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Deception as an art form

News Neoliberal Brainwashing: Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few Recommended Links Diplomacy by deception Neoliberal war on reality or the importance of controlling the narrative Bait and Switch
 Very Serious People Leo Straus as the godfather of neocons Mayberry Machiavellians Machiavellism False flag operations as an important part of demonization of the enemy strategy Noble Lie
Pollyanna creep Machiavellians Manipulators Tricks Love bombing Groupthink Belief-coercion in high demand cults Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair
"Fight with Corruption" as a smoke screen for neoliberal penetration into host countries Corporatist Corruption: Systemic Fraud under Clinton-Bush-Obama Regime Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Corruption of Regulators Cognitive Regulatory Capture Revolving Doors as Corruption
Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Lesser evil trick of legitimizing a disastrous, corrupt neoliberal politicians in US elections Crisis of legitimacy of neoliberal elite Pluralism as a myth  Terrorism as a smokesreen for National Security State implementation Charlie Hebdo - more questions then answers
American Exceptionalism as Civil Religion Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite Anatol Leiven on American Messianism New American Militarism Humor Etc

WAR IS PEACE

FREEDOM IS SLAVERY

IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

1984

"Hollywood no longer depicts reporters
in ruthless pursuit of criminals, high and low.
Now they are the criminals."

Frank Rich So Much for ’The Front Page’
NYT, November 2, 2003

"Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one."
--A. J. Liebling, writer (1904 - 1963)

Truth is the most precious thing. That's why we should ration it.
Vladimir Lenin

“Gentlemen, I am ready for the questions to my answers.”

- Charles de Gaulle,
at the beginning of the press conference,
wryly alluding to the staged nature of such events.

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

Karl Kraus, 1914

“You can fool some of the people all of the time
and those are the ones you want to concentrate on.”

George W. Bush, joking at a Gridiron Club dinner,
 Washington, D.C., March 2001

Lately I’ve been amazed at the extent to which our entire public discourse now rests on disinformation and lies. First of all the concept of "bread and circuses" is now used more widely then in Rome:

What’s necessary for the state is the illusion of normality, of regularity,” America’s best-known political prisoner, Mumia Abu-Jamal, told me last week by phone from the prison where he is incarcerated in Frackville, Pa. “… In Rome, what the emperors needed was bread and circuses. In America, what we need is ‘Housewives of Atlanta.’ We need sports. The moral stories of good cops and evil people. Because you have that …. there is no critical thinking in America during this period...

... ... ...

Trump, an acute embarrassment to the corporate state and the organs of internal security, may be removed from the presidency, but such a palace coup would only further consolidate the power of the deep state and intensify internal measures of repression.

When "bread and  circuses" no longer work and people start asking themselves unpleasant question like "What is the deep state?", "Why we are finding all those wars in Me?"  heavy artillery of propaganda comes into play.

It starts with setting the proper narrative. The facts don't matter once the narrative is set.  In typical large scale disinformation cases like "Russian hacking" story (aka Russiagate), half of the country will go on thinking there's no way the story is totally made up, if MSM report if: there is no smoke without fire. Chris Hedges assumes that this idea of "injective proper narrative" started during Nixon's presidency with his idea of silent majority (Trump Is the Symptom, Not the Disease), but in reality it predates JFK assassination:

It began when big money was employed by political operatives such as Roger Stone, a close Trump adviser, to create negative political advertisements and false narratives to deceive the public, turning political debate into burlesque.

Dialectics suggest that each notion develops into its opposite. It might already happened with the US MSM. they are now all fake news  distribution ("fake news" are officially sanctioned rumors) XXI century can probably be called "the age of disinformation", although the process started long ago with the first totalitarian regimes in Russia, Italy and Germany. In this sense cold war was won by the USSR, because one of the most despicable features of the regime -- totalitarian control of media -- is now almost completely replicated in western countries.  As Daniel Schorr  aptly observed in his csmonitor article A spin cycle out of control

Washington these days feels a little like Moscow in Soviet times when the government routinely dispensed information to the public and the public routinely didn't believe it. The two main newspapers were the Communist Party organ, Pravda, (Truth) and the Soviet government organ, Izvestiya (News). People used to say, "There is no Izvestiya in Pravda and no Pravda in Izvestiya." 

Only a complete idiot now can believe mainstream press. Moreover at least Communists were honest about it and accepted it as a necessary evil, a byproduct of a one-party state surrounded by hostile capitalist states, which resort to all kind of dirty tricks to undermine it.

Under neoliberalism the net result is the same, but the dealing with media is based not of Party diktat (journalists are fighters of the Party"), but more subtle bets on greed, corruption and population stupidity and passivity. And communists view of "capitalist press" was simple, straightforward and is rather attractive, while in general being false, as many other communist ideas  --  all professional journalists should be considered to be a special kind of prostitutes  aka presstitutes :-). Anyway, even if you rightly think that communist's approach is too extreme or simplistic or both,  it still make perfect sense always ask who stands to profit and try to find and compare information form the opposition be it internal opposition press of other states. 

It is extremely naive to assume that free flow of information can exist in a any advanced Western state. But if you take several states then this assumption looks a little bit more realistic. Contradictions between state facilitates the flow of information, that would be suppressed by domestic press. that's why British press is generally preferable source of information about the US events ;-) Which they follow very closely. Of course, the level of disinformation is highly dependent on the importance of the event and generally reaches maximum in the atmosphere of McCarthyism-style witch hunt of war  hysteria ("Truth is the first casualty of war").  As Stephen Gowans wrote in Media Monitors Network

Every war proceeds along this path. Those who stand to be killed, dismembered, and dispossessed, are demonized, turned into the hobgoblins the American journalist H.L. Menken accused practical politicians of using to menace the population into consenting to what would otherwise not be consented to. Few are going to consent to the killing of innocents. So you turn the innocent into the guilty. Butchers. Murderers. Genocidists. Only later are the stories revealed to be gross exaggerations, often outright fabrications. 

That's why English is so important. It is the only language that has critical mass of foreign press (most countries provide English language periodicals and Web sites)  and as such English (along with Internet) is the main bastion of democracy in a modern world. Of course pro-state bias is also more pronounced in coverage of international events as foreign correspondents, who while not always are on a direct payroll of three letter agencies are often directly or indirectly influenced by them. If you are already thinking along this path you might also enjoy a book by John Ralston Saul called "Unconscious Civilization." Another his book that is worth reading (and written along the same lines) is "Voltaire's Bastards" in which he examines the appropriation of our government/corporations by an unaccountable elite which has co-opted the real power in our society (skip the Canadian identity-related staff) http://www.nlc-bnc.ca/events/readings/ejohn.htm

While in most cases Canadian and UK newspapers give more truthful picture of events in the USA, this is not true for foreign policy US and the USA are often in the same bed as for foreign policy and British press repeats (often in a slightly more sophisticated form  then the USA counterparts ;-) the State Department talking points. The same is true for Russian press about Ukraine.

Traditionally UK press was the standard of independent thinking. This clearly now belongs to the past (with Times controlled by Murdock family and Guardian being a neoliberal mouthpiece ) by still, in my experience, there are some remnants of this honorable tradition. You can more often to fight insightful articles in Guardian then iether in NYT or WaPo. But you need to be aware of those few brave soils, dinosaurs journalists who still try to inform public, not to misinform it. Another important factor is the level of monopolization of the press. In any case in British press discussions are always worth reading and typically this is were real information can be uncovered. 

This symbiosis of press and government is nothing new. It existed in the USSR and now exists in the West. Famous economist John Kenneth Galbraith in  his latest book The Economics of Innocent Fraud noted that  politicians and the media moguls actually form shadow "Ministry of Truth" in best Orwellian traditions, propagating, for example myth about:

..a benign "market" that big business always knows best, that minimal intervention stimulates the economy, that obscene pay gaps and unrestrained self-enrichment are an inevitable by-product of the system.

The other typical Soviet phenomena is blatant twisting of the language. For example the word "democracy" now usually means "our bastards" (as in famous quote “he may be a bastard, but he’s our bastard" ;-). And what is really sad, is that in case of war,  or major terrorist events, extreme, Soviet style disinformation is not limited to channels like Fox or Rupert Murdock controlled newspapers. It can be found all over the political spectrum. For example the level of distortion of wars in Kosovo and Beslan tragedy was actually greater in left press.  BBS and NYT, Newsweek, Guardian, Independent, etc really managed to outdid Fox in the art of disinformation in those cases. After that you feel nothing but disgust reading them.

And it is so called "left press" (or more correctly soft neoliberal press) which supported and continue to mix Wahhabi fanatics with freedom fighters. Like Talleyrand used to say "It is worse than a crime, -- it is a blunder" as Wahhabism is a direct threat to the civilized world. Moreover the story of Osama Bin Laden (Osama is essentially a byproduct of the Saudi regime, in particular the hardliners in the regime, and the CIA; Soviet invasion of Afghanistan provided the necessary but not sufficient condition for the creation of this movement; two other important components were Saudis and CIA) had shown quite convincingly that due to the internal logic of the movement they always turn against  the very people who were providing them money and PR support. As MSNBC author By Michael Moran stated in his Aug. 24, 1998 article "Bin Laden comes home to roost":

At the CIA, it happens often enough to have a code name: Blowback. Simply defined, this is the term that describes an agent, an operative or an operation that has turned on its creators. Osama bin Laden, our new public enemy Number 1, is the personification of blowback. And the fact that he is viewed as a hero by millions in the Islamic world proves again the old adage: Reap what you sow.

In case of important events, nobody now generally expects the government to tell the truth rather than to resort to propaganda.  So in a way we all live in post-USSR world.  But there is some level in which quantity turns into quality. And "war time coverage" now is gradually extended to less and less important cases that should not involve "war time" restrictions and mobilization priorities.  So the situation is gradually sliding to the level of Orvell's dystopian novell 1984.  If powerful interests are involved, then trying to tell the truth is a direct threat to the employment of the particular journalist (and in some countries even life); in the case of the broadcasters can lead to direct or subtle forms of censorship (removal from the air) and/or economic retribution.  That means that for most journalists the loyalty to one's boss (and by extension his handlers) overwhelmingly took precedent over personal honesty and integrity. Also journalists, especially in national capitals, are regularly bribed by the establishment. Some of the are connected with the establishment by family and other ties.

For that reason, we, as citizens, have to learn to recognize propaganda and media disinformation and within our limited means fight it. The ability to withstand massive "brainwashing" now become an important dimension of non-conformism.  Those skills are especially important due to an extremely dangerous development in mass communication -- complete loss of independence (sovietization) of mass media, the phenomenon that is also connected with the creation of  military-media-industrial complex (MMIC). Here is a relevant quote from The 50, 26, 20... Corporations That Own Our Media

Of the 1,700 daily papers, 98 percent are local monopolies and fewer than 15 corporations control most of the country's daily circulation. A handful of firms have most of the magazine business, with Time, Inc. alone accounting for about 40 percent of that industry's revenues.

Actually this kind of control of media by powerful interests (connected with the state, but necessary directly manipulated by the state) is the essence of  the totalitarian state.  This is a bad thing. I think, that in such circumstances anybody who has IQ to speak about, should not blindly believe any newspaper or TV station. Any news coverage should be considered more like a question than like an answer. This is especially true for international events. Only by comparing sources from different countries (for example Australian coverage, Asian coverage, GB and Canada coverage) one can get some idea about what's really is going on.  In this sense Internet is really the last citadel of democracy. In addition to the internet there is still a couple of good things:

The history the media cowardice, prejudice and gross over-simplification needs to be studied much more completely and materials presented below are far from being such a study. And while I would like to repeat it again: Internet is last bastion of democracy, media conglomerates actually controls a large part of Internet too, so crossing the national borders is extremely important. Portals like Yahoo are just puppets in a big game. Just ask yourself who provides news  for Yahoo and similar portals. One should always ask the question, "Who and why put this here?". 

Another problem is that it's rather difficult to counter disinformation especially if the message falls within the bounds of your cultural belief systems. That's true for both light and left propaganda. The Internet offers certain advantages in conveying false information because the well known issues of conformity, persuasion and self-justification are amplified by the Net.   Here are some relevant quotes:

What the mainstream media is doing with facts is often wrong. Sometimes it's plain, undisguised lie. And they don't really care if I know it, or you know it, or if  millions know it. Again, they don't care -- they are doing their paid job of manipulation of public opinion in the interests of powerful groups.  It is definitely not anything like what it is supposed to be, which is a reliable and independent information helping us to understand this complex world. Let's face it: political commentators are often a special kind of trained crocodiles, they are just animals trained to maim the prey. The art of disinformation now reached such level that you can suspect anything including the direct transmission from the place of the event to be staged, sanitized  or outright manipulated:

If you're reading this, we trust that you're painfully aware of the stranglehold that corporations have on the flow of "news" the world over. In this self-referential hyper-aware media-saturated environment, it's hardly incendiary or revolutionary at this point to imply that most news these days is manipulative moronic crap manufactured to simultaneously subdue and incite The Masses into their ongoing cycle of complacent apathy and egomaniacal patriotism. Or is it?

We won't insult your intelligence by waxing poetic about the self-preserving, dull-witted conspiracy of fools that we conveniently categorize as The Media Elite. You know the ones we're talking about. And in case you're not familiar with exactly how influenced the information that filters down to your front door, car radio or boob tube by The Military Entertainment Complex, have a looksie at who owns what. Yeah, that's right. Show us the money.

And while Internet is the last bastion of democracy, it is extremely important to be aware of the nature of the Internet. Information exists on the Net outside of existing scholarly structures. Sometimes respectable Internet sites are using all the dirty  tricks of  of yellow press journalism. See Open Directory - Science Social Sciences Psychology Persuasion and Social Influence. Here is an relevant quote from the paper: In Seattle's Aftermath Linux, Independent Media, and the Survival of Democracy:

Why Mainstream Media Won't Tell You the Truth

You don't have to be a genius or a conspiracy theorist to figure this one out. A few global media giants dominate the market; they have huge and growing holdings in virtually every means by which information is disseminated--films, books, TV channels, radio stations, newspapers, and magazines (Herman and McChesney, 1998). And they pressure, whether overtly or not, authors and reporters to put a slant on the news--specifically, a centrist to right-wing slant that favors the interests of the media's corporate owners. That's the reason you hear, over and over, why development matters more than preserving the environment, why free trade matters more than worker's rights, and why the U.S. has the right to impose its military power wherever it pleases.

Apart from the general pressure to slant the news to the center and right, industry associations overtly pressure media outlets to censor certain types of news reporting by threatening to withdraw advertising. For example, thanks to pressure from restaurant associations, newspapers are reluctant to specify local restaurants which violate health department regulations. Even so, overt pressure isn't often needed. When you're in the media business, you know darned well you'd better not run stories that businesses won't like. You tone it down. You run it by them. And if they're not comfortable and you're not comfortable, you don't run it.

In sum, you don't hear the truth because corporations don't want you to hear it and mainstream media are too cowardly to report it. Had you known the truth about Seattle (including substantive discussion of the specific issues concerning WTO policies), you might have thought more deeply about what's at stake. But that doesn't sell beer; why ask why, after all, when doing so is virtually unmarketable? Instead of providing the tools needed to think seriously about national policies, the media would much prefer to socialize viewers into becoming "neurotic in their need to buy advertised commodities", generating "mass spending on goods such as cosmetics, cigarettes, beer, soft drinks, and patent medicines completely out of proportion to the rational use of national income..." and diverting attention from "society's central needs, including public education, health care, [and] democratic economics" (Bagdikian, 1996:10).

At the same time for a thinking person Internet provides a unique possibility to resist this brain-washing campaign by comparing several sources. With some training you can read between the lines in mainstream media reports (people from former "socialist" countries usually have high score in those skills ;-):

The Internet is "dangerous" because it is a medium for the instantaneous and uncontrolled transmission of ideas.

We think of free speech as being a given--almost an absolute--in the United States and much of the Western world. Though everyone knows that certain kinds of speech, such as pornography, are against the law, most of us don't think about the web of social, nongovernmental constraints on legal but disfavored speech.

Unpopular ideas are marginalized in our society, restricted to the fringes of public discourse even without the need for any governmental action. Broadcast television and radio, cable, newsmagazines and book publishers all are--or are owned by--large conglomerates. Many rely on advertising, or own other businesses that do, or are simply owned or controlled by people whose personal involvement in the social web of contacts and constraints guarantees moderation in ideas. No idea sees the light of day until it has been turned over, examined from every angle, and pronounced fit for human consumption. Editors approve articles and books, and are managed by publishers who sometimes intervene in content. Committees decide what news stories to cover and which to ignore.

Let's don't miss this possibility, while it's still exists !!!

"To successfully uncover the lies of someone you first must know how to lie yourself. Now, some people just don't know how to lie because they've never been around someone who was good at it. I'm going to give you some pointers — never ever exaggerate within the lie. Details are key and remembering those details is what will keep the lie alive."

"One of the ways that deal with co-workers who I think have lied to me is to ask them the most obvious question: 'Did you lie to me when…?'"

"In a group of people, ask the person the question you need answered and when they lie to you, I just say — 'You lying &*#^, you never said that in your whole life.' Everybody breaks up laughing and the person obviously is caught. We all make a joke of it and it is much harder for them to be dishonest the next time."

"When it is obvious that someone's story has little connection to reality, I say 'Oh my gosh, almost the exact same thing happened to me.' This achieves the objective of 1) pointing out to the tall tale teller that you are on to him; and 2) makes everyone else realize how ridiculous this co-worker's stories are getting, and forces everyone to evaluate the veracity of all future tall tales.

"When trying to detect a liar, I act absent-minded and pause with unfinished sentences. The liar tends to fill these spaces. I have caught liars this way."

"I give them my biggest smile and usually say something like, 'Come on Pinocchio, your nose is growing.' Then I laugh gently. If they seem embarrassed or avoid eye contact and smile and say nothing, then I have confirmation that they have lied. They know it and I know it. Reading their body language is extremely important. Once word gets around that you are not a fool who will believe anything, most people won't try it with you."

"If you must interact with this person, try to have a third party present to be a neutral witness to any conversation that takes place. Also, if possible, interact via e-mail and be professional. We all know e-mails are a nice time-stamped paper trail of the facts."

"There are different ways to deal with lies, depending on the reason and the frequency. The solutions range from ignoring the lies, to training, to confrontation, to verbal and written warnings, and perhaps, as a last resort if the damage by the lies is substantial, termination."

"Of course he is lying. Everyone is lying. It's part of the human condition. Bosses lie all the time. Workers give them lies in reply and to each other."

Recommended Reading

The Understanding Stupidity

This systematic distortion of information makes human societies characteristically self-deceptive, with people disposed to believe they are living up to their ideals, particularly when they are not. The existing schematic dissonance is usually subconscious, due to the misleading nature of words, so society stumbles smugly along while at odds with itself, its environment and its equally stupid neighbors. In fact, the only really effective control of development comes not from inside but from physical limitations (what cannot be done) and competition with other groups which are also out of touch with themselves.

In general, internal criticism is of limited value as a control mechanism for growth and development of a social system. There usually tend to be few, if any, effective critics within any organization. When not dismissed out of hand as a crank or an outsider, anyone with valid criticism is made an outsider, as ostracism is a common reward for honesty, accuracy and integrity. Thus, criticism without power is largely wasted, producing little but woe for the bewildered critic himself.

Perhaps there are so few effective critics because anyone with any brains at all quickly finds that most human organizations just are not set up for effective criticism. The basic working assumption is that everything is just fine. Outside criticism is deflected and internal feedback is supposed to be positive reinforcement from "Yes men" promoting their careers by corrupting the mighty. At best, criticism has a place on the fringe, where cranks and comics can be tolerated as amusing diversions.

Can Truth Be Told When Using Selective Information

"The trap of the permanent campaign is that you diminish statesmanship," Professor Gergen said. "Statesmen rise above the daily concern and look to the long haul."

Business marketing and politics often overlap in election campaigns. Someone vying for office is essentially trying to sell himself to voters. "When you are campaigning, you're like the businessman who has a limited responsibility, a limited set of people to whom you owe something," said Alan Wolfe, director of the Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life at Boston College and author of "Moral Freedom: The Search for Virtue in a World of Choice" (W. W. Norton).

But, increasingly, because of the fund-raising involved in running for national office, "you have to be in an almost permanent campaign mode," said David Gergen, now a professor of public service at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, who was an adviser to four presidents. "In politics, you fall into the trap of short-termism. You do whatever it takes to keep the headlines up today." This short-term thinking is not dissimilar to what causes some businesses to make poor decisions in trying to bolster stock prices or earnings reports.

"The trap of the permanent campaign is that you diminish statesmanship," Professor Gergen said. "Statesmen rise above the daily concern and look to the long haul."

BUT it's difficult to affect the long haul if you find yourself voted out of office. For that reason, Dick Morris, a former adviser to Mr. Clinton and the author of "Off with Their Heads: Traitors, Crooks and Obstructionists in American Politics, Media and Business" (Regan Books, 2003), said he thinks that "using polling and all of the tools of an election to help you govern is a good thing."

"It gets the president to be very aggressive in figuring out what he can do in an active way really to help the country," he added. "The motivation is to govern well so he can get elected."

Even if President Bush has to campaign constantly and, as a result, selectively uses information to sell his message, we still expect him to tell the truth. "If they decided to lie to make the case stronger that's simply unethical," said Mr. Gilman, who was a senior official at the United States Office of Government Ethics from 1988 to 2001. Mr. Gilman said he hopes that the president "got one bad piece of intelligence and the rest was correct."

Some political analysts say President Bush crossed a line in selectively using information by pointing to British intelligence to make an argument, when American intelligence doubted the claim. "As in all marketing, when you go too far, it creates a small cloud over you about credibility," Professor Gergen said.

There's more at stake when President Bush selectively uses information than when a business executive tries to move a product. The president's role clearly distinguishes his unique moral responsibility. As an executive, you don't order young men and women to give up their lives for a cause.


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Old News ;-)

"It tends to be all accurate,
but not in an over-all context."

Donald Rumsfeld

2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001

[Oct 16, 2018] Donald Trump's Foreign Policy Goes Neocon

Highly recommended!
The question is why the Deep State still is trying to depose him, if he essentially obeys the dictate of the Deep State ?
Notable quotes:
"... The Wall Street Journal ..."
"... Actually that's Trump. He demands total and utter loyalty from his people and gives none in return. ..."
"... The significance here is that Bolton and Pompeo represent just about everything Trump ran against during his 2016 presidential campaign. He ran against the country's foreign policy establishment and its rush to war in Iraq; its support of NATO's provocative eastward expansion; its abiding hostility toward Russia; its destabilization of the Middle East through ill-conceived and ill-fated activities in Iraq, Libya, and Syria; its ongoing and seemingly endless war in Afghanistan; and its enthusiasm for regime change and nation-building around the world. Bolton and Pompeo represent precisely those kinds of policies and actions as well as the general foreign policy outlook that spawned them. ..."
"... Trump gave every indication during the campaign that he would reverse those policies and avoid those kinds of actions. He even went so far, in his inimitable way, of accusing the Bush administration of lying to the American people in taking the country to war in Iraq, as opposed to making a reckless and stupid, though honest, mistake about that country's weapons of mass destruction. He said it would be great to get along with Russia and criticized NATO's aggressive eastward push. He said our aim in Syria should be to combat Islamist extremism, not depose Bashar al-Assad as its leader. In promulgating his America First approach, he specifically eschewed any interest in nation-building abroad. ..."
"... Still, generally speaking, anyone listening to Trump carefully before the election would have been justified in concluding that, if he meant what he said, he would reverse America's post-Cold War foreign policy as practiced by George W. Bush and Barack Obama. ..."
"... Thus any neutral observer, at the time of Mattis's selection as defense secretary, might have concluded that he was more bent on an adventurous American foreign policy than his boss. But it turned out to be just the opposite. There are two reasons for this. First, Mattis is cautious by nature, and he seems to have taken Trump at his word that he didn't want any more unnecessary American wars of choice. Hence he opposed the withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal prior to Trump's decision to pull America out of it. That action greatly increased the chances that America and Iran could find themselves on a path to war. Mattis also redeployed some military resources from the Middle East to other areas designed to check actions by Russia and China, which he considered greater threats to U.S. security. ..."
"... That seems to have presented a marvelous opportunity to Bolton and Pompeo, whose philosophy and convictions are stark and visible to all. Bolton has made clear his desire for America to bring about regime change in Iran and North Korea. He supported the Iraq war and has never wavered in the face of subsequent events. He has advocated a preemptive strike against North Korea. Pompeo harbors similar views. He favored withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and has waxed bellicose on both Iran and Russia. ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
"... Bolton was put in power to ensure unswerving loyalty to the dictates of Bibi Netanyahu and local neocons. Have we forgotten Iraq and endless wars since? ..."
"... this is all about Israel's hold on the Oval Office. Bolton and Pompeo are far, far closer to Israel than Mattis and that's a problem for him. Sorry Robert Merry, but you clearly didn't catch Trump's first foreign "policy" speech in 2016. He suddenly revealed his priorities for all to see. There are four words that Trump apologists simply cannot bring themselves to utter: "Trump is a neo-con". Suckers. ..."
"... Military adventurism is another disappointment. We can't afford more neocon disasters. We don't need to be the world's police force. We should be shrinking the military budgets. It is dismaying to watch the neocons gaining power after the catastrophic failures of recent decades. ..."
"... "Still, generally speaking, anyone listening to Trump carefully before the election would have been justified in concluding that, if he meant what he said, he would reverse America's post-Cold War foreign policy as practiced by George W. Bush and Barack Obama." ..."
"... Come on, anyone listening to Trump before the election realized that he said whatever drew the most applause from the crowd. He never, in his entire life, has meant what he said. ..."
"... He will continue down the neo-con line until Fox News and NY Times run front-page articles about how Bolton and Pompeo are manipulating him and actually running US foreign policy, at which time he will dump them and make up something else. ..."
"... Arrest the warmongering "leaders" who create havoc around the world ..."
"... I guess DJT offered you a "Bad Deal" then? Past performance does predict future results. ..."
Oct 16, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

In covering President Donald Trump's recent pregnant comments about Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, The Wall Street Journal tucked away in its story an observation that hints at the president's foreign policy direction. In an interview for CBS's 60 Minutes , the president described Mattis as "sort of a Democrat if you want to know the truth" and suggested he wouldn't be surprised if his military chief left his post soon. After calling him "a good guy" and saying the two "get along very well," Trump added, "He may leave. I mean, at some point, everybody leaves . That's Washington."

Actually that's Trump. He demands total and utter loyalty from his people and gives none in return. In just his first 14 months as president, he hired three national security advisors, reflecting the unstable relationships he often has with his top aides. Following the 60 Minutes interview, Washington was of course abuzz with speculation about what all this might mean for Mattis's fate and who might be the successor if Mattis were to quit or be fired. It was just the kind of fodder Washington loves -- human drama revealing Trump's legendary inconstancy amid prospective new turmoil in the capital.

But far more significant than Mattis's future or Trump's love of chaos was a sentence embedded in the Journal 's report. After noting that recent polls indicated that Mattis enjoys strong support from the American people, reporter Nancy A. Youssef writes: "But his influence within the administration has waned in recent months, particularly following the arrival of John Bolton as national security adviser and former CIA Director Mike Pompeo as secretary of state."

The significance here is that Bolton and Pompeo represent just about everything Trump ran against during his 2016 presidential campaign. He ran against the country's foreign policy establishment and its rush to war in Iraq; its support of NATO's provocative eastward expansion; its abiding hostility toward Russia; its destabilization of the Middle East through ill-conceived and ill-fated activities in Iraq, Libya, and Syria; its ongoing and seemingly endless war in Afghanistan; and its enthusiasm for regime change and nation-building around the world. Bolton and Pompeo represent precisely those kinds of policies and actions as well as the general foreign policy outlook that spawned them.

Trump gave every indication during the campaign that he would reverse those policies and avoid those kinds of actions. He even went so far, in his inimitable way, of accusing the Bush administration of lying to the American people in taking the country to war in Iraq, as opposed to making a reckless and stupid, though honest, mistake about that country's weapons of mass destruction. He said it would be great to get along with Russia and criticized NATO's aggressive eastward push. He said our aim in Syria should be to combat Islamist extremism, not depose Bashar al-Assad as its leader. In promulgating his America First approach, he specifically eschewed any interest in nation-building abroad.

The one area where he seemed to embrace America's post-Cold War aggressiveness was in his attitude toward Iran. But even there he seemed less bellicose than many of his Republican opponents in the 2016 primaries, who said they would rip up the Iran nuclear deal on their first day in office. Trump, by contrast, said it was a bad deal but one he would seek to improve.

Still, generally speaking, anyone listening to Trump carefully before the election would have been justified in concluding that, if he meant what he said, he would reverse America's post-Cold War foreign policy as practiced by George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

Now we know he didn't mean what he said, and the latest tiff over the fate of Mattis crystallizes that reality. It's not that Mattis represents the kind of anti-establishment outlook that Trump projected during the campaign; in fact, he is a thoroughgoing product of that establishment. He said Iran was the main threat to stability in the Middle East. He supported sending arms to the Syrian rebels. He decried Russia's intent to "break NATO apart."

Thus any neutral observer, at the time of Mattis's selection as defense secretary, might have concluded that he was more bent on an adventurous American foreign policy than his boss. But it turned out to be just the opposite. There are two reasons for this. First, Mattis is cautious by nature, and he seems to have taken Trump at his word that he didn't want any more unnecessary American wars of choice. Hence he opposed the withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal prior to Trump's decision to pull America out of it. That action greatly increased the chances that America and Iran could find themselves on a path to war. Mattis also redeployed some military resources from the Middle East to other areas designed to check actions by Russia and China, which he considered greater threats to U.S. security.

And second, it turns out that Trump has no true convictions when it comes to world affairs. He brilliantly discerned the frustrations of many Americans over the foreign policy of the previous 16 years and hit just the right notes to leverage those frustrations during the campaign. But his actual foreign policy has manifested a lack of consistent and strong philosophy. Consider his approach to NATO. During the campaign he criticized the alliance's eastward push and aggressive approach to Russia; then as president he accepted NATO's inclusion of tiny Montenegro, a slap at the Russians; then later he suggested Montenegro's NATO status could force the U.S. into a major conflagration if that small nation, which he described as aggressive, got itself into a conflict with a non-NATO neighbor. Such inconsistencies are not the actions of a man with strong convictions. They are hallmarks of someone who is winging it on the basis of little knowledge.

That seems to have presented a marvelous opportunity to Bolton and Pompeo, whose philosophy and convictions are stark and visible to all. Bolton has made clear his desire for America to bring about regime change in Iran and North Korea. He supported the Iraq war and has never wavered in the face of subsequent events. He has advocated a preemptive strike against North Korea. Pompeo harbors similar views. He favored withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and has waxed bellicose on both Iran and Russia.

Thus a conflict was probably inevitable between Mattis and these more recent administration arrivals. The New York Times speculates that Bolton likely undermined Mattis's standing in Trump's eyes. Writes the paper: "Mr. Bolton, an ideological conservative whose views on foreign policy are more hawkish than those of Mr. Mattis, appears to have deepened the president's suspicions that his defense secretary's view of the world is more like those of Democrats than his own."

The paper didn't clarify the basis of this speculation, but it makes sense. Bolton and Pompeo are gut fighters who go for the jugular. Trump is malleable, susceptible to obsequious manipulation. Mattis is an old-style military man with a play-it-straight mentality and a discomfort with guile. Thus it appears we may be seeing before our eyes the transformation of Trump the anti-establishment candidate into Trump the presidential neocon.

Robert W. Merry, longtime Washington, D.C. journalist and publishing executive, is a writer-at-large for . His latest book is President McKinley: Architect of the American Century .


General Manager October 15, 2018 at 11:30 pm

Bolton was put in power to ensure unswerving loyalty to the dictates of Bibi Netanyahu and local neocons. Have we forgotten Iraq and endless wars since? We need more folks like Phil Giraldi at TAC. Love him or hate him – but please bring him back. The First Amendment needs him. And many of us still long for his direct and well-informed comments.
George Hoffman , says: October 16, 2018 at 5:27 am
"Come on now!" as sports analysts say in a sarcastic segment about football blunders on ESPN. Did GWB really make just an honest mistake based upon faulty intelligence? Does this writer really believe his assertion? This intellectually dishonest essay comes on the heels of a puff piece by another so-called "conservative" writer who asserted that had JFK not been assassinated and won a second term, he would have surely withdrawn American soldiers from South Vietnam. And then later in this essay the writer finally admits that these wars in the global war on terror, excluding the war in Afghanistan, were unnecessary. But if these other wars were unnecessary, then it historically follows they were illegal wars of aggression against humanity. That was the legal basis under which we tried Nazi leaders as war criminals at Numenberg. By the way, if Trump does get rid of Mattis, there are plenty more, one could even say they are a dime a dozen, at the Pentagon who would be willing to toe the line under Trump. They're basically professional careerists, corporate suits with misto salads of colorful medals on their uniforms. They take their marching orders from the military/industrial complex. I'm a Vietnam vet and realized long ago how clueless these generals actually are when we crossed our Rubicon in Vietnam. The war on terror now rivals the Vietnam War as a major foreign policy debacle. All these other unnecessary wars are part of the endgame as we continue our decline as a constitutional republic and we eventually hit bottom and go bankrupt by 2030.
jd , says: October 16, 2018 at 9:37 am
Absolutely right General Manager, this is all about Israel's hold on the Oval Office. Bolton and Pompeo are far, far closer to Israel than Mattis and that's a problem for him. Sorry Robert Merry, but you clearly didn't catch Trump's first foreign "policy" speech in 2016. He suddenly revealed his priorities for all to see. There are four words that Trump apologists simply cannot bring themselves to utter: "Trump is a neo-con". Suckers.
Kirt Higdon , says: October 16, 2018 at 10:23 am
When was Trump's foreign policy anything but Neo-con? Oh, he had a few good lines when he was running – that was the "con" part. I didn't fall for it but many did. But since he took office, he's been across-the-board anti-Russian, anti-Iran, pro-Saudi, uber-Zionist, and enthusiastic shill for the military-industrial complex.
Patricus , says: October 16, 2018 at 10:35 am
Trump surprised many of us with some very positive conservative actions but has also disappointed smaller government conservatives. The deficits and debt grows as the economy improves. What in the world happens in the next recession?

Military adventurism is another disappointment. We can't afford more neocon disasters. We don't need to be the world's police force. We should be shrinking the military budgets. It is dismaying to watch the neocons gaining power after the catastrophic failures of recent decades.

TheSnark , says: October 16, 2018 at 11:05 am
"Still, generally speaking, anyone listening to Trump carefully before the election would have been justified in concluding that, if he meant what he said, he would reverse America's post-Cold War foreign policy as practiced by George W. Bush and Barack Obama."

Come on, anyone listening to Trump before the election realized that he said whatever drew the most applause from the crowd. He never, in his entire life, has meant what he said.

He will continue down the neo-con line until Fox News and NY Times run front-page articles about how Bolton and Pompeo are manipulating him and actually running US foreign policy, at which time he will dump them and make up something else.

swb , says: October 16, 2018 at 11:34 am
Hmm

And second, it turns out that Trump has no true convictions when it comes to world affairs.

Fixed:

And second, it turns out that Trump has no true convictions.

This is another article that attempts to overlay some sort of actual logical policy or moral framework over the top of Trumps actions. Please stop. Next week or next month this whole line of reasoning will be upended again and you will have to start over with another theory that contradicts this one.

BradleyD , says: October 16, 2018 at 11:40 am
@R Dodge

Are are you implying that Mattis is a slacker? Like, he isn't doing a good job? And, specially, what is he failing to do?

Even if he wasn't doing anything at all, you don't fire Mattis. He is beloved among the military. While a fair number revere and maybe even keep their own little "St. Mattis" shrine as a joke, it is only half a joke.

Mattis is one of the few modern military generals with a cult of personality who, I have little doubt, could declare crossing the Rubicon and would get a good number of veterans and active marching in support.

Stephen J. , says: October 16, 2018 at 11:48 am
I believe a good peaceful and appropriate "Foreign Policy" would be to:

"Arrest Them"

Arrest all those responsible for the plight of the Refugees
These people are in camps, or drowning in unfriendly seas
And when these unwanted, reach "safety," or a foreign land
They are treated like garbage and the rulers want them banned

Arrest these "rulers" who created this hell on earth
Who act, that human lives, don't have any worth
They are examples of evil and should not be in power
They really are disgraceful and an awful bloody shower

Arrest the warmongering "leaders" who create havoc around the world
Authorizing bombings and killings these "leaders" should be reviled
Instead we give them fancy titles and homes to park their asses
Will there ever be a day of reckoning and a rise up of the masses?

Arrest the financiers of these bloody wars of destruction
This is how these blood sucking parasites get their satisfaction
Drag them away in chains and handcuffs, and orange prison attire
These are the corporate cannibals who set the world on fire

Arrest the fat and plump little "honourable" Ministers of Wars
They are the "useful idiots" for the leading warmongering whores
They never fight in battle or sacrifice any of their rotten lives
They get others to do their evil work while they themselves thrive

Arrest the corporate chieftains who feed off death and destruction
And who count their bloodstained profits with smiling satisfaction
These are the well dressed demons who call their investments "creating jobs"
Meanwhile, around the world the oppressed are crying, and nobody hears their sobs

Arrest the uniformed generals who blindly obey their marching orders
To bomb, kill, maim and destroy: they are the brainwashed enforcers
Years ago there were trials for war crimes committed by those in charge
Now we need them again for we have war criminals at large

Arrest all the aforementioned, and help clean up the world
We cannot afford these people in power: Are they mentally disturbed?
They are a danger to all of us and we better wake up
Is it time to arrest all of them: Have you had enough?
[more info at links below]

http://graysinfo.blogspot.com/2015/09/arrest-them.html
-- --

https://graysinfo.blogspot.com/2017/12/the-great-satan-and-his-satanic-gang-of.html
-- –
https://graysinfo.blogspot.com/2018/01/the-satanic-savages-in-suits-and-dresses.html

FJR Atlanta , says: October 16, 2018 at 12:13 pm
Hillary was right when she called Trump a puppet. She just had the puppeteers wrong.
Doswell , says: October 16, 2018 at 1:04 pm
"The significance here is that Bolton and Pompeo represent just about everything Trump ran against during his 2016 presidential campaign. "

Yes. Those two names are the main reason that this lifelong Republican is voting against Trump and the GOP in a few weeks. I voted against this kind of crap in 2016.

Sid Finster , says: October 16, 2018 at 1:09 pm
Trump is weak, stupid and easily manipulated. That is obvious. What blows my mind is how many people refuse to admit this obvious fact.
b. , says: October 16, 2018 at 1:11 pm
"[G]enerally speaking, anyone listening [..] before the election would have been justified in concluding [Trump] would reverse America's post-Cold War foreign policy as practiced by George W. Bush and Barack Obama."

What did Judas Goat 43 say again?

"Fool me once, shame on me. Full me twice in the long run we'll all be dead."

I guess DJT offered you a "Bad Deal" then? Past performance does predict future results.

Cape Fear , says: October 16, 2018 at 1:13 pm
If Trump loses at least one house of Congress this year, he can put it down to 1) failure on immigration and border control, 2) failure to control government spending, and 3) failure to get us out of the Middle East.

His new neocon friends are responsible for 3) and couldn't care less about 1) and 2).

One Guy , says: October 16, 2018 at 1:24 pm
"Now we know he didn't mean what he said "

No, Mr. Merry. We knew that long ago. I don't know how much attention you've been paying, but it's been so obvious for so long. But better late than never, I suppose.

Myron Hudson , says: October 16, 2018 at 1:56 pm
The only thing that surprises me is that anyone is surprised.

[Oct 14, 2018] Where Is Trump's Alleged Isolationism by Ted Galen Carpenter

Notable quotes:
"... American Conservative ..."
Oct 09, 2018 | nationalinterest.org

It's nearly impossible to read major newspapers, magazines, or online publications in recent months without encountering a plethora of articles contending that the United States is turning inward and "going alone," "abandoning Washington's global leadership role" or "retreating from the world." These trends supposedly herald the arrival of a new "isolationism." The chief villain in all of these worrisome developments is, of course, Donald Trump. There is just one problem with such arguments; they are vastly overstated bordering on utterly absurd.

President Trump is not embracing his supposed inner isolationist. The policy changes that he has adopted regarding both security and international economic issues do not reflect a desire to decrease Washington's global hegemonic status. Instead, they point to a more unilateral and militaristic approach, but one that still envisions a hyper-activist U.S. role.

For instance, it's certainly not evident that the United States is abandoning its security commitments to dozens of allies and clients. Despite the speculation that erupted in response to Trump's negative comments about the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and other alliances during the 2016 election campaign (and occasionally since then), the substance of U.S. policy has remained largely unchanged. Indeed, NATO has continued to expand its membership with Trump's blessing -- adding Montenegro and planning to add Macedonia.

Indeed, Trump's principal complaint about NATO has always focused on European free-riding and the lack of burden-sharing, not about rethinking the wisdom of the security commitments to Europe that America undertook in the early days of the Cold War. In that respect, Trump's emphasis on greater burden-sharing within the Alliance is simply a less diplomatic version of the message that previous generations of U.S. officials have tried sending to the allies.

Moreover, Trump's insistence at the July NATO summit in Brussels that the European nations increase their military budgets and do more for transatlantic defense echoed the comments of President Obama's Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel in 2014. Hagel warned his European counterparts that they must step up their commitment to the alliance or watch it become irrelevant. Declining European defense budgets, he emphasized, are "not sustainable. Our alliance can endure only as long as we are willing to fight for it, and invest in it." Rebalancing NATO's "burden-sharing and capabilities," Hagel stressed, "is mandatory -- not elective."

Additionally, U.S. military activities along NATO's eastern flank certainly have not diminished during the Trump administration. Washington has sent forces to participate in a growing number of exercises (war games) along Russia's western land border -- as well as in the Black Sea -- to demonstrate the U.S. determination to protect its alliance partners. Trump has even escalated America's "leadership role" by authorizing the sale of weapons to Ukraine -- a very sensitive step that President Obama carefully avoided.

Trump even seems receptive to establishing permanent U.S. military bases in Eastern Europe. During a state visit to Washington in mid-September, Poland's president, Andrzej Duda, promised to provide $2 billion toward construction costs if the United States built a military base in his country. Duda even offered to name the base "Fort Trump." Trump's reaction was revealing. Noting that Poland "is willing to make a very major contribution to the United States to come in and have a presence in Poland," Trump stated that the United States would take Duda's proposal "very seriously." American Conservative columnist Daniel Larison notes that while Trump often is accused of wanting to "retreat" from the world, "his willingness to entertain this proposal shows that he doesn't care about stationing U.S. forces abroad so long as someone else is footing most of the bill."

U.S. military activism does not seem to have diminished outside the NATO region either. Washington persists in its futile regime-change campaign in Syria, and it continues the shameful policy of assisting Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies pursue their atrocity-ridden war in Yemen. Both of those Obama-era ventures should have been prime candidates for a policy change if Trump had wished to decrease America's military activism.

There are no such indications in Europe, the Middle East, or anywhere else. The U.S. Navy's freedom of navigation patrols in the South China Sea have actually increased in size and frequency under Trump -- much to China's anger . Washington's diplomatic support for Taiwan also has quietly increased over the past year or so, and National Security Advisor John Bolton is on record suggesting that the United States move some of its troops stationed on Okinawa to Taiwan. The U.S. military presence in Sub-Saharan Africa is increasing, both in overall size and the number of host countries.

Those are all extremely strange actions for an administration supposedly flirting with a retreat from the world to be adopting. So, too, is Trump's push for increases in America's already bloated military budget, which now exceeds $700 billion -- with even higher spending levels on the horizon.

Accusations of a U.S. retreat from the world on non-military matters have only slightly greater validity. True, Trump has shown little patience for multilateral arrangements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Paris climate agreement, or the United Nations Human Rights Council that he concluded did not serve America's national interests. On those issues, the president's actions demonstrated that his invocation of "America First" was not just rhetoric. However, regarding such matters, as well as the trade disputes with China and North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement partners, the administration's emphasis is on securing a "better deal" for the United States, not abandoning the entire diplomatic process. One might question the wisdom or effectiveness of that approach, but it is a far cry from so-called isolationism.

Indeed, Americans would have been better off if Trump had been more serious about challenging the policy status quo, especially with respect to security issues. A reconsideration of Washington's overgrown and often obsolete security commitments to allies and clients around the world is long overdue. Abandoning the disastrous twin strategies of humanitarian military intervention and regime-change wars is a badly needed step. And waging a new cold war against Russia is the height of dangerous folly that needs to be reversed.

But contrary to Trump's shrill -- and sometimes hysterical -- critics, America has had no meaningful reconsideration of such misguided policies or a willingness to adopt a more focused, limited, and prudent U.S. role in the world. Notions that there has been a pell-mell U.S. retreat from global leadership -- i.e., Washington's hegemonic pretentions -- under Donald Trump are a myth. What Trump has adopted is merely a more unilateral and militarized version of a stale foreign policy that does not benefit the American people.


Source: The National Interest

[Oct 08, 2018] What an Audacious Hoax Reveals About Academia

Notable quotes:
"... Scholarship based less upon finding truth and more upon attending to social grievances has become firmly established, if not fully dominant, within these fields, and their scholars increasingly bully students, administrators, and other departments into adhering to their worldview. ..."
"... This worldview is not scientific, and it is not rigorous. For many, this problem has been growing increasingly obvious, but strong evidence has been lacking. For this reason, the three of us just spent a year working inside the scholarship we see as an intrinsic part of this problem." ..."
"... We spent that time writing academic papers and publishing them in respected peer-reviewed journals associated with fields of scholarship loosely known as "cultural studies" or "identity studies" (for example, gender studies) or "critical theory" because it is rooted in that postmodern brand of "theory" which arose in the late sixties. ..."
Oct 08, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Dr. Buddy Tubside , Oct 8, 2018 3:41:22 AM | link

What an Audacious Hoax Reveals About Academia

Three scholars wrote 20 fake papers using fashionable jargon to argue for ridiculous conclusions.

Harvard University's Yascha Mounk writing for The Atlantic:

"Over the past 12 months, three scholars -- James Lindsay, Helen Pluckrose, and Peter Boghossian -- wrote 20 fake papers using fashionable jargon to argue for ridiculous conclusions, and tried to get them placed in high-profile journals in fields including gender studies, queer studies, and fat studies. Their success rate was remarkable


Sokal Squared doesn't just expose the low standards of the journals that publish this kind of dreck, though. It also demonstrates the extent to which many of them are willing to license discrimination if it serves ostensibly progressive goals.

This tendency becomes most evident in an article that advocates extreme measures to redress the "privilege" of white students.

Exhorting college professors to enact forms of "experiential reparations," the paper suggests telling privileged students to stay silent, or even BINDING THEM TO THE FLOOR IN CHAINS

If students protest, educators are told to "take considerable care not to validate privilege, sympathize with, or reinforce it and in so doing, recenter the needs of privileged groups at the expense of marginalized ones. The reactionary verbal protestations of those who oppose the progressive stack are verbal behaviors and defensive mechanisms that mask the fragility inherent to those inculcated in privilege."

In an article for Areo magazine, the authors of the hoax explain their motivation: "Something has gone wrong in the university -- especially in certain fields within the humanities.

Scholarship based less upon finding truth and more upon attending to social grievances has become firmly established, if not fully dominant, within these fields, and their scholars increasingly bully students, administrators, and other departments into adhering to their worldview.

This worldview is not scientific, and it is not rigorous. For many, this problem has been growing increasingly obvious, but strong evidence has been lacking. For this reason, the three of us just spent a year working inside the scholarship we see as an intrinsic part of this problem."

We spent that time writing academic papers and publishing them in respected peer-reviewed journals associated with fields of scholarship loosely known as "cultural studies" or "identity studies" (for example, gender studies) or "critical theory" because it is rooted in that postmodern brand of "theory" which arose in the late sixties.

As a result of this work, we have come to call these fields "grievance studies" in shorthand because of their common goal of problematizing aspects of culture in minute detail in order to attempt diagnoses of power imbalances and oppression rooted in identity.

We undertook this project to study, understand, and expose the reality of grievance studies, which is corrupting academic research.

Because open, good-faith conversation around topics of identity such as gender, race, and sexuality (and the scholarship that works with them) is nearly impossible, our aim has been to reboot these conversations.''

To read more, see Areo magazine + "academic grievance studies and the corruption of scholarship"

[Oct 05, 2018] White working class who voted for Trump have been duped so many times. First, when Trump promised us "America First!" Voters, apparently content to trust mere words, have ignored Trump's apparent definition of "America First!" as "America has the right to antagonize Iran and Russia, and launch pointless attacks upon Syria

Notable quotes:
"... Christine Ford is, quite frankly, a distraction from the real intrigue ..."
Oct 05, 2018 | www.unz.com

John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan , says: October 5, 2018 at 2:38 pm GMT

Want to talk about lost memory?

How about this lost memory?

https://www.businessinsider.com/trump-decision-nominate-brett-kavanaugh-kennedy-2018-7/

White people who voted for Trump for his Supreme Court list have been duped so many times. First, when Trump promised us "America First!" Voters, apparently content to trust mere words, have ignored Trump's apparent definition of "America First!" as "America has the right to antagonize Iran and Russia, and launch pointless attacks upon Syria." Second, when Trump added Kavanaugh's name to a list of judges after he had gotten into office. Third, when Trump negotiated with scum Anthony Kennedy, who obviously demanded a Kavanaugh nomination in exchange for his retirement.

Christine Ford is, quite frankly, a distraction from the real intrigue: how Donald Trump motivated his base to support a candidate from the elitist wing.

But good luck finding conservatives with the balls to publicly point out the truth: the President we elected has stabbed us in the back with an establishment nomination.

[Oct 02, 2018] Democrats, Republicans Unite Populism Destroys Democracy by Caitlin Johnstone

This is a really apt quote: "America's two mainstream political parties agree furiously with one another on war, neoliberalism, Orwellian surveillance, and every other agenda which increases the power and profit of the plutocratic class which owns them both."
Notable quotes:
"... The buzzword "bipartisan" gets used a lot in US politics because it gives the illusion that whatever agenda it's being applied to must have some deep universal truth to it for such wildly divergent ideologies to set aside their differences in order to advance it, but what it usually means is Democrat neocons and Republican neocons working together to inflict new horrors upon the world. ..."
"... America's two mainstream political parties agree furiously with one another on war, neoliberalism, Orwellian surveillance, and every other agenda which increases the power and profit of the plutocratic class which owns them both. The plutocrat-owned mass media plays up the differences between Democrats and Republicans to hysterical proportions, when in reality the debate over which one is worse is like arguing over whether a serial killer's arms or legs are more evil. ..."
Oct 02, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

If there's one thing that brings a tear to my eye, it's the inspiration I feel when watching Republican-aligned neoconservatives and Democrat-aligned neoconservatives find a way to bridge their almost nonexistent differences and come together to discuss the many, many, many, many, many, many many many things they have in common.

In a conference at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, "Resistance" leader and professional left-puncher Neera Tanden met with Iraq-raping neocon Bill Kristol to discuss bipartisanship and shared values. While leprechauns held hands and danced beneath candy rainbows and gumdrop Reaper drones, the duo engaged in a friendly, playful conversation with the event's host in a debate format which was not unlike watching the Pillsbury Doughboy have a pillow fight with himself in a padded room after drinking a bottle of NyQuil.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/3oHm5OP621A

To get the event started, the host whose name I refuse to learn asked the pair to discuss briefly what common ground such wildly different people could possibly share to make such a strange taboo-shattering dialogue possible.

"Issues around national security and believing in democratic principles as they relate to foreign policy," replied Tanden . "And opposing authoritarianism, and opposing the kind of creeping populism that undermines democracy itself."

Neera Tanden, in case you are unaware, is a longtime Clinton and Obama insider and CEO of the plutocrat-backed think tank Center for American Progress. Her emails featured prominently in the 2016 Podesta drops by WikiLeaks, which New Republic described as revealing "a pattern of freezing out those who don't toe the line, a disturbing predilection for someone who is a kind of gatekeeper for what ideas are acceptable in Democratic politics." Any quick glance at Tanden's political activism and Twitter presence will render this unsurprising, as she often seems more concerned with attacking the Green Party and noncompliant progressive Democrats than she does with advancing progressive values. Her entire life is dedicated to keeping what passes for America's political left out of the hands of the American populace.

Kristol co-signed Tanden's anti-populist rhetoric and her open endorsement of neoconservative foreign policy, and went on to say that another thing he and Tanden have in common is that they've both served in government, which makes you realize that nothing's black and white and everything's kinda nebulous and amorphous so it doesn't really matter if you, say for example, help deceive your country into a horrific blunder that ends up killing a whole lot of people for no good reason.

"I do think if you've served in government -- this isn't universally true but somewhat true -- that you do have somewhat more of a sense of the complexity of things, and many of its decisions are not black and white, that in public policy there are plusses and minuses to most policies," Kristol said .

"There are authentic disagreements both about values, but also just about how certain things are gonna work or not work and that is what adds a kind of humility to one's belief that one is kind of always right about everything."

I found this very funny coming from the man who is notoriously always wrong about everything, and I'd like to point out that "complexity" is a key talking point that the neoconservatives who've been consistently proven completely wrong about everything are fond of repeating. Everything's complicated and nothing's really known and it's all a big blurry mess so maybe butchering a million Iraqis and destabilizing the Middle East was a good thing . Check out this short clip of John Bolton being confronted by Tucker Carlson about what a spectacular error the Iraq invasion was for a great example of this:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/NPFc9YN7LIE

I listened to the whole conference, but it was basically one long smear of amicable politeness which was the verbal equivalent of the color beige, so I had difficulty tuning in. Both Tanden and Kristol hate the far left (or as those of us outside the US pronounce it, "the center"), both Tanden and Kristol hate Trump, and hey maybe Americans have a lot more in common than they think and everyone can come together and together together togetherness blah blah. At one point Kristol said something about disagreeing with internet censorship, which was weird because his Weekly Standard actively participates in Facebook censorship as one of its authorized "fact checkers".

The buzzword "bipartisan" gets used a lot in US politics because it gives the illusion that whatever agenda it's being applied to must have some deep universal truth to it for such wildly divergent ideologies to set aside their differences in order to advance it, but what it usually means is Democrat neocons and Republican neocons working together to inflict new horrors upon the world.

America's two mainstream political parties agree furiously with one another on war, neoliberalism, Orwellian surveillance, and every other agenda which increases the power and profit of the plutocratic class which owns them both. The plutocrat-owned mass media plays up the differences between Democrats and Republicans to hysterical proportions, when in reality the debate over which one is worse is like arguing over whether a serial killer's arms or legs are more evil.

Neera Tanden and Bill Kristol are the same fucking person. They're both toxic limbs on the same toxic beast, feeding the lives of ordinary people at home and abroad into its gaping mouth in service of the powerful. And populism, which is nothing other than support for the protection of common folk from the powerful, is the only antidote to such toxins. Saying populism undermines democracy is like saying democracy undermines democracy.


Keyser , 29 minutes ago

The only thing the neocons care about is money and dead brown people, in that order, because the more dead people, the more $$$ they make...

Jim in MN , 28 minutes ago

You mean, neolibcon globalist elite sociopath traitors, right?

bshirley1968 , 38 minutes ago

I am confident that if I ever spent time around Caitlin there would be a whole host of things we would disagree about......but this,

" America's two mainstream political parties agree furiously with one another on war, neoliberalism, Orwellian surveillance, and every other agenda which increases the power and profit of the plutocratic class which owns them both. The plutocrat-owned mass media plays up the differences between Democrats and Republicans to hysterical proportions, when in reality the debate over which one is worse is like arguing over whether a serial killer's arms or legs are more evil."

.....is something we can absolutely agree on. This FACT needs to be expounded and driven down the sheeple throats until they are puking it up. Why don't they teach that in screwls? Because school is where the foundation for this lie of two parties is laid .

DingleBarryObummer , 29 minutes ago

It's funny that you say that. I was just thinking about how high school was a microcosm of how the world is.

The football stars were the "protected class." They could park like assholes, steal food from the cafeteria, and show up late, and wouldn't get in trouble.

That's just one of a multitude of examples. That's a whole nother article in itself.

DingleBarryObummer , 39 minutes ago

Tucker Carlson made Bolton look like the dingus he is in that interview. We all know (((who))) he works for.

+1 to tucker

WTFUD , 43 minutes ago

Campaigns are funded, career Politicians become made-men, conduits for the scramble of BILLIONAIRES gorging bigly on-the-public-teat, with a kick-back revolving door supernova gratuity waiting at the end of the rainbow.

Of course they can ALL AGREE . . . eventually.

Chupacabra-322 , 54 minutes ago

"How many people have Kristol and his ilk murdered in their endless wars for israel?"

Countless.

ChiangMaiXPat , 58 minutes ago

As a Trump voter, I believe I have more in common with Caitlin Johnstone then "any" Neocon. Her articles and writing are mostly "spot on." I imagine I would disagree on a couple key social issues but on foreign policy I believe most conservatives are on the same page as her.

ChiangMaiXPat , 54 minutes ago

I thought her piece was "spot on," she's a very good writer. The Neo CONS will be the death of this country.

[Sep 29, 2018] Graham was chosen to publicly throw a fit ecaquse he's inside-the-Beltway safe. He can huff and puff and talk tough on this hearing, precisely because the Establishment knows he'll never really go against them on issues like immigration or foreign policy.

Sep 29, 2018 | www.unz.com

Digital Samizdat , says: September 29, 2018 at 12:15 pm GMT

If you don't know all the local issues and controversies -- and I'll admit I don't -- it makes the mid-terms hard to call.

In general–about 80% of the time–midterms go against a sitting president. But in this case, I agree with the Derb: I think the Dims are in a rude awakening.

It's nice that our Israeli embassy has been moved to Jerusalem

Nice? Speak for yourself!

It's nice that Senator Graham has found his high dudgeon at last. Now that he's found it, though, how long will it be before he turns it against immigration patriots?

That's probably the only reason Graham was chosen to publicly throw a fit: he's inside-the-Beltway safe. He can huff and puff and talk tough on this hearing, precisely because the Establishment knows he'll never really go against them on issues like immigration or foreign policy. Remember the Clarence Thomas hearings? Remember how Arlen Specter was the Republican standard-bearer back then? Nuff said.

anon [317] Disclaimer , says: September 29, 2018 at 12:39 pm GMT
@ advancedatheist It is difficult in these trying times to find good entertainers.

I thought confirmation hearings,were to test for qualifications required to be a Supreme?

Such things as ability to write, understanding of the complexities of the constitution, beliefs and past rulings, convictions about the bill of rights, and things like that? The Constitution is supposed to create the structure of government, authorize payment of fat salaries to 527 elected entertainers and limit the scope of the personal financial activities while in office. I can't image a confirmation hearing that would review the judicial history of the past rulings and professional activities of a candidate. The audience would not be interested to hear what those who practice law and interact with the candidate had to say about him and his legal abilities. When and in which tent are those hearings to begin?

Where are the opinions by Judge Kavanaugh? Why have they not been produced for inspection in the hearings? What does this man think? Why did Trump select Judge Kavanaugh to be a supreme? At the moment it looks like the the hearings have been conducted to cover for the attacks by Israel on Russian Airplanes in Syria. I can think of no other reason for such a circus?

What I have seen, heard and read describe another propaganda guided privately owned media production with side shows by two of the best known acts in circus life ( shows by the Gods of poop and by the Democraps were featured).

I still don't know anything about Judge Kavanaugh do you?

Charles Pewitt , says: September 29, 2018 at 4:31 pm GMT
I hereby claim that Lindsey Graham and Larry Kudlow are horrible whores for the GOP Cheap Labor Faction. Both Lindsey Graham and Larry Kudlow push wage-reducing open borders mass immigration and amnesty for illegal alien invaders.

I also strongly suggest that Larry Kudlow and Lindsey Graham were big backers of the Iraq War debacle.

Larry Kudlow and Lindsey Graham both push sovereignty-sapping trade deal scams.

Larry Kudlow has no memory whatsoever of any guest ever at his house. Is Larry Kudlow a ruling class louse?

Trump brought on board his ship of state all sorts of louts such as Larry Kudlow, Gary Cohn, Steve Mnuchin, Nikki Haley, John Bolton and many other no good bastards. Trump invited the swamp into the White House.

Tweets from 2015:

[Sep 29, 2018] Anti-White-Male Kavanaugh Hatefest May Close Midterm Enthusiasm Gap -- And Get GOP Senators On The Trump Train! by John Derbyshir

Notable quotes:
"... Christine Ford has taken the false allegations racket a bit too far. She is probably lying, as how come she did not call 911 or file a police report if this happened? She comes from a family of lawyers. She has an army of attorneys who would have rushed and filed police reports and filed civil suits if any man had dared touch her. ..."
Sep 29, 2018 | www.unz.com

advancedatheist , says: September 29, 2018 at 3:35 am GMT

I don't know about anyone else, but I found Dr. Gidget, the aging surfer girl with the vocal fry and the uptalk, just ridiculous and annoying.
Rational , says: September 29, 2018 at 4:21 am GMT
FBI SHOULD CHARGE CHRISTINE FORD FOR PERJURY.

Christine Ford has taken the false allegations racket a bit too far. She is probably lying, as how come she did not call 911 or file a police report if this happened? She comes from a family of lawyers. She has an army of attorneys who would have rushed and filed police reports and filed civil suits if any man had dared touch her.

That did not happen for 3 decades for one reason -- nothing happened on the night in question.

The Democrats, who are a criminal party, must have coached her and offered her a few 100K under the table, disguised as speaking fees, or scholarship, for manufacturing this racket.

PANCHO PERICO , says: September 29, 2018 at 4:25 am GMT
Kavanaugh has proved himself unfit for the position of supreme court justice. Under heavy fire, he has shown that he is a spineless coward, a crying baby incapable of fighting back like a man. Moreover, he is a total idiot.

What did he expect, that the baby killers were going to accept even the possibility of a supreme court justice who may vote to overturn Wade VS Roe and the end of Planned Parenthood? He has shown that this totally expected attack took him by surprise. What a fool!

Courage under fire? Call the Marines, but not Kavanaugh.

anon [694] Disclaimer , says: September 29, 2018 at 5:17 am GMT

The key word there is of course "gentlemanly." Could any concept be more at odds with the zeitgeist than gentlemanliness? It's hard not to think there's a demographic dimension to this. That older style of courtesy, forbearance, and compromise that used to inform our politics was a white-European thing, perhaps particularly an Anglo-Saxon-Celtic thing.

I agree that politics in the US is coarsening like our pop culture and increasingly looking like 3rd world politics. This is where America is headed as we become more culturally enriched:

The neocons and neolibs has always been the indignant, end justifies the means crowd. Since Trump's election they've completely gone off the rails....

You're right about Trump being a big disappointment so far in immigration. Caving here and calling for an FBI investigation makes him look as stupid as Flake. Fat chance FBI will close it in a week. This is the same agency that gave us Mueller, Comey, McCabe, Ohr, Strzok, Page, the Steele Dossier, owned by Deep State and corrupt to the core. These GOP fools are once again playing right into the hands of the (((Dems))) – Feinstein, Blumenthal, Schumer and Ford's lawyer Bromwich, already complaining about the 'artificial timeline'. No one can ever outcon the financial elite.

[Sep 29, 2018] Trump Surrenders to the Iron Law of Oligarchy by Dan Sanchez

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Trump's nationalist fans are sick of the globalist wars that America never seems to win. They are hardly against war per se. They are perfectly fine with bombing radical Islamists, even if it means mass innocent casualties. But they have had enough of expending American blood and treasure to overthrow secular Arab dictators to the benefit of Islamists; so, it seemed, was Trump. They also saw no nationalist advantage in the globalists' renewed Cold War against Assad's ally Russian president Vladimir Putin, another enemy of Islamists. ..."
"... The Syrian pivot also seemed to fulfill the hopes and dreams of some antiwar libertarians who had pragmatically supported Trump. For them, acquiescing to the unwelcome planks of Trump's platform was a price worth paying for overthrowing the establishment policies of regime change in the Middle East and hostility toward nuclear Russia. While populism wasn't an unalloyed friend of liberty, these libertarians thought, at least it could be harnessed to sweep away the war-engineering elites. And since war is the health of the state, that could redirect history's momentum in favor of liberty. ..."
"... But then it all evaporated. Shortly after Bannon's ouster from the NSC, in response to an alleged, unverified chemical attack on civilians, Trump bombed one of Assad's airbases (something even globalist Obama had balked at doing when offered the exact same excuse), and regime change in Syria was top priority once again. The establishment media swooned over Trump's newfound willingness to be "presidential." ..."
"... Since then, Trump has reneged on one campaign promise after another. He dropped any principled repeal of Obamacare. He threw cold water on expectations for prompt fulfillment of his signature promise: the construction of a Mexico border wall. And he announced an imminent withdrawal from NAFTA, only to walk that announcement back the very next day. ..."
"... Poor white people, "the forgotten men and women of our country," have been forgotten once again. Their "tribune" seems to be turning out to be just another agent of the power elite. ..."
"... Who yanked his chain? Was there a palace coup? Was the CIA involved? Has Trump been threatened? ..."
"... Political Parties: A Sociological Study of the Oligarchical Tendencies of Modern Democracy ..."
"... Even in a political system based on popular sovereignty, Michels pointed out that, "the sovereign masses are altogether incapable of undertaking the most necessary resolutions." This is true for simple, unavoidable technical reasons: "such a gigantic number of persons belonging to a unitary organization cannot do any practical work upon a system of direct discussion." ..."
"... " while Trump might be able to seize the presidency in spite of establishment opposition, he will never be able to wield it without establishment support." ..."
May 02, 2017 | original.antiwar.com
Did the Deep State deep-six Trump's populist revolution?

Many observers, especially among his fans, suspect that the seemingly untamable Trump has already been housebroken by the Washington, "globalist" establishment. If true, the downfall of Trump's National Security Adviser Michael Flynn less than a month into the new presidency may have been a warning sign. And the turning point would have been the removal of Steven K. Bannon from the National Security Council on April 5.

Until then, the presidency's early policies had a recognizably populist-nationalist orientation. During his administration's first weeks, Trump's biggest supporters frequently tweeted the hashtag #winning and exulted that he was decisively doing exactly what, on the campaign trail, he said he would do.

In a flurry of executive orders and other unilateral actions bearing Bannon's fingerprints, Trump withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, declared a sweeping travel ban, instituted harsher deportation policies, and more.

These policies seemed to fit Trump's reputation as the " tribune of poor white people ," as he has been called; above all, Trump's base calls for protectionism and immigration restrictions. Trump seemed to be delivering on the populist promise of his inauguration speech (thought to be written by Bannon), in which he said:

"Today's ceremony, however, has very special meaning. Because today we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another, or from one party to another – but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the American People.

For too long, a small group in our nation's Capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost. Washington flourished – but the people did not share in its wealth. Politicians prospered – but the jobs left, and the factories closed.

The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country. Their victories have not been your victories; their triumphs have not been your triumphs; and while they celebrated in our nation's capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land.

That all changes – starting right here, and right now, because this moment is your moment: it belongs to you.

It belongs to everyone gathered here today and everyone watching all across America. This is your day. This is your celebration. And this, the United States of America, is your country.

What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people. January 20th 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again. The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.

Everyone is listening to you now." [Emphasis added.]

After a populist insurgency stormed social media and the voting booths, American democracy, it seemed, had been wrenched from the hands of the Washington elite and restored to "the people," or at least a large, discontented subset of "the people." And this happened in spite of the establishment, the mainstream media, Hollywood, and "polite opinion" throwing everything it had at Trump.

The Betrayal

But for the past month, the administration's axis seems to have shifted. This shift was especially abrupt in Trump's Syria policy.

Days before Bannon's fall from grace, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley declared that forcing Syrian president Bashar al-Assad from power was no longer top priority. This too was pursuant of Trump's populist promises.

Trump's nationalist fans are sick of the globalist wars that America never seems to win. They are hardly against war per se. They are perfectly fine with bombing radical Islamists, even if it means mass innocent casualties. But they have had enough of expending American blood and treasure to overthrow secular Arab dictators to the benefit of Islamists; so, it seemed, was Trump. They also saw no nationalist advantage in the globalists' renewed Cold War against Assad's ally Russian president Vladimir Putin, another enemy of Islamists.

The Syrian pivot also seemed to fulfill the hopes and dreams of some antiwar libertarians who had pragmatically supported Trump. For them, acquiescing to the unwelcome planks of Trump's platform was a price worth paying for overthrowing the establishment policies of regime change in the Middle East and hostility toward nuclear Russia. While populism wasn't an unalloyed friend of liberty, these libertarians thought, at least it could be harnessed to sweep away the war-engineering elites. And since war is the health of the state, that could redirect history's momentum in favor of liberty.

But then it all evaporated. Shortly after Bannon's ouster from the NSC, in response to an alleged, unverified chemical attack on civilians, Trump bombed one of Assad's airbases (something even globalist Obama had balked at doing when offered the exact same excuse), and regime change in Syria was top priority once again. The establishment media swooned over Trump's newfound willingness to be "presidential."

Since then, Trump has reneged on one campaign promise after another. He dropped any principled repeal of Obamacare. He threw cold water on expectations for prompt fulfillment of his signature promise: the construction of a Mexico border wall. And he announced an imminent withdrawal from NAFTA, only to walk that announcement back the very next day.

Here I make no claim as to whether any of these policy reversals are good or bad. I only point out that they run counter to the populist promises he had given to his core constituents.

Poor white people, "the forgotten men and women of our country," have been forgotten once again. Their "tribune" seems to be turning out to be just another agent of the power elite.

Who yanked his chain? Was there a palace coup? Was the CIA involved? Has Trump been threatened? Or, after constant obstruction, has he simply concluded that if you can't beat 'em, join 'em?

The Iron Law of Oligarchy

Regardless of how it came about, it seems clear that whatever prospect there was for a truly populist Trump presidency is gone with the wind. Was it inevitable that this would happen, one way or another?

One person who might have thought so was German sociologist Robert Michels, who posited the "iron law of oligarchy" in his 1911 work Political Parties: A Sociological Study of the Oligarchical Tendencies of Modern Democracy .

Michels argued that political organizations, no matter how democratically structured, rarely remain truly populist, but inexorably succumb to oligarchic control.

Even in a political system based on popular sovereignty, Michels pointed out that, "the sovereign masses are altogether incapable of undertaking the most necessary resolutions." This is true for simple, unavoidable technical reasons: "such a gigantic number of persons belonging to a unitary organization cannot do any practical work upon a system of direct discussion."

This practical limitation necessitates delegation of decision-making to officeholders. These delegates may at first be considered servants of the masses:

"All the offices are filled by election. The officials, executive organs of the general will, play a merely subordinate part, are always dependent upon the collectivity, and can be deprived of their office at any moment. The mass of the party is omnipotent."

But these delegates will inevitably become specialists in the exercise and consolidation of power, which they gradually wrest away from the "sovereign people":

"The technical specialization that inevitably results from all extensive organization renders necessary what is called expert leadership. Consequently the power of determination comes to be considered one of the specific attributes of leadership, and is gradually withdrawn from the masses to be concentrated in the hands of the leaders alone. Thus the leaders, who were at first no more than the executive organs of the collective will, soon emancipate themselves from the mass and become independent of its control.

Organization implies the tendency to oligarchy. In every organization, whether it be a political party, a professional union, or any other association of the kind, the aristocratic tendency manifests itself very clearly."

Trumped by the Deep State

Thus elected, populist "tribunes" like Trump are ultimately no match for entrenched technocrats nestled in permanent bureaucracy. Especially invincible are technocrats who specialize in political force and intrigue, i.e., the National Security State (military, NSA, CIA, FBI, etc.). And these elite functionaries don't serve "the people" or any large subpopulation. They only serve their own careers, and by extension, big-money special interest groups that make it worth their while: especially big business and foreign lobbies. The nexus of all these powers is what is known as the Deep State.

Trump's more sophisticated champions were aware of these dynamics, but held out hope nonetheless. They thought that Trump would be an exception, because his large personal fortune would grant him immunity from elite influence. That factor did contribute to the independent, untamable spirit of his campaign. But as I predicted during the Republican primaries:

" while Trump might be able to seize the presidency in spite of establishment opposition, he will never be able to wield it without establishment support."

No matter how popular, rich, and bombastic, a populist president simply cannot rule without access to the levers of power. And that access is under the unshakable control of the Deep State. If Trump wants to play president, he has to play ball.

On these grounds, I advised his fans over a year ago, " don't hold out hope that Trump will make good on his isolationist rhetoric " and anticipated, "a complete rapprochement between the populist rebel and the Republican establishment." I also warned that, far from truly threatening the establishment and the warfare state, Trump's populist insurgency would only invigorate them:

"Such phony establishment "deaths" at the hands of "grassroots" outsiders followed by "rebirths" (rebranding) are an excellent way for moribund oligarchies to renew themselves without actually meaningfully changing. Each "populist" reincarnation of the power elite is draped with a freshly-laundered mantle of popular legitimacy, bestowing on it greater license to do as it pleases. And nothing pleases the State more than war."

Politics, even populist politics, is the oligarchy's game. And the house always wins.

Dan Sanchez is the Digital Content Manager at the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), developing educational and inspiring content for FEE.org , including articles and courses. The originally appeared on the FEE website and is reprinted with the author's permission.

[Sep 27, 2018] The power elites goal is to change its appearance to look like something new and innovative to stay ahead of an electorate who are increasingly skeptical of the neoliberalism and globalism that enrich the elite at their expense.

Highly recommended!
Sep 27, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org
james , Sep 26, 2018 10:19:13 PM | link

Pft , Sep 26, 2018 9:58:02 PM | link

In my own words then. According to Cook the power elites goal is to change its appearance to look like something new and innovative to stay ahead of an electorate who are increasingly skeptical of the neoliberalism and globalism that enrich the elite at their expense.

Since they do not actually want change they find actors who pretend to represent change , which is in essence fake change. These then are their insurgent candidates

Trump serves the power elite , because while he appears as an insurgent against the power elite he does little to change anything

Trump promotes his fake insurgency on Twitter stage knowing the power elite will counter any of his promises that might threaten them

As an insurgent candidate Trump was indifferent to Israel and wanted the US out of Syria. He wanted good relations with Russia. He wanted to fix the health care system, rebuild infrastructure, scrap NAFTA and TTIPS, bring back good paying jobs, fight the establishment and Wall Street executives and drain the swamp. America First he said.

Trump the insurgent president , has become Israel's biggest cheerleader and has launched US missiles at Syria, relations with Russia are at Cold War lows, infrastructure is still failing, the percentage of people working is now at an all time low in the post housewife era, he has passed tax cuts for the rich that will endanger medicare, medicaid and social security and prohibit infrastructure spending, relaxed regulations on Wall Street, enhanced NAFTA to include TTIPS provisions and make US automobiles more expensive, and the swamp has been refilled with the rich, neocons , Koch associates, and Goldman Sachs that make up the power elites and Deep State Americas rich and Israel First

@34 pft... regarding the 2 cook articles.. i found they overly wordy myself... however, for anyone paying attention - corbyn seems like the person to vote for given how relentless he is being attacked in the media... i am not so sure about trump, but felt cook summed it up well with these 2 lines.. "Trump the candidate was indifferent to Israel and wanted the US out of Syria. Trump the president has become Israel's biggest cheerleader and has launched US missiles at Syria." i get the impression corbyn is legit which is why the anti-semitism keeps on being mentioned... craig murrary is a good source for staying on top of uk dynamics..

Piotr Berman , Sep 26, 2018 10:23:41 PM | link

For Trump to be "insurgent" he should

(a) talk coherently
(b) have some kind of movement consisting of people that agree with what is says -- that necessitates (a)

Then he could staff his Administration with his supporters rather than a gamut of conventional plutocrats, neocons, and hacks from the Deep State (intelligence, FBI and crazies culled from Pentagon). As it is easy to see, I am describing an alternate reality. Who is a Trumpian member of the Administration? His son-in-law?

karlof1 , Sep 26, 2018 11:42:43 PM | link
Pft @34--

Yes. just like Obama before him--another snake in the swamp!

Pft , Sep 27, 2018 12:53:59 AM | link
Karlof1@39

The swamps been filled with all kinds of vile creatures since the Carter administration. This is when the US/UK went full steam ahead with neoliberal globalism with Israel directing the war on terror for the Trilateral Empire (following Bibis Jerusalem conference so as to fulfill the Yinon plan). 40 years of terror and financial mayhem following the coup that took place from 1963-1974. After Nixons ouster they were ready to go once TLC Carter/Zbig kicked off the Trilateral era. Reagan then ran promising to oust the TLC swamp but broke his promise, as every President has done since .

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[Sep 27, 2018] I assume the Awan brothers and their scandalous spying on the US congress through all those democrats has been bipartisanly removed from public eye

Notable quotes:
"... It does seem to me that Rosenstein is an agent of those opposed to Trump or is another part of the Jewish control apparatus in the US. He is the one who appointed Mueller as the Special Prosecutor. Mueller is definitely a minion of the "Deep State". ..."
"... It seems obvious to me that Trump had real estate dealings with the Russian Mafia. This will never be investigated. These would mostly be about money. So this would be the Jewish Russian Mafia contingent. ..."
Sep 27, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org
gepay , Sep 26, 2018 4:59:59 PM | link

uncle tungsten , Sep 26, 2018 4:47:44 PM | link

I assume the Awan brothers and their scandalous spying on the US congress through all those democrats has been bipartisanly removed from public eye. If Trump has the cards to play to keep his team in majority NOW is the time to play them.

This is the biggest scandal since Hillary and her crappy email server.

The USA is a dopes circus.

it is obvious that Trump is not in charge. Or he is as stupid as the Dems would like to think he is. It would be obvious to most politicians that Sessions was a terrible choice as attorney General. Just like Agnew was deposed as VP before Nixon was deposed as President, Rosenstein would have to go before Sessions would be replaced. It would take quite a while to get the new AG confirmed. Rosenstein would then be acting AG.

It does seem to me that Rosenstein is an agent of those opposed to Trump or is another part of the Jewish control apparatus in the US. He is the one who appointed Mueller as the Special Prosecutor. Mueller is definitely a minion of the "Deep State".

It seems obvious to me that Trump had real estate dealings with the Russian Mafia. This will never be investigated. These would mostly be about money. So this would be the Jewish Russian Mafia contingent.

There is Israeli collusion in meddling with American election outcomes. Somehow this will never be investigated.

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[Sep 27, 2018] Trump very clearly represents the folks behind the curtain of the Western private finance led "culture"

Notable quotes:
"... Luckily there are still groups of our species that don't live totally controlled by the Western way and the cancer it represents to humanity. They on the outside and "us" on the inside are trying our hardest to shine lights on all the moving parts in hopes that humanity can throw off the shackles of ignorance about private/public finance. ..."
Sep 27, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Russ , Sep 27, 2018 2:32:41 AM | link

Which is the cohort of voters who allegedly are leaning toward voting Republican in the mid-terms but who allegedly would refrain if Trump accepted Rosenstein's resignation? And which is the cohort not already motivated to turn out to vote Democrat but who allegedly would be motivated by a Rosenstein resignation? Is there real data on these?

I think if I had been a 2016 Trump voter I'd be feeling pretty disappointed about how he's unable to enforce the most basic discipline and loyalty even among his closest administration members, and this Rosenstein episode would be yet another egregious example.

If the Republicans do lose either/both houses, the main reason will be that for once they've taken on the normal Democrat role of being confused and feckless about what they want to do (they can't bring themselves to whole-heartedly get behind Trump; but a major Republican strength has been how they normally do pull together an present a united front). And Trump himself, in his inability to control his own immediate administration, also gives an example of this fecklessness.

AG17 , Sep 27, 2018 2:44:29 AM | link

What other October surprises might be planned by either side?

This gave me chills.

psychohistorian , Sep 27, 2018 2:58:27 AM | link
@ Circe who is writing that any who like any of what Trump is doing must be Zionists.

Get a grip. I didn't vote for Trump but favored him over Clinton II, the war criminal.

Trump represents more clearly the face of the ugly beast of debauched patriarchy, lying, misogyny, bullying and monotheistic "everybody else is goyim" values. Trump very clearly represents the folks behind the curtain of the Western private finance led "culture". He and they are both poor representations of our species who are in power because of heredity and controlled ignorance over the private finance jackboot on the lifeblood of the species.

Luckily there are still groups of our species that don't live totally controlled by the Western way and the cancer it represents to humanity. They on the outside and "us" on the inside are trying our hardest to shine lights on all the moving parts in hopes that humanity can throw off the shackles of ignorance about private/public finance.

I am taking a beginning astronomy class and just learned that it took the monotheistic religions 600 years to accept the science of Galileo Galilei. We could stand to evolve a bit faster as we are about to have our proverbial asses handed to us in the form of extinction, IMO.

[Sep 27, 2018] Misunderstanding Trump s Foreign Policy by Daniel Larison

Notable quotes:
"... Trump's worldview is dominated by a zero-sum view of international relations in which the U.S. is constantly being ripped off by everyone. ..."
"... Trump is a militarist by instinct and as a matter of policy, and his progressive critics repudiate that as well. ..."
"... Trump's critique of past U.S. foreign policy boils down to complaining that other countries don't pay us for protection and that the U.S. doesn't plunder resources from the countries it invades. This is not, to put it mildly, what progressives consider to be wrong with U.S. foreign policy. ..."
"... The key failing in Brands' column is that he buys into the falsehood that Trump is in favor of "global retreat," and so he worries that both parties will soon be led by candidates advocating for that. For one thing, there has been no "retreat" under Trump, and everything he has done since taking office has been to mire the U.S. more deeply in the multiple wars he inherited. ..."
"... Literally never heard a Democratic Socialist advocate for anything other than what you summarized – threat de-escalation, reduce US military footprint abroad, don't use the threat of military force as a "diplomatic tool", stop the drone war, end the war in Afghanistan, etc. ..."
"... Of course right now Dem Socialists are just as marginalized within the Democratic party as you are within the Trumpian Neocon hellscape of the current Republican leadership. Maybe one day the Senate will have more Rand Pauls and Chris Murphys but right now we've just got a bunch of Grahams and Schumers perfectly happy to let Trump continue down this dark path. ..."
Sep 26, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

According to Brands, "the ideas at the heart of Trump's critique of U.S. foreign policy are also the ideas at the heart of the progressive critique," but that's also simply not true. Trump's worldview is dominated by a zero-sum view of international relations in which the U.S. is constantly being ripped off by everyone.

The progressive critics he cites specifically reject that assumption and emphasize the importance of international institutions.

Trump is a militarist by instinct and as a matter of policy, and his progressive critics repudiate that as well.

Trump's critique of past U.S. foreign policy boils down to complaining that other countries don't pay us for protection and that the U.S. doesn't plunder resources from the countries it invades. This is not, to put it mildly, what progressives consider to be wrong with U.S. foreign policy.

The key failing in Brands' column is that he buys into the falsehood that Trump is in favor of "global retreat," and so he worries that both parties will soon be led by candidates advocating for that. For one thing, there has been no "retreat" under Trump, and everything he has done since taking office has been to mire the U.S. more deeply in the multiple wars he inherited.

For another, progressives aren't calling for a "retreat" from international engagement, either. They are opposed to certain aggressive and destructive policies, but they don't eschew engagement and cooperation with other states.

On the contrary, they are advocating for more of that while rejecting the militarism that Trump embraces. Indeed, Bessner anticipates Brands' silly criticism and explicitly says, "None of this means the United States should retreat from the world."

Anthony M says: September 26, 2018 at 5:30 pm

Literally never heard a Democratic Socialist advocate for anything other than what you summarized – threat de-escalation, reduce US military footprint abroad, don't use the threat of military force as a "diplomatic tool", stop the drone war, end the war in Afghanistan, etc.

Of course right now Dem Socialists are just as marginalized within the Democratic party as you are within the Trumpian Neocon hellscape of the current Republican leadership. Maybe one day the Senate will have more Rand Pauls and Chris Murphys but right now we've just got a bunch of Grahams and Schumers perfectly happy to let Trump continue down this dark path.

[Sep 25, 2018] It is past time for Donald Trump to fulfill his campaign promise to pull the plug on American engagement in Syria and terminate the seemingly endless cycle of wars in the Middle East: MAGA quickly mutated into MIGA

Sep 25, 2018 | www.unz.com

Harold Smith , says: September 25, 2018 at 5:32 am GMT

"It is past time for Donald Trump to fulfill his campaign promise to pull the plug on American engagement in Syria and terminate the seemingly endless cycle of wars in the Middle East."

Orange Clown's a liar whose presidential campaign was a calculated bait and switch fraud from the beginning. Our presidential poseur obviously had no intention of following through on most of his pre-election intimations and campaign promises.

Non Sum Qualis Eram , says: September 25, 2018 at 6:41 am GMT

Netanyahu might have considered it all a win-win either way, with the Russian plane masking and enabling the Israeli attack without consequence for Israel or, perversely, producing an incident inviting retaliation from Moscow, which would likely lead to a shooting war with the United States after it inevitably steps in to support Israel's government.

There we go! Glad someone gets it.

I had to read Saker's article suggesting that just maybe it could have been an actual accident on Israel's part through my fingers as I could not manage to lift my face from my palm the entire time.

It is past time for Donald Trump to fulfill his campaign promise to pull the plug on American engagement in Syria and terminate the seemingly endless cycle of wars in the Middle East.

I'd love to see this happen, but let's be real. If we pulled out of Israel's terror wars, Mossad would stage a false flag to bring us right back in less than 12 months later. There's only one way to stop fighting wars for Israel and that's to end Israel. We've got to strike at the roots, not the branches.

animalogic , says: September 25, 2018 at 9:52 am GMT
@Uncle Sam

If Russia shot down Israeli aircraft or bombed the airbase from which they took off, or even obliterated Israel, America would do nothing but bitch and complain. The American military does not want a war with Russia, because they know they cannot win a conventional war with Russia. I would go so far as to say that even if Russia sank American warships including an aircraft carrier America would not go to war.

America does not go to war with countries that have nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them to the continental United States. That is why she would bend over backwards to prevent a war with countries like Russia, China or North Korea, and the reason these countries need not fear America. The prevention of nuclear war is the underlying premise of American foreign policy. It has been since the nuclear age began. America would only use its nuclear weapons if the American mainland is hit with nuclear weapons.

America would accept the loss of hundreds or even thousands of its servicemen rather than have the continental USA turned into a wasteland. I'm inclined to agree with your assessment of US unwillingness to fight a nuclear power, but .I also can't forget that the US ruling elites are pathological. Psychotic with hubris, greed & egoism. The "exceptional", the "indispensable" nation .& worse, the wagging dog to the Israeli tail.

Justsaying , says: September 25, 2018 at 10:16 am GMT
@windwaves

Trump is owned by israel, I wish I was wrong, but there is no way around it. I mean, I expect him any day to convert to judaism.

No way around it. Trump's infamous campaign slogan of MAGA quickly mutated into MIGA which is the originally intended version anyways. Obedience to Israel has become a norm in presidential election campaigns. Even the disenfranchised minority caucuses, including and especially the Black one is firmly in Israel's pockets now. The Black leadership role has now been essentially reduced to making the odd noise after the shooting of an unarmed Black by a White cop.

Ian | Sep 25, 2018 11:00:14 AM | 172

Briefly listened to Trump's speech at the UN. He's gone full Zio. Midterms is going to be interesting.

Circe | Sep 25, 2018 11:01:00 AM | 173

Trump is presently at the U.N. repeating all the American foreign policy propaganda. The hubris he's delivering is off the charts. Disgusting doesn't begin to cover how deceptive and slimy his zionist-authored rhetoric is. He's a sad, pathetic mouthpiece for his masters in Israel.

[Sep 22, 2018] Transphobic Swedish Professor May Lose Job After Noting Biological Differences Between Sexes

Looks like Lysenkoism got a second life in the West...
Sep 22, 2018 | theduran.com

A university professor in Sweden is under investigation after he said that there are fundamental differences between men and women which are "biologically founded" Published

1 day ago

on

September 21, 2018 By

Tyler Durden 1,539 Views ,

[Sep 22, 2018] Look at what he has done and who he has surrounded himself with. Looks like he like Obama is apuppet of the Depp State

If Trump is a Deep State puppet, then why Deep stat fight it with such intensity. Why "Steele dossier", w3hy Mueller, why "Mistressgate"
But it is true that Trump essentially conduct typical Republican President policy, like Obama betraying his electorate.
Notable quotes:
"... So the Deep State which is far more than entrenched bureaucrats as the naive define it (it includes the ruling elite in finance, MIC, oil, MSM, retired intelligence/military/state/congress, etc), brought in a controlled Trojan horse pretending to be a populist who was all about the working class and anti establishment, anti war and anti globalist while those he served were opposites. Look at what he has done and who he has surrounded himself with. Lol ..."
"... offshore money coming home due to tax breaks and of course the plunge protection team removing the risk of a major drop until after the mid term elections. We are already seeing the beginning of the next housing market collapse. ..."
Sep 22, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Pft , Sep 22, 2018 4:54:26 PM | 20 ">link

Stormy Daniels supposedly said she was surprised to hear Trump was running for President because he had said to her he didnt want to be be President. After all, why would he? Rich guy with maybe 5 years left to live. Who needs it?

So why did he run. He had no choice. Look at the ease in which government can bring dawn anyone with tax and money laundering charges and look at his partners and a number of his dodgy financial dealings not to mention the ongoing audit firing his campaign. His buddy Felix Sater cut a deal and so didn't Trump. Run and serve and keep your wealth and stay out of jail, and make a few billion with insider deals while you are at it.

So the Deep State which is far more than entrenched bureaucrats as the naive define it (it includes the ruling elite in finance, MIC, oil, MSM, retired intelligence/military/state/congress, etc), brought in a controlled Trojan horse pretending to be a populist who was all about the working class and anti establishment, anti war and anti globalist while those he served were opposites. Look at what he has done and who he has surrounded himself with. Lol

So what is the endgame for this Russiagate and this phony Deep State vs Trump nonsense? Why Trump?

Not sure I know for sure. Polarizing and dividing the US with perhaps a civil war when Trump gets impeached and resigns, or at least imposition of permanent martial law. Get support for massive censorship which all authoritarian regimes need. And of course as the US goes down this path its puppet states in EU, UK and elsewhere will follow. I guess we will have to wait and see.

In the meantime, Trump will feed the beast (tax cuts for rich, tarrifs for middle class, higher Military spending, cuts to Medicare/Medicaid/social security, higher insurance premiums/HC costs, phony economic figures to mask deteriorating economic conditions for the median (remember when Trump said the same of Hillary using the same bogus figures)

Fewer people are working in the US under Trump as more people are disappeared from the work force. GDP growth per MH is due to higher extraction of wealth from middle class by the rentier class, and stock market growth is due to central bank purchases, offshore money coming home due to tax breaks and of course the plunge protection team removing the risk of a major drop until after the mid term elections. We are already seeing the beginning of the next housing market collapse.

[Sep 21, 2018] One party state: Trump's 'Opposition' Supports All His Evil Agendas While Attacking Fake Nonsence by Caitlin Johnstone

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... If the so-called "Resistance" to Trump was ever actually interested in opposing this administration in any meaningful way, this would be the top trending news story in America for days, like how "bombshell" revelations pertaining to the made-up Russiagate narrative trend for days. Spoiler alert: it isn't, and it won't be. ..."
"... The US Senate has just passed Trump's mammoth military spending increase by a landslide 92–8 vote . The eight senators who voted "nay"? Seven Republicans, and Independent Bernie Sanders. Every single Democrat supported the most bloated war budget since the height of the Iraq war . Rather than doing everything they can to weaken the potential damage that can be done by a president they've been assuring us is a dangerous hybrid of equal parts Benedict Arnold and Adolf Hitler, they've been actively increasing his power as Commander-in-Chief of the most powerful military force the world has ever seen. ..."
"... They're on the same team, wearing different uniforms. ..."
"... US politics is pretty much the same; two mainstream parties owned by the same political class, engaged in a staged bidding war for votes to give the illusion of competition. ..."
"... In reality, the US political system is like the unplugged video game remote that kids give their baby brother so he stops whining that he wants a turn to play. No matter who they vote for they get an Orwellian warmongering government which exists solely to advance the agendas of a plutocratic class which has no loyalties to any nation; the only difference is sometimes that government is pretending to care about women and minorities and sometimes it's pretending to care about white men. In reality, all the jewelers work for the same plutocrat, and that video game remote won't impact the outcome of the game no matter how many buttons you push. ..."
"... The only way to effect real change is to stop playing along with the rigged system and start waking people up to the lies. As long as Americans believe that the mass media are telling them the truth about their country and their partisan votes are going somewhere useful, the populace whose numbers should give it immense influence is nullified and sedated into a passive ride toward war, ecocide and oppression. ..."
"... Reprinted with author's permission from Medium.com . ..."
"... Support Ms. Johnstone's work on Patreon or Paypal ..."
Sep 21, 2018 | ronpaulinstitute.org

A new article from the Wall Street Journal reports that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo lied to congress about the measures Saudi Arabia is taking to minimize the civilian casualties in its catastrophic war on Yemen, and that he did so in order to secure two billion dollars for war profiteers.

This is about as depraved as anything you could possibly imagine. US-made bombs have been conclusively tied to civilian deaths in a war which has caused the single worst humanitarian crisis on earth, a crisis which sees scores of Yemeni children dying every single day and has placed five million children at risk of death by starvation in a nation where families are now eating leaves to survive . CIA veteran Bruce Riedel once said that "if the United States of America and the United Kingdom tonight told King Salman that this war has to end, it would end tomorrow, because the Royal Saudi Airforce cannot operate without American and British support." Nobody other than war plutocrats benefits from the US assisting Saudi Arabia in its monstrous crimes against humanity, and yet Pompeo chose to override his own expert advisors on the matter for fear of hurting the income of those very war plutocrats.

If the so-called "Resistance" to Trump was ever actually interested in opposing this administration in any meaningful way, this would be the top trending news story in America for days, like how "bombshell" revelations pertaining to the made-up Russiagate narrative trend for days. Spoiler alert: it isn't, and it won't be.

It would be so very, very easy for Democratic party leaders and Democrat-aligned media to hurt this administration at the highest level and cause irreparable political damage based on this story. All they'd have to do is give it the same blanket coverage they've given the stories about Michael Flynn, George Papadopoulos and Paul Manafort which end up leading nowhere remotely near impeachment or proof of collusion with the Russian government. The footage of the starving children is right there, ready to be aired to pluck at the heart strings of rank-and-file Americans day after day until Republicans have lost all hope of victory in the midterms and in 2020; all they'd have to do is use it. But they don't. And they won't.

The US Senate has just passed Trump's mammoth military spending increase by a landslide 92–8 vote . The eight senators who voted "nay"? Seven Republicans, and Independent Bernie Sanders. Every single Democrat supported the most bloated war budget since the height of the Iraq war . Rather than doing everything they can to weaken the potential damage that can be done by a president they've been assuring us is a dangerous hybrid of equal parts Benedict Arnold and Adolf Hitler, they've been actively increasing his power as Commander-in-Chief of the most powerful military force the world has ever seen.

The reason for this is very simple: President Trump's ostensible political opposition does not oppose President Trump. They're on the same team, wearing different uniforms. This is the reason they attack him on Russian collusion accusations which the brighter bulbs among them know full well will never be proven and have no basis in reality. They don't stand up to Trump because, as Julian Assange once said , they are Trump.

In John Steinbeck's The Pearl, there are jewelry buyers set up around a fishing community which are all owned by the same plutocrat, but they all pretend to be in competition with one another. When the story's protagonist discovers an enormous and valuable pearl and goes to sell it, they all gather round and individually bid far less than it is worth in order to trick him into giving it away for almost nothing. US politics is pretty much the same; two mainstream parties owned by the same political class, engaged in a staged bidding war for votes to give the illusion of competition.

In reality, the US political system is like the unplugged video game remote that kids give their baby brother so he stops whining that he wants a turn to play. No matter who they vote for they get an Orwellian warmongering government which exists solely to advance the agendas of a plutocratic class which has no loyalties to any nation; the only difference is sometimes that government is pretending to care about women and minorities and sometimes it's pretending to care about white men. In reality, all the jewelers work for the same plutocrat, and that video game remote won't impact the outcome of the game no matter how many buttons you push.

The only way to effect real change is to stop playing along with the rigged system and start waking people up to the lies. As long as Americans believe that the mass media are telling them the truth about their country and their partisan votes are going somewhere useful, the populace whose numbers should give it immense influence is nullified and sedated into a passive ride toward war, ecocide and oppression.

If enough of us keep throwing sand in the gears of the lie factory, we can wake the masses up from the oligarchic lullaby they're being sung. And then maybe we'll be big enough to have a shot at grabbing one of the real video game controllers.

Reprinted with author's permission from Medium.com .

Support Ms. Johnstone's work on Patreon or Paypal

[Sep 21, 2018] Obama played both sides against the middle telling folks to vote for him and 'hope and change' bullshit and to shake his fist at Wall Street -- all the while enabling them to make more money than they thought existed.

Sep 21, 2018 | www.unz.com

Anthony Aaron , says: September 21, 2018 at 4:46 am GMT

@nsa

Actually, it was b h o who opened the Fed borrowing window to the Wall Street investment crowd who were able to borrow at 1/4 % interest so that they could play the markets with impunity.

b h o played both sides against the middle telling folks to vote for him and 'hope and change' bullshit and to shake his fist at Wall Street -- all the while enabling them to make more money than they thought existed.

Like so many of his predecessors in the White House, Trump has surrounded himself with Zionists in almost every important position imaginable and they're more than willing to screw us into the ground -- just because they can.

[Sep 21, 2018] Trump is the Republican Obama

That's true only in sense of using "bait and switch" with the electorate. Trump partially destroyed previous model created by Clinton-Bush-Obama and introduced "national naoliabralism" -- neoliberalism without globalization. He also openly rely on brute force.
Notable quotes:
"... Partisan battles focusing on personalities get people to invest emotionally in "the system". A system which is NOT democratic and doesn't work for the people. ..."
"... Draining the Swamp cannot be taken seriously. Trump installed in the Trump Cabinet, Swamp Creatures through and through, most notably Goldman Sachs dudes we've seen in Dubya Bush, Obama and now Drumpf. ..."
"... Trump is his own man and just like Obama he has minions spread garbage that he is being undermined and the bad stuff is not his fault. Trump showed his true colors when he stocked up on neocons and warmongers and gave the military $100 billion when they were asking for 50. ..."
"... His meetings with Kim and Putin were just theater as Trump gleefully puts more sanctions on Russia and has done nothing but threaten pain for those cheating on sanctions to help North Korea. ..."
Sep 21, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org
Jackrabbit , Sep 20, 2018 1:23:50 PM | 19

Partisan battles focusing on personalities get people to invest emotionally in "the system". A system which is NOT democratic and doesn't work for the people.

Agree completely. There's nothing political about these "politics", fake-populist politicians are just another kind of celebrity (thus Trump fits in well), cable news is a (highly toxic) genre of entertainment, and partisan Repbots and Dembots aren't political people at all, but competing celebrity or sports fan clubs. None of them cares about any aspect of reality, which is why the system can commit such horrendous real-world crimes; for the political class these crimes aren't real. They're all sociopaths, which is the only way it's possible to be a partisan of either flavor of the Corporate One-Party.

And that's how unelected operatives and the NYT can openly express such contempt for democracy and the open society without fear of provoking any significant reaction from the people: For the kinds of people who read the NYT, such things are meaningless abstractions. Any of them would happily endorse Hitler-level crimes (which the US is very close to anyway) on the part of their "team".

CD Waller , Sep 20, 2018 1:54:48 PM | link
If Trump is a fourth of fifth grader, looks like we have a third grade coup d etat. As you pointed out, these people are not the brightest lights but perhaps the most easily bribed/threatened? I suspect a hidden hand behind the insurrection rather than a stunning example of bureaucratic unity. Ditto for the rash of anti Trump 'literature'. Woodward crawled in bed with the ruling elite decades ago.

Trump is probably not the first president to be 'Trumped' by his bureaucratic minions?n Obama didn't keep a single campaign promise.during his eight disappointing years. Perhaps not all of his betrayal of the electorate is because he was just another lying weasel.

ben , Sep 20, 2018 2:50:21 PM | link
Jr @ 19 said:"Trump and Obama are only heros if you believe that USA is democracy and the democratically elected 'populist' truely represents his/her base. That is a fantasy."

"Partisan battles focusing on personalities get people to invest emotionally in "the system". A system which is NOT democratic and doesn't work for the people."

Jr, you nailed it.

Forget ideology, follow the $, you'll understand more..

fast freddy , Sep 20, 2018 7:15:12 PM | link
Draining the Swamp cannot be taken seriously. Trump installed in the Trump Cabinet, Swamp Creatures through and through, most notably Goldman Sachs dudes we've seen in Dubya Bush, Obama and now Drumpf.

Also, we see nothing of any draining at this point and but simply an assault on the commons (and a gift giving for the rich) as would be expected from any boilerplate Republican asshole.

Now foreign policy may be his strong suit but, there has been nothing much to impress here either. Just follow Israel.

snedly arkus , Sep 21, 2018 4:31:24 AM | link

Trump is his own man and just like Obama he has minions spread garbage that he is being undermined and the bad stuff is not his fault. Trump showed his true colors when he stocked up on neocons and warmongers and gave the military $100 billion when they were asking for 50.

His meetings with Kim and Putin were just theater as Trump gleefully puts more sanctions on Russia and has done nothing but threaten pain for those cheating on sanctions to help North Korea.

His body language and emphatic delivery, and sometimes glee, when announcing these new sanctions, and his telling Russia to get out of Syria and give back Crimea, belie the fiction that Trump is being forced to do so.

If that was the case he could have had his minions announce it. One can see the insincerity when he claims the US is getting out of Syria and his confident matter of fact delivery when threatening to bomb Syria over what he knows is a fake gas attack. It was no accident that Trumps 2 hurried missile strikes on Syria happened as Israel was butchering Palestinians thus diverting attention from the dastardly deeds. Trump has been best buddies with Israel and Saudi Arabia and stays mum on Israel bombing Syria and Saudi Arabia killing over tens of thousands of innocent people in Yemen and creating the humanitarian crisis there.

There's the bonus of weapons sales to those "humanitarian" regimes. Up until recently organizations have ignored the inhumane UN sanctions that forbade sending medicines into North Korea and nothing was said. Suddenly last month ALL of them stopped. Somebody gave them the word stop or else. Trump says nothing of the efforts to scuttle better relations between the US and North Korea or the fake news that the Norks are still making missiles and nukes offered with no proof.

While the US is sabotaging the efforts North and South Korea are making great progress which makes me expect South Korea is going to be hit sanctions for "unfair trade." South Korea could defuse the whole thing and announce they are taking possession of the Norths nukes but they know the US would punish them badly as the the US does not want any nukes in the Korea's and needs a boogie man north to justify it's out sized military presence in the area.

Once Trump sat in the big boy chair in the oval office the focus of Making America Great Again switched to continue the drive for US world domination by destroying the economies of the competition and create world wide chaos with sanctions, tariffs, and local currency destruction making the world come crawling to the US to save them. Thus turning the cleanest dirty shirt in the laundry to snow white.

Jackrabbit , Sep 20, 2018 1:23:50 PM | link

b: "Why is no public figure expressing concern about this subversion of democracy? How come no one protests?"

Trump is the Republican Obama.

'Trumptards' blame others for the failings of their hero just like 'Obamabots' did. This is not an accident. Apologists are an important part of the faux populist leadership model.

Trump and Obama are only heros if you believe that USA is democracy and the democratically elected 'populist' truely represents his/her base. That is a fantasy.

Partisan battles focusing on personalities get people to invest emotionally in "the system". A system which is NOT democratic and doesn't work for the people.

I have made these points many times over the last year. Sadly, people nod their heads and continue to engage on terms set by the establishment.

Caitlin Johnston provides more color in her essay entitled "We are being played" :

You don't have to get into any deep conspiratorial rabbit hole to consider the possibility that all this drama and conflict is staged from top to bottom. Commentators on all sides routinely crack jokes about how the mainstream media pretends to attack Trump but secretly loves him because he brings them amazing ratings. Anyone with their eyes even part way open already knows that America's two mainstream parties feign intense hatred for one another while working together to pace their respective bases into accepting more and more neoliberal exploitation at home and more and more neoconservative bloodshed abroad. They spit and snarl and shake their fists at each other, then cuddle up and share candy when it's time for a public gathering. Why should this administration be any different?

...

The more I study US politics, the less useful I find it to think of it in political terms. The two-headed one party system exists to give Americans the illusion of choice while advancing the agendas of the plutocratic class which owns and operates both parties , yes, but even more importantly it's a mechanism of narrative control. If you can separate the masses into two groups based on extremely broad ideological characteristics, you can then funnel streamlined "us vs them" narratives into each of the two stables, with the white hats and black hats reversed in each case. Now you've got Republicans cheering for the president and Democrats cheering for the CIA, for the FBI, and now for a platoon of covert John McCains alleged to be operating on the inside of Trump's own administration. Everyone's cheering for one aspect of the US power establishment or another .

Whom does this dynamic serve? Not you.

Russ , Sep 20, 2018 1:44:46 PM | link

[Sep 21, 2018] Fact free propaganda

Sep 21, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

bevin , Sep 20, 2018 3:43:13 PM | link

The whole nonsense about Russian interference, which was obviously nonsense from Day One and has never, for a moment looked like anything but nonsense, seems to indicate that we have entered a post political era in which policy discussions and debates are forgotten and smears and false accusations take their place.
Currently in the US the Kavanaugh nomination which ought to be about the meaning of the law and the consequences of having a Supreme Court which will make Judge Taney look like Solomon at his most impressive. Instead it is about an alleged teenage incident in which the nominee is said to have caressed a girls breasts at a drunken party when all involved were at High School. Before that we had a Senatorial election in Alabama in which the Republican candidate was charged with having shown a sexual interest in teenage girls- whether this was a 'first' in Alabama is unknown but it is believed to have happened elsewhere, in the unenlightened past.
Then we have the matter of whether Jeremy Corbyn is such a danger to Jews that they will all leave the country if he is ever elected to power. This long campaign, completely devoid of evidence, like 'Russiagate' has the potential of going on forever, simply because there being no evidence it cannot be refuted.
Which is also the case with the Skripal affair, because of which even as we speak, massive trade and financial sanctions are being imposed against Russia and its enormous, innocent and plundered population.
In none of these cases has any real evidence, of the minimal quality that might justify the hanging of a dog, ever advanced. But that doesn't matter, the important thing is to choose a side and if it is Hillary Clinton's to believe or to pretend to believe and to convince others to believe (as Marcy at Emptywheel has been doing for close to three years now) in the incredible.
Who says that we no longer live in a Christian society in which faith is everything?

[Sep 19, 2018] In 2008, Obama was touted as a political outsider who will hose away all of the rot and bloody criminality of the Bush years. He turned out to be a deft move by our ruling class. Though fools still refuse to see it, Obama is a perfect servant of our military banking complex. Now, Trump is being trumpeted as another political outsider.

Notable quotes:
"... A Trump presidency will temporarily appease restless, lower class whites, while serving as a magnet for liberal anger. This will buy our ruling class time as they continue to wage war abroad while impoverishing Americans back home. Like Obama, Trump won't fulfill any of his election promises, and this, too, will be blamed on bipartisan politics." ..."
Sep 19, 2018 | www.unz.com

anonymous , [340] Disclaimer says: September 16, 2018 at 7:34 am GMT

None of this should have come as a surprise.

"In 2008, Obama was touted as a political outsider who will hose away all of the rot and bloody criminality of the Bush years. He turned out to be a deft move by our ruling class. Though fools still refuse to see it, Obama is a perfect servant of our military banking complex. Now, Trump is being trumpeted as another political outsider.

A Trump presidency will temporarily appease restless, lower class whites, while serving as a magnet for liberal anger. This will buy our ruling class time as they continue to wage war abroad while impoverishing Americans back home. Like Obama, Trump won't fulfill any of his election promises, and this, too, will be blamed on bipartisan politics."

Linh Dinh, as published at The Unz Review, June 12, 2016

The election's only apparent benefit to the people of this country has been the exposure of corruption and sedition within the Establishment. But that, too, may be part of the show, another way to channel dissidence into another meaningless election. Even here at The Unz Review, some columnists and many commenters tell the readership that this November is critical to protecting President Trump and his agenda, blah, blah, blah.

peterAUS , says: September 19, 2018 at 5:55 am GMT
@Diversity Heretic I applied through the GreatAgain website and never received the courtesy of a reply despite having conributed to the Trump campaign before Iowa, nine years working on Capitol Hill (for Republicans) and seven years in a regulatory commission (working for a Republicaén commissioner), a JD and an MBA. So I'm not surprised to hear that applications through the website were not even considered and jobs filled with Washington insiders. (The first inclination that I had that something was seriously wrong in the staffing area was when Calista Gingrich was named as ambassador to the Vatican.) Trump has the classic problem of the outsider: no institutional mechanism to staff an administration. (Jesse Ventura had a similar problem when he was elected as governor of Minnesota as an independent). He compounds that problem by making poor choices that involve his personal judgment and consideration (e.g., John Bolton and Nikki Haley?!).

Increasingly, I see no electoral way to influence or remove the Deep State. I think we're in for a rough ride and hope that things don't get nuclear with Russia.

Increasingly, I see no electoral way to influence or remove the Deep State. I think we're in for a rough ride and hope that things don't get nuclear with Russia.

Pretty much.
"Rough ride" in particular.

Biff , says: September 19, 2018 at 7:57 am GMT
@Haxo Angmark before June 2015,

when he put on a populist mask to run for Prez

and fool the White people in flyover country, Trump

was a life-long (((NY))) lib democrat

and (((Wall Street))) Zionist stooge.

all the rest is dog-and-pony show.

suckers

and (((Wall Street))) Zionist stooge.

If you go over to the comment section at USAToday, they call him an anti-Semite.

Proud_Srbin , says: September 19, 2018 at 9:47 am GMT
It is astonishing that after all the fraudsters and con masters masquerading as politicians there are huge numbers who claim to believe in the system where humans have voluntarily given away their freedoms.
Hope and Change, replaced by MAGA.
Do you honestly believe that your Founding Fathers would rebel against King's Tyranny if it were possible to change it by peaceful means?
DanFromCT , says: September 19, 2018 at 11:54 am GMT
@anonymous None of this should have come as a surprise.

"In 2008, Obama was touted as a political outsider who will hose away all of the rot and bloody criminality of the Bush years. He turned out to be a deft move by our ruling class. Though fools still refuse to see it, Obama is a perfect servant of our military banking complex. Now, Trump is being trumpeted as another political outsider.

A Trump presidency will temporarily appease restless, lower class whites, while serving as a magnet for liberal anger. This will buy our ruling class time as they continue to wage war abroad while impoverishing Americans back home. Like Obama, Trump won't fulfill any of his election promises, and this, too, will be blamed on bipartisan politics."

Linh Dinh, as published at The Unz Review, June 12, 2016

The election's only apparent benefit to the people of this country has been the exposure of corruption and sedition within the Establishment. But that, too, may be part of the show, another way to channel dissidence into another meaningless election. Even here at The Unz Review, some columnists and many commenters tell the readership that this November is critical to protecting President Trump and his agenda, blah, blah, blah. Voting in our national elections has become another example of evil paraded before us as a moral duty. It ironically results in disenfranchisement by perpetually legitimizing a federal government as much at war with its own citizens as with every other people who oppose the new American Proposition -- the antithesis of a fulfilling human culture wherever it's found, and which today amounts to claiming that freedom and democracy equate to owning stuff and vicariously participating in unbridled avarice, sexual depravity, war, torture, and mass murder. Either party and all that horror is a constant.

So, instead of girding middle America mentally, spiritually, and physically to fight to the death for what's worth living for, and while there's still some chance to save ourselves and our nation, we get the Republican leadership, Fox News, and Conservatism Inc blowing smoke in our eyes, temporizing on behalf of the Deep State by pretending these veiled and overt calls for white genocide are just in bad taste or that curtesy and cowardice are an effective policy toward a wildly homicidal left.

[Sep 16, 2018] The Enigma of Orwellian Donald Trump -- How Does He Get Away with It So Easily by Prof Rodrigue Tremblay

This is a very weak article, but it raises several important questions such as the role or neoliberal MSM in color revolution against Trump and which social group constituted the voting block that brought Trump to victory. The author answers incorrectly on both those questions.
I think overall Tremblay analysis of Trump (and by extension of national neoliberalism he promotes) is incorrect. Probably the largest group of voters which voted for Trump were voters who were against neoliberal globalization and who now feel real distrust and aversion to the ruling neoliberal elite.
Trump is probably right to view neoliberal journalists as enemies: they are tools of intelligence agencies which as agents of Wall Street promote globalization
At the same time Trump turned to be Obama II: he instantly betrayed his voters after the election. His election slogan "make Ameraca great again" bacem that same joke as Obama "Change we can believe in". And he proved to be as jingoistic as Obama (A Nobel Pease Price laureate who was militarists dream come true)
In discussion of groups who votes for Trump the author forgot to mention part of professional which skeptically view neoliberal globalization and its destrction of jobs (for example programmer jobs in the USA) as well as blue color workers decimated by offshoring of major industries.
Notable quotes:
"... "Just stick with us, don't believe the crap you see from these people [journalists], the fake news Just remember, what you're seeing and what you're reading is not what's happening. " ..."
"... Donald Trump (1946- ), American President, (in remarks made during a campaign rally with Veterans of Foreign Wars, in Kansas City, July 24, 2018) ..."
"... "The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command." ..."
"... This is a White House where everybody lies ..."
"... I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power ..."
"... The second one can be found in Trump's artful and cunning tactics to unbalance and manipulate the media to increase his visibility to the general public and to turn them into his own tools of propaganda. ..."
"... ad hominem' ..."
"... Donald Trump essentially has the traits of a typical showman diva , behaving in politics just as he did when he was the host of a TV show. Indeed, if one considers politics and public affairs as no more than a reality show, this means that they are really entertainment, and politicians are first and foremost entertainers or comedians. ..."
"... He prefers to rely on one-directional so-called 'tweets' to express unfiltered personal ideas and emotions (as if he were a private person), and to use them as his main public relations channel of communication. ..."
"... checks and balance ..."
"... The centralization of power in the hands of one man is bound to have serious political consequences, both for the current administration and for future ones. ..."
Aug 17, 2018 | www.globalresearch.ca

"Just stick with us, don't believe the crap you see from these people [journalists], the fake news Just remember, what you're seeing and what you're reading is not what's happening. "

Donald Trump (1946- ), American President, (in remarks made during a campaign rally with Veterans of Foreign Wars, in Kansas City, July 24, 2018)

"The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command."

George Orwell (Eric Arthur Blair) (1903-1950), English novelist, essayist, and social critic, (in '1984', Ch. 7, 1949)

" This is a White House where everybody lies ." Omarosa Manigault Newman (1974- ), former White House aide to President Donald Trump, (on Sunday August 12, 2018, while releasing tapes recording conversations with Donald Trump.)

" I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power ." Benjamin Franklin ( 17061790 ), American inventor and US Founding Father, (in 'Words of the Founding Fathers', 2012).

***

In this day and age, with instant information, how does a politician succeed in double-talking, in bragging, in scapegoating and in shamefully distorting the truth, most of the time, without being unmasked as a charlatan and discredited? Why? That is the mysterious and enigmatic question that one may ask about U. S. President Donald Trump, as a politician.

The most obvious answer is the fact that Trump's one-issue and cult-like followers do not care what he does or says and whether or not he has declared a war on truth and reality , provided he delivers the political and financial benefits they demand of him, based on their ideological or pecuniary interests. These groups of voters live in their own reality and only their personal interests count.

1- Four groups of one-issue voters behind Trump

There are four groups of one-issue voters to whom President Donald Trump has delivered the goodies:

With the strong support of these four monolithic lobbies -- his electoral base -- politician Donald Trump can count on the indefectible support of between 35 percent and 40 percent of the American electorate. It is ironic that some of Trump's other policies, like reducing health care coverage and the raising of import taxes, will hurt the poor and the middle class, even though some of Trump's victims can be considered members of the above lobbies.

Moreover, some of Trump's supporters regularly rely on hypocrisy and on excuses to exonerate their favorite but flawed politician of choice. If any other politician from a different party were to say and do half of what Donald Trump does and says, they would be asking for his impeachment.

There are three other reasons why Trump's rants, his record-breaking lies , his untruths, his deceptions and his dictatorial-style attempts to control information , in the eyes of his fanatical supporters, at least, are like water on the back of a duck. ( -- For the record, according to the Washington Post , as of early August, President Trump has made some 4,229 false claims, which amount to 7.6 a day, since his inauguration.)

Is Trump a New Kind of Fascist?

2- Show Politics and public affairs as a form of entertainment

Donald Trump does not seem to take politics and public affairs very seriously, at least when his own personal interests are involved. Therefore, when things go bad, he never volunteers to take personal responsibility, contrary to what a true leader would do, and he conveniently shifts the blame on somebody else. This is a sign of immaturity or cowardice. Paraphrasing President Harry Truman, "the buck never stops at his desk."

Donald Trump essentially has the traits of a typical showman diva , behaving in politics just as he did when he was the host of a TV show. Indeed, if one considers politics and public affairs as no more than a reality show, this means that they are really entertainment, and politicians are first and foremost entertainers or comedians.

3- Trump VS the media and the journalists

Donald Trump is the first U.S. president who rarely holds scheduled press conferences. Why would he, since he considers journalists to be his "enemies"! It doesn't seem to matter to him that freedom of the press is guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution by the First Amendment. He prefers to rely on one-directional so-called 'tweets' to express unfiltered personal ideas and emotions (as if he were a private person), and to use them as his main public relations channel of communication.

The ABC News network has calculated that, as of last July, Trump has tweeted more than 3,500 times, slightly more than seven tweets a day. How could he have time left to do anything productive! Coincidently, Donald Trump's number of tweets is not far away from the number of outright lies and misleading claims that he has told and made since his inauguration. The Washington Post has counted no less than 3,251 lies or misleading claims of his, through the end of May of this year, -- an average of 6.5 such misstatements per day of his presidency. Fun fact: Trump seems to accelerate the pace of his lies. Last year, he told 5.5 lies per day, on average. Is it possible to have a more cynical view of politics!

The media in general, (and not only American ones), then serve more or less voluntarily as so many resonance boxes for his daily 'tweets', most of which are often devoid of any thought and logic.

Such a practice has the consequence of demeaning the public discourse in the pursuit of the common good and the general welfare of the people to the level of a frivolous private enterprise, where expertise, research and competence can easily be replaced by improvisation, whimsical arbitrariness and charlatanry. In such a climate, only the short run counts, at the expense of planning for the long run.

Conclusion

All this leads to this conclusion: Trump's approach is not the way to run an efficient government. Notwithstanding the U.S. Constitution and what it says about the need to have " checks and balance s" among different government branches, President Donald Trump has de facto pushed aside the U.S. Congress and the civil servants in important government Departments, even his own Cabinet , whose formal meetings under Trump have been little more than photo-up happenings, to grab the central political stage for himself. If such a development does not represent an ominous threat to American democracy, what does?

The centralization of power in the hands of one man is bound to have serious political consequences, both for the current administration and for future ones.

*

This article was originally published on the author's blog site: rodriguetremblay100.blogspot.com .

International economist Dr. Rodrigue Tremblay is the author of the book " The Code for Global Ethics, Ten Humanist Principles ", and of "The New American Empire" . Please visit Dr. Tremblay's sites : http://rodriguetremblay100.blogspot.com/ and http://rodriguetremblay.blogspot.com/

[Sep 15, 2018] The way you decieve the voters is by blank-screening yourself and letting the electors project onto you, by presenting yourself as Conservative even though you're Labour (as Blair did), or conversely presenting yourself as radical even though you're a straight-down-the-line tax-cutting defense-budget-ballooning Republican.

Sep 15, 2018 | crookedtimber.org

Adam Roberts 09.13.18 at 5:30 pm ( 35 )

'Hypocrisy', though a tendentious sort of word, is the key, I think. In electoral politics 40% on either side are going to vote the way they vote regardless of how persuasive the electoral campaign of candidate A, or the unfittedness of candidate B; so the game is: persuading those 20% who used to be called 'floating voters'.

And the way you do that is by blank-screening yourself and letting the electors project onto you, by presenting yourself as Conservative even though you're Labour (as Blair did), or conversely presenting yourself as radical even though you're a straight-down-the-line tax-cutting defense-budget-ballooning Republican.

Trump's campaign persuaded many that he would in no way 'conserve', but would rather tear down the establishment.

Brexit was masterminded by a group of elite hard right wingers who somehow managed to persuade a large tranche of the electorate that it Remain were all metropolitan elites and that they were the true voice of the people.

The real challenge is not finding a definition of conservatism that can bracket a genius like Burke with a moron like Sarah Palin; it's finding a definition that enables a billionaire playboy to define himself as a man of the people; that allows him to promise eg free healthcare for all and kicking Wall Street out of politics on the campaign trail without losing his Conservative bona fides.

[Sep 15, 2018] "Drain the Swamp" and "MAGA" were skillfully crafted psyops, most likely from the inner sanctum of the most pernicious lobbying outfit on Capitol Hill, AIPAC.

Sep 15, 2018 | www.unz.com

Greg Bacon , says: Website September 14, 2018 at 11:26 am GMT

Mostly reflexively, not always consciously, The Powers That Be seek to retain and enlarge their sphere of influence. Nothing, not even the venerated vote, is allowed to alter that "balance."

That's why the 'Deep State' or whatever one wants to call that malignant organism that has taken over DC–and much of the West–needs professional toadies like Woody, who will dutifully report whatever smelly lump of fertilizer the PTB are trying to sell. Bet Woody's the best paid stenographer in the world, doing a good job of confusing Americans, keeping them anxious of the unknown, so the PTB can keep herding us towards the NWO slaughterhouse.

The washed-out journalist then blurted out this in disbelief: "Trump said the 'World Trade Organization is the worst organization in the world.'"

Another bit of propaganda, as those central banks–like the toxic FED–keep the world under their thumb by controlling the money flow, printing currencies out of thin air, then getting paid outrageous sums of interest each year–around 500 Billion in the US–for their counterfeiting scheme.

That kind of power can and does crash stock markets and wreck economies, as the FED has been doing since it was spawned in 1913. They and their buddies then buy homes, businesses, MSM outlets and costly toys for pennies on the dollar, while us 'deplorables' wonder if they're going to be able to keep making their mortgage payments if they lose their job.

To repeat, this was promised on the campaign trail and in Trump position papers. We now know who stole those promises from the American people.

"We know?" Some do, but many don't, as they rally around Tubby the Grifter to protect their savior from those nasty Democrats.

"Drain the Swamp" and "MAGA" were skillfully crafted psyops, most likely from the inner sanctum of the most pernicious lobbying outfit on Capitol Hill, AIPAC. RT, a news outlet, got mugged by a sold-out Congress and forced to register as a lobbying outfit, but not AIPAC. No Sir, why that would be anti-Semitic and only foul, Jew hating Neo-Nazis would even think about making AIPAC follow the law.
What AIPAC has and continues to do needs to be kept hidden from the American public, lest they engage in the dangerous behavior of actually wondering if Israel is an ally or a well-disguised enemy.

Trump was bought and paid for a LONG time ago, and 2016 was when the bill came due. He was 'Chosen,' not be We the People, but AIPAC and Israel as the best POTUS to do their bidding, since Hillary carried way too much baggage.

Trump has been the best POTUS for Israel since the traitorous liar LBJ.

[Sep 12, 2018] Trump is a pawn of the State of Israel, nothing more and nothing less.

Sep 12, 2018 | www.unz.com

anonymous , [251] Disclaimer says: Next New Comment September 11, 2018 at 4:28 pm GMT

All Trump has to do to get rid of the Op Ed guy is to fire all those who want to go to war withRussia. That would leave him with no staff.

But Trump is not fooling me. You do not make a campaign promise to cooperate with Russia, and then hire all these people who want to go to war with Russia.
It tells me that Trump was lying during his campaign.

He told us Iraq was the wrong decision, and now he has bombed Syria twice and is ready to bomb them again; he told us that he wants out of the mid-east; he told us he wanted to cooperate with Russia.

So I voted for him, but he was lying. I already found out he is a brazen liar. He took those Clinton women to his debate to humiliate Hillary and Bill Clinton, when all the while he was doing the same thing with women. That is what I call a brazen liar.

He is a pawn of the State of Israel, nothing more and nothing less. They probably told him to hire Bolton and all the other war-mongers around him. He's not surrounded by the enemy. He is surrounded by his friends.

Admiral Assbar , says: Next New Comment September 11, 2018 at 4:46 pm GMT
The biggest mystery of this whole presidency is why the guy who went to battle against the GOP foreign policy establishment turned over those policy positions to them, instead of putting people into office who actually looked favorably on him and shared areas of agreement with him (paleocons, realists, non-interventionists, etc.). The only foreign policy promise he's kept is the one that happened to align with the neocon preferences: backing out of the Iran deal.

I guess it must come down to Jared Kushner and his close ties with Israel and the Gulf Arabs, but still find it bizarre that Trump never reached out to Pat Buchanan, Rand Paul, Steve Bannon, etc., in selecting foreign policy officials.

Tom Welsh , says: Next New Comment September 11, 2018 at 7:52 pm GMT
@Admiral Assbar The biggest mystery of this whole presidency is why the guy who went to battle against the GOP foreign policy establishment turned over those policy positions to them, instead of putting people into office who actually looked favorably on him and shared areas of agreement with him (paleocons, realists, non-interventionists, etc.). The only foreign policy promise he's kept is the one that happened to align with the neocon preferences: backing out of the Iran deal.

I guess it must come down to Jared Kushner and his close ties with Israel and the Gulf Arabs, but still find it bizarre that Trump never reached out to Pat Buchanan, Rand Paul, Steve Bannon, etc., in selecting foreign policy officials. "The biggest mystery of this whole presidency is why the guy who went to battle against the GOP foreign policy establishment turned over those policy positions to them "

It seems fairly clear that, whenever a new President is sworn in, he immediately receives a "pep talk" in which he is informed what he will and will not say and do, and what will happen to him, his family, their pets, and everyone they have ever spoken to if he disobeys. Probably this "offer that he can't refuse" is concluded by words along the lines of: " and if you want to get what the Kennedys got, just try stepping out of line".

J. Edgar Hoover used to do something of the kind when he was head of the FBI, but that was relatively benign – just a threat of blackmail accompanied by kindly advice never to fight the FBI.

ChuckOrloski , says: Next New Comment September 11, 2018 at 10:13 pm GMT
@AlbionRevisited I was referring to the campaign, of course we're in a different situation now. It's amazing the way in which they were able to co-oped his administration. AlbionRevisted wrote: "It's amazing the way in which they (Neoconservatives) were able to co-oped his (Trump)
administration."
Greetings AlbionRevisited!
Many were disappointed with Trump and that might even include a percentage of the voting bloc known as "Deplorables."
Nonetheless, after honing into candidate Donald Trump's awful 2017 homage to AIPAC, it becomes dramatically less amazing how Neoconservatives crept into the White House.
Recall how rabid leftist Neoconservatives wanted Hillary, and how suddenly the naysayer, Extra-Octane Neoconservative, John Bolton, stuck with the phoney populist, "America First-After-Israeli-Interests," talkin' Donald J. Trump?
The essence of American presidential campaigns/elections boil down to powerful international Jewry needs & timing, and disemboweled citizens must take-it or leave-it. Uh, support the immoral wars and pay the bill!
Thanks, AlbionRevisted.

Herald says: September 12, 2018 at 10:53 am GMT • 100 Words

@Tom Welsh

I am not convinced that Trump started out with good intentions but quickly bowed to threats. Trump was never a principled person and it seems much more likely that he was always a stooge for the Israel lobby and the MIC.

I used to think that things would have been worse under Hillary but these days I'm even beginning to have doubts on that score.

jacques sheete, September 12, 2018 at 11:19 am GMT • 100 Words

@Admiral Assbar

The biggest mystery of this whole presidency is why the guy who went to battle against the GOP foreign policy establishment turned over those policy positions to them

No mystery at all. It was all campaign rhetoric like the Shrub's promises of "a humble foreign policy" and "compassionate conservatism," O-bomba-'s "hope and change"and Woody 'n Frankies promises to keep the US out of war.

KenH, September 12, 2018 at 12:20 pm GMT

Trump is now becoming more "patriotic" by the day with his willingness to get us into another no-win, forever war in Syria for Israel. I say we air drop John Brennan into Idlib so he can fight and die like a real man.

[Sep 10, 2018] We can't say if Trump survive the Deep State color revolution against him, but we can tell that he already betrayed his voters and abandoned his election promises

Notable quotes:
"... I agree that this is possibly the case, but what about Rosenstein's Monster? ..."
"... IOW, why is Mueller being allowed to run amok? Does Trump have a plan to contain the damage, however fabricated, other than (rightly) criticizing Jeff Sessions for recusing himself? ..."
"... I agree with Bob. It's all of them. Dump them all, including Trump, his creepy family and cronies, and the garbage GOP who passed the biggest deficit budget in US history. ..."
"... Trump already totally betrayed voters like me, who wanted our troops out of the Middle East and our resources and focus back on America, Americans, and American infrastructure. ..."
"... Liam, the "suckers who voted for Trump" happen to be the electorate. A similar group of suckers voted for Obama, Bush and Clinton. This trio who preceded Trump were not golden gods of leadership as I recall. The last two doubled and redoubled the total national debt, and squandered trillions in pointless wars. ..."
Sep 10, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Ken Zaretzke September 8, 2018 at 6:03 pm

"But a savvy Donald Trump saw the conspiracy right away. And he realized immediately that in order to carry his campaign agenda to Make America Great Again he must of necessity first preserve his presidency from the conspiracy of the Deep State, the mainstream media, and the establishment elites of both political parties"

I agree that this is possibly the case, but what about Rosenstein's Monster?

https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/09/trump-russia-probe-robert-mueller-investigation

IOW, why is Mueller being allowed to run amok? Does Trump have a plan to contain the damage, however fabricated, other than (rightly) criticizing Jeff Sessions for recusing himself?

flood plain , says: September 9, 2018 at 12:57 pm
I agree with Bob. It's all of them. Dump them all, including Trump, his creepy family and cronies, and the garbage GOP who passed the biggest deficit budget in US history.

Trump already totally betrayed voters like me, who wanted our troops out of the Middle East and our resources and focus back on America, Americans, and American infrastructure.

The smell coming from Washington, Wall Street, the MSM, and Silicon Valley is overpowering.

Patricus , says: September 9, 2018 at 6:33 am
Liam, the "suckers who voted for Trump" happen to be the electorate. A similar group of suckers voted for Obama, Bush and Clinton. This trio who preceded Trump were not golden gods of leadership as I recall. The last two doubled and redoubled the total national debt, and squandered trillions in pointless wars.

Trump had the sense to encourage development and transport of natural resources. He slashed mindless regulations and reduced taxes. The economy is growing after the long Obama depression. His was the worst economy in my lifetime. In the Carter years of stagflation companies would not hire young grads. In the Obama years that was also the case but many middle aged workers were let go as well. We might now be seeing real wage increases across the board. If Trump is a clown, as so many describe, perhaps we should recruit future presidents from clown schools.

[Sep 10, 2018] I've been saying for over a year that Trump is the Republican Obama. He is a faux populist front man

The negligence with which he selected his cabinet is pretty telling
Notable quotes:
"... I've been saying for over a year that Trump is the Republican Obama. He is a faux populist front man. ..."
"... Just like "Obamabots", "Trumptard" apologists blame hardliners for the failings of their hero. It's all a game. It's part of the faux populist political model. Faux populists SERVE THE ESTABLISHMENT so they destined to betray their 'base'. ..."
"... Party and Personality are the masks used to keep us divided and maintain the illusion of democracy. ..."
Sep 10, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit , Sep 9, 2018 4:21:51 PM | 21

Pat Lang starts to wake up:

At some point even the most ardent Trump acolyte will have to admit this [Syria] is now Trump's policy. It is not something done by the neocons, the deep state, the anonymous resister or the ghost of John McCain without Trump's acquiescence. [And] He is not ... clueless, oblivious ...
Pat is half right.

I've been saying for over a year that Trump is the Republican Obama. He is a faux populist front man.

Just like "Obamabots", "Trumptard" apologists blame hardliners for the failings of their hero. It's all a game. It's part of the faux populist political model. Faux populists SERVE THE ESTABLISHMENT so they destined to betray their 'base'.

There are two other fallacies that keep cropping up to confuse things:

1) Triumph of Democracy. While some may recognize that USA is no longer a democracy, others continue to insist that "Trump won" and are incline to suspect Russian interference (even while acknowledging the flaws in that theory). Few care to delve much deeper (i.e. engage brain cells).

2) President's Constitutional power. You see this mistake made as Pat Lang declares that Trump 'owns' the Syrian mess now. The President has great power in the US Constitutional system and (sadly) that is why it is so important to the establishment that it be controlled. Trump was SELECTED, not ELECTED.

Party and Personality are the masks used to keep us divided and maintain the illusion of democracy.

[Sep 08, 2018] Trump was warned repeatedly about the neocons et al, but has chosen to staff up with the same swamp creatures he ostensibly meant to expurgate.

Notable quotes:
"... "Just get rid of Trump and you'll have a nice, neat, ultra-right-wing Republican as President." No need for that Diana – for what you describe is what we presently enjoy in the form of the current President, most especially as it relates to his efforts to bring "peace" to regions such as the Mideast. ..."
"... It is becoming something of a dark joke listening to Trump's apologists endlessly repeat the meme that those opposed to him represent "war" – while he is our hope for "peace" (despite his never demonstrating one iota of that sort of behavior). ..."
"... With every further, obvious display of the President's shocking belligerence towards countries that do not threaten the United States and in areas and matters where it possesses no valid security interests, the Diana Johnstones of this world spin the prayer wheel faster, repeat their mantras more urgently and come up with some silly excuses for why what we observe from Trump is not really what we observe. "It's not Trump – it's every one around him. You must believe us!" ..."
"... There's no need for 4- and 5-D chess masters to interpret Trump – what we sees is what we gots. If there's a "conspiracy" anywhere, it's among those unwilling to remark the obvious ..."
Sep 08, 2018 | www.unz.com

Si1ver1ock , says: Next New Comment September 8, 2018 at 11:28 am GMT

We gave Trump the presidency, what he does with it is his responsibility. He was warned repeatedly about the neocons et al, but has chosen to staff up with the same swamp creatures he ostensibly meant to expurgate.

We are left to wonder how much of this "reality" TV?

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2018/09/06/we-are-being-played/

see , says: Next New Comment September 8, 2018 at 11:41 am GMT
Quoth Diana:

"Just get rid of Trump and you'll have a nice, neat, ultra-right-wing Republican as President." No need for that Diana – for what you describe is what we presently enjoy in the form of the current President, most especially as it relates to his efforts to bring "peace" to regions such as the Mideast.

It is becoming something of a dark joke listening to Trump's apologists endlessly repeat the meme that those opposed to him represent "war" – while he is our hope for "peace" (despite his never demonstrating one iota of that sort of behavior).

With every further, obvious display of the President's shocking belligerence towards countries that do not threaten the United States and in areas and matters where it possesses no valid security interests, the Diana Johnstones of this world spin the prayer wheel faster, repeat their mantras more urgently and come up with some silly excuses for why what we observe from Trump is not really what we observe. "It's not Trump – it's every one around him. You must believe us!"

There's no need for 4- and 5-D chess masters to interpret Trump – what we sees is what we gots. If there's a "conspiracy" anywhere, it's among those unwilling to remark the obvious.

Not to worry, Trump has a condo just for you .

[Aug 31, 2018] As with Obama new Dems candidates pretend that once the ostensible Third Way newcomer is accepted and established, they can and will gradually disclose their true political selves, and act accordingly

Notable quotes:
"... there is no way out of this mess through a ballot ..."
Aug 31, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

LXV , Aug 31, 2018 2:26:01 AM | 81

Another sign that the political divisions are 'pretend' is that the 'Dems', the ostensive losers re. Trump, have not behaved like a political party who loses. These generally disband, retire, fold, or make efforts at reform, re-orientation etc. Renewal may be tough but they often try. (As did the Repubs after Obama's election, though the effort was incredibly weak.)

Nothing like that is going on, because the fight is not political. It is based on tribal desperate angst at the 'surprise' election of an outsider who holds cards in his hands nobody can speak about.

re Ort @ 24 who wrote:

To 'True Believers', if [Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez] seems equivocal, or even confused, about the nature of (Democratic) socialism or expresses anodyne, conformist, safe positions, they will justify this as sensible reticence. AOC has to appeal to the elusive "center", and charm skeptical voters by not appearing unduly extreme or, God forbid, radical.

As with Obama and others similarly situated, they pretend that once the ostensible Third Way newcomer is accepted and established, they can and will gradually disclose their true political selves, and act accordingly. Regardless of how often this scenario fails to work as hoped, they remain convinced that it's both unavoidable and prudent.

Ocasio-Cortez is merely a willing actress poster-babe (she will earn a LOT). The role is not different from prancing about in lovely swish skirts on some MSM-TV series. She was selected for her looks / background (not the best re. the background, but there aren't many candidates, which is very hopeful imho), her naiveté, ignorance, and submissive stance. Some 'fake' younger figures -only women and male gays, girls are more acceptable to the general public- have to be pictured as up-n-coming Dems, in a kind of sketchy and unconvincing parade of 'diversity' and so on.

Posted by b on August 30, 2018 at 01:07 PM | Permalink

JR is spot on; The Orange Buffoon and the "witchhunt" against him (just like the "Qanon" Hollywood-style drama-thriller) are smoke and mirrors to keep the peasants occupied with bullcrap, while the cleptofascists are done robbing you blind...

The simple truth is that all "western" societies and democracies are hijacked by (((Transformer Borgs))) and, contrary to what (((snake-oil salesmen))) in $5 000 suits tell you, there is no way out of this mess through a ballot.

[Aug 31, 2018] Erasing the Truth and Fabricating Fake Narratives

Notable quotes:
"... Western media monopolies, appendages of the billionaire ruling class, select for narratives which glorify criminal foreign policies. Hence, these monopolies are cheerleaders for uninterrupted wars of aggression. ..."
"... Ruling class policymakers hide their criminality beneath banners of freedom, democracy, and human rights. [1] These lies provide cover for what amounts to a Western- orchestrated and sustained overseas holocaust and the thirdworldization of domestic populations. ..."
"... The lies and misplaced adulation also serve to legitimize the West's proxies, which include al Qaeda [2] in Syria, and neo-Nazis [3] in Kiev. ..."
"... The adulation, then, is part of the apparatus of deception. It brands those who should be facing trials at the Hague as heroes, as it erases the truth, which is a vital component for Peace and International Justice. ..."
Aug 31, 2018 | www.globalresearch.ca

Western media monopolies, appendages of the billionaire ruling class, select for narratives which glorify criminal foreign policies. Hence, these monopolies are cheerleaders for uninterrupted wars of aggression.

Ruling class policymakers hide their criminality beneath banners of freedom, democracy, and human rights. [1] These lies provide cover for what amounts to a Western- orchestrated and sustained overseas holocaust and the thirdworldization of domestic populations.

The lies are further reinforced when those who advance these toxic policies are celebrated as heroes. This misplaced adulation negates the struggle for Peace and the rule of International Law. The lies and misplaced adulation also serve to legitimize the West's proxies, which include al Qaeda [2] in Syria, and neo-Nazis [3] in Kiev.

What's great thing about the pic accompanying this piece in the Washington Post sanctifying McCain as a human rights advocate is that the guy to his left is an actual Nazi. He's Oleh Tyahnybok, a Ukrainian Nazi. Too good!

10:38 AM - Aug 28, 2018

The adulation, then, is part of the apparatus of deception. It brands those who should be facing trials at the Hague as heroes, as it erases the truth, which is a vital component for Peace and International Justice.

[Aug 27, 2018] Neocon/neolib block hysterically embraces any public figure who opposes (opposed) Trump.

Notable quotes:
"... The "soft" neoliberal bloc in the US, individuals and organizations alike, have become so pathologically consumed with the conviction that Donald Trump is the Great Orange Satan who must be removed from office forthwith, and by any means necessary, that they hysterically embrace any public figure who opposes (opposed) Trump. ..."
"... Now, the Democratic Party establishment and fellow-traveling organizations have realigned– flipped their lids– to a point in which they reflexively support everything that purports to oppose and undermine Trump. They even regard the nefarious state-security apparatchiks in the FBI and CIA, and the "brutal fixers" in the Department of "Justice" who have been assiduously working to construct a frame-up job, or crucifix upon which to hang Trump, as heroes. ..."
"... As with Obama and others similarly situated, they pretend that once the ostensible Third Way newcomer is accepted and established, they can and will gradually disclose their true political selves, and act accordingly. Regardless of how often this scenario fails to work as hoped, they remain convinced that it's both unavoidable and prudent. ..."
Aug 27, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Ort , Aug 26, 2018 8:06:17 PM | 24

The "soft" neoliberal bloc in the US, individuals and organizations alike, have become so pathologically consumed with the conviction that Donald Trump is the Great Orange Satan who must be removed from office forthwith, and by any means necessary, that they hysterically embrace any public figure who opposes (opposed) Trump.

I frequent prog-lib sites in the US, where I live, principally to read and post in the comments threads. The prog-lib moderates are not really of the "left", a term which has become a semantic placeholder for anyone or anything that doesn't explicitly identify as right-wing or politically conservative.

But before they were traumatized by, in their view, the abominable Trump usurping the imperial Oval Office Throne, they used to be reliably antiwar, anti-imperialist, anti-military, anti-police state, etc.

Now, the Democratic Party establishment and fellow-traveling organizations have realigned– flipped their lids– to a point in which they reflexively support everything that purports to oppose and undermine Trump. They even regard the nefarious state-security apparatchiks in the FBI and CIA, and the "brutal fixers" in the Department of "Justice" who have been assiduously working to construct a frame-up job, or crucifix upon which to hang Trump, as heroes.

@ karlof1 | 15

The self-proclaimed Social-Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's words praising the late War Criminal John McCain prove she's not what she declares.
_____________________________

So many bees have accumulated in my bonnet that by now I should be drenched in a perpetually-flowing coating of honey. One of the bees is what I call Progressive-Liberal Electoral Politics 101.

This refers to the tendency of "lesser-evil" moderates to rebut and reject doubts and criticisms of politicians with supposedly knowing, savvy "inside politics" rationales that explain away the criticisms.

It really hit home during Obama's 2008 campaign, when an intelligent but moderate "progressive" relative, "Joe", became infatuated with Bonnie Prince Barry; he vainly hoped I'd become enthralled too. Just a couple of examples:

I was outraged (but not surprised) when Obama reneged on his repeated "vows" to oppose draconian FISA legislation that gave carte blanche to government/corporate surveillance, and immunized corporations who'd illegally and illicitly assisted in conducting such surveillance. Joe responded to my outrage by superciliously explaining, "Oh, he had to do that! He can't just say and do things to keep progressives happy-- he has to reassure a fearful and desperate public that he's 'tough' on national security issues!"

Joe also whipped out this "Oh, he had to do that!" justification at the drop of a hat every time Obama did or didn't do something that seemed to conflict with his progressive "Third Way" image; when nominee and president-elect Obama packed his transition team and cabinet with reactionary Clintonista retreads and Goldman-Sachs banksters, Joe praised this as a shrewd "pragmatic" gambit to "consolidate his support within the party". There was always some pat prog-lib catechism blurb explaining why "he had to do that", case closed.

I've seen exactly this logic applied to AOC. To True Believers, if she seems equivocal, or even confused, about the nature of (Democratic) socialism-- or, as here, expresses anodyne, conformist, safe positions, they will justify this as sensible reticence. AOC has to appeal to the elusive "center", and charm skeptical voters by not appearing unduly extreme or, God forbid, radical.

As with Obama and others similarly situated, they pretend that once the ostensible Third Way newcomer is accepted and established, they can and will gradually disclose their true political selves, and act accordingly. Regardless of how often this scenario fails to work as hoped, they remain convinced that it's both unavoidable and prudent.

[Aug 26, 2018] Donald Trump's Foreign Policy Bait and Switch by TAC staff

Trump definitely is hell-bent of destroying the dollar system. He created four powerful allied: China, Russia, Iran and Turkey that will work to weaken dollar hegemony and create alternative systems. It is unclear why.
Smartphones present a viable alternative to credit cards and it is just a matter of time that credit cards became obsolete.
Despite his promises of restraint, America has become a cat's paw in a Middle East intrigue likely to lead to war.
Notable quotes:
"... Editor's note: This is the editorial from the July/August 2018 print edition of ..."
"... So now Israel and those Gulf states want to put Iran back in its box, and they want America to supply the muscle. Pompeo demonstrated Trump is prepared to do so with demands that no sovereign nation could accept. As our Dan Larison wrote, they would require Iran "to surrender its foreign policy decision-making to Washington and U.S. clients and to abandon all of the governments and groups that have relied on its support." ..."
"... The New Yorker piece leaves no doubt that Trump and his team welcome the new alliance aborning among Israel, the Saudis, and the UAE, pulled together by their fear and animosity directed at Iran ..."
"... So America under Trump has become a cat's paw in a Middle East intrigue that is very likely to lead to war. This is not how he campaigned in 2016, and it is not what the American people want. If Trump doesn't veer away from this path to war and the result is further Mideast blood and woe, he likely will go down in flames. That would be fitting and proper. But the rest of the world wouldn't deserve the result. ..."
Aug 22, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Editor's note: This is the editorial from the July/August 2018 print edition of The American Conservative.

We must confess that we never read Donald Trump's famous book, The Art of the Deal . And we don't know if there is a chapter called "Bait and Switch." But that's precisely what Trump perpetrated upon the American people when he crafted a campaign decrying America's destructive and costly military Middle East involvement -- and then, as president, set in motion events seemingly calculated to get us into another war there.

The president also promised to pull the United States out of the Iranian nuclear deal. However foolish, it was at least an honest representation of what his intention. And ultimately he did it. Thus it was possible to conclude that Trump was sincere on both his resolve to avoid further Mideast wars and his intention to exit the Iranian deal. Voters could draw their own conclusions about whether the two campaign promises were mutually exclusive or not.

But voters had no reason to conclude during the campaign that he would deal with Iran so aggressively as to force a dangerous showdown. Two significant developments suggest Trump's intentions far surpass his campaign rhetoric. One is the recent ultimatum delivered to Iran by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. He listed 12 demands on what Iran must do to avoid "unprecedented" economic pressure designed to crush Iran's ability to play a major role in its home region. The other is a remarkable New Yorker story by Adam Entous detailing how the Trump administration has joined hands with Iran's regional enemies -- Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates -- to strip Iran of its regional influence.

As Pompeo put it, "Iran will never again have carte blanche to dominate the Middle East." Of course Iran has not dominated the region in any serious way for centuries, but it does have significant influence there by dint of its size, population, economy, and military. And its geopolitical influence expanded exponentially when America destroyed Iraq's Sunni regime and removed a major impediment to Iran's freedom of action.

So now Israel and those Gulf states want to put Iran back in its box, and they want America to supply the muscle. Pompeo demonstrated Trump is prepared to do so with demands that no sovereign nation could accept. As our Dan Larison wrote, they would require Iran "to surrender its foreign policy decision-making to Washington and U.S. clients and to abandon all of the governments and groups that have relied on its support."

Indeed, they are reminiscent of Austria's 1914 demands of Serbia after the assassination of Arch-Duke Ferdinand and the aggressive ultimatum delivered to Japan by U.S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull on November 26, 1941. Both were were designed to induce war.

The New Yorker piece leaves no doubt that Trump and his team welcome the new alliance aborning among Israel, the Saudis, and the UAE, pulled together by their fear and animosity directed at Iran. The headline: "How the President, Israel, and the Gulf states plan to fight Iran -- and leave the Palestinians and the Obama years behind." One Trump friend said Netanyahu, mastermind of the anti-Iranian alliance, encountered at the White House a "blank canvas" for his bold brush strokes. This person added: "Israel just had their way with us."

So America under Trump has become a cat's paw in a Middle East intrigue that is very likely to lead to war. This is not how he campaigned in 2016, and it is not what the American people want. If Trump doesn't veer away from this path to war and the result is further Mideast blood and woe, he likely will go down in flames. That would be fitting and proper. But the rest of the world wouldn't deserve the result.

[Aug 18, 2018] Is Russia an Adversary by Gary Leupp

Notable quotes:
"... The Russians were not pleased by U.S.-NATO involvements in the former Yugoslavia, a traditional Russian ally, in 1995 and 1999, and the expansion of NATO in the latter year (to include Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary) in violation of the agreement between Ronald Reagan and former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1989 that in return for Russia's acceptance of German reunification NATO would not spread "one inch" towards Russia. They protested meekly. But Russia was not an adversary then. ..."
"... Nor was it an adversary when, in 2001, under its new president Vladimir Putin, it offered NATO a route through Russia to provision forces in Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks. The real change only came in 2004, when NATO suddenly expanded to include Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. This brought alliances forces right to the Russian border. ..."
"... We are your adversary. ..."
"... Russia is an adversary. ..."
"... Russia is an adversary. ..."
"... He worked with our adversary to undermine our election. ..."
Aug 13, 2018 | dissidentvoice.org

Or, What's Wrong with Russian Collusion?

The question is finally being asked, by the president himself: what's wrong with collusion? Or at least his lawyer asks the question, while Trumps tweets:

Collusion is not a crime, but that doesn't matter because there was No Collusion.

The problem, of course, is that of collusion with an alleged adversary. Russia, we are constantly informed, is one such adversary, indeed the main state adversary, with Putin is its head.

Adversary is a very strong term. The Hebrew word for adversary is Satan. Satan is the ultimate symbol of evil in the Judeo-Christian tradition. Satan tempted Eve at the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, causing her to eat the fruit, and so evil entered the world.

Just like some want you to think that evil entered the (good, pristine) U.S. electoral process due to this Russian adversary in 2016.

(Sometimes listening to TV pundits vilifying Putin I find Luther's famous hymn floating through my head:

For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe.
His craft and power are great, and armed with cruel hate, on earth is not his equal.

Luther's referring to Satan, of course. But the current mythology around Putin -- as someone who still , like Lenin and Stalin before him, and the tsars of old, wishes us harm; is an unbridled dictator with a powerful great nuclear arsenal; is the wealthiest man on earth; and hates democracy -- resembles the mythology around the Adversary in the Bible.)

But let us problematize this vilification. When did Russia become a U.S. adversary? Some might say 1917 when in the wake of the Bolshevik Revolution Moscow became the center of the global communist movement. But surely that period ended in 1991 with the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact and the USSR.

Throughout the 1990s the U.S. cultivated Boris Yeltsin's Russia as a friend and even aided the drunken buffoon in winning the 1996 election. Bill Clinton and Yeltsin signed the Start II treaty. Harvard professors advised Moscow on economic reform.

The Russians were not pleased by U.S.-NATO involvements in the former Yugoslavia, a traditional Russian ally, in 1995 and 1999, and the expansion of NATO in the latter year (to include Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary) in violation of the agreement between Ronald Reagan and former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1989 that in return for Russia's acceptance of German reunification NATO would not spread "one inch" towards Russia. They protested meekly. But Russia was not an adversary then.

Nor was it an adversary when, in 2001, under its new president Vladimir Putin, it offered NATO a route through Russia to provision forces in Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks. The real change only came in 2004, when NATO suddenly expanded to include Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. This brought alliances forces right to the Russian border.

It was a clear statement by the U.S. to a friendly country: We are your adversary. But, of course, the Pentagon and State Department always pooh-poohed Russian concerns, denying that NATO targeted any particular country.

Four years later (2008) NATO announced intentions to draw Ukraine and Georgia into the alliance. Meanwhile the U.S. recognized Kosovo as an independent state. Kosovo, the historical heart of Serbian civilization, had been wrenched from Serbia in 1999 under the pretext of a "humanitarian" intervention that included the first bombing (by NATO) of a European capital city since 1945. The province had been converted into a vast NATO base.

Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili, emboldened by the prospect of NATO membership and western backing, attacked the capital of the separatist republic of South Ossetia, provoking (as the Russians explain it) a proper punitive response: the Russo-Georgian War of August 7-16 . After this Moscow recognized South Ossetia and a second breakaway republic, Abkhazia, in a tit-for-tat response to Washington's recognition of Kosovo.

Now Russia was labelled an aggressive power -- by the power that had carved up Yugoslavia, and invaded and occupied Iraq on the basis of lies and killed half a million in the process. Plans to include Georgia in NATO had to be put on hold, in large part due to European allies' opposition (why provoke Russia?) but the U.S. intensified efforts to draw in Ukraine. That meant toppling the anti-NATO elected president Viktor Yanukovych.

The U.S. State Department devoted enormous resources to the Maidan coup in Kiev on February 23, 2014. Its agents helped topple the government, ostensibly for its failure to negotiate an agreement for Ukrainian associate membership in the EU, but really to bring pro-NATO forces to power and expel the Russian Fleet from the Crimean Peninsula where it has been based since 1783. Moscow's limited support for the Donbass ethnic-Russian separatists and re-annexation of Crimea were, of course, depicted by the U.S. as more aggression, more mischievous opposition to "U.S. global interests."

But from Moscow's point of view these moves have surely been defensive. The main problem is (obviously) NATO and its dangerous, unnecessary and provocative expansion. Throughout his presidential campaign Trump questioned the continued "relevance" of NATO. Characteristically he focused on budget issues and allies' failure to meet the goal figure of 2% if GDP for military expenses (misleadingly depicting investment shortfalls as a betrayal and rip-off of the victimized U.S.). But he did -- to the alarm of many, and probably to Moscow's delight -- express little enthusiasm for the alliance's historical purpose.

The most rational proposition Trump voiced before his election that the U.S. should "get along" with Russia. That is, get along with the so-called adversary. Trump as we all know had been in Russia on business, hosting the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow in 2013, and maintains interest in building a Trump Tower in the city. He has met and befriended Russian oligarchs. He quite possibly sees Russia as just another country, like Germany or France.

If "the French" had had dirt on Hillary, would it have been okay to "collude" with them to influence the election result? France is, of course, a NATO ally. Would that make it different? Now that the president and his layers are openly questioning whether "collusion", per se, is even illegal, the specific nature of the colluder becomes more relevant.

Russia is an adversary.

Russia is an adversary.

Putin in Helsinki acknowledged to a reporter that he had hoped Trump could win, because he had expressed hope for better relations. He might have added that he dreaded the prospect of a Hillary victory because of her warmongering and characterization of him as a Hitler. Naturally the Russian media favored Trump over Clinton at a certain point when he emerged as a credible candidate. So when Trump on July 27, 2016 called on Russia to release Hillary's missing emails ("if you've got 'em") the Russians probably felt invited to make contact through channels. And when informed that they had dirt, Don Jr. wrote: "If that's what you say, I love it." (Who can blame him?)

Let's say there was some collusion after the June 6 Trump Tower meeting. Trump has suddenly acknowledged that the meeting with the Russians was indeed to "seek political dirt." He adds that this is "totally legal," and this may be true. Some are now saying that Don Jr. may have violated a federal statute (52 USC 30121, 36 USC 5210) forbidding any foreign person to "make a contribution or a donation of money or other thing of value, or expressly or impliedly promise to make a contribution or a donation, in connection with any Federal, State, or local election.' and for anyone to knowingly solicit, accept, or receive from a foreign national any contribution or donation prohibited by [this law]." But the language is vague. If a Canadian speechwriter works gratis for a U.S. political candidate, in order to help him or her win, is this not "a thing of value" intended to affect an election?

If Paul Manafort, Don Jr. and Jared Kushner had met with Canadian agents in Trump Tower I doubt there would have been any controversy. The fact is, Trump won the election and many of those stunned by that wish to undermine him using revived Cold War-type Russophobia. They insist: He worked with our adversary to undermine our election. And now they hope they've got him on this charge.

*****

Five years ago a young man named Edward Snowden (now living in forced exile in Russia) revealed to the world the extent of the U.S.'s global surveillance. He showed us how the NSA wiretaps EU meetings, popes' conversations, Angela Merkel's cell phone and maintains metadata on virtually all U.S. residents. He showed us what the contemporary advanced state can do in this respect. We should suppose that Moscow has, if not similar capacity, at least enough expertise to hack into the DNC emails or John Podesta's g-mail account. Is that surprising?

What none of the TV anchors is allowed to say needs to be said again: The U.S. interferes in foreign elections all the time, including Russian ones. It should surprise no one if Russian intelligence responds in kind. The point is not the provenance of the leaked emails but their content.

Those horrified by the leaked material complain that their release was designed to "undermine faith in our democratic system." Really? Don't the workings of the system itself undermine one's faith in it, once they are exposed? Was it adversarial of the leaker to inform us that the DNC had no intention of allowing Bernie Sanders to win the Democratic nomination, and thus that the process was rigged? Was it unfriendly to reveal that Podesta was hoping the media would hype Trump, as an easy target for his candidate?

The question that will no doubt be debated in the coming days is whether seeking dirt on a political opponent from any foreigner is indeed illegal, or whether there are specific legal ramifications of meeting with someone from an "adversary" country. But it seems to me that Russia has not been defined as such officially. So we may have a discussion less about legality than the politics of Russophobia.

I am happy to see Trump besieged, rattled, possibly facing impeachment. But to bring him down on the basis of "Russian collusion," on the assumption that Russia is an adversary, would only advantage the warmongers who want no-fly zones over Syria and military support for the Kiev regime against the Donbas separatists. Vice President Pence I believe favors both.

Trump has said that he cannot host Putin in Washington this year, or until the Russian Hoax witch hunt is over. But Putin has invited him to Moscow. One senses he wants some agreements with Trump before he is ousted by his gathering adversaries, including the press, courts, Democrats, select Republicans, turncoat aides and he himself sometimes in his unguarded tweets.

Gary Leupp is a Professor of History at Tufts University, and author of numerous works on Japanese history. He can be reached at: gleupp@granite.tufts.edu . Read other articles by Gary .

This article was posted on Monday, August 13th, 2018 at 10:30pm and is filed under (Ex-)Yugoslavia , Chancellor Angela Merkel , Donald Trump , Elections , Espionage/"Intelligence" , Hillary Clinton , Kosovo , Mike Pence , President Vladimir Putin , Russia , Serbia , Ukraine , United States , US Hypocrisy , US Lies .

[Aug 17, 2018] Lavrov Brilliantly Dissects Western Lies And Manipulations On The False Flag And Skripals

Lavrov suggests that Skripals were intentionally poisoned by BZ which temporary disable a person (for approx 4 days) and Novichok was injected in samples to implicate Russia. He impliedly suggests that this was a false flag operation.
Notable quotes:
"... First, US sanctions against Russia, then the Skripals mystery, and last the Attack at Syria....What the masters of the world trying do??? ..."
"... I'm an American. I'm disgusted with the mafia cartel bankrupt corporation that masquerades as the government. I don't like or trust any government but after listening to this guy, he certainly comes across as way more trustworthy than anyone puppet we have in the Trump regime. ..."
Apr 16, 2018 | www.youtube.com

Maria Kuzali , 4 months ago

First, US sanctions against Russia, then the Skripals mystery, and last the Attack at Syria....What the masters of the world trying do???

Off Grid Nation , 4 months ago

I'm an American. I'm disgusted with the mafia cartel bankrupt corporation that masquerades as the government. I don't like or trust any government but after listening to this guy, he certainly comes across as way more trustworthy than anyone puppet we have in the Trump regime. #IDONOTCONSENT

shaughn fourie , 4 months ago

THANK YOU RUSSIA IN PARTICULAR PRESIDENT PUTIN AND LAVROV BOTH GOOD INTELLIGENT AND DECENT MEN

shaughn fourie , 4 months ago

MACRON TRUMP AND MAY ARE MURDERERS......THANK YOU ASSAD AND RUSSIA AND KURDISH PEOPLE FOR TRULY STANDING UP FOR CIVILISED VALUES

James Australian , 4 months ago (edited)

need to stop the tyrants to prevent the fall of Damascus.. Must not let them kill Mr Assad.

zac anthony , 4 months ago

I believe in Russia more than our gov we are being led

Luboš Lier , 4 months ago

Russia just needs to give Syria couple of tactical nukes. And the peace in Syria is assured...

haithem ali , 4 months ago

Sometimes he continues talking without look at paper..... bcs he say true.... and USA, BRITAIN and France cant do that bcs they are lying and scared if they will say something wrong.

[Aug 17, 2018] It is quite interesting how many uninformed posters and/or trolls would love to find a way to show the Russiagate nonsense is somehow plausible in spite of the evidence

Notable quotes:
"... They're kind of like a five year old child who desperately wants to keep believing in Santa Claus, even though he just found dad's Santa costume in the closet and he's holding it in his own hands. ..."
"... Sorry, but two years into this we should be way beyond this kind of – "I can't believe Santa's not real"- denying, dissembling, rationalizing nonsense. Then again, this is America. ..."
"... America is after all a country in which half the population believe in the creation myth. ..."
"... "Two years after the Iraq War began, 70 per cent of Americans still believed Saddam Hussein was personally involved in the 9/11 attacks, according to a Washington Post survey." The Big Lie works, and since Obama gutted Smith-Mundt, the CIA/ State Department can legally keep Americans tracking on their propaganda narratives. ..."
"... I agree with Lawrences point that this is an issue of social psychology. Rational argument over the facts is simply over taken by some kind of mass hysteria. There certainly precedent for this kind of behavior. Indeed this was described in 'Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds' 180 years ago. In my lifetime I have witnessed two episodes of this kind of mass hysteria. The first was the red scare of the early 1950's (I not so much witnessed that as experienced it) and the second was the day care hysteria of satanic cults abusing our children that flared between the late 1980s and early 1990s. Now this is a third manifestation of mass hysteria. ..."
Aug 17, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

Gary Weglarz August 14, 2018 at 4:37 pm

It is quite interesting how many uninformed posters and/or trolls would love to find a way to show the "Russiagate" nonsense is somehow plausible in spite of the evidence. They're kind of like a five year old child who desperately wants to keep believing in Santa Claus, even though he just found dad's Santa costume in the closet and he's holding it in his own hands.

I will say that the amount of mental gymnastics required to continue not believing evidence that is right in front of one's eyes is quite impressive – but I'd never underestimate the American people's creativity when they want to maintain their illusions/delusions. And I'd certainly never underestimate the Russiagate troll army's persistence.

At this rate I expect to soon encounter some version of the following "observation" in the comments section for this article: – "maybe space aliens hired by the Russians downloaded the files to a to a new fangled thig-a-ma-jig and then shape-shifted so Craig Murray would be fooled into thinking a real-like-human insider provided him the files on a flash drive." – "oh, oh, wait, maybe the aliens abducted Murray too, and then just made him "think" a fellow human gave him the drive in person." "yeah, yeah, and maybe Assange just says he didn't get the files from the Russians because "he's a space alien too." "Yeah, prove to me that it didn't happen this way – you can't – ha! there! I win!"

Sorry, but two years into this we should be way beyond this kind of – "I can't believe Santa's not real"- denying, dissembling, rationalizing nonsense. Then again, this is America.

Reply

GM , August 14, 2018 at 4:51 pm

America is after all a country in which half the population believe in the creation myth.

jeff montanye , August 17, 2018 at 7:11 am

but if i had to bet, the creationists are less likely to believe in Russiagate than the evolutionists.

Just Plain Scott , August 14, 2018 at 6:14 pm

Please don't give Rachel Maddow any more ideas.

michael , August 15, 2018 at 6:06 am

"Two years after the Iraq War began, 70 per cent of Americans still believed Saddam Hussein was personally involved in the 9/11 attacks, according to a Washington Post survey." The Big Lie works, and since Obama gutted Smith-Mundt, the CIA/ State Department can legally keep Americans tracking on their propaganda narratives.

ToivoS , August 14, 2018 at 4:26 pm

I agree with Lawrences point that this is an issue of social psychology. Rational argument over the facts is simply over taken by some kind of mass hysteria. There certainly precedent for this kind of behavior. Indeed this was described in 'Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds' 180 years ago. In my lifetime I have witnessed two episodes of this kind of mass hysteria. The first was the red scare of the early 1950's (I not so much witnessed that as experienced it) and the second was the day care hysteria of satanic cults abusing our children that flared between the late 1980s and early 1990s. Now this is a third manifestation of mass hysteria.

It all began with Hillary's shocking defeat. Many millions of her supporters knew that she was so good that she had to win. But then she lost. Those millions of Democrats could not accept that in fact their assessment of her talents were totally wrong and that she lost because she has to be one of the worst candidates in American history. That is a reality those people refused to accept. Instead they had to concoct some crazy conspiracy to explain their break with reality. This is a classic case of cognitive dissonance which often leads to mass hysteria.

GM , August 14, 2018 at 5:01 pm

People choose to believe what they feel that they most need to believe to assuage their insecurities fostered by what they perceive to be the dangerous and scary world in which they exist. The simple fact that we know that life is finite by the time we're three years old fosters the creation of such constructs as that of the myth of everlasting life in the kingdom of heaven complete with a mortgage-free condo and an extra parking space for all repentant sinners are mainstream beliefs.

Rob Roy , August 14, 2018 at 11:07 pm

ToivoS, you are right about Hillary. She simply couldn't accept her defeat. She was the one who began Russiagate by the lie, "17 intelligence agencies" said the Russians hacked the emails.
As for times of mass-swallowing of a lie in the 1930s every German thought that Poland was about to invade Germany and they were scared so much that they believed their leaders who "false flagged" them into invading Poland "first." Of course, Poland had no intention of invading Germany.
Notice every time the US attacks another sovereign country, there's a false flag waved for the citizens to follow?
Don't you appreciate that we have consortiumnews?

[Aug 17, 2018] What if Russiagate is the New WMDs

In both cases CIA and neocons run the show. But there is new powerful factor: emergence of CIA democrats like Brennan and the conversion of intelligence agencies into political tool, the Cerberus that safeguard the castle of neoliberalism in the USA. The USA people (bottom 90%) be damned.
Notable quotes:
"... Trump's guilt in " Russiagate " is now assumed by much of the American left, and reaches greater levels of fervor with every passing day. ..."
"... Coulter was confident and she wasn't alone. Virtually the entire mainstream American right -- from pundits like Coulter and Sean Hannity to President George W. Bush and the Republican Congress -- was deeply invested in the notion that Hussein possessed WMDs and that the Iraq war was justified based on that unshakeable premise. This belief was so ingrained for so long that many excitedly rushed to pretend that chemical weapons discovered in Iraq as reported by the New York Times ..."
"... Now, "Russian collusion" could be becoming the new WMDs. ..."
"... New York Magazine ..."
"... Weekly Standard ..."
Aug 16, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com
declared liberal celebrity activist Rosie O'Donnell at a protest in front of the White House last week. "We see it, he can't lie about it," she added. "He is going down and so will all of his administration." "The charge is treason," O'Donnell declared. Protesters held held large letters that spelled it out: " T-R-E-A-S-O-N ."

O'Donnell is by no means alone in her sentiments. Trump's guilt in " Russiagate " is now assumed by much of the American left, and reaches greater levels of fervor with every passing day.

This kind of partisan religiosity is not new.

In the wake of the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, conservative pundit Ann Coulter accused war opponents of " treason " and insisted of Saddam Hussein, "We know he had weapons of mass destruction."

Coulter was confident and she wasn't alone. Virtually the entire mainstream American right -- from pundits like Coulter and Sean Hannity to President George W. Bush and the Republican Congress -- was deeply invested in the notion that Hussein possessed WMDs and that the Iraq war was justified based on that unshakeable premise. This belief was so ingrained for so long that many excitedly rushed to pretend that chemical weapons discovered in Iraq as reported by the New York Times in 2014 were somehow the same thing as the " mushroom cloud " the Bush administration said Saddam was capable of.

Unfortunately for the right (and America, and the world), that premise turned out to be false. There were no WMDs. Today, only a minority of delusional, face-saving hawks and unreconstructed neoconservatives still parrot that lie .

And far from being "traitors," Iraq war opponents today are considered to have been on the right side of history .

John Brennan: Melting Down and Covering Up The Iraq War's Age of Madness

Now, "Russian collusion" could be becoming the new WMDs.

The post-2016 left's most dominant narrative is arguably their deeply held belief -- with all the ferocity and piety of yesterday's pro-war conservatives -- that Russia colluded with Trump's campaign to undermine the presidential election. Many believe that the president and anyone who supports his diplomatic efforts like Senator Rand Paul are in the pocket of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"I will meet not just with our friends, but with our enemies," said Barack Obama in 2008, and he did just that with Putin, as has every other president in recent times .

But Trump-Russia relations have been spun into far-fetched conspiracy theories on the left. New York Magazine 's Jonathan Chait recently went so far as to speculate that Trump has been a Russian agent since 1987 , a cockamamie idea on par with the Weekly Standard 's Stephen Hayes' discredited conspiracy theory that Saddam and Osama bin Laden were in cahoots .

It really was plausible that Iraq had WMDs in 2003 based on what our intelligence agencies knew, or purported to know. Today, it is feasible that American democracy really has Putin's fingerprints on it based on things revealed by U.S. intelligence.

But isn't it also possible that the left is reading far too much into Russiagate?

The Nation 's Aaron Maté believes liberals are overreaching, and that's putting it mildly:

From the outset, Russiagate proponents have exhibited a blind faith in the unverified claims of US government officials and other sources, most of them unnamed. The reaction to special counsel Robert Mueller's recent indictment of 12 Russian military-intelligence officers for hacking of Democratic party servers and voter databases is no exception. Mueller's indictment is certainly detailed. Most significantly, it marks the first time anyone has been charged for offenses related to Russiagate's underlying crime.

But while it is a major step forward in the investigation, we have yet to see the basis for the allegations that Mueller has lodged. As with any criminal case, from a petty offense to a cybercrime charge against a foreign government, a verdict cannot be formed in the absence of this evidence.

Then the irony kicks in. Maté continues, "The record of US intelligence, replete with lies and errors, underscores the need for caution. Mueller was a player in one of this century's most disastrous follies when, in congressional testimony, he endorsed claims about Iraqi WMDs and warned that Saddam Hussein 'may supply' chemical and biological material to 'terrorists.'"

Noting Mueller's 2003 WMD testimony is not an attempt to undermine him or his investigation, something Maté also makes clear. But it does serve as an important reminder that "intelligence" can be flat-out wrong. It reminds us how these scenarios, which so much of Washington and the elite class fully endorse, can be looked back on as lapses of reason years later.

Mass psychology is real. Political classes and parties are not immune.

"Suppose, however, that all of the claims about Russian meddling turn out to be true," Maté asks. "Hacking e-mails and voter databases is certainly a crime, and seeking to influence another country's election can never be justified."

He continues, "But the procession of elite voices falling over themselves to declare that stealing e-mails and running juvenile social-media ads amount to an 'attack,' even an 'act of war,' are escalating a panic when a sober assessment is what is most needed."

The U.S. could have certainly used less hyperbole and more sobriety in 2002 and 2003.

And there's good chance that when the history books are written about American politics circa 2018, much of Russiagate will be dismissed as more Red Scare than Red Dawn .

With Russia, as with WMDs, left and right have elevated slivers of legitimate security concerns to the level of existential threat based mostly on their own partisanship. That kind of thinking has already proven to be dangerous.

We don't know what evidence of collusion between the Trump camp and Russia might yet come forth, but it's easy to see how, even if this narrative eventually falls flat, 15 years from now some liberals will still be clinging to Russiagate not as a matter of fact, but political identity. Russia-obsessed liberals, too, could end up on the wrong side of history.

No one can know the future. Republicans would be wise to prepare for new, potentially damaging information about Trump and Russia that may yet emerge.

Democrats should consider that Russiagate may be just as imaginary as Republicans' Iraq fantasy.

Jack Hunter is the former political editor of Rare.us and co-authored the 2011 book The Tea Party Goes to Washington with Senator Rand Paul.

JLF August 16, 2018 at 1:31 pm

All this may be as Hunter would have it. Yet there is the nagging doubt that Trump, who could only find major financing for his enterprises following his last bankruptcy through Putin-controlled banks, could be free of any entangling ties or obligations. And if those doubts prove true, what then?
MM , , August 16, 2018 at 1:42 pm
From the Nation: "From the outset, Russiagate proponents have exhibited a blind faith in the unverified claims of U.S. government officials and other sources, most of them unnamed."

This is a key point, because now Democrats and the most of the Left are ready to embrace a guy like Brennan a.k.a. Mr. Torture, merely because they hate Trump.

I'll also admit to not knowing what's coming in the future, but as of now there's a strong circumstantial case to be made that this reactions to Russian election meddling, which when all was said and done amounted to providing the voting public with the truth about the DNC and its own election-fixing operation, that this reaction is only about losing the 2016 presidential election to a guy who was only given a 1% chance of winning by almost everyone.

Clyde Schechter , , August 16, 2018 at 2:20 pm
This is the most sensible commentary on "Russiagate" I have seen anywhere in a long time.

At present, there is some suggestive evidence in the public arena, but nothing conclusive.

What we probably need, actually, is a moratorium on commentary about this until the investigation reaches its conclusion. That can take a long time. But until then, the endless partisanship-motivated speculation we hear daily is, frankly tiresome.

Thank you, Mr. Hunter, for your temperate perspective on this. I wish this would be the last word on the subject until the investigation ends.

b. , , August 16, 2018 at 3:01 pm
'"Russian collusion" could be becoming the new WMDs.'

I suspect I agree with the author's sentiment, but it is not easy to tell.

Who stands accused? Trump? Russia? Both?

The claim that Trump is colluding with Russia is not the same as the claim that Iraq War opponents were colluding with Saddam Hussein.

The manufactured "Russia!" hysteria campaign orchestrated by the Obama/Clinton Democratic Party leadership, as deplorable and dubious as it might be, has nothing in common with the "5th column" smears Sullivan et.al. were peddling in 2002-2003 and beyond.

The claim that Trump committed "treason" would be legally incorrect on the worst case. Without a formal Congressional declaration of war, we are not at war with Russia, and Russia is not the enemy, no matter how much irresponsible mouthbreathing is broadcast from the biparty Congress members. However corrupt and corrupted Trump may be, corruption does not qualify as treason. If corruption were treason, Congress, in support of Israel and Saudi Arabia at the expense of the US (and certainly not in support of Russia) would be a house of traitors.

In comparison, the claim that opponents of the Iraq war were traitors was not just idiotic, but morally inexcusable. If anybody violated their oath, it was Bush himself, his appointees, and the ranking officers of the US military, for issuing illegal orders and/or following them.

"Russian election meddling" is the new WMD only the extent it is used as a pretext for war against Russia. It is the new "stained dress" in the attempt to challenge the ballot and paralyze an inconvenient President. I have no doubt that the Clintons are corrupt, and the GOP has engaged in many a Congressional effort to "investigate". The Clinton campaign adopted this playbook, and the damage to the Republic done by all is growing every day.

The real corruption here is the pretense that Congress is any better than Trump, that Russian oligarchs have more impact on the eroding Republic than Israeli-American, Saudi and UAE oligarchs, and that the biggest threat to the integrity of our elections and the franchise is Russia, and not the Roberts Court, Democrat apparatchiks like Sunstein, or Republican frauds like Kobach. Both parties are actively conspiring and plotting to make sure our votes are meaningless and cannot harm incumbents and the war profiteering classes, and where there used to be an opposition to illegal war and to oligarchs and plutocrats, there is now willing participation in manufactured hysteria to extend the 2016 campaign indefinitely.

WMDs? The very concept is a scam -- there is nukes, and nothing else. Nuclear arsenals outsized to end us all, and trillion dollar waste to expand them, are the tie that binds the US and Russia, and I suspect that Russia would be a lot more rational about reducing those arsenals than the US. If the author wants to worry about ending up on the wrong side of history, he should stop worrying about partisan points and focus. Politics is not a team sports, and anybody who picks a favorite is a failure as a citizen. Nobody who wants power is suitable for it.

b. , , August 16, 2018 at 3:07 pm
Ask yourself, if Saddam Hussein had had "WMD" -- say, some of those chemical and biological stocks Reagan envoy Rumsfeld helpfully provided to Saddam Hussein -- would that have made the Iraq invasion legal, right just, necessary, successful? Or if Powell's little phials and mobile weapons labs actually existed?

Heck, let's say Saddam managed to make actual nukes out of tubes that weren't and yellowcake that wasn't. North Korea has nukes. Does that make invasion and aggressive war legal, right, just necessary, successful?

WMD or not was a lie wrapped within a deception inside a fraud. That's the one thing that it has in common with "Russiagate". Every layer, every aspect of it is a lie, a distraction, and everybody -- Trump included -- is perpetuating the hysteria for their own benefit. The stupidity of it is only barely rivaled by the mendacity.

Stavros , , August 16, 2018 at 3:17 pm
Trump is proving to be the Republican Alger Hiss. The partisanship of 1948 quickly crystallized into pro- and anti-Hiss camps in which the then limited evidence was trumped by ideology. It was not until the Verona tapes were released in the early 1990s that Hiss was proven to be guilty. Had Nixon and his allies called for a special prosecutor in 1948 and the facts both open and classified been examined intensely, Hiss would never have become the progressive Victim that he was to be for over thirty years. Ditto with Trump. Absent Mueller's investigation, these accusations against Trump (and I believe them to have serious weight and substance as well as potential for policy changes to prevent election fraud) would be mere ideological shrapnel to be argued over for another thirty years. Let the investigations proceed unimpeded and a final accounting be published at the very least for the sanity and integrity of the Republic. Don't let Trump become the Right's Alger Hiss.
b. , , August 16, 2018 at 3:18 pm
In other words, let's imagine that Putin has really tried to change election results. Let's imagine that Trump really has been bribed by Russian oligarchs.

Is that why we are at this juncture? Is that why Congress has not served the People and upheld the Constitution in decades? Is that why citizens and voters lose trust in our institutions, and doubt election results?

Really?

We cannot even own up to our own mistakes, our own greed, our own malignancy. We have to blame it not on our "business partners" and "allies" and their hundreds of billions of dollars of arms purchases, we will blame it on Russia.

How small we have become.

It is not just Trump, it is Congress. It is not just this administration and this Congress, it is the previous ones, and the ones before it, and so on.

The point is not whether or not the "Russia!" hysteria and the allegations against Trump are accurate or not. The point is that, in comparison to everything else, it would just be more of the same, and we brought it upon ourselves.

Regime change begins at home.

Sisera , , August 16, 2018 at 3:44 pm
@Collin-
Isn't it extremely Orwellian to say that 'information isn't really information/should be censored or disregarded if it comes from a subversive (Russia) source'?

Naturally, it allows for a very easy way to control and censor information.

Now, as far as pure security threats, aside from information that should've been public anyway, experts deem that the DNC information came from on site:

https://www.thenation.com/article/a-new-report-raises-big-questions-about-last-years-dnc-hack/

Now this is also an appeal to authority, but VIPs has a better track record and I've seen them actually elaborate on their claims, not just assert them.

[Aug 14, 2018] The demise of another Bernie Sanders fraud - World Socialist Web Site

By Patrick Martin 9 August 2018
Notable quotes:
"... Thus ends another episode in the seemingly interminable serial, "Bernie Sanders Tries, and Fails, to Put a Progressive Coat of Paint on the Democratic Party." Since he rocketed to political prominence in 2016 in his challenge to Hillary Clinton, the presumptive presidential nominee of the Democratic Party, Sanders has played this role again and again. ..."
"... First, he appeals to the idealism of young people and the economic grievances of working people, claiming to represent a genuine alternative to the domination of American politics by the oligarchy of "millionaires and billionaires." Then he diverts those who have responded to his campaign back into the existing political framework, endorsing whatever right-wing hack emerges from the Democratic wing of the corporate-controlled two-party system. ..."
"... In the 2018 campaign, where he is not a candidate except for reelection in Vermont, Sanders has endorsed and campaigned for a number of supposedly left-wing candidates in the Democratic primaries, always based on the same pretense, that the Democratic Party can be reformed and pushed to the left, that this party of corporate America can be transformed into an instrument of social reform and popular politics. ..."
"... The requirements for receiving Sanders' support and that of "Our Revolution," the political operation formed by many of his 2016 campaign staffers, are not very demanding. The self-proclaimed socialist does not demand that his favored candidates oppose capitalism or pay lip service to socialism -- and almost none of them do. ..."
"... In other words, Sanders uses the image of radicalism and opposition to the status quo that surrounded his 2016 campaign to lend support to very conventional, pro-capitalist candidates, whose policies are well within the mainstream of the Democratic Party -- a party whose leadership has embraced most of the measures cited above, secure in the knowledge that it will not keep a single one of these promises and can always blame the Republicans for blocking them. ..."
"... In Michigan, Sanders spoke at rallies for El-Sayed, and his supporters were quite active on college campuses and on social media, mobilizing support among young people. But as in 2016, there was little effort to reach the working class, particularly minority workers in Detroit, Flint, Saginaw and other devastated industrial cities. ..."
"... Sanders and the supposedly "left" Democrats he promotes all fervently support the trade union bureaucracy, which is working overtime this year to prevent strikes by angry and militant workers -- as at United Parcel Service -- and to isolate, terminate and betray them where they break out -- as with the state-wide teachers' strikes in West Virginia, Oklahoma and Arizona earlier this year. ..."
"... Under these conditions, the Democratic Party is not a party that can or will can carry out social reforms in order to save capitalism, as in Roosevelt's day. It is a party that will carry out the dictates of the ruling class for war and austerity while using the services of "left" politicians like Sanders to confuse and disorient working people and youth. ..."
Aug 14, 2018 | www.wsws.org

Michigan gubernatorial candidate Abdul El-Sayed went down to a double-digit defeat Tuesday in the Democratic primary, overwhelmed by the near-unanimous support of the Democratic Party establishment for former state senator Gretchen Whitmer. The daughter of former Blue Cross/Blue Shield CEO Richard Whitmer won every county in the state and will go on to face Republican State Attorney General Bill Schuette in the November general election.

In a tweet to his supporters, El-Sayed declared: "The victory was not ours today, but the work continues. Congratulations to @gretchenwhitmer on her primary win. Tomorrow we continue the path toward justice, equity and sustainability."

When tomorrow came, however, that "path" led to a unity luncheon at which El-Sayed and the third candidate in the race, self-funding millionaire Shri Thanedar, pledged their full support to Whitmer. "Today we all retool and figure out how we make sure that Bill Schuette does not become governor. I'm super committed to that," El-Sayed said. "Never has it been more important to have a Democrat lead state government."

Thus ends another episode in the seemingly interminable serial, "Bernie Sanders Tries, and Fails, to Put a Progressive Coat of Paint on the Democratic Party." Since he rocketed to political prominence in 2016 in his challenge to Hillary Clinton, the presumptive presidential nominee of the Democratic Party, Sanders has played this role again and again.

First, he appeals to the idealism of young people and the economic grievances of working people, claiming to represent a genuine alternative to the domination of American politics by the oligarchy of "millionaires and billionaires." Then he diverts those who have responded to his campaign back into the existing political framework, endorsing whatever right-wing hack emerges from the Democratic wing of the corporate-controlled two-party system.

In 2016, this involved appealing to his supporters to back Hillary Clinton, the candidate of Wall Street and the military-intelligence apparatus. The Clinton campaign refused to make the slightest appeal to the working class in order to preserve its support within corporate America and, in the process, drove millions of desperate workers to stay home on Election Day or vote for Trump, allowing the billionaire demagogue to eke out an Electoral College victory.

In the 2018 campaign, where he is not a candidate except for reelection in Vermont, Sanders has endorsed and campaigned for a number of supposedly left-wing candidates in the Democratic primaries, always based on the same pretense, that the Democratic Party can be reformed and pushed to the left, that this party of corporate America can be transformed into an instrument of social reform and popular politics.

The requirements for receiving Sanders' support and that of "Our Revolution," the political operation formed by many of his 2016 campaign staffers, are not very demanding. The self-proclaimed socialist does not demand that his favored candidates oppose capitalism or pay lip service to socialism -- and almost none of them do.

Their platforms usually include such demands as raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, implementing "Medicare for all," interpreted in various fashions, establishing free public college education for families earning less than $150,000 a year, and enacting universal pre-K education. They usually promise not to accept corporate money and to support campaign finance reform.

These Sanders-backed candidates, like Sanders himself in 2016, have very little to say about foreign policy and make no appeal whatsoever to the deep anti-war sentiment among American youth and workers. There is no discussion of Trump's threats of nuclear war. As for trade war, most, like Sanders himself, embrace the economic nationalism that is the foundation of Trump's trade policy.

In other words, Sanders uses the image of radicalism and opposition to the status quo that surrounded his 2016 campaign to lend support to very conventional, pro-capitalist candidates, whose policies are well within the mainstream of the Democratic Party -- a party whose leadership has embraced most of the measures cited above, secure in the knowledge that it will not keep a single one of these promises and can always blame the Republicans for blocking them.

In Michigan, Sanders spoke at rallies for El-Sayed, and his supporters were quite active on college campuses and on social media, mobilizing support among young people. But as in 2016, there was little effort to reach the working class, particularly minority workers in Detroit, Flint, Saginaw and other devastated industrial cities.

Sanders and the supposedly "left" Democrats he promotes all fervently support the trade union bureaucracy, which is working overtime this year to prevent strikes by angry and militant workers -- as at United Parcel Service -- and to isolate, terminate and betray them where they break out -- as with the state-wide teachers' strikes in West Virginia, Oklahoma and Arizona earlier this year.

The real attitude of Sanders and El-Sayed to genuine socialism was made clear when they sought to ban supporters of the Socialist Equality Party and SEP candidate for Congress Niles Niemuth from distributing leaflets and holding discussions outside campaign rallies for El-Sayed.

This year, Sanders has been campaigning with a sidekick, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America who won the Democratic congressional nomination in the 12th District of New York, defeating incumbent Representative Joseph Crowley, the fourth-ranking member of the Democratic leadership in the House.

Ocasio-Cortez campaigned for El-Sayed in Michigan and also for several congressional candidates, including Brent Welder in Kansas and Cori Bush in Missouri, who also went down to defeat on August 7. Like Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez claims that the Democratic Party can be transformed into a genuinely progressive "party of the people" that will implement social reforms.

But at age 28, Ocasio-Cortez has less practice in performing the song-and-dance of pretending to be independent of the Democratic Party establishment while working to give it a left cover and prop it up. She was clumsier in her execution, attracting notice as she walked back a campaign demand to abolish the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency and sought to downplay her previous criticism of Israeli oppression of the Palestinian people.

After her campaign swing through the Midwest, Ocasio-Cortez traveled to the Netroots Nation conference in New Orleans, an annual assemblage of the left flank of the Democratic Party. She told her adoring audience that her policies were not radical at all, but firmly in the Democratic mainstream. "It's time for us to remember that universal college education, trade school, a federal jobs guarantee, a universal basic income were not all proposed in 2016," she said. "They were proposed in 1940, by the Democratic president of the United States."

The reference to Franklin D. Roosevelt was inadvertently revealing. Roosevelt adopted reform policies, including many of those suggested by the social democrats of his day such as Norman Thomas. He was no socialist, but rather a clever and conscious bourgeois politician who enacted limited reforms in a deliberate effort to save the capitalist system.

Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez likewise seek to save the capitalist system, but under conditions where no such reforms are possible. The American ruling class no longer dominates the world economy, but is beset by powerful rivals in both Europe and Asia. It is pouring resources into the military to prepare for world war. And at home, even the most modest measures run up against the intransigent opposition of the super-rich, who control both parties and demand even greater wealth for themselves at the expense of working people.

Under these conditions, the Democratic Party is not a party that can or will can carry out social reforms in order to save capitalism, as in Roosevelt's day. It is a party that will carry out the dictates of the ruling class for war and austerity while using the services of "left" politicians like Sanders to confuse and disorient working people and youth.

Thus, at Netroots Nation, the assembled "left" Democrats gave a loud ovation to Ocasio-Cortez, but also to Gina Ortiz Jones, the Democratic nominee in the 23rd Congressional District of Texas, also young, nonwhite and female. Ortiz Jones has another characteristic, however. She is a career Air Force intelligence officer who was deployed to Iraq, South Sudan and Libya -- all the scenes of US-instigated bloodbaths.

Ortiz Jones is one of nearly three dozen such candidates chosen to represent the Democratic Party in contested congressional districts around the country. Another such candidate is Elissa Slotkin, who won the Democratic nomination Tuesday in Michigan's Eighth Congressional District. Slotkin served three tours with the CIA in Baghdad before being promoted to high-level positions in the Pentagon and the Obama-era National Security Council.

The fake leftism of Bernie Sanders in alliance with the CIA: That is the formula for the Democratic Party in 2018.

[Aug 08, 2018] Why do the masses allow themselves to be politically swindled?)

Aug 08, 2018 | www.goodreads.com

"National Socialism made use of various means in dealing with various classes, and made various promises depending upon the social class it needed at a particular time. In the spring of 1933, for example, it was the revolutionary character of the Nazi movement that was given particular emphasis in Nazi propaganda in an effort to win over the industrial workers, and the first of May was "celebrated," but only after the aristocracy had been appeased in Potsdam. To ascribe the success solely to political swindle, however, would be to become entangled in a contradiction with the basic idea of freedom, and would practically exclude the possibility of a social revolution. What must be answered is: Why do the masses allow themselves to be politically swindled? The masses had every possibility of evaluating the propaganda of the various parties. Why didn't they see that, while promising the workers that the owners of the means of production would be disappropriated, Hitler promised the capitalists that their rights would be protected?"
Wilhelm Reich , The Mass Psychology of Fascism

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Grassroots and/or AstroTurf?

Our Famously Free Press

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

Class Warfare

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

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

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

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


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

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

sierra7 , August 6, 2018 at 4:54 pm

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

nippersdad , August 6, 2018 at 5:48 pm

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

Integrity has been in short supply ever since.

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

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

cm , August 6, 2018 at 3:03 pm

Shenzhen Tech Girl Naomi Wu

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

Carey , August 6, 2018 at 3:06 pm

Tomasky at NYT:

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

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

pretzelattack , August 6, 2018 at 3:23 pm

I would say it is required.

Pat , August 6, 2018 at 5:07 pm

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

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

Carey , August 6, 2018 at 6:16 pm

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

Class class class

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

Truth Decay

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

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

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

jsn , August 6, 2018 at 4:38 pm

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

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

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

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

Synapsid , August 6, 2018 at 3:39 pm

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

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

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

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

Carey , August 6, 2018 at 4:13 pm

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

jsn , August 6, 2018 at 3:41 pm

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

diptherio , August 6, 2018 at 3:41 pm

Re: Mastodon

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

diptherio , August 6, 2018 at 4:21 pm

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

Montanamaven , August 6, 2018 at 4:54 pm

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

Lee , August 6, 2018 at 3:43 pm

Re Sarah Jeong

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

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

Lee
August 6, 2018 at 3:43 pm

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

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

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

curlydan , August 6, 2018 at 5:34 pm

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

WobblyTelomeres , August 6, 2018 at 6:59 pm

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

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

sleepy , August 6, 2018 at 3:45 pm

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

Good list to which I would add the Katrina debacle.

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

One for the thumb!

jonhoops , August 6, 2018 at 7:18 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

flora , August 6, 2018 at 3:56 pm

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

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

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

knowbuddhau , August 6, 2018 at 4:48 pm

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

zagonostra , August 6, 2018 at 3:57 pm

Russia,Russia,Russia.

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

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

Montanamaven , August 6, 2018 at 5:02 pm

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

Richard , August 6, 2018 at 5:23 pm

Hilarious and mind-blowing.

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

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

diptherio , August 6, 2018 at 4:17 pm

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

Synoia , August 6, 2018 at 4:21 pm

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

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

Hiding , August 6, 2018 at 4:24 pm

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

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

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

>An overtaxed educational system

JTMcPhee , August 6, 2018 at 4:40 pm

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

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

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

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , August 6, 2018 at 5:27 pm

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

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

ewmayer , August 6, 2018 at 8:42 pm

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

David , August 6, 2018 at 4:41 pm

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

From the USDA's Export Sales Query System

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

Country – 2018 Exports / 2017 Exports

China – 186 / 73,314

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

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

JTMcPhee , August 6, 2018 at 4:57 pm

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

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

"Frequently asked questions on genetically modified foods
May 2014

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

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

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , August 6, 2018 at 5:54 pm

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

And growth hormone beef that's another.

JohnnyGL , August 6, 2018 at 5:22 pm

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

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

Tectonic plates of politics are shifting.

Randy , August 6, 2018 at 5:26 pm

Salmonella in chickens.

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

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

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

WobblyTelomeres , August 6, 2018 at 5:59 pm

Or quit eating meat.

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

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

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

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

WobblyTelomeres , August 6, 2018 at 6:40 pm

More likely a dollar sliding down the sidewalk

Glen , August 6, 2018 at 6:54 pm

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

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

Bernie would have won.

anon , August 6, 2018 at 6:01 pm

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

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

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

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

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

Daryl , August 6, 2018 at 6:08 pm

> Mastodon users?

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

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

How does Mastodon work?

By rocking until you can't take it anymore.

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

And their drummer is a monster!

Or did you mean the Mastodon platform ?

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

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

Fun tutorial, lyman!

ChrisPacific , August 6, 2018 at 6:26 pm

Re: Indivisible

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

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

This would be well off message for establishment Democrats.

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

Pat , August 6, 2018 at 6:51 pm

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

Summer , August 6, 2018 at 7:18 pm

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

More like an "Appartment"?

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

Sarah Jeong . . . hmmm . . .

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

So I will try again with indirect spelling.

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

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

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

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

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

Disrupt the disrupters.

Disruptive law-enforcement.

beth , August 6, 2018 at 8:05 pm

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

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

CalypsoFacto , August 6, 2018 at 8:58 pm

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

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

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

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

ewmayer , August 6, 2018 at 8:43 pm

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

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

[Aug 05, 2018] How identity politics makes the Left lose its collective identity by Tomasz Pierscionek

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The identity politics phenomenon sweeping across the Western world is a divide and conquer strategy that prevents the emergence of a genuine resistance to the elites. ..."
"... Each subgroup, increasingly alienated from all others, focuses on the shared identity and unique experiences of its members and prioritises its own empowerment. Anyone outside this subgroup is demoted to the rank of ally, at best. ..."
"... Precious time is spent fighting against those deemed less oppressed and telling them to 'check their privilege' as the ever-changing pecking order of the 'Oppression Olympics' plays out. The rules to this sport are as fluid as the identities taking part. One of the latest dilemmas affecting the identity politics movement is the issue of whether men transitioning to women deserve recognition and acceptance or 'whether trans women aren't women and are apparently " raping ..."
"... It is much easier to 'struggle' against an equally or slightly less oppressed group than to take the time and effort to unite with them against the common enemy - capitalism. ..."
"... There is a carefully crafted misconception that identity politics derives from Marxist thought and the meaningless phrase 'cultural Marxism', which has more to do with liberal culture than Marxism, is used to sell this line of thinking. Not only does identity politics have nothing in common with Marxism, socialism or any other strand of traditional left-wing thought, it is anathema to the very concept. ..."
"... 'An injury to one is an injury to all' has been replaced with something like 'An injury to me is all that matters'. No socialist country, whether in practice or in name only, promoted identity politics. Neither the African and Asian nations that liberated themselves from colonialist oppression nor the USSR and Eastern Bloc states nor the left-wing movements that sprung up across Latin America in the early 21st century had any time to play identity politics. ..."
"... The idea that identity politics is part of traditional left-wing thought is promoted by the right who seek to demonise left wing-movements, liberals who seek to infiltrate, backstab and destroy said left-wing movements, and misguided young radicals who know nothing about political theory and have neither the patience nor discipline to learn. The last group seek a cheap thrill that makes them feel as if they have shaken the foundations of the establishment when in reality they strengthen it. ..."
"... Identity politics is typically a modern middle-class led phenomenon that helps those in charge keep the masses divided and distracted. ..."
"... Think your friends would be interested? Share this story! ..."
"... Tomasz Pierscionek is a doctor specialising in psychiatry. He was previously on the board of the charity Medact, is editor of the London Progressive Journal and has appeared as a guest on RT's Sputnik and Al-Mayadeen's Kalima Horra. ..."
Aug 05, 2018 | www.rt.com
The identity politics phenomenon sweeping across the Western world is a divide and conquer strategy that prevents the emergence of a genuine resistance to the elites. A core principle of socialism is the idea of an overarching supra-national solidarity that unites the international working class and overrides any factor that might divide it, such as nation, race, or gender. Workers of all nations are partners, having equal worth and responsibility in a struggle against those who profit from their brain and muscle.

Capitalism, especially in its most evolved, exploitative and heartless form - imperialism - has wronged certain groups of people more than others. Colonial empires tended to reserve their greatest brutality for subjugated peoples whilst the working class of these imperialist nations fared better in comparison, being closer to the crumbs that fell from the table of empire. The international class struggle aims to liberate all people everywhere from the drudgery of capitalism regardless of their past or present degree of oppression. The phrase 'an injury to one is an injury to all' encapsulates this mindset and conflicts with the idea of prioritising the interests of one faction of the working class over the entire collective.

Since the latter part of the 20th century, a liberally-inspired tendency has taken root amongst the Left (in the West at least) that encourages departure from a single identity based on class in favour of multiple identities based upon one's gender, sexuality, race or any other dividing factor. Each subgroup, increasingly alienated from all others, focuses on the shared identity and unique experiences of its members and prioritises its own empowerment. Anyone outside this subgroup is demoted to the rank of ally, at best.

At the time of writing there are apparently over 70 different gender options in the West, not to mention numerous sexualities - the traditional LGBT acronym has thus far grown to LGBTQQIP2SAA . Adding race to the mix results in an even greater number of possible permutations or identities. Each subgroup has its own ideology. Precious time is spent fighting against those deemed less oppressed and telling them to 'check their privilege' as the ever-changing pecking order of the 'Oppression Olympics' plays out. The rules to this sport are as fluid as the identities taking part. One of the latest dilemmas affecting the identity politics movement is the issue of whether men transitioning to women deserve recognition and acceptance or 'whether trans women aren't women and are apparently " raping " lesbians'.

The ideology of identity politics asserts that the straight white male is at the apex of the privilege pyramid, responsible for the oppression of all other groups. His original sin condemns him to everlasting shame. While it is true that straight white men (as a group) have faced less obstacles than females, non-straight men or ethnic minorities, the majority of straight white men, past and present, also struggle to survive from paycheck to paycheck and are not personally involved in the oppression of any other group. While most of the world's wealthiest individuals are Caucasian males, millions of white men exist who are both poor and powerless. The idea of 'whiteness' is itself an ambiguous concept involving racial profiling. For example, the Irish, Slavs and Ashkenazi Jews may look white yet have suffered more than their fair share of famines, occupations and genocides throughout the centuries. The idea of tying an individual's privilege to their appearance is itself a form of racism dreamed up by woolly minded, liberal (some might say privileged) 'intellectuals' who would be superfluous in any socialist society.

Is the middle-class ethnic minority lesbian living in Western Europe more oppressed than the whitish looking Syrian residing under ISIS occupation? Is the British white working class male really more privileged than a middle class woman from the same society? Stereotyping based on race, gender or any other factor only leads to alienation and animosity. How can there be unity amongst the Left if we are only loyal to ourselves and those most like us? Some 'white' men who feel the Left has nothing to offer them have decided to play the identity politics game in their search of salvation and have drifted towards supporting Trump (a billionaire with whom they have nothing in common) or far-right movements, resulting in further alienation, animosity and powerlessness which in turn only strengthens the position of the top 1%. People around the world are more divided by class than any other factor.

It is much easier to 'struggle' against an equally or slightly less oppressed group than to take the time and effort to unite with them against the common enemy - capitalism. Fighting oppression through identity politics is at best a lazy, perverse and fetishistic form of the class struggle led by mostly liberal, middle class and tertiary-educated activists who understand little of left-wing political theory. At worst it is yet another tool used by the top 1% to divide the other 99% into 99 or 999 different competing groups who are too preoccupied with fighting their own little corner to challenge the status quo. It is ironic that one of the major donors to the faux-left identity politics movement is the privileged white cisgender male billionaire George Soros , whose NGOs helped orchestrate the Euromaidan protests in Ukraine that gave way to the emergence of far right and neo-nazi movements: the kind of people who believe in racial superiority and do not look kindly on diversity.

There is a carefully crafted misconception that identity politics derives from Marxist thought and the meaningless phrase 'cultural Marxism', which has more to do with liberal culture than Marxism, is used to sell this line of thinking. Not only does identity politics have nothing in common with Marxism, socialism or any other strand of traditional left-wing thought, it is anathema to the very concept.

'An injury to one is an injury to all' has been replaced with something like 'An injury to me is all that matters'. No socialist country, whether in practice or in name only, promoted identity politics. Neither the African and Asian nations that liberated themselves from colonialist oppression nor the USSR and Eastern Bloc states nor the left-wing movements that sprung up across Latin America in the early 21st century had any time to play identity politics.

The idea that identity politics is part of traditional left-wing thought is promoted by the right who seek to demonise left wing-movements, liberals who seek to infiltrate, backstab and destroy said left-wing movements, and misguided young radicals who know nothing about political theory and have neither the patience nor discipline to learn. The last group seek a cheap thrill that makes them feel as if they have shaken the foundations of the establishment when in reality they strengthen it.

Identity politics is typically a modern middle-class led phenomenon that helps those in charge keep the masses divided and distracted. In the West you are free to choose any gender or sexuality, transition between these at whim, or perhaps create your own, but you are not allowed to question the foundations of capitalism or liberalism. Identity politics is the new opiate of the masses and prevents organised resistance against the system. Segments of the Western Left even believe such aforementioned 'freedoms' are a bellwether of progress and an indicator of its cultural superiority, one that warrants export abroad be it softly via NGOs or more bluntly through colour revolutions and regime change.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

Tomasz Pierscionek is a doctor specialising in psychiatry. He was previously on the board of the charity Medact, is editor of the London Progressive Journal and has appeared as a guest on RT's Sputnik and Al-Mayadeen's Kalima Horra.

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

Soros & the £400k Question: What constitutes 'foreign interference' in democracy? UK Labour cruising towards split over Israel-Palestine

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But who cares? Who even notices?

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

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

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

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

Why? Why? Why?

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

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

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

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

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

IT'S TIME FOR THE TRUTH TO COME OUT!

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

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

This is written on the book's back cover:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Source: Chuck Baldwin LIVE

[Aug 02, 2018] MAGA was a bait and switch trick: The Trump election campaign rallying cry was to make America great again, but Trump actions are to revert the government and tax system to when America wasn't that great.

Aug 02, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Iskiab -> SILVERGEDDON Thu, 08/02/2018 - 18:47 Permalink

One thing I don't understand about MAGA. The rallying cry is to make America great again, but the actions are to revert the government and tax system to when America wasn't that great.

The height of American civilization was the 50s or 60s, but all the actions are to bring the state back to how it was in pre-WW1 or the 1920s. It was the stronger labour controls and high taxes of the 50s that coincided with American dominance. The kind that if someone tried to introduce them today they'd be called socialist.

chippers -> Iskiab Thu, 08/02/2018 - 18:57 Permalink

never mind the 1920s, are you sure he is not actually aiming for 1900 that is , before the trust busting times

inhibi -> Iskiab Thu, 08/02/2018 - 18:58 Permalink

I agree.

" Indeed, socialism sounds good but, when practiced, leads to disaster"

Im sure the author is thinking of Venezuela. But Venezuela, like all of South America, is a cartel infested, militaristic, corrupt country run by a megalomaniac. It's more oligarch than socialist.

He should ask the question: if socialism in a stable society, like say Sweden, means free health care & education, why do people say the US has a low tax rate? Just add that cost right to your taxes, and bim bam boom the US tax rate is probably more than a 100%, because, lets be honest, the average $55k/year for a family of 4 will NEVER EVER cover the $1 million it would take to send your kids to college debt free.

. . . _ _ _ . . . Thu, 08/02/2018 - 18:29 Permalink

Pretty subtle anti-Trump article.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

― Noam Chomsky, The Common Good

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

― Vladimir Lenin

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

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

... ... ...

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

... ... ...

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

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

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

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

... ... ...

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

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

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

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

Orwell's point :

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

... ... ...

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

[Jul 24, 2018] Bernie Sanders embraces the anti-Russia campaign by Patrick Martin

Notable quotes:
"... Sanders's support for the anti-Russia and anti-Wikileaks campaign is all the more telling because he was himself the victim of efforts by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic Party leadership to block his 2016 campaign. In June and July 2016, Wikileaks published internal Democratic emails in which officials ridiculed the Sanders campaign, forcing the DNC to issue a public apology: "On behalf of everyone at the DNC, we want to offer a deep and sincere apology to Senator Sanders, his supporters, and the entire Democratic Party for the inexcusable remarks made over email." ..."
"... In the aftermath of his election campaign, Sanders was elevated into a top-level position in the Democratic Party caucus in the US Senate. His first response to the inauguration of Trump was to declare his willingness to "work with" the president, closely tracking remarks of Obama that the election of Trump was part of an "intramural scrimmage" in which all sides were on the same team. As the campaign of the military-intelligence agencies intensifies, however, Sanders is toeing the line. ..."
"... The Sanders campaign did not push the Democrats to the left, but rather the state apparatus of the ruling class brought Sanders in to give a "left" veneer to a thoroughly right-wing party. ..."
"... There is no contradiction between the influx of military-intelligence candidates into the Democratic Party and the Democrats' making use of the services of Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez to give the party a "left" cover. Both the CIA Democrats and their pseudo-left "comrades" agree on the most important questions: the defense of the global interests of American imperialism and a more aggressive intervention in the Syrian civil war and other areas where Washington and Moscow are in conflict. ..."
Jul 23, 2018 | www.wsws.org

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders appeared on the CBS interview program "Face the Nation" Sunday and fully embraced the anti-Russia campaign of the US military-intelligence apparatus, backed by the Democratic Party and much of the media.

In response to a question from CBS host Margaret Brennan, Sanders unleashed a torrent of denunciations of Trump's meeting and press conference in Helsinki with Russian President Vladimir Putin. A preliminary transcript reads:

SANDERS: "I will tell you that I was absolutely outraged by his behavior in Helsinki, where he really sold the American people out. And it makes me think that either Trump doesn't understand what Russia has done, not only to our elections, but through cyber attacks against all parts of our infrastructure, either he doesn't understand it, or perhaps he is being blackmailed by Russia, because they may have compromising information about him.

"Or perhaps also you have a president who really does have strong authoritarian tendencies. And maybe he admires the kind of government that Putin is running in Russia. And I think all of that is a disgrace and a disservice to the American people. And we have got to make sure that Russia does not interfere, not only in our elections, but in other aspects of our lives."

These comments, which echo remarks he gave at a rally in Kansas late last week, signal Sanders' full embrace of the right-wing campaign launched by the Democrats and backed by dominant sections of the military-intelligence apparatus. Their opposition to Trump is centered on issues of foreign policy, based on the concern that Trump, due to his own "America First" brand of imperialist strategy, has run afoul of geostrategic imperatives that are considered inviolable -- in particular, the conflict with Russia.

Sanders did not use his time on a national television program to condemn Trump's persecution of immigrants and the separation of children from their parents, or to denounce his naming of ultra-right jurist Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, or to attack the White House declaration last week that the "war on poverty" had ended victoriously -- in order to justify the destruction of social programs for impoverished working people. Nor did he seek to advance his supposedly left-wing program on domestic issues like health care, jobs and education.

Sanders' embrace of the anti-Russia campaign is not surprising, but it is instructive. This is, after all, an individual who presented himself as "left-wing," even a "socialist." During the 2016 election campaign, he won the support of millions of people attracted to his call for a "political revolution" against the "billionaire class." For Sanders, who has a long history of opportunist and pro-imperialist politics in the orbit of the Democratic Party, the aim of the campaign was always to direct social discontent into establishment channels, culminating in his endorsement of the campaign of Hillary Clinton.

Sanders's support for the anti-Russia and anti-Wikileaks campaign is all the more telling because he was himself the victim of efforts by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic Party leadership to block his 2016 campaign. In June and July 2016, Wikileaks published internal Democratic emails in which officials ridiculed the Sanders campaign, forcing the DNC to issue a public apology: "On behalf of everyone at the DNC, we want to offer a deep and sincere apology to Senator Sanders, his supporters, and the entire Democratic Party for the inexcusable remarks made over email."

In the aftermath of his election campaign, Sanders was elevated into a top-level position in the Democratic Party caucus in the US Senate. His first response to the inauguration of Trump was to declare his willingness to "work with" the president, closely tracking remarks of Obama that the election of Trump was part of an "intramural scrimmage" in which all sides were on the same team. As the campaign of the military-intelligence agencies intensifies, however, Sanders is toeing the line.

The experience is instructive not only in relation to Sanders, but to an entire social milieu and the political perspective with which it is associated. This is what it means to work within the Democratic Party. The Sanders campaign did not push the Democrats to the left, but rather the state apparatus of the ruling class brought Sanders in to give a "left" veneer to a thoroughly right-wing party.

New political figures, many associated with the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) are being brought in for the same purpose. As Sanders gave his anti-Russia rant, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez sat next to him nodding her agreement. The 28-year-old member of the DSA last month won the Democratic nomination in New York's 14th Congressional District, unseating the Democratic incumbent, Joseph Crowley, the fourth-ranking member of the Democratic leadership in the House of Representatives.

Since then, Ocasio-Cortez has been given massive and largely uncritical publicity by the corporate media, summed up in an editorial puff piece by the New York Times that described her as "a bright light in the Democratic Party who has brought desperately needed energy back to New York politics "

Ocasio-Cortez and Sanders were jointly interviewed from Kansas, where the two appeared Friday at a campaign rally for James Thompson, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for the US House of Representatives from the Fourth Congressional District, based in Wichita, in an August 7 primary election.

Thompson might appear to be an unusual ally for the "socialist" Sanders and the DSA member Ocasio-Cortez. His campaign celebrates his role as an Army veteran, and his website opens under the slogan "Join the Thompson Army," followed by pledges that the candidate will "Fight for America." In an interview with the Associated Press, Thompson indicated that despite his support for Sanders' call for "Medicare for all," and his own endorsement by the DSA, he was wary of any association with socialism. "I don't like the term socialist, because people do associate that with bad things in history," he said.

Such anticommunism fits right in with the anti-Russian campaign, which is the principal theme of the Democratic Party in the 2018 elections. As the World Socialist Web Site has pointed out for many months, the real thrust of the Democratic Party campaign is demonstrated by its recruitment as congressional candidates of dozens of former CIA and military intelligence agents, combat commanders from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and war planners from the Pentagon, State Department and White House.

There is no contradiction between the influx of military-intelligence candidates into the Democratic Party and the Democrats' making use of the services of Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez to give the party a "left" cover. Both the CIA Democrats and their pseudo-left "comrades" agree on the most important questions: the defense of the global interests of American imperialism and a more aggressive intervention in the Syrian civil war and other areas where Washington and Moscow are in conflict.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

... ... ...

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

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

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

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

The Sexual Passion of Orwell's Winston Smith

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

... ... ...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

... ... ...

*

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

[Jul 23, 2018] Distraction. Trapped into Hating Donald Trump Global Research - Centre for Research on Globalization

Notable quotes:
"... This short communiqué is to my friends who are trapped in hating Donald Trump so much that any "alternative fact" (as long as it is against President Trump) is virtue to them. They are not realizing that the feud among the 1%, regardless of their Party affiliation is a family feud. The extreme right wing politicians and billionaires run both the Democratic and Republican parties. Their arguments are not about our state of healthcare, education or jobs. ..."
"... Massoud Nayeri is a graphic designer and an independent peace activist based in the United States. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research. ..."
Jul 23, 2018 | www.globalresearch.ca

Distraction. Trapped into Hating Donald Trump By Massoud Nayeri Global Research, July 23, 2018 Region: Russia and FSU , USA Theme: History , Media Disinformation

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above

This short communiqué is to my friends who are trapped in hating Donald Trump so much that any "alternative fact" (as long as it is against President Trump) is virtue to them. They are not realizing that the feud among the 1%, regardless of their Party affiliation is a family feud. The extreme right wing politicians and billionaires run both the Democratic and Republican parties. Their arguments are not about our state of healthcare, education or jobs.

Friends who are dissatisfied with the current political situation (instead of organizing against the reactionary policies of the current administration or question the congress for approving the Tax Cut for the rich) are competing in posting the Democratic Party hysteria against Russia on the social media. They are distracted by the false narrative that "American Democracy" is under "attack" by one man in Russia, President Putin who has Mr. Trump in his "pocket".

Those who believe such an absurd storyline rely on the U.S. Intelligence agencies reports and findings! These are the same agencies that informed Americans that Saddam Hussein had Weapons of Mass Destruction. They are the same people who justified war against Iraq in 2003 which opened the gates of hell in that region for decades. Now, after they had succeeded in blowing up people and countries in the Middle East on false information, the ladies and gentlemen of the U.S. intelligence agencies have found a new bogeyman to scare the American people. This is just another DISTRACTION , period.

G7 Summit, Working People and Trumped-up "Peace"

The fascistic minded President of the U.S. is not in anybody's pocket. As a matter of fact, today it is the political pocket pickers in Washington who are robbing the American working people and holding us as hostages. When was the last time that you saw the White House or Congress address the working people's real needs and problems? Some friends are mesmerized by the nastiness of the 1% cultural values. However exposing Mr. Trump sexual affair with a "Porn Star" will not help the American people's struggle for the Minimum Wage or Protecting Environment, Immigration and so on. This is just another DISTRACTION .

Under bright light, President Trump and his opponents play out their childish, embarrassing show against each other in front of the corrupt media, while in the shadow of DISTRACTION they are limiting our FREEDOM OF SPEECH and taking away our democratic rights. Both parties are afraid of the energy and determination of workers, farmers, women and youth which eventually could challenge the entire existing miserable system. Historically, they are well aware of the potential of revolt by people who are organized and conscious. The ladies and gentlemen in charge of the U.S. foreign and domestic policy are incapable of solving our social or political problems; the only thing they are good at is to create decoys and DISTRACTION . The gossip shows on the corporate media are blindfolding us to see the slaughters in Gaza or Yemen or the devastating consequences of the Trump administration Trade War drive against the EU and China 1 on American farmers and workers.

Independent and democratic minded people SHOULD NOT take any side between the different factions of the 1%. We should not allow the 1% use us as their pawns to propagate their hate and disunity among people.

The White House and Congress are obsolete. Independent and democratic minded people should UNITE, ORGANIZE and seek a new operating system – a system that puts people's need over profit.

*

Massoud Nayeri is a graphic designer and an independent peace activist based in the United States. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

[Jul 23, 2018] The Democratic Party's Pitch to Billionaires by Eric Zuesse

Notable quotes:
"... The wing of the Democratic Party that looks for the dollars instead of the votes is called "The Third Way" and it presents itself as representing the supposedly vast political center, nothing "extremist" or "marginal." But didn't liberal Republicanism go out when Nelson Rockefeller did? Conservative Democrats are like liberal Republicans -- they attract flies and billionaires, but not many votes. And didn't the Rockefeller drug laws fill our prisons with millions of pathetic drug-users and small drug-dealers but not with the kingpins in either the narcotics business or the bankster rackets (such as had crashed the economy in 2008 -- and the Third Way Democrat who had been the exceptional politician and liar that was so slick he actually did attract many votes, President Barack Obama, told the banksters privately, on 27 March 2009, "I'm not out there to go after you. I'm protecting you." And, he did keep his promise to them, though not to his voters .) ..."
"... They want another Barack Obama. There aren't any more of those (unless, perhaps, Michelle Obama enters the contest). But, even if there were: How many Democrats would fall for that scam, yet again -- after the disaster of 2016? ..."
"... Maybe the Third Way is right, and there's a sucker born every minute. But if that's what the Democratic Party is going to rely upon, then America's stunningly low voter-participation rate is set to plunge even lower, because even more voters than before will either be leaving the Presidential line blank, or even perhaps voting for the Republican candidate (as some felt driven to do in 2016). ..."
"... Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They're Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010 , and of CHRIST'S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity . He is a frequent contributor to Global Research. ..."
Jul 23, 2018 | www.globalresearch.ca

The wing of the Democratic Party that looks for the dollars instead of the votes is called "The Third Way" and it presents itself as representing the supposedly vast political center, nothing "extremist" or "marginal." But didn't liberal Republicanism go out when Nelson Rockefeller did? Conservative Democrats are like liberal Republicans -- they attract flies and billionaires, but not many votes. And didn't the Rockefeller drug laws fill our prisons with millions of pathetic drug-users and small drug-dealers but not with the kingpins in either the narcotics business or the bankster rackets (such as had crashed the economy in 2008 -- and the Third Way Democrat who had been the exceptional politician and liar that was so slick he actually did attract many votes, President Barack Obama, told the banksters privately, on 27 March 2009, "I'm not out there to go after you. I'm protecting you." And, he did keep his promise to them, though not to his voters .)

They're at it, yet again. On July 22nd, NBC News's Alex Seitz-Wald headlined "Sanders' wing of the party terrifies moderate Dems. Here's how they plan to stop it." And he described what was publicly available from the 3-day private meeting in Columbus Ohio of The Third Way, July 18-20, the planning conference between the Party's chiefs and its billionaires. Evidently, they hate Bernie Sanders and are already scheming and spending in order to block him, now a second time, from obtaining the Party's Presidential nomination. "Anxiety has largely been kept to a whisper among the party's moderates and big donors, with some of the major fundraisers pressing operatives on what can be done to stop the Vermonter if he runs for the White House again." This passage in Seitz-Wald's article was especially striking to me:

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

The fact that a billionaire real estate developer, Winston Fisher, cohosted the event and addressed attendees twice, underscored that this group is not interested in the class warfare vilifying the "millionaires and billionaires" found in Sanders' stump speech.

"You're not going to make me hate somebody just because they're rich. I want to be rich!" Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, a potential presidential candidate, said Friday to laughs.

I would reply to congressman Ryan's remark: If you want to be rich, then get the hell out of politics! Don't run for President! I don't want you there! And that's no joke!

Anyone who doesn't recognize that an inevitable trade-off exists between serving the public and serving oneself, is a libertarian -- an Ayn Rander, in fact -- and there aren't many of those in the Democratic Party, but plenty of them are in the Republican Party.

Just as a clergyman in some faiths is supposed to take a vow of chastity, and in some faiths also to take a vow of poverty, in order to serve "the calling" instead of oneself, anyone who enters 'public service' and who aspires to "be rich" is inevitably inviting corruption -- not prepared to do war against it . That kind of politician is a Manchurian candidate, like Obama perhaps, but certainly not what this or any country needs, in any case. Voters like that can be won only by means of deceit, which is the way that politicians like that do win.

No decent political leader enters or stays in politics in order to "be rich," because no political leader can be decent who isn't in it as a calling, to public service, and as a repudiation, of any self-service in politics.

Republican Party voters invite corrupt government, because their Party's ideology is committed to it ("Freedom [for the rich]!"); but the only Democratic Party voters who at all tolerate corrupt politicians (such as Governor Andrew Cuomo in New York State) are actually Republican Democrats -- people who are confused enough so as not really to care much about what they believe; whatever their garbage happens to be, they believe in it and don't want to know differently than it.

The Third Way is hoping that there are enough of such 'Democrats' so that they can, yet again, end up with a Third Way Democrat being offered to that Party's voters in 2020, just like happened in 2016. They want another Barack Obama. There aren't any more of those (unless, perhaps, Michelle Obama enters the contest). But, even if there were: How many Democrats would fall for that scam, yet again -- after the disaster of 2016?

Maybe the Third Way is right, and there's a sucker born every minute. But if that's what the Democratic Party is going to rely upon, then America's stunningly low voter-participation rate is set to plunge even lower, because even more voters than before will either be leaving the Presidential line blank, or even perhaps voting for the Republican candidate (as some felt driven to do in 2016).

The Third Way is the way to the death of democracy, if it's not already dead . It is no answer to anything, except to the desires of billionaires -- both Republican and Democratic.

The center of American politics isn't the center of America's aristocracy. The goal of groups such as The Third Way is to fool the American public to equate the two. The result of such groups is the contempt that America's public have for America's Government . But, pushed too far, mass disillusionment becomes revolution. Is that what America's billionaires are willing to risk? They might get it.

*

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They're Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010 , and of CHRIST'S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity . He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

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

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

... ... ...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*

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

[Jul 23, 2018] 'Progressives Are Putin Stooges' - How Centrists Will Help To Reelect Trump

Note: The term Progressive is now so mutilated that it's no longer effective as an identifier of political affiliation. To be a real Progressive: one must be Anti-War, except in the most dire of circumstances, which includes being Anti-Imperialist/Anti-Empire; 2nd, one must be Pro-Justice as in promoting Rule of Law over all else; 3rd, one must be tolerant and willing to listen to others; and 4th, work for Win-Win outcomes and denounce Zero-sum as the smoke screen for increasing inequality
Jul 23, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org
Russ , Jul 22, 2018 4:53:40 PM | 27
The so-called "insurgents" are no such thing. That's a standard Democrat scam to keep potential apostates roped in. Bernie Sanders always has been a con artist. Not that it's any secret: His entire senate record is of worthless grandstanding and zero real monkey-wrenching or grid-locking action .

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

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

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

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

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

[Jul 22, 2018] Crooked Timber -- Out of the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing was ever made

Notable quotes:
"... The Origins of Totalitarianism ..."
"... By the way, I should note the date of that exchange with Jay: October 2008. We were still in the Bush era. The entire discussion -- of lies and facts, the disregard for facts, and such -- was framed by the Iraq War and the epic untruths that were told in the run-up to the war. It should give you a sense that the world of fake news that so many pundits seem to have suddenly awakened to as a newborn threat has been with us for a long time. The Bush era may seem like ancient history to some, but in the vast, and even not so vast, scheme of things, it was just yesterday. ..."
"... Once the facts aren't a threat to power, they can generally be revealed. ..."
"... Bush appeared confident the facts won't matter, after the invasion. They did matter–if you're just talking about the truth. The non-existence of the WMDs wasn't widely denied (though a few in the administration would try) –the fact was simply swept away because they weren't politically relevant anymore. ..."
"... Isn't that why everyone is saying we're in a 'post-truth' moment? ..."
"... Prior to this, an unsavory or humiliating or shameful or dangerous truth was extremely salient, and would be fuel for a response. It's partly the power of gaslighting – denying the obvious creates a sufficient level of confusion to let you keep going when normally others would stop you. ..."
"... I understand the difference between the two types of truth, truths of logic vs empirical facts that are contingent, but I think the difference between the liar and the sophist is mostly nonexistent. People who lie about empirical facts are also unwilling to follow chains of logic if they don't want to accept the necessary conclusion. ..."
Jul 22, 2018 | crookedtimber.org

As Hannah Arendt wrote in her 1951 book The Origins of Totalitarianism , "The ideal subject of totalitarian rule ... [are] people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction (ie the reality of experience) and the distinction between true and false (ie the standards of thought) no longer exist."

By the way, I should note the date of that exchange with Jay: October 2008. We were still in the Bush era. The entire discussion -- of lies and facts, the disregard for facts, and such -- was framed by the Iraq War and the epic untruths that were told in the run-up to the war. It should give you a sense that the world of fake news that so many pundits seem to have suddenly awakened to as a newborn threat has been with us for a long time. The Bush era may seem like ancient history to some, but in the vast, and even not so vast, scheme of things, it was just yesterday.


Ray Vinmad 07.16.18 at 8:11 am (no link)

"Should enough people come to believe the liar's claim, the facts about which he lies could be lost from the world forever. "

This isn't what happens, usually. When the interests connected to the lies change, then the truth is usually admitted. In the US, the truth often becomes irrelevant, even if real horrors are admitted to. Americans are fairly disinterested in the dirty particles of most of the nation's past.

Once the facts aren't a threat to power, they can generally be revealed.

That's not to say that certain false narratives won't be retained, but the revival of these is generally shaped to current interests, and even if lies are borrowed from the past, the main way they get a hold on the present is because they serve certain interests.

Bush appeared confident the facts won't matter, after the invasion. They did matter–if you're just talking about the truth. The non-existence of the WMDs wasn't widely denied (though a few in the administration would try) –the fact was simply swept away because they weren't politically relevant anymore.

In these cases, it seems that salience or irrelevance is a better way to understand what's driving the weak practical impact of the facts rather than truth or falsity.

Isn't that why everyone is saying we're in a 'post-truth' moment? Trump's trick is to make his story the salient story, and his denials have a way of disabling or thwarting action, even when people are fully aware of the truth. Except for the total fanatics, Trump's enablers are vaguely or even completely aware they are operating on a lie. What matters isn't that the claims are factual disprovable but that they drive action toward the pursuit of particular interests, and disable action that harms those interests.

Prior to this, an unsavory or humiliating or shameful or dangerous truth was extremely salient, and would be fuel for a response. It's partly the power of gaslighting – denying the obvious creates a sufficient level of confusion to let you keep going when normally others would stop you.

Faustusnotes 07.16.18 at 1:57 pm (no link)
There's something odious and misleading in the way you distinguish between types of truth and their role in politics, though I can't put my finger on it, and perhaps whatever error I can't quite describe might explain why you fell for Trump so neatly, but perhaps part of it can be easily seen here:

Having staked his presidency on the claim that Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction, he's going to have to wage war against Iraq in order to eliminate those weapons.

This gets the nature of Bush's lies completely wrong. He wanted to invade Iraq and he knew he could lie his way into it because of the way American politics rewards muscular action and militarism, and because of the recklessness of his political supporters. He didn't stake his presidency on a lie, he staked his presidency on a war and lied his way into it. In 2008 did you really believe bush had been sincere about his belief in wmds?

This definition of lies here seems weird and unnecessary.

Donald 07.16.18 at 4:18 pm (no link)
I understand the difference between the two types of truth, truths of logic vs empirical facts that are contingent, but I think the difference between the liar and the sophist is mostly nonexistent. People who lie about empirical facts are also unwilling to follow chains of logic if they don't want to accept the necessary conclusion.

That aside, I think politics is full of lies because the system collapses otherwise. I think this ties in with the endless debate people have here about Trump and Trump's opposition. Like Hidari in the other thread, I think Trump's war crimes ( listed below) are far more significant morally speaking than Russiagate, but in our political system collusion with a foreign power in dirty tricks during a political campaign is much easier to attack than war crimes and US complicity in genocide. Both political parties would collapse if we started holding politicians of both parties along with various government officials accountable. We have a functioning democracy by some definition of " functioning" precisely because we allow the biggest crimes to be treated as policy choices and not crimes, while pretending that the worst crime an American politician has or could commit would be to collude with a foreign power in stealing some emails to embarrass the other party.

For those curious, Trump's biggest war crimes are the bombing of civilians in Iraq and Syria and the assistance to the Saudi assault on Yemen. According to the Airwars site the killing of civilians by our bombs increased dramatically under Trump, probably because of loosened restrictions. The policy in Yemen continues what Obama did. In both cases it isn't just the President who is guilty, unless Obama and Trump singkehandedly carry out all functions of our government in the Mideast. Holding them accountable would mean holding a lot of other people accountable.

michael 07.16.18 at 6:06 pm (no link)
This is the first intelligent thing Robin has written, in my view. It also helps me formulate more explicitly some of my longstanding discomfort with Arendt, which is rooted in the way her predilection for natality leads her to posit a rather simplistic political ontology. After all, we do not enter politics with a given floor and horizon; politics is about which floor and which horizon does and should exist. This is what makes factual truth coercive: not its validity, but its tendency to impose rather than set out from a set of political givens. Which is to say, natality is always already operating within the status quo; it is not introduced there by "politics."
Orange Watch 07.16.18 at 6:17 pm ( 9 )
Anarcissie@5

Relatedly, I see striking similarities between an awful lot of public/political morality and virtue ethics, particularly agent-based formulations.

Hidari 07.16.18 at 6:41 pm ( 11 )
I know I have in the past quoted from Twitter (which would seem to be where the most interesting conversations are nowadays, as opposed to the blogosphere) but Branko Milanovic has some interesting insights (he also has the inestimable advantage of not coming from the UK/US/Australasia AKA the 'Anglosphere': he has more of a cosmopolitan sensibility).

https://twitter.com/BrankoMilan/status/1018218532994207746

His basic point is that you really can't understand Trump unless you look at what came before his (Frederic Jameson: 'Always historicise!'). Since Thatcher/Reagan (and Clinton and Blair were not really much different) we have been taught to look up to 'entrepreneurs' as 'wealth creators'. Or, to put it another way, to obsequiously grovel to semi-earned wealth and power. But politics, we were told, floated above the grubby world of 'material interests' like a soap bubble.

Trump tears the veil aside. He doesn't govern on behalf of capitalists as Thatcher/Blair and the rest did. He IS a capitalist. And he self-evidently became President to help his business interests (including, yes, those in Russia. But that's probably as far as the Russia thing goes). This is terribly disturbing for liberals, who have been taught to see 'capitalist' ('liberal' is normally the euphemism) 'democracy' as being merely a neutral description of the 'mode of production' of our current set up, as opposed to being a harsh description of political realities: politicians are allowed to govern insofar as their policies benefit capitalists.

Hence to talk about Trump lying is like talking about an advert 'lying'. Do adverts 'lie'? Of course to a certain extent. But then they were never supposed to tell the truth. Their purpose is to sell a product. Truth is irrelevant.

Every word that comes out of Trump's mouth is to help Trump PLC. It's true (sic) that some of his statements are false. But to assess it in these terms is like to point out that Heineken is not, in fact, probably the best lager in the world, or that one should not, in fact, necessarily Drinka Pinta Milka day.

Again, I think this is what disturbs people. Bush et al, consciously lied. Trump I don't think he knows what truth is, and I don't think he cares. What boosts profits that's what's good and true.What doesn't isn't good (or true).

But these are the value of capitalism, and Trump is, in this sense, the logical end product of where Western society has been heading since 1979 (1981 in the 'States).

Faustusnotes 07.17.18 at 12:21 am ( 12 )
Orange watch, the order of the claim seems important to me. Stumbling into a war because you told a lie about a possible cause of a war ends all the other options to deal with it dried up is one thing; setting up a war and lying your way into it is a different thing. Eg you decide to cheat on your wife and set up an incredibly thin lie to do it, versus you have a habit of lying to your wife that ultimately ends with you having a chance at an affair.

Also the empirical difference between these types of liar seems irrelevant. Everyone who lied about the true cause of the war also lied about basic facts like global warming. As the commitment to one kind of lie has grown so has the magnitude oft he other kind. Why waste time distinguishing? And why did Arendt? The liars of her time lied in both ways as well.

nastywoman 07.17.18 at 10:04 am ( 15 )
AND somebody -(even if it is "not actually being a U.S. citizen) needed to point to "the truth" of this:

"He wanted to invade Iraq and he knew he could lie his way into it" – as lying in politics is (sadly) nothing but "another tool" or "another strategy" to get what any -"political actor" (even some of the lesser evil) – want.

And the Sawyer-Bush example is about the best example for this fact:

"Sawyer: But stated as a hard fact, that there were weapons of mass destruction as opposed to the possibility that he [Saddam] could move to acquire those weapons.
Bush: So what's the difference?"

For somebody who wants to start a war – or wants to become US President? – and who realizes that the best "strategy" in ending up with "a war" or "becoming US President" -is lying -(day and night) – lying becomes just a a very "practical solution" – (especially if the liar is dealing with a bunch of people who might believe that "France isn't France anymore" – if just a Clownsticks tells them)

And I fear that by conflating the above described type of liar with "the type of liars described in the OP – WE may have allowed the virtues – or at least the charms – of the ones to obscure the vices of the others.

michael 07.17.18 at 7:56 pm ( 16 )
@ john c. halasz

In "Lying in Politics," Arendt writes:
A characteristic of human action is that it always begins something new, but this does not mean that it is ever permitted to start ab ovo, to create ex nihilo. In order to make room for one's own action, something that was there before must be removed or destroyed, and things as they were before are changed. Such change would be impossible if we could not mentally remove ourselves from where we are physically located and imagine that things might as well be different from what they actually are. In other words, the ability to lie, the deliberate denial of factual truth, and the capacity to change facts, the ability to act, are interconnected; they owe their existence to the same source, imagination."

So she directly links lying to natality. And this paragraph, like much of her work, describes what she takes to be the ontological conditions of politics. That is what she is doing when she invokes "something that was there before," furnishing the ground for action. And this in turn commits her to a view of the "already there" which is not itself political, as she herself defines the term.

Alan White 07.17.18 at 9:12 pm ( 17 )
JCH @ 13–

I completely agree that Stevenson likely has it all wrong meta-ethically. But my point was that I was offering an explanation to describe what Trump, Giuliani, etc. are engaging in, even if they don't know they're doing it. Emotivism is an attempt to explain what we usually denote as moral language and behavior. It maintains that moral language and action amount to the expression of emotional attitudes and nothing more. Therefore, beyond the fact that an individual or group has some attitudes, there is nothing left for morality to do but for individuals and groups to try and influence one another in attitude–to achieve agreement in attitude. Any means to do so–lies and bullshit–are legitimate to try and achieve agreement in attitude. Just listen to Trump's crowds. They don't care what he says, or what he does, they just feel that he "gets" how they feel–shared attitudes. If that's the case, then the Trump phenomenon might be best explained as reflecting a practical embrace of such expressivism. Again, I have no claim to anything approaching political expertise here–I'm just advancing a way of looking at the Trump phenomenon conceptually to see if it's at all helpful.

TM 07.19.18 at 9:24 am ( 18 )
16: "Such change would be impossible if we could not mentally remove ourselves from where we are physically located and imagine that things might as well be different from what they actually are. In other words, the ability to lie, the deliberate denial of factual truth, and the capacity to change facts, the ability to act, are interconnected; they owe their existence to the same source, imagination.""

This reminds me a lot of modern management speak: "Everybody said it was impossible until someone came along who didn´t know that .. and just did it!"

To me, Arendt's claim makes no sense. Yes, mentally removing oneself from reality to imagine a different one is difficult but it's not lying, it's not denial of reality. Imagination isn't synonymous with delusion. I'll counter this weird idealistic view with Rosa Luxemburg's materialism (quoting Ferdinand Lassalle):
"Wie Lassalle sagte, ist und bleibt es immer die revolutionärste Tat: "laut zu sagen, was ist"".

The most revolutionary act is to say loudly what is (what is true).

Btw Michael what do you mean by "natality"? It literally means birth rate, no?

J-D 07.19.18 at 11:52 am ( 19 )
Alan White

Any means to do so–lies and bullshit–are legitimate to try and achieve agreement in attitude.

It is empirically obvious that people use lies and bullshit in attempts to try and achieve agreement in attitude; but the statement quoted is made different from that empirical observation by the introduction of the word 'legitimate', which in this context is moral language. Those who affirm that it is legitimate to use lies and bullshit to achieve agreement in attitude reveal their moral bankruptcy. On an emotivist theory, that statement expresses my moral attitude; what I have to say about that is that yes, it does express my moral attitude, and if your moral attitude differs from mine on that point, what do you suggest we do about it?

alfredlordbleep 07.19.18 at 3:21 pm ( 20 )
Dominoes

Arendt's NYRB piece, kindly linked @13, holds this very interesting nugget [for footnoting -- see original]:
As regards the domino theory, first enunciated in 1950 and permitted to survive, as it has been said, the "most momentous events": To the question of President Johnson in 1964, "Would the rest of Southeast Asia necessarily fall if Laos and South Vietnam came under North Vietnam control?" the CIA's answer was, "With the possible exception of Cambodia, it is likely that no nation in the area would quickly succumb to Communism as a result of the fall of Laos and South Vietnam." When five years later the Nixon Administration raised the same question, it "was advised by the Central Intelligence Agency that [the United States] could immediately withdraw from South Vietnam and 'all of Southeast Asia would remain just as it is for at least another generation.' "According to the study, "only the Joint Chiefs, Mr. Rostow and General Taylor appear to have accepted the domino theory in its literal sense,"and the point here is that those who did not accept it still used it not merely for public statements but as part of their own premises as well.

[Jul 19, 2018] The Russian US Election Meddling Big Lie Won't Die by Stephen Lendman

Notable quotes:
"... Propaganda works, proved effective time and again – why it's a key tool in America's deep state playbook. ..."
"... Virtually anything repeated enough, especially through the major media megaphone, gets most people to believe it – no matter how preposterous the claim. ..."
"... Normalized relations with Russia and world peace are anathema notions in Washington. Bipartisan neocons infesting the US political establishment want none of it. America's hegemonic aims matter most – wanting dominance over planet earth, its resources and populations. Endless wars of aggression, color revolutions, and other unlawful practices harmful to human rights and welfare are its favored strategies. ..."
Jul 19, 2018 | www.globalresearch.ca

Propaganda works, proved effective time and again – why it's a key tool in America's deep state playbook.

Virtually anything repeated enough, especially through the major media megaphone, gets most people to believe it – no matter how preposterous the claim.

Not a shred of evidence suggests Russia meddled in America's political process – nothing.

Yet an earlier NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showed most Americans believe the Russia did it Big Lie. A months earlier Gallup poll showed three-fourths of Americans view Vladimir Putin unfavorably.

Americans are easy marks to be fooled. No matter how many times they were deceived before, they're easily manipulated to believe most anything drummed into their minds by the power of repetitious propaganda – fed them through through the major media megaphone – in lockstep with the official falsified narrative.

America's dominant media serve as a propaganda platform for US imperial and monied interests – acting as agents of deception, betraying their readers and viewers time and again instead of informing them responsibly.

CNN presstitute Poppy Harlow played a clip on air of Reuters reporter Jeff Mason asking Putin in Helsinki the following question:

"Did you want President Trump to win the election and did you direct any of your officials to help him do that?"

Putin said: "Yes," he wanted Trump to win "because he talked about bringing the US-Russia relationship back to normal," as translated from his Russian language response.

Here's the precise translation of his remark:

"Yes, I wanted him to win, because he talked about the need to normalize US-Russia relations," adding:

"Isn't it natural to have sympathy towards a man who wants to restore relations with your country? That's normal."

Putin did not address the fabricated official narrative notion that he directed his officials to help Trump win. Yet CNN's Harlow claimed otherwise, falsely claiming he ordered Kremlin officials to help Trump triumph over Hillary.

He did nothing of the kind or say it, nor did any other Kremlin officials. No evidence proves otherwise – nothing but baseless accusations supported only by the power of deceptive propaganda.

Time and again, CNN, the NYT, and rest of America's dominant media prove themselves untrustworthy.

They consistently abandon journalism the way it's supposed to be, notably on geopolitical issues, especially on war and peace and anything about Russia.

After rejecting, or at least doubting, the official narrative about alleged Russian meddling in the US political process to aid his election, Trump backtracked post-Helsinki – capitulating to deep state power.

First in the White House, he said he misspoke abroad – then on CBS News Wednesday night, saying it's "true," deplorably adding:

Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election, and he "would" hold Russian President Vladimir Putin responsible for the interference – that didn't occur, he failed to stress.

Here's his verbatim exchange with CBS anchor Jeff Glor :

GLOR: "You say you agree with US intelligence that Russia meddled in the election in 2016."

TRUMP: "Yeah and I've said that before, Jeff. I have said that numerous times before, and I would say that is true, yeah."

GLOR: "But you haven't condemned Putin, specifically. Do you hold him personally responsible?"

TRUMP: "Well, I would, because he's in charge of the country. Just like I consider myself to be responsible for things that happen in this country. So certainly as the leader of a country you would have to hold him responsible, yes."

GLOR: "What did you say to him?"

TRUMP: "Very strong on the fact that we can't have meddling. We can't have any of that – now look. We're also living in a grown-up world."

"Will a strong statement – you know – President Obama supposedly made a strong statement. Nobody heard it."

"What they did hear is a statement he made to Putin's very close friend. And that statement was not acceptable. Didn't get very much play relatively speaking. But that statement was not acceptable."

"But I let him know we can't have this. We're not going to have it, and that's the way it's going to be."

There you have it – Trump capitulating to America's deep state over Russia on national television.

From day one in power, he caved to the national security state, Wall Street, and other monied interests over popular ones.

The sole redeeming part of his agenda was wanting improved relations with Russia and Vladimir Putin personally – preferring peace over possible confrontation, wanting the threat of nuclear war defused.

Despite tweeting post-Helsinki that he and Putin "got along well which truly bothered many haters who wanted to see a boxing match," his remarks on CBS News showed he'll continue dirty US business as usual toward Russia.

Anything positive from summit talks appears abandoned by capitulating to deep state power controlling him and his agenda.

Normalized relations with Russia and world peace are anathema notions in Washington. Bipartisan neocons infesting the US political establishment want none of it. America's hegemonic aims matter most – wanting dominance over planet earth, its resources and populations. Endless wars of aggression, color revolutions, and other unlawful practices harmful to human rights and welfare are its favored strategies.

Will Americans go along with sacrificing vital freedoms for greater security from invented enemies – losing both? Will US belligerent confrontation with Russia inevitably follow? Will mushroom-shaped denouement eventually kill us all?

*

Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the CRG, Correspondent of Global Research based in Chicago.

VISIT MY NEW WEB SITE: stephenlendman.org ( Home – Stephen Lendman ). Contact at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net .

My newest book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III. http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html "

[Jul 19, 2018] Axiom of Uncertainty by Dan Corjescu

Notable quotes:
"... secular hubris. ..."
"... axiom of uncertainty ..."
"... explanations about everything ..."
"... axiom of uncertainty ..."
"... Indeed, although knowledge is power,; true, absolute knowledge may be unattainable and thus call forth, even demand an attitude of deep humility with respect to the true nature of the universe as a whole and a sharply critical stance towards all publicly held theories, beliefs, and viewpoints. ..."
Jul 10, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

It's simple. Given that there might well be an absolute nature/structure of the universe and our perhaps fundamentally limited cognitive position/abilities within it can we be certain that we can be sure about the true nature of anything? Can there be fundamental forces, matter, and material relationships of which we will never know?

While unanswerable in principle, the mere possibility of such an epistemological situation has many consequences.

Firstly, it considerably lets out the air out of our current secular hubris.

Science and technology have given us what is perhaps a false impression of our own cognitive and technical omnipotence. While we rightly marvel at what we have achieved during the last five centuries, it does not necessarily give us the right to think that we can, even theoretically, master and understand all that there is.

Would it be so far fetched to think that the human mind, both as it is now and will be in the future, will always be limited in what it can know?

Although we cannot even judge the actual probability of such a proposition it should nevertheless give us pause while constructing brash anthropocentric scenarios which inflate our own importance within the universe.

If we stop to consider the possible theoretical implications of this axiom of uncertainty we will quickly realize that we may never know more than a part, even just a small part of existence past, present, and future.

Of course that does not mean we should stop trying to know all we can.

On the other hand, it does mean that we should be far more circumspect when offering explanations about everything whether scientific, political, or religious.

In each of these domains, we may, it might turn out, be far off the mark.

Yet, the deeper point is that according to the above axiom we can never know for sure.

Do such thoughts open the door then to superstition and fantastical ideas of all kinds?

Yes and no.

Privately, one can believe in whatever one wants to.

However, publicly, the commonly accepted standards of reason, logic, and evidence would still apply.

In order for a proposition such as "Three-eyed pink giraffes eat hamburgers on Titan" to be even remotely true there would have to be substantial scientific research to back it up.

Yet, even if there is credible evidence for totalistic viewpoints of any kind the axiom of uncertainty can always, potentially, call them into question. For if there are indeed fundamental aspects of existence that are forever closed off to us; then it follows that no comprehensive theory of everything could be completely and forever considered true. Such an axiom will always allow for some doubt, however small, to remain.

Indeed, although knowledge is power,; true, absolute knowledge may be unattainable and thus call forth, even demand an attitude of deep humility with respect to the true nature of the universe as a whole and a sharply critical stance towards all publicly held theories, beliefs, and viewpoints.

[Jul 17, 2018] All the post WWII wars were done in the same way: demonizing leaders, defending democracy , false flag ops.

Jul 17, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

silver140 -> Free This Tue, 07/17/2018 - 13:59 Permalink

Within minutes MSM had the theme to broadcast. It was from their puppet masters in the FBI/CIA. They're told what to say. There's no doubt about that now.

Also, there's no doubt that they are pushing for war with Russia, within months or a few years, depending on what happens to Trump.

The Russians will know this now. All the post WWII wars were done in the same way: demonizing leaders, "defending democracy", false flag ops. But this present push is for the end game of killing the host; which is the life strategy of the parasitoid. The complete destruction of humanity and total ecocide.

The parasitoid corporate fascists are now in full control of the media and their disease vector politicians/bureaucrats, not just in the US but the EU/NATO as well.

A parasitoid is an organism that lives in close association with its host and at the host's expense, and which sooner or later kills it. Parasitoidism is one of six major evolutionary strategies within parasitism . Parasitoidism is distinguished by the fatal prognosis for the host, which makes the strategy close to predation .

In epidemiology , a disease vector is any agent that carries and transmits an infectious pathogen into another living organism; [1] [2]

[Jul 15, 2018] Election promises are always face in a neoliberal empire. They are always elements of bait and switch game with electorate

Jul 15, 2018 | www.unz.com

anon

This is one of the reasons Americans of all colors and stripes will not receive the the benefits of the powers of economic equality, transparency, literal meanings of the health of the economy and economic freedom.

Because they will remain blinded by partisan worship of the presidents. We agree with Obama's criticism of big banks or of Bush's conducts of the war. We agree with Trump's criticism of the wars raging in the ME . We agree with his take on illegal immigrants. Instead of holding their feet to the fire, we condone, ignore, and then come out in support of them when they fail miserably and intentionally on other vital areas or when they go against the election promises.

We believe he shits about economy coming out of FOX CNN MSNBC NYT NY POST because we worship the candidates they support or don't support , or because the support or don't support our views on other areas .

American economy has been growing without the accompanying growth of the worker's compensation for 45 years . Nothing new . Presidents have no role for the existing condition of the economy . Presidents may claim some success down the line years after presidency is over . Our economic knowledge is doled out by the same psychopaths who dole us out the knowledge and the faith about wars and about other countries from the unclean perches of the media . Yes its a handout Its a dole because we have all along built up our world view and our view of US as told by these guys dictated to us and shoved down us . The folks whose income have suffered and hours have increased don't have the time or the brains to explore and verify . They are just happy to know that they heard this "Trust but verify " and heard this " make America Great Again " . They are happy to go to war because a lesbian was killed in Uganda or in Syria or a girl was raped in Libya or gas was smelt in Dara and Hara , Sara Bara and Laora - just throw some names any name, and these folks will lend their names and sign up .

This is the underlying mindset and the intellectual foundation which explain our deepest attachment to liar like Obama and to Trump. Combined with helplessness ,this experience of reality can be disorienting and can lead to Stockholm Syndrome .

If this president wants no immigration to EU, he should stop supporting France's exploitation and military adventures in Africa, stop adding to war efforts in ME and will pay the restitution for ravaging those countries . He should focus on US and stop talking about EU's immigration.

jilles dykstra , Next New Comment July 14, 2018 at 5:16 pm GMT

" If this president wants no immigration to EU, he should stop supporting France's exploitation and military adventures in Africa, stop adding to war efforts in ME and will pay the restitution for ravaging those countries. He should focus on US and stop talking about EU's immigration. "

THE great cause of migrants coming to Europe is the USA, the wars in and destruction of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria Mali, as far as I know hardly anyone comes from Mali to us. Sudan was split by the USA, oil, the USA is building a drone base in Nigeria, oil again...

Possibly Brussels now understands that an attack on Iran will cause a new flood of migrants, Netanyahu has been warned. A new flood is the deadsure end of the EU.

[Jul 09, 2018] Another bait and switch ?

Jul 09, 2018 | www.unz.com

geokat62 , July 3, 2018 at 11:18 am GMT

Here's an interesting tidbit about AOC:

Newly popular Democratic politician hero and nominee for a seat in the U.S. Congress Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez used to have these words on her website:

A Peace Economy

"Since the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the United States has entangled itself in war and occupation throughout the Middle East and North Africa. As of 2018, we are currently involved in military action in Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Pakistan, and Somalia. According to the Constitution, the right to declare war belongs to the Legislative body, not the President. Yet, most of these acts of aggression have never once been voted on by Congress. Alex believes that we must end the forever war by bringing our troops home and ending the air strikes and bombings that perpetuate the cycle of terrorism and occupation throughout the world."

Now they're gone. Asked about it on Twitter, she replied:

"Hey! Looking into this. Nothing malicious! Site is supporter-run so things happen -- we'll get to the bottom of it."

https://alethonews.com/2018/06/30/why-it-matters-that-peace-is-gone-from-ocasio-cortez-website/

It'll be interesting to see if these words ever reappear. I'll keep you posted if and when that happens.

ISmellBagels , July 3, 2018 at 11:23 am GMT
It will be interesting to see if Ocasio-Cortez will/can maintain her position on Israeli crimes. Public figures have a long history of backpedaling after getting the riot act read to them from the hebrew masters.
Carroll Price , July 6, 2018 at 6:09 pm GMT
@ISmellBagels

Like all other honest inexperienced upstarts, she'll spend the rest of her political life on her knees. begging forgiveness.

[Jul 06, 2018] Are there certain things that can't be questioned in a given society, without the risk of destruction of this society?

Sergey Krueger is wrong about questioning of gender roles. That comes from the necessity to to have an identity wedge during neoliberal period of the USA society.
Jul 06, 2018 | www.unz.com

Sergey Krieger , June 16, 2018 at 9:42 am GMT

@Rurik

Well, you put it yourself. Liberalism as is it was during the Enlightenment was questioning all dogmas and everything that is considered normal here we have a double aged sword. When and what you stop questioning and reasoning about logic of certain things.

Logically they started with kings and after all things were questioned they came now to roles of males and females, sex, gender and god forbids where this can takes us.

There are certain things that cannot be questioned for society to have a back bone. A moral and cultural one. Otherwise things turn the way they are now. There is nothing sacred and everything can be questioned and reasoned about.

[Jul 06, 2018] First thought was that's what political party elites use to keep their base from changing their party elites policies: 'alarm' the base about the horribleness of the 'other side', rally the base to 'resist' any actions by 'the other side' (while not changing course and not offering policies the base wants/needs), and finally, 'exhaust' the base with resistance movements designed not to succeed politically but to exhaust the base so they'll 'adapt' to whatever the party elites dictate as policy

Jul 06, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

flora , July 5, 2018 at 3:34 pm

The line that caught my attention:

The general adaptation syndrome, he said, unfolded in three stages: alarm, resistance, and exhaustion.

First thought was that's what political party elites use to keep their base from changing their party elites policies: 'alarm' the base about the horribleness of the 'other side', rally the base to 'resist' any actions by 'the other side' (while not changing course and not offering policies the base wants/needs), and finally, 'exhaust' the base with resistance movements designed not to succeed politically but to exhaust the base so they'll 'adapt' to whatever the party elites dictate as policy.

OK, I'm trying to force a comparison here, straining the metaphor, which is stressful. ;)

[Jun 27, 2018] Disclaimer

Jun 27, 2018 | www.unz.com

says: June 5, 2018 at 8:29 pm GMT 800 Words The fates of Christianity and Communism are both strange and ironic.

Christianity was the New Faith of heretical Jews who turned against Jewish Tradition. It was led by radical Jews at odds with Traditional Jews. But even though spread overwhelmingly by Jews, it became the Faith of non-Jews who came to oppress Jews.

Communism was the New Ideology of radical Jews who reviled Jewish Community and Culture. Karl Marx loathed Jewishness and its association with greed, exploitation, and capitalism. And he inspired a generation of radical Jews who were committed to universal justice based on 'scientific' and 'materialist' reading of history. Early communism was dominated by radical Jews as early Christianity was dominated by heretical Jews.

But as with Christianity, Communism eventually came to be owned by non-Jews who turned anti-Jewish and anti-Zionist. Why did this problem arise? Because even as many Jews turned toward universalism and against their own tribalism, many Jews remained tribal or made common cause with forces at war with radical universalism. Suppose ALL JEWS around the world had embraced universal socialism when Soviet Union was coming into its own. Soviet Union would likely not have turned against Jews. But, in fact, even as many Jews did become full-fledged communists and univeralists, many Jews remained either Jewish or allied with International Capitalists that waged war on Communism.
And over time, there were signs of second thoughts or dual loyalty among Communist Jews. Were they communist first or Jewish first? Or did they try to be both at the same time? But can one be Jewish-tribalist and communist all at once? (Can one be Jewish and Christian at once?)

Likewise, there would have been no Christian 'antisemitism' IF All Jews had converted to Christianity and gave up on tribalism. But even as a good number of Jews did adopt the New Faith, the bulk of the Jewish community kept with Tribalism. So, even though Christianity was founded by Jews, it turned into an anti-Jewish religion. Too many Jews were seen as resistant and even hostile to the Universal Faith.

Furthermore, there is something intrinsic to Jewish personality and temperament that ultimately recoils from universalism. Even as secularists, Jews tend to feel 'special' and 'unique', indeed superior over dimwit goyim. This egotism among Jews makes them both universalist and anti-universalist. It makes them universalist ON THEIR OWN TERMS. Because they are so smart, wise, and prophetic, their superior ideas must be good and right for all of mankind. They want to play the role of Moses laying down the Laws for all peoples. But once the goy masses adopt the New Law as universal truth, Jews begin to grow bored with established universalism that now seems mediocre and humdrum. It was exciting when they conceived of it and presented it to humanity as The Shining Truth. But once that Truth becomes official dogma to every idiot on the street, Jews grow bored and react against univeralism that has lost its luster.
This contradiction is seen in Judaism itself. It says there is only one God, the only true God; Jews know better than pagans who believe in silly stupid idols. And yet, Jews want to keep this God for themselves through the special Covenant. Thus, Jewish God is universal in conception but tribal in contract(to Jews).

Of late, Jews came up with a new faith that might be called Homomania. Will it also go the way of Christianity and Communism? Will it turn against Jews and/or will Jews grow tired of it?
And yet, Homomania may remain as a weapon of Jews because, unlike Christianity and Communism, it favors elite-minoritism. It is essentially a special alliance between homo minority elites and Jewish minority elites. So, even as majority of dimwit goyim become enamored of Homomania, it can never belong to them in the way the Christianity or Communism could. No matter how many goyim worship Homomania, the object of worship won't be universal brotherhood of man but elite tooter-hood of fancy neo-aristo fruits(financed by Jews). Also, unlike Christianity and Communism that eventually came to favor mediocrity -- Jesus favored the meek, and Marx & Lenin stood for common workers -- , the very nature of Homomania is celebration of elitism, vanity, egotism, narcissism, privilege, new fashions & fads, and fancy-pants stuff that homos love so much. As Jews are rich and homos are whoopsy-vain, they make natural allies in the Current Year.

'Neoconservatism' also isn't likely to fall into the hands of non-Jews. Unlike the spiritual populism of Christianity and economic populism of Communism, Neoconservatism was devised to be esoteric-elitist-hegemonic based on carefully crafted coordination among media, academia, think-tanks, Intelligence services, Deep State, and Israel. So, even though Neo-conservatism pays lip-service to Humanitarianism and Spreading Democracy, its real agenda and operations are a very exclusive affair. Leo Strauss came up with a way to Talk the Walk and Walk the Talk.

[Jun 26, 2018] Was Sanders a Trojan horse?

Jun 26, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Debsisdead @43. I love your piece detailing things I've seen you post here. You've got my CT juices flowing more this time, though.

But regarding your query about CounterPunch, I've been a reader for a long time. Then, shortly after Bernie Sanders announced his campaign, CP began running what ended up being dozens of articles denouncing him.

Now, I was very slow in endorsing Sanders. I was aware of his record, and once he announced, I really dug into it, and found even more troubling stuff. Mostly it was his rather spotty foreign policy record. But eventually, I decided that he was not so much a 'lesser evil" as the "best good" that the Democratic Party could ever nominate. Having campaigned for alternative candidates many times, I decided to give this "Occupy the DP" thing a chance.

But since I was delving into his record as CP was writing these articles, I noticed that they misstated, exaggerated and sometimes out and out lied about Sanders. I won't f*ckbook, so didn't reply to them, but did post their statements with citations to the correct information all over the place.

For everywhere I went, I conversed with other lefties about giving Bernie a chance in the Primaries. Sure, maybe he'll sheepdog if he loses, but why not help him win and not have to deal with that? Surely getting even a "democratic socialist" in would awaken much of the public who would then say "I'll have some more of that, thank you very much." But everywhere I came across people citing CP and other "lefty" sites that denounced him as "not pure" enough.

Just before the actual election, St. Clair actually wrote an entire book on how " Sanders campaign faltered, undone by the missteps of its leader and by sabotage from the elites of the Democratic Party."

Well, the DP and the lefties who denounced Sanders and ridiculed his followers might have played a role, eh?

Then, last summer, CP launched a full on attack on Caitlin Johnstone.


They did publish an "In Defense of Caitlin Johnstone" the next week, but the meme that Johnstone was some sort of shill for the alt-right had been planted, and is still sprouting shoots to this day.

But even though they'd published Johnstone before, they refused to publish the rebuttal she and Cobb wrote to the piece smearing them.

Caitlin Johnstone and David Cobb Respond to Counterpunch

And of course, as regards your post, Caitlin is one of the most active defenders/supporters of Julian Assange.


Then there was that whole thing where they were publishing articles written by an avatar going by the name of Alice Donovan. I don't know what to make that whole thing. I will say that some of her articles did discuss inconvenient truths that the MSM tries to play up as "conspiracy theories" (eg. Obama Administration sent weapons to Syria that ISIL received). But, she also wrote really bizarre stuff indicating she was not whom she claimed to be.

For any who care:

Democratic Party organ, "Think Progress" on the Alice scandal:

CounterPunch's mea culpa:

So, what's happened to CounterPunch since the Cockburn Dynasty splintered? I don't know, but it's weird.

Posted by: Daniel | Jun 25, 2018 12:05:56 AM | 50

[Jun 26, 2018] Trump and Obama both follow the same political model, that of the faux populist leader. They both claimed to be outsiders. They both faced crazy opposition that called into question their loyalty to America. They both had amorphous apologists (Obamabots, Trumptards) that excuse any betrayal by Jackrabbit

Notable quotes:
"... Trump was trumped up as the foil, same as Sanders, to sweep up all the anti-establishment sentiment on the other side of the isle, and really as an ace in the hole for Hillary, as he was considered a completely unelectable buffoon who would do nothing but make a laughingstock out of all Republicans. If you recall, Hillary and the establishment press were actually giving Trump all the love early, to make him the strongest poison pill possible. Of course, much later when there began to be fears that he was actually a threat (largely because of Hillary being so painfully phony and unlikeable), all political and press guns were turned against him, but since he had positioned himself as anti-establishment, this had the unexpected effect of actually increasing his popularity. ..."
"... Any time Trump gets off script (which is what makes me think he might have had some actual populist tendencies), he is quickly "corrected." So in the end, the Deep State doesn't have to actively field sleeper candidates; it has become so entrenched that it knows it can ultimately control whoever wins, and so while it has its preferences (Hillary), and will actively assist them, I don't think it feels the need to fear those it doesn't control at the outset. ..."
Jun 25, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit | Jun 24, 2018 10:38:59 AM | 10

Catlin Johnson and Wikileaks suspect Qanon to be a "pied piper" psyop .

As early as January, Catlin voiced suspicion when she tweeted:

There's good conspiracy theory and there's bad conspiracy theory. #QAnon is bad conspiracy theory. It's either a really good LARPer or a really bad psyop. Informed insiders do not leak via 4chan. Does not happen. It's an anonymous message board for trolls. Always has been.

But Catlin recently goes a bit further, warning that:

This administration is advancing longstanding neoconservative agendas with increasing aggression, perpetuating the Orwellian surveillance state of Bush and Obama, and actively pursuing the extradition and imprisonment of Julian Assange. Ignore the narratives and watch the behavior, and he [Trump] looks very much like his predecessor. So cut out the narratives. Cut out the manipulators. Cut out QAnon from the equation and look at what's really happening here.

This is very much in line my comment at MoA on March 12

My take [on Qanon] : it is similar to the Obamabots promising good things to come. Those 'good things' never came, of course.

Further proof, IMHO, that Trump is the Republican Obama. The play book is the same.

I've written, here and at my blog (over a year ago!), that Trump and Obama both follow the same political model , that of the faux populist leader . They both claimed to be outsiders. They both faced crazy opposition that called into question their loyalty to America. They both had amorphous apologists (Obamabots, Trumptards) that excuse any betrayal.

Furthermore, I've said that it is logical to assume that the election of these faux populists have been arranged (by the Deep State). We have many tantalizing clues that this is so, like:

  1. The nature of the US political system. No real populist has a chance in our money-driven political system
  2. Non-starter opponents. McCain, Hillary are the embodiment of the establishment that everyone loves to hate.
  3. Clear manipulations. In a time of great dissatisfaction, there were only TWO populists that ran for President in 2016 - Trump and Sanders. Sanders was a 'sheepdog' (bogus candidate) who pulled many punches and betrayed his base.
  4. Very different stated agendas, yet staying true to Deep State goals. Tax cuts, military adventures, etc.
  5. Forgiveness. "No drama Obama" refused to pursue legal action against Bush Administration officials and, immediately upon his election, Trump said that he would not pursue Hillary, saying that they Clintons had been thru enough.

J Swift , Jun 24, 2018 12:57:43 PM | 14

@ Jackrabbit
"I've said that it is logical to assume that the election of these faux populists have been arranged (by the Deep State)."

While this is of course possible, and likely sometimes happens (might have been true with Obama's first run), I think the Deep State has such firm grip on power they aren't really worried about their ability to co-opt and control whoever wins. It's more about bleeding off steam from the masses, preserving the illusion of democracy. So "populists" serve a useful function, dividing would-be contenders, which along with general voter disgust means it actually takes a very small number of votes to control the ultimate outcome of the election.

Sanders was allowed to continue to energize pissed off people of the left, with the PTB knowing that when he was eventually canned and turned the vast bulk of his voters would either not vote at all or vote for their completely owned Hillary. But his presence in the Democratic mix meant the Democrats could at least pretend to have some relation to the more socially minded Dems of old.

Trump was trumped up as the foil, same as Sanders, to sweep up all the anti-establishment sentiment on the other side of the isle, and really as an ace in the hole for Hillary, as he was considered a completely unelectable buffoon who would do nothing but make a laughingstock out of all Republicans. If you recall, Hillary and the establishment press were actually giving Trump all the love early, to make him the strongest poison pill possible. Of course, much later when there began to be fears that he was actually a threat (largely because of Hillary being so painfully phony and unlikeable), all political and press guns were turned against him, but since he had positioned himself as anti-establishment, this had the unexpected effect of actually increasing his popularity.

No worries. Plenty of preemptive sabotage had been implanted prior to the election, such that long before he was even sworn in any actual populist tendencies he may have had (I suspect some were real, some were electioneering) were completely hamstrung. The Deep State flexed its muscles, and once again the US had its "populist," but the Deep State was again holding the reigns. Any time Trump gets off script (which is what makes me think he might have had some actual populist tendencies), he is quickly "corrected." So in the end, the Deep State doesn't have to actively field sleeper candidates; it has become so entrenched that it knows it can ultimately control whoever wins, and so while it has its preferences (Hillary), and will actively assist them, I don't think it feels the need to fear those it doesn't control at the outset.

Incidentally, along the same lines and to revive some of the Korea discussion, here's an interesting article discussing how the Deep State is ramping up its opposition to real peace in Korea. https://consortiumnews.com/2018/06/21/an-elite-coalition-emerges-against-a-trump-kim-agreement/

goldhoarder , Jun 24, 2018 1:44:18 PM | 16
J Swift,
I dont' know if that is completely true. Although maybe the higher ups believe that. You can tell by the texts they really didn't want Trump. At least the lower level grunt workers in the deep state. Probably because they aren't completely sure he won't go off script. I do believe if they thought he would be a problem they would just kill him.
Hoarsewhisperer , Jun 24, 2018 2:21:57 PM | 19
...
Incidentally, along the same lines and to revive some of the Korea discussion, here's an interesting article discussing how the Deep State is ramping up its opposition to real peace in Korea.
(link omitted by HW)
Posted by: J Swift | Jun 24, 2018 12:57:43 PM | 14

That thought bubble seems to contradict the paragraph immediately preceding it.
i.e. The Deep State/ Swamp wants to perpetuate tensions with NK/ China to keep arms sales flourishing and it's worried that Trump will cause peace to break out (which he will do - and make it look like either an accident, or (that old Right Wing Chestnut) Someone Else's Fault.

Jackrabbit , Jun 24, 2018 6:09:19 PM | 26
J Swift @14

You make some good points. There was a time when I also believed that Hillary and her cronies had masterfully set up the election so that she could win. But as it became clear how much Trump's politics resembled Obama's, I began to believe that TRUMP was meant to win all along.

My view is underscored by what I believe was a need to turn the page on the Obama years. Hillary could not have done that because she was so closely associated with Obama. This is especially true wrt USA's support for extremist proxies. A 'political reversal' can best excuse what many extremist supporters would otherwise see as a 'betrayal'. (Note: The elevation of MbS may also be a part of the necessary 'shift' - the alternative was conflict with Russia/WWIII) .

I think the Deep State has such firm grip on power they aren't really worried about their ability to co-opt and control whoever wins.

That may be. But even that mild view indicates that the US govt has a legitimacy problem. A problem that they would be acutely aware of.

It seems very likely to me that the role of the President is so key that it must be secured by someone that is sure to "play ball". That means an ambitious money-driven, narcissist social climber that explicitly agrees to serve the establishment (as per our 'inverted totalitarian' form of government).

Trump was trumped up as the foil, same as Sanders ...

Maybe. One could make a case that this is how it was planned to be but Hillary's email troubles (and the need to "turn the page" on the Obama years) caused the establishment to turn on her. In fact, the efforts to paint Trump as a dupe of Putin via the 'Trump dossier' began in earnest in Spring 2016 after it was clear that Hillary's email troubles could not be swept under the rug (which prompted Bloomberg's offer to run so as to prevent the 'disaster' of Trump or Sanders winning the Presidency) .

By June 2016 Trump was no longer a foil (if he ever was). Trump pushed back HARD on Hillary after the Orlando Pulse Nightclub attack. He didn't defer to Hillary's experience and the Democratic Party's ties to the gay community.

In July 2016, Hillary made herself even more hated by hiring a disgraced DWS into a high position in her campaign. That is as self-defeating as using a private email server for State Dept business. Such 'sloppiness' calls into question her desire to win the Presidency.

Trump also said, at one point, that he could kill someone in Times Square without consequence. That is a very strange statement to make. Anyone that says such a thing is either looney or believes that he has full and complete support from powerful interests.

Lastly, Hillary is simply not a populist and has too much baggage. The 'smart move' for a Deep State that is fully in control is to 'hire' someone that can perform as a faux populist. In fact, Hillary might be viewed as dangerous because Clinton loyalists that constitute a political machine.

Daniel , Jun 24, 2018 6:44:29 PM | 28
Jackrabbit. The very best I can say to defend the narrative we were told during and about the 2016 election is that the 0.01% were going to win whether Trump or HRC moved into the White House.

But like you, I long ago came to think it more likely that Trump was the chosen one from before he even took his escalator ride down into history (where paid actors wearing MAGA gear given to them cheered and jeered on cue).

Everyone knew this was the "election of rejection." Establishment politics was no longer acceptable by either the "left" or the "right." The Democratic Primary was so crooked that even many Democratic partisans couldn't bring themselves to support HRC. Especially after she doubled down with DWS and Tim Kaine.

In retrospect, the entire show appears to have been what they call in professional wrestling, "a work." A brilliant piece of propaganda.

Lochearn , Jun 24, 2018 6:53:49 PM | 29
@ 28

No, Trump was not the chosen one. Hillary had been schooled and trained specifically for this. Trump was considered perfect opposition - dumb-ass but clever and likely to score with a few punches - unlike the miserable row of other Republicans. Trump is merely a symbol of an Empire coming to an end. Do you not get this?

Daniel , Jun 24, 2018 8:40:57 PM | 31
Yep, Lockhearn @29, I read all that stuff, and totally believed it myself right up until about the time of the Conventions.

There it was right there, HRC's team demanding MSM to promote Trump as the "pied piper."

It was all laid out so brilliantly. We were almost all led down that pied piper path, following all the bread crumbs laid out for us to "discover," and feel so smart for having read the "hacked" emails and DNC documents (the latter of which were actually published by that Guccifer 2.0 creation).

We're to believe that CNN's Jeff Zucker did everything in his power to stop Trump. The same Jeff Zucker who broke into live programming to show Trump's escalator ride (the ONLY candidate who got live coverage of his announcement). Then, CNN aired hour after hour of live and uninterrupted coverage of Trump rallies.

"Uninterrupted" is the key word there as it puts to lie the claim he did it for "ratings." No advertising sold means ratings were not the goal. Besides, Sanders was drawing larger crowds, so if Jeff wanted ratings, he would have shown Sanders rallies, too.

Oh, and that same Jeff Zucker used to be CEO of NBC, back when it was wholly owned by GE (one of the world's largest military contractors). And he gave Trump his very own Reality TV Show which imprinted the Trump character on the minds of USAmerica. And even though its ratings dropped year after year, Jeff kept pumping more and more resources into the Trump Project.

Oh, but Jeff made fun of Trump you say. And he also ridiculed Trump supporters.

Bearing in mind that polls before the Primaries showed that at best 1/3 of USAmericans trusted the MSM, and hated MSM for condescending to us and telling us what to believe and do....

How would the brilliant propagandists behind MSM expect voters to react to being ridiculed on national TV?

You're quite intelligent enough to engage your critical thinking and reconsider the past few years of MSM coverage on all things leading up to the campaign and the campaign and Trump Administration.

Once again I ask, "what would a propaganda designed for people who know the MSM is propaganda look like?"

Grieved , Jun 24, 2018 9:36:34 PM | 39
@31 Daniel and #32 james

I think it's important to note that even within the clever and long practiced trickery of the powers that be, everything changes. Every move that they make means one less time that the same move can be made in the future.

Every time they perceive how the people feel, and run another lie to accord with this feeling, they come closer to burning out the entire system of trickery and foolery. And no one knows quite how burned it is today.

To think that the PTB have it all under control is - in my opinion - an error on the same scale of magnitude as thinking that the people of the US are going to keep taking it forever. Actually, no one knows what will happen. There's a lot of calculation of risk that goes into deception, and frankly I don't see the current elites as possessing much acumen in this risk evaluation. Hubris saturates deep into the bone, as deep as the state.

I haven't seen the PTB do one thing right in the last few years. They misunderstand the forces of history marching against them. Or rather, they are completely wary of these forces but don't know how to learn new ways to triumph in the face of them. They are separated from the source-beds and aquifers of real experience which feed learning. So they keep screwing up. In my view, although I don't think it matters much either way, it's more likely that Trump is in office because they screwed up than because they brilliantly planned and executed it that way.

2 cents, fwiw.

Daniel , Jun 24, 2018 10:34:23 PM | 46
Grieved @39. I absolutely agree that TPTSB are quite ready and willing to make changes to their tactics in response to reactions "on the ground." Of course, as both Milton Friedman and Rahm Emanuel said, a crucial part of their planning is to have alternative plans already in place. Like in chess, it's often a matter of how many possible moves ahead they have planned.

But if a plan really "goes south" on them, they are quite able to step in and do whatever is necessary. And yet, no matter how much we're told the "Deep State" hates Trump, well, there he is. And his supporters even get to use the Obama-bots' 8-year long apologia that The President is being FORCED to continue/escalate US policies by those dark forces.

Similarly, I think it wrong to assume that TPTSB are some sort of monolith. Within any group there are competitions and sometimes those are very severe differences. Recently we reread Winston Churchill's 1920s oped about the "International Jewish Conspiracy." He posited that even they were divided into the globalist Bolsheviks and the nationalistic Zionists (and that Britain should back the Zionists).

You write, "I haven't seen the PTB do one thing right in the last few years."

But of course, you are assuming you know what were their goals. I don't pretend to know. I'm mostly listing facts - things we can all see that have happened. And I ask cui bono?

Again, the 0.01% were going to win whichever of their candidates was (s)elected. But looking back at everything from the suddenly greatly increased MSM racial divisionism and Russia-demonizing starting in 2013/2014, right up to the present non-stop hysteria about the latest shocking Tweet (while no one notices Congress pass another record-breaking military budget), and I am suspicious of the official MSM narrative.

And I find it fascinating that both Trump supporters and Trump haters are completely sucked into the story the MSM presents us.

But having us divided over everything sure does help TPTSB.

Daniel , Jun 25, 2018 12:05:56 AM | 50
Debsisdead @43. I love your piece detailing things I've seen you post here. You've got my CT juices flowing more this time, though.

But regarding your query about CounterPunch, I've been a reader for a long time. Then, shortly after Bernie Sanders announced his campaign, CP began running what ended up being dozens of articles denouncing him.

Now, I was very slow in endorsing Sanders. I was aware of his record, and once he announced, I really dug into it, and found even more troubling stuff. Mostly it was his rather spotty foreign policy record. But eventually, I decided that he was not so much a 'lesser evil" as the "best good" that the Democratic Party could ever nominate. Having campaigned for alternative candidates many times, I decided to give this "Occupy the DP" thing a chance.

But since I was delving into his record as CP was writing these articles, I noticed that they misstated, exaggerated and sometimes out and out lied about Sanders. I won't f*ckbook, so didn't reply to them, but did post their statements with citations to the correct information all over the place.

For everywhere I went, I conversed with other lefties about giving Bernie a chance in the Primaries. Sure, maybe he'll sheepdog if he loses, but why not help him win and not have to deal with that? Surely getting even a "democratic socialist" in would awaken much of the public who would then say "I'll have some more of that, thank you very much." But everywhere I came across people citing CP and other "lefty" sites that denounced him as "not pure" enough.

Just before the actual election, St. Clair actually wrote an entire book on how " Sanders campaign faltered, undone by the missteps of its leader and by sabotage from the elites of the Democratic Party."

Well, the DP and the lefties who denounced Sanders and ridiculed his followers might have played a role, eh?

Then, last summer, CP launched a full on attack on Caitlin Johnstone.


They did publish an "In Defense of Caitlin Johnstone" the next week, but the meme that Johnstone was some sort of shill for the alt-right had been planted, and is still sprouting shoots to this day.

But even though they'd published Johnstone before, they refused to publish the rebuttal she and Cobb wrote to the piece smearing them.

Caitlin Johnstone and David Cobb Respond to Counterpunch

And of course, as regards your post, Caitlin is one of the most active defenders/supporters of Julian Assange.


Then there was that whole thing where they were publishing articles written by an avatar going by the name of Alice Donovan. I don't know what to make that whole thing. I will say that some of her articles did discuss inconvenient truths that the MSM tries to play up as "conspiracy theories" (eg. Obama Administration sent weapons to Syria that ISIL received). But, she also wrote really bizarre stuff indicating she was not whom she claimed to be.

For any who care:

Democratic Party organ, "Think Progress" on the Alice scandal:

CounterPunch's mea culpa:

So, what's happened to CounterPunch since the Cockburn Dynasty splintered? I don't know, but it's weird.

Jackrabbit , Jun 25, 2018 12:52:45 AM | 53
Grieved @39:
To think that the PTB have it all under control is - in my opinion - an error ...
"PTB" is a shorthand that conflates many different power centers (Banks, MIC, AIPAC, etc.).

While its true that they can't control everything, they don't have to. They don't have to control every member of Congress, for example. But the Presidency - which is the linchpin of foreign policy as well as holder of the "bully pulpit" - is important enough that some degree of control would make sense. Especially when the country is stressed and discontent is high. Then, MAYBE, you don't want to leave anything to chance. MAYBE, you want a guy that will lie well, and do what he's told.

Noirette , Jun 25, 2018 10:23:09 AM | 62
J Swift @14 tempers Jack's post and goldhoarder @16 goes one step further. (No criticism, just another view. See also Jack @26.) More:

The expression Deep State: implies a 'state' which the various strands of power behind the scenes are not; the word 'deep' implies hidden, again, not specially, at least some vague description can be made.

The US is a corporate oligarchy and the politicians are brokers of influence and votes (in congress, senate, and from their constituents..) They are paid to 'support' or 'champion' this or that in a complex criss-cross of relationships and money/favor exchanges. The complexity makes for obscurity. The fake Dem-Rep duopoly in fine rests only on a kind of tribal preference linked to cultural issues (abortion, sex, race, identity politics, hate of communism, religion, splinter oddities, etc.) as touted to Joe Public.

Behind the scenes, in no order of importance:

Banking and Finance, Big Energy/Oil, Military-industrial (entwined with the two previous), Social (medical, insurance, Big Pharma, education, all partly controlled by non-Gov. and/or privatised to the max), Real Estate + Territorial (linked to banking and finance, water control, mining, energy and transport), Big Agri (Monsanto, etc.) Manufacturing is not up there (see Trump trying to correct) except in small splintered stakes. For ex. one might speak of a Security Industry which includes TSA employees (fastest growing employment) to airbags (car industry) to anti-virus programs to Guns sales who are they supposed to pay? etc.

The joker in the pack is the MSM coupled with a section of the performance arts (Hollywood) and communications in general (internet, Silicon Valley, etc.)

Overall, the free-wheeling secretive corrupt system of deal-making and pretend-governance makes it that the USA has not a Gvmt for the people and is thus, it follows inexorably, extremely vulnerable to any outside influence. First is of course the Israel lobby/infiltration, but others, very varied, try the same tricks and succeed. Globalisation, in a kind of supposedly 'more moral', purely greed-based, i.e. commercial vein, move, is implemented to re-create a better, different Empire (as compared to the British, too heavy handed..) is another facet of the picture. That is now failing.

PavewayIV , Jun 25, 2018 3:15:26 PM | 68
Noirette@62 - Well said. Deep state is a hopelessly nebulous term, but one I have grown fond of using lately precisely because of the qualifier deep . The 'problem' with the U.S. government should be defined by the mechanism of it's vulnerability to usurpation , not the individual psychopathic oligarchs or agents of foreign governments/potentates that invariably line up to exploit that vulnerability. Start listing all the players, and US citizens' eyes will glaze over in - oh - 15 seconds, give or take.

That mechanism is beyond the comprehension (or the willingness to comprehend) of most of us in the US. No matter, as we would only try to fix the problem with the two tools of democracy intentionally corrupted to be incapable of fixing it: voting and the law. That's not to say that concepts of voting and the law are inherently flawed - that's just an observation of their current debased and useless form in the US for fixing our government. Which is why the Deep State has no problem encouraging a mindless, religiously slavish devotion to them, i.e., "We are a nation of laws. It's your responsibility to vote. How dare you question the power of the divine tools bestowed upon you by the magnanimous God of State!"

Deep State at least emphasizes the intentionally hidden aspect. I'll settle for the effect of that less-than-precise, but comic book-simple single concept to stick in the minds of my fellow Americans. Where we would go from there is anyone's guess, but we're in no danger (at least in the US) of having to worry about that anytime soon. I mean, if there ever was a treasonous, seditious deep state here, then the FBI would be furious and arrest them all. Thank God! See? Impossible...

Jackrabbit , Jun 25, 2018 3:59:14 PM | 72
Guerrero @66: WHAT is the source of the badness of the current system?

You're right that corruption is not new. IMO What's different is the extent of mal-investment, disenfranchisement, and control.

>> ME wars : trillions of dollars, thousands of US lives lost and millions of local lives lost or disrupted

>> New Cold War : trillions to upgrade nukes and maintain an aggressive posture;

>> Ponzi Finance : Global Financial Crisis is estimated to have cost on the order of 1 year of global gdp (trillions)

>> "I got mine!" price gouging and corporate welfare :

- healthcare
It is estimated that Americans pay four times as much for healthcare as other developed countries;

- environment:
Monsanto, and other chemical/agricuture companies destroy our environment (bye bye bees, hello gmo); global warming (or the potential for global warming) is largely ignored;

- finance:
legal usury in the form of payday loans and credit card interest rates; Dodd-Frank rules were mostly written by the financial industry and even those weak protections are now being rolled back.

- defense:
over-priced weapons systems; virtually impossible to close bases or reduce the defense budget;

- and more!
Virtually every industry gets their profit-maximizing perks.

Piotr Berman , Jun 25, 2018 9:32:40 PM | 98
Furthermore, I've said that it is logical to assume that the election of these faux populists have been arranged (by the Deep State). We have many tantalizing clues that this is so, like:

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 24, 2018 10:38:59 AM | 10

I have several objections here. One is "nature or nurture" problem, how political leaders divert from popular positions that they were promising, were they already "brainwashed/trained" before political campaigns in which they claimed those positions or afterwards. I do not have enough empirical data either way, but upon reaching an elected office politicians are swamped with information and they must rely on "filters" in the form of staff etc., moreover they get media attention with concomitant media pressure. And under that pressure and perceived "consensus" their positions evolve in the rotten direction. Rather painfully, many "training moments" are well documented. As the First Lady, Hillary Clinton was polite when hosting the wife of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafats which got her vilified for years. Giving speeches to AIPAC meetings is much less traumatic. Obama tried to move Israel/Palestinian situation in a positive direction for something like a year, and then he gave up when it look futile and seemed to conflict with "other priorities". Very recently we could observe "training" of Jeremy Corbyn resulting in admission that "of course he does not trust Russia" and some perfunctory purge of "anti-Semites".

Basically, without a supporting and lasting political movements solidifying their positions, politicians abandon those positions or are eliminated. This allows to keep some hopes about "Corbynism", and in the case of USA, a more remote hope that a wider progressive and/or sensitive movements will grow beyond their current narrow niches.

dh-mtl , Jun 25, 2018 9:50:33 PM | 100
dh@97

I have no intention to promote populism/nationalism. I am simply stating that when one strips a population of its sovereignty and democracy, as the 'Globalist' project does, eventually it leads to a revolt.

At this point the revolt is being led by the 'populists/nationalists'. As the devastation that is being caused by the 'Globalist' project continues there will be fewer and fewer people who to drink the 'Globalism' kool-aid.

[Jun 15, 2018] Creationists and George W Bush: Bush junior is the best argument against intelligent design

Jun 15, 2018 | www.unz.com

AnonFromTN ,

There are many other clear traces of evolution (constantly developing antibiotic resistance of disease-causing bacteria being one of the most obvious), but the funniest argument for evolution I know is this: "Bush junior is the best argument against intelligent design: nobody intelligent would ever design that".

[Jun 09, 2018] What Goes Around: "Trampling on the Helpless Abroad" Comes Home

Notable quotes:
"... our government's support for Saudi Arabia and Egypt are not exceptions to the rule at all. They are the rule ..."
"... The problem here isn't just liberal hypocrisy and double standards. The deeper issue is that, as the great American iconoclast Mark Twain knew, you cannot maintain democracy at home while conducting an authoritarian empire abroad. ..."
"... "It was impossible," Twain wrote, "to save the Great Republic. She was rotten to the heart. Lust of conquest had long ago done its work; trampling upon the helpless abroad had taught her, by a natural process, to endure with apathy the like at home." ..."
"... "Just a decade after Twain wrote those prophetic words," the historian Alfred W. McCoy has observed , "colonial police methods came home to serve as a template for the creation of an American internal security apparatus in wartime." The nation's first Red Scare, which crushed left and labor movements during and after World War One, drew heavily on the lessons and practices of colonial suppression in the Philippines and Cuba. As McCoy shows in his latest book, In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of US Global Power , ..."
"... "The fetters imposed on liberty at home," James Madison wrote in 1799 , "have ever been forged out of the weapons provided for defense against real, pretended, or imaginary dangers abroad." Those are wise words well worth revisiting amidst the current endless Russiagate madness, calculated among other things to tell us that the FBI, the CIA, and the rest of the nation's vast and ever more ubiquitous intelligence and surveillance state are on our side. ..."
Jun 09, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

A final matter concerns the problem of imperial chickens coming home to roost. Liberals don't like to hear it, but the ugly, richly documented historical fact of the matter is that their party of binary and tribal choice has long joined Republicans in backing and indeed crafting a U.S. foreign policy that has imposed authoritarian regimes (and profoundly undemocratic interventions including invasions and occupations) the world over . The roster of authoritarian and often-mass murderous governments the U.S. military and CIA and allied transnational business interests have backed, sometimes even helped create, with richly bipartisan support, is long indeed.

Last fall, Illinois Green Party leader Mike Whitney ran some fascinating numbers on the 49 nation-states that the right-wing "human rights" organization Freedom House identified as "dictatorships" in 2016. Leaving aside Freedom House's problematic inclusion of Russia, Cuba, and Iran on its list, the most remarkable thing about Whitney's research was his finding that the U.S. offered military assistance to 76 percent of these governments. (The only exceptions were Belarus, China, Central African Republic, Cuba, Equatorial Guinea, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea, Russia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Syria.). "Most politically aware people," Whitney wrote:

"know of some of the more highly publicized instances examples of [U.S. support for foreign dictatorships], such as the tens of billions of dollars' worth of US military assistance provided to the beheading capital of the world, the misogynistic monarchy of Saudi Arabia, and the repressive military dictatorship now in power in Egypt apologists for our nation's imperialistic foreign policy try to rationalize such support, arguing that Saudi Arabia and Egypt are exceptions to the rule. But my survey demonstrates that our government's support for Saudi Arabia and Egypt are not exceptions to the rule at all. They are the rule ."

The Pentagon and State Department data Whitney used came from Fiscal Year 2015. It dated from the next-to-last year of the Obama administration, for which so many liberals recall with misplaced nostalgia. Freedom House's list should have included Honduras, ruled by a vicious right-wing government that Obama and his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton helped install in a June 2009 military coup .

The problem here isn't just liberal hypocrisy and double standards. The deeper issue is that, as the great American iconoclast Mark Twain knew, you cannot maintain democracy at home while conducting an authoritarian empire abroad. During the United States' blood-soaked invasion and occupation of the Philippines, Twain penned an imaginary history of the twentieth-century United States. "It was impossible," Twain wrote, "to save the Great Republic. She was rotten to the heart. Lust of conquest had long ago done its work; trampling upon the helpless abroad had taught her, by a natural process, to endure with apathy the like at home."

"Just a decade after Twain wrote those prophetic words," the historian Alfred W. McCoy has observed , "colonial police methods came home to serve as a template for the creation of an American internal security apparatus in wartime." The nation's first Red Scare, which crushed left and labor movements during and after World War One, drew heavily on the lessons and practices of colonial suppression in the Philippines and Cuba. As McCoy shows in his latest book, In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of US Global Power , the same basic process -- internal U.S. repression informed and shaped by authoritarian and imperial practices abroad and justified by alleged external threats to the "homeland" -- has recurred ever since. Today, the rise of an unprecedented global surveillance state overseen by the National Security Agency has cost the US the trust of many of its top global allies (under Bush43 and Obama44, not just under Trump45) while undermining civil liberties and democracy within as beyond the U.S.

"The fetters imposed on liberty at home," James Madison wrote in 1799 , "have ever been forged out of the weapons provided for defense against real, pretended, or imaginary dangers abroad." Those are wise words well worth revisiting amidst the current endless Russiagate madness, calculated among other things to tell us that the FBI, the CIA, and the rest of the nation's vast and ever more ubiquitous intelligence and surveillance state are on our side.

Help Street keep writing at https://www.paulstreet.org/subscribe/

[Jun 06, 2018] Neoliberal language allows powerful groups to package their personal preferences as national interests systematically cutting spending on their enemies and giving money to their friends

Highly recommended!
Neoliberals are a flavor of Trotskyites and they will reach any depths to hang on to power.
Notable quotes:
"... Just as conservative Christian theology provides an excuse for sexism and homophobia, neoliberal language allows powerful groups to package their personal preferences as national interests – systematically cutting spending on their enemies and giving money to their friends. ..."
"... Nothing short of a grass roots campaign (such as that waged by GetUp!) will get rid for us of these modern let-them-eat-cake parasites who consider their divine duty to lord over us. ..."
Jun 06, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com
meticulousdoc , 3 Jun 2018 16:16

Just as conservative Christian theology provides an excuse for sexism and homophobia, neoliberal language allows powerful groups to package their personal preferences as national interests – systematically cutting spending on their enemies and giving money to their friends.

And when the conservative "Christians" form a neoliberal government, the results are toxic for all, except themselves and their coterie.

Nothing short of a grass roots campaign (such as that waged by GetUp!) will get rid for us of these modern let-them-eat-cake parasites who consider their divine duty to lord over us.

An excellent article, we need more of them.

[Jun 06, 2018] The divisive societal aspects of free market fundamentalism

Jun 06, 2018 | profile.theguardian.com

AsDusty, 3 Jun 2018 17:43

Half the population prefers a politics that is racist and unethical, that demonises the poor and idolises the rich, that eschews community and embraces amoral individuality. These people don't care about the economic inconsistencies of neo-liberalism, they are far more attracted to the divisive societal aspects of free market fundamentalism.

[Jun 03, 2018] Economist's View Is GDP Overstating Economic Activity

Notable quotes:
"... Economic Letter ..."
"... Economic Letter ..."
"... Journal of Econometrics ..."
"... Brookings Papers on Economic Activity ..."
"... FRBSF Economic Letter ..."
"... Brookings Papers on Economic Activity ..."
"... Journal of Money, Credit, and Banking ..."
"... Opinions expressed in FRBSF Economic Letter do not necessarily reflect the views of the management of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco or of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. ..."
Jun 03, 2018 | economistsview.typepad.com

Is GDP Overstating Economic Activity? From an Economic Letter at the FRBSF:

Is GDP Overstating Economic Activity?, by Zheng Liu, Mark M. Spiegel, and Eric B. Tallman : Two common measures of overall economic output are gross domestic product (GDP) and gross domestic income (GDI). GDP is based on aggregate expenditures, while GDI is based on aggregate income. In principle, the two measures should be identical. However, in practice, they are not. The differences between these two series can arise from differences in source data, errors in measuring their components, and the seasonal adjustment process.
In this Economic Letter , we evaluate the reliability of GDP relative to two alternatives, GDI and a combination of the two known as GDPplus, for measuring economic output. We test the ability of each to forecast a benchmark measure of economic activity over the past two years. We find that GDP consistently outperforms the other two as a more accurate predictor of aggregate economic activity over this period. This suggests that the relative weakness of GDI growth in recent years does not necessarily indicate weakness in overall economic growth.
Discrepancies between GDP and GDI
What drives the discrepancies between GDP and GDI is not well understood. The source data for the components that go into GDP and GDI are measured with errors, which may lead to discrepancies between the two. Further discrepancies can arise because those different components are adjusted for seasonality at different points in time (see, for example, Grimm 2007).
The differences between these two series can be large. For example, in the last two quarters of 2007, inflation-adjusted or "real" GDI was declining whereas real GDP was still growing. The year-over-year growth rate of GDP exceeded that of GDI by almost 2.6 percentage points. Over long periods, however, final measures of growth in GDP and GDI tend to yield roughly equivalent assessments of economic activity. Since 1985, real GDP grew at an average annual rate of about 3.98%, while real GDI grew at a similar average rate of 4.02%.
Since late 2015, the two series have diverged, with real GDP growth consistently exceeding real GDI growth (Figure 1). The differences in growth are significant in this period. For example, if we used GDI growth to assess overall economic activity since July 2015, then the size of real aggregate output by the end of 2017 would be $230 billion smaller than if GDP growth were used. This divergence between the two sends mixed signals regarding the strength of recent economic activity.

Figure 1
Mixed signals from GDP and GDI growth

2018-14-1

Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Evaluating GDP, GDI, combination
Researchers often debate which of these series measures economic activity more accurately. Nalewaik (2012) argues that GDI outperforms GDP in forecasting recessions. GDI does appear to exhibit more cyclical volatility than GDP. One reason may be that GDI is more highly correlated with a number of business cycle indicators, including movements in both employment and unemployment (Nalewaik 2010). On the other hand, the Bureau of Economic Analysis has resisted this conclusion, arguing that GDP is in general based on more reliable source data than GDI is (Landefeld 2010).
To evaluate the relative reliability of GDP versus GDI for measuring economic output, we compare their abilities to forecast a benchmark measure of economic activity. We focus on the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) as the benchmark, since it is publicly available. The CFNAI is a monthly index of national economic activity, generated as the common component of 85 monthly series in the U.S. economy. These underlying series include a wide variety of data covering production and income, employment and unemployment, personal consumption and housing, and sales and orders. The CFNAI has been shown to help forecast real GDP (Lang and Lansing 2010). We use the CFNAI as a benchmark activity indicator to evaluate the relative forecasting performances of GDP and GDI and their combinations. Since the discrepancy between these two series has persisted for several years, we focus on the final releases of the GDP and GDI series.
Some have argued that, because the GDP and GDI series contain independent information, it may be preferable to combine the two series into a single more informative activity indicator. One series that uses such a combination is the Philadelphia Fed's GDPplus series, which is a weighted average of GDP and GDI, with the weights based on the approach described by Aruoba et al. (2016). As a weighted average, GDPplus indicates activity levels between the two individual series. We therefore also consider the forecasting performance of the GDPplus series over this period of extended discrepancy between reported GDP and GDI growth.
To confirm the accuracy of our approach, we repeated our investigation with two alternative series constructed using methodologies similar to the CFNAI. The first alternative is an aggregate economic activity index (EAI) we constructed by extracting the common components of 90 underlying monthly time series. The EAI covers a broader set of monthly indicators than the CFNAI, since we also include information from goods prices and asset prices.
The second alternative indicator we considered is an activity index constructed by Barigozzi and Luciani (2018), which we call the BL index. Like our index, the BL index includes price indexes and other measures of labor costs. The authors base their estimates on the portions of GDP and GDI that are driven by common macroeconomic shocks under the assumption that they have equivalent effects on GDP and GDI. This restriction implies that deviations between GDP and GDI are transitory, and that the two series follow each other over time.
The EAI and the BL index are both highly correlated with the CFNAI and thus yielded similar conclusions. We describe the source data and our methodology for constructing the EAI as well as the analysis using both it and the BL index in an online appendix .
Empirical results
To examine the relative performances of GDP, GDI, and GDPplus for forecasting the CFNAI, we first estimate an empirical model in which the CFNAI is related to four lagged values of one of these measures of aggregate output. Ideally, we would have used the full sample of postwar data in our model, but there are some structural breaks in the data related to factors such as changes in the monetary policy regime since the mid-1980s and the Great Moderation that make this challenging. We therefore choose to focus on the sample starting from the first quarter of 1985 in this discussion; our results using the full sample are similar, as we report in the online appendix .
To examine how well each of the measures of aggregate output are able to forecast the CFNAI, we estimate the model using the sample observations up to the end of 2015, the period before GDP and GDI diverged. Once we determine the estimated coefficients that describe each relationship, we use those values to estimate forecasts for the period when discrepancies developed, from the first quarter of 2016 to the end of 2017. We then calculate the prediction errors, measured by the root mean-squared errors, for each measure of aggregate output. The smaller the prediction error, the better the forecasting performance.
In addition to examining the forecasting performance of GDP, GDI, and GDPplus for predicting the CFNAI economic activity indicator, we also examined their forecasting performance for the unemployment rate as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Figure 2 displays the prediction errors from 2016 to 2017 for each of the alternative output measures -- GDP, GDI, and GDPplus -- estimated from our model for CFNAI and unemployment. For ease of comparison, we normalize the prediction errors from the model with GDP to one. The figure shows that the prediction errors over this period based on the GDP series are substantively lower than those based on GDI or GDPplus. This finding holds true not just for these proxies for economic activity but also for our EAI and the BL index (see the online appendix ). Moreover, formal statistical tests of forecasting performance indicate that the forecasts based on GDP are significantly better than those based on GDI or GDPplus at the 95% confidence level. This result suggests that, in recent periods, GDP has been a more reliable independent indicator of economic activity than either GDI or GDPplus.

Figure 2
GDP outperforms GDI, GDPplus in predicting activity

2018-14-2

Note: Figure shows prediction errors with GDP indexed to 1.

Conclusion
While GDP and GDI are theoretically identical measures of economic output, they can differ significantly in practice over some periods. The differences between the two series have been particularly pronounced in the past two years, when GDP growth has been consistently stronger than GDI growth. Based on this observation, some analysts have claimed that GDP might be overstating the pace of growth and that GDI, or some combination of GDP and GDI, should be used to evaluate the levels and growth rate of economic activity.
To evaluate the validity of this claim, we compared the relative performances of GDP, GDI, and a combined measure, GDPplus, for forecasting the CFNAI, which we use as a benchmark measure of economic activity over the past two years. We find that GDP consistently outperforms both GDI and combinations of the two, such as GDPplus, in forecasting aggregate economic activity during the past two years. In this sense, GDP is a more accurate predictor of aggregate economic activity than GDI over this period. Therefore, the relative weakness of GDI growth observed in recent years does not necessarily indicate weakness in overall economic growth.
Zheng Liu is a senior research advisor in the Economic Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
Mark M. Spiegel is a vice president in the Economic Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
Eric B. Tallman is a research associate in the Economic Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
References
Aruoba, S. Boragan, Francis X. Diebold, Jeremy Nalewaik, Frank Schorfheide, and Dongho Song. 2016. "Improving GDP Measurement: A Measurement-Error Perspective." Journal of Econometrics 191(2), pp. 384–397.
Barigozzi, Matteo, and Matteo Luciani. 2018. "Do National Account Statistics Underestimate U.S. Real Output Growth?" Board of Governors FEDS Notes , January 9.
Grimm, Bruce T. 2007. "The Statistical Discrepancy." Bureau of Economic Analysis Working Paper 2007-01, March 2.
Landefeld, J. Steven. 2010. "Comments and Discussion: The Income- and Expenditure-Side Estimates of U.S. Output Growth." Brookings Papers on Economic Activity , Spring, pp. 112–123.
Lang, David, and Kevin J. Lansing. 2010. "Forecasting Growth Over the Next Year with a Business Cycle Index." FRBSF Economic Letter 2010-29 (September 27).
Nalewaik, Jeremy J. 2010. "The Income- and Expenditure-Side Estimates of U.S. Output Growth." Brookings Papers on Economic Activity , Spring, pp. 71–106.
Nalewaik, Jeremy J. 2012. "Estimating Probabilities of Recession in Real Time Using GDP and GDI." Journal of Money, Credit, and Banking 44, pp. 235–253.

Opinions expressed in FRBSF Economic Letter do not necessarily reflect the views of the management of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco or of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.


Paine , May 29, 2018 at 06:32 PM

Love to read stuff like this


Refining methods of data collection and aggregation

Why ?

Irony

Paine -> Paine ... , May 29, 2018 at 06:34 PM
Vickrey macro ...NOW.
anne -> Paine ... , May 29, 2018 at 06:44 PM
Fine, "Vickrey macro," but every time that is asserted there needs to be a reference to a clear summary statement of what that means. A Wikipedia reference would do, but the assertion has almost no influence unless made immediately, simply meaningful.

Just one simple reference summary will do, continually repeated.

Gibbon1 -> anne... , May 30, 2018 at 01:18 AM
Read this. Fifteen Fatal Fallacies of Financial Fundamentalism. A Disquisition on Demand Side Economics

http://www.columbia.edu/dlc/wp/econ/vickrey.html

anne -> Gibbon1... , May 30, 2018 at 08:17 AM
http://www.columbia.edu/dlc/wp/econ/vickrey.html

October 5, 1996

Fifteen Fatal Fallacies of Financial Fundamentalism
A Disquisition on Demand Side Economics
By William Vickrey

[ I appreciate this reference, which I will read carefully. ]

anne -> Gibbon1... , May 30, 2018 at 11:16 AM
Summary:

http://www.columbia.edu/dlc/wp/econ/vickrey.html

October 15, 1996

Fifteen Fatal Fallacies of Financial Fundamentalism
A Disquisition on Demand Side Economics
By William Vickrey

Much of the conventional economic wisdom prevailing in financial circles, largely subscribed to as a basis for governmental policy, and widely accepted by the media and the public, is based on incomplete analysis, contrafactual assumptions, and false analogy. For instance, encouragement to saving is advocated without attention to the fact that for most people encouraging saving is equivalent to discouraging consumption and reducing market demand, and a purchase by a consumer or a government is also income to vendors and suppliers, and government debt is also an asset. Equally fallacious are implications that what is possible or desirable for individuals one at a time will be equally possible or desirable for all who might wish to do so or for the economy as a whole.

And often analysis seems to be based on the assumption that future economic output is almost entirely determined by inexorable economic forces independently of government policy so that devoting more resources to one use inevitably detracts from availability for another. This might be justifiable in an economy at chock-full employment, or it might be validated in a sense by postulating that the Federal Reserve Board will pursue and succeed in a policy of holding unemployment strictly to a fixed "non-inflation-accelerating" or "natural" rate. But under current conditions such success is neither likely nor desirable.

Some of the fallacies that result from such modes of thought are as follows. Taken together their acceptance is leading to policies that at best are keeping us in the economic doldrums with overall unemployment rates stuck in the 5 to 6 percent range. This is bad enough merely in terms of the loss of 10 to 15 percent of our potential production, even if shared equitably, but when it translates into unemployment of 10, 20, and 40 percent among disadvantaged groups, the further damages in terms of poverty, family breakup, school truancy and dropout, illegitimacy, drug use, and crime become serious indeed. And should the implied policies be fully carried out in terms of a "balanced budget," we could well be in for a serious depression.

Fallacy 1

Deficits are considered to represent sinful profligate spending at the expense of future generations who will be left with a smaller endowment of invested capital. This fallacy seems to stem from a false analogy to borrowing by individuals.

Fallacy 2

Urging or providing incentives for individuals to try to save more is said to stimulate investment and economic growth. This seems to derive from an assumption of an unchanged aggregate output so that what is not used for consumption will necessarily and automatically be devoted to capital formation.

Fallacy 3

Government borrowing is supposed to "crowd out" private investment.

Fallacy 4

Inflation is called the "cruelest tax." The perception seems to be that if only prices would stop rising, one's income would go further, disregarding the consequences for income.

Fallacy 5

"A chronic trend towards inflation is a reflection of living beyond our means." Alfred Kahn, quoted in Cornell '93, summer issue.

Fallacy 6

Fallacy 7

Many profess a faith that if only governments would stop meddling, and balance their budgets, free capital markets would in their own good time bring about prosperity, possibly with the aid of "sound" monetary policy. It is assumed that there is a market mechanism by which interest rates adjust promptly and automatically to equate planned saving and investment in a manner analogous to the market by which the price of potatoes balances supply and demand. In reality no such market mechanism exists; if a prosperous equilibrium is to be achieved it will require deliberate intervention on the part of monetary authorities.

Fallacy 8

If deficits continue, the debt service would eventually swamp the fisc.

Fallacy 9

The negative effect of considering the overhanging burden of the increased debt would, it is claimed, cancel the stimulative effect of the deficit. This sweeping claim depends on a failure to analyze the situation in detail.

Fallacy 10

The value of the national currency in terms of foreign exchange (or gold) is held to be a measure of economic health, and steps to maintain that value are thought to contribute to this health. In some quarters a kind of jingoistic pride is taken in the value of one's currency, or satisfaction may be derived from the greater purchasing power of the domestic currency in terms of foreign travel.

Fallacy 11

It is claimed that exemption of capital gains from income tax will promote investment and growth.

Fallacy 12

Debt would, it is held, eventually reach levels that cause lenders to balk with taxpayers threatening rebellion and default.

Fallacy 13

Authorizing income-generating budget deficits results in larger and possibly more extravagant, wasteful and oppressive government expenditures.

Fallacy 14

Government debt is thought of as a burden handed on from one generation to its children and grandchildren.

Fallacy 15

Unemployment is not due to lack of effective demand, reducible by demand-increasing deficits, but is either "structural," resulting from a mismatch between the skills of the unemployed and the requirements of jobs, or "regulatory", resulting from minimum wage laws, restrictions on the employment of classes of individuals in certain occupations, requirements for medical coverage, or burdensome dismissal constraints, or is "voluntary," in part the result of excessively generous and poorly designed social insurance and relief provisions.

anne -> anne... , May 30, 2018 at 11:17 AM
Correcting omission:

Fallacy 6

It is thought necessary to keep unemployment at a "non-inflation-accelerating" level ("NIARU") in the range of 4% to 6% if inflation is to be kept from increasing unacceptably.

point -> anne... , May 30, 2018 at 01:02 PM
Very nice. Once again, it turns out a number of my great new ideas are someone else's previously solved problems.
anne -> point... , May 30, 2018 at 02:00 PM
Once again, it turns out a number of my great new ideas are someone else's previously solved problems.

[ I like this. ]

mulp said in reply to anne... , May 30, 2018 at 03:33 PM
"Deficits are considered to represent sinful profligate spending at the expense of future generations who will be left with a smaller endowment of invested capital. This fallacy seems to stem from a false analogy to borrowing by individuals."

Except, we do not say a worker with $1000 a week income buying a $100,000 home first week in May ran a $99,200 deficit (still needed food and gas) that week.

But government might run a $10 billion per week deficit from paying workers to build infrastructure that will last a century plus with maintenance which will be repaid with higher taxes over the next 50 years plus higher taxes for operations,....

Or the $10 billion per week deficit might be from ending all infrastructure building and slashing spending on operations so a $11 billion per week tax cut could be implemented ($1 billion in taxes to repay and operate the infrastructure being built at $10 billion per week).

Households and businesses maintain four ledgers, one pair is income and expense, and the other is assets and liabilities. Buying a car, house, factory or car is not an expense, but an addition to assets with offsetting liability. They are expensed over time as depreciation. Excess income over expense is added to assets, in a cash account. Paying cash for an asset moves the value from one part of the asset ledger, unless you have a separate fund for emergency or retire and you borrow from it to pay for the car creating two new entries, a liability for borrowing your money offset by the asset car.

I did this in the 60s and 70s with a ledger I then punched on IBM cards so I could create multiple reports from one set of transactions, like a business. In the 90s, I did this for a year or two with Quicken. It was not part of the "quick" entry and report which was more like a check register, but it had all the options for asset and liability ledgers, with tied entries between ledgers, mostly focused on investment accounts. It lacked a comprehensive asset ledger function to tally house, car, truck, boat, home theater, cabin, and then depreciate them, but I'm guessing QuickBooks has these functions.

For the Federal government, and State governments, many assets are on the books of local government or government subunits, but finance by a bigger government. For example, NH State government funds building most of new schools out of a cash account, while half a century ago, a local government would hike a tax to fund issuing a bond, which means the State mandated school was easy to fund for the rich towns, but almost impossible for poor towns with very low tax base. Once moved to the conservative State level, issuing tax backed bonds became politically difficult.

In the 60s, government debt was for building assets and bonds had tax revenue streams to repay them. But conservatives hated the investment part of government because while it meant jobs, it also required taxes.

For example, the highway trust fund was based on taxes to fill it to pay States to pay workers. If a bunch of States wanted more jobs, that led to higher taxes.

Social Security Trust funds are based on an investment asset and liability model. The assets are the current and future workers plus trust funds and the liabilities are current and future beneficiaries being paid and to be paid. The Trustees report on these two ledgers annually, along with income and expense. For a number of years, they have reported the liabilities are growing slightly faster than assets.

But the rise of free lunch economics that basically rejects capitalism and it's accounting, simply call liabilities the FICA revenue and the expenses and claim there are no SS assets.

Progressives seem to live hand to mouth, rejecting capitalist principles.

pgl -> anne... , May 30, 2018 at 05:53 AM
Here you go Anne:

http://www.columbia.edu/dlc/wp/econ/vickrey.html

Of course Paine is either too lazy or too arrogant to provide a link to what William Vickrey wrote.

Or maybe he enjoys misrepresenting what his own guru had to say. He does seem to just babble on.

Teapot -> pgl... , May 30, 2018 at 06:49 AM
Who hurt you pgl?
RC AKA Darryl, Ron said in reply to Teapot... , May 30, 2018 at 08:15 AM
:<)
Christopher H. said in reply to pgl... , May 30, 2018 at 08:04 AM
Misrepresenting everything is what you do. You sure do project a lot. You're a whole bundle of neuroses.
kurt -> Christopher H.... , May 30, 2018 at 03:08 PM
You make claims like this all the time. Without a shred of evidence. Why don't you SPECIFICALLY point to a time when you think pgl misrepresented something.

You did this for me once, and it became instantly clear that you cannot read - or at least read things into comments that are not there. What did pgl misrepresent. Waiting.

Paine -> anne... , May 30, 2018 at 06:51 AM
Anne. You are absolutely right

I've stopped linking to his work

Wild Bill
Is best viewed thru his presidential address to the economists of the AEA

Paine -> Paine... , May 30, 2018 at 06:53 AM
However willful misreading
And misconstruing
is never useful commentary

Not that attaching a firecracker
To a goat's or a cows or a pigs tail
isn't good old farm yard fun

RC AKA Darryl, Ron said in reply to Paine... , May 30, 2018 at 08:16 AM
:<)
anne -> Paine... , May 30, 2018 at 08:22 AM
Vickrey
Is best viewed thru his presidential address to the economists of the AEA

[ Having looked unsuccessfully, I need a precise reference. ]

anne -> anne... , May 30, 2018 at 08:24 AM
This essay is about the Vickrey AEA address, but does not serve as a summary of the macroeconomics:

http://works.bepress.com/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1027&context=timothy_canova

March, 1997

The Macroeconomics of William Vickrey
By Timothy A. Canova

anne -> anne... , May 30, 2018 at 08:25 AM
Another possibility, but a summary is still needed:

http://community.middlebury.edu/~colander/articles/Vickrey-latest%20latest.pdf

January 4, 1998

Was Vickrey 10 Years Ahead of the Profession in Macro?
By David Colander (Middlebury College)

Paine -> anne... , May 30, 2018 at 08:33 AM
Anne

My daughter is planning a web site
To present in integrated form
Kalecki Lerner and Vickrey

KLV MACRO

I'M MERELY A CONSULTANT OF COURSE
PART ONE WILL BE VICKREY CHOCK.FULL EMPLOYMENT
AND THE END TO CONTRIVED JOB SCARCITY

pgl -> Paine... , May 30, 2018 at 11:06 AM
Give us the cite when she does. Maybe she will be a lot clearer than her old man. Let's hope so.
Paine -> anne... , May 30, 2018 at 09:15 AM
This is a good introduction to wild Bill


anne -> Paine... , May 30, 2018 at 10:07 AM
http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.172.5394&rep=rep1&type=pdf

July, 1999

Saving-Recycling Public Employment: An Assets-Based Approach To Full Employment and Price Stability
By Mathew Forstater

William Vickrey's single-minded commitment to full employment is evident in a series of papers written in the last years of his life....

[ All I wish is a clear summary that takes me to the essence and relevance of Vickrey's ideas, but this paper also seems wanting. ]

pgl -> anne... , May 30, 2018 at 11:05 AM
Vickrey wrote on a wide range of topics besides macroeconomics. Now he also had certain progressive Keynesian views, which I share. Of course I'm not into the mindless name dropping that Paine is into. I would rather actually read what economists wrote. A couple of us provided the 1996 Fifteen Fallacies paper he wrote which is an excellent read.

I do wonder if Paine himself ever bothered to read it as he sure has never bothered to explain what it said.

Christopher H. said in reply to pgl... , May 30, 2018 at 06:58 PM
"Of course I'm not into the mindless name dropping that Paine is into."

LOL all you do is name drop and kiss up and kick down!

You're the worst of that type of person!

anne -> Paine... , May 30, 2018 at 10:13 AM
Vickrey
Is best viewed thru his presidential address to the economists of the AEA

[ I have again looked but cannot find the address. I am saddened at my inability, but will pass on. ]

Paine -> anne... , May 30, 2018 at 11:02 AM
Anne do you agree with what you have read about Vickrey macro
Do you have any questions
Paine -> Paine... , May 30, 2018 at 11:06 AM
Note these key goals.

A Beveridge ratio :

(Job openings to job seekers )

Greater then one to one

Ie where firms
are looking
For more hires
then there are
potential hires looking for jobs

Paine -> Paine... , May 30, 2018 at 11:08 AM
Vickrey called
getting immediately
to this beveridge ratio
on Job markets
And remaining there

a social imperative

Paine -> Paine... , May 30, 2018 at 11:10 AM
Inflation is no excuse
If inflation accelerates

Impose price control mechanism
a la Lerner map
Make it work
No return to high unemployment
Like volckerism demands

Paine -> Paine... , May 30, 2018 at 11:12 AM
Key distinction between
Vickrey
and the job guarantee program
These are market mediated non government jobs

Not a works project administration
rebirth

Paine -> Paine... , May 30, 2018 at 11:14 AM
Vickrey macro ises fiscal deficits
not interest rate and credit flow
As thr demand injector instrument
anne -> Paine... , May 30, 2018 at 11:54 AM
Yes, I agree with the ideas of Vickrey and can use my abstract of the 15 fallacies as a guide. I am pleased. The post below can then be linked to in future...
pgl -> Paine ... , May 30, 2018 at 05:49 AM
Leave it to you to confuse a measurement issue with a modeling issue. Babble on!
Gibbon1 -> pgl... , May 30, 2018 at 06:55 PM
Last night found and read the Vickrey reference. Made a bet with myself that the toxic troika's response would be to hurl low quality insults and disrupt.

I owe myself a beer.

Christopher H. said in reply to Gibbon1... , May 30, 2018 at 06:59 PM
"the toxic troika's response would be to hurl low quality insults and disrupt."

It's like clockwork.

point , May 30, 2018 at 05:55 AM
Would be interesting for feminist economists to weigh in on measurement and modeling error.
pgl -> point... , May 30, 2018 at 11:08 AM
I'm sure there is some humor here but be careful as some gals might take offense at this!
Paine -> point... , May 30, 2018 at 11:16 AM
Housework is not included

We need to pay a domestic wage

Women on average do 20 hours of domestic work men about 8 as I recall surveys indicate

anne -> Paine... , May 30, 2018 at 12:03 PM
Looking to housework in China, and how it has been radically changed with development, I realize to my surprise that per capita GDP growth and distribution of income surely measures housework. A house with electricity alone allows for a revolution in housework. Detergent (non-phosphate) works wonders...
point -> Paine... , May 30, 2018 at 01:10 PM
Housework, especially as embodied as capital in the young, which then yields for employers.
anne -> point... , May 30, 2018 at 03:32 PM
Housework, especially as embodied as capital in the young, which then yields for employers.

[ Do explain further, this seems interesting but is not entirely clear to me. ]

Gibbon1 -> anne... , May 30, 2018 at 07:03 PM
Neoliberal Economics being the creation of middle aged upper middle class men during the 1940's through the 1990's places value of zero on 'women's work'

Despite that much of it involves supporting current workers, birthing and raising next gen workers.

The Socialist/Communist Critique is families require some amount of resources in order to effectively perform that work. As such if you're going to have paid work then the state should require that the level of pay is adequate.

The neoliberal response is to get the vapors and engage in gate keeping behavior.

point -> anne... , May 31, 2018 at 04:36 AM
Yes, this is huge.

As a child grows up and receives all forms of social training and other preparation to participate in society ("get a job"), it is generally a quantity of "women's' work" that is "spent" to do this. But it's not "spent" so much as "invested", as the product of the work is a much improved human being. The young person embodies the investment. I guess we now call this "human capital". In any event, it's an investment of women's work that creates it.

Now, one would think that someone possessing such capital might face better prospects than one who does not, and that seems to be true. But it seems you can look at how competitive the asset is by looking at how it faires in the market. In recent decades, look at the gain in starting salaries. I have not seen a good series, but it seems they have lagged inflation, let alone GDP per capita. Thus the real yield on the asset has been negative, or one could say the yield has been on average entirely captured by employers. Others might make statements using "exploitation".

The job market for young people has been a cruel game of musical chairs: make a lifetime of investment just to join a circle for which there are too few chairs, and the employer gets all the yield.

anne , May 30, 2018 at 11:55 AM
http://www.columbia.edu/dlc/wp/econ/vickrey.html

October 15, 1996

Fifteen Fatal Fallacies of Financial Fundamentalism
A Disquisition on Demand Side Economics
By William Vickrey

Much of the conventional economic wisdom prevailing in financial circles, largely subscribed to as a basis for governmental policy, and widely accepted by the media and the public, is based on incomplete analysis, contrafactual assumptions, and false analogy. For instance, encouragement to saving is advocated without attention to the fact that for most people encouraging saving is equivalent to discouraging consumption and reducing market demand, and a purchase by a consumer or a government is also income to vendors and suppliers, and government debt is also an asset. Equally fallacious are implications that what is possible or desirable for individuals one at a time will be equally possible or desirable for all who might wish to do so or for the economy as a whole.

And often analysis seems to be based on the assumption that future economic output is almost entirely determined by inexorable economic forces independently of government policy so that devoting more resources to one use inevitably detracts from availability for another. This might be justifiable in an economy at chock-full employment, or it might be validated in a sense by postulating that the Federal Reserve Board will pursue and succeed in a policy of holding unemployment strictly to a fixed "non-inflation-accelerating" or "natural" rate. But under current conditions such success is neither likely nor desirable.

Some of the fallacies that result from such modes of thought are as follows.

Fallacy 1

Deficits are considered to represent sinful profligate spending at the expense of future generations who will be left with a smaller endowment of invested capital. This fallacy seems to stem from a false analogy to borrowing by individuals.

Fallacy 2

Urging or providing incentives for individuals to try to save more is said to stimulate investment and economic growth. This seems to derive from an assumption of an unchanged aggregate output so that what is not used for consumption will necessarily and automatically be devoted to capital formation.

Fallacy 3

Government borrowing is supposed to "crowd out" private investment.

Fallacy 4

Inflation is called the "cruelest tax." The perception seems to be that if only prices would stop rising, one's income would go further, disregarding the consequences for income.

Fallacy 5

"A chronic trend towards inflation is a reflection of living beyond our means." Alfred Kahn, quoted in Cornell '93, summer issue.

Fallacy 6

It is thought necessary to keep unemployment at a "non-inflation-accelerating" level ("NIARU") in the range of 4% to 6% if inflation is to be kept from increasing unacceptably.

Fallacy 7

Many profess a faith that if only governments would stop meddling, and balance their budgets, free capital markets would in their own good time bring about prosperity, possibly with the aid of "sound" monetary policy. It is assumed that there is a market mechanism by which interest rates adjust promptly and automatically to equate planned saving and investment in a manner analogous to the market by which the price of potatoes balances supply and demand. In reality no such market mechanism exists; if a prosperous equilibrium is to be achieved it will require deliberate intervention on the part of monetary authorities.

Fallacy 8

If deficits continue, the debt service would eventually swamp the fisc.

Fallacy 9

The negative effect of considering the overhanging burden of the increased debt would, it is claimed, cancel the stimulative effect of the deficit. This sweeping claim depends on a failure to analyze the situation in detail.

Fallacy 10

The value of the national currency in terms of foreign exchange (or gold) is held to be a measure of economic health, and steps to maintain that value are thought to contribute to this health. In some quarters a kind of jingoistic pride is taken in the value of one's currency, or satisfaction may be derived from the greater purchasing power of the domestic currency in terms of foreign travel.

Fallacy 11

It is claimed that exemption of capital gains from income tax will promote investment and growth.

Fallacy 12

Debt would, it is held, eventually reach levels that cause lenders to balk with taxpayers threatening rebellion and default.

Fallacy 13

Authorizing income-generating budget deficits results in larger and possibly more extravagant, wasteful and oppressive government expenditures.

Fallacy 14

Government debt is thought of as a burden handed on from one generation to its children and grandchildren.

Fallacy 15

Unemployment is not due to lack of effective demand, reducible by demand-increasing deficits, but is either "structural," resulting from a mismatch between the skills of the unemployed and the requirements of jobs, or "regulatory", resulting from minimum wage laws, restrictions on the employment of classes of individuals in certain occupations, requirements for medical coverage, or burdensome dismissal constraints, or is "voluntary," in part the result of excessively generous and poorly designed social insurance and relief provisions.

anne -> anne... , May 30, 2018 at 11:56 AM
This post can be used to abstract Vickrey...
mulp said in reply to anne... , May 31, 2018 at 01:07 PM
"Fallacy 14

Government debt is thought of as a burden handed on from one generation to its children and grandchildren."

So, Trump, and the GOP starting with Reagan, but especially in the 21st century, have created great fantastic wealth to lift away all burden from future generations!

Huge lifting of burden!

The future is life of ease in a huge hammock of debt!

ken melvin , May 30, 2018 at 06:50 PM
Branko was panelist on the Debate, France 24 last night

http://www.france24.com/en/20180530-debate-italy-populism-elections-sergio-mattarella

anne -> ken melvin... , May 30, 2018 at 07:08 PM
Nicely done.
Christopher H. , May 30, 2018 at 07:35 PM
I think Trump's victory broke the brains of the toxic trio (PGL, EMichael, kurt). They say it's pure racism. America is racist. We knew that, but Obama won twice. Oh it was a "backlash." Nah, Ben Rhodes knows.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/30/us/politics/obama-reaction-trump-election-benjamin-rhodes.html

How Trump's Election Shook Obama: 'What if We Were Wrong?'

By Peter Baker
May 30, 2018

WASHINGTON -- Riding in a motorcade in Lima, Peru, shortly after the 2016 election, President Barack Obama was struggling to understand Donald J. Trump's victory.

"What if we were wrong?" he asked aides riding with him in the armored presidential limousine.

He had read a column asserting that liberals had forgotten how important identity was to people and had promoted an empty cosmopolitan globalism that made many feel left behind. "Maybe we pushed too far," Mr. Obama said. "Maybe people just want to fall back into their tribe."

His aides reassured him that he still would have won had he been able to run for another term and that the next generation had more in common with him than with Mr. Trump. Mr. Obama, the first black man elected president, did not seem convinced. "Sometimes I wonder whether I was 10 or 20 years too early," he said.

In the weeks after Mr. Trump's election, Mr. Obama went through multiple emotional stages, according to a new book by his longtime adviser Benjamin J. Rhodes. At times, the departing president took the long view, at other points, he flashed anger. He called Mr. Trump a "cartoon" figure who cared more about his crowd sizes than any particular policy. And he expressed rare self-doubt, wondering whether he had misjudged his own influence on American history.

[Obama's painfully slow recovery influenced history. Read Benjamin Friedman and Chris Dillow]

...

Mr. Obama and his team were confident that Mrs. Clinton would win and, like much of the country, were shocked when she did not. "I couldn't shake the feeling that I should have seen it coming," Mr. Rhodes writes. "Because when you distilled it, stripped out the racism and misogyny, we'd run against Hillary eight years ago with the same message Trump had used: She's part of a corrupt establishment that can't be trusted to bring change."

...

kurt -> Christopher H.... , May 31, 2018 at 09:07 AM
Funny you call me toxic when you just posted a smear and a lie. I have NEVER said it was all racism or only racism and you know it. What I have said is that 1. economic insecurity does not appear - due to study as opposed to your feelings - to have been a primary factor in the decision of Trump voters, and 2. that the studies show that the primary motivators were racism, fear of cultural change, sexism, and fear of immigrants. Economic insecurity fell several orders of magnitude below the primary motivators. In fact, you missed the "fall back into tribalism" part of your own post. Then again, you have never displayed even the slightest modicum of reading comprehension ability.
RC AKA Darryl, Ron said in reply to kurt... , May 31, 2018 at 09:47 AM
[What a difference a year makes at times. At other times not so much.]

https://www.attomdata.com/news/foreclosure-trends/2017-year-end-u-s-foreclosure-market-report/

U.S. Foreclosure Activity Drops to 12-Year Low in 2017

But New York Foreclosure Auctions, New Jersey REOs Both at 11-Year High;
Biggest Backlogs of Legacy Foreclosures in New York, New Jersey, Florida

IRVINE, Calif. – Jan. 18, 2018 – ATTOM Data Solutions, curator of the nation's largest multi-sourced property database, today released its Year-End 2017 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, which shows foreclosure filings -- default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions -- were reported on 676,535 U.S. properties in 2017, down 27 percent from 2016 and down 76 percent from a peak of nearly 2.9 million in 2010 to the lowest level since 2005...

*

[When people that voted for Trump answer the question "Why" would it be too much to expect that their answer might change over time with their perception of both the economy and Donald Trump? There has always been a shortage of real world ceteris paribus in economics going back before Adam Smith.]

Christopher H. said in reply to kurt... , May 31, 2018 at 09:57 AM
You're being obtuse again. The effect of the center left liberal (see the Toxic Troika) campaign to mock economic anxiety's explanatory power is to deny it had anything to with Trump winning. They (you) deny he was populist when his rhetoric was very anti-elite and he's a new kind of Republican whose dog whistles are out in the open. THAT's why Obama was alarmed you obtuse moron!!!!

Benjamin Friedman and Chris Dillow are not hard to understand. A stagnating economy causes people to retreat to tribalism and become susceptible to demagogues. Of course a lot of people were already racist, but if the recovery had been good, had the last 40 years been prosperous for your average voter Hillary would have won instead of Trump.

Yet just yesterday the Toxic Troika's hero Krugman tweeted this straw man:

https://twitter.com/paulkrugman/status/1001566129456910340

Paul Krugman
Verified account
@paulkrugman

Hey, Roseanne Barr is only worth $80 million, and was being paid only 250K per episode. So her tweets were clearly driven by economic anxiety

1:49 PM - 29 May 2018

----------------------------------------

Does Krugman understand how dislike he is by the Left? I think he does. This kind of thing is him lashing back at the Left.

-----------------------------

As Krugman blogged about Bernie Sanders's policies during the primary, he said they didn't combat populism in Europe which is clearly wrong.

You can keep going about your stupid meaningless studies/paid propaganda but Krugman went on to contradict himself by saying populism in Italy WAS CAUSED by economic anxiety!!!

If the European Central Bank hadn't forced slow growth on Italy maybe the new government wouldn't be made up of populist parties who blame immigrants and the EU.

Not hard to understand but no doubt the Italian center left party Democrats (who nobody voted for) sad it was all about anti-immigrant racism nothing more.

The studies show it!!!

kurt -> Christopher H.... , May 31, 2018 at 10:31 AM
Wow you are thick. You are completely unable to understand the nuance of reality. You continue to claim things that are not true - about what I posted and about what Krugman posted. You cannot understand that what motivated Americans was different - substantively - than what motivated Italians. You claim that Krugman was wrong, yet provide zero evidence. Krugman provided evidence. Where is yours. Why do you deny study. Why do you deny rigor? I think I know - it is because your entire world view comes crashing down in the face of evidence. The world is not binary no matter how much you want it to be. It is complicated and messy.
Christopher H. , May 31, 2018 at 10:18 AM
I think the Toxic Troika would agree on the bad effects of Fox news and conservative UK tabloid media. This helps translate economic stagnation into conservative majorities.

[I always thought Thoma did the website as a way to combat this with free discussion among experts and hobbyists. Banning people as the Troika wants isn't going to help.]

https://mainlymacro
blogspot.com/2017/12/if-we-treat-plutocracy-as-democracy.html

Saturday, 2 December 2017
If we treat plutocracy as democracy, democracy dies
by Simon Wren-Lewis

The snake-oil salesmen

There are many similarities between Brexit and Trump. They are both authoritarian movements, where authority either lies with a single individual or a single vote: the vote that bindsthem all. This authority expresses the movement's identity. They are irrational movements, by which I mean that they cast aside expertise where that conflicts with the movements wishes. As a result, you will find their base of supporters among the less well educated, and that universities are seen as an enemy. Both groups are intensely nationalistic: both want to make America or England great again.

It is easy to relate each group to familiar concepts: class, race or whatever. But I think this classification misses something important. It misses what sustains these groups in their beliefs, allows them to maintain their world view which is so often contradicted by reality. Both groups get their information about the world from a section of the media that has turned news into propaganda. In the US this is Fox, and in the UK the right wing tabloids and the Telegraph.

A profound mistake is to see this media as a symptom rather than a cause. As the study I spoke about here clearly demonstrates, the output of Fox news is not designed to maximise its readership, but to maximise the impact of its propaganda on its readership. I think you could say exactly the same about the Sun and the Mail in the UK. Fox and the Sun are owned by the same man.

Even those who manage to cast off the idea that this unregulated media just reflects the attitude of its readers, generally think of this media as supportive of political parties. There is the Conservative and Labour supporting press in the UK, and similarly for the US. In my view that idea is ten or twenty years out of date, and even then it underestimates the independence of the media organisations. (The Sun famously supported Blair in 1997). More and more it is the media that calls the shots, and the political parties follow.

Brexit would not have happened if it had remained the wish of a minority of Conservative MPs. It happened because of the right wing UK press. Brexit happened because this right wing press recognised a large section of their readership were disaffected from conventional politics, and began grooming them with stories of EU immigrants taking jobs, lowering wages and taking benefits (and sometimes much worse). These stories were not (always) false, but like all good propaganda they elevated a half-truth into a firm belief. Of course this grooming played on age old insecurities, but it magnified them into a political movement. Nationalism does the same. It did not just reflect readers existing views, but rather played on their doubts and fears and hopes and turned this into votes.

This is not to discount some of the very real grievances that led to the Brexit vote, or the racism that led to the election of Trump. This analysis of today's populism is important, as long as it does not get sidetracked into debates over identity versus economics. Stressing economic causes of populism does not devalue identity issues (like race or immigration), but it is the economics that causes the swings that help put populists in power. It was crucial, for example, to the trick that the media played to convince many to vote for Brexit: that EU immigrants and payments were reducing access to public services, whereas in reality the opposite is true.

Yet while economic issues may have created a winning majority for both Brexit and Trump, the identity issues sustained by the media make support for both hard to diminish. Brexit and Trump are expressions of identity, and often of what has been lost, which are very difficult to break down when sustained by the group's media. In addition both Trump and Brexit maintain, because their proponents want it to be maintained, the idea that it represents the normally ignored, striking back against the government machine in the capital city with all its experts.

But to focus on what some call the 'demand' for populism is in danger of missing at least half the story. Whatever legitimate grievances Brexit and Trump supporters may have had, they were used and will be betrayed. There is nothing in leaving the EU that will help the forgotten towns of England and Wales. Although he may try, Trump will not bring many manufacturing jobs back to the rust belt, and his antics with NAFTA may make things worse. Identifying the left behind is only half the story, because it does not tell you why they fell for the remedies of snake-oil salesmen.

As I wrote immediately after the vote in my most widely read post, Brexit was first and foremost a triumph for the UK right wing press. That press first fostered a party, UKIP, that embodied the views the press pushed. The threat of that party and defections to it then forced the Prime Minister to offer the referendum the press wanted. It was a right wing press that sold a huge lie about the UK economy, a lie the broadcast media bought, to ensure the Conservatives won the next election. When the referendum came, it was this right wing press that ensured enough votes were won and thereby overturned the government.

Equally Donald Trump was first and foremost the candidate of Fox News. As Bruce Bartlett has so eloquently written, Fox may have started off as a network that just supported Republicans, but its power steadily grew. Being partisan at Fox became misinforming its viewers, such that Fox viewers are clearly less well informed than viewers of other news providers. One analysis suggested over half of the facts stated on Fox are untrue: UK readers may well remember them reporting that Birmingham was a no-go area for non-Muslims.

Fox became a machine for keeping the base angry and fired up, believing that nothing could be worse than voting for a Democrat. It was Fox News that stopped Republican voters seeing that they were voting for a demagogue, concealed that he lied openly all the time, that incites hatred against other religions and ethnic groups, and makes its viewers believe that Clinton deserves to be locked up. It is not reflecting the views of its viewers, but moulding them. As economists have shown, the output of Fox does not optimise their readership, but optimises the propaganda power of its output. Despite occasional tiffs, Trump was the candidate of Fox in the primaries.

We have a right wing media organisation that has overthrown the Republican political establishment, and a right wing press that has overthrown a right wing government. How some political scientists can continue to analyse this as if the media were simply passive, supportive or even invisible when it brings down governments or subverts political parties I do not know.

The plutocracy

Trump and Brexit are the creations of a kind of plutocracy. Politics in the US has had strong plutocratic elements for some time, because of the way that money can sway elections. That gave finance a powerful influence in the Democratic party, and made the Republicans obsessive about cutting higher tax rates. In the UK plutocracy has been almost non-existent by comparison, and operated mainly through party funding and seats in the House of Lords, although we are still finding out where the money behind the Brexit campaign came from.

By focusing on what some call the demand side of populism rather than the supply side, we fail to see both Trump and Brexit as primarily expressions of plutocratic power. Trump's administration is plutocracy personified, and as Paul Pierson argues, its substantive agenda constitutes a full-throated endorsement of the GOP economic elite's long-standing agenda. The Brexiteers want to turn the UK into Singapore, a kind of neoliberalism that stresses markets should be free from government interference, rather than free to work for everyone, and that trade should be free from regulations, rather than regulations being harmonised so that business is free to trade.

It is also a mistake to see this plutocracy as designed to support capital. This should again be obvious from Brexit and Trump. It is in capital's interest to have borders open to goods and people rather than creating barriers and erecting walls. What a plutocracy will do is ensure that high inequality, in terms of the 1% or 0.1% etc, is maintained or even increased. Indeed many plutocrats amassed their wealth by extracting large sums from the firms for which they worked, wealth that might otherwise have gone to investors in the form of dividends. In this sense they are parasitic to capital. And this plutocracy will also ensure that social mobility is kept low so the membership of the plutocracy is sustained: social mobility goes with equality, as Pickett and Wilkinson show.

It is also a mistake to see what is happening as somehow the result of some kind of invisible committee of the 1% (or 0.1% and so on). The interests of the Koch brothers are not necessarily the interests of Trump (it is no accident the former want to help buy Time magazine). The interests of Arron Banks are not those of Lloyd Blankfein. Instead we are finding individual media moguls forming partnerships with particular politicians to press not only their business interests, but their individual political views as well. And in this partnership it is often clear who is dependent on whom. After all, media competition is slim while there are plenty of politicians.

What has this got to do with neoliberalism? which is supposed to be the dominant culture of the political right. As I argued here, it is a mistake to see neoliberalism as some kind of unified ideology. It may have a common core in terms of the primacy of the market, but how that is interpreted is not uniform. Are neoliberals in favour of free trade, or against? It appears that they can be both. Instead neoliberalism is a set of ideas based around a common belief in the market that different groups have used and interpreted to their advantage, while at the same time also being influenced by the ideology. Both interests and ideas matter. While some neoliberals see competition as the most valuable feature of capitalism, others will seek to stifle competition to preserve monopoly power. Brexiters and their press backers are neoliberals, just as the Cameron government they brought down were neoliberals.

I think there is some truth in the argument, made by Philip Mirowski among others, that a belief in neoliberalism can easily involve an anti-enlightenment belief that people need to be persuaded to subject themselves fully to the market. Certainly those on the neoliberal right are more easily persuaded to invest time and effort in the dark arts of spin than those on the left. But it would be going too far to suggest that all neoliberals are anti-democratic: as I have said, neoliberalism is diverse and divided. What I argued in my neoliberal overreach post was that neoliberalism as formulated in the UK and US had made it possible for the plutocracy we now see to become dominant.

....

kurt -> Christopher H.... , May 31, 2018 at 10:33 AM
Nobody wants you banned because you provide alternative opinions. I actually enjoy having a well considered argument with people who have differing opinions. We want you banned because you lie - constantly - about other peoples positions and you constantly gaslight. You are an expert propagandist, but not an expert in much else. In fact, you get most things wrong. Also - you are obnoxiously rude all the time. And you are always on the side of the Alex Jones/Rush Limbaugh types.
mulp said in reply to kurt... , May 31, 2018 at 12:28 PM
It's not so much that he lies but that he never defends his arguments when countered with facts and logic, basically doubling down like Trump in attacks on liberals arguing with facts and logic.

But most important, he never explains why an African economy or Cuba economy or Chavez-Maduro economy would be so much better. If they have such great economies, why hasn't he moved there?

Hey Cuba is close by. And the fact trade is been cut off by the US embargo should be a big plus given global trade is horrible for workers. The US government trade embargoes on Cuba are providing great benefits to Cuban workers who never lose their job from evil imports from the US.

And workers in Cuba benefit from lack of competition.

[May 18, 2018] Was it Trump political inexperience or yet another shrwed Obama-style bait and switch operation ?

Lemmings get what they deserve. Almost always as the iron law of oligarchy implies. Period of revolution and social upheaval are probably the only exceptions.
In 2018 there is no doubt that Trump is an agent of Deep State, and probably the most militant part of neocons. What he the agent from the beginning or not is not so important. He managed to fool electorate with false promises like Obama before him and get elected.
May 18, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

bowie28 -> The First Rule Fri, 05/18/2018 - 11:18 Permalink

" Of course it was setup. Rod Rosenstein & Co. have been in on this from the beginning. "

Rosenstein was appointed by Trump. If he is involved in a setup it's more likely it is a setup organized by Trump. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rod_Rosenstein

President Donald Trump nominated Rosenstein to serve as Deputy Attorney General for the United States Department of Justice on February 1, 2017. [25] [26] He was one of the 46 United States Attorneys ordered on March 10, 2017, to resign by Attorney General Jeff Sessions ; Trump declined his resignation. [ 27] Rosenstein was confirmed by the Senate on April 25, 2017, by a vote of 94–6

In May 2017, he authored a memo which President Trump said was the basis of his decision to dismiss FBI Director James Comey . [5] Later that month, Rosenstein appointed special counsel Robert Mueller to investigate alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election and related matters.

Ask yourself why Sessions ordered Rosenstein to resign and Trump declined his resignation? Likely because Sessions was recused from Russia investigation and could not be told Rosenstein was working for Trump from day 1.

(Mueller also met with Trump the day before Rosenstein appointed him SC.)

Also relevant, Rosenstein is Republican and in 2007/8 was blocked from getting a seat on appeals court by Dems. Doesn't seem he would be loyal to the Obama crowd and trying to take down Trump with a phony investigation.

In 2007, President George W. Bush nominated Rosenstein to a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit . Rosenstein was a Maryland resident at the time. Barbara Mikulski and new Democratic Maryland senator, Ben Cardin , blocked Rosenstein's confirmation, stating that he did not have strong enough Maryland legal ties, [24] and due to this Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy did not schedule a hearing on Rosenstein during the 110th Congress and the nomination lapsed. Later, Andre M. Davis was renominated to the same seat by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate in 2009.

Kayman -> bowie28 Fri, 05/18/2018 - 11:59 Permalink

Rosenstein slithered in via Sessions.

Withdrawn Sanction -> bowie28 Fri, 05/18/2018 - 18:16 Permalink

"...a cabal of ruthless and dishonest people..."

You better believe it. What's happened to the NYC detectives who viewed the "insurance policy" on Weiner's laptop? The kiddie stuff is the real hot potato here. The power "elite" are pure unadulterated filth.

rosiescenario -> WarPony Fri, 05/18/2018 - 15:55 Permalink

Yes....when you start to add up various facts coming from this investigation it is easy to argue that the prime beneficiary has been Trump. Why would Trump even consider firing this guy? The more Mueller digs the more crap surfaces about the Dems, and they are in full support of it without any seeming awareness of the results. They are so blinded by their hatred they cannot see reality.

The info from Weiner's computer is really going to make for major popcorn sales. All Hitlery's "lost" emails are in there. All the names in his address book will also make for some interesting reading. Just a guess but there are a lot of very nervous NYC elected officials and pedos making sure their passports are up to date. The Lolita Express to Gitmo....

GoingBig -> bowie28 Fri, 05/18/2018 - 11:22 Permalink

You guys see everything through Trump colored glasses. Trump is dirty and just because the evidence hasn't been shown to you doesn't mean it isn't there. Mueller has the dirt on Trump. It will show. Does everyone here forget that Watergate took 2 1/2 years to play out?

Kayman -> GoingBig Fri, 05/18/2018 - 12:04 Permalink

Watergate was about a burglary and missing tapes.

It wasn't about the Department of Justice and the FBI being rotten to the core.

Emergency Ward -> GoingBig Fri, 05/18/2018 - 13:50 Permalink

Being in the business he is in, there is little doubt that Trump has paid out millions of dollars over the years in bribes and payoffs to greedy politicians, regulators, and zoning commissioners given to filthy lucre in return for building permits, zoning variances, and law changes.

I know he is but what are they? This could be one reason the politicians, regulators, and zoning commissioners hate him so much. He knows what they know.

Trump is no dirtier than other politicians and much less than some. He is just dirty in a way (he was usually the payer, they were the payees) that bothers the other ones.

Honest Sam -> GoingBig Fri, 05/18/2018 - 14:32 Permalink

All politicians and most of humanity 'is dirty'.

There is no man or woman who has or ever will run for office that is not dirty.

As Dershowitz so acutely pointed out, every one of them with an opposition Special Counsel on his case, can find at least 3 crimes they committed.

The only reason theBamster wasn't probed at all is because no one dared go after the only black man to ever run and win for POTUS. HE instead, was protected from any probes.

You're an idiot that doesn't know anything about what this is really all about. Or pretending to. Or a troll. Fuck you for being any of them.

jmack -> One of We Fri, 05/18/2018 - 12:13 Permalink

Obama has a history of taking out his opponents in their personal life, so that he doesnt have to meet them in the political arena, just look at his state campaigns, and then his senate campaign. Look at how he used the bureaucracy during his admin to preempt opposition, not allowing opposition groups to get tax exempt status and sending osha/fbi/treasury etc to harrass people that were more than marginally effective.

With that context set I would like to know the following.

1. Did the brennan/comey/clapper cabal have investigations running on all the gop primary front runners?

2. Did they promote Trump to win the GOP primary, to eliminate those rivals from consideration, just to attempt to destroy him in the general with the russian collusion narrative and his own words.

3. Was Comey's failure to ensure Hillary's victory due to incompetence or arrogance? I say arrogance, because his little late day announcement of the new emails was obviously ass covering so that he could pass whatever senate hearing that would be required for his new post in the hillary administration.

NoDebt Fri, 05/18/2018 - 11:04 Permalink

Having to learn how to deal with mobbed-up lawyers and unions in NYC turns out the be pretty damned good preparation to be President Of The United States. I love watching this guy work.

DingleBarryObummer Fri, 05/18/2018 - 11:05 Permalink

The illegitimate liberal MSM is sucking all the oxygen out of the room for legitimate criticism of Trump. This Russian Collusion stormy daniels stuff is a bunch of bologna, and it's making a smokescreen for Trump to carry out his zio-bankster agenda.

Hegelian dialectic, Divide and conquer, kabuki theater

A real left would be covering this===>

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-01-15/no-one-watched-trump-pardoned
As No One Watched, Trump Pardoned 5 Megabanks For Corruption Charges

Buy they won't because there is no left or right. It's one big uniparty club, and they work together to rob us and lie to us.

Picturing The March Of Tyranny | Zero Hedge

DingleBarryObummer -> brain_glitch Fri, 05/18/2018 - 11:11 Permalink

In the second half of peter schiff's most recent podcast he goes on a good rant/lecture about this topic.

I know Peter Schiff is a controversial figure, and I don't agree with a lot of what he does or says, but sometimes he nails it.

Rex Titter -> DingleBarryObummer Fri, 05/18/2018 - 11:45 Permalink

For the most part I like Peter Schiff. I don't think he talks enough about the criminal manipulation of commodities by the banksters and the seemingly endless reluctance by our glorious leaders to prosecute them.

On this topic: The lawlessness of the 17 agencies is beyond the pale. They have set themselves apart and for this they will have to pay eventually. I have no doubt that in the minds of the Bureau principals there was motive and there was opportunity. I don't believe anything that comes out of their mouths. Robert Mueller is a three letter word for a donkey. He is a criminal and a totally owned puppet of the deep and dark state. Last I heard, the FBI planted a mole in the Trump campaign. Iff true, that speaks volumes...

Pollygotacracker Fri, 05/18/2018 - 11:05 Permalink

It is amazing that President Trump is still standing on his feet and still out there swinging. The man is no coward. I'm glad I voted for him, although I am disappointed in some of his failings.

Son of Captain Nemo -> Pollygotacracker Fri, 05/18/2018 - 11:56 Permalink

"although I am disappointed in some of his failings."...

Yeah I know just what ya mean...

The treason of war crimes he's committed exceeding all of his predecessor(s) in his short assed existence as President and threatening war on two nuclear superpowers that could easily wipe his office and 4 thousand square miles of CONUS " off the map "!...

Endorsing a torturer murder to head the CIA condoning her efforts in public "thumbing his nose" at Article 3 Geneva the U.S. Constitution and for his military to tacitly continue disobeying the UCMJ as a response to that "selection"!...

Telling the parasitic partner that owns him through blackmail that Jerusalem is the Capital of IsraHell as over 200 Palestinians are murdered and 3 thousand others injured in joyous celebration of that violation of international law which is the equivalent of pouring "gasoline" on a building that has already been reduced to "ash"...

And speaking of "buildings" and "ash"... The pledge he ignored before being "anointed" that he said he would investigate but of course DID NOT ( https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2016/11/14/trump-im-reopening-911-inve )

... ... ...

ioniancat21 Fri, 05/18/2018 - 11:16 Permalink

They didn't really think things through when they plotted against Trump and figured Hillary would win and they could sweep this under the rug and then she lost. Funnier is that many expected her to lose as she never won an election in her life despite her being "The Most Qualified" candidate as her parrots in the media lovingly called her. Now Trump and his team will stomp them all into the ground. My guess is that he'll pinch others in her gang who have big egos so that they'll talk and drop a dime which they will. The libtards are turning on themselves in every area now. Look at Hollywood and the sexual harassment cases in the pipeline.

It's just so pleasurable watching your enemy fall on their sword while you sit back and enjoy life and smile....

Chief Joesph Fri, 05/18/2018 - 11:21 Permalink

Was the Trump campaign "Set-up"? It's just another way the oligarchy is deflecting what the real problem is. Americans are fed up with the political status quo in this country, and wanted a change. Neither political party offers any change for the better. It is also why Bernie Sanders had a huge following, but no one is calling his campaign a "set-up", and he would have been the more likely choice the Russians would have helped.

It really doesn't make any sense why the Russians would have selected Trump, but it makes a lot of sense why the oligarchy would want to discredit Trump any means availble to them. And since they have always hated Russia so much, that is the big tip-off of who comes up with these stupid stories about Russians meddling in our elections.

GRDguy Fri, 05/18/2018 - 11:15 Permalink

We voted against the powers that be. With Truman, we got a decent man that was manipulated by the Deep State. With Trump, we got a not-so-decent man, but still manipulated by the Deep State. Sigh.

hooligan2009 Fri, 05/18/2018 - 11:57 Permalink

there needs to be a schedule drawn up of charges against individuals. it's all very well talking and talking anf talking around the water cooler, but until the charges are drawn up and a grand jury empowered, it is all