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Skepticism and critical thinking is not panacea, but can help to understand the world better


The ideology that dare not speak it's name is actually a New, More Dangerous, Form of Corporatism. It is completely and intentionally based on lies, on deception. In reality this "religion of freedom" (redefinition of the meaning of the word "freedom" and sophisticated speculation on it is at the center of neoliberal religion) is a coercive cult enforced by corrupt, deceitful financial oligarchy with the explicit goal of milking the common people (aka "deplorables"). They have money to hire intellectual prostitutes (aka  professors of economics) to do the dirty job of creating elaborate mathness and neoclassic economy based smoke screen over the lies

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Skepticism and Pseudoscience > Who Rules America > Neoliberal Brainwashing

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

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

- New York Times

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

May '68 and its Afterlives [Review]

Neoliberal ideology acted as a smokescreen that enabled the financially powerful to rewrite the rules and place themselves beyond the law.

Church , 10 Jun 2013 17:21

Due to the size the introduction was moved to a separate page: Neoliberalism: a primer

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[Jan 21, 2020] Money Talks, Bullshit Walks on Cable News by Paul Street

Oct 30, 2019 |

Is it any wonder that the nation's "liberal" cable news stations CNN and MSNBC can barely contain their disdain for Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign and even (to a lesser degree) for that of Elizabeth Warren while they promote the nauseating center-right candidacies of the bewildered racist and corporatist Joe Biden, the sinister neoliberal corporate-militarist Pete Butiggieg and even the marginal Wall Street "moderates" Amy Klobuchar and Kamala Harris? Next time you click on these stations, keep a pen and paper handy to write down the names of the corporations that pay for their broadcast content with big money commercial purchases.

I did that at various times of day on three separate occasions last week. Here are the companies I found buying ads at CNN and MSDNC:

American Advisors Group (AAG), the top lender the American reverse mortgage industry (with Tom Selleck telling seniors to trust him that reverse mortgages are not a rip off)

United Health Care, for-profit "managed health care company" with 300,000 employers and an annual revenue of $226 billion, ranked sixth on the 2019 Fortune 500.

Menards, the nation's third largest home improvement chain, with revenue over $10 billion in 2017.

CHANITX, a drug to get off cigarettes ("slow Turkey") sold by the pharmaceutical firm Pfizer, 65th on the Fortune 500.

Tom Steyer (billionaire for president)

Lincoln Financial, 187 th on the Fortune 500, an American holding company that controls multiple insurance and investment management businesses.

Liberty Mutual, an insurance company with more than 50,000 employees in more than 900 locations and ranked 68 th on the Fortune 500 two years ago.

Allstate Insurance: 79 th on the Fortune 500, with more than 45,000 employees.

INFINITI Suburban Utility Vehicle (new price ranging from 37K to 60K), produced by Nissan, the sixth largest auto-making corporation in the world.

RCN (annual revenue of $636 million) WiFi for business

Jaguar Elite luxury autos.

Porsche luxury autos, selling new models priced at $115,000, $145,000, and $163,00, and $294,000.

Mercedes Benz luxury auto, including an SRL-Class model that starts at $498,000

Capital Group, one of the world's oldest and biggest investment management firms, with $1.87 trillion in assets under its control.

Otezla, a plaque psoriasis drug, developed by the New Jersey drug company Celgene and owned by Amgene, a leading California-based biotechnology firm with total assets of $78 billion.

Trelegy, a CPD drug produced by the British company GSK, the world's seventh leading pharmaceutical corporation, with the fourth largest capitalization of any company on the London Stock Exchange.

HunterDouglass – elite windows made by a Dutch multinational corporation with more than 23,000 employees and locations in more than 70 countries.

Humira – drug for Crohn's disease and other ailments, manufactured by Abbvie, with 28,000 global employees and total assets of $59 billion.

Primateme Mist – for breathing, produced by Amphastar Pharmaceuticals.

Glucerna – drug for diabetes, produced by Abbot Laboratories, an American medical company with more than 100,00 employees and total assets of $67 billion.

Prevagen – a controversial drug for brain health produced by Quincy Bioscience

DISCOVER Credit Card, the third largest credit card brand in the U.S., with total assets of $92 billion.

Fidelity Investments, an American multinational financial services corporation with more than 50,000 employees and an operating income of $5.3 billion.

Cadillac XT-6 high-end SUV, starting at $53K, made by General Motors (no. 10 on the Fortune 500 for total revenue), which makes automobiles in 37 countries, employees 173,000 persons, and has total assets $227 billion.

Comfort Inn, owned by Choice Hotels, one of the largest hotel chains in the world, franchising 7,005 properties in 41 countries and territories.

Audible/Amazon – books on tape from the world's biggest mega-corporation Amazon, ranked fifth on the Fortune 500, with 647,000 employees and total assets of $163 billion.

Ring Home Security, owned by Amazon

Coventry Health Insurance, no. 168 on the Fortune 500

SANDALS Resorts International, with 16 elite resort properties in the Caribbean.

Cigna Medicare Advantage, owned by the national health insurer Cigna, no. 229 on the Fortune 500

SoFi Finance, an online personal finance company that provides student loan refinancing, mortgages and personal loans.

Ameriprise Finance, an investment services firm, no. 240 on F500.

It's not for nothing that bit Fortune 500 firms are represented in my anecdotal sponsor list above. Last summer, SQAD MediaCosts reported that a 30-second commercial during CNN's prime-time lineup (Anderson Cooper, Chris Cuomo, and Don Lemon), cost between $7,000 and $12,000. The price has certainly gone up significantly now that Trumpeachment is bringing in new eyeballs.

The three most prominent and recurrent advertising streams appear (anecdotally) to come from Big Pharma (the leading drug companies), insurance (health insurance above all), and finance (investment services/wealth management). These giant concentrated corporate and industry sectors are naturally opposed to the financial regulation and anti-trust policy that Senator Warren says she wants to advance. Amazon can hardly be expected to back the big-tech break-up that Warren advocates.

Big corporate lenders certainly have no interest in making college tuition free, a Sanders promise that would slash a major profit source for finance capital.

The big health insurance firms are naturally opposed both to the Single Payer national health insurance plan that Sanders puts at the top of his platform and to the milder version of Medicare for All that Warren says she backs. Warren and especially Sanders pledge to remove the parasitic, highly expensive profit motive from health insurance and to make publicly funded quality and affordable health care a human right in the U.S. The corporate insurance mafia is existentially opposed to such human decency.

Both of the "progressive Democratic candidates" (a description that fits Sanders far better than it does Warren) loudly promise to slash drug costs, something Pfizer, Abbvie, Amgene, Amphastar, and Abbot Labs can hardly be expected to relish.

None of the big companies buying advertising time on CNN and MSNBC have any interest in the progressive taxation and restored union organizing and collective bargaining rights that Sanders advocates.

The big financial services firms paying for media content on "liberal" cable news stations primarily serve affluent clients, many if not most of whom are likely to oppose increased taxes on the well off.

The resort, tourism, luxury car, and business travel firms that buy commercials on these networks are hardly about to back policies leading to the real or potential reduction of discretionary income enjoyed by upper middle class and rich people.

So, gosh, who do these corporate and financial interests favor in the 2020 presidential election? Neoliberal Corporatists like Joe Biden, Pete Butiggieg, Kamala Harris, and Amy Klobuchar, of course. Dutifully obedient to the preferences and commands of the nation's unelected dictatorship of money, these insipid corporate Democrats loyally claim that Sanders and Warren want to viciously "tax the middle class" to pay for supposedly unaffordable excesses like Medicare for All and the existentially necessary Green New Deal.

In reality, Single Payer and giant green jobs programs and more that We the People need and want are eminently affordable if the United States follows Sanders' counsel by adequately and progressively taxing its absurdly wealthy over-class (the top tenth of the upper 1% than owns more than 90% of U.S. wealth) and its giant, surplus-saturated corporations and financial institutions. At the same time, as Warren keeps trying to explain, the cost savings for ordinary Americans will be enormous with the profits system taken out of health insurance.

Sanders reminds voters that there's no way to calculate the cost savings of keeping livable ecology alive for future generations. The climate catastrophe is a grave existential threat to the whole species.

These are basic arguments of elementary social, environmental, and democratic decency that the investors and managers behind and atop big corporations buying commercials on CNN and MSNBC don't want heard. As a result, CNN and MSDNC "debate" moderators and talking heads persist in purveying the, well, fake news, that Sanders doesn't know how to pay Single Payer, free public college, and a Green New Deal.

It's not for nothing that CNN and MSNBC have promoted the hapless Biden over and above Sanders and Warren – this notwithstanding the former Vice President's ever more obvious and embarrassing inadequacy as a candidate.

It's not for nothing that MSNBC and CNN have habitually warned against the supposed "socialist" menace posed by the highly popular Sanders (a New Deal progressive at leftmost) while refusing to properly describe Trump's White House and his dedicated base as pro-fascists. MSDNC has even get a weekly segment to the silver-spooned multi-millionaire advertising executive Donny Deutsch after he said the following on the network last winter:

"I find Donald Trump reprehensible as a human being, but a socialist candidate is more dangerous to this company, country, as far as the strength and well-being of the country, than Donald Trump. I would vote for Donald Trump, a despicable human being I will be so distraught to the point that that could even come out of my mouth, if we have a socialist [Democratic presidential candidate or president] because that will take our country so down, and we are not Denmark. I love Denmark, but that's not who we are. And if you love who we are and all the great things that still have to have binders put on the side. Please step away from the socialism."

It's not for nothing that the liberal cable networks go out of their way to deny Sanders remotely appropriate broadcast time. Or that they habitually and absurdly frame Single Payer health insurance not as the great civilizing social and human rights victory it would be (the long-overdue cost-slashing de-commodification of health care coverage combined with the provision of health care for all regardless of social status and class) but rather as a dangerous and authoritarian assault on Americans' existing (and unmentionably inadequate and over-expensive) health insurance.

Dare we mention that the lords of capital who pay for cable news salaries and content are heavily invested in the fossil fuels and in the relentless economic growth that are pushing the planet rapidly towards environmental tipping points that gravely endanger prospects for a decent and organized human existence in coming decades?

It's not for nothing that the progressive measures advanced by Sanders and supported by most Americans are regularly treated as "unrealistic," "irresponsible," "too radical," "too idealistic," "impractical," and "too expensive."

It's for nothing that Sanders is commonly left out of the liberal cable networks' campaign coverage and "horse race" discussions even as he enjoys the highest approval rating among all the candidates in the running.

With their preferred centrist candidate Joe Biden having performed in a predictably poor and buffoonish fashion (Biden was a terrible, gaffe-prone politician well before his brains started coming out of his ears) falling back into something like a three-way tie with the liberal Warren and the populist progressive Sanders, the liberal cable talking heads and debate moderators have naturally tried to boost "moderate" neoliberal-corporatist "second" and "third tier" Democratic presidential candidates like Butiggieg, Klobuchar and the surprisingly weak Kamala Harris. It's not for nothing that these and other marginal corporate candidates (e.g. Beto O'Rourke) get outsized attention on "liberal" cable stations regardless of their tiny support bases. Even if they can't win, these small-time contenders take constant neoliberal jabs at Sanders and even at the more clearly corporate-co-optable Warren (who proudly describes herself as "capitalist in my bones").

Thanks to Harris's curiously weak showing, Biden's dotard-like absurdity, and the likely non-viability of Butiggieg (the U.S. is not yet primed for two men and a baby in the White House), the not-so liberal cable channels are now joining the New Yok Times and Washington Post in gently floating the possibility of a dark-horse neoliberal Democratic Party newcomer (Michael Bloomberg, John Kerry, Michelle Obama, Sherrod Brown, and maybe even Hillary Clinton herself) to fill Joke Biden's Goldman-and Citigroup-approved shoes in the coming primary and Caucus battles with "radical socialist" Bernie and (not-so) "left" Warren.

So what if running an establishment Obama-Clinton-Citigroup-Council on Foreign Relations Democrat in 2020 will de-mobilize much of the nation's progressive electoral base, helping the malignant white nationalist monster Donald Trump get a second term?

As the old working-class slogan says, "money talks and bullshit walks."

"Follow the money" is the longstanding mantra in campaign finance research and criminal prosecution. It should also apply to our understanding of the dominant media's political news content. U.S. media managers are employed by giant corporations (MSNBC is a division of Comcast NBC Universal, no. 71 on the Fortune 500 and CNN is owned by Turner Broadcasting, no, 68 on the Fortune 500) that are naturally reluctant to publish or broadcast material that might offend the wealthy capitalist interests that pay for broadcasting by purchasing advertisements. As Noam Chomsky has noted, large corporations are not only the major producers of the United States' mass commercial media. They are also that media's top market, something that deepens the captivity of nation's supposedly democratic and independent media to big capital:

"The reliance of a journal on advertisers shapes and controls and substantially determines what is presented to the public the very idea of advertiser reliance radically distorts the concept of free media. If you think about what the commercial media are, no matter what, they are businesses. And a business produces something for a market. The producers in this case, almost without exception, are major corporations. The market is other businesses – advertisers. The product that is presented to the market is readers (or viewers), so these are basically major corporations providing audiences to other businesses, and that significantly shapes the nature of the institution."

At the same time, both U.S. corporate media managers and the advertisers who supply revenue for their salaries are hesitant to produce content that might alienate affluent folks – the people who hire pricey investment advisors, go to Caribbean resorts and buy Jaguars and Mercedes Benzes and count for an ever-rising share of U.S. consumer purchases. It is those with the most purchasing power who are naturally most targeted by advertisers.

Money talks, bullshit talks on "liberal" cable news, as in the legal and party and elections systems and indeed across all of society.

Watch the wannabe fascist strongman Trump walk to a second term with no small help from a "liberal" corporate media whose primary goal is serving corporate sponsors and its own bottom line, not serving social justice, environmental sanity, and democracy – or even helping Democrats win elections.

[Jan 21, 2020] Tucker Carlson Warns 'Mistake' To Assume Trump Victory In November

Notable quotes:
"... RealClearPolitics ..."
Jan 21, 2020 |

The president base is clarly more narrow then in 2016: he used anti-war repiblicansand independents aswell as "Anybody but Hillary" voters (large part of Sanders votrs). Part of military is now Tulsi supported and probalywill not vote at all, at least they will not vote for Trump.

Fox News 's Tucker Carlson on Monday warned Republicans not to get complacent, and that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) could wind up taking "many thousands " of votes from President Trump if he is able to secure the Democratic nomination, according to The Hill 's Joe Concha.

"A year from today, we'll be hosting this show from the National Mall as the next president of the United States takes the oath of office," said Carlson, adding "Will that president be Donald Trump? As of tonight, Republicans in Washington feel confident it will be."

"The official economic numbers are strong. The Democratic primaries are a freak show -- elderly socialists accusing each other of thoughtcrimes. Republicans are starting to think victory is assured. That's a mistake ," said Carlson. "America remains as divided as it was three years ago. No matter what happens, nobody's going to win this election in a national landslide. Those don't happen anymore. Trump could lose. Will he? That depends on what he runs on. "

Carlson then showed numbers for Trump on the economy that show while the main indicators are strong, there are some other numbers that should concern the president. He pointed to a Pew Research study that shows just 31 percent of Americans say the economy is helping them and their families, and just 32 percent say they believe the current economy helps the middle class.

Carlson then pivoted to Sanders's potential appeal to certain voter groups and said Republicans need a plan to battle that appeal.

" Bernie Sanders may get the Democratic nomination ," Carlson said. " If he does, every Republican in Washington will spend the next 10 months reminding you that socialism doesn't work , and never has. They'll be right, obviously," Carlson explained. - The Hill

So what's Bernie's appeal?

Recall that a not-insignificant Sanders supporters voted for Trump out of disgust following revelations that Hillary Clinton and the DNC conspirted to rig the 2016 primary against him.

According to Carlson, however, "if Sanders pledges to forgive student loans, he'll still win many thousands of voters who went for Donald Trump last time. Debt is crushing an entire generation of Americans. Republicans need a plan to make it better, or they'll be left behind."

"They're conservative in the most basic sense: They love their families above all," the host concluded. "They distrust radical theories of anything because they know that when the world turns upside down, ordinary people get hurt. They don't want to burn it down. They just want things to get better. The candidate who promises to make them better -- incrementally, but tangibly -- will be inaugurated president a year from today."

According to a RealClearPolitics average of seven (oh so reliable) polls, Sanders would take Trump if he gets the nomination. Tags Politics

MANvsMACHINE , 3 minutes ago link

Bernie doesn't have a ******* chance once he has to debate Trump. Trump will pull every straggly hair from Bernie's nearly bald head.

Mustafa Kemal , 2 minutes ago link

I disagree. Trump hasnt had to debate someone with character and intelligence before.

Boogity , 6 minutes ago link

Carlson is right. The overwhelming majority of Americans live paycheck to paycheck with many working two jobs to make ends meet. The economy sucks for the working and middle class. Facts are stubborn things.

[Jan 21, 2020] Trump Is Pulling the Wool Over Voters' Eyes About What Is in the China Deal

Return to quote-based trade means total bankruptcy of neoliberalism ideology and practice. Another nail in the coffin so to speak.
Jan 21, 2020 |

The Chinese, for now, are not contradicting the Trump administration on the promise of Chinese mega-purchases, because when Trump is more amicable their interests align. If an empty promise that wasn't even made means the trade war de-escalation goes on, that is fine with them. They would like to calm the markets as much as Trump would, and in this way they have added leverage on Trump. Should they change their minds they can always explode the fiction later on and injure Trump, perhaps strategically right around October.

Now that the dust has settled on the US-China trade deal and analysts have had some time to pore over its 90+ pages, various chapters and (non-binding) terms that comprise the body of the agreement, one high-level observation noted by Rabobank, is that the agreement foresees the total amount of goods exports from the US to China to reach above $ 290BN by end-2021.

The implication of this is that the chart for US exports to China should basically look like this for the next two years:

As Rabobank's senior economist Bjorn Giesbergen writes, t here are probably very few economists that would deem such a trajectory feasible (except for the perpetually cheerful economics team at Goldman , of course), seeing that it took the US more than 15 years to raise exports from around USD16bn in 2000 to USD 130bn in 2017.

Moreover, the Chinese purchases of goods are beneficial to US companies, but at the cost of other countries, and the agreement is only for two years. If China will buy more aircraft from the US, that could be to the detriment of the EU.

According to the document "the parties project that the trajectory of increases will continue in calendar years 2020 through 2025." But "to project" does not sound as firm as "shall ensure." So, as the Rabo economist asks, "are we going to see a repetition of the 2019 turmoil caused by the phase 1 trade negotiations after those two years? Or is this supposed to be solved in the phase 2 deal that is very unlikely to be made? What's more, while the remaining tariffs provide leverage for US trade negotiators, they are still a tax on US importers and US consumers of Chinese goods."

But before we even get there, going back to the chart shown above, Bloomberg today points out something we have pointed out in the past, namely that China's $200 billion, two-year spending spree negotiated with the Trump administration appears increasingly difficult to deliver, and now a $50 billion "hole" appears to have opened up : that is the amount of U.S. exports annually left out and many American businesses still uncertain about just what the expectations are.

Some background: while Trump officials stressed the reforms aimed at curbing intellectual-property theft and currency manipulation that China has agreed to in the "phase one" trade deal signed Wednesday, the Chinese pledge to buy more American exports has become an emblem of the deal to critics and supporters alike.

The administration has said those new exports in manufactured goods, energy, farm shipments and services will come over two years on top of the $130 billion in goods and $57.6 billion in services that the U.S. sent to China in 2017 -- the year before the trade war started and exports were hit by Beijing's retaliatory measures to President Donald Trump's tariffs.

And while Goldman said it is certainly feasible that China can ramp up its purchases of US goods , going so far as providing a matrix "scenario" of what such purchases could look like

that now appears virtually impossible, because as Bloomberg notes, the list of goods categories in the agreement covers a narrower group of exports to China that added up to $78.8 billion in 2017, or $51.6 billion less than the overall goods exports to the Asian nation that year. The goods trade commitment makes up $162.1 billion of the $200 billion total, with $37.9 billion to come from a boost in services trade such as travel and insurance.

Here, the math gets even more ridiculous:

The target for the first year that the deal takes effect is to add $63.9 billion in manufactured goods, agriculture and energy exports. According to Bloomberg economist Maeva Cousin's analysis, that would be an increase of 81% over the 2017 baseline. In year two, the agreement calls for $98.2 billion surge in Chinese imports, which would require a 125% increase over 2017.

Importantly for China, the deal requires those purchases to be "made at market prices based on commercial considerations," a caveat which spooked commodities traders, and led to a sharp drop in ags in the day following the deal's announcement.

Can China pull this off? Yes, if Beijing tears up existing trade deals and supply chains and imposes explicit procurement targets and demands on China's local business. As Bloomberg notes, "critics argue that such pre-ordained demand amounts to a slide into the sort of government-managed trade that U.S. presidents abandoned decades ago" and the very sort of act of central planning that U.S. officials have , paradoxically, spent years trying to convince China to walk away from.

This may also explain why a key part of the trade deal will remain secret: the purchase plan is based on what the administration insists is a specific – if classified – annex of Chinese commitments. "The 20-page public version of that annex lists hundreds of products and services from nuclear reactors to aircraft, printed circuits, pig iron, soybeans, crude oil and computer services but no figures for purchases."

Going back to the critics, it is this convoluted mechanism that has them arguing that China's stated targets will likely never be met: "This is ambitious and it will create some stresses within the supply system," said Craig Allen, the president of the U.S.-China Business Council.

That's not all: as Allen said, among the outstanding questions was whether China would lift its retaliatory duties on American products as the US keeps its tariffs on some $360 billion in imports from China as Trump seeks to maintain leverage for the second phase of negotiations.

Allen also made clear the overall purchase schedule left many U.S. companies uncomfortable even as they saw benefits in other parts of the deal. "The vast majority of our members are looking for no more than a level playing field in China," Allen said. "We are not looking for quotas or special treatment."

As a result, for many manufacturers what is actually changing -- and what China has committed to instead of given a "best efforts" promise to achieve -- remains unclear.

Major exporters such as Boeing Co., whose CEO Dave Calhoun attended Wednesday's signing ceremony, have stayed mum about what exactly the deal will mean for their business with China. In an attempt to "clarify", Trump tweeted that the deal includes a Chinese commitment to buy $16 billion to $20 billion in Boeing planes. It was unclear if he meant 737 MAX planes which nobody in the world will ever voluntarily fly inside again.

Finally, prompting the latest round of cronyism allegations, Trump's new China pact also includes plans for exports of American iron and steel , "a potential gain for an industry close to the president that has benefited from his tariffs and complained about Chinese production and overcapacity for years." As Bloomberg adds, the text of the agreement lists iron and steel products ranging from pig iron to stainless steel wire and railway tracks, but steel industry sources said they had been caught by surprise and not been given any additional details on China's purchase commitments.

It is unclear why Beijing would need US product s: after all, in its scramble to erect ghost cities and hit a goalseeked GDP print, China produces more than 50% of the world's steel, drawning criticism from around the world – if not Greta Thunberg – for the massive coal-derived pollution that comes from flooding global markets with cheap steel.

[Jan 21, 2020] Now with Warren blunder Trump might be able to wipe the floor with her but not only called her "Pocahontas" but also "Bernie backstabber": betrayl of her "friend" Bernie is unforgivable

She made a blunder. That's for sure. but still Warren is a better candidate then Trump.
The shell game between Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders has transmogrified. The brutal, post-debate exchange between the duo has the progressive left fearing repeat business from '04: it happened at just the wrong time, only weeks ahead of the first primaries.
Jan 21, 2020 |
sounds very much like it, in a kind of ham-fisted, virtue-signaling way -- "Sometimes I fear the American people are still too bigoted to vote for a woman," or something like that. Yet every Clinton staffer was muttering the same thing under her breath at 3 a.m. on November 9, 2016.

What's more, Mrs. Warren never denied that Mr. Sanders only ran in the last election cycle because she declined to do so. Nor can anyone forget how vigorously he campaigned for Mrs. Clinton, even after she and the DNC rigged the primary against him. If Mrs. Warren and her surrogates at CNN are claiming that Bernie meant that a person with two X chromosomes is biologically incapable of serving as president, they're lying through their teeth.

This is how Liz treats her "friend" Bernie -- and when he denies that absurd smear, she refuses to shake his hand and accuses him of calling her a liar on national television. Then, of course, the #MeToo brigades line up to castigate him for having the temerity to defend himself -- further evidence, of course, of his sexism. I mean, like, Bernie is, like, literally Weinstein.

Then there's the "Latinx" thing, which is the absolute summit of progressive elites' disconnect with ordinary Americans. In case you didn't know, Mrs. Warren has been roundly panned for referring to Hispanics by this weird neologism, which was invented by her comrades in the ivory tower as a gender-neutral alternative to Latino or Latina . The thing is, Spanish is a gendered language. What's more, a poll by the left-wing market research group Think Now found that just 2 percent of Hispanics call themselves "Latinx." (In fact, most prefer the conventional "Hispanic," which is now verboten on the Left because it hearkens back to Christopher Columbus's discovery of La Española .)

So here comes Professor Warren -- white as Wonder Bread, the mattress in her Cambridge townhouse stuffed with 12 million big ones -- trying to rewrite the Spanish language because she thinks it's sexist. How she's made it this far in the primary is absolutely mind-boggling. She doesn't care about Hispanics, much less their culture. Like every employee of the modern education system, she's only interested in processing American citizens into gluten-free offal tubes of political correctness.

Of course, if one of her primary opponents or a cable news "Democratic strategist" (whatever that is) dared to say as much, they'd be hung, drawn, and quartered. Partisan Democrats have trained themselves not to think in such terms. That might not matter much if Mrs. Warren was facing Mitt Romney or John McCain in the general. But she's not. If she wins the primary, she'll be up against Donald Trump. And if you don't think he'll say all of this -- and a whole lot more -- you should apply for a job at CNN.

Very Funny Mr. President a day ago

... running against Mrs. Warren would be a walk in the park

Your imaginary Trump anti-Warren schtick might have worked in 2016, but boy does it come off as unfunny and stale in 2020. He's done too much damage. Not funny anymore. I voted for Trump. After all his betrayals, Warren could rip him to pieces just by standing next to him without saying a word. Her WASP reserve and Okie roots might even seem refreshing after our four-year long cesspool shower with this New York City creep.

Up North Very Funny Mr. President 11 hours ago • edited
Didn't vote for Trump, or Clinton for that matter, cast a protest Libertarian vote. In my red state it hardly matters, but the electoral college is another story. But observed long ago that indeed Warren is just what the author says, a too politically correct north east liberal who would be demolished in the presidential election against Trump. Only Biden or Klobuchar has a chance to unseat the orange man, or maybe better yet a Biden - Klobuchar ticket.
Great CoB Up North 6 hours ago
I've sometimes voted red and sometimes blue, but a Trump Vs Biden contest might well make me bored and disappointed enough to join you going libertarian.
cka2nd Up North 4 hours ago
If the Dems want to lose, Biden and Klobuchar would be a quick ticket to doing so. Warren would get the job done not much slower, unless she pivoted away from social issues.

To quote Phyllis Schlafly's advice to conservatives and the GOP, what the Dems need is "A choice, not an echo." Sanders is the closest the Dems have of offering the voters a real choice, and is the best option to defeat Trump. The D establishment will still pull out all the stops to try to block him, of course, because even they and their big donors would prefer a second Trump term over a New Deal liberal with a socialist gloss, but they may not succeed this time.

Lloyd Conway cka2nd 3 hours ago
Bernie and Tulsi are the most honest and interesting of the Democratic field, even though their politics generally aren't mine. Nonetheless, I wish them well, because they appear to say what they actually think, as opposed to whatever their operatives have focus-group tested.
Mediaistheenemy Up North 4 hours ago
Biden's corruption will come out in the general. We could write up articles of impeachment now. After all, Biden, did actually bribe the Ukraine. He said so himself. On video.
Great CoB Very Funny Mr. President 6 hours ago
I think Trump's unfortunately stronger now than he was in 2016. Clinton's attacks on him were painting him as an apocalyptic candidate who would bring America crashing down. By serving as president for 4 years with a mostly booming economy, Trump's proven them wrong. The corporate media will continue their hysterical attacks on him though, and that will boost his support. I think Hillary Clinton was more dislikeable back then than Warren is now, but Warren is probably even more out of touch. The others might also lose, but she really as a terrible candidate.
Mediaistheenemy Very Funny Mr. President 4 hours ago
What damage has Trump done, as opposed to the damage the media/Dems/deepstate's RESPONSE to Trump has done?
Trump has reduced illegal immigration with the expected subsequent increases in employment and wages, saved taxpayer 1 TRILLION dollars by withdrawing from the Paris accord, killed 2 leading terrorists (finally showing Iran that we aren't their bakshi boys), cut taxes, stood up for gun rights, reduced harmful governmental regulation, and appointed judges that will follow the law instead of feelings and popular culture.
He is also exposing the deep underbelly of the corrupt government in Washington, especially the coup organized between Obama, Hillary, the DNC, Brennan, Comey, Clapper and the hyperpartisan acts of the FBI, CIA, DOJ, IRS and now the GAO (unless you believe that the "non-partisan" GAO released their report which claimed Trump violated the law by holding up Ukranian funds for a few months within the same fiscal year on the same day Nancy forwarded the articles of impeachment by some amazing coincidence).
The problem isn't Trump. The problem is the liars opposing the existential threat Trump poses to the elitists who despise America.
John D 21 hours ago
Three years of Trump has made "academic elitist" look pretty appealing.
Mediaistheenemy John D 4 hours ago
To whom?
New Pres Please 19 hours ago
"For all my reservations about Mr. Trump -- his lagging commitment to
protectionism, his shafting of Amy Coney Barrett, his deportation of
Iraqi Christians, his burgeoning hawkishness, his total lack of
decorum -- he's infinitely preferable to anyone the Democrats could

You gloss over a few dozen other failures, most of them bigger than anything you mention here (immigration, infrastructure, more mass surveillance and privacy violations by govt and corporations than even Obama).

Mediaistheenemy New Pres Please 4 hours ago
You realize that the progress Trump has made on immigration is why unemployment is down and wages are up, right?
Most Americans think that's a good thing.
Democrats, not so much.
Ray Woodcock 17 hours ago
I think I disliked the last thing I saw by Davis. Whatever. This one is better. Not perfect -- some of it is out of touch -- but he makes a case. And, sad to say, I concur with his prediction for the election, with or without Warren.
Maybe 14 hours ago
I'm starting to like her. I thought she handled herself well at the last debate. "Presidential". It's been quite a while since we had a real president. Too long.
cka2nd Maybe 4 hours ago
Forgive me, but Democratic voters put way too much store in presidents being Presidential. And they spent way too much time talking about Bush's verbal gaffes and Trump's disgusting personality to get Gore, Kerry or H. Clinton elected.
Angelo Bonilla 11 hours ago • edited
I am Hispanic and don't know anybody that call himself by that silly term "Latinx".
Connecticut Farmer Angelo Bonilla 9 hours ago
As the author wrote, it was invented by academics. One problem with the Democrat Party is that it is teeming with Professor Kingsfield types who are as much connected with the rest of the population as I am with aborigines.
Kevin Burke 10 hours ago
Finally someone said what most people think. Love the imagined Trump comments to Warren..."Relax. Put on a nice sweater, have a cup of tea, grade some papers." As i read those I heard Trump's unique way of speech and was laughing out loud. BTW...Tulsi Gabbard is such an attractive candidate...heard her interviewed on Tucker Carlson and I think could present a real challenge to Trump if she ever rose up to face him in a debate. It's curious someone like Warren shoots to the top, while she remains in the back of the line.
Mediaistheenemy Kevin Burke 3 hours ago
The media deliberately shut her down, just like they are shutting down Bernie. The DNC also doesn't like her (possibly because she resigned as cochair and is critical of Hillary) and seems to have chosen their debate criteria -which surveys they accept-in order to shut her out. I liked her up until she objected to taking out Soleimani-a known terrorist in the middle of a war zone planning attacks on US assets.
Sorry, Trump was spot on in this attack. Tulsi was completely wrong. However, she is honest, experienced, knowledgeable and not psychotic, a refreshing change from the other Dem Presidential candidates. If you haven't figured out yet that CNN is basically the media arm of Warren's campaign, you haven't been paying attention. That is how Warren continues to poll reasonably well.
wakeupmorons 10 hours ago • edited
These arguments amaze me. "Since your candidate is too school marmy, or elitist, or (insert usual democrat insult here), you're giving the electorate no choice but to vote for the most corrupt, openly racist, sexist, psychologically lying, dangerously mentally deranged imbecile in the country".

Because rather than an educated person who maybe comes off as an elitist, we'd rather have a disgusting deplorable who no sane parent would allow in the same room with their daughter.

Lol, and yet writers like this don't even realize the insanity of what they're saying, which is basically "that bagel is 2 days old, so I have choice but to eat this steaming pile of dog crap instead".

Connecticut Farmer wakeupmorons 8 hours ago
"Because rather than an educated person who maybe comes off as an elitist, we'd rather have a disgusting deplorable who no sane parent would allow in the same room with their daughter."

No need for the ad hominem, you are overstating your case. Remember, Trump is "educated" too. And a card-carrying member of the elite. Leave us not kid ourselves, they're all "elites" of one stripe or another. It only matters which stripe we prefer, meaning of course whether they are saying what we want to hear. Of all of the candidates, the only one who does not come off as an "elite" is Tulsi Gabbard, an intelligent woman who is arguably the most interesting of all the candidates--in part because of her active military service. I'd even throw in Andrew Yang, a friendly, engaging person who didn't seem to have an ax to grind. It matters not. Yang is out of the picture and Gabbard has as much of a crack at the Democratic nomination in 2020 as Rand Paul had at the Republican nomination in 2016--essentially zero.

wakeupmorons Connecticut Farmer 8 hours ago
Lol trump is educated too? You've lose all credibility with such comical false equivalencies.

Trump is an absolute imbecile who has failed up his entire life thanks to daddy's endless fortune. If he we born Donald Smith he'd be pumping gas in Jersey, or in jail as a low life con man.

David Naas wakeupmorons 7 hours ago
While I find myself shocked to be found defending anything Trumpean, in all fairness, he is a college grad-u-ate (shades of Lily Tomlin). The value, depth, or scope of his degree may be in question, but he does possess a sheep-skin, and hence must be considered "educated". If one wants to demean his "education" because of his personality, one must also demean a rather broad segment of college grad-u-ates as well.
Connecticut Farmer wakeupmorons 7 hours ago
He graduated from Penn's Wharton School of Business, ergo he is educated. Because a person doesn't hold the same political beliefs as another doesn't mean they can't be "educated." Liz Warren may not hold the same political beliefs as I, but I cannot argue that she isn't educated.
wakeupmorons Connecticut Farmer 6 hours ago
Lol wow, well I'd say it's hilarious that anyone can be so naive to actually think a compete imbecile like trump, who so clearly has never read a book in his life, actually earned his way into college; let alone actually studied and earned a degree.....but then I remember this country is obviously filled with people this remarkable gullible and stupid, as this walking SNL sketch is actually President.
cka2nd wakeupmorons 4 hours ago
I actually think you are spot on in your assessment of what Trump would have become if he wasn't born to money, but you really are behaving like exactly that kind of Democratic voter who gets more exorcised by Trump's personal faults than by his policy ones, the kind of Democrats who couldn't get Al Gore, John Kerry and Hilary Clinton elected.
Mediaistheenemy cka2nd 3 hours ago
Really. You think someone that managed to become President of the United States with no political or military experience would have failed at life if he hadn't had a wealthy father. You really believe that. You don't think any of Trump's success and accomplishments are due to his ambition, drive, energy, determination, executive skills, ruthlessness or media savvy. It was all due to his having a rich father.
wakeupmorons Mediaistheenemy 3 hours ago • edited
Trump has had no success. He's failed at everything he's ever done. You obviously just know nothing about his actual life, and believe the made up reality TV bullshit.

The only thing he's good at is playing a rich successful man on TV to really, really, stupid, unread, unworldly, naive people....well that and giving racists white nationalists, the billionaire owner class, sexists, bigots, and deplorables, a political home.

cka2nd Mediaistheenemy 2 hours ago
I think Trump is and would have been, sans his father's wealth, one hell of a con man. And I hope to God that he would have ended up in jail for it rather than running a private equity fund, but the latter would have been just as likely.

However, I should have made that distinction in my original comment. No, I do not think that Trump would have ended up a gas station attendant.

wakeupmorons cka2nd 2 hours ago • edited
It's very hard for me to understand how anyone could be so, shall we say sheltered, that they couldn't see him coming a mile away and laugh their ass off.

He's so bad, so transparent with his obvious lies and self aggrandizing, so clearly ignorant and unread and trying to fake it, he's literally like a cartoon's funny over the top version of an idiot con man. I'll never understand how anyone could ever be fooled by it.

In fact sometimes I think 90% of his base isn't fooled, they know he's a joke, but they just don't care. He gives them the white nationalist hate and rhetoric they want, makes "liberals cry", and that all they care about.

It's a lot easier for me to believe THAT then so many people can actually be so stupid and gullible.

wakeupmorons cka2nd 2 hours ago
Say what? What policies? The trillion dollar hand out to the richest corporations in the world, double the deficit? His mind blowing disastrous foreign policy decisions that have done nothing but empowered Russia, Iran and North Korea while destabilizing western alliances? The trade wars that have cost fairness and others billions (forcing taxpayers to bail them out with tens of millions of dollars)? The xenophobia, separating and caging children? Stoking violence and hate and anger among his white nationalist base? His attacks on women reproductive rights? His attacks on all of our democratic institutions, from our free press to our intelligence agencies and congressional oversights?

A pathologically lying racist sexist self serving criminal is enough to disqualify this miscreant from being dog catcher, let alone president. But his policies are even worse.

CrossTieWalker wakeupmorons 2 hours ago
You don't seem to know that the University of Pennsylvania is an Ivy League school, or what the Wharton School of Business actually is. Imbeciles do not graduate from the Wharton School.
Mediaistheenemy wakeupmorons 3 hours ago
You think Trump won the US Presidency as his first elected office by being an imbecile?
Interesting "analysis".
wakeupmorons Mediaistheenemy 3 hours ago
Lol, trump is an imbecile, that's not even debatable. What amazes the rest of the entire civilized world outside of the batshit fringe 20% of Americans who make up the Republican voting base is how anyone could possible be conned by such a cartoonish idiot wanna be con man.

It's truly something sane people can't even begin to wrap their heads around.

Tony55398 9 hours ago
Pocahontas speak with forked tongue.
Lloyd Conway 9 hours ago
The Dowager Countess (Downton Abbey, for the un-initiated) nailed her type. In referring to her do-gooder cousin Mrs. Isobel Crawley, she said: "Some people run on greed, lust, even love. She runs on indignation." That sums up Warren perfectly.
I'll take it one step further. I bought one of her books, on the 'two-income trap' and how middle-class families go to the wall to get into good school districts for their children. She and her co-author make some valid points, but the book is replete with cliches about men abandoning their families and similar leftist tropes. If that's the best Harvard Law Warren has to offer, she's not as sharp as she thinks she is, and a bully like Trump will school her fast.
David Naas Lloyd Conway 7 hours ago
Perhaps he would use "Harvard Law Liz" as an epithet?
Lloyd Conway David Naas 3 hours ago • edited
Maybe. Perhaps she'll coin 'Wharton Hog' for the POTUS - or try correcting his English during one of the debates.
Stephen Gould 8 hours ago
Evidently Mr Davis dislikes Warren because of her personal style - but all of Trump's substantive (or even, substance...) issues are acceptable. How shallow of him.
Mediaistheenemy Stephen Gould 3 hours ago
I think he also dislikes her fundamental dishonesty and completely unworkable policies, but I may be projecting.
Stephen Gould Mediaistheenemy 2 hours ago
But those he did not mention in his article. And surely nobody thinks that Warren is more dishonest than Trump?
Tim 7 hours ago
I can't say the two of us exactly line up on everything. But, like Wow: "gluten-free offal tubes of political correctness." Now that's funny! Wish I'd thought of it.
Osse 7 hours ago • edited
I liked Warren until this attempt to stab Bernie in the back plus that childish refusal to shake his hand on national TV. I still don't dislike her, but that was embarrassing. She definitely has character flaws.

But this piece goes over the top. It's Trumpian. Warren certainly has flaws but if you are going to judge a politician by their character, in what universe would Trump come out on top?

Mediaistheenemy Osse 3 hours ago
Better than Warren.
The problem with affirmative action is when you abuse it, as Warren did, you actually rob a genuine minority from a genuine disadvantaged background of their chance.
Warren deliberately misrepresented herself as a Native American, solely for career advancement, and then abandoned her fake identity once she got tenure at Harvard. There was another woman who was an actual minority that had a teaching appointment at Harvard, but Warren beat her out, using her false claims of minority heritage to overcome her competition's actual minority status.
Trump competes on his own.
wakeupmorons Osse 2 hours ago
There what's funny about these arguments. They're basically saying, "your candidate has some flaws, she's very school marmy, and thinks she knows everything."

"Therefore, OBVIOUSLY people have no choice but to instead vote for the raging imbecile, the pathologically lying, corrupt to his core, racist, morally bankrupt, sexist imbecile with the literal temperament of of an emotionally troubled 10 year old."

Lol, and they're serious!

David Naas 7 hours ago
What unpleasant memories Mister Davis has elicited - - - i once had a schoolmarm like that. (Shudder)

It is, however, disturbing that Davis has almost captured the style of Trumptweets. The give-away is a shade more literacy and better grammar in Davis' offerings.

But what of the possibility, as suggested above, that Trump loses to Biden or (Generic Democratic candidate)?

As I tell my liberal friends, the country survived eight years of Priapic Bill, eight years of Dubya and Dubyaer, eight years of BHO, and after four years of Trump is yet standing, however drunkenly.

I think, contra many alarmists, the Republic is much stronger than the average pundit or combox warrior gives it credit.

And, who knows? Maybe the outrage pornography we get from Tweeting birdies will grow stale and passe, and people will yearn for more civil discourse? (Not likely, but one never knows.)

Night King 7 hours ago
I think she's already died and been reincarnated as Greta Thunberg.
Liam781 7 hours ago • edited
Someone hasn't lived that long in Massachusetts, it would seem. "Massachusettsian" is not the word the writer is looking for. It's "Bay Stater".

Likewise, for Connecticut residents, use "Nutmegger" rather than some (always wrong) derivative of the state name.

Michael Warren Davis Liam781 6 hours ago
I refuse to use "Bay Stater" for the same reason I dislike being called "Mike": nicknames are irritating, unless they're outlandish, like "Beanie" or "Boko" or "Buttigieg."

Massachusetts is a beautiful name -- slow and smooth, like the Merrimack. "Massachusettsian" adds a little skip at the end, as the river crashes into the Atlantic at Newburyport. It's the perfect demonym.

Speaking of, I was born and spent the first 18 years of my life in Massachusetts -- about 10 minutes outside Newburyport, where my great-great-something grandparents lived when the Revolution broke out. I don't know how much further back the family tree goes in Mass., but probably further than yours.

Liam781 Michael Warren Davis 5 hours ago • edited
Good luck with that utter nonsense word, then. Bay Stater is not a nickname - it's the longstanding term (and, for some reason, the Massachusetts General Court also blessed it legislatively), from long before my folk lived in New England since the mid-19th century (Connecticut and Massachusetts - hence my reference to Nutmeggers, as my parents made quite clear to us that there were no such things as Connecticutters or Massachusetters or the like and not to go around sounding like fools using the like.)

Of course, I'd like to recover the old usage of the Eastern States to refer to New England. Right now, its sole prominent residue is the Big E in Springfield....

[Jan 21, 2020] Iran, Trump, and the neoliberal/neoconservative compact by Bill Martin

Notable quotes:
"... In the larger global picture, if the U.S. is to find its own balance in the contemporary world, Friedman argues that the seemingly-endless instability in the Middle East is the first and foremost problem that must be solved. Iran is a major problem here, but so is Israel, and Friedman argues that the US must find the path toward "quietly distanc[ing] itself from Israel" (p.6). ..."
"... This course of action regarding Iran and Israel (and other actors in the Muslim world, including Pakistan and Turkey) is, in Friedman's geopolitical perspective, not so much a matter of supporting U.S. global hegemony as it is recognizing the larger course that the U.S. will be compelled to take. ..."
"... So, it's back to Plan A for the Democrats and the "Left" that would be laughably absurd if it wasn't so reactionary, to get the neoliberal/ neoconservative endless-war agenda back on track, so that the march toward Iran can continue sooner rather than later. For now, the more spectacular the failure of this impeachment nonsense, the better! ..."
Jan 19, 2020 |

Let's be clear, there is a difference between substituting geopolitical power calculations for a universal perspective on the good of humanity, and, on the other hand, recognizing that the existing layout of the world has to be taken into account in attempts to open up a true politics. (My larger perspective on the problem of "opening" is presented in the long essay, "The Fourth Hypothesis," at

Personally, I find the geopolitical analyses of George Friedman very much worthwhile to consider, especially when he is looking at things long-range, as in his books The Next 100 Years and The Next Decade. The latter was published at the beginning of 2012, and so we are coming to the close of the ten-year period that Friedman discusses.

One of the major arguments that Friedman makes in The Next Decade is that the United States will have to reach some sort of accommodation with Iran and its regional ambitions. The key to this, Friedman argues, is to bring about some kind of balance of power again, such as existed before Iraq was torn apart.

This is the key in general to continued U.S. hegemony in the world, in Friedman's view -- regional balances that keep regional powers tied up and unable to rise on the world stage. (An especially interesting example here is that Friedman says that Poland will be built up as a bulwark between Russia and Germany.)

In the larger global picture, if the U.S. is to find its own balance in the contemporary world, Friedman argues that the seemingly-endless instability in the Middle East is the first and foremost problem that must be solved. Iran is a major problem here, but so is Israel, and Friedman argues that the US must find the path toward "quietly distanc[ing] itself from Israel" (p.6).

This course of action regarding Iran and Israel (and other actors in the Muslim world, including Pakistan and Turkey) is, in Friedman's geopolitical perspective, not so much a matter of supporting U.S. global hegemony as it is recognizing the larger course that the U.S. will be compelled to take.

(As the founder, CEO, and "Chief Intelligence Officer" of Stratfor, Friedman aimed to provide "non-ideological" strategic intelligence. My understanding of "non-ideological" is that the analysis was not formulated to suit the agendas of the two mainstream political parties in the U.S. However, my sense is that Friedman does believe that U.S. global hegemony is on the whole good for the world.)

In his book that came out before The Next Decade (2011), The Next 100 Years (2009), Friedman makes the case that the U.S. will not be seriously challenged globally for decades to come -- in fact, all the way until about 2080!

Just to give a different spin to something I said earlier, and that I've tried to emphasize in my articles since March 2016: questions of mere power are not questions of politics. Geopolitics is not politics, either -- in my terminology, it is "anti-politics."

For my part, I am not interested in supporting U.S. hegemony, not in the present and not in the future, and for the most part not in the past, either.

For the moment, let us simply say that the historical periods of the U.S. that are more supportable -- because they make some contribution, however flawed, to the greater, universal, human project -- are either from before the U.S. entered the road of seeking to compete with other "great powers" on the world stage, or quite apart from this road.

In my view, the end of U.S. global hegemony and, for that matter, the end of any "great nation-state" global hegemony, is a condition sine qua non of a human future that is just and sustainable. So, again, the brilliance that George Friedman often brings to geopolitical analysis is to be understood in terms of a coldly-realistic perspective, not a warmly-normative one.)

Of course, this continued U.S. hegemony depends on certain "wise" courses of action being taken by U.S. leaders (Friedman doesn't really get into the question of what might be behind these leaders), including a "subtle" approach to the aforementioned questions of Israel and Iran.

Obviously, anything associated with Donald Trump is not going to be overly subtle! On the other hand, here we are almost at the end of Friedman's decade, so perhaps the time for subtlety has passed, and the U.S. is compelled to be a bit heavy-handed if there is to be any chance of extricating itself from the endless quagmire.

However, there's a certain fly, a rather large one, in the ointment that seems to have eluded Friedman's calculations: "the rise of China."

It isn't that Friedman avoids the China question, not at all; Friedman argues, however, that by 2020 China will not only not be contending with the United States to have the largest economy in the world, but instead that China will fragment, perhaps even devolve into civil war, because of deep inequalities between the relatively prosperous coastal urban areas, and the rural interior.

Certainly I know from study, and many conversations with people in China, this was a real concern going into the 2010s and in the first half of the decade.

The chapter dealing with all this in The Next 100 Years (Ch. 5) is titled, "China 2020: Paper Tiger," the latter term being one that Chairman Mao used regarding U.S. imperialism. Friedman writes of another "figure like Mao emerg[ing] to close the country off from the outside, [to] equalize the wealth -- or poverty " (p.7).

Being an anti-necessitarian in philosophy, I certainly believe anything can happen in social matters, but it seems as though President Xi Jinping and the current leadership of the Communist Party of China have, at least for the time being, managed to head off fragmentation at the pass, so to speak.

Friedman argued that the "pass" that China especially had to deal with is unsustainable growth rates; but it appears that China has accomplished this, by purposely slowing its economy down.

One of the things that Friedman is especially helpful with, in his larger geopolitical analysis, is understanding the role that naval power plays in sustaining U.S. hegemony. (In global terms, such power is what keeps the neoliberal "free market" running, and this power is far from free.)


... ... ...

Two of the best supporters of Trump's stated agenda are Tucker Carlson and Steve Hilton. Neither of them pull any punches on this issue when it comes to Republicans, and both of them go some distance beyond Trump in stating an explicitly anti-war agenda.

They perhaps do not entirely fit the mold of leftist anti-imperialism as it existed from the 1890s through the Sixties (as in the political decade, perhaps 1964-1974 or so) and 1970s, but they do in fact fit this mold vastly better than almost any major figure of the Democratic Party, with the possible exceptions of Bernie Sanders, Tulsi Gabbard, and Andrew Yang. (But none of them has gone as far as Trump on this question!)

Certainly Elizabeth Warren is no exception, and at the moment of this writing she has made the crucial turn toward sticking the knife back into Bernie's back. That is her job, in my view, and part of it is to seem close to Bernie's positions (whatever their defects, which I'll discuss elsewhere), at least the ones that are more directly "economic," while winking at the ruling class.

There are a few things Carlson and Hilton say on the Iran situation and the Middle East in general that I don't agree with. But in the main I think both are right on where these issues are concerned.

As I've quoted Carlson a number of times previously, and as I also want to put forward Hilton as an important voice for a politics subservient to neither the liberal nor the conservative establishments, here let me quote what Hilton said in the midst of the Iran crisis, on January 5, 2020:

The best thing America can do to put the Middle East on a path that leads to more democracy, less terrorism, human rights and economic growth is to get the hell out of there while showing an absolute crystal clear determination to defend American interests with force whenever they are threatened.

That doesn't mean not doing anything, it means intervening only in ways that help America.

It means responding only to attacks on Americans disproportionately as a deterrent, just as we saw this week and it means finally accepting that it's not our job to fix the Middle East from afar.

The only part of this I take exception to is the "intervening only in ways that help America"-bit -- that opens the door to exactly the kinds of problems that Hilton wants the U.S. to avoid, besides the (to me, more important) fact that it is just morally wrong to think it is acceptable to intervene if it is in one's "interests."

My guess is that Hilton thinks that there is some built-in utilitarian or pragmatic calculus that means the morally-problematic interventions will not occur. I do not see where this has ever worked, but more importantly, this is where philosophy is important, theoretical work and abstract thinking are important.

It used to be that the Left was pretty good at this sort of thing, and there were some thoughtful conservatives who weren't bad, either. (A decent number of the latter, significantly, come from the Catholic intellectual tradition.) Now there are still a few of the latter, and there are ordinary people who are "thoughtful conservatives" in their "unschooled way" -- which is often better! -- but the Left has sold its intellectual soul along with its political soul.

That's a story for elsewhere (I have told parts of it in previous articles in this series); the point here is that the utilitarianism and "pragmatism" of merely calculating interests is not nearly going to cut it. (I have partly gone into this here because Hilton also advocates "pragmatism" in his very worthwhile book, Positive Populism -- it is the "affirmative" other side to Tucker Carlson's critical, "negative" expose, Ship of Fools.)

The wonderful philosophical pragmatism of William James is another matter; this is important because James, along with his friend Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain), were leading figures of the Anti-Imperialist League back in the 1890s, when the U.S. establishment was beating the drums loudly to get into the race with Europeans for colonies.

They were for never getting "in" -- and of course they were not successful, which is why "get the hell out" is as important as anything people can say today.

What an insane world when the U.S. president says this and the political establishment opposes him, and "progressives" and "the Left" join in with the denunciations!

It has often been argued that the major utilitarian philosophers, from Bentham and Mill to Peter Singer, have implicit principles that go beyond the utilitarian calculus; I agree with this, and I think this is true of Steve Hilton as well.

In this light, allow me to quote a little more from the important statement he made on his Fox News Channel program, "The Next Revolution," on January 5; all of this is stuff I entirely agree with, and that expresses some very good principles:

The West's involvement in the Middle East has been a disaster from the start and finally, with President Trump, America is in a position to bring it to an end. We don't need their oil and we don't need their problems.

Finally, we have a U.S. president who gets that and wants to get out. There are no prospects for Middle East peace as long as we are there.

We're never going to defeat the ideology of Islamist terror as long as these countries are basket cases and one of the reasons they are basket cases is that our preposterous foreign policy establishment with monumental arrogance have treated the middle east like some chess game played out in the board rooms in Washington and London.

– [, transcribed by Yael Halon]

So then there is the usual tittering about this and that regarding Carlson and Hilton from liberal and progressive Democrats and leftists who support the Democrats, and it seems to me that there is one major reason why there is this foolish tittering: It is because these liberals and leftists really don't care about, for example, the destruction of Libya, or the murder of Berta Caceres.

Or, maybe they do care, but they have convinced themselves that these things have to swept under the rug in the name of defeating the pure evil of Trump. What this amounts to, in the "nationalist" discourse, is that Trump is some kind of nationalist (as he has said numerous times), perhaps of an "isolationist" sort, while the Democrats are in fact what can be called "nationalists of the neoliberal/neoconservative compact."

My liberal and leftist friends (some of them Maoists and post-Maoists and Trotskyists or some other kinds of Marxists or purported radicals -- feminists or antifa or whatever) just cannot see, it simply appears to be completely beyond the realm of their imaginations, that the latter kind of nationalism is much worse and qualitatively worse than what Trump represents, and it completely lacks the substantial good elements of Trump's agenda.

But hey, don't worry my liberal and leftist friends, it is hard to imagine that Joe Biden's "return to normalcy" won't happen at some point -- it will take not only an immense movement to even have a chance of things working out otherwise, but a movement that likes of which is beyond everyone's imagination at this point -- a movement of a revolutionary politics that remains to be invented, as all real politics are, by the masses.

Liberals and leftists have little to worry about here, they're okay with a Deep State society with a bullshit-democratic veneer and a neoliberal world order; this set-up doesn't really affect them all that much, not negatively at any rate, and the deplorables can just go to hell.


The Left I grew up with was the Sixties Left, and they used to be a great source of historical memory, and of anti-imperialism, civil rights, and ordinary working-people empowerment.

The current Left, and whatever array of Democratic-Party supporters, have received their marching orders, finally, from commander Pelosi (in reality, something more like a lieutenant), so the two weeks or so of "immense concern" about Iran has given way again to the extraordinarily-important and solemn work of impeachment.

But then, impeachment is about derailing the three main aspects of Trump's agenda, so you see how that works. Indeed, perhaps the way this is working is that Trump did in fact head off, whatever one thinks of the methods, a war with Iran (at this time! – and I do think this is but a temporary respite), or more accurately, a war between Iran and Israel that the U.S. would almost certainly be sucked into immediately.

So, it's back to Plan A for the Democrats and the "Left" that would be laughably absurd if it wasn't so reactionary, to get the neoliberal/ neoconservative endless-war agenda back on track, so that the march toward Iran can continue sooner rather than later. For now, the more spectacular the failure of this impeachment nonsense, the better!

Bill Martin is a philosopher and musician, retired from DePaul University. He is completing a book with the title, "The Trump Clarification: Disruption at the Edge of the System (toward a theory)." His most recent albums are "Raga Chaturanga" (Bill Martin + Zugzwang; Avant-Bass 3) and "Emptiness, Garden: String Quartets nos. 1 and 2 (Ryokucha Bass Guitar Quartet; Avant-Bass 4). He lives in Salina, Kansas, and plays bass guitar with The Radicles.

Dungroanin ,

I have read through finally. And comments too.

My opinion is Bill Martin is on the ball except for one personage- Hilton. If he is Camerons Hilton and architect of the Brexit referendum – for which he is rewarded with a 'seat at the table' of the crumbling Empire. The Strafor man too is just as complicit in the Empires wickedness.

But I'll let Bill off with that because he mentioned the Anti-Imperialist Mark Twain – always a joy to be reminded of Americas Dickens.

On Trump – he didn't use the Nuclear codes 10 minutes after getting them as warned by EVERYONE. Nor start a war with RocketMan, or Russia in Syria, or in Ukraine or with the Chinese using the proxy Uighars, or push through with attempted Bay of Pigs in Venezuela or just now Hong Kong. The Wall is not built and the ineffectual ripoff Obamacare version of a NHS is still there.
Judge by deeds not words.

Soleimani aside – He may have stopped the drive for war. Trumps direct contact with fellow world leaders HAS largely bypassed the war mongering State Department and also the Trillion dollar tax free Foundations set up last century to deliver the world Empire, that has so abused the American peoples and environment. He probably wasn't able to stop Bolivia.
The appointments of various players were not necessarily in his hands as Assad identified- the modern potus is merely a CEO/Chair of a board of directors who are put into place by the special interests who pour billions, 10's of billions into getting their politicians elected. They determine 'National Interests'. All he can do is accept their appointment and give them enough rope to hang themselves – which most have done!
These are that fight clubs rules.

On the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation – after 20 full years of working towards cohesion- they have succeeded. Iran is due to become a full member – once it is free of UN sanctions, which is why Trump was forced into pulling the treaty with them, so that technicality could stop that membership. China is not having it nor is Russia – Putins clear statement re the 'international rules' not being mandatory for them dovetails with the US position of Exceptionality. Checkmate.

As for the Old Robber Baron Banker Pirates idea that they should be allowed a Maritime Empire as consolation- ha ha ha, pull the other one.

The ancient sea trading routes from Africa to China were active for thousands of years before the Europeans turned up and used unequal power to disrupt and pillage at their hearts content.

What made that possible was of course explained in the brilliant Guns, Germs and Steel.

These ancients have ALL these and are equal or advanced in all else including Space, Comms and AI. A navy is not so vital when even nuclear subs are visible from low orbit satellites except in the deepest trenches – not a safe place to hide for months and also pretty crowded with all the other subs trying to hide there. As for Aircraft carrier groups – just build an island! Diego Garcia has a rival.

Double Checkmate.

The Empire is Dead. Long live the Empire.

Dungroanin ,

And this is hilarious about potus turning the tables on the brass who tried to drag him into the 'tank'.

'Grab the damn fainting couch. Trump told the assembled military leaders who had presided over a military stalemate in Afghanistan and the rise of ISIS as "losers." Not a one of them had the balls to stand up, tell him to his face he was wrong and offer their resignation. Nope. They preferred to endure such abuse in order to keep their jobs. Pathetic.

This excerpt in the Washington Post tells the reader more about the corruption of the Deep State and their mindset than it does about Trump's so-called mental state. Trump acted no differently in front of these senior officers and diplomats than he did on the campaign trail. He was honest. That is something the liars in Washington cannot stomach. '

Rhys Jaggar ,

I am not an expert on US Constitutional Law, but is there any legal mechanism for a US President to hold a Referendum in the way that the UK held a 'Brexit Referendum' and Scotland held an 'Independence Referendum'?

How would a US Referendum in 'Getting the hell out of the Middle East, bringing our boys and girls home before the year is out' play out, I wonder?

That takes the argument away from arch hawks like Bolton et al and puts it firmly in the ambit of Joe Schmo of Main Street, Oshkosh

wardropper ,

Great idea.
Main problem is that most Americans are brought up to think their government is separate from themselves, and should not be seriously criticized.
By "criticized", I mean, taken to task in a way which actually puts them on a playing field where they are confronted by real people.
Shouting insults at the government from the rooftops is simply greeted with indulgent smiles from the guilty elite.

Richard Le Sarc ,

George Friedman is a bog standard Zionist, therefore, out of fear, a virulent Sinophobe, because the Zionists will never control China as they do the Western slave regimes. China surpassed the USA as the world' s largest economy in 2014, on the PPP calculus that the CIA,IMF and just about everyone uses. It' s growing three times as fast as the USA, too. The chance of China fragmenting by 2020 is minuscule, certainly far less than that of the USA. The Chinese have almost totally eliminated poverty, and will raise the living standard of all to a ' middle income' by 2049. It is, however, the genocidal policy of the USA, on which it expend billions EVERY year, to do its diabolical worst to attempt to foment and foster such a hideous fate inside China, by supporting vermin like the Hong Kong fascist thugs, the Uighur salafist terrorist butchers, the medieval theocrats of the Dalai clique and separatist movements in Inner Mongolia, ' Manchuria', Taiwan, even Guandong and Guangxi. It takes a real Western thug to look forward to the ghastly suffering that these villainous ambitions would unleash.

Antonym ,

In RlS's nut shell: China can annex area but Israel: no way!

Dungroanin ,

Which area is China looking to annex?

Richard Le Sarc ,

Ant is a pathological Zionist liar, but you can see his loyalty to ' Eretz Yisrael' , ' ..from the Nile to the Euphrates', and ' cleansed' of non-Jews, can' t you.

alsdkjf ,

I'm surprised that this author can even remember the counter culture of the 60s given his Trump love.

Yet more Trumpism from Off Guardian. One doesn't have to buy into the politics of post DLC corporate owned DNC to know Trump for what he is. A fascist.

It's just amazing this Trump "left". Pathetic.

Antonym ,

Trump .. better than HRC but the guy is totally hypnotized by the level of the New York stock exchanges: even his foreign policy is improvised around that. He simply thinks higher is a proof of better forgetting that 90% of Americans don't own serious quantity of stock and that levels are manipulated by big players and the FED.

Look at his dealing with China: tough as much as the US stock market stays benign in the short term. Same for Iran etc.

Sure, he is crippled by Pelosi & the FBI / CIA, but he is also by his own stock dependent mind. Might be the reason he is still alive ???

alsdkjf ,

Trump crippled by the CIA? Trump?

I mean the fascist jerk appointed ex CIA torture loving Pompeo to replace swamp creature oil tycoon as Secretary of State, no?

He appointed torture queen within the CIA to become CIA Director, no?

He went to the CIA headquarters on day one of his Administration to lavish praise, no?

He took on ex CIA Director Woolsey as advisor on foreign policy during his campaign, no?

I tell ya that Trump is a real adversary of the CIA!

Gall ,

Roger that. Trump appoints a dominatrix as DCI. Only a masochist or a sadist would Dream of know the head of the torture squad under Bush. Otherwise nice girl. PompAss is a total clown but a dangerous one who even makes John Bolton look sane. Now that's scary!

This guy is Hilary Clinton in drag. The only thing missing is the evil triumphalist cackle after whacking Soleimani. Maybe it wasn't recorded.

So much for "draining the swamp". The Whitehouse has become an even bigger swamp.

Antonym ,

Forgot about John Brennan ex- CIA head or James Clapper ex-DNI honcho?
John Brennan On 'All Roads With Trump Lead To Putin' | The Last Word | MSNBC
They practically too Trump hostage in his first year.

one ,

my take from this article:
There are, among the murderers and assassins in Washington, a couple of characters who appear to have 2% of human DNA.
They author may confirm.

two ,

"israel is right in the cen "
sorry, the muderous regime israel has repeatedly proven, it's never never right . please avoid this usage.

three ,

There are 53 or 54 'I's in the article, including his partner's Is. The author may confirm.

Dungroanin ,


That is a lot of words mate. Fingers must be sore. I won't comment more until trying to re-read again except quote this:

"Being an anti-necessitarian in philosophy,.."

I must say i had a wtf moment at that point see ya later.

paul ,

The idea that Trump's recent actions in the Middle East were part of some incredibly cunning plan to avoid war with Iran, strikes me as somewhat implausible, to put it (very) charitably.

Even Hitler didn't want war. He wanted to achieve his objectives without fighting. When that didn't work, war was Plan B. Trump probably has very little actual control over foreign policy. He is surrounded by people who have been plotting and scheming against him from long before he was elected. He heads a chaotic and dysfunctional administration of billionaires, chancers, grifters, conmen, superannuated generals, religious nut jobs, swamp creatures, halfwits and outright criminals, lurching from one crisis and one fiasco to the next. Some of these people like Bolton were foisted upon him by Adelson and various other backers and wire pullers, but that is not to absolve Trump of personal responsibility.

Competing agencies which are a law unto themselves have been free to pursue their own turf wars at the expense of anything remotely resembling a rational and coherent strategy. So have quite low level bureaucrats, formulating and implementing their own policies with little regard for the White House. In Syria, the Pentagon, the CIA, and the State Department went their own way, each supporting competing and mutually antagonistic factions and terrorist groups. Agreements that were reached with Russia over Syria, for example, were deliberately sabotaged by Ashton Carter in 24 hours. Likewise, Bolton did everything he could to wreck Trump's delicate negotiations with N. Korea.

paul ,

Seen in this light, US policy (or the absence of any coherent policy) is more understandable. What passes for US leadership is the worst in its history, even given a very low bar. Arrogant, venal, corrupt, delusional, irredeemably ignorant, and ideologically driven. The only positive thing that can be said is that the alternative (Clinton) would probably have been even worse, if that is possible.

That may also be the key to understanding the current situation. For all his pandering to Israel, Trump is more of a self serving unprincipled opportunist than a true Neocon/ Zionist believer in the mould of Pence, Bolton and Pompeo. For that reason he is not trusted by the Zionist Power Elite. He is too much of a loose cannon. They will take all his Gives, like Jerusalem and the JCPOA, but without any gratitude.

It has taken them a century of plotting, scheming and manoeuvring to achieve their political, financial, and media stranglehold over the US. but America is a wasting asset and they are under time pressure. It is visibly declining and losing its influence. And the parasite will find it difficult to find a similar host. Who else is going to give Israel billions a year in tribute, unlimited free weaponry and diplomatic cover? Russia? Are Chinese troops "happy to die for Israel" asUS ones are (according to their general)?

paul ,

And they are way behind schedule. Assad was supposed to be dead by now, and Syria another defenceless failed state, broken up into feuding little cantons, with Israel expanding into the south of the country. The main event, the war with Iran, should have started lond ago.

That is the reason for the impeachment circus. This is not intended to be resolved one way or the other. It is intended to drag on indefinitely, for months and years, to distract and weaken Trump and make it possible to extract what they want. One of the reasons Trump agreed to the murder of Soleimani and his Iraqi opposite number was to appease some Republican senators like Graham whose support is essential to survive impeachment. They were the ones who wanted it, along with Bolton and Netanyahu.

paul ,

It is instructive that all the main players in the impeachment circus are Jews, under Sanhedrin Chief Priests Schiff and Nadler, apart from a few token goys thrown in to make up the numbers. That even goes for those defending Trump.

Richard Le Sarc ,

Don' t forget that Lebanon up to the Litani is the patrimony of the Jewish tribes of Asher and Naphtali, and, as Smotrich, Deputy Speaker of the Knesset, said on Israeli TV a few years ago, ' Damascus belongs to the Jews'.

bevin ,

" China will fragment, perhaps even devolve into civil war, because of deep inequalities between the relatively prosperous coastal urban areas, and the rural interior."

This is not Bill, but Bill's mate the Stratcor geopolitical theorist for hire.

What is happening in the world is that the only empire the globe, as a whole, has ever seen- the pirate kingdom that the Dutch, then the British and finally the US, leveraged out of the plunder and conquest of America -the maritime empire, of sea routes and navies is under challenge by a revival of the Eurasian proto-empires that preceded it and drove its merchants and princes on the Atlantic coast, to sea.

We know who the neo-liberals are the current iteration of the gloomy philosophies of the Scots Enlightenment, (Cobbett's 'Scotch Feelosophy') utilitarianism in its crudest form and the principles of necessary inequalities, from the Austrian School back to the various crude racisms which became characteristic of the C19th.
The neo-cons are the latest expression of the maritime powers' fear of Eurasia and its interior lines of communication. Besides which the importance of navies and of maritime agility crumble.
Bill mentions that China has not got much of a navy. I'm not so sure about that, but isn't it becoming clear that navies-except to shipyards, prostitutes and arms contractors- are no longer of sovereign importance? There must be missile commanders in China drooling over the prospect of catching a US Fleet in all its glory within 500 miles of the mainland. Not to mention on the east coast of the Persian Gulf.
The neo-cons are the last in a long line of strategists, ideologists and, for the most part, mercenary publicists defying the logic of Halford Mackinder's geo-strategy for a lot more than a penny a line. And what they urge, is all that they can without crossing the line from deceitfulness to complete dishonesty: chaos and destabilisation within Eurasia, surrounding Russia, subverting Sinkiang and Tibet, employing sectarian guerrillas, fabricating nationalists and nationalisms.. recreate the land piracy, the raiding and the ethnic explosions that drove trade from the land to the sea and crippled the Qing empire.
The clash is between war, necessary to the Maritime Empire and Peace, vital to the consolidation and flowering of Eurasia.

As to Israel, and perhaps we can go into this later: it looms much larger in the US imagination (and the imaginations the 'west' borrows from the US) than anywhere else. It is a tiny sliver of a country. Far from being an elephant in any room, it is simply a highly perfumed lapdog which also serves as its master's ventriloquist's dummy. Its danger lies in the fact that after decades of neglect by its idiotic self indulgent masters, it has become an openly fascist regime, which was definitely not meant to happen, and, misled by its own exotic theories of race, has come to believe that it can do what it wants. It can't-and this is one reason why Bill misjudges the reasoning behind the Soleimani killing- but it likes to act, or rather threaten to act, as if it could.

(By the way-note to morons across the web-Bill's partner quotes Adorno and writes about him too: cue rants about Cultural Marxism.)

Hugh O'Neill ,

Thanks, Bevin. The article was so long, I had quite forgotten that he laid too much emphasis on the Stratcor Unspeakable. Clever he may be, but not much use without a moral compass. Talking of geo-strategists, you will doubtless be aware of the work of A.T. Mahan whose blueprint for acquisition of inspired Teddy Roosevelt and leaders throughout Europe, Russia, Japan.

Richard Le Sarc ,

Friedman is a snake oil peddler. He tells the ruling psychopaths what they want to hear, like ' China crumbling', their favourite wet-dream.

bevin ,

I agree about Mahan's importance. He understood what lay behind the Empire on which the sun never set but he had enough brains to have been able to realise that current conditions make those fleets obsolete. In fact the Germans in the last War realised that too- their strategy was Eurasian, it broke down over the small matter of devouring the USSR. The expiry date on the tin of Empire has been obvious for a long time- there is simply too much money to be made by ignoring it.
Russia has always been the problem, either real (very occasionally) or latent for the Dutch/British/US Empire because it is just so clear that the quickest and most efficient communications between Shanghai and Lisbon do not go through the Straits of Malacca, the Suez Canal, or round the cape . Russia never had to do a thing to earn the enmity of the Empire, simply existing was a challenge. And that remains the case- for centuries the Empire denounced the Russians because of the Autocracy, then it was the anarchism of the Bolsheviks, then it was the autocracy again, this time featuring Stalin, then it was the chaos of the oligarchs and now we are back with the Tsar/Stalin Putin.

Hugh O'Neill ,

Phenomenal diagnosis, Bevin. However, one suspects that there is still too much profit to be made by the MIC in pursuing useless strategies. I imagine Mahan turning in his grave in his final geo-strategic twist.

Richard Le Sarc ,

Yes-Zionist hubris will get Israel into a whole world of sorrow.


More USA Deep State conspiracy theorizing which makes the author American paternalism posing as authorship that is revenue neutral when it ain't.

Any article with mention of mother-'Tucker' Carlson is one that is pure propagandistic tripe in the extreme. Off-G is a UK blog yet this Americanism & worn out aged propaganda still prevails in the minds of US centric myopics writ large across all states in the disunity equally divided from cities to rural towns all.


johny conspiranoid ,

"More USA Deep State conspiracy theorizing which makes the author American paternalism posing as authorship that is revenue neutral when it ain'"
Is this even a sentence?


It was a sentence when I was smoking marijuana yesterday, Johnny C. Today it is still a sentence IMHO, but you transcribed it incorrectly, and forgot the end of the sentence.

NOTE: When I smoke marijuana I am allowed to write uncoordinated sentences. These are the rules in CANADA. If you don't like it write to your local politician and complain bitterly.


Charlotte Russe ,

Bush, Obama, and Clinton are despicable. In fact, they're particularly disgusting, inasmuch, as they were much more "cognizant" than Trump of how their actions would lead to very specific insidious consequences. In addition, they were more able to cleverly conceal their malevolent deeds from the public. And that's why Trump is now sitting in the Oval Office–he won because of public disgust for lying politicians.

However, Trump is "dangerous" because he's a "misinformed idiot," and as such is extremely malleable. Of course, ignorance is no excuse when the future of humanity is on the line

In any event, Trump is often not aware of the outcome of his actions. And when you're surrounded and misinformed by warmongering neoconservative nutcases, especially ones who donated to your campaign chances are you'll do stupid things. And that's what they're counting on.

alsdkfj ,

Trump is some virtuous example of a truth teller? Trump?

The biggest liar to every occupy the White House and that is saying a lot.

Swamp Monster fascist Trump. So much to love, right?

He could murder one of your friends and you'd still apologize for him, is my guess.

Hugh O'Neill ,

It was a long read, but I got there. In essence, I agreed with 99%, but I hesitate to share too much praise for Trump's qualities as a Human Being – though he may be marginally more Human than the entire US body politic. I was walking our new puppy yesterday when he did his usual attempt to leap all over other walkers. I pleaded their forgiveness and explained that his big heart was in inverse proportion to his small brain. It occurred to me later that the opposite would be pure evil i.e. a small heart but big brain. Capitalism as is now infects the Human Experiment, has reduced both brains and hearts: propagandists believe their own lies, and too few trust their own instincts and innate compassion, ground down by the relentless distractions of lies and 'entertainment' (at least the Romas gave you free bread!).
I get the impression that Trump's world view hasn't altered much since he was about 11 years old. I do not intend to insult all eleven-year-olds, but his naivety is not a redeeming feature of his spoilt brat bully personality. He has swallowed hook, line and sinker every John Wayne cowboy movie and thinks the world can be divided into good guys and bad guys depending on what colour hat they wear. In the days of Black & White TV, it was either black or white. The world seemed so much simpler aged 11 .(1966).

Dungroanin ,

Yet I have yet to see one photo of Trump with a gun or in uniform.


The Duck learned to dress appropriately for business, I'll give him that. As a New York Real Estate scion you will never see him dress otherwise. Protocol in business is a contemporary business suit. No other manner of dress is allowed for the executive class in North America or UK.

[Jan 21, 2020] At the start of a new decade, Merkel seems to be on the wrong side of history

Neoliberals are mostly neocons and neocons are mostly neoliberals. They can't understand the importance of Brexit and the first real crack in neoliberal globalization facade.
She really was on the wrong side of history: a tragedy for a politician. EU crumles with the end of her political career which was devoted to straightening EU and neoliberalism, as well as serving as the USA vassal. While she was sucessful in extracting benefits for Germany multinationals she increased Germany dependency (and subservience) on the USA. She also will be remembered for her handing of Greece crisis.
Notable quotes:
"... The UK's departure will continue to hang over Brussels and Berlin -- the countdown for a trade deal will coincide with Germany's presidency of the EU in the second half of this year. ..."
"... Brexit is a "wake-up call" for the EU. Europe must, she says, respond by upping its game, becoming "attractive, innovative, creative, a good place for research and education . . . Competition can then be very productive." This is why the EU must continue to reform, completing the digital single market, progressing with banking union -- a plan to centralise the supervision and crisis management of European banks -- and advancing capital markets union to integrate Europe's fragmented equity and debt markets. ..."
"... its defence budget has increased by 40 per cent since 2015, which is "a huge step from Germany's perspective". ..."
"... Ms Merkel will doubtless be remembered for two bold moves that changed Germany -- ordering the closure of its nuclear power stations after the Fukushima disaster of 2011, and keeping the country's borders open at the height of the 2015 refugee crisis. That decision was her most controversial, and there are some in Germany who still won't forgive her for it. But officials say Germany survived the influx, and has integrated the more than 1m migrants who arrived in 2015-16. ..."
Jan 21, 2020 |

It's a grim winter's day in Berlin, and the political climate matches the weather. Everywhere Angela Merkel looks there are storm clouds, as the values she has upheld all her career come under sustained attack. At the start of a new decade, Europe's premier stateswoman suddenly seems to be on the wrong side of history.Shortly, the UK will leave the EU. A volatile US president is snubbing allies and going it alone in the Middle East. Vladimir Putin is changing the Russian constitution and meddling in Libya and sub-Saharan Africa. Trade tensions continue, threatening the open borders and globalised value chains that are the cornerstones of Germany's prosperity.

Ms Merkel, a former physicist renowned for her imperturbable, rational manner is a politician programmed for compromise. But today she faces an uncompromising world where liberal principles have been shoved aside by the law of the jungle.

Her solution is to double down on Europe, Germany's anchor. "I see the European Union as our life insurance," she says. "Germany is far too small to exert geopolitical influence on its own, and that's why we need to make use of all the benefits of the single market."

Speaking in the chancellery's Small Cabinet Room, an imposing wood-panelled hall overlooking Berlin's Tiergarten park, Ms Merkel does not come across as under pressure. She is calm, if somewhat cagey, weighing every word and seldom displaying emotion.

But the message she conveys in a rare interview is nonetheless urgent. In the twilight of her career -- her fourth and final term ends in 2021 -- Ms Merkel is determined to preserve and defend multilateralism, a concept that in the age of Trump, Brexit and a resurgent Russia has never seemed so embattled. This is the "firm conviction" that guides her: the pursuit of "the best win-win situations . . . when partnerships of benefit to both sides are put into practice worldwide". She admits that this idea is coming "under increasing pressure". The system of supranational institutions like the EU and United Nations were, she says, "essentially a lesson learnt from the second world war, and the preceding decades". Now, with so few witnesses of the war still alive, the importance of that lesson is fading.

Of course President Donald Trump is right that bodies like the World Trade Organization and the UN require reform. "There is no doubt whatsoever about any of that," she says. "But I do not call the world's multilateral structure into question. "Germany has been the great beneficiary of Nato, an enlarged EU and globalisation. Free trade has opened up vast new markets for its world-class cars, machines and chemicals. Sheltered under the US nuclear umbrella, Germany has barely spared a thought for its own security. But the rise of "Me First" nationalism threatens to leave it economically and politically unmoored. In this sense, Europe is existential for German interests, as well as its identity.

Ms Merkel therefore wants to strengthen the EU -- an institution that she, perhaps more than any other living politician, has come to personify. She steered Europe through the eurozone debt crisis, albeit somewhat tardily: she held Europe together as it imposed sanctions on Russia over the annexation of Crimea; she maintained unity in response to the trauma of Brexit.

The UK's departure will continue to hang over Brussels and Berlin -- the countdown for a trade deal will coincide with Germany's presidency of the EU in the second half of this year. Berlin worries a post-Brexit UK that reserves the right to diverge from EU rules on goods, workers' rights, taxes and environmental standards could create a serious economic competitor on its doorstep. But Ms Merkel remains a cautious optimist. Brexit is a "wake-up call" for the EU. Europe must, she says, respond by upping its game, becoming "attractive, innovative, creative, a good place for research and education . . . Competition can then be very productive." This is why the EU must continue to reform, completing the digital single market, progressing with banking union -- a plan to centralise the supervision and crisis management of European banks -- and advancing capital markets union to integrate Europe's fragmented equity and debt markets.

In what sounds like a new European industrial policy, Ms Merkel also says the EU should identify the technological capabilities it lacks and move fast to fill in the gaps. "I believe that chips should be manufactured in the European Union, that Europe should have its own hyperscalers and that it should be possible to produce battery cells," she says. It must also have the confidence to set the new global digital standards. She cites the example of the General Data Protection Regulation, which supporters see as a gold standard for privacy and proof that the EU can become a rulemaker, rather than a rule taker, when it comes to the digital economy. Europe can offer an alternative to the US and Chinese approach to data. "I firmly believe that personal data does not belong to the state or to companies," she says. "It must be ensured that the individual has sovereignty over their own data and can decide with whom and for what purpose they share it."

The continent's scale and diversity also make it hard to reach a consensus on reform. Europe is deeply split: the migration crisis of 2015 opened up a chasm between the liberal west and countries like Viktor Orban's Hungary which has not healed. Even close allies like Germany and France have occasionally locked horns: Berlin's cool response to Emmanuel Macron's reform initiatives back in 2017 triggered anger in Paris, while the French president's unilateral overture to Mr Putin last year provoked irritation in Berlin. And when it comes to reform of the eurozone, divisions still exist between fiscally challenged southern Europeans and the fiscally orthodox new Hanseatic League of northern countries.

Ms Merkel remains to a degree hostage to German public opinion. Germany, she admits, is still "slightly hesitant" on banking union, "because our principle is that everyone first needs to reduce the risks in their own country today before we can mutualise the risks". And capital markets union might require member states to seek closer alignment on things like insolvency law. These divisions pale in comparison to the gulf between Europe and the US under president Donald Trump. Germany has become the administration's favourite punching bag, lambasted for its relatively low defence spending, big current account surplus and imports of Russian gas. German business dreads Mr Trump making good on his threat to impose tariffs on European cars.

It is painful for Ms Merkel, whose career took off after unification. In an interview last year she described how, while coming of age in communist East Germany, she yearned to make a classic American road trip: "See the Rocky Mountains, drive around and listen to Bruce Springsteen -- that was my dream," she told Der Spiegel.

The poor chemistry between Ms Merkel and Mr Trump has been widely reported. But are the latest tensions in the German-US relationship just personal -- or is there more to it? "I think it has structural causes," she says. For years now, Europe and Germany have been slipping down the US's list of priorities.

"There's been a shift," she says. "President Obama already spoke about the Asian century, as seen from the US perspective. This also means that Europe is no longer, so to say, at the centre of world events."She adds: "The United States' focus on Europe is declining -- that will be the case under any president."The answer? "We in Europe, and especially in Germany, need to take on more responsibility."

Germany has vowed to meet the Nato target of spending 2 per cent of GDP on defence by the start of the 2030s. Ms Merkel admits that for those alliance members which have already reached the 2 per cent goal, "naturally this is not enough". But there's no denying Germany has made substantial progress on the issue: its defence budget has increased by 40 per cent since 2015, which is "a huge step from Germany's perspective".

Ms Merkel insists the transatlantic relationship "remains crucial for me, particularly as regards fundamental questions concerning values and interests in the world". Yet Europe should also develop its own military capability. There may be regions outside Nato's primary focus where "Europe must -- if necessary -- be prepared to get involved. I see Africa as one example," she says.

Defence is hardly the sole bone of contention with the US. Trade is a constant irritation. Berlin watched with alarm as the US and China descended into a bitter trade war in 2018: it still fears becoming collateral damage.

"Can the European Union come under pressure between America and China? That can happen, but we can also try to prevent it. "Germany has few illusions about China. German officials and businesspeople are just as incensed as their US counterparts by China's theft of intellectual property, its unfair investment practices, state-sponsored cyber-hacking and human rights abuses in regions like Xinjiang.

Once seen as a strategic partner, China is increasingly viewed in Berlin as a systemic rival. But Berlin has no intention of emulating the US policy of "decoupling" -- cutting its diplomatic, commercial and financial ties with China. Instead, Ms Merkel has staunchly defended Berlin's close relationship with Beijing. She says she would "advise against regarding China as a threat simply because it is economically successful".

"As was the case in Germany, [China's] rise is largely based on hard work, creativity and technical skills," she says. Of course there is a need to "ensure that trade relations are fair". China's economic strength and geopolitical ambitions mean it is a rival to the US and Europe. But the question is: "Do we in Germany and Europe want to dismantle all interconnected global supply chains . . . because of this economic competition?" She adds: "In my opinion, complete isolation from China cannot be the answer."Her plea for dialogue and co-operation has set her on a collision course with some in her own party.

China hawks in her Christian Democratic Union share US mistrust of Huawei, the Chinese telecoms equipment group, fearing it could be used by Beijing to conduct cyber espionage or sabotage. Ms Merkel has pursued a more conciliatory line. Germany should tighten its security requirements towards all telecoms providers and diversify suppliers "so that we never make ourselves dependent on one firm" in 5G. But "I think it is wrong to simply exclude someone per se," she says.

The rise of China has triggered concern over Germany's future competitiveness. And that economic "angst" finds echoes in the febrile politics of Ms Merkel's fourth term. Her "grand coalition" with the Social Democrats is wracked by squabbling. The populist Alternative for Germany is now established in all 16 of the country's regional parliaments. A battle has broken out for the post-Merkel succession, with a crop of CDU heavy-hitters auditioning for the top job.

Many in the political elite worry about waning international influence in the final months of the Merkel era.While she remains one of the country's most popular politicians, Germans are asking what her legacy will be. For many of her predecessors, that question is easy to answer: Konrad Adenauer anchored postwar Germany in the west; Willy Brandt ushered in detente with the Soviet Union; Helmut Kohl was the architect of German reunification. So how will Ms Merkel be remembered?

Vladimir Putin: liberalism has 'outlived its purpose'

She brushes away the question. "I don't think about my role in history -- I do my job." But what about critics who say the Merkel era was mere durchwurschteln -- muddling through? That word, she says, in a rare flash of irritation, "isn't part of my vocabulary". Despite her reputation for gradualism and caution, Ms Merkel will doubtless be remembered for two bold moves that changed Germany -- ordering the closure of its nuclear power stations after the Fukushima disaster of 2011, and keeping the country's borders open at the height of the 2015 refugee crisis. That decision was her most controversial, and there are some in Germany who still won't forgive her for it. But officials say Germany survived the influx, and has integrated the more than 1m migrants who arrived in 2015-16.

She prefers to single out less visible changes. Germany is much more engaged in the world: just look, she says, at the Bundeswehr missions in Africa and Afghanistan. During the Kohl era, even the idea of dispatching a ship to the Adriatic to observe the war in Yugoslavia was controversial. She also mentions efforts to end the war in Ukraine, its role in the Iran nuclear deal, its assumption of ever more "diplomatic, and increasingly also military responsibility". "It may become more in future, but we are certainly on the right path," she says.

The Merkel era has been defined by crisis but thanks to her stewardship most Germans have rarely had it so good. The problem is the world expects even more of a powerful, prosperous Germany and its next chancellor.Letter in response to this article:At last, I understand Brexit's real purpose / From John Beadsmoore, Great Wilbraham, Cambs, UK

[Jan 21, 2020] Bernie Sanders Walks Straight Into the Russiagate Trap

Jan 21, 2020 |

Daniel Lazare January 20, 2020 © Photo: Wikimedia The New York Times caused a mini-commotion last week with a front-page story suggesting that Russian intelligence had hacked a Ukrainian energy firm known as Burisma Holdings in order to get dirt on Joe Biden and help Donald Trump win re-election.

But the article was flimsy even by Russiagate standards, and so certain questions inevitably arise. What was it really about? Who's behind it? Who's the real target?

Here's a quick answer. It was about boosting Joe Biden, and its real target was his chief rival, Bernie Sanders. And poor, inept Bernie walked straight into the trap.

The article was flimsy because rather than saying straight out that Russian intelligence hacked Burisma, the company notorious for hiring Biden's son, Hunter, for $50,000 a month job, reporters Nicole Perlroth and Matthew Rosenberg had to rely on unnamed "security experts" to say it for them. While suggesting that the hackers were looking for dirt, they didn't quite say that as well. Instead, they admitted that "it is not yet clear what the hackers found, or precisely what they were searching for."

So we have no idea what they were up to, if anything at all. But the Times then quoted "experts" to the effect that "the timing and scale of the attacks suggest that the Russians could be searching for potentially embarrassing material on the Bidens – the same kind of information that Mr. Trump wanted from Ukraine when he pressed for an investigation of the Bidens and Burisma, setting off a chain of events that led to his impeachment." Since Trump and the Russians are seeking the same information, they must be in cahoots, which is what Democrats have been saying from the moment Trump took office. Given the lack of evidence, this was meaningless as well.

But then came the kicker: two full paragraphs in which a Biden campaign spokesman was permitted to expound on the notion that the Russians hacked Burisma because Biden is the candidate that they and Trump fear the most.

"Donald Trump tried to coerce Ukraine into lying about Joe Biden and a major bipartisan, international anti-corruption victory because he recognized that he can't beat the vice president," the spokesman, Andrew Bates, said. "Now we know that Vladimir Putin also sees Joe Biden as a threat. Any American president who had not repeatedly encouraged foreign interventions of this kind would immediately condemn this attack on the sovereignty of our elections."

If Biden is the number-one threat, then Sanders is not, presumably because the Times sees him as soft on Moscow. If so, it means that he could be in for the same neo-McCarthyism that antiwar candidate Tulsi Gabbard encountered last October when Hillary Clinton blasted her as "the favorite of the Russians." Gabbard had the good sense to blast her right back.

"Thank you @Hillary Clinton. You, the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long, have finally come out from behind the curtain. From the day I announced my candidacy, there has been a concerted campaign to destroy my reputation. We wondered who was behind it and why. Now we know – it was always you, through your proxies and powerful allies in the corporate media and war machine ."

If only Sanders did the same. But instead he put out a statement filled with the usual anti-Russian clichés:

"The 2020 election is likely to be the most consequential election in modern American history, and I am alarmed by new reports that Russia recently hacked into the Ukrainian gas company at the center of the impeachment trial, as well as Russia's plans to once again meddle in our elections and in our democracy. After our intelligence agencies unanimously agreed that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, including with thousands of paid ads on Facebook, the New York Times now reports that Russia likely represents the biggest threat of election meddle in 2020, including through disinformation campaigns, promoting hatred, hacking into voting systems, and by exploiting the political divisions sewn [sic] by Donald Trump ."

And so on for another 250 words. Not only did the statement put him in bed with the intelligence agencies, but it makes him party to the big lie that the Kremlin was responsible for putting Trump over the top in 2016.

Let's get one thing straight. Yes, Russian intelligence may have hacked the Democratic National Committee. But cybersecurity was so lax that others may have been rummaging about as well. (CrowdStrike, the company called in to investigate the hack, says it found not one but two cyber-intruders.) Notwithstanding the Mueller report, all the available evidence indicates that Russia did not then pass along thousands of DNC emails that Wikileaks published in July 2016. (Julian Assange's statement six months later that "our source is not the Russian government and it is not a state party" remains uncontroverted.) Similarly, there's no evidence that the Kremlin had anything to do with the $45,000 worth of Facebook ads purchased by a St. Petersburg company known as the Internet Research Agency – Robert Mueller's 2018 indictment of the IRA was completely silent on the subject of a Kremlin connection – and no evidence that the ads, which were politically all over the map, had a remotely significant impact on the 2016 election.

All the rest is a classic CIA disinformation campaign aimed at drumming up anti-Russian hysteria and delegitimizing anyone who fails to go along. And now Bernie Sanders is trying to cover his derrière by hopping on board.

It won't work. Sanders will find himself having to take one loyalty oath after another as the anti-Russia campaign flares anew. But it will never be enough, and he'll only wind up looking tired and weak. Voters will opt for the supposedly more formidable Biden, who will end up as a bug splat on the windshield of Donald Trump's speeding election campaign. With impeachment no longer an issue, he'll be free to behave as dictatorially as he wishes as he settles into his second term.

After inveighing against billionaire's wars, he'll find himself ensnared by the same billionaire war machine. The trouble with Sanders is that he thinks he can win by playing by the rules. But he can't because the rules are stacked against him. He'd know that if his outlook was more radical. His problem is not that he's too much of a socialist. Rather, it's that he's not enough.

[Jan 19, 2020] The neoliberal hopes -- and that is the mark of him, that he can have his cake and eat it too

Jan 19, 2020 |

"In sorrow we must go, but not in despair. Behold! we are not bound for ever to the circles of the world, and beyond them is more than memory."

J.R.R. Tolkien

"We were promised sufferings. They were part of the program. We were even told, 'Blessed are they that mourn,' and I accept it. I've got nothing that I hadn't bargained for. Of course it is different when the thing happens to oneself, not to others, and in reality, not imagination."

C.S. Lewis

"If the devil tells you something is too fearful to look at, look at it. If he says something is too terrible to hear, hear it. If you think some truth unbearable, bear it."

G.K. Chesterton

"The barbarian hopes -- and that is the mark of him, that he can have his cake and eat it too. He will consume what civilization has slowly produced after generations of selection and effort, but he will not be at pains to replace such goods, nor indeed has he a comprehension of the virtue that has brought them into being.

We sit by and watch the barbarian. We tolerate him in the long stretches of peace, we are not afraid. We are tickled by his irreverence; his comic inversion of our old certitudes; we laugh. But as we laugh we are watched by large and awful faces from beyond, and on these faces there are no smiles."

Hilaire Belloc

"In an ever-changing, incomprehensible world the masses had reached the point where they would, at the same time, believe everything and nothing, think that everything was possible and that nothing was true. The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists."

Hannah Arendt

[Jan 19, 2020] The anti-China conservative faction which Trump represents is screwing up the Pax Americana and petrodollar recycling into Treasury Bonds, by destroying the monetary scam they set up to control the world

Notable quotes:
"... The "movement conservatives" leader was Barry Goldwater who Trump's dad was a big supporter of, and Trump was raised in and among AND represents that faction of elite power. ..."
"... The LIEO or Rules Based Order is based on being closely allied with European elites against Russia to contain the Middle East and Central Asia (Iran and Afghanistan) based on Zbigniew Brzezinski's Grand Chessboard theory. ..."
"... The 1950's triangle of power was superseded by the oligarch's counter revolution that led to supranational trade institutions. Democracies were relegated to a secondary status and run by technocrats for the benefit of oligarchs until Donald Trump. He is a nationalist plutocrat; admittedly a lower level one, a NY casino owner who went bankrupt. Mike Bloomberg represents the other side, a globalist billionaire. Elizabeth Warren is a top level technocrat but no politician. ..."
"... The endless wars are fought to make a profit for the plutocracy and destabilize nations to make foreign corporate exploitation possible. That was why Hunter Biden was in Ukraine. The conflicts are not meant to be won. ..."
"... He makes stupid mistakes. Through the barrage of propaganda, reports of shell shocked troops, destroyed buildings and 11 concussion causalities from Iran's missile attack made it into the news. The military must be pissed. The aura of invincibility is gone. ..."
"... Donald Trump should be removed by the 25th amendment before he mistakenly triggers the Apocalypse. Except the 1% politician VP, Mike Pence, believes that the End of Time is God's Will and necessary for his Ascension. ..."
"... The power triangle theory is less in line with the facts than a simple duality: Wall Street & the MIC, you have to advance interests of both or you're out. ..."
"... Second, the 'meeting in the Tank' sounds like complete b.s. designed to sell books ..."
"... And the 'rules-based international order' rings very false as something that would be said with a straight face by real MIC insiders, which those generals are. ..."
"... Not only sick of wars, his mobster approach to foreign policy and allies is an embarrassment to RINO and Independents. ..."
"... Humanity is in a civilization war about public/private finance being fought by proxies and character actors like Trump. Maybe after this war is over, and if we survive, we can all communicate about the social contract directly instead of through proxy fronts. Do you want to live in a sharing/caring world or a selfish/competitive one?....socialism or barbarism? ..."
Jan 19, 2020 |

Kali , Jan 17 2020 19:26 utc | 7

That Power Elite theory which was written in the 50s by C.W. Mills is incomplete for today because in the 60s there was a split among the power elite between the new "movement conservatives" and the old eastern bank establishment. The conservatives were more focused on the pacific region and containing China, and the liberal establishment were more focused on Europe and containing Russia.

The "movement conservatives" leader was Barry Goldwater who Trump's dad was a big supporter of, and Trump was raised in and among AND represents that faction of elite power. In fact he is the 1st president from that faction of the elites to hold the oval office, many people thought Reagan was, but he was brought under the control of George Bush and the liberal elites after taking office after he was injured by a Bush related person. The different agendas of the the two factions are out in the open today with one being focused on anti-Russia and the other being focused on anti-China. It has been like that since the 1960s.

The anti-China conservative faction which Trump represents (and which unleashed the VietNam War) is screwing up the "rules based order" aka "Liberal International Economic Order" aka Pax Americana which was set up after WWII at Bretton Woods and then altered in the 1970s with the creation of the petrodollar and petrodollar recycling into Treasury Bonds, by destroying the monetary scam they set up to control the world

It needed the cooperation of the elites of Europe and elsewhere, which Trump and his faction doesn't care about -- they only care about short term profits on Wall St.

The LIEO or Rules Based Order is based on being closely allied with European elites against Russia to contain the Middle East and Central Asia (Iran and Afghanistan) based on Zbigniew Brzezinski's Grand Chessboard theory. China trade is important for them, Russia is their main enemy. ( War of the Worlds: The New Class ). Trump and his movement conservative faction is ruining their world order for their own short term gain on Wall St.

VietnamVet , Jan 17 2020 22:34 utc | 44
The 1950's triangle of power was superseded by the oligarch's counter revolution that led to supranational trade institutions. Democracies were relegated to a secondary status and run by technocrats for the benefit of oligarchs until Donald Trump. He is a nationalist plutocrat; admittedly a lower level one, a NY casino owner who went bankrupt. Mike Bloomberg represents the other side, a globalist billionaire. Elizabeth Warren is a top level technocrat but no politician.

The endless wars are fought to make a profit for the plutocracy and destabilize nations to make foreign corporate exploitation possible. That was why Hunter Biden was in Ukraine. The conflicts are not meant to be won.

Donald Trump is way for over his head and getting old. His competent staff are in jail or fired. Apparently no one told him about the thousands of ballistic missiles that can destroy the Gulf States' oil facilities at will and make the buildup for the invasion of Iran impossible. He makes stupid mistakes. Through the barrage of propaganda, reports of shell shocked troops, destroyed buildings and 11 concussion causalities from Iran's missile attack made it into the news. The military must be pissed. The aura of invincibility is gone.

Donald Trump should be removed by the 25th amendment before he mistakenly triggers the Apocalypse. Except the 1% politician VP, Mike Pence, believes that the End of Time is God's Will and necessary for his Ascension.

fairleft , Jan 18 2020 1:21 utc | 81
The power triangle theory is less in line with the facts than a simple duality: Wall Street & the MIC, you have to advance interests of both or you're out.

Second, the 'meeting in the Tank' sounds like complete b.s. designed to sell books, with an obvious sales strategy, as b said, of pleasuring both the pro/anti Trump sides of the book-buying bourgeoisie.

And the 'rules-based international order' rings very false as something that would be said with a straight face by real MIC insiders, which those generals are.

Finally, whether Trump ridiculed the generals or not, that's a sideshow to entertain the rubes. Trump's always been on side with the big picture Neocon approach essential to the MIC. Their global dominance or chaos approach is essential to keeping military budgets gigantic until 'forever'. True that Trump whined about endless wars as a 2016 campaign strategy, but he was either b.s.-ing or at the time didn't get that they are part of the overall Neocon approach he backs.

Passer by , Jan 17 2020 22:04 utc | 35

Not a very good analysis by b because this does not explain why 90 % of US corporate media is hostile to Trump. This does not happen without significant elite support.

That Trump is backed by the military faction is something i have been saying often. But there are forces within the government faction that dislike him, for example the CIA.

As for the corporate faction, it is not true that free money made them supportive of Trump. Rather the faction is divided - between the globalist corporate faction, relying on globalisation, including most tech companies, and US nationalist faction, such as local US businesses, big oil, shale gas, etc.

Another point - jews have large influence within the US, and 80 % voted against Trump regardless of his Israeli support. They again voted 80 % Dem in 2018. Having 80 % of US jews against you means encountering significant resistance.

Demographically speaking, most women, jews, muslims, latinos, asians, afroamericans, lgbt people, young people, etc. are strongly against him so i think that he will lose. Unless for some reason they do not vote.

Even if he somehow wins again, this will lead to civil war like situation and extreme polarisation in the US.

A P , Jan 17 2020 19:33 utc | 9

The US military, the various factions within the Deep State, political and corporate cabals has the attitude of a spoiled 3-year-old: If I can't have it, I'll break it so it is of little use to others.

Unfortunately, breaking other countries is just fine for the MIC... arms sales all around and chaos to impede non-military commerce with other major power centers like Russia or China.

Trump is the product of a dysfunctional family, a "greed is good" trust-fund social circle and a sociopathic US bully/gun culture.

The fact "bone spurs" Trump weaseled out of the draft will also not play well with the generals, let alone the grunts who suffer most from endless POTUS idiocy (not limited to Trump, see Prince Bush/Bandar the 2nd)

All the more proof that most Western "democracies" would be better served with a lottery to choose their Congressional and POTUS chair-warmers. Joe Sixpack could do a better job. A 200-lb sack of flour would do better than any POTUS since Kennedy.

Walter , Jan 17 2020 23:25 utc | 56

@ wagelaborer | Jan 17 2020 19:04 utc | 3

your: "Trump can't start a war without ruling class backing any more than he can end the wars if the rulers veto it."

May be, I think is, true in one sense. But Trump is far from the sole agent capable of starting a war. War, as opposed to simple murder, involve 2 or more parties. Whatever the intentions, the recent murders by drone in Baghdad hav,e it seems, brought Iran to consider war exists now...and they have a nifty MAGA policy. On Press TV today they hosted an expert who called for the execution of several exceptional American leaders...sounds like war to me.

(Make America Go Away)

The system is so screwy and peopled by such uneducated and delusional people that it's quite simple that they would do some stupid that that caused a war. Looks like war to me. I await the horrors.

Decaying empires usually start wars that bring about their rapid ruin. Does it matter how they do this?


The thesis of the triangle of elite factions is fascinating.

Walter recalls that JFK got the reports from Vietnam that said we were winning, while at the same time Johnson got the true story. And also what happened then with the "correction" of 1963 (their words) and the immediate change of war policy. Can't help an old guy from remembering old folly. And noting that history repeats as farce.

The Iran affair is liable to coordinate with NATO. Lavrov spoke to the NATO preparations today @ TASS...

Some say Trumpie screwed up the schedule, which goes hot in April as a showdown with the Roooskies. I take that with a grain of salt. But I think the sources I've seen might be right. They say that if Barbarossa had not been delayed, the nazis woulda won in Russia. Screwups can be very important.

I can't see any way the US won't use atomic bangers. But maybe...

Likklemore , Jan 17 2020 21:50 utc | 29

@ wagelaborer 3

Good points. I endorse. However the USD have been weaponized, is being sidelined and will be shunned U.S. dollar: Russia, China, EU are motivated to shift from

@ juiliana 22

I posted an article by Shedlock essentially saying all it will take is 3 states to flip and Trump loses: Trump will be easily defeated in 2020 perhaps by a landslide.

Not only sick of wars, his mobster approach to foreign policy and allies is an embarrassment to RINO and Independents.

psychohistorian , Jan 17 2020 19:52 utc | 11

I agree with wagelaborer in comment #3 and worth a repeat of most of it

"Trump can't start a war without ruling class backing any more than he can end the wars if the rulers veto it.

US foreign policy is not run by White House puppets.

The US trash-talked Saddam Hussein and starved Iraqis for 14 years, but didn't actually invade until he started trading oil in Euros.

The US trash-talked Ghaddafi for decades, and even launched missiles which killed his child in the 80s, but didn't destroy Libya until Ghaddafi decided to sell oil in dinars.

The US has trash-talked and sanctioned Iran for decades, but it was the threat of Iran and Saudi Arabia making peace that pushed them to assassinate General Soleimani, as he arrived at the airport on that diplomatic mission.

If Iran and Saudi Arabia make peace, and the Saudis drop the petro-dollar, the US Empire crumbles. It doesn't matter at all who is in the White House at the time, the Empire will never allow that."

Humanity is in a civilization war about public/private finance being fought by proxies and character actors like Trump. Maybe after this war is over, and if we survive, we can all communicate about the social contract directly instead of through proxy fronts. Do you want to live in a sharing/caring world or a selfish/competitive one?....socialism or barbarism?

[Jan 19, 2020] At the lower level, there's the division of the American people about how the spoils that come from the imperial conquests should be better shared

Jan 19, 2020 |

vk , Jan 18 2020 2:37 utc | 90

I think the "triangle of power" theory walks towards the truth, but is not the truth.

For starters, the USA is a very large and complex society. There are a lot of classes and a lot of groups which clash and prop up each other all the time. The only consensus is that it is and must remain a capitalist society, i.e. that capitalism must be preserved at any cost.

That said, I see many interests involved, but a hierarchy, in layered form. Here's my opinion on the state of the art of the USA right now:

1) at the highest level, there's the division between the most powerful members of the capitalist class between what should be the American foreign policy strategy for the rest of this century. It is divided between two different ideologies: russophobes (i.e. the "establishment") and the believers of the "clash of civilizations" (i.e. the far-right, sinophobes). The only thing that unites both groups is the conviction Eurasia should remain divided, i.e. that Russia and China should not consolidate their newborn alliance. If that alliance consolidates a century from now, then this contradiction will disappear, but America's new enemy will be stronger than ever - possibly more powerful than the USA.

2) at the lower level, there's the division of the American people about how the spoils that come from the imperial conquests should be better shared. This division manifests itself in the battle between social-democracy and fascism. Neoliberalism is basically a rotten corpse after 2008, but it is important to state it is not an ideology per se, but a political doctrine, from which both American social-democracy and American fascism lend some aspects.

3) at the vestigial level, you have many micro battles which shock with each other. For example, the good part of the American middle class imploded Elizabeth Warren's support for universal healthcare because they wanted to keep their class distinction as the class which has access to healthcare through expensive health insurances (which are often directly linked to distinct jobs they probably have) - but they still will vote Democrat, and probably will support Warren as long as she's viable. In the far-right camp, there are those who want to emphasize the fight against China must happen because China represents modern socialism, while another part wants to fight China for the simple fact they want some jobs back. In the deep state, there's the usual Pentagon vs CIA clash of philosophies about how to better operate overseas. In the lobby industry, each one is fending for themselves.

In conclusion, my take is all of these conflicts have one ultimate cause: the exhaustion of the American imperial system installed in 1945 . Capitalism doesn't know national barriers; in 1945, the USA was both the industrial and financial superpower, but capital must spread and expand or it dies. The Marshall Plan soon begun and, in two decades, Germany and Japan - both spawns of the American post-war doctrine - directly threatened the USA as the industrial superpower. It still managed to fend off these two nations with the Plaza Accord (1985), but at a huge cost: outsourcing its own industrial capacity to China. In 2011, China definitely overcame the USA and now holds the belt of the industrial superpower. It is now trying to be also the financial superpower, with the "opening up" reforms.

This generated a structural contradiction: the loss of the industrial superpower title left the USA only with the financial superpower title. But the financial superpower title can only be maintained, in a nation-State architecture, with increased submission of the rest of the world - naturally, through violent means and financial sanctions.

However, that was not the way the USA was able to build its overwhelming post-war alliance: it did so with nation building , i.e. the proverbial "carrot", the massive investments in infrastructure and better living standards for Western Europe, Japan, Asian Tigers and Australia. But without the industrial superpower title, the USA cannot maintain its "alliance" (i.e. the empire), which reinforces its condition as the financial superpower - which, in turn, increases its necessity to maintain the alliance (empire) which, in turn, weakens more and more said alliance, which, in turn, increases even more its necessity to maintain said alliance, and so on, in a downward spiral movement.

The result of this dialectical contradiction is that the USA will, over time, resort to ever more violent methods to keep the corners of its empire whole, which will drive it ever closer to an epic war against its ultimate enemy: socialism (China/Eurasia).

Duncan Idaho , Jan 18 2020 2:41 utc | 91


"And many of them may actually be as mind-blowingly stupid as he is as well and they don't see what a problem it is to have such an arrogant moron running the world's only superpower. If there's one thing right-wingers take as an article of faith it's that expertise is nothing but a scam and the guy at the end of the bar can run the world better than the pointy-headed elites. They got what they wanted."

Trump might be appropriate. The survivors, if any, will have more resources, as the ditch he is heading into.
A slow death by Dims would be worse.

Patroklos , Jan 18 2020 4:52 utc | 100
@ vk 90

Your analysis nicely maps onto the Braudelian model of the phases of capitalism, especially as articulated in the chapter by Arrighi and Moore in Phases of Capitalist Development . They argue that the historical signal that the US had begun to lose its hegemony in commodity production (M-C-M') was the Nixon shock/Oil Shock (1970-73). They further argue that the inevitable shift to financial hegemony (M-M'), which has occurred in every other phase (Genovese, Dutch, British), has taken place more quickly than the one before it. As a result, they predicted (in 2001) very broadly that the terminal point of this financial (self-)vampirism -- when the system reaches a point of complete contradiction -- would take place around 2020. One key difference they note between the US global regime with all prior hegemonic orders is the reach and power of the military. The British Empire was able to deploy its navy to support its hegemony only up to a point -- and then became a paper tiger overnight. But the US military has not been deployed to any extent comparable to 1941-45. If it saw a real existential threat to dollar hegemony their military capacity would postpone any collapse indefinitely -- and throw the world into utter chaos.

My question to you and all is this: where are we in the timeline between their loss of industrial hegemony and the real crisis of their financial hegemony? Is this the decade of hegemonic challenge and change -- and therefore war? And to what extent will Iran be the trigger? Or will it be another GFC and de-dollarization?

[Jan 19, 2020] The Quiet Crisis Deaths Caused By Alcoholism Have More Than Doubled

Jan 19, 2020 |

The Quiet Crisis: Deaths Caused By Alcoholism Have More Than Doubled by Tyler Durden Sat, 01/18/2020 - 21:15 0 SHARES

Opioid overdoses may have leveled off last year after soaring over the last ten, but Americans are still dying in droves from another, far more popular substance: alcohol.

According to a series of studies cited by MarketWatch , the number of Americans drinking themselves to death has more than doubled over the last two decades, according to a sobering new report. That far outpaces the rate of population growth during the same period.

Researchers from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism studied the cause of death for Americans aged 16 and up between 1999 and 2017. They determined that while 35,914 deaths were tied to alcohol in 1999, it doubled to 72,558 in 2017. The rate of deaths per 100,000 soared by 50.9% from 16.9 to 25.5.

Over that 20-year period, the study determined that alcohol was involved in more than 1 million deaths. Half of these deaths resulted from liver disease, or a person drinking themselves to death, or a drug overdose that involved alcohol.

For more context: In 2017 alone, 2.6% of roughly 2.8 million deaths in the US were alcohol-related.

One doesn't need to be a chronic alcoholic to suffer from alcohol: Nine states - Maine, Indiana, Idaho, Montana, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio and Virginia - saw a "significant" increase in adults who binge drink, a dangerous activity that can lead to deadly car crashes and other fatal accidents, according to a report released Thursday by the CDC.

And across the country, Americans who binge drink are consuming more drinks per person: That number spiked from 472 in 2011 to 529 in 2017, a 12% increase.

Historically, men have been more predisposed to "deaths of despair" than women: But a study published in "Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research" found that the largest increase in recent years in these types of deaths occurred among non-hispanic white women.

Public health crises tied to substance abuse have been plaguing American for decades. So, what is it about our contemporary society that's causing deaths to skyrocket?

There's some food for thought.

VodkaInKrakow , 1 hour ago link

This happens in poor economies. Happened in Russia from 1992 on. Not every area is affected in The US. Just those with the functional equivalent of a 3rd world or developing world economy.

Add in a Japanese-style lost-growth decade.

Double-whammy for parts of The US.

sekhars , 1 hour ago link

about 2000 die each year in NYC due to alcohol directly. 4 to 5 times more than opioids and more than all the drugs related death combined.

Ms No , 2 hours ago link

I'm watching somebody kill themselves with alcohol as we speak. People have catered to her alcaholism for 15 years. Her original ezcuse was a family death. Her husband has died now. Alcaholics always have an excuse though. Alcaholism always seeks excuse.

I am a callous bitch and just cut right to the point. "All of us have to decide to live or die. Life is a choice. If you decide to die, you will. I hope you havent already aubconsciously made that decision (can tell by dreams). You should search for a reason to live. Whatever you choose I will respect that."

TerryThomas , 2 hours ago link

Liver deaths? You mean Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease caused by sugary drinks laced with HFCS has made a spike in liver disease death, so naturally the lazy investigator blames it on alcohol.

sirpo , 4 hours ago link

adults who binge drink, a dangerous activity that can lead to deadly car crashes and other fatal accidents, according to a report released Thursday by the CDC.

a dangerous activity CORRECTION STUPIDITY or CHEAP CHARLIE for not willing to take a UBER or YELLOW CAB home

What are we talking here $50 at most

Any idea what a DWI will set you back cause I know for a fact in stupidity and 1980's USD and it taught me

Don't do the crime if you can't spend the dime for a taxi

Erwin643 , 1 hour ago link

Just thinning the herd, Baby!

pods , 4 hours ago link

Some people have a hard time living in crazy town.

I mean, constant war, dollar value sinking, inflation sucking the life outta you, **** food and a fake society. All the while everywhere you look people are pretending they're killing it while up to their eyeballs in debt.

I'm actually pretty happy these numbers are this low.

PersonalResponsibility , 4 hours ago link

Spot on pods. It's nice I have a dream and a good job while following the dream but the pressure is huge explained by what you wrote.

Pull , 1 hour ago link

Absolutely DEAD NUTS ON!

[Jan 19, 2020] What separates the winners from the losers in America?

Don't take this too seriously ;-)
Jan 19, 2020 |

Nature_Boy_Wooooo , 23 minutes ago link

What separates the winners from the losers in America?

Government contracts....... you're either getting them or you're a ******* loser who pays for them.

[Jan 19, 2020] Delta workers poisoned by toxic work uniforms file class action lawsuit - World Socialist Web Site

Jan 19, 2020 |

Delta's employee absence level, recorded as "call-ins" for calling in sick, spiked after the introduction of the uniforms.

The lawsuit details the individual ordeals of numerous workers who were poisoned by the uniforms. For example, flight attendant Stephanie Andrews of Murray, Utah suffered "from asthma, vocal cord dysfunction, breathing difficulties, shortness of breath, coughing, tightness of chest, contact dermatitis, skin rashes, hives, hair loss, heart palpitations, fatigue, and auto-immune conditions." Flight attendant Janelle Austin of Atlanta, Georgia suffered from "hair loss, skin irritation, rashes, itchiness, difficulty breathing, fatigue, headaches, eye irritation, and sinus irritation." Flight attendant Phyllis Heffeldinger of Londonville, Ohio suffered from chest pain and difficulty breathing.

After the uniforms were implemented in May, by the end of August Delta itself had acknowledged that around 1,900 out of 64,000 employees had reported "some type of concern" with the uniforms. By November, the number had risen 3,000.

A Delta worker photographed this clump of hair that had fallen out

The lawsuit alleges that the uniforms pose "ongoing, unreasonable risks of harm" to the workers who are wearing them, asking the judge to order Lands' End to recall the uniforms and to establish a monitoring program over the adverse health effects of the uniforms.

According to the lawsuit, testing performed on behalf of the workers has revealed "the presence of chemicals and heavy metals far in excess of industry-accepted safe levels for garments," including:

• Chromium -- harmful to the skin, eyes, blood, and respiratory system;

• Antimony -- harmful to the eyes and skin; causes hair loss; used to make flame-proofing materials;

• Mercury -- at high vapor concentrations, it can cause quick and severe lung damage; at low vapor concentrations over an extended period of time, it can cause neurological disturbances, memory problems, skin rash and kidney abnormalities; mercury can pass from a mother to her baby through the placenta during pregnancy and through breast milk after birth;

• Formaldehyde -- skin, throat, lungs and eye irritant; repeated exposure can cause cancer;

• Fluorine -- eye irritant; harmful to kidneys, teeth, bones, nerves and muscles; used as a stain repellant; and

• Bromine -- skin, mucous membrane, and tissue irritant; used as a fire retardant.

Discussing the testing that has been conducted on behalf of Delta workers, Maxwell pointed to fluorine in particular. "The numbers came back pretty high on that."

Maxwell pointed out, as an additional concern, that after exposure to toxic chemicals and metals, a person can become "sensitized." If that happens, "your auto-immune system shuts down, and you become unable to fend off future exposures to that chemical." Workers have reported that even if they are no longer wearing the uniform, they can have adverse reactions simply to sitting next to someone who is wearing the uniform. This phenomenon is the result of "off-gassing," or the release of airborne particles from the contaminated fabric.

The lawsuit, which was filed against Lands' End but not Delta itself, alleges that the uniforms were defective, that Lands' End failed to provide appropriate and necessary warnings, and that Lands' End was negligent in designing, testing and inspecting the uniforms.

American Airlines workers reported similar issues with Twin Hill uniforms, which were distributed to 70,000 airline employees in September 2016. Workers interviewed by the WSWS in June of last year reported body rashes, burning throat and eyes, coughing and headaches. After the scandal over the Twin Hill uniforms, American Airlines attempted to reassure workers by promising to switch to Lands' End.

"We are the new radium girls," flight attendant and author Heather Poole said at the time, referring to thousands of female workers at paint factories who were exposed to the radioactive element in the early 20th century. "It took them years to get sick, so the company would deny responsibility."

Delta Airlines is also notorious among flight attendants for its workers' compensation regime, which systematically denies adequate healthcare even for crippling workplace injuries. The airline's third-party administrator, Sedgwick, is also the claims administrator for Amazon, where it is widely hated for its ruthlessness. A number of injured flight attendants spoke to the World Socialist Web Site about their experiences last year.

After the Delta workers' lawsuit was filed against Lands' End, American Airlines claimed to workers that the new Lands' End uniforms for American Airlines are safe, notwithstanding the lawsuit. "I hope they're sure about that," Maxwell says drily.

Alaska Airlines and Southwest Airlines workers have also reported health problems resulting from their work uniforms.

A recent Harvard study published in the peer-reviewed journal BMC Public Health , titled "Symptoms related to new flight attendant uniforms," found a correlation between health problems among 684 Alaska Airlines workers and their uniforms. When the uniforms were introduced in 2011, health problems increased, and after the uniforms were recalled in 2014, the study showed a decrease. The study concluded: "This study found a relationship between health complaints and the introduction of new uniforms in this longitudinal occupational cohort."

Formaldehyde-releasing textile resins, in particular, constitute a cheap means for employers to limit wrinkles on employee uniforms, keeping employees looking "neat."

While the companies insist that the level of each toxic chemical and metal in the uniforms is limited to a "safe" level, it appears likely that the effects of the chemicals and metals are aggravated in combination with each other.

"We don't have any standards anymore in the US," Maxwell said. He pointed to the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976, which gives the Environmental Protection Agency authority to regulate the industrial chemicals such as those to which Delta workers were exposed.

"This law is on the books," Maxwell said. "Apparently, our government is not acting as a regulatory force on this law. I don't see where that is being enforced in the garment industry."

Maxwell also pointed to Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which has promulgated limits on exposure to toxic metals in the workplace. Delta workers were exposed to quantities that are "way above that."

Maxwell continued, "I don't understand why that's not being applied or looked at because, my goodness, that's in the workplace."

[Jan 19, 2020] Foreign Policy Is Domestic Policy The National Interest

Jan 19, 2020 |

September 18, 2012 Topic: Domestic Politics Elections Global Governance Region: United States Foreign Policy Is Domestic Policy

The hubris that the external behavior of the United States has no impact on the domestic condition of the country can no longer be indulged.

by Nikolas K. Gvosdev ,

[Jan 19, 2020] The history of neoliberalism's rise to power and massive take-off thanks to Clinton, Bush and Obama is important to understand so it can be undone and the power of both Neoliberals and Neocons can be diminished.

Jan 19, 2020 |

karlof1 , Jan 17 2020 21:44 utc | 26

I just finished the lengthy Dr. Hudson interview/discussion "Democratizing Money" I was sharing excepts from on the open thread which has great bearing on the foundational issues of this thread's topic and subtopics, and provides information that help inform an answer to Rose-Marie Larsson @21, for example.

The history of neoliberalism's rise to power and massive take-off thanks to Clinton, Bush and Obama is important to understand so it can be undone and the power of both Neoliberals and Neocons can be diminished.

That Daniel thinks anyone here is trying to argue trump's "some sort of anti-establishment hero" is grossly incorrect as all the evidence points to him as being an extension of Clinton, Bush, Obama; although Trump denied any such connection during his campaign, his actions speak otherwise, the evidence being well presented in Hudson's talk.

Want to learn why the NYSE is going to crack 30,000 by the end of January; read the discussion. Why 911? To insulate Wall Street from having the set of laws it wanted established so it could expand its crime spree from being undone or even discussed as it turned out. (That's my take, not Hudson's.) Finally, what're the main weapons Trump's used in his foreign policy? Weaponized Financialization and its kin Lawfare.

As Hudson admits, he's radical for the political solution he proposes:

"If you're going to do something so radical as to wipe out the financial class's claims on the rest of society, you have to go and finish the revolution that Adam Smith, Ricardo, John Stuart Mill, Alfred Marshall, Marx, and almost every 19th century classical economist advocated.

"You have to change the tax system so that you avoid having a financial system that makes its money by taking unearned income and monopoly income or land rent that should be basis of the tax base, for itself....

"So Steve [Keen] has an elegant mathematical solution that would work, but I'm more radical when it comes to the political solution.

"[Edgar] You want the creditors to lose in the Jubilee.

"Yes, it's one great advantage. It's just as important to wipe out the wealth of creditors as it is to wipe out the debt. If you leave the post-1980 gains with the creditors, you're going to have a ruling class much like the feudal landlords. You're going to have financial feudalism. If you leave all of this financial wealth intact, while the rest of the economy has so little wealth

"[Edgar] Well, we already have that.

"Yes, and I want to reverse it by wiping out the financial wealth. It's really overhead, because it's owed by the bottom 99%, siphoning off their income and ultimately depriving them of property."

Essentially, Hudson proposes we demonetize the 1% such that they lose their power to buy government while reregulating banks so they must return to a legitimate business model instead of their current pursuit of fraud as their business model. Once those two legs of the triangle are severed, the MIC having lost its allies will be easy to downsize to that of a "normal country."

[Jan 19, 2020] Democrats Ignore the Immigration Elephant in the Room

Notable quotes:
"... Des Moines Register ..."
"... Washington Examiner ..."
"... The Great Revolt ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
Jan 19, 2020 |

Democrats Ignore the Immigration Elephant in the Room

The most important issue of Trump's ascent has drawn silence from the Democratic Party, now the party of the elites. (Jim Larkin/Shutterstock )

January 17, 2020


12:01 am

Robert W. Merry At Tuesday's Democratic debate sponsored by CNN and the Des Moines Register , nobody seemed to notice the elephant in the room -- or perhaps the candidates and moderators just didn't want to acknowledge its presence. Whether it was out of blindness or stubbornness, it tells us a great deal about the state of the Democratic Party in our time -- and also about the state of American politics.

That elephant is immigration, and the issue it represents is the defining one of our time. It is the most intractable, the most emotional, and the most irrepressible of all matters facing Western societies. And yet it was almost totally ignored in the most crucial debate so far in the Democratic quest for a presidential nominee. Two passing references was all the issue got over two hours of polemical fireworks.

President Trump certainly came in for his share of opprobrium from the top six Democratic candidates, yet nobody seemed to have the slightest awareness that the single most important issue driving Trump's political rise four years ago was immigration. A Pew Research Center survey revealed after the 2016 election that 66 percent of Trump supporters considered immigration to be a "very big" problem, the highest percentage for any issue. For Hillary Clinton supporters, the corresponding percentage was just 17. Also, fully 79 percent of Trump voters favored building the border wall he advocated, compared to just 10 percent for Clinton supporters.

During the 2016 campaign, the Washington Examiner called immigration "the mother of all issues" -- touching on jobs, national security and terrorism, the public fisc, and the cultural definition of America. That latter factor, said the paper, was a "nearly existential question" involving the ultimate definition of a nation without borders.

Elsewhere in the West, we see the same political percolation. By most analyses, immigration was the driving force behind Britain's 2016 vote for Brexit. The Atlantic ran a piece in June of that year headlined: "The Immigration Battle at the Heart of Brexit." After the vote, Slate rushed out to interview former British prime minister Tony Blair -- who, as the website noted, "presided over the opening of Britain's borders." That had unleashed "a wave of immigration unprecedented in [Britain's] history." Within a few years, noted Slate, "roughly twice as many immigrants arrived in the United Kingdom as had arrived in the previous half-century." The Brexit vote was in large measure a rebuke to that Blair project, pushed avidly and relentlessly by the British ruling class.

Elsewhere in Europe -- Hungary, Poland, France, Germany, Italy, even Sweden, among other nations -- mass immigration has emerged as the dominant issue, roiling the waters of national politics and pushing to the fore various types of conservative populism. New parties have emerged to join the issue, and old parties have gained new sway.

Many commentators and political analysts in recent years have posited the idea that a new political fault line has emerged throughout the West, between the globalist elites and ordinary citizens who are more nationalist in their political sensibilities and more culturally protective. This is true. And while there are many issues that have come into play here, such as trade, military adventurism, identity politics, and political correctness, immigration is the key driver.

Generally, the open-border elites have been on the defensive since Donald Trump seized the issue in 2015 and tied it to the emotional matters of terrorism and crime. Trump was probably correct in the first Republican debate of the 2016 election cycle when he said that, were it not for him, immigration probably wouldn't have been a major topic of discussion. It certainly seemed as if the other candidates preferred to keep it out of the campaign debate so it could be handled after the election in the more controlled environments of Congress and the courts. By bringing it up, even in his crude and disturbing manner, Trump galvanized a large body of voters who had concluded that the elites of both parties didn't really care about controlling the borders.

Indeed, in their 2018 book, The Great Revolt , Salena Zito and Brad Todd posit that Trump got an extra boost from working class Americans put off by the attacks on him from prominent politicians of both parties who called his immigration concerns "unhinged," "reprehensible," "xenophobic," "racist," and "fascist." Zito and Todd write that many Trump voters "saw one candidate, who shared their anxiety about immigration's potential connections to domestic terrorism, being attacked by an entire political and media establishment that blew off that concern as bigotry."

In this great political divide, the Democratic candidates at the debate represent the elite preference for policies that embrace or nearly embrace open borders. An NPR study of candidate positions indicated that, on the question of whether illegal crossings should be decriminalized, four of those on the debate stage say yes, while the positions of the other two remain "unclear." On whether immigration numbers should be increased, four say yes, while two are unclear. On whether federal funding for border enforcement should be increased or decreased, five have no clear position, while one says it should be decreased. A separate Washington Post study on the candidates' views as to whether illegal immigrants should be covered under a government-run health plan found that five say yes while one has no clear position.

The Democratic Party has become the party of the country's elites -- globalist, internationalist, anti-nationalist, free-trade, and open borders. Those views are so thoroughly at variance with those of Trump voters that it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that we have here a powerful issue of our time, perhaps the most powerful issue. Yet the journalistic moderators at Tuesday's event didn't see fit to ask about it. And the candidates weren't inclined to bring it up in any serious way.

Perhaps they thought that if they just ignored that elephant, eventually it would go away. It won't.

Robert W. Merry, longtime Washington, D.C., journalist and publishing executive, is the author most recently of President McKinley: Architect of the American Century (Simon & Schuster).

MarkVA 2 days ago

A million Eastern Europeans (Poles) move to the UK, and this precipitates Brexit. A million Ukrainians move to Poland, and it is hardly noticed there. There is a difference here which the author did not notice, or care to notice, and I feel no obligation to explain;

Also, in 2016 some truly nasty things were said about the Mexican people, and they were not said by the people on the left. Again, this post fails to mention any of that;

These two things suggest a myopia of American conservatism.

izzy MarkVA a day ago
Mark, you really are a voice of reason. I enjoy engaging with you.

Agree with you entirely here. I think you'll notice that ethnocentrism I was talking about in the previous conversation we had in Rod's post about BenOp for the humanities. The ethnocentrism is in full display on that thread.

It's weird to call the democrats the party of the elites when about half, it not more of the working class vote democratic. The Washington post just put out a poll on black Americans and their hatred of Trump is almost universal. Most blacks are working clsss. The vast majority of Hispanics are also working class and they sure aren't Trump voters either.

trailhiker 2 days ago
Trump and the GOP: had a mandate for populist reform, passed a tax-cut-for-billionaires, almost start a neocon war with Iran

Obama and the Dems: had a mandate and passed ACA, which BigMediPharma is totally fine with, gave Wall Street a big bailout and no punishment for the derivatives crash

Both of the parties are owned by the elites with a few exceptions here and there, such as Sanders and Gabbard. And of course those two are attacked quite a bit by the elites.

Kent trailhiker a day ago
Both parties want to increase immigration, because they drive down wages and increase profits. Both parties are funded by the same crew of the shareholding class.

Trump is an outlier in that he is willing to talk about the unmentionable, which got him elected. Unfortunately, by calling Mexican immigrants rapists, drug dealers and murderers, he associated the immigration issue with racism instead of wage issues. While that played to an ugly subset of his supporters, it took the discussion of immigration off the board for Democrats because they don't want the association.

Bernie Sanders has fought against open borders in the past because of the effect on wages. But he can't discuss it now.

[Jan 19, 2020] The old world is dying, and the new world struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters

Jan 19, 2020 |

"The Marxist political parties, including the Social Democrats and their followers, had fourteen years to prove their abilities. The result is a heap of ruins. All around us are symptoms portending this breakdown. With an unparalleled effort of will and of brute force the Communist method of madness is trying as a last resort to poison and undermine an inwardly shaken and uprooted nation.

In fourteen years the November parties have ruined the German farmer. In fourteen years they created an army of millions of unemployed. The National Government will carry out the following plan with iron resolution and dogged perseverance. Within four years the German farmer must be saved from pauperism. Within four years unemployment must be completely overcome.

Our concern to provide daily bread will be equally a concern for the fulfillment of the responsibilities of society to those who are old and sick. The best safeguard against any experiment which might endanger the currency lies in economical administration, the promotion of work, and the preservation of agriculture, as well as in the use of individual initiative."

Adolf Hitler, Radio Appeal to the German People, February 1, 1933

"Both religion and socialism thus glorify weakness and need. Both recoil from the world as it is: tough, unequal, harsh. Both flee to an imaginary future realm where they can feel safe. Both say to you. Be a nice boy. Be a good little girl. Share. Feel sorry for the little people. And both desperately seek someone to look after them -- whether it be God or the State.

A thriving upper class accepts with a good conscience the sacrifice of untold human beings, who, for its sake, must be reduced and lowered to incomplete human beings,to slaves, to instruments... One cannot fail to see in all these noble races the beast of prey, the splendid blond beast, prowling about avidly in search of spoil and victory; this hidden core needs to erupt from time to time, the animal has to get out again and go back to the wilderness."

Friedrich Nietzsche

"At a certain point in their historical cycles, social classes become detached from their traditional parties. In other words, the traditional parties, in their particular organisational bias, with the particular men who constitute, represent and lead them, are no longer recognised by their class as their own, and representing their interests. When such crises occur, the immediate situation becomes delicate and dangerous, because the field is open for violent solutions, for the activities of unknown forces, represented by charismatic 'men of destiny' [demagogues].

The old world is dying, and the new world struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters."

Antonio Gramsci, Prison Notebooks, 1930-35

"Be human in this most inhuman of ages; guard the image of man for it is the image of God. You agree? Good. Then go with my blessing. But I warn you, do not expect to make many friends. One of the awful facts of our age is the evidence that it is stricken indeed, stricken to the very core of its being by the presence of the Unspeakable."

Thomas Merton, Raids on the Unspeakable

"The more power a government has the more it can act arbitrarily according to the whims and desires of the elite, and the more it will make war on others and murder its foreign and domestic subjects."

R. J. Rummel, Death by Government: A History of Mass Murder and Genocide Since 1900

"This is as old as Babylon, and evil as sin. It is the power of the darkness of the world, and of spiritual wickedness in high places. The only difference is that it is not happening in the past, or in a book, or in some vaguely frightening prophecy -- it is happening here and now."


"The wealth of another region excites their greed; and if it is weak, their lust for power as well. Nothing from the rising to the setting of the sun is enough for them. Among all others only they are compelled to attack the poor as well as the rich. Plunder, rape, and murder they falsely call empire; and where they make a desert, they call it peace."


"Thus did a handful of rapacious citizens come to control all that was worth controlling in America. Thus was the savage and stupid and entirely inappropriate and unnecessary and humorless American class system created. Honest, industrious, peaceful citizens were classed as bloodsuckers, if they asked to be paid a living wage.

And they saw that praise was reserved henceforth for those who devised means of getting paid enormously for committing crimes against which no laws had been passed. Thus the American dream turned belly up, turned green, bobbed to the scummy surface of cupidity unlimited, filled with gas, went bang in the noonday sun."

Kurt Vonnegut, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater

"Day by day the money-masters of America become more aware of their danger, they draw together, they grow more class-conscious, more aggressive. The [first world] war has taught them the possibilities of propaganda; it has accustomed them to the idea of enormous campaigns which sway the minds of millions and make them pliable to any purpose.

American political corruption was the buying up of legislatures and assemblies to keep them from doing the people's will and protecting the people's interests; it was the exploiter entrenching himself in power, it was financial autocracy undermining and destroying political democracy. By the blindness and greed of ruling classes the people have been plunged into infinite misery."

Upton Sinclair, The Brass Check

"Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction."

Erich Fromm

"We must alter our lives in order to alter our hearts, for it is impossible to live one way and pray another.

If you have not chosen the kingdom of God first, it will in the end make no difference what you have chosen instead."

William Law

[Jan 18, 2020] Germany behaviour in Naftogas-Gasprom conflict makes zero sense unless you believe that Germany was acting as a proxy on behalf of a greater power

Jan 18, 2020 |


Thulean Friend , says: Show Comment December 23, 2019 at 5:34 am GMT
About this whole Ukraine-Russia gas transit thing that Felix is panicking about. It seems Germany had a key role in facilitating the deal.

However, that risk receded this week after Moscow and Kyiv concluded a landmark agreement that will ensure Russian gas continues to transit through Ukraine even after Nord Stream 2 is completed. Germany played a critical role in brokering the agreement and pressuring Russia to maintain Ukraine's transit status.

Why would Germany spend all this time and resources to construct these pipelines and then suddenly pressure Russia to maintain the transit fees? That makes zero sense unless you believe that Germany was acting as a proxy on behalf of a greater power. My pet theory: Germany most likely caved to US pressure and tried to triangulate at the last minute in a bid to stave off a larger German-US conflict.

Thulean Friend , says: Show Comment December 24, 2019 at 4:43 am GMT
@Swedish Family

What Germany wants, it seems to me, is (1) cheap energy for German industry, (2) a maximally weak Russian hand visavi Ukraine (which is now in effect a NATO/EU dependency), and (3) good enough relations with the Kremlin for Russia not to go rogue. Goals (1) and (3) obviously sit uneasily with goal (2), which is why we see so much back and forth.

I agree with (1) and (3) but I'd disagree over (2). I am not convinced Germany cares much about Ukraine's well-being. It is a very small economy (barely over 100 billion USD) and Germany's trade exposure to Ukraine is minimal. It isn't part of NATO, EU or any other major Western framework.

If Ukraine collapsed it would create significant refugee streams but Ukrainians are very easily assimilated into Western European countries, unlike Syrians or Turks, so even in a worse-case scenario the fallout would not be a major problem. If Croats or Serbs can mix into Germany easily, I don't see why Ukrainians would be a problem. Germany's shrinking work force would in fact even need such an influx. The only kink would be Russia's expanding borders if both Belarus+Ukraine was swallowed up but Germany probably would calculate that Russia wouldn't attack a NATO ally (and they wouldn't be wrong). I'm not saying Germany would want such an outcome, only that the worst-case scenario wouldn't be a big problem for them.

I think this has the fingerprints of the US all over it. Trump personally hates Ukraine, which has been documented in leaked documents during the impeachment process and major personalities of the Trumpist movement like Tucker Carlson openly cheers for Russia. So it wasn't Trump or his people who pushed for this but rather the permanent national-security state that was behind it and they are obsessed with keeping Russia down, or inventing fake Russiagate hoaxes to justify their paranoia. Germany made a 180 and suddenly pressured Russia to do something which Germany itself had no interest in keeping for the longest time. That suggests Germany caved to US pressure and tried to do a compromise. The US interest would be for NS2 to be scrapped completely. This was a German attempt at triangulating.

Either way, Ukraine got a big win purely because of Great Power politics over which they had no direct control.

[Jan 16, 2020] RUSSIAN FEDERATION SITREP 16 JANUARY 2020 by Patrick Armstrong - Sic Semper Tyrannis

Jan 16, 2020 |


Russian flag

THE GREAT RESHUFFLE . I do expect Putin to retire and assume him to be working on a succession plan to keep the team's aims in operation. He's due to go in about four years. I would not be surprised if we see something à la Kazakhstan where Nazarbayev still has a significant advisory authority.

1. NEW PM. Mikhail Mishustin, head of Tax Service . Is he the chosen one? (Would be a blow to the Hirsute Analytical Tool , though.) ( Мишустин bio on Russian Wikipedia.)

2. CONSTITUTION. Putin suggested constitutional tweaks. A ban on any form of dual citizenship for certain positions: they must "inseparably connect their lives with Russia and the Russian people without any assumptions and allowances". The Duma should appoint the PM and the PM the government although little was said about exactly how responsibilities were to be divvied up. (Did he support removing the two consecutive term rule? Don't know – depends on what you think " этим " refers to.)

3. PRECEDENCE. Back when the world was simpler and happier and Russians naïve, the Constitution (Art 15.4) said "If an international treaty of the Russian Federation establishes rules other than those stipulated by the law, the rules of the international treaty apply." Brutal reality has taught Moscow the true nature of the " Rules-Based International Order" and Putin has proposed to reverse the authority.

4. MEDVEDEV. Deputy Chairman of the Security Council . I think it's a real job and not a sinecure.

WHAT'S IT MEAN? My take . Doctorow . MacDonald . We are broadly in step. Robinson discusses possibilities. Those who see Russia as one man and many robots of course see this as Putin hanging onto power forever . But their predictive track record is pretty pathetic, isn't it?

FEDERAL ASSEMBLY ADDRESS. In addition to the constitutional matters above, Putin's address ( Rus ) ( Eng ), touched on other subjects. He began with population – the births per woman were 1.5 and he wants to raise that to 1.7 and proposes more day care places and greatly extending existing financial support programs as well as spending to improve healthcare. All this is possible because "The federal budget has had a surplus again" and inflation is low. ( Robinson points out, quite correctly, that there's a gap between what The Boss decrees and what actually happens . Nonetheless I'd say Putin has been much more successful than most leaders.) Foreign matters received the barest mention: situation in MENA threatening, Russia ready to cooperate, "defence capability is ensured for decades to come".

RUSSIA INC. Awara does a study of Russian and American earnings and demonstrates that, in purchasing power, they're a lot closer than you would think. It's not just money: health, housing and education – big expenses in the USA – are negligible in Russia.

CORRUPTION. After an investigation, the Russian Academy of Sciences has forced the retraction of hundreds of scientific articles for plagiarism and other forms of fraudulent behaviour.

RUSSIA, SPORTS AND DRUGS. It's all fakery – Mark Chapman takes the trouble to put it all together .

USN ALWAYS HAS RoW. Again the US accuses the Russian Navy of dangerous behaviour, again it was the USN ship that should have given way . ( Give way to starboard vessel .) Speaking of rules-based.

IRAQ. It is reported that that Baghdad is in talks with Moscow on buying S-300 SAM systems . Baghdad orders Americans out; they refuse; Baghdad might need air defence that's independent of US backdoor programming.

TURKSTREAM . Formally launched by the two presidents in Turkey .

NOT IN YOUR "NEWS" OUTLET. Helmer discusses a German parliamentary report that shows that there really isn't any evidence that Russia "invaded" Ukraine or controls the rebels: "few reliable facts and analyses aside from the numerous speculations". It calls it a "civil war" (bürgerkriegs). Which is what it actually is (with assistance from NATO and Russia, to be sure). ( Report, German only ).

TROUBLE IN PARADISE. A contested presidential election led to pretty strong protests with the Supreme Court changing its ruling. The long and the short is that Raul Khajimba , an important player and President for six years, resigned on Monday . New elections will be held in March. Independent Abkhazia has not been very stable and I don't have any good sources to guide me on what's happening. Although I have been told it is determined on real independence, joining neither Russia nor Georgia.

NEW NWO. Iran has just demonstrated it belongs to the rather small club of countries which can precisely strike a target from far away . At least somebody got the message .

[Jan 16, 2020] While it might work in domestic politics, this mad man negotiating tactic erodes trust in international affairs and it will take decades for the US to recover from the harm done by Trump's school yard bully approach.

Jan 16, 2020 |

Thuto , , January 14, 2020 at 11:48 am

While it might work in domestic politics, this mad man negotiating tactic erodes trust in international affairs and it will take decades for the US to recover from the harm done by Trump's school yard bully approach.

Even the docile Europeans are beginning to tire of this and once they get their balls stitched back on after being castrated for so long, America will have its work cut out crossing the chasm from unreliable and untrustworthy partner to being seen as dependable and worthy of entering into agreements with.

[Jan 12, 2020] Class Warfare: The restaurant industry has one of the highest rates of mental health issues in the country.

Jan 12, 2020 |

"Increasing the minimum wage can reduce suicide rates, study finds" [ Global News ]. "A study published Tuesday in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health examined the link between minimum wage increases and suicide rates among various groups across the U.S., between 1990 and 2015. For every dollar added to the minimum wage, suicide rates among people with a high school education or less dropped by 3.4 to 5.9 per cent, the authors found. The effects were more pronounced during periods of high unemployment."

"When 140 million Americans are poor, why has poverty disappeared from public discourse?" [ Des Moines Register ]. "'It's hard work being poor,' said John Campbell of Des Moines, a black man of 63 who works at Bridgestone Firestone and is active in the steel workers' union. Raised in poverty by a single mother of four who died of lung cancer in her 40s, Campbell enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserves and later in the Army from 1973 to '78 to escape his battles with drugs and alcohol. He went on to have sustained employment and an education through union programs. But recently, he's been out on disability, living on $300 a week. He had to refinance his house to pay the $3,000 deductible for the first of two knee replacement surgeries ." • We are ruled by House Harkonnen.

"Working in the restaurant industry will haunt your dreams" [ The Outline ]. "The restaurant industry has one of the highest rates of mental health issues in the country. As restaurant owners begin to address that crisis, they need to include trauma-induced chronic nightmares along with depression and addiction. The haunting might end, long after the aprons are hung up." • Servers have "waitmares" -- nightmares about waiting on tables.

[Jan 12, 2020] US has been preaching human rights while mounting wars and lying.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Over $7 trillion spent while homelessness is rampant. Healthcare is unaffordable for the 99% of the population. ..."
Jan 12, 2020 |

Likklemore , Jan 11 2020 17:48 utc | 201

At 2016, here is the long bombing list of the 32 countries by the late William Blum. Did I mention sanctions is an Act of War?

Little u.s. has been preaching human rights while mounting wars and lying. Albright thought the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children were worth it. !!! it was worth killings and maiming.

Over $7 trillion spent while homelessness is rampant. Healthcare is unaffordable for the 99% of the population.

The u.s. will leave Iraq and Syria aka Saigon 1975 or horizontal. It's over.

2020: u.s. Stands Alone.

Searching for friends. Now, after Russiagate here is little pompous: "we want to be friends with Russia." Sanctions much excepting we need RD180 engines, seizure of diplomatic properties. Who are you kidding?

"we seek a constructive and productive relationship with the Russian Federation".

What a bunch of hypocrites? How dare you criticize commenters who see little u.s. in the light of day, not a shining beacon on the hill..

[Jan 11, 2020] Blackstone Group , CEO Stephen A. Schwarzman Buys Houses in Bulk to Profit from Mortgage Crisis

Notable quotes:
"... These anecdotal stories about Invitation Homes being quick to evict tenants may prove to be the trend rather than the exception, given Blackstone's underlying business model. Securitizing rental payments creates an intense pressure on the company to ensure that the monthly checks keep flowing. For renters, that may mean you either pay on the first of the month every month, or you're out. ..."
Dec 19, 2019 |

renfro December 19, 2019 at 6:23 am GMT 2,600 Words

Tucker could have done a number on Trump friend Schwarzman too.Mark my words you're gonna have another melt down now that all the people who lost their home and ended up in rentals stop paying their rent that is now 2 1/2 times what their mortgage was.
This is another fake bubble being securitized and sold off. Just like putting people into houses with ARMs who couldnt afford them when the rates went up, Scharzman will fill up his rentals to 99% occupancy with special deals to sell them to investors, when the special deal period runs out and the rent goes up people will move out looking for cheaper housing and the securities wont be worth shit.

Blackstone Group , CEO Stephen A. Schwarzman Buys Houses in Bulk to Profit from Mortgage Crisis

You can hardly turn on the television or open a newspaper without hearing about the nation's impressive, much celebrated housing recovery. Home prices are rising! New construction has started! The crisis is over! Yet beneath the fanfare, a whole new get-rich-quick scheme is brewing.
Over the last year and a half, Wall Street hedge funds and private equity firms have quietly amassed an unprecedented rental empire, snapping up Queen Anne Victorians in Atlanta, brick-faced bungalows in Chicago, Spanish revivals in Phoenix. In total, these deep-pocketed investors have bought more than 200,000 cheap, mostly foreclosed houses in cities hardest hit by the economic meltdown.
Wall Street's foreclosure crisis, which began in late 2007 and forced more than 10 million people from their homes, has created a paradoxical problem. Millions of evicted Americans need a safe place to live, even as millions of vacant, bank-owned houses are blighting neighborhoods and spurring a rise in crime. Lucky for us, Wall Street has devised a solution: It's going to rent these foreclosed houses back to us. In the process, it's devised a new form of securitization that could cause this whole plan to blow up -- again.

Since the buying frenzy began, no company has picked up more houses than the Blackstone Group, a major private equity firm. Using a subsidiary company, Invitation Homes, Blackstone has grabbed houses at foreclosure auctions, through local brokers, and in bulk purchases directly from banks the same way a regular person might stock up on toilet paper from Costco.

In one move, it bought 1,400 houses in Atlanta in a single day. As of November, Blackstone had spent $7.5 billion to buy 40,000 mostly foreclosed houses across the country. That's a spending rate of $100 million a week since October 2012. It recently announced plans to take the business international, beginning in foreclosure-ravaged Spain.

Few outside the finance industry have heard of Blackstone. Yet today, it's the largest owner of single-family rental homes in the nation -- and of a whole lot of other things, too. It owns part or all of the Hilton Hotel chain, Southern Cross Healthcare, Houghton Mifflin publishing house, the Weather Channel, Sea World, the arts and crafts chain Michael's, Orangina, and dozens of other companies.

Blackstone manages more than $210 billion in assets, according to its 2012 Securities and Exchange Commission annual filing. It's also a public company with a list of institutional owners that reads like a who's who of companies recently implicated in lawsuits over the mortgage crisis, including Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, UBS, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, and of course JP Morgan Chase, which just settled a lawsuit with the Department of Justice over its risky and often illegal mortgage practices, agreeing to pay an unprecedented $13 billion fine.

In other words, if Blackstone makes money by capitalizing on the housing crisis, all these other Wall Street banks -- generally regarded as the main culprits in creating the conditions that led to the foreclosure crisis in the first place -- make money too.

An All-Cash Goliath

In neighborhoods across the country, many residents didn't have to know what Blackstone was to realize that things were going seriously wrong.

Last year, Mark Alston, a real estate broker in Los Angeles, began noticing something strange happening. Home prices were rising. And they were rising fast -- up 20 percent between October 2012 and the same month this year. In a normal market, rising home prices would mean increased demand from homebuyers. But here was the unnerving thing: the homeownership rate was dropping, the first sign for Alston that the market was somehow out of whack.

The second sign was the buyers themselves.

"I went two years without selling to a black family, and that wasn't for lack of trying," says Alston, whose business is concentrated in inner-city neighborhoods where the majority of residents are African American and Hispanic. Instead, all his buyers -- every last one of them -- were besuited businessmen. And weirder yet, they were all paying in cash.

Between 2005 and 2009, the mortgage crisis, fueled by racially discriminatory lending practices, destroyed 53 percent of African American wealth and 66 percent of Hispanic wealth, figures that stagger the imagination. As a result, it's safe to say that few blacks or Hispanics today are buying homes outright, in cash. Blackstone, on the other hand, doesn't have a problem fronting the money, given its $3.6 billion credit line arranged by Deutsche Bank. This money has allowed it to outbid families who have to secure traditional financing. It's also paved the way for the company to purchase a lot of homes very quickly, shocking local markets and driving prices up in a way that pushes even more families out of the game.

"You can't compete with a company that's betting on speculative future value when they're playing with cash," says Alston. "It's almost like they planned this."

In hindsight, it's clear that the Great Recession fueled a terrific wealth and asset transfer away from ordinary Americans and to financial institutions. During that crisis, Americans lost trillions of dollars of household wealth when housing prices crashed, while banks seized about five million homes. But what's just beginning to emerge is how, as in the recession years, the recovery itself continues to drive the process of transferring wealth and power from the bottom to the top.

From 2009-2012, the top 1 percent of Americans captured 95 percent of income gains. Now, as the housing market rebounds, billions of dollars in recovered housing wealth are flowing straight to Wall Street instead of to families and communities. Since spring 2012, just at the time when Blackstone began buying foreclosed homes in bulk, an estimated $88 billion of housing wealth accumulation has gone straight to banks or institutional investors as a result of their residential property holdings, according to an analysis by TomDispatch. And it's a number that's likely to just keep growing.

"Institutional investors are siphoning the wealth and the ability for wealth accumulation out of underserved communities," says Henry Wade, founder of the Arizona Association of Real Estate Brokers.

But buying homes cheap and then waiting for them to appreciate in value isn't the only way Blackstone is making money on this deal. It wants your rental payment, too.

Securitizing Rentals

Wall Street's rental empire is entirely new. The single-family rental industry used to be the bailiwick of small-time mom-and-pop operations. But what makes this moment unprecedented is the financial alchemy that Blackstone added. In November, after many months of hype, Blackstone released history's first rated bond backed by securitized rental payments. And once investors tripped over themselves in a rush to get it, Blackstone's competitors announced that they, too, would develop similar securities as soon as possible.

Depending on whom you ask, the idea of bundling rental payments and selling them off to investors is either a natural evolution of the finance industry or a fire-breathing chimera.

"This is a new frontier," comments Ted Weinstein, a consultant in the real-estate-owned homes industry for 30 years. "It's something I never really would have dreamt of."

However, to anyone who went through the 2008 mortgage-backed-security crisis, this new territory will sound strangely familiar.

"It's just like a residential mortgage-backed security," said one hedge-fund investor whose company does business with Blackstone. When asked why the public should expect these securities to be safe, given the fact that risky mortgage-backed securities caused the 2008 collapse, he responded, "Trust me."

For Blackstone, at least, the logic is simple. The company wants money upfront to purchase more cheap, foreclosed homes before prices rise. So it's joined forces with JP Morgan, Credit Suisse, and Deutsche Bank to bundle the rental payments of 3,207 single-family houses and sell this bond to investors with mortgages on the underlying houses offered as collateral. This is, of course, just a test case for what could become a whole new industry of rental-backed securities.

Many major Wall Street banks are involved in the deal, according to a copy of the private pitch documents Blackstone sent to potential investors on October 31st, which was reviewed by TomDispatch. Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan, and Credit Suisse are helping market the bond. Wells Fargo is the certificate administrator. Midland Loan Services, a subsidiary of PNC Bank, is the loan servicer. (By the way, Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and PNC Bank are all members of another clique: the list of banks foreclosing on the most families in 2013.)

According to interviews with economists, industry insiders, and housing activists, people are more or less holding their collective breath, hoping that what looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck won't crash the economy the same way the last flock of ducks did.

"You kind of just hope they know what they're doing," says Dean Baker, an economist with the Center for Economic and Policy Research. "That they have provisions for turnover and vacancies. But have they done that? Have they taken the appropriate care? I certainly wouldn't count on it." The cash flow analysis in the documents sent to investors assumes that 95 percent of these homes will be rented at all times, at an average monthly rent of $1,312. It's an occupancy rate that real estate professionals describe as ambitious.

There's one significant way, however, in which this kind of security differs from its mortgage-backed counterpart. When banks repossess mortgaged homes as collateral, there is at least the assumption (often incorrect due to botched or falsified paperwork from the banks) that the homeowner has, indeed, defaulted on her mortgage. In this case, however, if a single home-rental bond blows up, thousands of families could be evicted, whether or not they ever missed a single rental payment.

"We could well end up in that situation where you get a lot of people getting evicted not because the tenants have fallen behind but because the landlords have fallen behind," says Baker.

Bugs in Blackstone's Housing Dreams

Whether these new securities are safe may boil down to the simple question of whether Blackstone proves to be a good property manager. Decent management practices will ensure high occupancy rates, predictable turnover, and increased investor confidence. Bad management will create complaints, investigations, and vacancies, all of which will increase the likelihood that Blackstone won't have the cash flow to pay investors back.

If you ask CaDonna Porter, a tenant in one of Blackstone's Invitation Homes properties in a suburb outside Atlanta, property management is exactly the skill that Blackstone lacks. "If I could shorten my lease -- I signed a two-year lease -- I definitely would," says Porter.

The cockroaches and fat water bugs were the first problem in the Invitation Homes rental that she and her children moved into in September. Porter repeatedly filed online maintenance requests that were canceled without anyone coming to investigate the infestation. She called the company's repairs hotline. No one answered.

The second problem arrived in an email with the subject line marked "URGENT." Invitation Homes had failed to withdraw part of Porter's November payment from her bank account, prompting the company to demand that she deliver the remaining payment in person, via certified funds, by five p.m. the following day or incur "the additional legal fee of $200 and dispossessory," according to email correspondences reviewed by TomDispatch.

Porter took off from work to deliver the money order in person, only to receive an email saying that the payment had been rejected because it didn't include the $200 late fee and an additional $75 insufficient funds fee. What followed were a maddening string of emails that recall the fraught and often fraudulent interactions between homeowners and mortgage-servicing companies. Invitation Homes repeatedly threatened to file for eviction unless Porter paid various penalty fees. She repeatedly asked the company to simply accept her month's payment and leave her alone.

"I felt really harassed. I felt it was very unjust," says Porter. She ultimately wrote that she would seek legal counsel, which caused Invitation Homes to immediately agree to accept the payment as "a one-time courtesy."

Porter is still frustrated by the experience -- and by the continued presence of the cockroaches. ("I put in another request today about the bugs, which will probably be canceled again.")

A recent Huffington Post investigation and dozens of online reviews written by Invitation Homes tenants echo Porter's frustrations. Many said maintenance requests went unanswered, while others complained that their spiffed-up houses actually had underlying structural issues.

There's also at least one documented case of Blackstone moving into murkier legal territory. This fall, the Orlando, Florida, branch of Invitation Homes appeared to mail forged eviction notices to a homeowner named Francisco Molina, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Delivered in letter-sized manila envelopes, the fake notices claimed that an eviction had been filed against Molina in court, although the city confirmed otherwise. The kicker is that Invitation Homes didn't even have the right to evict Molina, legally or otherwise. Blackstone's purchase of the house had been reversed months earlier, but the company had lost track of that information.

The Great Recession of 2016?

These anecdotal stories about Invitation Homes being quick to evict tenants may prove to be the trend rather than the exception, given Blackstone's underlying business model. Securitizing rental payments creates an intense pressure on the company to ensure that the monthly checks keep flowing. For renters, that may mean you either pay on the first of the month every month, or you're out.

Although Blackstone has issued only one rental-payment security so far, it already seems to be putting this strict protocol into place. In Charlotte, North Carolina, for example, the company has filed eviction proceedings against a full 10 percent of its renters, according to a report by the Charlotte Observer.

About 9 percent of Blackstone's properties, approximately 3,600 houses, are located in the Phoenix metro area. Most are in low- to middle-income neighborhoods.

Forty thousand homes add up to only a small percentage of the total national housing stock. Yet in the cities Blackstone has targeted most aggressively, the concentration of its properties is staggering. In Phoenix, Arizona, some neighborhoods have at least one, if not two or three, Blackstone-owned homes on just about every block.

This inundation has some concerned that the private equity giant, perhaps in conjunction with other institutional investors, will exercise undue influence over regional markets, pushing up rental prices because of a lack of competition. The biggest concern among many ordinary Americans, however, should be that, not too many years from now, this whole rental empire and its hot new class of securities might fail, sending the economy into an all-too-familiar tailspin.

"You're allowing Wall Street to control a significant sector of single-family housing," said Michael Donley, a resident of Chicago who has been investigating Blackstone's rapidly expanding presence in his neighborhood. "But is it sustainable?" he wondered. "It could all collapse in 2016, and you'll be worse off than in 2008."

Rebel0007 , says: December 19, 2019 at 6:39 am GMT

This is not surprising that this has happened. All of the de-regulation on Wall Street, lobbied for by Wall Street has allowed this to transpire.

Congress does not even read the bills that they sign into law, let alone write them! Many are written by ALEC American Legislative Exchange Council, the Chamber of Commerce, the Realtor's assosiation, the Medical Industrial Complex, public employee unions, and various other special interest groups!

Why is it a pressing issue to actively promote homosexuality? What is the point? That is really strange! There is a difference between not actively discriminating and actively promoting!

Are they trying to worsen the AIDS epidemic or lower the birth rate? It does not make sense to be actively promoting and encouraging homosexuality.

sally , says: December 19, 2019 at 7:18 am GMT
@Colin Wright There are many venture capitalist that are not Jewish.. Venture Capitalist don't always advertise their wealth. Not everybody in Wall Street or the City of London is Jewish.

I think it is important to separate the Jews from the Zionist , many in that small group (Zionist) are Jewish and Christian but most Jews and most Christians are neither Venture Capitalist nor Zionist. Time after time I have asked my Jewish friends are you are Zionist, and most say they do not really know what Zionism is? Zionism hosts many races among its members; in the states, Christian Zionism is big, maybe bigger even than Jewish Zionism.. see Christian Zionism : The Tragedy and the Turning: the cause of our Conflicts (on DVD) by .

Zionism is an economic system. Zionism is a winner take all system of Economics . Zionism is like an adult version of the game called King of the Mountain. In such a game, no one is allowed to play unless they first have sufficient resources to be counted, and are then willing to and believe they are personally capable of defeating the then residing well armed king (Oligarch). IMO, all Jews everywhere, would be well advised to avoid being labelled a Zionist<=hence the reason ?

Zionism is not the same as Judaism, its not a race, its not a religion, its not even a culture, it is an economic system with virus like attributes.

mark green , says: December 19, 2019 at 7:23 am GMT
@Lot You are quibbling. You are prevaricating. You are obfuscating.

Joyce has assembled a powerful case against a known cast of financial parasites. This phenomena is hardly new. It brings to mind another financial scandal of a generation ago that was chronicled in James B. Stewart's book 'Den of Thieves'.

The mega-wealthy swindlers of that era were also all Jews: Boesky, Siegel, Levine, Milken, among others. Some twenty years later, another Wall Street Jew, Bernie Madoff, succeeds in pulling off the biggest fraud in US history. There's a pattern here.

Yet all you can do, Lot, is deflect, denigrate, and deny.

Joyce is giving us more actual names. These are the actual perps as well as institutions they hide behind. These ruthless predators collude with one another as they exploit the labor of millions of gentiles worldwide, then shower Jewish causes and philanthropies with their loot. Their tribal avarice is revolting. And insatiable.

Do you deny this phenomena?

Is it all just another 'anti-Semitic canard'?

You even claim [Joyce] is

"retarded and highly uninformed".


He's brilliant and persuasive.


He's erudite and scholarly.

You, Lot, are demonstrating again devious tribal dishonesty. It's glaring, it's shameful, and it's obvious. This is a trait I've observed in virtually all of your writings. You invariably deflect and deny. But Jewish criminality is real.

Joyce aptly concludes:

[T]he prosperity and influence of Zionist globalism rests to an overwhelming degree on the predations of the most successful and ruthless Jewish financial parasites.

So true. So tragically true.

Rebel0007 , says: December 19, 2019 at 7:28 am GMT
This is a Jewish conspiracy to make Jews look terrible. Congress should slam the breaks here. The de-regulation of the powerful combined with the over-regulation of the powerless is criminally wreckless. Kind of like the friends don't let friends drive drunk approach.

Congress slam the breaks, yeah right, that'll happen! Lol!

This won't end well.

HammerJack , says: December 19, 2019 at 7:30 am GMT
@Colin Wright Andrew Carnegie left behind institutions like Carnegie Hall, Carnegie-Mellon University, and over 2500 Free Libraries from coast to coast, in a time when very little was done to help what we now call the "underprivileged".

In fact, he gave away 90% of his massive fortune–about $75 Billion in current dollars. Funding, in the process, many charities, hospitals, museums, foundations and institutions of learning. He was a major benefactor of negro education.

He was a staunch anti-imperialist who believed America should concentrate its energies on peaceful endeavors rather than conquering and subduing far-off lands.

Although they are even more keen to put their names on things, today's robber barons leave behind mainly wreckage.

PetrOldSack , says: December 19, 2019 at 8:16 am GMT
@anon "Crowing on a pile of dung", global in scope, local and exclusive to thier own.
Ghali , says: December 19, 2019 at 8:46 am GMT
Jews are destroying the world. Everywhere they go, they leave behind nations in ruins. Look at Europe, Africa and the Americas, Jews have left their ugly footprints. Corruption, prostitution, drugs and human trafficking are their trade.
Just passing through , says: December 19, 2019 at 8:56 am GMT
@anon A combination of both I would say, although some would like to make it out that Anglo-Saxons were the epitome of honour, they too resorted to morallly abject tricks and swindles to acquire their wealth.

WASPs allowed Jews into their lands and both of them struck a sort of implicit contract to work together to loot the world, when the word had been sucked dry, the conflict between Jews and WASPs began and Hitler and the National Socialists were a last gasp attempt to save the WASP side from being beaten, in the end higher Jewish verbal IQ gave them the upper edge in the ability to trick people.

It is hard to feel sorry for WASPs, they struck a deal with the Jews centuries ago to work together and were backstabbed, what is happening to these Third World countries will now happen to WASP countries, it is poetic justice. Luckily the torch of civilisation will continue by way of East Asia and Eastern Europe, who were true conservatives in that all they wished was prosperity for their people in their own lands without any aggressive foreign policy moves.

Basically, WASPs thought that they could win in the end, but they were out Jew'd and now they are crying.

The one difference you will notice is that certain subsections of WASPs, notable the British, actually did build infrastructure in the countries they looted, this to me was borne out of a sense of guilt, so to be fair, WASPs were not as parasitic and ruthless as Jews.

But in the end, the more ruthless wins. To quote the Joker

You get what you fucking deserve

Sean , says: December 19, 2019 at 9:44 am GMT
@Lot Kyle Bass's fund is called 'Hayman', maybe because the MSM loathe the Bass family that fellow Texican Bass is not related to. They are not the only ones aware of the drawbacks of a name. Elliot is Singer's middle one.

The article bounces back and forth between two completely different fields: private equity and distressed debt funds

If someone owes you money and you cannot collect, you factor the account, (sell it on) and then people who are going to be a lot less pleasant about it will pay them a visit and have a 'talk' with them. While it is good to have a domestic bankruptcy regime in which innovation and entrepreneurship is encouraged– to the extent that people are not routinely gaming the system–I don't see why Argentina should benefit. Singer became notorious for what he did to Argentina after he bought their debt, and he is pretty upfront about not caring who objects. Puerto Rico is neither foreign or protected by Chapter 9 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code so it is a borderline case, which is probably why the people collecting that debt tried to hide who they were.

The way he took down Jonathan Bush and others led to Bloomberg dubbing Singer 'The World's Most Feared Investor'. Singer buys into companies where he sees the management as as failing to deliver maximum value to the shareholders, then applies pressure to raise the share price (in Bush's case extremely personal pressure) that often leads to the departure of the CEO and sale of the company. That immediate extra value for the shareholder Singer creates puts lots of working people out a job. Because of Singer and his imitators, CEO's are outsourcing and importing replacements for indigenous workers in those services that cannot be outsourced. All the while loath to foster innovation that could bring about long term growth, because that would interfere with squeezing out more and more shareholder value.

Singer is less like a vulture than a rogue elephant that is killing the breeding pair white rhinos on a game reserve, and they are going extinct. Well it's a good thing! Thanks to Singer et al (including Warren Buffett) Trump got elected. According to someone in jail with Epstein, he had an anecdote about Trump being asked by a French girl what 'white trash' was, and Trump replied 'It's me without the money'.

Trump is now essentially funded by three Jews -- Singer, Bernard Marcus, and Sheldon Adelson, together accounting for over $250 million in pro-Trump political money. In return, they want war with Iran.

All to the good. Iran won't leave Saudi Arabia (serious money) alone so Iran is going to have to be crushed as a threat to the Saud family like Saddam before it anyway. If the Jews think they are causing it, let 'em think so.
When the Israelis occupy nearly all of the West Bank with Donald Trump's approval and start "relocating" the existing population, who will be around to speak up? No one, as by that time saying nay to Israel will be a full-fledged hate crime and you can go to jail for doing so

Loudspeaker goes off " All Anti–Zionist Jews to Times Square ".

silviosilver , says: December 19, 2019 at 9:48 am GMT
@Colin Wright No judeophile, but it's 90% demagogic horsehit.

God forbid anybody should ever have to pay back money they borrow! Why, that's utterly Jewish!

These so-called "vulture" funds didn't originate the debt. They simply purchased already existing debt at deeply discounted prices either because the debt was already in default or was at imminent risk of defaulting, which is why the debt sells at a heavy discount, since existing debt holders are often happy to sell cheap and get something rather than hold on and risk getting nothing.

What Joyce zeroes in on is these vulture funds' willingness to use all legal avenues to force debtors to make good on their debts, including seizing the collateral the debtors pledged when they borrowed the money. Joyce chooses to characterize this practice as "Jewish," implying that gentile creditors would instead be overcome with compassion and let the debtors off the hook and wear the loss themselves.

What Joyce regards as a defect of "vulture" funds, others might regard as an benefit. The size of these funds, their legal expertise, and their political connections mean that borrowers can more successfully be held to account. If I owned, say, Puerto Rican debt in my retirement account, the chances that I could make Puerto Rico honor its obligations are much slimmer.

None of this is to suggest that finance, as we today know it, is perfect and that it couldn't be reformed in any way to make its operation more conducive to nationalistic social values, only that anti-cap ideologues like Joyce weave lurid tales of malfeasance out of completely humdrum market economics (which is precisely the same market economics that Tucker Carlson learned about too, btw).

J Adelman , says: December 19, 2019 at 9:53 am GMT
Mr. Joyce
Your obsession with us will prove to be your downfall.
Jewish people have always stood against tyranny against the working class, the poor and other people of color.
The phrases and catch words that you used to vilify Jews are in many cases pulled from the age old tropes used to demonize Jews for centuries and are anti-Semitic through and through. They can't be overlooked nor hidden by claims of legitimate political disagreements.
We know that it is not only the Jewish community that is at risk from unchecked antisemitism, but also other communities that white nationalists target.
I find it very offensive that people like you continue to demonize us for no reason.

I dare you to hold a debate with me on this so called "Jewish Influence".
I am not even hiding my name here.

[Jan 11, 2020] Atomization of workforce as a part of atomization of society under neoliberalism

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... a friend of mine, born in Venice and a long-time resident of Rome, pointed out to me that dogs are a sign of loneliness. ..."
"... And the cafes and restaurants on weekends in Chicago–chockfull of people, each on his or her own Powerbook, surfing the WWW all by themselves. ..."
"... The preaching of self-reliance by those who have never had to practice it is galling. ..."
"... Katherine: Agreed. It is also one of the reasons why I am skeptical of various evangelical / fundi pastors, who are living at the expense of their churches, preaching about individual salvation. ..."
"... So you have the upper crust (often with inheritances and trust funds) preaching economic self-reliances, and you have divines preaching individual salvation as they go back to the house provided by the members of the church. ..."
Apr 18, 2017 |
DJG , April 17, 2017 at 11:09 am
Neoliberalism is creating loneliness. That's what's wrenching society apart George Monbiot, Guardian

George Monbiot on human loneliness and its toll. I agree with his observations. I have been cataloguing them in my head for years, especially after a friend of mine, born in Venice and a long-time resident of Rome, pointed out to me that dogs are a sign of loneliness.

A couple of recent trips to Rome have made that point ever more obvious to me: Compared to my North Side neighborhood in Chicago, where every other person seems to have a dog, and on weekends Clark Street is awash in dogs (on their way to the dog boutiques and the dog food truck), Rome has few dogs. Rome is much more densely populated, and the Italians still have each other, for good or for ill. And Americans use the dog as an odd means of making human contact, at least with other dog owners.

But Americanization advances: I was surprised to see people bring dogs into the dining room of a fairly upscale restaurant in Turin. I haven't seen that before. (Most Italian cafes and restaurants are just too small to accommodate a dog, and the owners don't have much patience for disruptions.) The dogs barked at each other for while–violating a cardinal rule in Italy that mealtime is sacred and tranquil. Loneliness rules.

And the cafes and restaurants on weekends in Chicago–chockfull of people, each on his or her own Powerbook, surfing the WWW all by themselves.

That's why the comments about March on Everywhere in Harper's, recommended by Lambert, fascinated me. Maybe, to be less lonely, you just have to attend the occasional march, no matter how disorganized (and the Chicago Women's March organizers made a few big logistical mistakes), no matter how incoherent. Safety in numbers? (And as Monbiot points out, overeating at home alone is a sign of loneliness: Another argument for a walk with a placard.)

Katharine , April 17, 2017 at 11:39 am

I particularly liked this point:

In Britain, men who have spent their entire lives in quadrangles – at school, at college, at the bar, in parliament – instruct us to stand on our own two feet.

With different imagery, the same is true in this country. The preaching of self-reliance by those who have never had to practice it is galling.

DJG , April 17, 2017 at 11:48 am

Katherine: Agreed. It is also one of the reasons why I am skeptical of various evangelical / fundi pastors, who are living at the expense of their churches, preaching about individual salvation.

So you have the upper crust (often with inheritances and trust funds) preaching economic self-reliances, and you have divines preaching individual salvation as they go back to the house provided by the members of the church.

[Jan 11, 2020] People vs money

Notable quotes:
"... It all depends on what the penalties are. Confiscation of hidden assets would chill that behavior, strike one. Loss of the privilege to conduct business with federal and state entities would also chill such behavior, strike two. Finally, for persistent violations of the cap, loss of citizenship and expulsion form the country, three strikes and you are literally out, would be the ultimate penalty. ..."
"... The United States is actually both a federation (hardly unique by the way) and a representative democracy. Whether you call them members of Parliament or members of Congress, their representatives are elected by the people. ..."
Jan 11, 2020 |

apacheman -> DeltaFoxWhiskyMike , 7 Jul 2018 23:32

Excuse me?

Huge numbers of people who disagree with me and don't share my particular beliefs are not sociopaths, nothing would stop them from running or holding office, and I've no problem with that.

Are you arguing that sociopaths have an inalienable right to hold office, even though they will inevitably use that office to aggrandize themselves at the expense of everyone else, and could spark a general war just for their own enjoyment and to gather yet more power to themselves?

THAT I'm not ok with, are you?

DeltaFoxWhiskyMike -> apacheman , 7 Jul 2018 21:12
How do people who don't share your beliefs get represented if you rig the system to exclude them? People unlike you are sociopaths? It isn't even tempting. Your cost benefit study benefits you. The world is destabilized if your guys don't get in? No surprise.
HauptmannGurski -> Aseoria , 7 Jul 2018 20:26
I know, and Bush I was head of the CIA. Strange that one matters and the other does not.
Sisyphus2 -> Byron Delaney , 7 Jul 2018 20:05
Love this line: "the gig economy combined with record debt and astronomically high rent prices cancel out any potential economic stability for millions of people."

The under-employment rate is also very informative. People working less hours or in lower positions than their investment in education should have returned to them. They are working, but not enough to be able to independently sustain themselves, which makes them insecure in variety of ways.

Aseoria -> ildfluer , 7 Jul 2018 19:52
Do you think the interpreters might turn out to be agents, or perhaps even assassins, from other governments? Or maybe everybody will be knocked out with fentanyl gas at dinner. In the dining room.
Aseoria -> consumerx , 7 Jul 2018 19:47
Typical Good-Cop Bad-Cop from here in the vaunted "Two-Party" system of the USA gov
Janaka77 -> petersview , 7 Jul 2018 19:05
I like the way the Republic of Ireland puts strict restrictions on political spending for their elections - including their presidential elections.
apacheman -> memo10 , 7 Jul 2018 19:02
1. It all depends on what the penalties are. Confiscation of hidden assets would chill that behavior, strike one. Loss of the privilege to conduct business with federal and state entities would also chill such behavior, strike two. Finally, for persistent violations of the cap, loss of citizenship and expulsion form the country, three strikes and you are literally out, would be the ultimate penalty.

The alternative, continuing to allow unlimited wealth accumulation will ultimately destroy democracy and end in a dictatorship nearly impossible to remove without massive casualties. Is that preferable to trying to control the behavior of wealth addicts? Make no mistake: billionaires are addicts, their uncontrollable addiction to more is an extreme form of hoarding dysfunction, one that, like all uncontrolled addictions, has had disastrous consequences for everyone but them.

3. Fewer Representatives means you are concentrating power rather than dispersing it. More means smaller districts, which in turn means more accountability, not less. As it stands now, Congresscritters can safely ignore the wishes of the public, because when someone "represents" nearly a million citizens, it means they actually represent only themselves. If taken in conjunction with item #2, more citizens would be invested in the political process and far more likely to pay attention.

4. The Hare test is a standard written exam that is difficult to cheat. Getting caught at cheating or attempting to cheat would mark one automatically as a sociopath. The latest studies of brain structures show that sociopaths have physically different brains, and those physical differences are detectable. Brain activity as shown by fMRI also clearly marks a sociopath from a normal, since while they can fake emotional responses very well, their brain activity shows their true lack of response to emotionally charged images, words, etc. Using a three-layer test, written>fMRI>genetic should be robust enough to correctly identify most. The stakes are too huge to risk a set of sociopaths and their lackeys control of the machinery of government. The genetic test is the most likely to give problematic results, but if the written is failed, the fMRI would then be done to confirm or reject the written results, while the genetics would be a supplementary confirmation. Widespread genetic testing of politicians and would-bes would undoubtedly advance research and understanding dramatically.

When you do even a casual cost-benefit study, the answer is clear: test them. Ask yourself: is the thwarting of an individual's potential career in politics really that great a cost compared to preventing unknowingly electing a sociopath who could destabilize the entire world?

Janaka77 -> scotti dodson , 7 Jul 2018 18:55

Another big difference of course is a little thing called the law.

Are you under the impression the British don't have rule of law? Their elected representatives make their laws, not their ceremonial royal family. Their royal family's job is to abide by the same laws as every other UK citizen, stay out of politics and promote British tourism and gossip magazines.

Janaka77 -> Ben Groetsch , 7 Jul 2018 18:15

The United States is actually a federal republic, not a democracy.

The United States is actually both a federation (hardly unique by the way) and a representative democracy. Whether you call them members of Parliament or members of Congress, their representatives are elected by the people.

WillisFitnurbut -> Byron Delaney , 7 Jul 2018 17:57

If we move the cheap manufacturing to the US, and wages are lower due to a depression, people will take the jobs, and the job numbers will improve. And China will be toast.

We will never beat China at manufacturing cheap and efficient products using human labor. Robotic labor maybe, but that might not happen for a decade or more at least--if they or another country doesn't beat us to retooling our factories.
Labor and manufacturing will never return in the US--unless we have another world war we win, in which all global production is again concentrated in the US because the rest of the worlds factories are bombed to rubble. Besides, they have the most central location for manufacturing in the world and a cheap source of endless labor.

What they don't have is innovation, tech and freedom to try products out on a free market. We are squandering those advantages in the US when we cut education and limit college education to the masses.

memo10 -> DeltaFoxWhiskyMike , 7 Jul 2018 17:48

The system is not crooked,

Are Americans the most immoral people on earth? I don't think so. Do we have the strictest code of laws on earth? I don't think so either. Yet we have the highest incarceration rate on earth. Higher than authoritarian countries like China & Russia.

This alone should tell you something is wrong with our system. Never mind the stats about differing average sentences depending on race & wealth.

WillisFitnurbut -> DeltaFoxWhiskyMike , 7 Jul 2018 17:42
Doubt implies a reason behind the wrong, where uncertainty implies an unknowing trait--a mystery behind the wrong.

The right, what with all its fake news scams, deep state BS and witch hunt propaganda, is uncertainty at best, a mystery of sorts--it provides us with a conspiracy that can neither be proved or unproven--an enigma.

Doubt, about if Russia meddled in the US election in collusion with the president or at the least his advisors, surely implies something is wrong, especially in the face of criminal charges, doubt is inherent and well intentioned, but not always true and can be proven false in the face of doubt.

Byron Delaney -> DeltaFoxWhiskyMike , 7 Jul 2018 17:00
At one time the US was agrarian and one could subsist via bartering. Consider reliance on for-profit healthcare, transportation systems, debt, credit cards, landlords, grocery stores, and the lack of any ability to subsist without statewide and nationwide infrastructure. Right now, people in the US already die prematurely if they can't afford healthcare. Many are homeless. And this is when things are better than ever? What will happen here is what happened in Europe during WWII. People will suffer, and they will be forced to adopt socialist practices (like the EU does today). People in Europe really did starve to death, and people in India, Africa, and other countries are starving and dying today. China doles out food rations because they practice communism. That's why they have cheap, efficient labor that serves to manufacture products for US consumers. Communism and socialism help American corporations big time.
DeltaFoxWhiskyMike -> kmacafee , 7 Jul 2018 16:51
Citizens United is a First Amendment decision. Which part of the First Amendment do you want moot? What gives any government the right to decide which assemblies of citizens have no free speech rights?
DeltaFoxWhiskyMike -> WillisFitnurbut , 7 Jul 2018 16:47
Doubt is everybody's political currency.
DeltaFoxWhiskyMike -> Byron Delaney , 7 Jul 2018 16:46
You are aware, I imagine, that the US can adjust its money supply to adapt to circumstances? We can feed ourselves. We have our own power sources. We can improvise, adapt, and overcome. Prices go up and down. No big deal. Scaring people for political gain doesn't have the clout it onvce did.
DeltaFoxWhiskyMike -> tjt77 , 7 Jul 2018 16:40
Are you opposed to people deciding who moves across their nation's borders?
DeltaFoxWhiskyMike -> Elephantmoth , 7 Jul 2018 16:38
Open Secrets Top Donors, Organizations.
DeltaFoxWhiskyMike -> memo10 , 7 Jul 2018 16:35
Too many virtue signalers seem to think that only the innocent are ever convicted.
The system is not crooked, but if you can set up a better one that doesn't bankrupt every community, have at it.
DeltaFoxWhiskyMike -> WillisFitnurbut , 7 Jul 2018 16:29
You really, really, really like screaming racist, don't you? And slide in a Godwin. Wow. The concept that black pastors would be negatively impacted by financial attacks on their churches never ever occurred to you, did it? You get off on pretending to care about people that you have no direct, routine connection to. How virtuous of you. Wouldn't deliberately harming black churches make you the racist storm trooper?
Byron Delaney -> WillisFitnurbut , 7 Jul 2018 16:08
Violence will break out when credit cards stop working. Can't even imagine what will happen if people are starving. No problem in a socialistic country like Finland, but a big problem here. My guess is that Trump knows the economy is hanging by a thread, so needs to create an alternate reason (trade wars). Or he figures he might as well have a trade war if it's all going to pieces anyway. Of course China manufactures just about everything for the US. If we move the cheap manufacturing to the US, and wages are lower due to a depression, people will take the jobs, and the job numbers will improve. And China will be toast.
WillisFitnurbut -> Byron Delaney , 7 Jul 2018 15:49
Don't forget as the Trump trade war heats up and China decides to sell off US bonds en-masse (they own 1.17 trillion in US debt). That's gonna put a hurt on the already low US dollar and could send inflation soaring. China could also devalue its currency and increase the trade deficit. Combine those with all the things you've pointed out and you've got financial troubles the likes of which no large government has ever dealt with in human history.
Starving people--China can handle in droves; not so much the US. We're talking nasty violence if that kinda stuff happens here.
Melty Clock -> happylittledebunkera , 7 Jul 2018 15:43
True, but the POTUS is a head of state and the PM is not, so there's a limit to how far we should take comparisons.
WillisFitnurbut , 7 Jul 2018 15:05
Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, the people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government; and to reform, alter, or totally change the same, when their protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness require it.
Byron Delaney , 7 Jul 2018 15:02
Occupy Wall Street began due to income inequality when the worst effects of the Great Recession were being felt by the population. Wealth inequality has only increased since then.

Right now, the population is held at bay because the media and politicians claim that the economy is so incredibly hot it's overheating. But we know that's a lie. For one, the gig economy combined with record debt and astronomically high rent prices cancel out any potential economic stability for millions of people. This year, 401(k) plans have returned almost nothing (or are going negative). This was also the case in 2016. Savings accounts have returned almost nothing for the last decade (they should be providing approximately 5% interest).

The worker participation rate today is 3.2% below what it was in 2008 (during the Great Recession). The US population, meanwhile, has increased by approximately 24,321,000. That's a 7.68% increase. The labor force has increased by 5% during this time (unemployment rate was relatively similar, 5.6% vs 4%). From June 2008 to June 2018, the labor force increased by approximately 8 million. However, if the worker participation rate was the same now as it was then, there would be approximately 8 million more people in the labor force. If you add 8 million people to the current number of people who are counted as unemployed by the BLS, the unemployment rate is approximately 9%. This is about as high as the unemployment rate got during the depths of the Great Recession, right when Occupy Wall Street was born.

Now, OK, sure, the economy has REPLACED lost jobs, but it has not ADDED jobs for the last decade. The unemployment rate is false. It should be at least 8%. There's many millions of Americans who do not have steady, gainful employment - or any employment - and they are not counted.
The billionaires and their bought politicians are responsible for fixing this. They can fix it and should fix it. Otherwise, the economy and their profits are going to fall off a giant cliff any day now. The next recession has basically already begun, but it can still be alleviated. If things continue as they are, unemployment could be 16% by 2020, with the U6 measure approaching or exceeding 25%. If stocks drop enough, people may starve to death.

kmacafee , 7 Jul 2018 14:11
Who supported Citizen's United? All cons and republicans

Who supports campaign finance reform and legislation that would make Cititzen's United moot? Democrats and progressives

Really tired of the false equivalencies. Republicans are now the polar opposite of Democrats in policy and principles. Vote Blue this November and get rid of the republicans; every single one of them. It can be done if people get out and vote.

memo10 -> apacheman , 7 Jul 2018 14:10
1. Anything is possible but I don't think this is practical. The rich can just cheat on the definition of ownership, pass it around between family members, offshore it, sink it into their businesses in token ways, etc. When you try to take wealth (power) away from the most powerful people in the country they will start devoting SERIOUS resources to getting around it.

3. I'm not saying we need fewer people doing congress's job in total. But we should be electing fewer of them, and letting those fewer people do more hiring/delegating. The way things are now, most of the public only knows much about the president. Everyone else is mostly just a vote for a party. But if the country only voted for 50 Congressmen in total - or even fewer - then we would all have a more careful eye on them. We would know them better and see them more individually. They would have less pressure to toe the party line all the time.

4. As long as there's a written test then it will get cheated. Right now the testing is rarely given and the specific consequences don't determine powerful people's careers. Make it a widespread & important thing and people will learn to cheat it.
The genetic + fMRI research is interesting but the whole thing opens up serious cans of worms. We're talking about DQ'ing somebody from an important career based partially on the results of a genetic screening for a character trait. That's a dangerous business for our whole society to get into. Although I do realize the payoff for this specific instance would be very big.

apacheman -> memo10 , 7 Jul 2018 13:34
1. Why do you think that? Using teams of forensic accountants and outlawing secret accounts would go a long way towards increasing enforceability. But you are viewing it as a legal problem rather than a cultural problem. If an effective propaganda campaign aimed on one level at the public and another level at the billionaires, it could work. Many billionaires are already committed to returning their fortunes to the economy (mostly after they are dead, true). Convince a few and the rest will follow. Give them the lure of claiming the title of the richest who ever were and some would be eager for that place in history.

Anything can be done if the will is there.

2. Income taxes are just a portion of the federal revenues, ~47%. Corporate taxes, parkland fees, excise taxes, ~18% taken together and Social Security make up the rest. Revenues would increase as taxpayers topped off step amounts to keep control. The beauty of it is that Congress would see very clearly where the nation's priorities were. Any politician trying to raise fines so that they had more money under their control would soon find themselves out of office. Unpopular programs would have to be financed out of the 18%, and that would likely make them increase corporate taxes. But most importantly, it would cut the power of politicians and decrease the effectiveness of lobbyists.

3. Actually, we have too few, not too many. The work of governance suffers because there is too much to be done and too few to do it. Spreading the workload and assigning responsibility areas would increase efficiency. Most importantly though, it would break up the oligarchic duopoly that keeps a stranglehold on the nation's politics, and bring more third party candidates into office giving Congress a more diverse culture by adding viewpoints based on other things than business interests.

4. Actually, advances in fMRI equipment and procedures, along with genetics and written testing can prove beyond a reasonable doubt whether or not someone is a sociopath, do some research and you'l see it is true. False positives in any testing regime are always an issue, but tens of millions of workers submit to drug tests to qualify for their jobs, and their jobs don't usually run the risk of plunging the world into war, economic or environmental disasters. False positives are common in the workplace and cost many thousands their jobs.

And there's an easy way to prove you aren't really a sociopath: be honest, don't lie, and genuinely care about people...things sociopaths cannot do over time.

Seriously, it is a societal safety issue that demands to be done, protecting the few against false positives means opening the floodgates for the many sociopaths who seek power over others.

WillisFitnurbut -> ConBrio , 7 Jul 2018 13:25
Not just eliminate--alter and add to it, but since it takes 2/3 majority of the house and senate to amend the constitution--it's not an easy feat--that's why there has only been 17 amendments altogether and two of them are there to cancel each other out!
You see, the beauty behind the National Popular Vote Bill is that it's done on a state by state basis and will only work when the required 270 electoral votes are gained with the bill--this means all voters would have their votes tallied in a presidential election and it eliminates swing states with a winner takes all approach. The electoral college and state control of elections are preserved and every one is happy.
I feel like you've not read up on any of this even though I provide a link. 12 of these bills have been enacted into state law already, comprising of 172 electoral votes and 3,112 legislative sponsors. That's more than halfway there.
To continue to say that changing the way we vote by altering the EC is a fantasy is in itself a fantasy because obviously it is gaining traction across the country.
tjt77 -> DeltaFoxWhiskyMike , 7 Jul 2018 12:51
Which 'side' do you imagine I'm on Mike ? FYI.. Im not a member of any tribe especially regarding the republican or democrat parties... you may have noticed that as part of the progress towards a globalized economy, 'Money' now has open borders...but the restrictions of movement for people are growing as nationalism rises and wealth and the power it yields, becomes ever more concentrated in fewer hands...this is a dangerous precedent and history repeats if lessons of the past are not learned.
I can well recall when humanity and the ability of the individual to attain freedom and liberty based upon the merit of the individual was once celebrated.
What really irks me and causes me to voice my opinion on this forum, ( thank you Guardian for your continued efforts at informing us all and especially for promoting participation) is how easily people are duped .. when 'others' can easily see that they are being lied to. My parents fought for freedom and liberty against vicious tyranny in Europe and paid a HUGE the time the scales had tipped the balance towards fascism, it was far too late for anything other than all out war... the fact that they survived the required sacrifice to pitch in to protect democracy, and the freedom and liberty which comes with it, still seems miraculous..
Gary Daily , 7 Jul 2018 12:20
Billionaires on the left should put some of that money into paying for and distributing subscriptions to newspapers and magazines which live up to the standards of professional journalism. These papers should be made available, free, at high schools, colleges, libraries, and commercial centers of loitering and "neighborly" discussions. May I suggest the NYT, WP, The Guardian, and The Economist.
ConBrio -> WillisFitnurbut , 7 Jul 2018 12:16
The "fact" that there have been 700 attempts to eliminate it should tell you that in all likelihood the The Electoral College will continue.

Whether or not a group of states can effectively circumvent the Constitution is an open question.

aquacalc -> ghstwrtrx7 , 7 Jul 2018 12:01
"What the country sorely needs is a new constitution."

No thanks! The Founders were quite a bit more intelligent than the current national 'brain trust' -- on the both sides of the Aisle -- that would be charged with writing a new Constitution.

memo10 -> DeltaFoxWhiskyMike , 7 Jul 2018 11:48

A defense attorney once told me that his job was one of the toughest out there because an astonishing percentage of defendants are guilty as charged.

That's true. But it doesn't excuse the crooked system whatsoever. It doesn't make the innocent poor people any less innocent.

Dorthy Boatman -> scotti dodson , 7 Jul 2018 11:36
Since when have politicians and rich people ever followed the law? And what recourse would that be exactly?
WillisFitnurbut -> DeltaFoxWhiskyMike , 7 Jul 2018 11:17
I like how you immediately expose your racism, right out of the gate. Haven't you got a storm trooper meeting to head out to soon?
Elephantmoth -> DeltaFoxWhiskyMike , 7 Jul 2018 11:14
Sorry I forgot the link: http://www.
Sisyphus2 -> NYbill13 , 7 Jul 2018 10:41
Back to the days of Dickens, workhouses, indentured slaves, etc.

[Jan 11, 2020] American elections are a battle of billionaires. We are merely spectators by David Callahan

Notable quotes:
"... With ever deeper pockets, the rich can more easily afford to pull multiple levers of influence and many are doing exactly that ..."
"... First, the rich have gotten much richer in the last 10 or 15 years. In 2005, the Koch brothers had a combined net worth of around $9bn; now they're worth over $100bn. Mike Bloomberg has added $46bn to his fortune during this same period, while Jeff Bezos – who has been flexing his civic muscle as owner of the Washington Post and is said to be planning a big move into philanthropy – is worth 30 times more today than he was in 2005, a stunning $144bn. ..."
"... Robert Mercer is one example of an ambidextrous funder. The family foundation that he runs with his daughter Rebekah makes millions of dollars in grants to conservative policy groups every year, but Mercer was also among the top GOP campaign donors in 2016 and is also a top investor in Breitbart, the pro-Trump media site. The Mercers have been among the most powerful figures in politics in the past few years – influence that's only been possible because of Robert Mercer's success in the wildly lucrative hedge fund world. Being a star school teacher or nurse doesn't yield the same resources or clout. ..."
"... Bloomberg is another example of multi-faceted donor, on a much larger scale. In addition to investing hundreds of millions of dollars in his own political career, securing three terms as New York's mayor, he's used both charitable and political giving to push his agenda on such issues as climate change, guns and education. Now he's poised to become the biggest donor ever during a midterm election cycle. This enormous influence spending has amounted to just a tiny fraction of his net worth. ..."
"... Bloomberg's support for Democrats and causes like climate change underscores a third change in big money battles over America's future: the surge of new money from left-of-center donors. ..."

American elections are a battle of billionaires. We are merely spectators David Callahan Depending on your politics, you may either cheer or fear the influence of top donors. In truth, we should be troubled by it

Thu 5 Jul 2018 02.00 EDT Last modified on Thu 5 Jul 2018 02.01 EDT Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via Email 'Economic inequality seems to be translating into civic disparities .' Photograph: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images Pull up a seat, this year's election is getting interesting.

In one corner, backing the Republican, are billionaire heavyweights like Sheldon Adelson and the Koch brothers. In the other, wearing the blue trunks, are mega-donors such as Tom Steyer and George Soros, as well as one of the richest Americans of all, Michael Bloomberg , who recently confirmed that he'll spend at least $80m to flip the House of Representatives to the Democrats – in a midterm election that will likely be the most expensive in history.

The rest of us, ordinary citizens without big bank accounts, will certainly play a role in the outcome this November. We cast the votes, after all. But more and more, US politics – along with civic life broadly – often feels like a spectator sport, as a growing array of billionaire super citizens battle it out in the public square.

The outsized clout of the rich is hardly a new story, of course. But this influence game is changing as the dollar signs get bigger and as the wealthy exert influence in more arenas using a more sophisticated array of strategies. The day before news broke about Bloomberg's vast election giving, for example, the Times reported on the successful efforts of a Koch-backed 501(c)(4) group to kill public transportation initiatives across the country.

That same week, the Walton Family Foundation – which has already helped bankroll a quarter of all US charter schools – announced another $100m in education grants. Around the same time, the billionaire activist Tom Steyer launched a new ad attacking Donald Trump that featured audio of children crying in immigrant detention centers. The ad is part of Steyer's unprecedented campaign pushing for Trump's impeachment; he's spent millions of dollars on the effort, on top of some $200m he's made in political contributions since 2014.

Depending on your politics, you may either cheer or fear the influence spending of specific top donors. In truth, we should be troubled about all such spending. Thanks to several factors, economic inequality seems to be translating into civic disparities at a faster pace and in ways that touch more parts of US society.

With ever deeper pockets, the rich can more easily afford to pull multiple levers of influence and many are doing exactly that

First, the rich have gotten much richer in the last 10 or 15 years. In 2005, the Koch brothers had a combined net worth of around $9bn; now they're worth over $100bn. Mike Bloomberg has added $46bn to his fortune during this same period, while Jeff Bezos – who has been flexing his civic muscle as owner of the Washington Post and is said to be planning a big move into philanthropy – is worth 30 times more today than he was in 2005, a stunning $144bn.

With ever deeper pockets, the rich can more easily afford to pull multiple levers of influence and many are doing exactly that, which is a second thing that's changed about the elite power game. Increasingly, top donors are simultaneously putting money into elections, private foundations that press an ideological agenda, 501(c)(4) groups and media.

Robert Mercer is one example of an ambidextrous funder. The family foundation that he runs with his daughter Rebekah makes millions of dollars in grants to conservative policy groups every year, but Mercer was also among the top GOP campaign donors in 2016 and is also a top investor in Breitbart, the pro-Trump media site. The Mercers have been among the most powerful figures in politics in the past few years – influence that's only been possible because of Robert Mercer's success in the wildly lucrative hedge fund world. Being a star school teacher or nurse doesn't yield the same resources or clout.

Bloomberg is another example of multi-faceted donor, on a much larger scale. In addition to investing hundreds of millions of dollars in his own political career, securing three terms as New York's mayor, he's used both charitable and political giving to push his agenda on such issues as climate change, guns and education. Now he's poised to become the biggest donor ever during a midterm election cycle. This enormous influence spending has amounted to just a tiny fraction of his net worth.

Bloomberg's support for Democrats and causes like climate change underscores a third change in big money battles over America's future: the surge of new money from left-of-center donors.

This shift dates back to George W Bush's presidency, when alarmed wealthy Democrats set out to reverse conservative gains. Mixing philanthropic gifts with political donations and 501(c)(4) spending, they bankrolled the creation of Democracy Alliance, the Center for American Progress, and other institutions. Since then, other billionaires have swung behind progressive causes, including tech winners like Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz – who gave $27m to help defeat Trump in the 2016 election – and Steyer, who became an active mega-giver after he retired from his hedge fund six years ago.

The new money flowing from wealthy left-of-center donors, especially in response to Trump's rise, may look like a sign that American pluralism is alive and well in this second Gilded Age. Yes, public life in increasingly drenched in cash, but aren't many viewpoints getting heard as a more ideologically diverse upper class supports various causes and candidates?

Sometimes this is the case. On climate change, for example, progressive donors have helped counter the longstading might of the fossil fuel industry. Economic issues have been another story, though. Polls show that the wealthy are more conservative on such issues, which explains why very little money even from left-of-center donors goes to support work that strongly challenges inequality. Bloomberg's big give for Democrats this year is a case in point: he's made it clear that he wants to support moderate candidates, not populists from the Bernie Sanders wing of the party.

The Democratic party and progressive infrastructure is heavily dependent on patrons who've thrived under America's current form of capitalism and aren't interested in major reforms to that system, however much it fails ordinary workers. In 2016, Trump filled this vacuum with his own brand of economic populism.

There's also been a lack of pluralism among wealthy donors in other areas. The Kochs are having such a big impact on transportation policy because there are few counter-weights to their money in that niche. Top donors can be especially influential in certain states and localities, where there's not a diverse pool of givers. For example, the billionaire Eli Broad has long wielded outsized influence in Los Angeles, especially on education.

There's no easy way to counter the rising power of these super citizens. Campaign finance reform would help, but influence spending now extends far beyond elections, as philanthropy has been weaponized for policy combat.

Ultimately, the best solution to the new civic inequality lies in stronger social movements that convert Americans from spectators to activists. And one of the most reassuring trends of recent years is we've seen a lot of such people power, including the Tea Party, Occupy, Black Lives Matter and #MeToo.

Now we need more of the same, extending to more issues and more places – especially the core challenge of economic inequality. Otherwise, it's hard to see how the United States can escape from a new era of plutocracy.

David Callahan is the author of The Givers: Wealth, Power, and Philanthropy in a New Gilded Age. He is the founder and editor of Inside Philanthropy

[Jan 11, 2020] The War Pigs Are Finally Revealing Themselves - And This Is Just The Beginning

Jan 11, 2020 |

Yes the war pigs like Esper, Miller, and Pompous deliberately tried to drag Trump into war with Iran! But noticed how it turned out!

by Tyler Durden Fri, 01/10/2020 - 23:45 0 SHARES

Authored by Brandon Smith via,

In 2016 during the election campaign of Donald Trump one of the primary factors of his popularity among conservatives was that he was one of the first candidates since Ron Paul to argue for bringing US troops home and ending American involvement in the various elitist fabricated wars in the Middle East . From Iraq, to Afghanistan, to Syria and Yemen and beyond, the Neo-Cons and Neo-Libs at the behest of their globalist masters had been waging war oversees unabated for over 15 years. The time was ripe for a change and people felt certain that if Hillary Clinton entered the White House, another 4-8 years of war were guaranteed.

There was nothing to be gained from these wars. They were only dragging the US down socially and economically , and even the idea of "getting the oil" had turned into a farce as the majority of Iraqi oil has been going to China, not the US. General estimates on the costs of the wars stand at $5 trillion US tax dollars and over 4500 American dead along with around 40,000 wounded. The only people that were benefiting from the situation were globalists and banking elites, who had been clamoring to destabilize the Middle East since the day they launched their "Project For A New American Century" (PNAC). Truly, all wars are banker wars.

The Obama Administration's attempts to lure Americans into supporting open war with the Assad regime in Syria had failed. Consistent attempts by George W. Bush and Obama to increase tensions with Iran had fizzled. Americans were showing signs of fatigue, FINALLY fed up with the lies being constructed to trick them into being complicit in the banker wars. Trump was a breath of fresh air...but of course, like all other puppets of the globalists, his promises were empty.

In my article 'Clinton vs. Trump And The Co-Option Of The Liberty Movement' , published before the 2016 election, I warned that Trump's rhetoric might be a grand show , and that it could be scripted by the establishment to bring conservatives back into the Republican/Neo-Con fold. At the time, leftist media outlet Bloomberg openly reveled in the idea that Trump might absorb and destroy the "Tea Party" and liberty movement and turn them into something far more manageable. The question was whether or not the liberty movement would buy into Trump completely, or remain skeptical.

Initially, I do not think the movement held onto its objectivity at all. Far too many people bought into Trump blindly and immediately based on misguided hopes and a desire to "win" against the leftists. The insane cultism of the political left didn't help matters much, either.

When Trump started saturating his cabinet with banking elites and globalists from the CFR the moment he entered office, I knew without any doubt that he was a fraud. Close associations with establishment swamp creatures was something he had consistently criticized Clinton and other politicians for during the campaign, but Trump was no better or different than Clinton; he was just an errand boy for the elites. The singular difference was that his rhetoric was designed to appeal directly to liberty minded conservatives.

This meant that it was only a matter of time before Trump broke most of his campaign promises, including his assertions that he would bring US troops home. Eventually, the mask had to come off if Trump was going to continue carrying out the agenda of his masters.

Today, the mask has indeed come off. For the past three years Trump has made announcements of an imminent pull back of troops in the Middle East, including the recent claim that troops would be leaving Syria. All of the announcements were followed by an INCREASE in US troop presence in the region. Consistent attempts have been made to foment renewed strife with Iran. The build-up to war has been obvious, but some people on the Trump train still didn't get it.

The most common argument I heard when pointing out all the inconsistencies in Trump's claims as well as his direct links to globalists was that "He hadn't started any wars, so how could he be a globalist puppet...?" My response has always been "Give it a little time, and he will."

One of my readers noted recently that "Trump Derangement Syndrome" (TDS) actually goes both ways. Leftists double down on their hatred of Trump at every opportunity, but Trump cultists double down on their support for Trump regardless of how many promises he breaks. This has always been my biggest concern – That conservatives in the liberty movement would ultimately abandon their principles of limited government, the end to banking elites in the White House and ending illegal wars because they had invested themselves so completely in the Trump farce that they would be too embarrassed to admit they had been conned.

Another concern is that the liberty movement would be infected by an influx of people who are neo-conservative statists at their core. These people pretend to be liberty minded conservatives, but when the veil is lifted they show their true colors as the War Pigs they really are. A distinction has to be made between Bush era Neo-Con control freaks and constitutional conservatives; there are few if any similarities between the two groups, but the establishment hopes that the former will devour the latter.

I've noticed that the War Pigs are out in force this past week, beating their chests a calling for more blood. The US government has assassinated Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani, retaliations against US targets have begun, and now the Iraqi government has demanded that US troops be removed from the region, to which Trump has said "no" and demanded payment instead. A new troop surge has been initiated and this WILL end in all out war. The tit-for-tat has just begun.

How do Trump cultists respond? "Kill those terrorists!"

Yes, many of the same people that applauded Trump's supposed opposition to the wars three years ago are now fanatically cheering for the beginning of perhaps the most destructive war of all. The rationalizations for this abound. Soleimani was planning attacks on US targets in Iraq, they say. And, this might be true, though no hard proof has yet been presented.

I'm reminded of the Bush era claims of Iraqi "Weapons of Mass Destruction", the weapons that were never found and no proof was found that they ever existed. The only weapons Iraq had were the weapons the US sold to them decades ago. Any government can fabricate an excuse for assassination or war for public consumption; the Trump Administration is no different.

That said, I think the most important factor in this debate has fallen by the wayside. The bottom line is, US troops and US bases should NOT be in Iraq in the first place. Trump himself stated this time and time again . Even if Soleimani was behind the attacks and riots in Iraq, US assets cannot be attacked in the region if they are REMOVED from the region as Trump said he would do.

There is only one reason to keep US assets in Iraq, Afghanistan or Syria at this time, and that is to create ongoing tensions in the area which can be used by the establishment to trigger a new war, specifically with Iran.

The War Pigs always have reasons and rationales, though.

They say the Muslim world is a threat to our way of life, and I agree that their ideology is completely incompatible with Western values. That said, the solution is not sending young Americans to die overseas in wars based on lies. Again, these wars only benefit the bankers and globalists; they do not make us safer as a people. The only moral solution is to make sure the fascist elements of Muslim extremism are not imported to our shores.

The War Pigs say that we deserve payment for our "services rendered" in the region before we leave, echoing the sentiments of Donald Trump. I ask, what services? Payment for what? The invasion the Iraqi's didn't want, based on fallacies that have been publicly exposed? The US bases that should not be there in the first place? The hundreds of thousands dead from a war that had no purpose except to deliberately destabilize the region?

We will never get "payment" from the Iraqis as compensation for these mad endeavors, and the War Pigs know this. They want war. They want it to go on forever. They want to attach their egos to the event. They want to claim glory for themselves vicariously when we win, and they want to claim victimhood for themselves vicariously when our soldiers or citizens get killed. They are losers that can only be winners through the sacrifices of others.

The War Pigs defend the notion that the president should be allowed to make war unilaterally without support from congress. They say that this type of action is legal, and technically they are right. It is "legal" because the checks and balances of war were removed under the Bush and Obama Administrations. The passage of the AUMF (Authorization For Use Of Military Force) in 2001 gave the Executive Branch dictatorial powers to initiate war on a whim without oversight. Just because it is "legal" does not mean it is constitutional, or right.

In the end, the Trump bandwagon is meant to accomplish many things for the globalists; the main goal though is that it is designed to change liberty conservatives into rabid statists. It is designed to make anti-war pro-constitution activists into war mongers and supporters of big government, as long as it is big government under "our control". But it's not under our control. Trump is NOT our guy. He is an agent of the establishment and always has been.

For now, the saber rattling is aggressive but the actions have been limited, but this will not be the case for long. Some may ask why the establishment has not simply launched all out war now? Why start out small? Firstly, they need conservatives psychologically invested in the idea. This may require a false flag event or attack on American civilians. Secondly, they need to execute an extensive troop build-up, which could take a few months. Declarations of a "need for peace" are always used to stall for time while the elites position for war.

War with Iran is pointless, and frankly, unwinnable, and the elites know this. It's not just a war with Iran, it is a war with Iran, their allies, and every other nation that reacts negatively to our actions. And, these nations do not have to react militarily, they can react economically by dumping US treasuries and the dollar as world reserve.

The establishment wants the US embroiled in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, etc. until we are so hollowed out from conflict that we collapse.

They also need a considerable distraction to hide their responsibility for the implosion of the Everything Bubble and the economic pain that will come with it. The end game for the establishment is for America to self destruct, so that it can be rebuilt into something unrecognizable and eternally monstrous. They want every vestige of our original principles to be erased, and to do that, they need us to be complicit in our own destruction.

They need us to participate. Don't participate, and refuse to support new banker wars. Don't be a War Pig.

* * *

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LEEPERMAX , 17 minutes ago link


"The elimination of Soleimani was not a prelude to deeper US involvement in the Middle East. It was a farewell letter"

Sanity Bear , 20 minutes ago link

Brandon's prescription needs a refill... fast.

freeculture , 36 minutes ago link

Trumpino is MIGA all the way to the bank.

VZ58 , 31 minutes ago link

Like all before him in the last seventy odd years...some Americans are finally beginning to understand this...

Helg Saracen , 55 minutes ago link

The main problem of the United States in the existing political and economic system, which began to be intensively created by the American banking layer since 1885 and was fixed in 1913. This became possible only thanks to the Civil War of 1861-1865. I will explain. Before the Civil War, each state had its own banking structure, its own banknotes (there were not so many states, there were still territories that did not become states yet). Before the American Civil War, there was no single banking system. Abraham Linkol was a protege of the banking houses of the cities of New York and Chicago, they rigged the election (bought the election). It may sound rude to the Americans, but Lincoln was a rogue in the eyes of some US citizens of that time. And this became the main reason for the desire of some states (not only southern, and some northern) to withdraw from the United States. Another good reason for the exit was the persistent attempts of bankers in New York and Chicago to take control of the banking system of the South. These are two main reasons, as old as the World, the struggle for control and money. The war (unfortunately) began the South. Under a federal treaty, South and North were supposed to jointly contain US forts for protection. The fighting began on April 12, 1861 with an attack by southerners on such a fort Sumter in Charleston Bay. These are the beginnings of war.

This is important - I advise everyone to read the memoirs of generals, and especially the memoirs of Ulysses Grant, the future president of the United States. The war was with varying success, but the emissaries of the banks of New York and Chicago always followed the army of the North, who, taking advantage of the disastrous situation in the battlefields, bought up real estate, land and other assets. They were called the "Carpetbagger". They were engaged in the purchase throughout the war and up to 1885.

To make it clear to you, in the history of the USA, the period from 1865 to 1885 is called the "Great American Depression" (this is the very first great depression and lasted 20 years). During this time, the bankers of New York and Chicago completely subjugated the US banking system to themselves and their interests, trampled the South (robbed), after which the submission of the US as a state directly to the banking mafia began. At present (since 1913) in the USA there is not capitalism, but an evil parody of capitalism.

I can call it this: American clan-corporate oligarchic "capitalism" (with the suppression of free markets, with unfair competition and the creation of barriers to the dissemination of reliable information). Since such "capitalism" cannot work (like socialism or utopian communism), constant wars are needed that bring profit to the bankers, owners of the military-industrial complex, political "service staff", make oligarchs richer, and ordinary Americans poorer. We are now observing this, since this system has come to its end and everything has become obvious.

For example, in the early 80s, the middle class of the United States was approximately 70% of the population employed in production and trade, now it is no more than 15%.

The gap between the oligarchs and ordinary Americans widened. My essay is how I see what is happening in the USA and why I do not like it. It's my personal opinion. In the end, my favorite phrase is that Americans are suckers and boobies (but we still love them). Good luck everyone.

rbianco3 , 1 hour ago link

No longer a concern, a reality

Another concern is that the liberty movement would be infected by an influx of people who are neo-conservative statists at their core. These people pretend to be liberty minded conservatives, but when the veil is lifted they show their true colors as the War Pigs they really are.

ExposeThem511 , 56 minutes ago link


The Vineyard 21 - 33-43 , 1 hour ago link

Prophetically speaking, Trump is a sign that the end game of the grand plan of the current age is swiftly coming to an end.

Benito_Camela , 1 hour ago link

What does Frank the Skank (ostensibly an American taxpayer, but more likely an Israeli dual "loyalty" traitor) have to say about this?

We will never get "payment" from the Iraqis as compensation for these mad endeavors, and the War Pigs know this. They want war. They want it to go on forever. They want to attach their egos to the event. They want to claim glory for themselves vicariously when we win, and they want to claim victimhood for themselves vicariously when our soldiers or citizens get killed. They are losers that can only be winners through the sacrifices of others.

The War Pigs defend the notion that the president should be allowed to make war unilaterally without support from congress. They say that this type of action is legal, and technically they are right. It is "legal" because the checks and balances of war were removed under the Bush and Obama Administrations. The passage of the AUMF (Authorization For Use Of Military Force) in 2001 gave the Executive Branch dictatorial powers to initiate war on a whim without oversight. Just because it is "legal" does not mean it is constitutional, or right.

[Jan 11, 2020] Big Money in Politics Doesn't Just Drive Inequality. It Drives War. - FPIF

Notable quotes:
"... Citizens United ..."
Jan 11, 2020 |

Big Money in Politics Doesn't Just Drive Inequality. It Drives War.

Military contractors have shelled out over $1 million to the 2016 presidential candidates -- including over $200,000 to Hillary Clinton alone.

By Rebecca Green , April 27, 2016 . Originally published in OtherWords .

Print Friendly, PDF & EmailPrint Military-Industrial Diagnosis

Khalil Bendib /

The 2016 presidential elections are proving historic, and not just because of the surprising success of self-proclaimed socialist Bernie Sanders, the lively debate among feminists over whether to support Hillary Clinton, or Donald Trump's unorthodox candidacy.

The elections are also groundbreaking because they're revealing more dramatically than ever the corrosive effect of big money on our decaying democracy.

Following the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court decision and related rulings, corporations and the wealthiest Americans gained the legal right to raise and spend as much money as they want on political candidates.

The 2012 elections were consequently the most expensive in U.S. history. And this year's races are predicted to cost even more. With the general election still six months away, donors have already sunk $1 billion into the presidential race -- with $619 million raised by candidates and another $412 million by super PACs.

Big money in politics drives grave inequality in our country. It also drives war.

After all, war is a profitable industry. While millions of people all over the world are being killed and traumatized by violence, a small few make a killing from the never-ending war machine.

During the Iraq War, for example, weapons manufacturers and a cadre of other corporations made billions on federal contracts.

Most notoriously this included Halliburton, a military contractor previously led by Dick Cheney. The company made huge profits from George W. Bush's decision to wage a costly, unjustified, and illegal war while Cheney served as his vice president.

Military-industrial corporations spend heavily on political campaigns. They've given over $1 million to this year's presidential candidates so far -- over $200,000 of which went to Hillary Clinton, who leads the pack in industry backing.

These corporations target House and Senate members who sit on the Armed Forces and Appropriations Committees, who control the purse strings for key defense line items. And cleverly, they've planted factories in most congressional districts. Even if they provide just a few dozen constituent jobs per district, that helps curry favor with each member of Congress.

Thanks to aggressive lobbying efforts, weapons manufacturers have secured the five largest contracts made by the federal government over the last seven years. In 2014, the U.S. government awarded over $90 billion worth of contracts to Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Dynamics, Raytheon, and Northrop Grumman.

Military spending has been one of the top three biggest federal programs every year since 2000, and it's far and away the largest discretionary portion. Year after year, elected officials spend several times more on the military than on education, energy, and the environment combined.

Lockheed Martin's problematic F-35 jet illustrates this disturbingly disproportionate use of funds. The same $1.5 trillion Washington will spend on the jet, journalist Tom Cahill calculates , could have provided tuition-free public higher education for every student in the U.S. for the next 23 years. Instead, the Pentagon ordered a fighter plane that can't even fire its own gun yet.

Given all of this, how can anyone justify war spending?

Some folks will say it's to make us safer . Yet the aggressive U.S. military response following the 9/11 attacks -- the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, the NATO bombing of Libya, and drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen -- has only destabilized the region. "Regime change" foreign policies have collapsed governments and opened the doors to Islamist terrorist groups like ISIS.

Others may say they support a robust Pentagon budget because of the jobs the military creates . But dollar for dollar, education spending creates nearly three times more jobs than military spending.

We need to stop letting politicians and corporations treat violence and death as "business opportunities." Until politics become about people instead of profits, we'll remain crushed in the death grip of the war machine.

And that is the real national security threat facing the United States today. Share this:

[Jan 11, 2020] Meet the CEOs Raking It in from Trump's Aggression Toward Iran - FPIF

Notable quotes:
"... Sarah Anderson directs the Global Economy Project at the Institute for Policy Studies and co-edits the IPS publication Follow her at @SarahDAnderson1. ..."
Jan 11, 2020 |

Meet the CEOs Raking It in from Trump's Aggression Toward Iran

Major military contractors saw a stock surge from the U.S. assassination of an Iranian general. For CEOs, that means payday comes early.

By Sarah Anderson , January 6, 2020 . Originally published in .

Print Friendly, PDF & EmailPrint military-industrial-complex-arms-contractors

Chris Devers / Flickr

CEOs of major U.S. military contractors stand to reap huge windfalls from the escalation of conflict with Iran. This was evident in the immediate aftermath of the U.S. assassination of a top Iranian military official last week. As soon as the news reached financial markets, these companies' share prices spiked, inflating the value of their executives' stock-based pay.

I took a look at how the CEOs at the top five Pentagon contractors were affected by this surge, using the most recent SEC information on their stock holdings.

Northrop Grumman executives saw the biggest increase in the value of their stocks after the U.S. airstrike that killed Qasem Suleimani on January 2. Shares in the B-2 bomber maker rose 5.43 percent by the end of trading the following day.

Wesley Bush, who turned Northrop Grumman's reins over to Kathy Warden last year, held 251,947 shares of company stock in various trusts as of his final SEC Form 4 filing in May 2019. (Companies must submit these reports when top executives and directors buy and sell company stock.) Assuming Bush is still sitting on that stockpile, he saw the value grow by $4.9 million to a total of $94.5 million last Friday.

New Northrop Grumman CEO Warden saw the 92,894 shares she'd accumulated as the firm's COO expand in value by more than $2.7 million in just one day of post-assassination trading.

Lockheed Martin, whose Hellfire missiles were reportedly used in the attack at the Baghdad airport, saw a 3.6 percent increase in price per share on January 3. Marillyn Hewson, CEO of the world's largest weapon maker, may be kicking herself for selling off a considerable chunk of stock last year when it was trading at around $307. Nevertheless, by the time Lockheed shares reached $413 at the closing bell, her remaining stash had increased in value by about $646,000.

What about the manufacturer of the MQ-9 Reaper that carried the Hellfire missiles? That would be General Atomics. Despite raking in $2.8 billion in taxpayer-funded contracts in 2018, the drone maker is not required to disclose executive compensation information because it is a privately held corporation.

We do know General Atomics CEO Neal Blue is worth an estimated $4.1 billion -- and he's a major investor in oil production, a sector that also stands to profit from conflict with a major oil-producing country like Iran.

*Resigned 12/22/19. **Resigned 1/1/19 while staying on as chairman until 7/19. New CEO Kathy Warden accumulated 92,894 shares in her previous position as Northrop Grumman COO.

Suleimani's killing also inflated the value of General Dynamics CEO Phebe Novakovic's fortune. As the weapon maker's share price rose about 1 percentage point on January 3, the former CIA official saw her stock holdings increase by more than $1.2 million.

Raytheon CEO Thomas Kennedy saw a single-day increase in his stock of more than half a million dollars, as the missile and bomb manufacturer's share price increased nearly 1.5 percent. Boeing stock remained flat on Friday. But Dennis Muilenberg, recently ousted as CEO over the 737 aircraft scandal, appears to be well-positioned to benefit from any continued upward drift of the defense sector.

As of his final Form 4 report, Muilenburg was sitting on stock worth about $47.7 million. In his yet to be finalized exit package, the disgraced former executive could also pocket huge sums of currently unvested stock grants.

Hopefully sanity will soon prevail and the terrifyingly high tensions between the Trump administration and Iran will de-escalate. But even if the military stock surge of this past Friday turns out to be a market blip, it's a sobering reminder of who stands to gain the most from a war that could put millions of lives at risk.

We can put an end to dangerous war profiteering by denying federal contracts to corporations that pay their top executives excessively. In 2008, John McCain, then a Republican presidential candidate, proposed capping CEO pay at companies receiving taxpayer bailouts at no more than $400,000 (the salary of the U.S. president). That notion should be extended to companies that receive massive taxpayer-funded contracts.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, for instance, has a plan to deny federal contracts to companies that pay CEOs more than 150 times what their typical worker makes.

As long as we allow the top executives of our privatized war economy to reap unlimited rewards, the profit motive for war in Iran -- or anywhere -- will persist. Share this:

Sarah Anderson directs the Global Economy Project at the Institute for Policy Studies and co-edits the IPS publication Follow her at @SarahDAnderson1.

[Jan 11, 2020] The main problem of the United States in the existing political and economic system, which began to be intensively created by the American banking layer since 1885 and was fixed in 1913.

Jan 11, 2020 |

Helg Saracen , 55 minutes ago link

The main problem of the United States in the existing political and economic system, which began to be intensively created by the American banking layer since 1885 and was fixed in 1913. This became possible only thanks to the Civil War of 1861-1865. I will explain. Before the Civil War, each state had its own banking structure, its own banknotes (there were not so many states, there were still territories that did not become states yet). Before the American Civil War, there was no single banking system. Abraham Linkol was a protege of the banking houses of the cities of New York and Chicago, they rigged the election (bought the election). It may sound rude to the Americans, but Lincoln was a rogue in the eyes of some US citizens of that time. And this became the main reason for the desire of some states (not only southern, and some northern) to withdraw from the United States. Another good reason for the exit was the persistent attempts of bankers in New York and Chicago to take control of the banking system of the South. These are two main reasons, as old as the World, the struggle for control and money. The war (unfortunately) began the South. Under a federal treaty, South and North were supposed to jointly contain US forts for protection. The fighting began on April 12, 1861 with an attack by southerners on such a fort Sumter in Charleston Bay. These are the beginnings of war.

This is important - I advise everyone to read the memoirs of generals, and especially the memoirs of Ulysses Grant, the future president of the United States. The war was with varying success, but the emissaries of the banks of New York and Chicago always followed the army of the North, who, taking advantage of the disastrous situation in the battlefields, bought up real estate, land and other assets. They were called the "Carpetbagger". They were engaged in the purchase throughout the war and up to 1885.

To make it clear to you, in the history of the USA, the period from 1865 to 1885 is called the "Great American Depression" (this is the very first great depression and lasted 20 years). During this time, the bankers of New York and Chicago completely subjugated the US banking system to themselves and their interests, trampled the South (robbed), after which the submission of the US as a state directly to the banking mafia began. At present (since 1913) in the USA there is not capitalism, but an evil parody of capitalism.

I can call it this: American clan-corporate oligarchic "capitalism" (with the suppression of free markets, with unfair competition and the creation of barriers to the dissemination of reliable information). Since such "capitalism" cannot work (like socialism or utopian communism), constant wars are needed that bring profit to the bankers, owners of the military-industrial complex, political "service staff", make oligarchs richer, and ordinary Americans poorer. We are now observing this, since this system has come to its end and everything has become obvious.

For example, in the early 80s, the middle class of the United States was approximately 70% of the population employed in production and trade, now it is no more than 15%.

The gap between the oligarchs and ordinary Americans widened. My essay is how I see what is happening in the USA and why I do not like it. It's my personal opinion. In the end, my favorite phrase is that Americans are suckers and boobies (but we still love them). Good luck everyone.

[Jan 10, 2020] America's Hamster Wheel of 'Career Advancement' by Casey Chalk

Notable quotes:
"... Getting Work Right: Labor and Leisure in a Fragmented World ..."
"... The problem is further compounded by the fact that much of the labor Americans perform isn't actually good ..."
Jan 09, 2020 |

We're told that getting ahead at work and reorienting our lives around our jobs will make us happy. So why hasn't it? Many of those who work in the corporate world are constantly peppered with questions about their " career progression ." The Internet is saturated with articles providing tips and tricks on how to develop a never-fail game plan for professional development. Millions of Americans are engaged in a never-ending cycle of résumé-padding that mimics the accumulation of Boy Scout merit badges or A's on report cards except we never seem to get our Eagle Scout certificates or academic diplomas. We're told to just keep going until we run out of gas or reach retirement, at which point we fade into the peripheral oblivion of retirement communities, morning tee-times, and long midweek lunches at beach restaurants.

The idealistic Chris McCandless in Jon Krakauer's bestselling book Into the Wild defiantly declares, "I think careers are a 20th century invention and I don't want one." Anyone who has spent enough time in the career hamster wheel can relate to this sentiment. Is 21st-century careerism -- with its promotion cycles, yearly feedback, and little wooden plaques commemorating our accomplishments -- really the summit of human existence, the paramount paradigm of human flourishing?

Michael J. Noughton, director of the Center for Catholic Studies at the University of St. Thomas, Minnesota, and board chair for Reel Precision Manufacturing, doesn't think so. In his Getting Work Right: Labor and Leisure in a Fragmented World , Noughton provides a sobering statistic: approximately two thirds of employees in the United States are "either indifferent or hostile to their work." That's not just an indicator of professional dissatisfaction; it's economically disastrous. The same survey estimates that employee disengagement is costing the U.S. economy "somewhere between 450-550 billion dollars annually."

The origin of this problem, says Naughton, is an error in how Americans conceive of work and leisure. We seem to err in one of two ways. One is to label our work as strictly a job, a nine-to-five that pays the bills. In this paradigm, leisure is an amusement, an escape from the drudgery of boring, purposeless labor. The other way is that we label our work as a career that provides the essential fulfillment in our lives. Through this lens, leisure is a utility, simply another means to serve our work. Outside of work, we exercise to maintain our health in order to work harder and longer. We read books that help maximize our utility at work and get ahead of our competitors. We "continue our education" largely to further our careers.

Whichever error we fall into, we inevitably end up dissatisfied. The more we view work as a painful, boring chore, the less effective we are at it, and the more complacent and discouraged. Our leisure activities, in turn, no matter how distracting, only compound our sadness, because no amount of games can ever satisfy our souls. Or, if we see our meaning in our work and leisure as only another means of increasing productivity, we inevitably burn out, wondering, perhaps too late in life, what exactly we were working for . As Augustine of Hippo noted, our hearts are restless for God. More recently, C.S. Lewis noted that we yearn to be fulfilled by something that nothing in this world can satisfy. We need both our work and our leisure to be oriented to the transcendent in order to give our lives meaning and purpose.

The problem is further compounded by the fact that much of the labor Americans perform isn't actually good . There are "bad goods" that are detrimental to society and human flourishing. Naughton suggests some examples: violent video games, pornography, adultery dating sites, cigarettes, high-octane alcohol, abortifacients, gambling, usury, certain types of weapons, cheat sheet websites, "gentlemen's clubs," and so on. Though not as clear-cut as the above, one might also add working for the kinds of businesses that contribute to the impoverishment or destruction of our communities, as Tucker Carlson has recently argued .

Why does this matter for professional satisfaction? Because if our work doesn't offer goods and services that contribute to our communities and the common good -- and especially if we are unable to perceive how our labor plays into that common good -- then it will fundamentally undermine our happiness. We will perceive our work primarily in a utilitarian sense, shrugging our shoulders and saying, "it's just a paycheck," ignoring or disregarding the fact that as rational animals we need to feel like our efforts matter.

Economic liberalism -- at least in its purest free-market expression -- is based on a paradigm with nominalist and utilitarian origins that promote "freedom of indifference." In rudimentary terms, this means that we need not be interested in the moral quality of our economic output. If we produce goods that satisfy people's wants, increasing their "utils," as my Econ 101 professor used to say, then we are achieving business success. In this paradigm, we desire an economy that maximizes access to free choice regardless of the content of that choice, because the more choices we have, the more we can maximize our utils, or sensory satisfaction.

The freedom of indifference paradigm is in contrast to a more ancient understanding of economic and civic engagement: a freedom for excellence. In this worldview, "we are made for something," and participation in public acts of virtue is essential both to our own well-being and that of our society. By creating goods and services that objectively benefit others and contributing to an order beyond the maximization of profit, we bless both ourselves and the polis . Alternatively, goods that increase "utils" but undermine the common good are rejected.

Returning to Naughton's distinction between work and leisure, we need to perceive the latter not as an escape from work or a means of enhancing our work, but as a true time of rest. This means uniting ourselves with the transcendent reality from which we originate and to which we will return, through prayer, meditation, and worship. By practicing this kind of true leisure, well treated in a book by Josef Pieper , we find ourselves refreshed, and discover renewed motivation and inspiration to contribute to the common good.

Americans are increasingly aware of the problems with Wall Street conservatism and globalist economics. We perceive that our post-Cold War policies are hurting our nation. Naughton's treatise on work and leisure offers the beginnings of a game plan for what might replace them.

Casey Chalk covers religion and other issues for The American Conservative and is a senior writer for Crisis Magazine. He has degrees in history and teaching from the University of Virginia, and a masters in theology from Christendom College.

[Jan 09, 2020] Protecting the Dollar Standard is the main national security objective of the USA

Jan 09, 2020 |

vk , Jan 9 2020 19:35 utc | 43

@ Posted by: Cynica | Jan 9 2020 19:20 utc | 38

I agree that, today, protecting the Dollar Standard is the main national security objective of the USA. That is so because issuing the universal fiat currency is a conditio sine qua non of keeping the financial superpower status.

I also agree that the Petrodollar is the base that sustains the Dollar Standard.

But I disagree with the rest:

1) the Cold War didn't begin in 1945, but in 1917 - right after the October Revolution. There's overwhelming documental evidence of that and, in fact, the years of 1943-1945 was the only break it had. Until Stalingrad, the Western allies were still waiting to see if the USSR and the Third Reich could still mutually anihilate themselves (yes, it is a myth the Allies were really allies from 1939, but that's not a very simple demonstration);

2) in the aftermath of WWII, the USA emerged as both the industrial and financial superpower in the capitalist world (i.e. the West). But this was an accidental - and very unlikely - alignment of events. The USA always had imperial ambitions from its foundation (the Manifest Destiny), but there's no evidence it was scheming to dominate the world before 1945. The American ascension was more a fruit of the European imperial superpowers destroying themselves than by any American (or Jewish, as the far-right likes to speculate) design;

3) the USSR had nothing to do with Bretton Woods. BW was a strictly capitalist affair. And it could not be any difference: the USSR was a socialist country, therefore, it didn't have money-capital (money in the capitalist system has three functions: reserve of value, means of exchange and means of payment). The only way it had to trade with the capitalist half of the world was to exchange essential commodities (oil) for hard currency, with which it bought what it needed for its own development (mainly, high technological machines which it could copy and later develop on). So, the USSR didn't "balk" at BW - it was literally impossible for it to pertain to the agreement.

Cynica , Jan 9 2020 19:20 utc | 39

@Kali #22

Michael Hudson is not the only one who's come to understand that maintaining the reserve-currency status of the US dollar (the "dollar hegemony") is the primary goal of US foreign policy. Indeed, it's been the primary goal of US foreign policy since the end of World War II, when the Bretton Woods agreement was put into effect. Notably, the Soviets ended up balking at that agreement, and the Cold War did not start until afterwards. This means that even the Cold War was not really about ideology - it was about money.

It's also important to note that the point of the "petrodollar" is to ensure that petroleum - one of the most globally traded commodities and a commodity that's fundamental to the global economy - is traded primarily, if not exclusively, in terms of the US dollar. Ensuring that as much global/international trade happens in US dollars helps ensure that the US dollar keeps its reserve-currency status, because it raises the foreign demand for US dollars.

vk , Jan 9 2020 19:35 utc | 43
@ Posted by: Cynica | Jan 9 2020 19:20 utc | 38

I agree that, today, protecting the Dollar Standard is the main national security objective of the USA. That is so because issuing the universal fiat currency is a conditio sine qua non of keeping the financial superpower status.

I also agree that the Petrodollar is the base that sustains the Dollar Standard.

But I disagree with the rest:

1) the Cold War didn't begin in 1945, but in 1917 - right after the October Revolution. There's overwhelming documental evidence of that and, in fact, the years of 1943-1945 was the only break it had. Until Stalingrad, the Western allies were still waiting to see if the USSR and the Third Reich could still mutually anihilate themselves (yes, it is a myth the Allies were really allies from 1939, but that's not a very simple demonstration);

2) in the aftermath of WWII, the USA emerged as both the industrial and financial superpower in the capitalist world (i.e. the West). But this was an accidental - and very unlikely - alignment of events. The USA always had imperial ambitions from its foundation (the Manifest Destiny), but there's no evidence it was scheming to dominate the world before 1945. The American ascension was more a fruit of the European imperial superpowers destroying themselves than by any American (or Jewish, as the far-right likes to speculate) design;

3) the USSR had nothing to do with Bretton Woods. BW was a strictly capitalist affair. And it could not be any difference: the USSR was a socialist country, therefore, it didn't have money-capital (money in the capitalist system has three functions: reserve of value, means of exchange and means of payment). The only way it had to trade with the capitalist half of the world was to exchange essential commodities (oil) for hard currency, with which it bought what it needed for its own development (mainly, high technological machines which it could copy and later develop on). So, the USSR didn't "balk" at BW - it was literally impossible for it to pertain to the agreement.

vk , Jan 9 2020 19:40 utc | 45
@ Posted by: vk | Jan 9 2020 19:35 utc | 42

Correction: the three functions of money in capitalism are reserve/store of value, means of exchange and unit of account . I basically wrote "means of exchange" twice in the original comment.

karlof1 , Jan 9 2020 19:45 utc | 47
Cynica @38--

Hello! Michael Hudson first set forth the methodology of the Outlaw US Empire's financial control of the world via his book Super Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire in 1972. In 2003, he issued an updated edition which you can download for free here .

If you're interested, here's an interview he gave while in China that's autobiographical . And here's his most recent Resume/CV/Bibliography , although it doesn't go into as much detail about his recent work as he does in and forgive them their debts: Lending, Foreclosure, and Redemption From Bronze Age Finance to the Jubilee Year , which for me is fascinating.

His most recent TV appearances are here and here .

karlof1 , Jan 9 2020 19:55 utc | 48
Walter @39--

Bingo! You're the first person here to make that connection aside from myself. You'll note from Hudson's assessment of Soleimani's killing he sees the Outlaw US Empire as using the Climate Crisis as a weapon:

"America's attempt to maintain this buttress explains U.S. opposition to any foreign government steps to reverse global warming and the extreme weather caused by the world's U.S.-sponsored dependence on oil. Any such moves by Europe and other countries would reduce dependence on U.S. oil sales, and hence on the U.S's ability to control the global oil spigot as a means of control and coercion. These are viewed as hostile acts.

"Oil also explains U.S. opposition to Russian oil exports via Nordstream. U.S. strategists want to treat energy as a U.S. national monopoly. Other countries can benefit in the way that Saudi Arabia has done – by sending their surpluses to the U.S. economy – but not to support their own economic growth and diplomacy. Control of oil thus implies support for continued global warming as an inherent part of U.S. strategy....

"This strategy will continue, until foreign countries reject it. If Europe and other regions fail to do so, they will suffer the consequences of this U.S. strategy in the form of a rising U.S.-sponsored war via terrorism, the flow of refugees, and accelerated global warming (and extreme weather)."

c1ue , Jan 9 2020 19:58 utc | 49
@Cynica #38
Financially, the US dollar as reserve currency is enormously beneficial to the US government's ability to spend.
And oil has historically been both a tactical and a strategic necessity; when the US was importing half its oil, this is a lot of money. 8 million bpd @ $50/barrel = $146B. Add in secondary value add like transport, refining, downstream industries, etc and it likely triples the impact or more - but this is only tactical.
Worldwide, the impact is 10X = $1.5 trillion annually. Sure, this is a bit under 10% of the $17.7T in world trade in 2017, but it serves as an "anchor tenant" to the idea of world reserve currency. A second anchor is the overall role of US trade, which was $3.6T in 2016 (imports only).
If we treat central bank reserves as a proxy for currency used in trade, this means 60%+ of the $17.7T in trade is USD. $3.6T is direct, but the $7 trillion in trade that doesn't impact the US is the freebie. To put this in perspective, the entire monetary float of the USD domestically is about $3.6T.
USD as world reserve currency literally doubles (at least) the float - from which the US government can issue debt (money) to fund its activities. In reality, it is likely a lot more since foreigners using USD to fund trade means at least some USD in Central Banks, plus the actual USD in the transaction, plus corporate/individual USD reserves/float.
Again, nothing above is formally linked - I just wanted to convey an idea of just how advantageous the petrodollar/USD as world trade reserve currency really is.

[Jan 09, 2020] The USA geopolitical interest lie in destroying and robbing other nations and keeping their own people in fear and poverty

Jan 09, 2020 |

ombon , 59 minutes ago link

The credo of British politics is the words of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Prime Minister of Great Britain, Henry Palmerston, uttered in his speech in the House of Commons on March 1, 1858: "We do not have eternal allies and we do not have constant enemies; our interests are eternal and permanent. Our duty is to protect these interests. " And these interests lie in destroying and robbing other nations and keeping their own people in fear.
It more accurately than ever describes the current state of the United State

has bear r us , 1 hour ago link

whitehead is clearly antisemitic and should be banned from the internet. Abandoning the only friend the usa has in the mideast will have severe consequences for the usa empire.

Let it Go , 1 hour ago link

When America put Trump in office many of us were seeking a world where the leadership in Washington would focus on bringing both jobs and money home rather than squandering it on foreign wars. Simply put, Trump did not come across as a warmonger during the presidential campaign. If David Stockman is right it could be that the power of the swamp is too strong and simply cannot be drained.

Stockman, who served as a Republican U.S. Representative from the state of Michigan and as the Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Ronald Reagan, contends that President Trump has become a hostage of those occupying the very swamp he promised to drain.

http://America Did Not Vote For More Death And Destruction!html

frankthecrank , 1 hour ago link

Come Home, America: Stop Policing The Globe And Put An End To Wars-Without-End

NO--we have nowhere to park all of that stuff and nowhere to house all of those troops. It would help immensely if we just got this over with and started taxing and outright administering these places we occupy. If we're going to be an empire (which no one ever voted for) then we need to start acting like it. Rome, Byzantium, England, Spain, France, etc. Just do it and be done with it.

hoytmonger , 1 hour ago link

That's because Fox News is a subsidiary of the MIC.

GoFuqYourself , 1 hour ago link

Falling on deaf ears. America is not policing the globe; they are plundering then destroying it at the behest of the rottenchilds.

beemasters , 1 hour ago link

In fact, the United States military spends about $81 billion a year just to protect oil supplies around the world .

And there's no outcry. God forbids if that money is used to subsidize education, medical care or build infrastructures. That would be evil socialism.

uhland62 , 1 hour ago link

War spending is bankrupting America.

I wish - not happening yet. Instead they harrass NATO countries to abandon some economic projects to do more damage to them on top of sanctions. If Iraq sells oil to China it's a problem for them, even though that could reduce US costs for Iraq. US policies are cookoo.

All Presidents get turned once in the WH. Maybe it's as simple as threatening to be kennedy'd.

luffy0212 , 5 minutes ago link

Frank...Frank-Frank...IT always been about Zionist, Banksters, and the families that run your world. When will you get it through you little pea size brain you are nothing but expendable Xenophobe fodder allowed to thrive and be ripped the moment they deem it so.

gazmann , 1 hour ago link

It has nothing to do win policing. It has to do with CONTROL

Illegal , 1 hour ago link

Maybe if they took the American flag off of every military uniform, plane and embassy and replaced it with the Rothschild red shield things might become more obvious.

alexcojones , 21 minutes ago link

BTW John Whitehead, you wrote: "The 9/11 attacks were blowback . The Boston Marathon Bombing was blowback . The attempted Times Square bomber was blowback. The Fort Hood shooter, a major in the U.S. Army, was blowback ."

Most, if not ALL, of those were CIA orchestrated false flag events.

LeadPipeDreams , 7 minutes ago link

Correct - statements like those are of course huge red flags - Whitehead is likely a controlled op.

[Jan 09, 2020] Come Home, America Stop Policing The Globe And Put An End To Wars-Without-End by John Whitehead

Highly recommended!
Global dominance means you can "solve" all internal problems with infinite money printing and don't suffer its consequences (for a while) It does comes for free. You need to pay in blood (which with contractors is cheap; US losses on the battlefields of colonial wars are less the losses from car crashes or gun-inflicted deaths in the USA by a wide margin ) and outsized MIC, which is very expensive. Neoliberalism was created by the USA to crush Soviets (or more correctly to buy out Nomenklatura, including KGB which they achieved with Gorbachov)
Jan 09, 2020 |

by Tyler Durden Wed, 01/08/2020 - 22:45 0 SHARES

Authored by John Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute,

" Let us resolve that never again will we send the precious young blood of this country to die trying to prop up a corrupt military dictatorship abroad. This is also the time to turn away from excessive preoccupation overseas to the rebuilding of our own nation. America must be restored to a proper role in the world. But we can do that only through the recovery of confidence in ourselves . together we will call America home to the ideals that nourished us from the beginning. From secrecy and deception in high places; come home, America. From military spending so wasteful that it weakens our nation; come home, America ."

- George S. McGovern, former Senator and presidential candidate

I agree wholeheartedly with George S. McGovern, a former Senator and presidential candidate who opposed the Vietnam War, about one thing: I'm sick of old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in.

It's time to bring our troops home.

Bring them home from Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. Bring them home from Germany, South Korea and Japan. Bring them home from Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Oman . Bring them home from Niger, Chad and Mali. Bring them home from Turkey, the Philippines, and northern Australia.

That's not what's going to happen, of course.

The U.S. military reportedly has more than 1.3 million men and women on active duty, with more than 200,000 of them stationed overseas in nearly every country in the world. Those numbers are likely significantly higher in keeping with the Pentagon's policy of not fully disclosing where and how many troops are deployed for the sake of " operational security and denying the enemy any advantage ." As investigative journalist David Vine explains, "Although few Americans realize it, the United States likely has more bases in foreign lands than any other people, nation, or empire in history ."

Don't fall for the propaganda, though: America's military forces aren't being deployed abroad to protect our freedoms here at home. Rather, they're being used to guard oil fields, build foreign infrastructure and protect the financial interests of the corporate elite. In fact, the United States military spends about $81 billion a year just to protect oil supplies around the world .

The reach of America's military empire includes close to 800 bases in as many as 160 countries , operated at a cost of more than $156 billion annually. As Vine reports, "Even US military resorts and recreation areas in places like the Bavarian Alps and Seoul, South Korea, are bases of a kind. Worldwide, the military runs more than 170 golf courses ."

This is how a military empire occupies the globe.

Already, American military servicepeople are being deployed to far-flung places in the Middle East and elsewhere in anticipation of the war drums being sounded over Iran .

This Iran crisis, salivated over by the neocons since prior to the Iraq War and manufactured by war hawks who want to jumpstart the next world war, has been a long time coming.

Donald Trump, Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton: they all have done their part to ensure that the military industrial complex can continue to get rich at taxpayer expense.

Take President Trump, for instance.

Despite numerous campaign promises to stop America's "endless wars," once elected, Trump has done a complete about-face, deploying greater numbers of troops to the Middle East, ramping up the war rhetoric, and padding the pockets of defense contractors. Indeed, Trump is even refusing to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq in the face of a request from the Iraqi government for us to leave.

Obama was no different: he also pledged -- if elected -- to bring the troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan and reduce America's oversized, and overly costly, military footprint in the world. Of course, that didn't happen.

Yet while the rationale may keep changing for why American military forces are policing the globe , these wars abroad (in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Yemen and now Iran) aren't making America -- or the rest of the world -- any safer, are certainly not making America great again, and are undeniably digging the U.S. deeper into debt.

War spending is bankrupting America.

Although the U.S. constitutes only 5% of the world's population, America boasts almost 50% of the world's total military expenditure , spending more on the military than the next 19 biggest spending nations combined.

In fact, the Pentagon spends more on war than all 50 states combined spend on health, education, welfare, and safety.

The American military-industrial complex has erected an empire unsurpassed in history in its breadth and scope, one dedicated to conducting perpetual warfare throughout the earth.

Since 2001, the U.S. government has spent more than $4.7 trillion waging its endless wars .

Having been co-opted by greedy defense contractors, corrupt politicians and incompetent government officials, America's expanding military empire is bleeding the country dry at a rate of more than $32 million per hour .

In fact, the U.S. government has spent more money every five seconds in Iraq than the average American earns in a year.

Future wars and military exercises waged around the globe are expected to push the total bill upwards of $12 trillion by 2053 .

Talk about fiscally irresponsible: the U.S. government is spending money it doesn't have on a military empire it can't afford.

As investigative journalist Uri Friedman puts it, for more than 15 years now, the United States has been fighting terrorism with a credit card , "essentially bankrolling the wars with debt, in the form of purchases of U.S. Treasury bonds by U.S.-based entities like pension funds and state and local governments, and by countries like China and Japan."

War is not cheap, but it becomes outrageously costly when you factor in government incompetence, fraud, and greedy contractors . Indeed, a leading accounting firm concluded that one of the Pentagon's largest agencies " can't account for hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of spending ."

Unfortunately, the outlook isn't much better for the spending that can be tracked.

A government audit found that defense contractor Boeing has been massively overcharging taxpayers for mundane parts, resulting in tens of millions of dollars in overspending. As the report noted, the American taxpayer paid :

$71 for a metal pin that should cost just 4 cents; $644.75 for a small gear smaller than a dime that sells for $12.51: more than a 5,100 percent increase in price. $1,678.61 for another tiny part, also smaller than a dime, that could have been bought within DoD for $7.71: a 21,000 percent increase. $71.01 for a straight, thin metal pin that DoD had on hand, unused by the tens of thousands, for 4 cents: an increase of over 177,000 percent.

That price gouging has become an accepted form of corruption within the American military empire is a sad statement on how little control "we the people" have over our runaway government.

Mind you, this isn't just corrupt behavior. It's deadly, downright immoral behavior.

Americans have thus far allowed themselves to be spoon-fed a steady diet of pro-war propaganda that keeps them content to wave flags with patriotic fervor and less inclined to look too closely at the mounting body counts, the ruined lives, the ravaged countries, the blowback arising from ill-advised targeted-drone killings and bombing campaigns in foreign lands, or the transformation of our own homeland into a warzone.

That needs to change.

The U.S. government is not making the world any safer. It's making the world more dangerous. It is estimated that the U.S. military drops a bomb somewhere in the world every 12 minutes . Since 9/11, the United States government has directly contributed to the deaths of around 500,000 human beings. Every one of those deaths was paid for with taxpayer funds.

The U.S. government is not making America any safer. It's exposing American citizens to alarming levels of blowback, a CIA term referring to the unintended consequences of the U.S. government's international activities. Chalmers Johnson, a former CIA consultant, repeatedly warned that America's use of its military to gain power over the global economy would result in devastating blowback .

The 9/11 attacks were blowback . The Boston Marathon Bombing was blowback . The attempted Times Square bomber was blowback. The Fort Hood shooter, a major in the U.S. Army, was blowback .

The assassination of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani by a U.S. military drone strike will, I fear, spur yet more blowback against the American people.

The war hawks' militarization of America -- bringing home the spoils of war (the military tanks, grenade launchers, Kevlar helmets, assault rifles, gas masks, ammunition, battering rams, night vision binoculars, etc.) and handing them over to local police, thereby turning America into a battlefield -- is also blowback.

James Madison was right:

"No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare." As Madison explained, "Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few."

We are seeing this play out before our eyes.

The government is destabilizing the economy, destroying the national infrastructure through neglect and a lack of resources, and turning taxpayer dollars into blood money with its endless wars, drone strikes and mounting death tolls.

Clearly, our national priorities are in desperate need of an overhauling .

At the height of its power, even the mighty Roman Empire could not stare down a collapsing economy and a burgeoning military. Prolonged periods of war and false economic prosperity largely led to its demise. As historian Chalmers Johnson predicts:

The fate of previous democratic empires suggests that such a conflict is unsustainable and will be resolved in one of two ways. Rome attempted to keep its empire and lost its democracy. Britain chose to remain democratic and in the process let go its empire. Intentionally or not, the people of the United States already are well embarked upon the course of non-democratic empire.

This is the "unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex" that President Dwight Eisenhower warned us more than 50 years ago not to let endanger our liberties or democratic processes.

Eisenhower, who served as Supreme Commander of the Allied forces in Europe during World War II, was alarmed by the rise of the profit-driven war machine that emerged following the war -- one that, in order to perpetuate itself, would have to keep waging war.

We failed to heed his warning.

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People , there's not much time left before we reach the zero hour.

It's time to stop policing the globe, end these wars-without-end, and bring the troops home before it's too late.

g3h , 23 minutes ago link

Bottom line, doesn't seem the America people care. They are busy doing min wage jobs. Perhaps not happy, but hey they don't complain. Not one takes away their freedom.

Thom Paine , 26 minutes ago link

A safe world would make the US poor

Normal , 32 minutes ago link

The elite of the U.S., Saudi Arabia, and Israel are the enemies of the world. And, they are Stupid.

spam filter , 34 minutes ago link

It's already too late. We'll never dig ourselves out of this hole. Our Government is a runaway trainwreck, and the track ends at world war.

Youri Carma , 51 minutes ago link

All true but the problem is we're preaching before the choir here. How do we reach at least a few percentage of those 1.3 million men on active duty? Asking myself this question a lot lately.

[Jan 09, 2020] And for $5 trillion spent bombing unoffending MENA countries the US has gotten what?

Jan 09, 2020 |

Savvy , 1 hour ago link

Nordstream II cost $12 billion. Russia is selling 55 billion M3 of LNG to Europe. Add Nordstream I, another 55 billion, Power of Siberia to China and Turkstream just opened.

And for $5 trillion spent bombing unoffending MENA countries the US has gotten what? Moar war. That's it.

Russia is building infrastructure while the US destroys.

[Jan 08, 2020] Deification of questionable metrics is an objective phenomenon that we observe under neoliberalism

Jan 08, 2020 |


  1. likbez , January 8, 2020 4:00 am

    @run75441 January 7, 2020 5:45 pm

    In my golden days, I did manufacturing throughput analysis, cost modeled parts, and reviewed component and transportation distribution. I am curious. Forget all that neoliberal stuff . . .

    Ohh, those golden days 😉

    Measurement has its place and is the cornerstone of science, but it is not equal to pattern recognition. And when applied to social phenomena with their complexity it is more often a trap, rather then an insight.

    You need to understand that.

    Deification of questionable metrics is an objective phenomenon that we observe under neoliberalism.

    A classic example of deification of a questionable metric under neoliberalism is the "cult of GDP" ("If the GDP Is Up, Why Is America Down?") See , for example

    Also see a rather interesting albeit raw take on the same ("Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." ) at:

    For example, many people discuss stagnation of GDP growth in Japan not understanding here we are talking about the country with shrinking population. And adjusted for this factor I am not sure that it not higher then in the USA (were it is grossly distorted by the cancerous growth of FIRE sector).

    So while comparing different years for a single country might make some limited sense, those who blindly compare GDP of different countries (even with PPP adjustment) IMHO belong to a modern category of economic charlatans. Kind of Lysenkoism, if you wish

    That tells you something about primitivism and pseudo-scientific nature of neoliberal economics.

    We also need to remember the "performance reviews travesty" which is such a clear illustration of "cult of measurement" abuses that it does not it even requires commentary. Google has abolished numerical ratings in April 2014.

    Recently I come across an interesting record of early application of it in AT&T at Brian W Kernighan book UNIX: A History and a Memoir at late 60th, early as 70th.

[Jan 08, 2020] Mark Twain: "It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled."

Jan 08, 2020 |

turcopolier , 17 September 2019 at 09:31 PM


We have been so thoroughly indoctrinated with the idea that Iran and Russia are intrinsically and immutable evil and hostile that the thought of actual two sided diplomacy does not occur. IMO neither of these countries are what we collectively think them. So, we could actually give it a try rather than trying to beggar them and destroy their economies. If all fails than we have to be prepared to defend our forces. DOL

Matt -> turcopolier ... , 18 September 2019 at 12:54 AM
I agree with your reply 100%

these phobias are so entrenched now they're a huge obstacle to overcome,

Mark Twain: "It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled."

William Casey: "We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false"

[Jan 06, 2020] Neoliberal IMF admits neoliberalism fuels inequality and hurts growth The Grayzone

Jan 06, 2020 |

Neoliberal IMF admits neoliberalism fuels inequality and hurts growth Share Tweet Top International Monetary Fund (IMF) researchers have conceded that neoliberal policies of austerity, privatization, deregulation often hurt much more than help economies. By Ben Norton / Salon

The world's largest evangelist of neoliberalism, the International Monetary Fund, has admitted that it's not all it's cracked up to be.

Neoliberalism refers to capitalism in its purest form. It is an economic philosophy espoused by libertarians -- and repeated endlessly by many mainstream economists -- one that insists that privatization, deregulation, the opening up of domestic markets to foreign competition, the cutting of government spending, the shrinking of the state, and the "freeing of the market" are the keys to a healthy and flourishing economy.

Yet now top researchers at the International Monetary Fund, or IMF, the economic institution that has proselytized -- and often forcefully imposed -- neoliberal policies for decades, have conceded that the "benefits of some policies that are an important part of the neoliberal agenda appear to have been somewhat overplayed."

"There are aspects of the neoliberal agenda that have not delivered as expected," the economists write in " Neoliberalism: Oversold? ", a study published in the June volume of the IMF's quarterly magazine Finance & Development.

In analyzing two of neoliberalism's most fundamental policies, austerity and the removing of restrictions on the movement of capital, the IMF researchers say they reached "three disquieting conclusions."

One, neoliberal policies result in "little benefit in growth."

Two, neoliberal policies increase inequality, which produces further economic harms in a "trade-off" between growth and inequality.

And three, this "increased inequality in turn hurts the level and sustainability of growth."

The top researchers conclude noting that the "evidence of the economic damage from inequality suggests that policymakers should be more open to redistribution than they are."

In some cases, they add, the consequences "will have to be remedied after they occur by using taxes and government spending to redistribute income."

"Fortunately, the fear that such policies will themselves necessarily hurt growth is unfounded," the IMF economists stress -- that is to say, increasing taxes and boosting government spending will not necessarily hurt growth.

The collapse of neoliberalism

These statements represent an enormous reversal for the IMF. It is somewhat like the Pope declaring that there is no God; it is a volte-face on almost everything that the IMF has ever stood for.

Since the 2008 financial collapse, widespread rebellions have been waged against these failed neoliberal policies, with Occupy Wall Street in the U.S. and similar grassroots movements around the world.

Before the 1970s, neoliberalism was relegated to the obscure margins of mainstream economics, preached by free-market fundamentalists like Milton Friedman and Friedrich Hayek.

In the last few decades, however, it became the hegemonic ideology. The IMF has been one of the most crucial institutions, along with the World Bank, in the spread of neoliberalism.

By the end of the Cold War, socialist alternatives to capitalism had been brutally crushed in a long series of wars. By the 1980s, with the rise of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the U.K. and President Ronald Reagan in the U.S., neoliberalism had come to dominate the new world order.

Even before the Thatchers and the Reagans, however, there were the Pinochets. The policies the IMF advocated for decades were rooted in extreme violence and repression.

Chile's violent neoliberal dictatorship

Chile was the first country to implement neoliberal policies. Still today, neoliberal ideologues quote Milton Friedman, speaking of the legacy of the reign of far-right, U.S.-backed capitalist dictator Augusto Pinochet as Chile's "economic miracle." What they overlook is how Pinochet used a bloodstained iron fist to implement these neoliberal policies.

A bloody CIA-backed 1973 coup toppled Chile's popular democratically elected Marxist leader, Salvador Allende, and replaced him with Pinochet. For millions of Chileans, his "economic miracle" was a disaster.

Pinochet combined fascistic police state repression with extreme free-market policies, killing, disappearing and torturing tens of thousands of Chilean leftists, labor organizers and journalists, forcing hundreds of thousands more into exile.

"Chile's pioneering experience with neoliberalism received high praise from Nobel laureate Friedman, but many economists have now come around to" more nuanced views, the IMF researchers note in their article.

Boom and bust cycles 'are the main story'

The study was co-authored by three members of the IMF's research department -- Jonathan Ostry, the deputy director, Prakash Loungani, a division chief, and Davide Furceri, an economist.

The researchers don't throw neoliberalism out completely. "There is much to cheer in the neoliberal agenda," they write. But it fails in some crucial regards.

For one, opening emerging economies up to some types of unrestricted foreign capital inflows frequently leads to financial crises, the IMF researchers note, which in turn create large declines in economic output and "appreciably" increase inequality.

These boom and bust cycles are not merely "a sideshow they are the main story," the economists add.

"Capital controls are a viable, and sometimes the only, option," the IMF concludes. This is a huge reversal. The researchers themselves point out that "the IMF's view has also changed -- from one that considered capital controls as almost always counterproductive to greater acceptance of controls to deal with the volatility of capital flows."

Austerity can lead to an 'adverse loop' of economic decline

Moreover, the study notes that it is often better for indebted governments to allow "the debt ratio to decline organically through growth," rather than to impose austerity. This is another reversal.

The IMF has for many years ordered countries to cut spending, gutting social services in order to pay off debt. This has in turn led to a shrinking of the economy, trapping countries in a spiral of debt. Greece is a painful contemporary example , although there are many more.

"Austerity policies not only generate substantial welfare costs," the IMF researchers continue, "they also hurt demand -- and thus worsen employment and unemployment."

Austerity results in "drops rather than by expansions in output." Studies show that, when government deficits and debts are reduced with a fiscal consolidation of 1 percent of a country's GDP, the long-term unemployment rate often increases by 0.6 percentage point and income inequality grows by 1.5 percent within five years.

Taken in conjunction, these effects could lead to an "adverse loop," the IMF warns, where austerity fuels inequality, which decreases growth that neoliberals insist must be cured with more austerity.

"The increase in inequality engendered by financial openness and austerity might itself undercut growth, the very thing that the neoliberal agenda is intent on boosting," the IMF researchers write. "There is now strong evidence that inequality can significantly lower both the level and the durability of growth."

The importance of this study is hard to overstate. The IMF is essentially admitted that many of the policies that it demanded countries implement for decades only made things worse.

The International Monetary Fund appears to be inching toward a more Keynesian economic position.

To be clear, just because IMF researchers acknowledge the economic reality billions of working people in the world intimately understand does not mean the IMF as an institution will act on their research and end these policies -- just as the U.S. government does not necessarily act on the research of State Department, which has acknowledged Israel's crimes .

But the IMF's recognition that neoliberalism is not the panacea that cures all economic ills establishes an incredibly significant precedent, and is a huge victory in the fight for economic justice -- and in the class war.

Ben Norton Ben Norton is a journalist, writer, and filmmaker. He is the assistant editor of The Grayzone, and the producer of the Moderate Rebels podcast, which he co-hosts with editor Max Blumenthal. His website is and he tweets at @ BenjaminNorton .

[Jan 04, 2020] Critical thinking is anathema to the neoliberal establishment. That s why they need to corrupt the language, to make the resistance more difficult and requiring higher level of IQ

Highly recommended!
Manipulation of the language is one of the most powerful Propaganda tool. See the original Orwell essay at George Orwell Politics and the English Language. among other things he stated "But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought."
Notable quotes:
"... we were set a writing task as a follow-up, reporting on the same story using the same facts, from completely opposing points of view, using euphemism and mind-numbing cliches. Teach children to do this themselves and they can see how language can be skewed and facts distorted and misrepresented without technically lying. ..."
"... It might be taught in Media Studies, I suppose - but gosh, don't the right really hate that particular subject! Critical thinking is anathema to them. ..."
Jan 17, 2019 |

BluebellWood -> Supermassive , 29 Nov 2018 12:41

Yep - education is the key.

I remember at school we read Orwell's essay Politics and the English Language in an English class and then we were set a writing task as a follow-up, reporting on the same story using the same facts, from completely opposing points of view, using euphemism and mind-numbing cliches. Teach children to do this themselves and they can see how language can be skewed and facts distorted and misrepresented without technically lying.

How many children in schools are taught such critical thinking these days, I wonder? It might be taught in Media Studies, I suppose - but gosh, don't the right really hate that particular subject! Critical thinking is anathema to them.

[Jan 04, 2020] The US shows some symptom of an empire on the brink of collapse: an irreconcilably divided and decaying citizenry, racial and cultural incoherence, a totally detached oligarchy, no overarching mission or narrative, and an over reliance on international mercenaries to fight its wars

Jan 04, 2020 |

Adam , Jan 4 2020 19:18 utc | 43

The US shows every symptom of an empire on the brink of collapse: an irreconcilably divided and decaying citizenry, racial and cultural incoherence, a totally detached oligarchy, no overarching mission or narrative, and an over reliance on international mercenaries to fight its wars. By 2009, soldiers of fortune outnumbered US military personnel 3-1 in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Add in the war-profiteers, wide open borders, collapsing infrastructure and history-making wealth inequality, and an entire generation of healthy young white men destroyed by drugs and suicides, a despair engineered by Jews, who unlike Iranians, mock us as they do it. Let's see tranquility on the home front survive skyrocketing food and gas prices.

A war with Iran is our line in the sand as well. All white men must boycott the military, which is run by people who despise us more than any supposed international enemy ever will. The last 3 years of having our rights and civil liberties whittled away show that it is white Americans who will always be the US plutocracy's first and last enemy. If you are currently serving, you can get honorably discharged by declaring yourself a worshipper of Asatru and anonymously emailing your superior officers pretending to be a deeply concerned member of Antifa. Even if open war doesn't break out, the recent massive troop buildups in the Middle East guarantee you will be a target. Let Zion send its anarchist neo-liberal foot soldiers in your place!

We must prepare our own populist anti-war protest movement to bring the war home. We must remain steadfast in the face of a coming era of political repression nobody has seen in generations.

The people of Iran are not our enemy. They share the same abominable foe and deserve our solidarity. They must know that the citizens of America are ignorant of who rules them, and that decisions made using our flag are not made by us.

In the name of the existence of our people and the future of our children, and even broader in the name of humanity, we must ensure that this will be Judah's last war.

Only then can we all be free.

james , Jan 4 2020 19:29 utc | 47

thank you b... i see you articulated a paragraph that is out of grasp of the american msm crowd, so i am going to repeat it.. it is worth repeating...see bottom of post... my main thought is that no matter what happens everything will be blamed on iran - false flag, and etc. etc. you name it... all bad is on iran and all good is on usa-israel.. that is the constant meme that the msm provides 24-7 and that us politicians and the state dept run with 24-7 as well. it is so transparent it is beyond despicable..

@ 13 old hippie.. that about sums up my impression.. thanks

@ 22 BM.. thanks.. i share your perspective, but am not as articulate..

here is the quote from b..
"The U.S. did not only murder Qassem Soleimani. On December 29 it also killed 31 Iraqi government forces. Five days later it killed Soleimani and the Deputy Commander of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF/PMU/Hashed al-Shabi) and leader of Kata'ib Hizbollah Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. There were also four IRGC and four Kata'ib Hizbollah men who were killed while accompanying their leaders. The PMU are under direct command of the Iraqi Prime Minister. They are official Iraqi defense forces who defeated ISIS after a bloody war. Their murder demands that their government acts against the perpetrators."

oldhippie , Jan 4 2020 18:11 utc | 13
Sitting in coffee shop in Chicago listening to Americans. The general sentiment is they had it coming and Iran should be nuked.
Glass parking lot is the desired end.

This sentiment is bottom to top in America. Measured response? No way can Iran 'measure' a response.

More generally the sentiment is that a little war in Iran, a few nukes, is not even a big thing. Football scores more important.

Isabella , Jan 4 2020 18:22 utc | 16
"Sitting in coffee shop in Chicago listening to Americans. The general sentiment is they had it coming and Iran should be nuked.
Glass parking lot is the desired end."

That's pretty much the picture i get from reading responses in UK MSM, not only from English, but many giving American addresses. They are all pretty much thoroughly brainwashed, believing as gospel the lies they've told, and still think that they are the "White hatted, good guys, who do good things for the places they bomb and invade".

it seems they will be supportive of an attack on Iran, and if their maniac "leaders", the basement crazies who got out of the basement, realise this, it increases substantially the chances of a "hot" war. In that case, should it escalate out of control, your Chicago coffee deadheads will get the Glass parking lot they want. It just wont be in the ME. Or Russia. They can have their very own, in their own back yard.

Oriental Voice , Jan 4 2020 19:40 utc | 52

@13 oldhippie; @16 Isabella:

You guys are right on money! I'm a retiree in my seventy's. My social circles are old school college graduates in late fifties to late seventies, supposedly the segment of population wise enough to decipher world affairs. But no, they care more about who's gonna win today between Titans and patriots or whether Tiger Wood will win another major in 2020. US murder of another nation's leader has no frigging importance in moral or consequential terms. Such is the general IQ status of the west today. Really, it takes someone intelligent and inquisitive enough for years and years to really get aghast and appreciative enough to ponder what the murder of Soleimani in Trump's hand in the manner it was executed would mean to world peace. MSM counts on this stupidity and thrives in lies and false-flag propaganda.

... ... ...

karlof1 , Jan 5 2020 0:03 utc | 114
Two min twitter vid :

"Mourners in Karbala welcome the bodies of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and Qassem Suleimani this evening."

Many thousands; very impressive and moving!

Vid of Baghdad protests :

"Hundreds of thousands of #Iraqis attend the #martyrs last farewell in #Baghdad and protest against the US military presence in #Iraq."

And here's Zarif's tweet and photo montage :

"24 hrs ago, an arrogant clown -- masquerading as a diplomat -- claimed people were dancing in the cities of Iraq.

"Today, hundreds of thousands of our proud Iraqi brothers and sisters offered him their response across their soil.

"End of US malign presence in West Asia has begun."

The idiots at the helm of the Evil Outlaw US Empire really have absolutely no clue as their short term thinking has destroyed what mental capacities they once had and has reduced them to imbeciles.

[Jan 04, 2020] Higher oil prices can be enough punishment for the US until Iran find more effective ways to punish for this violation of international norms and sovereignty of Iraq

The oil market should be worried. Iran can stop all traffic through the Straight of Hormuz at will. And that would start a war. Which would keep it closed. It may be a mistake to think Iran's leadership is more sane than ours.
Jan 04, 2020 |

Iran might also seek to draw Israel into a conflict via Hezbollah in Lebanon. We can't rule out some sort of grand-scale attack, but an array of smaller-scale activity is our core bet.

The risk that something bigger will trigger a real war, however, likely will put a premium on oil prices for the next few months, at least.

Higher oil prices represent a tax on oil consumers and a windfall for producers. World oil consumption is about 100M barrels per day, so each five dollars on the prices is equivalent to an annualized tax of about $183B per year, or 0.1% of global GDP. The U.S., however, is both a huge oil producer and a consumer. Domestic production runs at almost 13M bpd, with consumption at 21Mbpd. That would seem to suggest that the net effect of higher prices on the U.S. would be to depress economic growth, but recent experience points in the opposite direction, because oil sector capex, in the era of shale, is acutely sensitive to prices, even in the short term. When oil prices collapsed between spring 2014 and early 2016, the ensuing plunge in capital spending in the oil sector outweighed the boost to consumers' real income from cheaper gasoline and heating oil, and overall economic growth slowed markedly. This story played out in reverse when oil prices rebounded in the three years through spring 2018, and economic growth picked up even as consumers' real incomes were hit.

... ... ...

The wild card is whether turmoil in the Middle East triggers a sustained sell-off in equities, depressing business and consumer confidence to the point where labor market and inflation concerns become secondary. We'd be surprised -- the plunge in S&P futures is just the initial knee-jerk response -- but if Iran takes more drastic action than we are expecting, it will become a real risk. In that case, the Fed might have no choice but to ease, especially if credit markets seize-up too. In the meantime, expect defensive stocks to outperform, with downward pressure on Treasury yields and gains for safe-haven currencies, until Iran's response becomes clear. To repeat: Iran will respond.

DemandSider , 24 minutes ago link

9/11 Suspects: The Dancing Israelis

I still can't get any logical explanation as to why this Israeli spy ring, the largest ever on U.S. soil, was in The U.S. And, why were they dancing after the first plane impact?


Karl Marxist , 25 minutes ago link

News flash. The government in Washington is extremely unpopular as well. More unpopular in America than the Iranian government is with Iranians. I am saying this because anyone who spent any time with Impeachment; read how Barr let Epstein and all pedo elites walk away fully protected, his hideous Operation Guardian, Trump's complete destruction of 1st Amendment rights to free speech in the guise of "suppressing antisemitism" ... God, how I hate this tyranny complete with WalMarts and mulatto invaders and LGBT as "normal", the all tranny military, meaningless laws we are rounded up and shot to death for the slightest traffic infraction black, white but never Jewish. They get away with everything. Trump made them a protected class, Judaism a race and a nationality to have special protections at taxpayer expense. What a wonderful country I just can't get enough of....

Jung , 43 minutes ago link

No one will miss the US apart frmo the Americans themselves: the polls are clear worldwide that the world considers the Americans to be ruled by the most aggressive and psychopathic regimes. They have killed millions since WWII and the world would be a much better place without the US.

[Jan 03, 2020] The Mystery of Low Wage Growth by Michael Mandel

Aug 06, 2006 |

Perhaps the oddest and most depressing fact about the U.S. economy these days is the lack of real wage growth. The unemployment rate has been below 5% since December, and productivity growth is still looking strong. Yet wages and salaries, adjusted for inflation, are down for virtually every broad occupational category.

According to the latest numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, average hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory workers are up by 3.8% over the past year. That may sound halfway decent, but it still lags the 4.3% increase in consumer prices over the same period (see, 8/4/06, "July Jobs: Pretext for a Fed Pause?"). Even managers and professionals are taking the hit: Figures from the BLS show that their real wages have fallen by 1.8% and 1.1%, respectively, over the past year.

This is not what I expected. Historically, real wages rise along with productivity once labor markets are tight enough. Based on the experiences of the 1990s, I was confident that wage growth was going to accelerate once the unemployment rate dropped conclusively below 5%. Still, the wage picture remains bleak.

KEY DIFFERENCES. True, there are some hopeful signs of life. According to the National Association of Colleges & Employers (NACE), "starting salary offers to new college graduates continue to climb." For example, the starting salary for accounting graduates is up 5.5% over the previous year. That's more than the 4.3% rise in consumer prices and well ahead of the 2.6% increase in all prices except food and energy.

But in a lot of fields that NACE tracks, the gains are not enough to keep up with inflation. Initial salary offers for computer science majors are up 1%, marketing majors saw an increase of 0.9%, and liberal arts majors a meager 0.2%, with these teeny increases obliterated by inflation.

But if the phenomenon of falling real wages is clear, the explanation is not. In the 1980s and 1990s, there was a sense that education and the ability to make use of new technology were the key differences between those who did well and those who didn't. Workers who could adapt to the new world of information technology prospered; those who could not saw their wages fall or their jobs disappear.

LOW-WAGE COMPETITION. Today, neither a college education nor computer literacy is enough to guarantee rising real wages. Some people are obviously doing better than others. Workers in the financial and health-care industries, for example, have seen their real wages drop by less over the past two years than those in retailing. But in no part of the economy are real wages doing well.

There are two alternative explanations for this broad-based problem. The first one has to do with globalization. Competition with low-cost workers in China, India, Eastern Europe, and the rest of the developing world may finally be taking its toll on American workers. With a surplus of labor around the world, real wages will stagnate, while returns to capital will rise.

Now, that's not bad news for everyone. If you own a home, you own a capital asset whose value has soared in recent years. If you have a 401(k) retirement account invested in the stock market, its value, too, has likely gone up since 2003. And if you are a taxpayer -- as most of us are -- it's a plus that state and local pension fund reserves have gone up more than 9%, or $245 billion, over the past year alone, in large part because of stock market gains. This makes it less likely that taxes will have to be hiked in the future to pay for government employee retirement benefits.

If the globalization answer is correct, then in general it's the young who are going to be hit the hardest. They don't have homes or other financial investments, and they have their whole working lives stretching in front of them, so weak real wages hurt them badly. For middle-class Americans aged 50 and higher, the math may be much different, since they likely own their own homes, which have greatly appreciated.

OVERESTIMATED? The other explanation for weak real wages is much more gloomy. Remember that wages usually track along with productivity. I hate to even say it, but what if the productivity gains of recent years have been overestimated? The latest revision of gross domestic product, released on July 28, seems to have cut productivity growth in 2004 and 2005 by almost half a percentage point. Further revisions of the statistics could push the number down even more.

No, I haven't swung from my usual optimism into the doom-and-gloom camp. But whatever way you cut it, the stagnation of real wages is not a good thing.

[Jan 03, 2020] How you define "oppression" ?

Jan 03, 2020 |

soru 12.31.19 at 6:39 pm 21 ( 21 )

The problem is in how you define "oppression".
For example if you take a marxian definition of l class, it means people who don't own the means of production, that easily means the bottom 80% of the population. However a large part of this group is usually considered middle class, and is not really seen as oppressed.

I don't think this is right; unlike 'exploited', Marx doesn't use the word 'oppression' in any technical or unusual way, just in it's usual sense.

So a prosperous middle class person in a liberal democracy is not oppressed. A Marxist would merely point out that they would be in a more capitalist society; one without a universal franchise that requires the rich to seek political allies.

people of the working class don't feel they are working class, but rather identify as blue collars

If you look into the actual details of vote tallies; you find more or less the precise opposite. There are a key block of people who, objectively speaking, earn most of their income from stocks that they own, in the form of pension funds. Up until recently, this block was the victim of false consciousness; they identified as something like 'blue collar', based on the jobs they used to do, and the communities they they used to belong to. As of the last few elections, political activity by the Republicans and Tories has managed to overcome that, so they now vote based on their objective class interests. Those who rely on a small lump of capital have mostly the same class interests as those in possession of more; fewer environmental regulations, lower minimum wages, and so forth.

Meanwhile, most of the current working class don't get to vote, because they lack citizenship in the countries in question.

[Jan 02, 2020] The Purpose Of Life Is Not Happiness: It s Usefulness Happiness as an achievable goal is an illusion, but that doesn t mean happiness itself is not attainable by Darius Foroux

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... "The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well." ..."
"... Recently I read Not Fade Away by Laurence Shames and Peter Barton. It's about Peter Barton, the founder of Liberty Media, who shares his thoughts about dying from cancer. ..."
Aug 22, 2019 |

For the longest time, I believed that there's only one purpose of life: And that is to be happy. Right? Why else go through all the pain and hardship? It's to achieve happiness in some way. And I'm not the only person who believed that. In fact, if you look around you, most people are pursuing happiness in their lives.

That's why we collectively buy shit we don't need, go to bed with people we don't love, and try to work hard to get approval of people we don't like.

Why do we do these things? To be honest, I don't care what the exact reason is. I'm not a scientist. All I know is that it has something to do with history, culture, media, economy, psychology, politics, the information era, and you name it. The list is endless.

We are who are.

Let's just accept that. Most people love to analyze why people are not happy or don't live fulfilling lives. I don't necessarily care about the why .

I care more about how we can change.

Just a few short years ago, I did everything to chase happiness.

But at the end of the day, you're lying in your bed (alone or next to your spouse), and you think: "What's next in this endless pursuit of happiness?"

Well, I can tell you what's next: You, chasing something random that you believe makes you happy.

It's all a façade. A hoax. A story that's been made up.

Did Aristotle lie to us when he said:

"Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence."

I think we have to look at that quote from a different angle. Because when you read it, you think that happiness is the main goal. And that's kind of what the quote says as well.

But here's the thing: How do you achieve happiness?

Happiness can't be a goal in itself. Therefore, it's not something that's achievable. I believe that happiness is merely a byproduct of usefulness. When I talk about this concept with friends, family, and colleagues, I always find it difficult to put this into words. But I'll give it a try here. Most things we do in life are just activities and experiences.

Those things should make you happy, right? But they are not useful. You're not creating anything. You're just consuming or doing something. And that's great.

Don't get me wrong. I love to go on holiday, or go shopping sometimes. But to be honest, it's not what gives meaning to life.

What really makes me happy is when I'm useful. When I create something that others can use. Or even when I create something I can use.

For the longest time I foud it difficult to explain the concept of usefulness and happiness. But when I recently ran into a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson, the dots connected.

Emerson says:

"The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well."

And I didn't get that before I became more conscious of what I'm doing with my life. And that always sounds heavy and all. But it's actually really simple.

It comes down to this: What are you DOING that's making a difference?

Did you do useful things in your lifetime? You don't have to change the world or anything. Just make it a little bit better than you were born.

If you don't know how, here are some ideas.

That's just some stuff I like to do. You can make up your own useful activities.

You see? It's not anything big. But when you do little useful things every day, it adds up to a life that is well lived. A life that mattered.

The last thing I want is to be on my deathbed and realize there's zero evidence that I ever existed.

Recently I read Not Fade Away by Laurence Shames and Peter Barton. It's about Peter Barton, the founder of Liberty Media, who shares his thoughts about dying from cancer.

It's a very powerful book and it will definitely bring tears to your eyes. In the book, he writes about how he lived his life and how he found his calling. He also went to business school, and this is what he thought of his fellow MBA candidates:

"Bottom line: they were extremely bright people who would never really anything, would never add much to society, would leave no legacy behind. I found this terribly sad, in the way that wasted potential is always sad."

You can say that about all of us. And after he realized that in his thirties, he founded a company that turned him into a multi-millionaire.

Another person who always makes himself useful is Casey Neistat . I've been following him for a year and a half now, and every time I watch his YouTube show , he's doing something.

He also talks about how he always wants to do and create something. He even has a tattoo on his forearm that says "Do More."

Most people would say, "why would you work more?" And then they turn on Netflix and watch back to back episodes of Daredevil.

A different mindset.

Being useful is a mindset. And like with any mindset, it starts with a decision. One day I woke up and thought to myself: What am I doing for this world? The answer was nothing.

And that same day I started writing. For you it can be painting, creating a product, helping elderly, or anything you feel like doing.

Don't take it too seriously. Don't overthink it. Just DO something that's useful. Anything.

Darius Foroux writes about productivity, habits, decision making, and personal finance. His ideas and work have been featured in TIME, NBC, Fast Company, Inc., Observer, and many more publications. Join his free weekly newsletter.

More from Darius Foroux

This article was originally published on October 3, 2016, by Darius Foroux, and is republished here with permission. Darius Foroux writes about productivity, habits, decision making, and personal finance.

Join his newsletter.

[Jan 02, 2020] Since 2008, we've been witnessing a "reverse stagflation", i.e. low unemployment with low wages (a phenomenon which is impossible according to modern bourgeois economic theory).

Jan 02, 2020 |

vk , Dec 31 2019 18:38 utc | 32

Here's another evidence capitalism has reached a stagnant level of both technological progress and birth rates:

Over-65s to account for over half of employment growth in next 10 years

Workers aged 65 and older will be responsible for more than half of all UK employment growth over the next 10 years and almost two-thirds of employment growth by 2060, according to new figures.

Since 2008, we've been witnessing a "reverse stagflation", i.e. low unemployment with low wages (a phenomenon which is impossible according to modern bourgeois economic theory).

The reason for this is what I mentioned earlier: no more technological progress and negative birth rates. The USA is still benefitting from mass immigration from Central America, but this demographic bonus won't last for much: now even the Third World countries are barely above the minimum 2 children per woman (including most of Latin American nations). Only a bunch of African nations (which have high mortality rates either way, so it doesn't matter) and India still have the "demographic bonus" in a level such as to be capitalistically viable.

This problem is not new in cotemporary history. It happened once: in the USSR.

In the 1970s, only 6% of the Soviet population was necessary to produce everything the USSR needed, so the only solution available was to expand the economy extensively, i.e. by reproducing the same infrastructure more times over.

The problem with that is that the USSR had reached its limits demographically. Its population growth entered into stagnant to negative territory. Decades passed until the point where it didn't even matter if they came up with a revolutionary technology, since there were simply not enough children to teach and train to such new tech. Add to that the pressure from the Cold War (which drained its R&D to the military sector), and it begun to wither away.

Now we can predict the same thing is happening to capitalism. Contrary to the USSR, the capitalist nations had the advantage of having available the demographic bonuses of the Third World - specially China - to maintain their dynamism even when some countries like Japan and Germany reached negative birth rates. Now China's demographic bonus is over and also much of Latin America. To make things even worse for the capitalists, China managed to scape the "middle income trap" and go to the route of becoming a superpower, thus adding to the demographic strains of the capitalist center.

The solution, it seems, is to do pension reforms and force the old people back to work. France is going to destroy its pension system; Brazil already did that; the USA was a pioneer in forcing its old population to work to the death; Italy destroyed its pension system after 2008; the UK is preparing the terrain now that its social-democracy is definitely destroyed.

Patroklos , Jan 1 2020 2:49 utc | 65

Posted by: vk | Dec 31 2019 18:38 utc | 32

As always I find your application of Marxist critique succinct and correct. This coming decade, with its unravelling of the financialization phase of our current phase of capitalism (i.e the US consolidation phase following British imperialism, c.1914-2020s), will be its terminal decade. The signal that we had entered the financialization phase were the shocks of 1970-73, and the replacement of industrial manufacture (i.e. money>commodity>money+x, or M-C-M') with finance/speculation (i.e. money>money+x, M-M') has unfolded more or less according to Marx's analysis in Capital vol.3. This is as much a crisis of value creation as anything else. In Australia (where I am) the process is particularly transparent: we have almost no manufacturing sector left and so we exchange labour-value created in China for mineral resources and engage in the ponzi-scheme of banking and property speculation, which produces no value whatsoever. Either way the M-C-M' phase in Australia has vanished and government dedicates itself to full-spectrum protection of the finance economy and mining. All the while a veneer of productivity is created by immigration, which destroys cities (because there's no infrastructure to accomodate them), inflates prices and creates the illusion of 'growth'. This is propped up by a media who perpetuate xenophobia by creating panic about refugees (5%) while saying zip about the fact that Australia only has economic growth at all because we bring in 250K new consumers every year. This collapsing financialization phase will only accelerate this decade and we will wake to find we don't make anything and have crumbling 1980s-era infrastructure: Australia will suffer badly as the phase plays out, not least because of a colonial-settler looting mentality around the 'economy' that persists at every level of government.

What I like about the point you're making in your post (#32) is the wider expansive question of productivity -- or, how do we continue to produce value? It is often overlooked that Marx sought to liberate human beings from expropriative labour of every kind (which occurred as much under the Soviets as it does today); this means that capital's aorta connecting labour to value via money must be severed (rather than the endless attempts to reform capitalism to make it 'fairer' etc, a sell-out for which Gramsci savaged the union movement). The relation between work and value must be critiqued relentlessly. To salvage any kind of optimism about the future we need to invest all our intellectual energy in this critique and find a radically new way of construing the link between time, labour and value that does not include social domination.

In the meantime the scenario to which you have drawn our attention -- the parasitic vampirism now attacking the elderly and the retired -- is an inevitable consequence of our particular moment in late capitalism, hurtling at speed toward a social catastrophe of debt, wealth inequality, neo-feudalism and biopolitical police state, all characterized by an image of 70-year-olds trudging to work in an agony of physical suffering and mental meaninglessness which will end in a forgotten grave.

[Jan 02, 2020] Lack of bargaining power due to de-unionization, off-shoring, automation and massive numbers of cheap - and frequently undocumented - immigrant labor has placed downward pressure on wages in many industries, including most of the ones with the greatest job growth. All the gains in productivity have been accruing to capital, almost none to labor.

Notable quotes:
"... Since economists like to think of themselves as physicians, perhaps they should consider a powerful force pushing on a weak force - a gorilla, for instance, squeezing a marshmallow. The gorilla is corporate power, the marshmallow, labor. Now perhaps the gorilla is able to squeeze the marshmallow because that marshmallow was so damn sticky and refused to budge last time - or maybe the marshmallow has been squeezed low these past thirty years. ..."
"... I think there is a strong correlation of wage growth and energy consumption per capita. ..."
"... As the latter now is shrinking and the wages are stagnant capital is able to squeeze all productivity gain for themselves. Neoliberal transformation of society since 1970th also suppresses wages by dramatically increasing the share of owners. Those two tendencies work together. ..."
Jan 05, 2015 | Economist's View

FRBSF Economic Letter Why Is Wage Growth So Slow


Despite considerable improvement in the labor market, growth in wages continues to be disappointing. One reason is that many firms were unable to reduce wages during the recession, and they must now work off a stockpile of pent-up wage cuts....

-- Mary Daly and Bart Hobijn

[ What offensive nonsense, as though real after-tax corporate profits per employee had exploded, simply exploded, since 2000. ]

drb48 -> anne:

Thank you Anne for introducing some sanity to what is the biggest bunch of hogwash I've read in a while.

drb48 -> anne:

Wage growth has been "disappointing" for decades. If employers have a problem reducing wages, it's because they're already so low. Lack of bargaining power due to de-unionization, off-shoring, automation and massive numbers of cheap - and frequently undocumented - immigrant labor has placed downward pressure on wages in many industries, including most of the ones with the greatest job growth. All the gains in productivity have been accruing to capital, almost none to labor. Trying to rationalize with some bullshit study this as anything other than the powerful exploiting the weak is - as you say - offensive nonsense.

Roger Gathmann -> anne:

Exactly. Since economists like to think of themselves as physicians, perhaps they should consider a powerful force pushing on a weak force - a gorilla, for instance, squeezing a marshmallow. The gorilla is corporate power, the marshmallow, labor. Now perhaps the gorilla is able to squeeze the marshmallow because that marshmallow was so damn sticky and refused to budge last time - or maybe the marshmallow has been squeezed low these past thirty years.

Obviously, the economists will jump for the sticky solution, since politics, the relative power of capital and labor, is an offense against all the wonderful models based on equilibrium and god's own free market.


January 15, 2014

Real After-Tax Corporate Profits Per Employee, 2000-2014

2000 01 ( 5,938) *
2000 04 ( 5,771)
2000 07 ( 5,618)
2000 10 ( 5,312)

2001 01 ( 5,655) Bush
2001 04 ( 5,930)
2001 07 ( 5,430)
2001 10 ( 5,289) (Low)

2002 01 ( 5,851)
2002 04 ( 6,475)
2002 07 ( 7,092)
2002 10 ( 7,898)

2003 01 ( 7,775)
2003 04 ( 7,827)
2003 07 ( 7,229)
2003 10 ( 8,776)

2004 01 ( 9,933)
2004 04 ( 10,207)
2004 07 ( 10,534)
2004 10 ( 10,319)

2005 01 ( 12,460)
2005 04 ( 12,510)
2005 07 ( 12,713)
2005 10 ( 13,228)

2006 01 ( 13,395)
2006 04 ( 13,600)
2006 07 ( 13,600)
2006 10 ( 13,133)

2007 01 ( 12,112)
2007 04 ( 12,613)
2007 07 ( 12,002)
2007 10 ( 12,105)

2008 01 ( 10,975)
2008 04 ( 11,121)
2008 07 ( 10,661)
2008 10 ( 6,249)

2009 01 ( 9,989) Obama
2009 04 ( 10,850)
2009 07 ( 12,319)
2009 10 ( 13,260)

2010 01 ( 13,988)
2010 04 ( 13,814)
2010 07 ( 14,324)
2010 10 ( 14,113)

2011 01 ( 12,572)
2011 04 ( 13,005)
2011 07 ( 12,919)
2011 10 ( 13,486)

2012 01 ( 14,756)
2012 04 ( 14,437)
2012 07 ( 14,926)
2012 10 ( 14,579)

2013 01 ( 14,447)
2013 04 ( 14,921)
2013 07 ( 15,129)
2013 10 ( 14,861)

2014 01 ( 14,303)
2014 04 ( 14,982)
2014 07 ( 15,274) (High)

* Without inventory valuation and capital consumption adjustments,
seasonally adjusted, 1982 - 1984 dollars

I think there is a strong correlation of wage growth and energy consumption per capita.

As the latter now is shrinking and the wages are stagnant capital is able to squeeze all productivity gain for themselves. Neoliberal transformation of society since 1970th also suppresses wages by dramatically increasing the share of owners. Those two tendencies work together.

[Jan 02, 2020] Gary Shilling Why It's So Hard To Forecast The Economy

Jan 02, 2020 |

Gary Shilling: Why It's So Hard To Forecast The Economy by Tyler Durden Wed, 01/01/2020 - 19:00 0 SHARES

Authored by A.Gary Shilling, op-ed via,

Normal cyclical patterns have gone missing , and may not be coming back anytime soon...

The U.S. economy has experienced its slowest recovery from a recession in the post-World War II era, and the longer it lasts the more evidence there is that normal cyclical patterns are missing. And their absence means market participants shouldn't rely on them to divine the economy's future.

Consider the myriad developments that are atypical, or even the reverse of normal economic and financial market behavior. The Federal Reserve shifted from easing credit to tightening following past downturns, with its target federal funds rate normally raised within a year or so of the recession's trough, eventually precipitating the next economic contraction. This time, the central bank kept its policy rate at the recessionary low of essentially zero until Dec. 2015, 78 months into the recovery . And then, after nine quarter-percentage point increases, it reversed course early this year with three rate cuts.

Far from the Fed's normal worries about an overheating economy and inflation, the central bank frets that low and even declining consumer prices will spawn deflationary expectations. Buyers will hold off in anticipation of lower prices. Inventories and excess capacity will mount, forcing prices down. The price cuts confirm suspicions and purchases are delayed even further, sparking a deflationary spiral. The glaring example is Japan, with deflation in most years in the past two decades and tiny real GDP annual growth of 1.1%.

Also, despite the plunge in 30-year fixed mortgage rates from 6.8% in July 2006 to the current 3.7%, rate-sensitive single-family housing starts have been muted. They fell from a 1.8 million annual rate in January 2006 to 350,000 in March 2009 as the subprime mortgage market collapsed, but have only recovered to 940,000.

Mortgage lending criteria have tightened and prime-age first-time homebuyers don't have the necessary downpayments. The net worth of households headed by 18-to-34-year-olds dropped from $120,000 in 2001 to $90,000 in 2016, a 44% decline adjusted for inflation. Also, they learned from the last recession that for the first time since the 1930s, house prices nationwide can fall.

In past business recoveries, the U.S. household saving rate fell as consumer spending grew faster than incomes. In this expansion, it's the reverse, leaping from 4.9% to 7.9% in November, retarding spending.

Past postwar recessions spawned financial problems, but nothing like the 2008 crisis. The government's reaction was equally severe with the enactment of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act and other stringent regulations for financial institutions that are only now being slowly relaxed.

In earlier business upswings, a drop in the unemployment rate of anything like the plunge from 10% in October 2009 to the current 3.5% would have spawned massive wage inflation. This time, real wages are barely growing.

Globalization transported many high-paid manufacturing jobs to China. With the growing "on demand" economy -- think Uber Technologies Inc. -- many people trade flexibility in working hours for low pay. The payroll jobs that are being created are mostly in low-wage sectors such as retailing and leisure & hospitality.

For years, foreign policy was bipartisan and expanding trade was considered highly desirable. Now, globalists have been overcome by protectionists, spurred by voters upset over stagnant purchasing power and rising income and asset inequality in G-7 countries. Trump's 2016 election along with the U.K.'s "Brexit" from the European Union are among the results. Then there's also the demise of global trade deals, which are being replaced by bilateral agreements or no pacts at all.

The U.S.-China trade dispute will no doubt persist because China, with a declining labor force as a result of its earlier one child-per-couple policy, needs Western technologies to grow and achieve its worldwide leadership ambitions. But the U.S. is opposed to the technology transfers China wants.

The dollar's slide from 1985 until 2007 encouraged U.S. exports, curbed imports and gave U.S. multinationals currency-related boosts to profits. Since then, the dollar index has rallied 33% amid a global demand for haven assets. And it should continue to, given the relatively faster growth of the U.S. economy, its huge, free and open financial markets and the lack of meaningful substitutes for the greenback.

Disinflation has reigned since 1980, but real interest rates were positive until the last decade. But for 10 years now, real 10-year Treasury note yields have been flat at zero (see my Nov. 19, 2018 column, "Zero Real Yields Are Tripping Up Investors"). This and the flat yield curve have pushed state pension funds and other investors far out on the risk curve in search of real returns, bidding up stocks to vulnerable levels.

Earlier, the Fed was run by Ph.D. economists who clung to widely-held theories even though they didn't work. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell is proving to be much more practical, backing away from rigid Fed policies such as the 2% inflation target and a zero-bound policy rate as well as unsuccessful forward guidance.

In this different economic climate, it's hard to time the end of the current recovery. Still, it will end, due either to Fed overtightening or a financial crisis, like the 2000 dot-com blow-off or the 2007-2009 subprime mortgage collapse. In the current excess supply-savings glut-deflationary world, it's likely a recession will unfold due to a shock before the Fed overtightens.

No financial crises are in sight, but there are possibilities such as excess debt in China and among U.S. businesses, a trade war escalation, consumer retrenchment resulting in widespread deflation, and disappointing corporate profits measured against sky-high stock prices. Watch for specific imbalances, not typical past patterns.

[Jan 01, 2020] Dictatorship is needed for financial oligarchy and it is the most plausible path of development due to another factor -- the collapse of neoliberal ideology and complete discrediting of neoliberal elite

Jan 01, 2020 |

likbez 12.31.19 at 2:25 pm 15

Tim 12.31.19 at 3:46 am @3

"If this succeeds, we'll be well on the path to dictatorship." This seems predicated on the idea that 'whites' will only be able to hold onto power by Dictatorship. Population trends suggest whites will still be the largest group [just under half] in 2055. A considerable group given their, to borrow the phrase, 'privilege'. Add conservative Asian and even Catholic Latino voters, is it that difficult to envisage a scenario where Republicans sometimes achieve power without Dictatorship? They are already benefiting from the radical left helping drive traditional working class white voters to the right [helped by Republican/Fox etc hyperbole].

Radical left is either idiots, or stooges of intelligence agencies and always has been.

IMHO the idea that " whites" are or will be the force behind the move to the dictatorship is completely naïve. Dictatorship is needed for financial oligarchy and it is the most plausible path of development due to another factor -- the collapse of neoliberal ideology and complete discrediting of neoliberal elite. At least in the USA.

Russiagate should be viewed as an attempt to stage a color revolution and remove the President by the USA intelligence agencies (in close cooperation with the "Five eyes") -- a prolog to the establishing of the dictatorship by financial oligarchy

I would view Russiagate is a kind of Beer Hall Putsch with intelligence agencies instead of national-socialist party. A couple of conspirators might be jailed after Durham investigation is finished (Hitler was jailed after the putsch), but the danger that CIA will seize the political power remains. After all KGB was in this role in the USSR for along time. Is the USA that different? I don't think so. There is no countervailing force: the number of people with security clearance in the USA exceed five million. Those five million and not "whites" like some completely naïve people propose is the critical mass needed for the dictatorship.

The potential explosiveness of Durham's mission was further underscored by the disclosure that he was examining the role of John O. Brennan, the former CIA director, in how the intelligence community assessed Russia's 2016 election interference.

BTW "whites" are not a homogeneous group. There is especially abhorrent and dangerous neoliberal strata of "whites" including members of financial oligarchy, the "professional class" and "academia" (economics department are completely infected.) as well as MIC prostitutes in MSM.

[Jan 01, 2020] The "neoliberalism is fascism" faction seems to become stronger these days

Jan 01, 2020 |

bianca steele 12.31.19 at 10:57 pm ( 24 )

EB's second paragraph @18 is very clear, I think, about the stakes for one of the more important issues facing liberals / Democrats in the US. Is the party organized around protecting women, LBGT individuals, and religious and ethnic minorities from theocrats who want to tear down Constitutional and statutory civil rights, or is it organized around working people who may have a stake in a less secular, less socially progressive future, but will support a strong government if it supports ordinary working families who belong to the dominant culture?

The "liberalism is fascism; only anarchism is properly socialist" faction seems as strong as ever, though these days, it seems possible to add a third clause, "big government is good," to the list, to listen to some people.

It's almost as if what they really mean is "all governments are the same, but don't boss *me* around."

[Jan 01, 2020] Capitalist economic activity can operate effectively under both centrist and hard-right ideologies, the relation of Liberalism (including "conservatism") and Fascism is along a continuum and the first can readily morph into the second.

Jan 01, 2020 |

rivelle 12.31.19 at 11:33 am

JQ is right to emphasize the similarities and continuities between the identity politics of the liberal and rightist varieties. They exist along a continuum and easily located within the ideological cultural and civilizational symbolic of Western capitalist polities. Understood as a power-elite *ruling ideology*, this is what is properly described as "Liberalism". (In contrast, superficial electoral politics and journalism are merely epiphenomenal when they seek to pigeon-hole parties, politicians and policies into granular categories of "left", "center", "right".)

For reasons similar to those outlined above, Corey Robin and Slavoj Zizek have rejected labelling Trump a "fascist", especially when this label comes from political centrists – DNC Democrats; "bourgeois liberals" etc. Robin and Zizek emphasize the manner in which Trump is simply capitalist business as usual. And since the start of the Trump admin., Robin also has noted the many political weaknesses of Trump and the GOP, over and above Trump's neophyte incompetence and vainglorious stupidity.

See here, for example
The problem with Robin's and Zizek's positions though, Fascism is just as much capitalist business as usual. Capitalist economic activity can operate effectively under both centrist and hard-right ideologies, the relation of Liberalism (including "conservatism") and Fascism is along a continuum and the first can readily morph into the second.

(cont. in next post)

rivelle 12.31.19 at 11:33 am ( 9 )

Two recent books describe the inter-relationship between Liberalism and Fascism as capitalist ruling ideologies.

Domenico Losurdo – Liberalism: A Counter-History.

Ishay Landa – The Apprentice's Sorcerer: Liberal Tradition and Fascism

A review of Losurdo's book on Amazon provides a good summary of its thesis.

"1. Liberalism does not expand the boundaries of freedom in an organic dialectical process. Liberalism has undergone profound changes in its history, but not because of any sort of internal tendency towards progress. The expanders of liberty have been rebellious slaves, socialists, organized workers, anti-colonial nationalists, and other forces outside of the Community of the Free. Generally, the Community of the Free only grants accessions when faced with powerful opposition from outside its walls.
2. Ideologies such as white supremacy, social Darwinism, and colonialism were created by liberals as a means of defending the liberty of the Community of the Free. When the American Founding Fathers rebelled against Britain, one of their most commonly stated reasons for doing so was that the British government didn't respect the freedom Americans had imbibed through their Northern European blood. The Framers saw themselves as the preservers of the freedoms of the Glorious Revolution, a revolution based on the right of freedom-worthy peoples to dominate the supposedly insipid masses. They were explicit in this respect, and the later history of liberalism continued to attest to this tendency.
3. Liberalism contains within itself the semi-hidden corollary that human behavior must be strictly regulated in order for freedom to be maintained. In liberalism, individuals have the freedom to compete with one another and rise to the top based on merit. Liberal elites have often interpreted this as proof that those at the top of the social ladder deserve their place. The other conclusion that stems from this is that criminals, the uneducated, the poor, and non-Western cultures fully deserve their servile status. If nature wanted them to be part of the Community of the Free, so goes the logic, then it would allow them to participate in liberty. Therefore, the dominated peoples of the world must hold their position due to their own internal defects. For Losurdo, this belief is what defines liberalism and separates it from radicalism.
4. In liberalism, liberty has historically been seen as a trait that people possess, one granted by nature. Thus, liberalism easily justifies its tendencies towards inequality by devising various ways of explaining why nature simply doesn't grant some people the liberty it grants others. Meanwhile, radicalism sees the establishment of liberty as an active process. Interestingly, this indicates that negative liberty possesses a magnetism towards authoritarianism. Losrudo points out that during the early days of Fascism, many liberals in the U.S. and Western Europe such as von Mises, Croce, and the Italian liberal establishment saw Mussolini's regime as a possible defender of classical liberalism and liberty as it was understood by the Anglo-Saxon theorists of liberalism.

This book is as disturbing as it is insightful. I personally see it as self-evident that many of the authoritarian tendencies that Losurdo identifies have made a comeback with a vengeance in the neo-liberal era, and have strengthened since the start of the Great Financial Crisis. Modern liberals, especially in American academia, often assure themselves that liberalism will not tolerate any serious regresses into authoritarianism, because of the myth of the dialectical process I described at the beginning of this review. I even believed in this to some extent, and if I remember correctly, I recall Slavoj Zizek of all people praising liberalism for this reason. Fortunately, Losurdo has seriously damaged my faith in this tendency in liberalism. Again, I don't even consider myself to be a liberal, I identify as a Leftist (one of the radicals Losurdo describes). Perhaps it speaks to the pervasiveness of the comforting nature of liberalism's self image that even its critics unknowingly take refuge in it."

rivelle 12.31.19 at 11:34 am ( 10 )
This is an excerpt of a review of Landa's book from Goodreads:

"The last 2 chapters are dedicated to attacking 4 liberal myths about fascism. 1) that it was "the tyranny of the majority" 2) that it was "collectivist" as compared to "individualist" liberalism 3) that the "big lie", the use of propaganda etc to cover the "truth", was unique to fascism/"totalitarianism" or started there 4) that fascism was an ultra-nationalist attack on liberal cosmopolitanism.

For 1, he focuses not so much on attacking the idea that fascists were a majority (he does do this, but the book isn't focused on this sort of thing which has been gone over before many times) but instead how many liberals believed in the tyranny of the majority *against property owners* and were perfectly willing to accept dictatorship to protect the elite minority from the dangers of a majority attacking their elite position – and that liberals were in fact key ideological supporters of the fascist dictatorship to protect the market against the attacks of socialism.

For 2, he points out first "it should be realized that terms such as "individualism" or "collectivism" are, in and of themselves, devoid of political meaning, whether radical or conservative, left or right, socialist or capitalist. It is only the historical content poured into such signifiers, that lends them their concrete ideological import." These terms aren't helpful or meaningful as ideals. Nevertheless, he points out how liberal defences of the individual actually often took place from the standpoint of a greater community or goal – he points out how Edmund Burke called society a "family" simply to defend that the elite patriarchs should be able to do whatever they want yet without any responsibility in return. The collective standpoint acts as a justification for inequalities – that allowing the elite to do what they want advances greater goals, like culture, the health of the race, the nation etc. Individualism was actually often a way of advancing socialist goals by pointing out that every human being deserves a certain quality of life and the elite don't deserve more.

For 3, he quotes liberal philosophers who believed in the dangers of democracy so talked about the need for elites to work behind the scenes so the masses believe they're in charge while really a small elite do everything. He quotes Leo Strauss extensively, which is kind of weird as he's "post-fascism", but it's valuable as a more developed example of exactly what other liberal philosophers wanted. It shows that "totalitarianism" isn't so obviously confined to non-liberal ideologies.

For 4, he points out how common ideas of the nation were for liberals – similar to 2 – as a justification for inequality, as a basis for wealth (Wealth of Nations for example), as a myth to rally the masses. Again, he's clear that nationalism isn't inherently "good" or "bad" – pointing to the way nowadays third world nationalism is a valuable force for liberation while liberal countries at capitalism's centre are stressing the opposite. He's saying that nationalism isn't a unique quality of fascism at all. He also quotes Hitler suggesting that if Germany isn't good enough to win its place at the forefront of countries, he doesn't care for it. He doesn't present it as if it counters the idea of nationalism in fascism but he points out that it suggests alternative priorities.

The epilogue focuses on one specific historian's (Michael Mann) ideas about how fascism wasn't able to take hold in north-west Europe because of their "strong liberal traditions". He points out first that there were serious differences in material conditions but also that British politicians, for example, were closely tied to fascism, regularly expressing admiration for it and supporting fascists abroad, while implementing "crypto-fascist" ideas at home. Fascism was also impossible without ideas from the UK and the US – eugenics ideas from there especially were very popular among fascists. The idea that it was "liberal traditions" that stopped it spreading is shown as, at best, incredibly naive."

Hidari 12.31.19 at 11:44 am ( 11 )
I agree with '3': I also think that thinking about dictatorship makes us think that the threat is coming from a certain direction, which makes us unprepared if the threat comes from a completely different direction (think of this as being like an intellectual Maginot Line if you want). Things may change in 100 years time (they normally do!).

But it's clear that for the immediate future (by which I mean, roughly up until about 2050 or thereabouts) 'Old Skool' fascist dictatorships are simply a busted flush. Modi might praise Hitler and Bolsanaro might speak approvingly of the previous military dictatorships but even they (more or less) stick to democratic norms (elections etc.) although of course they try and undermine what one might term the 'true' spirit of democracy at every turn (the only place on Planet Earth which still habitually uses the 'dictatorship' mode of governance is the area round the Gulf, for very specific socio-cultural reasons).

If you are looking for previous analogues for what we are looking at in the future you might look at South Africa (which had elections but only for 'whites'), Mexico under the PRI, Japan under the LDP, etc. Even in the UK, which is nominally a 'real' democracy you have a situation (and have had since about 1950) in which, while elections are 'real' the Tories almost always win them, and after 1979, even when the opposition does win the election, it does not engage in any serious ideological opposition to the political philosophy of the Tories (the US is like this too, since roughly 1981).

At the moment at least, the Republicans in the US and the Tories in the UK are simply doubling down on gerrymandering, voter suppression, 'let them eat racism' type crackdowns on 'immigrants' to disguise (and create a 'reason' for) rising inequality, the blizzard of propaganda we call 'fake news' (which mainly, contrary to popular belief, comes from 'mainstream' media sources): and so far these techniques seem to be working. Outright dictatorship would create foreign policy problems (e.g. with the UN, the EU etc.) and there is little sign at the moment that the Right wants to go down that route, at least in the short term.

[Jan 01, 2020] "Maximizing shareholder is the holy grail of all capitalist enterprises" is self-destuctive and anti-social as it is equlent to local optimizatin of a complex social system

Jan 01, 2020 |

anarchyst , says: December 19, 2019 at 3:56 pm GMT

@Dutch Boy rk, employees need to make an adequate wage. Unfortunately, this premise does not exist in today's business climate.

Henry Ford openly criticized those of the "tribe" for manipulating wall street and banksters to their own advantage, and was roundly (and unjustly) criticized for pointing out the TRUTH.

Catholic priest, Father Coughlin did the same thing and was punished by the Catholic church, despite his popularity and exposing the TRUTH of the American economy and the outsider internationalists that ran it . . . and STILL run it.

Our race to the bottom will not be without consequences. A great realignment is necessary (and is coming) . .

[Jan 01, 2020] Nationalism is transforming the politics of the British Isles its power as a vehicle for discontent grows ever stronger The

Dec 25, 2019 |

The desire by people to see themselves as a national community – even if many of the bonds binding them together are fictional – is one of the most powerful forces in the world

Patrick Cockburn | @indyworld |

Nationalism in different shapes and forms is powerfully transforming the politics of the British Isles, a development that gathered pace over the last five years and culminated in the general election this month.

National identities and the relationship between England, Scotland and Ireland are changing more radically than at any time over the last century. It is worth looking at the British archipelago as a whole on this issue because of the closely-meshed political relationship of its constituent nations. Some of these developments are highly visible such as the rise of the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) to permanent political dominance in Scotland in the three general elections since the independence referendum in 2014.

Other changes are important but little commented on, such as the enhanced national independence and political influence of the Republic of Ireland over the British Isles as a continuing member of the EU as the UK leaves. Dublin's greater leverage when backed by the other 26 EU states was repeatedly demonstrated, often to the surprise and dismay of London, in the course of the negotiations in Brussels over the terms of the British withdrawal.

Northern Ireland saw more nationalist than unionist MPs elected in the general election for the first time since 1921. This is important because it is a further sign of the political impact of demographic change whereby Catholics/nationalists become the new majority and the Protestants/unionists the minority. The contemptuous ease with which Boris Johnson abandoned his ultra-unionist pledges to the DUP and accepted a customs border in the Irish Sea separating Northern Ireland from the rest of Britain shows how little loyalty the Conservatives feel towards the northern unionists and their distinct and abrasive brand of British nationalism.

These developments affecting four of the main national communities inhabiting the British Isles – Irish, nationalists and unionists in Northern Ireland, Scots – are easy to track. Welsh nationalism is a lesser force. Much more difficult to trace and explain is the rise of English nationalism because it is much more inchoate than these other types of nationalism, has no programme, and is directly represented by no political party – though the Conservative Party has moved in that direction.

The driving force behind Brexit was always a certain type of English nationalism which did not lose its power to persuade despite being incoherent and little understood by its critics and supporters alike. In some respects, it deployed the rhetoric of any national community seeking self-determination. The famous Brexiteer slogan "take back control" is not that different in its implications from Sinn Fein – "Ourselves Alone" – though neither movement would relish the analogy.

The great power of the pro-Brexit movement, never really taken on board by its opponents, was to blame the very real sense of disempowerment and social grievances felt by a large part of the English population on Brussels and the EU. This may have been scapegoating on a grandiose scale, but nationalist movements the world over have targeted some foreign body abroad or national minority at home as the source of their ills. I asked one former Leave councillor – one of the few people I met who changed their mind on the issue after the referendum in 2016 – why people living in her deprived ward held the EU responsible for their poverty. Her reply cut through many more sophisticated explanations: "I suppose that it is always easier to blame Johnny Foreigner."

Applying life lessons to the pursuit of national happiness The Tories won't get far once progressives join forces 22,000 EU nationals have left NHS since Brexit vote, figures show This crude summary of the motives of many Leave voters has truth in it, but it is a mistake to caricature English nationalism as simply a toxic blend of xenophobia, racism, imperial nostalgia and overheated war memories. In the three years since the referendum the very act of voting for Brexit became part of many people's national identity, a desire to break free, kicking back against an overmighty bureaucracy and repelling attempts by the beneficiaries of globalisation to reverse a democratic vote.

The political left in most countries is bad at dealing with nationalism and the pursuit of self-determination. It sees these as a diversion from identifying and attacking the real perpetrators of social and economic injustice. It views nationalists as mistakenly or malignly aiming at the wrong target – usually foreigners – and letting the domestic ones off the hook.

The desire by people to see themselves as a national community – even if many of the bonds binding them together are fictional – is one of the most powerful forces in the world. It can only be ignored at great political cost, as the Labour Party has just found out to its cost for the fifth time (two referendums and three elections). What Labour should have done was early on take over the slogan "take back control" and seek to show that they were better able to deliver this than the Conservatives or the Brexit Party. There is no compelling reason why achieving such national demands should be a monopoly of the right. But in 2016, 2017 and 2019 Labour made the same mistake of trying to wriggle around Brexit as the prime issue facing the English nation without taking a firm position, an evasion that discredited it with both Remainers and Leavers.

Curiously, the political establishment made much the same mistake as Labour in underestimating and misunderstanding the nature of English nationalism. Up to the financial crisis of 2008 globalisation had been sold as a beneficial and inevitable historic process. Nationalism was old hat and national loyalties were supposedly on the wane. To the British political class, the EU obviously enhanced the political and economic strength of its national members. As beneficiaries of the status quo, they were blind to the fact that much of the country had failed to gain from these good things and felt marginalised and forgotten.

The advocates of supra-national organisations since the mediaeval papacy have been making such arguments and have usually been perplexed why they fail to stick. They fail to understand the strength of nationalism or religion in providing a sense of communal solidarity, even if it is based on dreams and illusions, that provides a vehicle for deeply felt needs and grievances. Arguments based on simple profit and loss usually lose out against such rivals.

Minervo , 1 day ago

Bigger by far are two forces which really do have control over our country -- the international NATO warmongers but even more so, the international banksters of the finance industry.

Why no 'leftist' campaign to Take Back Control of our money? Gordon Brown baled out the banks when they should have gone bankrupt and been nationalised.

Blair is forever tainted with his ill-fated Attack on Iraq. Surely New Liberals or Democrats or Socialists would want to lock down on that fiasco?

The Nationalism of taking back control could be a leftist project too.

[Jan 01, 2020] Worst Market In 30 Years - 400,000 Commodity Railcars Sit Idle Amid Industrial Recession

Jan 01, 2020 |

Wells Fargo, Citigroup, PNC Financial Service Group, and CIT Group accumulated hundreds of thousands of commodity hauling railcars in North America over the last decade. These banks believed railcars carrying coal, grain, and other commodities were going to be highly profitable but have recently turned out to be a major headache as many cars are now in storage because of new regulations and demand woes brought on by fluctuating commodity markets.

David Nahass, president of Railroad Financial Corp., which provides advisory services to railroad firms, told The Wall Street Journa l that "the industry is suffering, there are no two ways about it. Lease rates are down, and there's not a source of hope about when it will start to improve."

The Journal, citing the Association of American Railroads (AAR), said about 400,000 railcars currently sit in storage with no use at all, and many are bank-owned.

woodknot , 13 seconds ago link

Lost the pipeline war, eat your rail cars Buffett.

Juggernaut x2 , 1 minute ago link

Overproduction due to ultra-low rates - another way 10 years of the Fed's ZIRP has distorted the Business Cycle

BEMUSED-CONFUSED , 4 minutes ago link

Clean the railroad cars out

turn them into homeless centers.

Like in the movie:

Boxcar Bertha.

bshirley1968 , 6 minutes ago link

"The railroad crisis has hit certain types of railcars the hardest. For instance, coal shipments have plunged since 2011, which diminished the demand for coal hopper cars."

I thought Trump was going to save the coal industry. He carried his largest wins in WV and WY. Somebody's not happy.

[Jan 01, 2020] Vulture corporatism = U.S. corporations consuming consumers.

Jan 01, 2020 |

Rebel0007 , says: December 19, 2019 at 4:19 pm GMT

Vulture corporatism = U.S. corporations consuming consumers.

Anon [491] Disclaimer , says: December 19, 2019 at 11:43 am GMT
@Colin Wright usual with Joyce (and not only Joyce of course). You take something that is human, talk of Jews, point to that something in Jews, and pretend, trusting that your readers will pretend the same, that it's a Jewish-specific something.
Because if you were to say: everyone does this, everywhere, but when Jews do it it's just on a larger scale, then you'd be shining light on the fact that what changes with Jews is just skills, and that they are intelligent enough to co-operate more than the others.
Like when Mac Donald speaks of Jewish self-deception.
I feel I am swimming in self-deception everytime I talk with people (more so with women), and they aren't Jewish. Do people do anything, but self-deceive?
Richard B , says: December 19, 2019 at 4:34 pm GMT


Hands down one of the best comments on Jewish Supremacy Inc.'s psychopathy, lack of accountablity and corresponding projection.

Of course, you thought you were doing something else.

Just passing through , says: December 19, 2019 at 4:38 pm GMT
@Really No Shit

Jews are doing to White countries what Whites and Jews did to India, no honour amongst thieves, the ones with the higher verbal IQ wins.

Also it is important to note that the reason India came under the sway of Anglo-Zionist banking cartels so easily was because how divided it was, I reckon that is why they are promoting mass immigration. Import lots of different groups, then run lots of race-baiting stories to distract the plebs from their financial machinations.

This is why Jews are well represented in non-antisemitic White Nationalist organisations like Jared Taylor's AmRen, they are great at playing both sides.

Realist , says: December 19, 2019 at 4:41 pm GMT

And he funded the building of the Peace Palace ("Vredespaleis") in The Hague, presently the seat of the International Court of Justice, an institution not held in high esteem in the home country of the generous donor.

That wasn't his intent.

Just passing through , says: December 19, 2019 at 4:44 pm GMT
@Wally 't really engage in lofty ambitons to dominate the world and as such are intact at the moment and seem like they will remain that way for a long time, they are the true conservatives, WASPs have always had a Jewish streak within their corrupt souls and are now paying the price for engaging with a criminal race.

Why do you think Epstein has all these Gentiles in his pocket? You think do-gooding gentiles just randomly decided to get into bed with Epstein and Co.? How many East Asians and Eastern Euros do you see terrified of being outed as paedophiles.

Don't deceive yourselves, all debts are paid in the end, especially when the creditors are Jews.

aandrews , says: December 19, 2019 at 5:07 pm GMT

" it is truly remarkable that vulture funds like Singer's escaped major media attention prior to this ."

Not really. The Jew's grip is starting to slip now, though. More and more people are becoming aware that they are virulent parasites and always have been.

DaveE , says: December 19, 2019 at 5:08 pm GMT
@Mulegino1 l capitalism is the competition of ideas, innovation, efficient manufacturing and quality products made and produced by honest companies. That competition can, in theory at least, make people (and companies) "try harder". But only when a company's success is determined by the strength of its products, not by the "deals" it cuts with Jewish financial, advertising, "marketing" and swindling rackets, designed to line the pockets of the Jew while destroying honest competition by Gentiles who struggle to play fair and innovate.

Jewish vulture "capitalism" contributes NOTHING of value to any company or any culture. It never has and never will.

[Jan 01, 2020] Prolonging the discussion about the bad habit Western Democracies have on falsifying official statistic

Jan 01, 2020 |

vk , Dec 29 2019 3:42 utc | 55

Prolonging the discussion about the bad habit Western Democracies have on falsifying official statistics:

On Those Questionable US Wage Stats Again

[Jan 01, 2020] Time for PhD supervision

Jan 01, 2020 |

by Ingrid Robeyns on December 29, 2019 Some aspects of academia show great international variation. There is one on which I haven't found any good data, and hence thought I'll ask the crowd here so that we can gather our own data, even if it will be not very scientifically collected.

The question is this: if you are a university teacher/professor and your department awards PhD-degrees, do you get any official time allocated (or time-compensation) for PhD supervision? If it is part of a teaching load model, how many hours (or % teaching load) is it equivalent to? Or is there an expectation that you take on PhD-students but that this does not lead to a reduction in other tasks?

How do international practices of the conditions for PhD-supervisors compare?

In my faculty (Humanities at Utrecht University, the Netherlands), all supervisors together (which generally are two, sometimes three) are collectively given a teaching load reduction of 132 hours in the year follow the graduation of the PhD-candidate. So your teaching reduction upon successful graduation of a PhD-candidate tends to be 66 hours. For the supervisory work you effectively do in the four years prior to graduation, there is no time allocated; so you effectively do this in your research or your leisure time.

To put this into perspective: most (assistant/associate/full) professors teach 50-70% of their time, and a fulltime workload is 1670 hours, or 1750 hours if you are saving for a sabbatical. This can be reduced if you have major managerial tasks (e.g. Head of Department) or if a large part of your wage is paid by a research grant. So without reductions, we teach about 835-1190 hours a year (this includes the time for preparation and examination, but frankly, one always needs more than the teaching load models allocate for a given course. And in general there are no TAs or other support staff to help with the practical sides of teaching).

For writing the grants that are almost always needed to create the jobs for PhD students (with success rates now around 15%), and for supervising those who in the end do not get their PhD degree, there is no time put aside for the supervisor/applicants. That time also goes, effectively, from our research time, or, more realistically, from our leisure time.

Recently, I heard from a British colleague and a Swedish colleague their models for PhD-supervision, which were way more generous (and rightly so in my view), so thought I'll throw the question on the table here: what, if any, time-compensation/teachingreduction do you get for supervising PhD students?

I am not trying to suggest here that without adequate time set aside for doing this work, it would not be worthwhile supervising PhDs. There are in many cases other forms of rewards for the work one does as a PhD supervisor. One might be the honor of supervising PhDs, and in most cases the intrinsic rewards of the supervisory process – the satisfaction of seeing a young person take their first steps as a scholar, and being able to play a crucial role in this process. There is , after all, a reason why the Germans call their PhD-supervisor mein Doktorvater or meine Doktormutter – since yes, there is this element of helping someone to grow, in a cognitive and professional sense. Professionally, there are few people who had so much influence on me as my PhD-supervisor, and I am hoping that some of my (former) PhD-students will think the same at some point in their lives. So it would be wrong to frame it merely as a burden, since there is the intrinsic value of the rather unique professional relationship. But that cannot be a reason to not give PhDsupervisors the time they need to properly supervise, given how severe time pressure in academia is. I see this as a real tension.

In some academic fields, there may be professional research benefits for the supervisors, such as becoming co-authors on the publications the PhD-students write under your supervision. I recently examined a PhD-thesis in medical ethics, and all chapters (being articles published or under review) had been co-written with several members of the supervisory team. Even raising the funds to hire the PhD is sometimes seen as sufficient reason to be listed as a co-author. In the humanities there is no such a thing: we don't put our names on articles of our PhDstudents, even if we contributed significantly to the development of that piece (rightly so in my view).

I'm posting this because I am interested in the international comparison in its own right, but also because of its relevance in discussions on higher education policies which are currently very intense in the Netherlands, on which I'll write another blogpost later.

Share this: { 24 comments read them below or add one }

Chris Bertram 12.29.19 at 9:45 am ( 1 )

In my part of my university each PhD student earns her supervisors around 60 notional hours/1600 total per annum, but that's usually divided 5/1 between two supervisors, so that the person actually doing the work has about 50 hours, so slightly over an hour/week given annual leave etc. My greatest beef with this is when we admit non-anglophone PhD students. Since they officially have a level of competence in English as a condition of their admission, they do not get any extra time for supervision. But in practice, their work takes much longer to read and you have to put a lot of work into improving their English.
Mike Beggs 12.29.19 at 10:18 am ( 2 )
In my faculty (Arts and Social Sciences at Sydney) the primary supervisor gets 40 hours per year and an auxiliary supervisor gets ten. (There is some flexibility for the 50 total hours to be divided differently.)

In a recent survey of faculty staff with a response rate of around 30%, most reported spending longer per primary supervision: the median was 50 hours.

There's actually a growing literature on academic time use. Kenny and Fluck have published a series of papers based on a large survey of Australian academics. The median reported time spent supervising a higher degree student per year was 60 hours over all discipline groups, 50 hours for Arts, Law and Humanities. (Kenny and Fluck 2018 'Research workloads in Australian universities', _Australian Universities Review_ -- and the companion papers on teaching and admin workloads are also worth googling for the full results over lots of tasks.)

Matt Matravers 12.29.19 at 10:31 am ( 3 )
When we tried to establish a "norm" at the University of York, it turned out that practice varied widely not only across faculties, but within the arts and humanities and social sciences. Some departments simply included it in "research time" and gave zero extra time, others gave a (more-or-less generous) "teaching" allocation. So, I am not sure you can get any useful comparisons even at an institutional level let alone internationally.
Currently, in the Law School at York, a PhD student – during the period of registration (i.e., only for the first 3 years) – earns her supervisors around 80 notional hours of teaching per year. This is split across the supervisory team in proportion to their involvement.
Many colleagues think this is insufficient, in particular with non-anglophone students and it can be particularly galling if one is putting a lot of work into the final "writing up" year.
For what it is worth, I found this very hard to manage when I was Head of Department (and so responsible for workloads). The issue for me was that in many cases senior colleagues had several PhD students and (some) junior colleagues none (or very little involvement. This was back in the day of most students have one supervisor.). Modelling a system where PhD supervision was "properly" rewarded (that is, where I tried to allocate hours in accordance to the amount of time it actually took) resulted in a very hierarchical department where (roughly) senior colleagues did PhD supervision and junior colleagues taught undergraduates. So, I didn't do it.
For what it is worth (addressing the wider issues of workload), it seems to me that there is an inevitable gap between a workload system conceived of as a mechanism of "counting" (how many hours does this job actually take?) and conceived of as a mechanism of "distribution" (how much work is there to be done and how many people to do it?). Of course, the distributive principles cannot stray too far from the realities revealed in counting, but it (seems to me at least) perfectly okay to think that the distributive principles include other considerations like the "shape" of the department, individual "goals" (having PhD students is good for promotion at York) and personal development, gender, and so on.
Finally, this problem does not seem to be unique to PhD supervision (the current "hot topic" at York is how to count/distribute time for research grant writing, which at the moment is simply included in individual research in most, but not all, departments). York tried to introduce a workload model across the university and never managed it because departmental variations were so huge (in everything from whether/how to include teaching preparation time to how to rank administrative tasks). That said, this may be the result of our particular institutional history (until recently, we had a very flat structure with only relatively autonomous departments and no faculties).
Faustusnotes 12.29.19 at 10:48 am ( 4 )
In Japan as far as I know there is no allowance at all, and senior staff (the professor who is the official supervisor) often dump all supervisory responsibility on the most junior staff. There is also often no limit on how many PhD students the professor can take on (and dump on their assistant prof). This is particularly bad with masters students, whose theses are much more time limited and challenging to supervise.

I don't know if it's a general thing but my colleagues in China tell me they are only allowed a PhD student if they publish above a certain level – PhD students are treated as a valuable asset you need to struggle to get. (I think they are paid by the uni but don't quote me). In the universities I know of in China the PhD student has to publish to graduate (sometimes like 3 papers) so the benefits to the supervisor are obvious.

I'm in public health where publication is relatively easy and quick. I don't know how it is in other disciplines (but the Japanese professor dumping his responsibilities on junior staff is quite common across disciplines as far as I can tell).

Harry 12.29.19 at 12:34 pm ( 5 )
It's not part of a workload model for us. We're expected to teach 2 classes a semester (8 contact hours a week total), then research, service, and graduate supervision on top, but the only thing that is specified is the 2 classes. So no compensation for PhD students. In practice the number of PhD supervisions varies greatly across faculty (as you'd expect), as does the amount of service work we do (if you're good at it you get asked to do more, if you're tenured and responsible you generally try to say yes), as does the amount of time we actually spend on the courses we teach.

As do our salaries, to be fair, which reflect years of service, perceived quality of research, how much the people elected to the department budget value the other things we do, and, to some extent, market forces.

What I've described is my own department. There's huge variation across campus, including variation in numbers of courses we're expected to teach.

Possibly worth mentioning that from what I have gathered expectations of how many courses we teach have fallen dramatically (across campus) over the past 50 years, and the number of course releases granted have increased dramatically: I estimate faculty in the humanities teach 30% less than 50 years ago, and in the sciences 50% less. I imagine this is similar across public research universities and SLACs.

notGoodenough 12.29.19 at 1:47 pm ( 6 )
So, purely anecdotal and from the perspective of a PhD and post-doc in Science at 2 different, fairly well thought of UK Universities (Russel group, etc. etc.).

PhD students are highly valuable. This is because a Masters or summer student are necessarily short term, and it is difficult to fulfil much breakthrough research (sometimes you need a few years of banging your head against a wall ). Post-docs are phenomenally expensive as in the UK as the University charges a huge amount just to have them – e.g. a rough breakdown (from some years ago, so a little out of date) is to just have a post-doc (i.e. no equipment, materials, etc.) is in excess of £110K per year. Some 31000 is for salary, the rest goes to the University to keep the lights on. Having more than a few post-docs, for all but the most successful labs, became prohibitively expensive.

However, as a PhD most of my time was with my post-docs (in my first year I saw my professor once, for 1hr, in later years maybe a few times more, so approximately 15 hr over 3.5 years). As a post-doc, the PhD students had regular meetings in a group format once per month (so, more or less 2-3 hr per month). In both cases it, in principle, was possible to go and meet the supervisor if you felt the need, but generally speaking your post-doc was the point of contact on a day-by-day, week-by-week basis.

I've not been a lecturer, so this is very speculative, but my impression is that supervising PhD students is generally considered a research activity, and thus you are not budgeted time for it specifically.

Not sure if any of this is useful, but feel free to hit me up for more details if you think it is useful/interesting.

Karen Anderson 12.29.19 at 2:03 pm ( 7 )
I taught for 15 years at 3 Dutch universities, 3 years at a Russell Group university in England, and am now at an Irish university. I did my PhD in the United States. Like the other posters, I have experienced wide variation in 'compensation' for PhD supervision. One of the reasons I left my position at a British university was the bizarre (and I thought, unfair) model for workload allocation. PhD supervision was highly 'compensated', and actual classroom teaching of undergrads was not. I had colleagues who met all or most of their teaching obligations with PhD supervision and did not teach undergrads.
I don't know what the best way to compensate PhD supervision is, but there are a couple of aspects I think need more attention. The first is wide variation in the number of PhD students in any given department and the rules/norms governing who is (de facto) permitted to supervise PhDs. Dutch departments have fewer PhD students than UK/Irish departments (for complicated reasons), and only full (and now associate?) profs are permitted to supervise. PhD supervision is important for promotion (as it is in the UK and IE), so everyone wants to do it, but not everyone has access. I am not sure that an activity that is so important for career progression should be generously compensated.
The second issue concerns co-authoring with a PhD student. I can see the advantages of this (which Ingrid mentions), but the proliferation of the article-based PhD where the supervisors co-author all articles is a cause for concern. Again, I am not convinced that a PhD supervisor should be generously compensated for something (publications) that strongly advances their own career. And it is not clear to me that the supervisor's contribution to the publication (in many cases, at least) amounts to more than what would be considered 'normal' PhD supervision in the US, Canada, and many European universities. This makes it very difficult to evaluate a newly minted PhD's CV, and it inflates the publication list of more senior academics.
A couple of ideas: 1) cap the number of PhD students that staff can supervise, or at least cap the number for which teaching points are earned. 2) ensure that all academic staff have access to PhD supervision.
praisegod barbones 12.29.19 at 4:32 pm ( 8 )
Private university in Turkey : the basic assumption here is that supervising PhD students and MA theses takes zero time (although people typically budget an hour per week per student.
Neville Morley 12.29.19 at 4:50 pm ( 9 )
The workload allocation for Humanities at the University of Exeter is similar to Chris's account of Bristol (where I worked previously), though it's more common for the hours to be divided 70/30, 60/40 or even 50/50 between first and second supervisors, with the latter playing a much more active role. The biggest difference, however, is that you continue to receive an allowance when the student is writing up, and even if they're revising after a first examination, whereas the Bristol practice was, at least, that you get a workload allowance for the first three years and then nothing for the period which in my experience often required the greatest amount of work
Phil 12.29.19 at 5:50 pm ( 10 )
I haven't – yet – supervised a doctoral student, but I did examine a viva this year & was surprised to find that this carried no workload allowance at all, which seems odd given the amount of reading time involved. (Fortunately I wasn't mad busy.)
likbez 12.29.19 at 7:10 pm ( 11 )
40-60 hours are typical. They do not compensate for the effort but still.
oldster 12.29.19 at 7:16 pm ( 12 )
Former US academic; taught at a few R1 uni's from 80s to aughts.

To echo the doughty Puritan: " the basic assumption here is that supervising PhD students and MA theses takes zero time."

We had a standard teaching load, and expectations for research and service. But there was no calculation of supervisory load -- it simply was not tracked, budgeted, or accounted for. As Harry says above, there were wide disparities from person to person, since some people attract a lot of grad students and some do not (and some repel them, either for strategic purposes, or because they are repellent no matter what they try).

No one cared whether you supervised 15 PhD students or zero. Not quite true -- there was some unofficial awareness among colleagues who thought collegially about things. And you might get some private thanks or informal kudos for doing more than your share. But there was absolutely no official account of it. And this was true at all 3 R1s I taught at over several decades.

That's partly because -- in a Humanities field -- the funding of grad students does not follow the prof, but the program as a whole. So, Central Admin knows that your department is training 25 PhDs, because Central Admin has to figure their tuition, stipends, etc. But the money then flows to your department as a whole, with no closer investigation of who in your department is doing the work.

The picture must be radically different in the Sciences, where there is literal accounting of PhD students, since they are supported by the professor's grant-money.

hix 12.29.19 at 8:08 pm ( 13 )
Surely there are other ways to offload work to PhD students one would otherwise have to do oneself besides getting research recognition for their thesis. How much of that is possible should also vary across countries. So a comparsion of alocated supervision time only seems a bit one sided.
John Quiggin 12.29.19 at 10:07 pm ( 14 )
As regards co-authorship, my PhD students and postdocs are often keen to include me on the theory that a paper with a more senior author will have a better chance of acceptance. My impression is that, in economics, the expectation is that the main job market paper will be sole-authored or else co-authored with another junior researcher, but that others are likely to be co-authored with the supervisor.

To complicate things further, economics (like philosophy, I believe) works on average quality rather than total contribution. So, a publication with a student in a journal lower ranked than my average paper is actually a negative for me.

Matt 12.29.19 at 10:38 pm ( 15 )
I assume that "Harry" above is Harry B of the blog. If so, he's showing why comparisons w/ the US on this will be hard, if not impossible. In many countries, there is a weird fantasy that academics can and should be treated like hourly employees, with "hours" assigned to things. (This is certainly so in Australia.) Of course, it's a fantasy in that, if it in fact takes a lot more "hours" to do the things you're assigned, you don't get over-time, comp time, or paid more. The other down-side is that this system leads, in my experience, to more micro-managing – being expected to "account" for your time to a much greater degree. The US system treats academics more like salaried employees – you get paid a certain amount, you have certain tasks to do, and you must do them (some of them at particular times, like teaching classes) but otherwise you're not dealing with "hours" for things. The down-side is that there can be lots of variation in how much work people actually do – even teaching the same "number" of classes can vary a lot depending on the number of preps, size, how often you've taught it, if you have TAs, etc., and having more advisees may not lead to more recognition on its own. The plus side is that less time is spent on being mico-managed and bureaucratic nonsense. The relevant point here, though, is that it's really hard to make a comparison like the one asked for between systems where one treats academics more like hourly employees and the other more like salaried employees.
Gabriel 12.29.19 at 10:52 pm ( 16 )
My wife (a New Zealand academic with confirmation) is allocated a. 24 hours per year for supervising PhD students. She trusts that the ludicrousness of this number is not lost on those present.
billcinsd 12.30.19 at 1:39 am ( 17 )
I am a Professor in an Engineering discipline at a small, state engineering school in the US. Our workload is departmentally determined. My department is fairly small, ~100 undergrads, but does quite a bit of research. My nominal workload is 40% teaching, 40% research and 20% service. This is based on 40 working hours per week. My effective workload is 46% teaching, 8% advising (both undergrad and grad), 23% overseeing my funded research projects and about 25% service. This is more than 100%, which is true for almost all faculty at my school.

Thus, I estimate how much time I spend doing various things and then convert that to credit hours, as my contract is specified in terms of 18 credit hours of work per semester, making a credit hour about 2 hours and 40 minutes

Kevin 12.30.19 at 2:11 pm ( 18 )
In Technological University Dublin (formerly Dublin Institute of Technology), supervision of a full-time PhD student attracts a time allowance of 2 hours per week (48 hours per annum), from a weekly teaching load of 16 contact hours for lecturers (18 hours for assistant lecturers). So, for example, a lecturer with two full-time PhD students will allocate 25% (4 hours) of his / her weekly contact teaching duties to this role.
Michael Dunn 12.30.19 at 2:45 pm ( 19 )
In my department (at Uppsala University, Sweden) the workload norm is 88 hours per year supervisory time for the main supervisor and 20 for the assistant supervisor. This time includes the face-to-face hours, as well as reading, commenting, etc. The split can be done differently to reflect other kinds of co-supervisory arrangements. This seems very generous compared to what others are reporting, which is sad, since an average of 1 hour meeting, 1 hour reading per week for 44 weeks in a year would work out as very minimal supervision -- and supervisors typically spend much more time on supervision related tasks than this.
Johan Karlsson Schaffer 12.30.19 at 4:44 pm ( 20 )
A couple of years ago, I did a survey of the formal teaching duties at polisci departments at Scandinavian universities for a report published by the Swedish Institute for Labour Market Evaluation. The survey looked at the formal percentage of teaching duty for senior lecturers and full professors, and the formal compensation in terms of hours allotted for various teaching activities (e.g., lectures, supervision at different levels, examination and so on).

We found, first, that the formal teaching duty varied quite a lot across Scandinavian universities, but that all Swedish universities had less generous conditions than Danish and Norwegian universities, which came closer to the Humboldtian ideal of unity of teaching and research.

Second, by multiplying teaching duty and compensation for a standard set of teaching activities, we found that the consequences for the individual lecturer could be quite drastic: over a hypothetical career from age 35 to retirement at 67, a lecturer at the least generous university could have ten whole years more of teaching duty than their colleague at the most generous university.

The report is, unfortunately, only available in Swedish, but the graphs and tables (which also includes detailed information on the compensation for PhD supervision) should be rather self-explanatory.

Here's a blog post summary of these findings that include the most important graphs:

Sam Tobin-Hochstadt 12.30.19 at 6:53 pm ( 21 )
I'm an Associate Professor in Computer Science at a US R1 university.

As Matt says, the description in Ingrid's post is totally unlike how things are thought of at all in US universities. My load is 40% research, 40% teaching, 20% service, which is standard for tenure-track faculty in my department (and I think across departments here). The standard teaching load is 3 courses per year (2 in one semester, 1 in the other). However, there are several exceptions to this: before tenure, faculty are assigned only 2 courses per year. Also, if you support (with external grant funding) 3 PhD students or post-docs in the previous year then you only teach 2 courses the next year. Additionally, pre-tenure faculty are asked to do considerably less service.

Furthermore, there are several additional differences that are relevant. First, and most importantly, the distinction between "research" and "PhD supervision" does not exist in science. Effectively all of my research is joint with PhD students, although sometimes they are not "my" students, but those of my collaborators. Second, not all students are funded by grants; PhD students can also be funded by teaching. So it's possible to have one or two students without bringing in funding. Third, there's a strong expectation that training PhD students is part of the job, you wouldn't get tenure/promotion/etc if you just didn't do it.

Z 12.30.19 at 8:33 pm ( 22 )
In my institution, you don't get any teaching load reduction, whereas you do get a tiny but non-zero reduction for supervising a master thesis, or even an undergraduate research project. I believe that is the norm in France in science in general, and most likely overall. The logic behind that choice is that supervising a PhD student is supposed to bring its own benefits: the student will do a lot of lab work for the superviser, the superviser will cosign the research papers etc.

In math (my own field), there is no lab work to be done and the French tradition is that papers drawn from the PhD should be signed by the student alone, so the arrangement is quite unfavorable to us.

On the other hand

So without reductions, we teach about 835-1190 hours a year

Did I read that right? Can you clarify how many hours are counted for one hour in front of the students? That number looks like madness to me (and I have a heavy teaching load myself).

CdnNew 12.30.19 at 9:11 pm ( 23 )
Canadian math prof:

"Highly research-active" profs teach one fewer course per year. There is some flexibility as to how to maintain this designation, but typically you must have at least 2 active graduate students at any given time (and meet various other requirements).

Going through our standard courseload: if you ignore the other work related to maintaining status, your first two Ph.D. students are worth about 90 hours/year, and the remainder are worth nothing.

likbez 12.31.19 at 12:57 am ( 24 )
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

John Quiggin 12.29.19 at 10:07 pm @14

As regards co-authorship, my Ph.D. students and postdocs are often keen to include me on the theory that a paper with a more senior author will have a better chance of acceptance.

This is an important point. I agree that it is somewhat dishonest to use your post-grad students to increase you number of publications. But it should be weighted against the real difficulties of young researchers to get their papers published. And the fact that sometimes brilliant papers from them are rejected. Nobody can abolish clan behavior in the academy. And the "academic kitchen" is pretty dirty, and takes years to understand ;-).

Sometimes publishing oversees helps here, and young researchers should keep this in mind. For many foreign journals, just the fact that you are a foreigner from a prestigious university is a plus that weights on the acceptance.

[Oct 26, 2019] Expose The Enemy

Oct 26, 2019 |

New York-Tel Aviv-Moscow Triangle
New York - Tel Aviv - Moscow Triangle
This section contains the materials that document the background of Trump - Russia. From the banking houses of New York, to the Bolshevik Revolution. From the New School to the Neo-Cons. From the arming of Irgun to the creation of the Zionist state of Israel. From the fall of the Berlin Wall to the mafia state that rose out of the USSR. The development of international criminal networks, think tanks, governments, oligarchy and multinational corporate control of our politics, interests, technology, freedoms and even our minds. The Life of an American Jew Living in Racist Marxist Israel
Jack Bernstein The Soviets would institute a pro-Arab policy solely as a camouflage for its true intention, which was to furnish aid to the Arabs, but never enough to enable the Arabs to destroy Israel.
The Soviets would open the gates of Soviet satellite countries to Jewish immigration to Israel. Should this be insufficient, Soviet Russia then would open its own gates to immigration. <strong>The Soviets would absolutely guarantee the security of Israel.
Both the Soviet Union and Israel would share intelligence reports.
The latest scientific developments that the US provides Israel are channeled on to the Soviet Union. The main center through which this scientific information passes is Israel's Weizman Institute in the town of Rehoovot about 40 kilometers south of Tel Aviv. The Controversy Of Zion (Book)
Douglas Reed This is the text area for this paragraph. To change it, simply click here and start typing.Once you've added your content, you can customize the design using different colors, fonts, font sizes and bullets. Highlight the words you want to design and choose from the various options in the text editing bar. All Israeli Prime Ministers linked to USSR/Russian Empire
Jon Swinn This infographic details the links each Israeli Prime Minister has to the USSR/Russian Empire. TRUMP IS PUPPET OF KISSINGER, CFR AND ROTHSCHILDS, THE TRUE ARCHITECTS OF RUSSIAN COLLUSION
David Livingstone A vital read detailing the history that has led to the present day situation we face. NIXON CENTER -- KREMLIN  --  TRUMP
Zarina Zabrisky The Center for the National Interest, former Nixon Center, a hosting institution for Trump's first foreign policy speech and the adviser who helped writing the speech have multiple long-term ties to the Kremlin. Red Mafiya - How the Russian Mob Has Invaded America
Robert Friedman New York -- Moscow -- Tel Aviv Triangle
Fitzpatrick Israel and the Soviets are ideological allies – both follow the ideas of Karl Marx, so both are communist/socialist. Yet, the Soviets supplied military equipment to the Arabs -- Israel's enemies; and at the same time, the Soviet Union's enemy, the United States, was arming Israel.
To understand the treachery which Zionist/ Bolshevik Jews are capable and to understand the treachery which took place before and during the 1973 War, I must explain the New York/ Moscow/Tel Aviv Triangle. PUTIN DOSSIER
Fitzpatrick Exposing Russian president Vladimir Putin and his crypto-Soviet state for the Judeo-masonic, Chabad mafiya collaborators that they are THE AMERICAN AWAKENING - NEW YORK - TEL AVIV - MOSCOW AXIS
Michael Herzog and Brendon O'Connell Part 1 - 18 June 2018 Part 2 - 22 June 2018 Rare Interview with Gordon Thomas author of Robert Maxwell, Israel's Superspy
Gordon Thomas Gordon Thomas is interviewed on TruNews about his book Robert Maxwell Israel's Superspy. AT PUTIN'S SIDE, AN ARMY OF JEWISH BILLIONAIRES
Gil Stern Watching the group of mega-wealthy interact, one cannot help but wonder how so many affluent businessmen in the former Soviet Union are Jewish. On Multiple Fronts, Russian Jews Reshape Israel
Phillip Reeves "I was [politically] on the left, and I thought it was possible to reach an agreement with the Arabs. But after 20 years, I no longer think an accord is possible," he says.
Most of Israel's Russian-speaking community, including Esterman, is on the right these days. Since they now make up about 15 percent of Israel's 8 million people, they wield considerable political clout and have played a significant role in the general rightward shift of the Israeli electorate.
Russian-speaking immigrants form the base of the influential right-wing nationalist party Yisrael Beiteinu. The party has teamed up with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud to form a bloc that is leading the polls ahead of this month's elections.
Galili argues that immigrants from the former Soviet Union have made a considerable impact on the politics of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict -- not least because of their resistance to the idea of giving up territory. Russian Immigrants in Israeli Politics: The Past, the Recent Elections and the Near Future
Arkadi Mazin Since the beginning of the large-scale immigration to Israel from the former Soviet Union in the 1990s, Israel's community of Russian speakers has played an dominant role in Israeli politics. Some maintain that it has tipped the balance and decided the final outcome in all the elections since then, perhaps with the exception of the most recent ones. Nevertheless, as will be shown, the Russian-speaking community's vote played a major role in these elections, too. From this, it may be concluded that the electoral behavior of the Russian-speaking community in Israel differs from that of the majority of the Israeli population. And indeed, as has been observed in various areas of life, such as consumer behavior, media and entertainment, as well as from the political-electoral perspective, the Russian-speaking community in Israel is commonly viewed as a separate sector, alongside two other important minority sectors – the ultra-Orthodox and Arab – and the "general Israeli population." An Emerging Alliance: Russia and Israel
Robert Zapesochny The core of this growing alliance is the more than one million Israeli citizens who were born in the former Soviet Union. Between 1970 and 1988, only 291,000 Jews, and their non-Jewish relatives, were allowed to leave the Soviet Union (165,000 went to Israel, and 126,000 went to the United States).
In 1989, Mikhail Gorbachev ended restrictions on Jewish emigration, in part for better relations with the United States. From 1989 to 2006, 1.6 million Soviet Jews, and their family members, left the former Soviet Union (979,000 went to Israel, 325,000 to the U.S. and 219,000 to Germany).
Earlier this year, President Putin said, "Russia and Israel have developed a special relationship primarily because 1.5 million Israeli citizens come from the former Soviet Union, they speak the Russian language, are the bearers of Russian culture, Russian mentality. They maintain relations with their relatives and friends in Russia, and this make the interstate relations very special."
Israel also needs Russia, as well. Israel's Start-Up Nation has been fueled by one million Russian-speaking Israelis. For this economic miracle to continue, the Israelis will need more engineers from the former Soviet Union. The Russian-speaking Israelis will have plenty of talent to choose from in the former Soviet Union. According the World Economic Forum, in 2015, Russia graduated 454,000 engineers and Ukraine graduated 130,000 engineers. THE DEBILITATING BRAIN DRAIN
Shilomo Maital Israel has gained immensely from the brain gain of one million immigrants from the former Soviet Union during the years 1990-1999. According to a study by Sarit Cohen of Bar-Ilan University and Chang-Tai Hsieh from Princeton University, 60 percent of the Russian-speaking immigrants who arrived in Israel between 1989 and 1990 were college educated, twice the proportion of college-educated Israelis. From 1990 to 1993, their study notes, "57,000 [Russian immigrants] had worked as engineers and 12,000 as medical doctors; in contrast, there were only 30,000 engineers and 15,000 medical doctors in Israel in 1989."
That brain gain was a one-time stroke of luck. Many of the brain-gain Russian-speaking engineers and doctors are now retiring, and many of the educated Israelis who could replace them are going abroad. Israel's former Soviet immigrants transform adopted country
Harriet Sherwood The million-plus citizens of the former Soviet Union who migrated to Israel in the past 20 years have not only made new lives of their own but they have transformed their adopted country. They have influenced the culture, hi-tech industry, language, education and, perhaps most significantly, Israeli politics.
Jews in the former Soviet Union were largely banned from making aliya – migrating to Israel – before the collapse of the empire. But from 1990 onwards they came in their thousands, and they now constitute around 15% of Israel's 7.7 million population.
Strictly speaking not all of them are Jewish. In traditional Judaism only someone whose mother is Jewish or who has undergone a formal conversion to Judaism is a Jew. But from 1990 anyone from the former Soviet Union who had a Jewish father or grandparent, or who was married to someone meeting those criteria, was granted Israeli citizenship under the country's law of return. The Million Russians That Changed Israel to Its Core
Masha Zur Glozman The authors begin their story toward the end of the 1980s, after Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir realized that Mikhail Gorbachev was prepared to release those Jews who longed to leave the Soviet Union, because he wished to obtain American loan guarantees for the far-reaching reforms he had planned.
Bronfman and Galili describe the clandestine and open channels through which the State of Israel acted to advance this immigration, and the various interests involved, such as the desire to bolster the "demographic data" (a euphemism for increasing Israel's Jewish population ). Yitzhak Shamir, the Prime Minister Who Spied on Me
Aluf Benn According to Meridor, Shamir's most important contribution was convincing the U.S. administration under President George Bush Sr. to desist from issuing refugee visas to Soviet Jews. Up to 1989, Jews leaving the USSR could choose to immigrate either to the United States or to Israel, with many choosing the U.S. Shamir was opposed to this "defection," as it was termed at the time. He believed Jews ought to settle in Israel, whether they were from a Russian gulag or Brooklyn. He persuaded the American government and U.S. Jewish organizations that the Soviet Jews weren't refugees, that they had a homeland in Israel. Then the floodgates of the collapsing Soviet Empire opened wide, and a million Jews along with their relatives immigrated to Israel. Had Shamir not insisted, today, many of them would have been living on the shores of the Hudson River. Shamir Wants U.S. Pressure on Emigrants
The so-called "dropout" rate among Jews who leave the Soviet Union has reached as high as 80% in recent years. "Dropouts" are Jews who claim political refugee status from the United States when they reach Vienna rather than fly to Israel. How Russia's rich elite spend their billions in London
Roman Borisovich Wealthy [Jewish] oligarchs have become a fixture of the British landscape during the past 20 years. But what do they offer to the country's culture? Rich Russians: The Wealthiest Oligarchs Who Call London Home
Alisher Usmanov and Roman Abramovich are joined in the capital by a host of lesser-known wealthy compatriots Vladimir Putin told me a personal story in the Kremlin
This video includes excerpts from the speeches of Russian Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar, Attorney Alan Dershowitz, and footage of the legendary Chabad Lubavitch "Roll Call" at the 2006 International Conference of Shluchim. Putin's Chief Rabbi of Russia Berel Lazar friend of Nathaniel Rothschild.
"My call to fame is actually being Mr. Rothschild's friend and it is a pleasure to honour Mr. Rothschild and David Slager for what they have done here in Oxford for the Oxford University Chabad Society." - Chief Rabbi Lazar The KGB's Middle East Files: 'Illegals' in Israel
Ronen Bergman In 1992, Vasili Mitrokhin, a KGB archivist, defected to the West with a trove of top secret documents from the Soviet intelligence agency, which helped expose many Russian agents and assets in Israel and elsewhere. This series of articles explores these documents and brings to light the secrets they revealed. Russian Firm to Train Israelis in Hot Tech Fields
Ruti Levy Fifty Israeli students – most of them computer science graduates or veterans of army technology units – will begin a program in October to learn the ins and outs of some of the hottest fields in Israeli high-tech, such as data science and machine learning.
he classes will meet at Tel Aviv University, but no Israeli academic institution is involved. The syllabus was written and the lecturers hired and paid for by the Russian company Yandex. The Happy-Go-Lucky Jewish Group That Connects Trump and Putin
Ben Schreckinger Chabad of Port Washington, a Jewish community center on Long Island's Manhasset Bay, sits in a squat brick edifice across from a Shell gas station and a strip mall. The center is an unexceptional building on an unexceptional street, save for one thing: Some of the shortest routes between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin run straight through it. Know Your Oligarch: A Guide to the Jewish Billionaires in the Trump-Russia Probe
Ron Kampeas Of 10 billionaires with Kremlin ties who funneled political contributions to Donald Trump and a number of top Republican leaders, at least five are Jewish Russia's Chief Rabbi Reportedly Paid Secret Visit to Iran on Trip Organized by Putin
Russian Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar secretly visited Iran almost six months ago as part of a diplomatic trip organized by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Israeli media reported over the weekend.
The Islamic Republic opposed the rabbi's arrival, but Putin himself insisted on Lazar's participation in the diplomatic mission, the website Ynetnews reported. The trip was reportedly headed by the chairman of Russia's State Duma and included talks in the Iranian parliament.
Lazar, who heads the Chabad movement in Russia, is considered close to Putin and is often accused of supporting the president unconditionally in exchange for his regime's seal of approval for Chabad.
Israel has argued for months that Iran needs to withdraw its forces from the war-torn country. In recent weeks, senior U.S. officials have stated that while both Russia and the U.S. agree with Israel that Iran needs to exit Syria, it is currently unrealistic for Russia to force Iran out of the country. DONALD TRUMP, CHABAD-LUBAVITCH AND THE OLIGARCHS
Despite his alignment with the racist right, Trump has professed ultra-right views on Israel. His connections with Israel also extend to his broad ties with the Russian mafia, many of whom hold dual citizenship in Israel. The Russian mafia is closely associated with Chabad-Lubavitch, a Hasidic movement that derived originally from Sabbateanism. Putin: 'I support the struggle of Israel'
Chaim Lev, Ari Yashar Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday met with a delegation of rabbis, led by Sephardic Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, former Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, Chief Rabbi of Russia Berel Lazar, and rabbis of the Rabbinical Center of Europe (RCE).
"I follow closely what's going on in Israel," said Putin during the long meeting, which was held in Moscow.
"I support the struggle of Israel as it attempts to protect its citizens. I also heard about the shocking murder of the three youths. It is an act that cannot be allowed, and I ask you to transmit my condolences to the families," added the Russian president, in referring to the abduction and murder of three teens in June by Hamas terrorists. PUTIN AND NETANYAHU TO STRIKE DEAL ON LEVIATHAN GAS FIELD
Erica Mills Israeli foreign affairs analyst, Ehud Yaari, says Russian President Vladimir Putin & Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu want to strike a deal on the Leviathan field Ronald S. Lauder: Russia's fight against anti-Semitism isn't just good for Jews – it's good for Russia as well
"At a time when global terrorism singles out Jews around the world, at a time when we see the impact of intolerance and hate on every continent, here in Russia, the Jewish community is thriving. Jewish kindergartens and Jewish schools are filled to capacity, synagogues are crowded on Shabbat. But Jews in Western Europe are seriously thinking of leaving," Lauder said.
"President [Vladimir] Putin has made Russia a country where Jews are welcome. And that's not just a good thing for Jews. It is good for Russia as well," Lauder said. "It is because of this unprecedented change that the World Jewish Congress looks to continue to work with Russia. We want to be able to count on Russia as a solid friend." PUTIN TO NETANYAHU: ISRAEL, RUSSIA 'UNCONDITIONAL ALLIES' IN WAR AGAINST TERROR
Israel and Russia agreed to strengthen their regional military cooperation, when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin met face-to-face in the Kremlin on Tuesday.
The two leaders agreed to tightened their cooperation in the fight against terrorism and stressed the importance of ending regional violence such as in Syria. They also reiterated the importance of Israel ending its short-term conflict with Turkey and its long-standing one with the Palestinians.
"We discussed the continued coordination between our two militaries in the region, which already works quite well," Netanyahu told reporters at a joint press conference in the Kremlin with Putin after their meeting.
It is their fourth meeting in the last year, and their third in Moscow. The Countless Israeli Connections to Mueller's Probe of Trump and Russia
Chemi Shalev The Israeli media usually takes scant interest in Robert Mueller's investigations. It prefers to dwell on Donald Trump's supposedly pro-Israeli policies. Last week's report in the New York Times about the participation of Joel Zamel, the Australian-born "Israeli specialist in social media manipulation," in an August 3, 2016 meeting at Trump Tower in New York was an exception to the rule. The FBI, the Times reported, had even come to Israel to search the offices of Zamel's company. Here was a direct Israeli link to the scandal that has bewitched much of America since Trump was first elected. Mueller reveals ANOTHER effort to arrange a Trump-Putin meeting – this one involving the chief Rabbi of Russia known as 'Putin's Rabbi' who visited Trump Tower in 2016
Geoff Earle Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report sketches out yet another effort to arrange a meeting between Donald Trump and Russia's Vladimir Putin – this time from a man touting a connection to the Chief Rabbi of Russia.
The Trump-Putin meeting never occurred, but Rabbi Berel Lazar, known as 'Putin's Rabbi,' did attend a Trump Tower meeting in 2016 with the man who pitched it. Here are 5 shady ways Trump, Israel and Russia are colluding on the world stage
Tana Ganeva In the latest bizarre twist in the Paul Manafort saga, the Guardian reports that Manafort may have conspired with an Israeli official to manipulate members of the Obama administration into supporting Viktor Yanukovych over Yulia Tymoshenko in Ukraine, and link the latter to anti-Semitism. Yanukovych was Russia's chosen candidate.
1. As Bashar al-Assad moves to consolidate power in Syria, the US, Russia and Israel seem united in their efforts to throw Hezbollah, a proxy of Iran, out of the conflict. In mid-August, Secretary of State John Bolton told ABC that the three countries are united in this goal.
3. During the President's much derided one-on-one talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump assured the world that the security of Israel is a priority for both Russia and the United States.
4. House of Trump, House of Putin: The Untold Story of Donald Trump and the Russian Mafia,ť the writer Craig Unger writes about how up to 59 Russian oligarchs have been cultivating Donald Trump and his associates for years, through such means as New York's unregulated real estate industry.
As the Times of Israel has pointed out, many of these wealthy Russian business-people also have ties to Israel.
5. So far, the President has made good on his promise to prioritize the interests of the current Israeli government.
It's not a surprise when Trump flouts international norms. But his decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem sparked furor around the world and led to deadly protests by Palestinians.
The administration dismissed the demonstrations, in which multiple civilians were killed, as 'unfortunate propaganda'. Paul Manafort: Trump's ex-campaign chair agrees to cooperate with Mueller
Jon Swaine Manafort may have conspired with an Israeli official to manipulate members of the Obama administration into supporting Viktor Yanukovych over Yulia Tymoshenko in Ukraine, and link the latter to anti-Semitism. Yanukovych was Russia's chosen candidate.
Manafort allegedly orchestrated a plan to smear a Yanukovych domestic rival, Yulia Tymoshenko, by disseminating "with no fingerprints" allegations that Tymoshenko had paid for the murder of a Ukrainian official. "My goal is to plant some stink on Tymo," Manafort wrote in a message.
He also allegedly schemed to have "Obama Jews" exert pressure on Barack Obama's administration to support Yanukovych and disavow Tymoshenko, and conspired with an Israeli government official to spread allegations linking Tymoshenko to antisemitism. Manafort allegedly wrote in one message to an unidentified associate: "I have someone pushing it on the NY Post. Bada bing bada boom. MATIMOP, Skolkovo deepen Israel-Russia start-up cooperation
Israeli Industry Center for R&D (MATIMOP) and Russia's Skolkovo Foundation will shortly announce a call for papers for joint R&D project by Israeli and Russian start-ups to obtain support from Office of the Chief Scientist in Israel and the Skolkovo Foundation. Skolkovo Foundation VP Stanislav Naumov said, "The difference between Russia and Israel's entrepreneurial system required thinking together to find a formula for cooperation. The formula we reached enables us to move forward to the stage of extensive collaboration by ventures of the two countries. The special call for papers that we are publishing is another important stage in developing cooperation between Russia and Israel, which began a year ago with the fostering of innovation and the commercialization of advanced technologies."
Israel-Skolkovo Center co-managing director Alexander Zinigrad said, "This is the first time that special binational collaboration for start-ups has been declared in Israel. This is an important measure, which gives a great boost to the cooperation that began in the summer of 2011 between the start-up industry in Israel and the Skolkovo Foundation. Since the establishment of the Israel-Skolkovo Center, we have received scores of inquiries from Israeli start-up companies every month. Within less than a year, we have assisted six Israeli start-up companies at Skolkovo." Putin Reveals Who Will Be the Lord of the World
"Artificial intelligence is not only the future of Russia, but the future of all mankind. It holds both tremendous opportunities and is fraught with scarcely predictable dangers. Whoever takes the lead in this sphere will become Lord of the World," President Putin told Russian schoolchildren during an open lesson on their first day of the new school year. Hillary's Secret Kremlin Connection Is Quickly Unraveling
John Schindler Exactly how Clinton profited off deals with Skolkovo is something the American public has a right to know before November 8.
Then there's the matter of what Skolkovo actually is. In truth, it's nothing like Silicon Valley except in outward appearance. It's a fully state-driven enterprise -- funded largely by the Kremlin and acting on its orders. It does the bidding of the Russian government, and President Putin has taken intense interest in his high-tech complex, understanding its value to the country's defense and security sector. Yandex Partners With Tel Aviv University to Launch AI Study Program, Scholarships

Amarella Wenkert The Russian technology company will launch the Yandex Machine Learning Initiative, offering courses in artificial intelligence and financial support to students and faculty Modeled on Yeshiva University, first Jewish university to open in Russia
Modeled after Yeshiva University in the United States, The Jewish University of Moscow is a private institution with a student body of 200 whose budget comes mostly from donors and the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia, dean Alexander Lebedev told JTA earlier this week.
The university -- whose faculties include economics, law, humanities and Jewish studies – comprises two existing Jewish community colleges: Institute XXI century for men and Institute Machon CHaMeSH for women. Their reconstitution as campuses of a single, state-recognized university is a first in Russian history, according to Lebedev. Russian VC shows the love to Israeli startups
Abigail Klein Leichman Titanium Investments unveils its $50 million venture capital fund geared mainly to Israeli companies such as Feedvisor, and MUV Interactive. US backs Israel's proposal for railway link to Gulf
The US has expressed support for an Israeli plan to revive a historic railroad network linking the Jewish state to Gulf countries.
Jason Greenblatt, US President Donald Trump's peace envoy, hailed the proposal on Monday as an Israeli minister visits Oman to present the "Tracks for Regional Peace" project. How Russia Created a Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center Even Vladimir Putin Can Tolerate
Olga Gershenson The museum project was initiated by the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia -- the umbrella organization for Chabad-Lubavitch in Russia -- supported by the Kremlin and financed by a handful of Russian Jewish oligarchs at a cost of $50 million. The journey to museum from garage began in 2001, when Moscow City Hall donated the dilapidated building to the Hasidic Jewish Community Center. The idea was that the building would house a cultural center, including an exhibition on Jewish culture and an art gallery. While this site is neither central nor easily accessible to tourists, it is part of an entire campus of Jewish religious and cultural organizations that sprouted in the post-Soviet era in the traditionally Jewish neighborhood (to the extent that Moscow has Jewish neighborhoods) of Maryina Roshcha. The museum building shares its territory with a Jewish day school, a yeshiva, a medical center and several Jewish charity organizations.
Several years of faltering attempts to renovate the garage building ended in 2007, when Roman Abramovich, a federation board member, restored it. In 2008 it opened its doors to the public as the Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, managed by Dasha Zhukova, Abramovich's girlfriend at the time. Top Israeli officials were part of KGB spy ring -- report
Toi Staff KGB files reportedly revealed the existence of an extensive Soviet spy ring in Israel, encompassing Knesset members, senior IDF officers, engineers, members of the Israeli intelligence community, and others who worked on classified projects.
Top-secret KGB documents reported on by the Hebrew-language daily Yedioth Ahronoth Wednesday detailed the extent of the network of agents run by the Soviet secret service.
The documents were copied over a period of 20 years by Vasili Mitrokhin, a senior KGB archivist who defected to the UK in 1992. His edited notes on various KGB operations were released in 2014 and are stored in Churchill College in Cambridge; his handwritten notes remain classified by MI5. Soviet documents 'show Abbas was KGB agent'; Fatah decries 'smear campaign'
Tamar Pileggi Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was a Soviet spy in Damascus in the 1980s, Israel's Channel 1 television reported Wednesday, citing information it said was included in an archive smuggled out of the USSR.
According to Channel 1's foreign news editor Oren Nahari, the famed Mitrokhin archive, kept by KGB defector Vasily Mitrokhin, revealed that Abbas was a Soviet mole in Damascus in 1983.
The documents -- obtained by Israeli researchers Isabella Ginor and Gideon Remez -- purportedly show that Abbas, code-named Krotov (mole), was involved with the Soviets while Mikhail Bogdanov, today Vladimir Putin's envoy to the Middle East. was stationed in Damascus. KGB Infiltrated Highest Echelons of Israel's Army, Business, and Political Leadership
Richard Silverstein The Israeli military censor compelled Bergman to suppress the names of the most damaging of the KGB spies working in Israel in a three-part series published in recent weeks by Ynet. In part four of his series, Bergman secured the cooperation of an Israeli triple agent who worked for the CIA, KGB and Shabak. The ex-spy agreed to be interviewed and for his identity to be exposed. But the IDF censor, Col. Ariella Ben Avraham, so eviscerated the proposed article that it could not be published. As a result, it will be some time before we learn this individual's identity. Given that the former spy agreed to be identified and the incident presumably occurred decades ago, one wonders what the censor is protecting except her own power and prerogative to render secret what should be known in any other democratic society. Lieberman Appointed Israeli KGB Agent to Senior Government Role, Then He Disappeared
Richard Silverstein Bergman, who is compelled by the military censor to suppress the names of almost all of the spies, tells (Nana recounts the story at 3:05 of this news report) of a Soviet Jew born in south-central Russia in the mid-1950s. He studied engineering and was considered quite proficient in his field of study. The spy, whose code-name was Bejan, was recruited to an elite Soviet espionage school, where he was trained in the field of spycraft. He made aliyah to Israel and was inducted into the IDF shortly thereafter. He joined the officer training school and from there rose quickly in the ranks until he was appointed the chief of one of the army's most critical infrastructure ventures. He was privy to a multitude of highly secret material including the location of bases, infrastructure facilities, data on the order of battle, and preparations for future wars.
After retiring from the IDF, he turned to various jobs in private industry. Later, he was appointed by Avigdor Lieberman, who himself has often been rumored to be a Russian intelligence asset, to a senior post. Then suddenly, Bejan disappeared in 2005. He has not been heard from since.
He is not the first person in Lieberman's circle to suffer a strange, mysterious fate. News1 detailed the circumstances in which several key witnesses in the last Lieberman investigation who either committed suicide, disappeared, or "forgot" key elements of their previous testimony. Among them are Michael Falkov, a Lieberman communications advisor who disappeared in 2014. Yosef Shuldiner was found shot to death in an Israeli cemetery in 2006. Artium Borovik, a senior Russian journalist close to the Kremlin, whom Lieberman used to lobby on behalf of his business ventures, died in a mysterious plane crash in 2008. Daniella Mourtzi was the corporate accountant for five Cyprus-based Lieberman companies which were fronts. She was to testify as part of the government investigation into Lieberman's shady business dealings about his ownership of the companies. But before her time came to testify, she suddenly developed amnesia and couldn't recall a thing. Another witness in Moldova (where Lieberman was born) was interrogated and shortly afterward had a fatal stroke. Soviet spies infiltrate Mossad, sources say
Richard Sale Soviet infiltration of Israel's spy agency, Mossad, is the most serious blow to Israeli intelligence since the 1970s and U.S. intelligence also was breached as a result, U.S. sources reveal.
Mossad has been penetrated by 'highly placed' Soviet moles and a full-scale internal counterintelligence investigation is under way, the intelligence sources said.
A Justice Department source said U.S. counterintelligence agents became aware of the Israeli-Soviet espionage pipeline when data stolen by Jonathan Jay Pollard, a U.S. Navy analyst convicted of spying for Israel, was 'traced to the Eastern bloc.'
Intelligence sources said data reaching the Soviets via this route included sensitive U.S. weapons technology and strategic information about the defense forces of Turkey, Pakistan and moderate Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia.
U.S. intelligence analysts said the Pollard data was traded to the Soviets in return for promises to increase emigration of Soviet Jews to Israel.
One analyst said Israel's 'right-wing' Jews are involved with spying for the Soviets and called it 'ironic,' noting that left-wing elements were responsible for similar scandals in the past. No Love Lost
Yossi Melman "There is a paradoxical situation," says the chief rabbi of Moscow. "The Jews in Russia have power, money and influence, as never before; yet at the same time the situation of the Jewish community is at an all-time low." A guide to the wars of the Jewish oligarchs in Russia. Why Data Science is Booming in Israel
Jacob Maslow Yandex, the "Google of Russia," is going to expand into Israel. The tech firm, the largest in Russia, will be launching a few services in Israel. The firm will be launching Yandex Music in just a few weeks, and then there are additional plans for Israel.
Times of Israel broke the news that Yandex is still thinking about opening a taxi venture in Israel and also plans to offer an eight-month course in data science. Yandex plans to introduce their Y-Data initiative in Israel, a course that will be very similar to what is already running in Russia. Exploring Al Qaeda's Murky Connection To Russian Intelligence
John Schindler [Note: This is an unusually controversial piece, even for my blog, for reasons that will quickly become obvious. Linkages between Al-Qa'ida and Russian intelligence have been discussed in hushed tones among spies in many countries, for years, and this matter has been a "hobby file" of mine for some time. Here is a think-piece on it, in the hope of spurring additional discussion and research into this important yet murky matter. This is particularly necessary given rising tensions between Moscow and the West at present. 'The USSR Is Our Second Homeland,' Said One Kibbutznik When Stalin Died
Tom Segev In fact, it is of interest to recall - incredible as it may seem - that Stalin's Soviet Union was once at the center of Israeli identity. In the first Knesset, the left-wing Mapam (United Workers Party ) was the second-largest faction, with 19 seats. During the debate over the makeup of the government that was held in the Knesset on March 10, 1949, one of Mapam's two leaders, Ya'akov Hazan of Kibbutz Mishmar Ha'emek, said: "For us, the Soviet Union is the fortress of world socialism, it is our second homeland, the socialist one." That comment could go down as one of the 10 most-quoted sentences in the history of Israeli politics. Jabotinsky's Likud Was Anything but a Liberal Bastion
Ofri Ilany While Ze'ev Jabotinsky has in recent years been lionized as the picture of a faultless liberal standout, there is no justification for describing Likud as a movement that was once liberal and has deteriorated into fascism.
David Ben-Gurion visited the Soviet Union in 1923, and drew inspiration from the Leninist form of organization and use of power. He described Lenin admiringly as "an iron-willed man who would not spare human life or the blood of the innocent on behalf of the revolution." In the wake of that visit, Ben-Gurion built his political party into a power-centric revolutionary organization that was not squeamish about using whatever means possible to realize its objectives. RUSSIANS AND JEWS: THE ODD COUPLE
Jonathan Adelman Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has in the last three years gone nine times to a Russia that has promoted dozens of Russian Jews to become oligarchs in the new Russia. FROM RUSSIA WITH JEWS
Amiram Barkat and Yossi Melman Zvi Magen did what few Israelis would dare to do: He rejected a tempting, well-paying job offer from Arcadi Gaydamak, the Israeli-Russian oligarch, whom the State Prosecutor's office is considering putting on trial for money laundering, and who is wanted in France on suspicion of illegal arms trading with Angola. Gaydamak wanted Magen to head the Congress of Jewish Religious Communities and Organizations in Russia (KEROOR). This is an off-the-shelf organization that came to life about 18 months ago under the aegis of Gaydamak, who contributes money to it and acts as its president. Magen received the generous offer a few months ago, while he was still head of Nativ, but preferred to join the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya as head of a new Euro-Asia institute that will conduct "studies from the Balkans to Mongolia."
Magen, a lieutenant colonel in the Israel Defense Forces reserves and a former ambassador to Ukraine and Russia, has headed Nativ for almost seven years. He concluded his term of office at the beginning of last month, but his successor has only just been named. Last week, Naomi Ben Ami, Israel's ambassador to Ukraine, was chosen to head Nativ. This is the first time in the history of the Israeli intelligence community that a woman has been named to head one of its agencies - although Nativ in fact is no longer involved in intelligence. HOLY RUSSIA SACRED ISRAEL
Dominic Rubin Jewish‐Christian Encounters in Russian Religious Thought Russia's use of false flag terrorism facilitating the rise of Putin
'September, 1998: Kremlin Insider Predicts 'Massive Unrest' to Journalist' March 19, 1999: Bombing in Russian Market Near Chechnya Kills Fifty. June 6, 1999: Kremlin False Flag Terror Plot Rumors Surface in Swedish Newspaper July 22, 1999: Russian Journalist Alleges Destabilization Plot by Kremlin Insiders September 9, 1999: Apartment Blast in Moscow Kills 94; Chechen Rebels Blamed September 13, 1999: Second Moscow Apartment Bombing Kills 118; Chechen Rebels Blamed September 22-24, 1999: FSB Agents Plant Large Bomb in Ryazan: 'Security Exercise' or Terror Plot?
Henry Kissinger's criminal sale of nuclear weapons technology to Soviet Russia in 1972
Antony Sutton Kalmanowich affair shows KGB-Israeli mafia link
Thierry Lalevee and Joseph Brewda On Dec. 23, 1987, Israeli businessman Shabtai Kalmanowich was arrested by Israeli authorities on charges of being "a spy for the Soviet Union." Since his emigration from Lithuania in 1971, Kalmanowich had become a leading figure in the Israeli political and business establishment, directing a far-flung diamond, gold, gambling, prostitution, and armstrafficking empire, based in Africa, West Germany, and New York City. When Israeli authorities announced Kalmanowich's arrest on Jan. 10, however, they failed to mention the fact that millionaire Kalmanowich was also an officer in the Israeli foreign intelligence service, the Mossad. Kalmanowich was something of the late CIA director Bill Casey's ideal intelligence officer: He made a fortune as he carried out espionage. Kalmanowich is certainly not the first Soviet Jewish emigre caught as a spy; there have been four or five over recent years. Analyzing this phenomenon, a former head of Israeli military intelligence reported on Israeli television that there are two kinds of spies among the emigres: those who are blackmailed because their families have remained behind, and those who are ideologically committed to Soviet communism. Kalmanowich belonged to the second category. The Chicago School of Economics
Jon Swinn This infographic displays the connections and people known collectively as the 'Chicago School'. The strong links to the elites are identified. The neoconservative as well as Thatcherism and the false opposition libertarian movement find their roots in the 'Chicago School'. This is essential background information into understanding the next infographic 'Rise of the Neo-Cons / Wohlstetter Network'. The Rise of the Neo-Cons / Wohlstetter Network
Jon Swinn This infographic displays the links between some of the important players behind the creation of the neoconservative movement, 9/11 and resulting War on Terror. [Perle, Feith, Gaffney] Suspected Soviet Cell Wrote Reagan's Long-Term Strategy
Jeffrey Steinberg Jackson - Vanik amendment
Jackson organized the political movement to link trade and emigration in America's relations with the Soviet Union in concert with Jewish activists, but he soon took matters into his own hands. Jackson drafted what would become the Jackson–Vanik amendment in the summer of 1972 and introduced it to the Ninety-second Congress on October 4, 1972. Jackson's efforts, rooted in his own domestic political calculations and ideological distrust of and antipathy toward the Soviet Union, complicated the Nixon White House's pursuit of Detente, which it had worked on since 1969. However, three-quarters of the Senate co-sponsored the amendment, neutralizing opposition from President Nixon.
Jackson's staffer Richard Perle said in an interview that the idea belonged to Jackson, who believed that the right to emigrate was the most powerful among the human rights in certain respects: "if people could vote with their feet, governments would have to acknowledge that and governments would have to make for their citizens a life that would keep them there." While there was some opposition, the American Jewish establishment on the whole and Soviet Jewry activists (particularly the Washington Committee for Soviet Jewry and the National Conference on Soviet Jewry) supported the amendment...
Soviet Union
At first the Jackson–Vanik amendment did little to help free Soviet Jewry. The number of exit visas declined after the passing of the amendment. However, in the late 1980s Mikhail Gorbachev agreed to comply with the protocols of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Lazin (2005) states that scholars differ on how effective the amendment was in helping Soviet Jews. Some argue that it helped bring the plight of Soviet Jews to the world's attention, while others believe it hindered emigration and decreased America's diplomatic bargaining power.
Since 1975 more than 500,000 refugees, large numbers of whom were Jews, evangelical Christians, and Catholics from the former Soviet Union, have been resettled in the United States. An estimated one million Soviet Jews have immigrated to Israel in that time.
Jackson-Vanik also led to great changes within the Soviet Union. Other ethnic groups subsequently demanded the right to emigrate, and the ruling Communist Party had to face the fact that there was widespread dissatisfaction with its governance
In 2003, Vladimir Putin pursued an economic agenda for Russia to begin normalized trade relations with the West which included Russia joining the European Union and the repeal of the Jackson-Vannik amendment. Putin tried to use his relationships with both the Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who was the head of the European Union's Council in 2003, to gain Russia's membership in the European Union, and also Hank Greenberg, who was the chairman and CEO of the American International Group (AIG), to repeal the Jackson-Vannik provisions in the United States.[20] Putin wished for Greenberg to support through Greenberg's AIG greater development of the nascent Russian home-mortgage market.
On November 16, 2012 the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would repeal the Jackson–Vanik amendment for Russia and Moldova. After approval by the Senate, the law repealing the effects of the Jackson–Vanik amendment on Russia and Moldova was signed together with Magnitsky bill by President Barack Obama on December 14, 2012.
Excerpt from Robert Friedman's Red Mafiya -
America's gates were opened to Jewish mobsters by the Jackson-Vanik Amendment, which withheld most-favored-nation status from Marxist countries that restricted Jewish emigration. According to Mr. Friedman, the Soviets were happy to oblige during the 1970s by "emptying their jails of thousands of hard-core criminals, dumping vast numbers of undesirables" on an unsuspecting United States. More than 40,000 Soviet Jews settled in Brighton Beach which soon became the seat of the "Organisatsiya," the new Jewish mob. Initially assisted by the Genovese crime family and the politically astute and well-connected Jewish rabbi Ronald Greenwald, the Jewish mobsters, some of whom have Ph.D.s in mathematics, physics and engineering, as well as MBAs, quickly expanded their operations to include bank fraud, money laundering, Medicare and insurance fraud, counterfeiting, drug dealing, natural gas bootlegging - scams which netted billions of dollars. The mob has even infiltrated the National Hockey League through its intimidation of Russian and Ukrainian players. The Soviet mole network running U.S. counterintelligence
At the very beginning of 1988, a purported "official CIA evaluation" of the Jonathan Jay Pollard spy case surfaced among senior French intelligence officers. The essential conclusion of the dossier, according to French officials who directly reviewed it, was that the Pollard case showed only that "one or two" KGB agents had infiltrated Israeli intelligence. No higher-level problems were shown to exist within the Mossad. The purported document went on to say, that while senior Israeli officials, including Ariel Sharon and Rafael "Dirty Rafi" Eytan, would be cut off from continued collaboration with their American counterparts, there was no evidence suggesting that the pair were either Soviet "moles" or involved in any witting perfidy with Moscow. Whether or not the document was a bona fide CIA damage assessment, the evaluation, as reported, is a fraud. Not only was Jonathan Jay Pollard merely one small fish in an extensive Soviet "false flag" espionage ring run through the highest levels of Israeli intelligence; the same ring, operating principally through Israeli and social democratic channels, has successfully penetrated the inner sanctums of the Reagan administration's counterintelligence apparatus. The "CIA document" bears mentioning, because it perhaps provides a clue to the identities of some of the "bigger fish"-American and Israeli-who are still in place, attempting to "damage control" the continuing search for "other Pollards. " The Israeli spy network that Jonathan Pollard left behind
Joseph Brewda Sanhedrin Asks Putin and Trump to Build Third Temple in Jerusalem
Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz The Nascent Sanhedrin is calling on Russian President Vladmir Putin and US president-elect Donald Trump to join forces and fulfill their Biblically-mandated roles by rebuilding the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem.
Rabbi Hillel Weiss, spokesman for the Sanhedrin, contacted Breaking Israel News to announce that the election of Trump, who has promised to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, coupled with Putin's expressed desire for the Temple to be rebuilt, prompted the Jewish court to send a letter offering the two the opportunity to act as modern-day Cyrus figures: non-Jewish kings who recognize the importance of Israel and the Temple. Alexander Solzhenitsyn: 200 years together - English audiobook
Part 1
Part 2

How One Man Influenced The Republican Party's Transformation Into The Grand Old Putin Party

Grant Stern Grant Stern's 10 part series on the Grand Old Putin Party. Part 1 - Prologue Part 2- Putin's Propagandist Eerily Predicted Trump's Relationship With General Flynn and Dana Rohrabacher Last Year Part 3- Putin's Favorite Congressman Secretly Met With Paul Manafort After The FBI Warned Russian Agents Were Recruiting Him Part 4- The GOP's Favorite Russian Professor Spent Decades Building Conservative Ties To Moscow Part 5- American University In Moscow: Linked To Russian State, But Fake Like TrumpU Part 6- Here's Lozansky Introducing Republicans To The Father Of Russian Foreign Intelligence -- And Putin's Mentor Part 7- Soviet Human Rights Activists Believed Lozansky Worked With Russian Intelligence Part 8- From Orange Revolution To "Stars And Stripes Revolution" Part 9- Opinion: Edward Lozansky's Russia Lobby Compromised The Republican Party Part 10- Opinion: Without Ed Lozansky, Trump-Russia Could Not Have Happened Communism Among Jewish Children in Russia Nov 5, 1924
The Communist Child Movement, according to figures published here, includes 7,000 organized Jewish children in the Ukraine and 2,000 in White Russia. The work among the Jewish "pioneers", as they are called, is conducted exclusively in the Yiddish language. There are five detachments of Jewish "pioneers" in Witebsk, three in Homel, a Jewish "pioneer" base in Minsk, and scores of detachments in Odessa and Kiev. "Pioneer" clubs are attached to the schools, children's homes and workshops. A proposal is now made for the publication of a special Yiddish magazine for the Communist Child Movement. Freiheit Calls on Jews to Desert Zionism, Back Soviets Nov 9, 1930
Calling upon the Jewish workers to desert the Zionist cause and to fight for Soviet Russia and Communism, an editorial in Friday's Freiheit, New York Yiddish Communist organ, enumerates what it alleges to be Jewish failures in Palestine with regard to land settlement, and contrasts this with what it regards as the great success of Jewish land settlement in Russia within recent years.
"During the past five years the Soviet Union has settled three hundred thousand Jews on the land," says the editorial. "During the coming five years it will build a large new settlement in Bira-Bidjan. Wherever Jews live in compact masses the whole governmental apparatus is conducted in Yiddish. If great Jewish masses will come to Bira-Bidjan a Soviet Republic will be organized there.
"All this is being done by the Soviet Republic without noise, without trumpeting; it is part of the general work of building up the country. The Jews in the Soviet Union have equal rights together with all citizens. Jewish books and periodicals are being issued at the expense of the government. Anti-Semitism is being uprooted with an iron hand.
"In Palestine it is just the opposite. There during the past fifty years hundreds of millions of dollars have poured in, nevertheless only about twenty thousand Jews are settled upon the land. There everything is kept up by philanthropy, and there is no room for a large Jewish population. There the ruler is the British imperialistic power which has encouraged pogroms and which now declares openly that it will give the Jews no governmental power in Palestine. There Jews are being settled upon alien soil from which the peasants are being driven off by force, although they have been living there scores and hundreds of years. There a poisonous hatred on the part of the local population towards the aliens who come with the bayonet and the dollar exists, and the masses have already revolted against the alien oppressors."
"Down with Zionism! Long live the Soviet Union!" JEWS CREATED COMMUNISM
Elizabeth Dilling Very few people are aware of the extent to which Jews were responsible for the Communization of Russia, first through organizing of the unsuccessful revolution of 1905, and then the later and successful Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. Both were heavily financed by outside Jewish financial and banking houses, and ultimately resulted in Jews assuming control of what had become the Russian Soviet Government. Concurrently, Jewish machinations in the United States, Germany and elsewhere helped set the stage for the take-over. The Three Holodomor Genocides
"You must understand. The leading Bolsheviks who took over Russia were not Russians. They hated Russians. They hated Christians. Driven by ethnic hatred they tortured and slaughtered millions of Russians without a shred of human remorse. The October Revolution was not what you call in America the "Russian Revolution." It was an invasion and conquest over the Russian people. More of my countrymen suffered horrific crimes at their bloodstained hands than any people or nation ever suffered in the entirety of human history. It cannot be understated. Bolshevism was the greatest human slaughter of all time. The fact that most of the world is ignorant of this reality is proof that the global media itself is in the hands of the perpetrators." Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (1918-2008), Nobel-Prize-winning novelist, historian and victim of Jewish Bolshevism (Marxism). Woodrow Wilson And The Zionist Network
Infographic highlighting the Zionist influence surrounding Woodrow Wilson, his rise to power and historical events during his presidency and the role of the Zionist powers in the creation of WW1, WW2, creation of the Federal Reserve system, Bolshevik Revolution, Great Depression etc. Geneva Versus Peace
Comte de Saint-Aulaire Comte de Saint-Aulaire, French Ambassador to Great Britain in the 1920s, discussed his meetings with Kuhn, Loeb, & Co. financiers. They had discussions regarding why they [the Kuhn, Loeb, &; Co. bankers] financed the Bolshevik Revolution. One of them said (p. 80): "You say that Marxism is the very antithesis of capitalism, which is equally sacred to us. It is precisely for this reason that they are direct opposites to one another, that they put into our hands the two poles of this planet and allow us to be its axis. These two contraries, like Bolshevism and ourselves, find their identity in the International. These opposites, which are at the antipodes to one another in society and in their doctrines meet again in the identity of their purpose and end, the remaking of the world from above by the control of riches, and from below by revolution. Our mission consists in promulgating the new law and in creating a God, that is to say in purifying the idea of God and realizing it, when the time shall come. We shall purify the idea by identifying it with the nation of Israel, which has become its own Messiah. The advent of it will be facilitated by the final triumph of Israel, which has become it's own Messiah."
This same financier also said (pp. 83-84):
"our essential dynamism makes use of the forces of destruction and forces of creation, but uses the first to nourish the second. Our organization for revolution is evidenced by destructive Bolshevism and for construction by the League of Nations which is also our work. Bolshevism is the accelerator and the League is the brake on the mechanism of which we supply both the motive force and the guiding power. What is the end? It is already determined by our mission. It is formed of elements scattered throughout the whole world, but cast in the flame of our faith in ourselves. We are a League of Nations which contains the elements of all others." Israeli support for anti-Ukrainian separatists of "Novorussia"
Sean Jobst Eurasianists and Nazbols link Ukraine with Israel, ignoring Putin's close alliance with Israel and the central involvement of hardcore Zionists like Avigdor Eskin in Dugin's networks. They rewrite this narrative to deceive Western dissidents opposed to Zionism and Jewish power, into signing off on their own anti-Ukrainian subversion. Their efforts to enlist support for separatists who openly proclaim themselves a Communist "People's Republic", include bizarre claims that have been refuted by no less a figure as Donetsk leader Denis Pushilin, who openly touts himself as "Chairman of the Soviet" while his fighters brandish Soviet flags and include many foreign Communists. Borscht Belt: Will Israel Spurn America for Russia?
Lincoln Mitchell FOR MOST OF LAST YEAR, THE WEST STRUGGLED TO find an appropriate response to Russia's incursions into Crimea and eastern and southern Ukraine. Many European and North American governments strongly condemned Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin, but Israel has been noticeably silent.
In the past, Israel has been similarly mum on Russian aggression -- or worse. In 2008, when the Russia-Georgia war began, Israel cut its previously substantial military support for Georgia and withdrew its military advisors.
Why has Israel declined to slap Russia? Because the Jewish state may someday need Russia as a powerful ally if relations with the U.S. wither -- something that's not an immediate risk but not necessarily unthinkable . The Partition Plan, November 29, 1947: Soviet Support for Establishing Israel in Perspective
Alex Grobman Given the Soviet Union's avowed hostility to Zionism, the Soviet vote "came as a great surprise, as a bombshell," recounted Moshe Sharett, then head of the Jewish Agency's political department. When May Day Was a Major Event in Israel
Armin Rosen It wasn't just that Stalin's Red Army had liberated Auschwitz, or that "the Soviets had shipped Czech weapons to the IDF in 1948" and supported Jewish statehood at a crucial moment, including in the United Nations partition vote in 1947. The ties went deeper than any political alliance: For many, Zionism was an avowedly secular pro-labor movement with the same utopian aims as Communism itself. As Halevi writes, the logo of the newspaper for the Hashomer Hatzair Marxist Zionist movement translated to "For Zionism -- For Socialism -- For the Fraternity of Nations."
May Day was a major event for some Israeli communities, outranking most of the Jewish holidays in importance. Stalin's Jews
Sever Plocker We mustn't forget that some of greatest murderers of modern times were Jewish Back in the USSR?
David Horovitz Chabad's chief rabbi The Jewish leader closest to Putin is Chabad's Berel Lazar, one of Russia's two chief rabbis, a Milan-born, New York-ordained emissary, who first came here in the late 1980s on several trips to teach Judaism to refuseniks and was then appointed by the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, to help revive and strengthen the Jewish community as the Soviet Union entered its death throes in 1990.
A father of 12 aged 49, with a graying beard and the trademark Chabad warmth -- he immediately invites me for Shabbat dinner when we meet -- Lazar works from a book-lined sixth-floor office in the Moscow Jewish Community Center building that houses his now-thriving Maryina Roshcha District synagogue.
When he arrived, Lazar recalls, there was "an underground" of people leading a return to Judaism. By 1989 Mikhail Gorbachev had granted "unofficial permission to open a school and a yeshiva." And when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, most everyone whose Judaism was important to them was leaving. "The place was emptying out. The Israeli embassy was sure there'd be no Jews left," says Lazar. "They laughed at us as we tried to fix up synagogues. It was a conveyor belt: come to shul, learn Hebrew, go to Israel. No one thought there'd be a future here." Putin Welcomes Kissinger: 'Old Friends' to Talk Shop
Ellen Berry Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin will meet Friday with former Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger to discuss world affairs, including elections in Russia and the United States, said Mr. Putin's press secretary, Dmitri S. Peskov.
Mr. Peskov said Mr. Kissinger requested the meeting in late November or early December. The two men are "old friends" who have met 8 or 10 times over the years, once dining at Mr. Kissinger's home in New York, he said. Mr. Peskov said Mr. Putin was interested in Mr. Kissinger's counsel about domestic politics, among other subjects.
"He values everyone's point of view, and especially such a wise man as Henry Kissinger," Mr. Peskov said. Alexander Dugin - The one Russian linking Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Henry Meyer, Onur Ant Dugin, who's been described as everything from an occult fascist to a mystical imperialist, lost his prestigious job running the sociology department at Moscow State University in 2014 after activists accused him of encouraging genocide. Thousands of people signed a petition calling for his removal after a rant in support of separatists in Ukraine in which he said, "kill, kill, kill." What is Duginism and why it matters
Youtube video by Freedom Alternative. Duginist publication calls Russians and Jews "chosen peoples"
Sean Jobst The volume was part of an effort to strengthen ties between the Eurasianist movement and Chabad and far-right-wing Zionist movements, approvingly quoting one of Bromberg's contemporaries (Lev Karsavin, who greeted the Soviet regime) about the "primordial tie between the Jewish people and Russia". Dugin has praised the predominant Jewish role in Bolshevism as representing a continued "positive" Jewry, that can now contribute to "the general struggle against Western culture" and to the founding of the "Great Eurasian Empire". He extolled "messianic national-bolshevism" as "the spiritual union of Jewish and Russian eurasianists". Rise of the NazBols
MAGA OPUS Bitchute video. Holocaust Deniers in Russia Now Face Five Years in Prison
ussian President Vladimir Putin signed a law on Monday making the denial of Nazi crimes and distortion of the Soviet Union's role in the World War Two a criminal offence punishable by up to five years in jail.
The law, described by critics as an attempt to curb freedom of expression to appease conservative Russians, the ex-KGB spy's main support base, also criminalises the public desecration of war memorials.
The Kremlin has used World War Two as a pillar to unite a society that Putin has said lost its moral bearings following the 1991 Soviet collapse.
It has become increasingly risky for Russians to dispute an official line that glorifies the wartime achievements of the Soviet leadership and plays down its errors.
The new law would ban "wittingly spreading false information about the activity of the USSR during the years of World War Two". LIFE AFTER PUTIN: THE JARED KUSHNER OF RUSSIA
Fiona Zublin The putative son-in-law is the son of Nikolay Shamalov, one of Putin's longtime friends and hockey buddies. "Putin made Shamalov Jr. a billionaire and effected a transfer of wealth to the next generation," Dawisha says. Nikolay is also a shareholder in Rossiya Bank -- described by the BBC as the "personal bank" of Russian oligarchs -- and was sanctioned by the U.S. and EU after tensions mounted over the annexation of Crimea in 2014, along with several other Russian banks and businessmen. Former Israeli double agent shot dead near Putin's office
Andrew Osborn in Moscow and Adrian Blomfield in Jerusalem Shabtai Kalmanovich, a former Israeli double agent who penetrated Golda Meir's government on behalf of the KGB, has been shot dead in Moscow.
Kalmanovich, who later became a prominent businessman and allegedly had links with the Russian mafia, died after an unidentified gunman fired at least 20 shots into his chauffeur-driven Mercedes Benz. Mr Kalmanovich's driver was seriously wounded in the incident.
"Kalmanovich had practically no chance of surviving," a police official was quoted as saying by Russia's Interfax news agency. "He died on the spot from numerous gun wounds." A figure with a colourful if chequered past, Kalmanovich and his Jewish family immigrated to Israel from Lithuania in 1971.
After becoming an Israeli citizen, he joined the Israeli Labour Party, was appointed to a position in the government press office and became a mole for the KGB. Robert Maxwell, Israel's Superspy: The Life and Murder of a Media Mogul
Robert Younes Was Robert Maxwell a Soviet spy? FBI files reveal US fears the media mogul was working for Russia
Rob Cooper Stalin & Secret Diaries: "Soviet Involvement in the Creation of the State of Israel"
The Maisky Diaries ed by Gabriel Gorodetsky, review: 'a spectacular find'
Nicholas Shakespeare n February 1953, two weeks before Stalin's death, Ivan Maisky, Soviet ambassador to London from 1932 to 1943, was arrested and accused of being a British spy. Interrogated 36 times in his Lubyanka cell, the stocky exdiplomat was detained for two years without books, pen or paper.
Rehabilitated in 1960 and desperate to write his memoirs, he was granted one year of limited access to his personal archive, which included the 1,500-page diary Maisky had kept while in London, when he enjoyed automatic access to the chief personalities of the day.
Published in the Sixties and written under the twin clouds of purges and censorship, his memoirs were apologetic, misleading and selective - and not terribly interesting. Then, in 1993, the historian Gabriel Gorodetsky discovered Maisky's original diary in the Russian Foreign Ministry. "Spiced with anecdotes and gossip", this differed radically from the official version. Its candid depictions of the British political and social scene reminded Gorodetsky of Samuel Pepys. Harry Hopkins, Soviet agent
But there are still many people alive who can remember when the chief confidant of President Franklin Roosevelt was a man named Harry Hopkins. And they will be understandably astonished to learn that in a message dated May 29, 1943, Iskhak Akhmerov, the chief Soviet "illegal" agent in the United States at the time, referred to an Agent 19 who had reported on discussions between Roosevelt and Winston Churchill in Washington at which the agent had been present. Only Harry Hopkins meets the requirements for this agent's identity. Small wonder that Akhmerov, in a lecture in Moscow in the early 1960s, identified Hopkins by name as "the most important of all Soviet wartime agents in the United States." It took 50 years to bludgeon Alger Hiss' defenders into admitting that this suave bureaucrat, who rose to be chief of the State Department's Office of Special Political Affairs, had actually been a Soviet agent all along. And it will probably take another 50 to force Franklin Roosevelt's admirers to concede that their hero's closest confidant and adviser was yet another Soviet agent. But the documents and the testimony are now on the public record, and they make it plain that those of us who sounded the warning about Soviet espionage and policy subversion 50 years ago didn't know the half of it. The Resumption Of Russian-"Israeli" Free Trade Talks Proves Ties Are Fantastic
Andrew Korybko No, Russian-"Israeli" ties aren't in a state of "crisis" after the latter bombed Syria earlier this month, but are actually enjoying an unprecedented flourishment that won't be offset by whatever happens in the Arab Republic, and Moscow might even tie Tel Aviv into the same multilateral free trade area that has recently expanded to include Iran.
"Israel's" bombing of Syria earlier this month predictably prompted many in the Alt-Media to declare that this time Russia will surely 'teach its ally a lesson' by openly turning into the 'anti-Zionist crusader state' that their dogma has indoctrinated them into imagining that it's been this entire time. They were, as is becoming the norm, totally wrong, and three specific events prove that ties between the two sides aren't in a state of "crisis" but are rather flourishing, with the latest milestone in their relationship being the resumption of free trade talks. Israel and Russia are NOT on the verge of war. They are allies!

Andrew Korybko The alternative media community, especially its social media iteration, is experiencing collective psychosis in hallucinating that "Israel" and Russia are on the verge of war with one another.
The prevailing narrative is that Israeli "Defense Minister" Lieberman's threat to destroy Syria's air defense systems is tantamount to a declaration of war against Russia, with the assumption being that Moscow is on a crusade against Zionism and has thus become Tel Aviv's worst enemy.
There's no diplomatic way to say this, but the presumptions on which such a crazy conclusion has been reached are absolutely and utterly wrong.
Far from being Israel's hated nemesis like many in the alternative media community wishfully pretend that it is, Moscow is one of Tel Aviv's closest allies, and this is entirely due to President Putin's deliberate policies. Not only does he enjoy a very strong personal friendship with Netanyahu, but President Putin also sees a lot of opportunity to advance his country's interests in Israel through the large Russian diaspora there. Does anyone still seriously think that Russia and Israel aren't allies
Andrew Korybko Russian Oil Giant Rosneft Expands in Middle East
Russia's state-owned oil company Rosneft has begun to expand its operations in the Middle East with deals in Libya and Iraq, Bloomberg News reported Tuesday.
Rosneft, which is run by Putin ally Igor Sechin, struck a deal to purchase an undisclosed amount of crude oil from the Libyan National Oil Corp on Monday. The deal will also allow the Russian company to invest in exploration and production in the volatile North African country.
The chairman of National Oil Corp welcomed the deal, saying it would help to stabilize the warring country's economy.
"We need the assistance and investment of major international oil companies to reach our production goals and stabilize our economy," NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla said in a statement.
Rosneft announced on the same day it had struck a deal with authorities of the autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq to purchase oil until 2019. The deal with Kurdish authorities will also allow the Russian company to invest in exploration and production. REPORT: MAJORITY OF ISRAELI OIL IMPORTED FROM KURDISTAN
Sharon Udasin On Sunday night, The Financial Times reported that Israel had imported as much as 77 percent of its oil supply from Kurdistan in recent months, bringing in some 19 million barrels between the beginning of May and August 11. During that period, more than a third of all northern Iraqi exports, shipped through Turkey's Ceyhan port, went to Israel, with transactions amounting to almost $1b., the report said, citing "shipping data, trading sources and satellite tanker tracking."
Nonetheless, Dr. Amit Mor, CEO of the Eco Energy Financial and Strategic Consulting firm, confirmed to The Jerusalem Post that "for some time, Kurdish oil [has been arriving] to the Ashkelon petroleum port." In all likelihood, he explained, the oil was being stored at the Eilat-Ashkelon Pipeline Company facilities for commercial reasons, by international trading firms and investors. Israel's refineries may then be purchasing the oil from the international companies, he added.
Importing Kurdish oil could be beneficial to Israel from both geostrategic and economic perspectives, according to Mor.
"Although I don't think the Kurds are having major difficulties in exporting their oil these days, it is very sensible for the Israeli refineries to purchase Kurdish oil via Turkey's Ceyhan petroleum port, as it takes only one day of sailing for oil tankers to reach the Ashkelon petroleum port. Such is also the case for [Azerbaijani] oil," he said. The Truth about Oil and the Iraq War, 15 Years Later
Gary Vogler The oil agenda I discovered and experienced was to supply Iraq oil to Israel. The players were the neoconservatives in the Bush Administration, their favorite Iraqi – Dr Ahmed Chalabi and the Israeli government. One of the motives was because Israel was paying a huge premium for its oil imports and this premium had just started in the late1990s. The agenda called for the reopening of the old Kirkuk to Haifa pipeline and its significant expansion. When this pipeline plan became unattainable in the 2nd half of 2003 then Chalabi took other actions to get inexpensive Iraqi oil to Israel.
A much more credible explanation for intentionally destroying the Syrian export pipeline than what Secretary Rumsfeld told the NY Times was found in the British press. The Guardian, a London newspaper, quoted a retired CIA agent just after the Syria pipeline attack. "It has long been a dream of a powerful section of the people now driving the Bush administration and the war in Iraq to safeguard Israel's energy supply. Russia is suspected of deploying troops to Libya, but what's Moscow's play in this muddy conflict?
"Vladimir Putin wants to make the war-torn North African country 'his new Syria.'" Citing sources in British intelligence, the tabloid claimed that Russia has already embedded "dozens" of GRU agents and Spetsnaz troops in eastern Libya, and established two military bases in the coastal towns of Tobruk and Benghazi, supposedly using the Wagner private military group as "cover." Russian Kalibr anti-ship missiles and S-300 air-defense systems are also reportedly on the ground in Libya. The tabloid's sources claimed that the Kremlin has sided with the warlord General Khalifa Haftar in an effort to "seize control of the country's coastline." This would allegedly give Russia the power to unleash a "fresh tidal wave of migrants" across the Mediterranean "like a tap."
note - Khalifa Belqasim Haftar studied in Egypt and the Soviet Union, also at the M.V. Frunze Military Academy. He is a fluent Russian speaker. In 1969, Haftar took part in the coup that brought Muammar Gaddafi to power and overthrew the monarchy. 9/11 inside job "impossible to conceal," says Vladimir Putin
"Claims that the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 were orchestrated by US intelligence agencies are "complete nonsense," Prime Minister Vladimir Putin told attendees of a youth forum" How the War on Terrorism Did Russia a Favor

Simon Shuster "Putin, who had been the first to call Bush with his sympathy after learning of the 9/11 attacks, graciously offered to help with the invasion of Afghanistan" Putin: Russia warned U.S. of Iraq terror
"Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country warned the United States several times that Saddam Hussein's regime was planning terror attacks on the United States and its overseas interests" REPORT: IRAN ACCUSES RUSSIA OF GIVING ISRAEL CODES FOR SYRIAN AIR DEFENSES
Yasser Okbi, Maariv Hashavua According to the source, Damascus and Tehran "were shocked" every time the Russian-made air defense system did not work to defend Syria's airspace, or even give notification that the air space had been penetrated in order to evacuate outposts prior to the airstrike. The systems are supposed to identify the takeoff of Israeli Air Force jets from their bases because of the small distance between the countries and is even supposed to attempt to target the planes and any missiles that are fired from them.
According to the source, three weeks ago, during Iranian military maneuvers, Iranian engineers hacked into the codes of the S-300, but when the Bavar-373 was not working in conjunction with the Russian air defense system the experiment was suspended.
The source said further that the Iranian Defense Ministry sent several engineers to Syria to change the codes of the air defense system that was under the control of the Syrian army, without Moscow's knowledge. "They succeeded in changing some of the codes last month and therefore when the Israel fighter jets took off from their bases - the air defense system succeeded in identifying them and firing interceptor missiles at them and at the missiles they had launched." Russia canceled S-300 deal with Assad, report says
Ron Friedman Despite official statements to the contrary, Russia will not transfer a shipment of advanced anti-aircraft missiles to Syria, an unnamed senior Russian official has told London's Sunday Times.
According to Sunday's report, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu managed to convince Russian President Vladimir Putin of the risk such a deal posed to regional stability and Israeli civilians, during a meeting in the Black Sea resort of Sochi earlier this month, leading to the cancelation of the planned sale of six S-300 batteries to Bashar Assad's regime.
In their meeting, Netanyahu reportedly warned Putin that Moscow's sale of the sophisticated missile defense system to Assad could push the Middle East into war, and argued that the S-300 had no relevance to Assad's civil-war battles against rebel groups. Netanyahu visits Moscow in secret to obstruct Iran missile sale
Rory McCarthy Russia and Israel were both facing domestic embarrassment today after it emerged that the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, had taken a secret trip to Moscow to persuade the Russians not to sell anti-aircraft missiles to Iran.
Officials in Moscow and Jerusalem were left backtracking after they initially denied media reports that Netanyahu flew by private jet to Russia to discourage the Kremlin from giving the Iranians Russia's advanced S-300 system Israel, Russia to cooperate on foreign troop exit from Syria - Netanyahu
Putin's Double Game in Syria: Russian-Israeli Cooperation
Sean Jobst Assorted Assad groupies and Putin cultists use as "evidence" of Putin's alleged chess-playing hidden "maneuvering" against Israel, his support for the Syrian government side in Syria's war. They simply ignore all evidence to the contrary, not least of which they're at a complete loss to explain why the Russian air force never engages with Israeli planes attacking their alleged "allies" in Syria, including this very week. Why is Putin always silent even in token criticism?
Much can be said about the Kremlin's role in setting the stage for what later became ISIS, by exporting thousands of extremists from its occupied territories in the Caucasus in 2013 and 2014, knowing full well they'd go to Syria. The flow of Russian-speaking fighters has continued to ISIS and other armed Wahhabist groups in Syria, yet we're supposed to believe this large number couldn't leave the Russian borders without complicity from the security services? Senior Russian Rabbi Says Putin's Ouster Would Endanger Jews
Boroda's Federation is among several Russian Jewish organizations that credit Putin for facilitating efforts to re-consolidate Russia's Jewish community of 350,000 after decades of communist repression.
Under Putin, dozens of synagogues have been renovated with government support and a massive Jewish museum was opened in Moscow with state funding.
"In Russia, there is virtually unlimited freedom of religion and the Jewish community must ensure this situation continues," Boroda said. "The support for religious institutions is wider than in the United States and defense of Jews against manifestations of anti-Semitism is greater than in other European countries. We do not have the privilege of losing what we have achieved and the support of the government for the community." Russia-Israel Relationship Transformed by Syria Conflict
Lidia Averbukh and Margarete Klein The American Jews Who Are Proud to Be Pro-Putin
Lev Stesin An alarming number of Jews who fled authoritarian Soviet Russia for America are now admirers of Mr. Putin, a peculiar show of intellectual sclerosis and utter ethical failure
President Donald Trump is one more factor in these shifting attitudes. Many Russian-speaking Jews have flocked en masse to support him. His direct tone and 'toughness' fell on fertile ground. Many abhor the Democratic Party in general and the radical tendencies of its extreme left wing in particular. They tend to think of liberalism as a modern-day reincarnation of Communism, and of Islam as a modern-day Nazism and the biggest threat facing the world. Grey is not a color they know: you're either with or against them. The Democratic Order's Berezovsky Trap
Phil Butler It was Litvinenko the UK government and the mainstream media said was "probably" ordered killed by Vladimir Putin. But the other side of the story tells of two who were intricately involved in the steeping criminal activity Boris Yeltsin essentially resigned over, and the literal theft of the heritage of the Russian people from the instant of perestroika onward. In a poisonous bit of irony, a slew of Russian mafia outcasts and New World Order captains have now fallen into the same game of blackmail and murderous betrayal, or something my Dutch colleague Holger Eekhof refers to as "The Berezovsky Trap". The Berezovsky Trap Revisited: The Israel Connection
Phil Butler The Russian mafia we've seen on TV is also known as the "Red Octopus", but this organization is really the Jewish mafia in disguise. The story you are reading comes full circle when you research how the Jewish mafia has links to Mossad, the Rothschild family, the Federal Reserve Bank, and to powerful Jewish organizations such as AIPAC and the ADL. Like I mentioned, the Chuck Schumer-Komorov-Ivankov association is one clue to how deep and intricate this organization's "screws" go into the American system. Laura Radanko, in her book "The Superpower of Crime", gives up the goods on Russian Jews as instruments for Israeli aims:
"During the detente days of the early 1970s, when Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev had agreed to allow the limited emigration of Soviet Jews, thousands of hard-core criminals, many of them released from Soviet Gulags by the KGB, took advantage of their nominal Jewish status to swarm into the United States ." RUSSIAN OLIGARCH WANTED TO TURN MY JOKE INTO REALITY
Jon Schwartz "Berezovsky also had another brilliant idea, which to his regret Putin did not grasp: creating a fake two-party system, with Putin at the head of a socialist-democrat sort of party and Berezovsky leading a neoconservative one, or the other way around."
Here are Berezovsky's exact words, in an interview with Gessen from 2008:
When Putin became president, I was for a long time in a state of profound naiveté. Well, I went to him I told him: "Listen, Volodya, what happened: we destroyed the entire political space. Devoured, not destroyed, but devoured it. We absolutely dominated Look, I'll suggest that we can not have effective political system, if there's a tough competition. So I suggest we create an artificial two-party system. So, let's say, the left and right. A Socially Oriented party and neo-conservatives liberal party. Choose any. And I'll make another party. At the same time, my own heart is closer to neoconservatives, and I think so, you [Putin] are socially oriented. " I earnestly believed then that he understood it. But I think that even then he looked at me like I was crazy. The Hidden Author of Putinism: How Vladislav Surkov invented the new Russia
Peter Pomerantsev There is no mention of holy wars in Surkov's vision, none of the cabaret used to provoke and tease the West. But there is a darkling vision of globalization, in which instead of everyone rising together, interconnection means multiple contests between movements and corporations and city-states -- where the old alliances, the EUs and NATOs and "the West," have all worn out, and where the Kremlin can play the new, fluctuating lines of loyalty and interest, the flows of oil and money, splitting Europe from America, pitting one Western company against another and against both their governments so no one knows whose interests are what and where they're headed. Documentary - HyperNormalisation
Adam Curtis We live in a time of great uncertainty and confusion. Events keep happening that seem inexplicable and out of control. Donald Trump, Brexit, the War in Syria, the endless migrant crisis, random bomb attacks. And those who are supposed to be in power are paralysed - they have no idea what to do.
This film is the epic story of how we got to this strange place. It explains not only why these chaotic events are happening - but also why we, and our politicians, cannot understand them.
It shows that what has happened is that all of us in the West - not just the politicians and the journalists and the experts, but we ourselves - have retreated into a simplified, and often completely fake version of the world. But because it is all around us we accept it as normal.
But there is another world outside. Forces that politicians tried to forget and bury forty years ago - that then festered and mutated - but which are now turning on us with a vengeful fury. Piercing though the wall of our fake world.
Zarina Zabrisky translation of excerpts from a blog Putinism As Is by a Radio Svoboda analyst and blogger Artem Kruglov. In the light of Helsinki Summit 2018 and Trump/Putin relationship, it is important to know these facts of Putin's background. "The group around Putin today is the same as the one that brought him to power from St. Petersburg in the 1990s," wrote celebrated author Karen Dawisha in her book Putin's Kleptocracy. In today's political climate it is critical for the EU and US analysts, journalists and general audience to understand the true origin and background of the Russian mafia state. "In the 90s, gangsters and the KGB fused into one structure," said Olga Litvinenko... This structure is what we now call a mafia state. "Putin was never in business and he does not have 'business associates,'" noted Nikita Kulachenkov, a forensic accountant and political activist fighting against corruption in the Russian government, has also served as a principal investigator at the Anti-Corruption Foundation, a nonprofit organization based in Moscow and founded by Alexei Navalny. "Russian oligarchs do not own their fortunes. They can't hide their money. They need the status quo and will fight for it, using the mafia methods"  --  even if it requires taking these mafia methods to the West.
Read the profiles of Putin's allies. The incomplete list of their achievements includes cocaine and heroin trade, illegal arms trafficking, running prostitution rings, using child labor for diamond mining, smuggling, extortion, assassinations, dismemberment, blackmail, racketeering, theft, money-laundering and much more.
Is Israel becoming a mafia state?
Simona Weinglass
Some 25% of the revenue of Israel's lauded high-tech sector comes from shady or fraudulent industries; three-quarters of MKs are said to be in thrall to special interest groups.
Israel has become one of the world's leading exporters of investment scams, stealing an estimated $5 billion to $10 billion per year from victims worldwide.
Despite the fact that Israeli police recently announced that these investment scams are largely run by organized crime, which has grown to "monstrous proportions" as a consequence of little to no law enforcement for years, the Israeli government, parliament and authorities have to date proved unwilling or unable to shut them down, in part because these fraudulent industries have a powerful lobby in the Knesset. How Russia's mafia is taking over Israel's underworld
Billions invested in Israel
Former police chief Asaf Hefetz says Ł2.5bn ($4bn) of organised crime money from the former Soviet Union has been invested in Israeli real estate, businesses and banks in the past seven years. Jewish-American organized crime
The History of the Jews and the Mob
Youtube video featuring Jewish 'tough guy' Myron Sugerman, the "Last Jewish Gangster," running his mouth for an hour complaining about antisemitism while bragging about their criminal history. The deluded Sugerman spills the beans on how the Jewish mob played in arming Jewish terrorists in the Middle-East. Israeli Mafia
Out of prison, notorious Russian mobster yearns to return home
Jake Pearson New York's most notorious living Russian (Jewish) mobster just wants to go back to the motherland.
Once flush from heroin trafficking, tax fraud schemes and other criminal enterprises, Boris Nayfeld is now 70, fresh out of prison for the third time, divorced and broke. And he is left with few job prospects in his adopted country, at least those in line with his experiences.
"I can't do nothing," Nayfeld griped in a thick Russian accent between shots of vodka at a restaurant a few blocks north of Brooklyn's Brighton Beach neighborhood, which has been a haven for immigrants from the former Soviet Union since the 1970s. "Give me a chance to start a new life." Human Trafficking: Russian Mafia and the Israeli Connection
The illegal trafficking of human beings is a growing international crime. Criminal groups have developed a brisk trade selling tens of thousands of women into prostitution. The result is virtual enslavement, as Attorney General John Ashcroft emphasized in announcing new regulations for dealing with traffickers and their victims. Russian mafia, and its connections in Israel, provide an example of how the trade works.
The newspaper ad is hard to resist: a high paying job as a waitress or secretary or model, and it helps to be young and pretty.
For desperate women in the shrunken economies of Russia, Ukraine, and other states of the former Soviet Union, the offer from abroad is too good to be true, and of course it is not. But they do not know that as they make their first contact with the elaborate traffic in prostitution. Sharp Increase in Sex Trafficking in Years Since Israel Lifted Visa Restrictions
Or Kashti Justice Ministry official says criminals are bringing in women from Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, Russia and Georgia on three-month tourist visas.

Prostitution, Pornography and Trafficking in Women: Israel's Blood Money

Esther Hertzog and Erella Shadmi Destination Israel for Sex 'Slaves'
Eric Silver "On the third night I was desperate," she says. "I tried to break out. I shouted for help. But it was no use. Two men, who spoke Russian with a Georgian accent, carted me off to a massage parlour. When I refused to work there, they beat me up. They raped me, punched my body, slapped my face. I agreed." Israel becoming 'safe haven for paedophiles' with laws that allow any Jews to legally return, activists claim
Peter Walker 14 Israelis suspected of running child sex trafficking ring in Colombia
Toi Staff Fourteen Israelis are suspected by Colombian authorities of running a child sex trafficking ring which marketed tour packages from Israel to the Latin American country aimed at businessmen and recently discharged soldiers, according to reports on Monday.. Israeli who headed Colombia child prostitution ring arrested in Portugal
An ex-Israeli soldier wanted in Colombia for heading a child prostitution ring and sex trafficking offences has been arrested in Portugal.
Forty-five-year-old Assi Ben-Mosh – also known as Assi Moosh – was arrested near the Portuguese capital Lisbon on Wednesday during an operation by Spain's Guardia Civil police force. The Guardia Civil said in a statement that Ben-Mosh is thought to have been hiding on the Spanish island of Ibiza, and then in Barcelona, before eventually being arrested in Portugal this week. It added that Ben-Mosh had been using a fake Israeli ID, the Times of Israel reported yesterday.
Ben-Mosh is wanted by Colombian authorities for running a child prostitution ring in the small fishing village of Taganga, located on the South American country's Caribbean coast. He, along with a group of ex-Israeli soldiers, reportedly turned the luxury Benjamin Hostel into a "sex and drug den" in which more than 250 underage girls were subjected to sexual exploitation. The shocking story of Israel's disappeared babies
Jonathan Cook His biological parents - recent immigrants to Israel from Tunisia - were told their child had died during delivery. They were sent home without a death certificate and denied the chance to see their baby's body or a grave. A Field Guide to Israeli Organized Crime
Assaf Gur Exploring an underworld of gambling, drug trafficking, arms dealing, extortion, assassination, and corruption 'Israel's First Oligarch' Grigori Lerner ¦ How a Serial Criminal Got Help From an Israeli Government Minister
Gidi Weitz and Maya Zinshtein Immigrant Absorption Minister Sofa Landver pursued business ties with serial criminal Gregory Lerner. Her former chief of staff had links to Alexei Zakharenko, a Russian tycoon who disappeared two years ago. New facts from police files, published here for the first time.
He also admitted to receiving $37 million fraudulently from Mostroy, a Russian bank, establishing a series of straw companies that he controlled, and committing numberless forgeries. He admitted to having defrauded Semion Mogilevich, who holds Russian and Israeli citizenship and is high on the FBI's most-wanted list. Reputed Israeli Ecstasy Dealer Charged in U.S.
NEW YORK - An Israeli, once reputedly the world's most active ecstasy dealer, was extradited from Spain and charged in a U.S. court Wednesday with recruiting women nightclub strippers as couriers and laundering millions of dollars in cash.
Known as "The Fat Man," Oded Tuito was designated as a drug kingpin by the U.S. government a year ago. He pleaded not guilty in a U.S. District Court in Brooklyn to charges of supervising the trafficking of millions of ecstasy pills to New York from Paris, Brussels and Frankfurt.
Prosecutors accused Tuito, a 41-year-old Israeli citizen who lived in New York, California and France before his arrest in May 2001 in Barcelona of operating the international trafficking scheme since 1997. Israeli Organ-trafficking Ring Busted
Ukrainian police have smashed an Israeli-run organ-trafficking network illegally recruiting organ donors to send their body parts to Israel.
Ukrainian authorities said on Friday that twelve people, most of them Israelis, were arrested for taking part in a scheme to recruit organ donors from Ukraine and other former Soviet countries via internet and transplant the organs into Israelis who had ordered them in advance.
The network, which sought mostly kidneys, offered as much as USD 10,000 per body part and according to Ukraine's interior ministry most of the organ donors were impoverished young women.
The head of the ministry's department on human trafficking, Yuriy Kucher, said the transplant surgeries, which cost up to USD 200,000 an operation, were performed in Kiev, Azerbaijan and Ecuador. Israeli Organ Trafficking and Theft: From Moldova to Palestine
Alison Weir The fact is, however, that Israeli organ harvesting – sometimes with Israeli governmental funding and the participation of high Israeli officials, prominent Israeli physicians, and Israeli ministries – has been documented for many years. Among the victims have been Palestinians.
Nancy Scheper-Hughes is Chancellor's Professor of Medical Anthropology at the University of California Berkeley, the founder of Organ Watch, and the author of scholarly books and articles on organ trafficking. She is the pundit mainstream media call upon when they need expert commentary on the topic.5
While Scheper-Hughes emphasizes that traffickers and procurers come from numerous nations and ethnicities, including Americans and Arabs, she is unflinchingly honest in speaking about the Israeli connection:
"Israel is at the top," she states. "It has tentacles reaching out worldwide." Organ Trafficking: Anatomy of a network. Israeli nexus #1
Robert Maxwell Organ Trafficking: Anatomy of a network. Israeli nexus #1 Israeli organ trafficker walks free in Cyprus
An Israeli man convicted of international human organ trafficking walked free on Tuesday, after Russian authorities failed to challenge a Larnaca judge who dismissed an extradition request. Gangsters of the Mediterranean
Seb Rotella In hundreds of telephone calls intercepted during the year before Petrov's arrest in 2008, Spanish investigators listened as the mob boss chatted with powerful businessmen, notorious criminals and high-level officials in the government of Vladimir Putin. During one trip to Russia, Petrov called his son to say he had just met with a man who turned out to be the Russian defense minister -- and to report that they had sorted out a land deal, the sale of some airplanes, and a scheme to invest in Russian energy companies. Britain's contribution to fighting Russian organised crime is 'less than negative', says renowned prosecutor
Tom Embury-Dennis Britain's contribution to fighting Russian organised crime is "less than negative", one of Europe's leading prosecutors has said.
Jose Grinda, hailed as the man who "brought down the Russian mafia in Spain", condemned the UK's lack of cooperation in a fight which has gone increasingly global.
"We have a wonderful relationship with the United States," the Spanish prosecutor told The American Interest magazine. "However we have a very serious problem in fighting organised crime with the UK. The truth behind McMafia: London is 'the jurisdiction of choice' for Russian crime gangs
Robert Verkaik
"Unfortunately, London has become the global centre for laundering the money and reputations of Russian organised criminals. McMafia brings that realisation into the living rooms of people all over the country. Hopefully, this will actually lead to some political change and tougher rules in the future." Russians kill Dublin drugs lord in Spain
Henry McDonald Russian mafia hitmen shot dead Dublin gangland member Paddy Doyle on the Costa del Sol, senior gardai claimed this weekend
Doyle, the survivor of a vicious criminal turf war in south Dublin which has claimed at least 10 lives, was gunned down in Estepona last Monday. Veteran detectives with the Garda Siochana's 'Operation Anvil', the drive against Dublin's crime gangs, said the 27-year-old had beaten up a close relative of a Russian mafia leader based on the southern Spanish coastline.
'From what our Spanish colleagues have told us, this was a professional Russian hit. There were 13 shots and we don't think they wasted a bullet. It has a military-trained assassin written all over it, possibly ex-special forces,' a senior detective told The Observer. 'The intelligence coming back from the Costa del Sol is that Paddy Doyle crossed the Russian mafia, which is something you do there at your peril.' Cold blood: Shocking CCTV footage of Kinahan enforcer's murder
Owen Conlon and Stephen Breen THIS is the moment the Kinahans' main enforcer met his end at the hands of Russian gangsters -- with the blessing of his old boss Christy. WATCH: RUSSIAN MAFIA LEADER ARRESTED ON SPAIN'S COSTA DEL SOL WHILE 'PLOTTING GANG RIVAL'S MURDER'
Luke Madeira One of the leaders is said to be third-in-command of the mafia and was arrested as the group held a meeting in which they were said to be planning the assassination of a rival gang leader.
According to El Correo, the planned assassination of a rival gang leader was to warn other clans of their strength in Europe.
The suspects were also thought to have been trying to restructure the organisation after Policia Nacional arrested 129 members of the clan in June, including seven highly ranked members.
The investigation was then reopened in July after a former leader of a criminal gang in Lithuania was spotted in Marbella. Roman Abramovich invests $10m in StoreDot
June 15, 2014 | According to reports by the "Wall Street Journal" Russian billionaire and Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich invested $10 million in StoreDot. StoreDot is an Israeli startup producing electronics using bio-organic materials and recently made a splash in the headlines when it revealed a method for charging a Samsung smartphone in 30 seconds. The investment was carried out through Abramovich's asset management company Millhouse LLC, making this is the second investment of the firm in Israel. Israeli crowd-funding company i-Angels raises $2.25M from Millhouse Capital.
March 25, 2015 | Israeli crowd-funding company iAngels has raised $2.25 million in a seed round led by investment firm Millhouse Capital, which is owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich. iAngels enables private investments in early-stage startups. It was founded in 2013 by Mor Assia and Shelly Hod Moyal. Roman Abramovich invests in AltaIR
October 26, 2015 | Millhouse Capital, the investment fund owned by Roman Abramovich is investing an undisclosed amount in AltaIR, the venture capital firm led by Russian-Austrian investor Igor Ryabenkiy. AltaIR has already invested in almost 80 companies from Israel, the US, Europe and Australia. Among its early stage investments in Israel are Gbooking, Crowdx, Klear, and Correlor. Oligarch Roman Abramovich Leads $21m Investment in Startup AnyClip
Inbal Orpaz Russian-British billionaire Roman Abramovich is deepening his presence in Israeli high-tech, leading a $21 million investment round in the start-up AnyClip Media. Russian Internet Giant Yandex Acquiring Israeli Geolocation Startup KitLocate
Inbal Orpaz Yandex, a Russian Internet company that operates the country's most popular search engine, said on Tuesday that it was acquiring Israel's KitLocate and plans to turn the startup into the basis a research and development center for an undisclosed price. Israeli social analytics startup Klear secures $1.5 million from Altair and TMT
Israeli startup Klear, formerly known as Twtrland, has raised $1.5 million in new funding from Altair and TMT Investments, two international venture funds with Russian backers.
The company defines its product as "a social intelligence platform that helps you do smarter marketing." It has rebranded to Klear, since the platform now looks at data from Facebook and Instagram in addition to Twitter, and plans to integrate other social networks, including Pinterest, Google Plus, and LinkedIn, TechCrunch notes. BILLIONAIRE ROMAN ABRAMOVICH REVEALED AS $30M. TEL AVIV UNIVERSITY DONOR
Greer Fay Cashman Yandex: Tool of Russian Disinformation and Cyber Operations in Ukraine
Sergey Sukhankin The recent decision by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to ban popular Russian social networks VKontakte (VK) and Odnoklassniki, on May 15 (see EDM, June 7), provoked serious debate both inside Ukraine and abroad. Now that the initial anxiety over that ban has somewhat subsided, it is worth analyzing other, less commented-on but no less important, elements of the decree.
Aside from social networks, Poroshenko's May 15 decree bans Russian Internet search engine giant Yandex, some information technology (IT) programs, as well as anti-virus software (including Kaspersky and Doctor Web) that have allegedly been undermining Ukrainian information and cyber security. According to Colonel Oleksandr Tkachuk, from the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), approximately 300 of the largest Ukrainian companies and corporations use Russian IT programs "directly controlled by the Russian Federal Security Service [FSB]" (, April 27). Moreover, the Ukrainian side has suffered huge financial losses as a direct result of using Russian products. In his interview, the head of the information security division of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, Valentin Petrov, noted that Ukraine annually spends approximately one billion hryvnas (roughly $39 million) on Russian IT and software products (, May 17). Russia's Billionaire Usmanov Among Investors Of Uber Taxi Service
USM Holdings owned by Russia's business magnate Alisher Usmanov and his partners is one of investors of the popular Uber taxi service, a source close to the company told TASS on Sunday.
The official representatives of USM and Uber in Russia have declined to comment on the reports.
Uber is an international transportation network company that develops mobile app for requesting trips with personal drivers. The company provides services in 360 cities in 64 countries of the world.
In Russia, the company began operations in 2013. In October 2015, Uber said it planned to launch services in all Russian million-strong cities this year. The value of the car-booking company is estimated at $62.5 billion, CNBC reported earlier this month citing sources.
USM Holdings Ltd. is an international company that has assets in metals and mining industry, telecommunications, the Internet and mass media. USM's main shareholders are Alisher Usmanov, Vladimir Skoch and Farhad Moshiri. Usmanov has earlier invested in Apple, Facebook, Alibaba, and other high-technology companies. VK taken over by the Kremlin claims founder Pavel Durov.
Durov started VKontakte, later known as VK, in 2006, which was initially influenced by Facebook.[16] During the time when he and his brother Nikolai built upon the VKontakte website, the company grew to a value of $3 billion.[5]
In 2011, he was involved in a standoff with police in St. Petersburg when the government demanded the removal of opposition politicians' pages after the 2011 election to the Duma; Durov posted a picture of a dog with his tongue out wearing a hoodie and the police left after an hour when he did not answer the door.[15][16]
In 2012, Durov publicly posted a picture of himself extending his middle finger and calling it his official response to's efforts to buy VK.[15] In December 2013, Durov was pressured[vague] into selling his 12% of VK stock to Ivan Tavrin, the owner of the major Russian internet company,[5] who subsequently sold it to, giving it 52% majority ownership of VK. In 2014, bought all remaining shares and became the sole owner of VK.[17][18]
Durov then claimed the company had been effectively taken over by Vladimir Putin's allies,[23][24] suggesting his ouster was the result of both his refusal to hand over personal details of users to federal law enforcement and his refusal to hand over the personal details of people who were members of a VKontakte group dedicated to the Euromaidan protest movement.[23][24] Durov then left Russia and stated that he had "no plans to go back"[24] and that "the country is incompatible with Internet business at the moment".[3] Mossad Launches New Social Media Account on VKontakte to Recruit Russians
Mossad is known for being a very secretive spy agency responsible for intelligence collection, covert operations and counterterrorism. Its director reports directly to the Prime Minister. A new group called "Mossad" has appeared on Vkontakte. According to information on the group's page anyone who wants to "say something" should click on the link provided below. Usmanov's Israeli technology connections.
Israeli mobile video platform secures $2 million from Group Magisto, an Israeli cloud-based mobile video platform, announced on Friday a $2 million investment from Mail.Ru Group, the LSE-listed Russian Internet giant. The investment is designed to fuel further growth and customer acquisition.
In addition, Magisto has integrated its offering into, a subsidiary of Mail.Ru Group and the second largest social network in Russia with 33 million daily unique visitors.
Image recognition startup Cortica nabs $1.5M from Russian tech leader Mail.Ru Now the startup will have backing from Mail.Ru, which has a major presence in the Russian-speaking markets. Mail.Ru Group claims that its sites reach 86 percent of Russian-speaking Internet users every month. It operates top Russian email service Mail.Ru, two of the largest IM services (Mail.Ru Agent and ICQ), and two of the three largest Russian social networking sites (My World and Additionally, it owns a minority equity stake in top Russian social network Vkontakte.
"We are really excited to work with Mail.Ru Group," Cortica CEO and co-founder Igal Raichelgauz said in a statement. " shares our vision for leveraging Image2Text technology for visual search and contextual advertising and taking users' web surfing experience to a whole new level."
Cortica was founded in 2007 and has employess in New York City, Sunnyvale, Calif. and Israel. - The first AI capable of human-level image understanding.
ARCHIMEDICX Announces Partnership with Mail.Ru Group, Providing Millions with Access to the Best Medical Care in the World
a big data search engine for specialized medical facilities around the world, is announcing a partnership with Mail.Ru Group, the largest internet company in Russia. Mail.Ru Group will integrate ARCHIMEDICX onto its platform on Health Mail.Ru (the most popular health portal in Russia), allowing any user who searches for medical problems to use the ARCHIMEDICX search engine. Together, they will provide millions of users with vast information about the top treatment facilities in the world.
Billionaire Alisher Usmanov's partnership with Alibaba reveals his strategy for survival in the era of sanctions
Russian oligarchs are making difficult decisions in the face of possible new sanctions. Some are trying to do everything to distance themselves from those in the Kremlin. While others are doing the exact opposite and getting as close to the authorities as they can. The best example of the latter is Alisher Usmanov, who  --  on his 65th birthday no less  --  announced a deal fully in line with the government's aim to build economic ties with China. On September 11, telecommunications giant Megafon (partially owned by Usmanov), internet group Group (Usmanov owns 15% via Megafon), and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) announced the creation of a joint venture with Alibaba Group.
Usmanov publicly supports the "digital transformation" announced by Putin, a key part of the president's election campaign. Together with state conglomerate Rostec and Gazprombank, Usmanov in May announced the creation of a new digital company, MF Technology. Usmanov has also talked about a joint investment fund. All of this, of course, makes Usmanov very vulnerable to sanctions. But the billionaire has likely earned what he was probably fighting for in the first place: the Kremlin's loyalty. On his last birthday, Usmanov received a personal telegram from Putin. Kazakh Rakishev is a lead investor of Russian VC who held major stake in Mobl i
Rakishev is the lead investor of Fastlane Ventures, a Russian tech development company, he held a major stake in the Israeli visual media platform Mobli, and invested in the Russian bank card and loyalty program company IQcard. Rakishev is Chairman of Net Element International, a global technology group based in the US that specializes in value-added transaction services and mobile payments. The whole truth about Kenes Rakishev
Rakishev and Imangal Tasmagambetov
It is believed that in part Kenes Rakishev is a nominal figure. In reality, all the assets and billions that he allegedly owns belong to the higher elite of Kazakhstan, which uses Kenes as a screen. It's about the test of Rakishev Imangale Tasmagambetov,
Timur Kulibayev (the head of Kazakhstan's Nursultan Nazarbayev), the head of the KNB Karime Massimov. Rakishev himself categorically denies such statements, assuring himself that he has achieved everything himself, thanks to his talents. And here is that he says under oath about his test Tasmagambetov. . Moshe Hogeg, Singulariteam partners (Rakishev) sued for $50m
"Embezzlement of tens of millions of shekels"
"Forbes Magazine" named Rakishev as one of the 50 most influential people in Kazakhstan, with wealth in excess of $2 billion. According to the statement of claim, Chen, a director in IDC Holdings, was a consultant in enterprises led by Singulariteam, including
The manager of Singulariteam in 2014 was Adi Sheleg, a former shares trader who turned state's witness in the IDB share offering case, in which Nochi Dankner was later convicted of share manipulation. Singulariteam's chairperson in 2014 was former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who was convicted of accepting a bribe in the Hazera Genetic case in 2015. Olmert served 18 months in prison in 2016-2017 for this conviction. Singulariteam's current chairperson is Hogeg. Lev Leviev claims to have personally appointed 8 of 18 members of the Knesset.
In this article we give an entertaining conversation Berezovsky and Roman Abramovich, the current billionaire, and then "key holder" from the Treasury of WOMEN. Abramovich says that yesterday, when they were at Chernomyrdin, Polezhaev showed him (Berezovsky) a letter addressed to Yeltsin. Polezhaev spoke by A. Korabelshikov, he said that to meet the President now impossible, but he'll talk to Livshits, who must give this letter. Abramovich asked whether Berezovsky to deliver the letter to Livshits, he replies in the affirmative. Abramovich reports that yesterday he met Levayev. Levayev said that he is great friends with Netanyahu and if it is necessary that Netanyahu spoke in support of Yeltsin, he (Levayev) can organize. Levayev also said that of the 18 members of the Israeli government, he personally appoints 8, including the Minister of energy. So they will have plans there Russia oligarch and Pres. of Israeli Jewish Congress, Vladimir Slutsker is a serious criminal
If analysts immediately suspected in this contract murder the political underpinnings, the investigation initially stubbornly clung to only the version of the connection of the crime with the commercial activities of the retired general. The son of the murdered, Boris Trofimov, then also suggested that his father's involvement in the conflict between the owners of the company, Vladimir Slutsker and Ambartsum Safaryan, who at that time was very tense, divided. Criminal list of Mikhail Fridman (Alfa Bank, Genesis Prize, CFR)
"Mikhail Fridman - Friend of Bibi, Putin and linked to Trump, allegedly. Dual citizen of Israel and Russia." - Jon Swinn
Part 1 - Is Jewish Oligarch the Cyber Link Between Donald Trump and Russia?
Larry Cohler-Esses Is a Russian Jewish oligarch with Israeli citizenship and close ties to both Vladimir Putin and Benjamin Netanyahu running a secret cyber-communications channel between Donald Trump's presidential campaign and Russian authorities?
That question, about billionaire Mikhail Fridman, is at the heart of a new and detailed investigative report by Franklin Foer, the former editor of The New Republic, published Tuesday on the news website Slate.
According to a story published in The New York Times just hours after Foer's report went live, FBI investigators looked into -- and ultimately came to doubt -- evidence that a mysterious server registered to the Trump Organization was receiving regular covert email communiqués from two servers registered to Fridman's Alfa Bank, the largest commercial bank in Russia. Tea Pain - Alfa Bank server connection to Trump Tower
Trump Tower's "Stealth Russian Data Machine"
Jared Kushner is currently taking a victory lap, crowin' about his "Stealth Data Machine" that put Donald Trump over the top in the 2016 race. Let's pry off the lid and peer into the inner-workings of this "Data Machine."
Major Alfa Bank-Trump Tower Breakthrough! The funny thing about mysteries is sometime the answer is starin' you right in the face so intently you can't see it. A year ago, Tea Pain saw a signal in the noise that got him lookin' into the mystery of the Trump Tower/Alfa Bank server scandal.
Trump Tower's "Stealth Russian Data Machine"
Mikhail Fridman's bank is linked to financing the installation of nuclear reactors in Iran.
Tara Palmeri Fridman's Alfa Bank provided financing throughout the 2000s to Atomstroyexport, the state-owned Russian nuclear vendor that installed the reactors at Bushehr, according to reports.
Zarina Zabrisky In 2008, a self-pronounced Putin's friend, USSR-born Israeli Lev Leviev sold $710 million in Manhattan real estate to a subsidiary of the infamous 88 Queensway Group. In 2011, Blackstone bought 51% of one of three properties, the old New York Times Building. In 2015, Jared Kushner's company bought the remaining 49%. The Mueller Report, Alfa Bank, and the Deep State
Peter Dale Scott As the Guardian reported in 2002, Alfa's 1990s clout in Washington was demonstrated when its oil company, Tyumen,
was loaned $489m in credits by the US Export-Import Bank after lobbying by Halliburton . The [Clinton] White House and State Department tried to veto the Russian deal. But after intense lobbying by Halliburton the objections were overruled on Capitol Hill [which then was Republican controlled] . The State Department's concerns were based on the fact that Tyumen was controlled by a holding conglomerate, the Alfa Group, that had been investigated in Russia for mafia connections. Fridman is behind Alfa group Russia-Israel investments
Netanyahu's 'list of millionaires'
List of potential donors prepared by then-opposition leader in 2007 provides peek into his fundraising industry in US. Officials include extreme rightists, people who got in trouble with law.
Included in the list of prominently Jewish millionaires and billionaires appears the name 'Donald Trump'. Genesis Prize: Flattering Oligarchs and Laundering Their Ill-Gotten Gains
Richard Silerstein Among the oligarchs are Mikhail Fridman (net worth, $18-billion and 46th on Forbes list of the richest people in the world and second richest Russian) and some of his cronies, Petr Aven (chairman of Alfa Bank, Russia's largest commercial bank) and Stan Polovets (who made his billions in Russian energy). Here's a Foreign Policy article from way back in 2000, detailing how these crooks stripped assets and stole billions.
" Asset-stripping has also victimized major international oil companies. In a highly publicized case, [Mikhail] Fridman's Tyumen Oil Company (TNK) allegedly stole Sidanko's most valuable assets by manipulatinig the bankruptcy process. According to defrauded Sidanko shareholders (who include BP Amoco), the theft was carried out through the corrupt appointment of a TNK-friendly receiver, the unlawful reduction of the claims of major creditors such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (in which the United States holds shares), and a rigged bankruptcy "auction" in which only TNK-affiliated companies could bid." Psy Group sister company controlled by Russian billionaire
Scott Stedman A month-long investigation into the corporate structure of the private intelligence company that met with Donald Trump Jr., Erik Prince, and George Nader in the middle of the 2016 election campaign has revealed that a sister company of Psy Group is controlled by a Russian billionaire. Investigation links Psy Group to Macedonian Troll Farms
Justin Hendrix New Knowledge also looks closely at "Kris Crawford," another Facebook account PSY-Group used in the pitch material obtained by the Wall Street Journal. While he appears to be an American man, Crawford's URL suggests his Facebook page used to belong to a "Martina Jakimovska." "Looking through the 'Kris Crawford's' account history it's still possible to see when Martina updated her profile photo and used Facebook to check in at a location in Macedonia," New Knowledge notes. The fake news machine: Inside a town gearing up for 2020
Veles used to make porcelain for the whole of Yugoslavia. Now it makes fake news.
This sleepy riverside town in Macedonia is home to dozens of website operators who churn out bogus stories designed to attract the attention of Americans. Each click adds cash to their bank accounts.
The scale is industrial: Over 100 websites were tracked here during the final weeks of the 2016 U.S. election campaign, producing fake news that mostly favored Republican candidate for President Donald Trump. Meet the shady Putin crony funding Russia's troll farm and mercenary army
Zack Beauchamp Yevgeny Prigozhin, the man widely referred to as "Putin's chef," doesn't actually prepare food. Instead, he cooks up international plots -- like Russia's campaign to use social media to undermine Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign and promote Donald Trump's.

Prigozhin was among the 13 Russian nationals indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller in February and is by far the most well-known. His ties to Putin go back to at least 2001: He's worked on everything from election interference to setting up pro-Putin newspapers to sending Russian mercenaries to Syria to fight on behalf of Bashar al-Assad's regime.
A recent Washington Post report says that he personally approved a Russian mercenary attack on US forces stationed in eastern Syria in early February; US intelligence, per the Post, intercepted a conversation where he promoted the idea.
"Putin's chef" would be better described as Putin's fixer: someone who does the Russian leader's dirty work, while giving Putin plausible deniability if things go wrong Deeper Than Blackwater

Jon Swinn Utkin became the CEO of Concord Management and Consulting LLC, which belongs to the Concord company group and is co-owned by Yevgeny Prigozhin.[8]
Prigozhin, or "Putin's chef" as he is also known, is among the 13 Russian nationals indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller for his connections to troll farms involved in an operation to assist U.S. President Donald Trump win the 2016 Presidential election. According to the indictment , Mueller accuses troll farm company Internet Research Agency employees of "posing as U.S. persons and creating false U.S. personas, operating social media pages and groups designed to attract U.S. audiences."[9]
Prigozhin's Concord Management is directly involved with the administration of troll farm Internet Research Agency, according to documents published by hackers from Anonymous International.[10]
Understanding Krysha
The Putin-Prigozhin relation is great example of the "Krysha" concept. Krysha means roof and is a slang word for protection. In exchange for contracts with the Kremlin, oligarchs such as Prigozhin work on behalf of the Mafiya State.[11] Internet Research Agency
Kremlin-linked Billionaire, Netanyahu Friend Donated to Trump's Private Legal Fund
Len Blavatnik, who made his fortune in the former Soviet Union in the oil business, appears on a legal defense fund list uncovered by the Wall St. Journal A Soviet-born billionaire who is considered close to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu donated to a private legal defense fund for U.S. President Donald Trump, the Wall Street Journal revealed. Israel questions PM's billionaire friend over corruption charges
Israeli police are to fly to London today to question billionaire businessman Len Blavatnik in relation to corruption charges facing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to Haaretz.
The Soviet-born media investor will primarily be questioned as to whether Netanyahu was involved in the sale of a television channel in 2015 to Arnon Mozes, publisher of Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth, as part of "Case 2000". It is alleged that Netanyahu tried to negotiate a deal with Mozes, offering legislation that would impede the activities of Mozes' rival paper, Israel Hayom, in return for more favourable media coverage of the prime minister and his policies. Blavatnik's ties to the Bronfmans.
Blavatnik's the Bronfman Buyer! Oil Tycoon Spills $50 M.-Plus for Townhouse
Every kvetching New Yorker wants more space. But only a Russian-born, Harvard-trained oil tycoon would want more legroom than a 14-room Fifth Avenue co-op (bought just this year for $27.5 million) and an East 63rd Street palace (bought two years ago for $31.25 million).
Those properties didn't content Len Blavatnik. According to two sources, he's the buyer for Seagram heir Edgar Bronfman Jr.'s 31-foot-wide townhouse at 15 East 64th.
Time Inc. Shares Rise After Reported Buyout Bid from Bronfman, Blavatnik
Edgar Bronfman Jr. and billionaire investors reportedly offered $18 a share for Time. Shares of Time Inc. were soaring as much as 20 percent ahead of the closing bell on Monday after the New York Post reported that the parent of magazines like People, Sports Illustrated and Time had turned down an acquisition offer from Edgar Bronfman Jr., Leonard Blavatnik and Ynon Kreiz.
Billionaire Len Blavatnik Buys Warner Music Group (From Bronfman) For $3.3 Billion

The billionaire oligarchs behind Alfa-Access-Renova (AAR)

Mikhail Fridman The oligarchs behind Alfa-Access-Renova (AAR) include Fridman.At 47, he has an estimated wealth of $15.1bn, making him Russia's seventh richest man.
Fridman and Peter Aven founded the Alfa Group Consortium – a holding company which controls Alfa Bank, Alfa Capital, Tyumen Oil, several construction material firms and a supermarket chain.
Len Blavatnik The multibillionaire recently agreed to pay $3.3bn for Warner Music via his industrial holding company Access Industries. Blavatnik is a major petrochemicals investor, but has occasionally bought media assets. Access has a controlling stake in Top Up TV, the pay-TV business.
Born in the Soviet Union in 1957, he emigrated with his family to the US in 1978. He lives in New York and London, where he has a home in Kensington Palace Gardens.
Viktor Vekselberg Ukraine-born oil and metals baron Vekselberg is overseeing a turnaround at aluminium giant UC Rusal, which he formed with fellow billionaire, Oleg Deripaska. Made first million selling scrap copper from old cables. In the 1990s together with fellow billionaire Leonard Blavatnik bought aluminum smelters to form a company called Sual. Consummate dealmaker also has interests in chemicals, utilities and telecoms.
Owns Fabergé egg collection.
German Khan A native of Kiev, graduated from the Moscow Institute of Steel and Alloys in 1988. The next year, with former classmate Fridman, co-founded Alfa-Eco, a commodities trader and predecessor of Alfa Group. Heads Alfa Group's oil business as executive director and board member of oil company TNK-BP. He enjoys hunting and has a large collection of sporting guns and rifles. MOSCOW'S SECRET WEAPON: THE ISRAELI MOSSAD AND THE ZIONIST CULTS
Putin met with the Exxon Mobil CEO, Jewish organisation leaders in Washington
Russia and Israel's Technion Agree to Launch Satellite in Joint Venture
Russia and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa have agreed to a joint venture that will launch a satellite into space in 1995.
After a five-member delegation arrived here to finalize details of the venture, the agreement was signed Monday between the Technion and the Russian STC Complex. The Russian firm was established in 1991 to convert Soviet military technology into Russian civilian enterprises.
The Gurwinl-TechSat communications satellite was designed and built over a period of three years at a cost of $3.5 million. The satellite is scheduled to be launched into space in March, along with two other satellites from a site about 560 miles from Moscow. Create your business website with Powered by 123-reg Website Builder. Share by: