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Who Rules America ?

A slightly skeptical view on the US political establishment and foreign policy

If Ronald Reagan was America's neo-Julius Caesar, his adopted son was the first George Bush (just as J.C. adopted Augustus). And look what THAT progeny wrought. I fully expect that over the next century, no fewer than seven Bushes will have run or become president (mimicking the Roman Caesarian line). Goodbye, American Republic.

From review of Imperial America: Reflections on the United States of Amnesia by Gore Vidal

Skepticism -> Political Skeptic

News Neoliberalism Recommended books Recommended Links Neoliberal Propaganda: Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism The Deep State
Libertarian Philosophy Elite Theory Resurgence of neofascism as reaction on crisis of neoliberalism and neoliberal globalization US and British media are servants of security apparatus Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich "Fuck the EU": neocons show EU its real place Populism as a social protest against neoliberalism
Corporatism Harvard Mafia, Andrei Shleifer and the economic rape of Russia Demexit: Abandonment of Democratic party by working class and lower middle class Ethno-linguistic and "Cultural" Nationalism as a reaction to Neoliberalism induced decline of standards of living Globalization of Financial Flows Anti-globalization movement Brexit as the start of the reversal of neoliberal globalization
Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite The Iron Law of Oligarchy "Clinton Cash" Scandal: Hillary Clinton links to foreign donors and financial industry Neo-conservatism National Security State Is national security state in the USA gone rogue ? Hypocrisy of British ruling elite as the template for hypocrisy of neoliberal elite
Russiagate -- a color revolution against Trump Anti-Russian hysteria DNC emails leak Anti Trump Hysteria Two Party System as Polyarchy Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Neoliberal war on reality or the importance of controlling the narrative
Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Demonization of Putin Media-Military-Industrial Complex Strzok-gate Fifth Column of Neoliberal Globalization Neoliberal corruption Neoliberalism and Christianity
Pathological Russophobia of the US elite Israel lobby IMF as the key institution for neoliberal debt enslavement Disaster capitalism American Exceptionalism Predator state Obama: a yet another Neocon
Corporatist Corruption: Systemic Fraud under Clinton-Bush-Obama Regime In Foreign Events Coverage Guardian Presstitutes Slip Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment Corruption of Regulators Ayn Rand and her Objectivism Cult  Neo-Theocracy as a drive to simpler society American Imperialism, Transnational Capitalist Class and Globalization of Capitalism Bureaucracy as a Political Coalition
Fake News scare and US NeoMcCartyism Ukraine: From EuroMaydan to EuroAnschluss Civil war in Ukraine Syria civil war Gas Wars Color revolutions New American Militarism
MSM Sochi Bashing Rampage Groupthink Crisis of legitimacy of neoliberal elite Deception as an art form Mayberry Machiavellians Immigration, wage depression and free movement of workers  Who Shot down Malaysian flight MH17?
Compradors vs. national bourgeoisie Talleyrand quotes Otto Von Bismarck Quotes Kurt Vonnegut Quotes Somerset Maugham Quotes George Carlin Propaganda Quotes
Overcomplexity of society Paleoconservatism Non-Interventionism Key Myths of Neoliberalism Skeptic Quotations Humor Etc

Introduction

Skepticism is a useful quality that some people naturally possess and other can develop, but it not a panacea.  As such any "Skeptical" or even "Slightly skeptical" paged by definition suffer from "confirmation bias". They postulate that only information that does not correlate well with official position is worth presenting.  The reality is more complex than that.  There is no grantee that such skeptical opinion is correct. And in retrospect many such opinion, which look highly plausible in the heat of the day, look naive and unsubstantiated ten years after. Been there, saw that.

Also, while not so lucrative as shilling for government, adhering to anything that differ to government position is too simplistic an approach. Especially in the long run, as historical forces in action at the particular moment are often unknown and not evident to participants of the events.

Those considerations probably should be kept in mind when reading those pages. While skeptical opinion is an excellent tool for destroying propaganda stereotypes it is your own task to integrate them into your new understanding of the situation. Sometime that requires integration under some new paradigm, or rejection based on the new paradigm for particular historical situation.  The problem with history is that the real meaning of events often became clear only a centruty or so after they occure.

The central for this set of "slightly skeptical" Softpanorama pages is the idea that we live in neoliberal society and will continue to live in it for some type despite the crisis it experiences now. Because there is no viable alternative on the horizon and resurrection of New Deal capitalism is not possible as the countervailing forces that existed to keep financial oligarchy in check dissipated, and part of them (top management of corporations) joined the former enemy.



NEWS CONTENTS

Old News ;-)

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For the list of top articles see Recommended Links section


It's easy to pretend to be a great strategist,
while sitting on the top of the hill,
at the safe distance from the battle in the valley

-- Shota Rustavelli (11721216)

[May 14, 2021] Dominion, Maricopa County Rebuff Arizona Senate's Attempt To Get Election Machine Passwords - ZeroHedge

May 14, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Zachary Stieber via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Dominion Voting Systems and Maricopa County officials are refusing to hand over passwords for election machines to auditors in Arizona.

Contractors working for Cyber Ninjas, which was hired by the Arizona Senate, examine and recount ballots from the 2020 general election at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix, Ariz., on May 1, 2021. (Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images)

Dominion said in a statement to news outlets on Thursday that it would comply with the audit, but Cyber Ninjas, the firm hired by the Arizona Senate to conduct it along with three other companies, is not accredited by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.

" Releasing Dominion's intellectual property to an unaccredited, biased, and plainly unreliable actor such as Cyber Ninjas would be reckless, causing irreparable damage to the commercial interests of the company and the election security interests of the country ," Dominion said. "No company should be compelled to participate in such an irresponsible act."

Cyber Ninjas did not respond to a request for comment.

Maricopa County officials previously said that they did not have passwords to access administrative functions on Dominion Voting Systems machines that were used to scan ballots during the election, according to the Senate's audit liaison, former Republican Secretary of State Ken Bennett.

"They've told us that they don't have that second password, or that they've given us all the passwords they have," Bennett told One America News at the site of the audit in Phoenix last week.

The county is also withholding routers from auditors , claiming security concerns.

Both routers or router images and access to election machines were part of the materials the state Senate subpoenaed late last year. A judge in February ruled that the subpoenas were valid and should be obeyed.

Arizona Senate President Karen Fann, a Republican, recently threatened to subpoena county officials if they didn't stop their noncompliance with the subpoenas, but backed off the threat in a letter on May 12.

Instead, she asked Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jack Sellers, also a Republican, to cooperate voluntarily by attending an upcoming meeting at the state Capitol to go over the audit issues.

Fann said auditors have found discrepancies in the ballot count, including one batch that was supposed to be 200 but only numbered 165. She also said the audit teams found an entire database directory from an election machine had been deleted, and that the main database for the election management system software was not located anywhere on the machine, suggesting that the main database for all data related to the 2020 election had been removed.

Sellers on Thursday indicated he would not attend the meeting and disputed the allegations.

Deleting files off the server "would be a crime -- and it is not true," he said.

"After reviewing the letter with County election and IT experts, I can say that the allegations are false and ill-informed. Moreover, the claim that our employees deleted election files and destroyed evidence is outrageous, completely baseless, and beneath the dignity of the Arizona Senate," he added, calling for an immediate retraction of statements senators and their liaison team made on social media and to the press.

The Board of Supervisors, which held a closed-door emergency meeting on Friday, plans on holding a public meeting on Monday to address the matter.

Fann, an Arizona Senate Republican Caucus spokeswoman, and the liaison team did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Maricopa County ballots cast in the 2020 general election are examined and recounted by contractors working for Florida-based company, Cyber Ninjas, at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix, Ariz., on May 6, 2021. (Matt York/Pool/AP Photo) Auditors Pack Up as Senate Signs Lease to Extend Audit

Auditors, meanwhile, began packing up on Thursday evening because the audit will take a break due to scheduling conflicts.

The audit has been taking place at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum on the state fairgrounds in Phoenix. High school graduations are scheduled to take place at the building beginning May 15.

Hand counting stopped at 7 p.m. on Thursday and workers began collapsing tables and preparing to move ballots to another location.

About 500,000 of the nearly 2.1 million ballots cast in Maricopa County in the 2020 election have been counted in the audit, according to Bennett.

The Arizona Senate signed an extension to their original agreement that allows auditors to store materials in the Wesley Bolin Building, which is also on the state fairgrounds, from May 12 to May 23.

The approximately 19,000-square foot building has a large open floor plan and two large roll-up doors, according to the Arizona State Fair website.

"Due to temperatures during the summer months, this building is not recommended for use between May through September," the site states.

Bennett told The Epoch Times in a previous interview that the materials will be secure and that the site at which they'll be stored can be tracked online via 24-hour streaming, just like the audit itself.

" There's no deadline for the audit ," Bennett said. " The goal is not speed; the goal is accuracy and completeness. "

The audit teams can resume occupancy of the coliseum on May 23 and use it until June 30, according to a copy of the extended agreement obtained by The Epoch Times .

The original scope of work document from Cyber Ninjas said reviewing voter registration and votes case would take approximately 20 days and that work would be conducted remotely. The vote counting phase would take about 20 more days, it said, while the electronic voting system phase would take some 35 days.

But all three of those phases could be carried out simultaneously, according to the firm. An additional week was said to be required after completing everything else to finalize reporting.

The audit started on April 23.

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber Follow Zachary on Parler: @zackstieber

[May 14, 2021] Ron Paul confrontation with Fauci on gain of functions experiments

Pretty explosive set of interview arguing from artificial origin of COVID-19...
Includes C-span footage of confrontation of Ron Paul and Fauci as well very interesting interview of Dr. Richard M. Fleming as well as pretty reveling interview of Dr. Peter Daszak - EcoHealth Alliance who was financed mainly by the Department of Defense and serve as intermediary for Wuhan labs financing from Fauci.
May 14, 2021 | thehighwire.com
THE DEFINITION OF A BIO-WEAPON


Fauci Denies NIH Funding; Defining a Bioweapon; CDC Stops Looking for Vaccine Failure; The Growing Toll of Vaccine Injury; Eric Clapton's Powerful Message #TheHighWire #EricClapton #StandAndDeliver #NIH #GainOfFunction

Broadcasted 5/13/21 2:00pm - 5/13/21 4:12pm

[May 14, 2021] Wuhan Mistake (Honest Mistake Parody) - Louder With Crowder

May 14, 2021 | www.youtube.com


Cathy Snyder , 11 months ago

That was pretty excellent...loved the little clips of President Trump saying "China" and "Chinese"! The media's reactions are priceless!

Thong Slapping V8 , 11 months ago

The Crowder team has some serious musical talent


Shadow Banned
, 11 months ago

I would love to see a "HOTEL CHINAFORNIA" parody! 😆

XSquibX , 1 month ago div class="style-scope ytd-comment-acti

on-buttons-renderer">

Wuhan
Where I keep a bio lab
Next to wet markets
That's how we do

But this time
Something just escaped
And I just wanted to
Just I thought you'd wanna know
Oops my bad

I swear I never meant for this
I never meant

Don't look at me that way
It was a Chinese mistake
Don't look at me that way
It was a Chinese mistake
An honest mistake

Sometimes
When I'm in the lab
I F up
And pathogens get away
Chinese flu

I swear I never meant for this
I never meant

Don't look at me that way
It was a Chinese mistake
Don't look at me that way
It was a Chinese mistake
An honest mistake

Don't look at me that way
It was a Chinese mistake 
Don't look at me that way
It was a Chinese mistake

[May 14, 2021] Rachel Maddow Says She Will Have To Rewire Her Brain To Not View Maskless As A -Threat- - ZeroHedge

She would need to rewire her brain to have a thought that was not programmed into her... After her Russiagate adventures there are some doubts that this is possible. But money do not smell.
"Faucists" is a good new term: Faucists Under Attack and in Retreat
May 14, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Perhaps Maddow is just sad that there's no longer official justification to intimidate and harass those who choose not to wear masks, something that leftists have enjoyed doing for the best part of a year.

The notion that people who don't wear masks are a "threat" is of course completely ludicrous since the COVID-19 virus particle is 1,000 times smaller than the holes in the mask anyway.

After Texas ended its mask mandate, COVID cases dropped to a record low and a similar pattern was observed in Florida and South Dakota.


Lordflin 46 minutes ago (Edited)

She would need to rewire her brain to have a thought that was not programmed into her...

What a mindless shill... first that singer... what's her name... and now this creature...

What is the effect ZH is going for here exactly...?

takeaction 36 minutes ago (Edited)

Rachel...Pelosi...Schumer...Swalwell.....Cuomo (Both of them) Lemon, Anderson, Fauci, AOC, Maxine, etc.

With or without a mask...

takeaction 18 minutes ago (Edited) remove link

All calm....Gorgeous weather.....78 today.

Hamilcar 28 minutes ago remove link

Branch Covidians like Madcow "Love F$#%ing Science".

And by "science" they mean believing whatever braindead politicians or left-wing corporate media make up as they go along without any critical analysis and hysterically denouncing any evidence that contradicts the narrative as heresy.

It's going to be fun when all these people become the object of universal mockery they deserve. In a JUST world they would be severely punished though.

Lordflin 24 minutes ago

I have always been impressed by the willingness of those who know virtually nothing of the sciences to believe almost anything if it is told to them in the name of science...

signer1 9 minutes ago

To quote Mark Twain, "It's easier to fool people than to convince them they have been fooled".

Citxmech 18 seconds ago

Apparently, it's also easier to get people to believe illogical arguments by telling them it's "science" than it is to get them to actually think critically about the stupid shlt they're being asked to believe.

toiler4fiat 26 minutes ago

Madcow, like [neo]liberalism, is a disease. You can't repair a damaged brain like you can't turn a pickle into a cucumber.

[May 12, 2021] The repetitive use of the term of "baseless" does not make it so.

May 12, 2021 | www.wsj.com

G


The repetitive use of the term of "baseless" does not make it so. G Gregory Dolinajec

How would Liz Cheney, Kristina Peterson (writer of this column) or anyone else ( including William Barr) know whether Trump is correct or not.? The obfuscation created by governors, legislatures and judges made the process inscrutable. I personally believe it more likely than not that Trump is correct.

The repetitive use of the term of "baseless" does not make it so. No one can possibly ever know. The Supreme Court had the opportunity to examine it. Justices Thomas and Alito were correct, the court should have taken the Texas case. Cheney obviously hates Trump. That's what motivates her -- not some higher cause.

The repetitive use of the term of "baseless" does not make it so. G Gregory Dolinajec
How would Liz Cheney, Kristina Peterson (writer of this column) or anyone else ( including William Barr) know whether Trump is correct or not.? The obfuscation created by governors, legislatures and judges made the process inscrutable. I personally believe it more likely than not that Trump is correct.

The repetitive use of the term of "baseless" does not make it so. No one can possibly ever know. The Supreme Court had the opportunity to examine it. Justices Thomas and Alito were correct, the court should have taken the Texas case. Cheney obviously hates Trump. That's what motivates her -- not some higher cause.

The repetitive use of the term of "baseless" does not make it so. G Gregory Dolinajec
How would Liz Cheney, Kristina Peterson (writer of this column) or anyone else ( including William Barr) know whether Trump is correct or not.? The obfuscation created by governors, legislatures and judges made the process inscrutable. I personally believe it more likely than not that Trump is correct.

The repetitive use of the term of "baseless" does not make it so. No one can possibly ever know. The Supreme Court had the opportunity to examine it. Justices Thomas and Alito were correct, the court should have taken the Texas case. Cheney obviously hates Trump. That's what motivates her -- not some higher cause.

[May 12, 2021] "Democracy" is a temporary phase of history which allows the Global Financial Syndicate to take control from the earlier generation of dominant power players

May 12, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Max , May 12 2021 19:39 utc | 28

"The true equation is 'democracy' = government by world financiers."
– J.R.R. Tolkien

Please name a democracy that isn't a SUZERAINTY.

"Democracy" is a temporary phase of history which allows the Global Financial Syndicate to take control from the earlier generation of dominant power players: the monarchies. Most democracies are a suzerainty externally and an Animal Farm internally.

World Financiers' ENSLAVEMENT plan using democracy:
– Create a REVOLUTION & steal a region
– Create a Private CENTRAL BANK (First Bank of the USA, BOE-1694)
– Fund & control new rich individuals (Kleptocrats)
– Fund & control political PARTIES & MEDIA
– Nationalize the central bank (the Fed, BOE-1946)

Enslave & control people by dominance over economic & political powers & call it a democracy. An interesting FRACTAL emerges when one analysis the formation of democracies.

This pattern of creating a private central bank and then nationalizing it, has been repeated in the UK, U$A, New Zealand, France, Spain, Portugal, Austria, Estonia, Romania, India, Argentina, El Salvador, Indonesia, Angola, Haiti...

Which countries Central Banks are still private?

"Those who create and issue money and credit direct the policies of government and hold in the hollow of their hands the destiny of the people."
– Reginald McKenna, former Chancellor of Exchequer, England

[May 12, 2021] Reds under the bed? Or forgot to take the antipsychotics today?

May 12, 2021 | www.wsj.com

D

Reds under the bed? Or forgot to take the antipsychotics today? D David Keating

For any fairly recent US posters on this site, here is a hint to the wise.

There is a significant Russian presence on the WSJ comments. Basically our Russian visitors dominate these comments - at a ratio perhaps of 8-1 - or even worse.

The best way to get your footing on this site is to understand that these Russians are educated, fluent in English, knowledgeable about us, oftentimes quite funny ( sometimes not. ) And the Russians are seeking to pass as Americans.

In this capacity, the Russians will often be earnest & insightful. As well as say horrible things about Republicans and about Democrats.

They are here to stoke division and conflict. They seek to amplify partisanship and misinformation.

As soon as you understand these essential facts, you will find it quite easy to work the thread.

Reds under the bed? Or forgot to take the antipsychotics today? D David Keating
For any fairly recent US posters on this site, here is a hint to the wise.

There is a significant Russian presence on the WSJ comments. Basically our Russian visitors dominate these comments - at a ratio perhaps of 8-1 - or even worse.

The best way to get your footing on this site is to understand that these Russians are educated, fluent in English, knowledgeable about us, oftentimes quite funny ( sometimes not. ) And the Russians are seeking to pass as Americans.

In this capacity, the Russians will often be earnest & insightful. As well as say horrible things about Republicans and about Democrats.

They are here to stoke division and conflict. They seek to amplify partisanship and misinformation.

As soon as you understand these essential facts, you will find it quite easy to work the thread.

[May 12, 2021] Taibbi- Reporters Once Challenged The Spy State. Now, They're Agents Of It - ZeroHedge

May 12, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Taibbi: Reporters Once Challenged The Spy State. Now, They're Agents Of It BY TYLER DURDEN WEDNESDAY, MAY 12, 2021 - 04:20 PM

Authored by Matt Taibbi via TK News ,

What a difference a decade makes.

Former CIA director John Brennan was a media villain, now he's media himself.

Just over ten years ago, on July 25, 2010, Wikileaks released 75,000 secret U.S. military reports involving the war in Afghanistan . The New York Times, The Guardian , and Der Spiegel helped release the documents, which were devastating to America's intelligence community and military, revealing systemic abuses that included civilian massacres and an assassination squad, TF 373, whose existence the United States kept "protected " even from its allies.

The Afghan War logs came out at the beginning of a historic stretch of true oppositional journalism, when outlets like Le Monde, El Pais, Der Spiegel, The Guardian, The New York Times, and others partnered with sites like Wikileaks. Official secrets were exposed on a scale not seen since the Church Committee hearings of the seventies, as reporters pored through 250,000 American diplomatic cables, secret files about every detainee at Guantanamo Bay, and hundreds of thousands of additional documents about everything from the Iraq war to coverups of environmental catastrophes, among other things helping trigger the "Arab Spring."

There was an attempt at a response -- companies like Amazon, Master Card, Visa, and Paypal shut Wikileaks off, and the Pentagon flooded the site with a "denial of service" attack -- but leaks continued. One person inspired by the revelations was former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who came forward to unveil an illegal domestic surveillance program, a story that won an Oscar and a Pulitzer Prize for documentarian Laura Poitras and reporters Glenn Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill. By 2014, members of Congress in both parties were calling for the resignations of CIA chief John Brennan and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, both of whom had been caught lying to congress.

The culmination of this period came when billionaire eBay founder Pierre Omidyar launched The Intercept in February 2014. The outlet was devoted to sifting through Snowden's archive of leaked secrets, and its first story described how the NSA and CIA frequently made errors using geolocation to identify and assassinate drone targets. A few months later, former CIA and NSA director Michael Hayden admitted, "We kill people based on metadata."

Fast forward seven years. Julian Assange is behind bars, and may die there. Snowden is in exile in Russia. Brennan, Clapper, and Hayden have been rehabilitated and are all paid contributors to either MSNBC or CNN, part of a wave of intelligence officers who've flooded the airwaves and op-ed pages in recent years, including the FBI's Asha Rangappa, Clint Watts, Josh Campbell, former counterintelligence chief Frank Figliuzzi and former deputy director Andrew McCabe, the CIA's John Sipher, Phil Mudd, Ned Price, and many others.

Once again, Internet platforms, credit card companies like Visa and MasterCard , and payment processors like PayPal are working to help track down and/or block the activities of "extremists." This time, they're on the same side as the onetime press allies of Wikileaks and Snowden, who began a course reversal after the election of Donald Trump.

Those outlets first began steering attention away from intelligence abuses and toward bugbears like Trumpism, misinformation, and Russian meddling, then entered into partnerships with Langley-approved facsimiles of leak sites like Hamilton 68 , New Knowledge , and especially Bellingcat , a kind of reverse Wikileaks devoted to exposing the misdeeds of regimes in Russia, Syria, and Iran -- less so the United States and its allies. The CIA's former deputy chief of operations for Europe and Eurasia, Marc Polymeropolous, said of the group's work, " I don't want to be too dramatic, but we love this ."

After the Capitol riots of January 6th, the War on Terror came home, and "domestic extremists" stepped into the role enemy combatants played before. George Bush once launched an all-out campaign to pacify any safe haven for trrrsts, promising to "smoke 'em out of their holes." The new campaign is aimed at stamping out areas for surveillance-proof communication, which CNN security analyst and former DHS official Juliette Kayyem described as any online network "that lets [domestic extremists] talk amongst themselves."

Reporters pledged assistance, snooping for evidence of wrongness in digital rather than geographical "hidey holes." We've seen The Guardian warning about the perils of podcasts , ProPublica arguing that Apple's lax speech environment contributed to the January 6th riot, and reporters from The Verge and Vice and The New York Times listening in to Clubhouse chats in search of evidence of dangerous thought. In an inspired homage to the lunacy of the War on Terror years, a GQ writer even went on Twitter last week to chat with the author of George Bush's "Axis of Evil" speech about imploring the "authorities" to use the "Fire in a Crowded Theater" argument to shut down Fox News.

Multiple outlets announced plans to track "extremists" in either open or implied cooperation with authorities. Frontline, ProPublica , and Berkley Journalism's Investigative Reporting Program used " high-precision digital forensics " to uncover "evidence" about the Boogaloo Bois, and the Huffington Post worked with the "sedition hunters " at the Twitter activist group "Deep State Dogs" to help identify a suspect later arrested for tasering a Capitol police officer. One of the Huffington Post stories, from February, not only spoke to a willingness of the press to work with law enforcement, but impatience with the slowness of official procedure compared to "sleuthing communities":

The FBI wants photos of Capitol insurrections to go viral , and has published images of more than 200 suspects. But what happens when online sleuthing communities identify suspects and then see weeks go by without any signs of action ? There are hundreds of suspects, thousands of hours of video, hundreds of thousands of tips, and millions of pieces of evidence the FBI's bureaucracy isn't necessarily designed to keep organized.

The Intercept already saw founding members Poitras and Greenwald depart, and shut down the aforementioned Snowden archive to, in their words, "focus on other editorial priorities" -- parent company First Look Media soon after launched a partnership with "PassionFlix," whose motto is, " Turning your favorite romance novels into movies and series ." Last week, they announced a new project in tune with current media trends:

Are there legitimate stories about people with racist or conspiratorial views who for instance shouldn't be working in positions of authority, as cops or elected officials or military officers? Sure, and there's a job for reporters in proving that out, especially if there's a record of complaints or corruption to match. It gets a little weird if the newsworthiness standard is "person with a job has abhorrent private opinions," but it's not like it's impossible that a legit story could be found in something like the Gab archive, especially if it involves a public figure.

But that depends on the media people involved having a coherent standard for outing subjects, which hasn't always (or even often) been the case.

Here The Intercept is announcing it considers QAnon devotee Marjorie Taylor Greene and Alex Jones "violent white supremacists" -- they're a lot of things, but "violent white supremacists"? In the first piece about "extremists" on Gab, reporter Micah Lee claimed to have found an account belonging to a little-known conservative youth figure; the man's attorney later reached out to deny the account was his, leading to a correction . When asked about his process, Lee responded, sarcastically, that he "certainly wouldn't want to accidentally do investigative journalism about white supremacist domestic terrorists." When asked how he defined a terrorist, and if he'd be naming public figures only, the sarcastic answer this time was, "Of course I won't be naming anyone. Racist white people must be defended at all costs."

Greenwald left the organization among other things after an editor asked that he address the "disinformation issue" in a piece about Hunter Biden's laptop, a reference to a claim made by 50 intelligence officers that the story had "the classic earmarks of a Russian disinformation campaign." He found it inappropriate then for a publication with The Intercept's history to be pushing an intelligence narrative, and the Gab project struck him in a similar way.

"The leap from disseminating CIA propaganda to doing the police work of security state agencies is a short one," says Greenwald, "and with its statements about what they are doing with this Gab archive, The Intercept and its trite liberal managers in New York have now taken it."

Read the rest here . .. play_arrow


safelyG 1 hour ago

we need to find a way to keep stories like this from being reported.

lovingly,
rachel maddow's wife

ted41776 1 hour ago remove link

they hate us for our freedumb

was anyone punished for that WMD lie that cause the death of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians and a few thousand US troops?

i mean it is a widely accepted fact now, isn't it? that it was a lie that caused a genocide and deaths of hundreds of thousands of people?

where are the nuremberg trials? UN? anyone?

crickets

Lt. Shicekopf 1 hour ago

Operation Mockingbird has paid immense dividends, one of the most successful programs ever.

Maltheus 1 hour ago remove link

I dunno. What's the name of the program to infiltrate the schools? Gives Mockingbird a run for its money.

fishpoem 32 minutes ago

Use the titles of any of the books written by members of the Frankfurt School. Start with Marcuse. How such circular reasoning, boring prose, and patently bogus arguments became mandatory reading material in every college in America is a puzzle future historians will have to unravel.

Well, if the ruling Marxist Democrats allow historians to exist in the future...which they probably won't. Truth, in that era, will be what "art" became in Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Russia: cliched state-worship.

Wait. Isn't that what we've already got?

Argon1 1 hour ago

https://schoolhistory.co.uk/notes/operation-mockingbird/

DesertEagle 37 minutes ago

Most of the "reporters" for the big media cartel were always enemies of the American people.

tedstr 57 minutes ago

News organizations have always been agents of the IC. Just as they are agents of Hollywood and the biz news are agents of corporations. They no longer have the staffs to truely "do news" so they rely on being spoon fed from their sources. they will never bite the hand.

Steve in Greensboro 1 hour ago remove link

Lee Smith on Bannon's Warroom 53 in December 2019.

Lee Smith: " Here's something that boggles me still that there are still people after what we have seen and after I've documented in the book what the press has become what the WaPo what the prestige brands of American journalism have become and nonetheless there are Republicans only blocks from here who are more than happy to treat whether it's the WaPo, NYT, CNN, MSNBC as though these are regular news networks still. Even after three years of seeing them operate exactly like media operatives "

Steve Bannon: "You believe they are the opposition party media. Right?

Lee Smith: "It's not a media, it's a platform for intelligence operations. It's not media at all. This is like the Arab press."

Joe Davola 1 hour ago

Maybe a curious investigative reporter might look into why "financial services" companies jump right in whenever the deep state needs them.

NewMouldy 1 hour ago

Kabuki theatre..

College deans, professors, teachers were all bought and paid for decades ago by the deep state. The very people that educate upcoming politicians, reporters and scientists.

This is how we got to where we are now.

US Banana Republic 6 minutes ago

When media "personalities" like Cuomo, Madcow, and Cooper make more than $10 million dollars a year from corporate sponsors towing the corporate/government line then NOBODY want to be a hard hitting investigative reporter. Everybody wants to be a corporate/government boot licker.

As always, follow the money.

Isn't Life Gland 15 minutes ago

Ali Watkins is my favorite. "Worked" her way all the way up to the pinnacle gig at the New York Crimes..on her back.

[May 12, 2021] Biden achievements

May 12, 2021 | www.wsj.com

R

Biden achievements

R RODGER POTOCKI
...Biden has demonstrated an ability to do only two things; give taxpayer money away and wear a mask. Perhaps the mask is appropriate ( See Jesse James.)

[May 12, 2021] Reporters Once Challenged The Spy State. Now, They're Agents Of It

May 12, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

safelyG 1 hour ago

we need to find a way to keep stories like this from being reported.

lovingly,
rachel maddow's wife

[May 12, 2021] Cadillac Marxists: woke perversion of Marxism can be very lucrative

Apr 11, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

thinking1234 31 minutes ago

I don't know if anyone read about this?

"Inside BLM co-founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors' million-dollar real-estate buying binge. Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors has gone on a real-estate buying binge in recent years, snagging four high-end homes for $3.2 million in the US alone, according to property records.":

https://nypost.com/2021/04/10/inside-blm-co-founder-patrisse-khan-cullors-real-estate-buying-binge/

[May 12, 2021] Onion: IDF Soldier Recounts Harrowing, Heroic War Story Of Killing 8-Month-Old Child

May 12, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Biswapriya Purkayast , May 13 2021 0:34 utc | 74

"IDF Soldier Recounts Harrowing, Heroic War Story Of Killing 8-Month-Old Child"

https://www.theonion.com/idf-soldier-recounts-harrowing-heroic-war-story-of-kil-1826048745

I thought the Onion was a satire site, not a news portal.

[May 12, 2021] Crumbling infrastracture

This is what happing in empires in decay...
May 12, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
vk , May 12 2021 22:23 utc | 66

Bridge in the USA was literally falling:

Bridge over Mississippi river closed for repairs after inspectors discover MAJOR CRACK, river transport grinds to a halt

I thought the "crumbling infrastructure" was just an internet joke or a lobby thing (American Society of Civil Engineers sounds like a the name of a DC lobby firm). Never thought it was de facto happening in USA.

[May 12, 2021] No doubt the US/UK deep state, now more than ever, are busy trying to sow conflict and division in Eurasia

May 12, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Canadian Cents , May 13 2021 0:38 utc | 76

An interesting read from Pepe Escobar at Saker's site, related to the comments by Max @24 and JB @25:
https://thesaker.is/insider-view-the-tragedy-of-the-us-deep-state/

No doubt the US/UK deep state, now more than ever, are busy trying to sow conflict and division in Eurasia, to divide-and-rule Mackinder's "World Island" and hence the world.

[May 12, 2021] It is the corporations that work in the background that seem to be the real seat of power

May 12, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Stonebird , May 12 2021 20:56 utc | 47

psychohistorian | May 12 2021 19:44 utc | 31

I'm not sure that it is global private finance that is the key. Although I used to.

Either we consider the Oligarchs (Bezos Zuckerberg) as the newest form of low life, or the Banking cartels and billionares are even lower.

BUT - There is a third class of Global financiers. That is "Corporations" (as a class). Corporations are immortal, and like a hydra, with many heads, have more arms than an "image of a covid-virus" ( Octopussii are simply too limited, although they are a good example of multi-brained resourceful animals ). They are also "persons" in front of the law, with all the protections and privilges that offers. On other occasions they are simply above the law (Twit-Facebook and free speech). The people running them are only occasionally reprimanded, but the "corporation" itself is never touched. *1*

They pay, sometimes, a bit of taxes, have different laws and have lobbies working in their favour. Can corrupt Politicians with the offer of directorships or whatever. They can even be "foundations" and pay no tax at all. They deal across many different National laws, obey what they will, and are extra terrritorial in scope. They can have a nominal "center", while decisions are made elsewhere. They are in fact a new type of alien supra-being .
Of course, the "leaders" of Corporations are rich, but they can be replaced by others at the wishes of "shareholders". Untouchable and unknown.

Very useful for storing wealth and speculating at the same time.

In spite of Musk and others taking all the limelight, it is the corporations that work in the background that seem to be the real seat of power.
---
*1* One of the last real actions taken against Corporate power was the breaking up of Rockefellers Standard Oil .

*****

*2* In the case of the "breakup" of either the US or the EU - would the corporations be touched (eliminated), or hailed as saving civilisation?

[May 11, 2021] Sen. Paul Shreds Fauci Over 'Gain-Of-Function' Funding

May 11, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Paul alleged that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) had used a middle-man to funnel money to the Wuhan Institute of Virology via EcoHealth Alliance - which worked with the lab on bat coronavirus projects.

Paul specifically referenced so-called "gain-of-function" research which in this case has been focused on how to make animal viruses more transmissible to humans - specifically bat coronaviruses .

"Government scientists like yourself who favor gain of function research," Paul began...

...only to have Fauci interject "I don't favor gain of function research in China," adding "You are saying things that are not correct."

Paul pushed back - continuing:

"[Those who favor gain of function] say that COVID-19 mutations were random and not designed by man."

"I do not have any accounting of what the Chinese may have done," Fauci shot back, adding that he's in favor of further investigation, but that the NIH had nothing to do with the origins of COVID-19.

"We have not funded gain of function research on this virus in the Wuhan Institute of Virology," he added.

"No matter how many times you say it, it didn't happen."

More from Sen. Paul via Twitter:


Senator Rand Paul @RandPaul · May 11, 2021 Dr Fauci dissembled or tried to hide his long time support for 'gain-of-function' research which creates super-viruses that jump from animals to humans.

ohm 4 hours ago (Edited) remove link

You can't sit on your thumbs and run year long investigations and background checks while thousands are dying .

But that's just the point, thousands were not dying . Instead of seeking out opposing viewpoints, he relied on the bogus Ferguson model that predicted 2 million deaths presented by Fauci and Birx. Plenty of qualified opposing voices were out there - John Ionnides of Stanford for instance. Trump needs to own up to his mistakes and vow not to repeat them.

nodhannum 3 hours ago

How many renminbi do they pay you comrade...as in be "han" or be gone. I've been to a number of seminars given by Fauci back in his HIV days but he is a lying sob now. It's getting hard for the fellow to cover hisw *** now even with the Maserati marxists in power here.

Plus Size Model 1 hour ago

https://www.nih.gov/about-nih/who-we-are/nih-director/statements/nih-lifts-funding-pause-gain-function-research

smallblockchevy350 3 hours ago

Rand 2024. I wanted Rand over Trump in 2016 too, but the MSM memed Trump into being the GOP candidate somehow.

replaceme 5 hours ago

So now fauci is on record lying about it, nice.

HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 5 hours ago

Yeah. Classic psychopath. He can't help himself at this point.

win95o PREMIUM 5 hours ago remove link

Why would Fauci say the following in 2017:

"There will be a surprise outbreak"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=puqaaeLnEww

YesitsTrue98 4 hours ago

"We are not prepared for a pandemic," Biden tweeted on Oct. 25, 2019, saying the country needs leadership that "mobilizes the world to stop outbreaks before they reach our shores."

this_circus_is_no_fun 4 hours ago

At first Fauxi denied the allegation. Then, after Paul cornered him with facts, Fauxi said something like "this is why we did that". So, he admitted that he did what he was denying just a few seconds before . He is literally incapable of telling the truth. I guess he's not called Fauxi for nothing.

adonisdemilo 5 hours ago

Fauci has known from day one what's going on and going wrong. He's up to his neck in it and taking a good look at his body language under questions from Rand Paul, HE'S CONTINUING TO LIE.

chinese.sniffles 5 hours ago

Dr. Fauci:

Have you or your team send or granted permission for work projects to Wuhan or China?

What were those projects?

Why did you send them?

Why did you not do these projects in the USA?

Were any of these projects illegal in the USA?

etc. simple line of questioning, let him perjure himself.

thezone 5 hours ago

Fauci (the politician) knew to not write a check out to the lab directly. It was great to hear Dr Paul bring up EcoHealth. A shell company to facilitate.

surfer4444 5 hours ago

Exactly, blame it on the sub contractor....an old game and the elite are using it well

radical-extremist 5 hours ago remove link

Fauci knows full well the story in the Democrat State News media will be about how he was ATTACKED by Rand Paul, and not about him lying under oath about funding the Wuhan Lab.

chiquita 5 hours ago

This information has been out for a while if you follow War Room, Steve Hilton, and some other sources. Peter Navarro has been hammering at Fauci relentlessly for the last few months and now the MSM is going after Navarro, trying to discredit him. Gee, I wonder why when it looks like the truth about Fauci is falling apart.

What a mess_man 4 hours ago (Edited)

Tucker blew this wide open last night. Of course lots of us here knew all this many months ago. Fauci is lying through his teeth here, and both he and Daszak are deep in the Chicom's pockets. As Tucker said, in a functioning world there would be a criminal investigation. Instead Biden and Co. kiss his *ss and make him our foremost authority on Covid and vaccines. Clown world for sure.

Meatballs 3 hours ago (Edited)

Actually, Saagar beat Tucker to the punch. Either way, the unraveling has begun.

https://youtu.be/6Pk0wLN5uuU

vic and blood PREMIUM 2 hours ago remove link

Don't let the bioweapon profiteer, Daszak, off the hook.

Both greedy psychopaths should hang for their crimes against humanity.

Furthermore, we have no business sharing infectious disease technology with China, even if they could run a lab properly.

Itinerant 4 hours ago

This story is about 14 months old, though not for the MSM.

Actual documentation of the grants from the NIH via the Eco Alliance have been circulating in the public domain for all that time. In it they exactly describe the gain-of-function research that is being outsourced to China, the viruses involved, the methods, the type of experiments, and the aims of the research ... exactly and technically.

There is no room for caveats, or 'allege' or interpretation or anything like that.
The evidence is rock hard and crystal clear.

toady 4 hours ago

Yet there are no prosecutions.

dogbert8 5 hours ago remove link

Finally, the unmasking (pun intended) of Fauci has started.

bsdetector 5 hours ago

Just listened to the questions and answers. Fauci qualifies his answers with information that was not sought in the questions. His answers change the character of his denials... "we did not fund GOF research on this virus in the Wuhan Institute of Virology."

OK Dr. Fauci, please identify the viruses that you did fund for GOF research at the Institute.

Jack Mayorhaufer 5 hours ago

master gaslighters once they reach certain status and paygrade on the Hill

novictim 2 hours ago remove link

"I don't know how many times I can say it? We did not fund gain of function research to be done in the Wuhan Institute of Virology ...(under his breath) because we funded Eco Health Alliance/Peter Daszak which granted the research funding to do gain of function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology."

CleeTorres 2 hours ago

A simple internet search shows Fauci is lying about funding for this research. But he knows the media won't do their jobs.

Onthebeach6 2 hours ago (Edited) remove link

Let me assist Dr Fauci with the truth.

Why US outsourced bat virus research to Wuhan

Dr Christina Lin

April 2020

"A U.S. NIH-funded $3.7 million project was approved by Trump's Covid-19 advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci in 2015, after the Obama White House imposed a ban on 'monster-germ' research. In October 2014, the federal government declared a moratorium on gain-of-function research to weaponize viruses related to influenza, Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). As a result, the research was outsourced to China's Wuhan Institute of Virology, which is currently at the center of scrutiny for the Covid-19 pandemic."

https://www.ispsw.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/689_Lin.pdf

boyplunger7777 4 hours ago remove link

Fauci looks very nervous . Perhaps why he has been so adamant about constantly moving the goalposts? If you were guilty of something wouldn't you keep changing the focus and appear to be very helpful and concerned?

Max21c 3 hours ago (Edited) remove link

Which people in & around the National Security Council, CIA, and Pentagon are involved in this attempt to gain access, penetrate and spy on the PLA Biological Weapons/Warfare programs via funding mechanisms route? Which people had contact with this institute and programs and what if anything did the spy games produce?

When are they in Washington going to establish civilian rule over the US military and CIA and National Security Council?

When are they going to knock off these silly spy games and spy world operations off and stop this nonsense which produces zero positive results?

What did the gangsters on the Intelligence/Spy Committees in Congress know? What did the gangsters atop the Pentagon, CIA, National Security Council know?

Which Washingtonian assholes are going to go to prison for this boomerang disaster?

How many other groups similar to "EcoHealth Alliance" operate as part of the US/UK intelligence "community" and what other stupid stuff are the idiots mixed up in?

TheRapture 3 hours ago remove link

There is a great deal of evidence (NIH, State Dept grants to offshore USA bioweapons research, Bat Lady was the protege of Dr. Ralph Baric at UNC who has been doing coronavirus bioweapon research for more then twenty years, initial and simultaneous infections in Wuhan at different locations suggesting an intentional release, etc., etc., etc.) And of course, Trump had motive, opportunity and means to stage a false flag to destroy China's economy and damage China's political relations with other countries.

It is likely the USA, no doubt using a CIA proxy, released SARS-CoV-2 in simultaneously in multiple locations in Wuhan. The evidence is substantial. But most Americans can't bring themselves to stare down that particular rabbit hole.

WorkingClassMan 3 hours ago

I'd rather an honest CCP commie ruling the roost than those traitors anyway.

"If I had but one bullet and were faced by both an enemy and a traitor, I would let the traitor have it."
― Corneliu Zelea Codreanu, For My Legionaries

sarret PREMIUM 3 hours ago

Fauci is such a liar, pulling school kid mentality out of a hat to answer serious questions. Likely in his mind he knows it all to be true but since the correct name is 中国科学院武汉病毒研究所 then unless you say that name, or the exact name of the exact subsidiary that was funding or was being funded, then it is not correct and therefore he can answer the question incorrectly without calling himself a liar internally and without saying what the error was in the question that led him to be able to this.

In all respects he just disregards the spirit of the question when he knows full well that he is in the wrong, but denies it every single time based on some concocted fabrication in his mind that the question is not precise enough to nail him to the cross.

Completely disingenuous, can't trust a word he says.

Fish Gone Bad 4 hours ago

Lawyer speak:

We have not funded gain of function research on this virus

They funded all kinds of gain of function on all kinds of permutations of the virus, just not THIS virus.

radical-extremist 5 hours ago remove link

Fauci is also responsible for the deaths of hundreds of men in San Francisco by covering up Bath Houses as the origin of the spread of AIDS...for Mayor Diane Feinstein's political career. No one dares talk about this today.

the Mysterians 5 hours ago

"I did not have sex with that woman!"

Flying Monkees 5 hours ago (Edited)

What could possibly be the reason for gain-of-function research if not bio-warfare?

These evil, irresponsible, arrogant a-holes need to pay.

Posa 5 hours ago

The Eco-Alliance grant from Fauci's NIAID states

We will use S [ie the Spike Protein that makes the SC-2 virus highly infectious] protein sequence data, infectious clone technology, in vitro and in vivo infection experiments and analysis of receptor binding to test the hypothesis that % divergence thresholds in S protein sequences predict spillover potential.

That has been interpreted as a commitment to Gain of Function research on the Spike Protein which is the key to turning SARS into a virulently transmissible pathogen.

surfer4444 5 hours ago remove link

Exactly...im just baffled how this PoS can blatantly lie to a Senate committee and get away with it...there is zero accountability in our government...end times

Posa 5 hours ago

Fauci can lie because his audience is a convention of lazy, cowardly , illiterate dunces. If Rand Paul were serious he would have had the damn grant in front of him and read the same quotes as I provided in this post. PAul would have held these hearings last year when his Party controlled the Senate.

Posa 4 hours ago

NOTE: This post was censored by The Hill. Typical free speech in America.

George Bayou 5 hours ago

"11 labs in the US create these super-viruses in the US and one of them collaborated with Wuhan Virology Inst -- Fauci has supported NIH funds for all these labs!"

Why is this a-hole still working?

notfeelinthebern 4 hours ago (Edited)

Yap, yap,. yap. Another dog and pony show and the show is painfully old. They parade personage after personage before congress and ask lots of questions. The swamp rats in the hot seat lie by omission and with sleight of hand answers and when done with the act walk away with smug faces....The show must go on.

George Bayou 5 hours ago

Here's an interesting article on Dr. Baric and what he was doing, mutating virus using serial passaging so that the virus are able to infect a completely different species:

https://nymag.com/intelligencer/article/coronavirus-lab-escape-theory.html

Take, for instance, this paper from 1995: "High Recombination and Mutation Rates in Mouse Hepatitis Viruses Suggest That Coronaviruses May Be Potentially Important Emerging Viruses." It was written by Dr. Ralph Baric and his bench scientist, Boyd Yount, at the University of North Carolina. Baric, a gravelly voiced former swim champion, described in this early paper how his lab was able to train a coronavirus, MHV, which causes hepatitis in mice, to jump species, so that it could reliably infect BHK (baby-hamster kidney) cell cultures. They did it using serial passaging: repeatedly dosing a mixed solution of mouse cells and hamster cells with mouse-hepatitis virus, while each time decreasing the number of mouse cells and upping the concentration of hamster cells. At first, predictably, the mouse-hepatitis virus couldn't do much with the hamster cells, which were left almost free of infection, floating in their world of fetal-calf serum. But by the end of the experiment, after dozens of passages through cell cultures, the virus had mutated: It had mastered the trick of parasitizing an unfamiliar rodent. A scourge of mice was transformed into a scourge of hamsters. And there was more: "It is clear that MHV can rapidly alter its species specificity and infect rats and primates," Baric said. "The resulting virus variants are associated with demyelinating diseases in these alternative species." (A demyelinating disease is a disease that damages nerve sheaths.) With steady prodding from laboratory science, along with some rhetorical exaggeration, a lowly mouse ailment was morphed into an emergent threat that might potentially cause nerve damage in primates.

GeneKelly 5 hours ago remove link

"We have not funded gain of function research on this virus in the Wuhan Institute of Virology,"

Sociopaths can lie without registering on a detector by simply defining terms differently in their cerebral cortex and then answering -- from their perspective truthfully -- "no" because the question doesn't match their internal definition.

So Fauci wasn't funding "gain of function". He was actually funding "increasing the virulence of pathogens" or "enhancing the pathogens' ability to infect different species".

Rand and others will have to ask the question a hundred ways to force Fauci to spill the beans.

DeeDeeTwo 1 hour ago remove link

Tucker finally called Fauci a "criminal" at least twice and said, "In any functioning society Fauci would be investigated."

Txjac 5 hours ago

Fauci also owns the patents on the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines

Everybody All American 5 hours ago remove link

How is it that only one Congressman dare questions Dr. Fauci? One tough questioner. These cowards all need to hang for the crimes they are allowing. If they think we are just going to sit back and watch this man for much longer lead us they are sadly mistaken.

Downhill from here 5 hours ago

Being an MD, Paul has some credibility on the topic. At least educationally and by training, Fauci and Paul are peers.. More than likely other R's are letting him take point.

replaceme 5 hours ago (Edited)

I forgot, that's the same dr daszak that sent the letter to the lancet saying that covid didn't come from Wuhan, and that he had no reason to falsely say this. THAT Dr daszak. Got it.

Wilde1 2 hours ago remove link

https://vaccineimpact.com/2020/anthony-fauci-40-years-of-lies-from-azt-to-remdesivir/

Totally_Disillusioned 2 hours ago (Edited)

"We [NIH/Fauci] did not fund gain of function research to be done in Wuhan." What the weasel didn't say is that the NIH did in deed fund Dr Baric who was working in collaboration with Wuhan with gain of function experiments on the SARS virus. Baric worked with Ft Dettrick and Univ NC researchers who in turn were collaborating with Canada and Wuhan.

Fauci can parse words but he's a traitor and ought to be held responsible along with all others involved with this.

scraping_by 5 hours ago (Edited) remove link

One amendment to the story --

Carlson was quoting a story by Nicholas Wade, former science editor to the NYT. Published in Medium. So it's not just a talking head repeating newsroom copy, as in CNN.

zorrosgato 14 minutes ago remove link

Fauci is part of a flawed system and don't be fooled in believing he is part of any solution. His endorsing of impractical mask mandates along with mandatory vaccinations of the population, using unproven genetically engineered drugs is proof enough.

https://medium.com/swlh/mrna-therapy-a-new-form-of-gene-medicine-5d859dadd1e

Looking4 6 hours ago

wonder which university in North Carolina could possibly be involved in this ???? :) to be sure they would not have a "bat lab"...would they?

[May 11, 2021] Neoliberalism taken to the limit

May 11, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

ay_arrow

Make_Mine_A_Double 6 hours ago (Edited)

But China can do our bio-chemical warfare research cheaper than we can - it only makes sense to use the theory of 'comparative advantage'.

I think outsourcing our bio-chemical weapons program to our existential enemy is really brilliant and saves the taxpayers money...

replaceme 6 hours ago

Did the NIH give that work special oversight, eg no oversight? Yes, yes they did...

[May 11, 2021] I Hope We All Survive It -- Dave Chappelle Warns About Cancel Culture

Highly recommended!
May 11, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

The phenomenon of "cancel culture" is a toxic one metastasizing into a woke revolution war empowered by Big Tech and Big Business. Those unfamiliar with being canceled involve publicly shaming others and boycotting celebrities and companies. However, the art of canceling has progressed well beyond canceling public figures and is now used to garget average folks. The result can be devastating for ordinary people who may face the consequences of losing their jobs, losing friends and family, or having their social media accounts terminated.

Comedian Dave Chappelle partook in a video interview with Joe Rogan on "The Joe Rogan Experience" podcast about cancel culture. He told Rogan that he recognizes the change people are attempting to bring through activism and accountability for prominent folks but denounced cancel culture:

"I'm very lucky to be able to see people who are great at things up close," Chappelle said. "Even on this podcast ... it's one of the joys of my life getting to know these people and knowing and seeing them be human."

Chappelle said, "I hope we all survive it," while referring to the cancel culture storm gripping society. "That's why that cancel culture shit bothers me. I'm not even opposed to the ideas behind some of these cancelations. I get it."

Rogan said, "the inclination, all of it, is to make the world a better place." He said social media and public shaming have "gotten abused and misused by the wrong people and bad actors, but at the end of the day, the thing they think they're trying to do is eliminate bad aspects of our culture."

Last year, Chappelle criticized cancel culture, saying audiences have become "too brittle," adding that "everything you say upsets somebody."

Chappelle hasn't been the only well-known person to speak out against cancel culture, Curtis Jackson, known as "50 Cent," recently said cancel culture is " unfair " and "targeting straight men" who "don't have any organizations to back them up."

Jackson said he wouldn't get canceled because "hip-hop culture loves things that are damaged. It loves people who are already broken from experience."

A study by a top education think tank, Civitas, found that free speech at the world's leading universities is being eroded at a rapid rate due to "cancel culture."

Cancel culture may have had good intentions to hold people accountable for things they did or say. Instead, it has backfired and produced a toxic environment that limits freedom of speech and alienates anyone with opposing views. Society can't move forward if liberals cancel anyone they don't like - there needs to be an open forum where all voices are heard.

[May 10, 2021] Biden says 'no evidence' Russia responsible for pipeline cyberattack but Russia has 'some responsibility'

May 10, 2021 | www.rt.com

A cyberattack that crippled the US fuel supply wasn't the work of Russia, President Joe Biden said. Confusingly, Biden then said that Russia bears "some responsibility" for the attack.

A ransomware attack on Friday shut down a gasoline and diesel pipeline running 5,500 miles along the entire US East Coast. Operated by the Colonial Pipeline Company, the vital fuel artery normally transits 100 million gallons per day from Texas all the way to New York. The Biden administration responded by invoking emergency powers to enable truckers to transport more fuel, as traders scrambled to import fuel by sea from Europe.

... ... ...

Home USA News Biden says 'no evidence' Russia responsible for pipeline cyberattack but Russia has 'some responsibility' 10 May, 2021 19:52 Get short URL Biden says 'no evidence' Russia responsible for pipeline cyberattack but Russia has 'some responsibility' Joe Biden speaks on the Colonial Pipeline attack as Vice President Kamala Harris stands by at the White House in Washington, DC, May 10, 2021 © Reuters / Kevin Lamarque 14 Follow RT on RT A cyberattack that crippled the US fuel supply wasn't the work of Russia, President Joe Biden said. Confusingly, Biden then said that Russia bears "some responsibility" for the attack.

A ransomware attack on Friday shut down a gasoline and diesel pipeline running 5,500 miles along the entire US East Coast. Operated by the Colonial Pipeline Company, the vital fuel artery normally transits 100 million gallons per day from Texas all the way to New York. The Biden administration responded by invoking emergency powers to enable truckers to transport more fuel, as traders scrambled to import fuel by sea from Europe.

ALSO ON RT.COM Reported cyberattack on major US pipeline sends oil & gasoline prices higher

Addressing the attack on Monday, Biden initially threw cold water on the claims of Russian involvement, instead blaming "transnational criminals."

"So far there's no evidence from our intelligence people that Russia is involved," Biden told reporters. However, he followed that statement by saying that the ransomware used "is in Russia," and Russia therefore has "some responsibility to deal with this."

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?creatorScreenName=RT_com&dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfX0%3D&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1391819003560144900&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.rt.com%2Fusa%2F523420-biden-colonial-pipeline-russia-responsiblity%2F&sessionId=8bea10ea6256a9d086ef25229613f3d67d97cfb5&siteScreenName=RT_com&theme=light&widgetsVersion=82e1070%3A1619632193066&width=550px

Rumors of Russian involvement were stoked by several mainstream media outlets over the weekend, after it emerged that 'DarkSide,' a criminal hacking organization believed by CNN's anonymous sources to be based in "a Russian-speaking country," was responsible for the attack. In a short statement on Monday, the FBI confirmed "that the DarkSide ransomware is responsible for the compromise of the Colonial Pipeline networks."

Other media outlets took the opportunity to link the hackers to the Russian government, "whether they work for the state or not," in the words of one cybersecurity consultant to NBC.

[May 10, 2021] Service with Pride

Quantity never equal to quality " The agency defended itself, remarking that the ad campaign had been effective. "2020 was a standout recruitment year for the CIA, despite the pandemic... Our 2021 incoming class is the third-largest in a decade," a spokesperson told Fox News."
May 10, 2021 | www.rt.com

Journalist Kyle Becker tweeted that the CIA needed to "stay out" of domestic politics. "You're there to serve the U.S. flag, not the rainbow flag," he wrote.

Kyle Becker @kylenabecker · May 8 You're there to serve the U.S. flag, not the rainbow flag. I wonder how much of this is about inclusivity and how much is about redefining the CIA and leading it away from its core mission of defending the U.S. from enemies abroad. The CIA needs to stay out of domestic politics.

Other users paraphrased the lanyard rainbow anecdote to note how "much better" they now felt about CIA airstrikes and other unpalatable dealings around the world.


St. Antonios @LoneStarTexian "I love that, as a gay man, I too can do my part in destabilizing black & brown countries, droning their women & children & spying on my fellow Americans..."

St. Antonios

■ @LoneStarTexian

Replying to @ING2Firebrand

"I noticed a rainbow on CIA Director Brennan's lanyard & felt so much better green lighting airstrikes on starving Yemeni citizens &

8:55 PM • May 7, 2021 ©

Since its launch in 2019 as part of a broader recruitment strategy, the 'Humans of CIA' social media series has depicted real agency officers sharing their "first-hand experiences" in the intelligence organization, a CIA spokesperson told the Guardian.

While the majority of the series has attracted little pushback, part of the backlash to the Latina officer video was directed at the agency's perceived willingness "to weaponize their power to target their political opponents: conservatives."

The agency defended itself, remarking that the ad campaign had been effective. "2020 was a standout recruitment year for the CIA, despite the pandemic... Our 2021 incoming class is the third-largest in a decade," a spokesperson told Fox News.

[May 09, 2021] As the world has become more complex, people have relied more and more on stereotypes and simplifications to help them interpret and filter events around them

Notable quotes:
"... As the world has become more complex, people have relied more and more on stereotypes and simplifications to help them interpret and filter events around them. Propaganda manipulates this desire for simplicity – handing people easy answers rather than winning them over with rational arguments. Society then rallies around these stereotypes and squashes dissents with 'herd mentality', an irrational set of psychological behaviors where individuals are swept along with a group, overriding their own rational assessments ..."
May 09, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

psychohistorian , May 5 2021 19:47 utc | 85

Below is a repeat of a Glenn Diesen quote from karlof1 comment # 57

"
"As the world has become more complex, people have relied more and more on stereotypes and simplifications to help them interpret and filter events around them. Propaganda manipulates this desire for simplicity – handing people easy answers rather than winning them over with rational arguments. Society then rallies around these stereotypes and squashes dissents with 'herd mentality', an irrational set of psychological behaviors where individuals are swept along with a group, overriding their own rational assessments."
"

Think about the vaccine situation and what just happened to the medical profession in the West....they got railroaded into agreeing that there was not an off the shelf "ivermectin" to the virus and guaranteed future income to Big Pharma is more important.

Hey docs!!! Do no harm! Your complicity in this war crime against humanity is noted. What are the responsible and humanistic actions to take now and why does the public not see evidence that you are organizing to do them?

karlof1 , May 5 2021 19:50 utc | 86

Until the reality of the CIA--to undermine peaceful relations and promote wars required for Military Keynesianism--is taught in grade school, it will always find recruits. As with the FBI, government sponsored propaganda was and remains required to manufacture the reasons for their existence. Nations that promote an equitable polity have no need for a secret police force, but do need some force to counter attempts from the outside to foment destabilization. For example, today's Russia is freer than at any previous time in its history as only extremist ideologies are banned while Communism--still deemed extremist by the West--is relegated to a normal ideology with status as a normative political party. Indeed, I'd argue that Russia remains the only genuine Liberal Western nation, which is a reality Russophobes are unable to accept or even contemplate. The same also applies to the concept of Communism thanks to the unwillingness to even attempt to understand Marx. And as Western thought gets subsumed by Wokeness, the ideological divide between Neoliberal nations and all others will continue to grow.

[May 09, 2021] Democrats en Deshabille

May 09, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

“A Top Biden Cybersecurity Aide Donated Over $500,000 to AIPAC as an NSA Official†[David Corn, Mother Jones (via the War Nerd )]. “Several other national security expertsâ€"who asked not to be namedâ€"say that the foundation’s donations to AIPAC create, at the least, an appearance problem for Anne Neuberger.†• Apparently Neuberger was too much not only for Corn, but for his handlers in the intelligence community, to stomach. The whole piece is well worth a read. It’s all horrible.

[May 09, 2021] I think neoliberalism is on its last legs, admin of it is currently under going a near psychotic episode of various degrees depending on how factions roll and the desire to come out on top when the dust settles

May 09, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

skippy , May 8, 2021 at 3:00 am

Actually I think neoliberalism is on its last legs, admin of it is currently under going a near psychotic episode of various degrees depending on how factions roll and the desire to come out on top when the dust settles.

Covid really presented a situation which has removed so much ideological PR fog, for so many people, that the GFC was just a bad patch or some nefarious plot by outside forces which would snatch their dreams away.

[May 09, 2021] Remembering Yuri Gagarin, the First Man in Space

May 09, 2021 | science.slashdot.org

(space.com) 97

Space.com reports: Because no one was certain how weightlessness would affect a pilot, the spherical capsule had little in the way of onboard controls ; the work was done either automatically or from the ground. If an emergency arose, Gagarin was supposed to receive an override code that would allow him to take manual control, but Sergei Korolev, chief designer of the Soviet space program, disregarded protocol and gave the code to the pilot prior to the flight.

Over the course of 108 minutes, Vostok 1 traveled around the Earth once, reaching a maximum height of 203 miles (327 kilometers). The spacecraft carried 10 days' worth of provisions in case the engines failed and Gagarin was required to wait for the orbit to naturally decay. But the supplies were unnecessary. Gagarin re-entered Earth's atmosphere, managing to maintain consciousness as he experienced forces up to eight times the pull of gravity during his descent.
The BBC remembers how on his return to earth, Gagarin parachuted into some farmland several hundred miles from Moscow â€" "much to the surprise of a five-year-old girl who was out in the fields planting potatoes."

60 years later, the BBC tracked down and interviewed Interviewed that woman â€" who still remembered Gagarin's kind voice and smile. (Thanks to Slashdot reader 4wdloop for sharing the article.)

The BBC also published a look at Gagarin's global fame in the years that followed â€" and Phys.org notes that even today, there are few people more universally admired in Russia than Yuri Gagarin : His smiling face adorns murals across the country. He stands, arms at his sides as if zooming into space, on a pedestal 42.5 metres (140 feet) above the traffic flowing on Moscow's Leninsky Avenue. He is even a favourite subject of tattoos... The anniversary of Gagarin's historic flight on April 12, 1961 â€" celebrated every year in Russia as Cosmonautics Day â€" sees Russians of all ages lay flowers at monuments to his accomplishment across the country...

Gagarin, says historian Alexander Zheleznyakov, was a figure who helped fuel the imagination. "He transformed us from a simple biological species to one that could imagine an entire universe beyond Earth."

[May 09, 2021] Abolish The FBI by Dinesh D'Souza

Notable quotes:
"... They have looted businesses, burned churches, assaulted police officers, attacked and harassed ordinary citizens eating in restaurants or going about their normal lives "and all with impunity." No FBI raids, no systematic arrests, no dissemination of "Wanted" images on social media. ..."
"... Now I turn to my second contrast: the recent FBI raid on Rudy Giuliani's home and office, while there has been no raid on the home or office of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo . Start with Giuliani: The ostensible justification for the raid was to look for evidence Giuliani violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act. ..."
"... Moreover, Giuliani had for several months been offering the FBI clear evidence, corroborated by texts and emails, that Hunter Biden not only allegedly failed to register as a foreign agent, but also that he was allegedly involved in child pornography, money laundering, and an elaborate Biden family scheme to sell their political access in exchange for millions of dollars in personal gain. ..."
"... Giuliani seems warranted in concluding that the agency's conduct is a "clear example of a corrupt double standard": "One for high-level Democrats whose blatant crimes are ignored, such as Hillary Clinton, Hunter Biden, and Joe Biden" and quite another for "Republicans who are prominent supporters and defender of President Trump." ..."
May 03, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Dinesh D'Souza, op-ed via The Epoch Times

For a long time, the FBI has stood as the admirable symbol of a police agency of government, implacably going after the bad guys and neutrally enforcing the laws. This is the FBI of the movie "The Untouchables," in which special agent Eliot Ness leads his devoted crew of armed agents in a heroic battle against the forces of organized crime.

Well, forget about the Untouchables. Today's FBI has quite obviously been corrupted from the top. This is a process that seems to have begun under President Barack Obama, endured during the Donald Trump years, and has now reached its unfortunate nadir under President Joe Biden. It's time for conservatives and Republicans to start thinking about getting rid of the FBI.

I want to highlight two sets of contrasting episodes that give us a window into how biased and partisan this once-respected agency has now become.

Contrast the treatment the FBI has given to Jan. 6 activists with that it has afforded to Antifa and Black Lives Matter protesters.

The FBI has unrelentingly hunted down Jan. 6 protesters, in many cases confronting Trump supporters who were merely in Washington at the time, or at the mall rally but not involved in entering the Capitol. Those who have been arrested have been treated like domestic terrorists, captured in raids involving drawn weapons, even though the charges against most of them amount to little more than trespassing or entering a government facility without proper permission. Nonviolent offenders have been given the same brutal treatment as violent ones. And to this day the FBI promulgates images "a grandma here, a teenager there" asking the public to help them track down still-at-large individuals who had something, anything, to do with the events of Jan. 6.

Contrast this concentrated effort with the lackadaisical, even disinterested, approach of the FBI to the Antifa and Black Lives Matter activists. Over a period of many months, those activists have proven far more violent. They have killed a number of people, in contrast to the Trump activists who killed nobody. (The only person killed on Jan. 6 was Ashli Babbitt, a Trump supporter shot in the neck by a Capitol police officer.) They have looted businesses, burned churches, assaulted police officers, attacked and harassed ordinary citizens eating in restaurants or going about their normal lives "and all with impunity." No FBI raids, no systematic arrests, no dissemination of "Wanted" images on social media.

Now I turn to my second contrast: the recent FBI raid on Rudy Giuliani's home and office, while there has been no raid on the home or office of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo . Start with Giuliani: The ostensible justification for the raid was to look for evidence Giuliani violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

Giuliani pointed out in a statement released by his lawyer, however, that he offered to sit down with the FBI and the Biden Department of Justice (DOJ) and show them to their satisfaction that there had been no violation of law. Moreover, Giuliani had for several months been offering the FBI clear evidence, corroborated by texts and emails, that Hunter Biden not only allegedly failed to register as a foreign agent, but also that he was allegedly involved in child pornography, money laundering, and an elaborate Biden family scheme to sell their political access in exchange for millions of dollars in personal gain.

Both the FBI and the DOJ showed no interest in any of that. Consequently, Giuliani seems warranted in concluding that the agency's conduct is a "clear example of a corrupt double standard": "One for high-level Democrats whose blatant crimes are ignored, such as Hillary Clinton, Hunter Biden, and Joe Biden" and quite another for "Republicans who are prominent supporters and defender of President Trump."

Giuliani further revealed that the FBI and DOJ had in late 2019 obtained access to his email database without notifying him. This means that while Giuliani was advising his client Donald Trump during the impeachment process""a relationship fully protected by attorney""client privilege""the FBI violated the law while supposedly investigating Giuliani and Trump's possible violations of law.

Here, again, the FBI's extreme diligence in going after Giuliani can be contrasted with the FBI's failure to act in the case of Gov. Cuomo. Cuomo is currently involved in two separate scandals, one involving multiple women who have accused him of sexual harassment, and another involving his direct involvement in a cover-up scheme to hide the magnitude of nursing home deaths caused by his own policies.

According to the New York Times , the Cuomo administration was far more culpable than previously known in deliberately undercounting nursing home deaths over a period of five months. Let's recall that these deaths need not have occurred. At the direction of the Trump administration, the U.S. Navy dispatched a hospital ship Comfort to New York to accept non-coronavirus patients and thus lessen the burden on New York hospitals.

Gov. Cuomo, however, turned the ship away to spite the Trump administration and instead ordered New York nursing homes to accept the overflow of COVID-19 patients, helping the virus to spread among vulnerable nursing home populations and thus causing thousands of unnecessary deaths.

Then, when the Trump administration inquired about the nursing home data in New York, Cuomo instructed his state health officials, including the health commissioner Howard Zucker, not to release the true death toll to the federal government, state officials, or the general public. Cuomo also suppressed a research paper that revealed the data and blocked two letters by Zucker's department from being sent to state legislators.

While Giuliani's offense remains unclear, Cuomo is guilty of obvious abuses of power ""actions that have not only put people in their graves but also amounted, in a statistical sense, to "hiding the bodies." Again, the FBI is nowhere to be found, and the reason for its absence appears to be that Cuomo is a Democratic governor who seemingly enjoys immunity as far as today's FBI and Biden's DOJ are concerned.

Enough is enough! When justice no longer involves the neutral or equal application of the laws, it ceases to be justice. I realize, of course, that there will be no FBI reform under Biden. Therefore, I strongly urge the Republican Party to make abolition of the FBI""shutting down the agency and then reconstructing it from the ground up""key provisions of its campaigns both in 2022 and 2024.

* * *

Dinesh D'Souza is an author, filmmaker, and daily host of the Dinesh D'Souza podcast.

[May 09, 2021] Wokism and Russiagate

Notable quotes:
"... No, people get their belief systems (religious, political, economic, cultural) from their identity groups. **Then** (if called upon) they apply the intellect to rationalize the beliefs that they **already** hold. ..."
"... Rationalizing the Russiagate nonsense was seemingly inevitable with the 24/7 help of the MSM, and the continuous chirping of Democrat politicians. The intellect was not a lighthouse beacon that led intelligent Democrats through the fog of 24/7/52 issued propaganda, rather; the intellect was the tool that solidified vaporous forms into false-reality. ..."
May 09, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

librul , May 5 2021 18:00 utc | 61

re: Wokism

My two cents. People are mimics. It is fascinating when you realize this.

People don't muse, contemplate and chew over the circumstances and issues in their environment and then resolve - "aha! I have got it." That is not where people get their belief systems. For example, a million and more people didn't all independently study the Bible and then realize that their interpretation was fully consistent with those of the Roman Catholics and therefore they should go join the Catholic Church.

No, people get their belief systems (religious, political, economic, cultural) from their identity groups. **Then** (if called upon) they apply the intellect to rationalize the beliefs that they **already** hold.

The epiphany came to me when I observed intelligent people falling for Russiagate. WTF !! I thought intelligent people would get it. Russiagate would be a flash-in-the-pan that would disappear in a few days (or less!). Boy was I wrong. The intellect does not rule, group identity does. Those that identified Democrat (generalizing here, of course) fell in step with the beliefs common to Democrats, including Russiagate.

Rationalizing the Russiagate nonsense was seemingly inevitable with the 24/7 help of the MSM, and the continuous chirping of Democrat politicians. The intellect was not a lighthouse beacon that led intelligent Democrats through the fog of 24/7/52 issued propaganda, rather; the intellect was the tool that solidified vaporous forms into false-reality.

To find one's identity in groups is deeply human. People are dominated by their need to be group-accepted. It is unsurprising that group acceptance and group identity produce what we call fashion - fashion in style, fashion in vocabulary, fashion in beliefs. This applies to Wokism. People are mimics.

You can even get them to wear Pussy Hats.

[May 09, 2021] Israeli exceptionalism

Notable quotes:
"... "If the day should ever come when we must go, if some day we are compelled to leave the scene of history, we will slam the door so hard that the universe will shake and mankind will stand back in stupefaction.." ― Joseph Goebbels ..."
"... 'We have the capability to take the world down with us. And I can assure you that that will happen before Israel goes under' ― General Moshe Dayan ..."
May 09, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

librul , May 5 2021 16:41 utc | 46

I went lateral in researching today's b-post and in so doing came across a Goebbels quote:

"If the day should ever come when we must go, if some day we are compelled to leave the scene of history, we will slam the door so hard that the universe will shake and mankind will stand back in stupefaction.."
― Joseph Goebbels

And I was sure that I had read something like that before:

'We have the capability to take the world down with us. And I can assure you that that will happen before Israel goes under'
― General Moshe Dayan

[May 09, 2021] Wokism and black and white mentality of new cultural revolution

Highly recommended!
This one-to-one replay of Red Guards - Wikipedia but with quite different sponsors ;-) "Hóng Wèibīng was a mass student-led paramilitary social movement mobilized and guided by Chairman Mao Zedong in 1966 through 1967, during the first phase of the Chinese Cultural Revolution
Notable quotes:
"... there is an on-going effort to create fads/movements in which the public becomes caught-up and distracts the from reality. ..."
"... The more binary and controversial the better. Red/Blue. I used to be a big fan of sports but have the opinion it is a pointless waste of time and my life is better for that realization. ..."
"... Characteristics of the Woke: They always attack, especially with insults, like "paranoia nonsense". They never address the actual point made, instead they reinterpret the point to make it appear pure evil. Which allows them to attribute the worst possible motivations on the person they are attacking. Naturally they invent things the other person hadn't even mentioned, like climate change. ..."
"... Again the whole woke 'identity' culture that cancels dissent and promotes 'minorities' in positions of power is simply woke fascism. Just as military recruitment is about turning violent video games real for young men, so too is CIA recruitment about inviting the 'woke' for murder and mayhem in the name 'freedom' without which the woke could not wake. ..."
May 09, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

jared , May 5 2021 16:50 utc | 49

I think that there is an on-going effort to create fads/movements in which the public becomes caught-up and distracts the from reality.

The more binary and controversial the better. Red/Blue. I used to be a big fan of sports but have the opinion it is a pointless waste of time and my life is better for that realization.

Additionally/tangentially, I feel there is a habit in the English language in particular to create new words to describe things these words are not well define and generate a lot of discussion and heat about things that nobody knows what they are actually talking about and end up arguing the meaning of the words.

People who don't know the new words must try to catch up or be left out of the discussion. I don't direct this at your discussion. I just wonder how we might see things if we were constrained to a limited vocabulary - as I am as a programmer of sorts.

EoinW , May 5 2021 16:57 utc | 52

NonPartisanRinsed | May 5 2021 16:03 utc | 30

Characteristics of the Woke: They always attack, especially with insults, like "paranoia nonsense". They never address the actual point made, instead they reinterpret the point to make it appear pure evil. Which allows them to attribute the worst possible motivations on the person they are attacking. Naturally they invent things the other person hadn't even mentioned, like climate change.

gottlieb , May 5 2021 17:06 utc | 54

Again the whole woke 'identity' culture that cancels dissent and promotes 'minorities' in positions of power is simply woke fascism. Just as military recruitment is about turning violent video games real for young men, so too is CIA recruitment about inviting the 'woke' for murder and mayhem in the name 'freedom' without which the woke could not wake.

psychohistorian , May 5 2021 17:17 utc | 55

I will believe that any of this is worth a shit when Snowden wades in with his opinion...until then its just another distraction

The CIA is why we can't have "wokeism" about the right issue like global private/public finance.....where is Occupy 2.0?

The current wokeism is like the pet rocks of old days.....would want folks to focus that woke on the inherited class structure of the private property West, would we?

[May 09, 2021] I've formed the opinion that the BIC (the Billionaires In Charge) want societies atomised to reduce the likelihood of an anti-neoliberal revolution involving rope, and nooses

Notable quotes:
"... you make the best point: you have to have something seriously "wrong" with your mind to want a job with these spooks in the first place. you can't spell "sociopath" without "c-i-a". ..."
May 09, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Hoarsewhisperer , May 5 2021 16:15 utc | 38

I asked Google (and thus Wikipedia) what cisgender means?

cisgender /sɪsˈdʒɛndə/ adjective

Denoting or relating to a person whose sense of personal identity and gender corresponds with their birth sex.
"this new-found attention to the plight of black trans folks by primarily cisgender allies is timely and necessary"

On the same page as the search result is a teaser headline: "How An (the) Ad About Cisgender Backfired Spectacularly"

I've formed the opinion that the BIC (the Billionaires In Charge) want societies atomised to reduce the likelihood of a revolution involving rope, and nooses. So guess how surprised I'm not that the BIC's loyal servants/savants, the CIA, are attempting to popularise such vacuous tosh as yet another addition to the LBGTQUERTY "landscape?"

the pair , May 5 2021 16:25 utc | 42

you make the best point: you have to have something seriously "wrong" with your mind to want a job with these spooks in the first place. you can't spell "sociopath" without "c-i-a".

both the bold - and to a lesser extent the italics - are terms people use to sound interesting when they're not. especially the tendency toward self-diagnosis that westerners have; "i'm not dumb with no attention span ...i have " ADHD " or "i don't have low self esteem or work-related anxiety based on the inner knowldge of how inept i am...i have " imposter syndrome ".

the woke types tend to be this kind of malleable and empty vessel...which is what the "company" wants.

karlof1 , May 5 2021 16:25 utc | 43

Thanks for bringing this issue to the main page in a brief article, b. I linked to this article, "CIA & The Woke Totalitarian Generation" , on the Week in Review thread, but it generated no additional comment despite its being one of several recent essays on the issue of the contrived Wokeism "culture" that Alastair Crooke's written about on several occasions over the past months and Pepe Escobar made the focus of his most recent essay.

Crooke argues that Wokeism is the peculiar and singular outcome of the American Malaise prominently exposed by Christopher Lasch in his 1994 Revolt of the Elites , which we've seen in the trenches as the war being waged against the State and citizenry by the Neoliberal Rentier Class that was explained well in this Renegade Inc interview from last year .

The Outlaw US Empire is clearly trying hard to get its Neoliberal vassals to adopt the Woke insanity, which proves beyond doubt Putin's assertion that the Liberalism of the West has died or worse evolved into something profane and loathsome.

[May 09, 2021] Matt Taibbi s Hate Inc. Getting Turned Into Documentary by Vespucci

Notable quotes:
"... " 'Hate Inc.' is a book about the way the news media business has commoditized anger and division, eschewing traditional fact-based reporting and objectivity in favor of a new strategy based on telling audiences what they want to hear," Taibbi said. ..."
May 09, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

"Matt Taibbi's "˜Hate Inc.' Getting Turned Into Documentary by Vespucci (EXCLUSIVE)" [ Variety ].

"As a company that works closely with journalists from around the world, we remain conscious of the evolution of media and audio-visual news,' said Vespucci co-founders Johnny Galvin and Daniel Turcan. "Hate Inc." expertly dissects the current state of the media landscape, and through the lens of Noam Chomsky's "Manufacturing Consent," Matt asks of us, viewers, to hold accountable our news providers.

The timing of the book couldn't be more critical and a documentary as an extension of Matt's commentary feels only fitting.

" 'Hate Inc.' is a book about the way the news media business has commoditized anger and division, eschewing traditional fact-based reporting and objectivity in favor of a new strategy based on telling audiences what they want to hear," Taibbi said.

"˜Because much of this transformation took place in visual and auditory media, the subject easily lends itself to a documentary "" in fact, even as I was writing the book, I was aware it may be a story more easily told on screen.'"

[May 09, 2021] Empty Office Space and a quote from Office space: Looks like you've missed a lot of work lately. I wouldn't say I've missed it, Bob.

Notable quotes:
"... In 20 years, the movie Office Space will seem to young people like watching a Western. ..."
"... Possibly--but like a good western. The themes and characters in the movie are universal and timeless. Nearly everyone has worked for Lumberg at one time or another. It may seem far-fetched to future generations that there were ever programmers in this country. ..."
"... Office buildings could all readily be re-purposed to grow weed. ..."
May 09, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

LetThemEatRand 3 hours ago (Edited) remove link

In 20 years, the movie Office Space will seem to young people like watching a Western.

Midas 21 minutes ago

Possibly--but like a good western. The themes and characters in the movie are universal and timeless. Nearly everyone has worked for Lumberg at one time or another. It may seem far-fetched to future generations that there were ever programmers in this country.

Kickaha 1 hour ago

Office buildings could all readily be re-purposed to grow weed.

[May 09, 2021] Cisgende millennial woman of color with generalized anxiety disorder is CIA as CIA Wokeness bulls*t

I think CIA counter-intelligence now is in very unenviable position. This woman is a poster girl for recruitment by foreign agencies. This level of narcissism and lack of introspection means that she can be easily manipulated and support "the right cause"
Katie Halper and Esha Krishnaswamy roast the "brilliance intoxicator": The CIA Gets Woke (8 min "" Katie Halper's YouTube channel, May 4, 2021)
Notable quotes:
"... In a mind-blowing marketing video first published on March 25, but which had escaped widespread notice until recent days, the CIA enthusiastically endorsed several key tenets of what has now indisputably become a hegemonic left/liberal ideological and rhetorical construct: ..."
"... my existence is not a box-checking exercise ..."
"... She continues, "I used to struggle with imposter syndrome . But at 36, I refuse to internalize misguided patriarchal ideas of what a woman can or should be. I am tired of feeling like I'm supposed to apologize for the space I occupy ." ..."
"... if the CIA wants to hire more such people I am all for it. Folks who can not leave their personal issues at the door typically muck up their workplace and create productivity problems. A less effective CIA will be a plus for the rest of the world. ..."
"... And for some levity, here's some much deserved satire on the CIA vid. https://twitter.com/blaireerskine/status/1389313897304399877?s=20 ..."
"... Like b suggests: never stop/prevent the enemy (which is what CIA is, for most people) from making a mistake. The sooner they replace their cadre with woke idiots the better for humanity and the chances of our survival. ..."
"... Over 50% of The Company's light lifting is subbed out to contractors, and most of the Langley smurfs are busy "analyzing" data, soooo desk jockey much? It would be fun to track where the diversity hires actually go ..."
"... Utter bullshit indeed. Listing all the boxes she checks and then adding "my existence is not a box-checking exercise" is comical in itself. Hopefully b is right and the CIA will be less effective for the inclusion of people like her. ..."
May 09, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

librul , May 5 2021 16:03 utc | 30

Michael Tracey writes about a weird CIA video that is making the rounds (emphasis added):

In a mind-blowing marketing video first published on March 25, but which had escaped widespread notice until recent days, the CIA enthusiastically endorsed several key tenets of what has now indisputably become a hegemonic left/liberal ideological and rhetorical construct:

" I am a woman of color ," the video's protagonist, an unnamed CIA officer, triumphantly proclaims. "I am a cisgender millennial who's been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder. I am intersectional , but my existence is not a box-checking exercise ."

She continues, "I used to struggle with imposter syndrome . But at 36, I refuse to internalize misguided patriarchal ideas of what a woman can or should be. I am tired of feeling like I'm supposed to apologize for the space I occupy ."

I have to admit that I do not know what the words in bold are supposed to mean. (Nor does my Firefox spellchecker. It flags them.)

I also do not understand the italicized phrases. To me they sounds like utter bullshit. But if the CIA wants to hire more such people I am all for it. Folks who can not leave their personal issues at the door typically muck up their workplace and create productivity problems. A less effective CIA will be a plus for the rest of the world.

CIA

Cisgender
Intersectional
Anxiety disorder

Skuppers , May 5 2021 19:06 utc | 79

And for some levity, here's some much deserved satire on the CIA vid. https://twitter.com/blaireerskine/status/1389313897304399877?s=20

Mao Cheng Ji , May 5 2021 19:17 utc | 82

It would be interesting if 'em spooks started cancelling each other for some 10 yo tweets, or for not being transsexual, or for the white supremacist mindset demonstrated by remembering the multiplication table.

Idiocrates , May 5 2021 14:20 utc | 2

Oh! You definitely should learn that NewSpeak. Yes, it's ridicelous, knowing this babble hasn't any intrinsic value. It is ,however, the current ruling ideology of the USA and by extension the broader West. It's like understanding the babble of some obscure theoretician or the basic terminology of some remote religion. You can safely ignore all of this as nonsense - as long as such people don't run a country!

Posted by: m | May 5 2021 14:13 u

Like b suggests: never stop/prevent the enemy (which is what CIA is, for most people) from making a mistake. The sooner they replace their cadre with woke idiots the better for humanity and the chances of our survival.

Chevrus , May 5 2021 14:23 utc | 3
Yeah this video took a nice beating on The Hedge....frikkin hilarious!

Over 50% of The Company's light lifting is subbed out to contractors, and most of the Langley smurfs are busy "analyzing" data, soooo desk jockey much? It would be fun to track where the diversity hires actually go, but hey I've got a garden to build!

MarkU , May 5 2021 14:28 utc | 4
Utter bullshit indeed. Listing all the boxes she checks and then adding "my existence is not a box-checking exercise" is comical in itself. Hopefully b is right and the CIA will be less effective for the inclusion of people like her.

@b In your last sentence 'the' before CIA is superfluous, it appears you cut down a larger sentence incorrectly.

[May 09, 2021] You'll Never Be White -- Black Teacher's Racist Rant Highlights Need To Equip All Officers With Body Cameras

May 09, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

play_arrow


NoDebt 3 hours ago (Edited)

The driver HAD TO be white because blacks can't be racist. No black has ever spoken to a Mexican that way. Everyone knows that.

Don Lemon Shops 4 Correction Ink @ Staples 3 hours ago

I concur NoDebt. Obviously this is a false flag operation led by Trump supporters.

Unknown 5 hours ago

The Neoliberal brainwashing worked as planned to divide Americans.

[May 09, 2021] Silicon Valley Algorithm Manipulation Is The Only Thing Keeping Mainstream Media Alive by Caitlin Johnstone

May 04, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

The emergence of the internet was met with hope and enthusiasm by people who understood that the plutocrat-controlled mainstream media were manipulating public opinion to manufacture consent for the status quo. The democratization of information-sharing was going to give rise to a public consciousness that is emancipated from the domination of plutocratic narrative control, thereby opening up the possibility of revolutionary change to our society’s corrupt systems.

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105.7K Facing scrutiny, Tesla engages China regulators

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But it never happened. Internet use has become commonplace around the world and humanity is able to network and share information like never before, yet we remain firmly under the thumb of the same power structures we’ve been ruled by for generations, both politically and psychologically. Even the dominant media institutions are somehow still the same.

So what went wrong? Nobody’s buying newspapers anymore, and the audiences for television and radio are dwindling. How is it possible that those same imperialist oligarchic institutions are still controlling the way most people think about their world?

The answer is algorithm manipulation.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfX0%3D&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1385028513661599746&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Ftechnology%2Fsilicon-valley-algorithm-manipulation-only-thing-keeping-mainstream-media-alive&sessionId=bee5bf69081776e8fed4e676b6be5ee8fb917639&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=82e1070%3A1619632193066&width=550px

Last month a very informative interview saw the CEO of YouTube, which is owned by Google, candidly discussing the way the platform uses algorithms to elevate mainstream news outlets and suppress independent content.

At the World Economic Forum’s 2021 Global Technology Governance Summit, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki told Atlantic CEO Nicholas Thompson that while the platform still allows arts and entertainment videos an equal shot at going viral and getting lots of views and subscribers, on important areas like news media it artificially elevates “authoritative sourcesâ€.

“What we’ve done is really fine-tune our algorithms to be able to make sure that we are still giving the new creators the ability to be found when it comes to music or humor or something funny,†Wojcicki said.

“But when we’re dealing with sensitive areas, we really need to take a different approach.â€

Wojcicki said in addition to banning content deemed harmful, YouTube has also created a category labeled “borderline content†which it algorithmically de-boosts so that it won’t show up as a recommended video to viewers who are interested in that topic:

“When we deal with information, we want to make sure that the sources that we’re recommending are authoritative news, medical science, et cetera. And we also have created a category of more borderline content where sometimes we’ll see people looking at content that’s lower quality and borderline. And so we want to be careful about not over-recommending that. So that’s a content that stays on the platform but is not something that we’re going to recommend. And so our algorithms have definitely evolved in terms of handling all these different content types.â€

https://www.youtube.com/embed/r2ONsgx4Mxw

Progressive commentator Kyle Kulinski has a good video out reacting to Wojcicki’s comments, saying he believes his (entirely harmless) channel has been grouped in the “borderline†category because his views and new subscribers suddenly took a dramatic and inexplicable plunge. Kulinski reports that overnight he went from getting tens of thousands of new subscriptions per month to maybe a thousand.

“People went to YouTube to escape the mainstream nonsense that they see on cable news and on TV, and now YouTube just wants to become cable news and TV,†Kulinski says.

“People are coming here to escape that and you’re gonna force-feed them the stuff they’re escaping like CNN and MSNBC and Fox News.â€

It is not terribly surprising to hear Susan Wojcicki admit to elevating the media of the oligarchic empire to the CEO of a neoconservative publication at the World Economic Forum. She comes from the same elite empire management background as all the empire managers who’ve been placed in charge of mainstream media outlets by their plutocratic owners, having gone to Harvard after being literally raised on the campus of Stanford University as a child. Her sister Anne is the founder of the genetic-testing company 23andMe and was married to Google co-founder Sergey Brin.

Google itself also uses algorithms to artificially boost empire media in its searches. In 2017 World Socialist Website (WSWS) began documenting the fact that it, along with other leftist and antiwar outlets, had suddenly experienced a dramatic drop in traffic from Google searches. In 2019 the Wall Street Journal confirmed WSWS claims , reporting that “Despite publicly denying doing so, Google keeps blacklists to remove certain sites or prevent others from surfacing in certain types of results.†In 2020 the CEO of Google’s parent company Alphabet admitted to censoring WSWS at a Senate hearing in response to one senator’s suggestion that Google only censors right wing content.

Google, for the record, has been financially intertwined with US intelligence agencies since its very inception when it received research grants from the CIA and NSA. It pours massive amounts of money into federal lobbying and DC think tanks , has a cozy relationship with the NSA , and has been a military-intelligence contractor from the beginning .

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-1&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfX0%3D&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1033445439922757632&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Ftechnology%2Fsilicon-valley-algorithm-manipulation-only-thing-keeping-mainstream-media-alive&sessionId=bee5bf69081776e8fed4e676b6be5ee8fb917639&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=82e1070%3A1619632193066&width=550px

Then you’ve got Facebook, where a third of Americans regularly get their news. Facebook is a bit less evasive about its status quo-enforcing censorship practices, openly enlisting the government-and-plutocrat-funded imperialist narrative management firm The Atlantic Council to help it determine what content to censor and what to boost. Facebook has stated that if its “fact checkers†like The Atlantic Council deem a page or domain guilty of spreading false information, it will “dramatically reduce the distribution of all of their Page-level or domain-level content on Facebook.â€

All the algorithm stacking by the dominant news distribution giants Google and Facebook also ensures that mainstream platforms and reporters will have far more followers than indie media on platforms like Twitter, since an article that has been artificially amplified will receive far more views and therefore far more clicks on their social media information. Mass media employees tend to clique up and amplify each other on Twitter, further exacerbating the divide. Meanwhile left and antiwar voices, including myself , have been complaining for years that Twitter artificially throttles their follower count.

If not for these deliberate acts of sabotage and manipulation by Silicon Valley megacorporations , the mainstream media which have deceived us into war after war and which manufacture consent for an oppressive status quo would have been replaced by independent media years ago. These tech giants are the life support system of corporate media propaganda.

* * *

My work is entirely reader-supported , so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook , following my antics on Twitter , or throwing some money into my tip jar on Ko-fi , Patreon or Paypal . If you want to read more you can buy my books . Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge. The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack , which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here .

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[May 09, 2021] Children from Parents Exposed to Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster Show No Genetic Damage

May 09, 2021 | science.slashdot.org

(usnews.com) 80 There's no evidence of genetic damage in the children of parents who were exposed to radiation from the 1986 Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant disaster in Ukraine, researchers say.

Several previous studies have examined the risks across generations of radiation exposure from events such as this, but have yielded inconclusive results. In this study, the investigators analyzed the genomes of 130 children and parents from families where one or both parents were exposed to radiation due to the Chernobyl accident, and where children were conceived afterward and born between 1987 and 2002.

There was no increase in gene changes in reproductive cells of study participants, and rates of new germline mutations were similar to those in the general population, according to a team led by Meredith Yeager of the U.S. National Cancer Institute, in Rockville, Md.

[May 08, 2021] Fauci and gain of fuinction research: Ah, yes, the "government disease" expert Fauci...at it again

May 08, 2021 | www.wsj.com

J

Fauci and gain of fuinction research: Ah, yes, the "government disease" expert Fauci...at it again J Jean Bieluczyk

Ah, yes, the "government disease" expert Fauci...at it again.
Fauci and gain of fuinction research: Ah, yes, the "government disease" expert Fauci...at it again J Jean Bieluczyk
Ah, yes, the "government disease" expert Fauci...at it again.

[May 08, 2021] Demand For Ass Implants Booms During Pandemic - ZeroHedge

May 08, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

In the early days of the virus pandemic, things didn't look so hot for the field of plastic survey. Hospitals were overrun with COVID-19 infections and banned all elective procedures, limiting plastic surgeries. But sometime after, when the economy reopened, and hospitals allowed elective surgeries, demand for butt implants soared.

Bloomberg , citing data from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), says there were broad declines for minimally invasive and surgical cosmetic procedures during 2020. Botox and soft-tissue fillers remained popular with consumers. But it was buttock augmentation, or butt implants were a massive hit among consumers. Cosmetic procedures for the implants last year were up 22%, from 970 to 1,179.

[May 08, 2021] Harris ..... laughing as she walked away

May 08, 2021 | www.wsj.com

E

Harris ..... laughing as she walked away E Eugene Boutz

Regarding your

*Harris ..... laughing as she walked away*

wording, I've noticed her tendency do do this, laugh at all of the truly serious questions and issues, for more than a year.

Such behavior is often an indication of either:

1) Contempt for others or even for civilization itself and/or

2) Pharmaceuticals, either legal or illegal.

[May 07, 2021] New Jersey Police Officer Fired For Calling BLM Protesters -Terrorists- - ZeroHedge

May 07, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

"...they are terrorists. They hate me. They hate my uniform. They don't care if I die ..."

We have been discussing the termination of public employees and others for their postings on social media or public displays. The latest case is out of New Jersey where former Hopewell Township police officer Sara Erwin was fired recent over a June 2020 posting on Facebook in which she referred to Black Lives Matter (BLM) protesters as "terrorists."

There remains an uncertain line of what political or social views are tolerated and what are barred on social media. Indeed, Sgt. Mandy Gray was suspended and demoted for simply liking the June 2020 post.


Gray was the first female officer hired in Hopewell Township and became the first female sergeant in 2019, according to NJ.com.

Erwin insists that she posted the statement after she and her colleagues were faced with violent protests and family members who were traumatized by images on television of officers being attacked. Erwin reportedly wrote i:

" Last night as I left for work I had my two kids crying for me not to go to work. I don't think I've ever felt the way I did last night. And then I watched people I know and others I care about going into harms way. I love my police family like my own. So when you share posts and things on Facebook I'd really appreciate if you'd THINK before doing so. I've seen so many black lives matter [sic] hashtags in these posts. Just to let you know -- they are terrorists. They hate me. They hate my uniform. They don't care if I die. "

Hopewell Township Mayor Julie Blake and the town's council made the decision to fire her in an unanimous vote to accept the recommendations of a hearing officer.

As will come as little surprise to many on this blog, my default is in favor of free speech.

My concern is the lack of a consistent rule. For example, would the town have fired Erwin if she said the same thing about another group like the Proud Boys or the NRA?

I can understand the objection to the posting. BLM is a group committed to fighting police abuse and regularly engages in protests. For an officer to express such bias against BLM can exacerbate tensions in such protests. However, officers also have a right to be able to express themselves . The balance of those interests should, at a minimum, have favored a reprimand rather than a termination for Erwin. If not, the town should establish a clear standard as to what public employees are allowed to express on political and social issues. This includes whether certain groups can be criticized but not others.

Twitter recently censored criticism of a BLM founder and we have been discussing the targeting of professors who voice dissenting opinions about the Black Lives Matter movement, police shootings, or aspects of the protests around the country from the University of Chicago to Cornell to Harvard to other schools. Students have also been sanctioned for criticism BLM and anti-police views at various colleges . Even a high school principal was fired for stating that "all lives matter. " Each of these controversies raise concerns over the countervailing statements against police or Republicans or other groups .

The action taken by Hopewell Township raises more questions than answers on where this line is drawn in terms of free speech.

ay_arrow

Billy the Poet 1 hour ago

I can understand the objection to the posting. BLM is a group committed to fighting police abuse and regularly engages in protests. For an officer to express such bias against BLM can exacerbate tensions in such protests. However, officers also have a right to be able to express themselves. The balance of those interests should, at a minimum, have favored a reprimand rather than a termination for Erwin. If not, the town should establish a clear standard as to what public employees are allowed to express on political and social issues. This includes whether certain groups can be criticized but not others.

Turley reminds us that rules must be followed consistently if they are to have validity but I think the larger point is that there are no rules anymore. The former rule book is now used exclusively as a bludgeon by entitled parties.

[May 07, 2021] Neoliberal empire and FRD four freedoms

May 07, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , May 7 2021 19:00 utc | 26

Global Times seems to have declared an Open Season today on the Outlaw US Empire and its vassals/lackeys with a Broadside of articles that build on yestaerday's outstanding editorial . First is this Infographic that asks six pertinent questions based on FDR's Four Freedoms that are now at the core of Western Values despite their being completely disregarded. Next we have Blinken making a fool of himself again at the China-hosted virtual session of the UNSC for claiming to uphold the UN Charter that the Outlaw US Empire's violated daily since 1945 and by attempting to smear others for violating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights when the Empire isn't even a party to that treaty, never having ratified it. But the stunner comes from an odd source, The Guardian , which cited a new poll:

"Reported by the Guardian on Wednesday, another poll in Western countries shows that the US is seen as more of a threat to democracy than Russia and China , with 44 percent of respondents in the 53 countries concerned that the US threatens democracy in their country.

"'They show neither the US, nor the G7, can simply assume the mantle of defenders of democracy,' the Guardian said." [My Emphasis]

It can't be said the Chinese don't have a sense of humor since this article and the graphic it's based on certainly prove otherwise--it's a big dig at how far the mighty have fallen comparing the current G-7 and additional lackeys with those nations that invaded China 120 years ago.

Meanwhile, Outlaw US Empire dependence on China increased :

"China's exports to the US rose 49.3 percent while imports gained 53.3 percent, and the trade surplus with the US was 653.89 billion yuan, an increase of 47 percent . [My Emphasis]

It seems all the Anti-China rhetoric and Congressional hearings only serve to increase that dependence. The reason why is simple: the Neoliberal System is designed to do just that, and Biden along with Congress is doing nothing to reverse that basic problem.

[May 07, 2021] A blistering critique of the US Imperialism, the current US leadership and its EU vassals

May 07, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , May 7 2021 19:40 utc | 28

Lavrov "stating facts" at the virtual UNSC meeting is also a blistering critique of the Outlaw US Empire and its EU vassals. Here is the beginning of the meat portion of his speech that continues for another ten paragraphs:

"The core tenets of international law enshrined in the UN Charter have withstood the test of time. Russia calls on all states to unconditionally follow the purposes and principles of the Charter as they chart their foreign policies, respecting the sovereign equality of states, not interfering in their internal affairs, settling disputes by political and diplomatic means, and renouncing the threat or use of force. This is especially important at the current stage in the difficult process of forming an international multipolar system. At a time when new centres of economic growth, financial and political influence are gaining strength, it is necessary to preserve the internationally recognised legal basis for building a stable balance of interests that meets the new realities.

"Unfortunately, not all of our partners are driven by the imperative to work in good faith to promote comprehensive multilateral cooperation. Realising that it is impossible to impose their unilateral or bloc priorities on other states within the framework of the UN, the leading Western countries have tried to reverse the process of forming a polycentric world and slow down the course of history.

"Toward this end, the concept of the rules-based order is advanced as a substitute for international law. It should be noted that international law already is a body of rules, but rules agreed at universal platforms and reflecting consensus or broad agreement. The West's goal is to oppose the collective efforts of all members of the world community with other rules developed in closed, non-inclusive formats, and then imposed on everyone else. We only see harm in such actions that bypass the UN and seek to usurp the only decision-making process that can claim global relevance."

I thought this one of his best arrows, although others were equally sharp and on target:

"By the way, as soon as we suggest discussing the current state of democracy not just within states but on the international stage with our Western colleagues, they lose interest in the conversation."

And Lavrov's facts are not out of line with global opinion as revealed by the info supplied @26 above.

[May 06, 2021] Aldous Huxley Foresaw Our Despots - Fauci, Gates, The Vaccine Crusaders

This is starting to look really like staging of "Brave new world..." Today's society is closer to Huxley's "Brave New World" than to Orwell's "1984". But there are clear elements of both. If you will, the worst of both worlds has come true today.
May 06, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Patricia McCarthy via AmericanThinker.com,

In 1949, sometime after the publication of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four , Aldous Huxley, the author of Brave New World (1931), who was then living in California, wrote to Orwell. Huxley had briefly taught French to Orwell as a student in high school at Eton.

Huxley generally praises Orwell's novel, which to many seemed very similar to Brave New World in its dystopian view of a possible future. Huxley politely voices his opinion that his own version of what might come to pass would be truer than Orwell's. Huxley observed that the philosophy of the ruling minority in Nineteen Eighty-Four is sadism, whereas his own version is more likely, that controlling an ignorant and unsuspecting public would be less arduous, less wasteful by other means. Huxley's masses are seduced by a mind-numbing drug, Orwell's with sadism and fear.

The most powerful quote In Huxley's letter to Orwell is this:

Within the next generation I believe that the world's rulers will discover that infant conditioning and narco-hypnosis are more efficient, as instruments of government, than clubs and prisons, and that the lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging and kicking them into obedience.


Aldous Huxley.

Could Huxley have more prescient? What do we see around us?

Masses of people dependent upon drugs, legal and illegal. The majority of advertisements that air on television seem to be for prescription drugs, some of them miraculous but most of them unnecessary. Then comes COVID, a quite possibly weaponized virus from the Fauci-funded-with-taxpayer-dollars lab in Wuhan, China. The powers that be tragically deferred to the malevolent Fauci who had long been hoping for just such an opportunity. Suddenly, there was an opportunity to test the mRNA vaccines that had been in the works for nearly twenty years. They could be authorized as an emergency measure but were still highly experimental. These jabs are not really vaccines at all, but a form of gene therapy . There are potential disastrous consequences down the road. Government experiments on the public are nothing new .

Since there have been no actual, long-term trials, no one who contributed to this massive drug experiment knows what the long-term consequences might be. There have been countless adverse injuries and deaths already for which the government-funded vaccine producers will suffer no liability. With each passing day, new side-effects have begun to appear: blood clots, seizures, heart failure.

As new adverse reactions become known despite the censorship employed by most media outlets, the more the Biden administration is pushing the vaccine, urging private corporations to make it mandatory for all employees. Colleges are making them mandatory for all students returning to campus.

The leftmedia are advocating the "shunning" of the unvaccinated. The self-appointed virtue-signaling Democrats are furious at anyone and everyone who declines the jab. Why? If they are protected, why do they care? That is the question. Same goes for the ridiculous mask requirements . They protect no one but for those in operating rooms with their insides exposed, yet even the vaccinated are supposed to wear them!

Months ago, herd immunity was near. Now Fauci and the CDC say it will never be achieved? Now the Pfizer shot will necessitate yearly booster shots. Pfizer expects to make $21B this year from its COVID vaccine! Anyone who thinks this isn't about money is a fool. It is all about money, which is why Fauci, Gates, et al. were so determined to convince the public that HCQ and ivermectin, both of which are effective, prophylactically and as treatment, were not only useless, but dangerous. Both of those drugs are tried, true, and inexpensive. Many of those thousands of N.Y. nursing home fatalities might have been prevented with the use of one or both of those drugs. Those deaths are on the hands of Cuomo and his like-minded tyrants drunk on power.

Months ago, Fauci, et al. agreed that children were at little or no risk of getting COVID, of transmitting it, least of all dying from it. Now Fauci is demanding that all teens be vaccinated by the end of the year! Why? They are no more in danger of contracting it now than they were a year ago. Why are parents around this country not standing up to prevent their kids from being guinea pigs in this monstrous medical experiment? And now they are " experimenting " on infants. Needless to say, some have died. There is no reason on Earth for teens, children, and infants to be vaccinated. Not one.

Huxley also wrote this:

"The surest way to work up a crusade in favor of some good cause is to promise people they will have a chance of maltreating someone. To be able to destroy with good conscience, to be able to behave badly and call your bad behavior 'righteous indignation' -- this is the height of psychological luxury, the most delicious of moral treats ."

- Crome Yellow

Perhaps this explains the left's hysterical impulse to force these untested shots on those of us who have made the decision to go without it. If they've decided that it is the thing to do, then all of us must submit to their whims. If we decide otherwise, it gives them the righteous right to smear all of us whom they already deplore.

As C.J. Hopkins has written , the left means to criminalize dissent. Those of us who are vaccine-resistant are soon to be outcasts, deprived of jobs and entry into everyday businesses. This kind of discrimination should remind everyone of ...oh, Germany three quarters of a century ago. Huxley also wrote, "The propagandist's purpose is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human." That is precisely what the left is up to, what BLM is planning, what Critical Race Theory is all about.

Tal Zaks, Moderna's chief medical officer, said these new vaccines are "hacking the software of life." Vaccine-promoters claim he never said this, but he did. Bill Gates called the vaccines " an operating system " to the horror of those promoting it, a Kinsley gaffe. Whether it is or isn't hardly matters at this point, but these statements by those behind the vaccines are a clue to what they have in mind.

There will be in the next generation or so a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude and producing dictatorship without tears , so to speak, producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them but will rather enjoy it.

This is exactly what the left is working so hard to effect: a pharmacologically compromised population happy to be taken care of by a massive state machine. And while millions of people around the world have surrendered to the vaccine and mask hysteria, millions more, about 1.3 billion, want no part of this government vaccine mania.

In his letter to Orwell, Huxley ended with the quote cited above and again here because it is so profound:

Within the next generation I believe that the world's rulers will discover that infant conditioning and narco-hypnosis are more efficient, as instruments of government, than clubs and prisons, and that the lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging and kicking them into obedience.

Huxley nailed the left more than seventy years ago, perhaps because leftists have never changed throughout the ages. 61,497 173


Fat Beaver 14 hours ago (Edited)

If i am to be treated as an outcast or an undesirable because i refuse the vax, i will immediately become someone that has zero reverence for the law, and i can only imagine 10's of millions will be right there with me.

strych10 14 hours ago

Welcome to the club.

We have coffee in the corner and occasional meetings at various bars.

Dr. Chihuahua-González 13 hours ago

I'm a doctor, you could contact me anytime and receive your injection.

Fat Beaver 13 hours ago (Edited)

I've gotta feeling the normie world you think you live in is about to change drastically for the worse...

sparky139 PREMIUM 10 hours ago

You mean you'll sign papers that you injected us *wink *wink? And toss it away?

bothneither 2 hours ago

Oh geez how uncommon, another useless doctor with no Scruples who sold out to big Pharma. Please have my Gates sponsored secret sauce.

Unknown 6 hours ago (Edited)

Both Huxley and Orwell are wrong. Neoliberalism (the use of once office for personal gains) is by far the most powerful force that subjugates the inept population. Neoliberalism demolished the mighty USSR, now destroying the USA, and will do the same to China. And this poison dribbles from the top to bottom creating self-centered population that is unable to unite, much less resist.

Deathrips 15 hours ago (Edited) remove link

Tylers.
You gonna cover Tucker Carlsons show earlier today on FOX news about vaxxx deaths? almost 4k reported so far this year.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIJQuk-qK2o

19331510 14 hours ago (Edited)

https://www.openvaers.com/covid-data/death-stats

AGE Deaths

0-24 23

25-50 184

51-65 506

66-80 1164

81-100 1346

U 321

R.I.P.

Joe Joe Depends 13 hours ago

India up in arms about mere 1%

spanish flu was 3%

JimmyJones 9 hours ago

Is the population of india up in arms or is the MSM?

Nelbev 10 hours ago

Facebook just flagged/censored it, must sign into see vid, Tuck also failed to mention mRNA and adenovirus vaxes were experimental and not FDA approved nor gone through stage III trials. Beside deaths, have blood clot issues. Good he mentioned how naturally immune if get covid and recovered, better than vaccine, but not covered for bogus passports. Me personally, I would rather catch covid and get natural immunity than be vaccinated with an untested experimental vaccine.

19331510 14 hours ago

Covid19 links.

Websites:

https://www.americasfrontlinedocs.com/media/

https://covid19criticalcare.com/

https://childrenshealthdefense.org/

https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/

https://www.constitutionalrightscentre.ca/category/news/

https://doctors4covidethics.medium.com/

https://www.flemingmethod.com/

https://gbdeclaration.org/

https://www.lifesitenews.com/

https://healthimpactnews.com/

https://www.mercola.com/

https://drleemerritt.com/

https://www.drtenpenny.com/

https://principia-scientific.com/

https://standupcanada.solutions/canadian-doctors-speak

https://thehighwire.com/

https://vaccinechoicecanada.com/ https://vaccinechoicecanada.com/links/general-links/

Video Sharing : https://www.bitchute.com/ ; https://brandnewtube.com/ ; https://odysee.com/ ; https://rumble.com/ https://superu.net

Healthcare Professionals :

Dr. Jayanta Bhattacharya; Dr. Geert Vanden Bossche; Dr. Ron Brown; Dr. Ryan Cole; Dr. Richard Fleming; Dr. Simone Gold; Dr. Sunetra Gupta; Dr. Carl Heneghan; Dr. Martin Kulldorff; Dr. Paul Marik; Dr. Peter McCullough; Dr. Joseph Mercola; Dr. Lee Merritt; Dr. Judy Mikovits; Dr. Dennis Modry; Dr. Hooman Noorchashm; Dr. Harvey Risch; Dr. Sherri Tenpenny; Dr. Richard Urso; Dr. Michael Yeadon;

A list of Canadian doctors: https://standupcanada.solutions/canadian-doctors-speak

Lawyers : Dr. Reiner Fuellmich; Rocco Galati;

Drug Adverse Reaction Databases:

http://www.adrreports.eu/en/index.html (Search; Suspected Drug Reactions Reports for Substances) COVID-19 MRNA VACCINE MODERNA (CX-024414); COVID-19 MRNA VACCINE PFIZER-BIONTECH; COVID-19 VACCINE ASTRAZENECA (CHADOX1 NCOV-19); COVID-19 VACCINE JANSSEN (AD26.COV2.S)

https://vaers.hhs.gov/data.html

Research papers :

https://cormandrostenreview.com/report/ (pcr tests)

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7680614/ (face masks)

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/eci.13484 (lock downs)

https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc2026670 (child/teacher morbidity)

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.11.01.20222315v1 (transmission by children)

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7010e3.htm (masks/restaurants)

https://www.mdpi.com/1648-9144/57/3/199 (biased trial reporting)

Covid19 links.

Websites:

https://www.americasfrontlinedocs.com/media/

https://covid19criticalcare.com/

https://childrenshealthdefense.org/

https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/

https://www.constitutionalrightscentre.ca/category/news/

https://doctors4covidethics.medium.com/

https://www.flemingmethod.com/

https://gbdeclaration.org/

https://www.lifesitenews.com/

https://healthimpactnews.com/

https://www.mercola.com/

https://drleemerritt.com/

https://www.drtenpenny.com/

https://principia-scientific.com/

https://standupcanada.solutions/canadian-doctors-speak

https://thehighwire.com/

https://vaccinechoicecanada.com/ https://vaccinechoicecanada.com/links/general-links/

Video Sharing : https://www.bitchute.com/ ; https://brandnewtube.com/ ; https://odysee.com/ ; https://rumble.com/ https://superu.net

Healthcare Professionals :

Dr. Jayanta Bhattacharya; Dr. Geert Vanden Bossche; Dr. Ron Brown; Dr. Ryan Cole; Dr. Richard Fleming; Dr. Simone Gold; Dr. Sunetra Gupta; Dr. Carl Heneghan; Dr. Martin Kulldorff; Dr. Paul Marik; Dr. Peter McCullough; Dr. Joseph Mercola; Dr. Lee Merritt; Dr. Judy Mikovits; Dr. Dennis Modry; Dr. Hooman Noorchashm; Dr. Harvey Risch; Dr. Sherri Tenpenny; Dr. Richard Urso; Dr. Michael Yeadon;

A list of Canadian doctors: https://standupcanada.solutions/canadian-doctors-speak

Lawyers : Dr. Reiner Fuellmich; Rocco Galati;

Drug Adverse Reaction Databases:

http://www.adrreports.eu/en/index.html (Search; Suspected Drug Reactions Reports for Substances) COVID-19 MRNA VACCINE MODERNA (CX-024414); COVID-19 MRNA VACCINE PFIZER-BIONTECH; COVID-19 VACCINE ASTRAZENECA (CHADOX1 NCOV-19); COVID-19 VACCINE JANSSEN (AD26.COV2.S)

https://www.openvaers.com/

Research papers :

https://cormandrostenreview.com/report/ (pcr tests)

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7680614/ (face masks)

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/eci.13484 (lock downs)

https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc2026670 (child/teacher morbidity)

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.11.01.20222315v1 (transmission by children)

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7010e3.htm (masks/restaurants)

https://www.mdpi.com/1648-9144/57/3/199 (biased trial reporting)

Ultramarines 15 hours ago (Edited)

His making of the gamma and delta workforce was quite prescient. We are seeing it play out now, we all know gammas and delta. There was a really good ABC tv movie made in 1980 Brave New World. Excellent show, it shows the Alphas and names them Rothchild and so on. Shows what these people specifically want to do to the world. I wonder if the ruling psychopaths actually wait for science fiction authors to plan the future and then follow their script.

Mineshaft Gap 10 hours ago

If Huxley were starting out today no major publisher would touch him.

They'd tell him Brave New World doesn't have a diverse enough of cast. Even the mostly likable totalitarian guy named Mustapha turns out to be white! A white Mustapha. It's soooo triggering. Also, what's wrong with a little electronic fun and drug taking, anyway? Lighten up , Aldous.

Meanwhile his portrait of shrieking medieval Catholic nuns who think they're possessed in The Devils of Loudun might remind the leftist editors too uncomfortably of their own recent bleating performances at "White Fragility" struggle sessions.

Sorry, Aldous. Just...too...problematic.

[May 05, 2021] Mark Blyth " An Inflated Fear of Inflation ?

May 01, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Yves here. Mark Blyth is such a treat. How can you not be a fan of the man who coined "The Hamptons are not a defensible position"? Even though he's not always right, he's so incisive and has such a strong point of view that his occasional questionable notions serve as fodder for thought. And I suspect he'll be proven correct on his topic today, the inflation bugaboo. Yves here. Mark Blyth is such a treat. How can you not be a fan of the man who coined "The Hamptons are not a defensible position"? Even though he's not always right, he's so incisive and has such a strong point of view that his occasional questionable notions serve as fodder for thought. And I suspect he'll be proven correct on his topic today, the inflation bugaboo. Even though he's not always right, he's so incisive and has such a strong point of view that his occasional questionable notions serve as fodder for thought. And I suspect he'll be proven correct on his topic today, the inflation bugaboo. Even though he's not always right, he's so incisive and has such a strong point of view that his occasional questionable notions serve as fodder for thought. And I suspect he'll be proven correct on his topic today, the inflation bugaboo. By Paul Jay.

... ... ...

Paul Jay
And is the idea that inflation is about to come roaring back one of the stupid ideas that you're talking about? And is the idea that inflation is about to come roaring back one of the stupid ideas that you're talking about?
Mark Blyth
I hope that it is, but I'm going to go with Larry on this one. He says it's about one third chance that it's going to do this. I'd probably give it about one in ten, so it's not impossible.

So, let's unpack why we're going to see this. Can you generate inflation? Yeah. I mean, dead easy. Imagine your Turkey. Why not be a kind of Turkish pseudo dictator?

Why not fire the head of your central bank in an economy that's basically dependent on other people valuing your assets and giving you money through capital flows? And then why don't you fire the central bank head and put in charge your brother-in-law? I think it was his brother-in-law. And then insist that low interest rates cure inflation. And then watch as the value of your currency, the lira collapses, which means all the stuff you import is massively expensive, which means that people will pay more, and the general level of all prices will go up, which is an inflation. So, can you generate an inflation in the modern world? Sure, yeah. Easy. Just be an idiot, right? Now, does this apply to the United States? No. That's where it gets entirely different. So, a couple of things to think about (first). So, you mentioned that huge number of 20 trillion dollars. Well, that's more or less about two thirds of what we threw into the global economy after the global financial crisis, and inflation singularly failed to show up. All those people in 2010 screaming about inflation and China dumping bonds and all that. Totally wrong. Completely wrong. No central bank that's got a brass nameplate worth a damn has managed to hit its inflation target of two percent in over a decade. All that would imply that there is a huge amount of what we call "˜slack' in the economy. (Also) think about the fact that we've had, since the 1990s, across the OECD, by any measure, full employment. That is to say, most people who want a job can actually find one, and at the same time, despite that, there has been almost no price pressure coming from wages, pushing on into prices, to push up inflation. So rather than the so-called vertical Phillips curve, which most of modern macro is based upon, whereby there's a kind of speed bump for the economy, and if the government spends money, it can't push this curve out, all it can do is push it up in terms of prices. What we seem to actually have is one whereby you can have a constant level of inflation, which is very low, and any amount of unemployment you want from 2 percent to 12 percent, depending on where you look and in which time-period.

All of which suggests that at least for big developed, open, globalized economies, where you've destroyed trade unions, busted up national product cartels, globally integrated your markets, and added 600 million people to the global labor supply, you just can't generate inflation very easily. Now, we're running, depending on how much actually passes, a two to five trillion-dollar experiment on which theory of inflation is right. This one, or is it this one? That's basically what we're doing just now. Larry's given it one in three that it's his one. I'd give it one in ten his one's right. Now, if I may just go on just for a seconds longer. This is where the politics of this gets interesting. Most people don't understand what inflation is. You get all this stuff talked by economists and central bankers about inflation and expectations and all that, but you go out and survey people and they have no idea what the damn thing is. Think about the fact that most people talk about house price inflation.

There is no such thing as house price inflation. Inflation is a general rise in the level of all prices. A sustained rise in the level of prices. The fact that house prices in Toronto have gone up is because Canada stopped building public housing in the 1980s and turned it into an asset class and let the 10 percent top earners buy it all and swap it with each other. That is singularly not an inflation. So, what's going to happen coming out of Covid is there will be a big pickup in spending, a pickup in employment. I think it's (going to be) less than people expect because the people with the money are not going to go out and spend it because they have all they want already. There are only so many Sub-Zero fridges you can buy. Meanwhile, the bottom 60 percent of the income distribution are too busy paying back debt from the past year to go on a spending spree, but there definitely will be a pickup. Now, does that mean that there's going to be what we used to call bottlenecks? Yeah, because basically firms run down inventory because they're in the middle of a bloody recession. Does it mean that there are going to be supply chain problems? Yes, we see this with computer chips. So, what's going to happen is that computer chips are going to go up in price.

So, lots of individual things are going to go up in price, and what's going to happen is people are going to go "there's the inflation, there's that terrible inflation," and it's not. It's just basically short-term factors that will dissipate after 18 months. That is my bet. For Larry to be right what would have to be true?

That we would have to have the institutions, agreements, labor markets and product markets of the 1970s. We don't.

... ... ...

So, I just don't actually see what the generator of inflation would be. We are not Turkey dependent on capital imports for our survival with a currency that's falling off a cliff. That is entirely different. That import mechanism, which is the way that most countries these days get a bit of inflation. That simply doesn't apply in the U.S. So, with my money on it, if I had to bet, it's one in 10 Larry's right, rather one in 3.

Paul Jay
The other point he raises, and we talked a little bit about this in a previous interview, but let's revisit it, is that the size of the American debt, even if it isn't inflationary at some point, creates some kind of crisis of confidence in the dollar being the reserve currency of the world, and so this big infrastructure spending is a problem because of that. That's part of, I believe, one of his arguments. The other point he raises, and we talked a little bit about this in a previous interview, but let's revisit it, is that the size of the American debt, even if it isn't inflationary at some point, creates some kind of crisis of confidence in the dollar being the reserve currency of the world, and so this big infrastructure spending is a problem because of that. That's part of, I believe, one of his arguments.
Mark Blyth
The way political economists look at the financial plumbing, I think, is different to the way that macro economists do. We see it rather differently. The first thing is, what's your alternative to the dollar unless you're basically going to go all-in on gold or bitcoin? And good luck with those. If we go into a crushing recession and our bond market collapses, don't think that Europe's going to be a safe haven given that they've got half the US growth rate. And we could talk about what Europe's got going on post-pandemic because it's not that good. So what's your alternative (to the Dollar)? Buy yen? No, not really. You're going to buy Chinese assets? Well, good luck, and given the way that their country is being run at the moment, if you ever want to take your capital out. I'm not sure that's going to work for you, even if you could. So you're kind of stuck with it. Mechanically there's another problem. All of the countries that make surpluses in the world make surpluses because we run deficits. One has to balance the other. So, when you're a Chinese firm selling to the United States, which is probably an American firm in China with Chinese subcontractors selling to the United States, what happens is they get paid in dollars. When they receive those dollars in China, they don't let them into the domestic banking system. They sterilize them and they turn them into the local currency, which is why China has all these (dollar) reserves. That's their national savings. Would you like to burn your reserves in a giant pile? Well, one way to do that would be to dump American debt, which would be equivalent to burning your national savings. If you're a firm, what do you do? Well, you basically have to use dollars for your invoicing. You have to use dollars for your purchasing, and you keep accumulating dollars, which you hand back to your central bank, which then hands you the domestic currency. The central bank then has a problem because it's got a liability " (foreign) cash rather than an asset. So, what's the easiest asset to buy? Buy another 10-year Treasury bill, rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat. So, if we were to actually have that type of crisis of confidence, the people who would actually suffer would be the Germans and the Chinese, because their export-driven models only makes sense in terms of the deficits that we run. Think of it as kind of monetarily assured destruction because the plumbing works this way. I just don't see how you can have that crisis of confidence because you've got nowhere else to take your confidence.
Paul Jay
If I understand it correctly, the majority of American government debt is held by Americans, so it's actually really the wealth is still inside the United States. I saw a number, this was done three or four years ago, maybe, but I think it was Brookings Institute, that assets after liabilities in private hands in the United States is something like 98 trillion dollars. So I don't get where this crisis of confidence is going to come any time soon. If I understand it correctly, the majority of American government debt is held by Americans, so it's actually really the wealth is still inside the United States. I saw a number, this was done three or four years ago, maybe, but I think it was Brookings Institute, that assets after liabilities in private hands in the United States is something like 98 trillion dollars. So I don't get where this crisis of confidence is going to come any time soon.
Mark Blyth
Basically, if your economy grows faster (than the rest of the world because you are) the technological leader, your stock markets grows faster than the others. If you're an international investor, you want access to that. (That ends) only if there were actual real deep economic problems (for the US), like, for example, China invents fusion energy and gives it free to the world. That would definitely screw up Texas. But short of that, it's hard to see exactly what would be these game-changers that would result in this. And of course, this is where the Bitcoin people come in. It's all about crypto, and nobody has any faith in the dollar, and all this sort of stuff. Well, I don't see why we have faith in something (like that instead . I think it was just last week. There wasn't much reporting on this, I don't know if you caught this, but there were some twenty-nine-year-old dude ran a crypto exchange. I can't remember where it was. Maybe somewhere like Turkey. But basically he had two billion in crypto and he just walked off with the cash. You don't walk off with the Fed, but you could walk off with a crypto exchange. So until those problems are basically sorted out, the notion that we can all jump into a digital currency, which at the end of the day, to buy anything, you need to turn back into a physical currency because you don't buy your coffee with crypto, we're back to that (old) problem. How do you get out of the dollar? That structural feature is incredibly important.
Paul Jay
So there's some critique of the Biden infrastructure plan and some of the other stimulus, coming from the left, because, one, the left more or less agrees with what you said about inflation, and the critique is that it's actually not big enough, and let me add to that. I'm kind of a little bit surprised, maybe not anymore, but Wall Street on the whole, not Larry Summers and a few others, but most of them actually seem quite in support of the Biden plan. You don't hear a lot of screaming about inflation from Wall Street. Maybe from the Republicans, but not from listening to Bloomberg Radio. So there's some critique of the Biden infrastructure plan and some of the other stimulus, coming from the left, because, one, the left more or less agrees with what you said about inflation, and the critique is that it's actually not big enough, and let me add to that. I'm kind of a little bit surprised, maybe not anymore, but Wall Street on the whole, not Larry Summers and a few others, but most of them actually seem quite in support of the Biden plan. You don't hear a lot of screaming about inflation from Wall Street. Maybe from the Republicans, but not from listening to Bloomberg Radio.
Mark Blyth
You don't even hear a lot of screaming about corporate taxes, which is fascinating, right? You'd think they'd be up in arms about this? I actually spoke to a business audience recently about this, and I kind of did an informal survey and I said, "why are you guys not up in arms about this?" And someone that was on the call said, "well, you know, the Warren Buffet line about you find out who's swimming naked when the tide goes out? What if a lot of firms that we think are great firms are just really good at tax optimization? What if those profits are really just contingent on that? That would be really nice to know this because then we could stop investing in them and invest in better stuff that actually does things." You don't even hear a lot of screaming about corporate taxes, which is fascinating, right? You'd think they'd be up in arms about this? I actually spoke to a business audience recently about this, and I kind of did an informal survey and I said, "why are you guys not up in arms about this?" And someone that was on the call said, "well, you know, the Warren Buffet line about you find out who's swimming naked when the tide goes out? What if a lot of firms that we think are great firms are just really good at tax optimization? What if those profits are really just contingent on that? That would be really nice to know this because then we could stop investing in them and invest in better stuff that actually does things."
Paul Jay
And pick up the pieces of what's left of them for a penny if they have to go down. And pick up the pieces of what's left of them for a penny if they have to go down.
Mark Blyth
Absolutely. Just one thought that we'll circle back, to the left does not think it's big enough, etc. Well, yes, of course they wouldn't, and this is one of those things whereby you kind of have to check yourself. I give the inflation problem a one in ten. But what I'm really dispassionately trying to do is to look at this as just a problem. My political preferences lie on the side of "˜the state should do more.' They lie on the side of "˜I think we should have higher real wages.' They lay on the side that says that "˜populism is something that can be fixed if the bottom 60 percent actually had some kind of growth.' So, therefore, I like programs that do that. Psychologically, I am predisposed therefore to discount inflation. I'm totally discounting that because that's my priors and I'm really deeply trying to check this. In this debate, it's always worth bearing in mind, no one's doing that. The Republicans and the right are absolutely going to be hell bent on inflation, not because they necessarily really believe in (inevitable) inflation, (but) because it's a useful way to stop things happening. And then for the left to turn around and say, well, it isn't big enough, (is because you might as well play double or quits because, you know, you've got Biden and that's the best that's going to get. So there's a way in which when we really are trying to figure out these things, we kind of have to check our partisan preferences because they basically multiply the errors in our thinking, I think.
Paul Jay
Now, earlier you said that one of the main factors why inflation is structurally low now, I don't know if you said exactly those words. Now, earlier you said that one of the main factors why inflation is structurally low now, I don't know if you said exactly those words.
Mark Blyth
I would say that yes. I would say that yes.
Paul Jay
Is the weakness of the unions, the weakness of workers in virtually all countries, but particularly in the U.S., because it matters so much. That organizing of workers is just, they're so unable to raise their wages over decades of essentially wages that barely keep up with inflation and don't grow in any way, certainly not in any relationship to the way productivity has grown. So we as progressives, well, we want workers to get better organized. We want stronger unions. We want higher wages, but we want it without inflation. Is the weakness of the unions, the weakness of workers in virtually all countries, but particularly in the U.S., because it matters so much. That organizing of workers is just, they're so unable to raise their wages over decades of essentially wages that barely keep up with inflation and don't grow in any way, certainly not in any relationship to the way productivity has grown. So we as progressives, well, we want workers to get better organized. We want stronger unions. We want higher wages, but we want it without inflation.
Mark Blyth
And it's a question of how much room you have to do that. I mean, essentially, if you quintuple the money supply, eventually prices will have to rise"¦but that depends upon the velocity of money which has actually been collapsing. So maybe you'd have to do it 10 times. There's interesting research out of London, which I saw a couple of weeks ago, that basically says you really can't correlate inflation with increases in the money supply. It's just not true. It's not the money that's doing it. It's the expectations. That then begs the question, well, who's actually paying attention if we all don't really understand what inflation is? So I tend to think of this as basically a kind of a physical process. It's very easy to understand if your currency goes down by 50 percent and you're heavily dependent on imports. You're import (prices) go up. All the prices in the shops are going to go up. That's a mechanism that I can clearly identify that will generate rising prices. If you have big unions, if you have kind of cartel-like vertically integrated firms that control the national market, if you have COLA contracts. If you have labor able to do what we used to call leapfrogging wage claims against other unions, if this is all institutionally and legally protected, I can see how that generates inflation, that is a mechanism I can point to. That doesn't exist just now. Let's unpack this for a minute. The sort of fundamental theoretical assumption on this is based is some kind of "˜marginal productivity theory of wages.' In a perfectly free market with free exchange, in which we don't live, what would happen is you would hire me up to the point that my marginal product is basically paying off for you, and once it produces zero profits, that's kind of where my wages end. I'm paid up to the point that my marginal product is useful to the firm. This is not really a useful way of thinking about it because if you're the employer and I'm the worker, and I walk up to you and say, hey, my marginal productivity is seven, so how about you pay me seven bucks? You just say, shut up or I'll fire you and get someone else. Now, the way that we used to deal with this was a kind of "˜higher than your outside option,' on wages. The way we used to think about this was "why would you pay somebody ten bucks at McDonald's?" Because then you might actually get them to and flip the burgers because they're outside option is probably seven bucks, and if you pay them seven bucks, they just won't show up. So we used to have to pay workers a bit more. So that was, in a sense, (workers) claiming (a bit of the surplus) from productivity. But now what we've done, Suresh Naidu the economist was talking about this the other day, is we have all these technologies for surveilling workers (instead of paying them more). So now what we can do is take that difference between seven and ten and just pocket it because we can actually pay workers at your outside option, because I monitor everything you do, and if you don't do exactly what I say I'll fire you, and get somebody else for seven bucks. So all the mechanisms for the sharing of sharing productivity, unions, technology, now lies in the hands of employers. It's all going against labor. So (as a result) we have this fiction that somehow when the economy grows, our productivity goes up, and workers share in that. Again, what's the mechanism? Once you take out unions and once you weaponize the ability of employers to extract surplus through mechanisms like technology, franchising, all the rest of it, then it just tilts the playing field so much that we just don't see any increase in wages. (Now) let's bring this back to inflation. Unless you see systematic (and sustained) increases in the real wage that increases costs for firms to the point that they need to push on prices, I just don't see the mechanism for generating inflation. It just isn't there. And we've underpaid the bottom 60 percent of the U.S. labor market so long it would take a hell of a lot of wage inflation to get there, with or without unions.
Paul Jay
Yeah, what's that number, that if the minimum wage was adjusted for inflation and it was what the minimum wage was, what, 30 years ago, the minimum wage would be somewhere between 25 and 30 bucks, and that wasn't causing raging inflation. Yeah, what's that number, that if the minimum wage was adjusted for inflation and it was what the minimum wage was, what, 30 years ago, the minimum wage would be somewhere between 25 and 30 bucks, and that wasn't causing raging inflation.
Mark Blyth
And there is that RAND study from November 2020 that was adeninely entitled, "˜Trends in Income 1979 to 2020,' and they calculated, and I think this is the number, but even if I'm off, the order of magnitude is there, that transfers, because of tax and regulatory changes, from the 90th percentile of the distribution to the 10 percentile, totalled something in the order of $34 trillion. That's how much was vacuumed up and practically nothing trickled down. So when you consider that as a mechanism of extraction, why are worrying about inflation (from wages)? The best story on inflation is actually Charles Goodhart's book that came out last year. We got a long period of low inflation because of global supply chains, and because of demographic trends. It's a combination of global supply chains, Chinese labor, and demographics all coming together to basically push down labor costs, and that's why you get this long period of deflation, which leads to rising profits and zero inflation. A perfectly reasonable way of explaining it. And his point is that, well, that's coming to an end. The demographics are shifting, or shrinking. We're going back to more closed economies. You're going to create this inflation problem again. OK, what's the timeline on that? About 20 years? A few years ago, we were told we had 12 years to fix the climate problem or we're in deep shit. If we have to face the climate problem versus single to double-digit inflation, I'm left wondering what is the real problem here? And there is that RAND study from November 2020 that was adeninely entitled, "˜Trends in Income 1979 to 2020,' and they calculated, and I think this is the number, but even if I'm off, the order of magnitude is there, that transfers, because of tax and regulatory changes, from the 90th percentile of the distribution to the 10 percentile, totalled something in the order of $34 trillion. That's how much was vacuumed up and practically nothing trickled down. So when you consider that as a mechanism of extraction, why are worrying about inflation (from wages)? The best story on inflation is actually Charles Goodhart's book that came out last year. We got a long period of low inflation because of global supply chains, and because of demographic trends. It's a combination of global supply chains, Chinese labor, and demographics all coming together to basically push down labor costs, and that's why you get this long period of deflation, which leads to rising profits and zero inflation. A perfectly reasonable way of explaining it. And his point is that, well, that's coming to an end. The demographics are shifting, or shrinking. We're going back to more closed economies. You're going to create this inflation problem again. OK, what's the timeline on that? About 20 years? A few years ago, we were told we had 12 years to fix the climate problem or we're in deep shit. If we have to face the climate problem versus single to double-digit inflation, I'm left wondering what is the real problem here? The best story on inflation is actually Charles Goodhart's book that came out last year. We got a long period of low inflation because of global supply chains, and because of demographic trends. It's a combination of global supply chains, Chinese labor, and demographics all coming together to basically push down labor costs, and that's why you get this long period of deflation, which leads to rising profits and zero inflation. A perfectly reasonable way of explaining it. And his point is that, well, that's coming to an end. The demographics are shifting, or shrinking. We're going back to more closed economies. You're going to create this inflation problem again. OK, what's the timeline on that? About 20 years? A few years ago, we were told we had 12 years to fix the climate problem or we're in deep shit. If we have to face the climate problem versus single to double-digit inflation, I'm left wondering what is the real problem here? The best story on inflation is actually Charles Goodhart's book that came out last year. We got a long period of low inflation because of global supply chains, and because of demographic trends. It's a combination of global supply chains, Chinese labor, and demographics all coming together to basically push down labor costs, and that's why you get this long period of deflation, which leads to rising profits and zero inflation. A perfectly reasonable way of explaining it. And his point is that, well, that's coming to an end. The demographics are shifting, or shrinking. We're going back to more closed economies. You're going to create this inflation problem again. OK, what's the timeline on that? About 20 years? A few years ago, we were told we had 12 years to fix the climate problem or we're in deep shit. If we have to face the climate problem versus single to double-digit inflation, I'm left wondering what is the real problem here? OK, what's the timeline on that? About 20 years? A few years ago, we were told we had 12 years to fix the climate problem or we're in deep shit. If we have to face the climate problem versus single to double-digit inflation, I'm left wondering what is the real problem here? OK, what's the timeline on that? About 20 years? A few years ago, we were told we had 12 years to fix the climate problem or we're in deep shit. If we have to face the climate problem versus single to double-digit inflation, I'm left wondering what is the real problem here? A few years ago, we were told we had 12 years to fix the climate problem or we're in deep shit. If we have to face the climate problem versus single to double-digit inflation, I'm left wondering what is the real problem here? A few years ago, we were told we had 12 years to fix the climate problem or we're in deep shit. If we have to face the climate problem versus single to double-digit inflation, I'm left wondering what is the real problem here?

cocomaan , , May 1, 2021 at 7:24 am

Great piece. He put to words something I've thought about but couldn't articulate: if wages are stagnant, how could you possibly get broad based inflation?

There is no upward pressure on labor costs anywhere in the economy. The pressures are all downward.

You would need government spending in the order of magnitudes to drive up wages. Or release from a lot of debt, like student loan forgiveness or what have you.

Left in Wisconsin , , May 1, 2021 at 2:06 pm

I'm not sure you need wage growth to get inflation. As Blyth notes, most of the time inflation is a currency or a monetary issue. In the 70s, it was initially an oil thing " and oil flows through a lot of products " and then really went crazy only when Volker started raising interest rates. I don't think there is an episode of "wage-push" inflation in history. (The union cost-of-living clauses don't "cause" inflation, they only adjust for past inflation. If unions can cause wage-push inflation, someone needs to explain how they did this in the late 70s, when they were much less powerful and unemployment was substantially higher, than in the 1950s.) One could argue that expansive fiscal policy might drive inflation but, even then, the mechanism is through price increases, not wage increases. You do need consumption but that can always come from the wealthy and further debt immiseration of the rest of us.

Adam Eran , , May 1, 2021 at 2:51 pm

Blythe is one of those guys who is *almost* correct. For example he declares that expectations drive inflation. What about genuine shortages? The most recent U.S. big inflation stemmed from OPEC withholding oil"a shortage we answered by increasing the price ($1.75/bbl in 1971 -> $42/bbl in 1982). In Germany, the hyperinflation was driven by the French invading the Ruhr, something roughly like shutting down Ohio in the U.S. A shortage of goods resulted. Inflation! In Zimbabwe, the Rhodesian (white) farmers left, and the natives who took over their farms were not producing enough food. A shortage of food, requiring imports, resulted. Inflation!

I guess you could say people in Zimbabwe "expected" food"¦but that's not standard English.

JFYI, Blythe is not a fan of MMT. He calls it "annoying." Yep, that's his well-reasoned argument about how to think about it.

As a *political* economist, he may have a point in saying MMT is a difficult political sell, but otherwise, I'd say the guy is clueless about it.

CH , , May 1, 2021 at 9:13 am

Inflation isn't caused by the amount of money in the economy but by the amount of *spending*.

Like the other commenter, I've wondered this too"if wages have been stagnant for a generation, then how are we going to get inflation? By what mechanism? It seems like almost all of the new money just adds a few zeros to the end of the bank account balances of the already rich (or else disappears offshore).

Still, you just cannot people to understand this because of houses, health care and education. One might even argue that inflated house and education prices are helping keep inflation down. If more and more of our meager income is going to pay for these fixed expenditures, then there's no money left over to pay increased prices for goods and services. So there's no room to increase the prices of those things. As Michael Hudson would point out, it's all sucked away for debt service, meaning a lot of the "money printing" is just subsidizing Wall Street.

But if you pay attention to the internet, for years there have been conspiracy theories all across the political spectrum that we were really in hyperinflation and the government just secretly "cooked the books" and manipulated the statistics to convince us all it wasn't happening. Of course, these conspiracy theories all pointed to the cost of housing, medicine and education as "proof" of this theory (three things which, ironically, didn't go up spectacularly during the Great Inflation of the 1970's). Or else they'd point to gas prices, but that strategy lost it's potency after 2012. Or else they'd complain that their peanut butter was secretly getting smaller, hiding the inflation (shrinkflation is real, or course, but it's not a vast conspiracy to hide price increases from the public).

I'm convinced that this was the ground zero for the kind of anti-government conspiratorial thinking that's taken over our politics today. These ideas was heavy promoted by libertarians like Ron Paul starting in the nineties, helped by tracts like "The Creature from Jekyll Island," which argued that the Fed itself was one big conspiracy. I've seen plenty of people across the political spectrum"including on the far Left"take all of this stuff as gospel.

So if the government is secretly hiding inflation and the Fed itself is a grand conspiracy to convince us that paper is money (rather than "real" money, aka gold), then is it that hard to believe they're manipulating Covid statistics and plotting to control us all by forcing us all to wear masks and get vaccinated? In my view, it all started with inflation paranoia.

Blyth explains why housing inflation isn't really a sign of hyperinflation. But the average "man on the street" just doesn't get it. To Joe Sixpack, not counting some of the things he has to pay for is cheating. So are "substitutions" like ground beef when steak gets too pricey, or a Honda Civic for a Toyota Camry, for example. The complexity of counting inflation is totally lost on them, making them vulnerable to conspiratorial thinking. Since Biden was elected, the ZOMG HyPeRiNfLaTiOn!!&%! articles are ubiquitous.

Does anyone have a good way of explaining this to ordinary (i.e. non-economically literate) people? I'd love to hear it! Thanks.

TomDority , , May 1, 2021 at 9:41 am

"There is no such thing as house price inflation. Inflation is a general rise in the level of all prices. A sustained rise in the level of prices. The fact that house prices in Toronto have gone up is because Canada stopped building public housing in the 1980s and turned it into an asset class and let the 10 percent top earners buy it all and swap it with each other. That is singularly not an inflation."
Maybe I am totally off but, I would say"¦. By your definition, inflation does not exist in the economic terminology as inflation only exists if generally all prices go up and a singularity of soaring house prices and education and healthcare do not constitute an inflation because the number of things inflating do not meet some unknown number of items needed for a general rise in all prices to create an inflation.
What I read you to say is that if Labor prices go up " that could lead to inflation " but if house prices go up (as they have) that is not inflation.
Hypothetically " if labor prices do not go up and the "˜nessesities of living' prices go up (Housing and Med) " would you not have an inflation in the cost of living? " I am convinced that economists and market experts try to claim that the economy and markets are seperate and distinct from humans as a science " and that Political science has nothing to do with what they present. Yet, humans are the only species to have formed the markets and money we all participate and, the only species, therefore, to have an exclusive asset ownership, indifferent to any other species " IE " if you can't pay you can't play and have no say.
I submit that one or a few asset price increases that are combined with labor price stasis(the actual money outlayed for those asset price increased products not moving up) " especially one that is a basic to living (shelter) and not mobile (like money) is inflation " Land prices going up will generally increase the prices of all products created thereon.

Chris , , May 1, 2021 at 9:55 am

Exactly my interpretation.

The "transitory" "food inflation" (but it's not inflation since TVs went down!) is no issue. Just eat 2 years from now or a TV instead.

Objective Ace , , May 1, 2021 at 10:23 am

I think there's two things going on here. There's different inflation indicators, and asset prices are by definition never a part of inflation

The main indicator of CPI has so many different things in it that the inflation of any one item is going to have little effect on it. But you can look up BEA's detailed GDP deflator to see inflation for more specific things like housing expenses (rent) or transportation.

So back to real estate/land: real estate and land are like the stock market. They aren't subject to inflation. They are subject to appreciation. There is somewhat of a feedback effect for sure though: Increased real estate prices can drive up inflation. Rent for sure gets driven up, but also any other good that's built domestically if the owners of capital need to pay more to rent their factories/farms etc.

As noted in the article though, capitalists can simply move their production overseas so there's a limit to how much US land appreciation can filter into inflation. Its definitely happening with rent as housing can't be outsourced. But rent is only one part of overall inflation

jsn , , May 1, 2021 at 10:23 am

The point he was making is that the price change in housing is the result of a policy restructuring of the market: no new public housing and financial deregulation.

The price of food is similarly a response to policy changes: industry consolidation and resulting price setting to juice financial profits.

The point is distinguishing between political forces and market forces. The former is socially/politically determined while the latter has to do with material realities within a more or less static market structure.

This is a distinction essential to making good policy but useless from a cost of living perspective.

Starry Gordon , , May 1, 2021 at 11:26 am

One could prevent crossover for awhile, but eventually certain policies are going to affect certain markets. The policy of giving the rich money drives up asset prices, real estate is a kind of asset, eventually rising real estate costs affect the market the proles enter when they have to buy or rent real estate.

If state institutions tell them there is no inflation, the proles learn that the state institutions lie because they know better from direct experience. Once that gap develops, it's as with personal relationships: when trust is broken, it is very hard to replace. Once belief in state institutions is lost, significant political effects ensue. Often they are rather unpleasant.

jsn , , May 1, 2021 at 1:06 pm

Yes. Discussing complexity in a low trust society makes definitions of terms within a discussion necessary.

The same words are used in different contexts to mean different things making a true statement in one place a lie in another.

Skip Intro , , May 1, 2021 at 2:22 pm

Blyth pointed to the lack of systemic drivers of price increases, and how the traditional ones have disappeared. I think one that he missed, that results in a disconnect with the evidence of price increases across multiple sectors, is the neoliberal infestation. Rent-sucking intermediaries have imposed themselves into growing swaths of the mechanisms of survival, hollowed out productive capacity, and crapified artifacts to the extent that their value is irredeemably reduced. This is a systemic cause for reduced buying power, i.e. inflation, but it is not a result of monetary or fiscal policy, but political and ideological power.

cnchal , , May 1, 2021 at 3:23 pm

> . . . The fact that house prices in Toronto have gone up is because Canada stopped building public housing in the 1980s and turned it into an asset class and let the 10 percent top earners buy it all and swap it with each other.

That is a total load of baloney. The eighties were a time when the Conservative government came up with the foreign investor program and it was people from Hong Kong getting out before the British hand over to China in 1997.

I was there, trying to save for a house and for every buck saved the houses went up twenty. I finally pulled the plug in 89 when someone subdivided a one car garage from their house and sold it for a small fortune. The stories of Hong Kongers coming up to people raking their yard and offering cash well above supposed market rates and the homeowner dropping their rakes and handing over the keys were legendary.

It's still that way except now they come from mainland China, CCP members laundering their loot.

Any government that makes domestic labor compete with foreign richies for housing is mendacious.

When a Canadian drug dealer "saves up" a million to buy a house and the RCMP get wind of it, they lose the house. When a foreigner show up at the border with a million, it's all clean.

Robert Hahl , , May 1, 2021 at 9:49 am

Many people who talk about avoiding inflation are speaking euphemistically about preventing wage growth, and only that; dog whistles, clearly heard by the intended audience. Yet they are rarely confronted directly on this point. Instead we hear that they don't understand what the word inflation means, and Mark seems to be saying these euphamists (eupahmites?) needn't be so concerned because wages will not go up anyway. If so, what we are talking about here is merely helping workers stay afloat without making any fundamental changes. Well, both sides can agree to that as usual. Guess I'm just worn out by this kind of thing.

Basil Pesto , , May 1, 2021 at 10:02 am

this is only related insofar as Mark Blyth is a treat, and I shared it last week, but icymi, an excellent interview with him on the European Super League debacle last week , which really was a huge story.

The Rev Kev , , May 1, 2021 at 10:28 am

The thing that I like about Mark Blyth is how he cuts to the chase and does not waffle. Must be his upbringing in Scotland I would say. The revelation that the US minimum wage should be about $25-30 is just mind-boggling in itself. But in that talk he unintentionally put a value on how much is at stake in making a fairer economic system and it works out to be about $34 trillion. That is how much has been stolen by the upper percentile and why workers have gone from having a job, car, family & annual vacation to crushing student debt, a job at an Amazon fulfillment center and a second job being an Uber driver while living out of car.

Skip Intro , , May 1, 2021 at 1:24 pm

That $25-30 wage was keeping up with inflation , if it were keeping up with productivity it would be, IIRC, nearly twice that. It is interesting to see a dollar figure put on the amount you can reap after a generation or two of growing a middle class, by impoverishing it.

cnchal , , May 1, 2021 at 3:41 pm

This is key.

But now what we've done, Suresh Naidu the economist was talking about this the other day, is we have all these technologies for surveilling workers (instead of paying them more) . So now what we can do is take that difference between seven and ten and just pocket it because we can actually pay workers at your outside option, because I monitor everything you do, and if you don't do exactly what I say I'll fire you, and get somebody else for seven bucks.

Praise be the STEM workers. Without them where would the criminal corporate class be?

Every time I listen to the news (without barfing) the story is, we need moar STEM workers, and I ask myself, what do they do for a living?

howard in nyc , , May 1, 2021 at 10:37 am

Blyth is a bass guitar player! The things you learn about people.

eg , , May 1, 2021 at 11:32 am

I think he also plays guitar and drums, in addition to the bass guitar.

Mikel , , May 1, 2021 at 2:02 pm

If that kind of tidbit excites you:
Before going into economics, Alan Greenspan was a sax and clarinet player who played with the likes of Stan Getz and Quincy Jones.

Go figure"¦.

The Rev Kev , , May 1, 2021 at 7:42 pm

Mark Blyth has a remarkable history as well as, well, I will let you read this article about him-

https://www.jhunewsletter.com/article/2006/10/things-ive-learned-prof-mark-blyth-26651

As a tidbit, he has released five or six albums when younger and is into gourmet Indian cuisine.

HotFlash , , May 1, 2021 at 9:04 pm

And Michael Hudson studied piano and conducting . Do failed musicians gravitate to economics? Perhaps for the same reason as my bank manager, a failed bass player (honors graduate from Classy Cdn U in double bass), they see the handwriting on the wall. He told me his epiphany came when he and his band-mates were trying to make cup-o-noodles with tap water in a room over the pub in Thunder Bay where they were playing.

Tex , , May 1, 2021 at 10:39 am

The mental gymnastics to get to "everything needed to survive costs more but wages have not gone up in decades so therefore its all transitory and inflation does not exist" must be painful. How high does the price for cat food have to get before we stop eating?

freebird , , May 1, 2021 at 10:11 pm

Thank you. Most things I buy or am forced to pay for are rising in price. The economists may enjoy the article, but here in Topeka, it's not flying.

KLG , , May 1, 2021 at 10:49 am

Yes! "The Hamptons are not a defensible position" ranks right up there with "It is easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of (neoliberal) capitalism" by Mark Fisher (and F. Jameson?).

Jeff W , , May 1, 2021 at 5:03 pm

"The Hamptons are not a defensible position"

From Mark Blyth's 2016 interview with AthensLive here .

Return of the Bride of Joe Biden , , May 1, 2021 at 12:12 pm

Does anybody here have knowledge of how much hedonic adjustments influence our official measures of inflation?

chuck roast , , May 1, 2021 at 12:30 pm

Very good, Mark. This leads to the next Q. How do we maintain aggregate demand? The rich guys increasingly Hoover everything up and pay no taxes. So, there is no T. Is the only way to get cash and avoid deflation deficit spending by the G? There is no I worth a damn. (X-M) is a total drain on everything since it's all M in the US and no X. The deficits will have to go out of sight in the future.

You say that there is no velocity of money. Is this because the more money pored into the economy by the G, the more money the rich guys steal? So, there is a general collapse in C. Maybe the work around for the rich guy theft is a $2,000 (sorry, $1,400) check every now and then to the great unwashed. The poors can circulate it a couple of times before the rich guys steal it. Seems like the macro-economists have a lot of "˜splainin' to do. Oh, right, they are busy right now measuring the output gap.

eg , , May 1, 2021 at 2:17 pm

Can someone please define the variables in this comment?

T
G
X
M
C

Also, is there an equation that goes with them?

chuck roast , , May 1, 2021 at 3:29 pm

GNP = Consumption + Investment + Government + (Exports " Imports)

I'd like to see Mark go into a discussion on the velocity of money. I remember the old timey Keynesians lecturing about it, and that's all I remember. I'm guessing that it's related to the marginal propensity to consume.

Ed S. , , May 1, 2021 at 4:35 pm

Chuck,

I may be getting a bit out over my skis, but the St. Louis Fed calculates the velocity of money ( https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/M2V ). It is defined as

The velocity of money is the frequency at which one unit of currency is used to purchase domestically- produced goods and services within a given time period. In other words, it is the number of times one dollar is spent to buy goods and services per unit of time. If the velocity of money is increasing, then more transactions are occurring between individuals in an economy.

So as velocity slows, fewer transactions happen. Based on the linked chart, the peak velocity was 2.2 in mid-1997. In Q1 2021, it was 1.12. By my understanding, although the money supply continues to increase, the money isn't flowing through the economy in the way it was over the last 30 years (or even 10 years ago).

It's beyond my level of understanding to say with any certainty as to why the slowdown in velocity has occurred, but I speculate it's directly related to the ever-growing inequality in the US economy and the ongoing rentier-ism that Dr. Hudson discusses. [simplistically, if Jeff Bezos has $1.3 billion more on Monday than on Friday, that money will flow virtually nowhere. If each of Amazon's employees equally shared that $1.3 billion (about $1,000 each), the preponderance of the money would flow into the economy in short order].

I've always speculated that money velocity is one of the key indicators of the stagnant economy since 2008. It certainly has coincided with the dramatic increase in wealth in the top fraction (not the 1% but the 0.001%) of the US population.

flora , , May 1, 2021 at 1:03 pm

Thanks for this post. Blyth is always good at explaining in a way I can understand.

Mikel , , May 1, 2021 at 1:04 pm

What Blythe has laid out is not a tale about inflation or money, but a tale about power.

If money goes to the non-elite, you get inflation. If it goes to the elite, you don't get inflation.
If you are a country with little control of your resources (not lack of resources, but control) and/or loans (think IMF)/debt (think war reparations) that give people with little interest in whether you live or die control over your countries' finances, you can be prone to inflation or even hyperinflation.

Yeah, I figured out a long time ago that none of this is any "natural economic law" because there is no such thing as "nature" in economics. Inflation is all about political decisions and perceptions.

And I saw this on YouTube a couple of days ago"¦and I still can't think of anything around me that hasn't gone up on price.

politicaleconomist , , May 1, 2021 at 2:37 pm

This is a good response to Summers. But I have a quibble and a concern.
My quibble is that he offers no theory of inflation except implicitly aggregate supply exceeding aggregate demand and there is nothing but hand-waving regarding what he is referring to that he feels has a one chance in ten of happening versus Summers one in three. A second part of this quibble is: what does it mean for inflation to "come roaring back." I assume it means more than just a short-term adjustment to a shot of government spending and gifting. I believe if he thought this through he would have to conclude that without changes in the current structure of the global economy there is no way for this to happen. That really is the case he has made. With labor beaten down not only in the US but worldwide inflation will not come roaring back, period. That is unless there is a chance either that a labor renewal is a near-term possibility. I doubt he believes this. Or does he believe there is another way for inflation to roar back? If so, what is that way, what is the theory behind it?

A more fundamental concern is the part where he relies on marginal productivity theory when discussing employment and exploitation. Conceptually that far from Marx's fundamental distinction between labor and labor power.

Wukchumni , , May 1, 2021 at 2:45 pm

Hyperinflation doesn't seem to be possible in this age of digital money no matter how much you conjure up because nobody notices the extreme amount of monies around all of the sudden as the average joe isn't in the know.

Used houses are always appreciating in value, but none dare call it inflationary, more of a desired outcome in income advancement if you own a domicile.

There were no shortages of anything in the aftermath of the GFC, and now for want of a semiconductor, a car sale was lost. Everything got way too complex, and we'll be paying the price for that.

I think the inflation to come won't be caused by a lack of faith in a given country's money, but the products and services it enabled us to purchase.

Mikel , , May 1, 2021 at 3:47 pm

""¦and now for want of a semiconductor, a car sale was lost"¦."
Sometimes car sales are lost because the price of cars has gone up (new and used)"¦just don't call it inflation"¦

I'm going to let some more time pass, but stimulus or not, we went from all economic problems being laid at the feet of Covid to now moving on to "shortages" everywhere"¦

Just enought to make you go"¦hmmmm"¦.unti more time passes.

Ed S. , , May 1, 2021 at 8:34 pm

Used houses always appreciate " or is it that they appreciate due to a combination of inflation in income over time and the dramatic decrease in interest rates over the last 20 years?

A very quick back of the envelope calc (literally " and all number are approximate):

In June 2000, median US income was $40,500; 30 yr mortgage rate was 8.25%. 28% of monthly income = $945. That supports a mortgage (30 yr fixed, P&I only " no tax, insurance, etc) of roughly $125,000.

In June 2005, median US income was $44,000; 30 yr mortgage rate was 5.5%. 28% of monthly income = $1026. That supports a mortgage (30 yr fixed, P&I only " no tax, insurance, etc) of roughly $180,000.

In June 2010, median US income was $49,500; 30 yr mortgage rate was 4.69%. 28% of monthly income = $1155. That supports a mortgage (30 yr fixed, P&I only " no tax, insurance, etc) of roughly $225,000.

In June 2015, median US income was $53,600; 30 yr mortgage rate was 4.00%. 28% of monthly income = $1250. That supports a mortgage (30 yr fixed, P&I only " no tax, insurance, etc) of roughly $260,000.

Finally, In June 2020, median US income was $63,000; 30 yr mortgage rate was 3.25%. 28% of monthly income = $1470. That supports a mortgage (30 yr fixed, P&I only " no tax, insurance, etc) of roughly $340,000.

And for fun, if you went to 40% of income in 2020 (payment only), a $2100 monthly payment will cover nearly a $500,000 mortgage in 2020.

For the vast majority of home buyers, the price isn't the main consideration " it's how much will it cost per month. So a small increase in median income (roughly 2% per year) combined with dramatically lower interest rates can drive a HUGE increase in a mortgage " and ultimately the price that can be paid for a house.

Michael Ismoe , , May 1, 2021 at 3:24 pm

I find it amazing that when you give poor people money, it creates inflation. If you give rich people money, it creates jobs (LOL. Sure it does.).

As long as billionaires pay as little as possible, the world is fine.

Tom Bradford , , May 1, 2021 at 3:49 pm

Can't say I really understand this sort of thing but saying rocketing house-prices is "˜a singularity' rather than "˜house-price inflation' has to me echoes of the Bourbon's "Bread too expensive? Let them eat cake." And Versailles wasn't a defensive position either.

In my version of economics-for-the-under-tens you get inflation in two situations. First is where enough folk have enough cash in their pockets for producers/manufacturers/retailers to hike their prices without hitting their sales too much and secondly where there's a shortage of stuff people want and/or need which leads to a bidding war. However I'd agree with Blyth that neither condition exists now or seems likely to arise for a while, making a "˜spike' in inflation unlikely.

ArvidMartensen , , May 1, 2021 at 4:17 pm

I am a non-economist, and so my thoughts below may be wrong. However, here goes.
I would say we have had inflation. Roaring inflation. For the past 20 years of so.

Inflation in wages and ordinary costs of living? No, wages have been stagnant. Health care has led the charge in cost of living increases, but most other living expense increases have been low.

Inflation in asset prices? We have had massive inflation in the costs of residential housing where I live.
20 years ago I could buy a 5 br, 3 bath home on a decent block in a good area close to everything for $270,000 dollars. Sure it needed some renovation, but still"¦. Now to buy that home it would cost me around $1,250,000. So that home has gone up in value by 500%. Man, that is inflation.

As I understand it, asset inflation is not counted by governments in the GDP or CPI. It appears that those who have most of the assets don't want this to be counted, by the very fact that they control the politicians who control what is counted, and asset inflation isn't counted in the economic data that the politicians rely upon to prove how prudent they are.

So if you want a day to day example of where all this free money is going, look at housing. And also have a quick look at the insane increases in the worth of billionaires. They love all this government spending which magically? seems to end up, via asset purchase and asset price inflation, in their pockets.

cnchal , , May 1, 2021 at 7:02 pm

That home has gone up in price by 500%

Price is what one pays, value is what one gets. That house is roughly the same, so the value has not changed, but the price has gone up by a factor of 5

Same with stawks. One share of Amazon stawk is $3,467.42 as of yesterday.

What is its value? If Bezos can work his tools ever harder, monitor them down to the nanosecond and wring ever moar productivity out of them before throwing them in the tool dumpster behind every Amazon warehouse, the value proposition is that someone else will believe the stawk price should be even higher, at which point one can sell it at greater price for a profit.

Susan the other , , May 1, 2021 at 5:07 pm

What is inflation? Good question. I'd say inflation is fear of monetary devaluation. Not devaluation, just the fear of it. We'll never overcome this unease if we always deal in numbers. Dollars, digits, whatever. We need to deal in commodities " let's call just about everything we live with and use a "commodity". Including unpaid family help/care; and the more obvious things like transportation. If we simply took a summary of all the necessary things we need to live decent lives " but not translated into dollars because dollars have no sense " and then provided these necessities via some government agency so that they were not "inflated" in the process and thereby provided a stable society, then government could MMT this very easily. Our current approach is so audaciously stupid it will never make sense let alone balance any balance sheets. That's a feature, not a bug because it's the best way to steal a profit. The best way to stop demand inflation or some fake scarcity or whatever is to provide the necessary availability. That's where uncle Joe is gonna run headlong into a brick wall. He has spent his entire life doing the exact opposite.

William Neil , , May 1, 2021 at 6:59 pm

The figure for the upward transfer of wealth from the Rand Study was $50 trillion between 1975-2018. It was adjusted up by the authors from $47 trillion to bring it up to 2020 trends.

Here are the authors explaining what they found and their methodology: https://time.com/5888024/50-trillion-income-inequality-america/

Now the interesting thing to me is this " look at the date of the publication in Time magazine: Sept. 14, 2020, so right in the heart of campaign fever, and it never came up in the debates, in the press"¦I didn't hear about it until Blyth made one of his appearances on Jay's show with Rana Foroohar. Long after the election.

VietnamVet , , May 1, 2021 at 9:47 pm

As long as 80% of Americans are head over heels in debt and 52% of 18-to-29-year-olds are currently living with their parents, there never will be the wage inflation of the 1970s. A majority of the people arrested for the Capitol riot had a history of financial trouble. The elite blue zones in Washington State and Oregon that prospered from globalism are seeing a spike in coronavirus cases. North American neoliberal governments have failed dismally. It is intentional in order to exploit more wealth for the rich from the natural resources and workers. If the mRNA vaccines do not control coronavirus variants, and a workable national public health system is not implemented; succession and chaos will bring on Zimbabwe type inflation.

There is a reason why Portland Oregon has been a center of unrest for the past year. The Elite just do not want to see it. How can Janet Yellen deal with this? She can't. She is an Insider. She was paid 7.2 million dollars in speaker and seminar fees in the last two years not to.

[May 05, 2021] Capital power is over labor, and it extracts money from labor in various ways, but most especially during debt conversions after the financial crisis like crisis of 2008

May 05, 2021 | www.unz.com

Mefobills , says: May 5, 2021 at 1:44 pm GMT • 4.8 hours ago

@animalogic respasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us ." is the translation presented in the Revised Standard Version of the Bible. What is lost in translation is the fact that Jesus came "to preach the gospel to the poor to preach the acceptable Year of the Lord": He came, that is, to proclaim a Jubilee Year, a restoration of deror for debtors: He came to institute a Clean Slate Amnesty (which is what Hebrew דְּרוֹר connotes in this context).

It is quite possible to have balanced civilizations that lasts for thousands of years; however it is impossible in the West, since the west is based on faulty assumptions about reality.

[May 05, 2021] Regularity of changes from "more stupid" to "more evil" in the US politics: Bush is more stupid. Obama is more evil. Trump more stupid. Creepy Joe -- more evil.

May 05, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

albrt , , April 25, 2021 at 7:20 pm

I view the 2008 election as the major failing-to-turn-back-when-we-had-the-chance point. Obama could have undone Bush's worst policies, but instead he cemented them into place forever.

Our elites are both stupid and evil, but Bush is more stupid and Obama is more evil .

[May 05, 2021] Institutional idiotism in full bloom: To Promote Equality, California Proposes A Ban On Advanced Math Classes

May 05, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Mike Shedlock via MishTalk.com,

In the name of equality, the California Department of Education seeks to dumb down the brightest kids .

A friend of mine emailed an article the likes of which always prompts me to say "really?"

Please consider the Reason article In the Name of Equity, California Will Discourage Students Who Are Gifted at Math .

Culturally Responsive Framework

I like to verify things myself and you can do so as well by reading the California Department of Education Mathematics Framework .

In its framework, the Department of Education seeks " Culturally responsive mathematics education ."

Introduction Highlights Teaching for Equity Highlights Need to Broaden Perceptions of Mathematics

I did not go through all the chapters. Reason uncovered these gems.

Sabotage the Best

Reason concludes, and I agree " If California adopts this framework, which is currently under public review, the state will end up sabotaging its brightest students . The government should let kids opt out of math if it's not for them. Don't let the false idea that there's no such thing as a gifted student herald the end of advanced math entirely."

Instead, and in the name of "equity", the proposed framework aims to keep everyone learning at the same dumbed down level for as long as possible.

The intention is clear. The California Board of Education intends to sabotage the best and brightest, hoping to make everyone equal.

The public does not support these polices. Indeed, it is precisely this kind of talk that nearly got Trump reelected.

Biden should speak out against such nonsense, but he won't. He is beholden to Teachers' Unions and Boards of Education.

Care to complain? If so the California Department of Education posted these ways.

Phone Number and Address

Phone: 916-319-0598

Instructional Quality Commission
1430 N Street, Room 3207
Sacramento, CA 95814
Fax: 916-319-0172

[May 05, 2021] Machines are expensive

May 05, 2021 | www.unz.com

Mancubus , says: May 5, 2021 at 12:54 pm GMT • 5.6 hours ago

I keep happening on these mentions of manufacturing jobs succumbing to automation, and I can't think of where these people are getting their information.

I work in manufacturing. Production manufacturing, in fact, involving hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of parts produced per week. Automation has come a long way, but it also hasn't. A layman might marvel at the technologies while taking a tour of the factory, but upon closer inspection, the returns are greatly diminished in the last two decades. Advances have afforded greater precision, cheaper technologies, but the only reason China is a giant of manufacturing is because labor is cheap. They automate less than Western factories, not more, because humans cost next to nothing, but machines are expensive.

[May 04, 2021] Neoliberal MSM now rank in public trust a little below emailed pleas from deposed Nigerian princes

May 04, 2021 | www.wsj.com


It's easy to become inured to the daily procession of flagrant falsehoods, tendentious misrepresentations, deceitful exaggerations and narrative-driven editorial distortions from many of the nation's leading media outlets. As opinion surveys suggest that most of these organizations now rank in public trust a little below emailed pleas from deposed Nigerian princes, it's easy to think the power they once wielded has been so diminished that they are little more than a mildly diverting source of contemporary color in our lives.

[May 03, 2021] FISA And The Still Too Secret Police

With PRISM in place FICA court is redundant...
Notable quotes:
"... All an FBI supervisor has to do to get a FISA warrant on you is have one agent get a crooked snitch in a foreign country to send you a weird text message, and then have another bright eyed and bushy tailed agent who doesn't know the crook is a snitch write up a search warrant application affidavit and submit it to the FISA court. ..."
"... Nothing says "Unconstitutional (illegal) Deep State" like FISA. Hitler's Gestapo would be proud! ..."
"... Lisa and Peter removed any credibility the FBI had with the public. If they solved real crime they would go after the massive fraud and stolen ID criminals. Of course that takes real work and someone wanting get off their lazy rear end ..."
May 03, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by James Bovard,

The FBI continues to lawlessly use counterintelligence powers against American citizens...

The Deep State Referee just admitted that the FBI continues to commit uncounted violations of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA).

If you sought to report a crime to the FBI, an FBI agent may have illegally surveilled your email. Even if you merely volunteered for the FBI "Citizens Academy" program, the FBI may have illegally tracked all your online activity.

But the latest FBI offenses, like almost all prior FBI violations, are not a real problem, according to James Boasberg, presiding judge of the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. That court, among other purposes, is supposed to safeguard Americans' constitutional right to privacy under FISA. FISA was originally enacted to create a narrow niche for foreign intelligence investigations that could be conducted without a warrant from a regular federal court. But as time passed, FISA morphed into an uncontrolled yet officially sanctioned privacy-trampling monster. FISA judges unleash the nuclear bomb of searches, authorizing the FBI "to conduct, simultaneous telephone, microphone, cell phone, e-mail and computer surveillance of the U.S. person target's home, workplace and vehicles," as well as "physical searches of the target's residence, office, vehicles, computer, safe deposit box and U.S. mails."

In 2008, after the George W. Bush administration's pervasive illegal warrantless wiretaps were exposed, Congress responded by enacting FISA amendments that formally entitled the National Security Agency to vacuum up mass amounts of emails and other communication, a swath of which is provided to the FBI. In 2018, the FISA court slammed the FBI for abusing that database with warrantless searches that violated Americans' rights. In lieu of obeying FISA, the FBI created a new Office of Internal Audit. Deja vu! Back in 2007, FBI agents were caught massively violating the Patriot Act by using National Security Letters to conduct thousands of illegal searches on Americans' personal data. Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) declared that an Inspector General report on the abusive searches "confirms the American people's worst fears about the Patriot Act." FBI chief Robert Mueller responded by creating a new Office of Integrity and Compliance as "another important step toward ensuring we fulfill our mission with an unswerving commitment to the rule of law." Be still my beating heart!

The FBI's promise to repent after the 2018 report sufficed for the FISA court to permit the FBI to continue plowing through the personal data it received from NSA. Monday's disclosure "a delayed release of a report by the court last November "revealed that the FBI has conducted warrantless searches of the data trove for "domestic terrorism," "public corruption and bribery," "health care fraud," and other targets "including people who notified the FBI of crimes and even repairmen entering FBI offices. As Spencer Ackerman wrote in the Daily Beast , "The FBI continues to perform warrantless searches through the NSA's most sensitive databases for routine criminal investigations." That type of search "potentially jeopardizes an accused person's ability to have a fair trial since warrantlessly acquired information is supposed to be inadmissible. The FBI claimed to the court that none of the warrantlessly queried material "˜was used in a criminal or civil proceeding,' but such usage at trial has happened before," Ackerman noted. Some illicit FBI searches involve vast dragnets. As the New York Times reported , an FBI agent in 2019 conducted a database search "using the identifiers of about 16,000 people, even though only seven of them had connections to an investigation."

In the report released Monday, Judge Boasberg lamented "apparent widespread violations" of the legal restrictions for FBI searches. Regardless, Boasberg kept the illicit search party going: "The Court is willing to again conclude that the . . . [FBI's] procedures meet statutory and Fourth Amendment requirements." "Willing to again conclude" sounds better than "close enough for constitutional."

At this point, Americans know only the abuses that the FBI chose to disclose to FISA judges. We have no idea how many other perhaps worse abuses may have occurred. For a hundred years, the FBI has buttressed its power by keeping a lid on its crimes. Unfortunately, the FISA Court has become nothing but Deep State window dressing "a facade giving the illusion that government is under the law. Consider Boasberg's recent ruling in the most brazen FISA abuse yet exposed. In December 2019, the Justice Department Inspector General reported that the FBI made "fundamental errors " and persistently deceived the FISA court to authorize surveilling a 2016 Trump presidential campaign official. The I.G. report said the FBI "drew almost entirely" from the Steele dossier to prove a "well-developed conspiracy" between Russians and the Trump campaign even though it was "unable to corroborate any of the specific substantive allegations against Carter Page" in that dossier, which was later debunked.

A former FBI assistant general counsel, Kevin Clinesmith, admitted to falsifying key evidence to secure the FISA warrant to spy on the Trump campaign. As a Wall Street Journal editorial noted , Clinesmith "changed an email confirming Mr. Page had been a CIA source to one that said the exact opposite, explicitly adding the words "˜not a source' before he forwarded it." A federal prosecutor declared that the "resulting harm is immeasurable" from Clinesmith's action. But at the sentencing hearing, Boasberg gushed with sympathy, noting that Clinesmith "went from being an obscure government lawyer to standing in the eye of a media hurricane"¦ Mr. Clinesmith has lost his job in government service"what has given his life much of its meaning." Scorning the federal prosecutor's recommendation for jail time, Boasberg gave Clinesmith a wrist slap"400 hours of community service and 12 months of probation.

The FBI FISA frauds profoundly disrupted American politics for years and the din of belatedly debunked accusations of Trump colluding with Russia swayed plenty of votes in the 2018 midterms and the 2020 presidential election. But for the chief FISA judge, nothing matters except the plight of an FBI employee who lost his job after gross misconduct. This is the stark baseline Americans should remember when politicians, political appointees, and judges promise to protect them from future FBI abuses. The FISA court has been craven, almost beyond ridicule, perennially. Perhaps Boasberg was simply codifying a prerogative the FISA court previously awarded upon FBI officials. In 2005, after a deluge of false FBI claims in FISA warrants, FISA Presiding Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly proposed requiring FBI agents to swear to the accuracy of the information they presented. That never happened because it could have "slowed such investigations drastically," the Washington Post reported . So, FBI agents continue to lie with impunity to the judges.

The FISA court has gone from pretending that FBI violations don't occur to pretending that violations don't matter. Practically the only remaining task is for the FISA court to cease pretending Americans have any constitutional right to privacy . But if a sweeping new domestic terrorism law is passed, perhaps even that formal acknowledgement will be unnecessary. Beginning in 2006, the court rubber-stamped FBI requests that bizarrely claimed that the telephone records of all Americans were "relevant" to a terrorism investigation under the Patriot Act, thereby enabling NSA data seizures later denounced by a federal judge as "almost Orwellian." FISA could become a peril to far more Americans if Congress formally creates a new domestic terrorism offense and a new category for expanding FISA searches.

The backlash from Democrats after the January 6 clash at the Capitol showcased the demand for federal crackdowns on extremists who doubted Biden's election, disparaged federal prerogatives, or otherwise earned congressional ire. If a domestic terrorism law is passed, the FBI will feel as little constrained by the details of the statute as it does about FISA's technicalities. Will FBI agents conducting warrantless searches rely on the same harebrained standard the NSA used to target Americans: "someone searching the web for suspicious stuff"? Unfortunately, unless an FBI whistleblower with the same courage as former NSA analyst Edward Snowden steps forward, we may never know the extent of FBI abuses


ebworthen 39 minutes ago

"You want to harass a political opponent? Sure, we can do that...

JaxPavan 42 minutes ago

All an FBI supervisor has to do to get a FISA warrant on you is have one agent get a crooked snitch in a foreign country to send you a weird text message, and then have another bright eyed and bushy tailed agent who doesn't know the crook is a snitch write up a search warrant application affidavit and submit it to the FISA court.

Joe Bribem 32 minutes ago

It's almost like we did this to Trump. But it'll never come to light. Oops it did. Not that anything will happen to us because we own the corrupt DOJ and FBI.

Obama's own personal private army.

You_Cant_Quit_Me 7 minutes ago

A lot of tips come in from overseas. For example, the US spies on citizens of another country and then sends that country tips, in exchange that country does the same by spying on US citizens and sending the FBI tips. Then it starts, "we are just following up on a tip"

wee-weed up 36 minutes ago (Edited)

Nothing says "Unconstitutional (illegal) Deep State" like FISA. Hitler's Gestapo would be proud!

You_Cant_Quit_Me 37 minutes ago

Lisa and Peter removed any credibility the FBI had with the public. If they solved real crime they would go after the massive fraud and stolen ID criminals. Of course that takes real work and someone wanting get off their lazy rear end

takeaction 58 minutes ago (Edited)

If you own a smart phone...everything you do is recorded...and logged. "They" have been listening to you for a long time if they want to.

If you own any smart device...they can listen and watch. They are monitoring what I am typing and this site. There really is no way to hide.

[May 03, 2021] Some other countries of the world just aren't swallowing Bidan and his handlers worshipping of all things non-white..

May 03, 2021 | www.unz.com

Defender , says: April 30, 2021 at 8:51 am GMT • 18.6 hours ago

Some other countries of the world just aren't swallowing Bidan and his handlers worshipping of all things non-white..

https://www.youtube.com/embed/CBS8TYLO_A0?feature=oembed

BorisMay , says: April 30, 2021 at 1:38 pm GMT • 13.8 hours ago
@Chris Moore to eternal servitude as debt slaves.

*** Please Note: Russia is not weak considering that it has the ability to nuke America in to ashes within 30 minutes, or any other bunch of idiots that chooses to step over her red lines. Okay the US has 350 million people compared to 150 million Russians, but the US is irrevocably divided and Russia is fully united even the Muslim minority is united with the State in Russia. A divided house can not stand no man can serve two masters. On top of that the US has no moral values whereas Russia is a Christian country where marriage is between a man and a woman, by State law. Biden can fly all the queer flags he likes but he still leads a divided nation with a corrupt State comprised of dual passport holders, amoral materialists and deluded mentally challenged idiots like Waters and Pelosi.

[May 03, 2021] US new Foreign Malign Influence Center is just official cover for American intelligence interference in domestic politics by Scott Ritter

May 03, 2021 | www.rt.com

Scott Ritter Scott Ritter

is a former US Marine Corps intelligence officer and author of ' SCORPION KING : America's Suicidal Embrace of Nuclear Weapons from FDR to Trump.' He served in the Soviet Union as an inspector implementing the INF Treaty, in General Schwarzkopf’s staff during the Gulf War, and from 1991-1998 as a UN weapons inspector. Follow him on Twitter @RealScottRitter 28 Apr, 2021 20:44 Get short URL US’ new Foreign Malign Influence Center is just official cover for American intelligence interference in domestic politics Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines speaks during a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing about worldwide threats © Reuters The Director of National Intelligence has ostensibly created a new “center†for the sharing and analysis of information and intelligence about foreign interference in US elections. Its real focus is much more nefarious.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) announced in a statement on Monday that it was creating a new intelligence “center†focused on tracking so-called “ foreign malign influence, †reported Politico. This new entity, known as the Foreign Malign Influence Center, was mandated in the recent intelligence and defense budget authorization acts, representing the reality that the impetus for its creation came from Congress, and not the intelligence community.

For example, the most recent defense expenditure authorization required that the ODNI establish a “ social media data analysis center †to coordinate and track foreign social media influence operations by analyzing data voluntarily shared by US social media companies. Based upon this analysis, the ODNI would report to Congress on a quarterly basis on trends in foreign influence and disinformation operations to the public. As envisioned by Congress, the intelligence community would determine jointly with US social media companies which data and metadata will be made available for analysis.

ALSO ON RT.COM The cynical hypocrisy of the world’s No1 propagandist: US pledges $300mn to fund massive global anti-China media machine

In short, the intelligence community, using data obtained from the social media accounts of American citizens, will report to Congress how this data influences the political decision making of these same American citizens.

If this does not make the most ardent defender of the US Constitution ill, nothing will.

It is not as if the US intelligence community wasn’t trending in this direction on its own volition. The straw that broke the camel’s back, so to speak, was the publication in March 2021 of an intelligence community assessment entitled ‘Foreign Threats to the US 2020 Presidential Election’. In this document, the US intelligence community assessed that “ Russian President Putin authorized, and a range of Russian government organizations conducted, influence operations aimed at denigrating President Biden’s candidacy and the Democratic Party, supporting former President Trump, undermining public confidence in the electoral process, and exacerbating sociopolitical divisions in the US .â€

But the most damning portion of this assessment came when it delved into the specific methodology employed by Russia to achieve these nefarious aims. “ Throughout the election cycle â€, the assessment declared, “ Russia’s online influence actors sought to affect US public perceptions of the candidates, as well as advance Moscow’s long standing goals of undermining confidence in US election processes and increasing sociopolitical divisions among the American people. During the presidential primaries and dating back to 2019, these actors backed candidates from both major US political parties that Moscow viewed as outsiders, while later claiming that election fraud helped what they called ‘establishment’ candidates. Throughout the election, Russia’s online influence actors sought to amplify mistrust in the electoral process by denigrating mail-in ballots, highlighting alleged irregularities, and accusing the Democratic Party of voter fraud. â€

As an American citizen who is politically engaged, I read the intelligence community assessment with a combination of interest, concern, and outrage. The notion of “ Russian online influence actors †affecting “US public perceptions of the candidates†is as intellectually vacuous as it is factually unsustainable. The stupidity encapsulated by such analysis can only be excused by the fact that the intelligence community assessment is a document produced more for the benefit of domestic political consumption than a genuine effort at identifying and quantifying legitimate threats to the US.

The assessment itself is short on hard data. However, the House Intelligence Committee has documented some 3,000 social media ads bought by Russian “troll farms†between 2015-2017, at a cost of some $100,000. These ads were in addition to so-called “organic posts,†some 80,000 of which were published on US social media, free of charge, by alleged Russian “bots†resulting in 126 million “views†by Americans. These ads were crude, unfocused, and simply inane in terms of their content.

ALSO ON RT.COM Putin should refuse Biden’s offer of a summit: Americans will bring only political theatrics & threats, nothing will be achieved

To put the alleged Russian influence campaign into perspective, one need only reflect on the fact that during his short bid for the Democratic nomination, Michael Bloomberg spent nearly $1 billion underwriting the single most sophisticated public relations campaign, including hundreds of millions of targeted social media ads put together by the most brilliant political minds money could buy. All this money, time and effort, however, could not change the reality that, to the American public, Michael Bloomberg was an unattractive candidate â€" in the end his $1 billion bought him exactly two delegates.

The fact is, the political opinions of most American citizens are formed based upon a lifetime of exposure to issues that matter for them the most, whether it be education, right-to-life, gun control, social justice, agriculture, energy, environment, law enforcement, or any other of the multitude of sources of causation that impact the day-to-day existence of the American electorate.

Some of these beliefs are inherited, such as the working-class attachment to unions. Some are driven by current affairs, such as the growing awareness of climate change. But all are derived from the life experience of each American, and the thought that these deeply held beliefs could be bought, changed, or otherwise manipulated by social media posts published by foreign actors, malign or otherwise, is deeply insulting to me, and should be to every other American as well.

The irony is that by creating an intelligence organization whose task it is to help prevent the political Balkanization of America by analyzing the social media accounts of Americans who hold differing political beliefs than “the establishment†the newly minted Foreign Malign Influence Center ostensibly serves, the resulting process will only cause the further political division of the United States.

Some 74 million Americans voted for a candidate, Donald Trump, who has promulgated the very issues that the Democratic-controlled Congress seeks to denigrate and suppress through the work of this new intelligence center. These ideas will not simply disappear because the Democrats in Congress have empowered a “center†within the intelligence community whose sole function is to demonize any political thought that does not conform with the powers that be.

As it is currently focused, the Foreign Malign Influence Center is the living, breathing embodiment of politicized intelligence, two words which, when put together, represent the death knell for any intelligence organization. Worse, the work it will be doing, when turned over to a Democratically controlled Congress desperate to undermine the political viability of those 74 million American citizens, will only further fracture an already divided nation.

ALSO ON RT.COM New York Times ‘bounties’ non-story shows US/UK media has got so used to blaming Russia, it's basically now doing it out of habit

The Foreign Malign Influence Center was specifically mandated to examine the social media influence campaigns operated by Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea. It is particularly telling that they were not directed to investigate the two largest foreign sources of political influence in America today, namely the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee and the Murdoch media empire. President Putin could only dream about being able to buy congressional seats the way AIPAC does, or control what information becomes magnified (and, by extension, suppressed) by the newspapers, television and radio enterprises owned by Rupert Murdoch.

These are the true villains when it comes to foreign corruption of American politics. These foreigners, however, have a seat at the establishment table. Their malign influence will never be labeled as such, and they will never have to withstand the ignominy of having their work scrutinized under the politicized microscope of an intelligence community that has allowed itself to be corrupted by domestic American politics to the point that it no longer serves the American people as a whole, but only a select class of American persons.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

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


Congozebilu 4 hours ago 4 hours ago

Foreign Malign Influence Center sounds like something out of a cartoon.
AwareAussie2 Congozebilu 4 hours ago 4 hours ago
The catch words "freedom", "democracy" and "terrorism" don't work any more, they need to now use different phrases to con us.

John Titor 4 hours ago
4 hours ago
The Foreign Malign Influence Center is just the latest in the Democrat Government Propaganda machine.
frankfalseflag 4 hours ago 4 hours ago
Does Scott Ritter actually expect Americans to wake up to the fact that they are getting more lies and propaganda than the Germans got from their Reich Chancellery in the 30s and 40s?

[May 03, 2021] US generals to the Director of DNA: Either supply the facts or shut up

May 03, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Stonebird , Apr 28 2021 18:38 utc | 18

These folks have had it with the constant stream of baseless propaganda U.S. intelligence is spilling over the world:

Dear Director of National Intelligence,

we, the the 4-star Generals leading U.S. regional commands all over the world, are increasingly concerned with about the lack of evidence for claims you make about our opponents.

We, as true believers, do not doubt whatever judgment you make about the harmful activities of Russia, Iran and China. However - our allies and partners do not yet subscribe to the bliss of ignorance. They keep asking us for facts that support those judgments

Unfortunately, we have none that we could provide.

You say that Russia thought to manipulate Trump allies and to smear Biden , that Russia and Iran aimed to sway the 2020 election through covert campaigns and that China runs covert operations to influence members of Congress .

Media reports have appeared in which 'intelligence sources' claim that Russia, China and Iran are all paying bounties to the Taliban for killing U.S. soldiers. Fortunately no soldier got hurt by those rumors.

Our allies and partners read those and other reports and ask us for evidence. They want to know how exactly Russia, Iran and China are doing these things.

They, of course, hope to learn from our experience to protect their own countries.

Currently we are not able to provide them with such information. Your people keep telling our that all of it is SECRET.

We therefore ask you to declassify the facts that support your judgments. *

Sincerely

The Generals

----
PS: * Either that or shut the fuck up.

Look, The generals and the intelligence agencies haven't won a war for a long time. So now they will fight each other . At least ONE of them will win this time ! Success.

[May 03, 2021] 53 prominent German actors/actresses have become satirical too! They've simultaneously released 1-minute satirical statements.

May 03, 2021 | off-guardian.org

Penelope , Apr 26, 2021 10:34 PM

53 prominent German actors/actresses have become satirical too! They've simultaneously released 1-minute satirical statements. https://notrickszone.com/2021/04/24/shock-wave-50-prominent-german-actors-launch-campaign-satiring-corona-l

[May 03, 2021] It's like the neolibel elite is testing the level of our stupidity

May 03, 2021 | off-guardian.org

Apr 27, 2021 12:28 AM

Yes just finished listening to my dose of bullshit on ABC. The amazing thing is they actually telling you it's bullshit if people listen closely. The number of new infections in India. Hundreds of thousands. Deaths a few hundred. In a country where the normal annual death rate is 9.6 Million and 26,000 people die EVERY DAY. It's like a joke. Like they testing our stupidity. And you can't say; No we not falling for it because there is no longer anywhere to say it! I feel like I have permanent road rage over this crap.

Researcher , Apr 27, 2021 4:11 AM Reply to Dick

It's the tone and emotive words like crisis, and other exaggerated terms they use that triggers fear. The viewer remembers the number of cases, not deaths because the number is larger. But the cases are based on testing.

[May 03, 2021] Tucker Carlson Says People Who Wear Masks Outside Should Be Mocked by Paul Joseph Watson

Apr 27, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Paul Joseph Watson via Summit News,

Leftists reacted with fury after Fox News host Tucker Carlson said people who wear masks outside should be mocked and that parents who made their kids wear them were engaging in "child abuse."

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https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.453.0_en.html#goog_1043494571

Carlson noted that masks were "purely a sign of political obedience like Kim Il-Sung pins in Pyongyang" and that the only people who voluntarily wear masks outside are "zealots and neurotics."

He then asserted that the tables should be turned on Biden voters who have been harassing conservatives for almost a year for not wearing a mask in public.

"The rest of us should be snorting at them first, they're the aggressors – it's our job to brush them back and restore the society we were born in," said Carlson.

"So the next time you see someone in a mask on the sidewalk or on the bike path, do not hesitate. Ask politely but firmly, ' Would you please take off your mask? Science shows there is no reason for you to be wearing it. Your mask is making me uncomfortable, " he added.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfX0%3D&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1386921015943602178&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fcovid-19%2Ftucker-carlson-says-people-who-wear-masks-outside-should-be-mocked&sessionId=2230b0fb24328ba2a6edaa853064249defa128d8&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=b5cd9ac%3A1619504549508&width=550px

"We should do that and we should keep doing it until wearing a mask outside is roughly as socially accepted as lighting a Marlboro on an elevator."

The Fox News host went on to call mask wearing "repulsive" while asserting that forcing children to wear masks outside should be illegal.

"Your response when you see children wearing masks as they play should be no different from your response to seeing someone beat a kid in Walmart. Call the police immediately. Contact Child Protective Services. Keep calling until someone arrives," Carlson said.

"What you're looking at is abuse, it's child abuse, and you are morally obligated to attempt to prevent it," he added.

As expected, Carlson immediately began trending on Twitter, with hysterical leftists hyperventilating over Tucker once again challenging their cult. Many called for the Fox News host to be fired while others ludicrously described him as a "national security threat."

As we highlighted yesterday , even Dr. Fauci now admits that the risk of vaccinated people spreading COVID outside is "minuscule," and yet some health professionals are pushing for the mask mandates to be made permanent.

The transmission of COVID-19 outdoors is almost non-existent, making mask mandates merely a political tool of population control.

In a recent open letter to the German government and state premiers, five leading members of the Association for Aerosol Research (GAeF) wrote, "The transmission of SARS-CoV-2 viruses takes place indoors almost without exception. Transmission outdoors is extremely rare and never leads to cluster infections as can be observed indoors."

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Fiscal.Enema 8 hours ago (Edited)

In all fairness... Tucker should have pointed out that SOME MASKS do filter out the virus most of the time.

Wearing a mask outdoors in most situations is ridiculous, stupid, and dangerous.

3M N95's 1860 which are electrostatically charged have good filtration protection against most virus.

https://www.3m.com/3M/en_US/company-us/all-3m-products/~/3M-Health-Care-Particulate-Respirator-and-Surgical-Mask-1860-N95-120-EA-Case/?N=5002385+3294795990&rt=rud

Why the us government did not fund this type of mask for all is telling what the overall strategy is.

Controlling you, your neighbor, and others that think for themselves.

Its not about the virus

Robert Neville 7 hours ago

Actually, M95 masks filter out 95% of particles over 4 microns in diameter in perfect conditions. In the real world it is much less effective than that. Viruses are generally less than one micron in size so they are ineffective for most viruses. Also, the masks are so hard to breath through that some version have an exhale valve so they do nothing to protect others if you are infected. Most masks don't protect your eyes. The only thing that works is a space suit that is decontaminated before you remove it. The rest is virtue siganling.

Fiscal.Enema 6 hours ago

https://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2012/04/lab-study-supports-use-n95-respirators-flu-protection

PUT THAT IN YOUR PIPE AND SMOKE IT!

Properly fitted n95's do protect against virus and the science proves it.

Dickweed Wang 10 hours ago (Edited)

This is an excerpt from the "Stanford Study" from November 2020 (that's been making the rounds in the alternative media and conservative media space recently) about the uselessness of masks in preventing "the virus":

A meta -analysis among health care workers found that compared to no masks, surgical mask and N95 respirators were not effective against transmission of viral infections or influenza-like illness based on six RCTs [28] . Using separate analysis of 23 observational studies, this meta -analysis found no protective effect of medical mask or N95 respirators against SARS virus [28] . A recent systematic review of 39 studies including 33,867 participants in community settings (self-report illness), found no difference between N95 respirators versus surgical masks and surgical mask versus no masks in the risk for developing influenza or influenza-like illness, suggesting their ineffectiveness of blocking viral transmissions in community settings [29] .

It's predictable that the usual suspects have come out of the woodwork to "fact check" and disparage the entire paper (do an internet search for 'Stanford Mask Paper' and you'll see what I'm talking about). Their main criticism is 'that wasn't published by Stanford', while they totally ignore the claims made in the paper. When you look at the people and organizations doing the fact checking it really shows that the entire mask issue is a political/control ploy. Here's the link to the entire paper if anyone is interested:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7680614/

[May 03, 2021] The NYT is simply a propaganda organ of the corporate oligarchy. Whenever the US does something bad, it is always "alleged". When opponents of US hegemony are accused of doing something bad, it is never "alleged"

Apr 27, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
Gerald Smith , Apr 27 2021 9:00 utc | 7

The NYT is simply a propaganda organ of the corporate oligarchy. Whenever the US does something bad, it is always "alleged". When opponents of US hegemony are accused of doing something bad, it is never "alleged" - for example, you won't read about the "alleged Douma chemical attack" in the NYT.

Just a small point about English grammar: "alleged burglar", "alleged miracle" and "alleged conspiracy" are all correct, because "alleged" is being used here as an adjective. "Alleged antique vase", on the other hand, is incorrect because what is being alleged is not that the object is a vase; what is being alleged is that the vase is antique. Because it is being used to describe an adjective (antique), it is being used adverbially: therefore the correct usage is "allegedly antique vase".

This reminds me of John Michael Greer's formulation: the "allegedly smart phone". I use it all the time, to imply that intensive users of mobile devices may not be quite as intelligent as is generally believed. Note that what is being is alleged is not that it's a phone, but that it's smart!

Otter , Apr 27 2021 12:10 utc | 20

NYT does use "alleged" correctly. In the land of truth, one need merely state one's statement. In the land of lies, one must insert "alleged", so that others know the statement is truth.

There was a Soviet aphorism to this effect.

[May 03, 2021] YouTube Censors Panel Of Medical Experts Over COVID-19 -Misinformation-... Other Absurdities - ZeroHedge

May 03, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

The Governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis recently held a panel discussion to discuss recent research findings related to Covid-19.

The expert panel included four professors of medicine from Harvard, Oxford, and Stanford Universities, who are all PhDs and experts in a field of disease research. And that just scratches the surface of their credentials relevant to being considered Covid-19 experts.

The panel spoke against forcing children and vaccinated people to wear masks, and said there was no proof that lockdowns reduced the spread or death rates of Covid-19. They cited specific, peer reviewed scholarly research on which they based their opinions.

But YouTube decided that these experts were spreading misinformation , and took down the video, “because it included content that contradicts the consensus of local and global health authorities regarding the efficacy of masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.â€

This, of course, is an absurd statement, as the video itself proves there is no scientific consensus.

Earlier this week, Gov. DeSantis reconvened the panel to discuss not just Covid, but also the censorship of the scientific debate on Covid-19 best practices.

The panelists pointed out that the censorship of scientific debate is responsible for some percentage of Covid deaths over the past year, as well as deaths from suicide, and untreated medical issues.

That’s because the scientific community and public were not allowed to discuss best practices in a free and open environment, which according to the scientific method, leads closest to the truth.

You can watch the full original panel discussion here (on YouTube alternative Odysee).

And you can watch the follow up conference here (on YouTube alternative Rumble).

[May 03, 2021] The beneficiaries of neoliberal distribution of wealth up would rather give up democracy, give up the Rule of Law, rather than see their privileged status compromised.

However, it might be that neoliberal oligarchy owns enough of the Congress now to be as hard to get rid of as herpes and as fatal as cancer.
Apr 15, 2021 | angrybearblog.com
Wealth distribution in the US continues to be a first order economic issue

Tomorrow (Thursday) is one of those days when just about Every Economic Statistic in the World will be released. In the meantime, no new data today.

So, while we wait, let me send you over to this article by Wolf Richter analyzing the distribution of wealth and assets in the US updated by the Fed through the end of last year.

Unsurprisingly, the rich have gotten richer, and their preferred asset classes are the most protected by the tax code.

Just one of many first-order economic problems in the US. Wealth, once entrenched – most particularly when it is unearned and inherited – will never be voluntarily disgorged. The beneficiaries would rather give up democracy, give up the Rule of Law, rather than see their privileged status compromised.

[May 03, 2021] Guess Who's Testifying In Congress US Troops Must Stay In Afghanistan Forever

May 03, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Why they dusted off those remnants from Bush and Obama neocon gangs?

When interventionists and national security deep state hawks need to prolong what's already the longest war in in US history, who're they gonna call?...

"Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice told members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee they're worried about President Biden's plan to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan, with Rice suggesting the US may need to go back," Axios reports.

The pair's "expert" testimony was given over Zoom and appears to have been kept relatively quiet, given it was a 'closed door' members only call, until Axios learned of it.

Rice of course infamously served as George Bush's National Security Advisor during the initial invasions of both Afghanistan and Iraq, and crucially helped make the case for war to the American public, later serving as Bush's Secretary of State through 2009.

Having helped start two failed wars, both of which have long remained deeply unpopular among the American public, naturally Condi Rice as a pre-eminent neocon voice would be consulted as a "stay the course" point of view . It's also deeply revealing that there's no foreign policy space in terms of viewpoint whatsoever between Rice and Clinton - latter who pushed for the US-NATO invasion of Libya and planned covert regime change in Syria against Assad.

Little is known about precisely what Hillary testified, but it's not difficult to imagine. Here are a few key insights via Axios :

One unnamed committee member told Axios further that "they both agreed we're going to need to sustain a counterterrorism mission somehow outside of that country."

Well of course!...there always needs to be a war going on somehow and somewhere - otherwise how would these warmongering ladies sleep at night?

[May 03, 2021] I wonder how much Harry and Meghan will be paid for this promotion?

Notable quotes:
"... We can’t leave anybody behind. We will all benefit, we will all be safer when everyone everywhere has equal access to the vaccine. ..."
"... “We must pursue equitable vaccine distribution, and in that, restore faith in our common humanity. This mission couldn’t be more critical.†..."
May 03, 2021 | off-guardian.org

Generous and fair-minded Harry and Meghan have said: “ We can’t leave anybody behind. We will all benefit, we will all be safer when everyone everywhere has equal access to the vaccine.

“We must pursue equitable vaccine distribution, and in that, restore faith in our common humanity. This mission couldn’t be more critical.â€

I wonder how much Harry and Meghan will be paid for this promotion?

[May 03, 2021] Can any sound mind be OK with this idiotism?

May 03, 2021 | off-guardian.org

fame , Apr 27, 2021 8:36 PM

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/ExT3lpQWYAAewAE?format=jpg

Denny KirkQ , Apr 27, 2021 8:46 PM Reply to fame

NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

[May 03, 2021] He who wear mask while alone in car should also wear condom while alone in bed. The power of propaganda about wearing masks outdoor coming from TV truly rots your brain

From comments: " Tucker is right on this one. If you wear a mask outside you truly are a moron. You may as well add goggles and a butt plug." ... "Don't forget about those solo drivers with masks on!", "Maskers are stupid scared virtue signalers"
May 03, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Dickweed Wang 10 hours ago (Edited)

As an anti-mask militant for quite a while now I've been going out of my way to ask people with masks on outdoors why they're wearing one (I've really tried to be polite but it's getting increasingly hard to do that). In literally hundreds of instances I haven't gotten a straight answer yet. It's stunning that people are so gullible but it shows what the power of propaganda really is. 99% of that is coming from teevee, which truly rots your brain.

Capt Tripps 10 hours ago remove link

They are signaling the submission to a tyrannical state. That submission makes us all less free.

safelyG 10 hours ago

mister tucker is wrongeddy wrong wrong.

we must all wear multiple masks. indoors. outdoors. at work. at play. while we sleep. while we bathe. while we eat. while we sing praises unto the most high.

and we must remain 8 feet apart, one from the other. at all times.

and report our whereabouts and our contacts and our body temperature. to the authorities.

get your vacines!

lovingly,
bill n melinda

radical-extremist 10 hours ago

When Tucker Carlson says to tell people to take off their masks and call CPS on parents who mask their children he's trolling the Left. And because the Left has no sense of humor or irony or hypocrisy...they're of course OUTRAGED, which was his point.

Realism 10 hours ago remove link

I like it best when hiking outside, in 75 degree weather with a nice breeze, you see people put up their mask as they walk by

Pure comedy, it's hard to understand the stupidity if you think you'll get any disease much less Covid walking by someone

And importantly, would you really be hiking if you had Covid LOL

aztrader 10 hours ago

Mask wears see it as a badge of honor because they "care" about other people. In reality, it's a badge of Stupidity and ignorance.

Prince Velveeta 10 hours ago (Edited) remove link

California is an open-air mental ward. I was just out there and the collective idiocy is astounding. People jogging with masks on , exaggerating their breathing as they pass you in some competitive virtue signaling event. I witnessed some idiot jogging up the hill past my family member's house, with a bandana on his face, being sucked into his mouth as he's gasping for air.....

[May 03, 2021] Free markets are only free for parasites and usurers to run their schemes.

May 03, 2021 | www.unz.com

Mefobills , says: May 2, 2021 at 8:14 pm GMT • 5.9 hours ago

@HallParvey st absolutely destroy them.

I said: Okay, I get it, if you lend them the money, then they can pay. This is like a Ponzi scheme: you lend the investors enough to pay the interest and keep current. That was my introduction to how the balance of payments worked between the United States and the third world and how political the whole credit problem was.

Free markets are only free for parasites and usurers to run their schemes. Lolbertarianism is an ideology of our (((friends))), and I think its adherents are dupes. I no longer think they are well meaning dupes either, they have a personality defect, where they lack empathy.

[May 03, 2021] Will Whites Support A Globalist American Empire That Picks Fights Abroad And Wars Against Them At Home by James Kirkpatrick

Looks like an attempt to redirect anger against neolibel elite into racial antimosity does nto work well. A least for this UNZ commentariant. They are not folled by woke nonsense.
In any case it looks like the USA is a divided country.
May 03, 2021 | www.unz.com

Chris Moore , says: Website April 28, 2021 at 1:15 am GMT • 3.1 days ago

Never underestimate the insanity of Zionists, be they full Jews, half-Jews, or soulless Jew-wannabes like Joe "I am a Zionist" Biden. We're in unprecedented territory -- an empire run by Zoglodytes. They'll run it into the ground sooner or later, but just how quickly and at what cost to the humanity is anyone's guess.

Of course, none of it would be possible but for the Anglo-elites doing deals with ((bankers)) in search of post-Imperial easy-living. In fact, that's probably what caused WW2.

Today, gangsters from every creed, race and religion want in on the Zionist action, and happily signal to their criminal lodestar that they're "all in" with virtually unlimited aid, wars and diplomatic support in Congress for the Jewish state.

The New World Order. How do you like it, whitey? You just had to listen to the gold-plated promises of the Jew confidence man. The streets will be paved with gold, right?

White Elephant , says: April 28, 2021 at 8:54 am GMT • 2.8 days ago

Bottom line?

If you're white and in the armed forces/police, you're a moron.

The fact is Americans are nothing but the Jew's bitch, killing for them. There isn't one American, who's defended their country, well, you'll have to go back to the war of independence for that. Every, serving member of the armed forces is a mercenary, paid by the US taxpayer, to kill fire Israel as they establish greater Israel.

So STOP looking at your armed forces as heroes. They aren't, not one, single one! See them for what they are, braindead, brainwashed, fighting machines, WHO DON'T FIGHT FOR YOU! And that's what's worrying. Throughout history every armed force has been turned against its own nation and its just a matter of time with the US. THEY WILL use them against you, to push nationwide vaccination.

The armed forces, like the police, are your enemy and I strongly suggest that if you know anyone in them, or a friend whose family members are in them, tell them to leave ASAP before they institute martial law. Remember, the armed forces don't serve you, so leaving them is doing the people good while staying within is causing them harm.

KenH , says: April 28, 2021 at 4:22 pm GMT • 2.5 days ago

I'm suspicious of Biden's planned withdrawal from Afghanistan. The troops will probably get reassigned to the Middle East or the Polish Border. Trump's "withdrawal" from Syria just amounted to shipping those troops to Iraq.

The Biden administration is a revolutionary one. It is not American and doesn't pretend to be. Like Lenin's early revolutionary Bolshevik government it is comprised of mostly Jews and racial/ethnic minorities who are antagonistic towards the majority population and its history and traditions.

I believe that the Jews, radical blacks and others who are really in charge of the Biden administration have no plans to relinquish power in 2024 even if they lose the election. Since the courts refused to provide a legal remedy for battleground states breaking their own elections laws to massively increase Democrat mail-in ballots then they will just do it again unless Republicans can win the gubernatorial elections in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. But that might not be possible with mail-in ballot schemes that were illegally put in place.

beavertales , says: April 28, 2021 at 6:45 pm GMT • 2.4 days ago

Will whites support a globalist regime that picks fights abroad and wars against them at home? The mood of the country is comparable to East German during the 1980's. Resignation and apathy. The last election was a fraud, the media are liars, the courts are political, privacy and free speech aren't being protected, and half the country declares it hates the other half.

Go ahead, try to conjure a false flag to rally Team America

Stan , says: April 28, 2021 at 7:34 pm GMT • 2.3 days ago

There are no signs whites are about to repudiate the Evil Empire. Trace Adkins, Gerald McRaney are on tv advertisements imploring whites to provide financial support to the fools who came back crippled from fighting in Israel's wars.

Nostradamus , says: April 29, 2021 at 2:51 am GMT • 2.0 days ago

"Will Whites Support A Globalist American Empire That Picks Fights Abroad and Wars Against Them At Home?"

The answer is YES, they will.

Why?

Because they've been zombified by 150 years of corporate media whose only purpose is to use subliminal messages 24/7 to control them. Worse of all, they pay monthly fees in order to be zombified!

Wait for the next false flag attack against the US "Interests" at home or abroad and you'll see how the zombies behave.

TG , says: April 30, 2021 at 4:09 am GMT • 23.3 hours ago
@antibeast

Yes, but I would not call the elites "Yanks".

Elites, oligarchs, plutocrats, super-rich, whatever, but don't slime the Yankees.

And while I agree with much of this, don't forget that in the late 1960's the elites imported Mexicans to specifically replace blacks. And then cried a river of tears at how blacks were mysteriously losing ground!!!!

Oh and also: nobody NEEDS cheap labor to run factories. History has shown that without cheap labor factories run perfectly well. It's just that the elites need cheap labor to stay elite

slorter , says: April 30, 2021 at 5:49 am GMT • 21.6 hours ago

The real enemy of the American working class and middle class all of them is neoliberalism ! Coupled with a two party plutocracy that disenfranchises the same Americans who desperately need a more equitable society! Nothing to do with Russia or China we caused it all by ourselves!

Anonymous [397] Disclaimer , says: April 30, 2021 at 6:15 am GMT • 21.2 hours ago

Whites will support a globalist empire. They will also support overseas wars and wars against them at home.

Priss Factor , says: Website April 30, 2021 at 7:09 am GMT • 20.3 hours ago

This is why there needs to be White Liberation from Jewish Supremacism. But Jewish Power tries to preempt this by making a big stink about 'white supremacism'.

No more white support for Jewish supremacist tyranny over Palestinians and mass murder of Arabs/Muslims. If, after 2020, any white person still harbors sentimentality about Jewish Power, he or she is cuck-roach. Useless and worthless.

Ray Caruso , says: April 30, 2021 at 8:19 am GMT • 19.1 hours ago

Currently, an indebted, belligerent, imperialist U.S. is being propped up by naïve, well-meaning whites.

These "well-meaning whites" are the enemy. "Well-meaning whites" have always been the greatest enemy of Whites. A lot of people here consider Jews to be our greatest enemies. But why are they here in such huge numbers and why are they in control? It started with the Powdered-Wig Gang (a.k.a. the Founding Fathers) giving them citizenship on the basis of their shit "Enlightenment" ideology, which held that religion was merely a private matter and of no importance. No country at the time gave Jews citizenship save Poland, which had fallen under their sway and paid an exceedingly high price for it. Then France followed the American example when they had their own powdered-wig revolution.

The tragedy of the US is that nearly every fair-skinned, non-Jewish individual who has any influence here is a "well-meaning White". Generations of brainwashing have done that. Their latest bit of tomfoolery is the belief "Uncle Tim" Scott, a dim, charmless, venal, ugly black mediocrity, will be their savior. By the way, the first time I laid eyes on Uncle Tim, I said myself, "They're going to want to make that fellow president." That's no reason to brag, however, because "well-meaning whites" are nothing if not predictable.

"Well-meaning whites" have no common sense and can't learn from experience. They could not conceive the idea "diversity" is the problem. "Diversity" elected Joe Biden, through bloc-voting by non-Whites and by she-boons in black-dominated counties bringing in suitcases of fake ballots, but guess what: as far as "well-meaning Whites" are concerned, "diversity" in the form of "Uncle Tim" Scott is the solution.

What it comes down to is that if Whites want the White race to survive, then "well-meaning whites", who can accurately be called "liberals", have to go. Whites cannot afford to be sentimental about "well-meaning whites".

animalogic , says: April 30, 2021 at 8:39 am GMT • 18.8 hours ago
@xyzxy the Zio-western imperialists decided ( ie "backed down") not to risk crossing them.
Incidentally JK I don't disagree with this position --
"Rather than feeling anger or shame at this national humiliation, instead I feel something like schadenfreude against them -- along with righteous indignation on behalf of the countless patriots used up and spat out by a System unworthy of their sacrifice."
But perhaps you could spare a few words & emotions for the poor bloody average Afghans who have died in their 100's of 1000's in this vicious, stupid war.
A lack of sympathy for & indeed basic knowledge of, other peoples is part of the reason the US constantly gets stuck in these ridiculous wars. (Had they the "leaders" we have now , the Vietnam War would probably have limped to a halt sometime in the late 80's).
jsigur , says: April 30, 2021 at 8:43 am GMT • 18.7 hours ago

Hmm. Kirkpatrick doesn't seem to realize that 911 was sort of an official beginning to the elites domestic threat problem? There was never a reason to enter Afghanistan because Afghanistan never attacked us and nor did Osama Bin Laden.
As long as ppl believe the official story there will always be a reason the American citizen can support for invading middle east countries
Like the holocaust, it is a lynch pin lie that is the pre-requisite for all sorts claims and behaviors that without them would otherwise not give validation

Paul Greenwood , says: April 30, 2021 at 10:52 am GMT • 16.6 hours ago

I doubt Russia has any regard for Turkey – it has a very long history of wars against them and knows just how treacherous they are.

Russia alone is powerful enough to end life in USA

USA has lost Europe already- Merkel is aligning with China

Americans think Russian gas binds Germany rather than export markets like China and the fact EU needs semiconductors and Asia is where they are produced

No one takes USA seriously any more it is peripheral as in 19th century. You forget Europeans cannot travel to US and frankly fear to do so anyway

USA is disintegrating and is in run-off

Jimmy le Blanc , says: April 30, 2021 at 11:16 am GMT • 16.2 hours ago
@KenH

Biden is just privatizing the war. The mercenary companies and NGOs are writing up their contracts right now.

Jake , says: April 30, 2021 at 11:29 am GMT • 16.0 hours ago
@antibeast

This cannot be said nearly enough. WASP culture is WASP elites hating all 'other' whites and pretending not to hate a few non-WASP white groups when they (the WASPs) can use them against the whites they most hate or fear at the moment. WASPs discard all groups they use as soon as they no longer need them to wage some type war against still other whites.

The Scotch-Irish are probably the best example of what WASPs think of even those who serve them most ruthlessly.

Miro23 , says: April 30, 2021 at 11:44 am GMT • 15.7 hours ago

The mood of the country is comparable to East German during the 1980's. Resignation and apathy.

The last election was a fraud, the media are liars, the courts are political, privacy and free speech aren't being protected, and half the country declares it hates the other half.

Go ahead, try to conjure a false flag to rally Team America.

It does look like resignation and apathy – which is sort of logical – given that all centers of power are in the hands of the totalitarians (same as in the old East Germany).

The totalitarian Communist East German regime actually collapsed when it became caught up in the mass demonstrations of neighbouring countries (Poland Feb. 1989 and Hungary the following month). The Communists didn't have the political will/ability to suppress demonstrations on this scale and ceded power. Two points here are 1) that the public in each country overwhelmingly opposed the government 2) each country was ethnically united (Poles in Poland, Hungarians in Hungary and Germans in East Germany) and viewed their oppression as sourced externally (the Soviet Union).

The US looks different, since the population is split both politically and ethnically. So if anything is going to happen (unlikely) then it's either a civil war, a military coup or a world war (nuclear) removing most major American cities + Israel.

anonymous [349] Disclaimer , says: April 30, 2021 at 12:22 pm GMT • 15.1 hours ago
@anonymouseperson c accountants uncovering the depths of Israel and its fifth column's theft of many tens of billions of our war matériel and of our most guarded military secrets, which were then sold to China in concert with the Greenspan/Goldman Sachs plan to transfer of our industrial intellectual assets and over 50,000 factories to China in preparation for a new order based on joint Israeli-Chinese technocratic hegemony.

My point is that the uninterrupted, elaborate efforts at 9/11 concealment legally constitute, by themselves, sufficient proof of the Pentagon's complicity and guilt in 9/11 and, therefore, make it an alien occupation force that serves Israel, its fifth column, and no other. A war completing the "Bolsheviks" effective extermination of white Christian Russia at the same time as exterminating white Christian America appears to be the objective of International Jewry, whom alone Joe Biden and his Pentagon answer to.

Rich , says: April 30, 2021 at 1:17 pm GMT • 14.2 hours ago
@anonymouseperson

When I was in the US Army, I never met anyone who signed up to 'fight for the Anglo-Zionist empire'. We were there for a variety of reasons, no job, to get training, money for college, adventure or maybe running away from a crazy girlfriend. As the grandson of immigrants, I was probably the most patriotic, the rest of the guys, not so much. Young men will always join the military, whether the military oppresses its people or not. How many Irishmen served in the British military when they had few civil rights back home? In the military, a young White man can learn a trade, learn military tactics, earn money for college and become a real asset to his community. You can also get killed or maimed, but at 18 or 19, we didn't think about that.

lavoisier , says: Website April 30, 2021 at 4:16 pm GMT • 11.2 hours ago

Will Whites Support A Globalist American Empire That Picks Fights Abroad and Wars Against Them At Home?

If they are members of Congress, the military leadership, the police, the FBI, the NSA, the CIA, the MSM, or the leadership of either political party the answer is clearly a resounding YES!!

Brooklyn Dave , says: April 30, 2021 at 5:23 pm GMT • 10.1 hours ago

I believe a large percentage of whites in America have a Stockholm syndrome of some kind going on. The title of the article has rolled two very separate issues into one. As far as continuing to support wars abroad that aren't benefiting the average person of whatever color is not an issue that can be specifically directed at Marxist oriented regimes such as that of Obama/Hillary and now Sleepy Joe & Camel Toe. One can never forget the years of the faux conservative Bushlet regime. Whites as a group more overtly support the military than do other racial groups (even though blacks and Hispanics make up a large percentage of our military). They are very reluctant to criticize American foreign policy as unpatriotic and somehow react to military interventions as if they were a sporting event.

Their concept of patriotism is very puerile. Many never ask the question of who benefits? (bankers, weapons manufacturers and Zionists). As far as the war on whites is concerned, here is where the Stockholm syndrome comes more into play. Our people have been psychologically beaten into submission by accepting whatever the Marxist intelligentsia throws at them.But there is also a cultural flaw primarily among Northern European Protestant whites which consists of being perceived as NICE. Stop being NICE, especially to people who wish you dead. Is this some sort of perversion of Christianity? Maybe. Rather than throwing the whole Gospel message out the window, a recalibration of one's Christianity needs to happen as well. The churches have not been our friend either.

[May 03, 2021] The CIA Used To Infiltrate The Media... Now The CIA Is The Media by Caitlin Johnstone,

Apr 16, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone,

Back in the good old days, when things were more innocent and simple, the psychopathic Central Intelligence Agency had to covertly infiltrate the news media to manipulate the information Americans were consuming about their nation and the world. Nowadays, there is no meaningful separation between the news media and the CIA at all.

me data-google-container-id=

Analysis: US blinks first on Russia-Ukraine tensions

Journalist Glenn Greenwald just highlighted an interesting point about the reporting by The New York Times on the so-called “Bountygate†story the outlet broke in June of last year about the Russian government trying to pay Taliban-linked fighters to attack US soldiers in Afghanistan.

“One of the NYT reporters who originally broke the Russia bounty story (originally attributed to unnamed ‘intelligence officials’) say today that it was a CIA claim,†Greenwald tweeted .

“So media outlets - again - repeated CIA stories with no questioning: congrats to all.â€

Indeed, NYT’s original story made no mention of CIA involvement in the narrative, citing only “officials,†yet this latest article speaks as though it had been informing its readers of the story’s roots in the lying, torturing , drug-running , warmongering Central Intelligence Agency from the very beginning. The author even writes “The New York Times first reported last summer the existence of the C.I.A.’s assessment,†with the hyperlink leading to the initial article which made no mention of the CIA. It wasn’t until later that The New York Times began reporting that the CIA was looking into the Russian bounties allegations at all.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfX0%3D&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1382793565714153472&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fpolitical%2Fcia-used-infiltrate-media-now-cia-media&sessionId=77ef0dadbd05c9f3bcb1de7857a624713a43f3d8&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ff2e7cf%3A1618526400629&width=550px

This would be the same “Russian bounties†narrative which was discredited all the way back in September when the top US military official in Afghanistan said no satisfactory evidence had surfaced for the allegations, which was further discredited today with a new article by The Daily Beast titled “ U.S. Intel Walks Back Claim Russians Put Bounties on American Troops â€.

The Daily Beast , which has itself uncritically published many articles promoting the CIA “Bountygate†narrative, reports the following:

It was a blockbuster story about Russia’s return to the imperial “Great Game†in Afghanistan. The Kremlin had spread money around the longtime central Asian battlefield for militants to kill remaining U.S. forces. It sparked a massive outcry from Democrats and their #resistance amplifiers about the treasonous Russian puppet in the White House whose admiration for Vladimir Putin had endangered American troops.

But on Thursday, the Biden administration announced that U.S. intelligence only had “low to moderate†confidence in the story after all. Translated from the jargon of spyworld, that means the intelligence agencies have found the story is, at best, unproven â€" and possibly untrue.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-1&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfX0%3D&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1382769897420296194&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fpolitical%2Fcia-used-infiltrate-media-now-cia-media&sessionId=77ef0dadbd05c9f3bcb1de7857a624713a43f3d8&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ff2e7cf%3A1618526400629&width=550px

So the mass media aggressively promoted a CIA narrative that none of them ever saw proof of, because there was no proof, because it was an entirely unfounded claim from the very beginning. They quite literally ran a CIA press release and disguised it as a news story.

This allowed the CIA to throw shade and inertia on Trump’s proposed troop withdrawals from Afghanistan and Germany, and to continue ramping up anti-Russia sentiments on the world stage , and may well have contributed to the fact that the agency will officially be among those who are exempt from Biden’s performative Afghanistan “withdrawal†.

In totalitarian dictatorships, the government spy agency tells the news media what stories to run, and the news media unquestioningly publish it. In free democracies, the government spy agency says “Hoo buddy, have I got a scoop for you!†and the news media unquestioningly publish it.

In 1977 Carl Bernstein published an article titled “ The CIA and the Media †reporting that the CIA had covertly infiltrated America’s most influential news outlets and had over 400 reporters who it considered assets in a program known as Operation Mockingbird . It was a major scandal, and rightly so. The news media is meant to report truthfully about what happens in the world, not manipulate public perception to suit the agendas of spooks and warmongers.

Nowadays the CIA collaboration happens right out in the open, and people are too propagandized to even recognize this as scandalous. Immensely influential outlets like The New York Times uncritically pass on CIA disinfo which is then spun as fact by cable news pundits . The sole owner of The Washington Post is a CIA contractor , and WaPo has never once disclosed this conflict of interest when reporting on US intelligence agencies per standard journalistic protocol. Mass media outlets now openly employ intelligence agency veterans like John Brennan, James Clapper, Chuck Rosenberg, Michael Hayden, Frank Figliuzzi, Fran Townsend, Stephen Hall, Samantha Vinograd, Andrew McCabe, Josh Campbell, Asha Rangappa, Phil Mudd, James Gagliano, Jeremy Bash, Susan Hennessey, Ned Price and Rick Francona, as are known CIA assets like NBC’s Ken Dilanian, as are CIA interns like Anderson Cooper and CIA applicants like Tucker Carlson.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-2&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfX0%3D&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1382777804014641152&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fpolitical%2Fcia-used-infiltrate-media-now-cia-media&sessionId=77ef0dadbd05c9f3bcb1de7857a624713a43f3d8&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ff2e7cf%3A1618526400629&width=550px

This isn’t Operation Mockingbird. It’s so much worse. Operation Mockingbird was the CIA doing something to the media. What we are seeing now is the CIA openly acting as the media. Any separation between the CIA and the news media, indeed even any pretence of separation, has been dropped.

This is bad. This is very, very bad. Democracy has no meaningful existence if people’s votes aren’t being cast with a clear understanding of what’s happening in their nation and their world, and if their understanding is being shaped to suit the agendas of the very government they’re meant to be influencing with their votes, what you have is the most powerful military and economic force in the history of civilization with no accountability to the electorate whatsoever. It’s just an immense globe-spanning power structure, doing whatever it wants to whoever it wants. A totalitarian dictatorship in disguise.

And the CIA is the very worst institution that could possibly be spearheading the movements of that dictatorship. A little research into the many, many horrific things the CIA has done over the years will quickly show you that this is true; hell, just a glance at what the CIA was up to with the Phoenix Program in Vietnam will.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-3&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfX0%3D&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1382856410443186179&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fpolitical%2Fcia-used-infiltrate-media-now-cia-media&sessionId=77ef0dadbd05c9f3bcb1de7857a624713a43f3d8&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ff2e7cf%3A1618526400629&width=550px

There’s a common delusion in our society that depraved government agencies who are known to have done evil things in the past have simply stopped doing evil things for some reason. This belief is backed by zero evidence, and is contradicted by mountains of evidence to the contrary. It’s believed because it is comfortable, and for literally no other reason.

The CIA should not exist at all, let alone control the news media, much less the movements of the US empire. May we one day know a humanity that is entirely free from the rule of psychopaths, from our total planetary behavior as a collective, all the way down to the thoughts we think in our own heads.

May we extract their horrible fingers from every aspect of our being.

* * *

New book: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix .

The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack , which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported , so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook , following my antics on Twitter , or throwing some money into my tip jar on Ko-fi , Patreon or Paypal . If you want to read more you can buy my books . For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here . Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

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[May 03, 2021] For several centuries, Europe served as the Ancient Greece to the American Rome

May 03, 2021 | www.unz.com

Sollipsist , says: April 30, 2021 at 6:33 pm GMT • 2.3 days ago

For several centuries, Europe served as the Ancient Greece to the American Rome -- the source of most of the most important cultural inspirations, despite a certain underlying criticism of 'effeminacy' and 'dissolution.'

The 20th Century's Modernism and Postmodernism was similar to Rome's sometimes successful but more usually inferior attempts to incorporate and ultimately replace the influence of Greek culture. Despite proclaiming a concrete Roman character, Rome was often just a hodgepodge of various assimilated Mediterranean influences (a bland but somehow also nationalistic multiculturalism) until Christianity gave its thinkers and artists a more or less focused and unified point of departure.

Which would indicate some of what the future holds for the European triumphs of the Renaissance to the 20th Century -- a weak acknowledgment of its importance, with a handful of individuals remembered and very little in the way of context or continuity. At best, there could be another Renaissance after the Dark Age that looms. But it doesn't look likely from here, as the Empire is taking so much down with it as it falls.

[May 03, 2021] Republicans and the end of hard neoliberalism by JOHN QUIGGIN

Apr 26, 2021 | crookedtimber.org

As I argued recently , the decline of soft neoliberalism in the US Democratic Party can be explained largely in terms of generational replacement. What about hard neoliberalism and the Republican Party?

After four years of the Trump Administration, and a few months of post-election madness, the Republican Party has completed a transition that has been going on for decades. In the 1980s and 1990s, the Republicans were a hard neoliberal party, spending most of their policy effort on tax cuts and deregulation, and using white grievance politics to attract votes. Now the situation is reversed. The Republicans are a white grievance party, whose targets include 'woke corporations', However, they still attempt to attract support from corporations by advocating tax cuts. While any pretence of principled aversion to regulation has been abandoned, crony capitalist exemptions from regulation are still on offer if the price is right

The core claim of hard neoliberalism was that a free market economy with a modest 'safety net' could do a better job of delivering broad prosperity than the welfare state built on the New Deal and Keynesian economics. The optimism of this message, reflected in Reagan's 'Morning in America' turned into triumphalism with the end of the Cold War.

Hard neoliberals supported globalisation, and cheered on the idea that borderless capital would bring governments under control, and put an end to budget deficits. In particular, Republicans supported trade deals like NAFTA https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2016/05/09/history-lesson-more-republicans-than-democrats-supported-nafta/

The high point of hard neoliberalism was the 1994 Contract with America, the slogan under which the Republicans gained control of Congress for the first time since 1952. The Contract called for balanced budgets and reduced welfare spending for single-parent families, but also proposed positive measures including an expanded child tax credit.

The commitment to balanced budgets was the first element of hard neoliberalism to be ditched. Responding to the collapse of the dotcom boom, the Bush Administration introduced large, and effectively permanent (fn: the most regressive elements were allowed to expire under Obama) tax cuts. These cuts, along with massive expenditure on the 'forever wars' that began after the 2001 terror attacks, pushed the government budget from the surplus that had been achieved under the Clinton Administration into permanent deficit.

For a brief period, the 'Tea Party' revolt against the Obama Administration appeared as a reversion to hard neoliberalism, with a non-partisan focus on sound finance. In reality, the Tea Party was a mixture of Republican activists and grifters who used its appeal to solicit donations, largely used to fund well-paid jobs for themselves. Both groups have been prominent among the support base for Donald Trump .

By the time the Republicans turned to Trump, grievance politics were already dominant. Trump discarded long held beliefs about free trade and the need for government to stay out of business. But even during Trump's Presidency, Congressional Republicans held on to a few elements of the old mixture, such as corporate tax cuts and pro-corporate changes to regulation. It is only in the aftermath of Trump's attempt to overturn the 2020 election that the alliance between Republicans and big business has been broken.

On the one hand, corporations regularly run afoul of grievance politics, by taking initiatives seen as 'woke'. On the other hand, the threat posed to constitutional government by the Republican party is now so obvious as to arouse corporate resistance. Corporations with a long-term view of their prospects correctly prefer to risk higher tax rates than to operate in a Trumpist banana republic.

A puzzle remains. On the one hand, as we have seen, Trumpism is the culmination of trends going back many decades. On the other hand, today's far right Republican party is clearly different in kind from the party that nominated moderate globalist Mitt Romney for the presidency in 2012

One useful metaphor for this process is that of a phase transition, such as from liquid to gas, or dissolved solid to crystal) in physics and chemistry.

To develop the metaphor, think of the Eisenhower-era Republican party as a complicated mixture of many dissolved ingredients, in which the dominant element was the business establishment, and the Trump era party as a crystallised mass of plutocratic economics, racism and all-round craziness. The development over the 60 years between the two has consisted of keeping the mixture simmering, while adding more and more appeals to racial animus and magical thinking (supply-side economics, climate denial, the Iraq war and so on). In this process various elements of the original mix have boiled off or precipitated out and discarded as dregs.

Boiling off is the process by which various groups (Blacks and Northeastern liberal Republicans in C20, liberaltarians more recently) have left the Republican coalition in response to its racism and know-nothingism. The dregs that have precipitated out are ideas that were supposed to be important to Republicans (free trade, scientific truth, classical liberalism, moral character and so on) that turned out not to matter at all.

Trump's arrival is the catalyst seed crystal that produces the phase change. The final product of the reaction emerges in its crystallised form.

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{ 47 comments }


Sashas 04.26.21 at 4:14 am ( 1 )

Eisenhower was president from 1953-1961. The Great Realignment Republican'">Democrat happened in the 1930s under Roosevelt, and the Southern Strategy that eventually switched the South from Democrat'">Republican and laid out the current US political alignment happened either in 1964 with Goldwater or 1968 with Nixon, in either case after Eisenhower. I'm not sure how reliable the date I have for the first half of this political realignment is (I admit I got it from Wikipedia), but I'm pretty confident of the second half being post-Eisenhower. As a result, I raise my eyebrows quite a bit when I hear about a transition directly from an Eisenhower-era Republican Party to a Trump-era Republican Party. What about the intervening Republican presidents?

In short, I actually agree with this being a direct transition, but I'd argue that the 'œTrump-era' Republican Party starts with Nixon and hasn't stopped since. They made a conscious decision, whose evidence we can see in macro voting patterns and in their correspondence, to incorporate White Grievance into their coalition. I'm unable to find a position on which the Republican Party has changed on a coalition-building level since.

The OP is making the case for Free Markets being such a thing, and I think it's the topic for which the strongest case can be made, but I don't buy it. Republican administrations since Nixon have supported cronyism, military adventures in support of their favored companies, suppression of specific industries (e.g. solar), subsidizing others (e.g. fossil fuels and pharmaceuticals). I'm not an economist, but I suspect that if we zoom in we'd find more cases of Republican administrations intervening against Free Markets than to protect them on the level of individual companies too.

When Republicans say Free Markets, they mean Deregulation and Low Taxes on the Rich, both of which notably continued under Trump.

Romney, for comparison, would probably also have supported Deregulation and Low Taxes on the Rich, but Eisenhower didn't.

Brian 04.26.21 at 6:47 am ( 4 )

Working in the Midwest and Idaho I think there is a large group of jumping voters. I called the 2016 election for Trump after staying in multiple AirBnBs with people who voted Obama twice and were voting for Trump. Same reason '" hope for change.

The past few years I was surrounded by Trump voters, some still good friends. They aren't conspiracy dingbats. They also liked Yang. They radically dislike the democrats corruption and warmongering. It's the religious who sign up to fight those wars and their children coming home in body bags.

The real issue is no choice, nobody except liars, and politicians on the take.

Don't kid yourself, John. The current white house occupants are a senile old warmonger whose drug addict son has him wrapped around his finger, and the one primary candidate who resoundingly lost.

Those two, foisted on the nation by DNC oligarchs, nearly lost! They came within a hair of losing to an uncouth, marginally literate clown. Ignore the electoral college. Look at the margins in states that won.. this is no victory, no mandate, nor is it stable. This pack of Same old drivelers in both parties is busy shoving the same garbage that created Trump's victory.

If you think that the Republicans media machine is unhinged, read Matt Taibbi on Russiagate's lies. How much more unhinged is it for the Democrats media (Rachel Maddow and co) to attack and provoke a nuclear super power into creating new weapons and reinstating MAD.

ArtSrc 04.26.21 at 7:09 am ( 5 )

Here is my evidence that Right Wing science denial is older than Trump:

https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1986-01-10-me-911-story.html

Phil 04.26.21 at 8:29 am ( 6 )

I think I'd want to go back further than Sashas. Researching an article on Helen Keller a while back, I discovered to my surprise not only that Ms Keller was a Wob (in the Debs/Wobbly intersect to be precise) but that she was funded by Andrew Carnegie '" and that the GOP of her day was, as well as a party of bankers and strikebreakers, a party of East Coast pencil-necked liberals with fingers in every progressive cause going (excepting the cause of labour, for obvious reasons).

All this was in the period prior to the US joining the Great War '" which is what we historians refer to as a hell of a long time ago '" and the Dems have also gone through a change or two in the same period. (Well, one big one.) Still, I wonder if the story of the GOP could be told as a series of these transitions '" from plutocrat/business/liberal to plutocrat/business/conservative to plutocrat/business/conservative/racist to today's hard core plutocrat/racist '" with the only constant being the presence of people with the kind of money that can endow libraries around the world, or do less useful things .

MFB 04.26.21 at 10:06 am ( 7 )

Wouldn't it be nice to wait and see if there has actually been an end to hard neoliberalism (or, indeed, a leftward shift in the Democratic Party) before making confident and information-free declarations about such matters? As far as I can make out there is essentially no current plan to make any substantive changes in the U.S. economic system arising out of the Democratic Party, and no sign of any substantive shift in the Republican Party's positions.

It is always comforting to believe that such things are true. Liberals, however, have been fooled before, over and over, by the Democratic Party. Naturally politicians attempt to say some nice things, which are then fed back to the appropriate demographics by compliant media houses which have their own agendas and which know that their audience know no alternatives.

As Mr. Fenton put it:

Listen to what they did.
Don't listen to what they said.
What was written in blood
Has been set up in lead.

Lead tears the heart.
Lead tears the brain.
What was written in blood
Has been set up again.

The heart is a drum.
The drum has a snare.
The snare is in the blood.
The blood is in the air.

Listen to what they did.
Listen to what's to come.
Listen to the blood.
Listen to the drum.

MisterMr 04.26.21 at 1:04 pm ( 8 )

I think that the real backbone of conservative parties is small business, more than big corporations. It certainly is so here in Italy (where however we have a much larger share of small business to big business relative to the USA), but I wonder if this is a common phenomenon.

I think that the clash between big business and small business is a big part of the apparent change in right wing parties.

Gorgonzola Petrovna 04.26.21 at 3:43 pm ( 10 )

@1 'œ'¦and Low Taxes on the Rich, both of which notably continued under Trump.'

Ever heard about the infamous SALT cap? Check out the above-mentioned Matt Taibbi @substack.com.

Tm 04.26.21 at 4:44 pm ( 11 )

JQ: 'œAfter four years of the Trump Administration, and a few months of post-election madness, the Republican Party has completed a transition that has been going on for decades. In the 1980s and 1990s, the Republicans were a hard neoliberal party, spending most of their policy effort on tax cuts and deregulation. Now the situation is reversed.'

I suggest you read that snippet again (in isolation), and try to make sense of it. I can't. What has been reversed? Is there a missing step in your argument? 'œTax cuts and deregulation' is a concise description of Trump administration policies, and there is no indication whatsoever that the post-Trump GOP will be any different. And the Culture War has been a staple of right wing politics in the US for decades. So what do you mean by reversal?

rogergathmann 04.26.21 at 4:45 pm ( 12 )

#4, This is beautiful. 'œThe current white house occupants are a senile old warmonger whose drug addict son has him wrapped around his finger'¦' ...

Tom 04.26.21 at 7:13 pm ( 13 )

John, have you read Before the Storm (2001) by Rick Perlstein? You may find it useful for the Goldwater years.

I have also similar issues with the claim of Republicans being free marketeers. Yes, obviously, they (used to) say that they are pro-market but they rarely walk the talk. E.g.: Reagan increased the budget deficit; Trump-like concerns for the trade deficit (with Japan at the time) and currency manipulation spurred the 1985 Plaza Accord; even when they are in favor of lower taxes, they rarely care about how this may distort incentives (e.g. no sales tax on goods purchased on Internet are a subsidy to Bezos), they just (claim that they) want to starve the beast; Casey Mulligan advised Trump and according to him Trump is the greatest deregulator ever; and 'œfreedom' is always a loaded term, e.g. they are against immigration which is just the freedom of one factor of production (labor) to freely move across countries. So, yeah, the libertarians who have (mainly in the past but some also now) supported Republicans are hard neoliberals free marketeers but most Republican rarely fit that description.

More general question (no need to answer, obviously, just for your thoughts): what is the role of this intellectual history section in your book? It seems you are forced to make some generalizations that some may object to, even though it is not clear to me how essential they are to your main thesis.

Barry 04.26.21 at 7:47 pm ( 15 )

Brian: 'œThe past few years I was surrounded by Trump voters, some still good friends. They aren't conspiracy dingbats. They also liked Yang. They radically dislike the democrats corruption and warmongering. It's the religious who sign up to fight those wars and their children coming home in body bags.'

It's the religious right who loved them some o' dat war. It's the religious right who loves corruption, especially in their leaders.

LFC 04.27.21 at 1:16 am ( 20 )

Perhaps relevant to a couple of the above comments is an excerpt from a blog post I wrote in 2016, when I was reading Perlstein's Before the Storm (which I didn't finish):

One thing (among others) that comes through clearly in the first 50 pp. or so of the book is the extent to which the emergent or reconstituting U.S. Right in the '50s and early '60s found a key constituency in family-owned and/or privately-held manufacturing and other businesses'¦ Indeed Perlstein opens the first chapter with a sketch of the political views and trajectory of one such (hypothetical) businessman.

Here's one actual example of many: In '59, on the eve of Khrushchev's visit to the U.S., we're told that 'œMilwaukee's Allen-Bradley Company bought a full page in the Wall Street Journal: 'To Khrushchev, 'œPeace and Friendship' means the total enslavement of all nations, of all peoples, of all things, under the God-denying Communist conspiracy of which he is the current Czar'¦. Don't let it happen here!'' (p.52)

Pretty clearly only a family-run or closely-held business would have felt able to spring for this kind of full-page ad in the WSJ '" a big publicly-traded company presumably would not have done this sort of thing, even if some of its executives might have shared the same views. (I use the word 'œpresumably' because I'm not sure that this speculation is correct, but it seems fairly logical.)

Barry 04.27.21 at 11:56 am ( 26 )

John: 'œFor a brief period, the 'Tea Party' revolt against the Obama Administration appeared as a reversion to hard neoliberalism, with a non-partisan focus on sound finance. '

No, they never did, except for people willing to believe. They didn't have a single problem with abuses under Dubya.

Tm 04.27.21 at 1:51 pm ( 27 )

JQ 25, I think I get your point but I wouldn't call this much of a reversal. An interesting question is at what point Culture War became a (not yet 'the') defining feature of the GOP, and how that point is related to the hard neoliberal turn.

Phil 6 describes the transition 'œfrom plutocrat/business/liberal to plutocrat/business/conservative to plutocrat/business/conservative/racist to today's hard core plutocrat/racist' (i. e. fascist I would say).

Fwiw there also is an account that paints the pre-Reaganite GOP as more complex than that, e. g. they weren't always strictly anti-labor ( https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/06/opinion/labor-unions-republicans.html ). It seems to me that one characteristic of the GOP of our time is the strict and in the US context extremely unusual ideological homogeneity, which imho strengthens the case for classifying that party as fascist.

nastywoman 04.29.21 at 8:16 am ( 46 )

AND if I may add:

perhaps the decline of soft neoliberalism in the US Democratic Party can be explained largely in terms of 'comical' replacement.

... ... ...

Tm 04.29.21 at 8:48 am ( 47 )

35: 'œThe right wing of earlier times did worship at the altar of engineering and technology for its ability to deliver shiny toys and things that go boom but that did not require either an understanding or respect for science as a methodology.'

You have to look no further than the Nazis. Their general outlook was anti-modernity, anti-enlightenment, they condemned relativity as 'œJewish science' and had quite some affinity with certain esoteric movements (and vice versa), but they also had the engineering/technologiy-worshipping side. See also Italian Futurism.

[May 03, 2021] Global capital, crony capital and the centre-left

Notable quotes:
"... '˜An important limitation of Bruenig's analysis is that she treats 'capital' as a unitary force. There is a sharp division between global corporations, with a long-run interest in the preservation of the rule of law under a democratic government, and the crony capitalists, epitomized by Trump himself, for whom the object is to extract as much as possible from the US economy, as quickly as they can'. ..."
May 03, 2021 | crookedtimber.org

by JOHN QUIGGIN on APRIL 29, 2021

Writing in the New York Times, Elizabeth Bruenig makes the case against an alliance of convenience between liberals and 'woke' corporations against the threat posed to democracy by Trumpism . After acknowledging how desperate the situation has become, she presents the argument, to which I'll respond bit by bit

Capital is unfaithful. It can, and does, play all sides. Many of the courageous businesses that protested North Carolina's 2016 'bathroom bill,' for instance, also donated to political groups that helped fund the candidacies of the very politicians who passed the bill.

This is the nature of alliances of convenience. When the Western Allies joined Stalin to fight against Hitler they had no (or at least few) illusions about him, and didn't rely on him to keep his word any longer than necessary, or to refrain from undermining them in other quarters

It isn't possible to cooperate with capital on social matters while fighting them in other theaters; capital can fight you in all theaters at once, all while enjoying public adulation for helping you, as well.

This simply isn't correct as the Biden Administration is showing. Despite co-operating with capital on social matters,. Biden has proposed substantial increases in corporate tax rates and global action against corporate tax avoidance. In this context, it is the position of capital that has been weakened by the toxicity of its usual allies, the Republicans.

Setting aside the fact that capital can in a single moment be both heroic and diabolical '" Amazon wants you to be able to vote , but it would prefer if you didn't unionize '" it is, incredibly, even less democratic, accountable and responsive than our ramshackle democracy. Capital rallies to the defense of democracy while aggressively quashing that very thing in the workplaces where its workers labor.

Again, this is what happens in an alliance of this kind. Fights over unionization go on, in parallel with an alliance over the right to vote. Once again, it's the corporations who face the bigger problem here, with opportunistic Republicans pretending to back the rights of the workers.

I have no idea what to do about this other than know it for what it is. If it were ever the case that knowledge was power, it certainly isn't so anymore: Knowledge is more widely dispersed than ever; power remains notably concentrated. But knowledge confers a certain dignity. It's worse to be powerless and unaware than to be powerless and perfectly clear on where you stand.

This is a counsel of despair, without any real basis. Bruenig gives no reason to suppose that the fight for democracy can't be won, even if it requires alliances between groups with interests that are otherwise opposed. But if the Republicans can be held at bay long enough to allow the passage of strong voting rights law, they will have to reform themselves or face permanent minority status. Getting to that point (for example, by winning bigger majorities in both Houses of Congress in 2022, then scrapping the filibuster) will be difficult, but not impossible

An important limitation of Bruenig's analysis is that she treats 'capital' as a unitary force. There is a sharp division between global corporations, with a long-run interest in the preservation of the rule of law under a democratic government, and the crony capitalists, epitomized by Trump himself, for whom the object is to extract as much as possible from the US economy, as quickly as they can.

Someone with more expertise than me could interpret all this in terms of the 'fractions of capital' idea put forward by Poulantzas and others in C20. A search on those terms produced this piece in The Guardian , which covers some of those points.


nastywoman 04.29.21 at 7:34 am ( 1 )

'˜An important limitation of Bruenig's analysis is that she treats 'capital' as a unitary force. There is a sharp division between global corporations, with a long-run interest in the preservation of the rule of law under a democratic government, and the crony capitalists, epitomized by Trump himself, for whom the object is to extract as much as possible from the US economy, as quickly as they can'.

I couldn't agree more as:

'˜An important limitation of any current analysis about the US Chaos is that outdated political labels are treated as a unitary forces. There is a sharp division between so called '˜Elites' who are considered to be '˜Elites' because they have a lot of dough, and '˜Elites' who are able to understand jokes about rich Idiots '"
(just joking!)
with a long-run interest in NOT preservation of the rule of law under a democratic government.

Mike Huben 04.29.21 at 11:14 am ( 2 )

I think that Bruenig's basic problem is not so much despair, as the expectations of friendship and loyalty that we want to give and receive. That may work fine in small groups, but fails utterly in larger political and economic situations. Corporations exploit that as much as they can for the benefits of employee and customer loyalty, and hardly ever reciprocate, leading to a lot of disappointment, resentment, and cynicism. I agree with John that there is a different strategy of alliances that's needed for the latter, and it's a shame we don't educate students directly about it.

steven t johnson 04.29.21 at 12:55 pm ( 3 )

Major point: Crony capitalism and crony capitalists are hissable villains. Any clique can nominate whomever they wish as Snidely Whiplash, but as an identifiable group, I believe the crony capitalists are even harder to identify than the aristocracy of labor. They are in economic terms, unproductive capitalists. It's not clear how anyone who rejects the usefulness, or claims the impossibility, of distinguishing unproductive labor from productive labor could accept this as a real category.

Minor point: The supposed alliance of convenience of the 'Allies' with 'Stalin' is not quite the point believed. The supposed allies of Stalin delayed meaningful entry into the war, the second front. And the supposed allies of Stalin turned against the war-ravaged USSR as quickly as possible, launching decades of hostility, including military actions, attempted subversion and economic warfare. This example of 'alliance of convenience' means the corporations will rely on the small-d democrats to fight the bulk of the war, then attack their convenient allies as soon as possible.

Gorgonzola Petrovna 04.29.21 at 2:51 pm ( 4 )

'There is a sharp division between global corporations, with a long-run interest in the preservation of the rule of law under a democratic government, and the crony capitalists, epitomized by Trump himself, for whom the object is to extract as much as possible from the US economy, as quickly as they can. '

Whoa. I happen to feel (and it seems fairly obvious to me) that it's exactly the opposite: domestic capital is interested in long-term prosperity and stability, while global capital operates by invading, squeezing all juice, and moving on.

Could you elaborate on this, please.

BruceJ 04.29.21 at 4:12 pm ( 5 )

Bruenig would have liberals fight a war on all fronts, apparently, without any allies.

[Amazon] is, incredibly, even less democratic, accountable and responsive than our ramshackle democracy.

Well, that may be because it is not in any sense a '˜democracy' . It is a corporation operating within the state framework of a representative democracy.

Corporations are quite responsive to societal concerns the moment their bottom line is threatened . This is the power that consumers have in a consumer-driven economy.

Certainly 'Capital' has deep and abiding shared interests with the Republican party; the GOP has long been their reliable partner delivering the things they want, less taxes, regulation and free reign in international markets; trumpism threatens that, because the essence of Trumpism is it's chaotic arbitrariness.

Witness the whole arc of the '˜banning' of TikTok because people using that platform humiliated Dear Leader. In the end it amounted to'¦well, we still don't know what, exactly it has amounted to.

This kind of chaos isn't even beneficial to crony capitalists, because as we've seen time and time again in Russia'¦your status as a '˜crony' is always precarious, subject to the whims and paranoia of the autocrat.

marcel proust 04.29.21 at 6:23 pm ( 6 )

The linked Guardian piece has the added appeal for you (I imagine) of using chemistry metaphors similar to the phase transition ones you used here .

On the broader topic of instrumental alliances, you are of course correct, at least if the desired end is achieved goals rather than individual purity. Tom Lehrer's Folksong Army may be a useful counter to Breunig's argument.

Stephen 04.29.21 at 6:58 pm ( 7 )

OP; 'When the Western Allies joined Stalin to fight against Hitler they had no (or at least few) illusions about him.`'

Umm. It seems fairly clear that Roosevelt said, at Yalta 'Stalin doesn't want anything but security for his country, and I think that if I give him everything I possibly can and ask nothing from him in return, noblesse oblige, he wouldn't try to annex anything and will work with for a world of democracy and peace.'

Now with Roosevelt, perhaps even more than with other politicians, there may be a gap between what he really thought and what he wanted his listeners to believe he thought. All the same '¦

As for steven t Johnson @3:
'The supposed allies of Stalin delayed meaningful entry into the war, the second front.'
I would be interested to get an explanation as to why stj thinks that

a) the allied actions before the invasion of France (which is what all good Communists in Britain meant when they painted 'SECOND FRONT NOW' on walls in 1942 or 1943) were not meaningful; and

b) how an invasion of France in 1942 or 1943 would have in fact have shortened the war, other than to Germany's advantage.

Over to you, comrade.

nastywoman 04.29.21 at 7:09 pm ( 8 )

@4
'˜Could you elaborate on this, please'.

Oh? '"
I just would love to '" as aren't you the '˜Petrovna' who once wrote that Greedy Outsourcers are NOT '˜Greedy Outsourcers'? '"
so how does square with your idea of:
'˜domestic capital is interested in long-term prosperity and stability, while outsourcers operate by invading, squeezing all juice, and moving on'.

Trader Joe 04.29.21 at 7:39 pm ( 9 )

I'd say Ms. Bruenig is primarily just someone who needs to grow up and understand that the entire world isn't arrayed around whatever she imagines democracy might be about. She appears as someone who thinks democracy is about waiting your turn in the Starbucks line and tipping the minority barista because they've had to face struggles in life.

Score this as the latest in a line of '˜woke' media who sit and vilify Amazon by posting their views on Facebook, ignoring that every few days a fresh box shows up with a swoosh on their doorstep.

This one uses the NEW YORK F-ing Times as her soapbox '" ironic, no? Last I looked they weren't exactly a not for profit, indeed manufacturing fake concern, real concern, any concern for money is why they exist '" not exclusively, but if not for the $$$ their impact would be equal to the same article in the East Overshoe Nebraska, Gazette.

Many might rail against Exxon and pals but when the tank is on E and its the only station on the highway I know of none that pull over and walk instead of fill up.

Companies exist to fill particular needs '" their political, environmental and social impacts (all of which are important) are by products of their primary mission and are managed as needed in proportion to the degree it impacts their objectives (which heavily involve profit making but only rarely are exclusively focused on profit making).

As JQ notes, they will be an ally when it suits them or (or when it suits you) but they are tools to their own end, not a tool to be wielded by others.

Lobsterman 04.29.21 at 7:41 pm ( 10 )

Bruenig has the right of it, of course '" Biden will help drive our civilization into the climate apocalypse as eagerly as Trump did, and the end result will be the exact same levels of brutality and misery. Biden and Trump are two sides of the same coin; salvation does not come from the 'Senator from MBNA.'

Sooner or later, Biden will get tired of pretending to be benevolent papa. He's already there on weed, police brutality, and imperialism. It's just a matter of time.

Starry Gordon 04.29.21 at 11:53 pm ( 11 )

I find it difficult to believe in the naiveté exhibited in Bruening's article, as if she had never read or heard any serious analysis of power and class. It's as if presenting thumb-sucking as a stance. In the alleged real world, those liberals (whatever that now means) tempted to pick a side in the current ruling-class struggles should remember what Mr. Carlin said: '˜They got a club, and you ain't in it.'

steven t johnson 04.30.21 at 12:53 am ( 12 )

Stephen@7 is preaching to the choir, thus briefly as possible: The USSR joining the UN; restraining the Italian and French CPs; surrendering the Greek CP (well, to be fair, Tito was even more important to this, but still); withdrawal from Austria and Iran; neutralization of Finland; the recognition of Israel; the offer of neutralization of Germany; limited aid (to put it mildly) to the Chinese CP, etc. There are an estimated 20 million reasons why 'Stalin' played it that way. Nonetheless, Stephen's Cold War triumphalism is still wrong.

And as to the alleged mysteries Stephen doesn't understand? The number of German divisions tied down in Italy was about, if I remember correctly, was eight. Churchill may have coined a vivid phrase in 'the soft underbelly of Europe' but it was BS meant to divert troops away from fighting Germans save to protect Egypt etc. The Soviet Union defeated the Nazis, not the Allies. It's true that if the Allies had managed to join the Nazis in alliance with the Finns that the Soviet Union would almost certainly have been defeated. No doubt Stephen regrets the lost opportunity. Or, along with David Brin, wishes the atomic bomb could have been used in Europe to stop'¦Stalin?

The other question, as phrased suggests that a second front in France in 1942 or 1943 would have been advantageous to Germany. I suggest this is simply nuts. Unless there's some assumption that a second front would have promoted the chances of a negotiated peace between the Allies and the Nazis? But this I think is just wishful thinking.

J-D 04.30.21 at 2:15 am ( 13 )

I think that Bruenig's basic problem is not so much despair, as the expectations of friendship and loyalty that we want to give and receive.

As Obsle said to Estraven in The Left Hand Of Darkness (by Ursula Le Guin), '˜We can pull a sledge together without being kemmerings.'

J-D 04.30.21 at 2:16 am ( 14 )

Bruenig has the right of it, of course '" Biden will help drive our civilization into the climate apocalypse as eagerly as Trump did, and the end result will be the exact same levels of brutality and misery. Biden and Trump are two sides of the same coin; salvation does not come from the 'Senator from MBNA.'

Sooner or later, Biden will get tired of pretending to be benevolent papa. He's already there on weed, police brutality, and imperialism. It's just a matter of time.

Elizabeth Bruenig says nothing whatever about Joe Biden (good or bad), so why are you trying to change the subject in this way?

J-D 04.30.21 at 4:51 am ( 15 )

I find it difficult to believe in the naiveté exhibited in Bruening's article '¦

Naïveté (like the misspelling of people's names) is extremely common. Being unable to credit other people's naïveté is itself often a sign of naïveté.

In the alleged real world, those liberals (whatever that now means) tempted to pick a side in the current ruling-class struggles should remember what Mr. Carlin said: '˜They got a club, and you ain't in it.'

You don't think that refusing to take your opportunities where you find them is a kind of naïveté?

Tm 04.30.21 at 7:38 am ( 16 )

It seems to me that certain fractions of the left are just awful when it comes to tactical politics. Tactical alliances are part of almost all successful politics. One doesn't have to always be friends to have common political goals under selective circumstances.

MisterMr 04.30.21 at 8:48 am ( 17 )

@Stephen 7
Umm. It seems fairly clear that Roosevelt said, at Yalta 'Stalin doesn't want anything but security for his country, and I think that if I give him everything I possibly can and ask nothing from him in return, noblesse oblige, he wouldn't try to annex anything and will work with for a world of democracy and peace.'

Stalin did, for example, call the communist italian partigiani and told them NOT to attempt a communist takeover in Italy, but instead to collaborate with other democratic forces.
This is because Stalin agreed at Yalta that Italy was to be under the western sphere of influence, and he didn't want stir too much the situation.
What are the acions that Stalin did outside of the USSR that prove Roosvelt wrong?

That Stalin was a terrible tyrant inside the eastern block is obviously true but this is not what Rooselt was speaking about, I think.

It seems to me that you (Stephen) are underplayng the poular support Stalin (and on the other side, various fascist movements) had in many parts of Europe at the time, and therefore you don't see how Stalin's actions were, in fact, not all that aggressive on the international scene.

Saurs 04.30.21 at 9:28 am ( 18 )

I don't see any meaningful and substantive distinction between the phenomenon Bruenig purports to describe and as a consequence what she is counseling (despite saying she isn't) and the We Should Improve Society Somewhat toon. It's a more or less perfect distillation of nominally pro-labor anti-Democratic thinkythoughters who for the sake of purity preach no collective action or cooperation beyond the right kind of trade unionism. Yet another entry in the prevailing Atomized Style.

Ebenezer Scrooge 04.30.21 at 11:45 am ( 19 )

Breunig is religious left. Religious types tend to be very deontological'"they care much more about right v. wrong than good v. bad. Many readers of this blog might agree that capital is 'wrong.' (Not, you, Tim W.!) But since we are good consequentialists here, we would also agree that this particular alliance with capital is 'good.'

Bruce Baugh 04.30.21 at 1:55 pm ( 20 )

Bruenig has a problem most of us don't: she wants abortion banned, and she wants to continue thinking this position is both liberal and popular out in the public at large. It's pretty clear that corporate America at large isn't going to help get her any closer to that.

J, not that one 04.30.21 at 2:32 pm ( 21 )

'This is the nature of alliances of convenience.'

Bruenig is typical of a school of thought that would like everyone to act on principal 100% of the time. Is it possible to persuade someone to do the right thing even if they didn't already want to? Apparently that's even worse than if they can't be persuaded by any means. Is it possible to persuade imperfect people to improve the world? That's not good enough. We should live with the world's problems while continuing our search for perfect people.

When this goes along with treating 'capitalism' as both a totalizing force and something that can never be worked with, it doesn't leave a lot of room for anything short of a kind of leftist Benedict Option, unless it's total war against even quite mild manifestations.

Stephen 04.30.21 at 6:46 pm ( 22 )

MisterMr @17: thank you for a rational, though I think in several ways mistaken, reply.
I quoted Roosevelt's belief at Yalta that Stalin would 'not try to annex anything' and 'work for a world of democracy and peace.' Even before Yalta, Stalin's behaviour in foreign policy (Nazi-Soviet pact, annexation of the Baltic states and eastern Poland, Katyn) and domestic policy (Holodmor, the Great Terror) should have been enough to show that he had no interest refraining from annexation, nor in democracy or peace.

You ask ' What are the actions that Stalin did outside of the USSR that prove Roosevelt wrong?' Well, apart from those above, there were his postwar annexations of as much of Europe as he could manage, and his behaving there as (in your own words) ' a terrible tyrant'.

You say I am 'underplaying the popular support Stalin '¦ had in many parts of Europe at the time'. I can't quite see how that is relevant: I don't think he had much support in the parts of Europe he annexed. Among the French and Italian Communist parties, yes, but I think those countries were much better off for not being annexed.

Stephen 04.30.21 at 6:51 pm ( 23 )

As for steven t johnson @12: I am entirely unable to understand how your intemperant rant relates to anything I wrote, or have previously written. In other circumstances I would have concluded 'the man's clearly delusionary, ignore him' but you accuse me of regretting an opportunity for the UK to ally with the Nazis and defeat the Soviet Union. or even of wishing for atomic warfare in Europe. These are completely unjustifiable and seriously defamatory conclusions, such as I had not expected to find on CT. What train of thought '" I can hardly say, of logic '" led you to them, I cannot say.

As far as I can follow your argument, it is that
1) Regarding the Allied contribution to defeating Germany before the Normandy invasion, 'The number of German divisions tied down in Italy was about, if I remember correctly, was eight.' I don't have a history of the Italian campaign to hand, but the Wikipedia article states that in May 1944 the German forces in italy numbered 439,224. Eight bloody big divisions, surely.
It also gives Axis losses in Italy, before the final surrender, as being about 530,000. And I don't know why, apart from sheer ignorance, you regard the Allied contribution, pre-Normandy, as being restricted to the Italian campaign. Which, incidentally, made the rather important Allied invasion of southern France possible.

2) Arguing that there were cases where Stalin did not invade and tyrannise his neighbours does not refute the obvious case that there were many times when he did.

3) ' The Soviet Union defeated the Nazis.' In terms of the land battle in eastern Europe, of course that's true, apart from the rather embarrassing period when they were trying to help the Nazis to defeat the Western democracies. Whether they could have succeeded without help from the West is not at all obvious.

4) I await, without much hope, svj's explanation of why a cross-Channel invasion in 1942 or 1943 would have been other than an extensive and complete catastrophe: Dieppe writ very large, Kasserine-sur-mer? If that had happened, I suspect that a negotiated peace might have resulted. but I would regard that as fearful, not wishful thinking.

5) I wrote that Roosevelt was naive in believing that the concept of 'noblesse oblige' applied to Stalin, and that therefore I am guilty of 'Cold War triumphalism'. Well, I lived through most of the Cold War, and could foresee four possible developments:
a) War in Europe becomes hot. I hope stj would agree that would have been a global catastrophe, even if the Soviet Union had in some sense 'won'.
b) Cold war continues indefinitely, so that in 2021 we would still have the armed forces of the Warsaw Pact and NATO confronting each other, with (a) on the cards, and eastern Europe under unwelcome Soviet domination.
c) Cold War in Europe ends with collapse of Western alliance under the influence of Communist-Neutralist-Defeatist elements, followed by the installation of Soviet-type domination in Europe.
d) Cold War ends with the collapse of the Soviet Union and its domination under the weight of its own internal contradictions.
Personally, I am very glad that (d) happened. I suspect '" though I would be happy to have stj's own opinion '" that he would much have preferred (c) or failing that (b).
Pre-emptive comment: no, of course I don't think that the effects of the collapse of Actually Existing Socialism have been always desirable. A basic lesson from history is that solving one problem always leaves many other problems unsolved, and often gives rise to new ones.

Gorgonzola Petrovna 04.30.21 at 7:22 pm ( 24 )

@nastywoman, 8
'aren't you the '˜Petrovna' who once wrote that Greedy Outsourcers are NOT '˜Greedy Outsourcers'?'

I wouldn't anthropomorphize economic phenomena. It tends to obscure rather than illuminate, imo.

Tm 04.30.21 at 8:22 pm ( 25 )

MisterMr: 'žWhat are the acions that Stalin did outside of the USSR that prove Roosvelt wrong?'

Umm, what definition of USSR are you applying here? This thread is a distraction and we should better not feed it but I can't help being curious'¦

Starry Gordon 04.30.21 at 8:38 pm ( 26 )

J-D 04.30.21 at 4:51 am @ 15 '"
I misspelled '˜naïveté' too, didn't I? Actually I thought putting in the diaeresis might be a bit much.

You ask: '˜You don't think that refusing to take your opportunities where you find them is a kind of naïveté?' I think that would depend on the context and the nature of the opportunities. He that sups with the Devil should take a long spoon and all that, no? Maybe if Bruenig had read more commie literature she could have located her disquiet more precisely. But then, could she work for the Times ?

Tm 04.30.21 at 9:19 pm ( 27 )

The posturing of Republican corporate stooges complaining about corporations is quite amusing:
https://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2021/04/ted-cruz-has-been-a-corporate-stooge-his-as-long-as-hes-been-a-senator-says-ted-cruz

John Quiggin 05.01.21 at 12:32 am ( 28 )

Unless someone wants to make the case that the US and UK governments should not have allied themselves with Stalin, I request that we draw a halt to the discussion on that point.

J-D 05.01.21 at 1:49 am ( 29 )

It seems to me that certain fractions of the left are just awful when it comes to tactical politics.

In my experience, many people have trouble with thinking tactically much of the time.

I misspelled '˜naïveté' too, didn't I? Actually I thought putting in the diaeresis might be a bit much.

The dictionary offers more than one spelling. You chose the one you preferred, I chose the one I preferred. I am more sensitive on the subject of misspelling of names. For all I know, Bruening is in fact a correct spelling, it's just not the correct spelling of Elizabeth Bruenig's surname.

You ask: '˜You don't think that refusing to take your opportunities where you find them is a kind of naïveté?' I think that would depend on the context and the nature of the opportunities. He that sups with the Devil should take a long spoon and all that, no?

There is an important difference between the advice '˜If you sup with the devil, you should have a long spoon' and the advice '˜Never sup with the devil, no matter how long your spoon, even if the alternative is starvation'.

Robespierre 05.01.21 at 4:33 am ( 30 )

Since Bruenig is 'naive', don't be naive in turn.

1) To the extent that corporations do this to ally themselves with the Democratic party's power, as opposed to conforming to consumers' woke orthodox culture, what do they want in return?

2) Corporations in America are uniquely (in the rich world) able enforce correct speech and thought because of the unusually big power they have over their employees. The answers I usually hear from democratic party supporters is a mix between rejoicing in woke mccarthyism and 'lol, the first amendment doesn't apply to corporations, you dummy!'.
The point is: is this healthy and what are we going to do about it?

3) Related to (2), woke monopolies have crippled the right-wing social media infrastructure (after cultivating the fash-curious information bubble for years) and are big enough to bully states into changing their election laws -for the better, this time.
Again, the point is 'is this healthy and what are we going to do about it'.
If the 'left''˜s reaction is 'be happy that Daddy beat up my enemy today', cool, but maybe it's not the best way to go about it.

[May 03, 2021] Why George W. Bush Was a Horrible President

Notable quotes:
"... By Lambert Strether of Corrente. ..."
"... Don't deny W his agency. As I followed the horrors, from Vietnam to Iraq to Syria to Central America and elsewhere, the full list that was visible anyway, of the W regime, it sure seemed clear to me that W played the bumbling yuk very well. ..."
"... the dumb cluck thing was mostly an act. he was deliberately talking that way not only to paint himself as stupid, but also because those in power assume we must be spoken to as children (they've studied president speeches since JFK have decreased from high school level to 6th grade in complexity, word usage etc). ..."
"... In our kayfabe duoparty system, it also gave the "opposing" side the "W is a Chimp" talking point to harp on (dress rehearsal for the same stuff against tRUMP). ..."
"... Abu Ghraib was not an anomaly, Con Son Island served the same purpose during the Vietnam War. When I was young I was proud to be an American Citizen, we had the Bill of Rights, the Military was controlled by Civilians and their oath was to defend the Constitution from "All Enemies Foreign and Domestic.". I have been horrified, ashamed and deeply saddened by what has happened in the US over the last half Century or so. ..."
"... I view the 2008 election as the major failing-to-turn-back-when-we-had-the-chance point. Obama could have undone Bush's worst policies, but instead he cemented them into place forever. ..."
"... Our elites are both stupid and evil, but Bush is more stupid and Obama is more evil ..."
"... you are 40 years off the mark-It was Reagan who's brand of avuncular fascism, celebrating stupidity as a virtue who paved the way. ..."
"... albrt: I agree with your take. Obama campaigned as an anti-war candidate (at least wrt Iraq). He then proceeded to "˜surge' into Afghanistan and added Libya, Syria, and Yemen, to the regime change mix. Never a thought given to prosecuting the war criminals: Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Tenet, Feith, Wolfowitz, Powell, et al; much less even consider a truth and reconciliation commission. ..."
"... Obama was equally complicit in this never ending horror show and, I am hopeful, history will hold him equally accountable. ..."
"... Is it not written that Margaret Thatcher's true legacy was Tony Blair? If that is true, then the true legacy of Dubya is Obama. ..."
"... As far as harm that George W. Bush did and launched (illegal/immoral wars, domestic surveillance, tax cuts for the wealthy"¦.) Bush should take the award. ..."
"... When Obama deliberately and with malice aforethought turned all the admitted (and in fact proudly self-avowed) war-criminals and criminals-against humanity loose, free and clear under "look forward not back", he routinised and permanentized the up-to-that-very-minute irregular and extra-constitutional novel methods of governance and practice which the Cheney-Bush Administration had pioneered. Obama deliberately made torture, aggressive war, etc. "legal" when America does it and "permanent" as long as America is strong enough to keep doing it. ..."
"... The Greatest Disappointment in History. No-one else comes close, in terms of the sheer numbers of people globally who he let down. The Bait and Switch King, The Great Betrayer. After the nightmare of Bush we got him and his "˜eloquence', pulling the wool over the dazzled sheeple's eyes while he entrenched the 1% and the neocon MI complex, his paymasters, and sponsors for his entry into the overclass. ..."
"... Lambert, you forgot this one" Biden presents Liberty Medal to George and Laura Bush Instead of a war crimes trial at the Hague, Biden gave him a (family bloging) medal! ..."
"... A Clean Break: A New Strategy For Securing the Realm ..."
"... It's really sickening to see George W being "rehabilitated" and made to look like some kind of a senior statesman, when he should be hauled off to the Hague to spend the rest of his life in prison for war crimes. For me, his election in 2000 was mostly the beginning of the end of the rule of law in this country. As a result, the U.S. has Guantanamo, the Patriot Act, in addition to all the other events mentioned, and don't forget he tried to privatize Social Security. ..."
"... and welfare "reform", the crime bill. Talk of privatizing SSI made commonplace acceptable. Repeal of Glass Steagall. They were going to do to healthcare what oBLAM succeeded at, 20 years before him but got sidelined by Lewinsky's blue dress stains. Clintoon is a criminal and so is his spouse, and he did his share of damage everywhere. people who think otherwise might be looking back with nostalgia on a simpler (pre 9.11) time. ..."
"... Jeff Wells wrote some interesting essays in the Bush years, though many of his connections were a bit too far out, even for me. He had some striking collateral evidence for his concept of High Weirdness in high places "" sex abuse, torture and magick figuring prominently, juxtaposed with political skulduggery, and financial crimes and misdemeanours. The Gannon/Guckert affair, the Franklin ring and Gary Caradori were the sort of thing that laced his quite penetrating analyses of events. Facts were jumping off points for speculations, but given our lack of facts his imaginings were a nourishment of sorts, though often very troubling indeed. ..."
"... People have been brain washed by the glossed over history of the US they are taught. It gives people a false belief of our past. The phrase American Exceptionalism comes to mind. It is a myth. The real history is out there but you have to search it out. From it's beginning continuing to today our government is responsible for bad behavior. ..."
"... We Americans have this thing called exceptionalism which among other things creates the idea that our government is more virtuous than others. ..."
"... We are not at Hitler/Stalin/Mao standards ""yet"" but who's to say that could never happen here? One of the bafflements of the 20th century was how a civilized people descended into the dark barbarism of Nazi Germany. ..."
"... Noam Chomsky observed some thirty years ago that if the Nuremberg standards were applied to all the post-war American Presidents, then all of them would hang. ..."
"... We have such a dismal record. Little George was the most audacious of all our criminal presidents, but he has plenty of company. My question is now, looking back, why was the USA incapable of organizing a peaceful world after WW2? I start there. 1945. ..."
May 03, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Posted on April 25, 2021 by Lambert Strether

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Recently, the political class has been working hard to rehabilitate George W. Bush into an elder statesman, no doubt to continue the liberal Democrat conversion of suburban Republicans, with headlines like " George Bush reborn as the nation's grandfather " (the London Sunday Times, but you know it will migrate over here), " George W Bush is back "" but not all appreciate his new progressive image " (Guardian), " Bush calls on Congress to tone down "˜harsh rhetoric' about immigration " (CNN), and "George W Bush reveals who he voted for in 2020 election "" and it wasn't Biden or Trump " (the Independent. Bush wrote in Condaleeza Rice, who Exxon once named a tanker for). I could go on. But I won't. These stories from major outlets seem to be erasing early coverage like " The 7 worst moments of George W. Bush's presidency " (WaPo, 2013), " The blood on George W Bush's hands will never dry. Don't glorify this man " (The Guardian, 2017), " Reminder: George W. Bush Is Still Very, Very Bad " (Vice, 2018), " Seth Meyers: Don't Let Trump Make You Forget How Awful George W. Bush Was " (Vanity Fair, 2020), and " We Shouldn't Have to Remind People George W. Bush Was a Terrible President : (Jacobin, 2020). That's unfortunate, because George W. Bush (hereafter "Bush"; the "W" distinguishes him from his spook Yankee patrician Dad, oil bidnessman George H.W. Bush). As with so much else that is fetid in the miasmic air of our current liberal Democrat dispensation, Bush's rehabilitation begins with the Obamas, in this case Michelle Obama, in this iconic photo:

(The backstory: " Michelle Obama Reveals What Really Happened During Her Sweet Exchange With George W. Bush ," and "Michelle Obama: George W. Bush is "˜my partner in crime'[1] and "˜I love him to death' ").

Bush became President in the year 2000. That was "" let me break out my calculator "" 2021 "" 2000 = 21 years ago. It occurs to me that our younger readers, born in 2000, or even 1990, may not know how genuinely horrid Bush was, as President.

I was blogging even back then, and I remember how horrid Bush was; certainly worse than Trump, at least for Trump's first three years in office, until the Covid pandemic. To convey the full horror of the Bush years would not a series of posts, but a book. The entire experience was wretched and shameful.

Of the many horrors of the Bush years, I will pick three. (I am omitting many, many others, including Hurricane Katrina , the Plame Affair , Medicare Part D, the Cheney Energy Task Force , that time Dick Cheney shot an old man in the face , Bush's missing Texas Air National Guard records , Bush gaslighting the 2004 Republican National Convention with terror alerts, and on and on and on. And I didn't even get to 9/11, " You've covered your ass ," WMDs, and the AUMF. Sorry. It's exhausting.) I'm afraid my recounting of these incidents will be sketchy: I lived and blogged in them, and the memories of the horror well up in such volume and detail that I lose control of the material. Not only that, there was an actual, functioning blogosphere at that time, which did great work, but unfortunately most of that work has succumbed to link rot. And my memory of events two decades ago is not as strong as it could be.

The White House Iraq Group

Here I will rely on excerpts from Colonel Sam Gardiner's (PDF) "Truth from These Podia: Summary of a Study of Strategic Influence, Perception Management, Strategic Information Warfare and Strategic Psychological Operations in Gulf II" (2003), whose introduction has been saved from link rot by the National Security Archive and a full version by the University of Leeds . I would bet, long forgotten even by many of those who blogged through those times. ("Gulf II" is what we refer to as the "War in Iraq.") Quoting from the full version:

You will see in my analysis and comments that I do not accept the notion that the first casualty of war is truth. I think we have to have a higher standard. In the most basic sense, Washington and London did not trust the peoples of their democracies to come to right decisions. Truth became a casualty. When truth is a casualty, democracy receives collateral damage.

Seems familiar. (Gardiner's report can be read as a brilliant media critique; it's really worth sitting down with a cup of coffee and reading it all.)[2] More:

My research suggests there were over 50 stories manufactured or at least engineered that distorted the picture of Gulf II for the American and British people . I'll cover most in this report. At the end, I will also describe some stories that seem as if they were part of the strategic influence campaign although the evidence is only circumstantial.

What becomes important is not each story taken individually. If that were the case, it would probably seem only more of the same. If you were to look at them one at a time, you could conclude, "Okay we sort of knew that was happening." It is the pattern that becomes important. It's the summary of everything. To use a phrase often heard during the war, it's the mosaic. Recognizing I said I wouldn't exaggerate, it would not be an exaggeration to say the people of the United States and UK can find out more about the contents of a can of soup they buy than the contents of the can of worms they bought with the 2003 war in the Gulf.

The White House was, naturally, at the center of the operation:

One way to view how the US Government was organized to do the strategic communications effort before, during and after the war is to use the chart that was used by the Assistant Deputy Director for Information Operations. The center is the White House Office of Global Communications, the organization originally created by Karen Hughes as the Coalition Information Office. The White House is at the center of the strategic communications process"¦.

Handy chart:

And:

Inside the White House there was an Iraq Group that did policy direction and then the Office of Global Communications itself.

Membership of the White House Iraq Group:

So, in 2020 Bush's write-in vote for President was Condi Rice, the [x] Black [x] woman who helped run a domestic disinformation campaign for him in 2003, to sell the Iraq War to the American people. Isn't that"¦. sweet?

Of course, I was very naive at that point. I had come up as a Democrat, and my first real political engagement was the Clinton impeachment. Back in 2003, I was amazed to discover that there was a White House operation that was planting fake stories in the press "" and that I had been playing whackamole on them. At a higher level, I was disturbed that "Washington and London did not trust the peoples of their democracies to come to right decisions." Now it all seems perfectly normal, which is sad.

Torture at Abu Ghraib

There are a lot of images of our torture prison in Iraq, Abu Ghraib. This one ( via ) is not the most famous , but to me it is the most shocking:

What kind of country sets dogs on a naked prisoner? Well, my kind of country, apparently. (Later, I remember discussing politics with somebody who came from a country that might be considered less governed by the rule of law than my own, and they said: "Abu Ghraib. You have nothing to say." And they were right.)

For those who came in late, here's a snapshot (the detail of the story is in fact overwhelming, and I also have pity for the poor shlubs the brass tossed into that hellhole[3].) From the Los Angeles Times, " Few have faced consequences for abuses at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq " (2015):

[A] 44-year-old Al Jazeera reporter named Salah Ejaili, said in a phone interview from Qatar that he was arrested in 2003 while covering an explosion in the Iraqi province of Diyala. He was held at Abu Ghraib for 48 days after six days in another facility, he said.

"Most of the pictures that came out in 2004, I saw that firsthand "" the human pyramid where men were stacked up naked on top of each other, people pulled around on leashes," he said in the interview, with one of his attorneys translating. "I used to hear loud screams during the torture sessions."

Ejaili says he was beaten, left naked and exposed to the elements for long periods, and left in solitary confinement, among other acts.

"When people look at others who are naked, they feel like they're animals in a zoo, in addition to being termed as criminals and as terrorists," he said. "That had a very strong psychological impact."

The plaintiffs also say they suffered electric shocks; deprivation of food, water and oxygen; sexual abuse; threats from dogs; beatings; and sensory deprivation.

Taha Yaseen Arraq Rashid, a laborer, says he was sexually abused by a woman while he was cuffed and shackled, and also that he was forced to watch a female prisoner's rape.

Ejaili said that his face was often covered during interrogations, making it difficult for him to identify those involved, but that he was able to notice that many of the interrogators who entered the facility wore civilian clothing.

His attorneys, citing military investigations into abuses at Abu Ghraib and other evidence, say the contractors took control of the prison and issued orders to uniformed military.

"Abu Ghraib was pretty chaotic," said Baher Azmy, legal director for the Center for Constitutional Rights, which brought suits against CACI and L-3 Services. "They were involved in a conspiracy with the military police to abuse our clients.""¦. Eleven U.S. soldiers were convicted in military trials of crimes related to the humiliation and abuse of the prisoners.

(So Abu Ghraib is a privatization story, too. Oddly, whoever signed the contract never ended up in court.) All this seemed pretty shocking then. But now we know that the Chicago Police Department ran a torture site at Homan Square while Rahm Emanuel, Obama's Chief of Staff, was Mayor , so perhaps this is all perfectly normal too.

Warrantless Surveillance and the Destruction of the Fourth Amendment

Here is the wording of the Fourth Amendment :

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers , and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

If our legal system had the slightest shred of integrity, it would be obvious to the Courts, as it is to a six-old-child, that what we laughingly call our "personal" computers and cellphones contain "paper," not in the tediously literal sense of a physical material made from wood fibre, but in the sense of content . Bits and bytes are 20th Century paper, stored on silicon and hard disk platters. Of course a warrant should be needed to read what's on my phone, ffs.

That Fourth Amendment common sense did not prevail is IMNSHO due in large part to Bush's program of warrantless surveillance, put in place as part of the Global War on Terror. Here again, the complexity is overwhelming and took several years to unravel. I'm afraid I have to quote Wikipedia on this one :

A week after the 9/11 attacks, Congress passed the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists (AUMF), which inaugurated the "War on Terror". It later featured heavily in arguments over the NSA program.

Soon after the 9/11 attacks President Bush established the President's Surveillance Program. As part of the program, the Terrorist Surveillance Program was established pursuant to an executive order that authorized the NSA to surveil certain telephone calls without obtaining a warrant (see 50 U.S.C. § 1802 50 U.S.C. § 1809). The complete details of the executive order are not public, but according to administration statements, the authorization covers communication originating overseas from or to a person suspected of having links to terrorist organizations or their affiliates even when the other party to the call is within the US.

In October 2001, Congress passed the Patriot Act, which granted the administration broad powers to fight terrorism. The Bush administration used these powers to bypass the FISC and directed the NSA to spy directly on al-Qaeda via a new NSA electronic surveillance program. Reports at the time indicate that an "apparently accidental" "glitch" resulted in the interception of communications that were between two U.S. parties. This act was challenged by multiple groups, including Congress, as unconstitutional.

The precise scope of the program remains secret, but the NSA was provided total, unsupervised access to all fiber-optic communications between the nation's largest telecommunication companies' major interconnected locations, encompassing phone conversations, email, Internet activity, text messages and corporate private network traffic .

Of course, all this is perfectly normal today. So much for the Fourth Amendment, good job. (You will note that the telcos had to be in on it; amusingly, the CEO of Qwest, the only telco that refused to participate, was charged and convicted of insider trading, good job again.) The legal aspects of all this are insanely complex, but as you see from my introduction, they should be simple.

Conclusion

Here's a video of the Iraqi (now in Parliament) who threw shoes at Bush (who got off lightly, all things considered):

https://www.youtube.com/embed/OM3Z_Kskl_U

We should all be throwing shoes at Bush, seriously if not literally. We should not be accepting candy from him. We should not be treating him as an elder statesman. Or a "partner in crime." We should not be admiring his paintings. Bush ran a bad, bad, bad administration and we are living with the consequences of his badness today. Bush is a bad man. We are ruled by bad people. Tomorrow, Obama!

NOTES

[1] Indeed.

[2] For example, I vividly remember playing whack-a-mole as a blogger with the following WMD stories: Drones, weapons labs, WMD cluster bombs, Scuds, nuclear materials from Niger, aluminum tubes, and dirty bombs. They one and all fell apart on close inspection. And they were only a small part of the operation, as Gardiner shows in detail.

[3] My personal speculation is that Dick Cheney had a direct feed from the Abu Ghraib torture chambers to the White House, and watched the proceedings live. Some of the soldiers burned images of torture onto CDs as trophies, and the prison also had a server, whose connectivity was very conveniently not revealed by the judge in a lawsuit I dimly remember being brought in Germany. So it goes.


flora , April 25, 2021 at 6:46 pm

Does anyone believe that W, son of H. W. Bush, H. W. son of Senator Prescott Bush, would have been been pres without that familial lineage and its important govt connections? The pity is W wasn't smart enough to grasp world politics and the US's importance as an accepted fulcrum in same beyond his momentary wants. imo. Brent Scowcroft and others warned him off his vain pursuits. The word "squander" come to mind, though I wish it did not.

flora , April 25, 2021 at 7:43 pm

See for example Kevin Phillips' book American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush . ( Kevin Phillips is a great modernist American historian, imo, who saw the rise of Nixon before anyone else.)

Teejay , April 27, 2021 at 10:16 am

" saw the rise of Nixon"? Phillips worked on the '68 campaign.

JTMcPhee , April 25, 2021 at 8:12 pm

Don't deny W his agency. As I followed the horrors, from Vietnam to Iraq to Syria to Central America and elsewhere, the full list that was visible anyway, of the W regime, it sure seemed clear to me that W played the bumbling yuk very well.

He did what he set out to do, no doubt with careful guidance from that sh!t of a father (magically turned into a laid-in-state "statesman") and mother-of-string-of-pearls, and of course Cheney and the rest of the corpo-gov policy gang.

The Consent Manufacturers are whitewashing an evil man and his slicker but equally evil successor and his glamorous spouse.

Helluva job, Georgie! Full marks for kicking the world a long way down a dark road.

anon y'mouse , April 26, 2021 at 12:24 pm

the dumb cluck thing was mostly an act. he was deliberately talking that way not only to paint himself as stupid, but also because those in power assume we must be spoken to as children (they've studied president speeches since JFK have decreased from high school level to 6th grade in complexity, word usage etc).

see Pelosi's daughter's film of his campaign trail. He's no Angel Merkel, but sly enough for politics in this country and most third world corruptocracies.

In our kayfabe duoparty system, it also gave the "opposing" side the "W is a Chimp" talking point to harp on (dress rehearsal for the same stuff against tRUMP).

Tom Stone , April 25, 2021 at 6:49 pm

Abu Ghraib was not an anomaly, Con Son Island served the same purpose during the Vietnam War. When I was young I was proud to be an American Citizen, we had the Bill of Rights, the Military was controlled by Civilians and their oath was to defend the Constitution from "All Enemies Foreign and Domestic.". I have been horrified, ashamed and deeply saddened by what has happened in the US over the last half Century or so.
And it's going to get a lot worse before it gets better.

ambrit , April 25, 2021 at 7:00 pm

You actually "˜blogged' back when we had to use punch cards to program our PCs? How oh how did you clamber on up out of "the Well" so many times a week? I am somewhat convinced that the Hollerith Cards Protocol was the origin of the Twitter 140 character limit.

I also "lived through" the "˜Reign of "W""˜ and see it as a Time of Prophecy. Most of the things we are now staring down the barrel of were effectuated then.

I may be foilly, (may be? who am I kidding,) but I view the 2000 election as a major turning point of American history.

albrt , April 25, 2021 at 7:20 pm

I view the 2008 election as the major failing-to-turn-back-when-we-had-the-chance point. Obama could have undone Bush's worst policies, but instead he cemented them into place forever.

Our elites are both stupid and evil, but Bush is more stupid and Obama is more evil.

drumlin woodchuckles , April 26, 2021 at 12:08 am

So was the 1963 " election at Dealey Plaza". Very pivotal.

Susan the other , April 26, 2021 at 1:56 pm

I go with JFK's assassination too. But little George is a close second.

Paul Whalen , April 26, 2021 at 6:42 am

you are 40 years off the mark-It was Reagan who's brand of avuncular fascism, celebrating stupidity as a virtue who paved the way.

Jason , April 26, 2021 at 6:59 am

All the pomp and circumstance surrounding the personage of the President serves to conceal the people behind the scenes who vetted and groomed said president, and actively advise him while in office. It's in this way that a Jimmy Carter may be viewed as a gentle soul so far as presidents go, but he was actually vetted by Brzezinski on behalf of the CFR goons. Once in office he was then advised by Brzezinski and Volcker, among other assorted lunatics. And he gladly took their advice the entire time. That's how he came to be president in the first place. And so it goes.

Ashburn , April 26, 2021 at 4:29 pm

albrt: I agree with your take. Obama campaigned as an anti-war candidate (at least wrt Iraq). He then proceeded to "˜surge' into Afghanistan and added Libya, Syria, and Yemen, to the regime change mix. Never a thought given to prosecuting the war criminals: Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Tenet, Feith, Wolfowitz, Powell, et al; much less even consider a truth and reconciliation commission.

Obama was equally complicit in this never ending horror show and, I am hopeful, history will hold him equally accountable.

km , April 25, 2021 at 7:19 pm

Is it not written that Margaret Thatcher's true legacy was Tony Blair? If that is true, then the true legacy of Dubya is Obama.

Tom Doak , April 25, 2021 at 7:43 pm

That gives W too much credit. Obama continued the legacy of Cheney.

John Wright , April 25, 2021 at 9:58 pm

Could you explain your view that Obama and Trump are "worse than that" (Bush-Cheney).?

As far as harm that George W. Bush did and launched (illegal/immoral wars, domestic surveillance, tax cuts for the wealthy"¦.) Bush should take the award.

Obama did push for military action in Libya, but at least held back from Syria.

The administrations after Bush "kicked the can down the road" but he initiated the events they simply continued. And Trump did attempt to pull troops back from Bush initiated wars. How is Trump worse than Bush? What are your metrics?

drumlin woodchuckles , April 25, 2021 at 10:04 pm

I am just a commenter here, but I would say that . . .

When Obama deliberately and with malice aforethought turned all the admitted (and in fact proudly self-avowed) war-criminals and criminals-against humanity loose, free and clear under "look forward not back", he routinised and permanentized the up-to-that-very-minute irregular and extra-constitutional novel methods of governance and practice which the Cheney-Bush Administration had pioneered. Obama deliberately made torture, aggressive war, etc. "legal" when America does it and "permanent" as long as America is strong enough to keep doing it.

He did some other things like that which I don't have time to mention right now. Maybe others will beat me to it.

Most of all, by slickly conning or permitting to self-con numbers of people about "hope and change" to come from an Obama Administration, he destroyed all hope of hope. He destroyed hope itself. Hope is not a "thing" any more in this country, thanks to Obama.

He may also have destroyed black politicians' dreams of becoming America's " Second Black President" for several decades to come. Been there, done that. Never Again. But since I am not Black, that is not my problem. That is something Black America can thank Obama for, if they decide to wake up to the fact of that reality.

Of course , if the Evil Countess Draculamala becomes President after Biden, then I guess I will be proven wrong about that particular observation.

tegnost , April 25, 2021 at 10:47 pm

Bush was the set up guy, Obama was the closer

norm de plume , April 26, 2021 at 6:51 am

The Greatest Disappointment in History. No-one else comes close, in terms of the sheer numbers of people globally who he let down. The Bait and Switch King, The Great Betrayer. After the nightmare of Bush we got him and his "˜eloquence', pulling the wool over the dazzled sheeple's eyes while he entrenched the 1% and the neocon MI complex, his paymasters, and sponsors for his entry into the overclass.

Last, does any single person with the possible exception of Hillary Clinton, bear so much responsibility for the election of Trump?

quackery , April 26, 2021 at 7:57 am

When Obama campaigned for president he claimed he wanted to get rid of nuclear weapons. Instead, he upgraded the nuclear arsenal.

Mr Grumpy , April 26, 2021 at 10:28 am

It is ironic that the far right views Obama as the antichrist but they benefited from all of his policies.

Cat Burglar , April 26, 2021 at 11:19 am

Remember that Obama voted in favor of FISAA, the bill that immunized Bush and his flunkies from prosecution for their felony FISA violations, as a senator, not long before the presidential election. It was impossible to make myself vote for him after that.

Hotei , April 25, 2021 at 11:53 pm

Excellent documentation of that lineage here: http://www.obamatheconservative.com/

Norm Norton , April 26, 2021 at 11:14 am

"Is it not written that Margaret Thatcher's true legacy was Tony Blair?" If that is true, then the true legacy of Dubya is Obama."

And for Obama, Trump!

upstater , April 25, 2021 at 7:42 pm

Lambert, you forgot this one" Biden presents Liberty Medal to George and Laura Bush Instead of a war crimes trial at the Hague, Biden gave him a (family bloging) medal!

Jason , April 25, 2021 at 7:51 pm

Thanks Lambert. I'd add that the intelligence being sent to the "White House Iraq Group" was being manufactured by the Office of Special Plans (OSP) which was set up and run by Douglas Feith and Paul Wolfowitz. Following Feith's history and connections alone is a fruitful endeavor for those so inclined.

Among other things, Feith co-authored, along with Richard Perle and David Wurmser, the A Clean Break: A New Strategy For Securing the Realm paper prepared for the prime minister of a certain foreign country. This is back in 1996. Around the same time the PNAC boys were formed by Kagan and Kristol and started selling the same policy prescriptions vis a vis Iraq to the pols and public here.

Feith was also fired from the NSC back in the early 80's for passing classified information to some little country. Fast forward to his OSP days and, lo and behold, his employee Larry Franklin is convicted of the same thing, along with Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman of AIPAC.

That's just a taste of the malfeasance.

John , April 25, 2021 at 8:26 pm

I guess sometimes people need to be reminded that water is wet. The Buddhists say that ignorance is the root poison. True dat. Especially in Amrika.

JTMcPhee , April 25, 2021 at 8:56 pm

This stuff has gone on forever. What amount of ventilation is needed to blow this kind of dung out of the Augean stables of geopolitics? Not much chance of that anyway, given all the incentives and and interests"

Is it luck that Putin and Xi might be a little less monstrous?

Elizabeth , April 25, 2021 at 10:20 pm

It's really sickening to see George W being "rehabilitated" and made to look like some kind of a senior statesman, when he should be hauled off to the Hague to spend the rest of his life in prison for war crimes. For me, his election in 2000 was mostly the beginning of the end of the rule of law in this country. As a result, the U.S. has Guantanamo, the Patriot Act, in addition to all the other events mentioned, and don't forget he tried to privatize Social Security.

His eight years as president, for me, was a horror show. What really bothers me is that he got away with all of it "" and now he's hailed as an eminence gris. I can't help but think that his rehabilitation is to remind us all of how bad Orange Man was "" Obama was just as bad because he cemented everything W did "" and more.

Thanks for the horrible memories.

Joe Hill , April 25, 2021 at 11:02 pm

I understand you disagree with the policies of Mr Bush, but war crimes?

Please describe what charges would be brought against him if you were to prosecute at a war crimes tribunal.

Yves Smith , April 26, 2021 at 3:23 am

That is an assignment, which is a violation of our written site Policies. This applies to reader comments when you could easily find the answer in less than 30 seconds on Google rather than being a jerk and challenging a reader (or even worse, me derivatively) on bogus grounds.

https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/28000/amr510972011en.pdf

Robert Gray , April 26, 2021 at 1:57 am

> For me, [W's] election in 2000 was mostly the beginning of the end of the rule of law in this country.

At this moment I'm writing it is still early days for this thread: there are only 24 comments. In these comments are named many bad people. However, one name that does not (yet) appear is "˜Clinton'. W was a monster as president (and likely remains a monster as a human being) but surely Billy Jeff needn't yield to him in his contempt for the rule of law.

Yves Smith , April 26, 2021 at 2:29 am

I loathe Bill Clinton but nothing he did approaches the Iraq War in the level of damage to the US and many foreign countries"¦.starting with Iraq.

Robert Gray , April 26, 2021 at 3:52 am

Quite right, of course. My comment was specifically in regard to his disdain for and abuse of the rule, and rôle, of law in the American polity, e.g., his perjury > disbarment. Sort of like the famous photograph of Nelson Rockefeller who, while serving as VP, was captured giving the finger to a group of protestors; Clinton also oozed that kind of hubristic impunity.

Alex Cox , April 26, 2021 at 12:01 pm

Regarding Clinton, the damage he caused to his own country and the world was substantial. The destruction of Yugoslavia caused considerable mayhem "" in addition to bombing and breaking apart a sovereign nation, it enabled "liberals" to feel good about war again, and paved the way for the invasions of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, etc.

And the damage done by NAFTA was enormous "" in terms of leading to deaths of despair in both the US and Mexico I suspect NAFTA has a higher domestic "body count" than any of the subsequent forever wars.

anon y'mouse , April 26, 2021 at 12:33 pm

and welfare "reform", the crime bill. Talk of privatizing SSI made commonplace acceptable. Repeal of Glass Steagall. They were going to do to healthcare what oBLAM succeeded at, 20 years before him but got sidelined by Lewinsky's blue dress stains. Clintoon is a criminal and so is his spouse, and he did his share of damage everywhere. people who think otherwise might be looking back with nostalgia on a simpler (pre 9.11) time.

little known covered up crime from his ARK days is the selling of HIV tainted blood (taken from prisoners) to Canada, among other things.

yet another who had credible rape allegations. which damages our image at home and abroad.

tegnost , April 25, 2021 at 10:36 pm

Total Information Awareness https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/homefront/preemption/tia.html

Adm. John Poindexter"¦ https://www.nytimes.com/1990/04/08/us/poindexter-is-found-guilty-of-all-5-criminal-charges-for-iran-contra-cover-up.html
yep, that one"¦

drumlin woodchuckles , April 26, 2021 at 12:14 am

I read that for the very briefest time, somebody or other was selling Total Information Awareness memorabilia with the Total Information Awareness symbol on it. I wish I had thought to buy a Total Information Awareness mug.

I imagine knockoffs and parodies exist, but I am not sure the real thing is findable any more.

Darius , April 25, 2021 at 10:43 pm

After Dennis Rader, the Wichita serial killer, murdered someone, the cops always found his semen on the floor next to the mutilated victim. He got sexual pleasure out of gruesome murder. This is how I always pictured Cheney's attitude toward torture. Well. I tried not to actually picture it.

Kevin Carhart , April 26, 2021 at 12:06 am

Bush also whipped votes for Kavanaugh, during the cuddly years.

https://theweek.com/speedreads/798796/george-w-bush-reportedly-working-phones-kavanaugh

Colonel Smithers , April 26, 2021 at 4:26 am

Thank you, KC.

Kavanaugh accompanied Bush fils on his state visit to the UK. Even then, Kavanaugh was being touted as a future Supreme Court judge.

The Rev Kev , April 26, 2021 at 3:48 am

Talk about your target rich environment. Where do you even start? Where do you begin? A serial business failure, draft dodger, military deserter, drunk driver "" and all that was before he became President. A man so incurious about the world "" just like Trump "" that he never even owned a passport until he actually became President and who never knew that Islam (prior to the Iraq invasion) , for example, was just not one religion but was divided into Sunni and Shia in the same way Christianity is divided into "" mostly "" Protestant and Catholics. But to me he was always the "Frat Boy President". His family always protected him from his many flaws and he never had to grow up like his father had to in WW2. Even as President he never grew into the job, again, just like Trump.

Lambert gives a few good reminders but there were many others and these are just the top of my head. He cared little for the US Constitution and called it nothing more than a goddamn scrap of paper. He officially made the US a torture nation, not only by pretending that US laws did not apply in Guantanamo bay but also aboard US Navy ships for which laws definitely did apply. As part of a movement to make America an oil-fueled hegemony for the 21st century, he invaded Iraq with the firm intention on invading Iran next so that Washington would have a firm grip on the fuel pump of the world. As he said "" "America is addicted to oil." He dropped the ball on 9/11 through over-obsessing on Iraq and in the immediate aftermath sent jets around the country "" when all jets were grounded "" to fly Saudi royalty back to Saudi Arabia before the FBI could interrogate them about all their knowledge of the attack. All this to hide his very deep connections with the Saudis.

I could go on for several more paragraphs but what would be the point? For the neocons he was a great fronts-man to be followed by a even greater one. I sometimes think that if Biden was a "˜real' Republican, then he would have been a great vice-president for Bush. And now the establishment and their trained seals in the media are trying to make him out as "America's Favourite Uncle" or something so that when he dies, he will have the same sort of funeral as John McCain did. And I predict that tens of thousands of veterans around the country will then raise their glasses to him "" and then pour the contents on the ground.

Colonel Smithers , April 26, 2021 at 4:22 am

Thank you, Lambert.

W's rehab continues in the UK MSM, not just the Independent. The worst offenders are probably the Grauniad and Channel 4, both Blairite.

The rehab mirrored the rise of Trump. His lack of interest in war upset these preachy imperialists.

Using Michelle Obama to facilitate the rehab brought id pol into the equation and made it easier. It was remarkable how often the above photo is used in the neo liberal and neo con media.

The Rev Kev , April 26, 2021 at 5:43 am

Thank you, Colonel. That foto is remarkable and I suspect that the origins for the idea for it may lay on the other side of the pond as it seemed so familiar-

https://www.scmp.com/magazines/style/celebrity/article/3110070/netflixs-crown-shows-how-princess-diana-chose-her-own

drumlin woodchuckles , April 26, 2021 at 5:36 am

There is a blog called Rigorous Intuition 2.0. Many of its blogposts are about the Bush period and Bush related subjects and events. ( Many others are not). The sections on 9/11, Iraq, and Katrina probably have the highest percent of Bush-related blogposts, in case one is interested.

norm de plume , April 26, 2021 at 7:26 am

Jeff Wells wrote some interesting essays in the Bush years, though many of his connections were a bit too far out, even for me. He had some striking collateral evidence for his concept of High Weirdness in high places "" sex abuse, torture and magick figuring prominently, juxtaposed with political skulduggery, and financial crimes and misdemeanours. The Gannon/Guckert affair, the Franklin ring and Gary Caradori were the sort of thing that laced his quite penetrating analyses of events. Facts were jumping off points for speculations, but given our lack of facts his imaginings were a nourishment of sorts, though often very troubling indeed.

Tony massey , April 26, 2021 at 1:58 pm

Who needs to make shit up during those years?
The facts"¦the shit he actually did, was glossed over or simply forgotten.
If shit was made up about his sorry ass i didn't bother checking, Sir.
I just assumed it was true.
Bushies destroyed the country. If there's a country in 100 years they'll be paying for those years.
And then came obama and big Mike

jackiebass63 , April 26, 2021 at 6:14 am

People have been brain washed by the glossed over history of the US they are taught. It gives people a false belief of our past. The phrase American Exceptionalism comes to mind. It is a myth. The real history is out there but you have to search it out. From it's beginning continuing to today our government is responsible for bad behavior.

Some scholars like Noam Chomsky write about our real history. Unfortunately most people don't read this material. They are content with our glossed over shining star version of US history that unfortunately continues to be taught in our educational system , starting in elementary school continuing through a 4 year college education. Our system of government is so corrupted , I don't believe it can be fixed.

Jason , April 26, 2021 at 7:17 am

Arguing over degrees of presidential evil. Perfect.

farmboy , April 26, 2021 at 8:03 am

Nixon was rehabbed so he could open China, Kissinger got to keep his mantle. W portrayed by Josh Brolin pretty good take. Nice to see dunking on GW, but the cycle of rehabilitation is due. The question is can he do some good or is there too much mud on his boots. Can't see W as a new Jimmy Carter. Glossing over history begins the moment it's made. Makes me miss LBJ

Carlos Stoll , April 26, 2021 at 9:23 am

Between 1998 and 2000, under the rule of Saddam Hussein, about 1000 prisoners from Abu Ghraib prison were executed and buried in mass graves. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abu_Ghraib_prison How many Abu Ghraib prisoners did the US army execute?

The Rev Kev , April 26, 2021 at 9:48 am

Tell me again how many Iraqis were killed by the US Army because they were doing their own version of "Red Dawn"? And that tens if not hundreds of thousands of Iraqis would still be alive if Saddam was simply left in place. Here is a video to watch while you have a little think about it-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfvFpT-iypw (17:46 mins)

Phil in KC , April 27, 2021 at 8:02 am

We Americans have this thing called exceptionalism which among other things creates the idea that our government is more virtuous than others. It's a useful idea in that it calls us to be different and better than the average nation, and certainly different and better than a cruel dictatorship. But it's also a dangerous idea because too many of us actually believe it to be true. Our atrocities are different in kind, but the scale is the same.

We are not at Hitler/Stalin/Mao standards ""yet"" but who's to say that could never happen here? One of the bafflements of the 20th century was how a civilized people descended into the dark barbarism of Nazi Germany.

Deschain , April 26, 2021 at 10:55 am

"(I am omitting many, many others, including Hurricane Katrina, the Plame Affair, Medicare Part D, the Cheney Energy Task Force, that time Dick Cheney shot an old man in the face, Bush's missing Texas Air National Guard records, Bush gaslighting the 2004 Republican National Convention with terror alerts, and on and on and on. An I didn't even get to 9/11, "You've covered your ass," WMDs, and the AUMF. Sorry. It's exhausting.)"

You left out the housing bubble and the GFC!

Mr Grumpy , April 26, 2021 at 10:58 am

Agree with all the criticism of Bush, Cheney, Obama. On a lighter note, my father-in-law is a high tech oil prospector in W Texas, much of it in Midland, overlapping in time with W. Both members of the Petroleum Club (been there once, very stuffy) and worked out at the same gym. Naturally, my wife asked if he had ever seen W naked. Her dad wouldn't answer, but did turn beet red. We take this as confirmation.

Phil in KC , April 26, 2021 at 12:24 pm

Noam Chomsky observed some thirty years ago that if the Nuremberg standards were applied to all the post-war American Presidents, then all of them would hang. Chomsky could not have imagined the future sequence of presidents from that point forward, but certainly they did not break the chain of criminality. My point is that Bush is not unique in the type of crimes, just the enormity of them. But I also believe he set new standards (lower) for shamelessness. Remember his smirk?

But also remember Obama joking about killing people.

John Wright , April 26, 2021 at 3:25 pm

Remember the comedy skit in which GWB "looked" for Iraq WMD's in the Oval office as part of the White House Correspondent's dinner?

Anyone with any sense of decency would have refused to do this skit, but Bush apparently followed his handlers' advice to get some laughs. That the USA was led by someone of such limited talent for 8 years speaks volumes. Years ago, a New York Times reader wrote that Hillary Clinton is a "well-connected mediocrity".

That comment may be true for ALL of the recent political candidates, from both parties, for a great many years.

LBJ was definitely not mediocre (civil rights/war on poverty), and would be viewed far more favorably, maybe as great, if he had pulled out of Vietnam rather than escalating. Carter in his post presidency has much to recommend. Post presidency Bush is painting his portraits rather than having any retrospective regrets for the harm he did.

Susan the other , April 26, 2021 at 2:27 pm

We have such a dismal record. Little George was the most audacious of all our criminal presidents, but he has plenty of company. My question is now, looking back, why was the USA incapable of organizing a peaceful world after WW2? I start there. 1945. How did our ideology become so inept? And everything I have read about our failures over the years is contrasted with what might have been. We have operated under a system that could not function without extraction. There was always a sell-by date on the cover; one that we tried to ignore. There's no doubt in my mind that it has finally failed completely. Ignominiously. But we have also learned and come to admit certain realities. The most important one is that there can be no more war; civilization cannot survive a modern war. So, ironically, our advanced warfare might well bring a peaceful world without world war. And our advances in science (mostly militarily inspired) will help us now survive.

Sue inSoCal , April 26, 2021 at 4:56 pm

Lambert, thank you for this piece. I won't repeat what others have opined. I've had a real problem with Michelle Obama being the rehabilitation cheerleader leader for Dubya. Imho, we lost all of our rights under the odious Patriot Act, which was pre-written. Russ Feingold was the lone Senate holdout. And I recall Byrd's ire and rant at the tome they had no time to read, but he caved. It went downhill from there. The links below, (apologies, I don't know how to fashion a hot link..) are about Bush's crimes and Amnesty International's exhaustive investigation of them.

I don't have the citation anymore, and I've knocked myself out trying to find it. But there exists a UN human rights commission memo suggesting (?) Obama to do a number of things: hold Bushco accountable for war crimes etc, as well as address what is termed as "systematic racism" in incarceration (and more). I had printed it out a number of years ago and can't find it.)
I'm not buying that Bush fils is any elder statesman. He and his cronies used torture, extreme rendition, hired mercenaries and completely destabilized the Middle East. We still don't have our rights back, and I'm betting the Patriot Act will never go away. (Nor will data mining under the guise of "targeted advertising" and sold to..the military.) The NYT's link is how Obama elected to rug sweep and just move ahead! I look forward to Lambert's take on the Obama administration..

https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/28000/amr510972011en.pdf

https://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/12/us/politics/12inquire.html

techpioneer , April 26, 2021 at 4:56 pm

Finally, someone has the courage to point out the obvious. An excellent article, well researched and nicely nuanced.

I'm disappointed with the remedy proposed, however. Throwing shoes is not enough; it's merely symbolic. The potential crimes committed here, including lying us into war, the extent of torture committed, and practices that violate international military norms and intelligence require a transparent and impartial investigation. One possible venue is the International Criminal Courts in the Hague.

I've been told many times that sunlight can be an effective deterrent against disease.

[May 03, 2021] US/NATO Troops Patrolling Opium Poppy Fields in Afghanistan

May 03, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

uncle tungsten , Apr 28 2021 22:44 utc | 29

Hoarsewhisperer #10

Ditto. I am sure the CIA will be grinding the generals as we speak. Even the letter in Politico could well be one of their strategies. I posted a piece in the open thread yesterday from The HILL that was pure propaganda.

USA is not alone in losing guerrilla warfare.

Watch for Biden announcing a 'shake up' of the military command in the next few weeks/months.

The US military 2021 retreat from Kabul will result in a slaughter in the USA.

I see the Pentagon pulling the plug on the opium income for the CIA. Now THAT is the real war. So the CIA now has to pay its mercenary army to defend the harvest and extraction. That added cost to the CIA will not be taken lightly.

arby , Apr 28 2021 22:53 utc | 31

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 28 2021 22:44 utc | 29

"So the CIA now has to pay its mercenary army to defend the harvest and extraction."

Seems to me it is the taxpayer that is paying for defending the fields.

US/NATO Troops Patrolling Opium Poppy Fields in Afghanistan

[May 03, 2021] A Lifetime -at War- -

Notable quotes:
"... By Tom Engelhardt. Originally published at TomDispatch ..."
"... New York Times ..."
"... I supported the rule of law and human rights, not to mention the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. ..."
"... In these years, one key to so much of this is the fact that, as the Vietnam War began winding down in 1973, the draft was ended and war itself became a “voluntary†activity for Americans. In other words, it became ever easier not only to not protest American war-making, but to pay no attention to it or to the changing military that went with it. And that military was indeed altering and growing in remarkable ways. ..."
"... “The dislike of government spending, whether on public investment or consumption, is overcome by concentrating government expenditure on armaments†..."
"... “The dislike of government spending, whether on public investment or consumption, is overcome by concentrating government expenditure on armaments†..."
"... “Large-scale armaments are inseparable from the expansion of the armed forces and the preparation of plans for a war of conquest. They also induce competitive rearmament of other countries.†..."
May 03, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

A Lifetime “at War†Posted on April 30, 2021 by Yves Smith

Yves here. Englehardt describes how US war-making has been a continuing exercise starting with World War II. It’s important to recognize that before that, US military budgets were modest both in national and global terms. But with manufacturing less specialized, the US was able to turn a considerable amount of its productive capacity to armaments in fairly short order.

A second point is as someone who was in Manhattan on 9/11, I did not experience the attacks as war. I saw them as very impressive terrorism. However, I was appalled at how quickly individuals in positions of authority pushed sentiment in that direction. The attack was on a Tuesday (I had a blood draw and voted before I even realized Something Bad had happened). I was appalled to see the saber-rattling in Bush’s speech at the National Cathedral on Friday. On Sunday, I decided to go to the Unitarian Church around the corner. I was shocked to hear more martial-speak. And because the church was packed, I had to sit in the front on the floor, which meant I couldn’t duck out.

By Tom Engelhardt. Originally published at TomDispatch

Here’s the strange thing in an ever-stranger world: I was born in July 1944 in the midst of a devastating world war. That war ended in August 1945 with the atomic obliteration of two Japanese cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, by the most devastating bombs in history up to that moment, given the sweet code names “Little Boy†and “Fat Man.â€

I was the littlest of boys at the time. More than three-quarters of a century has passed since, on September 2, 1945, Japanese Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu and General Yoshijiro Umezu signed the Instrument of Surrender on the battleship U.S.S. Missouri in Tokyo Bay, officially ending World War II. That was V-J (for Victory over Japan) Day, but in a sense for me, my whole generation, and this country, war never really ended.

The United States has been at war, or at least in armed conflicts of various sorts, often in distant lands, for more or less my entire life. Yes, for some of those years, that war was “cold†(which often meant that such carnage, regularly sponsored by the CIA, happened largely off-screen and out of sight), but war as a way of life never really ended, not to this very moment.

In fact, as the decades went by, it would become the “infrastructure†in which Americans increasingly invested their tax dollars via aircraft carriers , trillion-dollar jet fighters, drones armed with Hellfire missiles, and the creation and maintenance of hundreds of military garrisons around the globe, rather than roads, bridges, or rail lines (no less the high-speed version of the same) here at home. During those same years, the Pentagon budget would grab an ever-larger percentage of federal discretionary spending and the full-scale annual investment in what has come to be known as the national security state would rise to a staggering $1.2 trillion or more.

In a sense, future V-J Days became inconceivable. There were no longer moments, even as wars ended, when some version of peace might descend and America’s vast military contingents could, as at the end of World War II, be significantly demobilized. The closest equivalent was undoubtedly the moment when the Soviet Union imploded in 1991, the Cold War officially ended, and the Washington establishment declared itself globally triumphant. But of course, the promised “peace dividend†would never be paid out as the first Gulf War with Iraq occurred that very year and the serious downsizing of the U.S. military (and the CIA) never happened.

Never-Ending War

Consider it typical that, when President Biden recently announced the official ending of the nearly 20-year-old American conflict in Afghanistan with the withdrawal of the last U.S. troops from that country by 9/11/21, it would functionally be paired with the news that the Pentagon budget was about to rise yet again from its record heights in the Trump years. “Only in America,†as retired Air Force lieutenant colonel and historian William Astore wrote recently, “do wars end and war budgets go up.â€

Buy the Book

Of course, even the ending of that never-ending Afghan War may prove exaggerated. In fact, let’s consider Afghanistan apart from the rest of this country’s war-making history for a moment. After all, if I had told you in 1978 that, of the 42 years to follow, the U.S. would be involved in war in a single country for 30 of them and asked you to identify it, I can guarantee that Afghanistan wouldn’t have been your pick. And yet so it’s been. From 1979 to 1989, there was the CIA-backed Islamist extremist war against the Soviet army there (to the tune of billions and billions of dollars). And yet the obvious lesson the Russians learned from that adventure, as their military limped home in defeat and the Soviet Union imploded not long after â€" that Afghanistan is indeed the “graveyard of empires†â€" clearly had no impact in Washington.

Or how do you explain the 19-plus years of warfare there that followed the 9/11 attacks, themselves committed by a small Islamist outfit, al-Qaeda, born as an American ally in that first Afghan War? Only recently, the invaluable Costs of War Project estimated that America’s second Afghan War has cost this country almost $2.3 trillion (not including the price of lifetime care for its vets) and has left at least 241,000 people dead, including 2,442 American service members. In 1978, after the disaster of the Vietnam War, had I assured you that such a never-ending failure of a conflict was in our future, you would undoubtedly have laughed in my face.

And yet, three decades later, the U.S. military high command still seems not faintly to have grasped the lesson that we “taught†the Russians and then experienced ourselves. As a result, according to recent reports, they have uniformly opposed President Biden’s decision to withdraw all American troops from that country by the 20th anniversary of 9/11. In fact, it’s not even clear that, by September 11, 2021, if the president’s proposal goes according to plan, that war will have truly ended. After all, the same military commanders and intelligence chiefs seem intent on organizing long-distance versions of that conflict or, as the New York Times put it , are determined to “fight from afar†there. They are evidently even considering establishing new bases in neighboring lands to do so.

America’s “forever wars†â€" once known as the Global War on Terror and, when the administration of George W. Bush launched it, proudly aimed at 60 countries â€" do seem to be slowly winding down. Unfortunately, other kinds of potential wars, especially new cold wars with China and Russia (involving new kinds of high-tech weaponry) only seem to be gearing up.

War in Our Time

In these years, one key to so much of this is the fact that, as the Vietnam War began winding down in 1973, the draft was ended and war itself became a “voluntary†activity for Americans. In other words, it became ever easier not only to not protest American war-making, but to pay no attention to it or to the changing military that went with it. And that military was indeed altering and growing in remarkable ways.

In the years that followed, for instance, the elite Green Berets of the Vietnam era would be incorporated into an ever more expansive set of Special Operations forces, up to 70,000 of them (larger, that is, than the armed forces of many countries). Those special operators would functionally become a second, more secretive American military embedded inside the larger force and largely freed from citizen oversight of any sort. In 2020, as Nick Turse reported, they would be stationed in a staggering 154 countries around the planet, often involved in semi-secret conflicts “in the shadows†that Americans would pay remarkably little attention to.

Since the Vietnam War, which roiled the politics of this nation and was protested in the streets of this country by an antiwar movement that came to include significant numbers of active-duty soldiers and veterans, war has played a remarkably recessive role in American life. Yes, there have been the endless thank-yous offered by citizens and corporations to “the troops.†But that’s where the attentiveness stops, while both political parties, year after endless year, remain remarkably supportive of a growing Pentagon budget and the industrial (that is, weapons-making) part of the military-industrial complex. War, American-style, may be forever, but â€" despite, for instance, the militarization of this country’s police and the way in which those wars came home to the Capitol last January 6th â€" it remains a remarkably distant reality for most Americans.

One explanation: though the U.S. has, as I’ve said, been functionally at war since 1941, there were just two times when this country felt war directly â€" on December 7, 1941, when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, and on September 11, 2001, when 19 mostly Saudi hijackers in commercial jets struck New York’s World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

And yet, in another sense, war has been and remains us. Let’s just consider some of that war-making for a moment. If you’re of a certain age, you can certainly call to mind the big wars: Korea (1950-1953), Vietnam (1954-1975) â€" and don’t forget the brutal bloodlettings in neighboring Laos and Cambodia as well â€" that first Gulf War of 1991, and the disastrous second one, the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Then, of