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Neoliberalism

The ideology that dare not speak it's name is actually a New, More Dangerous, Form of Corporatism. 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 elite with the explicit goal of milking the adherents

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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


Introduction

The terms Neoliberalism and Casino Capitalism are used interchangeably. They define the same phenomenon. The term "Casino Capitalism" stresses that neoliberalism glorifies stock market, promotes "financialization" of the economy and creates powerful incentives for financial speculation and excessive risk-taking on the part of the public ("Greed is good"). By a masterstroke of introducing 401K large part of the US population became stock owners are mercilessly fleeced by bog and small financial intermediaries. Mass ownership of stock 401K plans created stable rent rest for financial intermediaries, which increase in size and importance in the economy approximately 100 times. Add to this introduction of "gambling style" financial instruments such as derivatives, "naked" commodity futures (settled in dollars, not in product), currency speculations, intentional blowing of bubbles and even talking public "no-profit" Main Street entrepreneurs (dot-com crisis on 2000). That's why neoliberalism is also "casino capitalism" as markets, especially stock market play in it outsize role.

Like feudalism neoliberalism stipulate existence of three main classes (under feudalism they were aristocracy, merchants and serfs). simplifying we can defined them as billionaires, millionaires and the rest:

  1. "Inner party" members (aka the "New Class" -- neoliberal Nomenklatura similar to Busheviks nomenklatura. Inner party consists of mostly consists of billionaires and bought by them politicians. To the New Class the law "protects but does not apply." They are above the law like aristocracy was under feudalism. Catholic church and Clintons family is a good example here (Clinton cash, Bill Clinton sexapades, Hillary email scandal, etc). Other notable examples include McCain (member of Keating Five), Lloyd Blankfein (financial crash of 2018), and convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein (of Lolita Express fame) are another examples here. Amorality and criminality of the US neoliberal elite became a political issue in 2016 campaign (Podesta personality and so called Pizzagate conspiracy theory - Wikipedia; an alternative coverage is at PizzaGate Explained - YouTube; also pedophile scandal in Catholic church, in Great Britain and Scandinavian countries )

    Te "Inner Party" is dominated by financial oligarchs but several new groups are added to the elite as well. Among them are intelligence agencies brass (with intelligence agencies becoming the real political force, the core of the Deep State) and Silicon Valley moguls who are still short of becoming billionaires, but who run important companies (with top firms became interconnected with surveillance apparatus of the state and Wall Street) and top managers of multinationals and MIC.

  2. The upper 10% who represent the class of people who benefit form neoliberal globalization and on whom neoliberalism rely for its support and defense. Along with top 1% they are the group which income increased since 1980th, although in much lesser scale then for financial oligarchy. They consist of top level professionals (so called "creative class" in neoliberal New Speak): lawyers, sportsmen, programmers, doctors, engineers, actors, successful entrepreneurs, "lesser" politicians, MSM personalities, top journalists, scientists, university professors, upper military brass, etc.

    They can be tentatively called the class of millionaires as their net worth often exceeds one million dollars (in 2019 dollars). They also can be considered the upper middle class. The them law apply but with exceptions and sentences are usually very lenient. Here are the data for 2016 How Many Millionaires Are There in America Decamillionaires -DQYDJ

    We estimate that there are 14,814,453 millionaires in the United States. Our estimate puts the millionaire net worth goal at the 88.24% wealth bracket in the US in 2016, or 11.76% of all households.

  3. The bottom 90% of population so called deplorables. The income and standard of living of this group decreased under neoliberalism. Social security net (especially job security) evaporated. There is a definitely a switch to temporary and contract jobs in this segment, which make their situation even worse. Unemployment is running high with U6 measure above 10% most of the time. In other words they are the main loser of neoliberal globalization. Too them the law applies, but does not protect...

The key social goal of neoliberalism is redistribution of wealth up at the expense of the working class and lower middle class (the bottom 90% of population). It is political project designed to curb the power of labor (see Neoliberalism war on labor). So stagnation of wages and deterioration of the standard of living is not an aberration, but a key feature of neoliberalism. Suppression of wages is done under the false flag of austerity. Important for neoliberals sectors such as MIC (especially intelligence community), law enforcement, financial firm brass bonuses, and tax cuts for rich are not affected by austerity, only worker wages and social programs are.

The key social goal of neoliberalism is redistribution of wealth up. So stagnation of wages and deterioration of the standard of living is not an aberration, but a key feature of neoliberalism.

A new secular religion

Neoliberalism positions itself as a secular religion (which in its core is hostile to Christianity, much like Bolshevism) with the compliance enforced by the state. Somewhat similar God-Building trend in Marxism. For example, the prominent member of Bolsheviks Party Lunacharsky "saw Marxism as having religious components, including its faith in the inevitable victory of socialism."; according to Trotsky(1923) in some of the southern republics around 15% percent of party members were believers in Islam. Developing this insight Erich Voegelin’s on his controversial Political Religions (1938, see discussion at Stalinist Ritual and Belief System- Reflections on ‘Political Religion’) suggested that ideologies can function as secular religions.

For example, both national socialism and Bolshevism were deficient in terms of empirical evidence and had to be accepted on faith. The same is true for neoliberalism. The difference is that most of those movements generated a sense of devotion and mass mobilization with the emphasis of personal sacrifice, reminiscent of religious zeal. This is not the case for neoliberalism which adopted "inverted totalitarism" model

Like Stalinists which protected their narrow interpretation of Marxism from any challenges by power of the repressive apparatus of the state, neoliberals are people who believe that “the market does not and cannot take care of itself,” and indeed neoliberalism is a form of statism — one in which power of the state insulates the unregulated markets (and financial oligarchy which those markets enrich) from democratic attempts to regulate them, as well as from economic nationalism, which threatens neoliberal globalization..

Neoliberals are people who believe that “the market does not and cannot take care of itself,” and indeed neoliberalism is a form of statism — one in which power of the state insulates the unregulated markets (and financial oligarchy which those markets enrich) from democratic attempts to regulate them, as well as from economic nationalism which threatens neoliberal globalization.

At the center of this civic religion is the redefinition of the word "freedom" as freedom from any kind of coercion (compare with FDR four freedoms). That sophistry resonated very well within Americans and British people and became a "universal opener" using which neoliberal elite opens the door for any harmful for population actions/legislation, including but not limited to the restoration of the power of financial oligarchy. All in the name of freedom ;-). Dirty, but a very effective trick.

Those guys are real masters of deception and elevated it into the art form. In a way neoliberalism can be called the "religion of freedom," a coercive cult enforced by corrupt, deceitful elite with the explicit goal of milking the adherents. Neoliberal ideology is offering a closed, coherent belief system explaining the whole world via unverifiable and unsubstantiated by scientific testing system of dogmas, beliefs and rituals. Deification of markets is just slightly less fantastic then the idea of Paradise. Obviously, neoclassical economics is far removed from what is ordinarily regarded as valid scientific procedure. It is, essentially, a pseudo theory, a flavor of Lysenkoism, if you wish.

As core dogmas of neoliberalism are indefensible from scientific point of view if stated openly, neoliberalism has always been surrounded by an aura of secrecy and "esoteric teaching" (for elite only) which reminds Scientology. Even the name is suppressed in neoliberal MSM (US neoliberal MSMs rarely, if at all, mention this term "neoliberalism"; In UK the only exception is probably Guardian). To protect deplorables from discovering the ugly truth, elaborate pseudo theoretical smoke screen including mathiness was created. Exactly like in Marx famous quote "Religion is the opium of the people." This is actually the first instance when ideology conceived as a secular religion uses perverted mathematics (mathiness, Number racket) to justifies itself (I think Ancient Egypt priests might be the only analogy). As such this is a blatantly dishonest ideology. Like Bolshevism in the past, it also plays dirty tricks with the language in best 1994 style, creating neoliberal NewSpeak: compare for example how "economic freedom" is defined by neoliberals ("freedom of entrepreneurs and financial speculators from coercion and regulation") and how it was defined by FDR ("freedom [of working people and lower middle class] from want"). Indoctrination into "neoliberal newspeak" is done at the Universities using for brainwashing neoclassical economy and "business courses." Much like Soviet students were brainwashed with Marxism-Leninism and Marxist political economy. In both cases you can't graduate without passing mark for those courses. Again like Marxism neoliberalism is hostile to Christianity; some postulates of neoliberalism are closer to Judaism (entrepreneurs and financiers as a higher caste of the society, the inner party), some to Satanism.

Like Bolshevism neoliberalism is striving to rewrite history in the favorable light, or, even better, create conditions that people do not know the history at all. Neoliberalism even more then Bolshevism in the past is profoundly hostile to history. Which is actually a feature of all new cults. But the method neoliberalism uses is suppressing of education and coverage in MSM -- which is methods that characterize it as "inverted totalitarism". How many Us citizens know who Sheldon Wolin was? probably one in hundred or less. But most know who this corrupt stooge of financial oligarchy, "Chicago boy" Milton Friedman was because he is a saint of the church of neoliberalism. Or who was this plagiarist of Nietzschean philosophy, a Russia emigrant Ann Rand was?

Neoliberalism redistributes wealth up, justifying it with another key neoliberal myth -- the so called "trickle down economics" voodoo: the idea is that if the State directly helps the rich by redistributing wealth up, enforcing "market discipline", opening markets were they never existed (healthcare, education), as well as privatizing state assets, the poor will be better off as a by-product. Or as John Kenneth Galbraith quipped: “Trickle-down theory - the less than elegant metaphor that if one feeds the horse enough oats, some will pass through to the road for the sparrows.” In other words, neoliberalism is welfare for the top 1% or 0.1% of entrepreneurs and parasitic financial oligarchy (which state protects), and, at the same time, the "free market" jungle for the rest ("socialism for rich").

It is both an ideological assault, but also an economic assault on the power of labor (and especially organized labor) a political project to squash labor wages. On intuitive level neoliberalism emerged as the result of thinking like “We gotta crush labor, how do we do it?” And they found that neoliberalism can be a legitimizing theory for such a squash. Which again makes it similar to Bolshevism, which despite noble slogans kept working class wages at a very low level (which was noted by Orwell in his Animal Farm parable, and famous John Kenneth Galbraith quote "Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it's just the opposite")

And, again, like Bolshevism, this is a self-reassuring, self-gratifying and self-explanatory high demand cult -- a pretty sophisticated and very deceptive ideological rosy glasses, which creates (and then enforces on lemmings) a distorted image of reality. Important part of "reproduction" mechanism if this ideology is that it is deliberately propagated by neoliberal MSM and in neoliberal universities And neoliberal MSM (which are the only game in town in many countries now) as neoliberalism eliminated other forms of press via monopolization mechanism. In the USA lion share of MSM is owned by just six corporations. Along with domination in MSM, neoliberalism creates sophisticated and effective system of indoctrination of population which rivals the same under Bolsheviks in the USSR.

At the same time the cult of greed and denial of tenets of Christian morality like in case of Bolshevism tend to produce monsters. In the absence of a moral filter, as Martha Stout observed in her book The Sociopath Next Door (2006) "Politicians are more likely than people in the general population to be sociopaths... That a small minority of human beings literally have no conscience was and is a bitter pill for our society to swallow -- but it does explain a great many things, shamelessly deceitful political behavior being one." Recent information about child abuse among the neoliberal elite suggests that the proportion of sociopaths among neoliberal politicians is much higher that it was under the New Deal Capitalism. Such neoliberal politicians as Madeleine Albright, Bill Clinton (sexcapades , connection to Jeffrey Epstein's Lolita Express, "Clinton Cash" Scandal), Hillary Clinton ("We came, we saw, he died"), Dick "Vice" Cheney, Donald Trump might well be malignant narcissists. Discovery of pedophilia rings that involve politicians in several Western countries (such as Britain, Vatican, Norway ) is just another manifestation of the same trend: Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite. And this is not a bug, this is a feature of neoliberalism, connected with neoliberalism core value "personal gratification above everything else". There is no cure for the infiltration of malignant narcissists and outright sociopaths into high echelons of government until moral character is valued by the society and is once again assessed before key promotion decisions are made. Typical for narcissists megalomania, the idea that after the collapse of the USSR the USA can and should rule the globe was a decisive force in the USA foreign policy (which was at the core a neocon foreign policy) since 1990th and precipitates the current decline of the USA as the world power due to overextension typical for all empires.

The neoliberal state justifies its decisions, policies, and rules by deification of the markets and by perversion of the meaning of the term the "freedom". In this Hayek inspired sophistry the negative definition is used as in "freedom from coercion" and interpreted mainly in economic space ( as the freedom of unlimited enrichment of talented and/or ruthless entrepreneurs.) Compare with "Four Freedoms" definition used Roosevelt administration during the New Deal: "freedom from want" and "freedom from fear" are not included in neoliberal definition. Those freedoms are simply denied under neoliberalism for everybody, but the top 10% of population.

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

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

Like neofascism, neoliberalism radically transforms the "welfare state" which was created by the New Deal, prioritizing big corporations over common people. The idea of welfare that was the core of New Deal Capitalism is not completely abolished. But under neoliberalism only corporations are desirable welfare recipients and the bigger they are, the more handouts they suck up. But at the same time neoliberalism and neofascism are mortal enemies: neofascism is at its core a flavor of far right nationalism (cultural or ethnic), while neoliberalism is based on globalism. Only in imperial nations like the USA they can partially merge and intervene (Trump's national neoliberalism is one example).

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

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

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

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

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

Inverted Totalitarism

Recent spy scandals demonstrated that neoliberal elite (like financial oligarchy in general) is aware of the loss of power of neoliberal ideology and is afraid of losing power. They no longer fully believe in the power brainwashing of population (at least after 2008). Neoliberal ideology started losing its grip on the population, much like Marxism in the USSR in1960th.

So they switched to coercion innovating in this area too: by introducing so called "inverted totalitarism" template of social coercion. This term was instoruced by Professor Shedon Wolin in his famous book ( see kettering.org which provides an introduction tot he book for free).

This template updates Bolsheviks-style repressive mechanisms by relying more the power of intelligence agencies as an enforcement squad of neoliberal agenda and the power of MSM for brainwashing of the population. Dissidents are no longer jailed or killed; they allow them to linger in obscurity carefully "cutting the oxygen" -- and access to media for popularization of their ideas and money for a decent standard of living. You can be a dissident under neoliberalism but prepare to end your life in poverty. So the explicit censorship by the state used under Bolshevism isrepaced by a more several private censorship of MSM controlled by neoliberal oligarchs, who provided to be as good in this area if not better as Bolsheviks (six corporations in the USA control all major MSM).

This development reveals another (and pretty alarming) commonality with Bolshevism -- historically Cheka (OGPU/NKVD/KGB) played prominent, if not decisive, role in defending and ensuring the survival of Bolsheviks' regime. It was betrayal of KCB brass that doomed the USSR in late 1991 -- starting from Andropov they switched sides and started to propagate the conversion of the country to neoliberalism. This negative trend is amplified by appointment, "not so bright", deeply conformist "ladder climbers" as the heads of intelligence agencies. For example, Brennan and Clapper represent the same category of people as a typical Soviet bureaucrat -- a ruthless (and most often corrupt and amoral) careerist with limited intellectual capacities, but devoted to the defense of the ruling oligarchy. Such people understand very well from which side his bread is buttered. Neoliberalism operates differently and does not require, or support mobilization of population. That's why it is viewed by some political scientists as a new mutation of corporatism called "inverted totalitarism" (the term introduced by Sheldon Wolin in his magnificent book and further developed by Wendy Brown in her essay Neoliberalism and the end of liberal democracy and the book Undoing the Demos- Neoliberalism's Stealth Revolution (2017). Internet as a distributed and democratic system supports mobilization of population. It also makes more difficult to control information flow and free flow of information and existence of critical to neoliberalism websites which summarize and presents in readable form the available information is a threat to neoliberalism. Which, being a secular religion, flourished on ignorance and brainwashing. That's why there is systematic propaganda campaign to associate critics of neoliberalism with Russians (which were chosen as a very convenient scapegoat due to Cold War past). That's why neo-McCarthyism witch hunt was launched after Trump elections with such fierce force.

Like Bolsheviks neoliberals are statists par excellence, using state to enforce and support the neoliberal dogma. In other words, neoliberals believe that "the market does not and cannot take care of itself" In this sense we can view neoliberalism is a form of state enforced regulation -- one that insulates the markets from challenges of democratic forces (with the ideological smoke screen of neoclassical economy, which is pure sophistry) as well as from economic nationalism. The recent Deep State attack on Trump is typical, classic neoliberal reaction on such a challenge from economic nationalism.

While hypocritically shouting "free market", "free market"... neoliberals like Bolsheviks in the past conspire to achieve power via iether by deceiving electorate with "carrots" in regular election mechanism (which after they came to power is neutered ) or by stealth coup d'état (or regime change via color revolution in weaker countries, especially LA(Chile, Brasil, Argentina) and post Soviet republics (Baltic republics, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia) as well as infiltrating and subverting key institutions of the state via IMF and World Bank ("debt slavery") and, especially, intelligence agencies. CIA considered neoliberalism as a useful tool for thier "fight against communism" and was onboard with neoliberalism starting with Pinochet coup in Chile in 1973 done using fifth column of USA educated (read indoctrinated) "Chicago boys".

After coming to power neoliberals behave like Bolsheviks and openly and blatantly use government as an enforcer of their ideology. That includes bailing out financial oligarchy to prevent of meltdown of financial system during Minsky moments. Which are inevitable under neoliberalism as decimation of regulation (especially for financial sector) eliminated the negative feedback loop introduced by the New Deal, while financial institutions create a strong positive feedback loop in economics gradually sliding to more and more reckless behaviour as more time from the previous crisis elapses until the new financial crash hits them (and the socitry as whole) in the head ("stability is destabilizing" as quipped Minsky). At this point neoliberal state bails then our at the expense of ordinary taxpayers and traditional manufactures ("socialism for the financial oligarchy") who bare the main blunt of the crisis.

Trotskyism for the rich

Exaggerating threats to the USA sovereignty to cement the cracks in the neoliberal regime is also a page borrowed from the Stalinist period of the USSR. In the USSR people were accused being British spies. Now in the USA dissidents from neoliberal ideology (even such highly placed as Trump ;-) are, by definition, Russian intelligence service collaborators, or assets. This very useful for defenders of the neoliberal regime paranoia now extends even to contacts with the Ambassador of Russia by any US official which bring us to the set of behaviors at the peak of the USSR Great Terror. In a sense Mueller looks exactly like one of Stalin henchmen -- he tried to justify the view that is almost totally misguided, for the sake of defense of declining neoliberal ideology. Performing functions that are not that different from functions performed by the head of Gestapo or Stasi -- suppression of the political dissent to neoliberalism.

Like in the USSR for intelligence officials it is safer to flow with the neo-McCarthyism trend: the current atmosphere of paranoia makes it difficult for intelligence agencies to present the evidence that contradicts Russian spymania vision. The essence of which is identical to the vision of Stalinist Russia: that the USA is surrounded by two hostile powers (Russia and China) hell-bent on creating political crisis in the country and/or "regime change" and salivating to steal or dismantle the US global neoliberal empire. Which are engaged in stealing technological and military secrets.

Like Soviets, neoliberal policymakers are deeply troubled by the specter of the enemy at the gate, not realizing that the current social crisis in the USA is ultimately connected with the crisis of neoliberalism both as an ideology and the system of governance. Add to this faulty, ideologically distorted system of intelligence gathering and ruthless but intellectually second-rate careerists at the agencies (just look at Strzok, Brennan and Clapper). Like with the discovery of British spies in the USSR, the most obvious motive for Russiagate witch hunt is to cement cracks in neoliberal faced which appeared after 2008 by using for this purpose the external threat.

While many think about neoliberalism as "Ubercapitalism" or return to "Robber Barons" era on a new level, ideologically Neoliberalism is closer to Trotskyism ( and thus can be called Neo-Trotskyism ). It stresses the role of state as the enforcement power, the solidarity of neoliberal elite across the countries, with the dominant role of Anglo-Saxon elite. As well as the role of subversive methods and intelligence agencies in instituting the "regime change" (Trotskyite idea of permanent revolution mutated under neoliberalism into the idea of "permanent color revolution") . In the famous slogan "Proletarians of all countries, Unite!" neoliberalism substituted the word "proletarians" with the word "elites" (as in "Transnational elites, Unite!" ).

The slogan "All Power to [Workers] Councils" is replaced with "All power to financial oligarchy councils", and such clubs as Bilderberg Group, US Chamber of Commerce, Business Roundtable and similar organization are playing the role of hidden centers of power of the neoliberal regime.

Like Trotskyism neoliberalism in the ideology of "permanent expansion", ideology of neo-colonialism. The idea of "Permanent Revolution" was substituted with the idea of permanent "Color revolutions." Methods used remain a variation and enhancement of methods used by Trotskyites for destabilizing the government, with a special emphasis on use of the students, acquiring the control of mass media, implanting NGO (especially in the area various polls and "control over the legitimacy of elections". ) The latter is pretty nasty trick as people tend to believe the rumors that elections were hijacked. Stalin dictum: it does not matter how they vote, what matters is who is counting the votes is used here in a pretty innovative way. The neoliberal version sounds like: It does not matter how that vote, if elections are close all that matter is who is performing exit polls and cries louder about "irregularities" in the elections in the MSM.

Add to this various financial injection to "dissidents" via network of NGO and you get the picture. Caste of "professional revolutionaries" now consists of well-paid functionaries sitting in comfortable chairs in various, lavishly financed think tanks and NGO. In the USA they constitute the core of both parties which cares very little about the interest of rank-and-file members with "bait and switch" maneuver as the major tool for election success (Clinton, Bush, Obama, Trump). Marx is probably rolling in his grave.

Despite being a flavor of Trotskyism, Neoliberalism is still a very interesting, unique social system which by-and-large defeated and replaced both New Deal capitalism and various flavors of socialism (as well as facilitated the dissolution of the USSR by buying out Soviet nomenklatura, including KGB brass). It is the only social system in which the name of the system is somehow prohibited by MSM to mention. In this system, like under Stalin's version of socialism, the state play the leading role in enforcing the social system upon the people, brainwashing them with wall-to-wall 24 x 7 USSR-style propaganda an, if necessary, by state violence (As Sheldon Wolin mentioned neoliberalism tries to use violence selectively, as overuse of state violence undermines the social system, see Inverted Totalitarism).

Neoliberalism is the only social system in which the name of the system is prohibited (or at least suppressed) in MSM.

Like Bolshevism and national socialism neoliberalism lifted intelligence services into full fledged political player (which means that later stage of neoliberal state always evolves into the national security state). They also almost completely control the MSM , major commerce (Amazon), search (Google). and social sites (Facebook). For example, Google was created with the help of intelligence agencies at the initial state. Which means that the regime of total electronic surveillance, reminiscent of STASI is the "new normal" (see, Privacy is dead, get over it).

As we can see in color revolution launched by them against Trump (Trump is the proponent of a newer version of neoliberalism, which can be called "national neoliberalism" or "neocolonization instead of globalization") intelligence agencies now position themselves as "king makers" or Praetorian Guard that de-facto controls the election of the President of the USA. And the color revolution against Trump is not the isolated case when the USA intelligence agencies have gone rogue. It is just a step in natural evolution of neoliberalism and along with total surveillance is a "new normal".

Like Bolshevism and national socialism neoliberalism lifted intelligence services into full fledged political player,
no less important politically then judiciary, or legislative branch.

Instead of regulating predatory tendencies of capitalism like under New Deal, state under neoliberalism became just a corrupt policeman that serve interests of the large corporations and financial institutions (especially the latter) and, in most cases, at the expense of the standard of living of the common people. Standard of living of working class and lower middle class typically slides under neoliberalism (this fact is never accepted by neoliberals and hotly disputed).

Standard of living of working class and lower middle class typically slides under neoliberalism. In the USA this is the case since 1980th (this face is not accepted by neoliberals and hotly disputed). But this is a direct result of redistribution of wealth up, which is sine qua non of neoliberalism. Like Feudalism before neoliberalism promotes the notion of aristocracy masqueraded by the smoke screen on "creative class", but in essence consisting mainly of financial oligarchy, with substantial role of inheritance.

In this sense any neoliberal country is to a certain extent is an "occupied country", and the neoliberal regime is the occupying regime, much like Bolsheviks (with their theocratic state) were in USSR space. Or like the return on the new level to the Robber Barons era, when the state helped to squash West Virginia miner upraising in 1912-21 by military force.

Foreign policy under neoliberalism is marked by rampant militarism and constant wars for expanding of the global, USA-led neoliberal empire. Neocons dominate the USA foreign policy since early 70th (Chilean putsch and then Carter administration support of mujahedeen against Soviets).

Neoliberalism as an unstable social system with a strong built-in positive feedback loop;
the coming crisis and possible collapse of neoliberalism

Systems with a strong positive feedback loop are known to be unstable. So bailing out private institutions using public money (like happened in the US and Europe in 2008-2010) is not an aberration. but a quintessential feature of neoliberalism. And the crisis of 2008 which caused the regime of "secular stagnation" in Western societies will probably be repeated on a new level in 2020th (we can only guess about possible triggers; might the price of oil, or the size of derivatives market). Simplifying, we can call neoliberalism "Banks uber alles" regime.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Outsourcing and offshoring of manufacturing in the USA -- the citadel of neoliberalism led to epidemic of opiod abuse similar to epidemic of alcoholism among workers in the late USSR. Among the more than 72,000 drug overdose deaths estimated in 2017, the sharpest increase occurred among deaths related to fentanyl and fentanyl analogs (synthetic opioids) with nearly 30,000 overdose deaths ( Overdose Death Rates National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) (

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

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

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

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

Like all other social systems neoliberalism evolved with time ( much like Bolshevism evolved from Leninism to Stalinism, then to Brezhnev's socialism and at last to Gorbachov "perestroika" ). Recently in the USA it morphed into "national neoliberalism" (neoliberalism that stresses the colonial model and direct economic and military pressure of vassals, instead of treaties based globalization model used in "classic" neoliberalism) which has uncanny similarities with "national socialism". This flavor was not well accepted by the current US neoliberal elite and attempts to stage the color revolution against Trump followed (Russiagate).

In various countries it can morph into quite different "regimes", despite the common "market fundamentalism" core. The simplest and pretty precise way to define is to view it as "socialism for the rich, feudalism for the poor" or, more correctly "Trotskyism for the rich" ("Elites of all countries unite !" instead of “Proletarians of all countries, Unite! ...). It is "socialism for the upper strata of population and corporations, especially transnationals". It favors professionals (programmers, lawyers, doctors, university professors, etc), upper level managers and capital owners, so this social system acts inn the interests of top 10% of population, with the special emphasis on interests of top 1% or even 01%. For the rest of population it serves austerity as the only available dish.

In this sense neoliberals are as "internationalists" as communists were at their time, and may be even more (the term "globalism" is commonly used instead of "internationalism".) And like "Communist International", the "Neoliberal International" accepts the elite from any country, but only a very narrow strata of the elite and only on a certain conditions, with the leading role reserved for the USA elite and a part of G7 elite. Much like in Comintern the role of Moscow as a leader was something that can't be even discussed. Only taken for granted. Although spying capabilities of "Neoliberal International" via "five eyes" are tremendously more powerful then the rudimentary capabilities of Comintern. And the technology of staging "color revolutions" is more polished then Trotskyite approach to staging proletarian revolutions.

As a proverb say "One is a bad student, if he can't exceed the level of his teacher". Or "The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires" (William Arthur Ward). Neoliberals proved to be a very good students of Trotskyite method of subversion of elected governments, as many of them were actually former Trotskyites.

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

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

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

The papers Nancy MacLean discovered show that Buchanan saw stealth as crucial. He told his collaborators that “conspiratorial secrecy is at all times essential”.

Instead of revealing their ultimate destination, they would proceed by incremental steps. For example, in seeking to destroy the social security system, they would claim to be saving it, arguing that it would fail without a series of radical “reforms”...

Gradually they would build a [well-paid] “counter-intelligentsia”, allied to a “vast network of political power” that would become the new establishment.

The control of MSM is another idea borrowed from Bolsheviks. Like Bolshevism, neoliberalism created it's own Neoliberal newspeak and a set of myths ("greed is good", "invisible hand", "the efficient markets hypothesis", "rational expectations scam", Shareholder value scam, supply side voodoo aka "rising tide lifts all boats", etc).

In "neoliberal newspeak" the term "freedom" is used as the excuse for ripping down public protections on behalf of the very rich. For example, "free market" means the market free from any coercion by the state (read "free from regulations") which makes it the corporate jungle where the most powerful corporation dictate the rules of the game and eat alive small fish with complete impunity. In no way neoliberal "free market" is fair. Actually neoliberals try to avoid to discuss the issue of farness of the market. This is anathema for them. As such neoliberalism has distinct Social Darwinism flavor and enforces scapegoating and victimization of poor and unemployed

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

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

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

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

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

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

Neoliberalism in Depth

This is the end of the introduction. Due to the size the main article was moved to a separate page -- Neoliberalism in depth


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(Research materials to the paper Neoliberalism: an Introduction)

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[Jul 22, 2019] Neoliberals cosmopolitans

Jul 22, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

somebody , Jul 22 2019 7:55 utc | 113

Trumpism turns elitist .
On the final night of this past week's National Conservatism Conference, Senator Josh Hawley -- a graduate of Stanford and Yale and a former instructor at an English private school -- warned the attendees gathered in the ballroom of the Ritz-Carlton in downtown Washington, D.C., about the threat of élite cosmopolitanism. "The politics of those left and right have been informed by a political consensus that reflects the interests not of the American middle but of a powerful upper class and their cosmopolitan priorities," he intoned. "This class lives in the United States, but they identify as citizens of the world. They run businesses or oversee universities here, but their primary loyalty is to the global community, and they subscribe to a set of values held by similar élites in other places." He went on to name those values: "The importance of global integration and the danger of national loyalties; the priority of social change over tradition, career over community and achievement and merit and progress. Call it the cosmopolitan consensus."
"Let us be candid," she concluded. "Europe and the first world, to which the United States belongs, remain mostly white for now, and the third world, although mixed, contains a lot of nonwhite people. Embracing cultural-distance nationalism means, in effect, taking the position that our country will be better off with more whites and fewer nonwhites. Well, that is the result, anyway. So, even if our immigration philosophy is grounded firmly in cultural concerns, it doesn't rely on race at all. And, no matter how many times we repeat the mantra that correlation is not causation, these racial dimensions are enough to spook conservatives."

[Jul 22, 2019] Wehret den Anf ngen

Jul 22, 2019 | jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com

"To reduce a complex argument to its bare bones, since the Depression, the twin forces of managed democracy and Superpower have opened the way for something new under the sun: 'inverted totalitarianism,' a form every bit as totalistic as the classical version but one based on internalized co-optation, the appearance of freedom, political disengagement rather than mass mobilization, and relying more on "private media" than on public agencies to disseminate propaganda that reinforces the official version of events.

It is inverted because it does not require the use of coercion, police power and a messianic ideology as in the Nazi, Fascist and Stalinist versions (although note that the United States has the highest percentage of its citizens in prison -- 751 per 100,000 people -- of any nation on Earth). According to Wolin, inverted totalitarianism has 'emerged imperceptibly, unpremeditatedly, and in seeming unbroken continuity with the nation's political traditions.'

The main objectives of managed democracy are to increase the profits of large corporations, dismantle the institutions of social democracy (Social Security, unions, welfare, public health services, public housing and so forth), and roll back the social and political ideals of the New Deal. Its primary tool is privatization [and deregulation].

Chalmers Johnson, Inverted Totalitarianism: A New Way of Understanding How the U.S. Is Controlled

"Thus the elements are in place: a weak legislative body, a legal system that is both compliant and repressive, a party system in which one (I would in 2019 now say either) party, whether in opposition or in the majority, is bent upon reconstituting the existing system so as to permanently favor a ruling class of the wealthy, the well-connected and the corporate, while leaving the poorer citizens with a sense of helplessness and political despair, and, at the same time, keeping the middle classes dangling between fear of unemployment and expectations of fantastic rewards once the new economy recovers.

That scheme is abetted by a sycophantic and increasingly concentrated media; by the integration of universities with their corporate benefactors; by a propaganda machine institutionalized in well-funded think tanks and conservative foundations; by the increasingly closer cooperation between local police and national law enforcement agencies aimed at identifying terrorists, suspicious aliens and domestic dissidents."

Sheldon Wolin, Inverted Totalitarianism

"The truth is that we were so spiritually and morally bankrupt that we could not even see some of those lines: we stepped over them blindly. Other times we saw the lines alright, but we wanted to cross them... It wasn't God who was dead. We were."

Ray A., Practice These Principles

"Oh where is the noble face of modesty, or the strength of virtue, now that blasphemy is in power and men have put justice behind them, and there is no law but lawlessness, and none act with fear of the gods?"

Euripides, Iphigenia in Aulis

"Religion used to be the opium of the people. To those suffering humiliation, pain, illness, and serfdom, religion promised the reward of an after life.
But now we are witnessing a transformation: a true opium of the people is the belief in nothingness after death, the huge solace, the huge comfort of thinking that for our betrayals, our greed, our cowardice, our murders, that we are not going to be judged."

Czeslaw Milosz, The Discreet Charm of Nihilism

[Jul 22, 2019] All Hail Europe's Permanent Ruling Class

Notable quotes:
"... That said, Germany's military readiness directly relates to the invasion threat from Russia Europe actually faces. I.e., ZERO. Washington should take note but of course it won't because there is no money in it for the American Merchants of Death. And the Generals inside the Pentagon just have too much fun fear-mongering about illusory existential enemies. ..."
"... As Politico recently reported, "an investigative committee of the German parliament -- the toughest instrument that lawmakers can use to probe government misdeeds -- is digging into how lucrative contracts from her ministry were awarded to outside consultants without proper oversight ..."
"... Yet another U.S. mirror image. Because that is exactly how inside baseball works in the Pentagon acquisition system. von der Leyen as a European Hack is no worse than the Washington / Pentagon Hacks on the other side of the Atlantic. Note, MIC lifer and Raytheon parasite Mark Esper currently sitting in the Big Seat in the Pentagon. You can be sure that DoD reform is way down on his bucket list. ..."
Jul 22, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Meet Ursula von der Leyen, the new president-elect of the European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union.

Like all those soon to occupy positions of power in the EU, von der Leyen did not run in the recent European elections for the position she is about to hold. She did not participate in the debates in front of various national electorates. But she was chosen -- after the elections -- by the political class in Brussels, ostensibly for her faith in and loyalty to the European superstate, and personally to the German chancellor Angela Merkel.

Since 2013, von der Leyen has been the German defense minister. During that time, a parliamentary report exposed German planes that can't fly and guns that don't shoot. Fewer than a fifth of Germany's helicopters are combat ready. Luftwaffe revealed that most of its 128 Typhoon jets were not ready to leave ground. All of Germany's six submarines were out of commission.

Another report by the Rand Corporation , a think tank, revealed that it would take Germany a month to mobilize in the case of a Russian invasion of the Baltic States. Von der Leyen is very unpopular in the German army , but very popular with the Eurocrats. She's a fervent supporter of a European army and a "United States of Europe" -- the ultimate qualification for being president of the European Commission.

But there is more to the von der Leyen story. As Politico recently reported , "an investigative committee of the German parliament -- the toughest instrument that lawmakers can use to probe government misdeeds -- is digging into how lucrative contracts from her ministry were awarded to outside consultants without proper oversight, and whether a network of informal personal connections facilitated those deals."

The scent of corruption is a common element among those who are to hold key positions in the European Union over the next few years. Josep Borrell, minister of foreign affairs for the socialist government of Spain, was fined 30,000 euros for insider trading. He is expected to hold the foreign policy post in the European Commission.

Christine Lagarde, most recently chief of the IMF, was involved in the case of an arbitration panel that awarded a massive payout to a French tycoon while she was the finance minister of France. A special court for ministerial misconduct found her guilty of "negligence" but "waived any punishment or criminal record, citing her 'international reputation' and role in dealing with 'the international financial crisis.'" A marvelously L'état, C'est Moi form of legal reasoning. Lagarde is expected to be the next president of the European Central Bank.

The common threads of corruption, incompetence, and lack of accountability are what unites a political class that has divorced itself from the concerns of the average European. In the last days before her confirmation, von der Leyen pursued a charm offensive that included a commitment to a "Green New Deal," a continuation of an open borders policy , and a further deepening and enlargement of the European superstate. This included the story of her having offered hospitality to a Syrian immigrant who "now speaks German fluently."

Emmanuel Macron: Trade Wars for Me, But Not for Thee Voters in Europe Just Smashed the Mainstream Establishment

Obviously von der Leyen would never have won the May elections running on an agenda like that. But of course, she never had to run a campaign to win the votes of the peoples of Europe. The campaign that she did run was premised on her having built "an extensive international network in politics and business," as another Politico story put it .

Von der Leyen thrived in the networking atmosphere of World Economic Forum meetings, where she "serves on the organization's board of trustees," Politico noted, adding, "She's also forged close ties to powerful figures outside the world of politics, most notably Bertelsmann, Europe's largest media company, which owns RTL, the Continent's largest commercial broadcaster, book publisher Random House and a stable of magazines."

A senior Green quoted for the article said her fluency in French has helped her establish a rapport with the French political class that is unrivaled in Berlin.

It's clear that von der Leyen's domestic record appears to have had little effect on her election -- what matters is that she is universally liked by the who's who. "What matters most in these circles is the personal connection," said an adviser to the leader of one of the EU's smaller member states.

Those who count and those who are to be ruled are not the same group of people. That seems to be the essence of modern European politics: a political class and ideological cult that masquerades as a competent technocratic elite, despite its long and disastrous history. Von der Leyen's terrible record as defense minister meant nothing. Neither did Lagarde's record as head of the IMF, where, for instance, the Greek debt crisis was transformed into a social catastrophe. The deciding factor was their dedication to something that "those who count" are committed to. Elections are merely a necessary, archaic ritual of legitimization.

Napoleon Linarthatos is a writer based in New York.


Parrhesia 10 hours ago

On Monday 22 July 1940, a major meeting was held at the Reich Economic Ministry in Berlin, under the chairmanship of Minister Walther Funk, to discuss a directive issued by Hermann Göring on 22 June, concerning the organization of a Greater European Economic Area under German leadership. The Germans were well advanced with their plans for a post-war settlement. One of the difficulties of planning lay in the fact that the Führer's aims and decisions were not yet known and the military measures against Britain were not yet concluded.

Plus ça change........

Lars 10 hours ago
What? A techno-managerial clique ruling the rest of us Great Unwashed (see "Deplorables")? It couldn't happen here, could it? It's OK if they went to the right schools, isn't it?
genocidal_maniac 10 hours ago
Too much use if the word disastrous. Disastrous is what Wilhelm II did to the German empire. This is not disastrous, but it is concerning like a rudderless ship.
Salt Lick 7 hours ago
Today's Holy Roman Empire.

Voltaire's comment back then still rings true."It was neither Holy, Roman nor an Empire."

Sid Finster 7 hours ago
Don't be asinine. Russia is not going to invade anything and has no claim on any part of western Europe. The only thing the German military is good for is for sucking up additional budgetary funds.
SteveM 6 hours ago
Another report by the Rand Corporation, a think tank, revealed that it would take Germany a month to mobilize in the case of a Russian invasion of the Baltic States.

For the sake of completeness, the Rand Corporation is actually a marketing arm of the Pentagon fully funded by the U.S. government.

That said, Germany's military readiness directly relates to the invasion threat from Russia Europe actually faces. I.e., ZERO. Washington should take note but of course it won't because there is no money in it for the American Merchants of Death. And the Generals inside the Pentagon just have too much fun fear-mongering about illusory existential enemies.

Of course that does not dismiss the charges of cronyism and corruption associated with Ursula von der Leyen. But re:

But there is more to the von der Leyen story. As Politico recently reported, "an investigative committee of the German parliament -- the toughest instrument that lawmakers can use to probe government misdeeds -- is digging into how lucrative contracts from her ministry were awarded to outside consultants without proper oversight , and whether a network of informal personal connections facilitated those deals."

Yet another U.S. mirror image. Because that is exactly how inside baseball works in the Pentagon acquisition system. von der Leyen as a European Hack is no worse than the Washington / Pentagon Hacks on the other side of the Atlantic. Note, MIC lifer and Raytheon parasite Mark Esper currently sitting in the Big Seat in the Pentagon. You can be sure that DoD reform is way down on his bucket list.

The real story is that taxpayers on both NATO poles are played for chumps by the Power Elites.

[Jul 22, 2019] Someone very kindly posted a link to an article in a San Fran newspaper which reveals the astonishing stupidity of the campaign against the mural which, of course, has nothing, really to do with artistic merit and is all about preserving hypocrisies

Jul 22, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

bevin , Jul 22 2019 12:41 utc | 132

Russ,
1/Only last week the House of Representatives passed a motion calling on the Federal Government to investigate the possibility that Lyme Disease arose after a biowarfare experiment led to the accidental release of infected ticks into the wild.

2/ Re the mural. Someone very kindly posted a link to an article in a San Fran newspaper which reveals the astonishing stupidity of the campaign against the mural which, of course, has nothing, really to do with artistic merit and is all about preserving hypocrisies.

The notion that First Nations descendants ought to be protected from depictions of the genocide practised against their race is American Hypocrisy of the first water. Ditto the idea that Black people should not be made to endure reminders that their ancestors (or those who did not rape slaves) were kidnapped and enslaved.

It is amazing that those insisting that the murals have the merit of depicting historical realities, too often swept under carpets, are elderly white bigots is idiotic.
3/

On the subject of American Culture see 2 above- from those pretending that Epstein's involvement in prostitution is inexplicable, to those arguing that Venezuela is being attacked and an attempt to install a white dictatorship mounted in order to bring democracy to the country's poor people, to the ID politicos in San Fran who have been responsible, through the politicians they have supported for racist incarceration policies, decades of bloody war and the lowering of living standards and life expectancy throughout the USA-all is Hypocrisy, lies socially imposed.

[Jul 22, 2019] Us culture as eternal now

Jul 22, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

William Gruff , Jul 22 2019 11:23 utc | 122

Russ @107

Of course America has nothing that could be compared with culture in many other parts of the world. Anything that could provide the present with historical context is erased, bulldozed, or painted over. Even the remaking of "classic" movies is done in part to separate people's sense of the present from America's past. What America has in place of culture is an eternal now , with the past being ephemeral and contingent upon the needs of the narratives of the moment. Iconic American food culture is just ground and pureed mystery protein and carbonated corn syrup water. The consumer doesn't want to know where those come from, and ten minutes after consuming them they have largely forgotten the experience.

Since the Apollo missions are in the news lately I will point out that we should expect an effort in the not too distant future similar to what we are seeing in San Francisco to erase the reality of that part of America's history. After all, the Apollo astronauts were all white men, and that is traumatizing for the feeble-minded neolibs.

But you know, it isn't a bad thing to want to try to develop genuine and historically anchored culture.

[Jul 22, 2019] Perhaps the most immediately effective strategy for effecting a realignment of the global economy, ending the US pursuit of global military hegemony and the other planet threatening practices of the US and Western plutocracy would be for other countries to follow the historical precedent set by the United States in its Lend Lease dealings with Great Britain as detailed in Hudson's Super Imperialism >

Notable quotes:
"... Hudson may be hinting at this with his de-dollarization strategy suggest of "Deprivatization and buyouts of US assets abroad." ..."
Jul 22, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Steven , July 22, 2019 at 10:35 am

Perhaps the most immediately effective strategy for effecting a realignment of the global economy, ending the US pursuit of global military hegemony and the other planet threatening practices of the US and Western plutocracy would be for other countries to follow the historical precedent set by the United States in its Lend Lease dealings with Great Britain as detailed in Hudson's Super Imperialism :

Britain was near the end of its financial tether. Its gold and dollar reserves had fallen to $1 billion by September 1940, when it nationalized the overseas investments of its large corporations and put them up for sale abroad. (p. 119)

(I am assuming Britain didn't do this voluntarily.) Hudson may be hinting at this with his de-dollarization strategy suggest of "Deprivatization and buyouts of US assets abroad."

This would expose the whole rotten edifice of Western finance capitalism, perhaps provoking a dangerous planet suicidal response. But one or two shots over the bow would be far more effective in curbing the wealth addiction and predatory propensities of the West's plutocracy than Trump's tariffs.

It would also provide the Western money worshipping public with a powerful lesson they need a better definition of wealth than the price of stocks.

[Jul 22, 2019] War Profiteers And The Demise Of The US Military-Industrial Complex

Jul 22, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Dmitry Orlov via Club Orlov blog,

Within the vast bureaucratic sprawl of the Pentagon there is a group in charge of monitoring the general state of the military-industrial complex and its continued ability to fulfill the requirements of the national defense strategy. Office for acquisition and sustainment and office for industrial policy spends some $100,000 a year producing an Annual Report to Congress. It is available to the general public. It is even available to the general public in Russia, and Russian experts had a really good time poring over it.

In fact, it filled them with optimism. You see, Russia wants peace but the US seems to want war and keeps making threatening gestures against a longish list of countries that refuse to do its bidding or simply don't share its "universal values." But now it turns out that threats (and the increasingly toothless economic sanctions) are pretty much all that the US is still capable of dishing out -- this in spite of absolutely astronomical levels of defense spending.

Let's see what the US military-industrial complex looks like through a Russian lens.

It is important to note that the report's authors were not aiming to force legislators to finance some specific project. This makes it more valuable than numerous other sources, whose authors' main objective was to belly up to the federal feeding trough, and which therefore tend to be light on facts and heavy on hype. No doubt, politics still played a part in how various details are portrayed, but there seems to be a limit to the number of problems its authors can airbrush out of the picture and still do a reasonable job in analyzing the situation and in formulating their recommendations.

What knocked Russian analysis over with a feather is the fact that these INDPOL experts (who, like the rest of the US DOD, love acronyms) evaluate the US military-industrial complex from a market-based perspective! You see, the Russian military-industrial complex is fully owned by the Russian government and works exclusively in its interests; anything else would be considered treason. But the US military-industrial complex is evaluated based on its profitability! According to INDPOL, it must not only produce products for the military but also acquire market share in the global weapons trade and, perhaps most importantly, maximize profitability for private investors. By this standard, it is doing well: for 2017 the gross margin (EBITDA) for US defense contractors ranged from 15 to 17%, and some subcontractors - Transdigm, for example - managed to deliver no less than 42-45%. "Ah!" cry the Russian experts, "We've found the problem! The Americans have legalized war profiteering !" (This, by the way, is but one of many instances of something called systemic corruption, which is rife in the US.)

It would be one thing if each defense contractor simply took its cut off the top, but instead there is an entire food chain of defense contractors, all of which are legally required, no less, to maximize profits for their shareholders. More than 28,000 companies are involved, but the actual first-tier defense contractors with which the Pentagon places 2/3 of all defense contracts are just the Big Six: Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, General Dynmics, BAE Systems and Boeing. All the other companies are organized into a pyramid of subcontractors with five levels of hierarchy, and at each level they do their best to milk the tier above them.

The insistence on market-based methods and the requirement of maximizing profitability turns out to be incompatible with defense spending on a very basic level: defense spending is intermittent and cyclical, with long fallow intervals between major orders. This has forced even the Big Six to make cuts to their defense-directed departments in favor of expanding civilian production. Also, in spite of the huge size of the US defense budget, it is of finite size (there being just one planet to blow up), as is the global weapons market. Since, in a market economy, every company faces the choice of grow or get bought out, this has precipitated scores of mergers and acquisitions, resulting in a highly consolidated marketplace with a few major players in each space.

As a result, in most spaces, of which the report's authors discuss 17, including the Navy, land forces, air force, electronics, nuclear weapons, space technology and so on, at least a third of the time the Pentagon has a choice of exactly one contractor for any given contract, causing quality and timeliness to suffer and driving up prices.

In a number of cases, in spite of its industrial and financial might, the Pentagon has encountered insoluble problems. Specifically, it turns out that the US has only one shipyard left that is capable of building nuclear aircraft carriers (at all, that is; the USS Gerald Ford is not exactly a success). That is Northrop Grumman Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport, Virginia. In theory, it could work on three ships in parallel, but two of the slips are permanently occupied by existing aircraft carriers that require maintenance. This is not a unique case: the number of shipyards capable of building nuclear submarines, destroyers and other types of vessels is also exactly one. Thus, in case of a protracted conflict with a serious adversary in which a significant portion of the US Navy has been sunk, ships will be impossible to replace within any reasonable amount of time.

The situation is somewhat better with regard to aircraft manufacturing. The plants that exist can produce 40 planes a month and could produce 130 a month if pressed. On the other hand, the situation with tanks and artillery is absolutely dismal. According to this report, the US has completely lost the competency for building the new generation of tanks. It is no longer even a question of missing plant and equipment; in the US, a second generation of engineers who have never designed a tank is currently going into retirement. Their replacements have no one to learn from and only know about modern tanks from movies and video games. As far as artillery, there is just one remaining production line in the US that can produce barrels larger than 40mm; it is fully booked up and would be unable to ramp up production in case of war. The contractor is unwilling to expand production without the Pentagon guaranteeing at least 45% utilization, since that would be unprofitable.

The situation is similar for the entire list of areas; it is better for dual-use technologies that can be sourced from civilian companies and significantly worse for highly specialized ones. Unit cost for every type of military equipment goes up year after year while the volumes being acquired continuously trend lower -- sometimes all the way to zero. Over the past 15 years the US hasn't acquired a single new tank. They keep modernizing the old ones, but at a rate that's no higher than 100 a year.

Because of all these tendencies and trends, the defense industry continues to lose not only qualified personnel but also the very ability to perform the work. INDPOL experts estimate that the deficit in machine tools has reached 27%. Over the past quarter-century the US has stopped manufacturing a wide variety of manufacturing equipment. Only half of these tools can be imported from allies or friendly nations; for the rest, there is just one source: China. They analyzed the supply chains for 600 of the most important types of weapons and found that a third of them have breaks in them while another third have completely broken down. In the Pentagon's five-tier subcontractor pyramid, component manufacturers are almost always relegated to the bottommost tier, and the notices they issue when they terminate production or shut down completely tend to drown in the Pentagon's bureaucratic swamp.

The end result of all this is that theoretically the Pentagon is still capable of doing small production runs of weapons to compensate for ongoing losses in localized, low-intensity conflicts during a general time of peace, but even today this is at the extreme end of its capabilities. In case of a serious conflict with any well-armed nation, all it will be able to rely on is the existing stockpile of ordnance and spare parts, which will be quickly depleted.

A similar situation prevails in the area of rare earth elements and other materials for producing electronics. At the moment, the accumulated stockpile of these supplies needed for producing missiles and space technology -- most importantly, satellites -- is sufficient for five years at the current rate of use.

The report specifically calls out the dire situation in the area of strategic nuclear weapons. Almost all the technology for communications, targeting, trajectory calculations and arming of the ICBM warheads was developed in the 1960s and 70s. To this day, data is loaded from 5-inch floppy diskettes, which were last mass-produced 15 years ago. There are no replacements for them and the people who designed them are busy pushing up daisies. The choice is between buying tiny production runs of all the consumables at an extravagant expense and developing from scratch the entire land-based strategic triad component at the cost of three annual Pentagon budgets.

There are lots of specific problems in each area described in the report, but the main one is loss of competence among technical and engineering staff caused by a low level of orders for replacements or for new product development. The situation is such that promising new theoretical developments coming out of research centers such as DARPA cannot be realized given the present set of technical competencies. For a number of key specializations there are fewer than three dozen trained, experienced specialists.

This situation is expected to continue to deteriorate, with the number of personnel employed in the defense sector declining 11-16% over the next decade, mainly due to a shortage of young candidates qualified to replace those who are retiring. A specific example: development work on the F-35 is nearing completion and there won't be a need to develop a new jet fighter until 2035-2040; in the meantime, the personnel who were involved in its development will be idled and their level of competence will deteriorate.

Although at the moment the US still leads the world in defense spending ($610 billion of $1.7 trillion in 2017, which is roughly 36% of all the military spending on the planet) the US economy is no longer able to support the entire technology pyramid even in a time of relative peace and prosperity. On paper the US still looks like a leader in military technology, but the foundations of its military supremacy have eroded. Results of this are plainly visible:

All of this points to the fact that the US is no longer much a military power at all. This is good news for at least the following four reasons.

First, the US is by far the most belligerent country on Earth, having invaded scores of nations and continuing to occupy many of them. The fact that it can't fight any more means that opportunities for peace are bound to increase.

Second, once the news sinks in that the Pentagon is nothing more than a flush toilet for public funds its funding will be cut off and the population of the US might see the money that is currently fattening up war profiteers being spent on some roads and bridges, although it's looking far more likely that it will all go into paying interest expense on federal debt (while supplies last).

Third, US politicians will lose the ability to keep the populace in a state of permanent anxiety about "national security." In fact, the US has "natural security" -- two oceans -- and doesn't need much national defense at all (provided it keeps to itself and doesn't try to make trouble for others). The Canadians aren't going to invade, and while the southern border does need some guarding, that can be taken care of at the state/county level by some good ol' boys using weapons and ammo they already happen to have on hand. Once this $1.7 trillion "national defense" monkey is off their backs, ordinary American citizens will be able to work less, play more and feel less aggressive, anxious, depressed and paranoid.

Last but not least, it will be wonderful to see the war profiteers reduced to scraping under sofa cushions for loose change. All that the US military has been able to produce for a long time now is misery, the technical term for which is "humanitarian disaster." Look at the aftermath of US military involvement in Serbia/Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen, and what do you see? You see misery -- both for the locals and for US citizens who lost their family members, had their limbs blown off, or are now suffering from PTSD or brain injury. It would be only fair if that misery were to circle back to those who had profited from it.

Tags War Conflict

[Jul 22, 2019] T>here's a fundamental difference between debt in the past and debt today. In the past debt was owed to the state, today it's owed to some wealthy corporations. Good luck with debt jubilees in the absence of violent uprisings.

Notable quotes:
"... As Mael Colium says, the US picks off individual countries by isolating them. ..."
"... there's a fundamental difference between debt in the past and debt today. In the past debt was owed to the state, today it's owed to some wealthy corporations. Good luck with debt jubilees in the absence of violent uprisings. ..."
"... The difference is they internalize profit and externalize cost. And that's fundamentally different from all other epochs in the past. Even the birth of nation state was out of their rationalization of how to maximize profit extraction and cost externalization in the 1st place. Good luck with debt jubilees. ..."
"... How would this occur aside from a repudiation of the almighty buck one wonders, and would it be based on reserves in the vault, or actual use as money? ..."
"... The Eurozone and China could run trade deficits, thereby creating an opportunity for their currencies to become reasonably viable alternative reserves. But they don't because they don't want to cede control of their manufacturing and export-driven economic bases away. ..."
"... The sine qua non of our economic empire (which I learned here) is that a global currency requires global trade deficits, which must grow as quickly as the global economy to fulfill its role. ..."
"... So American deficits are structural. Our debt-ceiling controversies are theater. And our dollar is exceptional until the instant it isn't–then the Fed electron-tranfers trillions more to the speculators whose notional dollars just evaporated, keeping the currencies in the air with their new casino chips. Is this a loan? A gift? An electron cloud? It's the fog of war by other means . . . ..."
"... Resources and the critical health of the planet bother me a lot. Money and "gold" are, in the end, both fictitious obsessions. ..."
"... You'll find few authors willing to provide their seminal work for free online– 2nd Edition PDF . I think it fair for those unfamiliar with Hudson's work to read his analysis prior to being judgmental. ..."
Jul 22, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

"On a similar note, I've wondered why Russia has not defaulted on it's considerable USD and EUR debt (also too, why is Russia still doing debt in USD and thus strengthening U.S.?)"

It should be noted that Russia has almost zero foreign public debt and that the private foreign debt has been much reduced and now amounts to US dollars 450 billion.

As Russia has a surplus of more than US dollars 100 billion on the current account the total foreign debt amounts to 4 years current account surplus only.

Ad to this that Russias international currency reserves amounts to ca. US dollars 500 billion which meens that Russia is in a very strong fiscal position as it is capable of paying off its entire foreign debt any time it chooses.


Ian Perkins , July 21, 2019 at 9:16 am

Along the same lines, the summary starts with, "The first existential objective is to avoid the current threat of war by winding down U.S. military interference in foreign countries and removing U.S. military bases as relics of neocolonialism."

Either would be taken as proof of evil anti-US intentions, leading to sanctions, coups, assassinations, regime change, and eventually outright war. As Mael Colium says, the US picks off individual countries by isolating them.

Off The Street , July 21, 2019 at 9:19 am

Peripherally related MMT 2nd of 3 articles

jsn , July 21, 2019 at 11:50 am

When we have MMT paying for arts, history, journalism and particularly editors, I won't be so irritated by these kinds of criticisms.

We live in a very advanced world of Bernaysian propaganda where the communicative industries are privately owned and directed to ensure deep criticisms of the hyper-exploitative current reality CANNOT be published and promoted.

When someone takes the effort to produce something, like this or the book other commenters on this thread are also slighting, at great personal expense to themselves without corporate backing or institutional support, a decent reply would be "Thank you!", rather than tasking them or our hosts here at this site to "go back and clean up this mess??"

If you had any decency, you might suggest clarifying edits in comments, like changing "– so that it can taxing its own citizens." at the end of the 23rd paragraph to, "– so that it can avoid taxing its own citizens", to help the people you are criticizing for making things so difficult for you.

Jonathan Holland Becnel , July 21, 2019 at 1:43 pm

Michael Hudson is a modern day Saint! Who cares about a few typos when his ideas are truly REVOLUTIONARY!

For example, i had no idea about Debt Jubilees in early civilizations 3000 years ago! The pyramids built by FREE MEN! Liberty and Freedom originating from canceling debts! Torches and Beacons of light as representatives of said Debt Jubilees!

If you ask me, the #HudsonHawk is trying to awaken the Workers of the World in Forgiveness, Peace, Love, and Solidarity.

HUDSON 2024

softie , July 21, 2019 at 3:27 pm

I didn't know that until I read anthropologist David Graeber's Debt: The First 5,000 Years.

But there's a fundamental difference between debt in the past and debt today. In the past debt was owed to the state, today it's owed to some wealthy corporations. Good luck with debt jubilees in the absence of violent uprisings.

Kurtismayfield , July 21, 2019 at 5:20 pm

And those corporations get favorable rates on money printed by the government.. and the government backs trillions in mortgage and student loans.

Not much different.

softie , July 21, 2019 at 10:22 pm

The difference is they internalize profit and externalize cost. And that's fundamentally different from all other epochs in the past. Even the birth of nation state was out of their rationalization of how to maximize profit extraction and cost externalization in the 1st place. Good luck with debt jubilees.

Wukchumni , July 21, 2019 at 10:15 am

That is why Russia, China and other powers that U.S. strategists deem to be strategic rivals and enemies are looking to restore gold's role as the preferred asset to settle payments imbalances.

How would this occur aside from a repudiation of the almighty buck one wonders, and would it be based on reserves in the vault, or actual use as money?

Keep in mind that there isn't a human alive now who ever proffered a monetized gold coin in order to purchase something, and increasingly relatively few that have ever used a monetized silver coin for the same purpose.

Clive , July 21, 2019 at 10:44 am

I don't have a huge amount of sympathy. The Eurozone and China could run trade deficits, thereby creating an opportunity for their currencies to become reasonably viable alternative reserves. But they don't because they don't want to cede control of their manufacturing and export-driven economic bases away.

The US doesn't mind and doesn't care about the domestic repercussions. For how much longer that can continue, especially as Trump's America First policy is putting that under some strain, is an open question. But for now, it's willing to be satisfied with a little rowing back rather than wholesale reversal (back to, for example, an immediate-post war position of significant trade surpluses although the article is correct to point out this was due to the US being the last man standing, in terms of having a manufacturing base still intact).

The Eurozone and China are not only not showing any signs of a policy change, they've continued embedding and strengthening the current modus operandi. You pays your money, you takes your choices. Here as elsewhere. If they'd rather not have the US$ having a more-or-less monopoly position in then global financial system as a reserve currency, they'll need to make the compromises needed to set up these challenger currencies as viable alternatives.

But they can't have their economic cakes and eat them, too.

And it's not just currencies. You need legal systems which are deemed to be (which can only come through real, observational experience) investor-friendly -- not just prone to supporting or at the very least given an easy ride to domestic stalwarts. Again, this has repercussions if you then have to stop cosseting domestic "champions". The US legal system is ridiculously business friendly. But it doesn't, overtly, differentiate between US and non-US companies in a commercial dispute.

barefoot charley , July 21, 2019 at 11:31 am

The sine qua non of our economic empire (which I learned here) is that a global currency requires global trade deficits, which must grow as quickly as the global economy to fulfill its role. Tell that to Germany! If your silly little euro or yen or renminbi tries to go global, the dollar-based currency speculators will shrivel it like Soros did the pound in the 90s.

So American deficits are structural. Our debt-ceiling controversies are theater. And our dollar is exceptional until the instant it isn't–then the Fed electron-tranfers trillions more to the speculators whose notional dollars just evaporated, keeping the currencies in the air with their new casino chips. Is this a loan? A gift? An electron cloud? It's the fog of war by other means . . .

It may have been Hudson who explained that a quarter (or was it half?) of all corporate profits after WWII went to American companies, when our economy was that much of the world's. Now we're a much smaller fraction of the global economy, but our corporate sector still profits as much as it did when it was producing, rather than marketing, real goods. Another exceptional achievement.

Summer , July 21, 2019 at 1:20 pm

Really all we know is that such a plan would create a different order. That so many countries have continued to pauper their populations long after the obviousness that "development" is a sham doesn't bode well for their intentions even after the USA is brought to heel.

hunkerdown , July 22, 2019 at 5:20 am

Agreed. The likes of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership are still under negotiation and still, like every other multilateral investment agreement of recent vintage, apparently primarily concerned with creating supranational rights for landlords, especially of the absentee variety, at the expense of citizens in their collective capacity.

Susan the other` , July 21, 2019 at 2:30 pm

This is a good summary of our irrational world. MMT and the GND can save the situation but only if we industrialized humans forego any more fossil fuels except for long-term survival purposes. Ration it with draconian discipline. That in turn will discipline our military and turn our energies to things we can no longer ignore. Money doesn't bother me much. Resources and the critical health of the planet bother me a lot. Money and "gold" are, in the end, both fictitious obsessions.

karlof1 , July 21, 2019 at 4:56 pm

Thanks for providing this transcript prior to Hudson posting it to his own website. He was the first political-economist to lay out the Outlaw US Empire's game plan when he published Super Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire in 1972.

You'll find few authors willing to provide their seminal work for free online– 2nd Edition PDF . I think it fair for those unfamiliar with Hudson's work to read his analysis prior to being judgmental.

[Jul 22, 2019] Michael Hudson pointed out in Super Imperialism how the US can run a big trade deficit as it can just print dollars to cover it.

Jul 22, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Sound of the Suburbs , July 22, 2019 at 7:57 am

This is the US (46.30 mins.)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ba8XdDqZ-Jg

This comes from an MMT talk and you can see how the trade deficit balloons around 2000.

Michael Hudson pointed out in Super Imperialism how the US can run a big trade deficit as it can just print dollars to cover it.

Putting the two together.

It looks like the system used to work by allowing the Government deficit to cover the trade deficit.

Now, they have tried to balance the Government budget causing problems for the private sector and financial crises.

It all sums to zero and something needs to cover that trade deficit.

It worked when the Government deficit covered it, but not now.

[Jul 22, 2019] July 22, 2019 at 3:58 am

Jul 22, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

"On a similar note, I've wondered why Russia has not defaulted on it's considerable USD and EUR debt (also too, why is Russia still doing debt in USD and thus strengthening U.S.?)"
It should be noted that Russia has almost zero foreign public debt and that the private foreign debt has been much reduced and now amounts to US dollars 450 billion.

As Russia has a surplus of more than US dollars 100 billion on the current account the total foreign debt amounts to 4 years current account surplus only.

Ad to this that Russias international currency reserves amounts to ca. US dollars 500 billion which meens that Russia is in a very strong fiscal position as it is capable of paying off its entire foreign debt any time it chooses.

Reply

Ian Perkins , July 21, 2019 at 9:16 am

Along the same lines, the summary starts with, "The first existential objective is to avoid the current threat of war by winding down U.S. military interference in foreign countries and removing U.S. military bases as relics of neocolonialism." Either would be taken as proof of evil anti-US intentions, leading to sanctions, coups, assassinations, regime change, and eventually outright war. As Mael Colium says, the US picks off individual countries by isolating them.

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Off The Street , July 21, 2019 at 9:19 am

Peripherally related MMT 2nd of 3 articles

[Jul 22, 2019] When the music stops, in terms of liquidity, things will be complicated

Jul 22, 2019 | jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com

"When the music stops, in terms of liquidity, things will be complicated. But as long as the music is playing, you've got to get up and dance. We're still dancing,"

Chuck Prince, CEO Citigroup, July 9, 2007

[Jul 22, 2019] A baited banker

Jul 22, 2019 | jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com

"A baited banker thus desponds,
From his own hand foresees his fall,
They have his soul, who have his bonds;
'Tis like the writing on the wall.

How will the caitiff wretch be scared,
When first he finds himself awake
At the last trumpet, unprepared,
And all his grand account to make!

For in that universal call,
Few bankers will to heaven be mounters;
They'll cry, 'Ye shops, upon us fall!
Conceal and cover us, ye counters!'

When other hands the scales shall hold,
And they, in men's and angels' sight
Produced with all their bills and gold,
'Weigh'd in the balance and found light!'

Jonathan Swift, A Run Upon the Bankers

[Jul 22, 2019] I found out that the average dollar that actually was invested abroad by oil companies was recaptured by the US economy within 18 months. The payback period was that fast.

Notable quotes:
"... I thought all these foreign countries were international." He explained that "international" means countries that are not really countries. They're Liberia and Panama, countries that only use the US dollar, not their own currency. So the oil industry doesn't have a currency risk. They are flags of convenience and they don't have any income tax. ..."
"... He explained to me that Standard Oil sold its oil at a very low price from the Near East to Liberia or Panama or Lagos, or wherever they have a flag of convenience and no income tax. Then they would sell it at a very high price to its refineries in Europe and America, at such a high price that these "downstream" affiliates don't make any income. So there's no tax to pay. ..."
"... Standard Oil and other U.S. oil companies – and also mining companies – don't earn an income there, because they sell it so low, all the profits are reported to be taken in Liberia or Panama. These are non-countries. ..."
"... Here is a report. I'm from the State Department (I assumed that this meant CIA). "We want to calculate how much money the US could get if we set up bank branches and became the bank for all the criminal capital in the world." He said, "We figured out we can finance, (and he said this in an elevator), we can finance the Vietnam War with all the drug money coming into America, all of the criminal money. Can you make a calculation of how much that might be?" ..."
"... I found that the entire US balance of payments deficit in the 1960s, since the Vietnam War, the entire balance of payments deficit was military spending abroad. The private sector's trade and investment was exactly in balance; tourism, trade and investment were exactly in balance. All the deficit was military. ..."
"... Mr. Barsanti said that McNamara said that Arthur Andersen would never get another government contract if it published my report. ..."
"... There were three people, known as the Columbia Group, saying the Vietnam War was going to destroy the American monetary system as we know it. The group was composed of Terence McCarthy, my mentor; Seymour Melman, a professor at Columbia University's School of Industrial Engineering where Terence also taught; and myself. We would basically go around the New York City giving speeches. ..."
Jul 22, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

mauisurfer , July 21, 2019 at 6:33 pm

Re: Michael Hudson, SuperImperialism

Here is a recent interview where MH reviews his book.

https://michael-hudson.com/2019/06/food-blackmail-the-washington-consensus-and-freedom/

And here is a wonderful autobiographical article

https://michael-hudson.com/2018/08/life-thought-an-autobiography/

a quote (hope it is not too long for you)

I worked at Chase Manhattan until 1967, then finally I had to quit to finish the dissertation. I spent a year on that. At Chase I had become the specialist in the oil industry's balance of payments. When the Vietnam War began and escalated, President Johnson in January 1965, right after I joined the bank in December 1964, passed the voluntary – in reality, compulsory – foreign investment rules blocking American companies from investing more than 5% of the growth of the previous year's investment. The oil industry objected to that. They came to David Rockefeller and said we've got to convince the government that we're ripping off other countries so fast, we're able to exploit them so rapidly, that it really helps the US balance of payments to let us continue investing more abroad. Can you help us show this statistically?

So David Rockefeller asked me to do a study of the balance of payments of the oil industry. Rockefeller said, "We don't want to have Chase's oil and gas department do it, because they would be thought of as lobbyists. Nobody knows who you are, so you're neutral. We want to know what the real facts are, and if they're what we think they are, we'll publish what you write; if we don't like it we'll keep it to ourselves, but please just give us the facts." He said, "You can ask the oil companies all the questions you want. They will fill out the forms you design for a statistical accounting format. We'll give you a year to write it all up." To me this was wonderful. Oil was the key sector internationally. It turned out I found out that the average dollar that actually was invested abroad by oil companies was recaptured by the US economy within 18 months. The payback period was that fast.

The report that I wrote was put on the desk of every senator and every representative in the United States and I was celebrated for being the economist of the oil industry. So this taught me everything about the balance of payments which, as I said, is a topic that's not taught in any university. So I finished that, finished the dissertation, and then I developed a methodology for the overall US balance of payments. Most of the balance of payment statistics were changed when they designed the gross national product accounts. The accounts now treat exports and imports as if they were paid for fully for cash. So if you make a million dollars worth of grain exports, you are assumed to bring a million dollars into the economy. And if you export a million dollars of arms, of military, it all comes back.

What I found out is that only a portion actually of exports actually comes back. And imports have an even lower balance-of-payment costs as compared to their nominal valuation. For instance, all of America's oil imports are from American oil companies, so if you pay a hundred dollars for oil, maybe thirty dollars of that is profit, thirty dollars is compensation to American management, thirty dollars is the use of American exports to physical equipment, oil drilling equipment and others to produce the oil.

The closest people that I worked with for the study were at the Standard Oil Company, which was always very close to the Rockefellers, as you know. So I went over the statistics and I said, "In the balance of payments, I can't find where Standard Oil makes the profit. Does it make the profit by producing oil at the production end? Or does it make it selling it at the gas stations, at the retail sales end?" The treasurer of Standard Oil said, "Ah I can tell you where we make them. We make them right here in my office." I asked how. "What countries could I find this in? I don't find it in Europe, I don't find it in Asia, I don't find it in Latin America or Africa." He said, "Ah, do you see at the very end of the geography headings for international earnings, there's something called international?"

I said, "Yes that always confused me. Where is it? I thought all these foreign countries were international." He explained that "international" means countries that are not really countries. They're Liberia and Panama, countries that only use the US dollar, not their own currency. So the oil industry doesn't have a currency risk. They are flags of convenience and they don't have any income tax.

He explained to me that Standard Oil sold its oil at a very low price from the Near East to Liberia or Panama or Lagos, or wherever they have a flag of convenience and no income tax. Then they would sell it at a very high price to its refineries in Europe and America, at such a high price that these "downstream" affiliates don't make any income. So there's no tax to pay. For all US oil investment in Europe, there's no tax to pay because the oil companies' accountants price it so high, and pay so little per barrel to third world countries such as Saudi Arabia, that they only get a royalty. Standard Oil and other U.S. oil companies – and also mining companies – don't earn an income there, because they sell it so low, all the profits are reported to be taken in Liberia or Panama. These are non-countries.

That gave me the clue about what people these days talk about money laundering. In the last few months that I worked for Chase Manhattan in 1967, I was going up to my office on the ninth floor and a man got on the elevator and said, "I was just coming to your office, Michael. Here is a report. I'm from the State Department (I assumed that this meant CIA). "We want to calculate how much money the US could get if we set up bank branches and became the bank for all the criminal capital in the world." He said, "We figured out we can finance, (and he said this in an elevator), we can finance the Vietnam War with all the drug money coming into America, all of the criminal money. Can you make a calculation of how much that might be?"

So I spent three months figuring out how much money goes to Switzerland, from drug dealings, what's the dollar volume of drug dealings. They helped me with all sorts of statistics on that, and said, "We can become the criminal capital of the world and it'll finance the dollar and this will enable us to afford the spending to defeat communism in Vietnam and elsewhere. If we don't do that, the bomb throwers will come to New York."

So I became a specialist in money laundering! Nothing could have better prepared me to understand how the global economy works! I had all the statistics, I had the help of the government people explaining to me how the CIA worked with drug dealing and other criminals and kidnappers to raise the money so it would be off the balance sheet funding and Congress didn't have to approve it when they would kill people and sponsor revolutions. They were completely open with me about this. I realized they'd never done a security check on me.

So I wanted to do a study of the balance of payments of the whole United States. I went to work for Arthur Andersen, which was at that time was one of the Big Five accounting firms in the United States. Later it was convicted of fraud when it got involved in the Enron scandal and was closed down. But I was working before the other people went to jail, before they closed down Arthur Andersen. So I spent a year applying my balance of payments analysis to the US balance of payments. When I finally finished, I found that the entire US balance of payments deficit in the 1960s, since the Vietnam War, the entire balance of payments deficit was military spending abroad. The private sector's trade and investment was exactly in balance; tourism, trade and investment were exactly in balance. All the deficit was military.

So I turned in my statistics. My boss Mr. Barsanti, came in to me three days later and he said, "I'm afraid we have to fire you." I asked, "What happened?" He said, "Well, we sent it to Robert McNamara." (who was the Secretary of Defense and then became an even more dangerous person with the World Bank, which probably is more dangerous to the world than the American military. But that's another story). Mr. Barsanti said that McNamara said that Arthur Andersen would never get another government contract if it published my report.

In all of the Pentagon Papers that later came out of McNamara's regime, there's no discussion at all of the balance-of-payments cost of the Vietnam War. This is what was driving America off gold. At Chase Manhattan from 1964 until I left, every Friday the Federal Reserve would come out with its goal, its weekly statistics. We could trace the gold stock. Everybody was talking about General de Gaulle cashing in the gold, because Vietnam was a French colony and the American soldiers and army would have to use French banks, the dollars would go to France and de Gaulle would cash it in for gold.

Well, Germany actually was cashing in more gold than de Gaulle, but they didn't make speeches about it. So I could see that the war spending was going to drive America off gold. There were three people, known as the Columbia Group, saying the Vietnam War was going to destroy the American monetary system as we know it. The group was composed of Terence McCarthy, my mentor; Seymour Melman, a professor at Columbia University's School of Industrial Engineering where Terence also taught; and myself. We would basically go around the New York City giving speeches.

[Jul 21, 2019] I've Had Many Strange Experiences In My Life - Inside Epstein's 'Honey Trap' On E 71st Street

Notable quotes:
"... The golden boy of Manhattan and Palm Beach society now sits in a grim jail cell accused of having sex with underage girls. He's been doing this in plain view since the early 1990's but, until recently, he seemed bullet-proof. ..."
"... More important than indelicacy, as an old observer of intelligence affairs, to me this offer reeked of ye old honey trap , a tactic to ensnare and blackmail people that was old when Babylon was young. A discreet room with massage table, lubricants and, no doubt, cameras stood ready off the main lobby . ..."
"... Besides sexual frolics, Epstein and Maxwell were up to many odd things. The FBI found diamonds, cash and a fake passport when raiding his mansion and documents showing his net worth at $559,120,954.00. The IRS tax people will be eager to review the sources of this income. ..."
"... It seems likely that political influence was brought to bear on then US attorney Alexander Acosta (he just resigned under fire last week) to make a sweetheart deal with Epstein, who had been charged by Florida with child molestation. Epstein got off with a token, 13-month jail sentence that allowed him to work from his office much of the day. ..."
"... Were Trump or Clinton involved? How much did they "party" with Epstein and revel in his fleshmart? There was talk of some sort of "intelligence" angle to the affaire Epstein that spared him a harsh sentence. ..."
"... A respected former CIA official, Phil Giraldi has come right out and accused Epstein of being an Israeli agent of influence. ..."
"... To Giraldi and this writer, the Epstein "massage" operation was a classic intelligence operation designed to blackmail men of influence into doing Israel's bidding. Clinton had reportedly already fallen into this trap years earlier while still president. ..."
"... Trump is a Mafia punk, protege of Roy Cohn, dead of AIDS in 1986. Only the brain dead would believe Trump is the lamb in this orgy. As for Epstein being a Mossad asset, probably. As for the CIA & NSA not knowing, absolutely impossible! This operation was most probably overseen, if not created, by the CIA, with NSA help, and tit bits handed to Mossad for European and ME operations. ..."
"... Trump was likely warned about Epstein by his mobster mentors/friends from the start. No doubt Trump did tell his buddy Epstein to keep that **** out of his properties, who wouldn't? ..."
"... Clinton knew as well but never gave a crap because He and HRC were probably protected CIA assets extending back to the AR drug smuggling days. ..."
"... Because it is a strange business, costing lots of money and achieving ..... what exactly? Ah ...., national security -- ain't that nice!! ..."
"... Anyone taking bets that Epstein will not live to tell all his tales? He probably has two years because he cannot be removed before all the excitement's died down but removed he will be. ..."
Jul 21, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

"I've Had Many Strange Experiences In My Life" - Inside Epstein's 'Honey Trap' On E 71st Street

Authored by Eric Margolis via EricMargolis.com

I've had many strange experiences in my decades of covering intelligence affairs. These run from being invited to KGB HQ in Moscow, Chinese intelligence in Beijing, US intelligence in Virginia, Libyan intelligence in Tripoli, South African intelligence, and even Albanian intelligence in Tirana.

But none was odder than the day I was invited to lunch in New York City with the by now notorious figure Jeffrey Epstein. The golden boy of Manhattan and Palm Beach society now sits in a grim jail cell accused of having sex with underage girls. He's been doing this in plain view since the early 1990's but, until recently, he seemed bullet-proof.

​Soon after I walked into the entrance of Epstein's mansion on E 71st Street, said to be the city's largest private home, a butler asked me, "would you like an intimate massage, sir, by a pretty young girl?" This offer seemed so out of place and weird to me that I swiftly declined .

More important than indelicacy, as an old observer of intelligence affairs, to me this offer reeked of ye old honey trap , a tactic to ensnare and blackmail people that was old when Babylon was young. A discreet room with massage table, lubricants and, no doubt, cameras stood ready off the main lobby .

I had arrived with Canada's leading lady journalist who was then close to Epstein's sometime girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell and, it was said, procuress – something Maxwell denies. Bizarrely, Maxwell believed that I could get KGB Moscow Center to release satellite photos that showed the murder on his yacht of her father, the press baron Robert Maxwell, who was a well-known double agent for Israel and KGB, and a major criminal.

Also present was the self-promoting lawyer, Alan Dershowitz, who had saved the accused murderer Claus von Bulow, as well as a titan of the New York real estate industry (not Trump) and assorted bigwigs of the city's elite Jewish society. All sang the praises of Israel.

Epstein reportedly had ties to Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, Britain's Prince Andrew and repeatedly flew them about in his private jet, aka "the Lolita Express." All guests deny any sexual activity. I turned down dinner with Prince Andrew.

Epstein's residence in Manhattan and Palm Beach, both of which I visited, were stocked with young female "masseuses." All were working class girls making big money in their spare time. I did not see any interactions between these girls and the guests.

Epstein and Maxwell became too big for their britches. They flaunted their sexual adventures and laughed at New York society. Everyone wondered about the source of Epstein's lavish income but no one knew its origins. He claimed to be an exclusive money manager for a group of secretive millionaires. But the only one identified was billionaire Leslie Wexner, the owner of L Brands and Victoria's Secret. Wexner denied any knowledge of Epstein's alleged crimes.

Besides sexual frolics, Epstein and Maxwell were up to many odd things. The FBI found diamonds, cash and a fake passport when raiding his mansion and documents showing his net worth at $559,120,954.00. The IRS tax people will be eager to review the sources of this income.

It seems likely that political influence was brought to bear on then US attorney Alexander Acosta (he just resigned under fire last week) to make a sweetheart deal with Epstein, who had been charged by Florida with child molestation. Epstein got off with a token, 13-month jail sentence that allowed him to work from his office much of the day.

Were Trump or Clinton involved? How much did they "party" with Epstein and revel in his fleshmart? There was talk of some sort of "intelligence" angle to the affaire Epstein that spared him a harsh sentence.

A respected former CIA official, Phil Giraldi has come right out and accused Epstein of being an Israeli agent of influence. Epstein was let off with a slap on the wrist on his first child abuse charge, says Giraldi, because of his powerful Israel connections.

To Giraldi and this writer, the Epstein "massage" operation was a classic intelligence operation designed to blackmail men of influence into doing Israel's bidding. Clinton had reportedly already fallen into this trap years earlier while still president.

Now watch this stinking pile of corruption be hurriedly covered up. Talk about draining the swamp.


ChaoKrungThep , 29 minutes ago link

Trump is a Mafia punk, protege of Roy Cohn, dead of AIDS in 1986. Only the brain dead would believe Trump is the lamb in this orgy. As for Epstein being a Mossad asset, probably. As for the CIA & NSA not knowing, absolutely impossible! This operation was most probably overseen, if not created, by the CIA, with NSA help, and tit bits handed to Mossad for European and ME operations.

Uh oh Speggeti-oh , 14 minutes ago link

Trump was likely warned about Epstein by his mobster mentors/friends from the start. No doubt Trump did tell his buddy Epstein to keep that **** out of his properties, who wouldn't? 'Don't **** where I eat'. Clinton knew as well but never gave a crap because He and HRC were probably protected CIA assets extending back to the AR drug smuggling days.

Yog Soggoth , 43 minutes ago link

'I've had many strange experiences in my decades of covering intelligence affairs." So have many is my answer.

uhland62 , 24 minutes ago link

Because it is a strange business, costing lots of money and achieving ..... what exactly? Ah ...., national security -- ain't that nice!!

Anyone taking bets that Epstein will not live to tell all his tales? He probably has two years because he cannot be removed before all the excitement's died down but removed he will be.

[Jul 21, 2019] Michael Hudson U.S. Economic Warfare and Likely Foreign Defenses naked capitalism

Jul 21, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

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https://c.deployads.com/sync?f=html&s=2343&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nakedcapitalism.com%2F2019%2F07%2Fmichael-hudson-u-s-economic-warfare-and-likely-foreign-defenses.html <img src="http://b.scorecardresearch.com/p?c1=2&c2=16807273&cv=2.0&cj=1" /> By Michael Hudson, a research professor of Economics at University of Missouri, Kansas City, and a research associate at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College. His latest book is "and forgive them their debts": Lending, Foreclosure and Redemption from Bronze Age Finance to the Jubilee Year Keynote paper delivered at the 14th Forum of the World Association for Political Economy, July 21, 2019

Today's world is at war on many fronts. The rules of international law and order put in place toward the end of World War II are being broken by U.S. foreign policy escalating its confrontation with countries that refrain from giving its companies control of their economic surpluses. Countries that do not give the United States control their oil and financial sectors or privatize their key sectors are being isolated by the United States imposing trade sanctions and unilateral tariffs giving special advantages to U.S. producers in violation of free trade agreements with European, Asian and other countries.

This global fracture has an increasingly military cast. U.S. officials justify tariffs and import quotas illegal under WTO rules on "national security" grounds, claiming that the United States can do whatever it wants as the world's "exceptional" nation. U.S. officials explain that this means that their nation is not obliged to adhere to international agreements or even to its own treaties and promises. This allegedly sovereign right to ignore on its international agreements was made explicit after Bill Clinton and his Secretary of State Madeline Albright broke the promise by President George Bush and Secretary of State James Baker that NATO would not expand eastward after 1991. ("You didn't get it in writing," was the U.S. response to the verbal agreements that were made.)

Likewise, the Trump administration repudiated the multilateral Iranian nuclear agreement signed by the Obama administration, and is escalating warfare with its proxy armies in the Near East. U.S. politicians are waging a New Cold War against Russia, China, Iran, and oil-exporting countries that the United States is seeking to isolate if cannot control their governments, central bank and foreign diplomacy.

The international framework that originally seemed equitable was pro-U.S. from the outset. In 1945 this was seen as a natural result of the fact that the U.S. economy was the least war-damaged and held by far most of the world's monetary gold. Still, the postwar trade and financial framework was ostensibly set up on fair and equitable international principles. Other countries were expected to recover and grow, creating diplomatic, financial and trade parity with each other.

But the past decade has seen U.S. diplomacy become one-sided in turning the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, SWIFT bank-clearing system and world trade into an asymmetrically exploitative system. This unilateral U.S.-centered array of institutions is coming to be widely seen not only as unfair, but as blocking the progress of other countries whose growth and prosperity is seen by U.S. foreign policy as a threat to unilateral U.S. hegemony. What began as an ostensibly international order to promote peaceful prosperity has turned increasingly into an extension of U.S. nationalism, predatory rent-extraction and a more dangerous military confrontation.

Deterioration of international diplomacy into a more nakedly explicit pro-U.S. financial, trade and military aggression was implicit in the way in which economic diplomacy was shaped when the United Nations, IMF and World Bank were shaped mainly by U.S. economic strategists. Their economic belligerence is driving countries to withdraw from the global financial and trade order that has been turned into a New Cold War vehicle to impose unilateral U.S. hegemony. Nationalistic reactions are consolidating into new economic and political alliances from Europe to Asia.

We are still mired in the Oil War that escalated in 2003 with the invasion of Iraq, which quickly spread to Libya and Syria. American foreign policy has long been based largely on control of oil. This has led the United States to oppose the Paris accords to stem global warming. Its aim is to give U.S. officials the power to impose energy sanctions forcing other countries to "freeze in the dark" if they do not follow U.S. leadership.

To expand its oil monopoly, America is pressuring Europe to oppose the Nordstream II gas pipeline from Russia, claiming that this would make Germany and other countries dependent on Russia instead of on U.S. liquified natural gas (LNG). Likewise, American oil diplomacy has imposed unilateral sanctions against Iranian oil exports, until such time as a regime change opens up that country's oil reserves to U.S., French, British and other allied oil majors.

U.S. control of dollarized money and credit is critical to this hegemony. As Congressman Brad Sherman of Los Angeles told a House Financial Services Committee hearing on May 9, 2019: "An awful lot of our international power comes from the fact that the U.S. dollar is the standard unit of international finance and transactions. Clearing through the New York Fed is critical for major oil and other transactions. It is the announced purpose of the supporters of cryptocurrency to take that power away from us, to put us in a position where the most significant sanctions we have against Iran, for example, would become irrelevant."[1]

The U.S. aim is to keep the dollar as the transactions currency for world trade, savings, central bank reserves and international lending. This monopoly status enables the U.S. Treasury and State Department to disrupt the financial payments system and trade for countries with which the United States is at economic or outright military war.

Russian President Vladimir Putin quickly responded by describing how "the degeneration of the universalist globalization model [is] turning into a parody, a caricature of itself, where common international rules are replaced with the laws of one country."[2]That is the trajectory on which this deterioration of formerly open international trade and finance is now moving. It has been building up for a decade. On June 5, 2009, then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev cited this same disruptive U.S. dynamic at work in the wake of the U.S. junk mortgage and bank fraud crisis.

Those whose job it was to forecast events were not ready for the depth of the crisis and turned out to be too rigid, unwieldy and slow in their response. The international financial organisations – and I think we need to state this up front and not try to hide it – were not up to their responsibilities, as has been said quite unambiguously at a number of major international events such as the two recent G20 summits of the world's largest economies.

Furthermore, we have had confirmation that our pre-crisis analysis of global economic trends and the global economic system were correct. The artificially maintained uni-polar system and preservation of monopolies in key global economic sectors are root causes of the crisis. One big centre of consumption, financed by a growing deficit, and thus growing debts, one formerly strong reserve currency, and one dominant system of assessing assets and risks – these are all factors that led to an overall drop in the quality of regulation and the economic justification of assessments made, including assessments of macroeconomic policy. As a result, there was no avoiding a global crisis.[3]

That crisis is what is now causing today's break in global trade and payments.

Warfare on Many Fronts, with Dollarization Being the Main Arena

Dissolution of the Soviet Union 1991 did not bring the disarmament that was widely expected. U.S. leadership celebrated the Soviet demise as signaling the end of foreign opposition to U.S.-sponsored neoliberalism and even as the End of History. NATO expanded to encircle Russia and sponsored "color revolutions" from Georgia to Ukraine, while carving up former Yugoslavia into small statelets. American diplomacy created a foreign legion of Wahabi fundamentalists from Afghanistan to Iran, Iraq, Syria and Libya in support of Saudi Arabian extremism and Israeli expansionism.

The United States is waging war for control of oil against Venezuela, where a military coup failed a few years ago, as did the 2018-19 stunt to recognize an unelected pro-American puppet regime. The Honduran coup under President Obama was more successful in overthrowing an elected president advocating land reform, continuing the tradition dating back to 1954 when the CIA overthrew Guatemala's Arbenz regime.

U.S. officials bear a special hatred for countries that they have injured, ranging from Guatemala in 1954 to Iran, whose regime it overthrew to install the Shah as military dictator. Claiming to promote "democracy," U.S. diplomacy has redefined the word to mean pro-American, and opposing land reform, national ownership of raw materials and public subsidy of foreign agriculture or industry as an "undemocratic" attack on "free markets," meaning markets controlled by U.S. financial interests and absentee owners of land, natural resources and banks.

A major byproduct of warfare has always been refugees, and today's wave fleeing ISIS, Al Qaeda and other U.S.-backed Near Eastern proxies is flooding Europe. A similar wave is fleeing the dictatorial regimes backed by the United States from Honduras, Ecuador, Colombia and neighboring countries. The refugee crisis has become a major factor leading to the resurgence of nationalist parties throughout Europe and for the white nationalism of Donald Trump in the United States.

Dollarization as the Vehicle for U.S. Nationalism

The Dollar Standard – U.S. Treasury debt to foreigners held by the world's central banks – has replaced the gold-exchange standard for the world's central bank reserves to settle payments imbalances among themselves. This has enabled the United States to uniquely run balance-of-payments deficits for nearly seventy years, despite the fact that these Treasury IOUs have little visible likelihood of being repaid except under arrangements where U.S. rent-seeking and outright financial tribute from other enables it to liquidate its official foreign debt.

The United States is the only nation that can run sustained balance-of-payments deficits without having to sell off its assets or raise interest rates to borrow foreign money. No other national economy in the world can could afford foreign military expenditures on any major scale without losing its exchange value. Without the Treasury-bill standard, the United States would be in this same position along with other nations. That is why Russia, China and other powers that U.S. strategists deem to be strategic rivals and enemies are looking to restore gold's role as the preferred asset to settle payments imbalances.

The U.S. response is to impose regime change on countries that prefer gold or other foreign currencies to dollars for their exchange reserves. A case in point is the overthrow of Libya's Omar Kaddafi after he sought to base his nation's international reserves on gold. His liquidation stands as a military warning to other countries.

Thanks to the fact that payments-surplus economies invest their dollar inflows in U.S. Treasury bonds, the U.S. balance-of-payments deficit finances its domestic budget deficit. This foreign central-bank recycling of U.S. overseas military spending into purchases of U.S. Treasury securities gives the United States a free ride, financing its budget – also mainly military in character – so that it can taxing its own citizens.

Trump Is Forcing Other Countries To Create an Alternative to the Dollar Standard

The fact that Donald Trump's economic policies are proving ineffective in restoring American manufacturing is creating rising nationalist pressure to exploit foreigners by arbitrary tariffs without regard for international law, and to impose trade sanctions and diplomatic meddling to disrupt regimes that pursue policies that U.S. diplomats do not like.

There is a parallel here with Rome in the late 1 st century BC. It stripped its provinces to pay for its military deficit, the grain dole and land redistribution at the expense of Italian cities and Asia Minor. This created foreign opposition to drive Rome out. The U.S. economy is similar to Rome's: extractive rather than productive, based mainly on land rents and money-interest. As the domestic market is impoverished, U.S. politicians are seeking to take from abroad what no longer is being produced at home.

What is so ironic – and so self-defeating of America's free global ride – is that Trump's simplistic aim of lowering the dollar's exchange rate to make U.S. exports more price-competitive. He imagines commodity trade to be the entire balance of payments, as if there were no military spending, not to mention lending and investment. To lower the dollar's exchange rate, he is demanding that China's central bank and those of other countries stop supporting the dollar by recycling the dollars they receive for their exports into holdings of U.S. Treasury securities.

This tunnel vision leaves out of account the fact that the trade balance is not simply a matter of comparative international price levels. The United States has dissipated its supply of spare manufacturing capacity and local suppliers of parts and materials, while much of its industrial engineering and skilled manufacturing labor has retired. An immense shortfall must be filled by new capital investment, education and public infrastructure, whose charges are far above those of other economics.

Trump's infrastructure ideology is a Public-Private Partnership characterized by high-cost financialization demanding high monopoly rents to cover its interest charges, stock dividends and management fees. This neoliberal policy raises the cost of living for the U.S. labor force, making it uncompetitive. The United States is unable to produce more at any price right now, because its has spent the past half-century dismantling its infrastructure, closing down its part suppliers and outsourcing its industrial technology.

The United States has privatized and financialized infrastructure and basic needs such as public health and medical care, education and transportation that other countries have kept in their public domain to make their economies more cost-efficient by providing essential services at subsidized prices or freely. The United States also has led the practice of debt pyramiding, from housing to corporate finance. This financial engineering and wealth creation by inflating debt-financed real estate and stock market bubbles has made the United States a high-cost economy that cannot compete successfully with well-managed mixed economies.

Unable to recover dominance in manufacturing, the United States is concentrating on rent-extracting sectors that it hopes monopolize, headed by information technology and military production. On the industrial front, it threatens disrupt China and other mixed economies by imposing trade and financial sanctions.

The great gamble is whether these other countries will defend themselves by joining in alliances enabling them to bypass the U.S. economy. American strategists imagine their country to be the world's essential economy, without whose market other countries must suffer depression. The Trump Administration thinks that There Is No Alternative (TINA) for other countries except for their own financial systems to rely on U.S. dollar credit.

To protect themselves from U.S. sanctions, countries would have to avoid using the dollar, and hence U.S. banks. This would require creation of a non-dollarized financial system for use among themselves, including their own alternative to the SWIFT bank clearing system. Table 1 lists some possible related defenses against U.S. nationalistic diplomacy.

As noted above, what also is ironic in President Trump's accusation of China and other countries of artificially manipulating their exchange rate against the dollar (by recycling their trade and payments surpluses into Treasury securities to hold down their currency's dollar valuation) involves dismantling the Treasury-bill standard. The main way that foreign economies have stabilized their exchange rate since 1971 has indeed been to recycle their dollar inflows into U.S. Treasury securities. Letting their currency's value rise would threaten their export competitiveness against their rivals, although not necessarily benefit the United States.

Ending this practice leaves countries with the main way to protect their currencies from rising against the dollar is to reduce dollar inflows by blocking U.S. lending to domestic borrowers. They may levy floating tariffs proportioned to the dollar's declining value. The U.S. has a long history since the 1920s of raising its tariffs against currencies that are depreciating: the American Selling Price (ASP) system. Other countries can impose their own floating tariffs against U.S. goods.

Trade dependency as an Aim of the World Bank, IMF and US AID

The world today faces a problem much like what it faced on the eve of World War II. Like Germany then, the United States now poses the main threat of war, and equally destructive neoliberal economic regimes imposing austerity, economic shrinkage and depopulation. U.S. diplomats are threatening to destroy regimes and entire economies that seek to remain independent of this system, by trade and financial sanctions backed by direct military force.

Dedollarization will require creation of multilateral alternatives to U.S. "front" institutions such as the World Bank, IMF and other agencies in which the United States holds veto power to block any alternative policies deemed not to let it "win." U.S. trade policy through the World Bank and U.S. foreign aid agencies aims at promoting dependency on U.S. food exports and other key commodities, while hiring U.S. engineering firms to build up export infrastructure to subsidize U.S. and other natural-resource investors.[4]The financing is mainly in dollars, providing risk-free bonds to U.S. and other financial institutions. The resulting commercial and financial "interdependency" has led to a situation in which a sudden interruption of supply would disrupt foreign economies by causing a breakdown in their chain of payments and production. The effect is to lock client countries into dependency on the U.S. economy and its diplomacy, euphemized as "promoting growth and development."

U.S. neoliberal policy via the IMF imposes austerity and opposes debt writedowns. Its economic model pretends that debtor countries can pay any volume of dollar debt simply by reducing wages to squeeze more income out of the labor force to pay foreign creditors. This ignores the fact that solving the domestic "budget problem" by taxing local revenue still faces the "transfer problem" of converting it into dollars or other hard currencies in which most international debt is denominated. The result is that the IMF's "stabilization" programs actually destabilize and impoverish countries forced into following its advice.

IMF loans support pro-U.S. regimes such as Ukraine, and subsidize capital flight by supporting local currencies long enough to enable U.S. client oligarchies to flee their currencies at a pre-devaluation exchange rate for the dollar. When the local currency finally is allowed to collapse, debtor countries are advised to impose anti-labor austerity. This globalizes the class war of capital against labor while keeping debtor countries on a short U.S. financial leash.

U.S. diplomacy is capped by trade sanctions to disrupt economies that break away from U.S. aims. Sanctions are a form of economic sabotage, as lethal as outright military warfare in establishing U.S. control over foreign economies. The threat is to impoverish civilian populations, in the belief that this will lead them to replace their governments with pro-American regimes promising to restore prosperity by selling off their domestic infrastructure to U.S. and other multinational investors.

US Warfare on Many Fronts Dedollarization defense

Military warfare (the Near East, Asia)

NATO and bilateral treaty (Saudi, ISIS, Al Qaida). color revolutions and proxy wars.

Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and pressure for Europe to withdraw from NATO unless the U.S. alleviates its New Cold War threats.
Dollarization is monetary warfare. The US Treasury-bill standard finances the mainly military U.S. balance-of-payments deficit. SWIFT threatens to isolate Iran and Russia Dedollarization will refrain from foreign central banks financing U.S. overseas military spending by keeping their savings in dollars.

Creation of alternative payments clearing system.

The IMF finances US client regimes and seeks to isolate those not following US policy. An alternative global financial organization, such as Europe's INSTEX to circumvent US anti-Iran sanctions, and Russo-China alternative to SWIFT.
Creditor policy forcing austerity on debtor economies, forcing them to privatize and sell off their public domain to pay debts. An international court empowered to write down debts to the ability to pay, based on the original principles that were to guide the BIS in 1931.
The World Bank finances trade dependency on US food exports and opposes national food self-sufficiency. An alternative development organization based on food self-sufficiency. Annulment of World Bank and IMF debt as "odious debt."
Unilateral US trade war based on levy of US protectionist tariffs, quotas and sanctions, Countervailing sanctions, and creation of an alternative to the WTO or a strengthened organization free of US control.
Cyber War, spycraft via US internet platforms, and Stuxnet sabotage. Work with Huawei and other alternatives to US internet options.
Class War: austerity program for labor MMT, taxation of rentier income and capital gains.
Neoliberal monetarist doctrine of privatization and creditor-oriented rules Promotion of a mixed economy with public infrastructure as a factor of production.
US patent policy seeks monopoly rents. Non-recognition of predatory monopoly patents.
Investment control Deprivatization and buyoutsof US assets abroad.
International law and diplomacy The U.S. as the world's "exceptional nation," not subject to international laws or even to its own treaty agreements.

Veto power in any organization it joins. The basic principle that the U.S. is not subject to any foreign say over its laws and policies.

Global Problems caused by US Policy Response to U.S. Disruptive Policy

U.S. refuses to join international agreements to reduce carbon emissions, Global Warming and Extreme Weather.

U.S. diplomacy is based on control of oil to make other countries dependent on U.S. energy dominance.

Trade and tax sanctions against U.S. exporters and banks. Taxes on U.S. tax avoidance by the oil industry's "flags of convenience" (convenient for tax avoidance).

Taxation or isolation of U.S. exports based on high-carbon production.

Attempt to monopolize new G5 Internet technology, Sanctioning of Huawei, insistence on US priority in high-tech. Rejection of patents on basic IT, medicine and other basic human needs.
Patent laws in pharmaceuticals, etc. Taxation of monopoly rents.

There Are Alternatives, on Many Fronts

Militarily, today's leading alternative to NATO expansionism is the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), along with Europe following France's example under Charles de Gaulle and withdrawing. After all, there is no real threat of military invasion today in Europe. No nation can occupy another without an enormous military draft and such heavy personnel losses that domestic protests would unseat the government waging such a war. The U.S. anti-war movement in the 1960s signaled the end of the military draft, not only in the United States but in nearly all democratic countries (Israel, Switzerland, Brazil and South Korea are exceptions).

The enormous spending on armaments for a kind of war unlikely to be fought is not really military, but simply to provide profits to the military industrial complex. The arms are not really to be used. They are simply to be bought, and ultimately scrapped. The danger, of course, is that these not-for-use arms actually might be used, if only to create a need for new profitable production.

Likewise, foreign holdings of dollars are not really to be spent on purchases of U.S. exports or investments. They are like fine-wine collectibles, for saving rather than for drinking. The alternative to such dollarized holdings is to create a mutual use of national currencies, and a domestic bank-clearing payments system as an alternative to SWIFT.Russia, China, Iran and Venezuela already are said to be developing a crypto-currency payments to circumvent U.S. sanctions and hence financial control.

In the World Trade Organization, the United States has tried to claim that any industry receiving public infrastructure or credit subsidy deserves tariff retaliation in order to force privatization. In response to WTO rulings that U.S. tariffs are illegally imposed, the United States "has blocked all new appointments to the seven-member appellate body in protest, leaving it in danger of collapse because it may not have enough judges to allow it to hear new cases."[5]In the U.S. view, only privatized trade financed by private rather than public banks is "fair" trade.

An alternative to the WTO (or removal of its veto privilege given to the U.S. bloc) is needed to cope with U.S. neoliberal ideology and, most recently, the U.S. travesty claiming "national security" exemption to free-trade treaties, impose tariffs on steel, aluminum, and on European countries that circumvent sanctions on Iran or threaten to buy oil from Russia via the Nordstream II pipeline instead of high-cost liquified "freedom gas" from the United States.

In the realm of development lending, China's bank along with its Belt and Road initiative is an incipient alternative to the World Bank, whose main role has been to promote foreign dependency on U.S. suppliers. The IMF for its part now functions as an extension of the U.S. Department of Defense to subsidize client regimes such as Ukraine while financially isolating countries not subservient to U.S. diplomacy.

To save debt-strapped economies suffering Greek-style austerity, the world needs to replace neoliberal economic theory with an analytic logic for debt writedowns based on the ability to pay. The guiding principle of the needed development-oriented logic of international law should be that no nation should be obliged to pay foreign creditors by having to sell of the public domain and rent-extraction rights to foreign creditors. The defining character of nationhood should be the fiscal right to tax natural resource rents and financial returns, and to create its own monetary system.

The United States refuses to join the International Criminal Court. To be effective, it needs enforcement power for its judgments and penalties, capped by the ability to bring charges of war crimes in the tradition of the Nuremberg tribunal. U.S. to such a court, combined with its military buildup now threatening World War III, suggests a new alignment of countries akin to the Non-Aligned Nations movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Non-aligned in this case means freedom from U.S. diplomatic control or threats.

Such institutions require a more realistic economic theory and philosophy of operations to replace the neoliberal logic for anti-government privatization, anti-labor austerity, and opposition to domestic budget deficits and debt writedowns. Today's neoliberal doctrine counts financial late fees and rising housing prices as adding to "real output" (GDP), but deems public investment as deadweight spending, not a contribution to output. The aim of such logic is to convince governments to pay their foreign creditors by selling off their public infrastructure and other assets in the public domain.

Just as the "capacity to pay" principle was the foundation stone of the Bank for International Settlements in 1931, a similar basis is needed to measure today's ability to pay debts and hence to write down bad loans that have been made without a corresponding ability of debtors to pay. Without such an institution and body of analysis, the IMF's neoliberal principle of imposing economic depression and falling living standards to pay U.S. and other foreign creditors will impose global poverty.

The above proposals provide an alternative to the U.S. "exceptionalist" refusal to join any international organization that has a say over its affairs. Other countries must be willing to turn the tables and isolate U.S. banks, U.S. exporters, and to avoid using U.S. dollars and routing payments via U.S. banks. To protect their ability to create a countervailing power requires an international court and its sponsoring organization.

Summary

The first existential objective is to avoid the current threat of war by winding down U.S. military interference in foreign countries and removing U.S. military bases as relics of neocolonialism. Their danger to world peace and prosperity threatens a reversion to the pre-World War II colonialism, ruling by client elites along lines similar to the 2014 Ukrainian coup by neo-Nazi groups sponsored by the U.S. State Department and National Endowment for Democracy. Such control recalls the dictators that U.S. diplomacy established throughout Latin America in the 1950s. Today's ethnic terrorism by U.S.-sponsored Wahabi-Saudi Islam recalls the behavior of Nazi Germany in the 1940s.

Global warming is the second major existentialist threat. Blocking attempts to reverse it is a bedrock of American foreign policy, because it is based on control of oil. So the military, refugee and global warming threats are interconnected.

The U.S. military poses the greatest immediate danger. Today's warfare is fundamentally changed from what it used to be. Prior to the 1970s, nations conquering others had to invade and occupy them with armies recruited by a military draft. But no democracy in today's world can revive such a draft without triggering widespread refusal to fight, voting the government out of power. The only way the United States – or other countries – can fight other nations is to bomb them. And as noted above, economic sanctions have as destructive an effect on civilian populations in countries deemed to be U.S. adversaries as overt warfare. The United States can sponsor political coups (as in Honduras and Pinochet's Chile), but cannot occupy. It is unwilling to rebuild, to say nothing of taking responsibility for the waves of refugees that our bombing and sanctions are causing from Latin America to the Near East.

U.S. ideologues view their nation's coercive military expansion and political subversion and neoliberal economic policy of privatization and financialization as an irreversible victory signaling the End of History. To the rest of the world it is a threat to human survival.

The American promise is that the victory of neoliberalism is the End of History, offering prosperity to the entire world. But beneath the rhetoric of free choice and free markets is the reality of corruption, subversion, coercion, debt peonage and neofeudalism. The reality is the creation and subsidy of polarized economies bifurcated between a privileged rentier class and its clients, eir debtors and renters. America is to be permitted to monopolize trade in oil and food grains, and high-technology rent-yielding monopolies, living off its dependent customers. Unlike medieval serfdom, people subject to this End of History scenario can choose to live wherever they want. But wherever they live, they must take on a lifetime of debt to obtain access to a home of their own, and rely on U.S.-sponsored control of their basic needs, money and credit by adhering to U.S. financial planning of their economies. This dystopian scenario confirms Rosa Luxemburg's recognition that the ultimate choice facing nations in today's world is between socialism and barbarism.

___________________

[1]Billy Bambrough, "Bitcoin Threatens To 'Take Power' From The U.S. Federal Reserve," Forbes , May 15, 2019. https://www.forbes.com/sites/billybambrough/2019/05/15/a-u-s-congressman-is-so-scared-of-bitcoin-and-crypto-he-wants-it-banned/#36b2700b6405.

[2]Vladimir Putin, keynote address to the Economic Forum, June 5-6 2019. Putin went on to warn of "a policy of completely unlimited economic egoism and a forced breakdown." This fragmenting of the global economic space "is the road to endless conflict, trade wars and maybe not just trade wars. Figuratively, this is the road to the ultimate fight of all against all."

[3]Address to St Petersburg International Economic Forum's Plenary Session, St Petersburg, Kremlin.ru, June 5, 2009, from Johnson's Russia List, June 8, 2009, #8,

[4] https://www.rt.com/business/464013-china-russia-cryptocurrency-dollar-dethrone/ . Already in the late 1950s the Forgash Plan proposed a World Bank for Economic Acceleration. Designed by Terence McCarthy and sponsored by Florida Senator Morris Forgash, the bank would have been a more truly development-oriented institution to guide foreign development to create balanced economies self-sufficient in food and other essentials. The proposal was opposed by U.S. interests on the ground that countries pursuing land reform tended to be anti-American. More to the point, they would have avoided trade and financial dependency on U.S. suppliers and banks, and hence on U.S. trade and financial sanctions to prevent them from following policies at odds with U.S. diplomatic demands.

[5]Don Weinland, "WTO rules against US in tariff dispute with China," Financial Times , July 17, 2019.


Mael Colium , July 21, 2019 at 8:53 am

Views from an economist who has been promoting neoclassical ideology for decades and then wonders when there are no alternatives to escape the narrative? Completely ignores how a monetary sovereign capacity can move away from US hegemony. The countries under the heel of the US are there because the IMF has engineered their economies in favour of the US. They could all threaten default at the same time and scare off the IMF horses – the US picks off individual countries by isolating them. Play the united game and the power of division practiced by the US would crumble. Just saying.

timbers , July 21, 2019 at 9:13 am

"They could all threaten default at the same time and scare off the IMF horses – the US picks off individual countries by isolating them. Play the united game and the power of division practiced by the US would crumble."

This is interesting. On a similar note, I've wondered why Russia has not defaulted on it's considerable USD and EUR debt (also too, why is Russia still doing debt in USD and thus strengthening U.S.?).

But only after she sells off all her U.S. holdings which will be (and have been already) seized by Out Law America.

I believe Russia would be on some sort of legal ground in doing so in response to the illegal sanctions imposed upon by by the EU and U.S.

And it will be interesting to see if Germany backs down on Nordstream II. Will she be a total puppet of the U.S.?

Of course, it's depressing Russia has not reformed it's internal economy so that she can grow faster. Maybe because while Putin and others don't want to take orders from Washington they are trapped in neoliberal economic thinking and can't think outside the box?

Until Washington changes, I firmly believe Russia and other nations must act as if their future hold one totally without U.S. interdependence and must create completely independent economies the U.S. can not touch. China? Hard to include China in that right now with so much trade with the U.S. but on the other hand their are reports U.S. related firms are starting to move out of China.

Synoia , July 21, 2019 at 11:57 am

Among the reports of companies leaving China, I've not seen any who declare they will return manufacturing to the US.

One of the major objectives of Tariffs, historically, is to favor local manufacture over imports. Other than defense, is that happening?

Boeing appears to be the poster child of how well a company with a large defense arm performs in the commercial sector.

Oh , July 21, 2019 at 12:44 pm

The corporations that moved manufacturing to Mexico and then subsequently to China will continue to seek cheaper labor so that their management can feather their own nests. They're not going to bring back manufacturing to the US. Look at these greedy corporations that sell Hanes underwear for example. They get rid of labels on their product to save less than a cent per item and spend money and spend millions in extolling the virtues of not having labesl on their tee shirts (Michael Jordon is the spokesman in the ad). Greed has no limits.

lazycat1984 , July 21, 2019 at 12:23 pm

"Maybe because while Putin and others don't want to take orders from Washington they are trapped in neoliberal economic thinking and can't think outside the box?"

Probably a lot there. Maybe the idea is that the system can work but needs to be fiddled with to make it more fair to B stringers like Russia and China.

The only time anyone has had any success escaping Anglo-American finance was Germany, Japan and the USSR in the 1930-45 period. The Soviets managed to keep their thing going until much later, but internal corruption ( where isn't this a factor?) did them in.

Oh , July 21, 2019 at 1:03 pm

Post WWII Japan kept away from the stranglehold of US Financiers by only purchasing technology and protecting their markets which other countries have to emulate.

Plenue , July 21, 2019 at 2:30 pm

"I've wondered why Russia has not defaulted on it's considerable USD and EUR debt (also too, why is Russia still doing debt in USD and thus strengthening U.S.?)"

They have. Russia has dropped 84% of the Treasury Securities it held. https://money.cnn.com/2018/07/30/investing/russia-us-debt-treasury/index.html

Notice how this hasn't effected anything; other parties just happily bought it all up. The Russians were stupid to drop it because Treasury Securities are a guaranteed return on investment. Because, stick with me here on this, the US government can't run out of US dollars.

Roger Boyd , July 21, 2019 at 4:10 pm

They have removed those assets from the very great possibility of seizure by the US and others (like the Venezuelan gold seized by the UK). When push comes to shove the US and its minions have no ethics abut breaking whatever laws they deem to be in their way.

They bought quite a lot of gold, which seems to be doing pretty well these days.

timbers , July 21, 2019 at 5:35 pm

You misunderstood me. Russia borrows USD and EUR from Western banks. That makes US – Russia's enemy – stronger. Russia should borrow from Russia not the US. I'm asking why don't they default on that debt. Your response assumed I was referring to Russia holding US assets. That's different. BTW I don't agree with you that Russia made a mistake getting rid of US assets given the US has stolen Russian real estate holdings in the US and other nations property held in US banks like Venezuela's USD deposits and gold.

Ian Perkins , July 21, 2019 at 9:16 am

Along the same lines, the summary starts with, "The first existential objective is to avoid the current threat of war by winding down U.S. military interference in foreign countries and removing U.S. military bases as relics of neocolonialism." Either would be taken as proof of evil anti-US intentions, leading to sanctions, coups, assassinations, regime change, and eventually outright war. As Mael Colium says, the US picks off individual countries by isolating them.

flora , July 21, 2019 at 1:11 pm

I noticed that. I think Michael Hudson is a classical economist pushing back against the currently reigning neo-classical economists. Classical economics is not Neo-classical economics. Saying Hudson promotes neo-classical economics is a mistake.

http://heteconomist.com/classical-vs-neoclassical-economics-tax-and-rent/

RBHoughton , July 21, 2019 at 9:42 pm

I believe his hope is for the world to recognise that Athens, Rome and Constantinoiple collapsed economically due to legislatively favoring creditors over debtors. Its a process we see alive in North America and Europe today. That's where he is coming from

jsn , July 21, 2019 at 11:36 am

"Views from an economist who has been promoting neoclassical ideology for decades and then wonders when there are no alternatives to escape the narrative?"

Really, you should read the article you posted this note under. What text is this comment in reference to?

Vato , July 21, 2019 at 12:57 pm

Michael Hudson promoting neoclassical ideology for decades?? Are we talking about the same Michael Hudson from UMKC?
Could you please provide one single link to a paper that was written by him relying on inductive methodology-based equilibrium theory??

Thank you

Off The Street , July 21, 2019 at 9:19 am

Peripherally related MMT 2nd of 3 articles

Trey N , July 21, 2019 at 9:20 am

There are a number of such "unclear sentences" in the article. Is the original article so poorly written/edited, or is it errata in the transcription here?

Either way, it's a shame that such errors detract from the clarity of the ideas presented. Is there any way to go back and clean this mess up??

barefoot charley , July 21, 2019 at 10:05 am

Reading Michael's fascinating history of debt forgiveness isn't much different. I'm grateful for his writing but suffer from his typing. Have proofreaders gone the way of buggy whips?

(And we must stipulate that typos here on NC are so buggy they're a feature. Which makes me wonder if/when Roman inscriptions went illiterate–first century BC civil wars, or third century AD Christian takeover? Valuable historic perspective!)

ex-PFC Chuck , July 21, 2019 at 12:36 pm

" Have proofreaders gone the way of buggy whips?"

Yes. The job has been outsourced to Spellcheck.

Vato , July 21, 2019 at 1:04 pm

The translations of his books into German are even worse. Lots of typos and often contentual mistranslation.

Adams , July 21, 2019 at 10:09 am

Support. I would go further and say the article should be taken down for editing. Needs to be translated into English.

Also, too, the final sentence: "This dystopian scenario confirms Rosa Luxemburg's recognition that the ultimate choice facing nations in today's world is between socialism and barbarism." is a rather large jump from the text. While many regular NC readers will agree, the connection for others is obscure.

Monty , July 21, 2019 at 6:02 pm

You should ask for a refund!

Oh wait

Anon , July 21, 2019 at 8:42 pm

Wait the final sentence is what it is because it comes after everything before it. The quote distills much of what precedes it: The US is determined to be "the winner" in all dealings and nations acquiescing to US goals will likely lead to barbarism (austerity) for those populations.

Sometimes a phrase hits to the core of a wider meaning: "Send Her Back!" (a racist chant in any language).

jsn , July 21, 2019 at 11:50 am

When we have MMT paying for arts, history, journalism and particularly editors, I won't be so irritated by these kinds of criticisms.

We live in a very advanced world of Bernaysian propaganda where the communicative industries are privately owned and directed to ensure deep criticisms of the hyper-exploitative current reality CANNOT be published and promoted.

When someone takes the effort to produce something, like this or the book other commenters on this thread are also slighting, at great personal expense to themselves without corporate backing or institutional support, a decent reply would be "Thank you!", rather than tasking them or our hosts here at this site to "go back and clean up this mess??"

If you had any decency, you might suggest clarifying edits in comments, like changing "– so that it can taxing its own citizens." at the end of the 23rd paragraph to, "– so that it can avoid taxing its own citizens", to help the people you are criticizing for making things so difficult for you.

sporble , July 21, 2019 at 1:14 pm

+1

Jonathan Holland Becnel , July 21, 2019 at 1:43 pm

Michael Hudson is a modern day Saint!

Who cares about a few typos when his ideas are truly REVOLUTIONARY!

For example, i had no idea about Debt Jubilees in early civilizations 3000 years ago! The pyramids built by FREE MEN! Liberty and Freedom originating from canceling debts! Torches and Beacons of light as representatives of said Debt Jubilees!

If you ask me, the #HudsonHawk is trying to awaken the Workers of the World in Forgiveness, Peace, Love, and Solidarity.

HUDSON 2024

softie , July 21, 2019 at 3:27 pm

I didn't know that until I read anthropologist David Graeber's Debt: The First 5,000 Years.

But there's a fundamental difference between debt in the past and debt today. In the past debt was owed to the state, today it's owed to some wealthy corporations. Good luck with debt jubilees in the absence of violent uprisings.

Stephen Gardner , July 21, 2019 at 4:45 pm

Uprising? Whatever it takes.

Kurtismayfield , July 21, 2019 at 5:20 pm

And those corporations get favorable rates on money printed by the government.. and the government backs trillions in mortgage and student loans.

Not much different.

softie , July 21, 2019 at 10:22 pm

The difference is they internalize profit and externalize cost. And that's fundamentally different from all other epochs in the past. Even the birth of nation state was out of their rationalization of how to maximize profit extraction and cost externalization in the 1st place. Good luck with debt jubilees.

Oh , July 21, 2019 at 3:17 pm

I agree. I can read through typos, missing words, etc as long as the writing conveys the intended meaning. I think the criticism of the document for grammatical perfection is not warranted. I enjoyed the article myself anad I thank the author.

Wukchumni , July 21, 2019 at 10:15 am

That is why Russia, China and other powers that U.S. strategists deem to be strategic rivals and enemies are looking to restore gold's role as the preferred asset to settle payments imbalances.

How would this occur aside from a repudiation of the almighty buck one wonders, and would it be based on reserves in the vault, or actual use as money?

Keep in mind that there isn't a human alive now who ever proffered a monetized gold coin in order to purchase something, and increasingly relatively few that have ever used a monetized silver coin for the same purpose.

Synoia , July 21, 2019 at 3:51 pm

I've used Copper .

Clive , July 21, 2019 at 10:44 am

I don't have a huge amount of sympathy. The Eurozone and China could run trade deficits, thereby creating an opportunity for their currencies to become reasonably viable alternative reserves. But they don't because they don't want to cede control of their manufacturing and export-driven economic bases away.

The US doesn't mind and doesn't care about the domestic repercussions. For how much longer that can continue, especially as Trump's America First policy is putting that under some strain, is an open question. But for now, it's willing to be satisfied with a little rowing back rather than wholesale reversal (back to, for example, an immediate-post war position of significant trade surpluses although the article is correct to point out this was due to the US being the last man standing, in terms of having a manufacturing base still intact).

The Eurozone and China are not only not showing any signs of a policy change, they've continued embedding and strengthening the current modus operandi. You pays your money, you takes your choices. Here as elsewhere. If they'd rather not have the US$ having a more-or-less monopoly position in then global financial system as a reserve currency, they'll need to make the compromises needed to set up these challenger currencies as viable alternatives.

But they can't have their economic cakes and eat them, too.

And it's not just currencies. You need legal systems which are deemed to be (which can only come through real, observational experience) investor-friendly -- not just prone to supporting or at the very least given an easy ride to domestic stalwarts. Again, this has repercussions if you then have to stop cosseting domestic "champions". The US legal system is ridiculously business friendly. But it doesn't, overtly, differentiate between US and non-US companies in a commercial dispute.

barefoot charley , July 21, 2019 at 11:31 am

The sine qua non of our economic empire (which I learned here) is that a global currency requires global trade deficits, which must grow as quickly as the global economy to fulfill its role. Tell that to Germany! If your silly little euro or yen or renminbi tries to go global, the dollar-based currency speculators will shrivel it like Soros did the pound in the 90s. So American deficits are structural. Our debt-ceiling controversies are theater. And our dollar is exceptional until the instant it isn't–then the Fed electron-tranfers trillions more to the speculators whose notional dollars just evaporated, keeping the currencies in the air with their new casino chips. Is this a loan? A gift? An electron cloud? It's the fog of war by other means . . .

It may have been Hudson who explained that a quarter (or was it half?) of all corporate profits after WWII went to American companies, when our economy was that much of the world's. Now we're a much smaller fraction of the global economy, but our corporate sector still profits as much as it did when it was producing, rather than marketing, real goods. Another exceptional achievement.

barefoot charley , July 21, 2019 at 11:41 am

Oops, and I meant to begin with strong agreement, Clive, just developing your point about the need for deficits to 'buy' control with unpayable debt. And it's an excellent point that "The US doesn't mind and doesn't care about the domestic repercussions." Just imagine if we did.

The Rev Kev , July 21, 2019 at 11:05 am

Oh man, this is definitely a two coffee cup read with a ton of material to absorb. Definitely a keeper this. I'll just make a brief comment as it is late here. Maybe what is key here is that there are so many trends working against the US as power shifts from a unipolar to a multipolar world that a determination has been made in Washington to try to set out a unilateral domineering position with regards the rest of the world to stop the loss of prestige and power. This is just not Trump but the Washington political establishment backing him up to put the US in a domineering position for at least the first half of this century.

Peter , July 21, 2019 at 12:29 pm

This is the first serious article I've seen linking opposition to climate action with the US strategic focus on securing oil. The current oil wars may have started in 2003, but we've really been fighting them for longer, at least since the Tanker War of the late 80s, which led into the first Gulf War (which was explicitly for oil). We've been openly preparing for such wars since the Carter Doctrine of the late 70s as well. Those dates matter because the public generally became aware of global warming with the congressional hearings in 1988, and the oil companies (and thus presumably the rest of the deep state) became aware of the science as early as the 70s.

US military strategy has been based around ensuring climate change happens for as long as climate change has been known about. Why isn't this more of a scandal? Why isn't this more openly discussed as a justification for changing US foreign policy? Why isn't reducing imperial adventures discussed as a side benefit of any policy, like a Green New Deal, that seriously attempted to cut carbon emissions? It boggles the mind, and seems like the sort of thing that'll be obvious to future generations so long as civilization hasn't collapsed by then.

Daniel Rich , July 21, 2019 at 8:57 pm

@ Peter,

Perhaps we'll get an 'Easter Island V2.0 – The Extended Edition' rehash

Summer , July 21, 2019 at 1:20 pm

Really all we know is that such a plan would create a different order. That so many countries have continued to pauper their populations long after the obviousness that "development" is a sham doesn't bode well for their intentions even after the USA is brought to heel.

Susan the other` , July 21, 2019 at 2:30 pm

This is a good summary of our irrational world. MMT and the GND can save the situation but only if we industrialized humans forego any more fossil fuels except for long-term survival purposes. Ration it with draconian discipline. That in turn will discipline our military and turn our energies to things we can no longer ignore. Money doesn't bother me much. Resources and the critical health of the planet bother me a lot. Money and "gold" are, in the end, both fictitious obsessions.

karlof1 , July 21, 2019 at 4:56 pm

Thanks for providing this transcript prior to Hudson posting it to his own website. He was the first political-economist to lay out the Outlaw US Empire's game plan when he published Super Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire in 1972. You'll find few authors willing to provide their seminal work for free online– 2nd Edition PDF . I think it fair for those unfamiliar with Hudson's work to read his analysis prior to being judgmental.

Jonathan Holland Becnel , July 21, 2019 at 6:56 pm

Thanks for the link!

flora , July 21, 2019 at 10:25 pm

One quibble with the closing Summary:

The first existential objective is to avoid the current threat of war by winding down U.S. military interference in foreign countries and removing U.S. military bases as relics of neocolonialism.

US Naval base in Subic Bay, Philippines was closed in 1992 after a leasing disagreement with the Philippine govt .
https://www.nytimes.com/1991/12/28/world/philippines-orders-us-to-leave-strategic-navy-base-at-subic-bay.html

Clark Air Force base in Angeles City, Philippines had closed the year earlier in 1991.

China is growing power and challenger to shipping freedom of the South China Sea trading route, building artificial fortified islands and aircraft carriers. History has not ended. Power abhors a vacuum.

I agree with Hudson's point about the dangers of misdirected militarism, but I don't think closing military bases around the world necessarily guarantees the end of military adventurism dangers by other rising powers.

ElViejito , July 21, 2019 at 10:50 pm

Subic Bay is back in business as a resupply port for U.S. exercises in the Phillipines. https://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-Pacific/2015/1112/US-Navy-edges-back-to-Subic-Bay-in-Philippines-under-new-rules

[Jul 21, 2019] Clinton shared more than a dozen flights with a woman who federal prosecutors believe procured underage girls to sexually service Epstein and his friends and acted as a potential co-conspirator in his crimes

Notable quotes:
"... "I wanted to tell you that I have compiled a list of 34 confirmed minors," Villafana wrote to Lefkowitz. "There are six others, whose name [sic] we already have, who need to be interviewed by the FBI to confirm whether they were 17 or 18 at the time of their activity with Mr. Epstein." ..."
"... Epstein agreed to a 30-month sentence, including 18 months of jail time and 12 months of house arrest and the agreement to pay dozens of young girls under a federal statute providing for compensation to victims of child sexual abuse. .the U.S. Attorney's Office promised not to pursue any federal charges against Epstein or his Named and Un-Named co-conspirators. ..."
"... His legal team? Gerald Lefcourt, Roy Black, Ken Starr, and Alan Dershowitz. ..."
"... The federal non-prosecution agreement Epstein's legal team negotiated immunized all named and unnamed potential co-conspirators in Epstein's child trafficking network, which includes those who allegedly procured minors for Epstein and any powerbrokers who may have molested them." ..."
Feb 23, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

William Dorritt , 3 hours ago link

LOLITA EXPRESS...ORGY ISLAND...ELITE PEDOPHILE RING ?-2006
* George W Bush President: January 20, 2001 – Jan. 20, 2009
* Alberto R. Gonzales, Attorney General USA: Feb. 3, 2005–Sept. 17, 2007
* Michael Bernard Mukasey, AG. USA: Nov. 9, 2007 – Jan. 20, 2009
* Eric Holder, A G. USA: Feb. 3, 2009 – April 27, 2015
* Loretta Lynch, Attorney General USA: April 27, 2015 – Present
* Assistant U.S. Attorney Marie Villafana
* Epstein's Attorneys: Gerald Lefcourt, Roy Black, Ken Starr, Alan Dershowitz.

+ "He (Epstein) is an enthusiastic member of the Trilateral Commission and the Council on Foreign Relations."

+ Bill Clinton...26 trips aboard the "Lolita Express"

Jeffrey Epstein's Boeing 727 is equipped with the necessary hardware for him to wake up, roll out of bed, and start trading.

+ Clinton shared more than a dozen flights with a woman who federal prosecutors believe procured underage girls to sexually service Epstein and his friends and acted as a "potential co-conspirator" in his crimes.

+ Socialite Ghislaine Maxwell and Epstein's former assistant Sarah Kellen -- have been repeatedly accused in court filings of acting as pimps. Oxford-educated Maxwell, recently seen dining with Clinton at Nello's on Madison Avenue. Manhattan-London G. Maxwell, daughter of the mysteriously deceased media titan Robert Maxwell.

+ A new lawsuit has revealed how Clinton took multiple trips to Epstein's private island where he 'kept young women as sex slaves'

+ Clinton was also apparently friends with a woman who collected naked pictures of underage girls for Epstein to choose from

+ Clinton invited her (pimp) to Chelsea's wedding

+ According to former child sex slave Virginia Roberts and a class action lawsuit against convicted billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, former President Bill Clinton was present during sex parties involving up to twenty underage girls at Epstein's secluded island in the Caribbean.

+ 20 girls between the ages of 14 and 17 said were sexually abused by Epstein, Palm Beach Police and FBI

+ 35 female minors sexually abused, Epstein settled lawsuits from more than 30 "Jane Doe" victims since 2008; the youngest alleged victim was 12 years old at the time of her abuse.

..............................Source: FBI & Federal Prosecutors

+ flights on Epstein's planes 1997 to 2005, include Dershowitz (FOX NEWS, Harvard Law), former Treasury Secretary and Harvard president Larry Summers, Naomi Campbell, and scientist Stephen Pinker.

+ In the most recent court documents, filed on December 30, Roberts further claims she was sex-trafficked to "many other powerful men, including numerous prominent American politicians, powerful business executives, foreign presidents, a well-known Prime Minister, and other world leaders." Roberts said Epstein trafficked children to politicians, Wall Streeters and A- listers to curry favor, advance his business, and for political influence.

The FIX

2015 Doc Release by Judge:

Assistant U.S. Attorney Marie Villafana wrote to Epstein lawyer Jay Lefkowitz in a Sept. 19, 2007, email. "I will include our standard language regarding resolving all criminal liability and I will mention 'co-conspirators,' but I would prefer not to highlight for the judge all of the other crimes and all of the other persons that we could charge ... maybe we can set a time to meet, if you want to meet 'off campus' somewhere, that is fine. I will make sure that I have all the necessary decision makers present or 'on call' as well."

"I wanted to tell you that I have compiled a list of 34 confirmed minors," Villafana wrote to Lefkowitz. "There are six others, whose name [sic] we already have, who need to be interviewed by the FBI to confirm whether they were 17 or 18 at the time of their activity with Mr. Epstein."

In a December 2007 letter, the prosecutor acknowledges some notifications of alleged victims but says they were sent after the U.S. Attorney's Office signed the plea deal and halted for most of the women at the request of Epstein's lawyers.

"Three victims were notified shortly after the signing of the Non-Prosecution Agreement of the general terms of that Agreement," Villafana wrote, again to Lefkowitz. "You raised objections to any victim notification, and no further notifications were done."

http://www.politico.com/blogs/under-the-radar/2015/07/judge-unseals-more-details-in-jeffrey-epstein-underage-sex-lawsuit-210065

Original Deal Hidden

On Sept. 24, 2007, in a deal shrouded in secrecy that left alleged victims shocked at its leniency,

Epstein agreed to a 30-month sentence, including 18 months of jail time and 12 months of house arrest and the agreement to pay dozens of young girls under a federal statute providing for compensation to victims of child sexual abuse. .the U.S. Attorney's Office promised not to pursue any federal charges against Epstein or his Named and Un-Named co-conspirators.

Sources:

Fox By Malia Zimmerman, May 13, 2016

Daily Mail Reporter 19 March 2014

Gawker Nick Bryant 01/22/15

Western Journalism Kris Zane March 27, 2014

Politico By Josh Gerstein 07/07/15

New York Magazine, By Landon Thomas Jr.

THE FIX IS IN

"In 2006 the FBI counted at least 40 underage girls who had been molested by Epstein. Authorities searched his Florida mansion and found two computers containing child *********** and homemade video and photographs from cameras hidden in bedroom walls which had been used to film sex acts. The case was airtight for many counts of sexual crimes but Palm Beach State Attorney Barry Krischer and the Justice Department stepped in and offered Epstein a plea deal. In 2008 Epstein pleaded guilty in a Florida court to one count of soliciting underage girls for sex. His punishment was 13 months of "8 hour nights only" at a halfway house. No other charges about raping underage girls nor running an underage sex trafficking ring were mentioned in the plea. His legal team? Gerald Lefcourt, Roy Black, Ken Starr, and Alan Dershowitz.

The federal non-prosecution agreement Epstein's legal team negotiated immunized all named and unnamed potential co-conspirators in Epstein's child trafficking network, which includes those who allegedly procured minors for Epstein and any powerbrokers who may have molested them."

http://dcxposed.com/2015/01/26/bilderberg-pervs-island-sin-scandal-threatens-ultra-elite-politicians-lawyers-royalty/

William Dorritt , 3 hours ago link

The Talented Mr. Epstein

Lately, Jeffrey Epstein's high-flying style has been drawing oohs and aahs: the bachelor financier lives in New York's largest private residence, claims to take only billionaires as clients, and flies celebrities including Bill Clinton and Kevin Spacey on his Boeing 727. But pierce his air of mystery and the picture changes. Vicky Ward explores Epstein's investment career, his ties to retail magnate Leslie Wexner, and his complicated past.

June 27, 2011 12:00 am

http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2003/03/jeffrey-epstein-200303

Jeffrey Epstein: International Moneyman of Mystery

So how do termite grouping patterns fare as an investment strategy? Again, facts are hard to come by. A working day for Epstein starts at 5 a.m., when he gets up and scours the world markets on his Bloomberg screen -- each of his houses, in New York, St. Thomas, Palm Beach, and New Mexico, as well as the 727, is equipped with the necessary hardware for him to wake up, roll

http://nymag.com/nymetro/news/people/n_7912/index3.html

[Jul 21, 2019] A Bank With $49 Trillion In Derivatives Exposure Is Melting Down Before Our Eyes

Jul 21, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Deutsche Bank is the most important bank in all of Europe, it has 49 trillion dollars in exposure to derivatives, and most of the largest "too big to fail banks" in the United States have very deep financial connections to the bank. In other words, the global financial system simply cannot afford for Deutsche Bank to fail, and right now it is literally melting down right in front of our eyes. For years I have been warning that this day would come, and even though it has been hit by scandal after scandal , somehow Deutsche Bank was able to survive until now. But after what we have witnessed in recent days, many now believe that the end is near for Deutsche Bank. On July 7th, they really shook up investors all over the globe when they laid off 18,000 employees and announced that they would be completely exiting their global equities trading business

It takes a lot to rattle Wall Street.

But Deutsche Bank managed to. The beleaguered German giant announced on July 7 that it is laying off 18,000 employees -- roughly one-fifth of its global workforce -- and pursuing a vast restructuring plan that most notably includes shutting down its global equities trading business.

Though Deutsche's Bloody Sunday seemed to come out of the blue, it's actually the culmination of a years-long -- some would say decades-long -- descent into unprofitability and scandal for the bank, which in the early 1990s set out to make itself into a universal banking powerhouse to rival the behemoths of Wall Street.

These moves may delay Deutsche Bank's inexorable march into oblivion, but not by much. And as Deutsche Bank collapses, it could take a whole lot of others down with it at the same time. According to Wall Street On Parade , the bank had 49 trillion dollars in exposure to derivatives as of the end of last year

During 2018, the serially troubled Deutsche Bank – which still has a vast derivatives footprint in the U.S. as counterparty to some of the largest banks on Wall Street – trimmed its exposure to derivatives from a notional €48.266 trillion to a notional €43.459 trillion (49 trillion U.S. dollars) according to its 2018 annual report. A derivatives book of $49 trillion notional puts Deutsche Bank in the same league as the bank holding companies of U.S. juggernauts JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, which logged in at $48 trillion, $47 trillion and $42 trillion, respectively, at the end of December 2018 according to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). (See Table 2 in the Appendix at this link .)

... ... ...

In particular, some of the largest “too big to fail banks” in the United States are “heavily interconnected financially” to Deutsche Bank. The following comes from Wall Street On Parade…

We know that Deutsche Bank’s derivative tentacles extend into most of the major Wall Street banks. According to a 2016 reportfrom the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Deutsche Bank is heavily interconnected financially to JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America as well as other mega banks in Europe. The IMF concluded that Deutsche Bank posed a greater threat to global financial stability than any other bank as a result of these interconnections – and that was when its market capitalization was tens of billions of dollars larger than it is today.

Until these mega banks are broken up, until the Fed is replaced by a competent and serious regulator of bank holding companies, and until derivatives are restricted to those that trade on a transparent exchange, the next epic financial crash is just one counterparty blowup away.

As long as I have been doing this, I have been warning my readers to watch the global derivatives market. It played a starring role during the last financial crisis, and it will play a starring role in the next one too.

The fundamental structural problems that were exposed during 2008 and 2009 were never fixed. In fact, many would argue that the global financial system is even more vulnerable today than it was back during that time.

And now it appears that the next “Lehman Brothers moment” may be playing out right in front of our eyes.

Now more than ever, keep a close eye on Deutsche Bank, because it appears that they could be the first really big domino to fall.

bshirley1968 , 14 minutes ago link

" Deutsche Bank is the most important bank in all of Europe, it has 49 trillion dollars in exposure to derivatives, and most of the largest "too big to fail banks" in the United States have very deep financial connections to the bank. "

Hey, Mike, ever heard of TBTF? Well, you just defined it.

DB has been bankrupt for at least a decade but keeps plugging along. Germany will never let it go under as it is Gemany's only seat at the world banking forum.

There are a couple of Italian banks in much worse shape, that should have gone under again, but they are being propped up. That's right, Italian banks. So no, I don't see anyone letting DB fail.

Riddle me this, after Lehman collapsed, the central banks came in and had things back up and running within a matter of months.....simply by pampering over everything, and have been doing so ever since......if it is a matter of paper in over problems, what make you think this will ever go down?

Things......or DB......will "collapse" when TPTB are ready for it to collapse so they can rearrange whatever it is they want to rearrange. But you can bet your ***, it will be a building 7 moment.......controlled demolition.

[Jul 21, 2019] Several years ago Dagong, the Chinese ratings agency, published a report analyzing the physical economy of the States comparing it with those of China, Germany and Japan.

A large part of the US GDP is FIRE business and that alone makes the USA GDP fake metric of economic growth. .
Notable quotes:
"... The conclusion was that the US GDP was something between $5 to $10 trillion instead of $15 trillion as officially reported by the USG . We assume that the official data, especially economic, released by governments is fake, cooked or distorted in some degree. ..."
Jul 21, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

BuyDash , 9 minutes ago link

As you can see from the soon collapse of the western financial system, the valuation metrics that we have looked to for stability and "the truth" have been mostly fake and gamed.

Inflation, currency supply, housing data, economic growth or lack thereof, all of these data points are manipulated, faked and gamed. Just like the Soviet Union was known in the West to be "faking" their econ data, so too is the west engaged in the same practice.

Deagel.com 2025 population forecast explanation

For example, several years ago Dagong, the Chinese ratings agency, published a report analyzing the physical economy of the States comparing it with those of China, Germany and Japan.

The conclusion was that the US GDP was something between $5 to $10 trillion instead of $15 trillion as officially reported by the USG . We assume that the official data, especially economic, released by governments is fake, cooked or distorted in some degree.

Historically it is well known that the former Soviet Union was making up fake statistics years before its collapse. Western as well as other countries are making up their numbers today to conceal their real state of affairs.

We are sure that many people out there can find government statistics in their own countries that by their own personal experience are hard to believe or are so optimistic that may belong to a different country.

Well, the old boys are back at their old tricks again.

... ... ...

Chain Man , 10 minutes ago link

FASAB 56 has made government financial reporting unreliable. They can hide financial statements. It gives them the right to move around money to hide where money is spent or not report spending at all. I think they used it's loop holes to hide the 17 trillion in drug money.

FASAB is a dream come true for Bank money laundering and embezzlers. The Fed is a joke all these Bank are crooked the way things are set up they can say what ever they want and just screw Nations of the world. End the Fed go to MMT Hybrid system for the sake of the living now, each Nation with it's Own money.

[Jul 20, 2019] Dave Collum Goes Deep On Conspiracy Theories 9-11, Epstein, Pizzagate, JFK, The Vegas Shooting Zero Hedge

Jul 20, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Cornell professor, and long-time friend, David Collum recently appeared on an episode of the Quoth the Raven podcast to talk all things conspiracy. Collum is an economic commentator, chemist, Betty R. Miller Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Cornell University and is known for writing his "Year in Review", which appears here on Zerohedge at the end of every year.

On the episode, host Chris Irons notes that Collum's appearance was prompted by a recent Tweet he put out, in defense of being a conspiracy theorist which sparked a massive social media response and outpouring of reactions, both pro and con.

me title=

On the podcast, Collum and host Chris Irons tap into every major conspiracy theory over the last couple of decades, as well as several current events and the world of finance.

Some highlights:

Collum Thinks Jeffrey Epstein Could Have Been Working For "Powerful People" And "Setting People Up"

The discussion starts with analysis of the current Jeffrey Epstein fiasco and Collum ponders what "can of worms" could open for Bill Clinton and Donald Trump as a result of Epstein going to trial and documents relating to his indictment coming to light.

"It's going to be bi-partisan," Collum says about the Epstein allegations. "Epstein was working for powerful people, to get dirt on powerful people. Epstein wasn't just a dirtball, he was setting people up," he continues.

Collum comments:

"Nowadays getting photographed on a boat with a blonde sitting on your lap doesn't even cause you to lose a vote. Now they gotta get you with something much dirtier. I think that's where the underage kids come in. I think Epstein has been building a portfolio of dirt, like J. Edgar Hoover."

"What if that crazy ass pizzagate conspiracy turns out to be true?" he asks.

* * *

Collum Doesn't Buy The 9/11 Narrative - "Physics Tells Me There's Problems"

Collum then discusses why he doesn't believe the mainstream narrative behind the 9/11 attacks. He cites physics, Building 7 and the lack of video footage of the plane crashing into the Pentagon as two of the big reasons that he questions the official story.

"I think there's problems with 9/11, but no one wants to say that because they're embarrassed to say that. But the laws of physics tell me there's problems. I don't give a shit about the squibs or Larry Silverstein saying they decided to pull the building. When I watch two towers come down perfectly and I go 'chaos theory alone says they should have gone asymmetric and stopped tumbling'..."

Collum continues:

"" I can't believe Building 7 should have fallen . There's really not a shred of footage of the plane hitting the pentagon. Not one frame. The official frame isn't a frame. If someone's got the footage, let me see it."


Scipio Africanuz , 29 minutes ago link

Epstein is tripartisan - Democrats, Republicans, and Likudist, cheers...

captain noob , 40 minutes ago link

Las Vegas CIA

9/11 Israel

Eipstein Mossad

Posa , 1 hour ago link

There's conspiracy theory and conspiracy fact... important distinction... The Congressional 9/11 Inquiry strongly points to CIA- FBI collaboration with the Saudis (the 28 pages redacted by Bush) to stage the 9/11 Terror Spectacle...

Willie the Pimp , 1 hour ago link

I am a "conspiracy theorist". I believe men and women of wealth and power conspire. If you don't think so, then you are what is called "an idiot". If you believe stuff but fear the label, you are what is called "a coward".

So well said.

Ignorance is bliss , 1 hour ago link

I was on Yahoo commenting on a stupid article about Trump and some Kurdish lady asking for asylum. All the comments were anti-Trump. I posted a couple of above board comments and they were all erased. Yahoo articles are heavily censored and bots are posting most of their liberal views. I wonder how long before sites like ZeroHedge will last.

847328_3527 , 1 hour ago link

Good article. However, i am still waiting for even one, at least ONE, demoRat or pedophile to be indicted on anything.

[Jul 20, 2019] There Were Photos Of Topless Women Everywhere Epstein's Former IT Guy Quit Over Disturbing Pictures

Jul 20, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Jeffrey Epstein's former IT contractor, Steve Scully, says that he ended his business relationship with the 66-year-old pedophile over hordes of young women all over his infamous private island, as well as an extensive collection of photographs depicting topless women displayed in the island's various compounds , according to Good Morning America.

... ... ...

Scully told ABC News that he owned and operated a telecommunications business on nearby St. Thomas island when he was hired by Epstein to set up a communications network on Little St. James, also known as 'Pedo Island.' He visited the island over 100 times, and says that his memories of Epstein are 'vivid.'

" He was the most intense person I ever met ," said Scully.

Epstein wanted phone or internet access nearly everywhere on the 72-acre island, Scully said, including in a secluded cove that the financier referred to as "the grotto." Given his work in high-volume financial trading, Scully said, Epstein "never wanted a call to drop" because of weak digital coverage on the island .

The island's primary compound was arranged in a "Danish style" layout -- with individual bedroom suites in individual buildings surrounding a courtyard, Scully recalled, including a pair of large cockatoo statues lording over the island's gardens. He said that at one point, he recalled Epstein wanting to change the name of the island from "Little St. James" to "Little Saint Jeff."

According to Scully, that the strange 'temple' structure was actually a gym , which contained a massive framed photo of a topless woman.


Give Me Some Truth , 6 minutes ago link

Yes, Epstein and Maxwell were obviously operating a major "sex trafficking" operation that involved plenty of girls who were underage.

But Epstein was also, in effect, operating a bordello. A whore house. One assumes that any man who "paid" to be in Epstein's company, had his choice of women or girls.

This is why these places are so "out of the way" and secluded. The island and the ranch in New Mexico.

cleg , 5 minutes ago link

On season St Thomas is awash in bimbo tourists from all over the US & Europe

Ask the St Thomas police how many are reported missing and the estimate of those never reported. Cruise ships don't care..they leave. Airplane don't wait. The assumption is that they got drunk or went native. If they don't show up somewhere looking for a ride home, is any one really looking for them ? Inquiring minds would like to know.

Offer them a party on a PRIVATE Island !..A helicopter or boat ride ! Keep em fed..$2.00 a quart duty free rum...keeping the island stocked with bimbos is the easy part...especially for his less discerning quests. Now the " prime stock " of young uns is a different matter but just keeping a " horde " of bimbos in stock is a breeze for his staff.

When they get stale or become troublesome...drop them back on St Thomas and let the authorities send them back to whence they came with a nice annual retainer to the local constabulary. Rounding up drunks and miscreants and putting them on airplanes is routine duty in island life

I'm sure New Mexico offers the same opportunities and that has its own airstrip.

Give Me Some Truth , 18 minutes ago link

It seems that Vanity Fair is taking the lead in producing informative articles about Epstein's "world."

I gather from a recent story that The Miami Herald might, in fact, be trying to "follow the money."

Both good developments. The more "mainstream" journalists who get involved - and score "scoops" and produce content with big audiences - the more other news organizations might say, "Let's join in and do the same thing."

That's when big stories get exposed - when a pack of journalists and news organizations are simultaneously pursuing different avenues of the same story.

... I still haven't seen a story where authorities explain why they haven't arrested Ghislaine Maxwell or raided the islands or the ranch in New Mexico . So it's not like the press is actually "fishing where the (big) fish are." At least not yet.

... But they might be getting closer to going here.

Your Good Friend , 24 minutes ago link

Epstain has all the behaviors of a bonafide homosexual.

And we all know the predatory nature of homosexuals.

buzzsaw99 , 28 minutes ago link

epstein motto: no child left behind.

[Jul 20, 2019] Palm Beach Sheriff Launches Internal Investigation Into Handling Of Epstein Work Release

Notable quotes:
"... Edwards said during the press conference that he raised the accusation to challenge the idea that Epstein was a model citizen while in jail. Edwards also said that Epstein was in his office most of the day during his 18-month sentence, of which he served 13 months, and that he had female visitors under the age of 21 . ..."
"... Edwards said Epstein had sexual interactions with the female visitors that constituted abuse and were similar in nature to the abuses described in the indictment and charges Epstein faces in court, which are one count of sex trafficking of minors and one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors. - Business Insider ..."
Jul 20, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

The Palm Beach Sheriff's Office has launched an internal affairs investigation into how it handled convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein's work release following a 2007 plea agreement that allowed him to work out of his Palm Beach office for up to 12 hours per day, according to the Miami Herald - which has been instrumental in Epstein's arrest 12 years later.

Specifically, it will look at the decision more than a decade ago to allow Epstein to be free 12 hours a day on work release while serving a short sentence in the county stockade on a prostitution-related charge.

On Friday, Sheriff Ric Bradshaw -- the same sheriff who oversaw the controversial work release arrangement -- ordered the investigation be done.

" Sheriff Bradshaw takes these matters very seriously and wants to determine if any actions taken by the deputies assigned to monitor Epstein during his work release program violated any agency rules and regulations, during the time he was on PBSO work release program," a news release said. - Miami Herald

Epstein was given a slap on the wrist over allegations that he sexually abused girls as young as 14 - many of whom were coerced into sex acts after being told they were there to offer massages.

The US Attorney's office, headed by disgraced former Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, scrapped a 53-page sex-trafficking indictment against Epstein , instead allowing him to plea guilty to solicitation of a minor - a much lesser charge. He served 13 months in the county stockade vs. the decades-long sentence he faced under the federal indictment , according to the Herald .

Epstein has been accused of sexually abusing girls while on work release , according to attorney Brad Edwards, who represents some of Epstein's accusers.

During a Tuesday press conference in New York City, Edwards introduced a woman named Courtney Wild, who says Epstein began abusing her when she was 14-years-old, according to Business Insider .

Edwards said during the press conference that he raised the accusation to challenge the idea that Epstein was a model citizen while in jail. Edwards also said that Epstein was in his office most of the day during his 18-month sentence, of which he served 13 months, and that he had female visitors under the age of 21 .

Edwards said Epstein had sexual interactions with the female visitors that constituted abuse and were similar in nature to the abuses described in the indictment and charges Epstein faces in court, which are one count of sex trafficking of minors and one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors. - Business Insider

Wild appeared in court on Monday during Epstein's bail hearing, saying "I was sexually abused by Jeffrey Epstein starting at the age of 14," while standing just feet from the pedophile money manager.

Epstein was denied bail on Thursday , with Wild's appearance cited in Judge Richard M. Berman's decision.


White Nat , 2 hours ago link

SND #42 Whitney Webb Talks On Her Groundbreaking Epstein Report!

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

Hidden in Plain Sight: The Shocking Origins of the Jeffrey Epstein Case

https://www.mintpressnews.com/shocking-origins-jeffrey-epstein-blackmail-roy-cohn/260621/

Good in-depth look into how ruthless zionist gangsters control our political process through blackmail.

Bronfman, Cohn, Epstein, Wexner, Dalitz, Lansky, Rosensteil - all here.

Now you know why DC sucks zio-****.

Jumanji1959 , 3 hours ago link

Find the common denominator:

Straddling-the-fence , 4 hours ago link

...that he sexually abused girls as young as 14 - many of whom were coerced into sex acts after being told they were there to offer massages.

Why in the hell were fourteen-to-seventeen year old girls even "giving massages??????" That should be a clear indicator right there!

MsCreant , 3 hours ago link

Are you blaming the girls, that they should have known better? Or?

Asking to get clear.

Straddling-the-fence , 3 hours ago link

I wouldn't say "blame" is the right word at all. In fact, I wasn't even posting that coming from the viewpoint/consideration of the girls.

But, for the sake of being the devil's advocate, let's take that route:

Let's say you are a 14 or 15 year old child. Why would an older, rich man even be approaching you for.....anything? Further, why would you them give them the time of day, let alone go to their house/apartment. Further, why would you then allow yourself to be in the position of being alone with them? Further still, why would you then "agree" to "give them a massage?"

The only reasons I can come up with are: 1) Homelessness/Poverty/Hunger/some other extreme condition of life or health, 2) Attention/the promise of gifts or money, 3) Wanting to **** an older guy and/or daddy issues.

MsCreant , 3 hours ago link

#1 and #3 = vulnerable, which is why our culture has decided to protect this age group.

I have step daughters. At 16, I had one who was dressed to kill, going to a party with a lot of older men. I sat her down and explained to her how she looked and the attention she would draw. I did not judge her, I flattered her and told her it was a responsibility. Later, I was made the bad guy for being mean and "scaring her." She cried that I had spoiled her party, that men were not really like that. I had to back off.

My point? So many parents don't talk to their girls about this stuff. And by the time you get to them, if they have not been gently brought along, they think you are trying to control them, and may actually rebel.

Berspankme , 4 hours ago link

Corrupt dept investigates itself. What could go wrong?

White Nat , 4 hours ago link

The real investigation should be into Barry Krischer, the jewish democrat State Prosecutor who only charged his fellow *** Epstein with solicitation despite the mountains of child molestation evidence provided by the Palm Beach PD.

Florida Dem Who Gave Epstein a Pass is Providing "Training" on Prosecuting Sexual Violence Crimes

https://www.frontpagemag.com/point/274255/florida-dem-who-gave-epstein-pass-providing-daniel-greenfield

Would be interesting to know who waived off Acosta and what intelligence agency was involved.

And did Acosta become Labor Secretary in a quid pro quo? If so, who made that deal?

[Jul 20, 2019] How Long Is Jeffrey Epstein For This World

Notable quotes:
"... Mr. LLargi, you need to ask, "Why did this Epstein thing go public now?" This is hard core betrayal of an arrangement Epstein had with government entities and it was done for a reason. Probably a political reason. ..."
"... Epstein seems to be a fairly smart guy, academic-wise, even without the formal degrees. But his inclinations and then being adopted by Mossad entirely corrupted his being. ..."
"... Chances are few elites will go down with Epstein. However, it is very likely the Blackmail material changed hands on who controls it. When it comes to the power structure of the western world, that is a very big deal. ..."
Jul 20, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

This I found interesting, Fox, also from July 18, because it targets Prince Andrew. Is MI6 going to be able to muffle away the obviously very strong and long-term connection between Epstein and Andrew? I'm thinking they'd probably have to get those 2,000 pages re-sealed. Or, you know, burned down. Nuked.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/DQ1JQvi3GSA

And then there's George Webb. Now he is, I understand, someone who's known as a conspiracy theorist, but then many people are in some circles, including myself, This video was posted on July 8 2019, 2 days after Epstein's arrest. My thought while watching this is he may be wrong on some things, he may even be making a few points up, but when you're that detailed on events that occurred over such a long time, you're either on very powerful drugs or you're not entirely wrong. Check for yourself.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/RZlDb6vG6XM

To summarize my thoughts on this, and the reason I started writing this, I can't see Epstein living much longer. There are too many people who would rather see him dead, including perhaps himself. And there are very few people who want him to get into lengthy talks with prosecutors who are actually looking for the truth.

Now of course we must wonder if any prosecutor wants that truth. Alex Acosta left his US government job because "Epstein is intelligence" was not enough to let him keep his job. And if we can believe some of the stories about the CIA, the State Dept and Mossad being linked to Epstein (and we got worse than that), it looks like he's just got to go. Unless someone, or some party involved, has a reason to protect him against all odds. If only to handicap some other people.

After this piece I really hope I never have to write about this topic again. My hopes of that are not overly high, but I do have to say I have a very hard time thinking about child -sex- abuse. I also think we must think much harder about why it is that we pick predators to lead our societies. Because this hardly ever fails, doesn't it? A bunch of sexual deviants rise to the top everywhere.

Sexual predation appears to be some inevitable part of political power. Not everywhere and not all the time, but far too much for comfort.

Let's hope enough of those predators are exposed through the Jeffrey Epstein case. But, you know, listening to George Webb, you think of the oil sheikhs and the girls being trafficked by Epstein and others, from the Balkans and dirt poor African countries, and you ask yourself, what are the odds of full exposure?


Baron von Bud , 11 minutes ago link

Mr. LLargi, you need to ask, "Why did this Epstein thing go public now?" This is hard core betrayal of an arrangement Epstein had with government entities and it was done for a reason. Probably a political reason.

There has to be some systemically critical reason to expose certain people on that list. Epstein never imagined he would be used as criminal evidence against them. Lured back to America, he goes from mega rich with money from unknown sources to a super-max where he can never speak the truth to anyone. I'd guess #2.

Thom Paine , 7 minutes ago link

There seems to be an attempt to rewrite Epstein's history of attendance at Dalton School as a math's teacher. Changing the dates of Epstein's attendance and who employed him. Not sure why, but must be something behind it.

Don Barr was headmaster there and put his resignation in Feb 1974 and left in June 1974. He hired Epstein apparently, though the assertion now is that Epstein started in Sept 1974. Barr as the story in the news back then goes had a habit of employing effective smart people for the job rather than just relying on qualifications.

And stories of Epstein's tenure at Dalton School showed that he was charismatic and a very effective teacher, though some kids have since reported being uncomfortable at times, most liked him., so of the students said though that they saw Epstein flirting with the girls.

Don Barr was the absolute opposite of Epstein in every way imaginable (video interviews of the1970s) and had trouble with the school board for being too strict and conservative when they wanted progressiveness (NY Times of the day). After Barr quit many members of the school committee wanted him re-employed and had a lot of support for him, but the Admin didn't offer it back to him.

The guy that replaced Barr as Headmaster then got into trouble for pedophilia accusation, getting some familys' daughter to 'live in' in his home and provide housework support for the family, in exchange for him paying for her school admittance.

It seems that Epstein has had an early predilection for under age girls? and one wonders if that new headmaster introduced him to the world, or it was coincidence that they both ended up in the school together.

Epstein seems to be a fairly smart guy, academic-wise, even without the formal degrees. But his inclinations and then being adopted by Mossad entirely corrupted his being.

Ms No , 22 minutes ago link

Its very clear now why the British government, American government and the Catholic Church were stacked with pederasts.

Mossad and their puppet CIA run everything. Edit: You can see the dominoes fall by following ownership of currency. There is no global power that they wont target.

rag_house , 44 minutes ago link

Chances are few elites will go down with Epstein. However, it is very likely the Blackmail material changed hands on who controls it. When it comes to the power structure of the western world, that is a very big deal.

[Jul 20, 2019] "Democratic Party Dilemmas -- An Analysis" (20 July 2019) by Professor Lawrence Davidson

Jul 20, 2019 | mondoweiss.net

Misterioso on July 20, 2019, 9:42 am

Not precisely on topic, but relevant and important:

"Democratic Party Dilemmas -- An Analysis" (20 July 2019) by Professor Lawrence Davidson

Part I -- On the Domestic Front

The rise to power of Donald Trump destroyed the traditional Republican Party. Most of the moderate conservatives fled into the ranks of the independents and were replaced by a radical right amalgamation of racists, misogynists, conspiracy theorists, assorted "tea party" types and warmongers. In the background also exists support from religious fundamentalists yearning for Armageddon. If you want to get a snapshot of Trump's new Republicans, just read up on the 200 rightwing social media radicals the president hosted at the White House on Thursday, 11 July 2019. Perhaps their greatest collective desire is to smear Democrats generally and, specifically, malign progressives. These are Trump's new Republicans. They certainly reflect a segment of the American population. A crucial question is just how large a segment are they.

... ... ...

Part II -- On the Foreign Policy Front

It is painfully clear that most Democrats are confused and inconsistent when it comes to foreign policy. Consider this sequence of events:

-- Back in March of 2019, "Nearly 400 members of Congress, from both chambers -- roughly 75 percent of all federal US lawmakers -- signed an open letter calling on President Trump to escalate the war in Syria, in the name of countering Iran, Russia, and Lebanese Hezbollah. Among the signatories are 2020 Democratic presidential candidates Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Cory Booker." Also signing the petition was Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.

-- Then four months later, in July of 2019, "Lawmakers passed two amendments to the House's more than $730 billion national defense budget that would restrict Trump's ability to go to war with Iran without congressional approval, and also put a check on Trump's relationship with Saudi Arabia, an alliance the administration has been using to escalate tensions with Iran."

So what happened between these two events? Between March and July the Trump administration increased its sanctions on Iran and has threatened the Europeans with sanctions if they fulfill their contractual obligations to Iran under the original nuclear agreement. Then the president sent a naval and air armada to the Persian Gulf area. This constituted a form of brinkmanship whereby any small accidental encounter of American and Iranian forces could escalate into war.

Part III -- Theory and Practice

We can look upon the March petition as a form of theory. Probably drawn up by real warmongers in the Congress, almost everyone jumped on board. They did so to show -- to show whom? -- that they were tough on the nation's alleged enemies. At the time, it seemed a costless show of face. Then, come July, theory looked like it was about to turn into practice and the ghosts from wars in Vietnam to Iraq and Afghanistan started to appear before the bipartisan eyes of members of Congress.

While very few lawmakers will admit it publicly, Syria, Iran, and Hezbollah represent absolutely no threat to the United States. Take the case of Syria. The Syrian government has all but won its war against rebelling factions and fanatical religious elements. Its interests and capabilities are limited to consolidating that hard-fought victory. The continuing violence in the country comes largely from the military activity of the U.S., Britain, Israel, and Turkey. At least in the case of the U.S. and Israel, the main reason for this continued victimization of the people of Syria is to keep the country destabilized and fragmented.

Specifically, why would the American government want to see Syria destabilized and fragmented? Is it because Syria constitutes a real threat to the national security of the United States? That proposition is almost laughable. Is it because Iran, an ally of Syria, constitutes a real threat to the United States? In no practical terms is this the case, though it is certainly the case that the U.S. constitutes a real threat to the national security of Iran.

So why the hostility to Syria, Iran and even Hezbollah? Whom were all those March petitioners trying to impress? And who would really benefit from continuing turmoil in Syria? The answer to all these questions is Israel.

The unfortunate truth is that American leaders from President Trump, Vice President Pence, Secretary of State Pompeo, and National Security Adviser Bolton on down to most run-of-the-mill congresspersons and senators have no clear and accurate knowledge of what is going on in the Middle East. They have a large and expensive intelligence apparatus with whom they get irritated and angry every time their experts tell these politicos what they don't want to hear. And what is it that they do want to hear? Well, that might depend on ideology, religion, financial arrangements and other such things that can warp an objective picture of national interest and security. And who manages to tell them things that seem to satisfy most of these ideological, religious, and financial considerations? The answer is again Israel.

Putting aside all the real damage the Zionists actually do -- I really don't want to sound like a broken record -- there is a an outstanding irony in this present situation. And that is, from all we know, President Trump does not want war with Iran. It's just that his abrasive and blusterous personality, which seems never to have outgrown the spoiled bullying nature of his youth, has literally led him to the habit of a blitzkrieg approach to whatever passes in his mind for negotiations. In the case of Iran, he has unthinkingly destroyed the painstakingly wrought nuclear deal of his predecessor (perhaps for no other reason than he hates everything Barack Obama accomplished), and is now trying to force the Iranians into new negotiations by economically and militarily threatening them. This is a form of brinkmanship which is dangerous in the extreme.

Congress suddenly woke up to the reality of this situation -- that is, many in Congress have gone from petitioners trying to be tough guys, to understanding just how dangerous Trump's tactics can be. The result is the bipartisan amendments embedded in the House version of the Defense Appropriations Bill designed to rein in the delinquent in the White House.

Part IV -- Conclusion

... White resentment over the loss of public cultural privilege has festered in the largely unchanged, segregated private sphere. It has done so in rural regions and white suburbs alike. Now with Donald Trump, who is little more that an opportunistic demigod, that resentment has been empowered and our status as a civilized society is in danger.

In the realm of foreign policy the United States has much less to lose for here national behavior has always been uncivilized. The names of presidents who have lied so as to manufacture wars, steal other people's lands, and rein havoc and devastation upon innocent people, rank among many of our most easily recognized leaders.

Yet, for all the horrors our foreign adventures have wrought, the real present danger is that we will turn on ourselves and destroy our precarious democracy. Under these circumstances, the Democrats, for all their shortcomings, represent not only the party of choice, but the potential salvation of the United States. All they have to do is recognize this fact and, taking a cue from the progressive "squad" in the House, act accordingly.

Lawrence Davidson
ldavidson@wcupa.edu

Blog: http://www.tothepointanalyses.com

[Jul 20, 2019] Escobar Western Intellectuals Freak Over Frankenstein China

Jul 20, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Decoupling

Assuming the decoupling would take place, that could be easily perceived as "strategic blackmail" imposed by the Trump administration. Yet what the Trump administration wants is not exactly what the US establishment wants – as shown by an open letter to Trump signed by scores of academics, foreign policy experts and business leaders who are worried that "decoupling" China from the global economy – as if Washington could actually pull off such an impossibility – would generate massive blowback.

What may actually happen in terms of a US-China "decoupling" is what Beijing is already, actively working on: extending trade partnerships with the EU and across the Global South.

And that will lead, according to Li, to the Chinese leadership offering deeper and wider market access to its partners. This will soon be the case with the EU, as discussed in Brussels in the spring.

Sun Jie, a researcher at the Institute of World Economics and Politics at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that deepening partnerships with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) will be essential in case a decoupling is in the cards.

For his part Liu Qing, an economics professor at Renmin University, stressed the need for top international relations management, dealing with everyone from Europe to the Global South, to prevent their companies from replacing Chinese companies in selected global supply chains.

And Wang Xiaosong, an economics professor at Renmin University, emphasized that a concerted Chinese strategic approach in dealing with Washington is absolutely paramount.

All about Belt and Road

A few optimists among Western intellectuals would rather characterize what is going on as a vibrant debate between proponents of "restraint" and "offshore balancing" and proponents of "liberal hegemony". In fact, it's actually a firefight.

Among the Western intellectuals singled out by the puzzled Frankenstein guy, it is virtually impossible to find another voice of reason to match Martin Jacques , now a senior fellow at Cambridge University. When China Rules the World , his hefty tome published 10 years ago, still leaps out of an editorial wasteland of almost uniformly dull publications by so-called Western "experts" on China.

Jacques has understood that now it's all about the New Silk Roads, or Belt and Road Initiative:

"BRI has the potential to offer another kind of world, another set of values, another set of imperatives, another way of organizing, another set of institutions, another set of relationships."

Belt and Road, adds Jacques, "offers an alternative to the existing international order. The present international order was designed by and still essentially privileges the rich world, which represents only 15% of the world's population. BRI, on the other hand, is addressing at least two-thirds of the world's population. This is extraordinarily important for this moment in history."

[Jul 20, 2019] The European Union's New Executive Kowtows to the Left

Jul 20, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Ursula von der Leyen arrives clouded in scandal and ready to implement radical economic policies that will stifle growth.

like Jean-Claude Juncker, she arrives in Brussels with a record of negligence in her country of origin. Whereas Juncker was accused of failing in his duty to inform the Luxembourg Parliament of illegal wiretapping by the intelligence service, von der Leyen was denounced for mismanagement. In October 2018, when she was still Germany's minister of defense, she admitted that her department had made mistakes in awarding contracts to external consultants, amounting to several hundred million euros.

In 2012, Josep Borrell, former president of the European Parliament and former minister in various Spanish socialist governments, was forced to resign from his position as president of the European University Institute (UIE) following allegations of conflicts of interest. At that time, he was receiving €300,000 as a member of the board of directors of the Spanish sustainable energy company Abengoa, while at the same time promoting biofuels through the institute.

Nevertheless, alongside von der Leyen, Borrell is about to be confirmed as the new head of EU diplomacy. Another perfect candidate.

The scandal in Berlin is not the only reason the vote for Von der Leyen was narrow. It was also that socialists and environmentalists weren't given sufficient trade-offs (in their eyes). The European Union is all about distributing the large number of positions and policy priorities between the involved parties, and in this case, the left felt shafted.

The Nationalists Who Could Take Over the European Union Stopped Clocks: The European Union Gets War With Iran Exactly Right

A source from the PiS party (the ruling party in Poland) told journalist Oskar Górzyński of the media company Wirtualna Polska that it was a call from Chancellor Angela Merkel that tipped some Polish MEPs over. What did Mrs. Merkel promise them? More agricultural subsidies? The abandonment of the Article 7 sanction procedure against judicial reforms in Poland? Only Merkel knows that and she won't tell.

Bill Wirtz comments on European politics and policy in English, French, and German. His work has appeared in Newsweek, the Washington Examiner, CityAM, Le Monde, Le Figaro, and Die Welt.

[Jul 20, 2019] New Jersey lawmakers are trying to amend the state's discrimination laws to equate criticism of Israel with antisemitism by Michael Arria

I agree that denying Israel the right to exit is anti-Semitism, but "a double standard to Israel by requiring behavior of Israel that is not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation, or focusing peace or human rights investigations only on Israel" is an overkill. Which European country systematically kills and injure the protesters? Or bomb occupied territories? What about the absence of constitution or defined borders? What about Rabbinate approval of marriages?. What about generetic tests for Jewishness?
Critique of Israel as a theocratic state is still OK ;-) Critique of pro-Israel lobby is still OK too :-). And while holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of Israel is clear anti-Semitism, holding Zionists responsible is pretty straightforward and completely justified as Zionism was/is at the core of Isreal ideology. As a flavorof far-rigth nationalism Zionism is questionable on many levels.
Notable quotes:
"... The proposed New Jersey bill comes amidst a national debate regarding the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) and potential laws that would prohibit participation in it. As of April 2019, 27 states had adopted anti-BDS laws and there have been various attempts to criminalize the movement at the federal level. 344 Representatives currently back a resolution condemning BDS, while Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar recently proposed legislation affirming that all Americans have the right to participate in such boycotts. ..."
Jul 19, 2019 | mondoweiss.net

Lawmakers in New Jersey have introduced an antisemitism bill that would prohibit certain criticism of Israel in public schools and universities. The proposed legislation comes on the heels of similar bills being passed in South Carolina and Florida . Last year, the Department of Education adopted a new definition of antisemitism to include criticism of Israel.

SB 4001 was introduced on June 24 by Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Sen. Robert Singer. It aims to ensure that antisemitism is treated the same way as other forms of discrimination by amending state law. However, the bill equates criticism of Israel with antisemitism in a number of places including:

-[D]emonizing Israel by using the symbols and images associated with classic anti-Semitism to characterize Israel or Israeli people, drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis, or blaming Israel for all interreligious or political tensions;

-[A]pplying a double standard to Israel by requiring behavior of Israel that is not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation, or focusing peace or human rights investigations only on Israel; and

-[D]elegitimizing Israel by denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination and denying Israel the right to exist.

In fact, the bill states that criticism of Israel can only avoid being considered antisemitic if "it is similar to criticism toward any other country."

A group of 13 human rights groups (including Jewish Voice for Peace, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations) have sent a letter to the New Jersey Education Senate Committee urging lawmakers to reject the legislation:

We write to raise concerns with S. 4001/A. 5755, an Act prohibiting anti-Semitism in public schools and institutions of higher education (the Act), which fails to achieve this goal. The Act codifies a widely contested redefinition of antisemitism that includes protected speech critical of Israel.2 This vague and overbroad redefinition in the Act conflates political criticism of Israel with anti-Jewish hate, encouraging infringements on constitutionally protected speech related to a human rights movement, and undermining the fight against real antisemitism.

Indeed, in our experience defending civil rights on college campuses, we have seen firsthand how the redefinition that the Act would codify has been used as a tool to silence students, faculty, and staff who advocate for Palestinian rights.3 This experience makes clear that the primary aim of this bill is to censor First Amendment-protected criticism of Israeli government policies and speech calling for freedom, justice, and equality for Palestinians. It invites New Jersey schools and universities to violate free speech rights by discriminating against certain viewpoints and chilling one side of an important political debate.

SB 4001 is very similar to a Florida bill that was signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis in May, just days after the state's cabinet held a ceremonial meeting in Israel. Last year, South Carolina became the first state to pass such a law.

Last September, the Department of Education changed the criteria for investigating antisemitism to include criticism of Israel and reopened a 2011 case in which Jewish students at Rutgers University were allegedly discriminated against. That complaint was originally made by the Zionist Organization of America in response to a pro-Palestinian event on campus. This new interpretation is sometimes referred to as the "State Department Definition" because it's listed on their website, but it hasn't actually been formally adopted as federal law. However, Congress is currently trying to change that.

In March, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) introduced the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act of 2019 . The bill would adopt the definition listed on the State Department's website "for the enforcement of Federal antidiscrimination laws concerning education programs or activities." A previous version of the bill died at the end of the last congressional session. Scott's legislation currently has 16 cosponsors, including Florida Senator Marco Rubio.

Liz Jackson is a founding staff attorney for Palestine Legal, an independent organization that defends the rights of people who speak out on issues of Palestinian freedom. "This definition is the result of a decades-long lobbying push by Israel advocacy organizations (and Israel itself) to codify the false equation of antisemitism and criticism of Israel, in order to censor calls for Palestinian rights," she told Mondoweiss , "This is an Israel lobby priority because there is no other way to address critiques of Israel's human rights record. They don't want to talk about brutality towards Palestinians because they have no good answer. Their only response to Palestinians' call for freedom and equality is to censor it."

The push the redefine antisemitism began to gain steam over a decade ago after pro-Israel groups began promoting a paper by Tel Aviv University professor Dina Porat titled, "The International Working Definition of Antisemitism and Its Detractors." Porat wrote that antisemitism could manifest itself with regard to Israel in the following ways:

• Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.

• Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.

• Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis.

• Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis. • Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.

Like the aforementioned state laws, Porat's definition stipulates that criticism of Israel is antisemitic unless it's "similar to that leveled against any other country."

The proposed New Jersey bill comes amidst a national debate regarding the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) and potential laws that would prohibit participation in it. As of April 2019, 27 states had adopted anti-BDS laws and there have been various attempts to criminalize the movement at the federal level. 344 Representatives currently back a resolution condemning BDS, while Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar recently proposed legislation affirming that all Americans have the right to participate in such boycotts.

[Jul 20, 2019] And why didn't they interview Julian Assange? And did the FBI look into the Seth Rich murder investigation?

Jul 20, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Smi1ey , 5 hours ago link

Robert Mueller, might have to answer some embarrassing questions about the conduct of his investigation -- like, why did it go on for two years when his chief deputy, Mr. Weissmann, was informed from the get-go that the main predicate document was a fraud?

And why didn't they interview Julian Assange?

And did the FBI look into the Seth Rich murder investigation?

[Jul 20, 2019] Western Interests Aim To Flummox Russia

Notable quotes:
"... One pressure on Putin comes from the Atlanticist Integrationists who have a material stake in their connections to the West and who want Russia to be integrated into the Western world. ..."
"... We agree with President Putin that the sanctions are in fact a benefit to Russia as they have moved Russia in self-sufficient directions and toward developing relationships with China and Asia. ..."
"... It is a self-serving Western myth that Russia needs foreign loans. This myth is enshrined in neoliberal economics, which is a device for Western exploitation and control of other countries. Russia's most dangerous threat is the country's neoliberal economists. ..."
"... Neoliberals argue that Russia needs privatization in order to cover its budget deficit. Russia's government debt is only 17 percent of Russian GDP. According to official measures, US federal debt is 104 percent of GDP, 6.1 times higher than in Russia. If US federal debt is measured in real corrected terms, US federal debt is 185 percent of US GDP. http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2014/07/08/deteriorating-economic-outlook/ ..."
"... Russia's most dangerous threat is the country's neoliberal economists. ..."
"... Most of Russia's economic block has to be literally purged from their sinecures, some, indeed, have to be "re-educated" near Magadan or Tyumen, or Saransk. Too bad, two of these places are actually not too bad. Others deserved to be executed. Too bad this jackass Gaidar (actually no blood relation to Arkady whatsoever) died before he could be tried for crimes against humanity and genocide. Albeit, some say he died because of his consciousness couldn't take the burden. Looking at his swine face I, somehow, doubt it. ..."
"... This is not a US vs Russia issue. The real conflict is ... Globalism vs Russian nationalism and American nationalism. But since Jews control the media, they've spread the impression that it's about US vs Russia. ..."
"... Trump is an ultra-zionist for Sheldon Adelson and prolongs & creates wars for the Goldman banking crimesyndicat. ..."
"... Voltaire once said, "To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize." ..."
"... You write about Russia but have not done your homework. Russia is very dependent on Western technology and its entire high-tech industry depends on the import of Western machinery. Without such machinery many Russian factories, including military ones, would stall. Very important oil industry is particularly vulnerable. ..."
Mar 03, 2017 | www.unz.com
An article by Robert Berke in oilprice.com, which describes itself as "The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News," illustrates how interest groups control outcomes by how they shape policy choices.

Berke's article reveals how the US intends to maintain and extend its hegemony by breaking up the alliance between Russia, Iran, and China, and by oil privatizations that result in countries losing control over their sovereignty to private oil companies that work closely with the US government. As Trump has neutered his presidency by gratuitously accepting Gen. Flynn's resignation as National Security Advisor, this scheme is likely to be Trump's approach to "better relations" with Russia.

Berke reports that Henry Kissinger has sold President Trump on a scheme to use the removal of Russian sanctions to pry President Putin away from the Russian alliance with Iran and China. Should Putin fall for such a scheme, it would be a fatal strategic blunder from which Russia could not recover. Yet, Putin will be pressured to make this blunder.

One pressure on Putin comes from the Atlanticist Integrationists who have a material stake in their connections to the West and who want Russia to be integrated into the Western world. Another pressure comes from the affront that sanctions represent to Russians. Removing this insult has become important to Russians even though the sanctions do Russia no material harm.

We agree with President Putin that the sanctions are in fact a benefit to Russia as they have moved Russia in self-sufficient directions and toward developing relationships with China and Asia. Moreover, the West with its hegemonic impulses uses economic relationships for control purposes. Trade with China and Asia does not pose the same threat to Russian independence.

Berke says that part of the deal being offered to Putin is "increased access to the huge European energy market, restored western financial credit, access to Western technology, and a seat at the global decision-making table, all of which Russia badly needs and wants." Sweetening the honey trap is official recognization of "Crimea as part of Russia."

Russia might want all of this, but it is nonsense that Russia needs any of it.

Crimea is part of Russia, as it has been for 300 years, and no one can do anything about it. What would it mean if Mexico did not recognize that Texas and California were part of the US? Nothing.

Europe has scant alternatives to Russian energy. Russia does not need Western technology. Indeed, its military technology is superior to that in the West. And Russia most certainly does not need Western loans. Indeed, it would be an act of insanity to accept them.

It is a self-serving Western myth that Russia needs foreign loans. This myth is enshrined in neoliberal economics, which is a device for Western exploitation and control of other countries. Russia's most dangerous threat is the country's neoliberal economists.

The Russian central bank has convinced the Russian government that it would be inflationary to finance Russian development projects with the issuance of central bank credit. Foreign loans are essential, claims the central bank.

Someone needs to teach the Russian central bank basic economics before Russia is turned into another Western vassal. Here is the lesson: When central bank credit is used to finance development projects, the supply of rubles increases but so does output from the projects. Thus, goods and services rise with the supply of rubles. When Russia borrows foreign currencies from abroad, the money supply also increases, but so does the foreign debt. Russia does not spend the foreign currencies on the project but puts them into its foreign exchange reserves. The central bank issues the same amount of rubles to pay the project's bills as it would in the absence of the foreign loan. All the foreign loan does is to present Russia with an interest payment to a foreign creditor.

Foreign capital is not important to countries such as Russia and China. Both countries are perfectly capable of financing their own development. Indeed, China is the world's largest creditor nation. Foreign loans are only important to countries that lack the internal resources for development and have to purchase the business know-how, techlology, and resources abroad with foreign currencies that their exports are insufficient to bring in.

This is not the case with Russia, which has large endowments of resources and a trade surplus. China's development was given a boost by US corporations that moved their production for the US market offshore in order to pocket the difference in labor and regulatory costs.

Neoliberals argue that Russia needs privatization in order to cover its budget deficit. Russia's government debt is only 17 percent of Russian GDP. According to official measures, US federal debt is 104 percent of GDP, 6.1 times higher than in Russia. If US federal debt is measured in real corrected terms, US federal debt is 185 percent of US GDP. http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2014/07/08/deteriorating-economic-outlook/

Clearly, if the massive debt of the US government is not a problem, the tiny debt of Russia is not a problem.

Berke's article is part of the effort to scam Russia by convincing the Russian government that its prosperity depends on unfavorable deals with the West. As Russia's neoliberal economists believe this, the scam has a chance of success.

Another delusion affecting the Russian government is the belief that privatization brings in capital. This delusion caused the Russian government to turn over 20 percent of its oil company to foreign ownership. The only thing Russia achieved by this strategic blunder was to deliver 20 percent of its oil profits into foreign hands. For a one-time payment, Russia gave away 20 percent of its oil profits in perpetuity.

To repeat outselves, the greatest threat that Russia faces is not sanctions but the incompetence of its neoliberal economists who have been throughly brainwashed to serve US interests.

Mao Cheng Ji , February 14, 2017 at 6:55 pm GMT \n

When Russia borrows foreign currencies from abroad, the money supply also increases, but so does the foreign debt. Russia does not spend the foreign currencies on the project but puts them into its foreign exchange reserves. The central bank issues the same amount of rubles to pay the project's bills as it would in the absence of the foreign loan. All the foreign loan does is to present Russia with an interest payment to a foreign creditor.

Yes, correct. But this is an IMF rule, and Russia is an IMF member. To control its monetary policy it would have to get out.

Lyttenburgh , February 14, 2017 at 6:57 pm GMT \n

Another pressure comes from the affront that sanctions represent to Russians. Removing this insult has become important to Russians even though the sanctions do Russia no material harm.

Oh dear, neolibs at their "finest"!

This "theory" is simply not true. If anything, Russians don't want the sanctions to be lifted, because this will also force us to scrap our counter-sanctions against the EU. The agro-business in Russia had been expanding by leaps and bounds for the last two years. This persistent myth that "the Russians" (who exactly, I wonder – 2-3% of the pro-Western urbanites in Moscow and St. Pete?) are desperate to have the sanctons lifted is a self-deception of the West, who IS desparate of the fact that the sanctions didn't work.

Russia's most dangerous threat is the country's neoliberal economists.

Yes! Ulyukayev is, probably, feeling lonely in his prison. I say – why not send Chubais, Siluanov and Nabiulina to cheer him up?

WorkingClass , February 14, 2017 at 7:59 pm GMT \n

Berke reports that Henry Kissinger has sold President Trump on a scheme to use the removal of Russian sanctions to pry President Putin away from the Russian alliance with Iran and China.

Kissinger, like Dick Cheney or George Soros, will probably never be completely dead.

SmoothieX12 , Website February 14, 2017 at 8:56 pm GMT \n
@WorkingClass
Berke reports that Henry Kissinger has sold President Trump on a scheme to use the removal of Russian sanctions to pry President Putin away from the Russian alliance with Iran and China.
Kissinger, like Dick Cheney or George Soros, will probably never be completely dead.

LOL! True. You forgot McCain, though.

SmoothieX12 , Website February 14, 2017 at 9:04 pm GMT \n
100 Words @Lyttenburgh
Another pressure comes from the affront that sanctions represent to Russians. Removing this insult has become important to Russians even though the sanctions do Russia no material harm.
Oh dear, neolibs at their "finest"! This "theory" is simply not true. If anything, Russians don't want the sanctions to be lifted, because this will also force us to scrap our counter-sanctions against the EU. The agro-business in Russia had been expanding by leaps and bounds for the last two years. This persistent myth that "the Russians" (who exactly, I wonder - 2-3% of the pro-Western urbanites in Moscow and St. Pete?) are desperate to have the sanctons lifted is a self-deception of the West, who IS desparate of the fact that the sanctions didn't work.
Russia's most dangerous threat is the country's neoliberal economists.
Yes! Ulyukayev is, probably, feeling lonely in his prison. I say - why not send Chubais, Siluanov and Nabiulina to cheer him up? ;)

I say – why not send Chubais, Siluanov and Nabiulina to cheer him up?

Most of Russia's economic block has to be literally purged from their sinecures, some, indeed, have to be "re-educated" near Magadan or Tyumen, or Saransk. Too bad, two of these places are actually not too bad. Others deserved to be executed. Too bad this jackass Gaidar (actually no blood relation to Arkady whatsoever) died before he could be tried for crimes against humanity and genocide. Albeit, some say he died because of his consciousness couldn't take the burden. Looking at his swine face I, somehow, doubt it.

Priss Factor , February 14, 2017 at 10:38 pm GMT \n
100 Words

A silver-lining to this.

If the US continues to antagonize Russia, Russia will have to grow even more independent, nationalist, and sovereign. At any rate, this issue cannot be addressed until we face that the fact that globalism is essentially Jewish Supremacism that fears gentile nationalism as a barrier to its penetration and domination.

This is not a US vs Russia issue. The real conflict is ... Globalism vs Russian nationalism and American nationalism. But since Jews control the media, they've spread the impression that it's about US vs Russia.

Same thing with this crap about 'white privilege'. It is a misleading concept to fool Americans into thinking that the main conflict is between 'privileged whites' and 'people of color'. It is really to hide the fact that Jewish power and privilege really rules the US. It is a means to hoodwink people from noticing that the real divide is between Jews and Gentiles, not between 'privileged whites' and 'non-white victims'. After all, too many whites lack privilege, and too many non-whites do very well in America.

Seamus Padraig , February 14, 2017 at 11:29 pm GMT \n
@SmoothieX12
I say – why not send Chubais, Siluanov and Nabiulina to cheer him up?

Most of Russia's economic block has to be literally purged from their sinecures, some, indeed, have to be "re-educated" near Magadan or Tyumen, or Saransk. Too bad, two of these places are actually not too bad. Others deserved to be executed. Too bad this jackass Gaidar (actually no blood relation to Arkady whatsoever) died before he could be tried for crimes against humanity and genocide. Albeit, some say he died because of his consciousness couldn't take the burden. Looking at his swine face I, somehow, doubt it.

I'm generally a big fan and admirer of Putin, but this is definitely one criticism of him that I have a lot of sympathy for. It is long past time for Putin to purge the neoliberals from the Kremlin and nationalize the Russian Central Bank. I cannot fathom why he hasn't done this already.

Seamus Padraig , February 14, 2017 at 11:34 pm GMT \n

Does PCR really think that Putin is stupid enough to fall for Kissinger's hair-brained scheme? I mean, give Putin a little bit of credit. He has so far completely outmaneuvered Washington on virtually ever subject. I'm sure he's clever enough to see through such a crude divide-and-rule strategy.

anonymous , February 15, 2017 at 4:17 am GMT

The Russians can't be flummoxed, they aren't children. Russia and China border each other so they have a natural mutual interest in having their east-west areas be stable and safe, particularly when the US threatens both of them. This geography isn't going to change. Abandoning clients such as Syria and Iran would irreversibly damage the Russian brand as being unreliable therefore they'd find it impossible to attract any others in the future. They know this so it's unlikely they would be so rash as to snap at any bait dangled in front of them. And, as pointed out, the bait really isn't all that irresistible. It's always best to negotiate from a position of strength and they realize that. American policy deep thinkers are often fantasists who bank upon their chess opponents making hoped-for predictable moves. That doesn't happen in real life.

SmoothieX12 , Website February 15, 2017 at 2:29 pm GMT \n
@Seamus Padraig

I'm generally a big fan and admirer of Putin, but this is definitely one criticism of him that I have a lot of sympathy for. It is long past time for Putin to purge the neoliberals from the Kremlin and nationalize the Russian Central Bank. I cannot fathom why he hasn't done this already.

I cannot fathom why he hasn't done this already.

Partially, because Putin himself is an economic liberal and, to a degree, monetarist, albeit less rigid than his economic block. The good choices he made often were opposite to his views. As he himself admitted that Russia's geopolitical vector changed with NATO's aggression against Yugoslavia–a strengthening of Russia has become an imperative. This comeback was impossible within the largely "Western" monetarist economic model. Russia's comeback happened not thanks but despite Putin's economic views, Putin adjusted his views in the process, his economic block didn't. But many of them still remain his friends, despite the fact that many of them are de facto fifth column and work against Russia, intentionally and other wise. Eventually Putin will be forced to get down from his fence and take the position of industrialists and siloviki. Putin's present for Medvedev's birthday was a good hint on where he is standing economically today and I am beginning to like that but still–I personally am not convinced yet. We'll see. In many respects Putin was lucky and specifically because of the namely Soviet military and industry captains still being around–people who, unlike Putin, knew exactly what constituted Russia's strength. Enough to mention late Evgeny Primakov. Let's not forget that despite Putin's meteoric rise through the top levels of Russia's state bureaucracy, including his tenure as a Director of FSB, Putin's background is not really military-industrial. He is a lawyer, even if uniformed (KGB) part of his career. I know for a fact that initially (early 2000s) he was overwhelmed with the complexity of Russia's military and industry. Enough to mention his creature Serdyukov who almost destroyed Command and Control structure of Russia's Armed Forces and main ideologue behind Russia's military "reform", late Vitaly Shlykov who might have been a great GRU spy (and economist by trade) but who never served a day in combat units. Thankfully, the "reforms" have been stopped and Russian Armed Forces are still dealing with the consequences. This whole clusterfvck was of Putin's own creation–hardly a good record on his resume. Hopefully, he learned.

Vlad , February 17, 2017 at 8:44 am GMT \n
@Seamus Padraig

I'm generally a big fan and admirer of Putin, but this is definitely one criticism of him that I have a lot of sympathy for. It is long past time for Putin to purge the neoliberals from the Kremlin and nationalize the Russian Central Bank. I cannot fathom why he hasn't done this already.

He has not done it already because he just cannot let go of his dream to have it as he did in 2003, when Russia Germany and France together blocked legality of US war in Iraq. Putin still hopes for a good working relationship with major West European powers. Italy France and even Germany.

He still hopes to draw them away from the US. However the obvious gains from Import substitution campaign make it apparent that Russia does benefit from sanctions, that Russia can get anything it wants in technology from the East rather than the West. So the break with Western orientation is in the making. Hopefully.

annamaria , February 17, 2017 at 3:50 pm GMT \n

You forgot to mention the "moderate" jihadis, including the operatives from NATO, Israel, and US. (It seems that the Ukrainian "patriots" that have been bombing the civilians in East Ukraine, also include special "patriots" from the same unholy trinity: https://www.roguemoney.net/stories/2016/12/6/there-are-troops-jack-us-army-donbass ). There has been also a certain asymmetry in means: look at the map for the number and location of the US/NATO military bases. At least we can see that RF has been trying to avoid the hot phase of WWIII. http://russia-insider.com/sites/insider/files/NATO-vs-Russia640.jpg

annamaria , February 17, 2017 at 4:11 pm GMT \n
200 Words @Priss Factor A silver-lining to this.

If the US continues to antagonize Russia, Russia will have to grow even more independent, nationalist, and sovereign.

At any rate, this issue cannot be addressed until we face that the fact that globalism is essentially Jewish Supremacism that fears gentile nationalism as a barrier to its penetration and domination.

This is not a US vs Russia issue. The real conflict is Jewish Globalism vs Russian nationalism and American nationalism. But since Jews control the media, they've spread the impression that it's about US vs Russia.

Same thing with this crap about 'white privilege'. It is a misleading concept to fool Americans into thinking that the main conflict is between 'privileged whites' and 'people of color'. It is really to hide the fact that Jewish power and privilege really rules the US. It is a means to hoodwink people from noticing that the real divide is between Jews and Gentiles, not between 'privileged whites' and 'non-white victims'. After all, too many whites lack privilege, and too many non-whites do very well in America.

On the power and privilege that really rule the US:
"Sanctions – economic sanctions, as most of them are, can only stand and 'succeed', as long as countries, who oppose Washington's dictate remain bound into the western, dollar-based, fraudulent monetary scheme. The system is entirely privatized by a small Zionist-led elite. FED, Wall Street, Bank for International Settlement (BIS), are all private institutions, largely controlled by the Rothschild, Rockefeller, Morgan et al clans. They are also supported by the Breton Woods Organizations, IMF and World Bank, conveniently created under the Charter of the UN.
Few progressive economists understand how this debt-based pyramid scam is manipulating the entire western economic system. When in a just world, it should be just the contrary, the economy that shapes, designs and decides the functioning of the monetary system and policy.
Even Russia, with Atlantists still largely commanding the central bank and much of the financial system, isn't fully detached from the dollar dominion – yet."

http://thesaker.is/venezuela-washingtons-latest-defamation-to-bring-nato-to-south-america/

Anon , February 17, 2017 at 4:55 pm GMT \n
100 Words

"I cannot fathom why he hasn't done this (nationalize the "central bank) already".

I read about a rumor a few years ago that Putin has been warned that nationalizing the now private Russian central bank will bring absolutely dire consequences to both him and Russia. It is simply a step he cannot take.

How dire are the potential consequences? Consider that the refusal of the American government to reauthorize the private central bank in the US brought about the War of 1812. The Americans learned their lesson and quickly reauthorized the private bank after the war had ended.

Numerous attempts were made to assassinate President Andrew Jacksons specifically because of his refusal to reauthorize the private central bank.

JFK anyone?

Agent76 , February 17, 2017 at 6:07 pm GMT \n
100 Words

Here it is in audio form so you can just relax and just listen at your leisure.

*ALL WARS ARE BANKERS' WARS* By Michael Rivero https://youtu.be/WN0Y3HRiuxo

I know many people have a great deal of difficulty comprehending just how many wars are started for no other purpose than to force private central banks onto nations, so let me share a few examples, so that you understand why the US Government is mired in so many wars against so many foreign nations. There is ample precedent for this.

Priss Factor , February 17, 2017 at 7:31 pm GMT \n
1,000 Words

Here is proof that there is no real Leftist power anymore.

Voltaire once said, "To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize."

If the Left really rules America, how come it is fair game to criticize, condemn, mock, and vilify Marx, Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, Bakunin, Emma Goldman & anarchists, Castro, Che(even though he is revered by many, one's career isn't damaged by attacking him), Tito, Ceucescu, Mao, Ho Chi Minh, Gramsci, Eurgene Debs, Pete Seeger, Abbie Hoffman, Bill Ayers, and etc.

You can say whatever you want about such people. Some will agree, some will disagree, but you will not be fired, blacklisted, or destroyed.

If the Left really rules, why would this be?

Now, what would happen if you name the Jewish Capitalists as the real holders of power?
What would happen if you name the Jewish oligarchic corporatists who control most of media?
What would happen if you said Jews are prominent in the vice industry of gambling?
What would happen if you named the Jewish capitalists in music industry that made so much money by spreading garbage?
What would happen if you said Jewish warhawks were largely responsible for the disasters in Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Ukraine?
And what would happen if you were question the MLK mythology and cult?
What would happen if you were to make fun of homos and trannies?
Now, keep in mind that blacks and homos are favored by Jews as their main allies.
(Some say the US is not a pro-minority nation, but it's still permissible to criticize, impugn, and vilify Chinese, Iranians, Muslims, Mexicans, Hindus, and etc. Trump was hard on China, Iran, Muslims, and Mexicans, and he got some flak over it but not enough to destroy him. Now, imagine what would have happened if he'd said such things about blacks, Africa, homos, Jews, and Israel? American politics isn't necessarily pro-minority. If it is, it should favor Palestinian-Americans just as much as Jewish-Americans. Actually, since there are fewer Palestinian-Americans than Jewish-Americans, the US, being pro-minority, should favor Palestinians over Jews in America. In reality, it is AIPAC that draws all the politicians. America is about Pro-Power, and since Jews have the Power and since Jews are a minority, it creates the false impression that the US is a minority-supremacist nation. But WHICH minority? Jews would like for us think that all minorities are represented equally in the US, but do Eskimos, Hawaiians, Guatemalans, Vietnamese, and etc. have the kind of power & protection that the Jewish minority has? Do we see politicians and powerbrokers flock to such minorities for funds and favors?)

So, what does it about the real power in America? So many 'conservatives' say the Left controls America. But in fact, an American can badmouth all true bonafide leftist leaders and thinkers(everyone from Lenin to Sartre). However, if an American were to badmouth Sheldon Adelson as a sick demented Zionist capitalist oligarch who wants to nuke Iran, he would be blacklisted by the most of the media. (If one must criticize Adelson, it has to be in generic terms of him a top donor to the likes of Romney. One mustn't discuss his zealous and maniacal views rooted in Zionist-supremacism. You can criticize his money but not the mentality that determines the use of that money.) Isn't it rather amusing how the so-called Liberals denounce the GOP for being 'extreme' but overlook the main reason for such extremism? It's because the GOP relies on Zionist lunatics like Adelson who thinks Iran should be nuked to be taught a lesson. Even Liberal Media overlook this fact. Also, it's interesting that the Liberal Media are more outraged by Trump's peace offer to Russia than Trump's hawkish rhetoric toward Iran. I thought Liberals were the Doves.

We know why politics and media work like this. It's not about 'left' vs 'right' or 'liberal' vs 'conservative'. It is really about Jewish Globalist Dominance. Jews, neocon 'right' or globo-'left', hate Russia because its brand of white gentile nationalism is an obstacle to Jewish supremacist domination. Now, Current Russia is nice to Jews, and Jews can make all the money they want. But that isn't enough for Jews. Jews want total control of media, government, narrative, everything. If Jews say Russia must have homo parades and 'gay marriage', Russia better bend over because its saying NO means that it is defiant to the Jewish supremacist agenda of using homomania as proxy to undermine and destroy all gentile nationalism rooted in identity and moral righteousness.
Russia doesn't allow that, and that is what pisses off Jews. For Jews, the New Antisemitism is defined as denying them the supremacist 'right' to control other nations. Classic antisemitism used to mean denying Jews equal rights under the law. The New Antisemitism means Jews are denied the right to gain dominance over others and dictate terms.
So, that is why Jews hate any idea of good relations with Russia. But Jews don't mind Trump's irresponsible anti-Iran rhetoric since it serves Zionist interest. So, if Trump were to say, "We shouldn't go to war with Russia; we should be friends" and "We should get ready to bomb, destroy, and even nuke Iran", the 'liberal' media would be more alarmed by the Peace-with-Russia statement. Which groups controls the media? 'Liberals', really? Do Muslim 'liberals' agree with Jewish 'liberals'?

Anyway, we need to do away with the fiction that Left rules anything. They don't. We have Jewish Supremacist rule hiding behind the label of the 'Left'. But the US is a nation where it's totally permissible to attack real leftist ideas and leaders but suicidal if anyone dares to discuss the power of super-capitalist Jewish oligarchs. Some 'leftism'!

We need to discuss the power of the Glob.

annamaria , February 17, 2017 at 9:42 pm GMT \n
300 Words @Quartermaster Trump has not been neutered. Buchanan has the right on this and Flynn's actions.

Sorry, but Crimea is Ukraine. Russia is in serious economic decline and is rapidly burning through its reserves. Putin is almost down to the welfare fund from which pensions are paid, and only about a third of pensions are being paid now.

If Sanctions are of benefit to Russia, then the sanctions against Imperial Japan were just ducky and no war was fought.

Roberts is the next best thing to insane.

This is rich from a Ukrainian nationalist ruled by Groysman/Kagans.
First, figure out who is your saint, a collaborationist Bandera (Babiy Yar and such) or a triple-sitizenship Kolomojski (auto-da-fe of civilians in Odessa). If you still want to bring Holodomor to a discussion, then you need to be reminded that 80% of Ukrainian Cheka at that time were Jewish. If you still think that Russians are the root of all evil, then try to ask the US for more money for pensions, education, and healthcare – instead of weaponry. Here are the glorious results of the US-approved governance from Kiev: http://gnnliberia.com/2017/02/17/liberia-ahead-ukraine-index-economic-freedom-2017/ "Liberia, Chad, Afghanistan, Sudan and Angola are ahead of Ukraine. All these countries are in the group of repressed economies (49.9-40 scores). Ukraine's economy has contracted deeply and remains very fragile."

Here are your relationships with your neighbors on the other side – Poland and Romania:
"The right-winged conservative orientation of Warsaw makes it remember old Polish-Ukrainian arguments and scores, and claim its rights on the historically Polish lands of Western Ukraine" http://www.veteranstoday.com/2016/01/17/poland-will-begin-dividing-ukraine/
" the "Assembly of Bukovina Romanians" has recently applied to Petro Poroshenko demanding a territorial autonomy to the Chernivtsi region densely populated by Romanians. The "Assembly" motivated its demand with the Ukrainian president's abovementioned statement urging territorial autonomy for the Crimean Tatars." https://eadaily.com/en/news/2016/06/30/what-is-behind-romanias-activity-in-ukraine
And please read some history books about Crimea. Or at least Wikipedia:
"In 1783, Crimea was annexed by the Russian Empire. In 1954, the Crimean Oblast was transferred to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic by Nikita Khrushchev (a Soviet dictator). In 2014, a 96.77 percent of Crimeans voted for integration of the region into the Russian Federation with an 83.1 percent voter turnout." You see, the Crimeans do not like Nuland-Kagan and Pravyj Sector. Do you know why?

Astuteobservor II , February 17, 2017 at 9:56 pm GMT \n
100 Words @Seamus Padraig Does PCR really think that Putin is stupid enough to fall for Kissinger's hair-brained scheme? I mean, give Putin a little bit of credit. He has so far completely outmaneuvered Washington on virtually ever subject. I'm sure he's clever enough to see through such a crude divide-and-rule strategy.

well it depends. if putin is just out for himself, I can see him getting in bed with kissinger and co. if he is about russia, he would not. that is how I see it. it isn't about if putin is smart or stupid. just a choice and where his royalty lies.

Lyttenburgh , February 17, 2017 at 9:58 pm GMT \n
100 Words @Quartermaster Trump has not been neutered. Buchanan has the right on this and Flynn's actions.

Sorry, but Crimea is Ukraine. Russia is in serious economic decline and is rapidly burning through its reserves. Putin is almost down to the welfare fund from which pensions are paid, and only about a third of pensions are being paid now.

If Sanctions are of benefit to Russia, then the sanctions against Imperial Japan were just ducky and no war was fought.

Roberts is the next best thing to insane.

Sorry, but Crimea is Ukraine.

How so? #Krymnash

Russia is in serious economic decline and is rapidly burning through its reserves.

If by "decline" you mean "expects this year a modest growth as opposed to previous years" then you might be right.

I've been reading about Russia's imminent collapse and the annihilation of the economy since forever. Some no-names like you (or some Big Names with agenda) had been predicting it every year. Still didn't happen.

Putin is almost down to the welfare fund from which pensions are paid, and only about a third of pensions are being paid now.

Can I see a source for that?

If Sanctions are of benefit to Russia, then the sanctions against Imperial Japan were just ducky and no war was fought.

False equivalence.

P.S. Hey, Quart – how is Bezviz? Also – are you not cold here? Or are you one of the most racally pure Ukrs, currently residing in Ontario province (Canada), from whence you teach your less lucky raguls in Nizalezhnaya how to be more racially pure? Well, SUGS to be you!

bluedog , February 17, 2017 at 10:03 pm GMT \n
@Quartermaster Trump has not been neutered. Buchanan has the right on this and Flynn's actions.

Sorry, but Crimea is Ukraine. Russia is in serious economic decline and is rapidly burning through its reserves. Putin is almost down to the welfare fund from which pensions are paid, and only about a third of pensions are being paid now.

If Sanctions are of benefit to Russia, then the sanctions against Imperial Japan were just ducky and no war was fought.

Roberts is the next best thing to insane.

Do you have any links to verify this that Russia is down to bedrock,from everything I read and have read Russia's do pretty damn good, or is this just some more of your endless antiRussian propaganda,,

Philip Owen , February 17, 2017 at 10:54 pm GMT \n

The US needed huge amounts of British and French capital to develop. Russia has the same requirement otherwise it will be another Argentina.

annamaria , February 17, 2017 at 11:00 pm GMT \n
500 Words

A scandal of a EU member Poland: http://thesaker.is/zmiana-piskorski-and-the-case-for-polish-liberation/
Two days after he [Piskorski] publicly warned that US-NATO troops now have a mandate to suppress Polish dissent on the grounds of combatting "Russian hybrid war," he was snatched up by armed agents of Poland's Internal Security Agency while taking his children to school on May 18th, 2016. He was promptly imprisoned in Warsaw, where he remains with no formal charges to this day."

With the Poland's entry into EU, "Poland did not "regain" sovereignty, much less justice, but forfeited such to the Atlanticist project Poland has been de-industrialized, and thus deprived of the capacity to pursue independent and effective social and economic policies Now, with the deployment of thousands of US-NATO troops, tanks, and missile systems on its soil and the Polish government's relinquishment of jurisdiction over foreign armed forces on its territory, Poland is de facto under occupation. This occupation is not a mere taxation on Poland's national budget – it is an undeniable liquidation of sovereignty and inevitably turns the country into a direct target and battlefield in the US' provocative war on Russia."

" it's not the Russians who are going to occupy us now – they left here voluntarily 24 years ago. It's not the Russians that have ravaged Polish industry since 1989. It's not the Russians that have stifled Poles with usurious debt. Finally, it's not the Russians that are responsible for the fact that we have become the easternmost aircraft carrier of the United States anchored in Europe. We ourselves, who failed by allowing such traitors into power, are to blame for this."

More from a comment section: "Donald Tusk, who is now President of the European Council, whose grandfather, Josef Tusk, served in Hitler's Wehrmacht, has consistently demanded that the Kiev regime imposed by the US and EU deal with the Donbass people brutally, "as with terrorists". While the Polish special services were training the future participants of the Maidan operations and the ethnic cleansing of the Donbass, the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs made this official statement (02-02-2014): "We support the hard line taken by the Right Sector The radical actions of the Right Sector and other militant groups of demonstrators and the use of force by protesters are justified The Right Sector has taken full responsibility for all the acts of violence during the recent protests. This is an honest position, and we respect it. The politicians have failed at their peacekeeping function. This means that the only acceptable option is the radical actions of the Right Sector. There is no other alternative".

In short, the US has been the most active enabler of the neo-Nazi movement in Europe. Mrs. Clinton seemingly did not get a memo about who is "new Hitler."

Chuck Orloski , February 17, 2017 at 11:17 pm GMT \n
100 Words

Scranton calling Mssrs. Roberts and Hudson:

Do you happen to know anything about western financial giants' influence upon Russia's "Atlanticist Integrationists"?

It's low hanging fruit for me to take a pick, but I am thinking The Goldman Sachs Group is well ensconced among Russian "Atlanticist Integrationists."

You guys are top seeded pros at uncovering Deep State-banker secrets. In contrast, I drive school bus and I struggle to even balance the family Wells Fargo debit card!

However, since our US Congress has anointed a seasoned G.S.G. veteran, Steve Mnuchin, as the administration's Treasury Secretary, he has become my favorite "Person of Interest" who I suspect spouts a Ural Mountain-level say as to how "Atlanticist Integrationists" operate.

Speaking very respectfully, I hope my question does not get "flummoxed" into resource rich Siberia.

Thank you very much!

Bobzilla , February 17, 2017 at 11:46 pm GMT \n
@WorkingClass

Berke reports that Henry Kissinger has sold President Trump on a scheme to use the removal of Russian sanctions to pry President Putin away from the Russian alliance with Iran and China.
Kissinger, like Dick Cheney or George Soros, will probably never be completely dead.

Kissinger, like Dick Cheney or George Soros, will probably never be completely dead

.

Most likely the Spirit of Anti-Christ keeping them alive to do his bidding.

Bill Jones , February 18, 2017 at 12:39 am GMT \n
@Priss Factor Here is proof that there is no real Leftist power anymore.

Voltaire once said, "To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize."

If the Left really rules America, how come it is fair game to criticize, condemn, mock, and vilify Marx, Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, Bakunin, Emma Goldman & anarchists, Castro, Che(even though he is revered by many, one's career isn't damaged by attacking him), Tito, Ceucescu, Mao, Ho Chi Minh, Gramsci, Eurgene Debs, Pete Seeger, Abbie Hoffman, Bill Ayers, and etc.

You can say whatever you want about such people. Some will agree, some will disagree, but you will not be fired, blacklisted, or destroyed.

If the Left really rules, why would this be?

Now, what would happen if you name the Jewish Capitalists as the real holders of power?
What would happen if you name the Jewish oligarchic corporatists who control most of media?
What would happen if you said Jews are prominent in the vice industry of gambling?
What would happen if you named the Jewish capitalists in music industry that made so much money by spreading garbage?
What would happen if you said Jewish warhawks were largely responsible for the disasters in Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Ukraine?
And what would happen if you were question the MLK mythology and cult?
What would happen if you were to make fun of homos and trannies?
Now, keep in mind that blacks and homos are favored by Jews as their main allies.
(Some say the US is not a pro-minority nation, but it's still permissible to criticize, impugn, and vilify Chinese, Iranians, Muslims, Mexicans, Hindus, and etc. Trump was hard on China, Iran, Muslims, and Mexicans, and he got some flak over it but not enough to destroy him. Now, imagine what would have happened if he'd said such things about blacks, Africa, homos, Jews, and Israel? American politics isn't necessarily pro-minority. If it is, it should favor Palestinian-Americans just as much as Jewish-Americans. Actually, since there are fewer Palestinian-Americans than Jewish-Americans, the US, being pro-minority, should favor Palestinians over Jews in America. In reality, it is AIPAC that draws all the politicians. America is about Pro-Power, and since Jews have the Power and since Jews are a minority, it creates the false impression that the US is a minority-supremacist nation. But WHICH minority? Jews would like for us think that all minorities are represented equally in the US, but do Eskimos, Hawaiians, Guatemalans, Vietnamese, and etc. have the kind of power & protection that the Jewish minority has? Do we see politicians and powerbrokers flock to such minorities for funds and favors?)

So, what does it about the real power in America? So many 'conservatives' say the Left controls America. But in fact, an American can badmouth all true bonafide leftist leaders and thinkers(everyone from Lenin to Sartre). However, if an American were to badmouth Sheldon Adelson as a sick demented Zionist capitalist oligarch who wants to nuke Iran, he would be blacklisted by the most of the media. (If one must criticize Adelson, it has to be in generic terms of him a top donor to the likes of Romney. One mustn't discuss his zealous and maniacal views rooted in Zionist-supremacism. You can criticize his money but not the mentality that determines the use of that money.) Isn't it rather amusing how the so-called Liberals denounce the GOP for being 'extreme' but overlook the main reason for such extremism? It's because the GOP relies on Zionist lunatics like Adelson who thinks Iran should be nuked to be taught a lesson. Even Liberal Media overlook this fact. Also, it's interesting that the Liberal Media are more outraged by Trump's peace offer to Russia than Trump's hawkish rhetoric toward Iran. I thought Liberals were the Doves.

We know why politics and media work like this. It's not about 'left' vs 'right' or 'liberal' vs 'conservative'. It is really about Jewish Globalist Dominance. Jews, neocon 'right' or globo-'left', hate Russia because its brand of white gentile nationalism is an obstacle to Jewish supremacist domination. Now, Current Russia is nice to Jews, and Jews can make all the money they want. But that isn't enough for Jews. Jews want total control of media, government, narrative, everything. If Jews say Russia must have homo parades and 'gay marriage', Russia better bend over because its saying NO means that it is defiant to the Jewish supremacist agenda of using homomania as proxy to undermine and destroy all gentile nationalism rooted in identity and moral righteousness.
Russia doesn't allow that, and that is what pisses off Jews. For Jews, the New Antisemitism is defined as denying them the supremacist 'right' to control other nations. Classic antisemitism used to mean denying Jews equal rights under the law. The New Antisemitism means Jews are denied the right to gain dominance over others and dictate terms.
So, that is why Jews hate any idea of good relations with Russia. But Jews don't mind Trump's irresponsible anti-Iran rhetoric since it serves Zionist interest. So, if Trump were to say, "We shouldn't go to war with Russia; we should be friends" and "We should get ready to bomb, destroy, and even nuke Iran", the 'liberal' media would be more alarmed by the Peace-with-Russia statement. Which groups controls the media? 'Liberals', really? Do Muslim 'liberals' agree with Jewish 'liberals'?

Anyway, we need to do away with the fiction that Left rules anything. They don't. We have Jewish Supremacist rule hiding behind the label of the 'Left'. But the US is a nation where it's totally permissible to attack real leftist ideas and leaders but suicidal if anyone dares to discuss the power of super-capitalist Jewish oligarchs. Some 'leftism'!

We need to discuss the power of the Glob.

Thanks for the digest of hasbarist crap.

Useful to have it all in one place..

annamaria , February 18, 2017 at 1:03 am GMT \n
100 Words

War profiteers (both of a dishonest character) have found each other: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-17/mccain-tells-europe-trump-administration-disarray http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-17/germany-issues-stark-warning-trump-stop-threatening-eu-favoring-russia
" Trump's administration was in "disarray," McCain told the Munich Security Conference, where earlier in the day Germany defense minister Ursula von der Leyen warned Trump to stop threatening the EU, abandoning Western values and seeking close ties with Russia, that the resignation of the new president's security adviser Michael Flynn over his contacts with Russia reflected deep problems in Washington."

What an amazing whoring performance for the war-manufacturers! And here is an interesting morsel of information about the belligerent Frau der Leyen: http://www.dw.com/en/stanford-accuses-von-der-leyen-of-misrepresentation/a-18775432
"Stanford university has said Ursula von der Leyen is misrepresenting her affiliation with the school. The German defense minister's academic career is already under scrutiny after accusations of plagiarism." No kidding. Some "Ursula von der Leyen' values" indeed.

Anonymous IX , February 18, 2017 at 2:42 am GMT \n
200 Words

I doubt we'll see little change from the Trump administration toward Russia.

From SOTT:

Predictable news coming out of Yemen: Saudi-backed "Southern Resistance" forces and Hadi loyalists, alongside al-Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), launched a new offensive against the Houthis in western Yemen on Wednesday.

This is not the first time Saudi-backed (and by extension, Washington-backed) forces have teamed up with al-Qaeda in Yemen .

Yemen is quickly becoming the "spark that lights the powder keg". The conflict has already killed, maimed and displaced countless thousands (thanks to the stellar lack of reporting from trustworthy western news sources, we can only estimate the scale of Saudi/U.S. crimes in Yemen), but now it seems that elements of the Trump administration are keen on escalation, likely in hopes of giving Washington an excuse to carpet bomb Tehran.

Apparently, we feel satisfied fighting with our old allies, al-Qaeda and Saudis.

I had hoped for much better from Trump.

Kiza , February 18, 2017 at 4:23 am GMT \n
200 Words

I think that the authors may be underestimating Putin in his determination to keep Russia and the Russian economy independent. For example, I find this rumoured offer of "increased access to the huge European energy market" very funny, for at least two reasons:
1) US wants to sell hydrocarbons (LPG) to the European market at significantly higher prices than the Russian prices, and
2) the current dependence of EU countries on the Russian energy would have never happened if there were better alternatives.

In other words, any detente offer that the West would make to Russia would last, as usual, not even until the signature ink dries on the new cooperation agreements. Putin does not look to me like someone who suffers much from wishful thinking.

The Russian relationship with China is not a bed of roses, but it is not China which is increasing military activity all around Russia, it is the West. Also, so far China has shown no interest in regime-changing Russia and dividing it into pieces. Would you rather believe in the reform capability of an addict in violence or someone who does not need to reform? Would the West self-reform and sincerely renounce violence just by signing a new agreement with Russia?

The new faux detente will never happen, as long as Putin is alive.

Max Havelaar , February 18, 2017 at 8:22 pm GMT \n
200 Words

Trump is an ultra-zionist for Sheldon Adelson and prolongs & creates wars for the Goldman banking crimesyndicat.

The only one stopping Trump is Putin or Russia's missile defenses.

Indeed, Putin's main inside enemy is Russia's central bank, or the Jewish oligarchs in Russia (Atlanticists). Also Russia needs to foster and encourage small&medium enterprises, that need cheap credit, to create competitive markets, where no prices are fixed and market shares change. These are most efficient resource users.

In the US, Wallstreet controls government = fascism = the IG Farben- Auschwitz concentration camps to maximize profits. This is the direction for the US economy.

Meanwhile in the EU, the former Auschwitz owners IG Farben (Bayer(Monsanto), Hoechst, BASF) the EU chemical giants, who have patented all natures molecules, are in controll again over EU. Deutsche bank et allies is eating Greece, Italy, Spain's working classes, using AUSTERITY as their creed.

So what is new? Nothing, the supercorporate-fascist elites are the same families, who 's morality is unchanged in a 100 years.

Anon , February 20, 2017 at 4:28 am GMT \n
@Priss Factor

Here is proof that there is no real Leftist power anymore.

Voltaire once said, "To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize."

... ... ...

Sergey Krieger , February 20, 2017 at 12:20 pm GMT \n
@Seamus Padraig

I'm generally a big fan and admirer of Putin, but this is definitely one criticism of him that I have a lot of sympathy for. It is long past time for Putin to purge the neoliberals from the Kremlin and nationalize the Russian Central Bank. I cannot fathom why he hasn't done this already.

I would really love to like Putin and I am trying but him protecting all those criminals and not reversing the history greatest heist of 90′s makes it impossible. While I am behind all his moves to restore Russian military and foreign policy, I am still waiting for more on home front. Note, not only the Bank must be nationalized. Everything, all industries, factories and other assets privatized by now must be returned to rightful owner. Public which over 70 years through great sacrifice built all of it.

Sergey Krieger , February 20, 2017 at 12:31 pm GMT \n
300 Words @SmoothieX12
I cannot fathom why he hasn't done this already.
Partially, because Putin himself is an economic liberal and, to a degree, monetarist, albeit less rigid than his economic block. The good choices he made often were opposite to his views. As he himself admitted that Russia's geopolitical vector changed with NATO's aggression against Yugoslavia--a strengthening of Russia has become an imperative. This comeback was impossible within the largely "Western" monetarist economic model. Russia's comeback happened not thanks but despite Putin's economic views, Putin adjusted his views in the process, his economic block didn't. But many of them still remain his friends, despite the fact that many of them are de facto fifth column and work against Russia, intentionally and other wise. Eventually Putin will be forced to get down from his fence and take the position of industrialists and siloviki. Putin's present for Medvedev's birthday was a good hint on where he is standing economically today and I am beginning to like that but still--I personally am not convinced yet. We'll see. In many respects Putin was lucky and specifically because of the namely Soviet military and industry captains still being around--people who, unlike Putin, knew exactly what constituted Russia's strength. Enough to mention late Evgeny Primakov. Let's not forget that despite Putin's meteoric rise through the top levels of Russia's state bureaucracy, including his tenure as a Director of FSB, Putin's background is not really military-industrial. He is a lawyer, even if uniformed (KGB) part of his career. I know for a fact that initially (early 2000s) he was overwhelmed with the complexity of Russia's military and industry. Enough to mention his creature Serdyukov who almost destroyed Command and Control structure of Russia's Armed Forces and main ideologue behind Russia's military "reform", late Vitaly Shlykov who might have been a great GRU spy (and economist by trade) but who never served a day in combat units. Thankfully, the "reforms" have been stopped and Russian Armed Forces are still dealing with the consequences. This whole clusterfvck was of Putin's own creation--hardly a good record on his resume. Hopefully, he learned.

Smoothie, you seem to have natural aversion towards lawyers
Albeit, the first Vladimir, I mean Lenin also was a lawyers by education still he was a rather quick study. Remember that military communism and Lenin after one year after Bolsheviks took power telling that state capitalism would be great step forward for Russia whcih obviously was backward and ruined by wars at the time and he proceeded with New Economic Policy and Lenin despite not being industry captain realized pretty well what constituted state power hence GOELRO plans and electrification of all Russia plans and so forth which was later turned by Stalin and his team into reality.

Now, Lenin was ideologically motivated and so is Putin. But he clearly has been trying to achieve different results by keeping same people around him and doing same things. Hopefully it is changing now, but it is so much wasted time when old Vladimir was always repeating that time is of essence and delay is like death knell. Putin imho is away too relax and even vain in some way, hence those shirtless pictures and those on the bike. And the way he walks a la "Я Московский озорной гуляка". As you said it looks like he is protecting those criminals who must be prosecuted and yes, many executed for what they caused.

I suspect in cases when it comes to economical development he is not picking right people for those jobs and it is his major responsibility to assign right people and delegate power properly, not to be forgotten to reverse what constitutes the history greatest heist and crime so called "privatization". Basically returning to more communal society minus Politburo.

There is a huge elephant in the room too. Russia demographic situation which I doubt can be addressed under current liberal order. all states which are in liberal state of affairs fail to basically procreate hence these waves of immigrants brought into all Western Nations. Russia cannot do it. It would be suicide which is what all Western countries are doing right now.

Boris N , February 20, 2017 at 8:58 pm GMT \n

Russia does not need Western technology. Indeed, its military technology is superior to that in the West.

You write about Russia but have not done your homework. Russia is very dependent on Western technology and its entire high-tech industry depends on the import of Western machinery. Without such machinery many Russian factories, including military ones, would stall. Very important oil industry is particularly vulnerable.

Some home reading (sorry, they are in Russian, but one ought to know the language if one writes about the country).

http://www.fa.ru/fil/orel/science/Documents/ISA%2014644146.pdf

http://rusrand.ru/analytics/stanki-stanki-stanki

[Jul 20, 2019] ... Not the men we thought we were ... - Sic Semper Tyrannis

Jul 20, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

EEngineer , 13 May 2019 at 11:45 AM

I see the parallels, but not that one. I think the neocons hope to force the Iranians into making that "all-in" call though. Perhaps as the neocons see it, such a strike would magically rally the American populous to the war they so desire. Imperial conquest performed as a defensive reflex. So they needle nearly everyone in the hopes of triggering a replay of the WW2 saga which has taken on a mythical good vs evil aura in the US. Ironically, I would say it is the neocons who think they need to start a war with the Iranians so that they can be the men they think they are. The only thing still holding them back is the passive-aggressive need to make it look like someone, anyone, else started it so they can play the victim card once the body bags start coming home.
Ed Lindgren , 13 May 2019 at 11:51 AM
USN CDR A. H. McCollum was the man who conceived the so-called "Eight Action Plan" which he outlined in his Oct 7, 1940 memo. This was his proposal for the U.S. and Britain to initiate actions which would essentially force Japan into making a decision to wage war against the United States.

The key elements of the plan, as outlined in McCollum's memo, include the following:

A. Make an arrangement with Britain for the use of British bases in the Pacific, particularly Singapore
B. Make an arrangement with the Netherlands for the use of base facilities and acquisition of supplies in the Dutch East Indies
C. Give all possible aid to the Chinese government of Chiang-Kai-Shek
D. Send a division of long range heavy cruisers to the Orient, Philippines, or Singapore
E. Send two divisions of submarines to the Orient
F. Keep the main strength of the U.S. fleet now in the Pacific[,] in the vicinity of the Hawaiian Islands
G. Insist that the Dutch refuse to grant Japanese demands for undue economic concessions, particularly oil
H. Completely embargo all U.S. trade with Japan, in collaboration with a similar embargo imposed by the British Empire

Not too terribly different from the squeeze currently being placed on Iran by the team of Pompeo/Boton.

The text of the McCollum memo can be found here:

https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/McCollum_memorandum


turcopolier , 13 May 2019 at 12:09 PM
Lindgren

Was this plan approved by Roosevelt? the embargoes had been in effect for some time by then.

Ed Lindgren said in reply to turcopolier ... , 13 May 2019 at 05:40 PM
COL Lang -

The journalist Robert Stinnett in his now 20 year old book 'Day of Deceit: The Truth About FDR and Pearl Harbor' made the case that FDR was aware of McCollum's memorandum. I have not read Stinnett's book, but historians apparently doubted the veracity of Stinnett's thesis regarding FDR's knowledge of the McCollum memo.

You are correct that initial embargoes of essential defense materials went to effect under the Export Control Act during the summer of 1940. Additional items were added to the list of embargoed materials subsequent to October 1940, following the drafting of the McCollum memo.

Fred -> Ed Lindgren... , 14 May 2019 at 08:29 AM
So no FOR did not approve of that plan, but some guy wrote a book 20 years ago, one you didn't read. That's quite helpful in evaluating current war mongering over Iran today.
ex-PFC Chuck said in reply to Ed Lindgren... , 20 July 2019 at 07:33 AM
I read Day of Deceit a month ago and found Stinnett's analysis and sourcing quite convincing. He demolishes the standard narrative that the attack was a total tactical surprise and to a large extent a strategic one as well. Admiral Yamamoto's orders to maintain radio silence were honored very much in the breach, one of the worst offenders being the at-sea mission commander himself, Admiral Nagumo. Many individual ship captains continued reporting their positions at specified times of the day, as was their peacetime practice. This enabled the US, British and Dutch signals monitoring stations, which were sharing information in spite of the fact that the US was not yet a combatant, to triangulate and track the Japanese mission fleet from its assembly point near the Kurile Islands eastward to their launch position several hundred miles north of Oahu. Stinnett assembles a strong circumstantial case asserting this information was available to the intelligence circles in Washington DC and in the US radio detection/cryptanalysis stations at Corregidor, the Aleutian Islands, and Station H on Oahu itself, practically within sight of Admiral Kimmel's office, but it never made it to the admiral himself or to General Short. He got much of the supporting information through the FOIA process, but some of the most damning documents he cited he found by walking into various historical archive sites outside of the DC area and simply asking to see what they had. He makes the point that many of the documents he cites never saw the light of day during any of the three formal investigations of the affair: in the months immediately after the attack; shortly after the end of the war; and half a century later in the early 1990s. What he is unable to cite are documents that concretely connect the president, Admiral Stark the CNO, or General Marshall the Army Chief of Staff with knowledge of the available intelligence. Those known to have existed which might have been smoking guns that he sought via the FOIA were either still highly classified or were "unable to be found." However the circumstantial case that they must have known and been on board, in some cases reluctantly, is strong. For example, it is known that the McCollum memo gained the attention of FDR himself soon after it was published, and the White House chief usher's log documents that the commander had several meetings with the president. McCollum, a USNA graduate, had spent much of his childhood in Japan as the child of Christian missionaries and was almost natively fluent in the language as well as deeply steeped in the culture.
Willy B said in reply to turcopolier ... , 20 July 2019 at 11:29 AM
Col,

I don't know if it came from the McCollum memo or not, but at the ABC-1 meetings in early 1941, the British delegation proposed that the US take over the defense of Singapore from the Royal Navy, a proposal that was rejected by the American delegation.

The minutes of the ABC-1 meetings were published by the British National Archives some years ago and I have it somewhere on my hard drive but I couldn't give you a link. As I recall, it was interesting to see the American side rejecting the Singapore and other schemes to get the US to defend British colonial territories.

blue peacock , 13 May 2019 at 12:21 PM
Col. Lang

It would seem that the best strategic option for Iran is to lay low and absorb the economic squeeze. The Chinese are unlikely to support the oil sanctions, so they'll be able to continue to sell them until the US navy starts to interdict their tankers. But oil is fungible.....

It would also seem that their best military strategy is a defensive one. Obtaining the best air defense systems and significant medium-range missiles with high payload capacity and accuracy. At the very least they'll be able to give a black-eye while going down.

Of course the question is how the Ayatollah controls his fire breathing, martyrdom loving hawks who bristle at their treatment by the US, Israel & the Saudis. My sense is Bibi will get more itchy than the Ayatollah to take advantage of his perception of complete control of Trump.

EEngineer said in reply to blue peacock... , 13 May 2019 at 01:01 PM
I've wondered if the Chinese will use their own tankers to pick up Iranian oil or re-flag Iranian ones with Chinese colors as the US did for Kuwait during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980's.

I can see the neocons wanting open conflict with Iran, but I don't know if they would risk war with China.

John Minehan said in reply to blue peacock... , 19 July 2019 at 05:14 PM
I'm not sure how much control Iran has of its proxies (the Houthi rebels, Hezbollah, the Shia Militias in Iraq, etc.). That strikes me as a reason fo both the US/Britain AND Iran to go carefully and slowly.
turcopolier , 13 May 2019 at 12:23 PM
BP Merely logical
Tidewater said in reply to turcopolier ... , 13 May 2019 at 04:15 PM
Sir,

Nice map, I assume it can't be considered a chart. Maps make me think. Anyway, when I heard about the four tankers at Fujairah damaged by "sabotage" I took a look up at Qeshm island in front of Bandar Abbas (it looks to me like a shark) and wondered how far it was down to Fujairah. I get about 140 nautical miles.

I know that there are hardened sub-pens on the land side of Queshm Island probably out to the western end. Recently I have read comments speculating what the Iranian class of mini- or midget subs would be useful for. One learns that one use would be to deliver a sea-mine; another to launch the one torpedo it can carry; and another would be as a transport for naval commandos, or swimmers trained in demolition and mine warfare.

Then I remembered something. I took a look at the last place down on the right side of the map on the Iranian mangrove shore, Trask, once an old fishing port. Trask is also where the pipeline down from the CIS countries will end, and a large refinery, manufacturing, and shipping complex is planned. Since 2008, Trask has been developed for a number of military uses. First as a naval base which berths fast motor patrol boats of the kind that can launch missiles like the Qader, a sea-skimmer carrying a warhead of 200 kilos which can reach out to 186 miles; also as a drone base, complete with a rail launcher which could indicate proficiency in big stay-aloft reconnaisance drones, soon enough to be weaponized, if not already. Significantly, it is also a base for littoral-class submarines, which would include mini-subs design based on the North Korean Yono class, submarines that would be similar to the one that is thought to have sunk the ROKS Cheonan in 2011 with a torpedo. Travelling at nine or ten knots, the Iranian model of the Yono, the Ghadir, could make the crossing to Fujairah in about twelve hours. That's a distance of 127 miles or so.
It looks to me as if the stern location of the tanker the news videos show would not have been hit unless the ship backed into a mine. And it doesn't look like the kind of damage a naval mine would do. A naval mine would have made an enormous ten or twenty foot cavernous dent in that stern, at the least. What it looks like to me was that a swimmer or swimmers placed a sticky explosive or satchel charge. (?) I think it is meant as a warning. 'We can get you any time..."

There's another message. Fujairah and also the ports of Salalah, Sohar, and Duqm, in Oman, have been billing themselves as "the Gateway to the Arabian Gulf." (For that historical and scholarly insult alone they should pay.) Fujairah is the only one of the UAE that is on the eastern side of the Musandam Peninsula. It has been advertised as the emirate that would not be involved in a Gulf war. Out of range. Think again me buckaroos.

The United States has just signed an agreement in late March with Oman which allows US naval and air forces to use the new state- of-the art port facilities and airport at Duqm, down in the middle of the Oman coast, and also Salalah. Sultan Qaboos, a very impressive leader, one of the best, who happens to be gay (but the father of his country), balances carefully between the various powers he must deal with. Iran is already there in Oman and has the right to establish companies and to store materiel there, and to ship cargoes. Just as Iran does in Qatar, where two hundred trucks come across from Bushire every day and have since June 2017 since Trump the Brain gave the OK to Mohammed Bin Salman to lay siege to Qatar. Consider this: "Sohar Freezone has options for leasing pre-built warehouses and commercial offices, as well as 100% foreign ownership...and a One-Stop-Shop for all relevant permits and clearances." (From Overview--SOHAR Port and Freezone.) As to how you get this cargo to points south, that is an interesting question...

Russia will come in if push comes to shove. Russia will not countenance the idea of an America naval and drone base on the Caspian, which is what will happen if Iran is bombed flat. Russia will second pilots to the Iranians and will send bombers like the Tu-95 Bear or the Backfire capable of carrying the KH-101 which will carry Iranian markings etc. These bombers, with enormous range, could wreck havoc on Diego Garcia, and could destroy a carrier group.

The Iranians show us now that they were the ones who invented the game of chess. Trump can look at China, and then he can look at Fujairah, and he can see the American economy going down... The Iranian move is worthy of a grand master...

Tidewater said in reply to Tidewater... , 13 May 2019 at 04:56 PM
Tidewater to Tidewater,

Ouch. The place is called Jask.

ancientarcher said in reply to Tidewater... , 14 May 2019 at 06:08 AM
Great comment!
I think transferring a Tu-95 bomber will be a bit too much since the Iranians don't have much of an air force. But missiles will do the job anyways, so why bother with planes. You don't need to hit Diego Garcia, Israel is close enough. So is Al Udeid. Plus there will be attacks on all US bases spread across Iraq and I suspect Syria. There is no shortage of targets for sure for the Iranians, it this leads to war.
By the way, Chess was invented in India not ancient Persia. So was the numeral system which is now called Arabic numerals (the Arabs have been trying to give their names to stuff which is not theirs for a long time now) including the decimal system and negative numbers.
Tidewater said in reply to ancientarcher... , 14 May 2019 at 05:00 PM
Thank you for your comment. You remind me that I have a group of expensive, unread books about that part of the world. I may never read them, the way things are going.

I want to stress that Russia and Iran have already worked out the diplomatic agreements which allow Russia to have based bombers at Hamadan, from which attacks were made on Isis in Syria. In other words, Russia knows the way. The question is, is Russia going to stand by and do nothing while the United States bombs Iran back to the stone ages, as it did in North Korea during the Korean conflict? I find that hard to believe. I assume that at some point Russia will, as Russia has previously done in other conflicts, or places, such as in Yemen, in the 1970s and early 80's, assign pilots, and transfer planes ostensibly to the control of the Iranian military.

Diego Garcia is an atoll in the middle of the Indian Ocean. It is a critical anchorage for prepositioning supply ships for any land operations, such as the invasion of Iraq; it is also a support facility, where submarines and other ships can get repairs. It is also an airbase, where B-2 bombers might be assembling as I write, though given everything else that is NOT happening, I assume that is doubtful. Speaking in a general way, the distance from the Persian Gulf, Muscat, or Bahrain, say, to Diego Garcia, is about 2600 or 2700 miles.

If Russia seconded a squadron of bombers such as the TU-22M3 (NATO reporting name Backfire C) under the aegis of Iran, and based them out of Bandar Abbas, Iran will have gotten a lot of reach out into the Indian Ocean, since the Backfire has a combat radius of about 1300-1500 miles.
The missile it will be carrying would be the standard Russian cruise missile--it is not hypersonic-- but it is a sea-skimmer, with a range of about 1550 miles. This is the KH-101/102 (nuclear). It seems certain to me that the Backfire can get the KH-101 (Raduga) missile out there; as can the Blackjack and the Bear. The mission of four or five bombers delivering each about eight missiles could be to sink some of those prepositioning ships; and to wreck the drone base/the airfield, and certain warehouse facilities. There is another thing such an attack could do. Diego Garcia has more than ample rainfall. As things stand today, it has never had a better fresh water supply system. Pipes and water storage, all has been greatly improved. Fresh water for two to three thousand support personnel and base activities is not a problem. I don't think Diego Garcia even needs to have a desalination system. There is one thing, though. Diego Garcia is built on a series of coral reefs, the one stacked on the other in geologic history as ocean levels rose 300 feet from 13,000 years ago. The coral beneath the island is permeated with salt water. The fresh water aquifers of the atoll sit on top of the salt water in what are called "lenses". These lenses hold an enormous amount of water kept stable and tappable by isostatic pressure, I am guessing. If an attack were made by JDAM missiles in areas determined from studies of the island to have these lense aqufiers, and if the missiles went deep into them before exploding, then I think the entire fresh water structure of the island could be ruined. The lenses would be penetrated and ruined. Salt water would permeate, mix and spread through the aquifer. It would become like Basra Governate, which now has an evil polluted salt brine aquifer where once it had fresh water. (And which means that there is already considerable migration from southern Iraq into Kurdish areas around Irbil, to the north.)

eaken , 13 May 2019 at 01:29 PM
Iran should publicly invite Trump to Tehran without his posse.
Artemesia said in reply to eaken... , 14 May 2019 at 03:26 PM
Iran should arrange with Italy for a meeting in Rome with Putin, Xi Jinping, and Trump. The Donald could take the role of Churchill in that meeting, who got an inkling that he was the odd-man out.
Six months later, Mark Clark went to Rome alone rather than execute the British - American pincer plan.

Historian Andrew Buchanan argues that Clark was ordered to take that action by FDR himself in a meeting with Clark at Bernard Baruch's plantation in North Carolina https://www.c-span.org/video/?322137-1/discussion-us-engagement-italy-world-war-ii US forces in control of Rome shut out all diplomats, including Churchill's representatives, from the diplomacy that then took place that determined Italy's future; USA became, effectively, in charge of Mediterranean and trade routes to Levant and North Africa.

Israel and its US lobbies, Jewish & Christian, have GOT to be reined in, or the American empire is on its way to the dustbin of history.

Tidewater said in reply to Artemesia... , 15 May 2019 at 03:40 PM
That historian Andrew Buchanan does not know that Bernard Baruch's plantation was off of Winyah Bay on Waccamaw Neck across from Georgetown, SOUTH Carolina, is, in my view, a red flag about his scholarship. The plantation, Hobcaw Barony, was for FDR, in 1944, a month-long retreat which made it, in effect, the southern White House. Buchanan obviously doesn't know anything at all about southerners in FDR's administration and the New Deal. I cannot help but wonder if Buchanan has ever looked at the papers of James Francis Byrnes, which are held at the University of South Carolina. My guess is that Byrnes might have made some comment about significant matters which happened at Hobcaw, including the visit of General Clark. Shrewd, devious Byrnes is a fascinating figure. (His handiwork is the Santee-Cooper hydroelectric project which you get a glimpse of on I-95 as you drive over lake Marion there, created by damming the Santee. It provided electricity for the whole depression hit state of South Carolina.) Byrnes knew them all, including Stalin. Also, it ought to be noted that Buchanan himself says that there is not a shred of evidence that at Hobcaw FDR personally ordered Mark Clark to disobey the clear orders of Field Marshall Alexander and break away from what could have been a decisive victory and instead go into Rome. It ought to be noted as well that Buchanan's argument that by putting into power the more left-wing politician Ivanoe Bonomi instead of the British backed General Pietro Badoglio, it meant that the communist partisans in northern Italy therefore accepted the new government and willingly laid down their arms, whereas under Badoglio and the King they might not have. I don't think they had a choice; and I wonder if they actually didn't maintain a clandestine arsenal thereafter. They were by no means ready to quit. A quick look at Wikipedia tells us that it was Churchill's government that persuaded Bonomi, who came in in June and was ready to quit by November, to stay on. He did so. The communists were a powerful force in Italy all the way up almost into the 1980s--it was the Red Brigade which kidnapped and murdered Aldo Moro, for example. Further, as a reaction , to the communist threat, there is the whole question of "strategic tension" which gave Italy the "years of lead"-- years of terror bombings by the right, such as the Bologna train station bombing, the bombing of the passenger plane which fell off of Ustica, and the whole mysterious thing that was Gladio. Michael Scammel in 'Koestler', his biography of the writer Arthur Koestler, gives an account of the near hysteria in western Europe in 1948 after the Communist coup in Czechoslovakia. "The coup fulfilled Koestler's direst predictions and worst fears: there was no room for a third force in Europe anymore--not, at least, in countries where the Communists were strong. In France, rife with rumors of a coup of its own and convulsed by increasingly violent strikes, he found a populace growing more jittery by the day. Malraux talked darkly of a plot to foment civil war and publicly threatened "a reorganization of the Resistance" to oppose communism. Charles "Chip" Bohlen, the new American ambassador, talked wildly about dropping an atom bomb on Baku, and newspapers were full of the threat of a new world conflict." (Page 311.) Koestler, when he left Europe for the United States, actually believed that Europe was going to go communist. That Europe was a lost cause.

This is not to say that I am disagreement with what you are saying overall. I find Andrew Buchanan someone new and interesting. Very provocative. Perhaps he overreaches. Don't know enough, really, to make the call. Thank you for the introduction to him. Hobcaw Barony is now a large natural preserve for environmental, oceanographic and coastal studies. Remarkable story about how the foundation was created, mostly by Baruch's daughter, who must have worked a lifetime on it. Sixteen thousand acres on a neck of land that has the Atlantic ocean on one side and marshes and Winyah Bay on the other. It's worth a visit.

ted richard , 13 May 2019 at 01:37 PM
if the true goal of the neocons is war, provoked upon iran then any naval battle group which includes a usa carrier sent into the persian gulf is the match the neocons are looking for once they decide to ''remember the maine'' to it sending it to the bottom, then use that false flag as their pretext.

if its obvious to me wouldn't you suppose its obvious to the pentagon?

O'Shawnessey , 13 May 2019 at 01:39 PM
An apt comparison, no doubt, to "The Day of Deceit."

Then there is the high probability that, even if Iran shows restraint and plays the long game, a provocation in the manner of "Assad gasses his own people" will be arranged for them.

Even so, time is not on the side of the US Entity. How much longer can the Fed's fraudulent T-bill scheme keep running? My sense is that they wouldn't be weaponizing the dollar if they had other actual weapons to hand.

Jack , 13 May 2019 at 01:58 PM
Sir

What real choices do the Iranians have? It would be foolish on their part to launch any kind of military action.

LA Sox Fan -> Jack... , 19 July 2019 at 06:43 PM
While some may think military action from Iran is foolish, a slow death from sanctions isn't going to be something Iran chooses either.
catherine , 13 May 2019 at 01:59 PM

No sooner 'warned' then done. Who did it?

Saudi Arabia said two of its oil tankers were sabotaged off the coast of the United Arab Emirates and described it as an attempt to undermine the security of crude supplies amid tensions between the United States and Iran.
The reports come as the US warned ships that "Iran or its proxies" could be targeting maritime traffic in the region, and as the US is deploying an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers to the Gulf to counter what it called "threats from Tehran".

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/05/saudi-oil-tankers-sabotaged-ships-uae-coast-190513055332524.html

ancientarcher , 13 May 2019 at 01:59 PM
Exceptionally good argument. I would also posit that the element of religious belief makes the argument even more potent.
I can't help but think back to more recent instances where the neocons were basically daring the other party to do something - anything. Ukraine in 2014 and Syria later on, come to mind. They had been waiting for the Russians to send in their troops to Ukraine after which they could have totally choked the economy. They also waited for mistakes from Assad, which he wisely avoided.
Similarly, Iran will be wise to avoid reacting in any way to these provocations. Since these provocations are meant to provoke a reaction, if the Iranians bite their lips and hold their hands, they would do more to hurt the neocons than by reacting blindly as the situation and their nature perhaps goads them towards.
D , 13 May 2019 at 03:08 PM
I humbly suggest you watch this series. Unfortunately, I don't know Persian so I can't help with translation. I watched these series with my sister in law who is a Persian Jew with an excellent command of Farsi; the videos are pretty informative.

https://youtu.be/LUHY17zF-9g?t=789

1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LersWbaymTM
2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUHY17zF-9g
3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=abODp1BeuAg
4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePDXnAe_zm4
5. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNboW6WcC3U

Rocketrepreneur , 13 May 2019 at 03:08 PM
Pat,
I share your concern, but for the neocons I fear that they see that backing Iran into a position where it has nothing to lose with a war is a feature, not a bug.
~Jon
walrus , 13 May 2019 at 03:43 PM
Time is not on America's side

In my opinion, the critical element is the forthcoming deployment of advanced Russian and Chinese systems such as the Sarmat heavy ICBM, scheduled I think for 2021, new submarines, etc., etc. and I am not even talking about joint Russo/sino developments.

As Col. Lang/Gingrich explained, we are talking economics here. But unlike Japan, the Russian, Iranian, Syrian, Chinese and associated economies under the stimulus of OBOR are only going to get stronger if left to themselves. The American economy, in my opinion, is no longer capable of replacing ageing infrastructure, matching Russo Chinese military technical capabilities, fielding a million man Army and supporting allies like Korea, Taiwan, Australia, Japan, Poland, etc. without beggaring its population.

To put that another way, the American economic marvel of military production came off a low base with millions of underemployed work hungry people available as a result of the depression. I don't think those conditions obtain today.

Hence the Washington logic of picking off the weakest of the Axis - Iran, right now.

Fred -> walrus ... , 13 May 2019 at 07:51 PM
You mean a million H1B visa holders and 20 million illegal immigrants aren't our strength? Who knew! Maybe we should outsource more manufacturing to China, that'll teach the bastards to mess with us!
ISL said in reply to walrus ... , 19 July 2019 at 07:46 PM
Good points, I would correct:

The "American Political class," rather than the US economy - solutions are available and affordable, but not within the current US political and economic and legal and hence power structures.

FIRE take up too much of the US economy and the best and brightest and has bought the political class hook, line and Epstein.

LJ , 13 May 2019 at 04:09 PM
The chances of war diminished?

https://ejmagnier.com/2019/05/13/from-karbala-to-al-fujairah-an-act-of-sabotage-may-end-prospects-of-a-summer-war-in-the-middle-east/

Eliot said in reply to LJ... , 13 May 2019 at 08:14 PM
LJ

"the chances of war..."

Those damn fools.

This makes war more likely.

- Eliot

Eliot , 13 May 2019 at 04:30 PM
Walrus,

"The American economy, in my opinion, is no longer capable of replacing ageing infrastructure, matching Russo Chinese military technical capabilities"

I was in Russia for the first time last summer. I loved it, but I was surprised by how poor they are. Our debt load aside, they have do have more limited resources.

Sylvia 1 said in reply to Eliot ... , 14 May 2019 at 10:35 AM
I would love to know more about what you mean about Russian poverty. I was there last September and will return again. I would not say the same.
rho , 13 May 2019 at 04:48 PM
I think the key difference is that Japan was isolated on its continent when it made the decision to go to war. (only being allied with Nazi Germany and Italy, which were so far away that the alliance made little difference to Japan's economic situation in 1941)

Going to war must appear more attractive when you have your back against the wall than when you have regional allies who are still willing to support you politically and economically in a meaningful way.

E Publius , 13 May 2019 at 05:17 PM
I have to admit Colonel that this post reminded me of an April 29th profile in the New Yorker of John Bolton. Several days ago after reading the lengthy New Yorker piece I realized how slowly but surely, the Trump admin has been consistently heading toward outright madness with the gradual departure of people like Tillerson, J. Kelly, and Mattis from the office. It was mentioned in the piece how Gen. Mattis thwarted multiple outright crazy attempts by McMaster (who is now at FDD shilling for the "Long War" strategy; once a neocon, always a neocon), Bolton and Mira Ricardel aimed at declaring war against Iran. Now that there are a few key vacant positions in the administration such as the UN Ambs, Homeland Sec, a few at the State Dep, and most importantly at the Pentagon, shouldn't these vacancies act as major restraining factor against war or the Trump admin "is" stupid enough to go full war mode regardless? IMO some things still just do not add up. just wondering...
Christian J Chuba , 13 May 2019 at 07:06 PM
Just curious about something. I hear news stories that we are sending the Lincoln inside the Persian Gulf. That seems like it would negate a lot of our advantage if we actually did fight Iran. It would be in range of every anti-ship missile they have as well as most of their navy which is designed specifically for the Gulf and not much of a blue water navy. Why wouldn't we keep it just outside the Gulf in the open water where our carrier and escorts would seemingly have a bigger advantage?

I don't want a fight and I'm not pretending that I understand naval tactics, but this just seems a bit odd to me.

VietnamVet , 14 May 2019 at 01:16 AM
Colonel,

The damage was above the water line and a slash as if perhaps a missile but did not penetrate the oil bunkers. It does not look like a limpet mine. There are no reports of airplanes or ships but is described as sabotage. It is unlikely to be a false flag. Media reporting has been muted. Simply that it is being investigated. But as pointed out here before there is no stockpiling of supplies needed for an invasion of Iran by a million-man army. Inside the Persian Gulf is the last place the Commander of the Carrier Group wants to be if war breaks out. My guess is that the sabotage to four tankers was a signal of what the Revolutionary Guards could do if they really wanted to and as a counter to ultra-mad man U.S. diplomacy and sanctions. Lloyd's of London must raise their insurance rates. This will raise oil prices at the same time as prices rise due to Mid-West flooding, China's African Swine Fever outbreak, and the imposing of a 25% tariff on Chinese imports. All sorts of bad things are happening at once. Rather than 2003's misleading Shock and Awe propaganda, the 2019 Iranian war drums indicate total incompetence.

Eric Newhill , 14 May 2019 at 09:25 AM
The Imperial Japanese believed that Americans were soft and that US troops would crumble when faced with the mighty spirit of Bushido. They were ultimately banking on that mistaken conclusion. I don't think the Iranians have any such delusions.

I don't see how Iran can do anything more than make some trouble that is minor in the big scheme of things - and which will dig their hole deeper - and then lose.

I don't approve of what is being done, but I think the current Iranian regime could be destroyed if the neocons have their way; albeit with US casualties and great material and financial expense. I don't like how US troops and sailors may be used as bait by the neocons.

Eric Newhill said in reply to Eric Newhill... , 14 May 2019 at 10:12 AM
I should add that to my mind the real question is what would follow in the wake of war. Would the Iranians be happy to be free of the Islamic Revolutionary govt? Or would they go on for generations with wounded pride that demands revenge, like the Palestinians? I think the latter. In which case war/regime change solves nothing. I'm willing to bet the neocons, as usual, have their own delusions about flowers, candy, purple thumbs, smiling faces and freedom.
John Minehan said in reply to Eric Newhill... , 19 July 2019 at 08:26 PM
They had a front row seat for OIF and what came after. I suspect they have a good feeling for our capability and weaknesses . . . whether they can exploit that or not, might be the issue.
turcopolier , 14 May 2019 at 10:03 AM
Eric Newhill - IMO you are underestimating how much damage Iran could do to the fleet in a transition to war situation before the US Navy got its ducks in line and crushed them. As for the illusion about US willingness to fight, all our opponents have believed the same thing before the house fell on them.
Eric Newhill said in reply to turcopolier ... , 14 May 2019 at 10:17 AM
Sir,
Oh, I understand what Iran could do. As you know, it has been war gamed and the US Navy gets hit pretty hard.

But Iran still loses. Each hit the US Navy takes, strengthens the resolve to crush Iran that much harder.

Again, I am in no way approving of what I think may happen. I have been told by someone I know well in the DIA that we are doing to war with Iran sooner or later. The first time I was told this was when Obama was still in office. Then I was told that the election of Trump has changed nothing. Make what you will of that.

blue peacock said in reply to turcopolier ... , 20 July 2019 at 01:58 AM
Col. Lang

"in a transition to war situation before the US Navy got its ducks in line and crushed them" what damage could Iranian ballistic missiles do to UAE, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia? Could they devastate oil & gas, LNG, port and pipeline infrastructure sufficiently that it would take a year to re-build back to full capacity?

It seems it would be a lose-lose proposition for everyone including Trump's re-election prospects. I have seen private surveys of working class people in the mid-west and the south who by an overwhelming majority oppose a war with Iran when informed about some of the potential consequences.

turcopolier , 14 May 2019 at 11:12 AM
Eric Newhill

People in the information parts of the USIC do not know what the US government may do, but they all have opinions.

turcopolier , 14 May 2019 at 11:13 AM
Eric Newhill

We won the Pacific War as well but if you were entombed alive in the bowels of USS Arizona that did nit mean much to you.

Eric Newhill , 19 July 2019 at 05:26 PM
Well, Sir, unfortunately I think you called this one spot on.

IMO, if there's going to be war, then the Europeans and Brits should fight it. Their the ones most impacted (though I recognize that everyone in the global markets will feel the pain resulting from a closure of the straight).

Of course none of them will step up on their own and the US will have to do this. Still holding out hope that some kind of negotiation is possible, but becoming skeptical. The Iranians want to prove they are the men they thought they were. Still, maybe a good deal will satisfy that need.

LA Sox Fan -> Eric Newhill... , 19 July 2019 at 06:58 PM
The Bolton/neoconservative plan of starting a war with Iran is working perfectly. In a tit for tat action, Iran has captured one or more U.K. tankers. My hopes for avoiding a completely unnecessary war with Iran, one we have a fair chance of losing, are becoming slimmer and slimmer.
Walrus said in reply to Eric Newhill... , 19 July 2019 at 10:34 PM
Eric, I'm in Europe right now and I don't think any Europeans are prepared in the slightest to support a war with Iran. For starters, if Iran did not surrender instantaneously, an oil shortage will collapse the European and Chinese economies and that is only one of the minor, first order effects.

The question of "not being the men they thought they were" cuts both ways. Does the European union want to see war with Iran? No. Do the Europeans want to see Britain, egged on by the Neocons, take "a hard line" with Iran? No. Do the Europeans want to aid and abet the U. S. in fighting a war with Iran through NATO? No. Do they want to be "saved from Iran " by the U.S. galloping all over hemisphere as in 1944? No.

So do you really want to see NATO and American relationships with Europe, Russia and China, India and the rest of the world put under severe stress in a @#@# waving contest between Trump and the Mullahs? At the behest of Israel? Because that is what you are going to get.

Then there is the prospect of the Chinese and Russians retaliating, and I don't even want to go there.

The Mullahs have ruined the weekend for the leaders of each and every major nation. What will be happening this weekend in every capital is a series of committee meetings asking the same questions; What should our response to Iran be? What should our response to possible American action be? What is the likely effect of war with Iran on our energy supplies? What is the likely effect of war with Iran on our own security? What is the likely effect of war with Iran on our economy? Public servants will be working late into the night to answer these questions. The only thing for sure is that the price of gold is going to skyrocket when markets open and that a lot of troops are going to get warning orders about notice to move monday morning.

This is the same type of situation that started WW1. ....... So we decide to give those pesky Iranian Mullahs a good whupping because they had it coming. Should be easy, after all they are just more sand niggers, right? All of a sudden Russia drops an air defence regiment into Tehran, We lose aircraft. China let's North Korea off the leash and at the same time issues an ultimatum to Taiwan. Suddenly we are taking losses, have three war theatres going at the same time. What happens then?

I suppose you think nothing is going to affect the continental U.S., so who cares?


Charles Michael -> Eric Newhill... , 20 July 2019 at 08:19 AM
Eric newhill,

There I must disagree:
Nethanyaou is again in election campaign same goes for President Trump; IMHO no war for the newt 6 months and probably never.

A deal is possible ? maybe
but it should encompass the Syrian issue from where all this Iranian crisis is actually born-again.
For example Iran could agree to withdraw its troops from Syria if USA and partners did the same as Trump was considering.
This move would surely have some effect on the YPG position, thus on Turkey's activism along its frontier with Syria (Afrin being not included).


Entering in negociations for a JCPOA bis will not be acceptable for Iran if sanctions (some at least) are not lifted. My educated guess is that is precisely what's going on.

turcopolier , 19 July 2019 at 05:43 PM
JM

IMO the Houthis, the Hizbullah and Hamas are not proxies of Iran. They are allies.

John Minehan said in reply to turcopolier ... , 19 July 2019 at 08:19 PM
Much better choice of words than mine. Thus they are a significant wild card here, I would guess.
Harlan Easley , 19 July 2019 at 06:10 PM
When I read the Iranians captured a British Oil tanker it immediately reminded me of this article.
GeneO , 19 July 2019 at 06:18 PM
pl -

I was hoping yesterdays Zarif/Rand Paul discussion would lead to a ratcheting down of tensions. But the hardliners on both sides would hate to have that happen and will attempt to wreck any détente.

Did Zarif offer the idea of allowing more intrusive inspections of its nuclear program before or after his meeting with Paul? In any case some unnamed US officials said it was a non-starter. Probably the unnamed ones were the Mousetache-of-Idiocy and his minions?

Never should have cancelled JCPOA. Why should we have to do Israel/KSA/UAE's dirty work?

Timothy Hagios , 19 July 2019 at 07:50 PM
One recalls the immortal words of former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice: "Absolutely no one could have predicted this."
ambrit , 19 July 2019 at 11:12 PM
Sir;
Isn't the "wild card" here the Israelis?
I can imagine an Iranian government, or perhaps the IRGC in a 'bitter ender' phase targeting Israel proper before they collapse. As the fate of Gerald Ball indicates, the Israelis are understandably paranoid about their regional competitors.
Christian Chuba , 19 July 2019 at 11:34 PM
Iranian grain ships stuck in Brazil due to U.S. sanctions
https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-brazil-iran-sanctions/iran-grain-ships-stuck-in-brazil-without-fuel-due-to-u-s-sanctions-idUKKCN1UD2QM

We are now engaging in cartoon villainy in terms of trying to squeeze Iran into a tiny box. Iran cannot transact in dollars so they are reduced to bartering with Brazil for corn. Oops, even their urea export is sanctioned but that doesn't matter because we won't let Brazil sell them fuel oil to ship corn back to their home port. This is flat out evil.

Jim Ticehurst , 20 July 2019 at 12:04 AM
I wondering if the former Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejah ...2005 to 2013 and His "Apocalyptic Shiites" were put in the background...with disinformation about His falling out of Favor....So Iran could play strategic games with the P5+1 agreement IN 2015 especially with President Obama..
SysATI , 20 July 2019 at 12:06 AM
Eric Newhill

"But Iran still loses. Each hit the US Navy takes, strengthens the resolve to crush Iran that much harder."

Cm'on man... wake up and open your eyes...

The US hasn't won any war since... Eternity...
Do I have to remind you what happens in Afghanistan, in Irak or more recently in Syria ?

Well Iran is FIVE times bigger than Syria and is not a divided multicultural/multi-religious country. Do you think that anything you do could change the fact that those 80 something millions people will survive and will ALL be behind their leaders whoever he might be ?

If I was Iranian and even if the leader of the country was Adolf Hitler or some fanatic religious Abu Satanist al Muslim, I would still be behind him if my country was attacked by some foreign bully. My guess is that 99% of the Iranians think the same way....

Forget about allies like Hamas, Hezbollah or Houtis or even China and Russia.
Iran exists since 7000 BC and you really think that the new kid in the block with a couple hundred years of existence would be able to take it out ?
Given your history of military victories ???!!! Don't make me laugh...

Even if you naively believe that, do you think about the consequences of such a war ? Not on Iran, OK, you might level part of the country, but then what ?

Israel would most probably cease to exist. But so as the middle eastern Arab monarchies and most the world's oil industry, which we all depend on...

Which means that the whole planet will suffer for years to come...

If I can't feed my kids because my country can't get enough oil thanks to some nutcase in WDC guess how I'll feel about the US ?

Most of the world already hate you for a reason. If you want to be not just hated but treated like enemies where ever you go, go ahead, bomb Iran, start a war, have the whole world crumble...

And for what ???
Just "because you can" is not a valid answer...

"IMO, if there's going to be war, then the Europeans and Brits should fight it... Of course none of them will step up on their own and the US will have to do this."

Will HAVE TO do this ???!!!

Who the hell is forcing you not to mind your own business ?

Has Iran attacked the US ? Or Britain ? Or Europe ?
Or anyone else in the past several hundreds of years ?
No...


But.... Does the US oil industry would like the oil prices to go up ? YES !!!
Do the crazies in DC want to make more money by selling more weapons ? YES !!!
Do the crazies in Wahabistan hate the Shias and want to get rid of them ? YES !!!
Do the crazies in Israel want to get rid of a powerful neighbor ? YES !!!
Do even some crazies in the US want Israel to go in flames so that Jesus comes back ?

Unfortunately yes...

turcopolier , 20 July 2019 at 11:29 AM
Charles Michael
You are not correct. The Israelis have a deep psychopatholgy about Iranian ballistic missiles and a possible nuclear weapon that might - might exist someday. That has nothing to do with Syria.
David Habakkuk , 20 July 2019 at 01:29 PM
All,

I think the comment by 'Elliot' back in May reflects assumptions which are very deep-seated in the West, are questionable, and if wrong, could prove extraordinarily dangerous. So an extended response seems appropriate.

Of course the Russians have far more limited resources than the United States. What is important is to understand the implications of that fact for their strategic thinking.

On this I would strongly recommend two pieces at the top of the 'Russia' page on the 'World Hot Spots' section of the 'Army Military Press' site.

(See https://www.armyupress.army.mil/Special-Topics/World-Hot-Spots/Russia/ )

The first is a translation of a 2017 article from the journal of the 'Academy of Military Science', entitled 'Color Revolutions in Russia', by A.S. Brychkov and G.A. Nikonorov.

Among other things, this illustrates very well the rather central fact that Russian military strategists are very well aware that one of the things that wrecked the Soviet Union was the attempt to maintain permanent preparedness for a prolonged global war with a power possessing an enormously greater military-industrial potential.

As to the implications for contingency planning for war, these are spelt out in a piece, also published in 207, by the invaluable Major Charles K. Bartles of the Foreign Military Studies Office at Fort Leavenworth, entitled 'Recommendations for Intelligence Staffs Concerning Russian New Generation Warfare.'

At the risk of glossing his meaning overmuch, what is involved is a kind of 'higher synthesis' of the ideas of two figures who were on opposing sides of the arguments of the 'Twenties of the last century, Georgiy Isserson, the pioneering theorist of 'deep operations', and Aleksandr Svechin, who cautioned against an exclusive focus of the 'Napoleonic' strand in Clausewitz.

Both are quoted by the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, General Valery Gerasimov, in his crucial and much misunderstood address to the Academy of Military Science in February 2013, reproduced on the same page as the articles to which I have referred.

What Svechin was saying, in essence, was that an attentive reader of Clausewitz would realise that 'toujours la'audace' should be replaced as a motto by 'l'audace at the right place and time'.

It was crucial to be able to judge when an offensive approach was absolutely the right choice, and caution suicidal, and when the promise of a decisive victory was a snare and a delusion, and defensive and attritional responses appropriate.

(This argument crops up in many contexts: the 'Tabouleh Line' strategy adopted by Hizbullah, which Colonel Lang discussed in posts during and following the 2006 Lebanon War, and also that advocated by James Longstreet at Gettysburg, are classic examples of what Svechin would have seen as circumstances where a sound 'defensive' strategy was the key to victory.)

As regards contemporary Russian thinking, an implication is that one of things they have been trying to create is the ability, in appropriate situations, to use characteristics of 'deep operations' – surprise, speed, shock – in support of clearly limited objectives.

The kind of possibility involved was alluded to in the conversation between the 'Security Adviser' and the 'American Soldier' – seemingly involved on the ground in the 'deconfliction' process – which accompanied Seymour Hersh's June 2017 article in 'Die Welt' on the Khan Sheikhoun sarin incident the previous April, and the U.S. air strikes that resulted.

(See https://www.welt.de/politik/ausland/article165905618/We-got-a-fuckin-problem.html )

A key exchange:

'SA: There has been a hidden agenda all along. This is about trying to ultimately go after Iran. What the people around Trump do not understand is that the Russians are not a paper tiger and that they have more robust military capability than we do.

'AS: I don't know what the Russians are going to do. They might hang back and let the Syrians defend their own borders, or they might provide some sort of tepid support, or they might blow us the fuck out of the airspace and back into Iraq. I honestly don't know what to expect right now. I feel like anything is possible. The russian air defense system is capable of taking out our TLAMs. this is a big fucking deal...we are still all systems go...'

And that brings one to another critical strand in the approach of contemporary Russian strategic thinkers.

Not simply for war-fighting, but, critically, for 'deterring' the United States from escalating if the Russians do successfully achieve limited objectives, they have been concentrating on 'asymetric' involving focused investment in specific technologies.

So, Bartles explains that the Russian Ground Forces are 'significantly ahead' of the U.S. Army in electronic warfare, key objectives being to disrupt the demonstrated American capability for precision strikes, and also exploit the latent vulnerabilities involved in the dependence of so much equipment on GPS. (As an Army man, he does not discuss the interesting question of naval and air applications.)

And crucially, there has been a focus on developing a very wide range of missiles which 'missile defence' technologies are not going to be able to counter effectively in any forseeable future, and which have steadily increasing range, accuracy and lethality. One central purpose of this, which Gerasimov has spelt out in later addresses to the Academy of Military Science, also available on the page to which I have linked, is to provide non-nuclear 'deterrence' options.

It is, of course, always difficult to be clear as to what is, or is not, hype in claims made for new weapons systems. That said, it is I think at least worth reading some contributions by the Brussels-based American analyst Gilbert Doctorow.

In February, he produced a piece entitled 'The INF Treaty is dead: will the arms race be won this time by the most agile or by the biggest wallet?', and another, headlined 'The Kremlin's Military Posture Re-considered: strategic military parity with the U.S. or absolute military superiority over the U.S.'

(See https://gilbertdoctorow.com/2019/02/05/the-inf-treaty-is-dead-will-the-arms-race-be-won-this-time-by-the-most-agile-or-by-the-biggest-wallet/ ; https://gilbertdoctorow.com/2019/02/24/the-kremlins-military-posture-re-considered-strategic-military-parity-with-the-u-s-or-absolute-military-superiority-over-the-u-s/ .)

Certainly, a good many assertions Doctorow made merit being taken with a pinch of salt, if not a great deal more. However, before one empties the full salt-cellar over them, a few observations are worth making.

How much salt should be applied to Shoigu's assertion that the cost of the systems being developed is hundreds of times less than that of the systems being developed by the United States against Russia I cannot say.

Some questions are however worth putting. It would be interesting to be clearer than I am as to how relevant, or irrelevant, is the fact that for a long time now Russian universities have, frankly, wiped the floor with their Western counterparts in international programming competitions is one.

Another relevant range of issues relates to how expensive the 'software' component of the relevant weaponry actually produced, once it is developed. A third relates to that of how far the new missiles, with their greater range, can be effectively deployed, either by updating old platforms – like Soviet-era bombers – or by creating relatively low cost-ones.

And then of course one comes to the question of how the technical military issues interact with the 'geopolitics' involved. In recent years, a range of different Russian analysts have been claiming, in essence, that the 'Petrine' era of Russian history is over. Three examples, from Dmitri Trenin, Sergei Karaganov, and Vladislav Surkov, can be found at

https://carnegie.ru/2016/12/25/russia-s-post-soviet-journey-pub-66569 ; https://eng.globalaffairs.ru/pubcol/We-Have-Used-Up-the-European-Treasure-Trove-19769 ; https://eng.globalaffairs.ru/book/The-Loneliness-of-the-Half-Breed-19575 .

If, as Trenin argued back in 2016, Russia has moved from aspiring to become part of a 'Greater Europe' to seeing itself as a central part of a 'Greater Eurasia', then this has implications for how it should react to the asymetry which was central to Soviet views of INF in the 'Eighties.'

Put simply, INF in Europe can pose a 'decapitation' threat to Russia, while Russian INF do not do so to the United States.

At that time, the deployment of cruise and Pershing II helped to encourage a burgeoning awareness among important sections of the 'security intelligentsia' in Moscow of the extent to which their own security policies – of which the SS-20 deployment was just one of many examples – had created suspicion, fear and antagonism.

The conclusion – classically expressed in Georgiy Arbatov's joke about the terrible thing that Gorbachev was going to do to the United States, deprive it of an enemy – turned out hopelessly naive. The liquidation of the existing Soviet security posture did not lead to any lesssening of Western antagonism.

In his second piece, Doctorow has an interesting discussion of views expressed by Yakov Kedmi, the sometime 'refusenik' who became a pivotal figure in organising Russian Jewish emigration to Israel, and is now a regular guest on Russian television. And he writes:

'Perhaps Kedmi's most interesting and relevant observation is on the novelty of the Russian response to the whole challenge of American encirclement. He noted that for the past 200 or more years the United States considered itself secure from enemies given the protection of the oceans. However, in the new Russian military threat, the oceans will now become the most vulnerable point in American defenses, from which the decapitating strike can come.'

Putting the point another way. Potentially at least, the 'Greater Eurasia' as Trenin describes it includes the Western European countries – indeed, it appears to include Ireland. It is, obviously, enormously in the interest of the Russians to include these, in that doing so both makes it possible to isolate the 'Anglo-Saxons', and also to provide a counterweight to Chinese preponderance.

To do so however – and at this point I am moving towards my own speculations, rather than simply relying upon better-informed observers – requires a complicated balancing act.

On the one hand, the West Europeans – above all the Germans – have to be persuaded that if they persist in following with the 'Russia delenda est' agendas of traditional 'Anglo' Russophobes, and 'revanchists' from the 'borderlands', they should not think this is going to be cost-free.

But on the other, the promise has to be implied that, if they 'see sense' and realise that their future is with a 'Greater Eurasia', without their needing to 'remilitarise' in any serious way, then they will not be threatened militarily.

This balancing act, ironically, makes it absolutely imperative for the Russians not to threaten the Baltics – particularly given their historical links to Germany.

By the same token, it provides a particularly cogent reason for threatening to respond to new American IMF deployments in Europe with ones that target the United States.

[Jul 20, 2019] The UK's Dubious Role in the New Tanker War With Iran naked capitalism

Jul 20, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

https://c.deployads.com/sync?f=html&s=2343&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nakedcapitalism.com%2F2019%2F07%2Fthe-uks-dubious-role-in-the-new-tanker-war-with-iran.html

https://eus.rubiconproject.com/usync.html

https://acdn.adnxs.com/ib/static/usersync/v3/async_usersync.html <img src="http://b.scorecardresearch.com/p?c1=2&c2=16807273&cv=2.0&cj=1" /> Iran has also said that it will not only follow graded response to the sanctions, including possible exiting from the JCPOA, but also reconsider its participation in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, a thinly veiled threat to follow in North Korea's footsteps. It is clear that Iran will fight the status quo arising out of Trump's maximum pressure policies in various ways, and not allow itself to be economically strangulated.

The UK's position has now become very dubious. Why did it seize Iran's supertanker Grace 1 in the Gibraltarwaters? Four of Grace 1 's officers, including the ship's captain, all Indians, have been charged in a Gibraltar court and are now out on bail.

In a new twist on this issue, we now know that Gibraltar changed its law underpinning the seizure just one day before it occurred . This adds weight to reports in Spain quoting government sources that the UK carried out the seizing of the tanker under U.S.instructions.

The argument that Grace 1 was carrying crude oil to Syria's Baniyas refinery, and so was violating European sanctions on Syria, sounds weak on various counts.The Gibraltar court's order mentions EU Regulation 36/2012 on sanctions on Syria as the basis for action against Grace 1 . Oil exports from Syria to the EU have been banned, but not oil imports to Syria under EU regulations. Also, imports to the Baniyas refinery are banned for machinery and equipment , not oil.

More important: In international trade, do countries through which transit takes place have the right to impose their laws on the merchandise in transit? For example, can pharmaceutical products from India, which arein consonance with Indian and the receiving country's laws, be seized in transit in Europe if they violate the EU's patent laws? Such seizures have happened , creating a trade dispute between India and the EU. The EU finally agreed not to seize such goods in transit. So can the EU extend its sanctions to goods in transit through its waters? Assuming the crude was indeed for Syria -- which Iran has denied -- do EU sanctions apply when transiting through Gibraltar waters? In short, was the UK imposing EU sanctions on Syria -- or U.S.sanctions on Iran?

There has also been another incident involving Iran and the UK in the developing Tanker War 2. This makes the UK's role even more suspect. Iran has denied the UK's story of its empty tanker Heritage being blocked by Iranian boats in the Persian Gulf. The U.S., which first broke the story, claimed it was five Iranian boats that tried to seize a British tanker. The UK authorities claimed that it was three Iranian boats that were impeding the tanker's journey, which were driven off by a British warship. The Iranians deny that any such incident took place. No video or satellite image of the incident has been made public, though a U.S.aircraft reportedly took video footage of the incident. In his Twitter feed, BBC's Defense Correspondent Jonathan Beale condemned the failure of the British government to release images of the incident: "UK MOD say they will NOT be releasing any imagery from incident in Gulf when @HMS_MONTROSE confronted #Iran IRGC boats. Shame as far as I'm concerned."

What remains unexplained is why the empty UK tanker switched off its transponder before the alleged incident for about 24 hours, particularly in the period when it was passing through the Strait of Hormuz -- or why an empty tanker was accompanied by a British warship. Was the UK baiting Iran by manufacturing a maritime incident in the Gulf?

UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said on Twitter that after a phone call with Javad Zarif, Iran's foreign minister, he offered to release the tanker Grace 1 on the condition that it will not send the oil to Syria. This still begs the question of the UK's locus in deciding the destination of Iranian oil -- or why Iran should accept EU sanctions.

[Jul 20, 2019] Orwell, Inc. How Your Employer Spies On You From When You Wake Up Until You Go To Bed

There are a lot of exaggerations here.
While email and web activity of employees is definitely monitored, all other monitoring usually is pretty fragmentary. Often on a corporate smartphone there are two zones -- secure zone where you access corporate network and email and private zone where you have access to the internet via you provider and traffic is not monitored other then for the volume.
Keeping track of all those details (and some of them will be wrong) is just too expensive and few corporation outside FIRE sector so that.
In short anything that opens company to a lawsuit will be monitored, but outside of that companies actually are not interested in the information collection as it opens them to additional liability in save of suicides and such.
Mining data from social media is a different complex topic and requires a separate article.
Notable quotes:
"... From there, the company even sees as Chet logs onto the guest Wi-Fi connections at places like the coffee shop in the morning. Many companies require additional authentication when they try to access company information from unsecure Wi-Fi networks. ..."
"... Then, as Chet gets to his desk, his web browsing is tracked along with his email. New software breaks down how workers interact with email and how quickly colleagues reply in an attempt to see which employees are most influential . Some software on company computers even snaps screenshots every 30 seconds to evaluate productivity and hours worked. ..."
"... Even Chet's phone conversations can be recorded, transcribed and monitored. Companies use this information to find subject matter experts and measure productivity. Even conference room discussions and meetings can now be recorded and analyzed by software. ..."
Jul 20, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Orwell, Inc.: How Your Employer Spies On You From When You Wake Up Until You Go To Bed

An increasing number of large companies are using data from employees' electronic devices to track such personal details like when you they wake up, where they go for coffee in the morning, their whereabouts throughout the entire day, and what time they go to bed according to a new Wall Street Journal article. What's the company explanation for this type of spying?

"An increasing number of companies are keeping track of such information to flag potentially suspicious activity and measure work-life balance," the article claims.

The article walks through the day in the life of a fictional worker, Chet. It starts by noting that his employer logs the time and his location when he first wakes up to check his e-mail in the morning.

From there, the company even sees as Chet logs onto the guest Wi-Fi connections at places like the coffee shop in the morning. Many companies require additional authentication when they try to access company information from unsecure Wi-Fi networks.

Then, a Bluetooth device and his ID badge mark what time he arrives at the office while tracking his movement around the building. These technologies are supposedly used to see what teams collaborate frequently and to make sure that employees aren't accessing unauthorized areas.

Then, as Chet gets to his desk, his web browsing is tracked along with his email. New software breaks down how workers interact with email and how quickly colleagues reply in an attempt to see which employees are most influential . Some software on company computers even snaps screenshots every 30 seconds to evaluate productivity and hours worked.

Even Chet's phone conversations can be recorded, transcribed and monitored. Companies use this information to find subject matter experts and measure productivity. Even conference room discussions and meetings can now be recorded and analyzed by software.

At the end of the day, if Chet goes to the gym or for a run, the company will know that too and just how many calories he has burned: his fitness tracker logs how many steps he takes and what exercise, if any, he is doing. Companies then use that information to determine how frequently employees are exercising and whether or not they should be paying for health and fitness services.

You can view the WSJ's full animated panel here .


Xena fobe , 4 minutes ago link

They retain firms that track us on our social media accounts. Supposedly to defend against workplace violence threats. And then there are the cameras. We never really know. Just do my job and keep personal use of company resources to a minimum.

misgivings , 10 minutes ago link

Just NO. This is pretty much slavery. There should be a right to privacy, human rights. the insidious nature of ever more control must be reversed.

misgivings , 13 minutes ago link

we really ARE just cattle.

Ms No , 15 minutes ago link

Shortly Im going to start leaving my phone at home and just carrying a book with me. Screw these Bolshevik bitches.

Kefeer , 47 minutes ago link

The operation known as "LifeLog" was replaced the very day that Face Book came into being?

Life Log : The objective of the LifeLog concept was "to be able to trace the 'threads' of an individual's life in terms of events, states, and relationships", and it has the ability to "take in all of a subject's experience, from phone numbers dialed and e-mail messages viewed to every breath taken, step made and place gone". [1]

" CIA Can Selectively Disclose Information, Court Affirms " Bookmark this website Anons

My takeaway from all this is that many, perhaps most, human institutions are corrupt and that there is no basis from which most people are able to discern truth from lies or right from wrong. This explains the ability of the Power Elite to easily divide people against each other. For example, you cannot debate a Liberal because they have their basis for truth on their personal feeling or emotions. Many conservatives do as well, but they are closer in their thingking to the foundation from which truth sits upon.

PKKA , 48 minutes ago link

How to avoid electronic surveillance

Edward Snowden, former NSA employee. Snowden is an absolute supporter of encryption of all stored and transmitted content. Now there are many applications that have encryption features. And among them there are common and well-known messengers, such as, for example, WhatsApp, Telegram and others.

The former NSA agent also advises to secure his computer, in particular, the hard drive. On the Internet you can find instructions on how to do this. Usually used special software. For example, for Windows, there is a program preinstalled in advanced versions of the OS -- BitLocker, for Mac -- FileVault. Thus, if the computer is stolen, the attacker will not be able to read your data.

Password Managers A useful thing that most people do not even think about. Such programs allow you to keep your passwords in order - to create unique keys and store them. According to Snowden, one of the most common problems with online privacy is leaks.

Tor. The former NSA official calls the anonymous Tor network "the most important technological project to ensure the confidentiality of those currently used." He stated that he uses it on a daily basis. Tor allows you to "cover up traces" on the Internet, that is, it provides anonymity, making it difficult to determine the person's IP address and location.

Also, Snowden told how to avoid total surveillance. For example, special services that can remotely turn on a microphone or camera on a smartphone and start listening. The answer is simple - pull out the microphone and camera modules from the device. Instead, it is proposed to use an external accessory and disconnect from the selfie and never use it.

Kefeer , 33 minutes ago link

The only safe way is to abstain as much as possible, which is now next to impossible. Security is only as protected as the weakest link. Consider a person who uses their smart phone giving Google or Apple the permissions needed to use their OS's and apps; we do not even know exactly how much info we agreed to give away. Consider all the contact info that your friends, relatives, work or other organizations you associate with have on their devices and how vulnerable they make it; they are not as cautious as you and some people using these things do not even think about security; it never occurs to them.. .. just some musing on my part.

Cardinal Fang , 50 minutes ago link

Jeez, I used to sign a quarterly affirmation that I complied with all of the companies electronic communication monitoring policies...and they made us sign that we understood that they had climbed up our *** and pitched a tent.

One of the reasons they had to find a replacement for me when I quit.

Quia Possum , 57 minutes ago link

If you're using your employer's devices, facilities, or networks, you should assume they are tracking what you're doing, and they have every right to do so. When I buy your company's products or services, I don't want to have to pay for your time spent messing around at work.

I can't read the article since it's behind a paywall, but I don't see how your waking and sleeping time and "work life balance" could be tracked unless you are using your employer's devices or networks outside of work. Which is friggin stupid if you do it.

fezline , 56 minutes ago link

Actually it doesnt work like that... Chet isn't informed of this happening. The fact that the company does this is buried in vague language in the 500 page employee handbook that Chet has to sign when he is hired. Chet is just like anyone else with a company provided electronic device. All companies monitor and track everything they can with the electronic devices they provide. If you have one and th think your company doesnt do it... you are naive.

Wild Bill Steamcock , 12 minutes ago link

Chet has the ability to determine when and where he uses the work-provided devices. And why does work have access to his fitness tracker? Supplied by his employer too? Really, Chet had options

fezline , 1 hour ago link

Not with me... I have a personal phone and when I am not at work I keep my work phone at home turned off. My emails are forwarded to my personal device and any voicemail I get also gets forwarded to my personal device. I never place personal calls with my work phone and I turn it off the second I leave work to go home.

Steele Hammorhands , 1 hour ago link

What a waste of resources. If you want to see what I do, just ask. I'll show you how I accomplish my work-related duties. How I manage my time at work. Where I go to cry and regret my life choices.

[Jul 19, 2019] Over a dozen years ago, Russo published a pair of massive volumes on the history of organized crime focused on two particular regions, with The Outfit in 2001 discussing Chicago and Supermob in 2006 dealing with California.

Jul 19, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

aye, myself & me , Jul 19 2019 8:22 utc | 100

Has anyone else read this article over at Unz, by their editor and chief?
http://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda-the-power-of-organized-crime/

"Given that organized crime had apparently played a far greater national role in twentieth century American history than I had realized from my readings of mainstream newspapers and magazines, I recently decided to expand my knowledge in that area. Someone brought to my attention the work of investigative journalist Gus Russo, a prominent author on that topic. Russo had worked as a lead reporter for the award-winning PBS Frontline series and filled similar roles at other television networks, while being nominated for a 1998 Pulitzer Prize for his book on the JFK-Mafia alliance against Castro."

"Over a dozen years ago, Russo published a pair of massive volumes on the history of organized crime focused on two particular regions, with The Outfit in 2001 discussing Chicago and Supermob in 2006 dealing with California. Taken together these two works of deep investigative research run more than 1100 pages and over a half million words, apparently dwarfing almost anything else in that subject area. By the 1990s declassification of a vast quantity of government documents, including FBI wiretaps and Congressional files, allowed Russo access to this previously unavailable material. He supplemented this crucial archival research with the secondary source material contained in hundreds of books and articles, as well as more than 200 personal interviews, and his especially extensive second volume references this wealth of source material with more than 1500 footnotes. The numerous laudatory cover-blurbs by prominent prosecutors, former law enforcement agents, and experts on organized crime strongly attest to the credibility of his research, which certainly must have absorbed many years of concentrated effort."

Sure explains a lot to me how we wound up with thugs like Bolton and Pompeo. We have separation of church and state, who knew we needed separation of state and organized crime too?

[Jul 19, 2019] Boeing - Sleazy Deal Confirms Downfall By Walrus. - Sic Semper Tyrannis

Jul 19, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Harry , 17 July 2019 at 03:27 PM

I saw this piece which I think explained what happened at Boeing.

For what little my opinion is worth, many of the problems in the West have originated in our business schools. They are a curse. Its not too late to shut them all down, and redistribute the curricula to other departments.

https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/what-will-it-be-boeing-great-airplanes-that-generate-cash-flow-or-great-cash-flow-period/

semiconscious said in reply to Harry... , 17 July 2019 at 03:27 PM
great article. a quote:

"According to Boeing's annual reports, in the last five years Boeing diverted 92% of operating cash flow to dividends and share buybacks to benefit investors. Since 1998, share buybacks have consumed $70 billion, adjusted for inflation. That could have financed several entire new airplane models, with money left over for handsome executive bonuses..."

John Minehan said in reply to semiconscious... , 18 July 2019 at 09:01 AM
to be a devil's advocate, would doing that have made business sense? Would demand have supported the new models? Was there a technological reason to bring in new models that would create their own demand?