne's fate, Cupp gleefully piled on. Like NR 's French, she faulted ABC for hiring Roseanne in the first place.

Remember, this is a woman who was an early supporter of birtherism, has compared Muslims to Nazis, took to Twitter regularly to attack citizens both private and public, floated wild conspiracy theories and bullied Trump opponents with racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic insults.

[ Lesson from the Roseanne debacle: Stop hiring hateful nutjobs , by S.E. Cupp, New York Daily News, May 29, 2018]

Minicon Ben Shapiro , another opponent of Trump during the primaries, is also among Gunn defenders. Shapiro acknowledged Gunn's tweets were "loathsome" but said "that doesn't mean he should have lost his job at Disney". [ Should James Gunn have lost his job at Disney ? Daily Wire, July 20, 2018]

Roseanne, however, was different: "Roseanne played herself in the series, so when she made a new racist reference about Valerie Jarrett, her persona was inseparable from her character," Shapiro wrote. " Roseanne was Roseanne."

This Talmudic reasoning about how the cases are different is suspicious given how eager Shapiro is to police the American right for unauthorized speech

Erick Erickson is another Never Trumper whose views about respectability have mysteriously changed within two months. When Roseanne was driven off the air, Erickson self-righteously proclaimed: "Her joke was not in poor taste. It was racist" [ Roseanne's behavior is not defensible , The Maven, May 30, 2018]. Yet regarding Gunn, he said:

The last comment is revealing. It's hard to imagine in what ways conservatives are "winning" -- Trump supporters are regularly attacked on the street and expelled from businesses. Random white people are humiliated by the Main Stream Media and fired from their jobs for calling the police. [ BBQ Becky, Permit Patty and why the Internet is shaming white people who police people 'simply for being black' , Jessica Guynn, USA TODAY, July 18, 2018] Meanwhile, even as the Democrats become ever more radical, they continue to enjoy all but unanimous support from the MSM and are leading the polls. Insofar as the American Right has won any major victories in the recent past, it was President Trump's election -- something Erickson and his Never Trump co-conspirators fought every step of the way.

Yet the strange connection between Never Trump and defending James Gunn is easily explained. All of the figures above rely on Leftist media, and the powerful mafias that dominate it , to grant them fame and legitimacy as "leading" American conservatives. For that reason, Never Trump conservatives share a common interest with System media outlets in making sure only certain people have access to a mass audience -- certainly not independents like Mike Cernovich [ How Pizzagate Pusher Mike Cernovich Keeps Getting People Fired , by Luke O'Brien, Huffington Post, July 21, 2018].

For ideological and ethnic reasons, Never Trumpers are desperate to purge the American Right of any authentic populist and nationalist tendencies that can't be controlled from the top down. Their power relies on their audience remaining corralled within a certain ideological space and not hearing dissident ideas such as the biological reality of race or the political insanity of expecting nonwhites to vote for "limited government." These Beltway Right hacks have a positive interest in making sure that websites and platform outside Conservatism Inc., although equally or more critical of supposed common enemies on the Left, are marginalized and stripped of resources.

Thus, Cupp, French, Shapiro, Erickson et. al will always be far more eager to purge the Conservative movement than to combat Leftist control of key cultural institutions. To a Never Trump conservative dreaming of future bylines in The New York Times and television appearances on CNN, a far-Left Hollywood degenerate poisoning the minds of America's youth isn't even a problem, let alone an enemy. The problem for Conservatism Inc. remains Donald Trump and what he represents -- a fighting American Right, united behind nationalism, and willing to do what it takes to win power.

After all, the point of that fighting Right is not to get a sinecure in the enemy's System. The point is to destroy it entirely.

[Jul 24, 2018] Demonizaion of Russia and Putin started in full force the day that Putin said "no more" to US mischief and moved into Syria. From there the coup in Ukraine was engineered in an attempt to neutralize the Black Sea fleet supporting Syria, which was based in Crimea.

Jul 24, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Case in point: An opinion piece on the Fox News website, by Dan Gainor makes note of the absolute media carnage (not too strong a word in this case) concerning the reaction of the political establishment and almost ALL media outlets (including Fox) to President Trump's conciliatory tone struck with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Helsinki Summit, one week ago today.

We have excerpted from his piece, adding emphasis:

A raging epidemic of Trump Derangement Syndrome broke out among reporters covering the summit between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday, as journalists gave the American president hellish reviews for his performance in Helsinki at a joint news conference.

No reporters knew what actually transpired in the main event of the day – the private meeting between the two presidents. So journalists put themselves in the position of critics, grading President Trump's news conference performance

USA Today reported in a front-page story: " Every nation has an infamous traitor. And now, after a news conference Monday in Finland, the term is being used in relations to the 45th president of the United States. Donald Trump, master of the political insult, finds himself on the receiving end. "

The New York Daily News screamed "OPEN TREASON" on its cover page with a cartoon showing Trump holding Putin's hand and holding a gun in his other hand and shooting Uncle Sam in the head. Really.

CNN host Fareed Zakaria wasn't satisfied with "treason" as a descriptor. "I feel like treasonous is too weak a word, because the whole thing has taken on an air of such unreality," he said.

Zakaria had lots of company : CNN analyst Max Boot, MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace, and, of course, former CIA Director John Brennan, who now works for NBC and MSNBC.

CNN presidential historian Douglas Brinkley said "the spirit of what Trump did is clearly treasonous," and declared that the president "came off as being a puppet of Putin."

The list of network reactions in Mr. Gainor's article is very long and deserves a careful read. But all of those reactions and more led to this point :

The hellish outrage over the Helsinki news conference had its desired effect for now. Newsweek posted a story on an opinion poll that declared : "According to a new Ipsos poll, 49 percent of Americans said Trump was "treasonous" during the summit and ensuing press conference, with only 27 percent disagreeing."

In other words the viewing, listening and reading public did absorb this very unified tirade. One of the most unusual aspects of this which we have reported on here, is that the media's unity included many conservative elements. In all but a few cases, most notably that of Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity, even very respected conservative voices still bought into "Russian meddling" as though this were some sort of issue. It really isn't, because as even some of these hosts acknowledged, "everyone does it."

But as to why this is happening, the explanation really has to do with the establishment reaction to a speech that President Putin himself gave several years ago about the situation in the West. It is this speech that spurred most of the sanctions and actions taken against Russia. It is NOT the "invasion" of Crimea or the 25 invasions of Ukraine that were reported during the years 2014-2016. It is the alignment that the Russian President noted in the West, and Russia's refusal to follow that same path.

Blackpilled offered this video clip and a translation of the speech in English. We offer that clip and the relevant part of the speech's transcript here.

It is of tantamount importance to understand that this is the main factor in all the opposition against President Trump, because his presence threw a major monkey wrench into "the plan."

Two things of note:

1. The narrator of the video here offers a translation that is slightly different than the one offered on the Kremlin's own website. The link to the relevant page is included here.

2. The narrator of "BlackPilled is incorrect in attributing this speech as being given "shortly after Trump was elected." The actual speech was given at the Valdai conference in 2013. If we consider this, and the timeline of events following – such as the Sochi Olympics and the concurrent list of "scandal after scandal" concerning Russia, then the pieces fall into place:

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

From the site Kremlin.ru, emphasis added:

Another serious challenge to Russia's identity is linked to events taking place in the world. Here there are both foreign policy and moral aspects. We can see how many of the Euro-Atlantic countries are actually rejecting their roots, including the Christian values that constitute the basis of Western civilisation. They are denying moral principles and all traditional identities: national, cultural, religious and even sexual. They are implementing policies that equate large families with same-sex partnerships, belief in God with the belief in Satan.

The excesses of political correctness have reached the point where people are seriously talking about registering political parties whose aim is to promote paedophilia. People in many European countries are embarrassed or afraid to talk about their religious affiliations. Holidays are abolished or even called something different; their essence is hidden away, as is their moral foundation. And people are aggressively trying to export this model all over the world. I am convinced that this opens a direct path to degradation and primitivism, resulting in a profound demographic and moral crisis.

What else but the loss of the ability to self-reproduce could act as the greatest testimony of the moral crisis facing a human society? Today almost all developed nations are no longer able to reproduce themselves, even with the help of migration. Without the values embedded in Christianity and other world religions, without the standards of morality that have taken shape over millennia, people will inevitably lose their human dignity. We consider it natural and right to defend these values . One must respect every minority's right to be different, but the rights of the majority must not be put into question.

At the same time we see attempts to somehow revive a standardised model of a unipolar world and to blur the institutions of international law and national sovereignty. Such a unipolar, standardised world does not require sovereign states; it requires [slaves]."

And... anyone that is against America's unipolar hegemon must be removed - as this year's new US military strategy proved, as Defense Secretary Mattis explained that fighting terror is now on the back burner, because " we face growing threats from revisionist powers as different as China and Russia, nations that seek to create a world consistent with their authoritarian models ... great power competition -- not terrorism -- is now the primary focus of US national security."


Sanity Bear Mon, 07/23/2018 - 21:20 Permalink

It started the day that Putin said "no more" to US mischief and moved into Syria.

From there the coup in Ukraine was engineered in an attempt to neutralize the Black Sea fleet supporting Syria, which was based in Crimea.

That was never going to be allowed to happen, but the usual suspects managed to lose their shit anyway when they failed to capture Crimea in the coup and the fleet was able to continue to assist Syria against US/Turk/Saudi-sponsored jihadis.

max_is_leering -> Sanity Bear Mon, 07/23/2018 - 21:45 Permalink

the coup de'tat in Ukieville occurred in late 2013/early2014 and Putin's speech to the UN was Sept. 2015, where he asked: 'Do you (meaning the west) realize what you have done?", and promptly a week later he starts bombing terrorists in Syria

opport.knocks -> max_is_leering Mon, 07/23/2018 - 22:38 Permalink

The full speech... https://youtu.be/q13yzl6k6w0

SubjectivObject -> Goodsport 1945 Mon, 07/23/2018 - 21:33 Permalink

i'm predisposed to that

but how'd he become a multi billionaire?

on a politician's "salary"

max_is_leering -> SubjectivObject Mon, 07/23/2018 - 21:50 Permalink

I really couldn't give a good god-damn about whether or not he's a billionaire, a gazillionaire or any other number... look, if Mark Fuckerberg can steal an idea from the twins and make a few billion, I have NO issue with Vlad having all the loot he needs... no questions asked, ever

opport.knocks -> SubjectivObject Mon, 07/23/2018 - 21:59 Permalink

He is not a multi-billionaire. That is just part of the anti-Putin propaganda campaign by: Boris Berezovsky, Bill Browder, Mikhail Khodorovsky, Masha Gessen, George Soros and assorted other (((Usual Suspects))), to attempt to isolate Russia and Putin from the global "community".

opport.knocks -> exlcus Mon, 07/23/2018 - 22:31 Permalink

Anti-Putin propagandists Masha Gessen and the Washington Post's David Ignatius's led the charge on that one. The Palace is wonderful, but no one claims it belongs to Putin.

The whislterblower claims in the Wikipedia entry are unsubstantiated and appear to be totally motivated by other business dealings that went bad. Similar to Bill Browder and the Magninsky Affair.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Putin%27s_Palace

RagnarRedux Mon, 07/23/2018 - 21:31 Permalink

Great articles.

https://russia-insider.com/en

SybilDefense Mon, 07/23/2018 - 21:41 Permalink

Wait until we see Bill Browders client list. What Democratic insiders made the most from his Hermitage hedge fund prior to his stealing the money and the tax money and paying off those deep state Dems (including Soros) who helped make it happen. Can we charge some Mi6 fucks too? Magnitsky was killed by Browder to set the stage for his stories.

From then on, the Dems needed a Russian villain to demonize so the cover would stick... Until Putin and Donald exposed the truth in Helstinky

Chief Joesph Mon, 07/23/2018 - 22:03 Permalink

No, Putin's speech didn't start anything, because most Americans were totally unaware of it, since MSM rarely ever reports much about what Putin says. Instead, America has had a hatred for Russia going back over 100 years, starting with the first Red Scare in 1917-1924. Second Red Scare 1947-1957. . This current nonsense about the Russians makes Red Scare #3.

[Jul 24, 2018] Bad ideas hang on forever like untouchable tumors

Jul 24, 2018 | crookedtimber.org

Patrick 07.24.18 at 3:17 pm (no link)

I think the shortest explanation of the "intellectual dark web" is that any community that dedicates itself to the proposition that reasoned debate must be had, and bad ideas must be crushed in the crucible of discourse, will, by its nature and the nature of human society, soon have a lot of hangers on who believe in bad ideas but who are willing and eager to discuss them.

Discussion will then happen, but, ideas tend not to be crushed entirely out of society. Even if, for example, Harris devastates Peterson in a discussion about truth, even if his audience recognizes this, Peterson isn't going to admit it, and Peterson's audience isn't ALL going to admit it, and Peterson's audience isn't all even going to know about that particular conversation. So Peterson's ideas will continue to exist on at least some level, and the discussion will happen again, and again. And the community will become a place where the bad idea is accepted as at least minimally reasonable- reasonable enough to discuss.

Similarly, the shortest explanation of the social justice left is that any community that dedicates itself to the proposition that some ideas threaten people and therefore ought not be articulated, will, by its nature and the nature of human society, soon have a lot of bad ideas that they've enshrined and transformed into shibboleths- because these ideas looked plausible at the time, and were made untouchable before they were really worked through.

And so bad ideas hang on forever like untouchable tumors.

When people from the social justice culture go to the discourse culture, they'll be horrified because their shibboleths are being challenged. And they'll look at the people they were told were on their side in this culture, and see them saying that a particular shibboleth deserves to be challenged, and by the standards of THEIR culture that marks the speaker as morally degraded.

When people from the discourse culture go to the social justice culture, they'll see blatant and open contradictions, and want to challenge them. And they'll articulate ideas that are actually lifted straight from the social justice culture's shibboleths, only to get attacked for them by defenders of other shibboleths, while the rest of the social culture refuses to defend them because they've been pre-judged guilty for challenging a shibboleth in the first place.

That's what I see.

[Jul 23, 2018] Doublethink and Newspeak Do We Have a Choice by Greg Guma

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... In Orwell's imagination, society was ruled in the future by Big Brother. It wasn't a computer, but rather the collective expression of the Party. But not like the Republicans; this Party was an autonomous bureaucracy and advanced surveillance state interested only in perpetuating itself as a hierarchy. In this dystopia, "the people" had become insignificant, without the power of "grasping that the world could be other than it is." ..."
"... Concepts like freedom were perverted by a ruthless Newspeakperpetuated by the Party through the media. A Goodthinker was someone who followed orders without thinking. Crimestop was the instinctual avoidance of any dangerous thought, and Doublethink was the constant distortion of reality to maintain the Party's image of infallibility. ..."
"... Writing in 1948, Orwell was projecting what could happen in just a few decades. By most measures, even 70 years later we're not quite there yet. But we do face the real danger that freedom and equality will be seriously distorted by a new form of Newspeak, a Trumpian version promoted by the administration and its allies through their media. We already have Trumpian Goodthinkers -- the sychophantic surrogates who follow his lead without thinking, along with Crimestop -- the instinctual avoidance of "disloyal" thought, and Doublethink -- the constant distortion of reality to maintain Trump's insatiable ego and image of infallibility. Orwellian ideas are simply resurfacing in a post-modern/reality TV form. ..."
"... As community life unravels and more institutions fall into disrepute, media have become among of the few remaining that can potentially facilitate some social cohesion. Yet instead they fuel conflict and crisis. It's not quite Crimestop, but does often appeal to some of the basest instincts and produce even more alienation and division. ..."
"... In 1980, Ralph Nader called the race for president at that time -- between Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan -- a choice between mediocrity and menace. It was funny then, but now we can see what real menace looks like. Is Trump-ism what Orwell warned us about? Not quite, though there are similarities. Like Trump, you can't talk to Big Brother. And he rarely gives you the truth, only doublespeak. But Trump is no Big Brother. More like a Drunk Uncle with nukes. ..."
"... Security is tight and hard to avoid, on or offline. There are cameras everywhere, and every purchase and move most people make is tracked by the state. Still, there are four bombings in the first week of the Games. There is also another kind of human tragedy. Four runners collapse during preliminary rounds as a result of a toxic mix -- heat and pollution. ..."
"... Greg Guma is the Vermont-based author of Dons of Time, Uneasy Empire, Spirits of Desire, Big Lies, and The People's Republic: Vermont and the Sanders Revolution. ..."
"... This article was originally published by Greg Guma: For Preservation & Change . ..."
Aug 21, 2017 | www.globalresearch.ca
Region: USA Theme: Media Disinformation , Police State & Civil Rights

More people are becoming alienated, cynical, resentful or resigned, while too much of mass and social media reinforces less-than-helpful narratives and tendencies. The frog's in the frying pan and the heat is rising.

On the big screens above us beautiful young people demonstrated their prowess. We were sitting in the communications center, waiting for print outs to tell us what they'd done before organizing the material for mass consumption. Outside, people were freezing in the snow as they waited for buses. Their only choice was to attend another event or attempt to get home.

The area was known as the Competition Zone, a corporate state created for the sole purpose of showcasing these gorgeous competitors. Freedom was a foreign idea here; no one was more free than the laminated identification card hanging around your neck allowed.

Visitors were more restricted than anyone. They saw only what they paid for, and had to wait in long lines for food, transport, or tickets to more events. They were often uncomfortable, yet they felt privileged to be admitted to the Zone. Citizens were categorized by their function within the Organizing Committee's bureaucracy. Those who merely served -- in jobs like cooking, driving and cleaning -- wore green and brown tags. They could travel between their homes and work, but were rarely permitted into events. Their contact with visitors was also limited. To visit them from outside the Zone, their friends and family had to be screened.

Most citizens knew little about how the Zone was actually run, about the "inner community" of diplomats, competitors and corporate officials they served. Yet each night they watched the exploits of this same elite on television.

The Zone, a closed and classified place where most bad news went unreported and a tiny elite called the shots through mass media and computers, was no futuristic fantasy. It was Lake Placid for several weeks in early 1980 -- a full four years before 1984.

In a once sleepy little community covered with artificial snow, the Olympics had brought a temporary society into being. Two thousand athletes and their entourage were its royalty, role models for the throngs of spectators, townspeople and journalists. This convergence resulted in an ad hoc police state, managed by public and private forces and a political elite that combined local business honchos with an international governing committee. They dominated a population all too willing to submit to arbitrary authority.

Even back then, Lake Placid's Olympic "village" felt like a preview of things to come. Not quite George Orwell's dark vision, but uncomfortably close.

In Orwell's imagination, society was ruled in the future by Big Brother. It wasn't a computer, but rather the collective expression of the Party. But not like the Republicans; this Party was an autonomous bureaucracy and advanced surveillance state interested only in perpetuating itself as a hierarchy. In this dystopia, "the people" had become insignificant, without the power of "grasping that the world could be other than it is."

Concepts like freedom were perverted by a ruthless Newspeakperpetuated by the Party through the media. A Goodthinker was someone who followed orders without thinking. Crimestop was the instinctual avoidance of any dangerous thought, and Doublethink was the constant distortion of reality to maintain the Party's image of infallibility.

Writing in 1948, Orwell was projecting what could happen in just a few decades. By most measures, even 70 years later we're not quite there yet. But we do face the real danger that freedom and equality will be seriously distorted by a new form of Newspeak, a Trumpian version promoted by the administration and its allies through their media. We already have Trumpian Goodthinkers -- the sychophantic surrogates who follow his lead without thinking, along with Crimestop -- the instinctual avoidance of "disloyal" thought, and Doublethink -- the constant distortion of reality to maintain Trump's insatiable ego and image of infallibility. Orwellian ideas are simply resurfacing in a post-modern/reality TV form.

Our fast food culture is also taking a long-term toll. More and more people are becoming alienated, cynical, resentful or resigned, while too much of mass and social media reinforces less-than-helpful narratives and tendencies. The frog's in the frying pan and the heat is rising.

Much of what penetrates and goes viral further fragments culture and thought, promoting a cynicism that reinforces both rage and inaction. Rather than true diversity, we have the mass illusion that a choice between polarized opinions, shaped and curated by editors and networks, is the essence of free speech and democracy. In reality, original ideas are so constrained and self-censored that what's left is usually as diverse as brands of peppermint toothpaste.

When the Bill of Rights was ratified, the notion that freedom of speech and the press should be protected meant that the personal right of self-expression should not be repressed by the government. James Madison, author of the First Amendment, warned that the greatest danger to liberty was that a majority would use its power to repress everyone else. Yet the evolution of mass media and the corporate domination of economic life have made these "choicest privileges" almost obsolete.

As community life unravels and more institutions fall into disrepute, media have become among of the few remaining that can potentially facilitate some social cohesion. Yet instead they fuel conflict and crisis. It's not quite Crimestop, but does often appeal to some of the basest instincts and produce even more alienation and division.

In general terms, what most mass media bring the public is a series of images and anecdotes that cumulatively define a way of life. Both news and entertainment contribute to the illusion that competing, consuming and accumulating are at the core of our aspirations. Each day we are repeatedly shown and told that culture and politics are corrupt, that war is imminent or escalating somewhere, that violence is random and pervasive, and yet also that the latest "experts" have the answers. Countless programs meanwhile celebrate youth, violence, frustrated sexuality, and the lives of celebrities.

Between the official program content are a series of intensely packaged sales pitches. These commercial messages wash over us, as if we are wandering in an endless virtual mall, searching in vain for fulfillment as society crumbles.

In 1980, Ralph Nader called the race for president at that time -- between Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan -- a choice between mediocrity and menace. It was funny then, but now we can see what real menace looks like. Is Trump-ism what Orwell warned us about? Not quite, though there are similarities. Like Trump, you can't talk to Big Brother. And he rarely gives you the truth, only doublespeak. But Trump is no Big Brother. More like a Drunk Uncle with nukes.

So, is it too late for a rescue? Will menace win this time? Or can we still save the environment, reclaim self-government, restore communities and protect human rights? What does the future hold?

It could be summer in Los Angeles in 2024, the end of Donald Trump's second term. The freeways are slow-moving parking lots for the Olympics. Millions of people hike around in the heat, or use bikes and cycles to get to work. It's difficult with all the checkpoints, not to mention the extra-high security at the airports. Thousands of police, not to mention the military, are on the lookout for terrorists, smugglers, protesters, cultists, gangs, thieves, and anyone who doesn't have money to burn or a ticket to the Games.

Cash isn't much good, and gas has become so expensive that suburban highways are almost empty.

Security is tight and hard to avoid, on or offline. There are cameras everywhere, and every purchase and move most people make is tracked by the state. Still, there are four bombings in the first week of the Games. There is also another kind of human tragedy. Four runners collapse during preliminary rounds as a result of a toxic mix -- heat and pollution.

... ... ...

Greg Guma is the Vermont-based author of Dons of Time, Uneasy Empire, Spirits of Desire, Big Lies, and The People's Republic: Vermont and the Sanders Revolution.

This article was originally published by Greg Guma: For Preservation & Change .

[Jul 23, 2018] The Prophecy of Orwell's 1984. Totalitarian Control and the Entertainment Culture that Takes Over by Edward Curtin

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... There is a vast literature analyzing the political prophecy of George Orwell 's Nineteen Eighty-Four . Big Brother, double-speak, telescreens, crimestop, etc. – all applied to our current political situation. The language has become part of our popular lexicon, and as such, has become clichéd through overuse. Blithe, habitual use of language robs it of its power to crack open the safe that hides the realities of life. ..."
"... There is no doubt that Orwell wrote a brilliant political warning about the methods of totalitarian control. But hidden at the heart of the book is another lesson lost on most readers and commentators. Rats, torture, and Newspeak resonate with people fixated on political repression, which is a major concern, of course. But so too is privacy and sexual passion in a country of group-think and group-do, where "Big Brother" poisons you in the crib and the entertainment culture then takes over to desexualize intimacy by selling it as another public commodity. ..."
"... The United States is a pornographic society. By pornographic I do not just mean the omnipresent selling of exploitative sex through all media to titillate a voyeuristic public living in the unreality of screen "life" and screen sex through television, movies, and online obsessions. I mean a commodified consciousness, where everyone and everything is part of a prostitution ring in the deepest sense of pornography's meaning – for sale, bought. ..."
"... As this happens, words and language become corrupted by the same forces that Orwell called Big Brother, whose job is total propaganda and social control. Just as physical reality now mimics screen reality and thus becomes chimerical, language, through which human beings uncover and articulate the truth of being, becomes more and more abstract. People don't die; they "pass on" or "pass away." Dying, like real sex, is too physical. Wars of aggression don't exist; they are "overseas contingency operations." Killing people with drones isn't killing; it's "neutralizing them." There are a "ton" of examples, but I am sure "you guys" don't need me to list any more. ..."
"... This destruction of language has been going on for a long time, but it's worth noting that from Hemingway's WW I through Orwell's WW II up until today's endless U.S. wars against Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Syria, Libya, etc., there has been the parallel development of screen and media culture, beginning with silent movies through television and onto the total electronic media environment we now inhabit – the surround sound and image bubble of literal abstractions that inhabit us, mentally and physically. In such a society, to feel what you really feel and not what, in Hemingway's words, "you were supposed to feel, and had been taught to feel" has become extremely difficult. ..."
"... But understanding the history of public relations, advertising, propaganda, the CIA, the national security apparatus, technology, etc., makes it clear that such hope is baseless. For the propaganda in this country has penetrated far deeper than anyone can imagine, and it has primarily done this through advanced technology and the religion of technique – machines as pure abstractions – that has poisoned not just our minds, but the deepest wellsprings of the body's truths and the erotic imagination that links us in love to all life on earth. ..."
"... Orwell makes it very clear that language is the key to mind control, as he delineates how Newspeak works. I think he is right. And mind control also means the control of our bodies, Eros, our sex, our physical connections to all living beings and nature. Today the U.S. is reaching the point where "Oldspeak" – Standard English – has been replaced by Newspeak, and just "fragments of the literature of the past" survive here and there. ..."
Jul 20, 2018 | www.globalresearch.ca

The Sexual Passion of Orwell's Winston Smith

"Christianity gave Eros poison to drink; he did not die of it, certainly, but degenerated to Vice." – Frederick Nietzsche , Beyond Good and Evil

"Ours is essentially a tragic age, so we refuse to take it tragically. The cataclysm has happened, we are among the ruins, we start to build up new little habitats, to have new little hopes. It is rather hard work: there is now no smooth road into the future: but we go round, or scramble over the obstacles. We've got to live, no matter how many skies have fallen." – D. H. Lawrence , Lady Chatterley's Lover

"The so-called consumer society and the politics of corporate capitalism have created a second nature of man which ties him libidinally and aggressively to the commodity form. The need for possessing, consuming, handling and constantly renewing gadgets, devices, instruments, engines, offered to and imposed upon the people, for using these wares even at the danger of one's own destruction, has become a 'biological' need." – Herbert Marcuse , One Dimensional Man

There is a vast literature analyzing the political prophecy of George Orwell 's Nineteen Eighty-Four . Big Brother, double-speak, telescreens, crimestop, etc. – all applied to our current political situation. The language has become part of our popular lexicon, and as such, has become clichéd through overuse. Blithe, habitual use of language robs it of its power to crack open the safe that hides the realities of life.

There is no doubt that Orwell wrote a brilliant political warning about the methods of totalitarian control. But hidden at the heart of the book is another lesson lost on most readers and commentators. Rats, torture, and Newspeak resonate with people fixated on political repression, which is a major concern, of course. But so too is privacy and sexual passion in a country of group-think and group-do, where "Big Brother" poisons you in the crib and the entertainment culture then takes over to desexualize intimacy by selling it as another public commodity.

The United States is a pornographic society. By pornographic I do not just mean the omnipresent selling of exploitative sex through all media to titillate a voyeuristic public living in the unreality of screen "life" and screen sex through television, movies, and online obsessions. I mean a commodified consciousness, where everyone and everything is part of a prostitution ring in the deepest sense of pornography's meaning – for sale, bought.

And consumed by getting, spending, and selling. Flicked into the net of Big Brother, whose job is make sure everything fundamentally human and physical is debased and mediated, people become consumers of the unreal and direct experience is discouraged. The natural world becomes an object to be conquered and used. Animals are produced in chemical factories to be slaughtered by the billions only to appear bloodless under plastic wrap in supermarket coolers. The human body disappears into hypnotic spectral images. One's sex becomes one's gender as the words are transmogrified and as one looks in the mirror of the looking-glass self and wonders how to identify the one looking back.

Streaming life from Netflix or Facebook becomes life the movie. The brilliant perverseness of the mediated reality of a screen society – what Guy Debord calls The Society of the Spectacle – is that as it distances people from fundamental reality, it promotes that reality through its screen fantasies. "Get away from it all and restore yourself at our spa in the rugged mountains where you can hike in pristine woods after yoga and a breakfast of locally sourced eggs and artisanally crafted bread." Such garbage would be funny if it weren't so effective. Debord writes,

The spectacle is not a collection of images, but a social relation among people, mediated by images .Where the real world changes into simple images, the simple images become real beings and effective motivations of hypnotic behavior.

Thus sex with robots and marrying yourself are not aberrations but logical extensions of a society where solipsism meets machine in the America dream.

As this happens, words and language become corrupted by the same forces that Orwell called Big Brother, whose job is total propaganda and social control. Just as physical reality now mimics screen reality and thus becomes chimerical, language, through which human beings uncover and articulate the truth of being, becomes more and more abstract. People don't die; they "pass on" or "pass away." Dying, like real sex, is too physical. Wars of aggression don't exist; they are "overseas contingency operations." Killing people with drones isn't killing; it's "neutralizing them." There are a "ton" of examples, but I am sure "you guys" don't need me to list any more.

Orwell called Big Brother's language Newspeak, and Hemingway preceded him when he so famously wrote in disgust In a Farewell to Arms ,

"I was always embarrassed by the words sacred, glorious, and sacrifice, and the expression in vain. Abstract words such as glory, honor, courage, or hallow were obscene "

This destruction of language has been going on for a long time, but it's worth noting that from Hemingway's WW I through Orwell's WW II up until today's endless U.S. wars against Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Syria, Libya, etc., there has been the parallel development of screen and media culture, beginning with silent movies through television and onto the total electronic media environment we now inhabit – the surround sound and image bubble of literal abstractions that inhabit us, mentally and physically. In such a society, to feel what you really feel and not what, in Hemingway's words, "you were supposed to feel, and had been taught to feel" has become extremely difficult.

... ... ...

But as we learn in 1984 and should learn in the U.S.A. today , "seemed" is the key word. Their triumph was temporary. For sexual passion reveals truths that need to be confirmed in the mind. In itself, sexual liberation can be easily manipulated, as it has been so effectively in the United States. "Repressive de-sublimation" Herbert Marcuse called it fifty years ago. You allow people to act out their sexual fantasies in commodified ways that can be controlled by the rulers, all the while ruling their minds and potential political rebelliousness. Sex becomes part of the service economy where people service each other while serving their masters. Use pseudo-sex to sell them a way of life that traps them in an increasingly totalitarian social order that only seems free. This has been accomplished primarily through screen culture and the concomitant confusion of sexual identity. Perhaps you have noticed that over the past twenty-five years of growing social and political confusion, we have witnessed an exponential growth in "the electronic life," the use of psychotropic drugs, and sexual disorientation. This is no accident. Wars have become as constant as Eros – the god of love, life, joy, and motion – has been divorced from sex as a stimulus and response release of tension in a "stressed" society. Rollo May, the great American psychologist, grasped this:

Indeed, we have set sex over against eros, used sex precisely to avoid the anxiety-creating involvements of eros We are in flight from eros and use sex as the vehicle for the flight Eros [which includes, but is not limited to, passionate sex] is the center of vitality of a culture – its heart and soul. And when release of tension takes the place of creative eros, the downfall of the civilization is assured.

Because Julia and Winston cannot permanently escape Oceania, but can only tryst, they succumb to Big Brother's mind control and betray each other. Their sexual affair can't save them. It is a moment of beauty and freedom in an impossible situation. Of course the hermetically sealed world of 1984 is not the United States. Orwell created a society in which escape was impossible. It is, after all, an admonitory novel – not the real world. Things are more subtle here; we still have some wiggle room – some – although the underlying truth is the same: the U.S. oligarchy, like "The Party," "seeks power entirely for its own sake" and "are not interested in the good of others," all rhetoric to the contrary. Our problem is that too many believe the rhetoric, and those who say they don't really do at the deepest level. Fly the flag and play the national anthem and their hearts are aflutter with hope. Recycle old bromides about the next election when your political enemies will be swept out of office and excitement builds as though you had met the love of your life and all was well with the world.

But understanding the history of public relations, advertising, propaganda, the CIA, the national security apparatus, technology, etc., makes it clear that such hope is baseless. For the propaganda in this country has penetrated far deeper than anyone can imagine, and it has primarily done this through advanced technology and the religion of technique – machines as pure abstractions – that has poisoned not just our minds, but the deepest wellsprings of the body's truths and the erotic imagination that links us in love to all life on earth.

In "Defence of Poetry," Percy Bysshe Shelley writes:

The great secret of morals is love; or a going out of our nature, and an identification of ourselves with the beautiful which exists in thought, action, or person, not our own. A man, to be greatly good, must imagine intensely and comprehensively; he must put himself in the place of another and of many others; the pains and pleasure of his species must become his own. The great instrument of moral good is the imagination.

We are now faced with the question: Can we escape the forces of propaganda and mind control that run so very deep into American life? If so, how? Let's imagine a way out.

Orwell makes it very clear that language is the key to mind control, as he delineates how Newspeak works. I think he is right. And mind control also means the control of our bodies, Eros, our sex, our physical connections to all living beings and nature. Today the U.S. is reaching the point where "Oldspeak" – Standard English – has been replaced by Newspeak, and just "fragments of the literature of the past" survive here and there.

This is true for the schooled and unschooled. In fact, those more trapped by the instrumental logic, disembodied data, and word games of the power elite are those who have gone through the most schooling, the indoctrination offered by the so-called "elite" universities. I suspect that more working-class and poor people still retain some sense of the old language and the fundamental meaning of words, since it is with their sweat and blood that they "earn their living." Many of the highly schooled are children of the power elite or those groomed to serve them, who are invited to join in living the life of power and privilege if they swallow their consciences and deaden their imaginations to the suffering their "life-styles" and ideological choices inflict on the rest of the world. In this world of The New York Times , Harvard, The New Yorker , Martha's Vineyard, The Washington Post , Wall St., Goldman Sachs, the boardrooms of the ruling corporations, all the corporate media, etc., language has become debased beyond recognition. Here, as Orwell said of Newspeak, "a heretical thought should be literally unthinkable, at least as far as thought is dependent on words. Its vocabulary was so constructed as to give exact and often very subtle expression to every meaning that a Party member could properly wish to express." The intelligently orthodox, he adds, must master the art of "doublethink" wherein they hold two contradictory ideas in their minds simultaneously, while accepting both of them. This is the key trick of logic and language that allows the power elites and their lackeys in the U.S. today to master the art of self-deception and feel good about themselves as they plunder the world. In this "Party" world, the demonization, degradation, and killing of others is an abstraction; their lives are spectral. Orwell describes doublethink this way:

To tell deliberate lives while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality one denies – all this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink . For by using the word one admits one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth.

... ... ...

*

Edward Curtin is a writer whose work has appeared widely; he is a frequent contributor to Global Research. He teaches sociology at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. His website is http://edwardcurtin.com/ .

[Jul 23, 2018] Chickens with Their Heads Cut Off, Coming Home to Roost. The "Treason Narrative" by Helen Buyniski

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Congress wasted no time jumping on the Treason bandwagon, led by Chuck Schumer conjuring the spectre of the KGB, Marco Rubio as neocon point-man (one imagines Barbara Bush rolling in her grave at his usurpation of Jeb's rightful role) proposing locked-and-loaded sanctions in case of future "meddling," and John McCain , still desperate to take the rest of the world with him before he finally kicks a long-overdue bucket, condemning the "disgraceful" display of two heads of state trying to come to an agreement about matters of mutual interest. The Pentagon has invested a lot of time and money in positioning Russia as Public Enemy #1, and for Trump to put his foot in it by making nice with Putin might diminish the size of their weapons contracts – or the willingness of the American people to tolerate more than half of every tax dollar disappearing down an unaccountable hole . Peace? Eh, who needs it. Cash , motherfucker. ..."
"... The Intelligence Community believes it is God, and it hath smote Trump good. Smelling blood in the water, the media redoubled their shrieking for several days, and crickets. ..."
Jul 23, 2018 | www.globalresearch.ca

... ... ...

The Helsinki hysteria shone a spotlight on the utter impotence of the establishment media and their Deep State controllers to make their delusions reality. Never before has there been such a gaping chasm visible between the media's "truth" and the facts on the ground. Pundits compared the summit to Pearl Harbor and 9/11 , with some even reaching for the brass ring of the Holocaust by likening it to Kristallnacht , while polls revealed the American people really didn't care .

Worse, it laid bare the collusion between the media and their Deep State handlers – the central dissemination point for the headlines, down to the same phrases, that led to every outlet claiming Trump had "thrown the Intelligence Community under the bus" by refusing to embrace the Russia-hacked-our-democracy narrative during his press conference with Putin. Leaving aside the sudden ubiquity of "Intelligence Community" in our national discourse – as if this network of spies and murderous thugs is Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood – no one seriously believes every pundit came up with "throws under the bus" as the proper way of describing that press conference.

The same central control was apparent in the unanimous condemnations of Putin – that he murders journalists , breaks international agreements , uses banned chemical weapons , kills women and children in Syria , and, of course, meddles in elections . For every single establishment pundit to exhibit such a breathtaking lack of insight into their own government's misdeeds is highly unlikely. Many of these same talking heads remarked in horror on Sinclair Broadcasting's Orwellian "prepared statement" issuing forth from the mouths of hundreds of stations' anchors at once. Et tu, Anderson Cooper?

Helsinki – Trump and Putin – a Showdown for Summer Doldrums or a Genuine Attempt Towards Peace?

The media frenzy was geared toward sparking a popular revolt, with tensions already running high from the previous media frenzy about family separation at the border (though only one MSNBC segment seemed to recall that they should still care about that, and belatedly included some footage of kids behind a fence wrapped in Mylar blankets). Rachel Maddow , armed with the crocodile tears that served her so well during the family-separation fracas, exhorted her faithful cultists to do something . Meanwhile, national-security neanderthal John Brennan all but called for a coup, condemning the president for the unspeakable "high crimes and misdemeanors" of seeking to improve relations with the world's second-largest nuclear power. He called on Pompeo and Bolton, the two biggest warmongers in a Trump administration bristling with warmongers, to resign in protest. This would have been a grand slam for world peace, but alas, it was not to be. Even those two realize what a has-been Brennan is.

Congress wasted no time jumping on the Treason bandwagon, led by Chuck Schumer conjuring the spectre of the KGB, Marco Rubio as neocon point-man (one imagines Barbara Bush rolling in her grave at his usurpation of Jeb's rightful role) proposing locked-and-loaded sanctions in case of future "meddling," and John McCain , still desperate to take the rest of the world with him before he finally kicks a long-overdue bucket, condemning the "disgraceful" display of two heads of state trying to come to an agreement about matters of mutual interest. The Pentagon has invested a lot of time and money in positioning Russia as Public Enemy #1, and for Trump to put his foot in it by making nice with Putin might diminish the size of their weapons contracts – or the willingness of the American people to tolerate more than half of every tax dollar disappearing down an unaccountable hole . Peace? Eh, who needs it. Cash , motherfucker.

Trump's grip on his long-elusive spine was only temporary, and he held another press conference upon returning home to reiterate his trust in the intelligence agencies that have made no secret of their utter loathing for him since day one. When the lights went out at the climactic moment, it became clear for anyone who still hadn't gotten the message who was running the show here (and Trump, to his credit, actually joked about it). The Intelligence Community believes it is God, and it hath smote Trump good. Smelling blood in the water, the media redoubled their shrieking for several days, and crickets. On to the Playmates .

Sacha Baron Cohen 's latest series, "Who is America," targeted Ted Koppel for one segment. Koppel cut the interview short after smelling a rat and expressed his high-minded concern that Cohen's antics would hurt Americans' trust in reporters. But after a week of the entire media establishment screaming that the sky is falling while the heavens remain firmly in place, Cohen is clearly the least of their problems. At least he's funny.

*

Helen Buyniski is a journalist and photographer based in New York City. She covers politics, sociology, and other anthropological/cultural phenomena. Helen has a BA in Journalism from New School University and also studied at Columbia University and New York University. Find more of her work at http://www.helenofdestroy.com and http://medium.com/@helen.buyniski .

[Jul 22, 2018] MoA - 'Progressives Are Putin Stooges' - How Centrists Will Help To Reelect Trump

Notable quotes:
"... Naked Capitalism ..."
"... New York Times ..."
"... The Democrats preferred to lose with Hillary than to win with Sanders ..."
"... Note that the predominance of these two doctrines undeline a deeper contradiction in the USA: its resources are limited, therefore it can only fight one of the two at a given time. This is funny, because that means the USA is not destined to be the sole superpower in the first place (the underlying objective of both doctrines). ..."
"... It seems to me that both Democrats and Republicans are colluding with each other now. They have agreed to share the Presidency and alternate with each other every 8 years. They wont get serious about winning until 2024, assuming there will still be elections then. ..."
"... Both parties have the same elite controllers. Basically voters chose between 2 flavors of neoliberal imperialism. One is a bitter in your face brew, the other is a sickly sweet poison. Both make you sick ..."
"... USA deep state's Russian gambit expires on November 4th when the embargo on Iran goes into effect. It is already clear that China will support Iran. ..."
"... Neo-macarthyism as just another aspect of the Trump psy-op. The 'bad cop' to Trump's 'good cop'. ..."
"... In every case what they are looking for is candidates who are not 'soft.' Not soft on crime. Not soft on Russia. Not soft on welfare etc etc. Thus it is that the primary defenders of "our nation's intelligence services" and cops nowadays are the democrats, and none more than the 'progressives' howling about the treason of not believing in CIA intelligence assessments, as leaked to the Washington Post. ..."
Jul 22, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Blaming 'Russian meddling' for their loss of the 2016 elections allowed the democratic establishment to avoid any discussion about their unelectable candidate and their bad centrist policies. Meanwhile the party base has moved on. Progressives candidates continue to win in primaries. The centrist party establishment will now use their genius invention of 'Russian meddling' to defeat them.

Lambert Strether at Naked Capitalism links several recent pieces about the democrats and notes:

Suddenly a lot of stories about centrists. Somebody must have gotten funding.

The centrists and their big money sources feal endangered. They try to find strategies to defeat calls for 'medicare for all', demands to 'abolish ICE' and other progressive aims:

The gathering here was just that -- an effort to offer an attractive alternative to the rising Sanders-style populist left in the upcoming presidential race. Where progressives see a rare opportunity to capitalize on an energized Democratic base, moderates see a better chance to win over Republicans turned off by Trump.

The fact that a billionaire real estate developer, Winston Fisher, co-hosted the event and addressed attendees twice underscored that this group is not interested in the class warfare vilifying the "millionaires and billionaires" found in Sanders' stump speech.
...
The invitation-only gathering brought together about 250 Democratic insiders from key swing states. Third Way unveiled the results of focus groups and polling that it says shows Americans are more receptive to an economic message built on "opportunity" rather than the left's message about inequality.

"Once again, the time has come to mend, but not end, capitalism for a new era," said Third Way President Jon Cowan.

The 2016 elections have shown that people no longer buy the Third Way nonsense. The republican electorate moved to the more radical candidate Trump. The democratic electorate is now well underway to mirror that move :

[T]rends within the Democratic Party itself could take the Washington-based establishment by surprise, just as the Republican national security community found itself out of sync with the broad base of GOP voters as demonstrated in the 2016 election. The muscular interventionism championed by almost all of the Republican party's standard-bearers was rejected in favor of an "America First" message which resonated with primary and general election voters. Similarly, the rise and growing prominence of a more unabashedly progressive wing of the Democratic Party has similar implications , because the activists' critique of the status quo does not end at the water's edge. The Democratic foreign policy establishment may find it difficult to forge a stable marriage with a mobilized voter base and the candidates it is putting forward.

The republican establishment has now bought into the 'Russian meddling' meme to suppress the insurgency within its party. It is trying to limit the space for Trump to achieve more radical measures, especially in foreign policies. The democratic establishment is using the very same trick. 'Russian meddling' must be responsible for the insurgency within their own party. Progressive candidates are Putin marionettes.

A few days ago Doug Henwood warned of this:

It seems that Democrats are now incapable of talking about anything but Russian interference in our sacred elections.
...
We're seeing Dem pundits even accusing Bernie Sanders and other insurgents within their party of being Russian agents , witting or unwitting. Their indictments of Trump for treason make them sound like demented right-wingers at the height of the Cold War.

This obsession does relieve mainstream Democrats of concocting an attractive agenda that might win an election or two, but to do that they'd have to tack left, and Goldman Sachs wouldn't like that.

This Russia obsession's a win win for the establishment though – subdue Trump and the domestic left insurgency all at once.

A few days later Henwood points to a Facebook post by Columbia Law lecturer and Harpers author Scott Horton which accuses progressive Democrats of being Putin's agents. Horton comments on a New York Times piece that discussed the wave of progressive candidates in democratic primaries:

Horton claims to have talked with 'European intelligence analysts' who allegedly told him that Putin authorized an 'active measure campaign' to split the Democratic party to let Trump and the Republicans win again:

The Russian operation will also aim, in the classic fashion, to pick Democratic candidates in the primary period who, for whatever reasons, are seen as likely not electable. Some evidence for this is clearly at play now. The key thing to look for is not positive messaging supporting any particular policy program, but negative messaging attacking other Democrats.

To point out what Democratic candidates Putin will pick Horton adds a picture from the NYT piece which shows a 'progressives' candidate with an 'Abolish ICE' t-shirt.

Political scientist and author Corey Robin notes :

In other words, we should look at these [progressive] candidates as tainted by a "Russian operation". Based on nothing other than the word of an individual who cites no facts but alleged conversations with "European intelligence analysts".

Robin points to historic similarities with McCarthyism. He adds :

If this thing catches on , if it becomes something that now gets reported in the paper, everything single candidate from the left, who is running in a Democratic primary, will be tainted by the suspicion that they are somehow or other a Putin operation.

Tainting leftish candidates as Putin stooges is the ideal tool for Democratic centrist to defeat them. Tuition free colleges, single-payer health care and $15 minimum wage are obviously Russian conspiracies designed to destroy the United States. This scheme is effective and will therefore be widely used by the centrists during all primaries and the next federal elections.

It also guarantees that Trump and the Republicans continue to win.

During the Obama years the Democrats lost over 1,000 positions in state and federal elections. Centrist policies have been tried and they failed to win votes. More of the same will not lead to different results. To move even further to the right to catch a few conservative votes from republican voters disgruntled with Trump will not help to win. The further the party moves to the right the more people on the left will abstain from voting for it. These are the decisive few percent that cost the Democrats the presidency and the majorities in Congress and in various states.

These centrists are the ones who are really helping Trump. Aren't they the real 'Russian agents'?


james , Jul 22, 2018 1:06:16 PM | 1

thanks b...lol your last line.. maybe..

how far are we from a civil war in the usa? i think we are a long ways away.. i think most of the folks buying into this bs will go for a hot war with russia instead..

horton is trying to make like christopher steele with his intel sources, lol.. now if horton had talked with skripal, i would be impressed!

mccarthyism version 2 seems very prevalent in the usa at this point..

William Fusfield , Jul 22, 2018 1:37:56 PM | 4
"Once again, the time has come to mend, but not end, capitalism for a new era," LOL at that choice piece of advice which has been trotted out by centrists and conservatives at least since the legion horrors of the capitalist system were mercilessly exposed to the world by William Wordsworth, Thomas Carlyle, Charles Dickens, Victor Hugo, Freiderich Engels, and dozens of other perceptive writers during the 19th Century.

And we have global neoliberal capitalism, the very acme of capitalist cruelty to the vast mass of humanity forced to labor hard daily, for relatively ever worse wages and under deteriorating conditions as well, rather than be able to make millions, indeed, even billions annually simply by being lucky stock holders in a financial market system rigges in favor f the plutocrats and against everyone else!

The only people daft enough to buy the idea that the vicous, inhuman, indeed, inherently ever more unequal, irrational, environmentally detructive, and profoundly unjust neoliberal capitalist system all are subjected to today needs merely to be "mended, not ended" are those who are historical, social, political, cultural and economic illiterates.

"Capitalism lives on as ruthless totalitarianism, because the moment for the transition to socialism was missed," said Max Horkeimer as early as the 1930s while observing the rise of Hitler, Franco, and Mussolini. High time we quit missing it and built a movement to end capitalist exploitation in all its forms once and for all! ON TO SOCIALISM!!

Jackrabbit , Jul 22, 2018 1:38:27 PM | 5
Psyops. The gift that keeps on giving.

What happens when your in-group controls the narrative AND the counter-narrative.

jayc , Jul 22, 2018 1:41:40 PM | 6
Establishment Democrats have, since 1968, considered holding the left in check a main function. I forget who formulated this sentence but it is completely accurate: "The Democrats preferred to lose with Hillary than to win with Sanders."

The NBC News article on the so-called moderate Democrats reveals the game of the past five decades: the Republicans go further and further to the right, and the Establishment Dems follow them to hold an ever-shifting centre. (not to mention that the party has been deliberately courting potential candidates who have military and Intelligence backgrounds)

oops, according to Scott Horton, by using the term "Establishment Democrat" I've revealed myself as part of a Russian influence campaign.

johnt , Jul 22, 2018 2:21:23 PM | 9
jayc @ #6

" The Democrats preferred to lose with Hillary than to win with Sanders ."

Sounds like the words of Jimmy Dore. And right on the money.

Clearly in league with Putin. Ha ha

William Fusfield , Jul 22, 2018 3:00:18 PM | 13 vk , Jul 22, 2018 3:05:54 PM | 14
Bottom line is this: the myth of the end of History of the early 1990s evaporated after 2003-2008 (the period which begun with the Iraq Invasion and ended with the financial meltdown). After this, there's an ongoing debate in the USA about what the empire must focus on.

As I've mentioned before many times in this blog, there're three extant doctrines in the USA, of which only two are accessible to the civilian population.

The first is the Wolfowitz Doctrine, by far the dominant one, so dominant Americans don't even give it a name (it's just spelled out a common sense), which states that Russia is the military successor State of the USSR, which inherited its nuclear arsenal, therefore, objectively, the only country materially capable of turning the entire American territory into radioactive ash. So, long story short, Russia is still the main enemy.

The second is the "Clash of Civilizations" doctrine, which states that, after the Cold War, conflict on a global scale would happen only in the cultural front, between many cultures and creeds. The main conflict in the long term, however, would be the cultural clash between West and East, i.e. Western Civilization against the "Yellows", a.k.a. China (the Japanese are the "Westernized yellows", the "honorary whites", as is South Korea, Japan's carbon copy, so they don't count).

Note that the predominance of these two doctrines undeline a deeper contradiction in the USA: its resources are limited, therefore it can only fight one of the two at a given time. This is funny, because that means the USA is not destined to be the sole superpower in the first place (the underlying objective of both doctrines).

Adrian E. , Jul 22, 2018 3:18:57 PM | 16
In general, I also think that by banking mainly on the evidencefree Russiagate conspiracy theory instead of normal political opposition based on issues that are important to most people, mainstream Democrats set themselves up for losing again.

But increasingly, I also think that we (everyone interested in world peace and fearing an escalation of conflicts) also have to hope that this is the case. I find it quite strange that I now think that way because as a center-left European I always used to think that Democrats are the lesser evil and Republicans are the greater evil.

Now, I think there is a scenario that really seems frightening to me. Progressives have won some primaries, but in general, the Democratic party is still dominated by the same forces, and I have read that now, a record number of people from the secret services and other organizations of the military industrial complex will probably be on the Democrats' ballots. If Democrats manage to win in the mid-term elections, the establishment forces in the Democratic forces may see this as a sign that the strategy of banking on the Russiagate conspiracy theory and extreme hostility towards Russia and treating everyone who doubts the allegations of secret services a traitor was the right one. Then, if in 2020 a mainstream Democrat wins the primaries and then the general election, what is he or she going to do? Their core base will be those people who daily watch Rachel Maddow's minutes (or hours) of hate against Russia, and there will be an expectation that they will act on these sentiments. After four years of extreme demonization of Russia, when even just a normal meeting between the US and Russian presidents was treated as a kind of treason, it will be very difficult to return to normal international relations. They will hardly be able to say that all this hatred was just a means to weaken the Trump administration and can be done away with after winning the elections, they have caged themselves in with their extremely hostile rhetoric, and their core base will probably expect that they act on their jingoistic rhetoric and conduct an extremely hostile kind of foreign policy with ultimatums against Russia, which could have extremely dangerous consequences.

I think that the more likely scenario is that mainstream Democrats' behavior will lead to losing again and Trump being re-elected, but I think we should not forget about the possibility of such a horror scenario which could bring the world to the brink of the abyss or beyond.

Pft , Jul 22, 2018 3:20:40 PM | 17
It seems to me that both Democrats and Republicans are colluding with each other now. They have agreed to share the Presidency and alternate with each other every 8 years. They wont get serious about winning until 2024, assuming there will still be elections then.

Both parties have the same elite controllers. Basically voters chose between 2 flavors of neoliberal imperialism. One is a bitter in your face brew, the other is a sickly sweet poison. Both make you sick .

Jackrabbit , Jul 22, 2018 3:37:29 PM | 19
Alternative theory:

Trump was used by the establishment to "turn the page" on the Obama years.

Just as Obama was used to "turn the page" on the Bush years.

If we surmise that the Presidency is the most important office for the Empire, and is the "face" of the Empire, if you will, then the Obama Presidency was designed to present a peaceful and rational public face ( very different from the Bush neocons!) while covert opts were used to further the interests of the Empire.

The Obama faux populist psy-op worked very well. Putin recently admitted that he was slow to understand how the game had changed.

The Trump/MAGA psyop lays claim to a new sort of "realist" peaceful and rational standpoint: ending costly adventurism and ending the new Cold War with Russia. But what does the establishment really want? They want to recover from the embarrassing Syrian debacle and stop the rise of SCO. They aim to do this via distractions and splitting Russia from China. Iran is the anvil for splitting Russia and China.

The howls of protest about Trump's meeting with Putin are NOT because Trump seeks "peace" with Russia but because he wasn't successful in convincing Putin to play ball.

USA deep state's Russian gambit expires on November 4th when the embargo on Iran goes into effect. It is already clear that China will support Iran.

<> <> <> <> <> <> <>

1) Neo-macarthyism as just another aspect of the Trump psy-op. The 'bad cop' to Trump's 'good cop'.

2) Hillary could never have "turned the page" like Trump. In fact, she talked about how her election would secure Obama's legacy. Conclusion: the 2016 election was a set-up.

the pair , Jul 22, 2018 4:24:25 PM | 23
some of the targets of these tactics aren't helping themselves; both sanders and ocasio-cortez have hinted that they actually believe the russiagate stupidity. nor did the latter score any hits with the stumbling (and possibly cowardly) interview regarding israel's lunatic tendencies. just letting that idiot get away with saying "the war in the middle east" is enough to make me question her spine.

the establishment dems - like any "establishment" group - are whores. so are the media who have their collective backs. at this point it's time to realize they all - like their financial masters - mistake kindness for weakness. what anyone needs to win at this point is to (unfortunately) copy pre-election trump's tactics with their own message.

there's no law that says you can't be for $15 minimum wage and single payer while also saying "shut up you dumb cunt " to any media prostitute that brings up russiagate. the idiots acting as middle(wo)men for their plutocrat owners rely on forced politeness and decorum. many people have noted that is their main grievance with trump: it's cool that he's horrible and surrounded by warmongers but does he have to be so vulgar and gauche? well i never!

the US is (as it has been for most of its short bloody history) quite angry and wound up right now. obama showed what good a "polite yes man" does. the left needs a fire-breathing populist demon. what they have is a pleasant bartender from the bronx.

bevin , Jul 22, 2018 4:33:25 PM | 24
Bernie Sanders was quick to respond to these attacks by giving in. For every 'progressive' Democrat who has won in the primaries there have been ex CIA, ex FBI, ex military types to add the appeal of their blood stained hands to that of the former prosecutors (boasting about the number of death sentences they have won) and ultra rich candidates.

In every case what they are looking for is candidates who are not 'soft.' Not soft on crime. Not soft on Russia. Not soft on welfare etc etc.
Thus it is that the primary defenders of "our nation's intelligence services" and cops nowadays are the democrats, and none more than the 'progressives' howling about the treason of not believing in CIA intelligence assessments, as leaked to the Washington Post.

Democrats simply cannot understand what the word 'principle' means. That is why they are continually adopting their opponents' ideas- filling the prisons with black people, cancelling welfare programmes- and persecuting their own supporters.

Now Sanders, who knows very well why Hillary lost the election, and spent months warning her that she would do so in the primary campaigns, is front and centre in the farcical campaign to blame Putin and internet trolls 'sowing discord'!
And what is his evidence? The most dishonest and reactionary deep state warmongers say it is true. So it must be.
What will be interesting in the coming months is to watch as these "progressive" Democrats-the victors of primary battles- settle down to agreeing that "Israel has a right to defend itself" by massacring defenceless Palestinians whenever the mood comes over it. And attacking Iran.
Watch in the coming weeks for people like Sanders to attack Trump for not changing the 'regime' in Damascus- the way that Obama with their support did in Libya.
The great thing about the Democrats is that they are united-they are all as bad as each other. This is after all the working man's party that supported slavery with such enthusiasm that when it had been abolished they re-introduced it, in the form of Jim Crow plus lynching, in the states that they controlled. In which it lasted until the late 1960s. Its shadow-in the form of vote suppression and a crooked criminal justice system- still looms over America.

NemesisCalling , Jul 22, 2018 4:37:25 PM | 25
@18 dh

The dems have nobody. Not at the plate or on deck. After DJT's state of the union, they trotted out a Kennedy that had vasoline smeared all over the sides of his mouth as he gave the Dem response. No one remembers what he said, but they do remember that substance.

Now this inexperienced Socialist-airhead from the Bronx who claimed a rough upbringing only to have forgotten her silver-spoon childhood comes along.

Here on the west coast, in Seattle, a socialist mayor and city council has tried to push egalitarian policies regarding wages and taxation, allthewhile dealing with a pervasive homeless population that is tainting the city and its reputation. Their policies have gotten a stiff rebuke from Amazon and Microsoft and so their ironfisted will has itself been crushed and they have yielded to these business behemoths. They will be ousted very soon. As will the wannabe-socialists up and down the west coasts. If they are not...we are talking mass exodus and floundering economies.

So b is right that the centrists will prevail but it is mostly because the left is lost right now. Can't drum up a unified beat to march to for the life of them.

At least DJT tapped into what must be done to save this country, irrespective of his actual will and desire to get there (which I believe is being hampered by both sides of the aisle).

Babyl-on , Jul 22, 2018 4:41:15 PM | 26
Does this not come down to a fight for the BRAND - DNC? The establishment wants to keep the "donors" (same as the Rs) and millions rolling in so they support their interests and try to freeze out progressives.

It's like an invasion, what happens the next day? The progressives take over the DNC, then the donors depart and the DNC brand is the worth about as much as the Green brand.

The problem is that the entire system of Western Liberal Democracy is corrupted entirely and clearly an unmitigated failure.

Russ , Jul 22, 2018 4:53:40 PM | 27
The so-called "insurgents" are no such thing. That's a standard Democrat scam to keep potential apostates roped in. Bernie Sanders always has been a con artist. Not that it's any secret: His entire senate record is of worthless grandstanding and zero real monkey-wrenching or grid-locking action .

As for his campaign, from day one he proclaimed he was a loyal Democrat soldier and that he would support Clinton and do all he could to deliver his supporters to her. He dutifully kept that promise. Along the way and since the 2016 election he's done zero toward building any kind of grassroots alternative. That's because he never intended to be part of any real alternative in the first place. And that's why the DNC always has supported his "independent" senate campaigns - he does an excellent con-job on behalf of their agenda.

And today he's fully on board with the Russiagate campaign, doing all he can to rope in "progressives" who might be having doubts about the anti-Russia lunacy. His usual job.

As for the latest wave of progressive heroes, for just one typical example I'll observe that Ocasio-Cortez immediately after her primary win lost no time scrubbing the anti-war plank from her site and publicly retracting her previous statements on behalf of the Palestinians. The Democrat con always runs like clock-work.

And as the post describes, with Russiagate the fake insurgents provide a new service to the Party: To serve as bogeymen for internally-directed Party propaganda, as an organizational vehicle to "get out the vote" among establishment loyalists.

There's no way forward with the Democrat Party. It always has been a death trap for all progressive, let alone radical aspirations. The Party and its partisans must politically perish completely, as a prerequisite for any good transformation of America.

ben , Jul 22, 2018 5:39:16 PM | 28
@23 said:"the left needs a fire-breathing populist demon. what they have is a pleasant bartender from the bronx."

Absolutely, but it won't happen. The malignant billionaires have won the battle.

b, you nailed this one..

The Kochs, The Mersers and the Adelsons with R. Murdoc own the whole system now.

Workers, bend over!!

0use4msm , Jul 22, 2018 5:53:44 PM | 29
I used to have great admiration for Scott Horton for his intrepid reporting on Gitmo and the War on Terra during the Bush era, so it's very sad to see how he deep has fallen into silly Neo-McCarthyian group-think.

I don't think much of Trump as a person or as a politician. But I think he's great as a trickster performance artist, doing what used to be the task of the 20th century avant-garde: shocking bourgeois complacency. And boy, is there a lot of that around these days. Trump is 21st century Dada.

jo6pac , Jul 22, 2018 6:02:50 PM | 30
#20
My thought also.

Good shut out to Lambert and NC

karlof1 , Jul 22, 2018 6:15:35 PM | 31
The term Progressive is now so mutilated that it's no longer effective as an identifier. To be a truly modern Progressive: one must 1st be Anti-War, except in the most dire of circumstances, which includes being Anti-Imperialist/Anti-Empire; 2nd, one must be Pro-Justice as in promoting Rule of Law over all else; 3rd, one must be tolerant and willing to listen to others of all stripes--even terrorists (not imitation state-sponsored mercenary terrorists); and 4th, work for Win-Win outcomes and denounce Zero-sum as the #1 promoter of inequality. As you might imagine, by that set of criteria there are very few Modern Progressive Politicians in any nation at any level of government--certainly an endangered species within the Outlaw US Empire. Bernie Sanders is not even close to being a Progressive of any sort as he supports and promotes Militarism and Apartheid. The actual differences between his political stances and Hillary Clinton's is really very small--health care and social security are the only two with large gaps.

But there appears to be much happening at the grassroots nationally and the next 2 months will see lots happening--but how will it be reported locally and nationally is my main concern. Insurrections are being aimed at a great many Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats. IMO, this off-year election will be the most important for the planet ever as the stakes are very high. IMO, the key factor is if Russiagate's still in play or will it finally be slain by November.

Fidelios Automata , Jul 22, 2018 7:13:03 PM | 32
True progressives and populists (which characterizes a lot of Trump supporters such as myself) have a lot more in common with each other than with the Centrist Democrats and Beltway Republicans (A.K.A. Cuckservatives.) If we could only dispense with all the BS identity politics, we could join forces.
Hoarsewhisperer , Jul 22, 2018 7:54:44 PM | 33
Posted by: William Fusfield | Jul 22, 2018 3:00:18 PM | 13
(Comment lost after Timeout)

Some wag once said "Experience is a good school, but the fees are high."

You can easily bulletproof your draft comment by right-clicking in the comment box and choosing Select All from the menu. That hilites the entire draft. Right click again and select Copy. You can then safely refresh the page knowing you've preserved a copy.

All you really need to do is back arrow and refresh. I've never had a draft erased by refreshing. But then again I usually refresh AFTER copying..

Also Undo (in the right click menu) can usually recover accidentally deleted text.

daffyDuct , Jul 22, 2018 8:52:56 PM | 34
Wow - Comey, the guy that fixed Hillary's email problem has an urgent centrist plea.

"Democrats, please, please don't lose your minds and rush to the socialist left. This president and his Republican Party are counting on you to do exactly that. America's great middle wants sensible, balanced, ethical leadership."

https://twitter.com/Comey/status/1021132108381683712?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

[Jul 22, 2018] Trump Trips, But He's Right On Russia. Our Ruling Class Is Crazy. Remember The Romanovs! by John Derbyshire

Notable quotes:
"... It is clear that Trump's own DoJ acted to sabotage him by releasing the indictments of the twelve russian GRU officials just before Trump's meeting with Putin. ..."
"... A year ago legislators introduced a bill in Sweden to restrict [total] media ownership to no more than 5% by any person, family, company or ethnic group. The Jews wasted no time screaming anti-semitism. ..."
"... It is a ritual, so the purpose is to convey loyalty. It doesn't placate anyone. What it unfortunately does is to undermine all else Derbyshire says. If he is this uninformed, or conformist, about basic facts, how can one take what he says seriously? ..."
Jul 22, 2018 | www.unz.com

PiltdownMan , July 21, 2018 at 4:46 am GMT

Putin is the illegitimate leader of a corrupt and dysfunctional country, an economic nonentity among nations, geographically overstretched, with a rusting military and a population increasingly composed of aging drunks.

I'm not sure what the purpose of this somewhat jingoistic prefatory note is, or whom it is intended to placate. It is a farrago of false, outdated stereotypes about Russia based entirely on the situation there in the 1990s.

Like it or not, Putin is the democratically elected leader of Russia, in elections that have been generally free and fair. They like him over there, and vote for him in huge numbers. Given that per capita GDP in Russia is about 3-4 times as high as when he took office, this is not surprising.

As for its being an "economic non-entity among nations", it is a mid-sized economy, about the size of an Australia, Italy, India and so on, a $2 trillion economy, give or take, using the purchasing power parity figures. It is no America, China, Japan or Germany, but is nestled in the tier of countries just below those. Much of the disparagement of its post 2014 economy is based on the US$ figures of its GDP, a misleading measure that is severely affected by transient fluctuations in the exchange rate.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)

The stereotype about its rusting military is equally out-of-date, as numerous factually detailed articles right here at unz.com attest.

Lastly, there is plenty of credible evidence that deaths from alcoholism have fallen by 50% or so, since the bad old days, two decades ago. Yes, that's still twice the rate for males in the EU, but they're sobering up.

Andy , July 21, 2018 at 5:09 am GMT
Russia has a number of problems but a rusting military? Derbyshire needs to be put up to date with Putin's successful drive to modernize the Russian military. In some cases (for example, the hypersonic missiles announced by Putin early this year) they actually have more advanced weaponry than the US. And Russia has actually won a war in the Middle East (in Syria) something that the US gave been unable to do for the last 15 years.
phil , July 21, 2018 at 5:23 am GMT
"Putin is the illegitimate leader of a corrupt and dysfunctional country, an economic nonentity among nations, geographically overstretched, with a rusting military and a population increasingly composed of aging drunks."

Putin took over on December 31, 1999. The country had been raped by the oligarchs and suffered hyperinflation. Pensioners were driven into horrific poverty en masse. Life expectancy plummeted. Putin neutralized the oligarchs without renationalizing industries and put the economy on a more sustainable upward path. The people are now in much better shape, including ordinary Jews. Drunkenness has lessened. Putin is reasonably popular. There is hope. Russia also has new advanced weapons.

Miro23 , July 21, 2018 at 6:39 am GMT

Losing the 2016 election was a terrible, colossal psychic trauma for the American Left. They can't believe Trump did it by himself. They can't believe 63 million Americans voted for him of our own free will.

This just shows that a lot of people no longer trust the MSM. The next step is to take a closer look at Congressional candidates and get commitments for 1) no ME wars 2) infrastructure spending 3) no mass immigration 3) stop $ billions for Israel 6) active swamp draining.

blahbahblah , July 21, 2018 at 7:08 am GMT

The poisoning in England of Sergei Skripal and his daughter is beyond naughty

It was the falsiest false flag in the history of false flags. Nothing about it made any sense whatsoever. A complete PR operation. The whole(and failed) purpose was to derail the World Cup.

anonymous [340] Disclaimer , July 21, 2018 at 7:20 am GMT
Mr. Derbyshire is pretty good at spoon feeding people who enjoy being told that they're superior to blacks, especially those who also think Brits are, in turn, above them.

But Mr. Derbyshire once again genuflects before his adoptive Uncle Sam, mindlessly parroting the PutinIsEvilTyrant mantra that the likes of Pat Buchanan, Andrew Napolitano, and occasionally even Tucker Carlson need to keep their spots along the Right side of Establishia.

That Mr. Derbyshire does so here -- fancying himself a martyr in the war against institutional thinking like that at National Review -- indicates naïveté or cravenness.

Before further embarrassing himself by sharing his gulled views on Russia, he should read and think about the work of the more informed, insightful authors at Unz Review who provide a broader and better readership than he deserves.

Or just stick with the race bait.

Eagle Eye , July 21, 2018 at 7:26 am GMT

The poisoning in England of Sergei Skripal and his daughter is beyond naughty; it's disgraceful, and deserving of diplomatic retaliation

Agree that "diplomatic retaliation" is called for. The U.S. should break off diplomatic relations to the UK immediately, and through them out on their ear.

The Skripals are DEAD, murdered by MI5 to extend the useful life of Hillary's anti-Trump "Steele Dossier" that Sergei Skripal helped concoct.

The fact that Britain claims to have Sergei and Yulia Skripal in custody proves that Britain is responsible. British media coverage is smothered by "D notices" and blithely play along with a ridiculous government "narrative" – another bad sign.

Does anyone really expect to see the Skripals alive again?

Who else do you expect will come back from the dead?

http://www.unz.com/akarlin/good-timing/#comment-2403153

Adrian E. , July 21, 2018 at 7:31 am GMT
I don't think there is any reasonable way in which Trump can be said to be a more legitimate president of his country than Putin. He did not even receive a majority of votes, after all. Certainly, the electoral college is the way it is done in the US, so overall, Trump is still the legitimate president of the US, but there are certainly fewer doubts in Putin's case than in Trump's.

Calling Russia dysfunctional is completely ignorant. That may have been the case in the 90es when the authoritarian darling of the West, the drunkard Yeltsin was in power and the Russian economy was ruined by oligarchs and American advisors. Things have changed a lot since then.

byrresheim , July 21, 2018 at 8:06 am GMT
The Romanovs undoing was the collusion of a large part of the Russian elite with the British Empire – the very same British Empire that had happily contributed to the Japanese Victory in the war of 1905.

The still-slandered Rasputin was a strong voice against the (for the Romanovs) suicidal war of 1914, and, surprise, the British consul was present on the occasion of his murder).

Indeed, our ruling class is crazy, as is any ruling class that sides with the British.

byrresheim , July 21, 2018 at 8:11 am GMT

Sure, post-Soviet Russia has done naughty things. [ Crimea ] and they've intervened energetically in Syria's civil war. Naughty for sure

Intervening in Syria's civil war is naughty? Thus saving a christian tradition of 2.000 years is naughty? Mr. Derbyshire certainly knows who is acting murderously naughty in Syria. What has happened in Syria is a disgrace for the christian West.

animalogic , July 21, 2018 at 8:25 am GMT
Derbyshire articles are always tricky: a sharp intelligence married to the capacity for utter nonsense.
Once Derbyshire dismounts from his immigration/cultural Marxism hobby horse he often ends up to his ankles in poo of his own making.
He seems to have swallowed the MSM/establishment line on the Skripnals hook, line, & sinker. His views on Russia are simply embarrassing.
But, he's spot on re: causes of the Russia hysteria. Russia is the great convenience – perfect to explain the defeat of the vile Clinton & a perfect stick to constantly bash the President. (I didn't hear the whole of the Putin press conference, but my impression of Trump's so-called treason was that he merely implied that the US's IC wasn't correct re hacking etc So this amounts to treason ? Treason, because Trump is correct & the IC are a ravening pack of liars & monsters.)
Realist , July 21, 2018 at 11:18 am GMT

Putin is the illegitimate leader of a corrupt and dysfunctional country, an economic nonentity among nations, geographically overstretched, with a rusting military and a population increasingly composed of aging drunks. Trump is the constitutionally elected leader of a country so prosperous, buoyant, and secure, our main national problem is holding back the tide of people trying to break in across our bordersto share in our blessed bounty.

So much bullshit. Putin is not an illegitimate leader. The is no country on the face of the earth more corrupt than the US.
Derbyshire must be under attack by the Deep State.

David JW , July 21, 2018 at 12:58 pm GMT
Derbyshire is a phony. First of all, the deep state in the US is controlled by a certain ethnic minority. They're not all patriotic Americans by any means. Trump is doing nothing wrong by winding things up in Syria – or by making peace with Russia, a country with which the US has little trade. I think Trump is preparing for a bigger clash with China and the Russia and Middle East things are diversions. Of course, in a clash with China, which side would Derbyshire be on? 'Nuff said.
Art Deco , July 21, 2018 at 1:01 pm GMT
Putin is the illegitimate leader of a corrupt and dysfunctional country, an economic nonentity among nations, geographically overstretched, with a rusting military and a population increasingly composed of aging drunks. Trump is the constitutionally elected leader of a country so prosperous, buoyant, and secure, our main national problem is holding back the tide of people trying to break in across our borders to share in our blessed bounty.

Richard Lowry employed you for the amusement value of an elderly man making throwaway remarks. In the course of your current employment, you and your readers might benefit if you actually checked the numbers now and again.

1. You could classify Russia as a high-end middle income country or a 2d tier affluent country. Depending on the metric you prefer, its productive base is the world's 6th largest or 12th largest. Since 1998, it has registered a doubling of domestic product per capita with a growth rate exceeding that of all but 5 European countries and all but 1 European country from among those with a population exceeding 4 million. Of course, it has been more dynamic than North America, the Antipodes, and the affluent Far East.

2. Russia's total fertility rate at 1.75 exceeds both the European and occidental means. Russia, unlike many countries, has seen a dramatic recovery in fertility since 1998. If past proves to be prologue, they may reach replacement-level fertility within 10 years. Israel is the only affluent country with replacement-level fertility as we speak.

3. Russian life expectancy at birth (71.6 years) is depressed for an occidental country. However, they've pulled out of the public health catastrophe they suffered during their Yeltsin-era economic depression and have added 7 years to life expectancy at birth since that time.

4. The homicide rate in Russia is high for an occidental country (11 per 100,000). However, it's been cut by 30% in the last 7 years or so.

5. Russia's military expenditure ranks 4th globally. Persons familiar with proper performance metrics can weigh in on how effective that military is. Please note, however, that Russia is one of a small menu of occidental and quasi-occidental countries willing to act independently abroad. (The others are the United States, Britain, France, and Israel).

6. It encompasses all territory in the world which is predominantly Great Russian bar the city of Narva in Estonia and some border counties in Kazakhstan. Over 90% of it's population lives in territories in which ethnic Russians predominate. The only peripheral areas in which Great Russians do not form a majority are in the Caucasus. About 4% of the country's total population lives in those areas. Russia is not territorially over-stretched.

7. The political order is deficient in various ways. It is, however, pluralistic and pluralistic to a degree matched in Russian history only between 1905 and 1918 and between 1988 and 2005. The degree of public assent to VP and his confederates in the Duma exceeds that accorded a head of state and government in just about any other occidental country.

Diversity Heretic , July 21, 2018 at 1:40 pm GMT

Putin is the illegitimate leader of a corrupt and dysfunctional country, an economic nonentity among nations, geographically overstretched, with a rusting military and a population increasingly composed of aging drunks.

Other commentators have noted how highly inaccurate this statement is, so I'll say only that I lived in Moscow from September 2016 until January 2018 and the country that I saw in no way resembles Derb's characterization. Russia has its problems but I don't see demographic replacement or civil war in the cards, as I do for the [sooner-or-later-to-be] Disunited States.

Russian control of the Crimea is essential to its national security; the Black Sea is to Russia what the Gulf of Mexico is to the U.S. Any Russian leader, seeing the Ukrainian government toppled by a U.S. backed coup, that failed to act to secure Crimea, is irresponsible. The wisdom of Russian involvement in Syria can be fairly debated among Russians, but Syria is a lot closer to Russia than to the United States. At least Russian involvement in Syria is not the result of being a pawn of a foreign power, as it is in the case of the U.S.

Sunbeam , July 21, 2018 at 1:47 pm GMT
"Sure, post-Soviet Russia has done naughty things. They occupied the Crimea and they've intervened energetically in Syria's civil war. Naughty for sure, but under strong geostrategic compulsion: Russia needs those naval bases."

Seriously, you wrote this? Besides the hypocrisy of someone living in the US writing this, you actually think the Syria thing is about Russia wanting naval bases.

That's so wrong, I don't know where to start. I'd be here for a while writing exactly why I think Russia is in Syria. Not in my wildest imaginings did any of it involve naval bases though.

"They've murdered people in foreign countries, too. The poisoning in England of Sergei Skripal and his daughter is beyond naughty; it's disgraceful, and deserving of diplomatic retaliation -- which indeed it's got: 23 Russian diplomats were expelled from Britain."

So I take it you believe the Russian poisoned this guy?

"On 4 March 2018, he and his daughter Yulia, who was visiting him from Moscow, were poisoned with a Novichok nerve agent.[5][6] As of 15 March 2018,[7] they were in a critical condition at Salisbury District Hospital. The poisoning is being investigated as an attempted murder.[6] He holds both Russian and British citizenship.[8] On 21 March 2018 Russian ambassador to the UK Alexander Yakovenko said that Sergei Skripal is also a Russian citizen.[9][10] [7]

On 29 March, Yulia was reported to be out of critical condition, 'conscious and talking'.[11] A week later, on 6 April, Skripal was said to no longer be in a critical state.[12] He was discharged on 18 May."

I say it never happened. I think it was made up out of thin air. Just for a talking point and propaganda piece. And it is a clumsy, ludicrous framing job. Nothing clever about it, just BS as brazen as Colin Powell lying his ass off to the UN.

So in England people theoretically exposed to nerve toxins get treated by the NHS at a public facility? Really? Really? That's how they do it? Not by a military doctor trained to specifically deal with cases like this?

Rubbish. If you buy it, you are not very smart.

jeppo , July 21, 2018 at 3:18 pm GMT
Yet presentation-wise, Putin looked like the alpha male at Helsinki, with Trump nodding along deferentially.

Trump can afford to be deferential since Putin will be making all the concessions.

Felix Keverich , July 21, 2018 at 4:25 pm GMT
@PiltdownMan

I suspect trashing Russia makes him feel better about his own country going to shit. He knows America and the West in general are anything, but "buoyant". A healthy, confident society does not elect president Donald Trump.

Art Deco , July 21, 2018 at 4:46 pm GMT
@Corvinus

The government barred Putin's leading opponent from running.

No, it did not. Since 1991, the distribution of preferences in Russia has bounced around a series of set points. What you see roughly is as follows:

1. "The Machine": 55%
2. Soviet nostalgiacs: 15%
3. Russian nationalists: 15%
4. Occidental spectrum: 15%

The 3d of these is apportioned about evenly between Zhirinovsky admirers and the remainder. The last is apportioned between parties of a more social democratic or populist bent and parties of a more social-liberal bent. The sort of Europhile element you're calling 'the leading opponent' is generally good for 7% of the ballots. People wanting that choice had that choice, just not the particular person to whom you refer.

Andrei Martyanov , Website July 21, 2018 at 5:32 pm GMT

To add insult to the Left's injury, the Russians -- well, some of them -- returned openly to Christianity. And not only did they drop actual Marxism, they showed no enthusiasm for Cultural Marxism, marginalizing homosexuals and feminists and keeping themselves overwhelmingly, shamefully, white.

So called "Cultural Marxism", or whatever is passing under this term in the West, didn't exist in USSR since Stalin. It was a profoundly conservative society with a huge emphasis on family values, with homosexuality considered a crime and with many other cultural features, including "folkish" Russian culture (somebody has to lecture Western "academia" on what were the most popular TV series in USSR in 1960s-1980s) promoted, including a massive and greatly influential art-movement of Pochvenniki. But I guess for "connoisseurs" of Russian culture whose bottom line is founded on Solzhenitsyn with some Pasternak and Hollywood cliches it is difficult to admit the fact that they pretty much know nothing about Russia's history of the 20th century.

Mr. Anon , July 21, 2018 at 6:03 pm GMT

I'll even have to admit I agree with the people who piled on Trump for dissing our intelligence agencies at the news conference. I'm not a fan of those agencies, or indeed of intelligence agencies in general, ours or anyone else's. I think Trump's right to distrust them.

Maybe. Maybe not. It is clear that Trump's own DoJ acted to sabotage him by releasing the indictments of the twelve russian GRU officials just before Trump's meeting with Putin.

I would like to see a couple questions asked of Trump's critics (maybe Tucker Carlson could ask them).

1.) When was the last time that the Justice Department indicted foreign intelligence agents living abroad? Have they ever done it? Are we truly shocked that foreign spies are spying on us?

2.) Has the CIA ever interfered with a foreign election? Is there any current operation in which they are interfering with a foreign election? Have they supported any NGO or political party in Russia that is in opposition to the current russian government?

3.) When did liberals decide that the acid test of loyalty to America is one's loyalty to the US government's clandestine intelligence agencies?

Reactionary Utopian , July 21, 2018 at 6:20 pm GMT

Putin is the illegitimate leader of a corrupt and dysfunctional country, an economic nonentity among nations, geographically overstretched, with a rusting military and a population increasingly composed of aging drunks. Trump is the constitutionally elected leader of a country so prosperous, buoyant, and secure, our main national problem is holding back the tide of people trying to break in across our borders to share in our blessed bounty.

Mr. Derbyshire, in what sense is Putin "illegitimate" as the Russian head of state?

I mean, for all my horror of the HellBeast (and it's substantial), let's face it: Trumpy is the skin-of-his-teeth winner of a Constitutional, yes, but also corrupt and rigged, election process. And our main national problem isn't holding back the tide of border-breakers; it's the lack of any interest in doing so on the part of the ruling class, and the failure of the ruled to rise up and overthrow our corrupt rulers. In a lot of ways, we make Russia look pretty good.

Hunsdon , July 21, 2018 at 6:37 pm GMT
The Russians went into Crimea after the US instigated a coup ("regime change") against Ukraine. Crimea is the home to the Black Sea Fleet and has tremendous national importance to Russia. Think of it as our San Diego.

The Russians went into Syria at the express invitation of the government of the Syrian Arab Republic. The US is in Syria on the basis of "no one can tell us no." Might makes right? Is that a principle the Derb really wants to endorse? (If need be, we could go deeper into the weeds and discuss just who each side, the Americans and the Russians, are supporting in Syria; that also favors the Russians.)

Perhaps the Derb should educate himself by visiting Pat Lang's site and reading what non-propagandists are saying.

Cyrano , July 21, 2018 at 9:18 pm GMT

Putin is the illegitimate leader of a corrupt and dysfunctional country, an economic nonentity among nations, geographically overstretched, with a rusting military

Watch it there, pal, you are coming dangerously close to what that genius Hitler once said about Russia – something about Russia being a limp virgin ready to be taken into the lustful mighty arms of German Mars – or some stupidity like that. It turned out that our limp virgin by 1945 developed such a phallus that managed to tore a new one to Germany.

If I was you, I wouldn't worry so much about the condition that Russia is in today, I would rather worry about the shape that your country of origin – GB is in. On one hand, Britain still rules over the same eclectic mix of people like in the glory days of its empire – the only difference is that now they had to scale down their "empire" to about 244 000 sq km and also had to suffer some minor indignities along the way, such as organized gang rapes from their subjects of indo-pakistani origin, but other than that – it's just like it used to be.

WorkingClass , July 21, 2018 at 9:30 pm GMT

Putin is the illegitimate leader of a corrupt and dysfunctional country, an economic nonentity among nations, geographically overstretched, with a rusting military and a population increasingly composed of aging drunks.

Bullshit!

They've murdered people in foreign countries, too. The poisoning in England of Sergei Skripal and his daughter is beyond naughty; it's disgraceful, and deserving of diplomatic retaliation -- which indeed it's got: 23 Russian diplomats were expelled from Britain.

More Bullshit!

I just don't think a news conference in a foreign country is the right place to air that distrust.

That's your stupid opinion. It was a crappy presentation. And presentation for you means more than substance. You are NOT helping Derb.

Jon0815 , July 21, 2018 at 9:34 pm GMT
@PiltdownMan

Given that per capita GDP in Russia is about 3-4 times as high as when he took office, this is not surprising.

It's 8 times as high: $1330 in 1999 vs. $10,743 in 2017.

https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.PCA

As for its being an "economic non-entity among nations", it is a mid-sized economy, about the size of an Australia, Italy, India and so on, a $2 trillion economy, give or take, using the purchasing power parity figures.

It's a $4 trillion economy using the purchasing power parity figures (the same as Germany).

Colin Wright , Website July 21, 2018 at 9:54 pm GMT
' Our Ruling Class Is Crazy '

They're no longer our ruling class. That's why Trump drives them crazy. That he's in the White House rubs their nose in the fact.

Chris Mallory , July 21, 2018 at 10:41 pm GMT

our intelligence professionals are Americans,

And many of them are dual citizens, foreign nationals, immigrants or the children of immigrants, so they are not American at all. No one not a natural born citizen born to natural born citizens should be employed by the US government in any capacity, including the military.

romar , July 22, 2018 at 12:16 am GMT
@Andy

Mr. JD doesn't appear to keep up with the news about Russia Puzzling.
But even more puzzling: he believes the UK leaders nonsense about the "Skripals affair." A bad sign, indeed.
As for Trump's performance at Helsinki, I don't see why he should be pained by it: it was no worse than any of his previous shows.

And Putin was just his usual self: efficient and together. Trump did well to agree that Putin should present the summary of their talks, as there was no time for producing a written report for Trump to read. Putin had, as usual, taken notes during the two meetings.

What Trump said in his opening remarks was fine, and he sounded just right and convincing. The problem arose when he was answering questions, and he certainly shouldn't have run his intel down as he did, but in all fairness they don't deserve better.

Daniel Rich , July 22, 2018 at 5:21 am GMT
I wonder why nobody denounces the asking of idiotic questions, solemnly to embarrass the leader of another country [H.E. Mr. Putin] in front of an international audience ?
jilles dykstra , July 22, 2018 at 7:29 am GMT
With the exception of the period 1919 1933 the USA, that is, the ruling class, wanted to control the world. In this period the ideas of the ruling class, to be precise, were the same, but the people had enough of USA blood flowing for imperialism, neutrality laws came, the laws that FDR hated.

If trying to control the world is crazy, I wonder. Rome also then wanted to control the then known world, that is, the accessible parts. The British empire controlled 40% of the world, also the then accessible parts.

So when in fact one man blocks that the whole world is controlled, the ruling class assumes that after Russia had fallen China will fall too, I wonder if one can say they're crazy. If they are, then mankind has been crazy forever. A historian calculated that on thirteen years of war in Europe on average there were three years of peace.

If I'm right in my ideas on Trump, he's unique in world history, the first time the ruler of an empire sees that the empire can no longer be held, and acts accordingly. Those who still think the USA can conquer those parts of the world the USA does not yet control, are, of course are near a nervous breakdown. Panic is not good for thoughtful solutions, if one of these days Trump dies unexpectedly, from whatever cause, it will not surprise me. What is interesting, to understate, what the reaction will be among those who elected Trump.

El Dato , July 22, 2018 at 7:38 am GMT
@WorkingClass

Yeah, what happened to the Novichok story? Last I heard was that a person died 4 months after because she found a novichok dispenser somewhere, and the UK announced that after painstakingly combing through CCTV footage and Russian passenger records "they knew who did it".

animalogic , July 22, 2018 at 7:42 am GMT
Trump derangement syndrome makes idiots (greater idiots) of the establishment. These morons can't see that the alliance between Russia & China is THE greatest threat to US international ambitions. If appearances are correct Trump wishes to weaken that alliance – which is diplomacy 101. Trump has a multitude of faults, but his actions re Russia would possibly gain Bismarck's approval.
JL , July 22, 2018 at 10:14 am GMT
It seems this author can't overcome his Cold Warrior past of supporting (((Soviet dissidents))) against the evils of Communism so he believes what he wants about Russia and its current state. As others have pointed out here, if he's so wrong about Russia, he's probably getting a lot else wrong as well. Perhaps Unz should become no country for old men, and leave the revolution to the younger vanguard who seem much more reality based.
RVBlake , July 22, 2018 at 11:40 am GMT
Occupied Crimea and attacked Skripal? Hmmm. And intervened energetically in Syria? Pot, kettle?
El Dato , July 22, 2018 at 11:43 am GMT
Based commentary by Michael McCaffrey for RT: Captain America savages Trump in battle of the useful idiots He just left out Mr. Schwarzenegger's tweets. People playing tough guys doing shouty politics by short message, thinking they are what they pretend to be on stage. It's pretty liberal out there.
JohnRedburn , July 22, 2018 at 11:44 am GMT
@Miro23

I would add number 7: dismantle the monopoly on American media and internet. You're not going to have a functioning democracy when one small ethnic group controls a country's media. And expect the inevitable. A year ago legislators introduced a bill in Sweden to restrict media ownership to no more than 5% by any person, family, company or ethnic group. The Jews wasted no time screaming anti-semitism.

Miro23 , July 22, 2018 at 12:46 pm GMT
@JohnRedburn

And expect the inevitable. A year ago legislators introduced a bill in Sweden to restrict [total] media ownership to no more than 5% by any person, family, company or ethnic group. The Jews wasted no time screaming anti-semitism.

I can understand person, family and company but ethnic group? Do you mean minority ethnic group – or are ethnic Swedes not allowed to own more than 5% of their own media?

Jon Halpenny , July 22, 2018 at 1:23 pm GMT
The man who led the killing of the Romanovs. Yakov Yurovsky. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yakov_Yurovsky#Early_life
JMcG , July 22, 2018 at 1:27 pm GMT
@blahbahblah

The Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Warfare just issued a report last week stating that there is no evidence that chemical weapons were used in Syria. Another false flag. I really don't believe a word I read in the press any longer. I can't believe that anyone does. The left means to take and hold power and that's it. That idiot Andrew McCarthy from NR has just expressed astonishment that he could have been so naive as to believe in the integrity of the FISA warrant process. What a load of codswallop.

I, commenter , July 22, 2018 at 2:24 pm GMT
last year the BBC had a bunch of nostalgic puff pieces on the 1917 Revolution, this year all the press is silent about the murder of the Romanovs. The brutal murder of that family was a grisly foreshadow of what was essentially a government ran by a foreigners was to do to the Russian (and Ukrainian) people. and perhaps its a grisly foreshadow of what the globalists want to do to badwhites. also remember that 'revolution' was sponsored by many wall street firms, who made a ton of money liquidating the nobility's assets
Jon0815 , July 22, 2018 at 3:56 pm GMT
@FKA Max

That stratfor chart is outdated and already proven wrong: It projects a total Russian population of 137 million in 2020, but in 2018 Russia's population is 146 million (144 without Crimea), and it has been basically stable for years.

It's true that the Muslim share of Russia's population is rising, but it is doing so very slowly, because the fertility of Russia's Muslims isn't high (below replacement in every majority-Muslim region except Chechnya). It's currently something 1.9 children per woman for Muslims, vs. 1.6 for ethnic Russians, and will likely equalize long before Muslims are anywhere near a majority.

Muslims and the Chinese are taking over the south and east of Russia through high birth rates and (illegal) immigration.

The trope that Chinese are taking over Russia's east is complete nonsense. Chinese have little economic incentive to migrate north to Siberia, rather than south to the wealthy regions of their own country.

Beckow , July 22, 2018 at 4:19 pm GMT
@PiltdownMan

what the purpose of this somewhat jingoistic prefatory note is, or whom it is intended to placate

It is a ritual, so the purpose is to convey loyalty. It doesn't placate anyone. What it unfortunately does is to undermine all else Derbyshire says. If he is this uninformed, or conformist, about basic facts, how can one take what he says seriously?

gmachine1729 , Website July 22, 2018 at 5:52 pm GMT
@Andrei Martyanov

From his website ,

I'm about 65% Russian, 25% Lak (Dagestani), and 10% other (mostly Italian, Jewish).I have a degree in Political Economy from U.C. Berkeley.

Reminds me of http://infoproc.blogspot.com/2011/06/high-v-low-m.html . That Political Economy degree from Berkeley surely is a signal for that. I like humanities. Problem is a lot of US humanities is garbage, and if you have only a humanities degree from a US school, smart, knowledgable people will assume you to be problematic.

Maybe I come across as high V low M too, but I'm not, see https://gmachine1729.com/writings-by-category/pure-math/ . Yes, I also consider many people in programming and software engineering to be high V low M. I've seen Google senior engineers who don't even know what divergence or curl are.

utu , July 22, 2018 at 5:54 pm GMT
@Art Deco

https://www.jewishquarterly.org/issuearchive/articled325.html?articleid=38

Jewish activity in the porn industry divides into two (sometimes overlapping) groups: pornographers and performers. Though Jews make up only two per cent of the American population, they have been prominent in pornography. Many erotica dealers in the book trade between 1890 and 1940 were immigrant Jews of German origin. According to Jay A. Gertzman, author of Bookleggers and Smuthounds:The Trade in Erotica, 1920-1940 (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999), 'Jews were prominent in the distribution of gallantiana [fiction on erotic themes and books of dirty jokes and ballads], avant-garde sexually explicit novels, sex pulps, sexology, and flagitious materials'.

In the postwar era, America's most notorious pornographer was Reuben Sturman, the 'Walt Disney of Porn'. According to the US Department of Justice, throughout the 1970s Sturman controlled most of the pornography circulating in the country. Born in 1924, Sturman grew up in Cleveland's East Side. Initially, he sold comics and magazines, but when he realized sex magazines produced twenty times the revenue of comic books, he moved exclusively into porn, eventually producing his own titles and setting up retail stores. By the end of the 1960s, Sturman ranked at the top of adult magazine distributors and by the mid-70s he owned over 200 adult bookstores. Sturman also introduced updated versions of the traditional peepshow booth (typically a dark room with a small colour TV on which the viewer can view X-rated videos). It was said that Sturman did not simply control the adult-entertainment industry; he was the industry. Eventually he was convicted of tax evasion and other crimes and died, disgraced, in prison in 1997. His son, David, continued running the family business.

The contemporary incarnation of Sturman is 43-year-old Jewish Clevelander Steven Hirsch, who has been described as 'the Donald Trump of porno'. The link between the two is Steve's father, Fred, who was a stockbroker-cum-lieutenant to Sturman. Today Hirsch runs the Vivid Entertainment Group, which has been called the Microsoft of the porn world, the top producer of 'adult' films in the US. His specialty was to import mainstream marketing techniques into the porn business. Indeed, Vivid parallels the Hollywood studio system of the 1930s and 1940s, particularly in its exclusive contracts to porn stars who are hired and moulded by Hirsch. Vivid was the subject of a behind-the-scenes reality TV show recently broadcast on Channel 4.

Anonymous [128] Disclaimer , July 22, 2018 at 6:39 pm GMT
German Christians whose children are force-fed LGBT sex ed in schools and where home schooling is not permitted, and where parents will be arrested if they do not put their children in the schools, have sought asylum in Russia, and there have been more than a few of them, much as the media likes to ignore it. When the US no longer allows home-schooling, and forces their children into the schools, you will see the same thing happening in the US. Christian Americans will be seeking asylum in Russia

That is going to happen.

Anonymous [128] Disclaimer , July 22, 2018 at 7:02 pm GMT
When Trump said he considers Russia a "competitor", he was right. No truer words were ever spoken. But the only way to get Americans on board with the greedy plans of greedy people in and out of government is to demonize your "competitors."
WJ , July 22, 2018 at 7:48 pm GMT
"Naughty things in Syria"??? Saving the non crazies in Syria from jihadi lunatics is naughty? I suppose if you an Israeli, Saudi or US Democrat. To others , Russia was a savior. This writer appears to be auditioning for a return to NRO.
Art Deco , July 22, 2018 at 10:07 pm GMT
@Stick

Russia's economy is stillborn while China's is booming and feasting on America's assets and market.

Russia's per capita product exceeds China's. It hasn't been as economically dynamic as China (a 2-fold increase in per capita produce over 1998-2016, v. China's 3.3-fold), but it has done quite well and has satisfactory macroeconomic indicators across the board. It's export sector remains dominated by oil and minerals, there's an excess of state ownership in the economy, and there are some quality of life issues (street crime). Room for improvement, but not doing badly.

Avery , July 22, 2018 at 10:54 pm GMT
@Art Deco

{Russia's per capita product exceeds China's.}

Not by a whole lot (China=$8,800 vs Russia=$10,900 2017).
Also, China's huge GDP is divided by 1.38 billion people.
I doubt anything more than 200-300 million of those ~1.4 billion are involved in contributing anything significant to China' GDP. So their $12 trillion GDP is quite impressive.

Russia should be doing much, much better.

{It hasn't been as economically dynamic as China}

China's economic 'miracle' is largely thanks to America, like South Korea before, and like Japan before SK.

America opened up its rich, practically unlimited market to Chinese goods _and_ American companies were encouraged to setup shop in China ( .like in South Korea). Chinese are smart people and they learned, and over time started creating their own. You go to Home Depot or Lowes today and there is hardly _anything_ manufactured in US: it's all "Made in China".

Russia, on the other hand, is considered an enemy by US, so everything is done to thwart its economic progress. Russians are also at fault, but we cannot ignore the fact that China got a huge boost from the economically advanced West to get its (dynamic) economy going.

[Jul 22, 2018] Crooked Timber -- Out of the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing was ever made

Notable quotes:
"... The Origins of Totalitarianism ..."
"... By the way, I should note the date of that exchange with Jay: October 2008. We were still in the Bush era. The entire discussion -- of lies and facts, the disregard for facts, and such -- was framed by the Iraq War and the epic untruths that were told in the run-up to the war. It should give you a sense that the world of fake news that so many pundits seem to have suddenly awakened to as a newborn threat has been with us for a long time. The Bush era may seem like ancient history to some, but in the vast, and even not so vast, scheme of things, it was just yesterday. ..."
"... Once the facts aren't a threat to power, they can generally be revealed. ..."
"... Bush appeared confident the facts won't matter, after the invasion. They did matter–if you're just talking about the truth. The non-existence of the WMDs wasn't widely denied (though a few in the administration would try) –the fact was simply swept away because they weren't politically relevant anymore. ..."
"... Isn't that why everyone is saying we're in a 'post-truth' moment? ..."
"... Prior to this, an unsavory or humiliating or shameful or dangerous truth was extremely salient, and would be fuel for a response. It's partly the power of gaslighting – denying the obvious creates a sufficient level of confusion to let you keep going when normally others would stop you. ..."
"... I understand the difference between the two types of truth, truths of logic vs empirical facts that are contingent, but I think the difference between the liar and the sophist is mostly nonexistent. People who lie about empirical facts are also unwilling to follow chains of logic if they don't want to accept the necessary conclusion. ..."
Jul 22, 2018 | crookedtimber.org

As Hannah Arendt wrote in her 1951 book The Origins of Totalitarianism , "The ideal subject of totalitarian rule ... [are] people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction (ie the reality of experience) and the distinction between true and false (ie the standards of thought) no longer exist."

By the way, I should note the date of that exchange with Jay: October 2008. We were still in the Bush era. The entire discussion -- of lies and facts, the disregard for facts, and such -- was framed by the Iraq War and the epic untruths that were told in the run-up to the war. It should give you a sense that the world of fake news that so many pundits seem to have suddenly awakened to as a newborn threat has been with us for a long time. The Bush era may seem like ancient history to some, but in the vast, and even not so vast, scheme of things, it was just yesterday.


Ray Vinmad 07.16.18 at 8:11 am (no link)

"Should enough people come to believe the liar's claim, the facts about which he lies could be lost from the world forever. "

This isn't what happens, usually. When the interests connected to the lies change, then the truth is usually admitted. In the US, the truth often becomes irrelevant, even if real horrors are admitted to. Americans are fairly disinterested in the dirty particles of most of the nation's past.

Once the facts aren't a threat to power, they can generally be revealed.

That's not to say that certain false narratives won't be retained, but the revival of these is generally shaped to current interests, and even if lies are borrowed from the past, the main way they get a hold on the present is because they serve certain interests.

Bush appeared confident the facts won't matter, after the invasion. They did matter–if you're just talking about the truth. The non-existence of the WMDs wasn't widely denied (though a few in the administration would try) –the fact was simply swept away because they weren't politically relevant anymore.

In these cases, it seems that salience or irrelevance is a better way to understand what's driving the weak practical impact of the facts rather than truth or falsity.

Isn't that why everyone is saying we're in a 'post-truth' moment? Trump's trick is to make his story the salient story, and his denials have a way of disabling or thwarting action, even when people are fully aware of the truth. Except for the total fanatics, Trump's enablers are vaguely or even completely aware they are operating on a lie. What matters isn't that the claims are factual disprovable but that they drive action toward the pursuit of particular interests, and disable action that harms those interests.

Prior to this, an unsavory or humiliating or shameful or dangerous truth was extremely salient, and would be fuel for a response. It's partly the power of gaslighting – denying the obvious creates a sufficient level of confusion to let you keep going when normally others would stop you.

Faustusnotes 07.16.18 at 1:57 pm (no link)
There's something odious and misleading in the way you distinguish between types of truth and their role in politics, though I can't put my finger on it, and perhaps whatever error I can't quite describe might explain why you fell for Trump so neatly, but perhaps part of it can be easily seen here:

Having staked his presidency on the claim that Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction, he's going to have to wage war against Iraq in order to eliminate those weapons.

This gets the nature of Bush's lies completely wrong. He wanted to invade Iraq and he knew he could lie his way into it because of the way American politics rewards muscular action and militarism, and because of the recklessness of his political supporters. He didn't stake his presidency on a lie, he staked his presidency on a war and lied his way into it. In 2008 did you really believe bush had been sincere about his belief in wmds?

This definition of lies here seems weird and unnecessary.

Donald 07.16.18 at 4:18 pm (no link)
I understand the difference between the two types of truth, truths of logic vs empirical facts that are contingent, but I think the difference between the liar and the sophist is mostly nonexistent. People who lie about empirical facts are also unwilling to follow chains of logic if they don't want to accept the necessary conclusion.

That aside, I think politics is full of lies because the system collapses otherwise. I think this ties in with the endless debate people have here about Trump and Trump's opposition. Like Hidari in the other thread, I think Trump's war crimes ( listed below) are far more significant morally speaking than Russiagate, but in our political system collusion with a foreign power in dirty tricks during a political campaign is much easier to attack than war crimes and US complicity in genocide. Both political parties would collapse if we started holding politicians of both parties along with various government officials accountable. We have a functioning democracy by some definition of " functioning" precisely because we allow the biggest crimes to be treated as policy choices and not crimes, while pretending that the worst crime an American politician has or could commit would be to collude with a foreign power in stealing some emails to embarrass the other party.

For those curious, Trump's biggest war crimes are the bombing of civilians in Iraq and Syria and the assistance to the Saudi assault on Yemen. According to the Airwars site the killing of civilians by our bombs increased dramatically under Trump, probably because of loosened restrictions. The policy in Yemen continues what Obama did. In both cases it isn't just the President who is guilty, unless Obama and Trump singkehandedly carry out all functions of our government in the Mideast. Holding them accountable would mean holding a lot of other people accountable.

michael 07.16.18 at 6:06 pm (no link)
This is the first intelligent thing Robin has written, in my view. It also helps me formulate more explicitly some of my longstanding discomfort with Arendt, which is rooted in the way her predilection for natality leads her to posit a rather simplistic political ontology. After all, we do not enter politics with a given floor and horizon; politics is about which floor and which horizon does and should exist. This is what makes factual truth coercive: not its validity, but its tendency to impose rather than set out from a set of political givens. Which is to say, natality is always already operating within the status quo; it is not introduced there by "politics."
Orange Watch 07.16.18 at 6:17 pm ( 9 )
Anarcissie@5

Relatedly, I see striking similarities between an awful lot of public/political morality and virtue ethics, particularly agent-based formulations.

Hidari 07.16.18 at 6:41 pm ( 11 )
I know I have in the past quoted from Twitter (which would seem to be where the most interesting conversations are nowadays, as opposed to the blogosphere) but Branko Milanovic has some interesting insights (he also has the inestimable advantage of not coming from the UK/US/Australasia AKA the 'Anglosphere': he has more of a cosmopolitan sensibility).

https://twitter.com/BrankoMilan/status/1018218532994207746

His basic point is that you really can't understand Trump unless you look at what came before his (Frederic Jameson: 'Always historicise!'). Since Thatcher/Reagan (and Clinton and Blair were not really much different) we have been taught to look up to 'entrepreneurs' as 'wealth creators'. Or, to put it another way, to obsequiously grovel to semi-earned wealth and power. But politics, we were told, floated above the grubby world of 'material interests' like a soap bubble.

Trump tears the veil aside. He doesn't govern on behalf of capitalists as Thatcher/Blair and the rest did. He IS a capitalist. And he self-evidently became President to help his business interests (including, yes, those in Russia. But that's probably as far as the Russia thing goes). This is terribly disturbing for liberals, who have been taught to see 'capitalist' ('liberal' is normally the euphemism) 'democracy' as being merely a neutral description of the 'mode of production' of our current set up, as opposed to being a harsh description of political realities: politicians are allowed to govern insofar as their policies benefit capitalists.

Hence to talk about Trump lying is like talking about an advert 'lying'. Do adverts 'lie'? Of course to a certain extent. But then they were never supposed to tell the truth. Their purpose is to sell a product. Truth is irrelevant.

Every word that comes out of Trump's mouth is to help Trump PLC. It's true (sic) that some of his statements are false. But to assess it in these terms is like to point out that Heineken is not, in fact, probably the best lager in the world, or that one should not, in fact, necessarily Drinka Pinta Milka day.

Again, I think this is what disturbs people. Bush et al, consciously lied. Trump I don't think he knows what truth is, and I don't think he cares. What boosts profits that's what's good and true.What doesn't isn't good (or true).

But these are the value of capitalism, and Trump is, in this sense, the logical end product of where Western society has been heading since 1979 (1981 in the 'States).

Faustusnotes 07.17.18 at 12:21 am ( 12 )
Orange watch, the order of the claim seems important to me. Stumbling into a war because you told a lie about a possible cause of a war ends all the other options to deal with it dried up is one thing; setting up a war and lying your way into it is a different thing. Eg you decide to cheat on your wife and set up an incredibly thin lie to do it, versus you have a habit of lying to your wife that ultimately ends with you having a chance at an affair.

Also the empirical difference between these types of liar seems irrelevant. Everyone who lied about the true cause of the war also lied about basic facts like global warming. As the commitment to one kind of lie has grown so has the magnitude oft he other kind. Why waste time distinguishing? And why did Arendt? The liars of her time lied in both ways as well.

nastywoman 07.17.18 at 10:04 am ( 15 )
AND somebody -(even if it is "not actually being a U.S. citizen) needed to point to "the truth" of this:

"He wanted to invade Iraq and he knew he could lie his way into it" – as lying in politics is (sadly) nothing but "another tool" or "another strategy" to get what any -"political actor" (even some of the lesser evil) – want.

And the Sawyer-Bush example is about the best example for this fact:

"Sawyer: But stated as a hard fact, that there were weapons of mass destruction as opposed to the possibility that he [Saddam] could move to acquire those weapons.
Bush: So what's the difference?"

For somebody who wants to start a war – or wants to become US President? – and who realizes that the best "strategy" in ending up with "a war" or "becoming US President" -is lying -(day and night) – lying becomes just a a very "practical solution" – (especially if the liar is dealing with a bunch of people who might believe that "France isn't France anymore" – if just a Clownsticks tells them)

And I fear that by conflating the above described type of liar with "the type of liars described in the OP – WE may have allowed the virtues – or at least the charms – of the ones to obscure the vices of the others.

michael 07.17.18 at 7:56 pm ( 16 )
@ john c. halasz

In "Lying in Politics," Arendt writes:
A characteristic of human action is that it always begins something new, but this does not mean that it is ever permitted to start ab ovo, to create ex nihilo. In order to make room for one's own action, something that was there before must be removed or destroyed, and things as they were before are changed. Such change would be impossible if we could not mentally remove ourselves from where we are physically located and imagine that things might as well be different from what they actually are. In other words, the ability to lie, the deliberate denial of factual truth, and the capacity to change facts, the ability to act, are interconnected; they owe their existence to the same source, imagination."

So she directly links lying to natality. And this paragraph, like much of her work, describes what she takes to be the ontological conditions of politics. That is what she is doing when she invokes "something that was there before," furnishing the ground for action. And this in turn commits her to a view of the "already there" which is not itself political, as she herself defines the term.

Alan White 07.17.18 at 9:12 pm ( 17 )
JCH @ 13–

I completely agree that Stevenson likely has it all wrong meta-ethically. But my point was that I was offering an explanation to describe what Trump, Giuliani, etc. are engaging in, even if they don't know they're doing it. Emotivism is an attempt to explain what we usually denote as moral language and behavior. It maintains that moral language and action amount to the expression of emotional attitudes and nothing more. Therefore, beyond the fact that an individual or group has some attitudes, there is nothing left for morality to do but for individuals and groups to try and influence one another in attitude–to achieve agreement in attitude. Any means to do so–lies and bullshit–are legitimate to try and achieve agreement in attitude. Just listen to Trump's crowds. They don't care what he says, or what he does, they just feel that he "gets" how they feel–shared attitudes. If that's the case, then the Trump phenomenon might be best explained as reflecting a practical embrace of such expressivism. Again, I have no claim to anything approaching political expertise here–I'm just advancing a way of looking at the Trump phenomenon conceptually to see if it's at all helpful.

TM 07.19.18 at 9:24 am ( 18 )
16: "Such change would be impossible if we could not mentally remove ourselves from where we are physically located and imagine that things might as well be different from what they actually are. In other words, the ability to lie, the deliberate denial of factual truth, and the capacity to change facts, the ability to act, are interconnected; they owe their existence to the same source, imagination.""

This reminds me a lot of modern management speak: "Everybody said it was impossible until someone came along who didn´t know that .. and just did it!"

To me, Arendt's claim makes no sense. Yes, mentally removing oneself from reality to imagine a different one is difficult but it's not lying, it's not denial of reality. Imagination isn't synonymous with delusion. I'll counter this weird idealistic view with Rosa Luxemburg's materialism (quoting Ferdinand Lassalle):
"Wie Lassalle sagte, ist und bleibt es immer die revolutionärste Tat: "laut zu sagen, was ist"".

The most revolutionary act is to say loudly what is (what is true).

Btw Michael what do you mean by "natality"? It literally means birth rate, no?

J-D 07.19.18 at 11:52 am ( 19 )
Alan White

Any means to do so–lies and bullshit–are legitimate to try and achieve agreement in attitude.

It is empirically obvious that people use lies and bullshit in attempts to try and achieve agreement in attitude; but the statement quoted is made different from that empirical observation by the introduction of the word 'legitimate', which in this context is moral language. Those who affirm that it is legitimate to use lies and bullshit to achieve agreement in attitude reveal their moral bankruptcy. On an emotivist theory, that statement expresses my moral attitude; what I have to say about that is that yes, it does express my moral attitude, and if your moral attitude differs from mine on that point, what do you suggest we do about it?

alfredlordbleep 07.19.18 at 3:21 pm ( 20 )
Dominoes

Arendt's NYRB piece, kindly linked @13, holds this very interesting nugget [for footnoting -- see original]:
As regards the domino theory, first enunciated in 1950 and permitted to survive, as it has been said, the "most momentous events": To the question of President Johnson in 1964, "Would the rest of Southeast Asia necessarily fall if Laos and South Vietnam came under North Vietnam control?" the CIA's answer was, "With the possible exception of Cambodia, it is likely that no nation in the area would quickly succumb to Communism as a result of the fall of Laos and South Vietnam." When five years later the Nixon Administration raised the same question, it "was advised by the Central Intelligence Agency that [the United States] could immediately withdraw from South Vietnam and 'all of Southeast Asia would remain just as it is for at least another generation.' "According to the study, "only the Joint Chiefs, Mr. Rostow and General Taylor appear to have accepted the domino theory in its literal sense,"and the point here is that those who did not accept it still used it not merely for public statements but as part of their own premises as well.

[Jul 19, 2018] America Overrules Trump No Peace with Russia by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

Notable quotes:
"... The governments of Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea, if their countries are to survive, must give up their deluded hopes of reaching agreements with the United States. No such possibility exists on terms that the countries can accept. ..."
"... American foreign policy rests on threat and force. It is guided by the neoconservative doctrine of US hegemony, a doctrine that is inconsistent with accepting the sovereignty of other countries. ..."
"... The Russians -- especially the naive Atlanticist Integrationists -- should take note of the extreme hostility, indeed, to the point of insanity, directed at the Helsinki meeting across the entirety of the American political, media, and intellectual scene ..."
"... There is no support for Trump's agenda of peace with Russia in the US foreign policy arena. The president of the Council on Foreign Relations, Richard Haass, spoke for them all when he declared that "We must deal with Putin's Russia as the rogue state it is." Russia is a " rogue state" simply because Russia does not accept Washington's overlordship. ..."
"... There is no support even in Trump's own government for normalizing relations with Russia unless the neoconservative definition of normal relations is used. By normal relations neoconservatives mean a vassal state relationship with Washington. That, and only that, is "normal." Russia can have normal relations with America only on the basis of this definition of normal. Sooner or later Putin and Lavrov will have to acknowledge this fact. ..."
"... A lie repeated over and over becomes a fact. That is what has happened to Russiagate. Despite the total absence of any evidence, it is now a fact in America that Putin himself put Trump in the Oval Office. That Trump met with Putin at Helsinki is considered proof that Trump is Putin's lackey, as the New York Times and many others now assert as self-evident. That Trump stood next to "the murderous thug Putin" and accepted Putin's word that Russia did not interfere in the election of the US president is regarded as double proof that Trump is in Putin's pocket and that the Russiagate story is true. ..."
Jul 19, 2018 | www.globalresearch.ca

The governments of Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea, if their countries are to survive, must give up their deluded hopes of reaching agreements with the United States. No such possibility exists on terms that the countries can accept.

American foreign policy rests on threat and force. It is guided by the neoconservative doctrine of US hegemony, a doctrine that is inconsistent with accepting the sovereignty of other countries. The only way that Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea can reach an agreement with Washington is to become vassals like the UK, all of Europe, Canada, Japan, and Australia.

The Russians -- especially the naive Atlanticist Integrationists -- should take note of the extreme hostility, indeed, to the point of insanity, directed at the Helsinki meeting across the entirety of the American political, media, and intellectual scene. Putin is incorrect that US-Russian relations are being held hostage to an internal US political struggle between the two parties. The Republicans are just as insane and just as hostile to President Trump's effort to improve American-Russian relations as the Democrats, as Donald Jeffries reminds us .

The American rightwing is just as opposed as the leftwing. Only a few experts, such as Stephen Cohen and Amb. Jack Matlock , President Reagan's ambassador to the Soviet Union, have spoken out in support of Trump's attempt to reduce the dangerous tensions between the nuclear powers. Only a few pundits have explained the actual facts and the stakes.

There is no support for Trump's agenda of peace with Russia in the US foreign policy arena. The president of the Council on Foreign Relations, Richard Haass, spoke for them all when he declared that "We must deal with Putin's Russia as the rogue state it is." Russia is a " rogue state" simply because Russia does not accept Washington's overlordship. Not for any other reason.

There is no support even in Trump's own government for normalizing relations with Russia unless the neoconservative definition of normal relations is used. By normal relations neoconservatives mean a vassal state relationship with Washington. That, and only that, is "normal." Russia can have normal relations with America only on the basis of this definition of normal. Sooner or later Putin and Lavrov will have to acknowledge this fact.

A lie repeated over and over becomes a fact. That is what has happened to Russiagate. Despite the total absence of any evidence, it is now a fact in America that Putin himself put Trump in the Oval Office. That Trump met with Putin at Helsinki is considered proof that Trump is Putin's lackey, as the New York Times and many others now assert as self-evident. That Trump stood next to "the murderous thug Putin" and accepted Putin's word that Russia did not interfere in the election of the US president is regarded as double proof that Trump is in Putin's pocket and that the Russiagate story is true.

[Jul 19, 2018] The Russian US Election Meddling Big Lie Won't Die by Stephen Lendman

Notable quotes:
"... Propaganda works, proved effective time and again – why it's a key tool in America's deep state playbook. ..."
"... Virtually anything repeated enough, especially through the major media megaphone, gets most people to believe it – no matter how preposterous the claim. ..."
"... Normalized relations with Russia and world peace are anathema notions in Washington. Bipartisan neocons infesting the US political establishment want none of it. America's hegemonic aims matter most – wanting dominance over planet earth, its resources and populations. Endless wars of aggression, color revolutions, and other unlawful practices harmful to human rights and welfare are its favored strategies. ..."
Jul 19, 2018 | www.globalresearch.ca

Propaganda works, proved effective time and again – why it's a key tool in America's deep state playbook.

Virtually anything repeated enough, especially through the major media megaphone, gets most people to believe it – no matter how preposterous the claim.

Not a shred of evidence suggests Russia meddled in America's political process – nothing.

Yet an earlier NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showed most Americans believe the Russia did it Big Lie. A months earlier Gallup poll showed three-fourths of Americans view Vladimir Putin unfavorably.

Americans are easy marks to be fooled. No matter how many times they were deceived before, they're easily manipulated to believe most anything drummed into their minds by the power of repetitious propaganda – fed them through through the major media megaphone – in lockstep with the official falsified narrative.

America's dominant media serve as a propaganda platform for US imperial and monied interests – acting as agents of deception, betraying their readers and viewers time and again instead of informing them responsibly.

CNN presstitute Poppy Harlow played a clip on air of Reuters reporter Jeff Mason asking Putin in Helsinki the following question:

"Did you want President Trump to win the election and did you direct any of your officials to help him do that?"

Putin said: "Yes," he wanted Trump to win "because he talked about bringing the US-Russia relationship back to normal," as translated from his Russian language response.

Here's the precise translation of his remark:

"Yes, I wanted him to win, because he talked about the need to normalize US-Russia relations," adding:

"Isn't it natural to have sympathy towards a man who wants to restore relations with your country? That's normal."

Putin did not address the fabricated official narrative notion that he directed his officials to help Trump win. Yet CNN's Harlow claimed otherwise, falsely claiming he ordered Kremlin officials to help Trump triumph over Hillary.

He did nothing of the kind or say it, nor did any other Kremlin officials. No evidence proves otherwise – nothing but baseless accusations supported only by the power of deceptive propaganda.

Time and again, CNN, the NYT, and rest of America's dominant media prove themselves untrustworthy.

They consistently abandon journalism the way it's supposed to be, notably on geopolitical issues, especially on war and peace and anything about Russia.

After rejecting, or at least doubting, the official narrative about alleged Russian meddling in the US political process to aid his election, Trump backtracked post-Helsinki – capitulating to deep state power.

First in the White House, he said he misspoke abroad – then on CBS News Wednesday night, saying it's "true," deplorably adding:

Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election, and he "would" hold Russian President Vladimir Putin responsible for the interference – that didn't occur, he failed to stress.

Here's his verbatim exchange with CBS anchor Jeff Glor :

GLOR: "You say you agree with US intelligence that Russia meddled in the election in 2016."

TRUMP: "Yeah and I've said that before, Jeff. I have said that numerous times before, and I would say that is true, yeah."

GLOR: "But you haven't condemned Putin, specifically. Do you hold him personally responsible?"

TRUMP: "Well, I would, because he's in charge of the country. Just like I consider myself to be responsible for things that happen in this country. So certainly as the leader of a country you would have to hold him responsible, yes."

GLOR: "What did you say to him?"

TRUMP: "Very strong on the fact that we can't have meddling. We can't have any of that – now look. We're also living in a grown-up world."

"Will a strong statement – you know – President Obama supposedly made a strong statement. Nobody heard it."

"What they did hear is a statement he made to Putin's very close friend. And that statement was not acceptable. Didn't get very much play relatively speaking. But that statement was not acceptable."

"But I let him know we can't have this. We're not going to have it, and that's the way it's going to be."

There you have it – Trump capitulating to America's deep state over Russia on national television.

From day one in power, he caved to the national security state, Wall Street, and other monied interests over popular ones.

The sole redeeming part of his agenda was wanting improved relations with Russia and Vladimir Putin personally – preferring peace over possible confrontation, wanting the threat of nuclear war defused.

Despite tweeting post-Helsinki that he and Putin "got along well which truly bothered many haters who wanted to see a boxing match," his remarks on CBS News showed he'll continue dirty US business as usual toward Russia.

Anything positive from summit talks appears abandoned by capitulating to deep state power controlling him and his agenda.

Normalized relations with Russia and world peace are anathema notions in Washington. Bipartisan neocons infesting the US political establishment want none of it. America's hegemonic aims matter most – wanting dominance over planet earth, its resources and populations. Endless wars of aggression, color revolutions, and other unlawful practices harmful to human rights and welfare are its favored strategies.

Will Americans go along with sacrificing vital freedoms for greater security from invented enemies – losing both? Will US belligerent confrontation with Russia inevitably follow? Will mushroom-shaped denouement eventually kill us all?

*

Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the CRG, Correspondent of Global Research based in Chicago.

VISIT MY NEW WEB SITE: stephenlendman.org ( Home – Stephen Lendman ). Contact at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net .

My newest book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III. http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html "

[Jul 19, 2018] Trump-Putin summit induced the neoliberal ruling classes hysteria or How to Stop Worrying and Love the New McCarthyism

So it appears America and democracy have miraculously survived the dreaded Trump-Putin summit or Trump's meeting with his Russian handler, as the neoliberal ruling classes and their mouthpieces in the corporate media would dearly like us all to believe. NATO has not been summarily dissolved. Poland has not been invaded by Russia.
Jul 18, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

Extracted from: Trump's Treasonous Traitor Summit or How Liberals Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the New McCarthyism by CJ Hopkins

So it appears America and democracy have miraculously survived the dreaded Trump-Putin summit or Trump's meeting with his Russian handler, as the neoliberal ruling classes and their mouthpieces in the corporate media would dearly like us all to believe. NATO has not been summarily dissolved. Poland has not been invaded by Russia.

The offices of The New York Times , The Washington Post , CNN, and MSNBC have not been stormed by squads of jackbooted Trumpian Gestapo.

The Destabilization of the Middle East, the Privatization of Virtually Everything, the Conversion of the Planet into One Big Shopping Mall, and other global capitalist projects are all going forward uninterrupted. Apart from Trump making a narcissistic, word-salad-babbling jackass of himself, which he does on a more or less daily basis, nothing particularly apocalyptic happened.

And so, once again, Western liberals, and others obsessed with Donald Trump, having been teased into a painfully tumescent paroxysm of anticipation of some unimaginably horrible event that would finally lead to Trump's impeachment (or his removal from office by other means) were left standing around with their hysteria in their hands. It has become a sadistic ritual at this point like a twisted, pseudo-Tantric exercise where the media get liberals all lathered up over whatever fresh horror Trump has just perpetrated (or some non-story story they have invented out of whole cloth), build the tension for several days, until liberals are moaning and begging for impeachment, or a full-blown CIA-sponsored coup, then pull out abruptly and leave the poor bastards writhing in agony until the next time which is pretty much exactly what just happened.

In the days and weeks leading up to the summit, the global capitalist ruling class Resistance deployed every weapon in its mighty arsenal to whip the Western masses up into a frenzy of anti-Putin-Nazi fervor. While continuing to flog the wildly popular baby concentration camp story (because the Hitler stimulus never fails to elicit a Pavlovian response from Americans, regardless of how often or how blatantly you use it), the corporate media began hammering hard on the "Trump is a Russian Agent" hysteria. (Normally, the corporate media alternates between the Hitler hysteria and the Russia hysteria so as not to completely short-circuit the already scrambled brains of Western liberals, but given the imminent threat of a peace deal , they needed to go the whole hog this time and paint this summit as a secret, internationally televised assignation between Hitler and well, Hitler).

[Jul 18, 2018] US Media is Losing Its Mind Over Trump-Putin Press Conference

Notable quotes:
"... Special to Consortium News ..."
"... was no longer online ..."
"... If you enjoyed this original article please consider making a donation to Consortium News so we can bring you more stories like this one. ..."
Jul 18, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

Consortiumnews Volume 24, Number 199 -- –Independent Investigative Journalism Since 1995 -- –July 18, 2018

US Media is Losing Its Mind Over Trump-Putin Press Conference July 16, 2018 • 316 Comments

The media's mania over Trump's Helsinki performance and the so-called Russia-gate scandal reached new depths on Monday, says Joe Lauria

By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News

The reaction of the U.S. establishment media and several political leaders to President Donald Trump's press conference after his summit meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday has been stunning.

Writing in The Atlantic , James Fallows said :

" There are exactly two possible explanations for the shameful performance the world witnessed on Monday, from a serving American president.

Either Donald Trump is flat-out an agent of Russian interests -- maybe witting, maybe unwitting, from fear of blackmail, in hope of future deals, out of manly respect for Vladimir Putin, out of gratitude for Russia's help during the election, out of pathetic inability to see beyond his 306 electoral votes. Whatever the exact mixture of motives might be, it doesn't really matter.

Or he is so profoundly ignorant, insecure, and narcissistic that he did not realize that, at every step, he was advancing the line that Putin hoped he would advance, and the line that the American intelligence, defense, and law-enforcement agencies most dreaded.

Conscious tool. Useful idiot. Those are the choices, though both are possibly true, so that the main question is the proportions never before have I seen an American president consistently, repeatedly, publicly, and shockingly advance the interests of another country over those of his own government and people."

As soon as the press conference ended CNN cut to its panel with these words from TV personality Anderson Cooper: "You have been watching perhaps one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president at a summit in front of a Russian leader, surely, that I've ever seen."

David Gergen, who for years has gotten away with portraying himself on TV as an impartial political sage, then told CNN viewers:

" I've never heard an American President talk that way but I think it is especially true that when he's with someone like Putin, who is a thug, a world-class thug, that he sides with him again and again against his own country's interests of his own institutions that he runs, that he's in charge of the federal government, he's in charge of these intelligence agencies, and he basically dismisses them and retreats into this, we've heard it before, but on the international stage to talk about Hillary Clinton's computer server "

" It's embarrassing," interjected Cooper.

" It's embarrassing," agreed Gergen.

Cooper: "Most disgraceful performance by a US president."

White House correspondent Jim Acosta, ostensibly an objective reporter, then gave his opinion: "I think that sums it up nicely. This is the president of the United States essentially taking the word of the Russian president over his own intelligence community. It was astonishing, just astonishing to be in the room with the U.S. president and the Russian president on this critical question of election interference, and to retreat back to these talking points about DNC servers and Hillary Clinton's emails when he had a chance right there in front of the world to tell Vladimir Putin to stay the HELL out of American democracy, and he didn't do it."

In other words Trump should just shut up and not question a questionable indictment, which Acosta, like nearly all the media, treat as a conviction.

The Media's Handlers

The media's handlers were even worse than their assets. Former CIA director John Brennan tweeted : "Donald Trump's press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of 'high crimes & misdemeanors,.' It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump's comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???"

Here's where the Republican Patriots are, Brennan: " That's how a press conference sounds when an Asset stands next to his Handler," former RNC Chairman Michael Steele tweeted.

Representative Liz Cheney, the daughter of the former vice president, said on Twitter: " As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I am deeply troubled by President Trump's defense of Putin against the intelligence agencies of the U.S. & his suggestion of moral equivalence between the U.S. and Russia. Russia poses a grave threat to our national security."

All these were reactions to Trump expressing skepticism about the U.S. indictment on Friday of 12 Russian intelligence agents for allegedly interfering in the 2016 U.S. presidential election while he was standing next to Russian President Vladimir Putin at the press conference following their summit meeting in Helsinki.

" I will say this: I don't see any reason why it would be" Russia, Trump said. "I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today."

The indictments, which are only unproven accusations, formally accused 12 members of the GRU, Russian military intelligence, of stealing Democratic Party emails in a hacking operation and giving the materials to WikiLeaks to publish in order to damage the candidacy of Trump's opponent, Hillary Clinton. The indictments were announced on Friday, three days before the summit, with the clear intention of getting Trump to cancel it. He ignored cries from the media and Congress to do so.

Over the weekend Michael Smerconish on CNN actually said the indictments proved that Russia had committed a "terrorist attack" against the United States. This is in line with many pundits who are comparing this indictment, that will most likely never produce any evidence, to 9/11 and Pearl Harbor. The danger inherent in that thinking is clear.

Putin said the allegations are "utter nonsense, just like [Trump] recently mentioned." He added: "The final conclusion in this kind of dispute can only be delivered by a trial, by the court. Not by the executive, by the law enforcement." He could have added not by the media.

Trump reasonably questioned why the FBI never examined the computer servers of the Democratic National Committee to see whether there was a hack and who may have done it. Instead a private company, CrowdStrike, hired by the Democratic Party studied the server and within a day blamed Russia on very dubious grounds.

" Why haven't they taken the server?" Trump asked. "Why was the FBI told to leave the office of the Democratic National Committee? I've been wondering that. I've been asking that for months and months and I've been tweeting it out and calling it out on social media. Where is the server? I want to know, where is the server and what is the server saying?"

But being a poor communicator, Trump then mentioned Clinton's missing emails, allowing the media to conflate the two different servers, and be easily dismissed as Gergen did.

At the press conference, Putin offered to allow American investigators from the team of special counsel Robert Mueller, who put the indictment together, to travel to Russia and take part in interviews with the 12 accused Russian agents. He also offered to set up a joint cyber-security group to examine the evidence and asked that in return Russia be allowed to question persons of interest to Moscow in the United States.

" Let's discuss the specific issues and not use the Russia and U.S. relationship as a loose change for this internal political struggle," Putin said.

On CNN, Christiane Amanpour called Putin's clear offer "obfuscation."

Even if Trump agreed to this reasonable proposal it seems highly unlikely that his Justice Department will go along with it. Examination of whatever evidence they have to back up the indictment is not what the DOJ is after. As I wrote about the indictments in detail on Friday:

" The extremely remote possibility of convictions were not what Mueller was apparently after, but rather the public perception of Russia's guilt resulting from fevered media coverage of what are after all only accusations, presented as though it is established fact. Once that impression is settled into the public consciousness, Mueller's mission would appear to be accomplished."

Still No 'Collusion'

The summit begins. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

The indictments did not include any members of Trump's campaign team for "colluding" with the alleged Russian hacking effort, which has been a core allegation throughout the two years of the so-called Russia-gate scandal. Those allegations are routinely reported in U.S. media as established fact, though there is still no evidence of collusion.

Trump emphasised that point in the press conference. "There was no collusion at all," he said forcefully. "Everybody knows it."

On this point corporate media has been more deluded than normal as they clutch for straws to prove the collusion theory. As one example of many across the media with the same theme, a New York Times story on Friday , headlined, "Trump Invited the Russians to Hack Clinton. Were They Listening?," said Russia may have absurdly responded to Trump's call at 10:30 a.m. on July 27, 2016 to hack Clinton's private email server because it was "on or about" that day that Russia allegedly first made an attempt to hack Clinton's personal emails, according to the indictment, which makes no connection between the two events.

If Russia is indeed guilty of remotely hacking the emails it would have had no evident need of assistance from anyone on the Trump team, let alone a public call from Trump on national TV to commence the operation.

More importantly, as Twitter handle "Representative Press" pointed out: "Trump's July 27, 2016 call to find the missing 30,000 emails could not be a 'call to hack Clinton's server' because at that point it was no longer online . Long before Trump's statement, Clinton had already turned over her email server to the U.S. Department of Justice." Either the indictment was talking about different servers or it is being intentionally misleading when it says "on or about July 27, 2016, the Conspirators attempted after hours to spearphish for the first time email accounts at a domain hosted by a third party provider and used by Clinton's personal office."

This crucial fact alone, that Clinton had turned over the server in 2015 so that no hack was possible, makes it impossible that Trump's TV call could be seen as collusion. Only a desperate person would see it otherwise.

But there is a simple explanation why establishment journalists are in unison in their dominant Russian narrative: it is career suicide to question it.

As Samuel Johnson said as far back as 1745: "The greatest part of mankind have no other reason for their opinions than that they are in fashion since vanity and credulity cooperate in its favour."

Importance of US-Russia Relations

Trump said the unproven allegation of collusion "has had a negative impact upon the relationship of the two largest nuclear powers in the world. We have 90 percent of nuclear power between the two countries. It's ridiculous. It's ridiculous what's going on with the probe."

The American president said the U.S. has been "foolish" not to attempt dialogue with Russia before, to cooperate on a range of issues.

"As president, I cannot make decisions on foreign policy in a futile effort to appease partisan critics or the media or Democrats who want to do nothing but resist and obstruct," Trump said. "Constructive dialogue between the United States and Russia forwards the opportunity to open new pathways toward peace and stability in our world. I would rather take a political risk in pursuit of peace than to risk peace in pursuit of politics."

This main reason for summits between Russian and American leaders was also ignored: to use diplomacy to reduce dangerous tensions. "I really think the world wants to see us get along," Trump said. "We are the two great nuclear powers. We have 90 percent of the nuclear. And that's not a good thing, it's a bad thing."

Preventing good relations between the two countries appears to be the heart of the matter for U.S. intelligence and their media assets. So Trump was vilified for even trying.

Ignoring the Rest of the Story

Obsessed as they are with the "interference" story, the media virtually ignored the other crucial issues that came up at the summit, such as the Middle East.

Trump sort of thanked Russia for its efforts to defeat ISIS. "When you look at all of the progress that's been made in certain sections with the eradication of ISIS, about 98 percent, 99 percent there, and other things that have taken place that we have done and that, frankly, Russia has helped us with in certain respects," he said.

Trump here is falsely taking credit, as he has before, for defeating ISIS with only some "help" from Russia. In Iraq the U.S. led the way against ISIS coordinating the Iraqi and Kurdish security forces. But in the separate war against ISIS in Syria, Russia, the Syrian Arab Army, Kurdish forces, Iranian troops and Hizbullah militias were almost entirely responsible for ISIS' defeat.

A grand deal? (Photo: Sputnik)

Also on Syria, Trump appeared to endorse what is being reported as a deal between Russia and Israel in which Israel would accept Bashar al-Assad remaining as Syrian president, while Russia would work on Iran to get it to remove its forces away from the northern Golan Heights, which Israel illegally considers its border with Syria.

After a meeting in Moscow last week with Putin, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he accepted Assad remaining in power.

" President Putin also is helping Israel," Trump said at the press conference. "We both spoke with Bibi Netanyahu. They would like to do certain things with respect to Syria, having to do with the safety of Israel. In that respect, we absolutely would like to work in order to help Israel. Israel will be working with us. So both countries would work jointly."

Trump also said that the U.S. and Russian militaries were coordinating in Syria, but he did not go as far as saying that they had agreed to fight together there, which has been a longstanding proposal of Putin's dating back to September 2015, just before Moscow intervened militarily in the country.

" Our militaries have gotten along probably better than our political leaders for years," Trump said. "Our militaries do get along very well. They do coordinate in Syria and other places."

Trump said Russia and the U.S. should cooperate in humanitarian assistance in Syria.

" If we can do something to help the people of Syria get back into some form of shelter and on a humanitarian basis that's what the word was, a humanitarian basis," he said. "I think both of us would be very interested in doing that."

Putin said he had agreed on Sunday with French President Emmanuel Macron on a joint effort with Europe to deliver humanitarian aid. "On our behalf, we will provide military cargo aircraft to deliver humanitarian cargo. Today, I brought up this issue with President Trump. I think there's plenty of things to look into," Putin said.

Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former correspondent for T he Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe , Sunday Times of London and numerous other newspapers. He can be reached at joelauria@consortiumnews.com and followed on Twitter @unjoe .

If you enjoyed this original article please consider making a donation to Consortium News so we can bring you more stories like this one.

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Show Comments


Gary Weglarz , July 18, 2018 at 1:06 am

I'm really hard pressed to come up with anything to be optimistic about given the dire nature of our current global and national predicaments combined with the bat-sheet crazy nature of our current version of the mass psyche. About the only bright spot I can find is that it is really encouraging to read the overall high quality of the comments here at CN, which suggest that I can look forward to taking part in some wonderful future conversations in "the camps."

Susan Sunflower , July 17, 2018 at 9:36 pm

new Reuters poll: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-russia-voters/majority-of-americans-think-trump-mishandling-russia-reuters-ipsos-poll-idUSKBN1K72T1?utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Twitter

AnthraxSleuth , July 17, 2018 at 10:15 pm

What an unbelievably slanted poll.

"The Reuters/Ipsos poll gathered responses from 1,011 registered voters throughout the United States, including 453 Republicans and 399 Democrats. The poll has a credibility interval, a measure of precision, of 4 percentage points."

Independents/anaffiliated make up more than 42% of the registered voters currently in the USA.

irina , July 17, 2018 at 11:09 pm

"medium = Social / source = Twitter"

Babyl-on , July 17, 2018 at 9:35 pm

I think we should take heart that they are such a small group – loud yes, they have the corporate press, but it is not a big group and they have already lost the narrative. This has to be the end for them, they have no political support for impeachment after all this screeching articles can't even get introduced mostly the "resistance" isn't even trying – they know they don't have evidence.

The scream these words TREASON and COLLUSION but they are powerless politically to do anything. So a "treasonous" president goes on. Clearly they are at their wits end their heads have actually exploded. The powerful "liberal" cabal which has run Washington for decades is disintegrating before there very eyes. Clinton is the witch – Trump is the water.

A , July 17, 2018 at 11:33 pm

Okay , I get it, I will go down , but I am not going down by the orange shit head. You guys win, you wanted your Cheeto to give us some love, and tax breaks , favorable trade deals, get rid of people like me , be besties with Russia, kill everyone from central America. Cool. You guys win. I hope you are happy , apparently you have achieved what you wanted.

Jessika , July 17, 2018 at 8:45 pm

Thanks, Drew and Realist, i just read Finian Cunningham's essay at Information Clearing House. Yes, this is indeed scary. It does appear a coup is being planned. All the more reason for us to speak up. The thought of Mike Pence is scarier than Trump.

willow , July 17, 2018 at 9:30 pm

I was a Sanders supporter and donor who voted for Trump because he promised diplomacy, whereas Hillary wanted a no-fly zone in Syria, and her proven track record of supporting illegal regime change in Iraq, Honduras, Libya, Ukraine and Syria. She was a faux progressive and ultimate racist in that she has the blood of countless brown people (mostly women and children) on her hands. What is really scary and disheartening is that the pro-WW3 propaganda seems to be working if the reader comments from the NYT and WaPo are accurate gauges of public perception. The verdict of commenters in corporate media websites is unanimous: Trump is a traitor for committing the crime of détente. Consortium news readers are informed because we search truth in alternative media. I hope it's not naïve to believe we are the silent majority and most Americans still possess the common sense and critical thinking skills necessary to see through the hysteria even if they don't venture to sites like Consortium news.

AnthraxSleuth , July 17, 2018 at 10:19 pm

Don't worry yourself too much. The highest rated MSM news shows only garner about 1.2 million viewers. That's far less than 1% of the American population.
The MSM fancy themselves what they have not been in decades; Relevant.

Jessika , July 17, 2018 at 7:44 pm

That was good, mrbt (not enough vowels for me). Yes, we are in a jalopy headed for a cliff. Instead we get a cliffhanger with this Mueller intel fiasco. I misspoke with the bank bailout, of course, it was 2009 just after Obama got into office; he told those banksters, "I'm the only one between you and the pitchforks". Now it seems like we're on a roller coaster ready to jump the track!

mrtmbrnmn , July 17, 2018 at 7:33 pm

This disgraceful and obscene display of pants-wetting by the MSM over the Trump-Putin meeting and press conference was pre-planned and essentially pre-scripted to advance the deep state regime change op against Trump (and ultimately Putin). I was trying to imagine these journalistic malpracticers prepped to embarrass and humiliate Obama in a similar setting by asking questions like: "Mr Obama, which do you prefer, watermelon or chicken bones?"

It is clear beyond doubt that we are helpless passengers in the back seat of the out of control jalopy that is America, barreling helter skelter down the highway bound to hell and total collapse. The Dementedcrats need to get off the crack pipe and the unconscionable CIA thug John Brennan might benefit from a frontal lobotomy to get him to chill out.

irina , July 17, 2018 at 8:32 pm

the best description i've read of this insanity is : 'the MSM is (p-faced) drunk on its own p . . . " with appreciation to the commentor who wrote that !

It sounds like Lisa Page is, unlike Strzok (remember him, from late last week ?) cooperatively providing information which might implicate China as the 'party which got the 30,000 emails'. Perhaps this is what Trump & Putin talked about ? In which case, The Donald's walking back his press conference comments may be only a temporary feint. If true, Lisa will need excellent protection and a new name !

irina , July 17, 2018 at 8:38 pm

Link to above :

https://truepundit.com/fbi-lisa-page-dimes-out-top-fbi-officials-during-classified-house-testimony-bureau-bosses-covered-up-evidence-china-hacked-hillarys-top-secret-emails/

If true, that would make a nice hangover for the MSM !

Jessika , July 17, 2018 at 7:29 pm

Something big may be in the works, as Stephen says. Now Veterans Today says that a move on Iran by the US was discussed at Helsinki, and they think that Putin would capitulate in some sort of trade-off -- what, to get off their backs? Putin is much smarter than that. Zero Hedge just reports that Russia has dumped all their US Treasury bonds, further stating that Russia's close ties to China indicate a trial run on the market preparatory to China dumping their pile, too. What many feel the big event is really another economic meltdown, as nothing was done in the 2008 Obama crisis except bail out the banks, which went right back to their chicanery. The western Deep State always sets up for war to divert attention from internal crisis.

Deniz , July 17, 2018 at 6:59 pm

I get far more concerned when the press, intelligence agencies and various other DC gangsters lavish praise on Trump. Judging by their reactions, it seems likely that Trump must have actually brought us closer to peace.

Jessika , July 17, 2018 at 6:46 pm

Stephen J, excellent verse as usual, "Blame It On Putin". It was reported that "the lights went out" in the White House when Trump did his U-turn on Russian election meddling. Was that supposed to be symbolic of something?

Stephen J. , July 17, 2018 at 7:06 pm

Thanks Jessika. I believe something big is in the works. The powers that be have had things their own way for so long. The corporate media monopoly are their mouthpieces and are barking like dogs in a frenzy in case they lose their bones. The bones being the millions dead from planned wars and blood soaked profits that attained to the corporate cannibals. Enemies are needed to continue the corrupt system. The War Criminals are getting desperate, the gangsters war is just starting. Unfortunately we are all Prisoners of "Democracy"
https://graysinfo.blogspot.com/2017/07/the-prisoners-of-democracy.html

Antiwar7 , July 17, 2018 at 6:22 pm

David Gergen says Trump acts "against his [Trump's] own country's interests of his own institutions [including] these intelligence agencies."

There's the rub, isn't it? The interests of our country and of those institutions: are they the same?

Susan Sunflower , July 17, 2018 at 6:59 pm

Also worth, sorry for broken record but, using Trump's unique "awfulness" as justification for vigilante-style "trial in the press" or manipulated/propagandized "public opinion" there's a deep deep antidemocratic anti-due process or rule-of-law desperation here which has had "liberal" (or "illiberal") precedent we've already seen in "political correctness" and #metoo (emanating from the "progressive camp" often justified by the awfulness / despicable-ness of those they despise.

This is a very very sad devolution (or arguably the unmasking) of the Democratic Party (I vote the latter).

mike k , July 17, 2018 at 6:13 pm

Trump mumbled some sort of half maybe apology about questioning Russian meddling. But he will contradict that apology just as quickly. They are really having trouble pinning this guy down on anything. His enemies want to nail him, but he just keeps moving. For a fat guy, he is pretty nimble.

Jessika , July 17, 2018 at 5:52 pm

Now, Trump says he misspoke and "accepts US intel on Russian election meddling"! I guess he got anothet 'trip to the woodshed', as Skip Scott has often said. James Howard Kunstler is right, it's a "Clusterfuck Nation". Well, the Russians are smart enough never to trust the US.

irina , July 17, 2018 at 9:49 pm

He got the truth out first and for that I have to give him kudos.
He probably knew backtracking and its attendant issues was
Inevitable. Very nice that power went out while he said he misspoke.

as WaPo itself says, "Truth Dies in Darkness".

Drew Hunkins , July 17, 2018 at 5:18 pm

Look, this is getting frightening.

Never in my lifetime have I witnessed a group think/mob mentality like what's occurring over Russiagate and the overriding Russophobia fueling it all. This is washing over virtually all planks of the political spectrum. We just had a damaged and awful president try to do one of the very few things he actually gets right: make rapprochement with Moscow; he was subsequently browbeaten, smeared and viciously attacked by every single mainstream Western media outlet on the planet. Not just news media, but also the entertainment media are completely on board -- Kimmel, Fallon, Colbert, Maddow, etc.

To say one kind word about Putin or the modicum of detente that Trump just unsuccessfully tried to pull off is to be mocked, ridiculed, scoffed at and laughed at by liberal leaning friends, colleagues and acquaintances.

The militarist-corporate propaganda during the run-up to the 2003 Iraq War pales in comparison to this new and scary McCarthyism that has permeated everything.

I'm 47 y.o. and never experienced anything like this.

The liberal intelligentsia who are falling for this and propagating this have some of the hottest places in heII waiting for them.

Deniz , July 17, 2018 at 5:31 pm

If you think the overwhelming majority of the US cares about what the press and politicians think, then I would suggest you spend less time with Democrats. I dont agree with many Republican platforms, but on the reliability of media, they are far more prescient than the Democrats. I wonder if it is because they have more first-hand knowledge than the Democrats because they tend to send their kids to the meat grinder oil, wars more frequently than Democrats.

Drew Hunkins , July 17, 2018 at 5:40 pm

The best thing we have going right now Deniz is the cynical and skeptical attitude of much the hardworking American population.

The Russians certainly aren't the ones who foisted this unconscionable inequality on the U.S. population, nor was it the Russians who caused the American heartland to deteriorate into a wasteland of service sector employment and Oxy dependence. It wasn't Putin who mired recent American college grads in deplorable debt in the range of $30,000 to $400,000, nor was it Putin who demanded that millions of Americans go without adequate healthcare coverage.

It's economic inequality and it's political enablers who are stalking the towns and cities of America, not the Russian military.

John P , July 17, 2018 at 6:37 pm

That is the real problem, so why arn't kids, their parents and the poor out on the streets like those of my generation during the Vietnam war stiring things up. Is it social media which kills the urge to go out and protest and make yourself heard? Get the money and business influence out of modern day politics, Raise hell !

irina , July 17, 2018 at 8:15 pm

There was a DRAFT during the Vietnam war. That made a huge difference.
And, I think we were actually better informed than today's young people.
Bringing the war live into people's living rooms was New Thing back then,
and we paid attention. Now, we are habituated and just tune out bad news,
unless it happens to be a domestic shooting spree or other home turf stuff.

willow , July 17, 2018 at 9:36 pm

Irina below is right. The draft was the difference. People would wake up and engage if we had the draft. We have an economic draft today. It's the only option for poor and lower class kids who will never afford college. It's unfortunate that identity politics doesn't include the socioeconomic bias of targeting of poor kids being used as cannon fodder

irina , July 17, 2018 at 11:12 pm

And moreover, the draft was based on a birthdate lottery.

All in the luck of the draw. (And of course, economic standing
since there were college deferments, etc. etc.)

Realist , July 17, 2018 at 5:49 pm

I'm 71, Drew, and can tell you that the darkest days of the Vietnam War were not as scary. Our power structure has taken McCarthyism as practiced during the Korean Conflict and doubled down on it, directing its kinetics at the office of the presidency. This is as close to a civil war or an actual coup d'etat that I have ever seen, much more divisive and explosive than Nixon and Watergate. Someone claiming authority they do not have may soon make a move against Trump. They've stirred up enough hate by the mob to mask their motives.

Drew Hunkins , July 17, 2018 at 6:02 pm

Thanks for kicking some historical info to this Gen Xer. You make some very interesting (and quite scary) points.

Over at 'Information Clearing House' the always excellent Finian Cunningham has just penned a dynamite and trenchant essay on a possible pending coup against Trump.

Realist , July 17, 2018 at 6:32 pm

Thanks. I always read your spot-on posts at the ICH website, Drew.

Drew Hunkins , July 17, 2018 at 8:36 pm

Thanks Realist.

In solidarity,

Drew Hunkins
Madison, WI

Dave P. , July 17, 2018 at 7:13 pm

Yes. This excellent article by Finian Cunningham really nails it.

Monoloco , July 17, 2018 at 6:49 pm

Trump derangement syndrome is so powerful, it turns liberals into neocons.

KiwiAntz , July 17, 2018 at 7:27 pm

Drew your absolutely correct, this is a unprecedented groupthink & dangerous propaganda on a scale that's never existed before! It's mass hysteria on steroids! And all because of the simple fact that Trump, a man who was never supposed to win the Election over the anointed candidate, crooked Hillary Clinton occurred! Trump must be removed by a slow motion coup by any means possible? Whether it's by undermining his authority or belittering his character. If that doesn't work they will take the JFK removal method? As Stalin stated, death is the solution to all problems, no man, no problem? It's frightening where all this fake Russiagate nonsense is going to lead us, it's almost as if they want to start the next great extinction event by starting WW3 & a Nuclear War with Russia? The arrogance of America & its Deepstate, Propagandist MSM & political system is going to be the death of us all!

Miranda Keefe , July 17, 2018 at 4:58 pm

I guess Trump is now caving into the Deep State and the media.

Maybe he's afraid if he doesn't he'll die of a 'heart attack'- no way they'd do it with a bullet from a patsy- they don't want him to be a martyr.

https://www.facebook.com/CBSNews/videos/10155975560905950/?t=20

Banger , July 17, 2018 at 4:08 pm

I don't know that to say. Whatever was left of the republic is either gone or doomed. If we have a mainstream media that is so nakedly attempting a coup d'état or calling for one with such universal fury based on little evidence and just embroidering one myth over another then I will have to just focus my energy elsewhere. My comrades on most of the left have, despite decades of proof that the media is deeply dishonest and constantly howling for one war after another the only hope is to batten down the hatches and just survive the next decade through local efforts. The sad part is I oppose many of Trump's policies but this isn't about policies–this is about re-invigorating American militarism and imperialism.

I've been around a lot of crises but nothing like this madness.

Stephen J. , July 17, 2018 at 3:53 pm

As usual the "media impostors" and propaganda pushers blame Putin.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -
January 10, 2017
"Blame It" On Putin

There is endless wars and devastation around the world
Western war criminals have their war banners unfurled
Millions dead and many millions uprooted
And the financial system is corrupted and looted
"Blame it" on Putin

The war criminals are free and spreading bloody terror
And their dirty propaganda says Putin is an "aggressor"
These evil plotters of death and destruction
Should be in jail for their abominable actions
But, "Blame it" on Putin.

The American election is won by Donald Trump
Hillary Clinton loses and gets politically dumped
The media is frenzied and foaming at their mouths
They are crying and lying, these corporate louts
They "Blame it" on Putin

Hollywood, too, is getting in on the act
The B.S. merchants are able to twist facts
In their fantasy world of channel changers
They do not approve of a political stranger
They "Blame it" on Putin

The spymasters and their grovelling politicians
All agree that "their democracy" is "lost in transmission"
Their comfortable and controlled system is now in danger
And these powerful parasites are filled with anger
They "Blame it" on Putin

One loose canon talks and babbles of "an act of war"
Could nuclear hell be started by a warmongering whore?
If the madmen of the establishment get their way
Could we all be liquidated in the nuclear fray?
"Blame it" on Putin

There is no doubt that the ruling class
Are all worried about saving their ass
Could there be huge changes and still more coming?
Is the sick and depraved society finally crumbling?
Hey, "Blame it" on Putin
[more info at link below]
http://graysinfo.blogspot.com/2017/01/blame-it-on-putin.html

Susan Sunflower , July 17, 2018 at 3:46 pm

This just in: (NYT headline / top of page)

Trump Backtracks on Russian Meddling
Under Fire, He Says He Accepts U.S. Intelligence Reports

Susan Sunflower , July 17, 2018 at 4:03 pm

and then
Guardian:

Trump flips – then flips again – a day after downplaying Russian interference
President says he supports US intelligence consensus on 2016 election – but then says 'it could be other people also'

(oh, nevermind)

Miranda Keefe , July 17, 2018 at 5:39 pm

I heard him say that. He meant that Russia did it and others could also have been involved.

Will , July 17, 2018 at 3:30 pm

Perhaps New York magazine has it right? "The president isn't a traitor: He's just constitutionally incapable of processing simple information, or prioritizing the national interest above his own egoistic desires." or more maybe New York's earlier article from last week suggesting Trumpkin has been a Russian intelligence asset since 1987 is true.

One thing's for sure: Trumpkin borrowed 100's of millions from shady Russian bankers and other oligarchs, some of whom seem to have laundered a bunch of money through Trump's real estate holdings by buying condos for dollars on the penny. If you foliks don't see that as being at least somewhat on the same level as Dick Cheney holding those un-exercised Halliburton stock options at the time Haliburton was servicing the Iraq invasion

michael , July 17, 2018 at 7:06 pm

Or Hillary exchanging access to the State department for donations

Gregory Herr , July 17, 2018 at 7:40 pm

"Cheney has pursued a political and corporate career to make himself very rich and powerful. He is the personification of a war profiteer who slid through the revolving door connecting the public and private sectors of the defense establishment on two occasions in a career that has served his relentless quest for power and profits."

https://www.commondreams.org/views05/1117-22.htm

Profiting from the death and destruction of a heinous war of aggression that Cheney himself played a key role in instigating can in no way be compared with shady business dealings. I harbour disdain for shady businessmen who cheat property owners, honest contractors or workers. But that type of wrongdoing pales in comparison to the wicked malfeasance of Cheney (or the Bush family for that matter).

Before you "process" any more simple "information" from New York magazine Will, I suggest you take note of the GIGO truism and check yourself for leakage.

Jerry Alatalo , July 17, 2018 at 3:28 pm

It seems President Lenin Moreno of Ecuador might have the perfect solution for his "problem" in London.

Free Julian Assange, Allow him to walk out of the Ecuadorian Embassy with all the proper rights available for any innocent man or woman on Earth.

Immediately upon Mr. Assange's exit, allow William (Bill) Browder to enter and occupy the same room at the Ecuadorian Embassy – whereupon Mr. Browder will reside at that address until July 2024, punished under the identical treatment and conditions as Julian Assange.

"Problem solved" – President Moreno!

David Otness , July 17, 2018 at 2:50 pm

Not much to say but the USA has gone bat-shit cray-cray.
I'm going to be delighted to be excised from many so-called "friends" – friends of mob mentality.
The US media and Intel complex have induced a national psychosis and a likely Constitutional crisis.
Keep yer powder dry.

Susan Sunflower , July 17, 2018 at 3:04 pm

I'd guess half the country considers this -- in the end -- just more partisan theatrics sad to suspect that they actually are the "sane ones" It's ennui versus cynicism as to which is more deadly .

KiwiAntz , July 17, 2018 at 7:47 pm

The scary thing is, Americans second amendment right to bear arms against enemies both domestic & foreign! There's a Edward Abbey saying that a days "a Patriot must always be ready to defend his Country against his Govt"! How long will it be before American citizens reach a tipping point where they recognise that it's enemies are its own domestic leaders & institutions such as the false corporate propagandist MSM & corrupt Politicians in both Republican & Democratic Parties who are undermining & sabotaging their human rights as free people! How long will it be before they say enough's enough we can't stomach this anymore?

Larry Gates , July 17, 2018 at 2:37 pm

In the Odyssey a witch-goddess named Circe turned Odysseus' men into pigs. I think Trump is a modern day sorcerer. In the GOP primaries he turned his more intelligent and more experienced competitors into incoherent cartoon characters. He has done the same to the entire Democratic establishment, and he has done it to the entire mainstream press. There is no effective opposition because politicians and the media have become stark-raving mad – wild swine, just as dangerous as the monster they oppose. We are in America's darkest hour and only half the blame goes to the vulgarian in the White House.

The Ministry of Truth has declared that seeking détente with Russia is an act of treason. And peace is war. Long live Oceania!

jsinton , July 17, 2018 at 6:14 pm

I love it.

BobS , July 17, 2018 at 2:37 pm

The POTUS stood on foreign soil and announced to the world that the leader of one of our historical adversaries was more credible than the US intelligence services.
If it walks like a traitorous duck, and quacks like a traitorous duck, ..

anon , July 17, 2018 at 4:25 pm

Then it is a traitorous troll.

Gregory Herr , July 17, 2018 at 7:47 pm

That's rich! Do please grace us with an explanation as to why "credible" is an adjective aptly applied to either the FBI or the CIA.

Dario Zuddu , July 17, 2018 at 2:33 pm

Excellent piece. Fortunately, there is still someone here retaining sanity.
The only thing I have to add is that, most regrettably, it is not only the media and opportunistic politicians that have lost their minds on this matter.
Large segments of the public appear to have too.
Just take a look at the readers' comments on the very same type of press coverage that is indicted by Mr. Lauria.
They overwhelmingly level the same one sided, unbalanced, shallow, wrong-headed and hysterical attacks on Trump as the press articles they comment – and for the same completely questionable reasons.
Accusations of Trump "surrendering to Putin", being a "traitor" for siding with Russia instead of the US intelligence community (on a totally unproven matter, by the way; and since when the US intelligence community is necessarily more reliable than foreign leaders on these matters?) are the norm in the readers' comment (as well as in the mostly recommended ones).
Incredibly, the same public that lambasted at the intelligence community for its appalling record on Iraq, now does not even want to consider that same community's obvious self interest in Russia-bashing.
In the USA, who stands the most to loose from a possible pacification of foreign relations with the biggest military counterpart, i.e., well, Russia?
This question just rings as troubling now as it did at the onset of the cold war.
Yet, nobody seems to wonder it.

Banger , July 17, 2018 at 4:23 pm

It's just over for those of us on the old left. The Orwellian nature of the media has taken hold and we are powerless against it. We have a population utterly uncurious of facts or history, logic or science, rationality or erudition. It's over. People want to belong, want to share their anger at whatever enemy there is no matter how ludicrous is that threat from the enemy. This is how the oligarch has decided to use Trump's election–first to divide us on tribal grounds and second to invent some enemy that uses all the mythology of Hollywood villains with Russian accents. It's working and it means the oligarchs are unassailable and now are able to control public opinion with a bunch of gestures on the screen and the population will bark on command. Goebbels is, somewhere, cackling with delight.

We will be lucky if we avoid war, fortunately the professional military understands the situation much better than the civilian leaders and have put brakes on our drift into permanent major war everywhere.

Paula Densnow , July 17, 2018 at 2:19 pm

The US media tries to browbeat Trump into saying that he stole the 2016 election with the help of Putin, and when he refuses to do that, they call him a traitor.
We live in an insane asylum.

Will , July 17, 2018 at 3:31 pm

No, trump is clearly a traitor.

Beard681 , July 17, 2018 at 9:07 pm

To who? The military industrial complex? Bill Browder who renounced his citizenship to avoid Taxes? Certainly not average US people for whom Russia poses no credible threat.

Robin Harper , July 17, 2018 at 10:31 pm

Gee, if this is all made up, explain this: (And keep in mind, to get an indictment, you MUST have proof.)

The full list of known indictments and plea deals in Mueller's probe:

Total of indictments (so far) – 35.

1) George Papadopoulos, former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, pleaded guilty in October to making false statements to the FBI.

2) Michael Flynn, Trump's former national security adviser, pleaded guilty in December to making false statements to the FBI.

3) Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign chair, was indicted in October in Washington, DC on charges of conspiracy, money laundering, and false statements -- all related to his work for Ukrainian politicians before he joined the Trump campaign. He's pleaded not guilty on all counts. Then, in February, Mueller filed a new case against him in Virginia, with tax, financial, and bank fraud charges.

4) Rick Gates, a former Trump campaign aide and Manafort's longtime junior business partner, was indicted on similar charges to Manafort. But in February he agreed to a plea deal with Mueller's team, pleading guilty to just one false statements charge and one conspiracy charge.

5-20) 13 Russian nationals and three Russian companies were indicted on conspiracy charges, with some also being accused of identity theft. The charges related to a Russian propaganda effort designed to interfere with the 2016 campaign. The companies involved are the Internet Research Agency, often described as a "Russian troll farm," and two other companies that helped finance it. The Russian nationals indicted include 12 of the agency's employees and its alleged financier, Yevgeny Prigozhin.

21) Richard Pinedo: This California man pleaded guilty to an identity theft charge in connection with the Russian indictments, and has agreed to cooperate with Mueller.

22) Alex van der Zwaan: This London lawyer pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI about his contacts with Rick Gates and another unnamed person based in Ukraine.

23) Konstantin Kilimnik: This longtime business associate of Manafort and Gates, who's currently based in Russia, was charged alongside Manafort with attempting to obstruct justice by tampering with witnesses in Manafort's pending case this year.

24-35) 12 Russian GRU officers: These officers of Russia's military intelligence service were charged with crimes related to the hacking and leaking of leading Democrats' emails in 2016.

Two ex-Trump advisers lied to the FBI about their contacts with Russians:
Michael Flynn Mario Tama/Getty

No, Trump didn't 'steal' the election. The presidency was handed to him – by Putin.

skipNclair , July 17, 2018 at 2:01 pm

The US media lost its mind long ago.

didi , July 17, 2018 at 1:46 pm

What has happened on this trip of President Trump is simple. The axis Washington-EU/NATO has been thrown under the bus., It has been replaced by the axis Washington-Moscow. Whether that is a cause to rejoice remains to be seen. Rejoicing now is wildly premature. Axes can break.
There will be expectations of better lives by the Russian people. What if that does not happen? There have been far more uprisings and revolutions in Russian history than in ours.

lizzie dw , July 17, 2018 at 1:34 pm

To respond to one commenter's suggestion that the US get rid of the electoral college; if one looked at the map of the US on post-election morning, one saw that practically the entire country was coloured red – only the coasts were blue. If we went the "popular vote" route, every president would be elected by the coastal states because that is where most of the people live. The coastal population does not represent the country. In my opinion, since we want to have a representative government we need the electoral college so that each state gets to vote. The people in each state can direct the vote of their state.

didi , July 17, 2018 at 1:51 pm

Sorry Lizzie. The population of all states represent our nation. That is why the vote count, while it does not elect the President and Vice President, is not wholly without meaning. Governing totally against the views of the majority of voters implies that they are wrong and stupid. That is my view. It is also arrogant.

strngr-tgthr , July 17, 2018 at 2:32 pm

Thanks you! The MAJORITY should ALWAYS rule. There should be no acceptions especially for President of the United States. Too few people speak this TRUTH! In this day an age there is no reason to have any system or institutions in place that does not speak for the MAJORITY! Electoral College down!

Susan Sunflower , July 17, 2018 at 2:52 pm

Never heard of the "tyranny of the majority", eh? It's a genuine problem with democracy it's quite possible that many issues would never have reached majority status -- slavery would never have been abolished (so much fuss about a regional "peculiar institutution"),

""The notion of the tyranny of the majority was popularised by the 19th century political thinkers Alexis de Tocqueville (Democracy in America) and John Stuart Mill (On Liberty). It refers to a situation in which the majority enforces its will on a disadvantaged minority through the democratic process.""

The vote of far too many would be rendered irrelevant if there were no proportional representation mechanism in place too much of those disenfranchised by the elimination of the electoral college are already amongst the have-nots of our country, at the further hungry end of income inequality (some do better than other by providing "services" -- vacation homes/destinations and cheap labor -- to the oligarchs. -- those coasts are where the money and jobs are wealth

Susan Sunflower , July 17, 2018 at 3:08 pm

handy maps . Trump won 85% of the land mass .
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/11/16/us/politics/the-two-americas-of-2016.html

JoeD , July 17, 2018 at 3:12 pm

The electoral college DOES NOT prevent the "tyranny of the majority" because you do not have equal voting. If every state cast the same number of votes then you have equal voting. Because each state has different number of electoral votes based on their populations, candidates can spend their time in a few states while ignoring others.

A national popular vote restores equality

A national popular vote means 3rd party candidates can win because there is no more electoral strategy or asinine argument of red state / blue state.

Realist , July 17, 2018 at 5:12 pm

We've never had such a system, wise guy. The Senate is inherently undemocratic, based on states' rights, not one man one vote. Moreover, judges are not elected but appointed by the executive and confirmed by the legislature. Having the president chosen by the Congress, as is done in all parliamentary systems, would be "tidier" ("fairer?") than the present system, but we've lived with this mess since 1789 and several times have been governed by a "minority president" without the world coming to an end. The rules were no excuse for a coup d'etat then, nor are they now.

michael , July 17, 2018 at 7:22 pm

The Constitution allows Amendments to change with changing times. The vote has been given to free men without property, freed slaves and women. More than 10% of Presidents did not win the plurality of votes. If people truly want their votes to count more, they can work to amend the Constitution, or vote with their feet and move to states where their votes count more.
A much bigger issue is the lack of proportional voting practiced by most real Democracies around the world. Gerrymandering districts can result in the party getting the least votes (of the two) in a state still winning the most representatives. Proportional voting would eliminate this problem, but was outlawed by LBJ in favor of first-past-the-post, winner takes all Districts.

Jim in NH , July 17, 2018 at 3:18 pm

Sorry, Didi, but our federal constitutional republican form of government is neither stupid nor arrogant.

It is a well designed construct that binds together the entire nation, not only the people but the states, into an organic being. The electoral college consciously factors in the fact that we are a union of states, not only a union of "demos" (people). That is why the "New Jersey plan" at the Federal Convention was a high point in your high school civics class. The states are intended to mean something in our federal republican form of government.

Indeed, for those who view the massive growth of our federal government into an imperial hegemon over the past century or so, it is no small coincidence that the balance constructed by the founders was tipped in favor of Washington, and BIG MONEY, by the passage of the 17th Amendment in 1912. That amemdment (for the popular election of Senators instead of their being appointed by state legislatures as written in the constitution) inexorably led to the growth of our imperial state; immediately thereafter came the passage of the Federal Reserve Act, enactment of a the personal income tax to replace import tariff's to fund the federal government, our engagement in WW 1, and increasing alliance with the British Empire that lasts today in our "special relationship", the NATO alliance, and the Anglo American hegemon.

It is also no coincidence that the root source of "Russia-gate" and "Trump Derangement Syndrome" is a sustained effort by British Intelligence, in cahoots with US deep state intelligence that works not for the people of the US but for the Anglo-American empire of western capital centered on Wall Street and the medieval City of London. That is why the "golden shower dossier" was written by a British intelligence officer (Steele), that the basis for the deep state rat Strzok to spy on Trump was an Australian "diplomat" (read spy) Downer, friend of the globalist Clintons, and US deep state intelligence operatives attempted entrapment of Trump campaign supporters (such as by Stefan Halper, an Mi-6 and CIA asset).

The entire attack to undermine the results of the Electoral College triumph of Donald Trump is directed by Anglo-American deep intelligence assets, working for the globalist western capitalist cabal, that cannot permit a mere president to alter their globalist plans; ergo, deep state rats Brennan and 10 hand picked analysts come up with "Russian collusion", unleasigh Mueller (protector of the Whitey Bulger Winter Hill Gang), Strzok, Rosenstein, etc. to to find a basis to neuter, if not impeach, the constitutionally elected President.

Indeed, Pres. Washington foresaw such an eventuality of foreign influence tainting our Republic; see his Farewell Address at Paragraphs 32-39. Indeed, his prescience amazing; read these warnings:

"So likewise, a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite
nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing
into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without
adequate inducement or justification. It leads also to concessions to the favorite nation of privileges denied to others which
is apt doubly to injure the nation making the concessions; by unnecessarily parting with what ought to have been retained,
and by exciting jealousy, ill-will, and a disposition to retaliate, in the parties from whom equal privileges are withheld. And it
gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens (who devote themselves to the favorite nation), facility to betray or
sacrifice the interests of their own country, without odium, sometimes even with popularity; gilding, with the appearances of
a virtuous sense of obligation, a commendable deference for public opinion, or a laudable zeal for public good, the base or
foolish compliances of ambition, corruption, or infatuation.

As avenues to foreign influence in innumerable ways, such attachments are particularly alarming to the truly enlightened
and independent patriot. How many opportunities do they afford to tamper with domestic factions, to practice the arts of
seduction, to mislead public opinion, to influence or awe the public councils. Such an attachment of a small or weak towards
a great and powerful nation dooms the former to be the satellite of the latter.

Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow-citizens) the jealousy of a free people
ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of
republican government. But that jealousy to be useful must be impartial; else it becomes the instrument of the very influence
to be avoided, instead of a defense against it. Excessive partiality for one foreign nation and excessive dislike of another
cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on
the other. Real patriots who may resist the intrigues of the favorite are liable to become suspected and odious, while its
tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interests."

Indeed, if any nation can be found to be interfering in our domestic politics and seeking to influence the actions of the President, or more precisely to have him removed from power, it's not Russia, its the United Kingdom.

Susan Sunflower , July 17, 2018 at 3:59 pm

Interesting, thank you. I will read up on the 17th. I've blamed the "federalization" of politics for a lot of the apparent decline in citizen interest in Democracy as state and local influence "on people's lives" seemed to have been ceded over to the fed not entirely a bad thing (when it comes to civil rights, equal opportunity and federal funding for stuff states could never afford) still, I think something encouraged a complacent electorate even if the educational values of unions (voting for your interests rather than against) signifies.

backwardsevolution , July 17, 2018 at 4:31 pm

Jim in NH – brilliant post! Thank you. Everybody should read it.

Fred , July 17, 2018 at 10:08 pm

If three million more voted for Hillary than Trump, then majority of voters are wrong and stupid. Good thing the Electoral College saved us from ourselves.

Dave P. , July 18, 2018 at 1:26 am

A very good observation indeed.

BobS , July 17, 2018 at 2:42 pm

" one saw that practically the entire country was coloured red – only the coasts were blue."
Right, "only the coasts". The ones where nearly 50% of the US population live.

irina , July 17, 2018 at 8:09 pm

And that 50% mostly live in big cities which would not survive long
without the rural areas which provide the resources to support them.

Fred , July 17, 2018 at 10:09 pm

They actually think food comes from the supermarket Irina.

irina , July 17, 2018 at 11:17 pm

And you buy it with EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) cards.

JoeD , July 17, 2018 at 3:06 pm

The coasts were not blue. Clinton got the west coast. Trump won most of the east: FL, GA, SC, NC and they split Maine. Trump won 30 out of 50 states. There were also less people who voted in 2016 than did in 2012 and in 2008.

So it does not follow Clinton would win if there was a National Popular vote.

Susan Sunflower , July 17, 2018 at 3:22 pm

It's actually worse than it appears on a state-by-state map Clinton won densely populated areas of California, but on a precinct by precinct map https://www.citylab.com/equity/2017/04/is-this-the-ultimate-2016-presidential-election-map/521622/ (note says map was an "amateur effort" but there may be others) ..

Our electoral system(s) have very serious problems voter access (and apathy) and gerrymandering probably top the list, but that "neoliberal income inequality" appears to color/overlay everything

Bob Van Noy , July 17, 2018 at 1:33 pm

Great article and commentary CN, many thanks. There is an excellent comment by Craig Murray at his site and one should not miss the commentary there either

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/07/detente-bad-cold-war-good/#tc-comment-title

Jamie , July 17, 2018 at 1:20 pm

Liberals should be ashamed of themselves. They voted a Russian bribery hag Hillary and now go far-right John Birch in drumming up war with Russia -- just because Trump hurt their feelings by beating Hillary. Sad!

Susan Sunflower , July 17, 2018 at 12:42 pm

couple of polls .
from the Atlantic: https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/07/poll-prri-republican-democratic-voter/565328/
appears to be at 68% for democrats, / 22% for Republicans

from Gallop (H/T Dave Sirota Twitter): https://news.gallup.com/poll/1675/most-important-problem.aspx (bit unsure of unsure of date, looks like May 2018) (doesn't reach full integer)

I was impressed on the eve of 2016 election how ineffective Clinton's constant beating on Obama's drum wrt to Russia-Russia-Russia had been I don't remember the polls but the numbers for "major concern" iirc were low, around maybe 12% (after months and months)

I think the media is drunk on their own piss . I remember feeling frustrated when Gore (who had a better case for "stolen electoin" imho) walked away my suspicion is that on completion of the Mueller inquiry this is going backfire badly . even if Manafort gets decades in prison for money laundering

Anon , July 17, 2018 at 12:22 pm

Debate: Is Trump-Putin Summit a "Danger to America" or Crucial Diplomacy Between Nuclear Powers?

Glenn Greenwald and another thoughtful dude, Joe Cirincione. All substance and strong disagreements without shouting or personal attacks.

Greenwald:

I also think that that last point that Joe made is actually an important one, and it does put people like me into a difficult position, which is, you know, on the one hand, of course I don't think that Donald Trump is well intentioned and is going to have the diplomatic skill to negotiate complicated new agreements of trade and of arms control with very sophisticated regimes like the one in North Korea, or at least complicated regimes in North Korea, or in Russia. On the other hand, as we've been discussing, unfortunately, he's the only game in town. There is nobody else who's saying that we ought to question NATO. Democrats, when you say we ought to question NATO, act like you've committed blasphemy. There is nobody else talking about tariffs and the unfairness of free trade agreements, except for a couple of fringe people within the Democratic Party. Just like this week, when he said that the European Union was a foe, what he said was something that for a long time on the left was really kind of just uncontroversial orthodoxy, which is that of course the European Union is an economic competitor of the U.S., and a lot of what their trade practices are do harm the American worker. We put up barriers against Chinese products entering the U.S., and yet the EU buys them and then sells them into the U.S., indirectly helping China circumvent those barriers in a way that directly harms U.S. workers. This is something that people like Robert Reich and Sherrod Brown and Bernie Sanders have been talking about for a long time. So it does make it very difficult when the only person who's raising these kinds of issues and talking about these things-we need to get along better with Russia and China, we need to reform these old, archaic, destructive institutions-is a megalomaniac, somebody who's completely devoid of any positive human virtue, which is Donald Trump. So it puts you in the position of kind of trying to agree with him, while knowing that he's really not going to be able to do anything about those in a positive way.

On the other hand, I don't feel comfortable being aligned with people like Bill Kristol and David Frum and all of those Bush-era hawks who are now the best friends of MSNBC and the Democratic Party, either, because they're not well intentioned, either. And so, what I try and do is use Donald Trump and the kind of shifting alliances, that we started off by talking about, to open up a lot of the debates, that will remain closed if you only look at U.S. politics through the prism of the 2016 election and Republicans versus Democrats. And I think the most important point is the one that, as I said, Joe made just this week, which is that until the Democratic Party figures out-and this is true not just of Democrats but of center-left parties all throughout Europe and here in Brazil-until they figure out how again to reconnect, not with the highly educated class and the rich and the metropolitan enclaves, but with the working class of these countries, that feel trampled on and ignored, and for that reason are turning to demagogues, we're going to have more Donald Trumps and worse Donald Trumps, not just in the United States, but throughout the world. And that is, for me, the greatest problem that we face politically

Democracy Now

Part One – There's an intro of about 2 min before debate starts:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BK_D4yaTae4

Part Two
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1iq_c3AyGs

TIEDE , July 17, 2018 at 11:03 am

This is the best article I've read on the topic, hands down.

Realist , July 17, 2018 at 11:38 am

No question about that, TIEDE, but considering the pitifully low standards applied to what emanates from the wreckage of the American mass media, Mr. Lauria really didn't have much competition to beat. Of course, no matter how deserved, he will not be winning any Pulitzers, since mediocre groupthink, especially of the warmongering variety, is the new standard of excellence in American letters.

Susan Sunflower , July 17, 2018 at 12:45 pm

As others have noted, it "treason" isn't impeachable, what is? If not now, when?

Should we go off and invade Somalia in retaliation? The anti-Trump/Democrats are undermining their own credibility -- not to mention the press, whose credibility might reach nosedive if they still had much of an audience .

More ridiculous than GWB after 09/11 . which reminds me that Trump keeps reminding me of want-to-share-a-beer-with GWB but stupider and with less "fund of knowledge"

Realist , July 17, 2018 at 5:26 pm

And how are these "others" defining "treason?" Whatever they say it is, and without any evidence that it genuinely occurred? This is not a case of treason, it is a case of attempted mob rule, like the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution. The vile media acts as the bull horn of the seditionists, they show some insurrectionists making a hullabaloo on your television screen, and the coup plotters point and say, "see, it's treason, off with his head!" Meanwhile, your government has been stolen yet again because some insiders didn't like the results.

michael , July 17, 2018 at 7:42 pm

To have treason you must have a declared war and a declared enemy. If you look at the list of people convicted of treason in the US, there are what, a dozen?
The President has broad powers of foreign policy (and immigration) which may be a bad thing, but I applaud Trump's peace overtures to North Korea and Russia as well as Obama's (reviled by many of the same warmongers) deal with Iran. Unfortunately all these deals are President-specific and undercut by un-elected Intelligence agencies with agendas of their own, and politicians taking money from the MIC and foreign lobbyists with war profiteering agendas. No one can believe a President no matter how well meaning and sincere. Clinton abrogated Reagan's deal with Gorbachev, almost destroying Russia, as did Obama reneging on the deal with Gaddafi, destroying Libya. Clearly the best option is to build up a cache of nuclear arms and to use them if necessary to protect sovereignty.

gailstorm , July 17, 2018 at 10:53 am

At least Cooper used a small window – there haven't been many U.S. Russia summits – but Fallows? Uh, 9/11 and the Saudis anyone? More evidence there than Russian collusion and three Presidents – including Trump – have given that a pass.

Jessika , July 17, 2018 at 10:50 am

Treason-schmeason, Dave! You don't seem to know much about the real history of the US government, only the manufactured one of the powers in charge. Pick up a copy of Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick's book "The Untold History of the United States".

As for the vaunted democracy these talking bobbleheads and puppet politicians go on about, we don't hear them speaking about lobbying, do we, or Citizens United or McCutcheon vs Buckley decisions of the Supreme Court? It's not even the Electoral College that skews the vote and takes democracy out of the citizens' decisions -- it's lobbying, which is legalized fraud and bribery. No, they go on and on about Russia, Russia, Russia, all to make sure folks look somewhere else while they continue the hijacking.

Dave , July 17, 2018 at 10:35 am

What is amazing is how you and so many GOP are actually defending Russia! This was treason!

Deniz , July 17, 2018 at 10:53 am

What is amazing is the extent that the Democrats are lied to, and the extent that they believe those lies. I am awestruck by the complete and utter brainwashing of a democratic, educated country by the CIA. Getting Republicans, who are inclined to think negatively of foreigners is one thing, but Liberal Democrats, who profess to believe in education and equality becoming the brown shirts, it never occurred to me that was possible.

By the way, i am speaking as a former Democrat, Obama voter.

gailstorm , July 17, 2018 at 10:58 am

Yes, it is quite frightening. I think Trump is dangerously inept but reading the intelligence report on Russia released Jan., 2017 was the most frightened I have ever been as an American. It provided no evidence (apparently keeping things top secret is more important than alleged election tampering which should give cause to thought right there) and instead laid out a game plan for attacking dissenters of U.S. foreign policy.

Realist , July 17, 2018 at 11:18 am

Maybe it's just wishful thinking, because I am one too, but it seems the country must be full of former Democrats (and thoroughly disillusioned Obama voters), or at least we should be if we want to survive over the long term. Hillary was just another pack of lies (and threatened violence) too far, which is why she lost. Had NOTHING to do with Russians hacking elections, influencing the vote or stealing our democracy. That is simply the revisionist bullshit in the aftermath of her self-inflicted debacle, as she persists in dragging down the party, the country and maybe the world out of self-centered petulance.

Realist , July 17, 2018 at 11:24 am

Unless you are trying to be sarcastic, Dave, you added an extraneous letter to the word you should really want. What Mr. Lauria has written here is pure "reason," not "treason." Go back and consider all the relevant issues again, this time accurately.

Daniel , July 17, 2018 at 1:12 pm

I guess Dave forgot that our intelligence agencies have lied us into war in the past.

Realist , July 17, 2018 at 5:29 pm

And YOU are prosecuting Russia on what EVIDENCE? None! That is madness and the ticket to war. You are just the sort of pawn to make Goebbels tremble with delight, Dave.

Samuel , July 18, 2018 at 12:34 am

I am not American but like so many out there, am concerned by what is going on in your once beautiful country. It amazes to realize that people have chosen to bury truth and reason for hatred's sake. How can one hope to build a secure, prosperous democracy based on a fraudulent lie? If one can pick a leaf from the Iraqi war it is that one should never believe unquestioningly everything that comes from the intelligence community. That deception resulted in perhaps millions dead. This time round it might result in billions dead including Americans. Is that what people like Dave want? Could this be a secret conspiracy to bring destruction to the entire universe? To what ends?

David G , July 17, 2018 at 10:00 am

Trump's actual treason:
-- turning environmental policy over to the biggest polluters
-- turning financial regulation over to parasitic elites
-- turning education policy over to anti-public, pro-charter grifters
-- turning the FCC over to the big telecoms
-- turning the Iran-nuke deal over to Netanyahu

What gets Trump called a traitor by the Beltway blob:
-- wanting to talk with Russia, and holding a Soviet/Russia summit just like every president since FDR

Wotta country!

Karen , July 17, 2018 at 11:06 am

Exactly!

BrianS , July 17, 2018 at 7:54 pm

Don't relish the me too, or "same here" moniker, but: Exactly!

mike k , July 17, 2018 at 9:39 am

The enemies of Peace, having failed to prevent the Putin/Trump summit, are now busy saying that it was a disaster, and that it was meaningless – two seemingly discordant observations. The real religion of America is WAR. Anything that smacks of peace is Heresy!

David G , July 17, 2018 at 10:08 am

"The stories of how North Korea is now violating an imaginary pledge by Kim to Trump in Singapore are even more outrageous, because big media had previously peddled the opposite line: that Kim at the Singapore Summit made no firm commitment to give up his nuclear weapons and that the 'agreement' in Singapore was the weakest of any thus far."

-- Gareth Porter

https://consortiumnews.com/2018/07/13/the-medias-brazen-dishonesty-about-north-korean-nuclear-violations/

Realist , July 17, 2018 at 11:02 am

Yeah. The lunatics would have the world believe that Trump was a cowardly traitor because he didn't i) berate President Putin to his face for rigging the election in his favor (as did the impertinent network goon Chris Wallace whom Putin totally pwned, though absolutely unbeknownst to the American jingoist corp) and ii) summarily declare war on the Russian Federation to cap everyone's day of fun and games. Insults and war seem to be what the imbeciles so passionately want. I wish I could give them their suicidal war that didn't involve me, my relatives, friends and other innocent bystanders, but that's not how it works and they will eagerly take us all down if given the chance. We are seeing war fever sweep across a crazed nation led astray by the worst demagogues to come down the pike since the "Greatest Generation" got an invite from Uncle Sam to Hitler's big dance. Everybody is a flag waving blood-lusting maniac, from the corporate boardrooms, to the residue of what is left skulking around the fake newsrooms, to the cocky stand-up comedians now inhabiting every late night channel spewing trash and attitude without having the first clue. Must be as invigorating as sucking in the cordite-perfumed air of Berlin circa 1939. The pity is that this time the glorious experience will be so short once the rockets are launched. Almost seems a waste to squander the experience on a bunch of lame brains who probably assume they can get their ticket price back if they don't fully enjoy the show.

Dave P. , July 17, 2018 at 1:35 pm

Realist, As always, your comments are stunningly accurate, and have literary flavor as well. It is really getting there as you have described.

As Gore Vidal wrote long ago, this brainwashing started long time ago during the nineteenth century when they started inoculating the innocent American population against socialism and all that, the ideas which were sweeping across Europe in that century. Here we are now, it is almost a crazed Nation. My wife reads L.A. Times religiously and being a Hillary fan has been watching CNN, MSNBC, Judy Woodruff and other channels like these.

It is not going to end up pretty, the atmosphere is frightening.

Doran Zeigler , July 17, 2018 at 9:32 am

I consider my politics as beyond progressive, and I am definitely not a Trump cheerleader, but I must say that this article by Consortium News is by far the most balanced and fair article I have read on the Trump/Putin press conference. Did the Russians hack Clinton's emails? Most likely. Were the hacks responsible for Clinton's defeat -- not on your life. Hillary offered nothing other than the same old tired rhetoric and hostilities toward Russia. She basically defeated herself.

The fact that Clinton won the popular vote by three million should dispel any notion that the Russian hacks were effective. What this does say is that we should get rid of the antiquated and unfair Electoral College. The press conference was not the venue to grill or attempt to embarrass Putin, besides, Putin could hurl those same accusations at the US for not only interfering in the Ukraine election, but also contributing millions of dollars to it. Putin, if he wanted, could point to NATO creeping up to Russian borders when NATO had promised years ago not to go beyond unified Germany. The Russians have a multitude of complaints, but are more diplomatic than the provocative Americans and would rather not solve these problems in the press.

Is Trump a bumbler -- no doubt. The conference was not the place to air America's dirty laundry or bring up his usual complaints. All of this hoopla is a dog and pony show, a theatrical media event to distract the American people from their real problems like a collapsing economy made worse by Trump's tariffs, like the bloated military budget, the horrific income inequality, the rise of poverty, and an endless stream of worsening problems of which neither party has a solution. It is the old sleight of the hand trick -- watch the hand I wave in front of you face, but pay no attention to the hand that is stealing you blind.

I am at least happy to see a media outlet that has broken from the pack of running lemmings that are not heading for a cliff, but are running in a small circle.

Daniel , July 17, 2018 at 1:16 pm

Where is the evidence that Russia, rather than an insider like Seth Rich, released the emails?

Assange has all but verbally confirmed it was Seth Rich, not Russia.

Zinny , July 17, 2018 at 1:44 pm

Begs the question; Why doesn't the NSA either confirm or deny the download?

michael , July 17, 2018 at 7:50 pm

Why doesn't Mueller offer Assange immunity to testify? Sounds like Mueller may offer the Podestas (Manafort's partners in crime in the Ukraine) immunity to testify against Manafort.

TragiCom , July 17, 2018 at 9:28 am

You'd be forgiven if you thought Brennan's rant was an episode from 'Who is America'!!

Brennan & co. behaving absolutely like unaccountable gangsters. Very dangerous gangsters. Nuclear armed gangsters.

Herman , July 17, 2018 at 9:25 am

"The indictments, which are only unproven accusations, formally accused 12 members of the GRU, Russian military intelligence, of stealing Democratic Party emails in a hacking operation and giving the materials to WikiLeaks to publish in order to damage the candidacy of Trump's opponent, Hillary Clinton. The indictments were announced on Friday, three days before the summit, with the clear intention of getting Trump to cancel it. He ignored cries from the media and Congress to do so."

The most blatant and desperate effort to date to sabotage détente, any effort to cooperate on crucial issues. The media and its sources are hysterical but scary as hell. Using words like treason without a peep from the media or anyone in Washington is also scary as hell.

Didn't watch much of the news but curious about CNN, turned it on to watch Blitzer and Rand Paul exchange. Last question do you trust our security folks or Putin. The patriots versus the devil. Rand Paul ignored it and earlier pointed to our less than Simon pure history of trying to meddle in elections. Hell we ran the campaign of the greatest thief in Russian history, Yeltsin.

Bottom line, folks will do anything to stop the President's efforts to improve relations with Russia. It began before the inauguration and has not let up since.

There is reason to use the word treason but it is not Trump's.

Nancy , July 17, 2018 at 11:12 am

It's a bizarre world when Donald Trump is actually the voice of reason in the USA. The corporate media (including our "public" networks) are running around with their hair on fire at the thought of the two nuclear nations having a rational relationship. Why can't the public see the insanity of what's going on?

michael , July 17, 2018 at 7:53 pm

Sedition is the more accurate word for those in the Intelligence agencies seeking a soft coup.

richard vajs , July 17, 2018 at 8:54 am

The US Media lost its mind about two years ago. After all this time they are still trying to change the 2016 election. It was plain then – a dirt-bag vs. a fool. The US Media had a dog in that fight – the dirt-bag. What is driving them insane is that the "fool" has survived their best efforts to destroy him – should have been easy, but it is not. So the insane manipulators are going for the throat now – TREASON. It is all ridiculous – America has deep economic problems that need to be addressed, namely the terminal income inequality that exists. Killing the fool and re-elevating the dirt-bag will accomplish nothing but give the U S Media and the elites they represent another fifteen minute stroll on the decks of the Titanic

Charron , July 17, 2018 at 8:24 am

The corporate press has been shocked that President Trump would not believe the findings of his own intelligence. Never once has anyone in the Corporate press ever noted that out intelligence sources, the CIA in particular lied when they said Iraq had WMDS. It was a terrible lie. And even if you prefer to believe that the intelligence community had merely made a mistake, our invasion cost us over 3trillion dollars, cost thousands of American soldiers their lives, and ended up causing the death of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians, and has ignited the middle east, resulting in the rise of ISIS. But no one in the corporate press sees fit to even mention the fact that the CIA claimed were a "slam dunk." Nor has anyone in the corporate press mentioned the fact that James Come, when he was in the FBI, who headed up the Anthrax investigation fingered the wrong man, though he had said when questioned if he had the right man, said he was absolutely certain that Hatfiield was the man who spread the Anthrax. The government settled the false charges against Hatfiled for 5.82 million, as it turned out a fellow named ivans. P.S. Robert Mueller was the head of the FBI during most of the investigation. And let me make this clear, I also think Trump is a scoundrel, but the members of our corporate press are scoundrels too.

gailstorm , July 17, 2018 at 11:09 am

That the parroted information that got us into Iraq was a lie was widely reported and the intelligence debunked in independent media at the time. There was no mistake. The information was out there but went ignored by the mainstream media. But it goes back further. Yugoslavia, the first Gulf War erroneous reporting on such issues has been consistent at CNN.

AnthraxSleuth , July 17, 2018 at 3:18 pm

You could not be more wrong about the Anthrax.
Comey and co. ignored a material witness in that case (me) that caught Hatfill snooping around my house in November of 2001. Approx. a month and a half after I received an anthrax letter. Mr Comey's Anthrax investigation was no such thing. It was just like Hillary's email investigation. It was a "matter" not an investigation.
An investigation would have included having agents pay a visit to the man (me) that gave them Hatfill's last name 7 months before his name became public. I was able to do that b/c I when I caught him snooping around my house he was arrogant enough to wear his army jacket. Guess what is on your army jacket? Your last name.
MR. Comey's Anthrax matter also ignored when I informed the FBI that Ottillie Lundgren and Cathy Nugyen had posted on the same internet message board at the same time and to the same article that I did.
Mr. Comey and Mr. Mueller lied then and are lying now.

For kicks and giggles you can hear Hatfill admit that he was in North Carolina at the time I caught him snooping around my house in NC here .
https://youtu.be/fSfcIh1WCdg?t=1640

Mike , July 17, 2018 at 8:01 am

"The queen of diamonds the queen of diamonds"

padre , July 17, 2018 at 7:41 am

You ain't seen nothing yet, wait till your allies come tot their senses!

Alcuin , July 17, 2018 at 7:38 am

Who is Bill Browder and what was his role in the election and the new cold war? A very incomplete answer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgPQZCkkMZo (38:00-48:00)

Alcuin , July 17, 2018 at 12:58 pm

Well now I feel silly. I just saw the ZeroHedge piece and understand that Robert Parry wrote often about Browder, so presumably most visitors of this site are familiar with the name. I'll have to look for those articles. Is Browder in the same league as Soros?

Alcuin , July 17, 2018 at 1:25 pm

Webb: "Trump and Putin are closing in on this Brennan/Browder gang; that's why you had that incredible reaction from Brennan "

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjvVeS_vPQw

Alcuin , July 17, 2018 at 1:32 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRFy-hoFsck

Alcuin , July 17, 2018 at 6:46 am

Stephen Cohen: Relations between US and Russia more dangerous than ever before, including during Cuba Crisis. (!!)

(starting ca. 5:00) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0UiEYK7Es4

Wendi , July 17, 2018 at 3:47 am

Ditto what (almost) everyone else says.

Putin tried to make the point that private citizens are not the state in a country. A private citizen doesn't speak official government words.
Russian billionaires perhaps poured money into election campaigns. If so, the head of state is not to blame, nor is the crime done by authority of the government.
Putin said Browder evaded Russian taxes and laundered $1.2 bn into USA, and moved one-third = $400 mn to Clinton's campaign.
Netted him $800 mn. With one-eighth of that Browder bribed Congress to enact Magnitsky (sp) proclamation to spur sanctions.

Russia filed criminal warrants with US under the 1999 treaty (Putin cited) to question Browder and bring charges; unlawfully ignoring them, US violated treaty.

Browder money 'meddling' in 2016 campaigns is NOT 'Putin dunnit' and NOT 'Kremlin dunnit' and NOT 'Russia dunnit.' Only truthfully, 'Russian Browder dunnit.'

In reflection, is Warren Buffett the US Gov't or are his actions the USG acting? Whatabout Bezos, is he USG Authority?; he owns the WashPost. Sulzberger, Mercers, Kochs, Murdoch(!), frickin Bill Kristol, Rash Lamebrain, Bloomberg, Bill Gates fer gawdsakes -- are they 'America' or 'the President/Administration?'
Is what's good for Mary Barra's security good for our National Security? No, no, and see this:
http://www.businessinsider.com/sun-valley-conference-2018-attendees-photos-2018-7#youtube-ceo-susan-wojcicki-is-already-decked-out-in-a-sun-valley-2018-hat-2

Trump's right for peace, but deplorable (almost) every other way.

If he did 'collude and conspire' that seems the least of his crimes. Impeach him for being morally unfit. Cripes, he was named in Florida court indictments as co-defendant against charges of rape and abuse of 13- and 14-yo girls; his partner Jeffrey Epstein was convicted and did time. Forget Russia, Trump's is a sex pervert, racist, and fascist -- unfit for office.
https://www.justice-integrity.org/1445-welcome-to-waterbury-the-city-that-holds-secrets-that-could-bring-down-trump

No link but find July 10 item at ClubOrlov.com titled, Taking Refuge in Insanity. It may be solace for Joe, in a way, and moreover a general understanding of media cohort insanity.
If understanding is possible.

And MOST I stopped to say Thank You, thank you Joe Lauria. Your work brought me deep relief and it's refreshing.
_____

PS, I predict the 12 indicted Russians do get their day in US courtroom to defend themselves with lawyers rightfully allowed to question (Mueller's) prosecution witnesses and testimony, and to present defense , and (Mueller's) prosecution loses there.

PPS, any rich moneybags domestic or foreign who aimed to spend in 2016 to hurt Hillary or help Donald be elected,
put all the money into Bernie's campaign: split the left vote and the rightist candidate skulks into office. Vice versa, Dems in 2020 may prop up a Republican candidate on the left of Trump; split the R's vote between soft and hard rightwingers.

exiled off mainstreet , July 17, 2018 at 2:25 am

Who are the traitors? Those who seek war with a nuclear power or those who wish to solve the problems. What about Browder's $400,000,000 to the Clinton campaign. Putin wouldn't make such a statement if there were nothing to back it up, though Mueller is willing to lay unsubstantiated charges which go against proven evidence that the DNC leak was from a thumb drive, not internet transmission. In any event, why is it so bad that the crimes of the DNC were revealed? I guess the truth is dangerous to the yankee form of "managed democracy."

Alcuin , July 17, 2018 at 2:10 am

I don't know if it's true or not, but I once read that Nicholas II actually ordered the de-mobilization of the Russian army on the eve of WWI, but that his order was ignored by his subordinates who were eager for war. Trump in his interview with Hannity implies at one point that he doesn't have full control over the military -- that the belligerent rhetoric has been having practical and dangerous consequences. Frightening. Starting at ca. min. 5. https://youtu.be/dRMW4knpiUo

Zhu Ba Jie , July 17, 2018 at 1:22 am

Just for sh*ts & giggles, try listening to prophecy preachers like Bro. Stair at http://www.overcomerministry.org (Do NOT belive them!) Such folks have radically different assumptions. Listening will clear your intellectual pallette, so to say.

David G , July 17, 2018 at 1:11 am

Others may not feel the connection strongly, but watching today's (yesterday's now) media meltdown flashed me back to the day of Colin Powell's Iraqi WMD presentation to the U.N.

I watched that live, and even at the time – before the specific fabrications were exposed – it was such a self-evidently lame effort that I was genuinely surprised and confused when all the media people instantly hailed the its supposedly irresistible power in making the case for the coming war. And it's not like I went into the day with such a high opinion of the corporate media.

As with Trump in Helsinki, it was clear the media was activating a pre-arranged narrative (approval then, opprobrium now) rather than genuinely reacting to what they had seen and heard.

Jared , July 17, 2018 at 6:48 am

That is an excellent assesment.
That is the dumbfound aspect the blatantly preconceived and coordinated attack on the public dialog.
I feel certain the media is being required to sacrifice its reputation for the purpose of distracting the public from some issue. I dont thing the anderson coopers realise that this is the purpose they belive they are simply acting as political assasins of the enemy.
Maybe is niave of me but is it possible this is simply to defray discussion of dnc communications and dnc conspiring by which they pretty much destroyed the democratic brand? Of course there are also the globalists concern with nationalism and populism and mic with concern fear of outbreak of peace.

gailstorm , July 17, 2018 at 11:23 am

The average journalist, mostly print but even regional TV, statistically makes less money than school teachers. It's quite different at the national TV level. They are paid ridiculously well and maybe coincidentally (maybe not) removed from the ground work among the masses. The system has rewarded them so there is natural bias toward the status quo (something that exists to a degree in objective journalism to begin with). They likely aren't aware but they are hired and keep their jobs based on questions they are not likely to ask. It's corporate America. Just as in low level administrative job hiring at large companies, blandness and safe get the jobs.

Chumpsky , July 16, 2018 at 11:23 pm

"Constructive dialogue between the United States and Russia forwards the opportunity to open new pathways toward peace and stability in our world. I would rather take a political risk in pursuit of peace than to risk peace in pursuit of politics."

A page taken out of JFK's playbook.

No wonder the democrats/MSM/Deep State are so disturbed and ready to shoot the messenger. He's encroaching on their sanctified turf!

Jean , July 16, 2018 at 11:43 pm

Actually they now work for those who killed JFK

The ironies never end

David G , July 17, 2018 at 12:25 am

The full Trump quote, as it appears above:

"As president, I cannot make decisions on foreign policy in a futile effort to appease partisan critics or the media or Democrats who want to do nothing but resist and obstruct Constructive dialogue between the United States and Russia forwards the opportunity to open new pathways toward peace and stability in our world. I would rather take a political risk in pursuit of peace than to risk peace in pursuit of politics."

Question for those who have seen the video: were these prepared remarks, or were they spontaneous?

I appreciate them either way, but if Trump crafted those lines on the fly I really might have to give the cheeto-faced, ferret-wearing shitgibbon (thank you, Scotland!) a fresh look.

Nora De Groote , July 17, 2018 at 3:44 am

I was thinking the exact same thing when reading that quote. That doesn't seem like his rhetoric at all. The "good thing bad thing" is where you have his level of "eloquence" again. Regardless, even if he had to memorize the statement beforehand, he still scored in my book.

Vivian O'Blivion , July 17, 2018 at 7:10 am

"cheeto-faced, ferret-wearing, shitgibbon" as a Scotsman I can only apologise for my compatriots sickeningly sycophantic language. We are normally less diplomatic in our appraisals. In Scotland, if you hear the word "f**k", it's just to let you know a noun is coming.

Zim , July 17, 2018 at 9:00 am

It's hard to believe that statement came out of Trumps mouth. But I believe it to be spot on.

Tom Van Meurs , July 17, 2018 at 2:38 am

To Chumpsky : A very courageous statement of Trump! He is no fool . You can't tell a bonk from its cover,

David G , July 16, 2018 at 11:12 pm

Lauria: "The media's handlers were even worse than their assets."

Zing! Props to you, Joe.

David G , July 16, 2018 at 11:00 pm

I haven't read the article or the comments yet, but I want to chime in now:

I've been watching MSNBC on and off all day, and the summit has clearly caused their brains (already in parlous condition) to completely liquefy.

"Treason! Worse than Watergate *and* 9/11!!"

Demented.

tom , July 17, 2018 at 10:07 am

+1

Lois Gagnon , July 16, 2018 at 10:38 pm

Once again, the hypocrisy of the media is on full display. Every president including this one pays total fealty to the criminal state of Israel which we know has interfered in the US political process, not to mention sinking a US naval vessel. But heaven forbid there be diplomatic talks with Putin who has bent over backwards to accommodate the US when he can. So far all he's gotten is sand kicked in his face.

The behavior of the media and its fellow juvenile delinquents in Washington are an embarrassment. They are without realizing it, making Trump look presidential. You can't make this sh*t up.

mike k , July 16, 2018 at 10:35 pm

The Evil Monsters destroying our world with their greed and violence are being flushed into the open. But will the brainwashed masses be able to see this? That is the crucial test that humanity faces at this time. The Rulers will go all out to spin this in their favor, and if that fails, they will probably try to assassinate this dangerous man, President Donald Trump.

Joe Tedesky , July 16, 2018 at 10:33 pm

Meanwhile, while everyone is focused on Trump and Putin's summit, the real power of collusion is hard at work.

https://ahtribune.com/us/israelgate/2369-useful-idiot-trump.html

I'm posting this, because while it's appropriate we talk at length about the disgraceful reception Trump got for his trying to wage peace, we should not lose sight to what country is using the U.S, as it's useful idiot.

Besides that, an article such as what Phil Giradi wrote should not go unnoticed thank you once again MSM for being the jerks you are. Did the MSM ever hear of the word 'reporting'? Thank you Joe Lauria & the Parry family for being here when we need you the most. I don't know what I'd do without the Consortium. Hey kudos to you too Robert Parry, your still number one with me.

Joe Tedesky , July 17, 2018 at 9:14 am

Moonofalabama has the strategy right.

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/07/helsinki-talks-how-trump-tries-to-rebalance-the-global-triangle.html#more

Joe Tedesky , July 17, 2018 at 9:17 am

Surprisingly Professor Coke, says this

https://www.juancole.com/2018/07/shocked-bromance-netanyahu.html

Howard Mettee , July 16, 2018 at 10:09 pm

Thank you Joe,

For trying to restore a note of sanity and balance in the crucible of journalistic/political dialogue between Russia and the US centers of power, where we sense the truth will be lost in white hot bombast, and the accepted narrative of reality will be decided by the heads pushing the correct emotional buttons to fit their nationalistic needs, and their needs for continued employment. Who can forget the last time all 17 intelligence services were of one mind on weapons of mass destruction – that turned out to be nonexistent! Let's hope we can catch our breath before we trip into a patriotic war that destroys civilization.

John P , July 16, 2018 at 11:20 pm

Excuse me, but the intelligence service was turned upside down by Bush and his team inserting their own officials to sensor what was released. The Agencies were very upset that the truth wasn't coming out, and you had the Valerie Plame incident also.
From Slate: "Trump and Putin Met in Helsinki's Hall of Mirrors. Here Are the Highlights." ends with the following:
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- –
On a related note, Rob Goldstone, the British publicist who set up that Trump Tower meeting by promising Trump's son that it was "part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump," just tweeted that Putin had lied earlier in the day when he said he did not know that Trump would be in Moscow for the 2013 Miss Universe pageant.
Rob Goldstone @GoldstoneRob
President Putin just stated that he had no idea Donald Trump was in Moscow in 2013. I know for sure that he did and tell the full story in my soon to be released book "Pop Stars, Pageants & Presidents: How an Email Trumped My Life"
1:16 PM – Jul 16, 2018
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -
There may not have been collusion but I think we can say there probably was interference, voting machines and misinformation spread by agents throughout the social communications media of today. And Putin did admit late, that he was for Trump not Hillary.

If there was funding from Russia to the Democrats as some say, and Putin is truthful that he preferred Trump then why did they give money to the Democrats? Was it to designed to undermine Hillary through its exposure.

Others complain about the timing of the 12 Russian agents, but that was no different from the timing of the Hillary email story release shortly before the election.

Zhu Ba Jie , July 17, 2018 at 1:44 am

"Putin Stole the Election" is fantasy fiction, just like "Obama is a Kenyan" was.

Typingperson , July 17, 2018 at 1:46 am

So you're OK with Hillary using an illegal, off-the-books email server to do pay-to-play arms deals with shitty countries like Saudi Arabia–that gave millions of $$ to Clinton Foundation in return?

If lawfully using a govt server, Hillary"s emails would be subject to FOIA petitions. By USA citizen taxpayers and reporters. Her emails as Sec of State are the property of the American people, who paid her salary. That's what people still don't get.

She used a private server to keep secret the illegal, pay-to-play arms deals–in return for payola bucks to Clinton Foundation.

And Obama turned a blind eye for 4 years. His specialty: Suck-up talking while turning a blind eye.

To Hillary"s incompetence and murderous corruption, to his weekly drone-murders, and to accelerated deportation of innocent immigrants–and ICE separating parents from kids.

While starting 5 new wars on top of Iraq and Afghanistan–including ongoing genocide of Yemen.

Obama was a good boy for the deep state / war profiteers. And he collected his $60M "book contract." Bribe.

Bill , July 17, 2018 at 3:59 pm

"So you're OK with Hillary using an illegal, off-the-books email server to do pay-to-play arms deals with shitty countries like Saudi Arabia–that gave millions of $$ to Clinton Foundation in return?"

How is that different from Trumpkin or Bush doing much the same thing?

Tony Frede , July 17, 2018 at 1:50 am

Maybe it doesn't make sense because Russia never really worked for either side.

Ron Johnson , July 17, 2018 at 6:48 am

Tracing who, exactly, did the hacking is always difficult because the evidence left behind is usually impossible to trace. In the case of the hacking or attempted hacking of certain states' data, the only evidence that it was the Russians came from Russian language characters in the code. Slam dunk, right? Well no, since our CIA/NSA admitted to using exactly such techniques to misdirect researchers away from their own hacking.

If you read deeper into the story of how the Russians funded Clinton, you'll find that it was not the Russian government. Putin pointed out that the money was made 'illegally' in Russia and sent out of the country 'illegally', ending up in Clinton's campaign.

There are a number of differences between the indictments of the Russians and the release of information in the Hillary e-mail investigation. First, there is no chance the Russians will ever end up in a U.S. court so it is an indictment with no future. Second, Comey, a supporter of Hillary, made the announcement and subsequently cleared her, probably to save his own career because the field office that was doing the investigating was about to go public with his dereliction of duty in the Clinton investigation. Subsequent investigations have revealed how the highly politicized FBI and DOJ went out of their way to protect Clinton. Mueller's indictments, on the other hand, are just pure political malfeasance.

John P , July 17, 2018 at 7:20 pm

Zhu Ba Jie, I never said that Russia influnced the results of the election. It probably didn't. But what I do think is that the Russians are probably laughing at how didvided America has become. Neoliberalism which caters to busines rather than liberalism which caters to the people and the country as a whole is destroying society. People need to get on the streets and voice their concerns, Get together and form rallies like those who spoke out against the Vietnam War.
Is it social media that makes people babble and rave rather than be active out there getting the much needed attention?
Gather fo support a greener world, a fairer more benevolent world. To get local economies going putting money in needy people's pockets is far better than trickle down or financing and support for big business. The poor will spend it locally and that's good.
Get out there and make a stir. Trump ain't going to help you. Get rid of PACs, superPACs and other big donor money pots for a start start. Bernie Sanders and now some new young people are seeing the light. Get in there and help them along. Get out on the streets and shout for change!
Throw away the smart phone and get marching!

John P , July 17, 2018 at 7:34 pm

Also, Ron Johnson , I'm not American, I didn't know the full story of the mob money and Hillary. My choice was Bernie Sanders never Hillary or Trump. My fear is, the way things are going, it's like the period between the great wars and the effects of poverty and big business. Support for the needy and the busting up of big business were two steps which helped the world climb out of the mire. Perhaps we need to add robotics to the list. People need work and a purpose.

Larry Gates , July 16, 2018 at 9:59 pm

Donald Trump is a vile human being, and I disagree with 98% of what he says and does, but today he was right and everyone else was wrong. I've been on a trip in my car most of the day, listening to public radio. It was an endless orgy of misinformation and deep-state propaganda. PRI was as insane and dangerous as Fox News on a really bad day. I'm starting to think that nuclear war is a more immanent danger than global warming. It isn't just Rachel Maddow who has gone off the deep end. It is the entire national media. What kind of country have we become? Pray for peace.

strngr-tgthr , July 16, 2018 at 10:45 pm

Larry – Don't buy the Trump CoolAid He is completely wrecking are world order. Last month was Kim, this month was Putin and now this! Look:

White House Orders Direct Taliban Talks to Jump-Start Afghan Negotiations

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/15/world/asia/afghanistan-taliban-direct-negotiations.html

He is meeting with all the dictators of the world now! Guaranteed he will have Assad at the White House before we can get him impeached. This is 100% out of Putin's play book. He is a trader to American Values. Never have we sunk so low, dissing are true allies and honoring thugs, killers and despots! 110% vile!

Joe Lauria , July 16, 2018 at 11:00 pm

Do you mean like Pinochet, Somoza, Galtieri, Rios Montt, Suharto, Mobuto, shall I go on?

Joe Lauria , July 16, 2018 at 11:02 pm

And it is about time there are direct talks with the Taliban. The U.S. has lost in Afghanistan. It has to try to get something out of it.

strngr-tgthr , July 16, 2018 at 11:23 pm

We are in Afghanistan for woman's rights! "Hillary: justified by the desire to emancipate Afghan women." And we have all seen the concern that Trump has for woman (Billy Bush – Babies at the Border, shall I go on?) 120% vile!

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/jul/20/hillary-clinton-afghan-women-taliban

Realist , July 17, 2018 at 3:54 am

You are totally deluded, Mr. Man Without Vowels in His Name, if you think we are in Afghanistan to promote women's rights. I'm sure you still faithfully watch the Jay Leno Show to stay apprised of Mrs. Leno's featured assessment of that crusade. Ranking light years ahead of your purported reason for the last 17 years of war in the Hindu Kush are i) the planned oil and gas pipelines*, ii) the proven deposits of rare earth elements essential to modern electronic devices, and iii) the immediate proximity to Iran, Russia, China and Pakistan giving Washington the ability to raise hell from its many military bases in Afghanistan on a moment's notice (all part of Obama's infamous "Pivot to Asia," which implied far more than a new cadre of Peace Corp workers–more like, we can buy any locals we need with the pallets of Franklins we now air drop on a routine schedule).

* Read "Forbidden Truth: U.S.-Taliban Secret Oil Diplomacy and the Failed Hunt for Bin Laden" by Brisard and Dasquie, it's still relevant 17 years later, while Hillary's "feminist" credentials remain completely irrelevant.

Gene Poole , July 17, 2018 at 5:48 am

An analysis of this contributor's writing style reports a 98.3% likelihood that he/she is Donald Trump.

Larry Gates , July 17, 2018 at 8:04 am

The United States has been "honoring thugs, killers, and despots" at least since Allen Dulles became the director of the CIA in the 1940s. America is an expansive empire, controlled by our corporate oligarchy. It's all about their money and power. They talk about human rights, but that is just a cover for their greed. Much of Trump's foreign policy is bad, but it is simply a logical continuation of the foreign policies of Obama, Bush, and Clinton. Negotiations with Putin is a step in the right direction and the Orange Beast deserves credit for it. It looks to me like it is you, not me that has swallowed the Kool-Aid.

Susan Sunflower , July 17, 2018 at 11:02 am

The Taliban, in the last week – 10 days, has said they will not negotiate as long as the USA occupies Afghanistan This was abbreviated in most headlines to say that the Taliban refuse to negotiate.

The Americans have launched the "time to negotiate with the Taliban" trial balloon before -- "tragically" coming to nothing.

We (USA) interfere when the Baghdad government attempts their own negotiations. (or simply do things that encourage retaliatory attacks) . Now ISIS in the mix.

Zhu Ba Jie , July 17, 2018 at 1:47 am

We've become a theater state. A powerful performance is what matters.

Susan Sunflower , July 17, 2018 at 11:08 am

Indeed. The histrionics of the last 48 hours have been beyond belief and credulity. The hardcore news-as-scandal-addicted will stay tuned, but I lost respect for some "stars" of the news in ways that won't be forgotten I keep expecting Maddow to either use hand puppets or present "crime reenactment" videos, along with her other show-and-tell visual aids.

BBC is just as bad in terms of prejudice but at least present a professional facade .DW and France 24 are alternatives as is the (much too short, almost every hour on the hour) RT headline news. RT's interview and talk shows are excellent and quite sober. It's not that they aren't slanted, they're just not insulting to the audience.

HiggBo , July 17, 2018 at 10:10 am

Maybe now you will think about the things these very same people said about him. Maybe they arent true either.
Hint: The vast majority arent.

Deniz , July 16, 2018 at 9:59 pm

They are losing their minds over Putins announcement of the $400 milion that was transferred Clinton through Browder.

michael , July 17, 2018 at 7:01 am

Seems Hillary learned a lot from Chinagate (where the Clintons paid the illegal donations from a foreign nation back AFTER winning the Election). And China only received military technology, offshored jobs and permanent favored nation trading status in return. Win-win.
You can be sure Hillary will claim that $400 million, if ever traced to her despite bleach bitting all her records, was for the Clinton Foundation Campaign and it was just an inadvertent mixup.

PuddinNTain , July 16, 2018 at 9:54 pm

Thank you for this reasoned piece amidst a plethora of madness. Most of my friends and colleagues who identify as Democrats, liberals, progressives, haters of Trump, etc, people I have the most in common with, politically speaking, have completely lost their freaking minds over this stuff. Critical thinking? Who needs it! Mueller and the intelligence community have surely seen the light since the "Iraq has WMDs" days.
Exactly when did the intelligence community, the sellers of lies and perpetrators of regime change world-wide, become a friend to the American people?

Drew Hunkins , July 16, 2018 at 9:49 pm

"He had a chance right there in front of the world to tell Vladimir Putin to stay the HELL out of American democracy,.."

What democracy? 99% of the candidates' campaigns have been almost completely funded by Wall Street, the blood thirsty giant defense contractors, or paranoid and hegemonic Zionist sociopaths.

It's been proven in a recent academic study by Princeton political scientists (and long lamented before these guys got on the case by such luminaries as Michael Parents, S. Wollin, James Petras, N. Chomsky, Vidal, Hedges) that the American citizenry has absolutely no influence whatsoever regarding poltico-economic decisions that emanate from Washington, they're drowned out by big business and the imperialist ruling elites.

So I ask this warmongering Russophobic talking head once again: what democracy? What democracy do you speak of? The same democracy that mires millions of newly college grads with $30,000 to $500,000 in student loan debt, or the same democracy that's witnessing close to 50% of the entire population living close to the poverty level, or that has tens of millions of its denizens without adequate healthcare coverage

Drew Hunkins , July 16, 2018 at 9:55 pm

typo: such luminaries as Michael Parenti, S. Wollin, James Petras

The editor regrets the error.

John P , July 16, 2018 at 11:26 pm

Trump ain't going to help you on that one. You need to get together with others work to get rid of PACs and Super PACs. In most western countries they wouldn't be allowed.

Sam F , July 17, 2018 at 7:20 am

The political parties are also corrupt, taking donations fed back directly or indirectly from government funding of contractors. These are extensive rackets supported by half the population, who have never worked for anything but a political gang operation, and really believe in gangs.

michael , July 17, 2018 at 7:11 am

Why are you bringing up "ponies" that we will never have, when Hillary's private club (or so the judge ruled when Bernie's supporters tried to fight their fraud, saying private clubs can do what they please, particularly picking potential presidents) was hacked into by those supercompetent Russians? Much akin to the Nigerian guy who's been trying to help me collect money from some dead rich relative I didn't know I had. Still waiting, but I'm sure if this was a fraud Mueller and our Intelligence agencies would be all over it, just like Hillary's Private Club, the DNC. The Russians didn't steal any money from Hillary, as far as I know, or there would have been War!

gcw919 , July 16, 2018 at 9:29 pm

These media "pundits" are truly an embarrassment. They become apoplectic about "possible" Russian hacking in our elections, but one can search in vain for their comments about our own interference in Ukrainian politics, and many other countries around the globe. (eg, Victoria Nuland, Hillary's pit bull, gloating about the US spending $5 billion in "support" of Ukrainian democracy). Its as if real concerns, such as nuclear annihilation, or catastrophic climate change, were afterthoughts. We are certainly living in mystifying times.

Mike From Jersey , July 16, 2018 at 10:16 pm

I think the same thing. The whole "election meddling" hoopla, even if it was true, pales to insignificance in light of what we are actually doing.

We have a base – a military base – in Syria. We weren't invited. We didn't get permission to set up a base. But we set up a military base in another country while announcing that that country's leader "must go." And now – with a total absence of evidence – we have the gall to condemn Russia for "meddling in our democracy."

What is wrong with these people? Can't they see the utter hypocrisy in it all?

AZ_bob , July 16, 2018 at 11:29 pm

I tell people all the time, if Russia did put their thumb on the scale, then hey – I guess "What Goes Around, Comes Around" huh? If you CAN'T take it, DON'T dish it out. Quite simple, really

irina , July 17, 2018 at 1:28 am

The US media's hysterical (in the unfunny sense) response to "Russian meddling"
is very like the husband who catches his wife cheating on him and goes totally postal,
although he himself has been cheating on her ever since their courting days . . .

Tony Frede , July 17, 2018 at 1:53 am

No they don't see the hypocrisy. A large percentage of the population suffers from a severe Irony Deficiency and that can't be cured.

Layne , July 17, 2018 at 6:55 am

I beat my head against the wall with the very same question! Thanks for sharing..

Tristan , July 16, 2018 at 9:26 pm

Thank you for doing the real journalism needed for readers to gain perspective and understanding. It is important to call out propaganda in the face of facts. One thing that stands out significantly is the statement by Trump, "I would rather take a political risk in pursuit of peace than to risk peace in pursuit of politics." Even if only partially pursued, the goal of peace is indeed a very worthy endeavor. In fact, this is one of the first times in recent memory that a US president has used the word "Peace".

I don't like the majority of what the Trump administration is doing, it is important to stick to the facts and support efforts that could lead to a reduction of the tensions and hostility which dominate current US / Russia relations.

F. G. Sanford , July 16, 2018 at 9:22 pm

"A productive dialogue is not only good for the United States and good for Russia, but it is good for the world."

I could hear in the inflection of that sentence the profoundly courageous and confidently certain voice of John F. Kennedy. Gergen, Amanpour, Cooper, Cheney, Brennan, Clapper and the rest of them be damned. The usual suspects, the bought and paid-for mouthpieces of the "deep state" raised their reptilian ire in the expected reprehensible fashion. War is what keeps them on the "payroll", and they'll tell any lie it takes to keep those checks rolling in. Despicable. It seems likely that their vitriol may stem as much from fear of exposure as anything else.

I think President Trump gave a laudable and compelling performance. It's a tragedy that this article will probably not get the circulation it deserves. Thanks to Joe Lauria for having the guts to write it.

Litchfield , July 16, 2018 at 9:43 pm

Amen.

jaycee , July 16, 2018 at 10:15 pm

Cheers. I noticed the same JFK echo in that sentence.

Brennan and the whole lot of those pundits sound exactly like the paleolithic right from the 50s and 60s, the ones who insisted MLK was a communist and were so effectively personified by Sterling Hayden in the Dr Strangelove film.

Joe Tedesky , July 16, 2018 at 10:35 pm

Here ya go F.G. your on par with Paul Craig Roberts.

https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/07/16/is-president-trump-a-traitor-because-he-wants-peace-with-russia/

Enjoy my man. Joe

Dave P. , July 16, 2018 at 11:52 pm

Yes. I agree completely.

W. R. Knight , July 16, 2018 at 9:22 pm

I recall about 16 years ago when the U.S. media almost unanimously reported, with absolute certainty, that Saddam Hussein was harboring numerous weapons of mass destruction. I also recall their fervent calls for regime change because Hussein was a threat to our national security. There were a few voices who spoke against it, but they were drowned out by MSM. It would appear that U.S. media is adamantly against anyone who is opposed to war. Is it because war is so profitable for the media, or is it because war is so profitable for their masters?

Jessika , July 16, 2018 at 9:08 pm

Hey, Johnmichael, you must know that the US is headed by an oligarchy, UK too, France, etc. What runs the world is banks and multinational corporations. The US could actually be called a corporatocracy, because the people have very little say in their government. Yes, media bashers do bash media when they lie because they are supposed to ferret out facts but they don't, they serve their money masters. They all use "Goebbels style" messaging, Putin the least, i notice. It's a western script.

Steve , July 16, 2018 at 9:08 pm

Everything the Main Stream media says about Trump applies ten times over to themselves, the presstitutes that they are useful Idiots of the Corrupt New World Order.

Bob In Portland , July 16, 2018 at 9:03 pm

A look at Mueller's career will go far in explaining why Mueller is handling this and what he won't see while investigating:

https://caucus99percent.com/content/what-mueller-wont-find

If you haven't read this, please do.

Joe Tedesky , July 16, 2018 at 9:40 pm

I did Bob, and I'm encouraging more to read it. Joe

Dave P. , July 17, 2018 at 3:30 am

Bob – Yes, I have read the article about Mueller's career.

backwardsevolution , July 17, 2018 at 5:08 am

Bob in Portland – excellent read! Thank you. Mueller is like a fixer, a sweeper, someone who cleans up and, as you said, moves investigations away from the CIA.

"He knew where to look and where not to look."

No doubt he's a valuable asset to the Deep State. Not a nice man.

Seer , July 17, 2018 at 8:39 am

Great work!

Yes, Mueller's a master of misdirection. Was it Parry who noted (likely others as well) that reporting is now less about lying than deliberate omission. Hard to fact-check what ain't there (vs. a lie which lays out data which can be tested) Knowledge IS power: we are not to have knowledge.

Bob Van Noy , July 17, 2018 at 9:34 am

Thanks to all in this thread. I filed this statement recently here, and it was edited out. I'll try again because it's appropriate.

A relatively vibrant Press was modified violently in the days and weeks following November 22, 1963. Some careers were enhanced, some lives were lost. If some contemporary student of History or Journalism wanted to study the decline of American Democracy they might begin by reading all of the linked article below about a Journalist named Penn Jones

http://spartacus-educational.com/JFKjonesP.htm

W. R. Knight , July 16, 2018 at 8:59 pm

As much as I loathe Trump, I have to admit this is one time I agree with him. No matter how much Trump screws up, the simple fact is that no one is 100% wrong, and it's important to recognize when they are not wrong.

I don't agree that the Russians are our enemy. I don't believe they are our friends, but there's a large gap between an enemy and a friend and I place the Russians somewhere in that gap. I don't deny that they hacked into the DNC database, but that doesn't rise above my threshold of significance and certainly doesn't hold a candle to all the U.S. interference in the politics of most of the world's nations (which includes deposing democratically elected presidents). And finally, I don't believe in gunboat diplomacy and I agree that it's better to talk with the Russians than it is to beat the war drums and seek more confrontation.

Having said that, I deplore Trump's behavior toward our European, Canadian and Mexican friends, and his domestic policies are the worst of any in the last 100 years. But as much as I deplore this buffoon, I believe that he is right in attempting to normalize relations with Russia.

Litchfield , July 16, 2018 at 9:49 pm

"I don't deny that they hacked into the DNC database,"

Well, you should, because there is zero evidence of a Russian hack.
On what basis in the world do you so confidently assert that you "do not deny" something that is untrue?
The evidence is of an inside leak.
Please, learn the difference between the two, a hack and a leak.

Nancy , July 17, 2018 at 11:38 am

Another indication of the insidious power of the media over common sense.

Realist , July 17, 2018 at 3:22 am

Of course it is entirely within the interests of America to have free and friendly relations with Russia. Why? Not only because peace beats the hell out of war, especially the nuclear variety, but because we, along with the rest of the world, need Russia's vast resources in a planet rapidly being depleted of everything essential to modern technology. If they don't sell their products to the West on the open market because Washington thinks it can steal them after some kind of "regime change," all those essential goodies will go to China, India and the other peoples of the East whom we look down upon, and are also fixing to mess with.

From all I have gleaned, Russia has always aspired to be a part of the West, ever since Peter the Great opened Russia to Europe, but Washington thinks that being a member of team West means being a totally subservient vassal to it and only it. Look at how shamelessly Washington has abused the interests of the EU in its efforts to subjugate Russia. There is mostly one party that threatens the future of Western prosperity and moral values: the United States, or rather its government. Its motives are uncontested power and greed to benefit its small clique of decadent aristocrats.

Zhu Ba Jie , July 16, 2018 at 8:51 pm

Why would anyone believe the Liars' Club (the CIA) about anything? Their successes are more shameful than their failures.

Seer , July 17, 2018 at 8:43 am

Ah, but successes and failures are not ours to judge, no, it is for the ruling elite to judge, and given that their power and wealth has but steadily increased it is safe to say, under their measuring, that the CIA has been quite successful.

Johnmichael2 , July 16, 2018 at 8:45 pm

Putin brilliantly heads an Oligarchy. Trump obsequiously admires Putin because he too, by all of his actions to date, aspires to the same power. To all of you media bashers, who are on a very strange campaign of denial, don't forget that Trump and his Goebbels style messaging received prime time from the electronic media throughout the campaign and was probably key to the win.

The real Deep State is the multinational world order of capitalism, which doesn't care what type of government it owns. Yet CN seems totally oblivious to their existence. If the media is to blame for anything, it is that their coverage tends to be controlled by ratings; in other words, by money, and the Deep State controls the money.

Zhu Ba Jie , July 16, 2018 at 8:52 pm

The US has oligarchic since 1789.

Zhu Ba Jie , July 16, 2018 at 8:53 pm

Goebbels was far smarter and articulate than Trump.

Danny , July 17, 2018 at 9:57 pm

the free $2B from the same media now screeching for his head? (Fox excepted) the 35-40 minutes dedicated to his empty podium while Sanders talked? I have some REALLY bad news for you 'bout who was behind that

http://www.salon.com/2016/11/09/the-hillary-clinton-campaign-intentionally-created-donald-trump-with-its-pied-piper-strategy/

Jessika , July 16, 2018 at 8:44 pm

I highly recommend reading James Howard Kunstler's piece on Russia Insider, "Idiotic Russia Meddling Hoax Kept Alive by Trump-Putin Summit". On his blog 'Clusterfuck Nation' he titles it "12 Ham Sandwiches with Russian Dressing". Kunstler is a great cynicist humorist called a dystopian by the NYT. This piece he just published is one of the best and will undoubtedly be picked up by others. Has a funny cartoon on Russia Insider for a musical based on the Mueller never-ending saga. At least it's a few cynical laughs for this sorry affair.

Gregory Herr , July 16, 2018 at 10:00 pm

https://russia-insider.com/sites/insider/files/styles/1200xauto/public/russia_follies_mueller_trump_hillary-1024x751_0.jpg?itok=mrheD4D_

Lester D , July 16, 2018 at 8:41 pm

Mass hysteria is a frightening spectacle to behold. The power with which it grips the minds of virtually everyone is beyond belief. As I watched the media coverage of Helsinki unfold, it seemed the media minions were perceptibly working themselves into a collective frenzy, a totally berserk, bonkers group who were bidding the price of tulips up to a million each. The ironic aspect of all this to me is that even if the commie bastards did what we say they did would it have made any difference? And if indeed it was they who hacked HC's "personal" email files and made them available to Wikileaks, I'm glad as Hell they did.

Zhu Ba Jie , July 16, 2018 at 8:56 pm

It would not make any difference. We Americans are to blame for our own follies and mistakes.

KiwiAntz , July 16, 2018 at 9:03 pm

It's Washington & the MSM's mass hysteria, not the common folk who couldn't give a rats ass about this lunacy? Ask the ordinary citizen in the US or Worldwide what they care about? It's not the never ending Russiagate BS spewed out by the MSM or corrupt DEMS! It's about, how will my Family be housed, Fed, & cared for! How will I support myself & my Family's needs & wants! THATS WHAT WE CARE ABOUT, WE DON'T CARE ABOUT THE FAKE RUSSIAGATE NONSENSE & it's BS! But what do these MSM idiots know, they think their smarter than those who voted for change & are getting that with Mr Trump!

David G , July 17, 2018 at 12:01 am

Right on, Lester D.

JRGJRG , July 16, 2018 at 8:39 pm

I'm starting to get hopeful about Trump after a lot of doubts.
Whatever his limitations, he at least has some common sense. This is something we would never have seen happen with Crooked Hillary Clinton, ever. Somebody had to listen to Putin, who actually has quite a lot of sensible things to say about this, and is a very intelligent and articulate politician.
Given enough time, Trump might actually figure things out in Washington before he leaves office and sees all the treasonous forces in the permanent security state. I didn't vote for either Clinton or Trump in '16 but if he listens to Putin and gives peace a chance, this will mend all cracks with me.
Maybe they should put up a fence around CNN headquarters and call in a battalion of psychs to provide mental health treatments to the war profiteers and talking heads.
I voted for peace. I want to see peace. Kudos to Trump and Putin for bringing an oasis of sanity to the world. Nuclear war is bad for our kids. I am very relieved to see this happening. Even General Eisenhower could not buck the Military Industrial Complex in 1959 when he tried to reach detente with Khrushchev. Trump will go down in history as a great president if he can pull this off.

mike k , July 16, 2018 at 8:38 pm

The incredible ugliness of the media, spy agencies, military figures, and politicians is unfortunately only the tip of a huge iceberg. Underneath all that is the deep state oligarchs, who are willing to sacrifice billions of lives and the very continuation of life on our precious planet – just to fulfill their insatiable greed for wealth and power. These evil monsters are the real enemies of Humanity.

Lolita , July 16, 2018 at 8:29 pm

Not only the U.S. Media, but also the Canadian, French, British etc that is, the agitprop tools for NATOland/Soros, ready for selective and well rehearsed indignation, on cue.

Frances , July 16, 2018 at 10:06 pm

Yes, Australian media and politicians too.

Lolita , July 17, 2018 at 12:17 am

Tonight CBC The National managed to invite a "balanced" panel to discuss the Trump-Putin press conference: a researcher from Stratfor and a journalist from the Washington Post!!!! LOL

Lolita , July 17, 2018 at 5:32 pm

And when CBC's narrative and their fake-debate in the National is challenged in the comment section the CBC sycophants know only one action:

"Your account has been banned until 10/15/2018. Reason: We have banned this account for 90 days because we believe it is in violation of our Terms of Use, specifically repeated off-topic comments, uncivil comments, and personal attacks. For more information, please visit: http://www.cbc.ca/aboutcbc/discover/submissions.html ."

All of this to mask political censorship
In my last posts, I quoted Joe Lauria and they did not like it one bit:
"To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize."

Good Bye ICIJ

KiwiAntz , July 17, 2018 at 2:16 am

And add NZ's Media to that shameful list of Propagandists telling lies & expecting us to belithis tripe!

Mike Lamb , July 16, 2018 at 8:23 pm

The calls of President Trump being a traitor mimic those of the calls that President Eisenhower was a traitor back in the 1950s.
But what can you expect from the cult followers of the former Goldwater girl who have done their best to turn the Party of Gene McCarthy into the Party of Joe McCarthy?

Zhu Ba Jie , July 16, 2018 at 8:59 pm

Dems have GOP lite for a long time, at least since Reagan.

Pandas4peace , July 16, 2018 at 8:22 pm

Americans need to turn off their damn television sets.

JRGJRG , July 16, 2018 at 8:45 pm

I canceled my cable subscription three months ago and haven't missed it one bit.

Realist , July 17, 2018 at 2:53 am

One needs to keep apprised of the lies that the enemies of humanity so effectively spread through their propaganda in order to counter them.

Besides, if you ever need a good emetic, there is always the opportunity to tune in Rachel Maddow until your stomach upchucks its contents.

Seer , July 17, 2018 at 8:51 am

Ha ha! The Rachel Maddow weight loss program!

Zhu Ba Jie , July 16, 2018 at 9:01 pm

Good idea. I quit watching regularly in the '70s. But does make one somewhat alienated from everyone else.

Freedom lover , July 16, 2018 at 10:32 pm

Actually I have Direct TV and for a change I can tune in to channel 321 RT America and listen to some real news instead of the 24-hr fake news on the rest of the channels.

Skip Scott , July 17, 2018 at 6:55 am

Last night I blocked CNN on the TV where I am currently forced to reside. I am the only one with the p/w to unblock it. Take that CNN!!!

Jessika , July 16, 2018 at 8:13 pm

Well said, as always, Realist, but the scary part is to read the vitriolic anti-Trump responses indicating the 'liberals' would actually rather risk war! I just read a few of them and honestly wonder if there's any hope for this country, maybe we will have to take some harsh lessons that will be meted out. They do not realize that they are assisting in bringing down every one of us with their hate. The controllers who play them love it.

JRGJRG , July 16, 2018 at 8:47 pm

The danger is that they will bring their war hysteria into the next election and get someone elected that is even worse than Hillary would have been.

Zhu Ba Jie , July 16, 2018 at 9:02 pm

I'm not convinced that anyone is control. "Time and chance come to them all."

Realist , July 17, 2018 at 2:46 am

My, how we have come full circle, Jessika. So, now it's the "liberals" who would rather be "dead" than "red?" That used to be the far right John Birchers back in my youth. (Not that anyone anywhere on the planet is a genuine "communist" any longer, not even in Cuba or North Korea.) I just wish there was some mechanism to allow them to self-immolate without killing or harming the rest of us nearly 8 billion human beings. They have some potent demons colonizing what passes for their minds. Perhaps they could use a convincing exorcist to drive the Hillary entity out of their system.

Seer , July 17, 2018 at 8:54 am

All comes in cycles. Dixiecrats, anyone?

Brad Owen , July 17, 2018 at 12:09 pm

EXACTLY. Actually, FDR was the "Bernie Sanders" of his day, and completely turned the Party upside down with his "New Deal for the forgotten man" (Labor and farmers). The traditional D-Party was the party of southern plantation aristocracy and their money handlers on Wall Street, and the original R-Party contained the fire-breathing radicals within its ranks.

jose , July 16, 2018 at 8:10 pm

It is my understanding that Russia and US are holding approximately 90% of nuclear weapons worldwide. In a sane world, The US media should be commending Trump for trying to reach an agreement regarding denuclearization with Putin. Nonetheless, Trump is being grilled for doing what almost the entire planet is seeking: a world free of nuclear weapons. Indubitably, US national media are very busy undermining Trump's efforts to reduce the scorch of nuclear war. Do the US media think that in a nuclear exchange humans will survive? We will all lose.

JRGJRG , July 16, 2018 at 8:54 pm

No, the elites on both sides of the political spectrum are living in a mythical Hollywood rich man's fantasy world believing that the worst that can happen to them is they will retreat to their luxury underground cities and live out the nuclear war, communicating with their nuclear subs, while the rest of us paeons fry. They don't care about us, at all. They are congenital psychopaths.
It sounds crazy because it is, and it is hard for the rest of us to believe they could be so foolish. They are fatally misguided in their beliefs that this would ever work and be good for them.

Joe Tedesky , July 16, 2018 at 9:34 pm

I think your right. Joe

Jean wyman , July 16, 2018 at 9:53 pm

Good comment Jose. In answer to your observations, I'd pose a question: what was Obusha thinking when he proposed a 3TRILLION dollar upgrade of America's nukes? Who exactly was it that he was placating and that T-rump isn't.

Skip Scott , July 16, 2018 at 8:09 pm

When the talking heads said that Trump trusted Putin more than his own Intelligence Agencies, I screamed at the TV, "ME TOO!". I can think of no clearer sign that the CIA is still embedded with the MSM. Discussion of the history of our Intelligence Community in both the near and distant past, and it's utter lack of trustworthiness, is a forbidden topic. My only hope is that enough people actually listened to what Putin said, instead of the talking heads' rantings, and saw for themselves that Putin is a rational and fair-minded leader. The near hysteria of Anderson Cooper and his ilk is a sure sign that their grip on the narrative is slipping.

jose , July 16, 2018 at 8:15 pm

I concur with your post. Personally, I rather listen to Putin than the US national media. You are correct to assert that "Putin is a rational and fair-minded leader" You would have to be mentally retarded to pay any heed to US national media that have proven to be a tool of those controlling the livers of power. Well done, Skip.

Joe Lauria , July 16, 2018 at 9:04 pm

"To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize."

JRGJRG , July 16, 2018 at 9:07 pm

Anderson Cooper, the grandson of Gloria Vanderbilt, and great-grandson of robber baron railroad mogul Cornelius Vanderbilt is CIA trained in Operation Mockingbird.
https://youtu.be/w8NTLVOjas8

Joe Tedesky , July 16, 2018 at 9:33 pm

I said that once, and got booed out of the room. Joe

Joe Tedesky , July 16, 2018 at 9:28 pm

Skip I hear ya, but allow me to tell you what I saw, and heard today. So after Trump made his remarks about trusting, or not trusting, certain intelligence data, I while driving in my car heard callers calling in to the local talk show. The callers who expressed themselves the way we do on this comment board were berated by the callers who thought this kind of talk (like we here on CN talk) was treasonous by all known treasonous standards. The callers who sounded like we do here were labeled as their being crazed Trump supporters, and yet all of them said of how they don't even necessarily like Trump, but right is right and left is now warmongering. None of the other opposing callers bought this denial of Trump, as they just fluffed it off, as Trump supporters hiding behind whatever it was their suppose to be hiding behind. Facts are painfully ignored, especially when it comes to analyzing Trump.

I see the MSM pundits and the strongly patriotic lying legislators taking Trump's remarks while calling him a trader, as the launching of a great American vs American social confrontation. This new confrontation will pit brother against brother, child against parent, and wife against husband . just ask my wife. The discontent is about where we were back during the Vietnam years, as the only thing missing are the peace marchs. This time our civil war will be fought strictly on a social level, aided by an instigating MSM, as division messes up any real citizen advocacy as the citizen may require to straighten out any of this disconnection of their society or that's at least the way I see it.

We citizens are officially at war with each other. We will all look back upon this period of our evolvement, and laugh over the Facebook censorship, and dream of a time when it was merely just about politics, and taxes. We are moving in a direction where the National Security Deep State is beating up an outsider maverick, and this maverick is now in the Deep States crosshairs. It's darn strange, and I swear if something awful were to happen to President Trump that the MSM would encourage us Americans to make Trump's ugly fate a new national holiday . I think there are many among this Deep State cabal who still celebrate with joy the sad happenings of November 22nd, 1963.

The empire is finally going down, and we are all witnessing it first hand. Joe

Dave P. , July 17, 2018 at 4:14 am

"I see the MSM pundits and the strongly patriotic lying legislators taking Trump's remarks while calling him a trader, as the launching of a great American vs American social confrontation. This new confrontation will pit brother against brother, child against parent, and wife against husband . just ask my wife. . . ."

Good observation Joe. It already started happening some time back in our home. A truce was reached with a compromise that my wife would not watch CNN, MSNBC . . . when I am around the house and I will not read CN and make comments, at least when she is around. This morning my wife went to our retired neighbor's house to watch these channels with her. Both of them have been feeling today as if some tragedy has happened.

That is what this two years of Russia Gate hysteria fueled by the Media and Politicians has done to the people. Today was probably the worst day; they are really messing up the population. It is even worse than those cold war days of 1950's which I have read about. And there is no end in sight.

Joe Tedesky , July 17, 2018 at 9:02 am

Dave I swear we live in the same house. Joe

Tristan , July 16, 2018 at 9:34 pm

Aye aye! Well put, I concur.

Lyle Courtsal , July 16, 2018 at 8:09 pm

Killary had a crap platform. That is why she lost. If the platform was something progressives could support, then people would come out and vote for her. Her record of dependability is crap; just a double talking republican liar. No good. That's why she lost. I didn't vote for her and won't vote for her if she is forced on us again. Lyle Courtsal http://www.3mpub.com

jose , July 16, 2018 at 8:20 pm

You are correct Lyle about Hillary's lost. I would like to add the following:Vladimir Putin has not meddled in the US election, Hillary Clinton has. Leaked emails reveal that the popular socialist Bernie Sanders had his chance of becoming president stolen from him by Hillary Clinton and her associates at the Democratic National Committee. If defrauding democracy is worth going to war over, certainly it is worth going to jail over. Millions of Americans had their votes stolen.

Litchfield , July 16, 2018 at 10:34 pm

Yes, I listened to some of her campaign speeches, and they were embarrassingly awful, and empty of ideas except inciting horror of "Le Trump"! She was truly pathetic in her confidence that she was in the in-group, addressing others in the "in-group," thus not needing to actually campaign.
Recently Hillary was awarded the Radcliffe medal, and she spoke at Radcliffe Day. I was horrified that she was given this honor. I heard that she read from a Teleprompter. That indicates to me that she was and is indeed not physically up to the challenges of the office, quite apart from her many other deficits.

Seer , July 17, 2018 at 9:07 am

I wouldn't vote for a mass murderer. If you cannot fundamentally be for peace then all else, no matter how wonderful it sounds (it could be) has nowhere to anchor.

John V. Walsh , July 16, 2018 at 8:05 pm

Great column.
There is no doubt that the Summit moved us away from confrontation with Russia which holds the grave danger of going nuclear.
Bravo for Trump and the brave words he spoke.
Now it is up to us.
If we wish the process to continue which these meetings with Putin initiated, let us raise our voices in support.
If we wish to let the neocons, "Deep State," Dem and GOP elites to stop the process, let us stay silent.

Dan Kuhn , July 16, 2018 at 8:05 pm

I read the New York times and the comments to the editorial. This is my comment.

The comments here sound like a lynch mob working themselves into a frenzy to hang someone. Proof? Who needs any dang proof. Clapper the guy who admitted lying to Congress under oath said Trump was guilty and thats good enough for the people who commented here. The Intelligence Agencies that lied to get the USA to invade Iraq with their WMD claims say he is guilty, well that must be proof then.
This goes to show that Barnum was right, there is a sucker born every minute. But a whole nation suckered into believing this nonsence about Russia having Trump elected with not one shred of evidence presented? Even Barnum would have been shocked and surprised at that one.

Dan Kuhn , July 16, 2018 at 8:06 pm

Sorry the reply was to a story on the front page.

backwardsevolution , July 16, 2018 at 8:29 pm

Good comment, Dan Kuhn.

Realist , July 17, 2018 at 2:27 am

Well, I guess that influential people on the inside figure that the "reign of terror" worked out so well in effecting regime change during the French Revolution that they'd give it another go approximately two centuries later approximately a hundred years after the Bolshevik Revolution, so maybe this is a natural phenomenon with a periodicity of about 100 years. Perhaps Hillary thinks she's gonna pick up the pieces as the next Napoleon after the revolution burns itself out. More like her fate will be as the next Robespierre, hoisted on her own guillotine.

Seer , July 17, 2018 at 9:11 am

Yes, the cycle is tied to the controlling currency, the USD in current day form. That control is rapidly slipping away. The crooks are pulling the fire alarms in the bank and running out the back door and the public is looking for safety from the crooks' army (MSM, "authority figures" etc.).

George , July 16, 2018 at 8:00 pm

There is nothing left to say.
The summit only leaves one to speculate.

Realist , July 16, 2018 at 7:57 pm

It would seem that there is not a single independent, unbought, honest, objective journalist left working for the corporate mass media in America. They are all mere puppets delivering the propaganda and fake analysis demanded of them by the oligarchy that owns them. It's absolutely stunning how lock-step they all are in maintaining the false narrative cooked up by the careless and arrogant tyrants who threw away a sure thing (Hillary's coronation) by pressing too hard to give her what they thought was the biggest patsy (Trump) in the clown show called the presidential election. They were so confident they actually allowed the ballots to be counted and have been scrambling to undo the results using every possible mechanism and pretext ever since. If there is one thing the American people can count on in the future, it is that no election will ever again be semi-free, fair and not rock-solid rigged with the contrived results agreed upon months before the charade of elections ever goes on.

A rational mind might say, well, give us more reasonable candidates, those in tune with the problems of the voters (mostly caused by government), and give us more of them, more parties, more platforms, more options. That is exactly what they intend to avoid. They tried to force feed us Hillary as the only acceptable figure running for the position, but enough people saw through that and chose the fellow they wanted us to abhor after they deliberately built him up to help the despised Hillary. Now absolutely every loyal apparatchik in the elite establishment, and most especially the media–the essential propagandists, are working 24/7 for regime change in Washington, what they perceive as the necessary first step towards regime change in Moscow and later Beijing. Only then will the NWO–in which they give all the orders and control everything and everybody–be complete.

I tell you, the reach of their tentacles and the uniformity of response amongst their minions is impressive in a most foreboding way. They will brook NO peaceful co-existence with any geopolitical "partners" or competitors and will not give even the slightest iota of respect to our own elected leader, not even to his office out of formal courtesy. Rather than "going high" when he "goes low," they choose to up the ante in ad hominem insults and political thuggery. The power structure in this country has become irretrievably warmongering neo-con and ruthlessly imperialistic. The most catastrophic consequence will be to see the dissolution of civilisation itself as the myriad of environmental, population and resource crises hit the planet full on as the century unfolds, for thuggery, tyranny and simplistic political slogans are not the solutions for escaping the impending bottleneck with an actual future still remaining for humanity.

Joe Tedesky , July 16, 2018 at 8:42 pm

Hey Realist you brought back memories of the 2016 presidential election to when Trump was given 4.9 billion dollars worth of free air time (JP Sottile quoted the 4.9). As it has been written about of how early on the Clinton campaign thought Trump was the best to run up against, because who in their right mind would take the Trumpster serious, was the go to mindset among the DNCer's. So the MSM turned on the cameras at Trump rallies believing that given enough rope that Trump would hang himself. The backlash that came from this, was mind boggling on many levels. One no one likes Hillary, number two no one likes the MSM. So with that the MSM, and Hillary's bend strategy was what loss the election for the Democrats, and oh yeah then there's Bernie.

I don't think in total we Americans are all living on the same planet. Joe

Mike From Jersey , July 16, 2018 at 8:55 pm

I am absolutely appalled by the behavior of the American media. They are acting like Trump is a disgrace to the country but the MSM is a disgrace to journalism.

I don't even like Trump but – to me – he is coming out better in this exchange.

JRGJRG , July 16, 2018 at 9:17 pm

Excellent statement.

Sam F , July 16, 2018 at 9:29 pm

Indeed the US mass media are no more than propagandists for the arrogant tyrants of its government. But despite US bluster and economic arm-twisting, educated people know that BRICS cannot be dominated so imperialism is theater not policy. Over 20-40 years, the US can only choose cooperation or self-embargo. Few educated people believe the recycled hysteria of invisible threats.

The enmity of the PTB toward Russia and Korea always starts with and returns to the Mideast and centers upon Israel, which controls the US mass media and both political parties, and thereby appoints the politicians who control the military budget and agenda. Indeed "no election will ever again be semi-free." The MIC is large and will attack small countries anywhere, but it is the servant of Israel.

Zhu Ba Jie , July 17, 2018 at 2:22 am

People who complain aboutIsrael somehow never mention Dispensationalism, Christian Zionism, etc.

Sam F , July 17, 2018 at 6:26 am

Thank you for mentioning those; I did not have room in that comment.
Israel also substantially controls the Christian z leaders.

Dave P. , July 17, 2018 at 4:28 am

Wow! Great comments Realist.

j michael king , July 16, 2018 at 7:54 pm

I thought Mueller was playing politics to announce the indictments of 12 Russians mere hours before Trump met Putin more and more I'm losing faith in Mueller and the Democrats who have damn near destroyed their party themselves

Seer , July 17, 2018 at 9:17 am

If the fact that the Dems managed to undermine the people's choice for president (Sanders) isn't enough to convince you that the Dems are destroyed then I don't know what to tell you.

I'm almost certain that the CIA had a hand in that: consider their infiltration into the MSM (ensuring that Sanders was not talked about). Not only was the CIA involved in trying to derail Trump, but it was active in preempting Sanders. For sure, having meddling in BOTH parties would likely bring out real pitch forks: when it's just one party it's easy to use the other party to offset the anger. Joe, if you're reading these comments (still), I'd love to get your take on this "theory."

jean , July 16, 2018 at 7:52 pm

I never imagined I would cheer on Trump ..but that took guts .

Don DeBar , July 16, 2018 at 7:52 pm

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1018955906690584576

robira , July 16, 2018 at 7:27 pm

Thanks for this report, Mr. Lauria; you're certainly of stronger mettle than me. I would not have withstood the noxious exhalations of the US newsmedia (which itself now openly includes newly "retired" intelligence agents as commentators) you've described in this article; the anecdotes alone almost had me hurling my phone across the room.
Thank you for performing a valuable public service with this report. Peace.

Gary Weglarz , July 16, 2018 at 7:21 pm

Welcome to what passes for "reality" in 2018 America. If the stakes for humanity were not so frightfully high these bizarre, slapstick, nonsense comments from the MSM talking heads would be knee-slapping hilarious in their total off the charts lunacy and patent absurdity. What can one say? Wow – off the freaking charts! You simply can't make this stuff up! Words are inadequate in an age of mass delusion posing as sanity!

Gregory Herr , July 16, 2018 at 7:34 pm

I think your words "total off the charts lunacy and patent absurdity" are as adequate as they come in this situation.

Litchfield , July 16, 2018 at 10:42 pm

Not only absurd, though, but also deeply isulting, treasonous, really horrendous that our national-level journalists arrogate to themselves the right to diss, insult, accuse, charge, condemn, vilify, etc. the president of the United States. I don't like trump either, I hate waht he is doing in Israel, supporting the rabid Zionists there and here. BUT, standing up to the media and intelligence onslaught took guts, and he came out of the meeting looking pretty good, I think. The meeting also gave Putin an opportunity to score a few points for reason, thus an international platform he might otherwise not have had.

I LOVE the Putin points re Browder $$$ (rather, rubles) to Hillary. I do so hope that this topic is taken up and richly sucked and considered and tasted and finally chewed and swallowed and digested and the real . . . finally is delivered to the AMerican people regarding Hill's $$$ shenanigans. If that happens it could point once again to an investigation of her emails and those of her assistant Huma Abedin. Remember her? When do we get the full investigation of this very compromised woman?

James , July 16, 2018 at 11:25 pm

Well said.

Jessika , July 16, 2018 at 7:16 pm

What, did Trump say that, Gregory? I am impressed, if he did!

Gregory Herr , July 16, 2018 at 7:30 pm

By the CNN video of the entire press conference, Trump says this at the 13:54 mark.

And for a complete transcript of the presser:

https://chicago.suntimes.com/news/transcript-trump-putin-press-conference-in-helsinki/

Jessika , July 16, 2018 at 7:14 pm

Yes, it is critical to support Trump's talks with Putin and not let these Deep State agents control.

Jessika , July 16, 2018 at 7:05 pm

These people have no shame, as they take their massive paychecks for lying to keep the fools in line. Well, thanks to websites like this one and others, there aren't so many fools anymore. They are pathetic, and days of Cronkite, Murrow et al who reported news objectively are dead and buried.

Zhu Ba Jie , July 16, 2018 at 9:38 pm

Probably they believe their own nonsense, at least when they say. Much as crooked preachers do.

Jean , July 16, 2018 at 10:30 pm

Cronkite wasn't so objective, Jessika. He was pretty bought into the glory of our Viet nam adventuring until the war protesters (whom he did not represent objectively either) opened Amerika's eyes.

mike k , July 16, 2018 at 7:01 pm

FOR ONCE, I AM PROUD TO STAND WITH OUR PRESIDENT.

irina , July 16, 2018 at 7:17 pm

Roger That.

Mike From Jersey , July 16, 2018 at 8:14 pm

Ditto

JRGJRG , July 16, 2018 at 9:21 pm

Me, too. An act of extraordinary political courage.

mike k , July 16, 2018 at 6:59 pm

That took guts, Mr. Trump. I didn't know you had it in you. Congratulations for standing up to your (deadly) opponents. They are now showing themselves to be the evil scum they really are.

Rohit , July 16, 2018 at 6:57 pm

There is one small problem with this article. While I trust Consortium News far more than the New York Times, there are those who trust the latter. And the article is far too long for those who already believe that Trump is guilty of collusion with Russia. A shorter article by Consortium News with a one two punch is what is needed.

JRGJRG , July 16, 2018 at 9:22 pm

Oh, go pound sand, would you?

Zhu Ba Jie , July 16, 2018 at 9:40 pm

People don't change their minds because of rational arguments. Russiagate will go on, in spite of logic and evidence, much as Birther nonsense does.

mike k , July 16, 2018 at 6:54 pm

I just listened to NBC nightly news, and CNN. They are screaming treason! And the end of America! They are absolutely aghast that Trump is making peace moves with Putin. Doesn't he know that America is a Warfare State?? To talk peace is against everything we hold sacred. Beware Mr. Trump, the CIA hit squads will be champing at the bit to field one of their "lone assassins on you". Pray for the Donald not being gunned down for doing the right thing (for once).

JRGJRG , July 16, 2018 at 9:37 pm

I still fear someone will do the president harm as a result of this. Trump is taking chances with the mafia that runs this shadow permanent government, given this level of hysteria. They just have too much at stake. They are used to getting their way. I hope I'm wrong. The last time a president took on the entire establishment to this extent was JFK. I wish I could be more optimistic.

Litchfield , July 16, 2018 at 10:44 pm

"They are screaming treason! "

How dare they???
they are the treasonous ones.
These crazed zombies are terrifying.

Gregory Herr , July 16, 2018 at 6:52 pm

"I would rather take a political risk in pursuit of peace, than risk peace in pursuit of politics."

Bravo Mr. President.

Joe Tedesky , July 16, 2018 at 8:27 pm

Great quote Gregory. Joe

Bruce Dickson , July 16, 2018 at 8:51 pm

A JFK-worthy quote, that.

And, to quote its deliverer, "Who would think..?"

JRGJRG , July 16, 2018 at 9:23 pm

That one statement will go down in history, mark my words.

Jeff Harrison , July 16, 2018 at 6:40 pm

"never before have I seen an American president consistently, repeatedly, publicly, and shockingly advance the interests of another country over those of his own government and people."

Really? You obviously haven't been paying attention to the US's obeisance to Israel. I can think of no other country that puts another country's wishes ahead of their own the way the US does with Israel.

"he had a chance right there in front of the world to tell Vladimir Putin to stay the HELL out of American democracy, and he didn't do it."

And he was wise not to do so. The United States has far more blatantly interfered with Russian elections than what the idiots in our alphabet soup of intelligence agencies are accusing Russia of now. The reason you call Putin a thug is not because he is one but because he won't let you get away with that kind of crap. Putin has made it clear that American regime change is off the table and he intends to see to it that it stays off the table.

Rohit , July 16, 2018 at 7:30 pm

""never before have I seen an American president consistently, repeatedly, publicly, and shockingly advance the interests of another country over those of his own government and people.""

Is that why he wants NATO to beef up? Is that why he complained about Germany's energy dependence on Russia?

He is not putting Putin above the American people. He is just not accepting the lies told by the FBI which is really pretty much still controlled by Obama.

JesseJean , July 16, 2018 at 10:33 pm

Bravo, Jeff!

David Hamilton , July 16, 2018 at 6:34 pm

If the allegations are true – of GRU officers successfully phishing for HRC campaign dirt from Chairman Podesta's emails – then the officers are guilty as charged. As I understand it, this was the avenue through which Wikileaks obtained the content of Hillary Clinton's speeches to Goldman Sachs. That confirmation of what most already suspected to be true – that Hillary had been pledging fealty to Wall Street bankers at the expense of the people – probably contributed to Hillary's defeat at the polls. So, I say "more power to 'em". Those officers show common cause with the common man and woman in America. Hillary was never going to release those transcripts on her own!

And that same phishing – if true – was certainly no "terrorist attack" or "act of war' or other hyperbolic nonsense like "the undermining of democracy in America". We have no democracy – only an oligarchy – much like the Russians under Boris Yeltsin. Maybe the phishing undermined oligarchy here, which would be a good thing. Oligarchy is at the heart of the cruel neo-liberal order which tyrannizes the people.

Jeff Harrison , July 16, 2018 at 6:42 pm

Julian Assange has consistently said he did not get the files from Russia. Assange has yet to be caught in a lie. The US is a serial liar and doesn't even look embarrassed when caught in a lie.

David Hamilton , July 16, 2018 at 6:49 pm

Thanks Jeff, maybe I don't understand the transfers to Wikileaks very well. I wonder if the FBI/Justice Department really knows, like they say they do.

LarcoMarco , July 16, 2018 at 7:41 pm

Well, if DNC's servers and Hillarious' stealth servers and Podesta's email were hacked, the NSA has Hooverd up all the evidence (if it exists). The Dumpster should demand this material be revealed and also demand disclosure of proof that RussiaGate is more than Deep State designs.

Frederike , July 16, 2018 at 7:58 pm

Something must be done to release Assange! Trump: do something.

backwardsevolution , July 16, 2018 at 8:57 pm

Frederike – I think Trump will release Assange. Patience.

JRGJRG , July 16, 2018 at 9:33 pm

911 ushered in the post-truth era.

JRGJRG , July 16, 2018 at 9:25 pm

Maybe they got the information because Hillary took home classified documents and recklessly-knowingly exposed them to hackers in her private basement server?

Freedom lover , July 16, 2018 at 10:56 pm

"If the allegations are true". Well we probably will never find out will we. Putin was shrewd to offer to have Mueller and his investigators come to Russia to investigate the indited GRU officers and offering full cooperation with Russian Law enforcement. Putin and Trump both know that Mueller will make every excuse in the book of why that can't happen. Mueller must be craping his pants wondering if he will somehow be forced to take his investigation to Russia and have it publically exposed for the fraud that it is.

backwardsevolution , July 17, 2018 at 3:42 pm

Freedom lover – yes, what a great move by Putin! "Come on, let's work together to get to the bottom of this." Mueller must just be dying! Unfortunately, Trump is really in danger now.

Alcuin , July 16, 2018 at 6:04 pm

Why no mention of the most explosive claim at the press conference? https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2018/07/putin-blows-apart-russia-collusion-probe-says-russian-group-gave-400000000-to-hillary-clinton-video/

Alcuin , July 16, 2018 at 6:21 pm

"I have GREAT confidence in MY intelligence people." Translation: He has little confidence in Obama and Bush intelligence people. Good for him.

JRGJRG , July 16, 2018 at 9:32 pm

Wow, that was explosive! Just imagine how bad things would be right now if someone other than Putin were in charge of Russia. We should count ourselves as lucky.

[Jul 18, 2018] This two part, excellent documentary on Russia in the 90's is all about VVP and Major Russian Jewish Oligarch Boris Berezovsky

Jul 18, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com


Unknown User -> Billy the Poet Mon, 07/16/2018 - 19:31 Permalink

Berezovsky's Daughter Speaks Out: British Intelligence Killed Former Asset to Prevent Him Leaking

Conscious Reviver -> Unknown User Mon, 07/16/2018 - 20:18 Permalink

This two part, excellent documentary on Russia in the 90's is all about VVP and Major Russian Jewish Oligarch Boris Berezovsky. Boris took over the Kremlin. Boris shot himself in the foot, but wound up saving Russia when he picked Putin to succeed alchoholic Yeltsin. Putin took the country back.

Larry Summers, Harvard Jew American oligarch led the rape and looting of Russia.

The Rise of Putin and The Fall of The Russian-Jewish Oligarchs (1/2)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2Cl8lSv9Is#

The Rise of Putin and The Fall of The Russian-Jewish Oligarchs (2/2)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2nNtynZAiI

Killdo -> Conscious Reviver Mon, 07/16/2018 - 22:32 Permalink

also described in Naomi Klein's book The Shock Doctrine- the rise of the disaster capitalism

[Jul 18, 2018] Fox News post Summit interview with Putin.

Jul 18, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Boing_Snap -> Not Too Important Mon, 07/16/2018 - 21:35 Permalink

Fox News post Summit interview with Putin.

https://youtu.be/rHY8yG4mVzs

Conscious Reviver -> IridiumRebel Mon, 07/16/2018 - 20:07 Permalink

Great, informative, entertaining documentary on Russia in the 90's.

The Rise of Putin and The Fall of The Russian-Jewish Oligarchs (1/2)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2Cl8lSv9Is#

The Rise of Putin and The Fall of The Russian-Jewish Oligarchs (2/2)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2nNtynZAiI

nmewn -> Not Too Important Mon, 07/16/2018 - 18:19 Permalink

Podesta failing to register as a foreign agent for Russia, Browder greasing the palms of the Klintons with "illicit cash" purloined from Russia...lol...oh man, this is really getting interesting!

Ahem...and just where in the world is...Mr.Mifsud? ;-)

[Jul 18, 2018] After the press conference the usual anti-Trump operatives went ballistic

Jul 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

After the press conference the usual anti-Trump operatives went ballistic:

John O. Brennan @JohnBrennan - 15:52 UTC - 16 Jul 2018

Donald Trump's press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of "high crimes & misdemeanors." It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump's comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???

Senator John McCain released a scathing statement :

... "President Trump proved not only unable, but unwilling to stand up to Putin. He and Putin seemed to be speaking from the same script as the president made a conscious choice to defend a tyrant against the fair questions of a free press, and to grant Putin an uncontested platform to spew propaganda and lies to the world.
...
"No prior president has ever abased himself more abjectly before a tyrant. Not only did President Trump fail to speak the truth about an adversary; but speaking for America to the world, our president failed to defend all that makes us who we are -- a republic of free people dedicated to the cause of liberty at home and abroad. ...

These imbeciles do not understand the realism behind Trump's grand policy. Trump knows the heartland theory of Halford John Mackinder. He understands that Russia is the core of the Eurasian landmass. That landmass, when politically united, can rule the world. A naval power, the U.S. now as the UK before it, can never defeat it. Trump's opponents do not get what Zbigniew Brzezinski, the National Security Advisor of President Carter, explained in his book The Grant Chessboard (pdf). They do not understand why Henry Kissinger advised Trump to let go of Crimea.

Trump himself professed his view (vid) of the big picture and of relations with Russia in a 2015 press conference:

"I know Putin. And I tell you that we can get along with Putin. Putin has no respect for President Obama. Big Problem, big problem. And you know Russia has been driven - you know I always heard, for years I have heard - one of the worst things that can happen to our country, is when Russia ever gets driven to China. We have driven them together - with the big oil deals that are being made. We have driven them together. That's a horrible thing for this country. We have made them friends because of incompetent leadership. I believe I would get along very nicely with Putin- okay? And I mean where we have the strength. I don't think we need the sanctions. I think that we would get along very, very well. I really believe that. I think we would get along with a lot of countries that we don't get along with today. And that we would be a lot richer for it than we are today.
It took 45 years, not 20 as Kissinger foresaw, to rebalance the U.S. position.

After the Cold War the U.S. thought it had won the big ideological competition of the twentieth century. In its exuberance of the 'unilateral moment' it did everything possible to antagonize Russia. Against its promises it extended NATO to Russia's border. It wanted to be the peerless supreme power of the world. At the same time it invited China into the World Trade Organisation and thereby enabled its explosive economic growth. This unbalanced policy took its toll. The U.S. lost industrial capacity to China and at the same time drove Russia into China's hands. Playing the global hegemon turned out to be very expensive. It led to the 2006 crash of the U.S. economy and its people have since seen little to no gains. Trump wants to revert this situation by rebalancing towards Russia while opposing China's growing might.

Not everyone shares that perspective. As security advisor to Jimmy Carter Brzezinski continued the Nixon/Kissinger policy towards China. The 'one China policy', disregarding Taiwan for better relations with Beijing, was his work. His view is still that the U.S. should ally with China against Russia:

"It is not in our interest to antagonize Beijing. It is much better for American interests to have the Chinese work closely with us, thereby forcing the Russians to follow suit if they don't want to be left out in the cold. That constellation gives the U.S. the unique ability to reach out across the world with collective political influence."

But why would China join such a scheme? Brzezinski's view of Russia was always clouded. His family of minor nobles has its roots in Galicia, now in west-Ukraine. They were driven from Poland when the Soviets extended their realm into the middle of Europe. To him Russia will always be the antagonist.

Kissinger's view is more realistic. He sees that the U.S. must be more balanced in its relations :

[I]n the emerging multipolar order, Russia should be perceived as an essential element of any new global equilibrium, not primarily as a threat to the United States.

Kissinger is again working to divide Russia from China . But this time around it is Russia that needs to be elevated, that needs to become a friend.

Trump is following Kissinger's view. He wants good relations with Russia to separate Russia from China. He (rightly) sees China as the bigger long term (economic) danger to the United States. That is the reason why he, immediately after his election , started to beef up the relations with Taiwan and continues to do so. ( Listen to Peter Lee for the details). That is the reason why he tries to snatch North Korea from China's hands. That is the reason why he makes nice with Putin.

It is not likely that Trump will manage to pull Russia out of its profitable alliance with China. It is true that China's activities, especially in the Central Asian -stans, are a long term danger to Russia. China's demographic and economic power is far greater than Russia's. But the U.S. has never been faithful in its relations with Russia. It would take decades to regain its trust. China on the other hand stands to its commitments. China is not interested in conquering the 'heartland'. It has bigger fish to fry in south-east Asia, Africa and elsewhere. It is not in its interest to antagonize Russia.

The maximum Trump can possibly achieve is to neutralize Russia while he attempts to tackle China's growing economic might via tariffs, sanctions and by cuddling Taiwan, Japan and other countries with anti-Chinese agendas.

The U.S. blew its 'unilateral moment'. Instead of making friends with Russia it drove it into China's hands. Hegemonic globalization and unilateral wars proved to be too expensive. The U.S. people received no gains from it. That is why they elected Trump.

Trump is doing his best to correct the situation. For the foreseeable future the world will end up with three power centers. Anglo-America, Russia and China. (An aging and disunited Europe will flap in the winds.) These power centers will never wage direct war against each other, but will tussle at the peripheries. Korea, Iran and the Ukraine will be centers of these conflicts. Interests in Central Asia, South America and Africa will also play a role.

Trump understands the big picture. To 'Make America Great Again' he needs to tackle China and to prevent a deeper Chinese-Russian alliance. It's the neo-conservatives and neo-liberals who do not get it. They are still stuck in Brzezinski's Cold War view of Russia. They still believe that economic globalization, which helped China to regain its historic might, is the one and true path to follow. They do not perceive at all the damage they have done to the American electorate.

For now Trump's view is winning. But the lunatic reactions to the press conference show that the powers against him are still strong. They will sabotage him wherever possible. The big danger for now is that their view of the world might again raise to power.

Posted by b on July 17, 2018 at 07:41 AM | Permalink Jen , Jul 17, 2018 8:54:40 AM | 8

BTW it is worthwhile to keep in mind that back in 2001, Russia and China signed a treaty of friendship in which, among other things, both nations renounced all and any territorial designs on one another's territory. This meant that China would have renounced any claims on parts of Primorsky Kray in the Russian Far East along the Amur River, that used to be part of the old Ming and Qing empires.

The text of this treaty can be read at this link:
http://www.chinese-embassy.no/eng/dtxw/t110017.htm

There is one significant paragraphy to be noted:
Neither party will join any alliance or group that harms the other's sovereignty, security and territorial integrity. Neither of them will conclude such treaties with any third party, or allow a third country to use its territory to harm the other's sovereignty, security and territorial integrity.

Well ... there goes any attempt by Trump to prise apart Russian and Chinese friendship.

Tom Welsh , Jul 17, 2018 8:56:16 AM | 9
"Playing the global hegemon turned out to be very expensive. It led to the 2006 crash of the U.S. economy and its people have since seen little to no gains".

To continue the theme: "People? We don't need no stinkin' people". US government has long been directed towards the enrichment of a tiny clique of the super-rich and powerful. It is nothing more than a bloodsucking parasite on the USA itself.

[Jul 18, 2018] President Trump Holds a Joint Press Conference with the President of the Russian Federation

Youtube video.
Jul 18, 2018 | www.youtube.com

Jimmy Stone , 21 hours ago

I guess it was a successful meeting. What was all this news in some American news outlets, that it was going to be and is disaster? Unfortunately here in New Zealand we get our international news from cnn abc and BBC. Luckily I search for truth and go online to watch the full uncut interview. Nice coverage.

BarbaraL Lowell , 1 day ago

"I would rather take a political risk in pursuit of peace, than risk peace in pursuit of politics". Will any media have the guts and gusto that President Trump has to make this quote the headline? Or will they once again focus on the size of his hands or the color of his skin? I pray people wake up and celebrate the gravitas of this man.

Mary Hernandez , 1 day ago

Russia did nothing to help President Trump get elected PERIOD. We the American people voted him in PERIOD.

Bogdan Haotic , 1 day ago

God Bless the U.S.A and Russia

flewjewcoop , 1 day ago (edited)

I am growing proud to be an American again, President Trump. Thank you for your service and God bless you... along with the Russian people and their fine leader.

anthony k , 1 day ago

As a foreign observer, I can honestly claim, that this press conference between both leaders, was a very productive and successful conference. Well done to both presidents!

MegaBizzar , 1 day ago

The Elite Factions are not going to be happy about this.

Oli , 1 day ago

Browder and his business associates who have not paid taxes in the USA or Russia acquired 400 million dollars illegally and gave it to Hillary Clinton! No wonder the leftist didn't want this meeting to happen. They didn't want to be exposed

Vaniecia Ferguson , 1 day ago

I would have loved to seen the expressions on the faces of the media, and the Democrats and Mueller when Putin put it out there that there is a way to get the facts of who hacked the DNC/DCCC servers out there, and also a legal treaty that can allow the indicted people to be investigated, and Muellers team to be able to be present!! lol.... they really havent wanted the American public to know that there is a way to actually prove there isnt any proof!

Jeffery Jangala , 1 day ago

WooooHooooooooooo! Putin just called Mueller and Rosenstein on their BS!

Takoui Souvadjian , 1 day ago

So obvious that media and deep state and radicals on the left are protesting in a very exaggerated way after the presser. Notice lots of hastags against POTUS but no hasthags on the most important developments at the presser = $400 million to Hillary campaign from Russia. Folks, embrace this President. The better he makes America, the worst the attacks get. Just the fact that a US reporter ask such a file question against his President, in front of Putin and other foreign reporters is a disgrace and should be regarded as the utmost of treasonous acts. God bless your President. Defend him. Protect him. He could have very easily sided with the witch hunt but he chose to stay neutral knowing that cooperation with Putin is more important than looking good to the ridiculous media who would have vilified him in any way he answered that ridiculous question. Vote republican and make 2018 a victory for the right

Atlantean Sage , 21 hours ago

Russia is the 'enemy' only because Russia has thrown off the Jewish Mafia death grip around its throat ! The Jewish owned media and big finance are picking on Russia because they can't FLEECE Russia anymore !!!

Arm America , 1 day ago

That was a fantastic interview and both President Trump and President Putin did a great job. We Americans want PEACE ... But the disgusting MSM that are the enemies of America and the world do all they can to cause discord and trouble. We 'see' through their bullshit and despise them. All NORMAL people want to live in PEACE and God Bless President Trump and President Putin for working together to achieve that!!! #MAGA #TRUMP2020

warprat , 1 day ago

I was a Democrat for 30ys. Bernie was cheated and I voted for Trump. I didn't expect much from him. But he has shown himself to be an incredible man from day one, when he ripped up the TTP. An incredible President... God bless you Mr. President and keep you and your family safe. #WalkAway

System Servers , 1 day ago (edited)

So which country gets to arrest Soros? Didn't HRC break some Russian laws so she can be extradited and end up in a Russian prison? Will Russia sue the DNC for slander? Was the DNC's pet Pakistani working for Pakistani intelligence? These are the important questions nobody asked.

[Jul 18, 2018] Parallel reality of the US MSM

Jul 18, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com


not dead yet -> jcaz Mon, 07/16/2018 - 22:31 Permalink

Instead of falling all over yourselves congratulating Putin for outing the Clinton's you should peruse other mainstream news outlets ABC, NBC, FOX, CNBC, MSNBC, Yahoo, CNN and others. Except for Hannity it's 100% condemnation of Trump selling out to the Russians and not a single mention about the $400 million for the Clinton foundation.

The Washington Examiner printed an article full of the usual lies about Russian aggression that if true would make the US look like a saint compared to Russia. I imagine Wapo and the NY Slime were just as bad.

As I stated the other day unless Trump crushed Putin, which was never gonna happen even if the Donald wanted too, the knives would come out and even Republicans would stomp on him.

If you saw Hillary's face you would see she is laughing her ass off and dreaming of being president in 2020. The calls for impeachment will come from all over the political spectrum and the propagandized Americans, sheeple and the "well informed intelligent people" who read the drivel in Wapo and NY Slime and there fellow travelers and believe it 100%, will back it.

Those willing to print the truth will be drowned out by the propaganda and be called Putin's bitches with renewed calls to shut down the "fake news" that tells the truth.

The Dreadnought Mon, 07/16/2018 - 17:13 Permalink

Real News that Fake News ignores...

Must. Protect. The. Narrative.

847328_3527 -> The Dreadnought Mon, 07/16/2018 - 17:31 Permalink

All the news outlets bashing Trump Putin interview as "disgusting" which is odd because I liked it because he called out the real criminals---Comey, the fbi, DNC, Clinton, Strzok, etc.

Anunnaki -> 847328_3527 Mon, 07/16/2018 - 20:13 Permalink

The Presstitutes hate accountability of the Deep State Neocons

khnum Mon, 07/16/2018 - 17:15 Permalink

Chances of this being reported by CNN,MSNBC etc are about the same as winning the state lottery.

You Only Live Twice -> khnum Mon, 07/16/2018 - 17:30 Permalink

Pretty much. This other bombshell from the conference, in which Trump spilled entirely in the open that the whole Syria thing hinged on Israel at the request of "Bibi" left me jaw-dropped. Haven't seen a mention anywhere about this one...

warpigs Mon, 07/16/2018 - 17:16 Permalink

It never fucking ends. I am watching all of my Dem friends howl about Trump being owned by Puty Pute but not a darn mention about HRC sucking bags of unethical dicks.

DingleBarryObummer -> DingleBarryObummer Mon, 07/16/2018 - 17:24 Permalink

And plus, I thought Putin Blames "Ukrainians Or Jews" For Election Meddling: "Maybe The US Paid Them" | Zero Hedge

Now it's hillary. Did he change his mind?

Volkodav -> DingleBarryObummer Mon, 07/16/2018 - 17:59 Permalink

Better get someone Russian language explain you

complete correct quote and context

cos you have not clue...

dlweld -> DingleBarryObummer Mon, 07/16/2018 - 19:58 Permalink

He didn't blame them - just said if you have no specific evidence pointing to Russians, it could just have easily been Ukranians, or Jews or??? which is certainly true.

[Jul 17, 2018] MSNBC kept showing the headline, Former CIA Director Calls Trump Treasonous , yet they didn t use Brennan s name. Plus all the guests they had on were intel officers who either served under Obama, Mueller, or both

Notable quotes:
"... Then there's the fact, and I love this one, that the New York Times, in 2008, directly called Brennan a war criminal for openly supporting torture, rendition, and illegal wiretaps under the Bush Jr. administration, in the CIA, yet now he's the MSM's "main" consultant on these matters: ..."
"... Exactly. People simply have to remember 9/11 and that the US intelligence agencies are the most sophisticated and most controlling monsters on the globe. They are masters of disinformation and deception and if they were not trying to fool all of the people all of the time they would simply be out of work. ..."
"... The only sense we the people - the unwashed and constantly deceived masses - can make of the apparent division in the US over Russia, is through history. Historically Russia has been the arch enemy of both the Zionists and the Brits, and that it was the banksters of Wall Street, London and Zurich which did the most to install a communist regime in Russia, with their efforts beginning years before 1917. The plan was mainly to destroy the Russian establishment and religion, which they largely did, but the communist alternative they used had a life of its own. ..."
"... When the USSR folded in the early 1990's, the Western banksters and capitalists couldn't wait to get their hands on Russian resources and economic opportunities and they started gobbling up everything of value at bargain basement prices from the cash-starved Russians. In reaction, the old guard - the highly trained and efficient Russian intelligence community - reacted to the corruption and installed Putin on the throne. He nationalized the oil and gas industry and other interests and kicked the Western carpetbaggers clean out of Russia. They have never and will not forgive him, and his main opposition in Russia is the Zio establishment. ..."
Jul 17, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Space_Cowboy -> 1 Alabama Tue, 07/17/2018 - 13:52 Permalink

I posted this in another ZH article, but wanted to spread awareness about these matters:

I cracked up when MSNBC kept showing the headline, "Former CIA Director Calls Trump Treasonous", yet they didn't use Brennan's name. Plus all the "guests" they had on were intel officers who either served under Obama, Mueller, or both. Definitely attempted CYA going on.

Then there's the fact, and I love this one, that the New York Times, in 2008, directly called Brennan a war criminal for openly supporting torture, rendition, and illegal wiretaps under the Bush Jr. administration, in the CIA, yet now he's the MSM's "main" consultant on these matters:

https://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/01/07/the-right-or-wrong-exp

Meanwhile, not to get off topic but.....

... ... ...

chunga -> Occams_Razor_Trader Tue, 07/17/2018 - 08:28 Permalink

Today would be a great day for Sessions to come out of his slumber. His name is Bill Browder.

FBaggins -> NidStyles Tue, 07/17/2018 - 11:48 Permalink

Exactly. People simply have to remember 9/11 and that the US intelligence agencies are the most sophisticated and most controlling monsters on the globe. They are masters of disinformation and deception and if they were not trying to fool all of the people all of the time they would simply be out of work.

The only sense we the people - the unwashed and constantly deceived masses - can make of the apparent division in the US over Russia, is through history. Historically Russia has been the arch enemy of both the Zionists and the Brits, and that it was the banksters of Wall Street, London and Zurich which did the most to install a communist regime in Russia, with their efforts beginning years before 1917. The plan was mainly to destroy the Russian establishment and religion, which they largely did, but the communist alternative they used had a life of its own.

When the USSR folded in the early 1990's, the Western banksters and capitalists couldn't wait to get their hands on Russian resources and economic opportunities and they started gobbling up everything of value at bargain basement prices from the cash-starved Russians. In reaction, the old guard - the highly trained and efficient Russian intelligence community - reacted to the corruption and installed Putin on the throne. He nationalized the oil and gas industry and other interests and kicked the Western carpetbaggers clean out of Russia. They have never and will not forgive him, and his main opposition in Russia is the Zio establishment.

Remember, how the US-Anglo-Zionist establishment reacted to the ousting of the Shah of Iran in 1979, and the end of Western control of Iranian oil and gas. That nation has been on the hit list ever since.

Trump is either not sincere in dealing with Putin and the US-led axis will pull something off very shortly, or he is doing something quite revolutionary and wants rapprochement.

I Am Jack's Ma -> freedommusic Tue, 07/17/2018 - 14:38 Permalink

worth a read...

Paranoia May Destroy Ya' – The Collective Response From the Co-Conspirators

I didn't vote for Trump. His handling of the Iran deal, Palestine and regurgitation of Likudnik talking points, many of his appointments... these aren't America First positions. They smack of Adelson and Bibi and using the MEK to foment moar regime change should trouble everyone.

However, I always conceded that he was better than Hillary. I almost voted for GJ but live in MA so why bother.

But he has my vote next time.

This isn't about Trump anymore - it's about the ability of a shadow government to undo elections with fisa and intel abuse and with the help of a controlled, CIA-minded legacy media.

I also think these 'deep state' types are determined to get major wars going, and determined to keep flooding the country with debt serfs and cannon fodder all while attacking our sovereignty and promoting endless wars that benefit the banks and MIC.

I think we are in an incredibly dangerous time and that Brennan and Clapper need to be indicted and arrested for sedition ASAP.

Ditto Hillary, and others, including Obama.

In simple terms its the Republic versus the Empire, and if you support the Republic, I don't care if we deeply disagree on lots of other stuff - I am on your side.

And if the Left marches on Washington as some are calling for, I think patriots need to go out and meet them with a peaceful show of our numbers.

Enough.

[Jul 17, 2018] All the post WWII wars were done in the same way: demonizing leaders, defending democracy , false flag ops.

Jul 17, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

silver140 -> Free This Tue, 07/17/2018 - 13:59 Permalink

Within minutes MSM had the theme to broadcast. It was from their puppet masters in the FBI/CIA. They're told what to say. There's no doubt about that now.

Also, there's no doubt that they are pushing for war with Russia, within months or a few years, depending on what happens to Trump.

The Russians will know this now. All the post WWII wars were done in the same way: demonizing leaders, "defending democracy", false flag ops. But this present push is for the end game of killing the host; which is the life strategy of the parasitoid. The complete destruction of humanity and total ecocide.

The parasitoid corporate fascists are now in full control of the media and their disease vector politicians/bureaucrats, not just in the US but the EU/NATO as well.

A parasitoid is an organism that lives in close association with its host and at the host's expense, and which sooner or later kills it. Parasitoidism is one of six major evolutionary strategies within parasitism . Parasitoidism is distinguished by the fatal prognosis for the host, which makes the strategy close to predation .

In epidemiology , a disease vector is any agent that carries and transmits an infectious pathogen into another living organism; [1] [2]

[Jul 16, 2018] Why the Media is Desperate to Reclaim its Gatekeeper Status for News Zero Hedge Zero Hedge

Highly recommended!
Jul 16, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Local news differs because it is mixed with first-hand experience, as well as second-hand reports from witnesses–neighbors and friends. Gossip is one way of regulating this local flow of information. It provides details about who can be believed, and who might embellish.

Locally, there is an organic structure of information flow. This alone doesn't make it accurate, but it gets closer by triangulating from where you get your information.

And the further you get from the ability to triangulate from different sources, the faker news gets. I don't mean different sources, as in, different news outlets. I mean first-hand knowledge mixed with historical context, access to first-hand accounts, information about the reliability of witnesses and experts, and so on.

The further away the news gets from you, the harder it is to mix the news with other intelligence. At that point, it is easier to manipulate the truth.

But even if a piece of news about a far-off event is not attempting to misconstrue the truth, it could do so inadvertently. Without the full context of what is happening, events across the world can give the wrong impression.

Were chemical weapons used in Syria? If so, who used them? And who exactly is fighting who ?

The conflict in Syria is the perfect example of fake news. You have a complicated event with many different sides and no clear good guys. There are few first-hand accounts from people we know personally. There are some entities who wish to purposely distort the truth and others which want to hide the full extent of their actions.

All I can do to find out is trust various news sources. And that is what I mean when I say everything is fake news. Just picking which events to report on truthfully can end up presenting a basically fake story.

The Same Old Story

Years ago it was easy to control the spread of information. There were only a handful of television networks and newspapers. All news passed through the channels of official gatekeepers before making its way to the consumer.

But already the government was creating and disseminating fake news through programs like Project Mockingbird. The CIA had thousands of journalists on its payroll to disseminate false news and bury certain real reports.

So the government's problem is not fake news. Governments are concerned that they have lost their monopoly control of fake news. They were the gatekeepers.

Social media "has made things much worse," because it "offers an easy route for non-journalists to bypass journalism's gatekeepers, so that anyone can 'publish' anything, however biased, inaccurate or fabricated," says John Huxford, an Illinois State University journalism professor.

"Journalism's role as the 'gatekeeper' of what is and isn't news has always been controversial, of course. But we're now seeing just how bad things can get when that function breaks down."

Are we seeing how bad things can get? It seems that there was always fake news, but at one time, everyone believed it. Now there is fake news, and no one trusts any news. That is a better situation to be in. It is the rejection of manipulation by the elites, the gatekeepers.

Distrust in unverifiable news is better than blind trust in government propaganda. Better to hold agnostic beliefs about certain national events, versus believing what the government feeds us.

My default position is distrust of the government. So whatever narrative they seem to be pushing, if not outright false, has a purpose behind it. They are trying to shape the behavior of the masses and very rarely is this beneficially to individuals.

Huxford said many internet users are not adept at telling fake news from the real thing, making the role of major news organizations critical.

"This is why Trump falsely labelling the mainstream media as 'fake news' is so toxic," he said.

"It means that, at a time when there is a lot of fabrication and falsehoods swirling through the system, the credibility of the most reliable sources of news is being undermined."

As someone who believes in a grassroots approach to solving problems, starting with individuals, I am naturally averse to the idea of controllers from on high making decisions for me.

And that is why I think it is beneficial to have more distrust in news the further it gets from you, and rather use what you can confirm to live personally as you see fit.

Probably the best example of this is people signing up for the military directly after 9/11 to go kick some al-Qaida ass. They trusted the national news to deliver accurate facts about what happened, and how to stop it from happening again. And they threw themselves into the fight without having an accurate picture of why, or how the war they were signing up for would help.

In the end, they may have ended up supporting a worse regime than the one they were fighting.

Never knowing what you can believe is not ideal. But it beats a false sense of security that the news you get is real. It isn't. And if people are finally waking up to that, perhaps they will stop lining up to fight other people's wars.

You don't have to play by the rules of the corrupt politicians, manipulative media, and brainwashed peers.

[Jul 15, 2018] Effect of the US TV on a parrot

Jun 15, 2018 | www.unz.com

anonymous [739] Disclaimer , June 14, 2018 at 12:31 pm GMT

Can't believe any sane American thinks Russians – including beautiful Russian tennis players are more of a threat to us in 2018 then say M13 Gang banger invaders, Chicago Black street gangs, Afghan and Pakistani child rapists or just the sub Saharan Black African mobs with their machetes.

We commissioned some Farstar cartoons on this theme – seems pretty basic to me, but the J media mafia simply goes on and on – there is supposedly a Russian spy behind every bush, some Russians posted anti Hillary posts on Facebook – oh the horror!

https://www.bing.com/images/search?view=detailV2&ccid=wYcqmOzk&id=3B43263DD48F82D1FEC205044FBE66DCDA30A42F&thid=OIP.wYcqmOzkZCrNMrWlfuDUigHaJu&mediaurl=http%3a%2f%2fwww.occidentaldissent.com%2fwp-content%2fuploads%2f2017%2f06%2frussians-out.jpg&exph=1280&expw=974&q=occidental+dissent+farstar&simid=607993335092480560

[Jul 14, 2018] Rediscovering the Art of Diplomacy With Vladimir Putin by Ted Galen Carpenter

As a personality and politician Trump is infinitely smaller then Putin. So the only trump card he has is "imperial arrogance".
Also Trump is severely constrained by what he do or offer by the Deep State, especially intelligence agencies which have semi-autonomous power in the USA and are no longer under direct control of the government, representing a shadow government by itself. Brennan attempt to unseat Trump is just one recent example.
He also has a full of neocons cabinet now. Just Pompeo is very dangerous neocon indeed.
Notable quotes:
"... However, Washington's dominant position has also led to some foreign policy bad habits. Because U.S. leaders have not had to deal with serious peer competitors in a long time, they appear to have lost the art of skillful, nuanced diplomacy. Even before the arrival of the Trump administration, U.S. policy exhibited a growing arrogance and lack of realism about diplomatic objectives. ..."
"... If the hardliners had prevailed, no summit would have taken place. Their demands were multiple poison pills to any feasible negotiations. ..."
"... even more than he did with North Korea, he needs to make major changes in current U.S. policy toward Russia and reject the advice and demands that Russophobic hardliners are pushing. Once again, the president must distinguish between achievable and unachievable goals. And he must be willing to make meaningful concessions to the Russian leader to secure the former. ..."
"... Some of Washington's existing demands are manifestly unrealistic . Russia is not going to reverse its annexation of Crimea and return that territory to Ukraine. The Kremlin's move was at least partly a response to the clumsy and provocative actions that the United States and key European Union powers took to support demonstrators who unseated Ukraine's elected, pro-Russian president, Viktor Yanukovych, before the expiration of his term. Moscow was not about to accept that Western power play and watch the region containing Russia's main naval base come under the control of a manifestly hostile Ukrainian regime. ..."
"... With regard to Syria, Trump should inform Putin that the United States is ceasing its efforts to unseat Assad -- a venture that has been a disaster, in any case. To reinforce that pledge, the United States should offer to withdraw all of its forces over the next year. ..."
"... In conducting serious negotiations with Putin, President Trump has an opportunity for a diplomatic (and public relations) success that would exceed his achievement with the Kim summit. To do so, however, he must make a major course correction in how the United States handles delicate and dangerous situations with adversaries. Indeed, he must take an important step in America's willingness to relearn the techniques of achievable diplomacy. ..."
Jul 14, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

However, Washington's dominant position has also led to some foreign policy bad habits. Because U.S. leaders have not had to deal with serious peer competitors in a long time, they appear to have lost the art of skillful, nuanced diplomacy. Even before the arrival of the Trump administration, U.S. policy exhibited a growing arrogance and lack of realism about diplomatic objectives. The upcoming summit between President Donald Trump and Russia's Vladimir Putin affords an opportunity to relearn the requirements of effective diplomacy. If handled poorly, though, it will underscore the adverse consequences of Washington's rigid approach to world affairs.

Too many American politicians, pundits, and foreign policy operatives seem to believe that when dealing with an adversary, diplomacy should consist of issuing a laundry list of demands, including manifestly unrealistic ones, without offering even a hint of meaningful concessions. Critics of Trump's summit with North Korea's Kim Jong-un epitomized that attitude. Some of them excoriated the president just for his willingness to accord Kim implicit equal status by approving a bilateral meeting. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi groused that President Trump "elevated North Korea to the level of the United States while preserving the regime's status quo."

Others grudgingly conceded that the summit theoretically might have been an appropriate move, but argued that Washington should have demanded major substantive and irreversible North Korean steps toward denuclearization in exchange for such a prestigious meeting. In other words, they wanted North Korea's capitulation on the central issue before Trump even agreed to a summit. Critics were furious that such a capitulation was not at least enshrined in the joint statement emerging from the meeting. And if that hardline stance was not enough, they insisted that Trump should have made North Korea's human rights record a feature of the negotiations. Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne asserted that "our wrongful indifference to human rights in the past should not be used as an excuse to justify apologias for dictatorships in our time."

For Peace With Putin, End America's Pointless Wars
Xi Jinping's Great Leap Backward

The lack of realism such positions exhibit is breathtaking. If the hardliners had prevailed, no summit would have taken place. Their demands were multiple poison pills to any feasible negotiations. And the consequences flowing from the course they favored would have been the perpetuation, if not escalation, of alarming tensions on the Korean Peninsula. By spurning their advice, Trump secured a worthwhile change in the dynamics of the U.S.-North Korean relationship. The rapprochement may yet falter, since there are still extremely serious disagreements between the two countries, but the summit was a beneficial reset that has reduced the danger of a catastrophic military confrontation. Because he focused on the achievable, Trump secured a modest, but constructive, gain both for the United States and the East Asian region.

The president has an opportunity for an even more important success in his upcoming summit with Putin. But even more than he did with North Korea, he needs to make major changes in current U.S. policy toward Russia and reject the advice and demands that Russophobic hardliners are pushing. Once again, the president must distinguish between achievable and unachievable goals. And he must be willing to make meaningful concessions to the Russian leader to secure the former.

Some of Washington's existing demands are manifestly unrealistic . Russia is not going to reverse its annexation of Crimea and return that territory to Ukraine. The Kremlin's move was at least partly a response to the clumsy and provocative actions that the United States and key European Union powers took to support demonstrators who unseated Ukraine's elected, pro-Russian president, Viktor Yanukovych, before the expiration of his term. Moscow was not about to accept that Western power play and watch the region containing Russia's main naval base come under the control of a manifestly hostile Ukrainian regime. Given the stakes involved, Russia is no more likely to withdraw from Crimea than Israel is likely to return the Golan Heights to Syria or Turkey return occupied northern Cyprus to the Republic of Cyprus. Persisting in an utterly unattainable demand regarding Crimea before U.S. and EU sanctions against Russia will be lifted is pointless.

Inducing the Kremlin to reduce and phase out its support for separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine is more achievable. Indeed, despite the hysterical allegations that appear periodically in the Western press, Russia's backing of the insurgents has been quite limited and is far less than constituting an "invasion." Putin shows little stomach for making Ukraine an arena for a full-fledged confrontation with the West.

A similar situation exists with respect to Syria. The Kremlin clearly wishes to see Bashar al-Assad remain in power, and given the extreme Islamist orientation of many of Assad's opponents, that is not an outrageous position. Nevertheless, Putin has avoided establishing a large-scale Russian military, especially ground force, presence in that country. He apparently wishes to confine Moscow's role to protecting its naval base at Tartus and assisting Assad's military efforts with Russian air power . There appears to be an opportunity for Washington to gain assurances from the Kremlin that its involvement in Syria will not escalate and might even recede gradually.

To secure such goals, though, the U.S. would need to offer some appealing concessions to Putin. In exchange for ending Russian support of Ukrainian secessionists and confirming Moscow's toleration of the anti-Russian regime in Kiev, Trump should be willing to sign an agreement pledging that the United States will neither propose not endorse NATO membership for Ukraine or Georgia . NATO's previous waves of enlargement right up to Russia's border were a key factor in the deterioration of the West's relations with Moscow. It is time to end that provocation. In addition to that concession, Trump should pledge that NATO military exercises (war games) in Eastern Europe and the Black Sea will come to an end. In exchange, the United States ought to insist that Russian forces end their provocative deployments in Kaliningrad and along Russia's frontier with NATO members.

With regard to Syria, Trump should inform Putin that the United States is ceasing its efforts to unseat Assad -- a venture that has been a disaster, in any case. To reinforce that pledge, the United States should offer to withdraw all of its forces over the next year. Those moves would tacitly accept Russia as the leading foreign power in terms of influence in Syria. Such a concession is a simple recognition of reality . Syria is barely 600 miles from Russia's border; it is 6,000 miles from the American homeland. Moscow's interests are understandably more central than America's, given that geographic factor alone.

In conducting serious negotiations with Putin, President Trump has an opportunity for a diplomatic (and public relations) success that would exceed his achievement with the Kim summit. To do so, however, he must make a major course correction in how the United States handles delicate and dangerous situations with adversaries. Indeed, he must take an important step in America's willingness to relearn the techniques of achievable diplomacy.

Ted Galen Carpenter, a senior fellow in defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute and a contributing editor at The American Conservative, is the author of 10 books, the contributing editor of 10 books, and the author of more than 700 articles on international affairs.

[Jul 06, 2018] Putin conversion from atheist to a believer

Jul 06, 2018 | www.unz.com

AnonFromTN , June 15, 2018 at 3:03 pm GMT

@Wizard of Oz

My personal opinion: it is exactly "Paris is worth a mass" conversion. It is based on Putin's actions, which suggest a very pragmatic (you can say cynical) person, who has the benefits of his country in mind (rather, who believes that benefits for his country are the best benefits for him). I could be wrong, though.

EugeneGur , June 15, 2018 at 4:22 pm GMT
@Frankie P

The point is that Putin realizes that the Orthodox faith is the cultural framework of the Russian nation; its development historically, socially and culturally rest in the hands Orthodox Christianity.

No, it's not. No one can enter the same river twice. Russia will thankfully never go back to its Orthodox roots completely, although Orthodoxy will co-exist peacefully within the secular society. Putin's public insistence on rituals of the Orthodox faith is one of his least attractive features.

Thankfully that chapter of history is over

It's not over until it's over. This sentence of yours simply shows how misunderstood the Soviet period of the Russian history is in the West.

The Soviet Union has been gone for more than a quarter of a century and yet it is -- to borrow a phrase from a popular Soviet song -- is more alive than the living. The Soviet period has become a sort of a yardstick against which the modern Russia is compared in every area: culture, economy, moral climate, everything.

It is a universal agreement that in many areas Russia doesn't measure up to the Soviet standards -- culture and education are the prime examples. Hardly anyone in Russia would disagree that in 25 years Russia hasn't produced anything even remotely comparable with the Soviet achievements in this spheres. Until it does -- the Soviet Union will live one.

[Jul 06, 2018] An interesting variation of anti-Putin propaganda in blogs

Jul 06, 2018 | www.unz.com

@Quartermaster While there is some "hysteria" when it comes to Russia, there is also much truth out there, some of which the author is willing to write off as little more than conspiracy theories.

It is passing strange that those who have strongly criticized Putin have ended up dead. Anytime one appears to be a serious threat to Putin's position they end up dead. It is possible that Putin isn't responsible, but given the numbers and the circumstances, it is likely he knows what is going on.

While Putin was never head of the KGB, much of what he has been up to was learned form iron Felix's organization. To say Putin is a KGB thug is far from being out of line.

What he has done in Ukraine should make the man, and the country he heads, a pariah. Eastern Europe is right to be concerned. The fact that Putin has stated, rather pointedly, that the extent of the USSR is Russia makes the accusation of him being a Soviet revanchist appropriate as well.

Much of what the author seeks to write off as hysteria, isn't. That "hysteria" is a proper concern for what Putin is up to, and what he intends. Fortunately, Russia is too impoverished to all Putin to realize his neo-Tsarist empire. And in pursuing his self-aggrandizing path, he impoverishes his people even more.

fredyetagain aka superhonky , June 14, 2018 at 5:05 pm GMT

"Neo-Tsarist empire." Ha, that's rich. Congrats, you've managed to outdo even the most unhinged anti-Putin elements of the l'chaimstream media.
"impoverishes his people even more." You mean be improving their lives as measured by virtually every metric since kicking out the (((Russian))) banksters and their (((American))) advisers who were robbing the place blind? Dude, you're delusional. Go peddle your nonsense elsewhere.
EugeneGur , June 14, 2018 at 7:53 pm GMT
@Quartermaster

It is passing strange that those who have strongly criticized Putin have ended up dead.

The logic of this is fascinating in its perversity. Lot's of people who don't criticize Putin at all or downright admire him die including under unclear circumstances – the West just doesn't notice. For example, several Russian diplomat have died suddenly and prematurely in various countries – out UN representative Churkin would be the prime example. Can you imaging how many wonderful conspiracy theories we could have concocted should we be so inclined?

It's the same exact "logic" ridiculed in "conclusions" like this: "Everyone who eats cucumbers dies". And those who don't live forever?

What he has done in Ukraine should make the man, and the country he heads, a pariah.

He, meaning Putin, hasn't done anything in Ukraine – the West did. The West organized and supported a coup bringing to the power a super-corrupt illegitimate "government" that relies on armed neo-Nazi groups for the control of the county. Now Ukraine is a failed state with the dominant neo-Nazi ideology, nonexistent economy, impoverished and fleeing population and repressive political system, not to mention a civil war. All Putin did was to resist this development as much as possible, and I do not believe he should be blamed for that.

[Jul 06, 2018] It used to be that the only things one could be certain of were "death taxes." Now of course we must add to that list the very dependable presence of CIA / State Dept lies parroted by MSM all over the West.

Jul 06, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

Gary Weglarz , July 5, 2018 at 1:01 pm

It used to be that the only things one could depend on were "death & taxes." Now of course we must add to that list the very dependable presence of CIA / State Dept lies parroted by MSM all over the West. Lies which are endlessly repeated in defiance of all physical reality and often in direct opposition to actual events in the actual world we live in.

From the Ukraine coup, to Russia-gate, to the "Assad's gassing his own people" regime change propaganda, to the totally surreal Alice in Wonderland Skripnal poisoning nonsense in the U.K, the Western MSM have been as dependable as the rising sun.

They can and do provide fact-free, evidence-free reporting directly from the bowels of the deep state in support of the neocolonial West, including unending support for the never ending resort to mass violence the West relies upon to keep the rest of the planet subjugated -- just as it has for the last 500+ years.

[Jul 05, 2018] Putin-Phobia, the Only Bipartisan Game in Town by Doug Bandow

Jul 05, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Few issues generate a bipartisan response in Washington. President Donald Trump's upcoming summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin is one.

Democrats who once pressed for détente with the Soviet Union act as if Trump will be giving aid and comfort to the enemy. Neoconservatives and other Republican hawks are equally horrified, having pressed for something close to war with Moscow since the latter's annexation of Crimea in 2014. Both sides act as if the Soviet Union has been reborn and Cold War has restarted.

Russia's critics present a long bill of requirements to be met before they would relax sanctions or otherwise improve relations. Putin could save time by agreeing to be an American vassal.

Topping everyone's list is Russian interference in the 2016 election, which was outrageous. Protecting the integrity of our democratic system is a vital interest, even if the American people sometimes treat candidates with contempt. Before joining the administration National Security Adviser John Bolton even called Russian meddling "a casus belli , a true act of war."

Washington Melts Down Over Prospect of Trump-Putin Meeting America the Hyperpowerful

Yet Washington has promiscuously meddled in other nations' elections. Carnegie Mellon's Dov H. Levin figured that between 1946 and 2000 the U.S. government interfered with 81 foreign contests, including the 1996 Russian poll. Retired U.S. intelligence officers freely admit that Washington has routinely sought to influence other nations' elections.

Yes, of course, Americans are the good guys and favor politicians and parties that the other peoples would vote for if only they better understood their own interests -- as we naturally do. Unfortunately, foreign governments don't see Uncle Sam as a Vestal Virgin acting on behalf of mankind. Indeed, Washington typically promotes outcomes more advantageous to, well, Washington. Perhaps Trump and Putin could make a bilateral commitment to stay out of other nations' elections.

Another reason to shun Russia, argued Senator Rob Portman, is because "Russia still occupies Crimea and continues to fuel a violent conflict in eastern Ukraine." Moscow annexed Crimea after a U.S.-backed street putsch ousted the elected but highly corrupt Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. The territory historically was Russian, turned over to Ukraine most likely as part of a political bargain in the power struggle following Joseph Stalin's death. A majority of Crimeans probably wanted to return to Russia. However, the annexation was lawless.

Rather like America's dismemberment of Serbia, detaching Kosovo after mighty NATO entered the final civil war growing out of the dissolution of Yugoslavia. Naturally, the U.S. again had right on its side -- it always does! -- which obviously negated any obligations created by international law. Ever-virtuous Washington even ignored the post-victory ethnic cleansing by Albanian Kosovars

Still, this makes Washington's complaints about Russia seem just a bit hypocritical: do as we say, not as we do. In August 2008 John McCain expressed outrage over Russia's war with Georgia, exclaiming: "In the 21st century, nations don't invade other nations." Apparently he forgot that five years before the U.S. invaded Iraq, with McCain's passionate support. Here, too, the two presidents could agree to mutual forbearance.

Worse is the conflict in the Donbas, in eastern Ukraine, between the Ukrainian army and separatists backed by Russia. Casualty estimates vary widely, but are in the thousands. Moscow successfully weakened Kiev and prevented its accession to NATO. However, that offers neither legal nor moral justification for underwriting armed revolt.

Alas, the U.S. again comes to Russia with unclean hands. Washington is supporting the brutal war by Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates against Yemen. Area specialists agree that the conflict started as just another violent episode in a country which has suffered civil strife and war for decades. The Houthis, a tribal/ethnic/religious militia, joined with their long-time enemy, former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, to oust his successor, Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi. Riyadh and Abu Dhabi attacked to reinstall a pliable regime and win economic control. The U.S. joined the aggressors . At least Russia could claim national security was at stake, since it feared Ukraine might join NATO.

The "coalition" attack turned the Yemeni conflict into a sectarian fight, forced the Houthis to seek Iranian aid, and allowed Tehran to bleed its Gulf rivals at little cost. Human rights groups agree that the vast majority of civilian deaths and bulk of destruction have been caused by Saudi and Emirati bombing, with Washington's direct assistance. The humanitarian crisis includes a massive cholera epidemic. The security consequences include empowering al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Perhaps the U.S. and Russian governments could commit to jointly forgo supporting war for frivolous causes.

Human carnage and physical destruction are widespread in Syria. It will take years to rebuild homes and communities; the hundreds of thousands of dead can never be replaced. Yet Moscow has gone all out to keep Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in power. The Heritage Foundation's Luke Coffey and Alexis Mrachek demand that Moscow end its support for Assad "and demonstrate a genuine willingness to work with the international community to bring a political end to the Syrian civil war." The American Enterprise Institute's Leon Aron urged "a true Russian withdrawal from Syria, specifically ceding control of the Hmeymim airbase and dismantling recent expansions to the Tartus naval facility."

But the U.S. is in no position to complain. Washington's intervention has been disastrous, first discouraging a negotiated settlement, then promoting largely non-existent moderate insurgents, backing radicals, including the al-Qaeda affiliate (remember 9/11!?) against Assad, simultaneously allying with Kurds and Turks, and taking over the fight against the Islamic State even though virtually everyone in the Mideast had reason to oppose the group.

At least Russia, invited by the recognized government, had a reason to be there. Moscow's alliance with Syria dates back to the Cold War and poses no threat to America, which is allied with Israel, the Gulf States, Turkey, Jordan, and Egypt. Washington also possesses military facilities in Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and United Arab Emirates. For most Middle Eastern countries Moscow is primarily a bargaining chip to extort more benefits from America. Trump could propose that both countries withdraw from Syria.

Coffey and Mracek also express outrage that Moscow "has weaponized its natural gas exports to Europe, turning off the tap when countries dare go against its wishes." Russia's customers should not fear coercion via cut-off. Of course, the U.S. never uses its economic power for political ends. Other than to routinely impose economic sanctions on a variety of nations on its naughty list. And to penalize not only American firms, but businesses from every other nation .

Indeed, the Trump administration is insisting that every company in every country stop doing business with Iran. The U.S. government will bar violators from the U.S. market or impose ruinous fines on them. The Trump administration plans to sanction even its European allies, those most vulnerable to Russian energy politics. Which suggests a modus vivendi that America's friends likely would applaud: both Washington and Moscow could promise not to take advantage of other nations' economic vulnerabilities for political ends.

Cyberwar is a variant of economic conflict. Heritage's Mracek cited "the calamitous cyberattack, NotPetya," as "part of Russia's effort to destabilize Ukraine even further than in the past." Yes, a criminal act. Of course, much the same could be said of Stuxnet, which was thought to be a joint American-Israeli assault on Iran's nuclear program. And there are reports of U.S. attempts to similarly hamper North Korean missile development. Some consider such direct attacks on other governments to be akin to acts of war. Would Washington join Moscow in a pledge to become a good cyber citizen?

Virtually everyone challenges Russia on human rights. Moscow falls far short, with Putin's control of the media, manipulation of the electoral process, and violence against those perceived as regime enemies. In this regard, at least, America is far better.

But many U.S. allies similarly fail this test. For instance, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has created an authoritarian state retaining merely the forms of democracy. Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has constructed a tyranny more brutal than that of Hosni Mubarak. Saudi Arabia's monarchy allows neither religious nor political freedom, and has grown more repressive under Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. It is not just Trump who remains largely silent about such assaults on people's basic liberties. So do many of the president's critics, who express horror that he would deal with such a man as Putin.

Moscow will not be an easy partner for the U.S. Explaining that "nobody wanted to listen to us" before he took over, in March Putin declared: "You hear us now!" Compromise is inevitable, but requires respect for both nations' interests. A starting point could be returning the two nations' embassies to full strength and addressing arms control, such as the faltering Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and soon-expiring Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. A larger understanding based on NATO ending alliance expansion in return for Russia withdrawing from the conflict in the Donbas would be worth pursuing.

Neither the U.S. nor the Russian Federation can afford to allow their relations to deteriorate into another Cold War. Russia is too important on too many issues, including acting as a counterweight to China, the most serious geopolitical challenge to the U.S. Hopefully the upcoming summit will begin the difficult process of rebuilding a working relationship between Washington and Moscow.

Doug Bandow is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute. A former Special Assistant to President Ronald Reagan, he is author of Foreign Follies: America's New Global Empire .

[Jul 05, 2018] Britain's Most Censored Stories (Non-Military)

Highly recommended!
Jul 01, 2018 | truepublica.org.uk

TruePublica

In this article, we have attempted to identify the most censored stories of modern times in Britain. We have asked the opinions of one of the most famous and celebrated journalists and documentary film-makers of our time, a high-profile former Mi5 intelligence officer, an investigative journalist with one of the most well-known climate-change organisations, a veteran journalist of the Iraq war, an ex-army officer, along with the head of one of the worlds largest charities working against injustice.

One comment from our eclectic group of experts said; "the UK has the most legally protected and least accountable intelligence agencies in the western world so even in just that field competition is fierce, let alone all the other cover-ups."

So true have we found this statement to be that we've had to split this article into two categories – military and non-military, with a view that we may well categorise surveillance and privacy on its own another time.

Without further ado – here are the most non-military censored stories in Britain since the 1980s, in no particular order. Do bear in mind that for those with inquisitive minds, some of these stories you will have read something about somewhere – but to the majority of citizens, these stories will read like conspiracy theories.

Consequences of American corporate influence over British welfare reforms

The demolition of the welfare state was first suggested in 1982 by the Conservative Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher. Using neoliberal politics, every UK government since 1982 has covertly worked towards that goal. It is also the political thinking used as justification for the welfare reforms of the New Labour government, which introduced the use of the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) for all out-of-work disability benefit claimants. Neoliberal politics also justified additional austerity measures introduced by the Coalition government since 2010, and the Conservative government(s) since 2015, which were destined to cause preventable harm when disregarding the human consequences. Much of this is known and in the public domain.

However, what is less known is a story the government have tried very hard to gag . The American healthcare insurance system of disability denial was adopted, as was the involvement of a US healthcare company to distance the government from the preventable harm created by its use. The private sector was introduced on a wide scale in many areas of welfare and social policy as New Labour adopted American social and labour market policies – and the gravity of its effects cannot be understated.

The result? In one 11 month study 10,600 deaths were attributed to the government disability denial system of screening, with 2,200 people dying before the ESA assessment was even completed. Between May 2010 and February 2014, an astonishing total of 40,680 people died within 12 months of going through a government Work Capability Assessment. The government department responsible has since refused to publish updated mortality totals.

This political and social scandal has been censored, with the author of THIS truly damning report in trouble with the government for publishing it.

Climate Change, what a British oil giant knew all along

For decades, tobacco companies buried evidence that smoking was deadly, the same goes for the fossil fuel industry. As early as 1981, big oil company Shell was aware of the causes and catastrophic dangers of climate change. In the 1980s it was acknowledging with its own research that anthropogenic global warming was a fact. Then, as the scientific consensus became more and more clear, it started introducing doubt and giving weight to a "significant minority" of "alternative viewpoints" as the full implications for the company's business model became clear.

By the mid-90s, the company started talking about "distinguished scientists" that cast aspersions of the seriousness of climate change. THIS REPORT provides proof of Shell's documentation including emails of what they knew and what they were hiding from the public domain. One document in 1988 confirms that: "By the time the global warming becomes detectable it could be too late to take effective countermeasures to reduce the effects or even stabilise the situation."

It was not until 2007 that scientific research eventually took a grip of the problem and proved what was known all along. However, as Shell did say – it's probably too late to take effective countermeasures now anyway. There is still persistent quoting of climate science deniers by the fossil fuel industries.

Government Surveillance

In 2016, the UK was identified as the most extreme surveillance state in the Western world. However, legislation really only came about to legalise its use because of the Edward Snowden revelations in 2013. Prior to that, the British government had created a secret 360-degree mass surveillance architecture that no-one, including most members of parliament, knew anything about. And much of it has since been deemed illegal by the highest courts in both Britain and the European Union.

From operation Optic Nerve which took millions of sexually explicit images of an unknowing public through their devices to a hacking operation called Gemalto – where GCHQ stole the keys to a global encryption system with 700 million subscribers. The unaccountable spymasters of the UK have undertaken breathtaking operations of illegality with absolute impunity.

Some other programmes included; Three Smurfs – an operation to turn on any mobile device so it could listen to or activate the camera covertly on mobile phones. XKeyScore was basically a Google search engine for spies to find any data about anyone. Upstream and Tempora hacked into the worlds main cable highway, intercepting everything and anything globally with a leaked presentation slide from GCHQ on this programme expressly stating they were intent on "Mastering the Internet". Royal Concierge identified diplomatic hotel reservations so GCHQ could organise a surveillance operation against dignitaries either domestic or foreign, in advance.

In truth, Britain is classed as an endemic surveillance state and right now, we only know what has been uncovered by whistleblowers. This is why people like Julian Assange, Edward Snowden and others are nothing less than political prisoners of Western governments. They don't want you to know what they know about you. They also don't want you to know about them, which is why the architecture is there in the first place. It is not for catching terrorists because if it was the courts would not deem these surveillance systems as illegal.

Evidence-Based Medical Studies

Over the last few years, medical professionals have come forward to share a truth that, for many people, proves difficult to swallow. One such authority is Dr. Richard Horton, the current editor-in-chief of the Lancet – considered to be one of the most well respected peer-reviewed medical journals in the world.

Dr. Horton recently released a statement declaring that a lot of published medical research is in fact unreliable at best , if not completely false.

"The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness."

Across the pond, Dr Marcia Angell , a physician and longtime Editor-in-Chief of the New England Medical Journal (NEMJ), which is also considered another one of the most prestigious peer-reviewed medical journals in the world, makes her view of the subject quite plain:

"It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of the New England Journal of Medicine".

Many newspapers in Britain take the opportunity to indulge in some shameless click baiting and report completely false stories simply to gain visitor numbers onto their website – as in this example by the Mail Online HERE or HERE.

The Skripal poisoning and Pablo Millar

D-notice's (Defence and Security Media Advisory Notice) are used by the British state to censor the publication of potentially damaging news stories. They are issued to the mainstream media to withhold publication of damaging information. One such case was the widespread use of D-notices regarding the British ex-spy deeply involved in the Skripal/Novichok poisoning case in Salisbury.

(Here are the official D-Notices to the Skripal Affair )

Mainstream journalists, the press and broadcast media were issued with D-notices in respect of a former British intelligence officer called Pablo Miller. Miller was an associate of Christopher Steele, first in espionage operations in Russia and more recently in the activities of Steele's private intelligence firm, Orbis Business Intelligence .

Steele was responsible for compiling the Trump–Russia dossier, comprising 17 memos written in 2016 alleging misconduct and conspiracy between Donald Trump's presidential campaign and the Putin administration. The dossier paid for by the Democratic Party, claimed that Trump was compromised by evidence of his sexual proclivities (golden shower anyone?) in Russia's possession. Steele was the subject of an earlier D-notice, which unsuccessfully attempted to keep his identity as the author of the dossier a secret.

Millar is reported to be Skripal's handler in Salisbury and if Miller and by extension, Skripal himself were involved in Orbis' work on the highly-suspect Steele-Trump dossier, which is thought to be the case (for all sorts of reasons – including these D-notices) alongside representatives of British and possibly US intelligence, then the motivations for the attempted assassination on the ex-Russian double agent was very wide at best. As it turned out, blame could not be pinned on Russia's intelligence service, the FSB, no matter how hard the government tried. This particular part of the Skripal poisoning story remains buried by the mainstream media.

The City of London – A global crime scene

For over a hundred years the Labour party tried in vain to abolish the City of London and its accompanying financial corruption. In 1917, Labour's new rising star Herbert Morrison, the grandfather of Peter Mandelson made a stand and failed, calling it the "devilry of modern finance." And although attempt after attempt was made throughout the following decades, it was Margaret Thatcher who succeeded by abolishing its opponent, the Greater London Council in 1986.

Tony Blair went about it another way and offered to reform the City of London in what turned out to be a gift from God. He effectively gave the vote to corporations which swayed the balance of democratic power away from residents and workers. It was received by its opponents as the greatest retrograde step since the peace treaty of 1215, Magna Carta. The City won its rights through debt financing in 1067, when William the Conqueror acceded to it and ever since governments have allowed the continuation of its ancient rights above all others.

The consequence? It now stands as money launderer of the world , the capital of global crime scene with Britain referred to by the global criminal fraternity to be the most corrupt country in the world.

A 'watchman' sits at the high table of parliament and is its official lobbyist sitting in the seat of power right next to the Speaker of the House who is "charged with ensuring that its established rights are safeguarded." The job is to seek out political dissent that might arise against the City.

The City of London has its own private funding and will 'buy-off' any attempt to erode its powers – any scrutiny of its financial affairs are put beyond external inspection or audit. It has it's own police force – and laws. Its dark and shadowy client list includes; terrorists, drug barons, arms dealers, despots, dictators, shady politicians, corporations, millionaires and billionaires – most with something to hide. The shocking Panama Papers, Paradise Papers and Lux Leaks barely scratching the surface even with their almost unbelievable revelations of criminality.

Keith Bristow Director-General of the UK's National Crime Agency said in June 2015 that the sheer scale of crime and its subsequent money laundering operations was "a serious strategic threat to Britain." And whilst much of this activity is indeed published – the scale of it is not. It is now believed by many investigative journalists that the City of London is managing "trillions in ill-gotten gains" – not billions as we have all been told.

State propaganda – manipulating minds, controlling the internet

Reading this you would think this was the stuff of a conspiracy theory – sadly, it's not. The government, through its spying agent GCHQ developed its own set of software tools to infiltrate the internet to shape what people see, hear and read, with the ability to rig online polls and psychologically manipulate people on social media. This was what Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept confirmed through the Snowden files in 2014. It was not about surveillance but about manipulating public opinion in ever more Orwellian ways.

These 'tools' now constitute some of the most startling methods of propaganda delivery systems and internet deception programmes known to mankind. What the Snowden files show are that the government can change the outcome of online polls (codenamed Underpass), send mass delivery of emails or SMS messages (Warpath) at will, disrupt video-based websites (Silverlord) and have tools to permanently disable PC accounts. They can amplify a given message to push a chosen narrative (GESTATOR), increase traffic to any given website" (GATEWAY) and have the ability to inflate page views on websites (SLIPSTREAM). They can crash any website (PREDATORS FACE), reduce page views and distort public responses, spoof any email account and telephone calls they like. Visitors to WikiLeaks are tracked and monitored as if an inquiring mind is now against the law.

Don't forget, the government has asked no-one for permission to do any of this and none of this has been debated in parliament where representative democracy is supposed to be taking place. There is no protective legislation for the general public and no-one is talking about or debating these illegal programmes that taxpayers have been given no choice to fund – costing billions. This is government sponsored fake news and public manipulation programmes on a monumental scale.

Chris Huhne, a former cabinet minister and member of the national security council until 2012 said – "when it comes to the secret world of GCHQ, the depth of my 'privileged information' has been dwarfed by the information provided by Edward Snowden to The Guardian."

The Guardian's offices were then visited by MI5 and the Snowden files were ordered to be destroyed under threats that if they didn't, it would be closed down – a sign of British heavy-handedness reminiscent of the East-German Stasi.

Censorship – Spycatcher

'Spycatcher' was a truly candid autobiography of a Senior Intelligence Officer published in 1987. Written by Peter Wright, a former MI5 officer, it was published first in Australia after being banned by the British government in 1985. Its allegations proved too much for the authorities to allow it to be in the public domain.

In an interesting twist of irony, the UK government attempted to halt the book's Australian publication. Malcolm Turnbull, current Prime Minister of Australia, was a lawyer at the time and represented the publisher that defeated the British government's suppression orders against Spycatcher in Australia in September 1987, and again on appeal in June 1988. This is the same man that refuses to assist Julian Assange, an Australian citizen, from his hellhole existence in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

The book details plans of the MI6 plot to assassinate Egyptian President Nasser during the Suez Crisis; of joint MI5-CIA plotting against British Prime Minister Harold Wilson and of MI5's eavesdropping on high-level Commonwealth conferences. Wright also highlights the methods and ethics of the spying business.

Newspapers printed in England, attempting proper reportage of Spycatcher's principal allegations were served gag orders. If they continued, they were tried for contempt of court. However, the book proved so popular many copies were smuggled into England. In 1987, the Law Lords again barred reportage of Wright's allegations or sale of books.

The ruling was then overturned, but Wright was barred from receiving royalties from the sale of the book in the United Kingdom. In November 1991, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the British government had breached the European Convention of Human Rights in gagging its own newspapers. The book has sold more than two million copies. In 1995, Wright died a millionaire from proceeds of his book.

Censorship – The Internet

To the inquisitive and knowledgeable, censorship of the internet by the British government is not news. In addition, there have been many reports, especially from independent outlets complaining about search engines and social media platforms censoring oppositional and dissenting voices.

Already described earlier in this article is the involvement of the authorities in strategies to manipulate public opinion and disseminate false narratives in their aims for control of the internet itself.

A few months ago, the government changed the law to block online content deemed as either pornographic or of an extremist nature to protect those under 16 years of age. It was anticipated that approximately 50 websites would be banned altogether. What subsequently happened was that thousands of websites disappeared from the internet with no court orders, injunctions, notices or justification. Even finding out which websites are on that list is a secret.

Over time, like many pieces of legislation that has been abused by the state, websites and online content that the government of the day does not like will have the perfect tool to simply press the 'delete' button, pretty much as they have already started doing.

On another, but related matter, just last week, The Independent had the headline: " Today's vote will change the face of the internet forever, from an open platform to a place where anything can be removed without warning ." The articles first line reads; "The idea of instituting a regime of petty everyday censorship, that randomly and unfairly damages campaigns, artists and the denizens of the Internet, ought to fill you with rage." This is how the state slowly takes control of what you read, see and hear.

In the meantime, Britain's current Prime Minister has refused to rule out censoring the internet like China in future.

Dark Money Taking Power

Soon after the Second World War, some of America's richest people began setting up a network of thinktanks to promote their interests. These purport to offer dispassionate opinions on public affairs. But they are more like corporate lobbyists, working on behalf of those who founded and fund them. These are the organisations now running much of the Trump administration . These same groups are now running much of Britain. Liam Fox and what was the Atlantic Bridge and the Adam Smith Institute are good examples.

They have control of the Conservative party and are largely responsible for years of work that steered Britain through the EU referendum that ended with Brexit. Tens of £millions have been spent, mostly undisclosed on making this dream to exploit Britain and its people a reality. In fact, almost everything in this article is about such organisations. Those hugely powerful individuals that own search engines and social media platforms along with the banking industry, the pharmaceutical and medical business, the fossil fuel and arms industries – they have reached a pinnacle of unprecedented corporate power.

Some of those fully censored stories pushed below the radar by these corporations include; how over 100,000 EU citizens die every year because of lobbying against workplace carcinogens, how corporate profits and taxes are hidden, the Tory-Trump plan to kill food safety with Brexit – to name but a few. And don't forget the corporate media who are complicit. There are a handful of offshore billionaires that have the ability to decide what millions should read or see.

The Adam Smith Institute referred to earlier is a good example. It is a mouthpiece for right-wing extreme neoliberal capitalists. With a turnover of over £130 million and an operating profit of nearly £17 million, it has received millions of pounds in UK government funding. That is taxpayers money being used against taxpayers because the ASI does not believe in the likes of the NHS or civil society in general.

Talking of Dark Money – Brexit and the climate deniers

We recently reported about a transatlantic network of lobbyists pushing against action on climate change and (latterly) for Brexit? This group are all based out of one building around the corner from the Palace of Westminster.

The network is funded by shadowy elites in the UK and US and lobbies for rampant market deregulation while pushing the myth that climate change is a hoax.

What is much less known is that more recently, these groups have lobbied for a Hard Brexit , hoping the UK's withdrawal from the EU will lead to a weakening of those environmental regulations that hinder future profits. These same groups are also behind the Tory-DUP pact , currently keeping Theresa May in her job while allowing hard-line Northern Irish social conservatives to dictate significant parts of the UK's political agenda, themselves climate change deniers. These are just some of Britain's most censored stories. There are so many of them that we have had to categorise them, which says something about how democracy, free speech, civil liberty and human rights are performing in Britain right now. truepublica.org.uk

[Jul 04, 2018] US goverment legistlative afforts to control the narrative

Notable quotes:
"... What I notice these days is the incredibly wide divide between Trump/Anti-Trump people which also has the ever growing #Qanon vs. #Resist subgroups. These groups live with radically different perceptions of history and current events, totally different realities. Then toss in S.3274 - Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act which allows the government to fund propaganda pieces by our media, Citizens United, and social media I expect this will only get worse. ..."
Jul 04, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

[Jun 28, 2018] If Putin's behavior in the near abroad makes him a "thug," what can we say about Bush, Obama and Trump?

Jun 28, 2018 | www.unz.com

JoaoAlfaiate , June 5, 2018 at 12:52 pm GMT

@Quartermaster

" Putin has invaded Ukraine, stealing the Crimea, and attempting to gain a land bridge by backing a fake revolt in the Donbas with Russian troops, mercenaries, and equipment."

Of course Russia has strategic interests in the Ukraine and the the Crimea is virtually 100% Russian speaking. The Russians remember WW2 and the 20 million Russian dead inflicted upon them by western Europeans.

If Putin's behavior in the near abroad makes him a "thug," what can we say about Bush, Obama and Trump?

Bragadocious , June 5, 2018 at 2:14 pm GMT
I find it interesting how while the neocons demonize Putin and are trying to start WW3, Netanyahu and Putin seem to get along fine. This suggests that the neocons really have something else in mind besides towing the Israeli line. Namely, keeping the American public in a state of confusion and acquiescence and ensuring the endless flow of weapons to their favorite ethnostate.
Curmudgeon , June 5, 2018 at 3:23 pm GMT
@Quartermaster

Putin is just another thug that has imperial desires and is willing to steal his people blind to realize them.

Other than reliable sources like John Brennan, James Clapper, the New York Times and the Washington Post , I presume you have evidence to share of this

Putin has invaded Ukraine,

and this.

stealing the Crimea

Two referenda are "stealing"?

a fake revolt in the Donbas with Russian troops, mercenaries, and equipment.