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In Foreign Events Coverage Guardian Presstitutes Slip Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment

Reporters without conscience: once a nominally left of centre liberal publication became firmly embedded part of the Foreign Office, MI6 and the US Department of State

Skepticism > Political Skeptic > Media-Military-Industrial Complex > Propaganda

News Neoliberal Brainwashing: Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few Recommended Links Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak US and British media are servants of security apparatus Do the foreign state influence the US Presidential elections ? Steele dossier
NeoMcCartyism Luke Harding a pathetic author of rehash of Steele Dossier book Russiagate -- a color revolution against Trump by neocons and DemoRats MSM Sochi Bashing Rampage Pussy Riot Provocation and Deranged Pussy Worship Syndrome Brexit as the start of the reversal of neoliberal globalization Who Shot down Malaysian flight MH17?
Hypocrisy of British elite Charlie Hebdo - more questions then answers Manchester attack vs Charlie Hebdo Media as a weapon of mass deception Putin-did-it fiasco Edward Lucas as agent provocateur American Exceptionalism
The importance of controlling the narrative Patterns of Propaganda The Real War on Reality Lewis Powell Memo Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Co-opting of the Human Rights to embarrass governments who oppose neoliberalism Manipulation of the term "freedom of press"
Diplomacy by deception Democracy as a universal opener for access to natural resources Color revolutions Ukraine: From EuroMaidan to EuroAnschluss Media-Military-Industrial Complex Manufactured consent The Iron Law of Oligarchy
Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Neo-fascism Nation under attack meme Nineteen Eighty-Four Totalitarian Decisionism & Human Rights: The Re-emergence of Nazi Law Bullshit as MSM communication method Big Uncle is Watching You
Groupthink Soft propaganda Fighting Russophobia Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite Propaganda Quotes Humor Etc

Naturally the common people don't want war: Neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.

Hermann Goering, President of the Reichstag, Nazi Party, and Luftwaffe Commander in Chief

  • Lapdog is easy role, watchdog is hard.
  • Lapdogs are lazy but get fed, watchdogs stand out in the cold, and get kicked.
  • Lapdogs get rich, watchdogs remain poor.
  • Lapdogs eat shit, and watchdogs kick ass.
  • Lapdogs need many masters, watchdogs are their own master.
  • Lapdogs are part of the problem, watchdogs are part of the solution.

@RIP, lapdogs are dismissed even by the asses they kissed, while history remembers watchdogs for the asses they kicked.

Backbutton

10 October 2014 3:46pm

When Gerald Celente branded the American media “presstitutes,” he got it right. The US print and TV media (and NPR) whore for Washington and the corporations. Reporting the real news is their last concern. The presstitutes are a Ministry of Propaganda and Coverup. This is true of the entire Western media, a collection of bought-and-paid-for whores.

by Paul Craig Roberts, June 4, 2013,

A lot of our problems come from the unwillingness of honest people to call out the liars, cranks, wh*res and hacks.

A Brief Theory of Very Serious People — Crooked Timber

Due to the size an introduction was converted to a separate page Guardian as a neoliberal propaganda mouthpeace


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[Feb 13, 2019] The guardian "stands by the story" by censoring critical comments, while never bothering to try to defend the actual reporting

What "pretzelattack" does not understand is for whom Luke Harding actually works. Intelligence agencies control The Guardian and shape forums in the direction they consider beneficial.
Notable quotes:
"... As far as upholding our Community Standards is concerned, The Guardian has decided to stand by the article and thus The Guardian views comments such as yours as misrepresentation. ..."
Feb 13, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

pretzelattack , Feb 13, 2019 11:07:59 AM | link

fu guardian.
Hello "pretzelattack",

When you take issue with Editorial decisions of the Guardian, the Moderation team is the wrong place to address it. You would have better luck following the procedures outlined on https://www.theguardian.com/info/complaints-and-corrections.

As far as upholding our Community Standards is concerned, The Guardian has decided to stand by the article and thus The Guardian views comments such as yours as misrepresentation.

There is also the matter that most of your removed comments are Off Topic for the discussions on which you post them, which breaches point 8 of our Community Standards.

8. Keep it relevant. We know that some conversations can be wide-ranging, but if you post something which is unrelated to the original topic ("off-topic") then it may be removed, in order to keep the thread on track. This also applies to queries or comments about moderation, which should not be posted as comments.

Premoderation is usually only a temporary measure. Post consistently in line with the community standards you agreed to abide by when creating your account and the sanction will be lifted and full commenting privileges restored to your account. Post consistently against the spirit of the community standards and you risk a permanent ban.

Best wishes

Meg,

Community Moderator

Links: The Guardian's Community Standards & FAQs

This was about the blatant bullshit, by Luke Harding, about Assange and manning meeting at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

"The guardian stands by the story" by censoring critical comments, while never bothering to try to defend the actual reporting.

Of course, that would be difficult since there is no evidence that Manafort somehow whisked himself (maybe a dr. who tardis) in and out of one of the most heavily surveilled sites in the world.

"Independent journalism" at its finest.

[Feb 11, 2019] Neoliberalism has caused 'misery and division', Bernie Fraser says Business The Guardian

Feb 10, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

Political ideologies appear to have contributed to inequality and disadvantage in Australia in that time, he argues.

Fraser in large part blames "neoliberalism" and its influence on policymaking for the "disconnect between Australia's impressive economic growth story and its failure on so many markers to show progress towards a better, fairer society".

"Favouring the market system ahead of the state system, and individual interests ahead of community interests, can lead to profoundly unfair social outcomes.

ss="rich-link"> More than three million Australians living in poverty, Acoss report reveals Read more

"Those unable to afford access to decent standards of housing, healthcare, and other essential services have to settle for inferior arrangements, or go without."

Fraser says charitable organisations see the effects of "real poverty" that result in "misery, anxiety and loss of self-esteem of mothers unable to put food on the table for their kids, of old and young homeless people, and the victims of domestic violence and drug overdoses".

Fraser summarises the key thrusts of neoliberalism as "the pursuit of the lowest possible rates of income and most other taxes and the maximum restraint on government interventions and spending programs".

Evidence in Australia and overseas shows the influence of neoliberalism on fiscal policy "and the misery and social polarisation that has come with it", he says.

The global financial crisis "should have" marked a tipping point, when the "idealised view of financial markets being self-regulating" was shattered. While Australia "avoided the worst traumas of the GFC" with prompt fiscal and monetary policy responses, in Europe "taxes were increased and spending programs slashed", resulting in a further five or six years of severe recession.

Fraser says that all political ideologies -- taken to extremes -- can be divisive and cause damage, including an ideology "based on a state system".

But the former Reserve Bank governor focuses on neoliberalism because it "remains in vogue". The Morrison government "continues to reaffirm its over-riding commitment to lower taxation, and to assert that this is the best way to increase investment, jobs and economic growth" - despite the lack of evidence to support the theory .

Although Fraser recognises that politics never can or should be taken out of policymaking, he suggests the best course is to "hammer away" at flaws of particular approaches.

For example, Fraser praises "the avoidance of costly tax cuts accruing to large corporations" as a positive development -- referring to the Turnbull government abandoning the big business component of its $50bn 10-year company tax cut plan.

He suggests the "quick done-deal" of Labor signing up to the Coalition's proposed acceleration of the cut to taxes on small and medium business was an example that "political interests are always lurking nearby".

In a separate presentation Keating -- who headed PM&C from 1991 to 1996 -- warns the government's promise to cap expenditure while simultaneously cutting taxes and returning the budget to surplus is based on overly optimistic assumptions of growth in GDP, wages and productivity.

ss="rich-link"> Why are stock markets falling and how far will they go? Read more

According to Keating, the government must stop assuming there have been no structural changes in the relationship between unemployment and the rate of wage increases.

He notes that predictions of a tightening labour market leading to higher wages are predicated on assumptions of growth averaging 3% or as much as 3.5%.

He will also say a sustained return to past rates of economic growth will be impossible unless we can ensure a reasonably equitable distribution of income, involving a faster rate of wage increases, especially for the low-paid.


Matt Quinn , 19 Oct 2018 12:33

Excellent that neoliberalism is being put under the spotlight. To fully understand it, and the root causes of its "thrusts", one need only refer to its history, helpfully chronicled by economist Mason Gaffney in his little known but devastating 1994 work The Corruption of Economics . It begins:

Neoclassical economics is the idiom of most economic discourse today. It is the paradigm that bends the twigs of young minds. Then it confines the florescence of older ones, like chicken-wire shaping a topiary.

It took form about a hundred years ago, when Henry George and his reform proposals were a clear and present political danger and challenge to the landed and intellectual establishments of the world.

Few people realize to what degree the founders of Neo-classical economics changed the discipline for the express purpose of deflecting George and frustrating future students seeking to follow his arguments.

It can be argued that the 20th century was a disastrous wrong-turn leading to the subversion of a rising economic democracy for the benefit of rent-takers. Unnecessary privation, war and destruction of the living world were it's necessary consequence, but it's not to late to revisit the keen insights of a (deliberately) forgotten genius like Henry George.

How Land Barons, Industrialists and Bankers Corrupted Economics , Dierdre Kent 2016.

In a nutshell, Land (aka nature) causes Wealth causes Money for some definition of wealth and money:
What Money is : Seven Deadly Innocent Frauds of Economic Policy , Mosler 2010 P1.
What Wealth is : Progress and Poverty , Henry George 1879, esp intro, ch3, 17.
How we got to Now : The Corruption of Economics , Mason Gaffney 1994 p 29-44. Excellent Prologue by Fred Harrison: Who's Afraid of Henry George? .

For sincere and willing truth-seekers, this short list cannot fail to deeply reward even a cursory treatment.

petesweetbix -> FelixKruell , 19 Oct 2018 04:00
And you appear not to understand the difference between an "average" and a "median". The median measure the mid-point, above and below which 50% of the sample population falls. The average is just an average over all, and become increasingly different from the median, the more the inequalities (i.e., skewness of the distribution) increase. This is precisely what has happened in most western societies since the 1980s. The report mentions AVERAGE wealth, but this hides a large spread, with large increases at the top, while the bottom 10 to 20% in most western societies have almost nothing, and have not seen their new wealth increase for decades. How can it, if you don't own a house and don't have shares/super, etc.?? I think you are generalising too much from your own (probably limited) social circle and experiences.
MobileAtheist -> PieSwine , 17 Oct 2018 23:54
Your welcome, yes its an informative site, I might add, Neo-liberalism is only half the problem Globalisation goes hand in hand with it and both are supported if not controlled by the IMF, with the aim of crushing the working people of third world nations, and the ALP explicitly support Globalisation whilst emphatically deny involvement with Neoliberalism.
justdreamingguss , 17 Oct 2018 06:21
Wages have stagnated and corporate profits have soared! Privatisation of public assets and corporatization in this capitalist system, is the biggest fail of all times for the majority of our society! Back in my day, If there were two working, (Which there wasn't) my wage was enough to own my own house in 2.8 years.
The system is defunct and fucked!
justdreamingguss , 17 Oct 2018 05:52
Neoliberalism seems to be a nice name, conjured up by a nasty think tank. given to a system that enhances massive profits for the few. A system that allows public owned assets (Infrastructure) to be sold at devalued prices and a system where people are to be considered as a commodity, with those of no use to their system being skinned and left out to dry.
RUSiriUs , 17 Oct 2018 05:29
I have been hammering the same line for years now, it so good to have someone as articulate and respected as Bernie Fraser damning neoliberalism for what it is as an economic cover story for implementing right-wing ideology. Trickle down theory has been routinely assessed as a failure to deliver equity and as a result the LNP are polarising society.
HofBrisbane , 17 Oct 2018 04:34
When neoliberalism is broken down, it's just the same old chestnut of socialism for the privileged (via lobbying to create an environment best for rent seekers) and capitalism for the rest of us where if we fail, too bad so sad.
Friarbird , 17 Oct 2018 04:18
Neoliberalism is fraud.
It is the speedo wound back, that 'glorious beachside situation' under water, a pea-and-thimble trick to baffle and fleece the suckers.
Being the creation of Libertarians, it has their trademark ideological motivation, a visceral loathing of government, in whatever form.
That determination to demonise and even dismantle govt is made plain by Neoliberalism's numerous facilitating porkies, pushed as the unvarnished truth.
One example.
Neoliberal ideologues dogmatically insist the Commonwealth needs to somehow 'borrow' to fund the deficit.
This assertion has no basis in reality.
It is a whopper designed to serve the needs of ideology, nothing more.
For Neoliberal ideologues, this piece of deceit kicks two significant goals.
First, it enables them to depict govt as so inherently inefficient, so inept, it cannot even raise dollar one of the very currency which it is allegedly controls.
Down, down goes disgraced govt.
From where can it obtain the desperately-needed funds?
Here comes the second goal.
To fund the deficit, the C' wealth goes crawling, cap-in-hand, to the private sector.
Fearless, freedom-loving, shit-hot-and-shiny private sector !
But it's total myth.
The Commonwealth is a sovereign currency issuer.
Ergo sum, it always has its own money, AUD.
Saying it needs to borrow something it creates and controls-- and of which it has an infinite supply-- only makes sense as a propaganda-driven porkie.

It's like claiming you need to borrow somebody else's piss.

20reeds , 17 Oct 2018 03:28
Neoliberalism (ie rule market forces) is a binary system - it produces winners and losers.

The winners are those paid to lobby, write the legislation, secure the profits, get the shares, run the corporations, the banks, the accountancies, the insurers etc.

The losers are the majority us who remain outside in the cold. The winners are not going to change their ways and why should they - they hold the power and we the masses pose no threat to them.

Its way past time that those who are not winning in this binary game started to threaten the winners. This is what McManus is doing with her ACTU 'change the rules' campaign - it is seriously threatening the neoliberal agenda.

The Wentworth by-election is threatening the Morrison neoliberal coalition with annihilation and just might be the turning point for Australians to take back their democracy and their economy from the thieves who hold power.

Banter76 -> Lovedogg , 17 Oct 2018 03:12
No. With a couple of exceptions the communities that delivered the highest Brexit vote tended to have the least migrants.

I am advocating Social Democracy, a mixed economy where there is a private sector and a state sector and more state intervention to stop communities being 'left behind'. Investment in education & training and renationalisation of natural monopolies such as water and rail is what's needed in the UK.

For far too long all the mainstream MSM including the BBC and this paper have acted as a propaganda machine for the Neoliberal outsourcing of workers to undermine salaries while putting money into the off shore accounts of fat cats.

Meanwhile the Mail, Sky & Sun (Murdoch) and Express, LBC radio have jumped on the opportunity of a divided Britain to encourage hatred of the other.

Colinn -> FelixKruell , 17 Oct 2018 02:01
I used to buy crap chinese marine ply, my new supplier has Australian made, high quality marine ply for 2/3 the price. I always prefer to keep my money local.
2/3 of Australia isn't surviving, they're drowning, not waving.
It is about the 1% who think robbing the poor is good business. The strongest economy in Australia was when wage growth was good. Businesses only look at their small picture and the larger economy is none of their concern. Business has been able to buy politicians for their own profit, not the good of the country.
RobLeighton , 17 Oct 2018 01:58
Obviously, everything is horrible in Australia these days and is getting worse.
Even though Australia is ranked #3 on the Human Development Index out of some
192 countries and has an awesomely high per capita GDP. Australia is also among the
most respected, most reputable countries on the planet and has 3 cities in the top 10
of best cities in the world to live in. Other than that, it is horrible there.
Banter76 , 17 Oct 2018 01:31
"Favouring the market system ahead of the state system, and individual interests ahead of community interests, can lead to profoundly unfair social outcomes"

Australians take note. Neoliberalism has led to the rise of the far right in the UK and across EU countries. Doesn't help that people like Murdoch encourage finger pointing at foreigners while supporting the right-wing economic policies creating the massive division and job insecurity.

PieSwine -> CosmoCrawley , 16 Oct 2018 23:14
Neo-liberalism: low taxes to encourage employment; deregulation of labour market and business "red-tape" and privatisation of public assets and utilities. You may also throw in an unhealthy obsession with micro economics and interest rates.

All of which have been shown to have negligible impact on their stated goals (see lower taxes) and have been terrible for consumers, workers and society.

daveinbalmain -> Foxlike , 16 Oct 2018 23:09
Seventy years (give or take) have passed since the end of WW2.

In Europe, the first half of that period could broadly be described as social democracy, the second as neo-liberal.

To your point Fox, let's see the data on a simple line chart:

Real individual wages per capita
GDP per capita
National indebtedness
Private indebtedness

I'm willing to be corrected but I'd bet you London to a brick that the social democratic shits all over the neo-liberal from a great height when it comes to improvements in these core data.

HellBrokeLuce -> leon depope , 16 Oct 2018 22:26
That's it.. the world moved to the right back in the mid to late 80's ..as the Soviet Union collapsed ..and the wall came down.

Now both Russia and China are on the free market merry go round.. except that they keep controls on certain aspects .. of the economy, an iron fist control, taking advantage and abusing the free market to meet their own ends. Conservatism is about individualism .. as put forward by Howard.. aspirational to achieve for yourself.. Nothing to do with your community. That's why they hate the UN.. generally and particularly in regards to climate change.. the world acting as one community for the benefit of all communities.. So they want to build walls.. trade barriers... it's all characterized as impinging on the countries sovereignty.. The interesting thing is ..that back in the 80's ..the left was all about protectionism.. and isolationist policy. So to speak.. now Trump wants to turn back the clock.. 40 years or so. It's a bit late for that.

So...never give conservatism a chance. Actually..the inevitable consequence of climate change making the world re calibrate economics ..through sustainability, not greed first, will put and end to conservatism. It's a high price to pay.. but I have no doubt it will happen.

Pararto , 16 Oct 2018 22:25
Income is important, but it has been the progressive concentration of wealth that is causing the real damage and polarization. If we no longer belong in the same society, if we no longer care for others as being our own, if we no longer look at other living things as our relations, then we are looking into a catastrophic void.

[Feb 10, 2019] Neoliberalism is dead. Now let's repair our democratic institutions by Richard Denniss

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The opposite of a neoliberal economic agenda isn't a progressive economic agenda, but democratic re-engagement. Neoliberalism taught us that "there is no alternative" to cutting taxes, cutting services and letting the banks treat us as they see fit. But of course not even the Coalition believes that any more. These days they proudly subsidise their friends and regulate their enemies in order to reshape Australia in their preferred form. ..."
"... While the hypocrisy is staggering, at least voters can now see that politics, and elections, matter. Having been told for decades that it was "global markets" that shaped our society, it's now clear that it is actually the likes of Barnaby Joyce and Tony Abbott who decide whether we get new coal mines or power stations. Luckily, millions of voters now realise that if it's OK to subsidise new coal mines, there's no reason we can't subsidise renewables instead. ..."
"... So, what to nationalise? What new machinery of state should we build first? Should we create a national anti-corruption watchdog, replace the productivity commission with a national interest commission, or abolish the failed network of finance sector regulators and build a new one from scratch? ..."
"... The death of neoliberalism means we can finally have a national debate about the size and role of government, and the shape of the economy and society we want to build. ..."
"... class warfare (by the rich against the 99%, though I should not need to say that) is still very much alive. ..."
"... The rise of nationalism is indeed worrying situation.. but its clear that mass discontent is driving a 'shift' away from the status quo and that opportunists of every creed are all trying to get in on the action.. ..."
"... the elephant in the room that no one wants to discuss is population growth and lack of natural resources and meaningful 'employment' .. which self serving politicians are exploiting via playing the fear card and creating further division in society in order to embrace and increase their own power. Further more, no one, it seems, has any valid answers as regards resolving the division and creating a path forward.. thereby making more conflict an inevitability. ..."
"... Like Octopus, the globalists have every one of their eight legs in a different pot of gold. On their arms, suction cups maintain an iron grip. Trying to pull those suckers out, leaves us raw and bleeding. To release their grip, without hurting ourselves, we must aim for the brain. ..."
"... Murdoch's media empire has arms in every Democracy on earth. As his poisonous ink spread across our lands, we wallowed in the dark. ..."
"... The Oil and Coal Tycoons have arms in every black hole on earth. As their suckers pull black gold from the land beneath our feet, we choke on the air we breathe. ..."
"... The Financial Tyrants have arms in our buildings, factories, farms and homes. Their suckers stripped our pockets bare and we ran out of money. ..."
"... The False Prophets spread their arms into our private lives. Their suckers turned our modest, humble faiths into global empires filled with mega-churches, televangelists, jet-setting preachers and evangelical armies Hell bent on disruption and destruction. ..."
"... Neoliberalism may be dead but the former Trotskyites who invented it are still alive and they still have an agenda. ..."
"... Neo Liberalism was a project cooked up back in the late 1970s by the Capital owning classes & enacted by successive govts of "right" or "left" ever since. They feared the growing power of the working & middle classes which they felt threatened their own power & wealth. So they set out to destroy any ability of the working class to organise & to gut the middle class. ..."
"... Key to this was decoupling wages from productivity & forcing us all into debt peonage. Deregulation of the financial markets & the globalization of capital markets, disastorous multilateral trade deals & off shoring jobs, slashing state social programmes, Union busting laws all part of the plan. All covered with a lie that we live in meritocracies & the "best & brightest" are in charge. The result has been evermore riches funneled to the wealthiest few percent & a wealth gap bigger than that of the gilded age ..."
"... The majority press are so organised around the idea that neoliberalism in the sense captured economically and to some extent socially as construed in the article above; ..."
"... Rumours of neoliberalism's death have been somewhat exaggerated. Its been on life support provided by the LNP since John Howard and there are still a few market fundamentalists lurking in the ranks of the ALP, just waiting for their chance to do New Labor MkII in memory of Paul Keating. ..."
"... Neoliberalism's lasting legacy will not be the ludicrous economic programs, privatizations and deregulation, those can all be rolled back if some party would grow a spine. The real damage was caused by the aping of the US and UK's cult of individual responsibility, the atomizing effects of neoliberal anti-social policy and demonization of collective action including unionism. ..."
Oct 31, 2018 | www.theguardian.com

The opposite of a neoliberal economic agenda isn't a progressive economic agenda, but democratic re-engagement. Neoliberalism taught us that "there is no alternative" to cutting taxes, cutting services and letting the banks treat us as they see fit. But of course not even the Coalition believes that any more. These days they proudly subsidise their friends and regulate their enemies in order to reshape Australia in their preferred form.

While the hypocrisy is staggering, at least voters can now see that politics, and elections, matter. Having been told for decades that it was "global markets" that shaped our society, it's now clear that it is actually the likes of Barnaby Joyce and Tony Abbott who decide whether we get new coal mines or power stations. Luckily, millions of voters now realise that if it's OK to subsidise new coal mines, there's no reason we can't subsidise renewables instead.

Neoliberalism: the idea that swallowed the world Read more

The parliament is filling with people of all political persuasions who, if nothing else, decry the neoliberal agenda to shrink our government and our national vision. While there's obviously quite a distance between MPs who want to build the nation, one new coal mine at a time, and those who want to fill our cities with renewable energy, the whole purpose of democracy is to settle such disputes at the ballot box.

The Liberals want to nationalise coal-fired power stations and pour public money into Snowy 2.0 . The ALP want much bigger renewable energy targets and to collect more revenue by closing billions of dollars in tax-loopholes . The Greens want a publicly owned bank and some unions are pushing to nationalise aged care. It's never been a more exciting time to support a bigger role for government.

So, what to nationalise? What new machinery of state should we build first? Should we create a national anti-corruption watchdog, replace the productivity commission with a national interest commission, or abolish the failed network of finance sector regulators and build a new one from scratch?

... ... ...

The death of neoliberalism means we can finally have a national debate about the size and role of government, and the shape of the economy and society we want to build. But we need to do more than talk about tax and regulation. Australia is one of the oldest parliamentary democracies in the world, and we once helped lead the world in the design of democratic institutions and the creation of an open democratic culture. Let's not allow the legacy of neoliberalism to be a cynical belief that there is no point repairing and rebuilding the democratic institutions that ensure not just our economy thrives, but our society as well. A quick look around the world provides clear evidence that there really are a lot of alternatives.

Richard Denniss is chief economist for the Australia Institute


R_Ambrose_Raven , 1 Nov 2018 16:38

Mmmm, well, class warfare (by the rich against the 99%, though I should not need to say that) is still very much alive.

Globalisation-driven financial deregulation was commenced here by Hawke Labor from 1983 as a Laberal facade for the Australian chapter of the transnational ruling class policy of self-enrichment. It was sold to the aspirationals as the ever-popular This Will Make You Rich - as ever-rising house prices did, for home-owners then (paid for now through housing unaffordability for their descendants). Then, transnational capital was able to loot both aspirationals' productivity gains (easily 10% of GDP) plus usurious interest from the borrowings made by the said aspirationals (easily 6% of GDP) to keep up with the Joneses. Now, it loots 90% of all increases in GDP, leaving just 10% in crumbs from the filthy rich man's table for 15 million workers to share.

We don't notice as much as we should, because the mainstream (mainly but not only Murdoch) media is very good at persuading us - then and now - that there is nothing to see. It is a tool of that transnational class, its role being to manufacture our consent to our own exploitation. Thus they play the man because it is politically easier than open demands that the public be robbed. In the case of penalty rates, thus adopting the obvious hypocrisy of which "The Australian" accuses Shorten. Or they play the woman, in the case of the ferocious, relentless media vilification of Julia Gillard and Gillard Labor – five years after the demonization of Gillard Labor's Great Big New (Carbon) Tax, the need for one is now almost universally accepted. Or they play the players, hence a focus on Dutton's challenge that pretends that he has meaningful policies.

Labor's class traitors clearly intended to aggressively apply the standard neoliberal model – look at how it helps their careers after politics (ask Anna Blight)! Shorten is not working to promote some progressive agenda, he is doing as little as possible, and expects to simply be voted into The Lodge as a committed servant of transnational capitalism.

Colinn -> bushranga , 1 Nov 2018 16:14
Wait till the revolution comes and we get the bastards up against the wall.
Colinn , 1 Nov 2018 15:53
I stopped voting 40 years ago because the voting system is mathematically rigged to favor the duopoly. Until a large number of minor parties can share their preferences and beat the majors, which is now starting to happen. This is not just voting for a good representative, but voting against the corrupt parties. A minority government should lead to proper debate in parliament. More women will lead to lower levels of testosterone fuelled sledging and better communication. A "Coalition of Representative Independents" could form government in the future, leading by consensus and constantly listening to the community.
tjt77 -> BlueThird , 1 Nov 2018 11:35
The rise of nationalism is indeed worrying situation.. but its clear that mass discontent is driving a 'shift' away from the status quo and that opportunists of every creed are all trying to get in on the action..

The big nut to crack is HOW do we collectively find sane and honest leadership ? A huge part of the problem is the ongoing trend of disdain for government in favor of embracing private monopolies as the be all and end all for solving the ongoing societal rift. .. which has created a centralization of wealth and the power that that wealth yields.. allied to the fact that huge swaths of the population in EVERY nation were hiding when the brains were allocated.. and hence are very easy to dupe..

the elephant in the room that no one wants to discuss is population growth and lack of natural resources and meaningful 'employment' .. which self serving politicians are exploiting via playing the fear card and creating further division in society in order to embrace and increase their own power. Further more, no one, it seems, has any valid answers as regards resolving the division and creating a path forward.. thereby making more conflict an inevitability.

MeRaffey , 1 Nov 2018 08:05
Like Octopus, the globalists have every one of their eight legs in a different pot of gold. On their arms, suction cups maintain an iron grip. Trying to pull those suckers out, leaves us raw and bleeding. To release their grip, without hurting ourselves, we must aim for the brain.

Murdoch's media empire has arms in every Democracy on earth. As his poisonous ink spread across our lands, we wallowed in the dark.

The Oil and Coal Tycoons have arms in every black hole on earth. As their suckers pull black gold from the land beneath our feet, we choke on the air we breathe.

The Financial Tyrants have arms in our buildings, factories, farms and homes. Their suckers stripped our pockets bare and we ran out of money.

The False Prophets spread their arms into our private lives. Their suckers turned our modest, humble faiths into global empires filled with mega-churches, televangelists, jet-setting preachers and evangelical armies Hell bent on disruption and destruction.

Denniss offers us the cure! Start thinking fresh and new and starve the globalists to death. They fed us BS, we ate BS and now we are mal-nourished. We need good, healthy ideas.

Land. Infrastructure. Time.

Time - "WE" increased productivity and the globalists stole the rewards. Time to increase our FREE time. 32 hours is the NEW full time. Pay us full time wages, give us full time benefits, and reduce our work days by 20% and suddenly we have 20% more jobs. As the incomes of billionaires drop, the money in circulation will increase. We are the job creators - not globalists.

21st Century Infrastructure is about healthy human beings - not the effing economy. Think healthcare, education, senior care and child care. If we find out you have sent your money off-shore, your local taxes will increase by ten. So please, do, send your money off-shore - our cities and towns would love to increase taxes on your stores, offices and real estate by ten.

No more caps on taxes. If you are a citizen, you pay social taxes on every dime you get. In America you will be paying 15.3% of every dollar to social security. That's $153,000.00 a year for every million dollars you take out of our economy.

Land is not something you put in a museum, lock away in a vault, or wear on your neck. Think fresh and new. If you own land, you are responsible for meeting community rules.

No more empty, weed filled lots allowed. If you have empty land, you better put in a nice garden, pretty trees and walkways or we will do it for you and employ "eminent-domain" on your bank accounts to pay for it.

No more empty buildings. If you own an empty building you will put it to good use, or we will do it for you - and keep the profits to fund our local governments, schools, hospitals, and senior/child care centers.

No more slumlords allowed. We have basic standards, for everyone. If we catch you renting a slum to anyone, we will make repairs for you, and if you do not pay the bill, we will put a lien on your building and wait until you sell it to pay ourselves back.

We do not trust you big-box types anymore. If you want to build your mega-store in our cities, towns or communities, you must, first, deposit the entire cost of tearing it down, and landscaping a park, or playground when you leave. While you stay, we will invest your deposit in index funds and assure ourselves enough money down the road.

Sorry you BIG guys and gals, but you will find our countries are very expensive places for you to invest. We put our families, our neighborhoods and our lives first.

Proselytiser -> FarmerDave , 1 Nov 2018 07:30
That would be fantastic.

However - and it's a big however - there is a very real danger that at the next election the libs will again win by default due to the fact that many traditional labour voters are defecting to the greens instead. Sadly, LNP supporters are a lot less likely to vote green. Our best hope is to wipe the LNP out at the next election by voting labour, and then at the election after that establishing the greens in opposition. It is unfortunatly unlikely to happen at the next election....and I just hope that voters in certain seats understand that by voting for the greens they might be in fact unwittingly handing the reins back to the least green party of all: the LNP.

childofmine , 1 Nov 2018 04:04
Neoliberalism may be dead but the former Trotskyites who invented it are still alive and they still have an agenda.
Idiotgods , 1 Nov 2018 03:25
Neo Liberalism was a project cooked up back in the late 1970s by the Capital owning classes & enacted by successive govts of "right" or "left" ever since. They feared the growing power of the working & middle classes which they felt threatened their own power & wealth. So they set out to destroy any ability of the working class to organise & to gut the middle class.

Key to this was decoupling wages from productivity & forcing us all into debt peonage. Deregulation of the financial markets & the globalization of capital markets, disastorous multilateral trade deals & off shoring jobs, slashing state social programmes, Union busting laws all part of the plan. All covered with a lie that we live in meritocracies & the "best & brightest" are in charge. The result has been evermore riches funneled to the wealthiest few percent & a wealth gap bigger than that of the gilded age

Phalaris -> fabfreddy , 1 Nov 2018 03:18
The essential infrastructure to ensure a base level quality of life for all. Really it's not difficult. What are you afraid of?
Phalaris , 1 Nov 2018 03:15
The majority press are so organised around the idea that neoliberalism in the sense captured economically and to some extent socially as construed in the article above; as normal and natural that nothing can be done. As the system folds we see in its place Brexit, neoconservatism, Trump.

This is not new found freedom or Liberatarianism but a post liberal world where decency and open mindedness and open nuanced debate take a a back seat to populism and demagoguery.

Citizen0 , 1 Nov 2018 00:52
The whole purpose of Anglophone liberal democracy has been twofold: 1. to establish and protect private property rights and 2. TO guarantee some individual liberties. Guess who benefits from the enshrinement of private property rights as absolute? Big owners, and you know who they are. ... Individual tights are just not that sacred, summon the latest bogeyman, and they can be shrunken or tossed.
Alan Ritchie , 31 Oct 2018 22:24
Neoliberalism, the economic stablemate of big religion's Prosperity Evangelism cult. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prosperity_theology . Dual streams of bull shit to confuse the citizens while the Country's immense wealth is stolen.
PaulC_Fitzroy -> Bearmuchly , 31 Oct 2018 22:19
I certainly agree with you.

It seems there's been a turning point recently though in the ideas of neoliberalism, as pointed out by Denniss that suddenly it's okay for all and sundry to talk about nationalising industries and infrastructure. It will probably take a couple of decades to turn things around in practical ways. And there are surely plenty of powerful supporters of the ideas of neoliberalism still around.

HonestQuestion , 31 Oct 2018 19:00
Is neo-liberalism really dead or is it wishful thinking?
If neo-liberalism really is on the decline in Australia, all i can say is bravo to Australia, use this opportunity to build a stronger government and regain the terrain that was lost during the TINA (there is no alternative) years.
Here in Canada neo-liberalism is stronger than ever, maybe because of the proximity to the cancerous tumor at the south, so when i read this article, i did it with a bit of skepticism but also with a bit of envy and a bit of hope for the future.
MrTallangatta , 31 Oct 2018 18:58
Neoliberalism is *not* dead, and it is counter-productive to claim that it is. It is clearly the driver of what passes for policy by the LNP government. Just as trickle-down economics remains as the basis of the government's economic actions.
sangela -> mikedow , 31 Oct 2018 18:50
I love it!!
Nintiblue , 31 Oct 2018 18:48
It will look like it's dead when back bone services and infrastructure utilities are returned to public ownership.

Those things are not fit for market style private ownership for a few big reasons:

They are by their nature natural monopolies (so a market private ownership won't work and will rapidly creep up prices of reduced service precisely because they not in a natural market context.

These core services and utilities are mega scale operations beyond a natural market ROI value.

These core sovereign services and utilities, are nation critical to the national economy and political stability. The last thing we want to do is hand that sovereign power over to private control.

PaulMan , 31 Oct 2018 18:47
Australia is a very fortunate country. It enjoys national sovereignty, unshackled by crippling bonds to anything like the neoliberal EU. It is thus able to concentrate on solving its own issues.
StephenO -> ildfluer , 31 Oct 2018 18:47
When The Guardian's editorial staff goes down to Guatamala City, they can stand on a soap box in front of Subway sandwich or McDonalds or Radio Shack.

Europe doesn't do socialism. It's a capitalist system with a high rate of taxes to support a generous social welfare.

sangela -> Matt4720 , 31 Oct 2018 18:46
Jane is too radical and progressive for Warringah...maybe they don't know that?
sangela , 31 Oct 2018 18:45
Great article. Must say that we do have more than one vote per electorate. They're called preference votes. Kerryn Phelps get 23% of the primary PLUS a heap of preferences! But a proportional system would change a whole lot of results
ildfluer -> Matt4720 , 31 Oct 2018 18:41
Yes. But only if she relinquishes her British citizenship in time.
Fred1 -> Alpo88 , 31 Oct 2018 18:38
Firstly we are not in America. America is a basket case and has been since, well, forever.

Secondly the so called "housing crisis" is a simple consequence of a growing population. In the 1950s there were just 8m people in Australia, there 10m in the 1960s and 12m in the 1970s. And, no, neo-liebralism didn't cause the growing population. People having sex and living longer caused the growing population. It is therefore all the more remarkable that we have actually built enough houses to house a population which has doubled in size.

Thirdly, in the last 30 years 1 billion people have been lifted out of poverty. When you talk about huge, unprecedented, un-fucking-believable levels of poverty, super-massive inequality, dissatisfaction (Really? This is now a measure?), unemployment/sub-employment and casualization, collapse (collapse?) of public services, high(er) costs of living.....do you think you're being a little overly dramatic?

Do you really think it all comes to back to one silly economic theory?

Nothing to do with the reality of automation, globalisation, growing populations and the realities of living in 2018 rather than 1978?

Are voters around the world going hard against Neoliberalism? (I note it's now a capitalised term).

In the US they voted for a billionaire who blamed immigrants for people's problems while promising tax and spending cuts.....sounds like an even more extreme version of neo-liberlaism to me.

In Britain they voted for Brexit to....oh that's right....kick out immigrants and burn "red tape".

In Brazil, yep, more neo-liberalism on steroids.

In fact, looking around the world it's actually the far right which are seizing power.

And this is the issue with the obsessive preoccupation with community decline. It feeds directly into the hands of fascism and the far right.

I'm not saying things are perfect. I would prefer to see much more government investment. The only way we'll get that is to educate ourselves about how government finances work so that we're not frightened off by talk of deficits.

However, by laying this all on the door of one rather silly economic theory is to ignore that economics is nothing without human beings. It is human beings who are responsible for all of the good and bad in the world. No theory is going change that. If the world is the way it is it's because humans made it like this.

The "deterioration of the environment"? We did that not neo-liberalism .....

JustInterest , 31 Oct 2018 18:37
In answer to the headline article question, yes WE citizens should collectively strive to think radically, bigger and better than the existing status quo.

PAY CITIZENS TO VOTE!

We must bypass the vested interests and create a new system which encourages active, regular participation in democracy.... lest we wake up one day and realise too late that, by stealth and citizen apathy, the plutocrats and their corporate fascist servants have usurped our nation state, corrupted our law and weakened our institutions, to such a point that our individual rights are permanently crushed.

Change is coming, like it or not. This century - there is great risk to society that advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics and lifespan enhancing genetic engineering will be used by ultra-rich plutocrats to make the vast majority of humanity redundant (within a couple of generations).

Citizens should advocate for DIRECT DEMOCRACY in which citizens are PAID on a per vote per issue basis (subject to verification checks that support the rewarding of effort- citizens should be asked to first demonstrate that they have made effort to obtain sufficient knowledge on a particular topic, prior to being rewarded for their service of voting. Such a process can be opt-in, those who want to be paid, work to do so by learning about the governance issue which is to be voted upon. In this way, a minimum wage can be obtained by direct citizen participation in the governance of communities and our nation). We have the technologies TODAY to undertake open-ledger, smart-phone enabled, digital/postal voting on a per issue basis... which can be funded by EFFECTIVE taxation on large multinational corporations and ultra-wealthy (foreign) shareholders. Citizen will is needed to influence change - the major political parties did not want a Federal ICAC and they certainly will not support paid direct citizen democracy unless voters overwhelming demand it.

Citizens already accept that politicians are paid to vote (and frequently "rewarded" for their "service" to large corporations and wealthy (foreign) shareholders by unethical, corrupt means). Thus, in principle, why can society not collectively accept direct payment to citizens for their individual vote upon an issue? Why do citizens continue to accept archaic systems of democracy which have clearly FAILED to meet the needs of our population in the 21st century?

Citizens are not sufficiently politically engaged in democracy and their civic responsibilities BECAUSE they are not incentivised to do so and because they are economic slaves without the luxury of time to sort through deliberate overload of disinformation, distortion, distraction and deception. Citizens are struggling to obtain objective understanding and to think critically because these crucial functions of democracy are innately discouraged by our existing 20th century economy (that is, slaves are busy support the systems of plutocrats in order that they may live, ants to a queen).

We must advocate for change in the systems of democracy which are failing our communities, our nation, our planet. For too long, plutocrats and their servants have maintained control over economic slaves and the vast majority of the population because citizens have accepted the status quo of being governed by the powerful.

Technology has permanently changed our species. We must all collectively act before innate human greed, lust for power and fear of loss of control (by the wealthy few) lead the majority on an irrational path toward destruction - using the very technologies which helped set us free from the natural world!

JustInterest -> NoSoupforNanna , 31 Oct 2018 18:35
In answer to the headline article question, yes WE citizens should collectively strive to think radically, bigger and better than the existing status quo.
PAY CITIZENS TO VOTE!

We must bypass the vested interests and create a new system which encourages active, regular participation in democracy.... lest we wake up one day and realise too late that, by stealth and citizen apathy, the plutocrats and their corporate fascist servants have usurped our nation state, corrupted our law and weakened our institutions, to such a point that our individual rights are permanently crushed.

Change is coming, like it or not. This century - there is great risk to society that advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics and lifespan enhancing genetic engineering will be used by ultra-rich plutocrats to make the vast majority of humanity redundant (within a couple of generations).

Citizens should advocate for DIRECT DEMOCRACY in which citizens are PAID on a per vote per issue basis (subject to verification checks that support the rewarding of effort- citizens should be asked to first demonstrate that they have made effort to obtain sufficient knowledge on a particular topic, prior to being rewarded for their service of voting. Such a process can be opt-in, those who want to be paid, work to do so by learning about the governance issue which is to be voted upon. In this way, a minimum wage can be obtained by direct citizen participation in the governance of communities and our nation). We have the technologies TODAY to undertake open-ledger, smart-phone enabled, digital/postal voting on a per issue basis... which can be funded by EFFECTIVE taxation on large multinational corporations and ultra-wealthy (foreign) shareholders. Citizen will is needed to influence change - the major political parties did not want a Federal ICAC and they certainly will not support paid direct citizen democracy unless voters overwhelming demand it.

Citizens already accept that politicians are paid to vote (and frequently "rewarded" for their "service" to large corporations and wealthy (foreign) shareholders by unethical, corrupt means). Thus, in principle, why can society not collectively accept direct payment to citizens for their individual vote upon an issue? Why do citizens continue to accept archaic systems of democracy which have clearly FAILED to meet the needs of our population in the 21st century?

Citizens are not sufficiently politically engaged in democracy and their civic responsibilities BECAUSE they are not incentivised to do so and because they are economic slaves without the luxury of time to sort through deliberate overload of disinformation, distortion, distraction and deception. Citizens are struggling to obtain objective understanding and to think critically because these crucial functions of democracy are innately discouraged by our existing 20th century economy (that is, slaves are busy support the systems of plutocrats in order that they may live, ants to a queen).

We must advocate for change in the systems of democracy which are failing our communities, our nation, our planet. For too long, plutocrats and their servants have maintained control over economic slaves and the vast majority of the population because citizens have accepted the status quo of being governed by the powerful.

Technology has permanently changed our species. We must all collectively act before innate human greed, lust for power and fear of loss of control (by the wealthy few) lead the majority on an irrational path toward destruction - using the very technologies which helped set us free from the natural world!

exTen , 31 Oct 2018 17:13
Richard went off the rails in his opening sentence: "The opposite of a neoliberal economic agenda isn't a progressive economic agenda, but democratic re-engagement."

I say this because economically misinformed democratic engagement is a shackle around democracy, at best, if not fatal to democracy. And the biggest and most fundamental misinformation, spouted every bit as much by ALP and Greens as the Libs, is that we must strive for a "sustainable surplus".

As Richard rightly observes, "Neoliberalism taught us that "there is no alternative" to cutting taxes, cutting services and letting the banks treat us as they see fit. But of course not even the Coalition believes that any more." But that doesn't stop them, or Labor, or the Greens from guaranteeing the continuance of the neoliberal cut & privatise mania by insisting that they believe in "budget repair" and "return to surplus" - an insistence which their economically illiterate or misled supporters accept. If you believe in the obviously ridiculous necessity for a currency issuer to run balanced budgets, you are forced into invalid neoliberal thinking, into accepting a false "necessity" for cuts and privatisations, or economy-sedating taxation increases.

Thorlar1 , 31 Oct 2018 08:13
Rumours of neoliberalism's death have been somewhat exaggerated. Its been on life support provided by the LNP since John Howard and there are still a few market fundamentalists lurking in the ranks of the ALP, just waiting for their chance to do New Labor MkII in memory of Paul Keating.

Neoliberalism's lasting legacy will not be the ludicrous economic programs, privatizations and deregulation, those can all be rolled back if some party would grow a spine. The real damage was caused by the aping of the US and UK's cult of individual responsibility, the atomizing effects of neoliberal anti-social policy and demonization of collective action including unionism.

All of which have hastened the atrophy of our democracy.

First things first lets get rid of the neo-liberal national dinosaurs still wallowing in parliament unaware of the mass extinction awaiting them in March next year. At the same time vote in a minority Labor government with enough independent cross benchers, including a preponderance of Greens to keep the bastards honest.

Then just maybe we can start looking at the wider project of repairing Australian society and democracy while we try and reverse the near-decade of damage the LNP have done with their dangerous pro-fossil fuel stance, their insane climate change denial and hypocritical big business friendly economic policies.

Should be a snap!

exTen -> Loco Jack , 31 Oct 2018 08:05
The irony is that it's simple. It's the Heath Robinson contraptions that the economic priesthood for the plutocracy snow us with that are complicated, that turn us off economic thinking because they are impenetrable and make no sense. The simplicity comes from accepting the blinding obvious truth, once you think about it. The federal government is the monopoly issuer of the AUD. The rest of the world are users, not issuers. Its "budgets" are not our budgets. Nothing like them. Kind of the opposite. Its surpluses are the economy's deficits. Its deficits are the economy's surpluses.

[Feb 10, 2019] Neoliberalism's great strength is its ability to divide and rule effectively via its emphasis on individual responsibility and its insistence (as Thatcher cynically thundered) that there is no such thing as society.

Feb 10, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

KiwiInStraya , 16 Oct 2018 22:14

Neoliberalism is about maintaining success to the successful. As such, the policy has delivered as promised.
Runerunner -> Fred1 , 16 Oct 2018 22:08
No fred but I've seen a lot of places with the 9 billion and there isn't much there now, just ruined deserts.

Just seeing the chaos in Egypt in 2012 was enough and that huge population fighting over fuel, water and food is around 75% under the age of 25.

I don'r believe we do have bigger problems than the population explosion.

CaptainFlacid , 16 Oct 2018 22:06
Neoliberalism has been a spectacular failure that has seen the rich get richer and the poor more indebted to them.
20thcenturycoyote , 16 Oct 2018 21:55
Show me a neoliberal and I'll show you a self-serving prick with an over-inflated sense of self-entitlement.
Mikey70 , 16 Oct 2018 21:36
Former RBA governor says "Coalition pursues low-tax road to jobs and growth despite lack of evidence to support it"

The incumbent political cabal of grifters and leaners aren't interested in evidence, for the self righteous it has always been inconvenient & unnecessary.

Bearmuchly , 16 Oct 2018 21:34
Neo liberal capitalism is based on the premise that the Govt. sector
has a minimal role to play in the economy in a regulatory manner
, in the provision of goods/services and in redistributing wealth
........basically, the less Govt. the better.

As a starting point, it is best to consider what level of services
society expects from Govt. and to cost these, that then gives
you an amount of revenue required to fund these.......in Australia
our figure in 2017 was 28.2% of GDP (which also allowed for a
$6.2b. deficit and for some debt repayment)...the Federal share of this
was 21.6 % of GDP. In the world of wealthy countries (the OECD)
we sit at 27th of 35 ie: we are a low taxing country....the OECD average
is 34.3%.

The next part of any debate is what range and quality of services we expect
...in the US their social services/$'s provided by Govt. has plummeted by 50%
since neo liberalism was introduced (the Reagan era) whilst, for example Defence/
Security has risen by 5% of GDP and is by far the highest proportion in the world.
In Australia our proportions have changed far less......even with Medicare,
PBS, Child care subsidies, Education spending etc. our revenue rate has
dropped from an average of 33.5% of GDP to an average of 26.2% since the
1980's. (NDIS is too recent to be included but will up the ante).

The next step to consider is WHERE will the revenue come from and this
is where we have NOT followed the US in their lunacy.......since Reagan
their tax take from corporate profits and income taxes from the rich have
plummeted (and their deficits risen inexorably).

Putting it simply, Australia has indeed swallowed the neoliberal pill, but
has largely preserved its social amenity and the size of its Govt. sector.
It has privatised much but kept many aspects in public hands eg; much
of our healthcare. The pressures continue to privatise more, however
it still sees the Govt. being the funder but not the provider.....THAT has
been our massive change. Our reality has also been that household
incomes have been stagnant for years for at least 50% of our population
(it is worse in the US) as have been our income support payments ie:
Pensions and benefits (especially the latter that have gone backwards).
and our social mobility ie: the support/opportunity for people to move
from low to higher incomes (mostly via higher educational achievement)
have also stagnated in many cohorts.......in other words neoliberalism
has changed Australia, it has allowed the affluent and rich to improve
their situations but has seen stagnation for everyone else .......not
exactly a success after > 35 years, but at least not as bad as the US !

LovelyDaffodils , 16 Oct 2018 21:32
Neo-liberalism and it's form of capitalism is obviously not working; it's more of a Ponzi scheme, and causes societal division and inequality to an extreme. These intransigent politicians will keep taking us down the road of destruction unless we stop them.

Morrison and his cohort are dangerous, very dangerous, and will become even worse because what they do is transparent, and we let them get away with it. To them, they see their positions of power, and their actions, as being approved by the voting public to keep the unethical behaviour going.

Cosmo_Wilson , 16 Oct 2018 21:32
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Bewareofnazihippies , 16 Oct 2018 21:32
Neo-liberalism = Failed Democracy/Corrupt government/Corporate feudalism.
Really no other way to describe it, and it's consequences.
And more and more people are waking up to this fact.
It's the 'what to do about it' that is the problem.
Overturn the government?
Revolution?
Bring back the tumbrils?
Personally, I'd think an aware, involved, and empowered citizenry would be the best solution.
Runerunner -> happylittledebunkera , 16 Oct 2018 21:30
Capitalism has brought lots of debt to the masses. $4 trillion of it in fact and that will lead to poverty and misery if it can't be paid back readily.
Capitalism is fine until it enters this debt binge stage and then it needs a great big correction to get it back on an even keel.
leon depope -> HellBrokeLuce , 16 Oct 2018 21:29
Since the 1980's and Thatcher and Reagan, the dominant political and economic rational has been neo-liberalism. Even under Blair and Brown (labour PM's in the UK) the thinking was neo-liberalism, as it largely was under Rudd and Gillard in Australia.
It is decades of right wing thinking which has been all pervasive in western societies and it will take decades to correct the faults that have been created in society; starting with changing the perceived accepted idea that govts do not exist to create jobs and that we exist, as individuals, to serve the economy (as is evidenced by the punishing of the unemployed and the drive to get women back into work as soon as possible after having children).
Thorlar1 , 16 Oct 2018 20:24
Its not so much polarisation as atomisation.

Neoliberalism's great strength is its ability to divide and rule effectively via its emphasis on individual responsibility and its insistence (as Thatcher cynically thundered) that there is no such thing as society.

In the absence of any kind of inspirational narrative or indeed hope, the morally bankrupt LNP have actually come to believe their own TINA propaganda. Their impoverished imaginations just can't imagine any other way of maintaining the status quo for their constituency than by keeping as much of the population as possible undereducated but surviving sufficiently to be jealous of what they have and fearful of the state taking it away.

An atomised population is one in which daily life, in the words of Thomas Hobbes, is a 'war of all against all'. How pathetic that conservative governments in 2018 remain intent on driving us back to a 'state of nature' Hobbes was condemning in 1651.

While our governments continue to be run by and for the benefit of big business and the wealthy at the expense of the rest of society, low-taxing neoliberal dogma will remain the order of the day.

Oneron , 16 Oct 2018 20:19
Dear Bernie, when have ideologues of any persuasion ever, ever relied on evidence...

The Neo-liberal project was conceived as an ideology- a way to hollow out the democratic legitimacy, and replace it with a Corporatocracy... This was based less on an economic rationale but more as a reaction to the democratization of voices and the challenges they posed to the 'old world' spheres of authority and power that emerged front he 60's and early 70's.
The Washington Consensus was the ideological product of this reaction- so vigorously championed by Reagan and Thatcher- who could forget her silly remark that there is no such thing as a society...
That's why the electorate in today's democratic countries seem to be only left with "rhetorical" Leaders- windbags, whose pronouncements signify nothing.

Fred1 , 16 Oct 2018 20:08
I'm not a conspiracy theorist but* if was I would say that the lizard people introduced the word "neo-liberalism" to distract people from the real issues......

But seriously, what the hell do people even mean by this term? darkbluedragon bless his/her/their/its cotton socks has done his/her/their/its best to explain what it is. In fact, if in 2019 we no longer identify along the lines of traditional gender roles why does anyone think we can agree on a over-arching economic theory which apparently is responsible for all of the woes in the world?

And actually the premise of all of this is of course how shit everything is today. People love talking about how the world was so much better 40 years ago or whenever. You know when women and minorities were discriminated against and so there were more jobs for white men. Good times I say.

The reality is that the world is the way it is because of people. If neo-liberalism is all about greed and meanness then frankly it's because people are greedy and mean. 100 years ago we were killing each other with bayonets. Bankers screwing vulnerable customers is an improvement compared to that shit.

Many people who talk about "neo-liebralism" in the political sense instead of the economic sense are also terrified of government deficits and think government finances are like a households. So what are you going to do?

If we're all going to become economists overnight (which I would strongly advise against) then we may as well go the whole hog and understand the other side of the coin i.e. the different monetary theories. But no side of the coin is going to be perfect because....because....people, people. People in the shit sense and a people in the glorious sense. People in all senses....

*Why does "I'm not.....but" always mean "I am"? I'm not racist but...I don't mean to be rude but........

JustAnotherPenguin , 16 Oct 2018 20:06
During their undergraduate years future politicians and business people learn about ideas that then form the foundations of their understanding of the world and how it works. Unfortunately, while the scholarship moves on, the politicians and business people don't, having dedicated their lives to their careers. So we end up with governments of people operating on principles some decades out of date, and often discredited. And when they want advice, who do they turn to? Not academia (and if they do they usually ignore it), but to business people, who are working off the same base.
It is often noticed that politicians in the twenty-first century seem to be applying nineteenth century solutions to twentieth century problems. What can be done?
Foxlike , 16 Oct 2018 19:55
Bring on the royal commission into privatisation!

In the absence of an RC, then at least a twenty-year comparative analysis of the economic and social 'benefits' (few) and costs (incalculable) of privatisation to the taxpayers of Australia, and the 'benefits' (massive) and costs (none) to the private sector. Surely someone has his data at their fingertips?

1908kangaroos , 16 Oct 2018 19:48
Neoliberalism is usually just a term to justify selfish arseholes making more money, usually by ripping off workers..
Bho Ghan-Pryde , 16 Oct 2018 19:33
At long freaking last some sanity is creeping back into the discussion of economics amongst those who have run the economy. Neo-liberal capitalism has run its course. It ended ten years ago in the GFC and probably before. Whatever good it has done is being undone in its extremes.


Even the capitalists at capitalist central do not believe in capitalism. When broke during the GFC they declared they were "too big to fail" and so market forces no longer applied to them. The people who own and run the capitalist system have long abandoned it but the Corporate State and its serfs - such as the liberal party - want to foist it on the peasants as a means of control.


The "too big to fail" capitalists park their business risk in the treasuries of the West and pocket the profits and then blame the poor for the lack of public money. It would be funny if it wasn't doing so much damage.

On climate change capitalism has failed. It has no way to deal with such an emergency. Capitalism has always taken such things as clean air, water and land from others without compensation and turned them into massive profit for the few. It can never tackle climate change as it means paying for environmental damage and other public resources and that contradict centuries of capitalist exploitation.
The answer for the right-wing neo-liberal capitalist is what it has always been when confronted with the contradictions of capitalism. Racism and division. Exactly what the IPA-liberal party has been about this last week big time. It is all normal for this system.

Isitruegoodoruseful , 16 Oct 2018 19:21
Because its based on Neo-Classical economics. A universally enforced scam economic dogma designed by and for the rich landowning classes to destroy any attempt at land value taxation.
https://www.prosper.org.au/2007/11/07/the-corruption-of-economics /

[Feb 10, 2019] Can Elizabeth Warren reclaim her role as Democrats' top foil to Trump? by Sabrina Siddiqui in

Notable quotes:
"... The job paid minimum wage and exposed Warren firsthand to the topics that would later define her career: the power of corporations and the effects of bankruptcy on the American consumer. ..."
"... Warren, who had been sharply critical of Clinton in part over her ties to Wall Street, ultimately chose not to challenge her for the Democratic party's nomination and endorsed the former secretary of state's campaign. It was also during this time that Warren proved among the few capable of getting under then candidate Donald Trump's skin. ..."
"... At the same time, Warren became a top target of conservatives and Trump himself. The president has repeatedly mocked Warren with the derisive nickname "Pocahontas" – including at an event intended to honor Native Americans. ..."
"... Republicans first tried to push the notion that Warren used her Native American ancestry to further her career in the 2012 Senate race, homing in on a single questionnaire in which she claimed mixed ancestry. ..."
"... But the matter did not end there. The Washington Post published a story revealing Warren listed her race as "American Indian" while seeking a Texas bar registration card in 1986. ..."
"... Warren's platform includes the single-payer healthcare system Medicare for All, debt-free college tuition and anti-corruption legislation designed to restore accountability in government. She is also poised to unveil a proposal that would impose a wealth tax on Americans worth over $50m. ..."
Feb 10, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

Warren's official entry into the race has differed sharply from when she captured widespread liberal enthusiasm in her unlikely bid for the Senate seven years ago.

The two-term senator will join a crowded Democratic primary field with no clear frontrunner – and several contenders jockeying to claim the progressive mantle that she aspires to grasp. She has also found herself contending with a lingering controversy for previously identifying as Native American over the course of nearly two decades.

The question now is whether Warren, who moved early to build an expansive field operation in anticipation of her presidential run, can overcome early setbacks and reclaim her role as the Democratic party's top foil to Donald Trump.

divider

Born to middle-class parents in Norman, Oklahoma , Warren has spoken candidly about how her family's livelihood was upended when her father's heart attack forced him out of work. Addressing crowds across the country, Warren often recalls how her late mother – determined not to lose the family's home – "pulled on her best dress" and got her first paying job at the department store Sears.

The job paid minimum wage and exposed Warren firsthand to the topics that would later define her career: the power of corporations and the effects of bankruptcy on the American consumer.

Her research in bankruptcy law – and the impact on the average person's medical bills, mortgage payments and other installments – led Warren to become a leading expert on the subject and rise in the academia world.

"These are the issues she still cares about," said Charles Fried, a professor at Harvard Law School who helped recruit Warren to its faculty.

"I think she is extraordinary for this reason, that she got into politics because she cared about some issues. She didn't get into politics because she wanted to be in office and then tried to figure out what issues she cared about."

Warren cultivated a profile as a populist firebrand against the backdrop of the Great Recession, earning the ire of Wall Street by spearheading the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – an agency established under the Obama administration as part of the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill of 2010.

Upon being passed over to head the agency she helped create, Warren decided to continue the fight from within the government, embarking on a campaign to win back the late senator and liberal icon Ted Kennedy's seat from the Republican incumbent, Scott Brown, in the high-profile 2012 Massachusetts Senate race.

Roughly $70m was spent on the bitterly waged contest, which catapulted Warren to the national stage.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Elizabeth Warren speaks during day two of the Democratic national convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, on 5 September 2012. Photograph: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The race also saw Warren cement herself as a leader of the burgeoning progressive movement within the Democratic party; branding the choice before voters as "Wall Street versus you", Warren viewed the election as an opportunity to hand a major defeat to what she once dubbed as "the largest lobbying force ever assembled on the face of the earth".

Following her victory, Warren's profile grew so rapidly that speculation swiftly emerged over a potential White House run in 2016, despite the inevitability of Hillary Clinton's candidacy. A group of progressives even mounted a #DraftWarren campaign.

Warren, who had been sharply critical of Clinton in part over her ties to Wall Street, ultimately chose not to challenge her for the Democratic party's nomination and endorsed the former secretary of state's campaign. It was also during this time that Warren proved among the few capable of getting under then candidate Donald Trump's skin.

After Trump derided Clinton as a "nasty woman", Warren famously riffed: "Get this, Donald. Nasty women are tough, nasty women are smart and nasty women vote, and on November 8, we nasty women are going to march our nasty feet to cast our nasty votes to get you out of our lives forever."

The 2016 presidential election did not, however, produce the groundswell of unified opposition to Trump that Democrats had hoped for. Instead, it left the party in search of a clear leader to fill the void left by Obama's departure from the White House.

For Warren, it looked as though her moment had arrived.

In the early days of the Trump administration, Warren quickly emerged as the face of the Democratic opposition, matching the president's tweets with sharp ripostes of her own and holding his cabinet nominees to account when they appeared for consideration before congressional committees.

During the confirmation process for the former attorney general Jeff Sessions, Warren famously read a letter written 30 years prior by Coretta Scott King, in which the widow of Dr Martin Luther King Jr warned of Sessions' civil rights record from the time of his nomination for a federal judgeship.

Silenced by Republicans mid-speech on the Senate floor, Warren read the letter on Facebook Live. The hashtag #LetLizSpeak trended on Twitter and the phrase "Nevertheless, she persisted" was coined.

At the same time, Warren became a top target of conservatives and Trump himself. The president has repeatedly mocked Warren with the derisive nickname "Pocahontas" – including at an event intended to honor Native Americans.

Although Warren long ignored the president's taunts, she took the unusual step of addressing the issue head on in October by making public the results of a DNA test revealing that she did, in fact, have some Native American ancestry.

Rather than putting the topic to rest, Warren's move was rebuked by some tribal leaders, who felt it politicized their identity, and reignited the story.

Republicans first tried to push the notion that Warren used her Native American ancestry to further her career in the 2012 Senate race, homing in on a single questionnaire in which she claimed mixed ancestry.

An exhaustive investigation by the Boston Globe found no evidence that Warren benefited from doing so, and nearly every living Harvard law professor involved in her hiring has said it was not a factor in their votes to offer her a tenured position.

"When we brought her to Harvard, no one had a clue that she thought of herself as Native American," said Laurence Tribe, the school's professor of constitutional law.

"I think she's had an unfair rap," he added. "I don't think it's the case that she ever exploited her family's background or ancestry in a way that some people seem to think she did."

The Cherokee nation, one of the groups that was critical of Warren, said she privately apologized to to tribal leaders.

But the matter did not end there. The Washington Post published a story revealing Warren listed her race as "American Indian" while seeking a Texas bar registration card in 1986. Warren apologized once more, telling reporters: "I'm not a tribal citizen.

"My apology is an apology for not having been more sensitive about tribal citizenship and tribal sovereignty. I really want to underline the point, tribes and only tribes determine tribal citizenship."

Warren remains a popular figure in the Democratic party and was easily re-elected to a second Senate term in the 2018 midterm elections.

Even so, she received fewer votes in her home state than Charlie Baker, the Republican governor of Massachusetts, prompting Warren's hometown paper to urge the senator to reconsider a presidential bid.

"While Warren won re-election, her margin of victory in November suggests there's a ceiling on her popularity," the Boston Globe editorial board wrote. "Baker garnered more votes than she did in a state that is supposed to be a Democratic haven."

She's hard-edged, not personally, but ideologically. She takes very sharp and controversial positions

Barney Frank

"While Warren is an effective and impactful senator with an important voice nationally, she has become a divisive figure," the board added. "A unifying voice is what the country needs now after the polarizing politics of Donald Trump." Those close to Warren dismissed the editorial as having more to do with the personal biographies and inclinations of those who sit on the board. "She's hard-edged, not personally, but ideologically," said Frank. "She takes very sharp and controversial positions."

"So, yeah, they're going to be people who are unhappy with her."

More challenging for Warren, friends and former colleagues said, would be the task of distinguishing herself within a diverse field of Democratic candidates that includes at least three of her Senate colleagues and a record number of women seeking the party's nomination.

Warren's platform includes the single-payer healthcare system Medicare for All, debt-free college tuition and anti-corruption legislation designed to restore accountability in government. She is also poised to unveil a proposal that would impose a wealth tax on Americans worth over $50m.

Fried, who served as solicitor general under Ronald Reagan, said he disagreed with some of the more expansive economic policies touted by Warren. But her greatest asset as a candidate, he acknowledged, would be to approach the campaign with the same steely resolve to elevate the middle class that endeared her to voters seven years ago.

Although he is only occasionally in touch with Warren as she embarks on what will undoubtedly be a grueling campaign for America's highest office, Fried recalled recently sending Warren a lengthy article about capitalism and income inequality.

To his surprise, he received a response from Warren 10 days later. She had not only taken the time to read the article, but highlighted a portion that stood out to her. "How many presidential candidates would do that?" Fried asked. In her email, Warren also recounted to her old colleague how not very long ago they sat together on a flight discussing the prospects of a Clinton presidency. That day never came to fruition, Warren noted. "I don't know what lies ahead," she added. "But I know what I'm fighting for."

[Feb 10, 2019] 'Rigged system': will Warren's rage against the rich win over 2020 voters? by Josh Wood

Feb 09, 2019 | -> www.theguardian.com

While controversy around her heritage lingers, voters call the Democrat's fight against economic injustice 'inspiring' On a cold, blustery January day in 1912, immigrant women walked out of the Everett Mill in the -> Massachusetts factory town of Lawrence demanding higher wages and better working conditions. Mill owners and city government responded in a swift and heavy-handed manner; local militias and police forces were called to the streets. Protesters died. Many more were arrested.

On a cold, blustery February day 117 years later, the Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren stood in front of Everett Mill -> to announce her candidacy for president of the United States , channeling the spirit of those women as she told her supporters that they were in a fight for their lives against a rigged system that favors the rich and powerful.

ss="rich-link"> Why women 2020 candidates face 'likability' question even as they make history Read more

"These workers – led by women – didn't have much. Not even a common language. Nevertheless, they persisted," she said. "The story of Lawrence is about how real change happens in America. It's a story about power – our power – when we fight together."

For Warren, who grew up in an economically struggling Oklahoma household and who first rose to mainstream prominence by handing out practical financial advice to American families, the word "fight" is central to her platform and political ethos – it was a word peppered throughout her speech.

But on Saturday, she made clear that hers was not just a fight against president Donald Trump, but against a system she described as one where the rich, privileged and powerful oppress the rest of the country.

-> Facebook Twitter Pinterest Supporters in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Photograph: Brian Snyder/Reuters

"The man in the White House is not the cause of what is broken, he is just the latest – and most extreme – symptom of what's gone wrong in America, a product of a rigged system that props up the rich and the powerful and kicks dirt on everyone else," she said. "So once he's gone, we can't pretend that all of this never happened."

The backdrop of the mill, where the so-called Bread and Roses strikes originated, was symbolic. But so too was the choice of the modern day city of Lawrence, which is one of those places in America that has felt left behind in recent times. To many in New England, Lawrence is synonymous with crime, drugs and poverty. The Republican governors of Maine and New Hampshire have invoked the city's name when laying blame for the opioid crises in their states. As was the case at the time of the strikes, Lawrence is a working class city of immigrants, with a population that is about 80% Latino. It is a city where wealth is nearby, but out of reach for many.

Sebastian Brown, 31, moved to Lawrence five years ago. While he had yet to choose a candidate to support, he was excited by Warren's message and was happy Warren chose the town as the site of her announcement.

ass="inline-garnett-quote inline-icon ">

I think we need a woman president and I think it will be the fight of our lives

Vicki Ward, rally attendee

"This is a working class city. And I think her – and Bernie [Sanders] – are running on platforms that speak to the working class and how they're being screwed over by the rich and powerful," he said. "And I think she's a great messenger for it."

While there was optimism about Warren's candidacy at her rally, she enters an already crowded Democratic field amid -> r enewed controversy over her past identification as Native American.

For years now – since even before he was president – -> Trump has needled Warren on the issue , calling her "Pocahontas". He and others accuse Warren of falsely presenting herself as Native American to gain unfair advantages in life.

The controversy was re-ignited last week when the Washington Post -> published Warren's 1986 registration card for the Texas State Bar. In it, she listed "American Indian" as her race.

Warren has now apologised repeatedly for identifying as Native American, saying in recent days that she "should have been more mindful of the distinction with tribal citizenship and tribal sovereignty". She still maintains that Native American ancestry was part of her family's story passed down to her.

-> Facebook Twitter Pinterest Elizabeth Warren called Donald Trump the 'most extreme' symptom of a broken system. Photograph: Cj Gunther/EPA

How damaging the controversy will be remains to be see. Warren enters a diverse Democratic field where other candidates belong to minority groups: New Jersey senator -> Cory Booker is African American ; -> California senator Kamala Harris was born to an Indian mother and a Jamaican father. -> Hawaii congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is both the first Hindu and first Samoan-American member of Congress, and the former San Antonio mayor -> Julián Castro is Latino . When the Democratic race gets heated, Warren's portrayal of race could prove to be a point of attack.

Peter Devlin, a 56-year-old dentist from the nearby town of North Andover, said he was at the rally to hear what Warren had to say but said that the Native American controversy "is going to be a problem" for her campaign.

"I voted for her as senator, but I'm concerned about her electability," he said. "It's going to be a tough run. She's got a bit of baggage and she's so sort of cliche progressive liberal that I think there's a lot of America that's not up for that. But I want to hear what she's up to."

ss="rich-link"> Stacey Abrams on the ticket? Democrat's star turn fuels talk for 2020 Read more

However, other attendees, like 64-year-old Vicki Ward, who drove two hours to the event from Vermont, were ready to throw their support behind Warren on the first day of the senator's presidential campaign.

"I think she's got the qualities that we need," she said. "I think we need a woman president and I think it will be the fight of our lives."

Maryann Johnson, who came to Warren's announcement from New Hampshire, also said she was already sold on Warren.

"I basically agreed with everything she said. We need to have more equality, there needs to be less corruption in government," she said. "She's inspiring."

Topics -> Elizabeth Warren -> US elections 2020 -> Massachusetts -> Democrats -> US politics analysis Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

[Feb 09, 2019] There are only two ways to remove Maduro

Feb 09, 2019 | off-guardian.org

vexarb says Feb, 4, 2019

Analyst Canthama agrees with Pepe (BTL SyrPer #286513):

The Saker has a nice article on Venezuela, few days old, but quite balanced on his analysis, people could disagree with one or two things but in general quite to the point on all fronts.

http://www.unz.com/tsaker/the-us-aggression-against-venezuela-as-a-diagnostic-tool/

Though Colombia and Brazil border Venezuela on its West and South, any sort of military invasion from those directions will first have to conquer nature.

So there are only two ways to remove Maduro:

1) US cruise missiles hitting hundreds of spots in Venezuela would be completely unacceptable for any Latina America population, a violence that would cause the US to lose support even its most vassal States.
In parallel, such violence would spark the return of the Colombian guerrilla, blowback will be very bad and wide spread. Thus military intervention is not likely.

2) The second option is assassination of Maduro , and this is where some of Venezuela's allies are trying to help, either with security guards, intel and direct protection.

As in Syria, time is an ally for Venezuela, the Venezuela Government will become stronger and diplomacy will take shape, There is a real danger though for a false flag, and this is in fact what Bolton and Pompeo are preparing with Guaidó's supporters knowledge [as in Syria].

Time is also important since the US regime and its dying fiat economy, 2019 will be a tough year for the G7, meaning theses regimes will either have to create another massive QE that will bring them down or start a big war, which the vast majority of their country citizens will never support, see France with yellow vest, many more countries would see the same -- even the US.

So, time is good friend to the Venezuela, they must push it as long as they can, and things will be all right.

vexarb says Feb, 4, 2019
Pepe Escobar gives the global view; with Venezuela, Iran, Russia and China abandoning the mythical petrodollar, Uncle $cam's fiat currency is heading for the dustbin of history: https://thesaker.is/venezuela-lets-cut-to-the-chase/
vexarb says Feb, 4, 2019
Latest from MOA. Uncle $cam is couped in all alone: https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/02/us-coup-attempt-in-venezuela-lacks-international-support.html
Frank Russell says Feb, 3, 2019

https://www.youtube.com/embed/R_2sf6qnuNU?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

Frank Russell says Feb, 3, 2019
https://youtu.be/R_2sf6qnuNU
vexarb says Feb, 2, 2019
UN rejects Venezuela's Guaido, will only cooperate with recognized government of Maduro: https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/02/01/587387/UN-reject-Guaido-cooperate-Maduro
vexarb says Feb, 1, 2019
Refusal to hand over Venezuelan gold means end of Britain as a financial center -- Prof. Wolff

https://www.rt.com/business/450144-venezuela-gold-boe-wolff/

"That is a signal to every country that has or may have difficulties with the US, [that they had] better get their money out of England and out of London because it's not the safe place as it once was," he said.

"One of the few things left for Britain is to be the financial center that London has been for so long. And one of the ways you stay a financial center is if you don't play games with other people's money," he said.

Lochearn says Feb, 1, 2019
Jimmy Dore, Abby Martin and others on Venezuela: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98pBLXe7Bmk

crank says Feb, 1, 2019

Listening to David Graeber in this interview there is no mention of declining energy surpluses in the discussion of the economic paradigm of the coming future. No consideration of the role of the labour of fossil fuels in the economy of the past two centuries. It's amazing, the argument seems not to have reached them, such that it is doesn't even get a look in. (Listen from 40 min mark, and you will hear a completely opposite view of what is to come -- " We are not going to have the problem of how to deploy scarce resources, given an only moderate level of productivity ").
https://novaramedia.com/2019/02/01/david-graeber-bullshit-jobs-direct-democracy-the-end-of-capitalism/

Fittingly, there is a fascinating section (52.min 30 sec onwards) exploring Graeber's new book project about how much of the enlightenment thinking of pre-revolutionary France was either a pilfering of, or a reaction to, the ideas of social organisation coming from pre-European Americans.

DunGroanin says Feb, 1, 2019

The Graun seems to have been anti-Chavez from the get go. With a set of 'journalists' who seem to jave made it their lifes work to reverse that democratic revolution. It is not easy to find their biogs.
Johan Meyer says Jan, 31, 2019
This whole business of "recognizing a president" not yet in power has a precedent: Rwanda.

When the bUgandan army invaded Rwanda (with US, Canadian, British and Belgian backing) in 1990 (1 October), or in propaganda terms, the RPA started its "liberation," the US moved its embassy to Mulindi, and sent the bUgandan chief of intelligence from his IMET junket at Fort Leavenworth, to take over in northern Rwanda. I refer to Paul Kagame.

International institutions also started to deal with Mulindi, rather than Kigali. Accusations of genocide within a year

Glasshopper says Jan, 31, 2019
Loathsome though he is, Bolton is probably the only honest neocon around. In Iraq, while the likes of Blair were banging on about 45 minutes, human rights and democracy etc, Bolton always made it clear that is was simply a matter of US interests. AKA Oil. He has never pretended to represent anything but rapacious US self interest.

Fair play. At least you know what you're getting with that tash.

Stonky says Jan, 31, 2019
Prior to being assigned to Latin America, Phillips was the Guardian's China correspondent for five years or so. His task, which he diligently accomplished, was to produce a couple of articles a week on "Why China Is No Good" . I don't think he ever once found anything positive to say about the place.

As an individual he's a complete Jodrell, but there are few to compare with him in his ability to relentlessly toe the Washington neocon line. You couldn't get a fag paper in between him and Luke Harding. I wonder if he's paid for it, or whether it's just that seductive sense of 'belonging' that comes from rubbing shoulders with really powerful people .

Tim Jenkins says Jan, 31, 2019
Principally, the principles , better said the absence of statute & principle in Law, behind mass surveillance, was what Snowden was desperate to highlight and that the public's principal concern of the Guardian's hard drives, were the least of our problems, legally speaking , coz' other copies existed already elsewhere, anyway

OFFG could always ask Glen Greenwald to explain why he ceased to 'copulate' with the Guardian and maybe even 'intercept' an opinion or two from Snowden, whilst he's at it intercepting. Indeed , a few extra nails in the Guardian's coffin , could be delivered quite speedily & succinctly , with some professional journalistic exchange of Question & Answer, with nail-gun loaded & mutual benefit would seem to be an all round obvious win-win debate on matters of principle, legal permissions & submissions.

Andy says Jan, 31, 2019
In some ways it is refreshing to have these power hungry narcissists in charge of the US as they cannot seem to not blurt out their naked ambitions, which in this example ftom the ft basically shows kidnap is an agreeable part of trade negotiation.

'Five days after a top executive of Huawei, the Chinese telecoms group, was arrested on a US request in Canada, President Donald Trump said he was willing to intervene -- if it helped secure "the largest trade deal ever made". The detention of Meng Wanzhou, one of China's best known executives, was undoubtedly an incendiary step, escalating trade tensions with Beijing. But presidential interference in the case would send entirely the wrong message about the US justice system -- and about how the administration conducts international affairs.

The US and western allies have legitimate concerns about China's reputation for digital espionage and theft of intellectual property. They agree a more robust stance is needed towards Beijing. But arresting a star of Chinese business -- Ms Meng has been called China's Sheryl Sandberg -- on a Canadian stopover en route to Mexico from Hong Kong is not the way to persuade Beijing to change its behaviour.

Even if the Huawei chief financial officer was held on unrelated charges of violating US sanctions on Iran, the move smacks of using individuals as pawns in negotiations. It is seen in Beijing as Washington rewriting the rules of engagement. Such waywardness and unpredictability from a country that used to portray itself as a pillar of the international rules-based order will tempt China to respond in kind, leading to a downward spiral of tit-for-tat behaviour. Indeed, the detention of a former Canadian diplomat, Michael Kovrig, in Beijing looks worryingly like retaliation.

It may be necessary to take at face value Mr Trump's claims that he was unaware of the US extradition application, and of the detention itself -- which occurred on the day he was holding talks on a trade truce with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Buenos Aires. Had he known, even Mr Trump seems unlikely to have been cynical enough not to mention the arrest to Mr Xi. Presidential ignorance, however, offers little reassurance.

That Mr Trump would not be notified of such a sensitive case by his justice department strengthens the impression of a dysfunctional administration, whose different arms pursue their agendas with little co-ordination, if not in open competition. It strains credibility that his recent presidential predecessors would have been left in the dark in similar situations. The Huawei incident comes in the same week that John Kelly's departure as chief of staff seemed to confirm the extent to which the Trump White House defies conventional management.

The president's offer to do "whatever's good for this country" regarding Ms Meng's case reflects a dealmaker's desire to put his talks with Mr Xi back on track, while extracting whatever advantage he can. But it amounts, in effect, to saying he is holding the Huawei CFO hostage as a trade negotiating chip. The situation carries echoes of the White House's reversal in July of a seven-year executive ban on ZTE, the Chinese telecoms equipment maker, on purchasing critical equipment from the US, in what appeared a tactical concession to Beijing.

Presidential interference in Ms Meng's case would send a worse signal: that rule of law in the US is a function of the whim of the chief executive, or that illegal behaviour can be up for negotiation. It risks creating an impression that there is little difference between America's judicial system and that of, say, Turkey -- or indeed China. The Huawei executive's detention was damaging. It is, however, not for the White House, but for independent courts in Canada and -- if Ms Meng is extradited -- the US to determine what happens next.'

lundiel says Jan, 31, 2019
It all depends on your acceptance of "legality" of American sanctions on Iran. I don't, therefore American action against Ms Meng imo is political and nothing to do with the rule of law. Mr Trump's opinions are irrelevant.
Jen says Jan, 31, 2019
President Trump's comments and opinions as expressed on Twitter will become relevant in Sabrina Meng's court case. Her legal defence could use Trump's opinions as evidence that her arrest was politically motivated and therefore she should not be extradited.

Canadian PM Justin Bieber Trudeau sacked the Ambassador to China for saying this and expressing other opinions, among them Canada's view as to whether the current (and new) US sanctions on Iran are binding on Canada.

harry stotle says Jan, 31, 2019
Just to add I see the US are sending their finest war criminals to 'help' Venezuela.

Elliot Abrams really is a piece of work -- perhaps not everybody realises quite how bad this guy is.

Absolutely shocking allegations here.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/IrcT3GJuh0A?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

Kathy says Jan, 31, 2019
The hypocrisy of the MSM in all this is yet again. So blatant it is sickening. At the same time as Yemen is being battered by bombs with the Wests names on them. Deliberately starved to death. With Western MSM indifference. Not to even mention. All the other countries Western powers have illegally devastated. The hand ringing over the plight of the Venezuelan people under Maduro is suddenly more then they can all bare. Western sanctioning and deliberate sabotage by the West against the country. Undermining any chance of peace. Don't get a peep of a mention by the MSM.
Here we go again. Roll up roll up. This is the latest hypocritical propaganda media show. Maduro is evil we must save his country from this evil. Saintly peace bringing Western alliance must save Venezuela. All that's needed is a more pliant Western puppet or chaos and civil war. Oil Opps sorry shh don't mention the oil. Does any one really buy into this deranged demented narrative any more. For gods sake how many more times do we have to say. NO NOT IN MY NAME.
Yarkob says Jan, 31, 2019
This is good: https://grayzoneproject.com/2019/01/29/the-making-of-juan-guaido-how-the-us-regime-change-laboratory-created-venezuelas-coup-leader/

same old characters..OTPOR in particular has a rosy past. Mixed up with DynCorp and the Serbian "police" abuse fiasco

wardropper says Jan, 31, 2019
The likes of Bolton haven't seen any reason to conceal their wicked agenda for some time. They are so sure that their god has made them untouchable.
mark says Jan, 31, 2019
$13 billion in Venezuelan assets have been stolen by Uncle Sam and his satraps over the past few days. Why oh why oh why do countries and foreign individuals persist in keeping their assets in the US/ UK??????. Billions were stolen from Libya in a few days in 2011. Where it all went is one of life's big mysteries. Cameron even stole a boat load of Libyan currency that had been printed in the UK.
Francis Lee says Jan, 31, 2019
Yes, guilt by omission, the preferred mendacity of the MSM. 'When truth is met by silence, silence is a lie.' Yevgeny Yevtushenko.
mark says Feb, 3, 2019
A Parliamentary Committee has been set up to agitate for sanctions against China on behalf of the "poor oppressed Uighurs" in China. Shedding buckets of tears over the lack of "yuman rights." While supplying British sniper rifles to the Zionists to gun down Palestinian kids with dum dum bullets and planes, cluster bombs and RAF advisors to slaughter kids in Yemen.
harry stotle says Jan, 31, 2019
Trump imposed broader economic sanctions on Venezuela because;
*serious human rights abuses (by Maduro),
*antidemocratic actions, and,
*responsibility for the deepening humanitarian crisis.
https://fas.org/sgp/crs/row/IF10715.pdf

So definitely nothing to do with the oil, or international relations between Venezuela and other powers that neocons are at war with (wars being conducted in the media, financial markets and on the ground) while the phony who preceeded Trump (Obama) claimed Venezeula posed an "unusual and extraordinary threat" to US national security (which is a bit like Tyson Fury saying he is frightened by a 90 year old woman who is blind and only has one leg).
https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/12885

Isn't there just one soul at the Guardian who will stand up for what is really happening here (as in all other parts of the world where the US has harmed so many people because of its insatiable pursuit of oil and power) -- just one?

I must admit I am not getting my hopes up -- while the Guardian excels at drawing attention to Maduros failings they seem to be deaf, dumb and blind to the geopolitical context in which Venezuela is doing its utmost to escape the tentacles of US-backed neocons in their endless quest for violent regime change.

Maggie says Jan, 31, 2019
Here is a most excellent expose by Jimmy Dore:
?v=whgOvbw53WY

Article 7 of the Rome Statute says US sanctions are illegal because they were not sanctioned by the UN.

So WHY THE FCK DON;'T THEY TURN THE UN TROOPS ON THEM.:
Oh, I know why.. because they are toothless windbags.

Time to sanction the US,,,, NOW!!!

harry stotle says Jan, 31, 2019
Jimmy is an exception.

In general those in the know loath the MSM because of the role they play in backing the gangsters.

"Our own fate as Latin American writers is linked to the need for profound social transformations. To narrate is to give oneself: it seems obvious that literature, as an effort to communicate fully, will continue to be blocked so long as misery and illiteracy exist, and so long as the possessors of power continue to carry on with impunity their policy of collective imbecilization through the mass media. (Open veins of Latin America -- Eduardo Galeano)

http://library.uniteddiversity.coop/More_Books_and_Reports/Open_Veins_of_Latin_America.pdf

Ingwe says Jan, 31, 2019
A good article on the Graun's pro-USA stance on Venezuela. But the analysis in the linked article provides a more nuanced analysis of what's really going on there and it's not just about oil.
https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/01/30/trumps-coup-in-venezuela-the-full-story/
vexarb says Jan, 31, 2019
Ingwe, I started reading the Counter Punch, agreed it was not _only_ the oil so what were the other motives for U$ Grand Theft Larceny Fraud with Violence? Got as far as this:

"It should be remembered that the Obama Administration had imposed sanctions against Moscow in March 2014 over the Russian annexation of Crimea, and later involvement in the civil war in Eastern Ukraine."

Could not read follow that, because I remember no such things as Russian annexation of Crimea (at least, not since Catherine the Great), nor do I remember a civil war in Eastern Ukraine (though quite aware that the U$-imposed Jewish Junta with their neo-Nazi stormtroops are continually shelling Russian-speaking Eastern Ukraine).

Ingwe says Jan, 31, 2019
vexarb, pity you didn't bother to read further for, if you did, you'd get a rather more serious analysis than "USA bad and after the oil; Russia good and bringing enlightenment to the world" .
Francis Lee says Jan, 31, 2019
Excuse me but where did Vexarb say or intimated that 'Russia was good and bringing enlightenment to the world.' I can't seem to find this.
Antonym says Jan, 31, 2019
Why is anyone sane still reading (or referring to) the Guardian?
RealPeter says Jan, 31, 2019
I think the reason some of us still look at the Graun is that we can't quite believe how appalling it's got, especially when, like me, you're old enough to remember the old newspaper from the time when it had some principles and a lot of good writing. It has the sickly fascination of something you know is really bad for you, like Nutella or reality TV shows. You end up wallowing in its sheer awfulness, unlike, say, the Mail and the Sun, which you always know from the start are going to be barking mad and have no element of surprise.
bc says Jan, 31, 2019
It's pretty obvious Anthony. Because the Guardian, like the BBC and C4 News, presents itself as and is widely regarded to be an authorititative, non-biased news source. Hence it is hugely influential in forming opinion in the corridors of power and in educated society. Opinion that allow bad things to happen and ends up impacting lives. That is reality regardless of comments dismissing these news sources on the internet. And it is why it is appropriate for offguardian and others to try and highlight and expose the dangerous lies and omissions of these wide-reaching propagandists.
bevin says Jan, 31, 2019
It's good for cricket: the best paper in Canada for cricket news. Also for cycling. Since I first began to read the Manchester Guardian for Neville Cardus's famous writing on cricket, I stick with it.
As for foreign affairs, once it has been told by the Foreign Office, who the current enemies are it goes for them. Those who recall the 'good old days' when Latin America and the Middle East, including Palestine got reasonable coverage which sometimes was very good indeed, ought to bear in mind that, in those Cold War days, the main enemy was the Soviet Union and it was necessary to be equivocal about liberation struggles. After all, 'we' were pretending to be desperately sorry about the sufferings of the Russian people, and those of eastern Europe, so it was necessary to tone down the imperialist message.
Now the Establishment is dead set on recovering Latin America in toto, banishing alien (Chinese Russian) influences and consolidating its base in the western hemisphere.
Here comes the Atlantic Treaty Organisation ATO.
Jen says Jan, 31, 2019
Why is anyone sane still reading (or referring to) the Guardian?

This is like the old Soviet joke: Why are the capitalist nations on the edge of a precipice?

Answer: To get a better view of us down here.

The reason sane people still occasionally read or refer to The Guardian is to see how far gone down the abyss the newspaper has descended.

George Cornell says Feb, 1, 2019
Because the people they represent are the biggest threats to world peace.
George Cornell says Feb, 1, 2019
Because they represent and front the interests of the greatest threats to world peace.
George Cornell says Feb, 1, 2019
Sorry about the echolalia
Richard Audet says Jan, 31, 2019
Can't resist.

The oft-used cliche of the kid (not brain washed yet) saying out loud that the emperor has no clothes amongst a crowd propagandized, hypnotized and incentivized not to see and not to know truth from falsehood.

The role of the MSM it seems is to perpetrate this mass denial. Thanks to kids like Kit and those that support sites such as this other kids are catching on. But, alas we are just kids after all and the grown ups have the power to spank us for such blasphemy. It is a risk we kids take to speak the truth we see. When you see and when you know remaining silent can make you sick (despair, anhedonia, addiction etc.). I'll take my chances with the spanking and say as loud as I can that the emperor is a fucking war-mongering liar and thief.

rogerglewis says Jan, 31, 2019
https://d.tube/#!/v/tonefreqhz/2zkhc50m This Russel Brand film did get a limited general release but was quickly dispatched to the memory hole,

This David Malone FIlm Icon Earth got him into a ton of trouble at the Beeb back in 1995 it presages stage 2 of the Liberalisation process

https://d.tube/#!/v/tonefreqhz/siz03mvr

I have uploaded various things to DTube and Steemit This film from the Guardian is very good and relevant to Venezuela its on Bit CHute and survives on Youtube for now.

https://www.bitchute.com/video/uvnkjQDcIxCD/

https://steemit.com/deathsquds/@tonefreqhz/from-el-salvador-to-iraq-washington-s-man-behind-brutal-police-squads

https://www.youtube.com/embed/0iEhXHITAsQ?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&start=2&wmode=transparent

Gezzah Potts says Jan, 31, 2019
Thank you Kit (and others) for starting up OffGuardian. Its a very precious place to vent, and to read the very enlightened, highly informative, and at times profound comments of all the other commenters here. Have made numerous comments about the situation in Venezuela on other recent stories here, so not going to keep repeating myself. Regards the state of the World: surreal and orwellian and just plain bonkers much of the time seems to be the case. At least Bolton was honest in stating the bleedin obvious, which anyone with even one eye open already knew. Thanks for your work.
Loverat says Jan, 31, 2019
Indeed. I came across Off Guardian not long ago and I'm highly impressed by the quality. A site to vent -- yes but that's just a small part of it. What is it now -- 3,000 articles published in just nearly 4 years?. A level of committment by its founders not matched in many places elsewhere that I can see.

What I like about this is the quality and depth of the articles -- and the fact each attracts a large number of readers commenting.

I've been looking around various sites lately. It seems to be a mixture of those which produce good articles but don't seem to have the following -- or at least there's a lack of reader participation. Or sites where the analysis is not so good but attract a large volume of comments not necessarily of great quality.

Off G seems to have struck a really good balance which I think means it has more potential to grow further and build on its success.

I wonder (maybe this has been done before) if Off G thought about organising an event to celebrate its next birthday. Might be a good way to raise funds and further interest.

David William Pear says Jan, 31, 2019
I am surprised that the Guardian even mentioned oil and Venezuela in the same story. Did they also say it has lots of gold, coltron, and many other natural resources. Neoliberals just can't stand seeing all those profits going to "waste on the serfs".
notheonly1 says Jan, 31, 2019
Very likely McCain. Fortunately though, he already croaked. There was never a regime change or war he did not support, or demand. The sooner his warmongering Fascist buddies follow him, the better for mankind. I can imagine what "Bomb. bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran" would have said about Venezuela. As I said before, Venezuela is venomous to those who want to destroy it. For all American sheeple to understand: The Bucket stops here. Exactly here.
Jerry Alatalo says Jan, 31, 2019
Bolton's casual mention of U.S. oil corporations going into Venezuela and controlling operation of the nation's oil sector, as if it's already a "done deal", goes right along with Pompeo's focused use of the term "former president Maduro" in the psychological operation aspect of the fully-mapped out coup's full court press. Someone famously described the U.S.-led coup in Ukraine of February 2014 as the most blatant, obvious coup ever, but amazingly this one involving Venezuela has even surpassed Ukraine in insane illegal boldness.

USA Inc.'s use of criminal aggressive war as a business tactic since false flag 9/11 resulted in the self-destruction of American reputation in the Middle East and North Africa region. For that reason the attack on the Venezuelan people for their oil was not surprising. Who will stand for peace? People might think creatively and act to prevent any repeat of senseless violence and horror as experienced by people in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Ukraine and Yemen.

Peace.

Tim Jenkins says Jan, 31, 2019
For the record, the "USA Inc.'s use of criminal aggressive war as a business tactic since false flag 9/11 resulted in the self-destruction of American reputation " Globally.

Sorry to correct you, but no matter where I go, my first test of any persons intellect is "What do you think happened to WTC 7 ?" and until you get that sorted , the USA is the laughing stock of the 'brave new world' outside Government & MSM >>> Fact , clearly "you cannot be serious", nor the Guardian nor the BBC nor Die Zeit nor Swiss national Television, nor Le Monde &&& and the whole damn network of partners in deep state crimes against innocent people , to further corporate goals.

to even contemplate something in Venezuela is so absurd , when US Governance is so infiltrated with Deep State Dictators & actors, bolstered by Hollywood >>> get own house in order , before becoming guests elsewhere. This clearly applies to Britain & France , as well, indeed all NATO partners.

Trump is gonna' have a real tough time with Xi, coz' you don't get to insult the Chinese in public & arrest CFO's for extradition , without some form of comeback & consequence and Chinese & Russian Military towards region Panama seems almost assured and the USS Fitzgerald warning ? how quickly people forget the 7 dead ! from just a container ship, lol connect the 9 Dot line -- -- --

The world does not want and never needed policing by the U$A, nor their methods of financial control & strangulation with credit on a scale far greater than Ponzi himself. And as for WTC 7 , this made not only the USA a laughing stock in the minds of all intelligent people, it dragged down & outed the very IN-credibility of every single politician in the western world , who accepted the award winning WTC 7 TonyAndyPandy story for CHILDREN !

it's time we got adults back into politics , coz' at present all we have, without exception, is precisely what George Carlin described in 'a few cultural issues' "Garbage in Garbage out" !

and we can be 100% sure that they are all GARBAGE, because they cannot even recognise a controlled explosion, let alone cooking the history books >>> not even one !

The USA has YANKed all their strings, on behalf of Zion and corporate control >>> fact, not one politician permitted to call a spade a spade or WTC 7 a controlled demolition let alone MSM.

Long live the revolution & evolution of political conscience !

[Feb 09, 2019] Post Coup Agenda Items

Feb 09, 2019 | off-guardian.org

mark says Jan, 31, 2019

Post Coup Agenda Items:-

1. Switch payment for Venezuelan oil from yuan back to dollars.
2. Confiscate Chinese and Russian oil investments in Venezuela.
3. Privatise Venezuelan oil to Wall Street at knock down prices.

Or, as the Orange Baboon himself croaked like a two bit Mafia hood, "Grab the oil! Grab the oil! Grab the oil!!"

[Feb 09, 2019] The reality of neoliberal dominatin is not pretty: What we are experiencing today is the worst and most extreme form of predatory and parasitic financialised monopoly crony capitalism (crapitalism), allied with blatant aggressive jingoistic militarism and the crudest form of imperialist exploitation

Feb 09, 2019 | off-guardian.org

mark says Feb, 7, 2019

What we are experiencing today is the worst and most extreme form of predatory and parasitic financialised monopoly crony capitalism (crapitalism), allied with blatant aggressive jingoistic militarism and the crudest form of imperialist exploitation.

I'm not sure even Marx envisaged anything this corrupt and degraded. This must be the terminal stage of crapitalism's death throes. It can only end in war and complete collapse.

It comes as no surprise to see the Faux Left Blairite Backstabbers and the Oh-So-Right-On-Politically-Correct Trudeau Regime leading the charge for a bog standard Pinochet style US coup behind the likes of Trump, Bolton, Pompeo and recycled neocon war criminal and death squad queen Abrams.

They have taken off the mask and showed their true colours. The final outcome is uncertain but the fall out will extend way beyond Venezuela. It may well sound the death knell of our current system.

Archie1954 says Feb, 7, 2019
Isn't it amazing how the scum of the Earth arrange to get into high places? I am totally outraged that Canada had anything to do with fostering a coup in Venezuela! It disturbs my sense of national sovereignty and I rue the day that Trudeau made this apostosy a member of his cabinet. What a poor choice for a Minister of Foreign Affairs! Just consider Canada's recent problems with Saudi Arabia, the Meng problem with /China, the chastising of Russia because it protected its sole military base on the Black Sea and now this foolish interference in Venezuela's internal affairs brought on by US sanctions. Canada's stupidity in all these matters makes me bilious.
Michael says Feb, 7, 2019
Trudeau made Soros' protege Chrystia Freeland part of his cabinet because it was on that condition that Soros generously funded and otherwise caused Trudeau's election bid to be well supported. Billionaires make "democratic" politics so very easy. Canadians, naive, unquestioning, insouciant, swayed by very well rewarded PR & media and with the transacted aquiesence of the other two warmongering neoliberal parties (Conservative & NDP) voted their hopes and Justin Trudeau to PM. But positioning Chrystia Freeland on the global stage and creating a neoliberal path to imperious fascist globalization is the assigned purpose of the swish disposable Canadian Dauphin. Harper played his Soros assigned role, Trudeau will play his and Chrystia hers and they, as quislings all, will exit rewarded as pet functionaries of Soros and his overly entitled ilk. We authorize Soros by wishing & believing this coup is at worst simply a flawed democracy. Ukraine was a Soros coup, Canada is a Soros coup and Venezuela is a Soros coup. All very, very profitable. Don't look, this is how omelettes are made. Our political parties are always for rent by billionaires –that is the main function of political parties. Being corrupt is a design characteristic not a flaw. Buying political parties in supposed democracies is easier, less risky and much more profitable than stealing candy from babies. Canada is undefended against billionaires, invest here, concentrated public assets and resources are available and the quaint people are professionally deactivated. m\\

[Feb 09, 2019] Trump making Bolton look like the paragon of discretion re oil

Feb 09, 2019 | off-guardian.org

Andy says Jan, 31, 2019

Trump making Bolton look like the paragon of discretion re oil https://youtu.be/4huS-3-Gs74

[Feb 08, 2019] The US dollar is used for the international oil and gas trade and a wide part of global trade. This gives the US an exorbitant privilege to sanction countries it opposes and impose its conditions for oil trading

Feb 08, 2019 | off-guardian.org

Narrative says Feb, 1, 2019

Nations should explore better system to break US hegemony

"The US dollar is used for the international oil and gas trade and a wide part of global trade. This gives the US an exorbitant privilege to sanction countries it opposes.
..
The latest sanctions on Venezuela's state-owned oil company aim to cut off source of foreign currency of Venezuelan strongman Nicolas Maduro's government and eventually force him to step down.
..
A new mechanism should be devised to thwart such a vicious circle"

http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1137847.shtml

crank says Feb, 1, 2019
Francis Lee; Big B,

OK I phrased that badly.

My question is really about those at the top of the power pyramid (those few hundred families who own the controling share of the wealth of the world) -- those who position idiots like Bolton to do their work, do they comprehend 'exergy' decline ?

If we can, then can they not? I agree with Parenti that they are not 'somnambulists'. They are strategists looking out for their own interests, and that means scrutinising trends in political movements, culture, technology and, well, just about everything. I find it hard, the idea that all these people -- people who have seen their businesses shaped by resource discovery, exploitation and then depletion, have no firm grasp on the realities of dwindling returns on energy.

The models were drawn up 47 years ago. I think that some of them at least, do understand that economic growth is coming to a halt, and have understood for decades. If true then they are planning that transition in their favour.

These hard to swallow facts about oil are still on the far fringes of any political conversation. The neoliberal cultists are deaf to them for obvious reasons; the socialist idealists believe that a 'New Deal' can lead us off the death train, but mostly ignore the intractable relationship between energy decline and financial problems; even the anarchists want their work free utopia run by robots and AI but stop short of asking whether solar panels and wind turbines can actually provide the power for all that tech. It's the news that nobody wants to think about, but which they will be forced to thinking about in the very near future.

The Twitter feed 'Limits to Growth' has less than 800 followers (excellent though it is).

BigB says Feb, 1, 2019
Crank

I do not want to get into the mind of the Walrus of Death Bolton! I do not want to know what he does, as he does. But at lower levels of government, and corporatism, there is an awareness of surplus energy economics. And as Nafeez has also pointed out, the military (the Pentagon) are taking an interest. And though it could rapidly change, who really appreciates the nuances of EROEI? I'm guessing at less than a single percent of all populations? And how many include its effects in a integrated political sense?

Its appreciation is sporadic: ranging from tech-utopia hopium to a defeated fatalism of the inevitability of collapse. Unless and until people want to face the harshness of the reality that capitalism has created: we are going to be involved in a marginal analysis. There are very few people who have realised that capitalism is long dead.

Dr Tim Morgan estimates that world capitalism has conservatively had $140tn in stimulus since 2008 -- without stimulating anything or reviving it at all. In fact, that amounts to the greatest robbery in history -- the theft of the future. Inasmuch as they can, those unrepayable debts -- transferred to inflate the parasitic assets of capitalists -- will be socialised. Except they cannot be. Not without surplus energy.

https://surplusenergyeconomics.wordpress.com/2019/01/20/145-fire-and-ice-part-two/

Brexit, gilets jaunes, Venezuela, unending crises in MENA, China's economic slowdown, etc -- all linked by EROEI.

It is a common socio-politico-economic energy nexus -- but linked together by whom? And the emergent surplus energy-mind-environmental ecology nexus? All the information is available. The formation of a new political manifesto started in the 1960s with the New Left but it seems to have been in stasis since. Perhaps this might stimulate the conversation.

According to Nate Hagens: there is 4.5 years of human muscle power leveraged by each barrel of oil. We are all going to be working for a very long time to pay back the debts the possessing classes have built up for us -- with absolutely no marginal utility for ourselves.

We are subsidising our own voluntary slavery unless we develop an emergent ecosocialist and ecosophical alternative to carbon capitalism. We cannot expect paleoconservative carbon relics like Bolton -- or anyone else -- to do it for us. The current political landscape is dominated by a hierarchical, vested interest, carbon aristocracy. We can't expect that to change for our benefit any time ever. Expect the opposite.

BigB says Feb, 2, 2019
Graeber has a point, though. We could already have a post-scarcity, post-production society but for the egregious maldistribution of resources and employment. Andre Gorz said as much 50 years ago (Critique of Economic Reason). Why do we organise around production: it makes no sense but for the relations of production are, and remain, the relations of hierarchical rule. So long as we assign value to a human life on the basis of meritocratic productivity -- we will have dehumanisation, marginalisation, and subjugation (haves and have nots). So why not organisation around care, freedom and play?

Such a solution would require the transversalistion of society and not-full-employment: so that no part of the system is subordinate, and no part is privileged. All systems and sub-ordinate (care) systems would be co-equal, of corresponding value and worth. So, without invoking EROEI, that would go a long way to solve our exergy, waste, pollution, and inequality problems. It is the profligate, unproductive superstructure: supporting rentier, surplus energy accumulating, profit-seeking suprasocieties -- that squanders our excess energy and puts expansive spatio-temporal pressures on already stretched biophysical ecological systems that engenders potential collapse. It is their -- the possessing classes -- assets that are being inflated, at our environmental expense. When it comes to survivability, we cannot afford a parasitic globalised superstructure draining the host -- the ecologically productive base. Without the over-accumulation, overconsumption, and wastage (the accursed share) associated with the superstructure of the advanced economies -- and their cultural, credit, military imperialisms I expect we could live quite well. Without the pressures of globalised transportation networks, and unnecessary military budgets -- the pressure on oil is minimised. It could be used for the 1001 other uses it has, rather than fuelling Saudi Eurofighters bombing Yemeni schoolchildren, for instance. The surplus energy could be used to educate, clothe and feed them instead. That would be a better use of resources, for sure.

If we took stock of what we really have, and what we really are -- a form of spiritual neo-self-sufficiency, augmented and extended into co-mutual care and freedom valorising ecologies we wouldn't need to chase the perceived loss all over the globe, killing everything that moves. The solutions are not hard, they are normative, once we are shocked out of this awful near-life trance state of separationism. Thanks for the link.

crank says Feb, 2, 2019
It seems to me that there are two parallel arguments going on.
One is about social organisation, attitudes towards and policies determining work, money, paid employment, technological development and the distribution of weath.
The other is fundamentally based on the laws of thermodynamics and concerns resource limits, energy surpluses, the role of 'stored sunlight' in producing things and doing work for each other, pollution and projections about these into the future.

I am surprised that Graeber (just as an example) seems to basically ignore the second of these even though he clearly is an incisive thinker and makes good points about the first. It is taken as a given that, theoretically at least, human civilisation could re-organise around a new ethic, transform the economy into a 'caring economy', re-structure money, government and do away with militarism. In terms of what to do now, as an individual, what choices to make, it is disconcerting to me when talk of these ideals seems to ignore those latter questions about overshoot.

I wonder if the egalitarian nature of much of indiginous North American society was inescapably bound with the realities of a low population density, low technology, intimate relationship with the natural world and a culture completely steeped in reverence for Mother Earth.
The talk I hear from Bastani or Graeber along the lines of 'we could be flying around in jet packs on the moon, if only society was organised sensibly' rings hollow to me.

BigB says Feb, 2, 2019
Crank

Welcome to my world! Apart from as a managerial tool, systems thinking has yet to catch on in the wider population. According to reductive materialism: there are two unlinked arguments. According to Dynamic Systems Theory (DST) there is only one integrated argument -- with two inter-connected correlative aspects. We can only organise around what we can energetically afford. Consequently, we cannot organise around what we cannot afford -- that is, global industrialised production with a supervenient elitist superstructure.

Let's face it : ethical arguments carry little weight against organisation around hierarchical rule. The current talk of an ethical capitalism -- in mixed economies with 'commons' elements -- is an appeasement. and distractional to the gathering and ineluctable reality.

The current (2012) EROI for the UK is 6.2:1 -- barely above the 'energy cliff' of 5:1. The GDP 'growth' and bullshit jobs are funded by monetised debt (we borrow around £5 to make every £1 -- from Tim Morgan's SEEDS). From the Earth Overshoot Day website: the UK is in economic overshoot from May 8th onward.

These are indicators that we will not be "flying jetpacks on the moon": even if we reorganise. Everyone, and I mean everyone, will have to make do with less. A lot less. Everything would have to be localised and sustainable. Production would be minimised, and not at all full. Two major systems of production -- food (agroecology) and energy -- would have to be sustainable and self-sovereign. And financialisation and the rentier, service economy? Now you can see why no one, not even Dave the crypto-anarchist, is talking about reality. Elitism, establishment and entitlement do not figure in an equitable future. We can't afford it, energetically or ethically.

So when will the debate move on? Not any time the populace is bought into ideational deferred prosperity. All the time that EROEI is ignored as the fundamental concept governing dwindling prosperity -- no one, and I mean no one, will be talking about a minimal surplus energy future. The magic realism is that the economic affordances of cheap oil (unsustainably mimicked by debt-funding) will return sometime, somehow (the technocratic superfix). The aporia is that the longer the delay, the less surplus energy we will have available to utilise. Something like the Green New Deal -- that has been proposed for around two decades now -- may give us some quality of life to sustain. Pseudo-talk of a Customs Union, 'clean' coal, and nuclear power, will not.

An integrated reality -- along the model of Guattari's 'Three Ecologies' -- of mind, economy, and environment is well, we are not alone, but we are ahead of the curve. The other cultural aporia is that we need to implement such vision now. Actually, about thirty years ago but let's not get depressive!

We are going to need that cooperative organisation around care and freedom just to get through the coming century.

crank says Jan, 31, 2019
As mentioned elsewhere here, Venezualan oil deposits are not all that the hype cracks them up to be. They are mostly oil sands that produce little in the way of net energy gain after the lengthy process of extraction.The Venezuala drama is about the empire crushing democracy (i.e. socialism), not oil. [not that this detracts from Kit's essential point in the article].
The Left (as well as the Right), by and large have not come to terms with the realities of the decline in net surplus energy that is unfolding around the world and driving the political changes that we see. So they still view geopolitics in terms of the oil economy of pre-2008.
The productive economies of Europe are falling apart (check Steve Keen's latest on Max and Stacy -- although even i he doesn't delve into the energy decline aspect).
The carbon density of the global economy has not changed in the 27 years since the founding of the UNFCCC.

The Peak Oil phenomenon was oversimplified, misrepresented and misunderstood as a simple turning point in overall oil production. In truth it was a turning point in energy surplus.
I predict that by the end of this or next year, everyone will be talking about ERoEI. Everyone will realise that there is no way out of this predicament. Maybe there are ways to lessen the catastrophe, but no way to avert it. This will change the conversation, and even change what 'politics' means (i.e. you cannot campaign on a 'new start' or a 'better, brighter future' if everyone knows that that physically cannot happen).
Everyone will understand that their civilisation is collapsing.
Does Bolton understand this?

I dunno.
https://medium.com/insurge-intelligence/brexit-stage-one-in-europes-slow-burn-energy-collapse-1f520d7e2d89

Francis Lee says Jan, 31, 2019
"Does Bolton Understand this/? I think this might qualify as a rhetorical question.
BigB says Feb, 1, 2019
Crank

If you were referring to my earlier comments about Venezuelan extra heavy crude: it's still massively about the oil. The current carbon capitalist world system does not understand surplus energy or EROEI, as it is so fixated on maximal short term returns for shareholders. It can't comprehend that their entire business model is unsustainable and self cannibalising. Which is bad for us: because carbon net-energy (exergy) economics it is foundational to all civilisation. The ignorance of it and subsequent environmental and social convergence crises threatens the systemic failure of our entire civilisation. The Venezuelan crisis affects us all: and is symptomatic of a decline in cheap oil due to rapidly falling EROEI.

I can't find the EROEI specifically for Venezuelan heavy oil: but it is only slightly more viscous than bitumen -- which has an EROEI of 3:1. Let's call it 4:1: the same as other tight oils and shale. Anything less than 5:1 is more or less an energy sink: with virtually no net energy left for society. The minimum EROEI for societal needs is 11:1. Does Bolton understand this? Francis hit the nail on the head there.

Do any of our leaders? No. If they did, a transition to decentralisation would be well under way. Globalised supply chains are systemically threatened and fragile. A globalised economy is spectacularly vulnerable. Especially a debt-ridden one. Which way are our leaders trying to take us? At what point will humanity realise we are following clueless Pied Pipers off the Seneca Cliff -- into globalised energy oblivion?

The rapid investment -- not in a post-carbon transition -- but in increased militarisation, and resource and market driven aggressive foreign intervention policies reveal the mindset of insanity. As people come to understand the energy basis of the world crisis: the fact of permanent austerity and increased pauperisation looms large. What will the outcome be when an armed nuclear madhouse becomes increasingly protectionsist of their dwindling share? Too alarmist, perhaps? Let's play pretend that we can plant a few trees and captive breed a few rhinos and it will all be fine. BAU?

The world runs on cheap oil: our socio-politico-economic expectations of progress depend on it. Which means that the modern human mind is, in effect, a thought-process predicated on cheap oil. Oleum ergo sum? Apart from the Middle East: we are already past the point where oil is a liability, not a viability. Debt funding its extraction, selling below the cost of production -- both assume the continual expansion of global GDP. Oil is a highly subsidised -- with our surplus socialisation capital -- negative asset. We foot the bill. A bill that EROEI predicts will keep on rising. At what point do we realise this? Or do we live in hopium of a return to historical prosperity? Or hang on the every word of the populist magic realism demagogue who promises a future social utopia?

If it's based on cheap oil, it ain't happenin'.

BigB says Feb, 1, 2019
Erratum: less viscous than bitumen.
wildtalents says Feb, 1, 2019
Is it no longer considered a courtesy to the reader to spell out, and who knows maybe even explain, the abbreviations one uses?
Jen says Feb, 1, 2019
EROEI = Energy Returned on Energy Invested (also known as EROI = Energy Return on Investment)

EROEI refers to the amount of usable energy that can be extracted from a resource compared to the amount of energy (usually considered to come from the same resource) used to extract it. It's calculated by dividing the amount of energy obtained from a source by the amount of energy needed to get it out.

An EROEI of 1:1 means that the amount of usable energy that a resource generates is the same as the amount of energy that went into getting it out. A resource with an EROEI of 1:1 or anything less isn't considered a viable resource if it delivers the same or less energy than what was invested in it. A viable resource is one with an EROEI of at least 3:1.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_returned_on_energy_invested

The concept of EROEI assumes that the energy needed to get more energy out of a resource is the same as the extracted energy ie you need oil to extract oil or you need electricity to extract electricity. In real life, you often need another source of energy to extract energy eg in some countries, to extract electricity, you need to burn coal, and in other countries, to extract electricity you need to build dams on rivers. So comparing the EROEI of electricity extraction across different countries will be difficult because you have to consider how and where they're generating electricity and factor in the opportunity costs involved (that is, what the coal or the water or other energy source -- like solar or wind energy -- could have been used for instead of electricity generation).

That is probably why EROEI is used mainly in the context of oil or natural gas extraction.

BigB says Feb, 1, 2019
wildtalents: Yes, I normally do. But the thread started from, and includes Crank's link that explains it.
Thomas Peterson says Feb, 1, 2019
That's true, Venezuela's 'oil' is mostly not oil.

[Feb 08, 2019] How Chrystia Freeland Organized Donald Trump's Coup in Venezuela by Eric Zuesse

The key question is how strong is Maduro support within Venezuela? When oil is in stake, imperial powers usually take gloves off pretty quickly.
All this rhetoric of Eric Zuesse does not answer the key question: does Maduro movement propose sustainable alternative to neoliberalism in Venezuela and has unwavering support of armed forces and population in view of this externally driven aggression? Because if the model is unsustainable (iether for internal or external reasons -- presence of neoliberal 3000 pound guerilla on the continent) it will eventually be crushed. What is the plan and what Maduro is trying to built? Left government in several other countries of LA were recently deposed by openly neoliberal puppets: Argentina and Brazil are two recent examples.
"Progressive regimes" all run into problems in economics (which are given due to neocolonial nature of the current World order) which in turn creates social problems and the precondition for neoliberal coup d'état sponsored from Washington. So there is a Neoliberal Catch 22 for all countries who want to excape dependence on the USA: neoliberals new order guarantee that economic condition of peripheral countries do not improve; that creates social discontent that allows to propose population a neoliberal carrot -- elect a neoliberal leader and your standard of living "soon" will be like in the USA. neoliberal coup d'état can now succeed. Further impoverishing follows but it is too late -- the train has left the station.
While convention to to more extreme version of neoliberalism does not solve the problems in economics (Argentina here is nice example of "What happens next after neoliberals came back to power") and impoverishment of population is given. But at the same time the civil war is prevented and the support of the USA guarantee a certain period of political stability.
In other words this struggle is about alternatives to neoliberalism and anti-neoliberal governments have a huge handicap in a form of the USA presence on the continent. It looks like Canada is just another neoliberal puppet of the USA in this game/
Notable quotes:
"... Venezuelan soldiers have blocked the crossing ahead of a delivery arranged by opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who has declared himself interim president ..."
Feb 08, 2019 | off-guardian.org
8 August 2017 in order to overthrow and replace Venezuela's current President Nicolás Maduro. She stated in her February 5th announcement :

Today, we have been joined by our Lima Group partners, from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Saint Lucia. We have also been joined in our conversations with our partners from other countries, for this Lima Group ministerial meeting. These include Ecuador, the European Union, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States."

She, along with U.S. President Donald Trump, had, all along, been the actual leaders of this international diplomatic effort, to violate the Venezuelan Constitution blatantly , so as to perpetrate the coup in Venezuela. Her active effort to replace Venezuela's Government began with her formation of the Lima Group, nearly two years ago.

Canada's Ottawa Citizen headlined on 19 August 2017, "Choosing Danger" , and their reporter Peter Hum interviewed Canada's Ambassador to Venezuela, Ben Rowswell, who was then retiring from the post. Rowswell said that Venezuelans who wanted an overthrow of their Government would continue to have the full support of Canada's Government : "'I think that some of them were sort of anx­ious that it (the em­bassy's support for hu­man rights and democ­racy in Venezuela) might not con­tinue after I left,' Rowswell said. 'I don't think they have any­thing to worry about be­cause Minister (of Foreign Affairs Chrystia) Freeland has Venezuela way at the top of her priority list.'"

Maybe it wasn't yet at the top of Trump's list, but it was at the top of hers. And she and Trump together chose whom to replace Venezuela's President, Nicholas Maduro, by: Juan Guaido . Guaido had secretly courted other Latin American leaders for this, just as Freeland had already done, by means of her secretly forming the Lima Group.

On 25 January 2019, the AP bannered "AP Exclusive: Anti-Maduro coalition grew from secret talks" and reported that the man who now claims to be Venezuela's legitimate President (though he had never even run for that post), Juan Guaido, had secretly visited foreign countries in order to win their blessings for what he was planning:

In mid-December, Guaido quietly traveled to Washington, Colombia and Brazil to brief officials on the opposition's strategy of mass demonstrations to coincide with Maduro's expected swearing-in for a second term on Jan. 10 in the face of widespread international condemnation, according to exiled former Caracas Mayor Antonio Ledezma, an ally.

Playing a key role behind the scenes was Lima Group member Canada, whose Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland spoke to Guaido [9 January 2019] the night before Maduro's swearing-in ceremony [on 10 January 2019] to offer her government's support should he confront the socialist leader [Maduro], the Canadian official said. Also active was Colombia, which shares a border with Venezuela and has received more than two million migrants fleeing economic chaos, along with Peru and Brazil's new far-right President Jair Bolsonaro.

To leave Venezuela, he sneaked across the lawless border with Colombia, so as not to raise suspicions among immigration officials who sometimes harass opposition figures at the airport and bar them from traveling abroad, said a different anti-government leader, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss security arrangements.

During the last days in office of Canada's Ambassador to Venezuela Rowswell, U.S. President Donald Trump went public with his overt threat to invade Venezuela. On 11 August 2017, McClatchy's Miami Herald bannered "Trump was making friends in Latin America -- before he raised Venezuela 'military option'" , and Patricia Mazzei reported that "President Donald Trump's unexpected suggestion Friday that he might rely on military force to deal with Venezuela's pressing political crisis was an astonishing statement that strained not only credulity but also the White House's hard-won new friendships in Latin America."

Even a spokesperson from the Atlantic Council (which is the main PR agency for NATO) was quoted as saying that "U.S. diplomats, after weeks of carefully building the groundwork for a collective international response, suddenly find their efforts completely undercut by a ridiculously over the top and anachronistic assertion. It makes us look imperialistic and old-time. This is not how the U.S. has behaved in decades!" However, Peru's Foreign Minister, Ricardo Luna, was just as eager for a coup in Venezuela as were Trump and Freeland.

On 26 October 2017, Peru's Gestion TV reported that Luna was the co-chair of the meeting of the Lima Group in Toronto, which Freeland chaired, and that (as translated into English here) "Luna added that the objective of the meeting of the Group of Lima 'is to create a propitious situation' so that the regime of Nicolás Maduro 'feels obligated to negotiate' not only an exit to the crisis, 'but also an exit to his own regime'."

This gang was going to make Maduro an offer that he couldn't refuse. So, the Lima Group, which was founded by Luna and by Freeland, was taking the initiative as much and as boldly as Trump was, regardless of what NATO might think about it. The topic of that news-report, and its headline, was "Peru proposes Grupo de Lima to involve the UN to face the Venezuelan crisis." Four days later, Freeland and Luna met privately at the U.N., in New York, with the Secretary General, Antonio Guterres.

Inner City Press reported that "The title of the meeting is 'the situation in Venezuela and efforts by regional organizations to resolve the crisis per Chapter VIII of the UN Charter' [see it here ] and the briefer will be not USG [Under Secretary General] Jeffrey Feltman but his Assistant, ASG [Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs] Miroslav Jenca."

Jeffrey Feltman was the person who, in the secretly recorded 27 January 2014 phone-conversation in which U.S. President Barack Obama's agent, Victoria Nuland -- planning and overseeing the February 2014 coup that overthrew Ukraine's democratically elected President -- instructed the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, that, after Ukraine's President is ousted, Arseniy "Yats" Yatsenyuk was to be appointed as Ukraine's 'interim' leader as the new Prime Minister, to replace the President. She also said :

"I talked to Jeff Feltman this morning; he had a new name for the UN guy Robert Serry. He's now gotten both Serry and Ban ki-Moon to agree that Serry could come in Monday or Tuesday. That would be great, I think, to help glue this thing, and to have the UN help glue it, and, you know, fuck the EU."

So, the still Under Secretary General of the U.N, Mr. Feltman, is still America's fixer there, who "glues" whatever the U.S. President orders the U.N. to do, and his Assistant was filling in for him that day. Therefore, if Trump and Freeland turn out to be as successful as Obama was, then the U.N. will "glue" the outcome. Chrystia Freeland happens also to be a friend of Victoria Nuland, and a passionate supporter of her coup in Ukraine.

... ... ...

Of course, the man whom the U.S. and Canadian regimes and the Lima Group are trying to install as Venezuela's President, Juan Guaido, had been well-groomed for that job, but not by political and electoral experience, of which he has almost none, but by his foreign sponsors. On 29 January 2019 the Gray Zone Project bannered "The Making of Juan Guaidó: How the US Regime Change Laboratory Created Venezuela's Coup Leader" , and their two star investigative journalists, Dan Cohen and Max Blumenthal, opened: "Juan Guaidó is the product of a decade-long project overseen by Washington's elite regime change trainers. While posing as a champion of democracy, he has spent years at the forefront of a violent campaign of destabilization."

This report also noted that "The 'real work' began two years later, in 2007, when Guaidó graduated from Andrés Bello Catholic University of Caracas. He moved to Washington, DC to enroll in the Governance and Political Management Program at George Washington University, under the tutelage of Venezuelan economist Luis Enrique Berrizbeitia, one of the top Latin American neoliberal economists. Berrizbeitia is a former executive director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) [and the IMF is a central part the operation that's described in John Perkins's now-classic Confessions of an Economic Hit Man] who spent more than a decade working in the Venezuelan energy sector, under the old oligarchic regime that was ousted by Chávez."

Moreover, "Stratfor and CANVAS – key advisors of Guaidó and his anti-government cadre – devised a shockingly cynical plan to drive a dagger through the heart of the Bolivarian revolution. The scheme hinged on a 70% collapse of the country's electrical system by as early as April 2010." Etc. This is how 'democracy' now functions. It's not democracy -- it is fascism. The euphemisms for it are "neoliberalism" and "neoconservatism."

Regardless of whether or not the Trump-Freeland-Luna program for Venezuela succeeds, democracy and human rights won't be advanced by it; but, if it succeeds, the fortunes of US-and-allied billionaires will be . It's part of their global privatization program .

Sidebar: If you want to understand what was the historical context where Inner City Press reported that "The title of the meeting is 'the situation in Venezuela and efforts by regional organizations to resolve the crisis per Chapter VIII of the UN Charter'" ; then Luk Van Langenhove has summarized that context , by saying:

Few invocations of Chapter VIII's provisions were made during the cold war period. But when the bipolar world system collapsed and spawned new global security threats, the explosion of local and regional armed conflicts provoked a renewed interest in regional organizations and their role in the maintenance of regional peace and security. The United Nations was forced to acknowledge its inability to solely bear the responsibility for providing peace and security worldwide."

So, "during the cold war period," this provision of the UN Charter remained virtually inactive. Then, suddenly, after 1991, when the Soviet Union and its communism and its Warsaw Pact military alliance to counter America's NATO military alliance, all ended (with no concessions being made on the American side ), America could no longer use 'communism' as a 'justification' to invade or perpetrate coups against foreign governments that were friendly toward or else allied with Russia.

So, now, this provision of the U.N.'s Charter became activated by the U.S. and its allies, in order to be able to say that The West's coups and invasions aren't actually to build-out the U.S. empire, but are instead for (in the terms of this part of the U.N.'s Charter) "the maintenance of international peace and security" -- so as to 'authorize' coups and international invasions by the U.S. and its vassal nations, such as are the members of NATO.

This is what U.S. President G.H.W. Bush had in mind to rely upon, when he told the leaders of the U.S. regime's vassal states, secretly at Camp David, on the night of 24 February 1990, that the 'Cold War' would now continue secretly on the U.S.-allied side, against Russia and against any nation's leaders (such as Saddam Hussein, Muammar Qaddafi, Bashar al-Assad, and Viktor Yanukovych) that aren't hostile toward Russia, by Bush's saying then to them, that no compromise must ever be allowed "with Moscow," because "To hell with that! We prevailed, they didn't."

In other words, whereas the U.N. had been set up by FDR to evolve ultimately into the global democratic federation of nation-states -- a democratic world-government -- so as to become the sole possessor of control over all strategic weaponry, and thus to become the democratic republic of the entire world authorized to settle international disputes peacefully, the subterranean Nazis and other fascists whom U.S. President Truman and the Bilderberg group represented, were determined that the U.S. and its vassal nations would ultimately become the dictatorship over all nations, the entire world. That's what Ukraine, and now Venezuela, and many other U.S. coups and invasions, are -- and have been -- really about. It's about the 'peace' of the graveyard, NOT any democracy, anywhere at all.

That's their dream. They want to monopolize the corruption everywhere, not to end it, anywhere. And that's why they distort and blatantly lie about Venezuela's democratic constitution now , just as they did about Ukraine's democratic constitution in February 2014. It's, essentially, a lawless international gang of billionaire thugs. It is the international Deep State . It consists of the under 2,000 people who are international billionaires in the U.S. and secondarily in the U.S.-allied countries, and of those billionaires' millions of hirees. 585 of those under-2,000 are Americans .

But the wealthiest person on the planet isn't even listed on any of the standard lists of billionaires, and he is the King of Saudi Arabia . That person is the U.S. aristocracy's #1 international ally, because ever since the 1970s when gold no longer backed the U.S. dollar but instead oil did, that person's decisions have enabled the U.S. dollar to continue as being the world's reserve currency, no matter how big the U.S. economy's trade deficits are, and no matter how high the U.S. Government's fiscal deficits are.

Below those billionaires (and trillionaire), and below their millions of hirees, are the billions of serfs; and, below those, at the very bottom, are the approximately 40 million slaves , and the many millions imprisoned -- virtually all of whom have extremely low (if any) net worth at all, since slavery and imprisonment are, in the real world, only for the very poor, not at all for the international gangsters, except for a very few exceptions (such as, perhaps, "El Chapo").

The billionaires command, and the governments obey; that's 'democracy', and it's 'the rule of law', today. Everything to the contrary is propaganda, such as that what Trump-Freeland-Luna want for Venezuela is to decrease corruption and to increase democracy and human rights.

At least the more blatant fascist John Bolton was honest when he said on January 28th : "It will make a big difference to the United States economically if we could have American oil companies invest in and produce the oil capabilities in Venezuela." But he would have been lots more honest if he had acknowledged, instead, that "It will make a big difference to the United States billionaires economically if we could have American oil companies invest in and produce the oil capabilities in Venezuela."

This is all that the fascists ever really cared about. Mussolini called it "corporationism." Now, decades in the wake of the Allies' supposed 'victory against fascism' -- against the Axis powers -- in WW II, we all (at least the realists) are acknowledging that we clearly are staring in the face the raw fact that fascism has finally won, or at least very nearly totally won, in the world.

Hitler, Mussolini, and Hirohito, died; but their ideological followers today rule the world, and FDR would be turning in his grave.

  1. tutisicecream

    Unfortunately the Orange one is being wagged again by those who are most seriously plotting his demise and over reach in Venezuela may be just as much part of the plan as it was in pushing him into launching an attack on Syria. It is true that the global elites are at a loss what to do, as the fracturing of the global oligarchies is proving Marx right . capitalist are just a band of warring brothers [brigands, robbers, pirates – all!]. As there is no serious ideological threat to their hegemony at the moment they fight amongst themselves with imperial designs.

    The threat to the imperium is the chaos which ensues when the elite power struggles fracture their hegemony and an uncontrollable uprising ensues. Who shapes that revolution will be central to this. Where it will come from is not evident yet but let's hope it's a grass roots one!


  1. Yes, they will never stop. Just think of this brand-new propaganda lie of Maduro allegedly preventing aid shipment to come into Venezuela. See BBC: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-47143492 : "Venezuelan soldiers have blocked the crossing ahead of a delivery arranged by opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who has declared himself interim president".

    Notice the word "ahead" in this sentence. This word appears because there was never a "delivery" (truck) with aid shipment at the bridge!
    The Venezuelan government ("Maduro") blocked the bridge only because of war-threatening Columbia and USA.
    If you want to send aid shipment to Venezuela you can send as much as you want anytime. Of course you have to respect the regulations of the custom (like in every other country!). But that's all!

    Whets foul with this story?
    Well, this aid "delivery" cannot have been collected in Colombia – and thus being taken away from the people of Colombia, who are much poorer than the people of Venezuela. So it would have to come from other country (USA, Europe, China, Japan). And then you would not land this aid shipment in Columbia (a harbour, an airport), drive it, in hot-humid air, through half of Colombia to the border crossing bridge of Cúcuta. Then cross the bridge and then drive it through half of Venezuela!
    Instead aid shipments for Venezuela would be landed directly in Venezuela – in an Venezuelan harbour or airport.

    "Everything (to the contrary) is propaganda".
    Or "Fake News"! So don't miss James Corbett's "FAKE NEWS AWARD" – https://www.corbettreport.com/episode-351-the-2nd-annual-real-fake-news-awards/

  1. Of course I'm speaking rhetorically: we all know what the answer is and it ain't looking very pretty.

[Feb 08, 2019] How money should be spent under neoliberalism

Feb 08, 2019 | off-guardian.org

mark says Jan, 31, 2019

There was one leading US politician whose name escapes me for the moment. When Chavez was president, he complained bitterly that Venezuela's oil wealth was being squandered on things like healthcare, education, literacy and welfare. It could have been given instead to hard pressed Wall Street fund managers in bigger bonuses. He wasn't being ironic.

[Feb 08, 2019] So don't miss James Corbett's "FAKE NEWS AWARD"

Feb 08, 2019 | off-guardian.org

Joerg says Feb, 7, 2019

"Everything (to the contrary) is propaganda"
Yes, they will never stop. Just think of this brand-new propaganda lie of Maduro allegedly preventing aid shipment to come into Venezuela. See BBC: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-47143492 : " Venezuelan soldiers have blocked the crossing ahead of a delivery arranged by opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who has declared himself interim president ".

Notice the word " ahead " in this sentence. This word appears because there was never a " delivery " (truck) with aid shipment at the bridge!
The Venezuelan government ("Maduro") blocked the bridge only because of war-threatening Columbia and USA.

If you want to send aid shipment to Venezuela you can send as much as you want anytime. Of course you have to respect the regulations of the custom (like in every other country!). But that's all!

Whets foul with this story?

Well, this aid " delivery " cannot have been collected in Colombia – and thus being taken away from the people of Colombia, who are much poorer than the people of Venezuela. So it would have to come from other country (USA, Europe, China, Japan). And then you would not land this aid shipment in Columbia (a harbour, an airport), drive it, in hot-humid air, through half of Colombia to the border crossing bridge of Cúcuta. Then cross the bridge and then drive it through half of Venezuela!

Instead aid shipments for Venezuela would be landed directly in Venezuela – in an Venezuelan harbour or airport.

"Everything (to the contrary) is propaganda". Or "Fake News"! So don't miss James Corbett's "FAKE NEWS AWARD" – https://www.corbettreport.com/episode-351-the-2nd-annual-real-fake-news-awards/

[Feb 04, 2019] The US decision to send weapons to Syria repeats a historical mistake

Highly recommended!
This was true in 2015 for Syria. Now this is true for Venezuela... So one can expect iether chemical attack opposition from Madura government or "Snipergate" in EuroMaydan style. Or may some some more sophisticated, more nasty "false flag" operation in British style like Skripal poisoning.
It will be interesting if Madura manage to survive despite the pressute...
Notable quotes:
"... Sorry but you're wrong. The funding a training of rebel forces by the west has done exactly what is was intended to do, mainly destabilise an entire region, sell billions in extra arms, introduce extra anti-terrorism laws in the west, create more fear and panic, then destabilise Europe through the mass-migration. This was the plan and it worked! ..."
"... To the great disappointment of those of us who voted for Obama, the first time out of hope for change, and the second time out of fear for someone even worse, he is a weak and chameleonic leader whose policies are determined by the strongest willed person in the room. Recall that he was also "talked into" bombing Libya! ..."
"... This isn't Bay of Pigs; its a bloated military trying to figure out what to do with its extra cash. Financially, it doesn't matter if the program is a failure. The cost is minuscule for the budget they have. ..."
"... Bush reached the Oval Office not because he was bright, for indeed he was not, he reached the Oval Office because he was dumb enough not to realise he was clearly easily manipulated, believed in neoliberalism and was rich and rich backers and a rich Dad. ..."
"... In Iran, we have a saying which says; take off a Mullah's turban and you will find the words "Made in England" stamped on his head. ..."
"... ISIS/ISIL is a creation of the US in an attempt to remove Assad. The long-term goal being to isolate Iran before going in there for the natural resources. ..."
"... The White House statement specifically refers to the "Syrian opposition". That's the term we use to describe anti-government forces. This recruitment and training programme has gone awry because the people originally recruited would have been anti-Assad. Now the Obama administration has tried to change the same people to fighting to ISIS instead. No wonder there's only "four to five" left. This is one big fustercluck! ..."
"... The CIA has probably been the greatest destabalising force in the world since the second world war and seem like more a subsidiary of the weapons trade than a government department. ..."
Sep 19, 2015 | The Guardian
Why does the US continually send deadly weapons to the Middle East, make things even more chaotic than they were before and expect better results the next time?

As pretty much everyone who was paying attention predicted, the $500m program to train and arm "moderate" Syrian rebels is an unmitigated, Bay of Pigs-style disaster, with the head of US central command admitting to Congress this week that the year-old program now only has "four or five" rebels fighting inside Syria, with dozens more killed or captured.

Even more bizarre, the White House is claiming little to do with it. White House spokesman Josh Earnest attempted to distance Obama from the program, claiming that it was actually the president's "critics" who "were wrong." The New York Times reported, "In effect, Mr Obama is arguing that he reluctantly went along with those who said it was the way to combat the Islamic State, but that he never wanted to do it and has now has been vindicated in his original judgment."

This bizarre "I was peer pressured into sending more weapons into the Middle East" argument by the president is possibly the most blatant example of blame shifting in recent memory, since he had every opportunity to speak out against it, or veto the bill. Instead, this is what Obama said at the time: "I am pleased that Congress...have now voted to support a key element of our strategy: our plan to train and equip the opposition in Syria."

But besides the fact that he clearly did support the policy at the time, it's ridiculous for another reason: years before Congress approved the $500m program to arm the Syrian rebels, the CIA had been running its own separate Syrian rebel-arming program since at least 2012. It was reported prominently by the New York Times at the time and approved by the president.

In fact, just before Congress voted, Senator Tom Udall told Secretary of State John Kerry, who was testifying in front of the foreign relations committee, "Everybody's well aware there's been a covert operation, operating in the region to train forces, moderate forces, to go into Syria and to be out there, that we've been doing this the last two years." In true Orwellian fashion, Kerry responded at the time: "I hate to do this. But I can't confirm or deny whatever that's been written about and I can't really go into any kind of possible program."

Also conveniently ignored by Congress and those advocating for arming the rebels was a classified study the CIA did at the time showing that arming rebel factions against sitting governments almost always ends in disaster or tragedy.

You'd think whether or not the current weapons-running program was effective – or whether any similar program ever was – would have been a key factor in the debate. But alas, the CIA program is never mentioned, not by politicians, and not by journalists. It's just been conveniently forgotten.

It is true that perhaps the best advocate for why we never should've armed the Syrian rebels to begin with came from President Obama himself. He told the New Yorker in early 2014 that "you have an opposition that is disorganized, ill-equipped, ill-trained and is self-divided. All of that is on top of some of the sectarian divisions." Critically, he cited that same above-mentioned classified study:

Very early in this process, I actually asked the CIA to analyze examples of America financing and supplying arms to an insurgency in a country that actually worked out well. And they couldn't come up with much.

He didn't mention the CIA's already-active weapons-running program. Why he didn't stick to his guns since he supposedly was weary of getting the US military involved in yet another quagmire it could not get out of is beyond anyone's comprehension. Instead, he supported Congress's measure to create yet another program that sent even more weapons to the war-torn region.

Per usual, Republicans are taking the entirely wrong lessons from this disaster, arguing that if only there was more force then everything would've worked out. Marco Rubio exclaimed during the GOP presidential debate on Wednesday that if we armed the rebels earlier – like he allegedly wanted, before voting against arming them when he had the chance – then the program would've worked out. Like seemingly everyone else in this debate, Rubio has decided to ignore the actual facts.

Sadly, instead of a debate about whether we should continue sending weapons to the Middle East at all, we'll probably hear arguments that we should double down in Syria in the coming days and get US troops more cemented into a war we can call our own (that still to this day has not been authorized by Congress). There are already reports that there are US special operations forces on the ground in Syria now, assisting Kurdish forces who are also fighting Isis.

When the vicious and tragic cycle will end is anyone's guess. But all signs point to: not anytime soon.

Oliver2014 19 Sep 2015 21:27

" Why does the US continually send deadly weapons to the Middle East, make things even more chaotic than they were before and expect better results the next time? "

Because the US doesn't understand the culture of the people it meddles with.

The US goes in with a messianic belief in the righteousness of its objective. This objective is framed in naive terms to convince itself and the people that it's motives are benevolent - such as "we must fight communism" or "we will bring democracy to Iraq" or "Saddam Hussein is an evil man who uses chemical weapons on his own people and hence must be ousted" or "Assad is an evil man who is fighting a civil war with his own people".

As a superpower it feels compelled to interfere in conflicts lest it be seen as impotent. When it does not interfere, as in WW2, things do indeed get out of control. So it's damned if it does and damned if it doesn't.

The CIA did not understand Afghan history of fighting off invaders when it was arming the Mujaheddin and that after the Soviets were defeated it would perceive the Americans as invaders and not as liberators who were there to bring them democracy and teach them that growing poppy was bad. (Like alcohol in the 1930s, a national addiction problem cannot be solved on the supply side - as the CIA and DEA learnt in South America.)

Bush Sr. was right when he left Saddam alone after bloodying his nose for invading Kuwait because he understood that Saddam was playing a vital Tito-esque role in keeping his country and the neighborhood in check. He had no WMDs but wanted his adversaries in the region to believe otherwise. If Saddam were alive today we wouldn't have an Iraq problem, an ISIS problem, an Iran problem and a Syria problem.

Smedley Butler 19 Sep 2015 21:12

"Why he didn't stick to his guns since he supposedly was weary of getting the US military involved in yet another quagmire it could not get out of is beyond anyone's comprehension."

Maybe it's because he hasn't stuck to his guns on anything during the entire time he's been President. He always takes the path of least resistance, the easy way out, and a "conservative-lite" position that tries to satisfy everyone and actually satisfies no one.

What an utter disappointment.

DavidEG 19 Sep 2015 20:01

The Machiavellian machinations of the empire become less relevant with every passing day. It's Europeans now who are eating sweet fruits of "mission accomplished". And they may rebel, and kick out last remnants of their "unity", and sacred NATO alliance alongside.


PamelaKatz AndyMcCarthy 19 Sep 2015 18:33

Obama said the US would take 10,000 Syrian refugees. When I heard this, I thought surely a zero must be missing from this figure. And what no one has publicly mentioned is the immigration process for these few will require at least a year of investigative background checks.

PamelaKatz jvillain 19 Sep 2015 18:15

The largest manufacturers and global distributors of weaponry are the US, the UK, France, Russia and China, in that order....... also known as the 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council. One should read the UN Charter, which states the purpose and parameters for forming this international organization. The word 'irony' comes to mind.

ID108738 19 Sep 2015 17:36

Saddam Hussein was a friend while he gassed the Iranians, then he invaded Kuwait; as long as Bin Laden fought the Russians, he was tolerated and funded; now there's Syria. The only thing needed to take the strategy to new levels of idiocy was a compliant nincompoop as prime minister in Britain. Will they ever learn?

Toi Jon 19 Sep 2015 17:27

The US understands how to create a market for their military hardware industry but has never understood how their interference in the Middle East creates mass human misery.

Samantha Stevens 19 Sep 2015 17:09

Quite simply the US is breaking international law by doing this. Every time they do it the world ends up with another shit storm. If they cannot behave responsibly they should be removed from the security council of the UN. Same goes for the Russians and any other power abusing their position.
Syria may not have been the epitome of humanity before being destabilised but it is certainly worse now. The same is true of Iraq. In fact have the US successfully overturned any government they deem un-American (LOL) without it leading to a civil war?

Andy Freeman 19 Sep 2015 17:06

Sorry but you're wrong. The funding a training of rebel forces by the west has done exactly what is was intended to do, mainly destabilise an entire region, sell billions in extra arms, introduce extra anti-terrorism laws in the west, create more fear and panic, then destabilise Europe through the mass-migration. This was the plan and it worked!

People will call for a solution, the solution will be tighter integration in Europe, the abolition of national governments, the removal of cash to stop payments to "terrorists", more draconian spying laws, less from and eventually compulsory registration and ID for all Europeans.

Meanwhile, we'll have a few more false flag attacks supposedly caused by the refugees and more fear in the news. Open your eyes


Laurie Calhoun 19 Sep 2015 16:49

"Why he didn't stick to his guns..." Not the most felicitous metaphor in this case, but here is the answer to your question:

To the great disappointment of those of us who voted for Obama, the first time out of hope for change, and the second time out of fear for someone even worse, he is a weak and chameleonic leader whose policies are determined by the strongest willed person in the room. Recall that he was also "talked into" bombing Libya!

Sad but true. For more details on how this works, read Daniel Klaidman's book Kill or Capture: The war on terror and the soul of the Obama presidency.


littlewoodenblock geniusofmozart 19 Sep 2015 16:39

turkey should be thrown out of NATO immediately!

littlewoodenblock 19 Sep 2015 16:36

after the libya disaster the US should have abandoned plans for regim change in syria.

and the US missed a golden opportunity to recitfy what had already become a syria disaster by allowing turkey and the ludicrous SNC to so thoroughly undermine the Geneva talks.

nnedjo -> Havingalavrov , 19 Sep 2015 15:40

The U.S and U.K's commitment should be to those in Iraq. Secure, rebuild and invest in helping that Nation come with the best solution to a, rid itself of ISIS, b, be able to stay that way, c have a government that is inclusive to the needs of the Sunni's, Shia's and Kurds

Just as I thought that you can not surpass yourself in writing stupid comments, and you are immediately reassured me.
Thus, the US and the UK spent nearly ten years in Iraq and failed to make any of this what you write, but but the whole mess practically they themselves have created. And now you're saying that if the US and UK troops returned again to Iraq they will be able to fix everything that they had previously screwed and to create an "inclusive society" of Iraq. So, if the US and UK troops set foot again on the soil of Iraq, it will be the strongest reason for Iraqi Sunnis to reject the inclusion in the Iraqi society. Iraqi officials themselves are aware of this very well, and for that reason they are the first to oppose such an intervention.
Iraq's prime minister says no to foreign troops

BAGHDAD - Iraq's prime minister strongly rejected the idea of the U.S. or other nations sending ground forces to his country to help fight the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, saying Wednesday that foreign troops are "out of the question."...
Al-Abadi, a Shiite lawmaker who faces the enormous task of trying to hold Iraq together as a vast array of forces threaten to rip it apart, welcomed the emerging international effort, but stressed that he sees no need for other nations to send troops to help fight ISIS.

"Not only is it not necessary," he said, "We don't want them. We won't allow them. Full stop."
"The only contribution the American forces or the international coalition is going to help us with is from the sky," al-Abadi said. "We are not giving any blank check to the international coalition to hit any target in Iraq."
He said that the Iraqi military will choose and approve targets, and that the U.S. will not take action without consulting with Baghdad first. Failure to do so, he warned, risks causing civilian casualties like in Pakistan and Yemen, where the U.S. has conducted drone strikes for years.

Well, Well, whether i notice here distrust even of Iraqi Shiites toward the US Air Force. On the other hand, they want to strengthen friendship with neighboring governments in Syria and Iran: ;

Al-Abadi, however, said that Iraq doesn't have the luxury of testy relations with Damascus, and instead pushed for some sort of coordination.

"We cannot afford to fight our neighbor, even if we disagree on many things," al-Abadi said. "We don't want to enter into problems with them. For us sovereignty of Syria is very important." The two countries, both of which are allies of Iran, appear to already be coordinating on some level, and Iraq's national security adviser met Tuesday with Assad in the Syrian capital, where the two agreed to strengthen cooperation in fighting "terrorism," according to Syria's state news agency.

The U.S. hopes to pull together a broad coalition to help defeat the extremist group, but has ruled out cooperating with neighboring Iran or Syria, both of which also view ISIS as a threat. Both countries were excluded from a conference this week in Paris that brought the U.S., France and other allies together to discuss how to address the militant threat.

Al-Abadi said that excluding Damascus and Tehran was counterproductive.

So, it is obvious that the Iraqi government is not against inclusion, but they're for such inclusion, which will exclude the US and UK of interfering in their internal affairs. I think it is a good step towards reconciliation with their Sunni brothers because they also seem to support such a thing. And if they managed to do it, maybe Ukrainians will also draw some lesson from it and be able to reconcile with their brothers Russians.


Ieuan ytrewq 19 Sep 2015 14:04

ytrewq said: "USSR and China supplied a lot of support and material to N. Vietnam."

Very true.

However the Viet Minh were formed and initially supplied by OSS (later called the CIA) forces from the US. In fact Ho Chi Min had a naive hope that the US would support him in his struggle against foreign occupation of the country after the war (French colonialism) and made several appeals to President Truman for help (all of which were ignored).

Instead of which, the US supported the French, so Ho asked around and got help from the Russians and Chinese. The rest we know.


marginline AndyMcCarthy 19 Sep 2015 13:54

The UK and France [...], they destroyed Libya.

The causality of which led to an Islamic terror attack on June 26th, 2015 ten kilometers north of the city of Sousse, Tunisia, where thirty-eight people; thirty of whom were British - were murdered.


sashasmirnoff JoJo McJoJo 19 Sep 2015 13:40

The US is always wrong, and always responsible for every bad thing that happens on Earth.

They are always wrong, and are indeed responsible for almost every geopolitical disaster, usually a result of overthrowing governments and installing their own tyrant, or else leaving a vacuum that Islamists fill.


Zaarth 19 Sep 2015 13:34

This $500m program cost less than 0.1% of the US annual defense budget. When you're dealing with sums of money as obscenely large as the US spends on its military, its inevitable that huge quantities will be wasted because you've passed the point where there's worthwhile things to spend it on. This isn't Bay of Pigs; its a bloated military trying to figure out what to do with its extra cash. Financially, it doesn't matter if the program is a failure. The cost is minuscule for the budget they have.

In recent years the right has been very concerned with balancing the national budget and shrinking debt. They're willing to cut spending for social programs and research, but god forbid you take money away from the military. It just wouldn't be patriotic.


marginline -> GeneralMittens 19 Sep 2015 13:14

Great summary GeneralMittens. You have expressed in layman's terms the facts eluded to by journalist Mehdi Hasan when he quantified the depth of the strategic disaster the Iraq war actually was – or, as the Conservative minister Kenneth Clarke put it back in a 2013 BBC radio discussion...

the most disastrous foreign policy decision of my lifetime [ ] worse than Suez

The invasion and occupation of Iraq undermined the moral standing of the western powers; empowered Iran and its proxies; heightened the threat from al-Qaeda at home and abroad; and sent a clear signal to 'rogue' regimes that the best (the only?) means of deterring a preemptive, US-led attack was to acquire weapons of mass destruction. [ ] Iraq has been destroyed and hundreds of thousands of innocent people have lost their lives, as the direct result of an unnecessary, unprovoked war that, according to the former chief justice Lord Bingham, was a...

serious violation of international law

This leads me to the conclusion and I apologies for flogging this dead horse yet again BUT...why are Bush and Bliar not being detained at The Hague?


Ieuan 19 Sep 2015 12:45

" I actually asked the CIA to analyze examples of America financing and supplying arms to an insurgency in a country that actually worked out well."

Well, they (the OSS at the time) supplied arms and training to the Viet Minh. When they were fighting the Japanese. Which worked out well, when they were only fighting the Japanese.

But when they used their expertise (and the arms they had left over) to carry on fighting the French, and later the Americans themselves, it worked out very well for the Viet Minh, not so well for the French and Americans.


GangZhouEsq 19 Sep 2015 12:27

The first President Bush, who decided not to topple President Saddam Hussein after routing his military forces out of Kuwait, and instead to leave him in power for the sake of the Middle East stability is, in retrospect, probably the wisest foreign policy decision ever made by the 41st President, thanks not only to his own personal judgment but also to his foreign policy aides' wisdom. Though it is now too late for the son to learn from his father, it is still not too late for the present administration to learn a thing or two from the former senior President Bush.

twoheadednightingale 19 Sep 2015 12:25

Nice to read an article coming at the war from this angle, seems like people are finally starting to question the effectiveness US foreign policy - ie bombing for peace. However the article is fairly nieve in places - like who actually believes the president of the US has control over all its intelligence agencies? JFK told the world in april '61, not long after the CIA had set him up over the bay of pigs and months before being assassinated exactly that. So enough of the 'blame the president' bullshit, it doesn't get to the root of the problem


GangZhouEsq 19 Sep 2015 12:17

The last major armament, including heavy guns, tanks and armored personnel carriers, as sent by the United States to the now notoriously incompetent Iraqi military forces is now reportedly in the hands of ISIS after these US-trained Iraqi military personnel simply abandoned their posts of defense and deserted for their own dear lives, thus leaving the centuries-old, formerly safe haven of Mosul for Iraqi Christians to the mercy of ISIS. See "60 Minutes", Sunday, September 13, 2015, "Iraq's Christians", at http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/iraqs-christians-the-shooting-at-chardon-high-king-of-crossfit.


pfox33 19 Sep 2015 12:04

The fact that Putin is coming to Assad's aid is a game-changer that the US was unprepared for. For one thing, it's highlighted how inconsequential US efforts to bolster "moderate" rebels and degrade ISIS capabilities have been.

From the time it was reported that the Russians were upgrading an airbase at Latakia to the time that it was reported that they had dispatched helicopters and jets and that the Syrians had started to take the fight to ISIS in Raqqah and Palmyra was only a matter of weeks. The CIA's program, after a year, had produced five soldiers at a cost of 500 million.

Previously the US had free reign over Syrian skies as did Israel who would bomb what they deemed to be convoys of military supplies for Hezbollah. Things aren't so free and easy now with the Russians in town. And both the Americans and Israelis now realize they have to check in with them before them they make sorties over northern Syria.

It's fairly obvious, to me anyway, that the US and Israel's only endgame was the fall of Assad and that ISIS had their tacit approval. Assad's good relations with Iran and Hezbollah meant he was a marked man. Putin, as is his wont, has complicated their plans and the results are yet to be seen.


BradfordChild TastySalmon 19 Sep 2015 11:58

"Iraq, Libya, Syria. What do/did these countries have in common? Unfriendly leaders who want nothing to do with the US."

Actually, Gaddafi had shown an interest in engaging with the West-- happened under Bush, but was never really followed up on. Still, it was headed in a more positive direction until Obama rather arbitrarily decided that Gaddafi had to go.

The real net effect of US intervention in the Middle East has been to destabilize Europe.


Tony Page bravo7490 19 Sep 2015 11:32

I would agree but, as a former intelligence professional, I'd remind you that there's always a story behind the story. Not that it's a "good" story! But more must be going on there...


ByThePeople 19 Sep 2015 11:12

"Why does the US continually send deadly weapons to the Middle East, make things even more chaotic than they were before and expect better results the next time?"

It depends on how you define better. To think that these ops take place with the intent to solve an issue is naive, they don't. You state yourself that the CIA freely admits it's never worked.

The reason the United States funds and arms groups in the Middle East is that 9 times out of 10, these same groups are then later labeled 'terrorists' and a new US war campaign is justified.

It's not about solving problems - unless the problem being solved is: How do we create more opportunities to half-ass justify engaging in another war effort so the US coffers can be continuously raped.

Iraq is the perfect example of succeeding in achieving this goal. Years before the Iraq war ever began, US war planners knew that a power vacuum, attracting the likes of Al-Qaeda and or ISIS would subsequently result. Thus, providing a for a second war, derived from the first seemingly pointless invasion. The Iraq plan worked fabulously as not only did the newly created enemy materialize, they also became a much more formidable enemy once they conveniently came into possession of all the military equipment we let behind.

Point is, they wouldn't continue implementing all these operations if the goal wasn't being achieved.

I will add too - McCain and Co. clamored so hard to arm the al-Assad opposition McCain might as well have claimed that if we did not, then America would be blown up in its entirety in 48 hours the same as all the other fear mongering done in a effort to continue the war efforts. Who knows, maybe he did, I try not to listen to him anymore - he needs to be put out to pasture.

TastySalmon 19 Sep 2015 11:10

Iraq, Libya, Syria. What do/did these countries have in common? Unfriendly leaders who want nothing to do with the US.

To suggest that funding radicals to overthrow these governments is a "whoops" or something that will never work is completely wrong. The plan has worked exactly as planned: destabilize the region by promoting dissent, covertly arm and fund "rebels" through back-channels (Saudi, UAE, Turkey, etc.), create a new boogeyman (ISIS), and reforge alliances with enemies (AQ) who will then turn on us again in the future.

The goal is to flatten Syria, and it seems to be working out very well. When you consider what the ultimate outcome will be, it starts becoming fairly clear: push Russia into a corner militarily and economically, open new LNG pipelines, appease allied caliphates, and put billions of dollars into the pockets of the wealthiest people.

LeftOrRightSameShite -> teaandchocolate 19 Sep 2015 10:51

Their policy is chaotic and consists of repeating the same thing over and over again hoping to get different results, which is, as we all know, the definition of madness.

I think the problem may well be the bloated MIC in the US. Too many strategic game plans for to many, often contradictory ends.

There are no doubt there are intelligence analysts in the US MIC who have a genuine interest in collecting actual information and present it honestly. The numerous leaks show us this.

The problem is, this often good information, once it's been spun through political/economic vested interests, think tanks, cold war jar head imperialists and so forth, it (foreign policy) ends up complete fubar.

To the point where, as you rightly say imo, their foreign policy looks like nothing more than "malicious wily manipulators, deliberately buggering up the world to make money out of the consequences."


david wright 19 Sep 2015 10:49

For a full century now, from the Balfour Declaration and the secret Sykes-Picot arrangement, the currently-top 'Western' dog (UK; then US) has been meddling and futzing around in the Middle East, notionally in someone's 'National Interest.'

Oil, access to Empire (route to India etc) and 'national prestige' have been the usual excuses. The result has been unmitigated disaster.

Ignoring everything up to Gulf 1 (1991) we've a quarter century century of determined scoring of own-goals. This shows no sign of changing. This is a helter-skelter race to destruction, greatly presently aided and abetted by Asad. So far, it's lasted two-and-a-half times longer than the combined lengths of both World Wars.

One conclusion is that by any rational assessment, we don't deserve to 'win', whatever that would constitute, any more than did one side or the other in the 16th -17th century's European religious wars. An equally rational assessment is that we neither have, nor can. The final rational conclusion, that we find a way to disengage - remarkably simply, by stopping doing all the things we have been - is a fence refused by the relevant horses - again, mainly US and (as very eager, jr partner indeed) UK.All apart from the monstrous outcomes for the people in the region, we destabilize our own security then make things worse by tightening our own internal 'security' at the expense of civil liberties. This gives away, at no gain, the slow and scrabbling accretion of these, over centuries. And Cameron and co remain sufficiently delusional to want to keep on bombing, but whatever toys they have, whatever seems a good idea on the day. How can we win? the war isn't on 'terror', but ion logic. Ours. |Neither the US nor UK governments have ever shown much interest in the fates of the millions of people their casual actions have ended, or made hell. Of the multiple ironies (shall I count the ways?) attending all this is that Saddam, while a murderous thug, and no friend to his own people, was doing for us, for free, what we've been unable to do for ourselves - keep Iraq al-Quaida free. AS to his murderous propensities, clearly far fewer of his people (alone) would have been killed had we not intervened, than we have directly or indirectly killed. Much of this stems from the fact that during the same recent period (1991 on) there has been no effective counter to Western power and inclination, which has simply projectile-vomited its baneful influence. Ironic too that the reason we armed and greatly helped create al-Quaida was to destabilize Russia by getting it bogged down in Afghanistan. Thus the only real fear which limited US action, was removed when that policy was successful. We removed the brakes as the train was beginning to accelerate down the incline. Wheeee!


teaandchocolate smifee 19 Sep 2015 10:47

Bush reached the Oval Office not because he was bright, for indeed he was not, he reached the Oval Office because he was dumb enough not to realise he was clearly easily manipulated, believed in neoliberalism and was rich and rich backers and a rich Dad.

As to "not having a serious mark against his name", forgive me if I laugh hysterically while crying with pain.

The least said about the moron Reagan and his jolly pal Thatcher the better. Oh how well their unregulated market shenanigans have turned out.

Crackpots the lot of them.


LethShibbo AndyMcCarthy 19 Sep 2015 10:35

Doing nothing and minding your own business is kinda the same thing.

And the civil war in Syria isn't purely a result of what happened in neighbouring Iraq.

What you're essentially saying is 'America, you've started this fire. Now let it burn.'


pansapians DrDrug 19 Sep 2015 10:28

Well of course ISIS were miffed that the U.S. was paying lip service to not arming ISIS. If you think there was ever any serious difference between the FSA and ISIS then I hear that the Queen having to sell Buckingham palace due to losses gambling on corgi races and I can get you a good deal for a cash sale


IrateHarry Havingalavrov 19 Sep 2015 10:17

Make Iraq work first..

ROFLMFAO...

Iraq has been so thoroughly screwed over by the UKUSA clusterfuck, there is no chance of it working ever again.


AndyMcCarthy LethShibbo 19 Sep 2015 10:12

Sorry, the US doesn't HAVE to make a choice, do nothing or bomb. All the US needs to do is mind it's own business.

We wouldn't be having this refugee crises if the US hadn't invaded Iraq.


Tomasgolfer 19 Sep 2015 10:10

For a little insight, see "The Red Line and the Rat Line", by Seymour M. Hersh. Published in the
London Review of Books


LeftOrRightSameShite contextandreality 19 Sep 2015 10:01

you write a article on myth that US armed rebels

The US (and the UK and France for that matter) has been openly arming and training the "rebels". The US had a vote in congress to openly do just that last year. Covertly, they've been doing it since 2012, again this has been well reported and admitted to.

The problem for the US is their so called "moderates" don't exist. They either switch allegiance once back in Syria or end up captured or killed just as quickly.
Your user name seems somewhat of a parody.


ArtofLies richardoxford 19 Sep 2015 10:00

How does that compute ?

it computes once one answers this slightly naive question from the article

Why does the US continually send deadly weapons to the Middle East, make things even more chaotic than they were before and expect better results the next time?

surely at some point people have to realise that chaos is the result the US is looking for.

IrateHarry 19 Sep 2015 09:56

Why does the US continually send deadly weapons to the Middle East

Because that is the backbone business of America - making and selling deadly weapons. Deadlier the better, and no matter whom they are supplied to. If foreign governments don't buy, does not matter, just supply it to "rebels", and they will be paid for by the tax payers across the west (not just the American ones, NATO has been set up as the mechanism to tap into European tax payers as well).

The rest of the bullshit like democracy, freedom, etc are marketeers' crap.

LeftOrRightSameShite -> geedeesee 19 Sep 2015 09:53

No wonder there's only "four to five" left. This is one big fustercluck!

There was a report in the NY Times last year by a reporter who was kidnapped by the FSA (his mission was to find them and find out who they were) and handed straight over to Al-Nusra. Twice. He was imprisoned and tortured by them.

In his revealing report, talking of the couple of days he spent back with the "FSA", his release having been negotiated by the west, he asked the "FSA" fighters about the training they received from the US in Jordan. The reporter put it to the fighters that the training was to fight AN/IS. Their response? "We lied to the Americans about that".
The WSJ also recently reported that the CIA mission to arm/train "moderates/FSA" had gone totally tits up. Most of them reported as defecting to one of the number of more extreme groups, some having been captured or killed.

It's been clear for about 2 years now that these so called "moderates" only exist in the deluded minds of western policy makers.


JacobHowarth MushyP8 19 Sep 2015 09:51

ISIS do not control that large a number of people. Many Kurds are fleeing because of IS, that's true, but for the most part the civil war is a horror show from both sides and Syrians are - rightly - getting the hell out of there.

Or are all of those 'taking advantage of the opportunity to move to Europeans [sic] countries' proposing to do so by going to Lebanon and Jordan?


Quadspect -> kingcreosote 19 Sep 2015 09:22

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/libya/10218288/CIA-running-arms-smuggling-team-in-Benghazi-when-consulate-was-attacked.html

The suspiciously unasked questions as to motives of all parties at Benghazi, by all twelve (12) members of the Select Committee, suggests collaboration to question Hillary Clinton to make her appear responsible only for bungling security and rescue, for the sole purpose of diverting attention from Hillary Clinton's role in the CIA and the CIA operative Ambassador Stevens' arming of terrorists. The obvious question to ask would have gone to motives: "What activities were Stevens and the CIA engaged in, when they were attacked at Benghazi?"


GreenRevolution 19 Sep 2015 09:10

The use of religion(Islam specifically) in politics was first employed by the British in the Middle East in the early parts of the 20th century. In Iran, we have a saying which says; take off a Mullah's turban and you will find the words "Made in England" stamped on his head.


nnedjo 19 Sep 2015 09:09

Even more bizarre, the White House is claiming little to do with it. White House spokesman Josh Earnest attempted to distance Obama from the program, claiming that it was actually the president's "critics" who "were wrong."

Yes, it seems that it has become a tradition of US presidents to boast with the fact that "they do not interfere much in their own job".

For example, in the last campaign for the GOP candidate for the US president, Jeb Bush defended his brother George for a false pretext for war in Iraq in the form of non-existent WMD, claiming that everyone else would bring the same decision on the start of the war, if the same false intelligence would be presented to him.

Thus, the president of the United States can not be held accountable for its decisions if the CIA deliver him false intelligence, or deliberately conceal the true intelligence. On the other hand, since no one has heard of any person from the CIA which is held responsible for the wrong war in Iraq, it turns out that nobody is responsible for this war.

And, to us, mere mortals, it remains only to conclude that the most powerful war machine in the world moves "without a driver", or maybe it is "driven by some automatic pilot".

So, how tragic it is, and yet we can not help laughing. :-)


mikiencolor 19 Sep 2015 09:06

It was obvious to anyone with a modicum of sense from the beginning that the "moderate" rebel training programme would be an utter disaster. But if the lessons you are taking is that nothing should be done at all, I'd submit you are taking the wrong lessons from the debacle. Doing nothing at all would have condemned tens of thousands more to genocide. Doing something saved thousands of Yezidi and saved Rojava.

Wherever the Kurds have been supported they have proved capable, trustworthy and have created functional civil societies. To broadly and undiscerningly dismiss "sending weapons to the Middle East" is disingenuous. Something must be done, and things can be done to help rather than harm if there is a sensible policy maker, and doing nothing certainly can be more immoral and evil than doing something - as I thought we'd learned from Nazi Germany.

The reality is one that neither right wing nor left wing hardliners are willing to face: the Sunni Arab jihadis are the source of most of the problems and the reason is entirely to do with their noxious genocidal and imperialistic ideology and culture. They are a source of instability, enmity and fear, and not just in the Middle East either. And they are being supported and bankrolled by Western allies in the Gulf. The world is a big place with many peoples and ways of thought, and many disagreements - but we nearly all of us seem able to find a way to coexist in this new globalised technological human civilisation. The jihadis are a barbarian throwback, a movement of violent primitivists. There is no place for jihadism in the future and they are a threat to everyone in the world.


ID0020237 -> teaandchocolate 19 Sep 2015 09:01

Insanity I believe, not madness, but what's the difference. The CIA may get it right, but after political interference and manipulation, they change their conclusions. We've seen this with the Iraq debacle and elsewhere. Just as political interference in military operations, Viet Nam for example, causes imminent failure, so it is with intelligence ignored.


GeneralMittens 19 Sep 2015 09:01

So basically America invades and bombs the shit out of everywhere and the europeans have to clean up the mess and deal with the resulting refugee crisis?

At some point America should be held accountable for their actions in the middle east. Whether thats taking their fair share of refugees from syria or footing the bill for this clusterfuck.

At the very least, other countries should stop enabling their warmongering.


LittleGhost 19 Sep 2015 08:58

US foreign policy in the ME proves Einstein's maxim

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

GreenRevolution 19 Sep 2015 08:57

It has been 14 years since 911 and Bush's so called "war on terror". Not only barbaric wahabi terror has not been defeated it has grown its barbarism to magnitudes unimaginable previously. Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey have been allowed to arm them to the teeth by the very states who claim to be waging "war on terror". Since Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey are close allies of the west and one is a member of NATO, it follows that the west is in fact arming the wahabi terrorists who have turned the Middle East into a wasteland murdering and looting at will. Millions are now refugees, countries laid to waste and yet Mr Kerry and Hammond talk as if they have done such magnificent jobs and Russian involvement would only "complicate" things.


teaandchocolate 19 Sep 2015 08:56

I don't think they have the brightest people working in the CIA and the military in the USA. They are probably bullies, relics from the Cold War, jar-heads, devout 6000-year-old-world Christians, neocons and fruitcakes. Their policy is chaotic and consists of repeating the same thing over and over again hoping to get different results, which is, as we all know, the definition of madness.


smifee 19 Sep 2015 08:52

To be honest, I don't see any confusion.

Obama comes across as a (comparatively) humane person, and I am sure that his personal preference would be for there to be no violence in the middle east. As President of the USA, however, he has to set aside his personal preferences and act in the wider interests of his country.

The US set out to realign the political make up of the middle east. No doubt, they want to make sure Islam will never again be able attack US interests.

Successive Administrations have controlled the funding and arming of various factions within the Middle East to ensure that Muslims kill each other and weaken social structures. The US will fill the ensuing political vacuum and economic waste-land with local leaders loyal to 'freedom, democracy and the American Way'. The next Administration will continue to stoke up the violence, and the one after, and the one after that until the US is satisfied it has achieved its objective.

It seems almost all of us have to contain our personal views if we want to succeed in our place of work. Even the P of the USA.

GoldMoney -> celloswiss 19 Sep 2015 08:51

True, in a democracy, moderates don't need bombs and assault weapons.

Consider this - how would you feel if foreign governments were arming and funding the IRA in Northern Ireland?

What if foreign governments recognised the IRA as a legitimate opposition to the Belfast government and gave them bombs to take over the country?


MichaelGuess 19 Sep 2015 08:46

Who are the real terrorists, the group that bombs indiscriminately, the group that sells arms to both sides, the group that's lies to its "coalition" partners, the group that spies on all its friends, the group that is happy to be starting wars everywhere and then blame other parties for their lack of support.
These are the real terrorists.

MushyP8 19 Sep 2015 08:46

ISIS/ISIL is a creation of the US in an attempt to remove Assad. The long-term goal being to isolate Iran before going in there for the natural resources.

Assad won 89% of the vote in a 74% turnout, how many world leaders have 65% of the population supporting them, hence why Assad hasn't fallen. Naturally the US refuted this alongside its lapdogs, the EU and the UK, as it disproves all the propaganda they've been feeding the west. RT news did an interview with Assad which was very insightful.

Putin seems to be the only one who's got his head screwed on in this situation, which is of course leading to hissy fits by the US because he's proving a stumbling block. More nations need to get behind Putin and Assad, although of course the US wont.

GoldMoney DrDrug 19 Sep 2015 07:52

Moderates do, when the simple act of protesting against the mutilation of children detained by the states secret police are met with a volley of snipers.

No such evidence has been bought to the UN security council. Even the chemical attack that the media claimed from day one was Assad's forces doing turned out to be IS rebels actions. The two human rights groups operating in Syria are western funded NGO's - hardly a neutral point of view given the US's long stated aim of removing Assad (even before 2011).

geedeesee 19 Sep 2015 07:25

This $500 million from June 2014 was for recruiting Syrian rebels seeking to oust President Bashar al-Assad - not to fight iSIS.

The White House said at the time:

"This funding request would build on the administration's longstanding efforts to empower the moderate Syrian opposition, both civilian and armed, and will enable the Department of Defense to increase our support to vetted elements of the armed opposition."

The White House statement specifically refers to the "Syrian opposition". That's the term we use to describe anti-government forces. This recruitment and training programme has gone awry because the people originally recruited would have been anti-Assad. Now the Obama administration has tried to change the same people to fighting to ISIS instead. No wonder there's only "four to five" left. This is one big fustercluck!

kingcreosote 19 Sep 2015 07:12

The CIA has probably been the greatest destabalising force in the world since the second world war and seem like more a subsidiary of the weapons trade than a government department.

[Jan 31, 2019] Do you think that the Guardian will shortly report that Iraq's WMD were snuck out of Iraq and hidden in Venezuela all those years ago?

Jan 31, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

The Rev Kev , , January 31, 2019 at 8:08 am

Do you think that the Guardian will shortly report that Iraq's WMD were snuck out of Iraq and hidden in Venezuela all those years ago?

Colonel Smithers , , January 31, 2019 at 8:36 am

Thank you, Kev.

Please don't give the scoundrels at King's Place any ideas.

[Jan 29, 2019] These 2020 hopefuls are courting Wall Street. Don t be fooled by their progressive veneer by Bhaskar Sunkara

Highly recommended!
Taming of financial oligarchy and restoration of the job market at the expense of outsourcing and offshoring is required in the USA and gradually getting support. At least a return to key elements of the New Deal should be in the cards. But Clinton wing of Dems is beong redemption. They are Wall Street puddles. all of the them.
Issues like Medicare for All, Free College, Restoring Glass Steagall, Ending Citizen's United/Campaign finance reform, federal jobs guarantee, criminal justice reform, all poll extremely well among the american populace
If even such a neoliberal pro globalization, corporations controlled media source as Guardian views centrist neoliberal Democrats like Booker unelectable, the situation in the next elections might be interesting.
Notable quotes:
"... Bhaskar Sunkara is a Guardian US columnist and the founding editor of Jacobin ..."
"... 2016 has shown that the Democratic party is beyond redemption. When it comes down to the choice of either win with a platform that may impact the wealth and power of their owners, or losing, they will always choose the latter, and continue as useful (and well paid) idiots in the charade presented as US democracy. ..."
Jan 15, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

In their rhetoric and policy advocacy, this trio has been steadily moving to the left to keep pace with a leftward-moving Democratic party. Booker , Harris and Gillibrand know that voters demand action and are more supportive than ever of Medicare for All and universal childcare.
Gillibrand, long considered a moderate, has even gone as far as to endorse abolishing US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) and, along with Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders' single-payer healthcare bill. Harris has also backed universal healthcare and free college tuition for most Americans.

But outward appearances aren't everything. Booker, Harris and Gillibrand have been making a very different pitch of late -- on Wall Street. According to CNBC , all three potential candidates have been reaching out to financial executives lately, including Blackstone's Jonathan Gray, Robert Wolf from 32 Advisors and the Centerbridge Partners founder Mark Gallogly.

Wall Street, after all, played an important role getting the senators where they are today. During his 2014 Senate run, in which just 7% of his contributions came from small donors, Booker raised $2.2m from the securities and investment industry. Harris and Gillibrand weren't far behind in 2018, and even the progressive Democrat Sherrod Brown has solicited donations from Gallogly and other powerful executives.

When CNBC's story about Gillibrand personally working the phones to woo Wall Street executives came out, her team responded defensively, noting her support for financial regulation and promising that if she did run she would take "no corporate Pac money". But what's most telling isn't that Gillibrand and others want Wall Street's money, it's that they want the blessings of financial CEOs. Even if she doesn't take their contributions, she's signaling that she's just playing politics with populist rhetoric. That will allow capitalists to focus their attention on candidates such as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who have shown a real willingness to abandon the traditional coziness of the Democratic party with the finance, insurance and real estate industries.

Gillibrand and others are behaving perfectly rationally. The last presidential election cost $6.6bn -- advertising, staff and conventions are expensive. But even more important than that, they know that while leftwing stances might help win Democratic primaries, the path of least resistance in the general election is capitulation to the big forces of capital that run this country. Those elites might allow some progressive tinkering on the margins, but nothing that challenges the inequities that keep them wealthy and their victims weak.

Big business is likely to bet heavily on the Democratic party in 2020, maybe even more so than it did in 2016. In normal circumstances, the Democratic party is the second-favorite party of capital; with an erratic Trump around, it is often the first.

The American ruling class has a nice hustle going with elections. We don't have a labor-backed social democratic party that could create barriers to avoid capture by monied interests. It's telling that when asked about the former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper's recent chats with Wall Street political financiers, a staff member told CNBC: "We meet with a wide range of donors with shared values across sectors."

Plenty of Democratic leaders believe in the neoliberal growth model. Many have gotten personally wealthy off of it. Others think there is no alternative to allying with finance and then trying to create progressive social policy on the margins. But with sentiments like that, it doesn't take fake news to convince working-class Americans that Democrats don't really have their interests at heart.

Of course, the Democratic party isn't a monolith. But the insurgency waged by newly elected representatives such as the democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ro Khanna and others is still in its infancy. At this stage, it isn't going to scare capital away from the Democratic party, it's going to make Wall Street invest more heavily to maintain its stake in it.

Men like Mark Gallogly know who their real enemy is: more than anyone else, the establishment is wary of Bernie Sanders . It seems likely that he will run for president, but he's been dismissed as a 2020 frontrunner despite his high favorability rates, name recognition, small-donor fundraising ability, appeal to independent voters, and his team's experience running a competitive national campaign. As 2019 goes on, that dismissal will morph into all-out war.

Wall Street isn't afraid of corporate Democrats gaining power. It's afraid of the Democrats who will take them on -- and those, unfortunately, are few and far between.

Bhaskar Sunkara is a Guardian US columnist and the founding editor of Jacobin

memo10 -> Karen Maddening , 15 Jan 2019 14:05

Just like universal health care, let's give up, it's too hard, we're not winners, we're not number one or problem solvers and besides, someone at some time for some reason might get something that someone else might not get regardless if that someone else needs it. Let's go with the Berners who seem to believe there will never be none so pure enough to become president.

The corporate state does not cast the votes. The public does.

Leaning farther to the left on issues like universal healthcare and foreign wars would be agreeing with the public. Not only the progressive public, but the GENERAL public. The big money donors are the ONLY force against the Democrats resisting these things.

mp66 , 15 Jan 2019 13:38
2016 has shown that the Democratic party is beyond redemption. When it comes down to the choice of either win with a platform that may impact the wealth and power of their owners, or losing, they will always choose the latter, and continue as useful (and well paid) idiots in the charade presented as US democracy.
Pete Healey , 15 Jan 2019 13:31
Bernie's challenge will "morph into all-out war". "Wall Street isn't afraid of corporate Democrats", blah, blah, blah. But we're going to continue to play along? Why? Oh yeah, Bhaskar Sunkara will have us believe "There is no alternative". Remember TINA? Give it up, man, just give it up.
yayUSA , 15 Jan 2019 13:17
Tulsi entering is big news.
Danexmachina , 15 Jan 2019 12:31
One dollar, one vote.
If you want Change, keep it in your pocket.
We can't turn this sinking ship around unless we know what direction it's going. So far, that direction is just delivering money to private islands.
Democrats have a lot of talk, but they still want to drive the nice cars and sell the same crapft that the Republicans are.
Taxing the rich only works when you worship the rich in the first place.
Tim Cahill , 15 Jan 2019 12:00
Election financing is the single root cause for our democracy's failure. Period.

I really don't care too much about the mouthing of progressive platitudes from any 2020 Dem Prez candidate. The only ones that will be worth voting for are the ones that sign onto Sanders' (or similar) legislation that calls for a Constitutional amendment that allows federal and state governments to limit campaign contributions.

And past committee votes to prevent amendment legislation from getting to a floor vote - as well as missed co-sponsorship opportunities - should be interesting history for all the candidates to explain.

Campaign financing is what keeps scum entrenched (because primary challengers can't overcome the streams of bribes from those wonderful people exercising their 'free speech' "rights" to keep their puppet in govt) and prevents any challenges to the corporate establishment who serve the same rich masters.

Lenny Dirges -> Vintage59 , 15 Jan 2019 11:55
Lol, Social Security, Medicare, unemployement protections, so many of the things you mentioned, and so much more, were from the PROGRESSIVE New Deal, which managed to implement this slew of changes in 5 years! 5 years! You can't criticize "progressives" in one sentence and then use their accomplishments to support your argument. Today, the New Deal would be considered too far left by most so called "pragmatic liberals." I assume you are getting fully behind the proposed "Green New Deal" then, right?
memo10 -> L C , 15 Jan 2019 11:54

Vintage59 pointed out lots of things people have changed. Here's an exhaustive list of the legislation passed by people who didn't get elected but were more progressive than the people who did:

There is also a steadily growing list of Democrats who did worse in elections than a hypothetical Democratic candidate had been projected to do.

The party can either continue being GOP-Lite or it can start winning elections. It can't do both.

memo10 -> 2miners , 15 Jan 2019 11:49

Forget it Bernie and Co. -with the women haters in his ranks and his apparent tepid support from African Americans he's way off the pace

Way off the pace compared to who? Trump?

memo10 -> IamDolf , 15 Jan 2019 11:44

Nobody is going to get elected on a far left platform. Not in the USA and not anywhere. That's just a fact. And everybody is going to need $$$ in the campaign. Of course candidates are going to suck up to Wall street and business in general.
And we would have been a thousand percent better off with HRC in the white house than we are now with the Trumpostor.

We don't need a candidate with far-left platform, we need one that is left-leaning at all. HRC and her next generation of clones are mild Republicans.

memo10 -> xxxaaaxxx , 15 Jan 2019 11:40

Those who want to push the Democrats to the left in order to win perhaps need to stop talking to each other and talk to people who live outside of LA and NY. If you stay within your bubble it seems the whole world thinks like you.
How old will Sanders be in 2020?

The people (outside the coasts) lean to the left some big issues. Medicare for all. Foreign wars. etc.

A sane person might ask why in the hell the left-side party is leaning farther to the right than the general public.

memo10 -> Peter Krall , 15 Jan 2019 11:17

Sanders is a dinosaur. If there is a reason for Wall Street to be wary of him then it is that the mentally challenged orange guy may win another term if the Democrats run with Sanders.

Hopefully, Sanders will understand what many of his supporters do not want to see: At some time age becomes a problem. If the Democrats decide to move to the left rather than pursuing a pragmatic centrist approach, Ocasio-Cortez might be an option. If they opt for the centrist alternative, it might be Harris or Gillibrand. Or, in both cases, a surprise candidate. But Sanders' time is over, just as Biden's Bloomberg's.

It's true, but Trump is such a clusterfuck that an 80yo president is still be a better situation. Many countries have had rulers in their 80s at one time or another.

Trump is clearly showing early-stage dementia now. Compare footage of him 10+ years ago to anything within the last 6-12 months and it's obvious. The stress levels of being the POTUS + blackmailed by Putin + investigations bearing down on him . . . it's wearing him down fast.

L C -> HobbesianWorlds , 15 Jan 2019 11:15
Anti-trust would be a very good place to start with.

Universal healthcare is a lot harder than you seem to think. I'd love it, but getting there means putting so many people out of work, it'll be a massive political challenge, even if corporations have no influence. Progressives might be better off focusing on how to ensure the existing system works better and Medicaid can slowly expand to fill the universal roll in the future.

Vintage59 -> BaronVonAmericano , 15 Jan 2019 11:05
Wall Street is a casino. The House never loses.
Vintage59 -> Lenny Dirges , 15 Jan 2019 11:02
Everything changes constantly.

Where has offering candidates who actually have a chance to win gotten us? Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, the ADA, Title 9, Social Security, and more. None of these exist without constant changes. All took years to pass against heavy opposition. None went far enough. All were improvements.

The list of wrongheaded things that were also passed is longer but thinking nothing changes because it takes time is faulty logic.

ytram -> ChesBay , 15 Jan 2019 10:30
Our capitalist predators are still alive and well. The finance, insurance, and real estate
organizations are the worst predators in the USA.
They will eat your babies if you let them.

[Jan 29, 2019] Bilderberg 2015: where criminals mingle with ministers by Charlie Skelton

Notable quotes:
"... The Bilderberg set call people like you either their "dogs" (if you are in politics or the military) or the "dead." ..."
"... What do you mean "where criminals mingle with ministers". That is assuming that ministers are not criminals. Considering that there will be ministers from the USA, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the UK, I'd suggest that there is a near 100% certainty that some, if not all, the ministers there are criminals. ..."
"... That one group of almost-certainly-criminals meets another group of almost-certainly-criminals is hardly surprising. That the whole shebang is protected by the host's police force is even less so ..."
Jun 12, 2015 | The Guardian
Convicted criminals. Such as disgraced former CIA boss, David Petraeus, who's just been handed a $100,000 (£64,000) fine and two years' probation for leaking classified information.

Petraeus now works for the vulturous private equity firm KKR, run by Henry Kravis, who does arguably Bilderberg's best impression of Gordon Gecko out of Wall Street. Which he cleverly combines with a pretty good impression of an actual gecko.

... ... ...

"Can I go now?" Another no. So I continued my list of criminals. I moved on to someone closer to home: René Benko, the Austrian real estate baron, who had a conviction for bribery upheld recently by the supreme court. Which didn't stop him making the cut for this year's conference. "You know Benko?" The cop nodded. It wasn't easy to see in the glare of the searchlight, but he looked a little ashamed.

... ... ...

I decided to reward their vigilance with a chat about HSBC. The chairman of the troubled banking giant, Douglas Flint, is a regular attendee at Bilderberg, and he's heading here again this year, along with a member of the bank's board of directors, Rona Fairhead. Perhaps most tellingly, Flint is finding room in his Mercedes for the bank's busiest employee: its chief legal officer, Stuart Levey.

A Guardian editorial this week branded HSBC "a bank beyond shame" after it announced plans to cut 8,000 jobs in the UK, while at the same time threatening to shift its headquarters to Hong Kong. And having just been forced to pay £28m in fines to Swiss regulators investigating money-laundering claims. The big question, of course, is how will the chancellor of the exchequer, George Osborne, respond to all this? Easy – he'll go along to a luxury Austrian hotel and hole up with three senior members of HSBC in private. For three days.

High up on this year's conference agenda is "current economic issues", and without a doubt, one of the biggest economic issues for Osborne at the moment is the future and finances of Europe's largest bank. Luckily, the chancellor will have plenty of time at Bilderberg to chat all this through through with Flint, Levey and Fairhead. And the senior Swiss financial affairs official, Pierre Maudet, a member of the Geneva state council in charge of the department of security and the economy. It's all so incredibly convenient.

... ... ...

Related: The Guardian view on HSBC: a bank beyond shame | Editorial

consumersunite -> MickGJ 12 Jun 2015 15:23

Let's see, maybe because we have read over their leaked documents from the 1950s in which they discussed currency manipulation and GATT. Everything they have discussed in their meetings over the past decades has almost come to fruition. There are elected officials meeting with criminals such as HSBC. Did you even read the article? If you did, and you are not het up or whatever you call it, then you are of a peasant mentality, and there is no use talking to you.

The Bilderberg set call people like you either their "dogs" (if you are in politics or the military) or the "dead." I won't be looking for your response because you have confirmed that you do not matter.

Carpasia -> MickGJ 12 Jun 2015 10:52

Thank you for your comment, my good man. Hatred is human, and helps us all to avoid pain, for pain, especially unnecessary pain, is allowed to be hated by the agreement of all, if nothing else is. I would hate to be beaten by Nazis. Thus, I would avoid going to a place where that could occur. That is how hatred works for me. It is the only way it can work, and not be pernicious to the self and others.

I distrust the international order as it is the means, harnessed by money, whether corporate or state or individual or monarchical, by which this world is being destroyed. Could things have been better? Jesus is on one end of the spectrum, and Lord Acton on the other, of the spectrums of viewpoints from which that could be properly assessed.

If the corruption at the heart of the international order is not regulated properly, this world will come to an end, not the end of the world itself, but the end of the world as we know it. This is happening now. The world is finite.

I am not a xenophobe. In my experience, the people that are most likely to hurt me, and thus deserve fear, are those closest. Perhaps that is a cynical way of describing it, but anyone who thinks honestly about it would accede to the notion that it is the people who "love" us that hurt us the most, for we agree too be vulnerable to them. It is the matrix of love.

As for Austria and Bavaria, I have visited both places and they were, both, the cleanest locales I have ever seen, with Switzerland having to be mentioned in the same breath, of course.

I take a certain liberty in writing. I am not damning the human race, or strangers to me. If I did not entertain, but caused offence, I apologize to you. I do not possess omniscience, and my words will have to speak for themselves.

Thank you, again.

DemonicWarlordSlayer 12 Jun 2015 08:02

"How Geo Bush's Grandfather Helped Hitler's Rise to Power" in the UK Guardian >

"Did Geo H W Bush Coordinate a JFK Hit Team" at Veterans Today >

"9/11 Conspiracy Solved, Names, Connections, Details" on youtube....dot-to-dot of the

Demonic Warlord's Crimes Against Humanity....end feudalism.


Carpasia 12 Jun 2015 07:09

Excellent article.

I visited Austria once, and I know of what he speaks. It was the one place I have ever visited that I thought I would be jailed if I littered. I was wandering at the time, but I tentatively had a meal of chicken and departed henceforth.

Austrians are an interesting lot, to be sure. That they are perfect goes without saying. Their main virtue is that they do not travel, and that strangers, which we call tourists these days, are not welcomed. If only we were all like that, the world would be a far better place.

Austrians do everything well, including crime. Some of the greatest crimes in the world have been committed by Austrians, but their crimes did not include not having their papers.

During World War 2, and I pass over Hitler, the German machine of death had an unusually high proportion of Austrians in commanding roles assisting it. It can not be explained away by saying they were some kind of faux Germans, and so it matters not. Indeed, if anything, Germans are faux Austrians, looked at in the broad brush of history. Men of many nations joined the Germans and adorned themselves with the Death's Head, but many Austrians might as well have tattooed it onto their foreheads. I know of what I speak, for I read on it, and will justify if questioned.

Reinhard Heydrich is an epitome of this, in the true sense of the word. Kurt Waldheim was another, too young too rise too far before the Ragnarok of May of 1945, but government of the world was not out of his reach, a man who had materially assisted the transportation of the Jews of Thessaloniki to the gas chambers of Auschwitz and, when challenged, was unrepentant, not as a racist, but as something worse even, as a man whose great virtue was that he followed orders. It is order that the Austrians value over everything. Even crime is ordered.

In the common-law west we think criminals are disordered beasts to be locked up. We do not give them papers. They are registered only to warn us of their existence, and we do not like to let them travel, as much as we could benefit by their absence, because we think they flee to license, and we think it wrong to inflict them upon innocents abroad. In Austria, the criminal is the man with no papers. If he has papers, all is well, and he is no criminal, whatever he has done.

colingorton 12 Jun 2015 03:19

What do you mean "where criminals mingle with ministers". That is assuming that ministers are not criminals. Considering that there will be ministers from the USA, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the UK, I'd suggest that there is a near 100% certainty that some, if not all, the ministers there are criminals.

That one group of almost-certainly-criminals meets another group of almost-certainly-criminals is hardly surprising. That the whole shebang is protected by the host's police force is even less so.

How far can all this mutual back scratching go? It seems that the only alternative left is far too drastic, but there really seems to be no place for a legal alternative, does there?

[Jan 29, 2019] Guardian became D>eep State Guardian

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The Guardian has lost all sense of proportion – mention Tommy Robinson and the entire staff through themselves to floor and roll round like dying flies – yet for when it comes to US neocons they go all misty eyed, redolent of a broody couple when they come across a particularly adorable baby. ..."
"... I would wager a medium sum that Tisdall is on a payroll other than the Grauniad's, or he's an actual asset per Ulfkötte's books and media appearances. ..."
"... George Bush spent his adult life organizing operations and wars that killed a few million people. Anyone who has spiritual beliefs must wonder how it is to die with so much killing on your record or conscience (if you have one). ..."
"... That's something I've wondered about many times. If you review John McCain's actions and comments before he died, it seems these people don't have a conscience. ..."
"... Reagan was primarily a mantle piece for the banking, oil and defense sectors to run wild. Is it really so hard to believe GHW Bush was running the National Security Council? It was a CIA wet dream come true (especially after the alligator-armed "investigations" of the 70's. ..."
"... The Deep State Guardian. Why don't they just change their name to 'The Daily Thatcherite' and have done with it. ..."
"... They should just show it's full title: The Guardian Of The Establishment ..."
"... well, yeah. but for us mad people it goes deeper even than that: https://geopolitics.co/2018/12/02/in-memoriam-george-h-scherff-jr-aka-george-hw-bush-sr/ ..."
Dec 22, 2018 | off-guardian.org

Oslo - Norway, Dec 4, 2018

Let's never forget George H W Bush's love for incubator babies. He loved fake incubator babies.

The incubator baby actress wasn't just any 15 year old, she was the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to Canada –

https://www.youtube.com/embed/cqiq8P8dRtY?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

Philpot, Dec 4, 2018
British and most western media are either in the direct or indirect pay of their governments. What journalist can expose this for us? Any of you willing to make the biggest scoop of the 21st century? Tom Bradbury at ITN must be on the spook payroll, for starters? MI6 had foreign correspondents for years, but domestic mouthpieces must now be on the take too? All paid to demonise Russia and Putin.
harry stotle, Dec 4, 2018

The Guardian has lost all sense of proportion – mention Tommy Robinson and the entire staff through themselves to floor and roll round like dying flies – yet for when it comes to US neocons they go all misty eyed, redolent of a broody couple when they come across a particularly adorable baby.

Simon 'white helmets' Tisdall is especially egregious – one can imagine him throwing darts at a picture of Putin while producing his latest homily to the murderous actions of gangsters like Bush and his crime family.

Its hard not to despair now this has become the official face of Britains so-called liberal media.

Yarkob, Dec 4, 2018
I would wager a medium sum that Tisdall is on a payroll other than the Grauniad's, or he's an actual asset per Ulfkötte's books and media appearances. As with Michael White, with whom I had a very illuminating argument via email a few years back. He *is* an asset, not a journalist (and a massive dick, to boot)
George cornell, Dec 4, 2018
I thought the attitude of the Bush family to their fellow Americans was best illustrated by Barbara's response to the plight of the homeless victims of Katrina who had been transported to the Houston domed stadium. They spent their nights there sleeping on hard benches and when good ole Babs heard of it, she opined that they probably had never had it so good so why were they complaining. Could Mother Theresa have had greater generosity of spirit?
Gekaufte Journalisten (bought journalism), Dec 4, 2018
Not just one article, the awful Guardian is full of contents eulogising [yet another] mongrel of a president.

But look at conservative media. The crazy Infowars.com described this Bush as an Anti-American Globalist and Traitor!! .. and zerohedge.com is celebrating: "The Evil Has Died" and "In 2016 he voted for Hillary Clinton, because the Deep State Swamp sticks together". https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-12-02/exploring-dark-side-bush-41

Just tell me, who is the rabid neo-con right-wing rag that is glorifying wars and mass murderers?

Norcal, Dec 4, 2018
Speaking of neighbors you might appreciate this excellent Journalism by Robert Parry: https://consortiumnews.com/2018/12/03/bush-41s-october-surprise-denials-2/
DunGroanin, Dec 4, 2018
The late Robert Parry, sad to say. Maybe that now both the 'MacBeths' are stains on the tarmac – Parry's notes of the bloodstained legacy of that dynasty can finally be displayed? That Barbara was one cold blooded mother! Would have happily pulled a trigger on JFK, MLK herself (some think).

Just about the whole century from the setup of the Fed, the two world wars, the depression, Hitler, Korea, Cuba all of it, had a a Bush hand in it. He was the self crowned Caesar having publicly executed the whole of Camelot and left us with a poison toad, reminds us how low the Bush's took the USA.

David Eire, Dec 3, 2018
George Bush spent his adult life organizing operations and wars that killed a few million people. Anyone who has spiritual beliefs must wonder how it is to die with so much killing on your record or conscience (if you have one).
Loverat, Dec 4, 2018
That's something I've wondered about many times. If you review John McCain's actions and comments before he died, it seems these people don't have a conscience. If you surround yourself with people of similar mindset and in a climate where war is considered obligatory for US Presidents, you go into self denial. Wars are probably like an addiction for these people and once you get to that stage you no longer have a conscience.

During John McCain's funeral where all living ex-presidents were in attendance, someone remarked on Twitter, 'Quick, lock the church doors and hold the war crimes trial in the church!'. This was a far more realistic observation than the sickening McCain apologist BBC coverage we were subjected to.

At the weekend I went to the place where Oliver Cromwell lived. There was an American tourist who told us she was shocked about Oliver Cromwell being dug up from his grave and his head stuck on a pike. She said it was gruesome. I was tempted to say that at least that was 350 years ago, and similar things are happening today in Iraq, Syria and Libya – all places where the US has instigated the chaos and supports the perpretators. I resisted the temptation.

I note that Cromwell thought he was chosen by God to do what he did. But again that was in different times and there were some redeeming factors in what he did, Probably on par with Obama – who wreaked havoc on the Middle East but reached agreements on Iran and Cuba. Plus Obama looked cool while killing and droning.

But what goes around comes around. I sense the pure evil involved in the current regime change wars, government, media etc will pay a heavy price – whether in this life or the next.

mark, Dec 4, 2018
The state controlled BBC has just done another puff piece on McCain saying what a splendid chap and great statesman and all round good egg he was.

The MSM likes to slag off Vlad The Bad by droning on about how he was in the KGB. But Bush wasn't just IN the CIA, he was the BOSS of the CIA, at a time when hundreds of thousands of Central American peasant farmers and Indians were being killed by CIA trained and orchestrated death squads.

Gezzah Potts, Dec 4, 2018
Mark: jayzus Mark, don't you just want to projectile vomit when you see all this absolute bullshit, just straight out revising of history, just the lies, on and on . I was involved in a Central American solidarity group in the 1980s – early 90s here in Aussie, found out then all about U.S style 'democracatic values' and 'human rights concerns' and death squads and various fascists fully supported by the United States, and places like Guatemala and Nicaragua. Its all an illusion for 'polite society' and the gullible to believe in. Sigh
mark, Dec 5, 2018
I can't remember the exact figures but I think it was over 200,000 murdered in Guatemala out of a population of 4 million. It was the same story in El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Colombia. And of course the CIA satrap Noriega was hauled off in chains when that country was invaded. But Uncle Sam is finally paying a price for his antics south of the border. Those societies were wrecked and brutalised beyond repair. There is now an unbelievably high murder rate of women in Guatemala. Millions of those people have sought some kind of refuge in the belly of the beast, causing an immigration crisis, with an illegal immigrant population that may be as high as 30 million. Hence all the uproar over Trump's wall. The immigration crisis was a factor in Trump's election, just as the tidal wave of migrants from the destroyed countries of the Middle East was a factor in Brexit. Cameron, Sarko and Clinton thought it was a spiffing idea and quite a wizard wheeze to bomb Libya back to the Stone Age. So we now have a Mad Max failed state complete with warlords and slave markets just across the Med. What goes around, comes around. You can't expect to export violence and mayhem abroad and remain immune to it at home.
Gezzah Potts, Dec 5, 2018
Mark: after Efrain Rios Montt seized power in a coup in Guatemala in 1982, US Ambassador Frederick Chapin declared that thanks to the coup of Rios Montt "the Guatemalan Govt has come out of the darkness into the light". That sums it up in one sentence, and you're probably aware of the mass killing and disappearances under his genocidal tyranny. Reagan kindly submitted that Rios Montt was 'getting a bum rap on human rights, the same Reagan who declared the Contra's were 'The moral equal of our founding fathers'. In El Salvador, the same mass slaughter, the same mass upheaval, and even murdering Archbishop Romero. You only need to look at what happened in Central & South America to understand what the United States really represents.
Jen, Dec 4, 2018
I would have bypassed the war crimes trial, locked the church and then built a moat stocked with crocodiles and piranhas around it.
mark, Dec 4, 2018
That's entirely right. People understandably despise and revile people like Brady and Hindley, Sutcliffe, Dahmer, Bundy and the like. But they killed a handful of people and were often very damaged individuals to begin with. And at least they did their own dirty work. Subhuman scum sucking filth like Bush, Bush 2, Obama, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Rice, Blair, Straw and Campbell are a thousand times worse. They kill millions without getting their hands dirty, and preen and posture as great statesmen and public servants, expecting deference and state funerals and puff piece obituaries from nauseating, loathsome, lickspittle media hacks like Tisdall.
Caitlin Ni Chonaill, Dec 6, 2018
You left out Kissinger and Albright.
Gezzah Potts, Dec 3, 2018
Nailed it Kit. The attempt at revionism and rewriting history by these craven creatures, these sycophantic slimebag shills for Imperialism and War and the Anglo Zionist Empire. They don't speak truth to power, they protect and grovel to the powerful. The eulogising and fawning of Bush was stomach churning, as it was for the arch Imperialist McCain when he croaked. Thank God for alternative news sites, and yeah Caitlin Johnston @ medium nailed it as well, as Fair Dinkum mentioned. Where's John Pilger when you need him?
Badger Down, Dec 3, 2018
GBH Bush's Highway of Death deserves mention. I'll spare you the pictures.
https://duckduckgo.com/?q=highway+of+death+desert+storm&t=h_&atb=v92-2_f&ia=web
systemicfraud, Dec 3, 2018
What no one seems to realize is that the VP often takes charge of the US National Security Council when POTUS is not able to attend meetings, which are held weekly. Under Eisenhower it was Richard Nixon who often took charge of the meetings -- Tim Weiner's book "Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA" gives some details on this. Reagan was primarily a mantle piece for the banking, oil and defense sectors to run wild. Is it really so hard to believe GHW Bush was running the National Security Council? It was a CIA wet dream come true (especially after the alligator-armed "investigations" of the 70's.
Fair dinkum, Dec 3, 2018
Caitlin sums it up: https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2018/12/01/if-you-murdered-a-bunch-of-people-mass-murder-is-your-single-defining-legacy/
Simon Hodges, Dec 3, 2018
The Deep State Guardian. Why don't they just change their name to 'The Daily Thatcherite' and have done with it.
Frankly Speaking, Dec 4, 2018
They should just show it's full title: The Guardian Of The Establishment
kevin morris, Dec 3, 2018
'Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, America's Invisible Government, and the Hidden History of the Last Fifty Years' by Russ Baker -- a fascinating account of the Bush family's involvement in a great deal of nefarious activity. Bush senior is one of the few people who didn't remember where he was when Kennedy was shot. Baker puts him in Dallas.
lysias, Dec 4, 2018
Now that G.H.W. Bush hss died, is there anybody suspected of involvement in the JFK assassination still alive?
kevin morris, Dec 4, 2018
I don't know but as a fairly apolitical individual, I never much bothered with the Kennedy Assasination. All that changed when during the fiftieth anniversary, BBC Radio Four ran a program which included an interview with the Dallas police officer who was handcuffed to Lee Harvey Oswald when he was shot by Jack Ruby. The consensus of that program was that the case was open shut and Oswald did it. Around that time, several newspapers in the UK featured articles claiming that Oswald acted alone.

Whether or not anyone actively involved still lives, their descendants still do and the probable organising body too. There still appears to be determination in some quarters to spread disinformation about the case. Given that as long ago as the late seventies the House of Representatives Assassination Committee concluded that JFK's death was probably the consequence of a conspiracy, determination amongst the mainstream media to lay Kennedy's death at the hands of Oswald alone suggests that there is still determination that the truth never becomes public.

Frankly Speaking, Dec 3, 2018
Exactly what i was thinking!

I'm sickened by the Guardian's and BBC's obedience to the US neocon project to seek, or create, and destroy "enemies" and whilst ignoring all the disgusting atrocities that arise as a consequence.

The Guardian is not even worth the paper it's printed on. It's become The Guardian Of The Establishment rather than of the Truth which it used to proclaim.

George cornell, Dec 4, 2018
It is in danger of losing its budgie-cage-liner status. If budgies can talk they may refuse to evacuate on it. What kind of person maintains ties to such a a poor excuse for cage toiletry. The moral crunch time for their journalists (actually their opinionists) came and went a long time ago.
Brutally Remastered, Dec 3, 2018
What a great piece. My parents knew them in New York and they came over once and left behind an embossed packet of White House cigs. I asked my father (before he died) what he thought of them and all he ever said was he thought that Barbara was the intellect in the family.
Bloody annoying, thanks Pater.
Marianne Birkby, Dec 3, 2018
From 2004

"The induction of DU weapons in 1991 in Iraq broke a 46-year taboo. This Trojan Horse of nuclear war continues to be used more and more. DU remains radioactive longer than the age of the earth (estimated at 4.5 billion years). The long-term effects from over a decade of DU exposures are devastating. The increased quantities of radioactive material used in Afghanistan are 3 to 5 times greater than Iraq, 1991. In Iraq, 2003, they are already estimated to be 6 to 10 times 1991, and will travel through a larger area and affect many more people, babies and unborn. Countries within a 1000-mile radius of Baghdad and Kabul are being affected by radiation poisoning

Badger Down, Dec 3, 2018
"DU remains radioactive longer than [ ] 4.5 billion years." It's worse than that. It loses half of its radioactivity in that time. The good news is that that slow release means "D"U doesn't zap you much. The bad news is it's chemically toxic, like a heavy metal (which it is).
nwwoods, Dec 3, 2018
Also no mention of the body of circumstantial evidence linking Bush to JFK's murder, though Bush repeatedly insisted that he couldn't recall his whereabouts that day (I can precisely recall where I was, and I was 9 years old in 1963), in spite of the fact that solid documentary evidence exists that puts him in Dallas on Nov 22, 1963.
Norcal, Dec 4, 2018
The very first Google Search I did was this, (George H.W. Bush+November 22, 1963) and it yielded a page like the following link, which began my research into the JFK Assassination.

http://www.lookingglassnews.org/viewstory.php?storyid=5420

nomad, Dec 3, 2018

well, yeah. but for us mad people it goes deeper even than that: https://geopolitics.co/2018/12/02/in-memoriam-george-h-scherff-jr-aka-george-hw-bush-sr/

Bush Sr. : Crypto-Nazi patriarch and his disciples
https://eclinik.files.wordpress.com/2018/12/barbara-bush-funeral-four-presidents-four-first-ladies.jpg?w=672&h=372&crop=1

[Jan 29, 2019] Brexit and the future of neoliberalism in UK

Dec 17, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

Dave_P -> willpodmore , 23 Aug 2016 10:57

The EU didn't impose austerity on the UK, its own government did. We don't have the euro, in case you haven't noticed. The US is our top overseas buyer. If we want more of that, we'll have to take something like TTIP or worse.

The EU was a voice for African, Caribbean and Pacific producers against US transnationals, and offered favorable terms. We've weakened that voice.

Brexit makes us more dependent on the IMF, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley. They're not EU bodies.

Britain opposed EU democratisation for forty years by upholding national governments' veto powers over proposals supported by elected MEPs.

You voted against everything you claim to uphold. Because it was a vote against everything.

None of that's even the issue. Do you have an insight to offer beyond antipathy to the EU?

[Jan 24, 2019] Putin is routinely described as a murderer and a thug in the western MSM. With no evidence is provided to support this. Ditto the claims he has billions syphoned away in some offshore haven.

Jan 24, 2019 | off-guardian.org

grandstand says Jan, 16, 2019

Whatever the truth, and I become daily more distrustful of the media that regularly attack Putin in this way, I doubt very much if his crimes in this regard come anywhere near those of Bush, Cheney, Blair, Cameron, Obama, and Bill and Hillary Clinton.
mark says Jan, 16, 2019
This is just routinely parroted by the MSM and equally routinely expanded upon by them. Organs like the Guardian/ BBC casually announce that Putin has stolen £40 billion (sometimes this is casually raised to £200 billion, which would make him the richest man on the planet and people like Gates/ Buffett poor as church mice by comparison.)Occasionally someone does ask for details, like bank transfers, property holdings or whatever.

Nothing is ever forthcoming. All they come up with is that he has some nice Italian suits and a nice gold watch that cost him $1,200.

Apart from that, these allegations must be true because some financial fraudster mate of Khordokovsky who sought refuge in the US said so. Sounds pretty convincing to us here in the MSM – what more evidence do you need? Of course Putin is just a kleptocratic thug and James Bond cartoon villain who has people murdered purely for the fun of it.

George cornel l says Jan, 16, 2019
Very late in the game I finally saw the documentary Icarus recently. I had passed it up because I thought I could predict that it would be rampantly dishonest, and an exercise in propaganda. It having received an Academy award seemed to be an independent confirmation of my prejudice.

Well, I was right for once. It was disgraceful, and the most common image in it was of Putin, accompanied by feeble ad hominem claims, without any counterpoints of any kind. So the core issue, cheating at the Olympics, turned out to be presented with no context at all, for the anti-Russian smear job. No mention of Balco, Carl Lewis, Marion Jones, and just a few seconds of an unidentified Lance Armstrong.

So now we see awards for propaganda. The Americans don't do fairness or integrity, but now they don't even pretend.

mark says Jan, 17, 2019
They gave an Integrity in Journalism award to the Ukraine journalist who faked his own death.
Fair dinkum says Jan, 16, 2019
Tolkien also comes to mind here.
Us 'hobbits' are treated as inferior beings by the 'Saurons', 'Nazguls' and 'Gollums' of this world.
Gandalf ?
We're waiting
Francis Lee says Jan, 16, 2019
Comments were true and apposite enough, but it's all been said really. But given that this is largely an information war the truth needs continuously asserting.

Our opponents – the Guardian (minitru on thames) the New York Post (Pravda on the Hudson) the Washington Post (Izvestia on the Potomac) – sole tactic is constant repetition, this should be our tactic also but with evidence to back it up.

We need to constantly expand our readership and challenge the lunatic narrative of the PTB. We are now in a pivotal historical moment. If we fail it will be Hunger Games.

Loverat says Jan, 16, 2019
Francis Lee

I agree about the repetition but do you want to know what I think? I think you need to play MSM and others a little bit at their own game. They don't back anything up with evidence. They write short pieces of fiction as statements of fact. Yet they are believed.

The thing is all 'our' evidence is already out there just by taking a look. (e.g White Helmets will take you 15 minutes to doubt that narrative) You have an army of researchers/journalists (e.g Kit Klarenberg, Vanessa Beeley etc) posting detailed evidence out there. A lot of the independent/academic articles I read are well backed up with evidence but the problem is to someone not up to speed, is less inclined to read a long article backed up by detailed reasoning and evidence within it.

I think this article is clear and credible and prompts those new to independent thought to look at different sources of information.

So perhaps more independent writing, which is creative setting out the facts in an intelligent way as above and invite (through links) the reader to look at the evidence which is plentiful, at their leisure.

Humour is another good way of spreading the message. The CJ Hopkins piece a few days ago very effective.

[Jan 24, 2019] The Skripal case is a classic illustration of Coleridge's willing suspension of disbelief, Roh's magical realism and Orwell's doublethink (the act of simultaneously accepting two mutually contradictory beliefs as correct) all rolled into one

Skripals case reminds us that the Red Brigades in Italy and Baader-Meinhof in Germany were entirely bogus and controlled intelligence operations. It's the same story with the "Symbionese Liberation Army" in the US. Then there's Gladio and Northwoods.
Realpolitik has become surrealpolitik. In Skripals case Russia was immediately blamed, despite the fact an investigation had barely begun That instantly suggests british intelligence services participation in Skripals poisoning.
Were are currently the father and daughter who were allegedly poisoned is unknown. Why they are in hiding is also unknown. But such quetions are never raised by MSM.
In the Middle Ages, everybody knew that witches, fairies, pixies and elves existed and were responsible for everything that went wrong in life, like the cows or the pigs falling sick or the hens stopping laying. But round about the early 1600s, judges and juries started demanding evidence and acquitting defendants in witch trials. They accepted their existence, but still wanted to see some evidence. The folk in the 1600s were probably more sceptical and less credulous than our friends like Harding at the Guardian today.
The public can be persuaded to accept almost anything providing the story chimes with deep seated fears or prejudices, such as Russians threatening 'our way of life' (fears and prejudices continually stoked by the media of course)
Jan 16, 2019 | off-guardian.org

Skripal. The final illustration is the alleged of poisoning with "Novichok" of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury in March 2018. This was immediately blamed on Russia, again before an investigation had been concluded, followed by sanctions, the expulsion of Russian diplomats (including by Australia) and a general tirade of abuse against Russia in general and President Putin in particular.

The Skripal case is a classic illustration of Coleridge's willing suspension of disbelief, Roh's magical realism and Orwell's doublethink (the act of simultaneously accepting two mutually contradictory beliefs as correct) all rolled into one.

Rob Slane ( www.theblogmire.com 9 January 2019) has brilliantly deconstructed the many logical, scientific and political absurdities in the official story. One will wait in vain for the merest hint of this demolition in the mainstream media.

One possible reason for this non-coverage of the actual evidence and instead a non-stop barrage of disinformation, suppression of evidence and manipulation of the public can be found in the activities of a shadowy organisation known as the Institute for Statecraft, and one of its projects known as the Integrity Initiative (sic).

Fresh revelations are emerging about this project on a daily basis and a proper analysis must await developments. Suffice to note at this point that the Integrity Initiative is known to be funded by the United Kingdom government, ostensibly to counter 'Russian disinformation.' It is rather a major project to spread falsehoods about Russia through "clusters" of journalists working in mainstream media outlets.

The latter have gone beyond the willing suspension of disbelief and instead actively promote disinformation they know to be untrue. It is not only potential embarrassment that prevents this story getting the attention it deserves. It is a strong suspicion, no more than that at the time of writing, that a D Notice has been issued in the United Kingdom and Australia.

The effect has been to prevent discussion of what is an extraordinary campaign to mislead the public, attack opposition politicians and the alternative media, and generally undermine what used to be regarded as a free press.

That some of the same personnel involved in the Integrity Initiative are also involved in the Skripal matter (itself subject to a D Notice) reinforces the belief that this project has wider tentacles than originally thought .

Paul Carline says Jan, 18, 2019
Major credit due to U.K. Column News who originally researched and broke the story about the Integrity Initiative. Loading...
vexarb says Jan, 17, 2019
The Integrity Initiative

http://syriapropagandamedia.org/working-papers/briefing-note-on-the-integrity-initiative

Syrian Observatory For Human Wrongs says Jan, 17, 2019
"If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn't." Lewis Carroll.

"Integrity Initiative"
"United Nations"
"Free Press"
"Liberal"
"American Intelligence"

Syrian Observatory For Human Wrongs says Jan, 17, 2019
All you need to know ; )

https://syrianobservatoryforhumanwrongs.wordpress.com/2018/07/09/an-idiots-guide-to-the-skripal-affair/

[Jan 23, 2019] These 2020 hopefuls are courting Wall Street. Don't be fooled by their progressive veneer

The Democratic Party has for decades been only slightly less solicitous of the desires of America's financial elites than the fully bought-and-paid-for GOP.
Notable quotes:
"... Wall Street, after all, played an important role getting the senators where they are today. During his 2014 Senate run, in which just 7% of his contributions came from small donors, Booker raised $2.2m from the securities and investment industry. Harris and Gillibrand weren't far behind in 2018, and even the progressive Democrat Sherrod Brown has solicited donations from Gallogly and other powerful executives ..."
"... When CNBC's story about Gillibrand personally working the phones to woo Wall Street executives came out, her team responded defensively, noting her support for financial regulation and promising that if she did run she would take "no corporate Pac money". ..."
"... But what's most telling isn't that Gillibrand and others want Wall Street's money, it's that they want the blessings of financial CEOs ..."
"... The American ruling class has a nice hustle going with elections. We don't have a labor-backed social democratic party that could create barriers to avoid capture by monied interests. It's telling that when asked about the former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper's recent chats with Wall Street political financiers, a staff member told CNBC: "We meet with a wide range of donors with shared values across sectors." ..."
"... Plenty of Democratic leaders believe in the neoliberal growth model. Many have gotten personally wealthy off of it. Others think there is no alternative to allying with finance and then trying to create progressive social policy on the margins. But with sentiments like that, it doesn't take fake news to convince working-class Americans that Democrats don't really have their interests at heart. ..."
"... Wall Street isn't afraid of corporate Democrats gaining power. It's afraid of the Democrats who will take them on -- and those, unfortunately, are few and far between. ..."
Jan 22, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

Bhaskar Sunkara in The Guardian pointed out that most Democratic Party candidates such as Cory Booker, Kamala Harris and Kirsten Gillibrandare bought by Wall Street:

It's a framing that's been everywhere over the past two years: the Resistance v Donald Trump. By some definitions that "resistance" even includes people like Mitt Romney and George W Bush. By almost all definitions it encompasses mainstream Democrats, such as the likely presidential hopefuls Cory Booker, Kamala Harris and Kirsten Gillibrand.

In their rhetoric and policy advocacy, this trio has been steadily moving to the left to keep pace with a leftward-moving Democratic party. Booker, Harris and Gillibrand know that voters demand action and are more supportive than ever of Medicare for All and universal childcare.

Gillibrand, long considered a moderate, has even gone as far as to endorse abolishing US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) and, along with Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders' single-payer healthcare bill. Harris has also backed universal healthcare and free college tuition for most Americans.

But outward appearances aren't everything. Booker, Harris and Gillibrand have been making a very different pitch of late -- on Wall Street. According to CNBC, all three potential candidates have been reaching out to financial executives lately, including Blackstone's Jonathan Gray, Robert Wolf from 32 Advisors and the Centerbridge Partners founder Mark Gallogly.

Wall Street, after all, played an important role getting the senators where they are today. During his 2014 Senate run, in which just 7% of his contributions came from small donors, Booker raised $2.2m from the securities and investment industry. Harris and Gillibrand weren't far behind in 2018, and even the progressive Democrat Sherrod Brown has solicited donations from Gallogly and other powerful executives .

When CNBC's story about Gillibrand personally working the phones to woo Wall Street executives came out, her team responded defensively, noting her support for financial regulation and promising that if she did run she would take "no corporate Pac money".

But what's most telling isn't that Gillibrand and others want Wall Street's money, it's that they want the blessings of financial CEOs . Even if she doesn't take their contributions, she's signaling that she's just playing politics with populist rhetoric. That will allow capitalists to focus their attention on candidates such as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who have shown a real willingness to abandon the traditional coziness of the Democratic party with the finance, insurance and real estate industries.

Gillibrand and others are behaving perfectly rationally. The last presidential election cost $6.6bn -- advertising, staff and conventions are expensive. But even more important than that, they know that while leftwing stances might help win Democratic primaries, the path of least resistance in the general election is capitulation to the big forces of capital that run this country. Those elites might allow some progressive tinkering on the margins, but nothing that challenges the inequities that keep them wealthy and their victims weak.

Big business is likely to bet heavily on the Democratic party in 2020, maybe even more so than it did in 2016. In normal circumstances, the Democratic party is the second-favorite party of capital; with an erratic Trump around, it is often the first.

The American ruling class has a nice hustle going with elections. We don't have a labor-backed social democratic party that could create barriers to avoid capture by monied interests. It's telling that when asked about the former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper's recent chats with Wall Street political financiers, a staff member told CNBC: "We meet with a wide range of donors with shared values across sectors."

Plenty of Democratic leaders believe in the neoliberal growth model. Many have gotten personally wealthy off of it. Others think there is no alternative to allying with finance and then trying to create progressive social policy on the margins. But with sentiments like that, it doesn't take fake news to convince working-class Americans that Democrats don't really have their interests at heart.

Of course, the Democratic party isn't a monolith. But the insurgency waged by newly elected representatives such as the democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ro Khanna and others is still in its infancy. At this stage, it isn't going to scare capital away from the Democratic party, it's going to make Wall Street invest more heavily to maintain its stake in it.

Men like Mark Gallogly know who their real enemy is: more than anyone else, the establishment is wary of Bernie Sanders. It seems likely that he will run for president, but he's been dismissed as a 2020 frontrunner despite his high favorability rates, name recognition, small-donor fundraising ability, appeal to independent voters, and his team's experience running a competitive national campaign. As 2019 goes on, that dismissal will morph into all-out war.

Wall Street isn't afraid of corporate Democrats gaining power. It's afraid of the Democrats who will take them on -- and those, unfortunately, are few and far between.


Danexmachina , 15 Jan 2019 12:31

One dollar, one vote.
If you want Change, keep it in your pocket.
We can't turn this sinking ship around unless we know what direction it's going. So far, that direction is just delivering money to private islands.
Democrats have a lot of talk, but they still want to drive the nice cars and sell the same crapft that the Republicans are.
Taxing the rich only works when you worship the rich in the first place.
Tim Cahill , 15 Jan 2019 12:00
Election financing is the single root cause for our democracy's failure. Period.

I really don't care too much about the mouthing of progressive platitudes from any 2020 Dem Prez candidate. The only ones that will be worth voting for are the ones that sign onto Sanders' (or similar) legislation that calls for a Constitutional amendment that allows federal and state governments to limit campaign contributions.

And past committee votes to prevent amendment legislation from getting to a floor vote - as well as missed co-sponsorship opportunities - should be interesting history for all the candidates to explain.

Campaign financing is what keeps scum entrenched (because primary challengers can't overcome the streams of bribes from those wonderful people exercising their 'free speech' "rights" to keep their puppet in govt) and prevents any challenges to the corporate establishment who serve the same rich masters.

Lenny Dirges -> Vintage59 , 15 Jan 2019 11:55
Lol, Social Security, Medicare, unemployement protections, so many of the things you mentioned, and so much more, were from the PROGRESSIVE New Deal, which managed to implement this slew of changes in 5 years! 5 years! You can't criticize "progressives" in one sentence and then use their accomplishments to support your argument. Today, the New Deal would be considered too far left by most so called "pragmatic liberals." I assume you are getting fully behind the proposed "Green New Deal" then, right?
L C -> HobbesianWorlds , 15 Jan 2019 11:15
Anti-trust would be a very good place to start with.

Universal healthcare is a lot harder than you seem to think. I'd love it, but getting there means putting so many people out of work, it'll be a massive political challenge, even if corporations have no influence. Progressives might be better off focusing on how to ensure the existing system works better and Medicaid can slowly expand to fill the universal roll in the future.

partoftheproblem -> Atlant , 15 Jan 2019 10:55

That's not what I said at all and you know it.

My point is that Trump succeeded despite all the negative coverage, much of the media were laughing at his chances of winning, right up until election night.

Which of the candidates during the last election backed down? Bernie, both in terms of stepping aside for Clinton and also when people invaded the stage and demanded a right to talk before him... and he let them! That only served to make him look weak for many people who didn't care for the issues they wanted to rant about on stage.

[Jan 22, 2019] Didn't help that the ostensibly neutral DNC was sending emails saying that they should play up Bernie Sanders' Jewish faith (among other attack strategies), fed debate questions to the Clinton campaign or tried to limit opportunities for Bernie and Hillary to share a stage together

Notable quotes:
"... Trump's recent tax cuts are a good example. Most of the actual cuts go toward the corporations and ultra-wealthy, which just increases the deficit while shifting the proportion of taxes paid onto the middle class. It's a con that many Americans are inexplicably susceptible to believing, for some reason. ..."
Jan 22, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

cagnusdei -> lullu616 , 15 Jan 2019 10:50

Didn't help that the ostensibly neutral DNC was sending emails saying that they should play up Bernie Sanders' Jewish faith (among other attack strategies), fed debate questions to the Clinton campaign or tried to limit opportunities for Bernie and Hillary to share a stage together.

Bernie Sanders is widely considered by many to be one of the most popular American politicians, more than Trump and certainly more popular than Hillary. I think an interesting phenomenon to notice is the lengths the GOP, in particular, will go to in order to convince the average voter that anything that cuts taxes is inherently good for the 'little guy,' while anything that raises taxes is bad.

Trump's recent tax cuts are a good example. Most of the actual cuts go toward the corporations and ultra-wealthy, which just increases the deficit while shifting the proportion of taxes paid onto the middle class. It's a con that many Americans are inexplicably susceptible to believing, for some reason.

[Jan 22, 2019] Something about female chickenhawks: they probably perceived that only males could be doves. A total lack of integrity.

Jan 22, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

Haigin88 -> Tom J. Davis Clinton's Iraq war vote. She was always dealing with the inverse Nixon In China rule. Just as only Nixon could speak with China, she probably perceived that only males could be doves. That's an explanation not an excuse. Again, a total lack of integrity from Clinton.

Also, much of Clinton's later foulness was attempted to be offset by her early opinions and actions - her speeches at college; her working for children. Gabbard is around the other way: her record got better, offsetting much of her earlier nonsense. Clinton and Gabbard are apples and oranges, I think ,

Clinton's Iraq war vote. She was always dealing with the inverse Nixon In China rule. Just as only Nixon could speak with China, she probably perceived that only males could be doves. That's an explanation not an excuse. Again, a total lack of integrity from Clinton.

Also, much of Clinton's later foulness was attempted to be offset by her early opinions and actions - her speeches at college; her working for children. Gabbard is around the other way: her record got better, offsetting much of her earlier nonsense. Clinton and Gabbard are apples and oranges, I think

[Jan 22, 2019] Neoliberal Dems circled wagons and used Russiagate to avoid the necessary changes: they are now doomed

Jan 22, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

ravioliollie -> lullu616 , 15 Jan 2019 08:55

As usual, the pledge ultimately never changes, New jobs and No increase in taxes. Americans love tag lines even though our infrastructure, poor education et al is the result of fear of taxation. Both parties use the same tag line, we certainly get what we pay for.
TempsdesRoses , 15 Jan 2019 08:47
Yep,
The party has circled its wagons.
They insist that the Evil Vlad stole the last election.
Therefore, no need to examine Obama's centrist/neoliberal policies and the socio-economic conditions that fueled the rejection of Hillary.
We're doomed to repeat our errors.
The farcical DNC leadership echoes the days of Brezhnev's intransigent politburo.

[Jan 22, 2019] The neoliberalism of the Democratic Party elite (and most of the rank and file) is one big factor in our 2016 loss.

Jan 22, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Art Glick

, 15 Jan 2019 09:44
The neoliberalism of the Democratic Party elite (and most of the rank and file) is one big factor in our 2016 loss. Even voters too ignorant to see Trump for what he really was - voters that are misinformed to the point that they unwittingly and continually vote against their own best interests - realized how much the Dems have sold out to Wall Street.

HRC would have been nominated in '08 if she had kissed more Wall Street you-know-what. That's why they anointed Obama who then proceeded to squander eight years of opportunity to remove big money from politics and enact progressive reforms to health care, the environment, etc.

Bernie is a bit long in the tooth, so I am all in for Liz Warren. She's the only one with both the courage and the intelligence to take on the big money that controls our politics.

Therefore, you can expect the Russian trolls to be coming for her in force. If you read anything negative about Warren in the coming months, check the source and don't trust the accuracy.

[Jan 22, 2019] Wall Street gives money to the Dems not to help Dems win; it's to make sure Wall Street doesn't lose.

Highly recommended!
Jan 22, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

HobbesianWorlds , 15 Jan 2019 10:37

The best way to determine if one claims to be a Progressive is to fact-check the candidate's claim.

The first and foremost question that should be asked and researched: Does this candidate have as one of his or her top priorities to eliminate corporate/private/labor money in politics? This would require a major federal campaign finance reform law that would establish public funding for all campaigns, permanently bar corporate/labor union/private-entity money (including funding media-attack ads) from any political influence and require all broadcast/cable networks to allow every candidate equal air time to state his opinions, policies, promises, and to state why he believes he is the best candidate for the working class and/or corporations.

As well, such a law should permanently eliminate the revolving door through which many politicians scamper to become a lobbyist for Wall Street after he "retires" from politics and the law should block all former lobbyists from running for an office that would have a bearing on legislation that would affect the corporation for which he or she worked.

As well, such a law should bar any politicians or family members from purchasing or selling stocks in corporate entities that would be affected by the legislation on which the politician is working (insider trading).

Think about it. The lure of big bucks can, and does, corrupt politicians such that they will work mainly for the donor (corporate, labor, and/or private) and provide for just enough benefit politicians' the voters (America's working class) to make them think he cares most about them. Much of that money is hidden in super-pacs where the donor's identity is hidden. Too, super-pacs would have to be eliminated.

A Progressive should advocate for a large infrastructure project . Our bridges and highways are now in a state of disrepair. Other nations such as Japan now have high-speed bullet trains, the fastest so far is Shanghai Maglev and can travel 267.8 mph. The U.S. has none.

Poverty would be a major focus of Progressives. Corporations will pay as little as they can get by paying. So there must be a minimum wage boost to a living wage. To keep corporations from moving to a part-time labor force with less pay, part-time workers must make the same hourly wage as full time workers. As well, universal, proactive healthcare must become law (Medicare for all).

Another major way to eliminate poverty would be to reform the income tax structure such that those individuals whose income exceeds ~$10 million would be taxed at 70%. I would also suggest that every dollar exchanged on the Stock Exchange would be taxed at 3%.

Using a greater influx of money into the public coffers, education should be a top priority for lawmakers. College tuition in public schools would be no cost, thus providing completely tuition free higher education and allowing every student equal access. A major bill should be passed to provide money to modernize/upgrade all secondary schools to provide a better learning environment for study. Every primary school should have a child psychologist on staff. Every High School a psychologist as well as every public college.

There are other Progressive policies--such as reversing the conservative's trickle-down economics (also called supply-side economics) such that we return to demand-side economics--that would be highly beneficial to the working class and to the future intellectual strength of the U.S., especially by providing a course structure that equips students to face the quick shift of industry to electronics and robotics. Currently, those will little technical training are being left behind. We must end this or face a HUGE poorly educated working class that will have no place to work.

Quite likely, both the RNC and the DNC (Wall Street's favorite politicians) will be against such measures. They'd rather have more billionaires and an unfettered Wall Street than eliminate poverty. The only way, however, to have a truly just society is to push for and vote for a progressive government. But before any of the above can happen, we MUST eliminate corporate/private/labor money from our government.

BaronVonAmericano , 15 Jan 2019 10:37
The money is to ensure the rich do well whoever wins the general.

They do the same in congressional races. If the Democrats who win the primaries are in their pocket, it doesn't matter who wins the general .

Wall Street gives money to the Dems not to help Dems win; it's to make sure Wall Street doesn't lose.

ytram -> ChesBay , 15 Jan 2019 10:30
Our capitalist predators are still alive and well. The finance, insurance, and real estate
organizations are the worst predators in the USA.
They will eat your babies if you let them.
Melty Clock -> William Anthony , 15 Jan 2019 10:07
Except with voting and elections, those hallmarks of the fascist state.
ChesBay , 15 Jan 2019 10:05
I'm not fooled. These are not progressives, they are corporatists, beholden to their donors. They have no courage, no interest in serving their constituencies, but are only interested in the power and money. What our country , and the world, needs is radical change from the profit-first point of view. I won't support either one of them.

[Jan 22, 2019] Benito Mussolini defined fascism as "Barely able to slip a cigarette paper between business and government."

Jan 22, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

William Anthony -> BoneyOCoonassa , 15 Jan 2019 09:40

We've known since WW2, that fighting fascism is difficult. Benito Mussolini defined fascism as "Barely able to slip a cigarette paper between business and government." And when business runs government, we have even exceeded fascism. The new battle against fascism is not going to be easy.

[Jan 22, 2019] The Fetishization of the Corporate Media by C.J. Hopkins

Among few good things that Trump have done to the USA is that he destoryed credibility of neoliberal MSM. They all are now firmly belong to the "fake news" catagory.
Notable quotes:
"... C. J. Hopkins is an award-winning American playwright, novelist and political satirist based in Berlin. His plays are published by Bloomsbury Publishing (UK) and Broadway Play Publishing (USA). His debut novel, ZONE 23 , is published by Snoggsworthy, Swaine & Cormorant Paperbacks. He can be reached at cjhopkins.com or consentfactory.org . ..."
Jan 22, 2019 | www.unz.com

So the corporate media have gone and done it again. As they have, repeatedly, for the last two and half years, they shook the earth with a "bombshell" story proving beyond any reasonable doubt that Donald Trump colluded with the Russians to steal the presidency from Hillary Clinton, or at least committed an impeachable felony in connection with something to do with the Russians, or Ukrainians, or other Slavic persons which story turned out to be inaccurate, or not entirely accurate, or a bunch of horseshit.

This time it was BuzzFeed's Jason Leopold, " a reporter with a checkered past " (i.e., a history of inventing his sources ) who broke the "bombshell" Russiagate story that turned out to be a bunch of horseshit. Leopold, and his colleague Anthony Cormier, reported that Trump had directed his attorney, Michael Cohen, to lie to Congress about plans to construct a Trump Tower in Moscow, thus suborning perjury and obstructing justice. Their sources for this "bombshell" story were allegedly "two federal law enforcement officials involved in an investigation of the matter."

Approximately twenty-four hours later, Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office (i.e., the office "involved in an investigation of the matter") stated that the BuzzFeed story was "not accurate," which is a legal term meaning "a bunch of horseshit." BuzzFeed is standing by its story , and is working to determine what, exactly, Mueller's office meant by "not accurate." Ben Smith, BuzzFeed's Editor-in-Chief, has called on Mueller "to make clear what he's disputing."

Liberals and other Trump-obsessives have joined in the effort to interpret the Special Counsel's office's cryptic utterance. French hermeneuticists have been reportedly called in to deconstruct the meaning of "accurate." Professional Twitter semioticians are explaining that "not accurate" doesn't mean "wrong," but, rather, refers to something that is "accurate," but which the user of the word doesn't want to disclose publicly, or that legal terms don't mean what they mean or something more or less along those lines.

Glenn Greenwald, in August 2018, reporting on another "bombshell" story that turned out to be a bunch of horseshit , compiled a partial list of Russiagate stories that the corporate media had published and promoted over the course of the previous eighteen months which turned out to be a bunch of horseshit (i.e., the stories did, not Greenwald's list). In the wake of this latest horseshit story, Greenwald revised and renamed this list " The 10 Worst, Most Embarrassing U.S. Media Failures on the Trump/Russia Story. "

But Greenwald's list is just a small sample of the Russiagate stories that have turned out to be horseshit. For the record, here are several more:

"Seventeen intelligence agencies" confirm Russia interfered in the U.S. elections ( New York Times ) Russia interfered in the Brexit referendum ( The Guardian ) Russia interfered in the German elections ( Reuters ) Russia hacked the French elections ( Politico and numerous other outlets ) Michael Cohen conspired with the Russians in Prague ( BuzzFeed )

My personal favorite remains the one about how Hillary Clinton may have been poisoned by Putinist operatives back in 2016. And then there's the pot-smoking, prostitute-banging, incompetent Novichok perfume assassins , the African American-brainwashing memes , the Putin-orchestrated Yellow Vest rebellion , the brain-eating Russian-Cubano crickets , and various other bunches of horseshit.

I am using the terms "horseshit" and "a bunch of horseshit" (as opposed to terms like "failures" and "errors"), not just to be gratuitously vulgar, but, also, to try to make a point. One is not supposed to use these terms in connection with "serious," "respected" news outlets. Which is why journalists like Greenwald and Aaron Maté (who have extensively reported on the corporate media's ongoing production and dissemination of horseshit) do not use such terms in the course of their reporting, and instead use less inflammatory terms like "false," "inaccurate," "mistake," and "error." Principled journalists like Greenwald and Maté are constrained by (a) their journalistic ethics, (b) their integrity, and (c) their belief in the idea of a "free and independent press," which is one of the pillars of Western democracy.

Being neither a respected journalist nor a believer in the existence of an "independent press," I am under no such constraints. Because I'm not trying to get or keep a job, or maintain a "respectable" reputation, I'm free to call a spade a spade and a bunch of horseshit a bunch of horseshit. I am also free to describe "journalists" like Leopold, Luke Harding , Craig Timberg , Franklin Foer , and many of their corporate media colleagues (not to mention TV clowns like Rachel Maddow ) as the liars and rank propagandists they are. I don't need to pretend their fabricated stories are simply the result of "shoddy journalism," or "over-reliance on official sources," or any other type of "error" or "failure." These people know exactly what they are doing, and are being extremely well paid to do it. They went to school to learn how to do it. Then they butt-sucked and back-stabbed their way up the ladder of establishment power to be able to do it.

Yes, of course, there are still principled journalists working for the corporate media, but they are doing so by walking a very fine line. No one has to tell them where it is. Every professional journalist knows precisely where it is, and what it is there for. Though they are permitted to walk right up to it, occasionally (to keep them from feeling like abject whores), one step over it and they will be cast into the Outer Darkness of the Blogosphere and excommunicated from the Church of Respectable Journalism. If you don't believe me, just ask Seymour Hersh, or John Pilger, or any other journalistic heretic.

If Russiagate serves no other useful purpose, it is at least exposing the corporate media as the propaganda factories that they are. Given the amount of obviously fabricated horseshit they have disseminated during the last two years, you'd have to be a total moron or a diehard neoliberal cultist not to recognize the function they perform within the global capitalist ruling establishment (which is essentially no different than the function the establishment media perform in any other society, namely, to disseminate, maintain, and reify the official narrative of its ruling classes).

Sadly, there's no shortage of morons and cultists. I don't blame the morons, because well, they're morons. The cultists are another species entirely. These are people who, no matter how often the corporate media feed them another "explosive," "bombshell" Russiagate story that turns out to be a bunch of horseshit, will defend the concept of the "independent media" like head-shaven, bug-eyed Manson followers. Confront them with facts contradicting their beliefs and they close their eyes and start chanting and humming and repetitiously babbling banishing spells. The notion that the Western corporate media may serve the interests of the ruling establishment (just like the media in every other society serve that society's ruling classes) is unimaginable and tantamount to heresy.

This fetishization of "the independent press" is a phenomenon unique to Western capitalism. Basically, it's a childish fairy tale, like believing that Santa Claus is an actual person or that voting in elections in a corporate oligarchy has anything to do with actual democracy. Think about it dispassionately for a minute. Why would any ruling establishment permit a genuinely "independent" press to disseminate ideas and information willy-nilly throughout society? If it did, it wouldn't last very long.

Most people understand this intuitively, which is why the corporate media relentlessly repeat the mantra-like phrase, "free and independent press," over, and over, and over again. Seriously, switch on NPR, or have a look at The Guardian or the Washington Post, or any of the other corporate media repeatedly reminding you how "independent," "free" and "democratic" they are. It's essentially Neuro-linguistic programming.

So let's not be shocked when the corporate media continue to bombard us with "bombshell" stories about Trump and Russia that turn out to be horseshit. Personally, I welcome these stories. The more corporate media horseshit the better! Who knows, if they dish out enough blatant horseshit, more people might lose their "trust in the media," and begin to investigate matters themselves. I know, that makes me a Nazi, right? Or at least a Russian propagandist? I mean, encouraging folks to distrust the corporate media? Isn't there some kind of law against that? Or have they not quite gotten around to that yet?

C. J. Hopkins is an award-winning American playwright, novelist and political satirist based in Berlin. His plays are published by Bloomsbury Publishing (UK) and Broadway Play Publishing (USA). His debut novel, ZONE 23 , is published by Snoggsworthy, Swaine & Cormorant Paperbacks. He can be reached at cjhopkins.com or consentfactory.org .


Godfree Roberts , says: January 22, 2019 at 1:32 am GMT

The Associated Press (AP) reports the latest bad news for the press: " Just 6 Percent of People Say They Trust the Media ."

Carole Feldman and Emily Swanson began: Trust in the news media is being eroded by perceptions of inaccuracy and bias, fueled in part by Americans' skepticism about what they read on social media. Just 6 percent of people say they have a lot of confidence in the media, putting the news industry about equal to Congress and well below the public's view of other institutions.

Biff , says: January 22, 2019 at 1:41 am GMT

Most people understand this intuitively, which is why the corporate media relentlessly repeat the mantra-like phrase, "free and independent press,"

People inversely brag about their short comings.
Militarized police states brag about their freedom.
A well heeled synchophant brags about his independence.
Dudes with small dicks -- big belt buckle and big hat.

Fidelios Automata , says: January 22, 2019 at 3:14 am GMT
I used to listen to the BBC and NPR until the corporo-globalist bias became unbearable. I laughed at incidents such as Marketplace mocking the public's concern about GMO's. But it went off the rails in 2016. They may have backed off from Trump Derangement Syndrome a bit since then, but I've noticed that they have to call themselves "credible." Maybe if they say that enough times we'll believe it, eh?
Bragadocious , says: January 22, 2019 at 4:32 am GMT
The Greenwald link is pretty important and I bookmarked it. These fake news outlets do everything in their power to scrub these mistakes from the Google machine once they happen. They remove stories, videos -- everything, in the hopes of shoving it all down the memory hole. And since other fake news outlets don't hold them accountable, they get away with it. This is why it's important to take screen shots of fake news and download videos if possible, to create a record that's permanent and useful when you need it.
Richard Wicks , says: January 22, 2019 at 5:48 am GMT
@Godfree Roberts 6%? I rather doubt that.

More than 6% of the population are technically, and this is the technical term, retarded -- they are mentally disabled.

I know it's obvious our media is propaganda, but I don't think it's quite so obvious such that adults watching Sesame Street who fully enjoy it (nothing wrong with that!) are aware of it.

I would like to think it's true, but I think the Associated Press article is not true, after all, can you identify their funding sources?

utu , says: January 22, 2019 at 7:22 am GMT

This fetishization of "the independent press" is a phenomenon unique to Western capitalism. Basically, it's a childish fairy tale, like believing that Santa Claus is an actual person or that voting in elections in a corporate oligarchy has anything to do with actual democracy.

Great article. Articles on this theme should be published daily. The fetish must be destroyed.

jeff stryker , says: January 22, 2019 at 10:55 am GMT
I don't think the MSM has the power and influence it had in the Big Three Networks Era before the internet.

In those days, the minds of the public were more controlled and underground newspapers were barely read.

These days, more people read websites like this than watch any particular channel.

Print journalism had a massive hold on the world up to 1997 when the internet came into the mainstream.

Not no more.

jacques sheete , says: January 22, 2019 at 12:06 pm GMT
Ah, elegant!

What a pleasure to read this article!

There is at least one other person who calls corporate media what it is, and it ain't "mainstream."

"Sparkie" ain't gonna be happy about it either."Sparky" chewed me out good for correcting the incomparable and always superb Linh Dinh for using the disgusting and inaccurate term, "mainstream" when referring to coprophilic media. Oh, and speaking of "horseshit" one wag suggested we call it main steam media, for accuracy as well as for giggles and that's fine by me.

the corporate media relentlessly repeat the mantra-like phrase, "free and independent press," over, and over, and over again. Seriously, switch on NPR, or have a look at The Guardian or the Washington Post, or any of the other corporate media repeatedly reminding you how "independent," "free" and "democratic" they are. It's essentially Neuro-linguistic programming.

It's blatantly obvious that the same can be said about the self-legitimizing term, "mainstream," too, so bless you sir, and to (bleep) with the Sparkies of the world.

Digital Samizdat , says: January 22, 2019 at 12:36 pm GMT

Confront them with facts contradicting their beliefs and they close their eyes and start chanting and humming and repetitiously babbling banishing spells.

Orange Man bad! Mueller saves! -NPC

Jake , says: January 22, 2019 at 12:46 pm GMT
Not only is Hopkins correct, but what he says about corporate media is not new. The Civil Rights movement presented by the media was false. The media promotion of the US re-engaging in Europe in the post WW1 period so we could defend dear ole England and sacred democracy. The media preparing us for our need to fight WW1 so we could end all wars was false. The media stirring us to go into Cuba and end the awfully evil Spanish Empire so we could start the process of ending all empires

Large numbers of newspapers located within the non January 22, 2019 at 3:13 pm GMT

@jacques sheete

Ah, elegant!

What a pleasure to read this article!

N o doubt it is a pleasure for you because C.J. Hopkins managed to scribble 1500 words about fake news without even once mentioning the CIA.

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false."

-- CIA Director, William Casey

Of course, our resident Bumpkin of Unz would have you believe that the CIA is a corporation.

"The CIA owns everyone of any significance in the major media."

-- former CIA Director William Colby

So you see Sheete, the term "corporate media" is entirely inaccurate -- a red herring, a misleading label, a pig in a poke -- because it entirely excludes, avoids, overlooks, and completely dismisses the role of our intelligence agencies in creating fake news , a.k.a. disinformation and propaganda.

Hail , says: Website January 22, 2019 at 3:38 pm GMT

The notion that the Western corporate media may serve the interests of the ruling establishment (just like the media in every other society serve that society's ruling classes) is unimaginable and tantamount to heresy.

This comes close to the term "regime media," which I like as a replacement for the clunky-but-common terms "Mainstream Media" or MSM. "

Hopkins uses "corporate media," which appears fifteen times here including in the title.

Several commenters have noted the problems with the term "mainstream media":

the self-legitimizing term, "mainstream,"

While better than "mainstream media," I'm not sure "corporate media" is sufficient.

"Corporate media," as a term, may wrongly convey the notion that the 'media' in question complaisantly both [1] broadcasts the ruling ideology (interventionist capitalist liberal democracy and multicultacracy) and [2] 'megaphones' (Steve Sailer's useful term) against enemies thereto, coordinating our regular Two-Minute Hates.

That characterization misses an important point, to wit:

The 'media' (in the sense of the "MSM") as we know it today, is itself consciously part of the ruling apparatus . Not complaisantly, but actively; not lackeys on the side, but right at the regime's core. A useful distinction. Hence "regime media."

Agent76 , says: January 22, 2019 at 3:41 pm GMT
Jun. 14, 2012 These 6 Corporations Control 90% Of The Media In America

That's consolidated from *50* companies back in 1983. But the fact that a few companies own everything demonstrates "the illusion of choice," Frugal Dad says.

http://www.businessinsider.com/these-6-corporations-control-90-of-the-media-in-america-2012-6

Church Committee Testimony

Tom Charles Huston testified before the Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, commonly known as the Church Committee, on the 43-page plan he presented to the President Nixon and others on ways to collect information about anti-war and "radical" groups, including burglary, electronic surveillance, and opening of mail.

https://www.c-span.org/video/?408953-1/tom-charles-huston-testimony-church-committee

Sean , says: January 22, 2019 at 4:13 pm GMT
The Basic Problem of Democracy
by Walter Lippmann
The Atlantic Monthly, November 1919, pp. 616-627

http://sonicacts.com/portal/anthropocene-objects-art-and-politics-1

Lippmann-Dewey debate, which is known to academics but not the general public in the United States, the home country of both authors. Obviously, John Dewey is famous as one of the most important American philosophers, and for his international influence in the field of education. By contrast, Walter Lippmann has been somewhat forgotten, though he was a major journalist in the 1920s and 1930s. He was a widely familiar author at the time, and wrote some cynical things about American democracy. The story America tells itself politically is that since we're a democracy in which the citizens rule themselves, there is a paramount need for an excellent public education so that the citizens can vote wisely. We ourselves are the leaders. But of course it doesn't work that way in practice. We actually have a surplus of ignorant and uninformed people who pay no attention to the nuances of policy, and who vote based on the workings of demagoguery and short-sighted self-interest. Any number of foolish decisions have been made by the American public. This leads Lippmann to take the somewhat cynical line that America is destined to be ruled by technocrats. We need experts to run things; the people are too clueless to rule themselves. We'll pretend we have a democracy, but we actually don't. Now, Dewey reads this, and he is temperamentally more optimistic, and he thinks: 'This is a really stimulating book, but Lippmann is wrong. He is setting the bar too high for the people. People were never supposed to be educated in depth about every issue, which is an impossible demand. Even Lippmann doesn't have the time to master every issue, and he covers politics for a living. Instead, Dewey says, political issues generate their own publics in each case. I might care deeply about seven political issues. I might care about national health insurance, but I don't care about gay marriage, or vice versa. So I get involved in one debate and not the other. I take the trouble of becoming informed about issues that interest me.

onebornfree , says: Website January 22, 2019 at 4:14 pm GMT
@Hail Hail says: "The 'media' (in the sense of the "MSM") as we know it today, is itself consciously part of the ruling apparatus. Not complaisantly, but actively; not lackeys on the side, but right at the regime's core ":

Exactly. The MSM is the government [CIA/NSA/ etc. etc.] grinning right at you as it continually lies , albeit behind a very thin veil of supposed integrity/respectability that the general public still refuses to see through.

By way of illustration of this "outrageous" assertion of mine, here is part of a video analysis of the original 5 channel US MSM "live" coverage of the morning of Sept. 11 2001, which clearly demonstrates that on that morning, all 5 US networks broadcast entirely fake "live" footage [ i.e. C.G.I. prefabricated imagery] for about 102 minutes :

Regards, onebornfree

jacques sheete , says: January 22, 2019 at 4:23 pm GMT
@Sparkon

So you see Sheete, the term "corporate media" is entirely inaccurate

I never claimed it was perfect. I do claim that the term, "mainstream," in this context is entirely inaccurate and misleading. And you should be nice, as you admonished me, regarding the author of this article. As for your complaint that he didn't mention the CIA, may I remind you that he wrote, as you noticed, an article, not an encyclopedia.

Anyway, you have yet to establish that the CIA and our corporate masters are entirely separate entities. Even a Dumb Sheete such as myself would find it somewhat, if not entirely, incredible if they were.

But of course too everyone knows by now that Jews, Israel and Mossad did 9/11 all by their lonesomes, and the CIA and the Air Force had nothing to do with it.

Ahem, you forgot to mention big, coprophilic, media. Please try to practice the inclusiveness that you preach.

Nancy Pelosi's Latina Maid , says: January 22, 2019 at 4:30 pm GMT

one step over [the line] and they will be cast into the Outer Darkness of the Blogosphere and excommunicated from the Church of Respectable Journalism. If you don't believe me, just ask Seymour Hersh, or John Pilger, or any other journalistic heretic.

To this list I might also add CBS' Sharyl Attkisson, and Larry Conners of KMOV-TV, who had the big brass balls to question the $85 million the Obamas spent on vacations.

NR kicked Derb to the curb, but that gutter's littered with Internet flotsam who presumed integrity.

onebornfree , says: Website January 22, 2019 at 4:35 pm GMT
@Sean Sean says: "Lippmann-Dewey debate, which is known to academics but not the general public in the United States, the home country of both authors. "

Debate summary: 2 know-it-alls debating about how "best" to run everybody else's lives [and with straight faces, I've no doubt].

Two sides of the same [pro-statist] coin, in other words. Oh, and one minor issue one "thinks" that a ruling technocracy is "the answer".

Sean says: "Obviously, John Dewey is famous as one of the most important American philosophers, and for his international influence in the field of education."

You mean: Dewey was important in the field of "public education" , otherwise known as brainwashing.

" important American philosopher" my a$$.

Gawd help us all.

And so it goes

[Jan 21, 2019] Anti-Trump Frenzy Threatens to End Superpower Diplomacy by Stephen F. Cohen

The problem is not Russia; the problem is the crisis of neoliberalism in the USA. And related legitimization of neoliberal elite, which now Deep State is trying ot patch with anti-Russian hysteria
Notable quotes:
"... That is, in the modern history of US-Russian summits, we are told by a former American ambassador who knows, the "secrecy of presidential private meetings has been the rule, not the exception." He continues, "There's nothing unusual about withholding information from the bureaucracy about the president's private meetings with foreign leaders . Sometimes they would dictate a memo afterward, sometimes not." Indeed, President Richard Nixon, distrustful of the US "bureaucracy," sometimes met privately with Kremlin leader Leonid Brezhnev while only Brezhnev's translator was present. ..."
Jan 16, 2019 | www.thenation.com

Baseless Russiagate allegations continue to risk war with Russia. Anti-Trump Frenzy Threatens to End Superpower Diplomacy | The Nation The New Year has brought a torrent of ever-more-frenzied allegations that President Donald Trump has long had a conspiratorial relationship -- why mince words and call it "collusion"? -- with Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin.

Why the frenzy now? Perhaps because Russiagate promoters in high places are concerned that special counsel Robert Mueller will not produce the hoped-for "bombshell" to end Trump's presidency. Certainly, New York Times columnist David Leonhardt seems worried, demanding, "The president must go," his drop line exhorting, "What are we waiting for?" (In some countries, articles like his, and there are very many, would be read as calling for a coup.) Perhaps to incite Democrats who have now taken control of House investigative committees. Perhaps simply because Russiagate has become a political-media cult that no facts, or any lack of evidence, can dissuade or diminish.

And there is no new credible evidence, preposterous claims notwithstanding. One of The New York Times ' own recent "bombshells," published on January 12, reported, for example, that in spring 2017, FBI officials "began investigating whether [President Trump] had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests." None of the three reporters bothered to point out that those "agents and officials" almost certainly included ones later reprimanded and retired by the FBI itself for their political biases. (As usual, the Times buried its self-protective disclaimer deep in the story: "No evidence has emerged publicly that Mr. Trump was secretly in contact with or took direction from Russian government officials.")

Whatever the explanation, the heightened frenzy is unmistakable, leading the "news" almost daily in the synergistic print and cable media outlets that have zealously promoted Russiagate for more than two years, in particular the Times , The Washington Post , MSNBC, CNN, and their kindred outlets. They have plenty of eager enablers, including the once-distinguished Strobe Talbott, President Bill Clinton's top adviser on Russia and until recently president of the Brookings Institution. According to Talbott , "We already know that the Kremlin helped put Trump into the White House and played him for a sucker . Trump has been colluding with a hostile Russia throughout his presidency." In fact, we do not "know" any of this. These remain merely widely disseminated suspicions and allegations.

In this cult-like commentary, the "threat" of "a hostile Russia" must be inflated along with charges against Trump. (In truth, Russia represents no threat to the United States that Washington itself did not provoke since the end of the Soviet Union in 1991.) For its own threat inflation, the Times featured not an expert with any plausible credentials but Lisa Page, the former FBI lawyer with no known Russia expertise, and who was one of those reprimanded by the agency for anti-Trump political bias. Nonetheless, the Times quotes Page at length : "In the Russian Federation and in President Putin himself you have an individual whose aim is to disrupt the Western alliance and whose aim is to make Western democracy more fractious in order to weaken our ability to spread our democratic ideals." Perhaps we should have guessed that the democracy-promotion genes of J. Edgar Hoover were still alive and breeding in the FBI, though for the Times , in its exploitation of the hapless and legally endangered Page, it seems not to matter.

Which brings us, or rather Russiagate zealots, to the heightened "threat" represented by "Putin's Russia." If true, we would expect the US president to negotiate with the Kremlin leader, including at summit meetings, as every president since Dwight Eisenhower has done. But, we are told, we cannot trust Trump to do so, because, according to The Washington Post , he has repeatedly met with Putin alone, with only translators present, and concealed the records of their private talks, sure signs of "treasonous" behavior, as the Russiagate media first insisted following the Trump-Putin summit in Helsinki in July 2018.

It's hard to know whether this is historical ignorance or Russiagate malice, though it is probably both. In any event, the truth is very different. In preparing US-Russian (Soviet and post-Soviet) summits since the 1950s, aides on both sides have arranged "private time" for their bosses for two essential reasons: so they can develop sufficient personal rapport to sustain any policy partnership they decide on; and so they can alert one another to constraints on their policy powers at home, to foes of such détente policies often centered in their respective intelligence agencies. (The KGB ran operations against Nikita Khrushchev's détente policies with Eisenhower, and, as is well established, US intelligence agencies have run operations against Trump's proclaimed goal of "cooperation with Russia.")

That is, in the modern history of US-Russian summits, we are told by a former American ambassador who knows, the "secrecy of presidential private meetings has been the rule, not the exception." He continues, "There's nothing unusual about withholding information from the bureaucracy about the president's private meetings with foreign leaders . Sometimes they would dictate a memo afterward, sometimes not." Indeed, President Richard Nixon, distrustful of the US "bureaucracy," sometimes met privately with Kremlin leader Leonid Brezhnev while only Brezhnev's translator was present.

Nor should we forget the national-security benefits that have come from private meetings between US and Kremlin leaders. In October 1986, President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev met alone with their translators and an American official who took notes -- the two leaders, despite their disagreements, agreed in principle that nuclear weapons should be abolished. The result, in 1987, was the first and still only treaty abolishing an entire category of such weapons, the exceedingly dangerous intermediate-range ones. (This is the historic treaty Trump has said he may abrogate.)

And yet, congressional zealots are now threatening to subpoena the American translator who was present during Trump's meetings with Putin. If this recklessness prevails, it will be the end of the nuclear-superpower summit diplomacy that has helped to keep America and the world safe from catastrophic war for nearly 70 years -- and as a new, more perilous nuclear arms race between the two countries is unfolding. It will amply confirm a thesis set out in my book War with Russia? -- that anti-Trump Russiagate allegations have become the gravest threat to our security.

The following correction and clarification were made to the original version of this article on January 17: Reagan and Gorbachev met privately with translators during their summit in Reykjavik, Iceland, in October 1986, not February, and Reagan was also accompanied by an American official who took notes. And it would be more precise to say that the two leaders, despite their disagreements, agreed in principle that nuclear weapons should be abolished.

Stephen F. Cohen is professor emeritus of politics and Russian studies at Princeton and NYU and author of the new book War with Russia? From Putin and Ukraine to Trump and Russiagate . This commentary is based on the most recent of his weekly discussions of the new US-Russian Cold War with the host of the John Batchelor radio show. (The podcast is here . Previous installments, now in their fifth year, are at TheNation.com . )

[Jan 21, 2019] Beyond BuzzFeed The 10 Worst, Most Embarrassing US Media Failures On The Trump-Russia Story by Glenn Greenwald

Highly recommended!
Jan 21, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Glenn Greenwald via The Intercept,

Buzzfeed was once notorious for traffic-generating "listicles" , but has since become an impressive outlet for deep investigative journalism under editor-in-chief Ben Smith. That outlet was prominently in the news this week thanks to its "bombshell" story about President Trump and Michael Cohen: a story that, like so many others of its kind, blew up in its face , this time when the typically mute Robert Mueller's office took the extremely rare step to label its key claims "inaccurate."

But in homage to BuzzFeed's past viral glory, following are the top ten worst media failures in two-plus-years of Trump/Russia reporting. They are listed in reverse order, as measured by the magnitude of the embarrassment, the hysteria they generated on social media and cable news, the level of journalistic recklessness that produced them, and the amount of damage and danger they caused. This list was extremely difficult to compile in part because news outlets (particularly CNN and MSNBC) often delete from the internet the video segments of their most embarrassing moments. Even more challenging was the fact that the number of worthy nominees is so large that highly meritorious entrees had to be excluded, but are acknowledged at the end with (dis)honorable mention status.

Note that all of these "errors" go only in one direction: namely, exaggerating the grave threat posed by Moscow and the Trump circle's connection to it. It's inevitable that media outlets will make mistakes on complex stories. If that's being done in good faith, one would expect the errors would be roughly 50/50 in terms of the agenda served by the false stories. That is most definitely not the case here. Just as was true in 2002 and 2003, when the media clearly wanted to exaggerate the threat posed by Saddam Hussein and thus all of its "errors" went in that direction, virtually all of its major "errors" in this story are devoted to the same agenda and script:

10. RT Hacked Into and Took Over C-SPAN (Fortune)

On June 12, 2017, Fortune claimed that RT had hacked into and taken over C-SPAN and that C-SPAN "confirmed" it had been hacked. The whole story was false :

9. Russian Hackers Invaded the U.S. Electricity Grid to Deny Vermonters Heat During the Winter (WashPost)

On December 30, 2016, the Washington Post reported that "Russian hackers penetrated the U.S. electricity grid through a utility in Vermont," causing predictable outrage and panic, along with threats from U.S. political leaders. But then they kept diluting the story with editor's notes – to admit that the malware was found on a laptop not connected to the U.S. electric grid at all – until finally acknowledging, days later, that the whole story was false, since the malware had nothing to do with Russia or with the U.S. electric grid:

8. A New, Deranged, Anonymous Group Declares Mainstream Political Sites on the Left and Right to be Russian Propaganda Outlets and WashPost Touts its Report to Claim Massive Kremlin Infiltration of the Internet (WashPost)

On November 24, 2016, the Washington Post published one of the most inflammatory, sensationalistic stories to date about Russian infiltration into U.S. politics using social media, accusing "more than 200 websites" of being "routine peddlers of Russian propaganda during the election season, with combined audiences of at least 15 million Americans." It added: "stories planted or promoted by the disinformation campaign [on Facebook] were viewed more than 213 million times."

Unfortunately for the paper, those statistics were provided by a new, anonymous group that reached these conclusions by classifying long-time, well-known sites – from the Drudge Report to Clinton-critical left-wing websites such as Truthout, Black Agenda Report, Truthdig, and Naked Capitalism, as well as libertarian venues such as Antiwar.com and the Ron Paul Institute. – as "Russian propaganda outlets," producing one of the longest Editor's Note in memory appended to the top of the article (but not until two weeks later , long after the story was mindlessly spread all throughout the media ecosystem):

7. Trump Aide Anthony Scaramucci is Involved in a Russian Hedge Fund Under Senate Investigation (CNN)

On June 22, 2017, CNN reported that Trump aide Anthony Scaramucci was involved with the Russian Direct Investment Fund, under Senate investigation. He was not. CNN retracted the story and forced the three reporters who published it to leave the network.

6. Russia Attacked U.S. "Diplomats" (i.e. Spies) at the Cuban Embassy Using a Super-Sophisticated Sonic Microwave Weapon (NBC/MSNBC/CIA)

On September 11, 2017, NBC News and MSNBC spread all over its airwaves a claim from its notorious CIA puppet Ken Dilanian that Russia was behind a series of dastardly attacks on U.S. personnel at the Embassy in Cuba using a sonic or microwave weapon so sophisticated and cunning that Pentagon and CIA scientists had no idea what to make of it.

But then teams of neurologists began calling into doubt that these personnel had suffered any brain injuries at all – that instead they appear to have experienced collective psychosomatic symptoms – and then biologists published findings that the "strange sounds" the U.S. "diplomats" reported hearing were identical to those emitted by a common Caribbean male cricket during mating season.

5. Trump Created a Secret Internet Server to Covertly Communicate with a Russian Bank (Slate)

4. Paul Manafort Visited Julian Assange Three Times in the Ecuadorian Embassy and Nobody Noticed (Guardian/Luke Harding)

On November 27, 2018, the Guardian published a major "bombshell" that Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort had somehow managed to sneak inside one of the world's most surveilled buildings, the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, and visit Julian Assange on three different occasions. Cable and online commentators exploded.

Seven weeks later, no other media outlet has confirmed this ; no video or photographic evidence has emerged; the Guardian refuses to answer any questions; its leading editors have virtually gone into hiding; other media outlets have expressed serious doubts about its veracity; and an Ecuadorian official who worked at the embassy has called the story a complete fake:

3. CNN Explicitly Lied About Lanny Davis Being Its Source – For a Story Whose Substance Was Also False: Cohen Would Testify that Trump Knew in Advance About the Trump Tower Meeting (CNN)

On July 27, 2018, CNN published a blockbuster story : that Michael Cohen was prepared to tell Robert Mueller that President Trump knew in advanced about the Trump Tower meeting. There were, however, two problems with this story: first, CNN got caught blatantly lying when its reporters claimed that "contacted by CNN, one of Cohen's attorneys, Lanny Davis, declined to comment" (in fact, Davis was one of CNN's key sources, if not its only source, for this story), and second, numerous other outlets retracted the story after the source, Davis, admitted it was a lie. CNN, however, to this date has refused to do either:

2. Robert Mueller Possesses Internal Emails and Witness Interviews Proving Trump Directed Cohen to Lie to Congress (BuzzFeed)

1. Donald Trump Jr. Was Offered Advanced Access to the WikiLeaks Email Archive (CNN/MSNBC)

The morning of December 9, 2017, launched one of the most humiliating spectacles in the history of the U.S. media. With a tone so grave and bombastic that it is impossible to overstate, CNN went on the air and announced a major exclusive: Donald Trump, Jr. was offered by email advanced access to the trove of DNC and Podesta emails published by WikiLeaks – meaning before those emails were made public. Within an hour, MSNBC's Ken Dilanian, using a tone somehow even more unhinged, purported to have "independently confirmed" this mammoth, blockbuster scoop, which, they said, would have been the smoking gun showing collusion between the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks over the hacked emails (while the YouTube clips have been removed, you can still watch one of the amazing MSNBC videos here ).

There was, alas, just one small problem with this massive, blockbuster story: it was totally and completely false. The email which Trump, Jr. received that directed him to the WikiLeaks archive was sent after WikiLeaks published it online for the whole world to see, not before. Rather than some super secretive operative giving Trump, Jr. advanced access, as both CNN and MSNBC told the public for hours they had confirmed, it was instead just some totally pedestrian message from a random member of the public suggesting Trump, Jr. review documents the whole world was already talking about. All of the anonymous sources CNN and MSNBC cited somehow all got the date of the email wrong.

To date, when asked how they both could have gotten such a massive story so completely wrong in the same way, both CNN and MSNBC have adopted the posture of the CIA by maintaining complete silence and refusing to explain how it could possibly be that all of their "multiple, independent sources" got the date wrong on the email in the same way, to be as incriminating – and false – as possible. Nor, needless to say, will they identify their sources who, in concert, fed them such inflammatory and utterly false information.

Sadly, CNN and MSNBC have deleted most traces of the most humiliating videos from the internet, including demanding that YouTube remove copies. But enough survives to document just what a monumental, horrifying, and utterly inexcusable debacle this was. Particularly amazing is the clip of the CNN reporter (see below) having to admit the error for the first time, as he awkwardly struggles to pretend that it's not the massive, horrific debacle that it so obviously is:

Dishonorable Mention:

Special mention:

As I've said many times, the U.S. media has become quite adept at expressing extreme indignation when people criticize them; when politicians conclude that it is advantageous to turn the U.S. media into their main adversary; and when people turn to "fake news" sites.

If, however, they were willing to devote just a small fraction of that energy to examining their own conduct, perhaps they would develop the tools necessary to combat those problems instead of just denouncing their critics and angrily demanding that politicians and news consumers accord them the respect to which they believe they are entitled.

[Jan 20, 2019] Buzzfeed, Question Time the purpose of Fake News by Kit Knightly

Notable quotes:
"... The point of this practice is to propagate lies into the public consciousness. It's a method that can be used to distract and disseminate and divide. The accuracy of the statement is immaterial. ..."
"... The point is, once it has been said it cannot be unsaid. There are countless examples: "Assange was working for Russia", "Trump ordered Cohen to lie to Congress", "Russia hacked the US election", "Donald Trump worked for the KGB", "Assad gassed his own people", "Jeremy Corbyn is an antisemite". The list goes on and on and on. None these have been proven. All were asserted without evidence, fiercely defended as facts, and then discretely qualified. ..."
"... The lie was told, the audience laughed, the reality was created. "Labour are behind in the polls, anybody who says otherwise is a laughingstock" . The lie goes around the world while the truth is still putting its boots on. That's why fake news is so important to them, and so dangerous us. ..."
Jan 20, 2019 | off-guardian.org

... ... ...

Trump has been a disappointment to his base and is yet to implement half the policies he discussed on the campaign trail, but he's not fully and totally being controlled by the warhawking Deep State yet, either. His policy of peace with North Korea and decisions to pull out of Syria and Afghanistan show that there is a tug-of-war ongoing inside the administration. It's probably no coincidence that this latest of many "bombshells" comes so quickly on the heels of Trump's announcement of the Syria withdrawal. Careful "leaks", planted stories and social media witch-hunts remind Trump how precarious his position is, whilst simultaneously distracting the public – both pro-Trump and anti-Trump – from real issues.

The case-specific "why?" doesn't matter so much as the general aim of this type of manipulation. The important question is: Why does the media tell lies if they know they will be revealed as such? Clearly, the lies serve a purpose, regardless of their retraction or qualification. Telling a lie loudly and then taking it back quietly is an old propaganda trick – it allows the paper to maintain a facade of "accountability".

The point of this practice is to propagate lies into the public consciousness. It's a method that can be used to distract and disseminate and divide. The accuracy of the statement is immaterial.

The point is, once it has been said it cannot be unsaid. There are countless examples: "Assange was working for Russia", "Trump ordered Cohen to lie to Congress", "Russia hacked the US election", "Donald Trump worked for the KGB", "Assad gassed his own people", "Jeremy Corbyn is an antisemite". The list goes on and on and on. None these have been proven. All were asserted without evidence, fiercely defended as facts, and then discretely qualified.

That is the purpose of "fake news", to forge the Empire's "created reality" , and force us all to live in it. These are world-shaping, policy-informing, news-dominating narratives and are nothing but feathers in the wind .

A perfect exemplar of this occurred just two days ago on the BBC's flagship Political debate show Question Time : me title= The (notionally impartial) host not only sided with right-wing author Isabel Oakeshott in criticising Labour's polling, but then joined in mocking the Labour MP Diane Abbott for attempting to correct the record. Both Oakeshott and Fiona Bruce, the host, were factually incorrect – as shown a hundred times over since. But that doesn't matter.

The lie was told, the audience laughed, the reality was created. "Labour are behind in the polls, anybody who says otherwise is a laughingstock" . The lie goes around the world while the truth is still putting its boots on. That's why fake news is so important to them, and so dangerous us.

Kit Knightly is co-editor of OffGuardian. The Guardian banned him from commenting. Twice. He used to write for fun, but now he's forced to out of a near-permanent sense of outrage.

[Jan 19, 2019] Putin Asks And Trump Delivers - A List Of All The Good Things Trump Did For Russia

Way too any pleasured for Putin from Trump administration... Just look at this perma-pleasing face of Pompeo.
Jan 19, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Putin Asks And Trump Delivers - A List Of All The Good Things Trump Did For Russia

Slate's Fred Kaplan writes :

The Washington Post's Greg Miller reported Sunday that President Donald Trump's confiscation of the translator's notes from a one-on-one conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2017 was "unusual." This is incorrect. It was unprecedented. There is nothing like it in the annals of presidential history.

Not really. Other U.S. leaders held long private meetings with their counterparts without notes being taken.

When Richard Nixon met Leonid Brezhnev he did not even bring his own interpreter:

George Szamuely @GeorgeSzamuely - 20:57 utc - 14 Jan 2019

Nixon would meet Brezhnev alone, the only other person in attendance being Viktor Sukhodrev, the Soviet interpreter. "Our first meeting in the Oval Office was private, except for Viktor Sukhodrev, who, as in 1972, acted as translator." Nixon on Brezhnev's 1973 visit. RN, p.878 . Therefore, the only "notes" that would exist would be those of the Soviet interpreter. Not sure he would have time to make notes and translate and, even if he did so, whether those notes would be housed in any US archive.

Nixon's White House office was bugged. There are probably tape recordings of the talks. There might also be recordings of the Trump-Putin talks.

At their 1986 Reykjavik summit Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev talked without their notetakers :

Mr. Reagan and Mr. Gorbachev began their second day of talks with a private meeting that had been scheduled to last 15 minutes but ran for nearly 70 minutes, with only interpreters present . They met in a small room in the Soviet Mission , with the Soviet leader seated in a small armchair and Mr. Reagan on a sofa.

In the afternoon, they meet alone for a little over 20 minutes and then again for 90 minutes. All told, the two leaders have spent 4 hours and 51 minutes alone , except for interpreters, over the two days here.

The archives of the Reykjavik talks do not include any notes of those private talks.

But, who knows, maybe Nixon and Reagan where also on the Russian payroll, just like Donald Trump is today.


bigger

Only that Trump is controlled by Putin can explain why the FBI opened a counter-intelligence investigation against Trump (see section three).

That the FBI agents involved in the decision were avid haters of Russia and of Trump has surely nothing to do with it. That the opening of a counter-intelligence investigation gave them the legal ability under Obama's EO12333 to use NSA signal intelligence against Trump is surely irrelevant.

What the FBI people really were concerned about is Trump's public record of favoring Russia at each and every corner.

Trump obviously wants better diplomatic relations with Russia. He is reluctant to counter its military might. He is doing his best to make it richer. Just consider the headlines below. With all those good things Trump did for Putin, intense suspicions of Russian influence over him is surely justified.

Trump obviously wants better diplomatic relations with Russia. He is reluctant to counter its military might. He is doing his best to make it richer. Just consider the headlines below. With all those good things Trump did for Putin, intense suspicions of Russian influence over him is surely justified.

When one adds up all those actions one can only find that Trump cares more about Russia, than about the U.S. and its NATO allies. Only with Trump being under Putin's influence, knowingly or unwittingly, could he end up doing Russia so many favors.

Not.

Posted by b at 02:12 PM | Comments (121)

[Jan 19, 2019] Treatment of Russians in the US MSM echoes the German Nazis their treatment of Slavs in thisr media (slaves, unter menchen)

Notable quotes:
"... The current round of bullshit is not about justifying the investigation, it is about concealing MI6 taking a leading role in the attempted coup. ..."
Jan 19, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Sally Snyder , Jan 15, 2019 2:59:27 PM | link

As shown in this article, a recent Senate bill shows clearly how Washington has a two-faced approach when it comes to dealing with Russia and Syria:

https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2019/01/the-united-states-senate-saving-syria.html

Congress, with or without Donald Trump's influence, has proven that it simply doesn't care about the geopolitical repercussions of its actions.

Erelis , Jan 15, 2019 3:42:28 PM | link

A few more just for kicks.
AshenLight , Jan 15, 2019 3:52:13 PM | link
@ NoOneYouKnow | Jan 15, 2019 2:20:33 PM | 2

In my experience, just about everyone here, including hordes of supposedly educated people who really should know better, believe it. They really do. However, most of them don't care--it's merely something to snark about or score points in a political conversation with, not anything they perceive as an actual threat to their way of life.

William Bowles , Jan 15, 2019 4:01:45 PM | link
It's nothing more than the undying legacy of anti-communism and racism thrown in for good measure. It echoes the German Nazis and their treatment of Slavs (slaves, unter menchen). We need only look at how the US viewed the Japanese (and the Germans) during WWII, with Roosevelt calling for their extermination (I'll find the source).

And of course, there's US slavery and extermination of the original inhabitants that also feeds into the psychosis.

Peter VE , Jan 15, 2019 4:12:40 PM | link
But, Rachel Maddow told me that Trump is Putin's puppet. It was on TV, so it must be true.
ashley albanese , Jan 15, 2019 4:19:37 PM | link
William Bowles 8

London was said to be very subdued the day news came through that Sweden's Charles the twelfth had been crushed at Poltava in 1709 . North Western European economic interests have clashed with Russian across many centuries. Had Charles been successful in the Ukraine a new level of English and Swedish alliance was in the offing .

James sullivan , Jan 15, 2019 4:22:27 PM | link
I just read about Trump's AG candidate, commenting on the 'Russian interference' in US elections ....and i'm struck that these are not stupid people....they are either totally IGNORANT of the facts and analysis .....or they are good ol boys, ready to tow the deep state lie, so they too can feed at the trough. It saddens me in either case ....what hope can one entertain when such cretins and low lifes are the supposed LEADERS of the democratic west. I hold no hopes.
Jackrabbit , Jan 15, 2019 4:48:13 PM | link
Proof by absurdity. Trump and Deep State work together. MAGA is a policy choice as much as it is a campaign slogan. Everyone wants to rail against the anti-Trump forces. Oh it feels so good. That Trump has proven to be a faux populist like Obama is ignored. WTF? Welcome to the rabbit hole.
karlof1 , Jan 15, 2019 4:54:00 PM | link
I didn't live through the entire Anti-Communist Crusade, but was certainly cognitively aware of it from JFK's inauguration in 1961 until the USSR's dissolution. I very closely studied the events that led to an emergent Russian Federation and the device meant to corral the "Near-Abroad"--The Commonwealth of Independent States. Admittedly, I was somewhat horrified by Yeltsin's attack on Russia's Duma's White House in 1993 and eagerly read Kargalitsky's account as it was the only one written by a Parliamentarian in English and published in 1994. It was possible to discern the outright looting of Russia and former Soviet nations, but the depth of evil involved wasn't made clear until some publications in the late 1990s documenting the Rape of Russia; all of which made clear what the underlying intent of the Anti-Communist Crusade entailed, and that that Crusade wouldn't end until Russia was absolutely broken and enslaved by NATO/Outlaw US Empire. As many have opined, the Cold War/Anti-Communist Crusade never ended; rather, it just entered a new phase/chapter, and that's what we're living through today. But as b portrays, the level of hysterics paraded via BigLie Media go far beyond anything from the previous chapter and probably outweigh those employed during Red Scares I and II combined.

It seems fairly plain to see that delusional madness and anger have combined as the motivating factors, but why/what sparked them and when? IMO, when was during Carter's presidency with the why/what being several seemingly disparate but connected happenings: Church Committee Hearings; Stagflation; Iranian Islamic Revolution; OPEC actions; losing grip on Latin America; informal end to War on Poverty, and institution of Neoliberalism and Zerosumism; changing of Coldwarrior Guard to Israel First Coldwarrior Guard. The culmination was CIA gaining control of Executive with DCI GHW Bush becoming Veep to senile, dementia addled POTUS Reagan.

Interconnected with the above is the prepping of the World Trade Center buildings for demolition during Clinton's 2nd term, the operative question being: Would the False Flag be perpetrated by Gore/Liberman, or was Bush/Cheney deemed to do the deed by Deep State actors; or does this aspect even matter--Liberman was as much of a Neocon as Cheney, all 4 are Israel Firsters, and Gore was already a War Criminal due to his participation in Clinton's numerous illegalities. Sure, the Bush/Cheney cabal was more radical; but given what we observed during Clinton/Gore, Deep State support was quite abundant. The dismemberment of Yugoslavia was finished and Kosovo created, Afghanistan was already targeted and Joint Vision 2010 --the blueprint for the Outlaw US Empire's Full Spectrum Dominance Policy--was published in 1996. Interestingly, at no time known to me has the Policy articulated by the authors of Joint Vision 2010 or its update Joint Vision 2020 been announced by any POTUS or senior member of the Duopoly as THE #1 policy goal of the Outlaw US Empire despite both papers being available to the public. (If he were still alive, IF Stone would have written about both umpteen numbers of times; while true to form, BigLie media remains 100% mute.) Despite all the preparations and Trillions of dollars spent and looted, The failure to implement the Yinon Plan seems to be directed at Russia, although it was indigenous Iraqis who are responsible for the plan's defeat.

So, is the lying vitriol we're subjected to the result of Russian actions or the inability to attain the #1 policy goal due to mistakes made at all levels--Deep State and Federal Government? Recall that Russia/Putin didn't start to actively parry Outlaw Empire moves until 2008, well after the Yinon Plan's defeat by Iraqis.

Blooming Barricade , Jan 15, 2019 5:02:35 PM | link
This inane narrative has gone too far. It's actually threatening chances for human survival with its nationalism, poor focus, and banality:

--

"The key focus of the so-called "left" in the world's most polluting country, run by an ecocidal vandal who deserves to be in the running for most destructive rulers of all time, is whether or not that vandal is taking orders from the Russian Federation.

Let me repeat that: in the most wasteful society in human history, the forces designated to oppose the rape of the planet and corporate slavery are concerned with treason and betrayal of the "nation."

MSNBC: "The worst case scenario that we`ve all been talking about, which is the possibility that the president had somehow been co-opted and was in the pocket of the Russians."

THIS is the "worst case scenario" according to the "social justice" network of the American "left?"

If we were to step back and look at this terrible situation honestly, we could only conclude that American liberals, and the Democratic Party, are right-wing nationalist forces concerned with geopolitical gambits and preservation of military alliances.

This isn't the politics of 2019, or 1999. It's the politics of 1819 - but even then, it's the right wing politics of 1819, as there was already a left dedicated to popular solidarity and social ownership existing, clandestinely, in the shadows of European cities.

It's worth analyzing how a "Seattle" would play out if it were to occur in the context of today's US political discourse: the protestors would be seen as nationalist anti-Semites doing the bidding of Putin, and perhaps Xi Jinping. The leaking of the Multilateral Agreement on Investment would be condemned instantly as "information warfare." A focus on environmental issues would be viewed in the context of "energy geopolitics." Indymedia would be shut down by the authorities as a vehicle for "sowing discord" in Europe against NATO and liberalism."

Anon , Jan 15, 2019 5:08:17 PM | link
The current round of bullshit is not about justifying the investigation, it is about concealing MI6 taking a leading role in the attempted coup.
james , Jan 15, 2019 5:09:32 PM | link
@14 karlof1... good post.. i don't know the answer to your questions, but it seems like a bit of both but mostly the later... i am unaware of this joint vision 2010 paper..
bevin , Jan 15, 2019 5:15:14 PM | link
As b points out, and Erelis @6, among others confirms, Kaplan's article in Slate is worthless. Discredited by everything that has happened over the past two years.

The question is whether it matters. Who reads Slate? Are those who follow Kaplan anything more than partisans, far beyond the reach of logical argument, committed to the Zionist project and US hegemony, who read him for comfort and laughs rather than critically.

Kaplan, after twenty odd years of consistently being wrong and consistently impelling the United States into foreign disasters, costly in lives and treasure, is a busted flush politically. The only people his ravings effect are the true believers who are simply looking for someone to articulate their idiotic prejudices.

This, after all is a man whose wife, an Obama/ Clinton favourite, parodying Marie Antionette, midwifed the Bandera Reich in Kiev.

There is little point in arguing with him, just feed him ever more rope and he will hang himself, his spouse, his country(s) and the Ukraine and its allies too.

Jared , Jan 15, 2019 8:06:04 PM | link
Given the part we know about how self serving, corrupt and incompetent our IC is I fear it is the tip of the iceberg. So many decades they have learned they can do as they will with impunity. If I am not mistaken they are partly self financing through likely illegal and unethical activities. They have gone rogue. Currently the dems think it's fitting however they will also feel the bite. How will we ever gain control of our country.
karlof1 , Jan 15, 2019 8:29:05 PM | link
Which are more salient--domestically: The attacks on Russia or those against Trump? Lots of Trumpian, GOP and Corporate Democrat policy ploys go against the majority of the polity and the National Interest. Unfortunately, the bloc known as the Resistance includes a 5th Column consisting of most Corporate Democrats, who are essentially Republicans wearing donkey heads. BigLie Media wants to promote the GOP & Corporate Democrat policy ploys, so the anti-Russian news assault serves to cover-up popular domestic issues, like this one regarding taxation and related income disparity . (Amazing that 60 Minutes provided Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez airtime to outline her proposals--airtime that was meant to cut her down to size but backfired.)

As I outlined earlier, what I see as the struggle is for control of the Federal Government--CIA/Deep State vs the American People--with the Anti-Communist Crusade used as cover to diminish rights while enriching actors controlling government, which is exactly what we see now. Yes, Trump's a player, but with few friends and little coaching. Arguably, his only asset is the position he occupies.

slit , Jan 15, 2019 11:16:29 PM | link
Peter Ve @9

Heres another cartoon meme that was doing the rounds in 2016:

https://pics.onsizzle.com/donald-trump-is-putins-puppet-the-puppeteer-red-panels-com-5254201.png

[Jan 17, 2019] The neoliberalism of the Democratic Party elite (and most of the rank and file) is one big factor in our 2016 loss

Notable quotes:
"... Even voters too ignorant to see Trump for what he really was - voters that are misinformed to the point that they unwittingly and continually vote against their own best interests - realized how much the Dems have sold out to Wall Street. ..."
"... That's why they anointed Obama who then proceeded to squander eight years of opportunity to remove big money from politics and enact progressive reforms to health care, the environment, etc. ..."
"... Bernie is a bit long in the tooth, so I am all in for Liz Warren. She's the only one with both the courage and the intelligence to take on the big money that controls our politics. ..."
"... Sanders or Warren would mean a change from neoliberal war mongering of the Clinton/W model. If the Democrats offer up another Clintonite they will lose. They need to offer something positive to the 90% who have lost the last 40 years of class war. ..."
Jan 17, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Art Glick , 15 Jan 2019 09:44

The neoliberalism of the Democratic Party elite (and most of the rank and file) is one big factor in our 2016 loss. Even voters too ignorant to see Trump for what he really was - voters that are misinformed to the point that they unwittingly and continually vote against their own best interests - realized how much the Dems have sold out to Wall Street.

HRC would have been nominated in '08 if she had kissed more Wall Street you-know-what. That's why they anointed Obama who then proceeded to squander eight years of opportunity to remove big money from politics and enact progressive reforms to health care, the environment, etc.

Bernie is a bit long in the tooth, so I am all in for Liz Warren. She's the only one with both the courage and the intelligence to take on the big money that controls our politics.

Therefore, you can expect the Russian trolls to be coming for her in force. If you read anything negative about Warren in the coming months, check the source and don't trust the accuracy.

Canuckistan , 15 Jan 2019 09:30
Sanders or Warren would mean a change from neoliberal war mongering of the Clinton/W model. If the Democrats offer up another Clintonite they will lose. They need to offer something positive to the 90% who have lost the last 40 years of class war.

[Jan 17, 2019] Broadly, authoritarianism is the desire to impose one's own worldview on others in one's society by institutionalized coercion

Jan 17, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

JumpingSpider -> BluebellWood , 29 Nov 2018 13:34

Here are some articles about them.

Para from one of these articles:

Broadly, authoritarianism is the desire to impose one's own worldview on others in one's society by institutionalized coercion. Authoritarians, therefore, see punishment as an appropriate response when members of the group with which they identify [...] diverge too far from values that the authoritarian believes are best for society – even if the punished person has neither caused direct harm to another nor infringed another's rights.

[Jan 17, 2019] The farcical DNC leadership echoes the days of Brezhnev's intransigent politburo

Jan 17, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

TempsdesRoses , 15 Jan 2019 08:47

Yep,
The party has circled its wagons.
They insist that the Evil Vlad stole the last election.
Therefore, no need to examine Obama's centrist/neoliberal policies and the socio-economic conditions that fueled the rejection of Hillary.
We're doomed to repeat our errors.

The farcical DNC leadership echoes the days of Brezhnev's intransigent politburo.

Brassic , 15 Jan 2019 08:21
Excellent article. Thank you.

This is the realistic perspective we have to adopt in the US: the Democratic establishment is part of the neoliberal machinery that has generated Bush's wars, Obama's bank bailouts, deportations, and drone executions, and now Trump's anti-democratic populism.

[Jan 17, 2019] In regards to the Hillary v Bernie question, it also didn't help that the primary vote was wildly skewed by so-called 'superdelegates,' who don't actually commit their votes until the DNC convention

Notable quotes:
"... Bernie's bid was crushed by Clinton's superdelegates. No amount of throwing money against him in the direct sense was doing any good. He took popular positions on issues and stubbornly stayed on-message. ..."
Jan 17, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

cagnusdei -> cagnusdei , 15 Jan 2019 10:53

In regards to the Hillary v Bernie question, it also didn't help that the primary vote was wildly skewed by so-called 'superdelegates,' who don't actually commit their votes until the DNC convention, but were being counted by the media as having already voted for Hillary, which made it appear to many of the uninformed that Bernie didn't have any chance of winning, which may have been intended to keep Bernie supporters home on primary day under the assumption that Hillary was unbeatable.
ehmaybe -> HobbesianWorlds , 15 Jan 2019 10:52
As sensible as your suggestions may be, what you're calling for would require at least three constitutional amendments to be practical - including scrapping the first amendment.

Maybe we should strive towards attainable goals instead?

cagnusdei -> lullu616 , 15 Jan 2019 10:50
Didn't help that the ostensibly neutral DNC was sending emails saying that they should play up Bernie Sanders' Jewish faith (among other attack strategies), fed debate questions to the Clinton campaign or tried to limit opportunities for Bernie and Hillary to share a stage together.

Bernie Sanders is widely considered by many to be one of the most popular American politicians, more than Trump and certainly more popular than Hillary. I think an interesting phenomenon to notice is the lengths the GOP, in particular, will go to in order to convince the average voter that anything that cuts taxes is inherently good for the 'little guy,' while anything that raises taxes is bad. Trump's recent tax cuts are a good example. Most of the actual cuts go toward the corporations and ultra-wealthy, which just increases the deficit while shifting the proportion of taxes paid onto the middle class. It's a con that many Americans are inexplicably susceptible to believing, for some reason.

ConBrio -> cnzewi , 15 Jan 2019 10:45

Progressive believe in inclusion and if that is "moralistic rhetoric" then so be it.

The litany goes "round and round.

Hillary Clinton:

" you could put half of Trump's supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic -- you name it!

"Barack Obama:

"Referring to working-class voters in old industrial towns decimated by job losses, the presidential hopeful said: "They get bitter, they cling to guns or religion "

There's liberal "inclusion" for you!

memo10 -> GRBnative , 15 Jan 2019 10:34
Bernie's bid was crushed by Clinton's superdelegates. No amount of throwing money against him in the direct sense was doing any good. He took popular positions on issues and stubbornly stayed on-message.

[Jan 17, 2019] Managerialism is synonym for corporatism

Jan 17, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

JulesBywaterLees -> Zagradotryad , 29 Nov 2018 08:29

Managerialism is a state of European/Western politics, power has moved to large corporations. In 2008 the finance industry held countries to ransom...
Zagradotryad , 29 Nov 2018 08:03

power that has become too distant from the people.

That's the problem.

It's not technology, or Russians, or Trump or any other of the things you throw up to convince yourself the problem is external.

Managerialism has merely delivered gross inequality. The tools don't matter.

[Jan 17, 2019] The Coke or Pepsi and parties is a perfect corporatist arrangement, which guarantee filtering out any opposition to the oligarchy in 99 percent of elections

Only a severe political crisi can shake this "controlled duopoly" of the US coporatism.
Jan 16, 2019 | theguardian.com

William Williamson, 15 Jan 2019 10:38

Well put. All the USA has is Coke or Pepsi. With a lot of masquerading in between. A couple people who aren't on THE payroll, or wanting to be.
MyGenericUsername , 15 Jan 2019 07:38
Half of Americans don't bother voting for president. Why is the American media full only of people who insist that the country is divided in half between Democrat and Republican supporters? Where are the people of influence who think it's a problem and reflects poorly on the country that half of eligible voters don't see a reason to participate, and that it's worth changing things in order to get more people to change their minds about that?

Both parties are content with being unpopular, but with political mechanisms ensuring they stay in power anyway. The Democrats aren't concerned with being popular. They're content with being a token opposition party that every once in a while gets a few token years with power they don't put to any good anyway. It pays more, I guess.

CanSoc , 15 Jan 2019 07:34
It still looks like if Americans want to live in a progressive country, they'll have to move to one. But as it is clear that the neoliberalism of establishment Democrats has little or nothing to offer the poor and working class, or to non-wealthy millennials, the times they are a-changing.

[Jan 17, 2019] The rise of National Socialism in Germany in the 30s had many causes and some surprising supporters

Jan 17, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

RogerPalmer -> 5nufk1n4prez , 29 Nov 2018 07:30

True but incredibly naive.

The rise of National Socialism in Germany in the 30s had many causes and some surprising supporters.

Part of the problem was undeniably the crippling reparations for WWI forced on Germany by the victorious allies.

Part of the problem was communism strengthening in Russia and a growing communist threat in Germany.

Part of the problem was a desire by the entrenched elites to use the National Socialists as a counter to challenge the populism of the communism.

There are many contributing factors and the responsibility for the Nazis reaches far beyond the German border.

[Jan 17, 2019] Critical thinking is anathema to the neoliberal establishment. That't why they need to corrupt the language, to make the resitnace more dissifult and requiring higher level of IQ

Jan 17, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

BluebellWood -> Supermassive , 29 Nov 2018 12:41

Yep - education is the key.

I remember at school we read Orwell's essay Politics and the English Language in an English class and then we were set a writing task as a follow-up, reporting on the same story using the same facts, from completely opposing points of view, using euphemism and mind-numbing cliches. Teach children to do this themselves and they can see how language can be skewed and facts distorted and misrepresented without technically lying.

How many children in schools are taught such critical thinking these days, I wonder? It might be taught in Media Studies, I suppose - but gosh, don't the right really hate that particular subject! Critical thinking is anathema to them.

[Jan 17, 2019] Neoliberal elite which reigned disdainfully over us since the Second World War have ignored our fears over mass immigration and the changing of our established traditions and cultures.

Jan 17, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Selousscout1 , 29 Nov 2018 12:20

''Tis booming because the left/liberal/metropolitan muesli crunching elites (and I include the Tories in that) who have reigned disdainfully over us since the Second World War have ignored our fears over mass immigration and the changing of our established traditions and cultures. They have also connived in the insanity of insisting every hair brained liberal idea is worthy of being protected by the human rights legislative farce. Rapists being offered a say in the upbringing of their issue, school uniforms being dragged into law and a thousand and other one 'special issues' to a tiny minority being rammed down the throats of the fed up majority at every opportunity by activists.

[Jan 17, 2019] That populist has been so vaguely defined that neoliberal MSM use it as a label for anything the authors don't like. It's a straw man, a pejorative.

Jan 17, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

DanInTheDesert -> Tiny Toy , 29 Nov 2018 15:20

But that's the point, isn't it? That populist has been so vaguely defined that it encompasses anything the authors don't like. It's a straw man, a pejorative.

Populism is a belief in the goodness of people, a belief that masses make better decisions than elites and that the the rule of the elite come at the expense of the demos.

It's a term synonymous with grassroots, popular democracy. Proponents of elite rule with reductionistic views democracy (rule with the consent of the governed and all that trash) call their grassroots opponents 'populists' in attempt to tie them to strong men.

Signed, a left populist.

lagoalberche , 29 Nov 2018 15:00
Noam Chomsky has a view on this issue and I am inclined to think he has a better understanding of it than the author of this piece.

Chomsky rejects the term "populism" in this matter and offers, instead, the proposal that ;

"Working people are turning against elites and dominant institutions that have been punishing them for a generation"

The theory of 'cause and effect' seems eminently more sensible to me than the shrill cries of "It was the internet wot dun it"

The elites and dominant institutions that Chomsky refers to ( including mainstream media ) precipitated the current shift and would do better to acknowledge the part they played in it, rather than insult and demean the consequential reaction of people on the receiving end of it.

DanInTheDesert , 29 Nov 2018 12:06
Before people get out the pitchforks and burn the populists in effigy, perhaps we could hear from some left populists?

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/elites-no-credibility-left-interview-journalist-chris-hedges /

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CA7NA2TgXBQ&feature=youtu.be

The enemy is not populism, it's the right's capture of the populist narrative. Trump is a faux populist that has nothing but disdain for the people he employs and the people rules.

AnglophileDe -> JulesBywaterLees , 29 Nov 2018 11:39
Well, here's a very apposite quote:

The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."
Isaac Asimov
"A Cult of Ignorance". Newsweek, January 21, 1980.

DanInTheDesert -> JulesBywaterLees , 29 Nov 2018 11:38

the very old school Christian conservative libertarians and old skool nutty right have seized on the success populist narrative has had in recent elections and referendum.

I would argue that is is because establishment figures in the Democratic party -- the New Democrats -- decided that the days of class struggle were over, that 'we are all capitalists now' and ceded the populist narrative to the right. Yes, this a populist moment and the question is not if we can reestablish faith in the elite but whether we can ensure that the new populism goes is a left rather than right direction.

I don't agree that populism lacks depth -- probably because when I think of populism I think of left populist intellectuals like Friere, Martin-Baro and the like who thought that democracy should be built on the virtues of the people.

The occupy movement was a populist movement. It said we, the people on the ground, know better than the elites in the towers. It made decisions democratically, this in stark contrast to the hierarchical structures of decision making exercised by the financial elite. I think populism, or grassroots, popular democracy has intellectual depth and sophistication. Take a look a the writing of Sheldin Wolin, Noam Chomsky, Chris Hedges, David Graeber . . .

I don't agree with most of the definitions of populism we've been offered -- I think they are little more that pejoratives dressed in academic language and have as much depth as the right's favored "snowflake" pejorative.

Brian_Drain -> The_Common_Potato , 29 Nov 2018 11:38
I remember watching 'Tomorrows World' ' in the 1970s and they showed us an unpuncturable cycle tyre that would last 25,000 miles.
The patent was bought by Europe's largest cycle tyre manufacturer, and AFAIK that was the last ever heard of it.
If that happened why is the water fuel idea so fanciful?
If you inject water into the inlet port or combustion chamber of a petrol engine, compression ratios, power output and efficiency can be raised dramatically, this has been known since WW1 and was employed in high altitude aero engines during WW2, yet has never been taken up by any major car manufacturer as far as I know, why?
So the notion that inventions could be suppressed for commercial reasons is really not fanciful at all, it would make less sense for such technology, if it existed, to be made altruistically available on a single purchase basis than to shitcan it.
BluebellWood -> CheshireSalt , 29 Nov 2018 11:30
But who are the 'liberal elite' exactly?

As far as I can see, our country has been ruled by a right-wing, monied elite for many years- not a 'liberal' one. Liberals at least tend to think in terms of economic equality and social freedoms, whatever their other faults might be.

But many working class and middle class people still carry on voting Tory even though it's against their own interests.

We don't have a 'liberal elite' in the UK. We still have the old-fashioned right wing Tory elite in power based on class and wealth. Why 'liberals' get all the abuse these days is beyond me.

(I'm a socialist, btw.)

JulesBywaterLees -> Albert Ravey , 29 Nov 2018 11:28
I'm researching populism on youtube - and it is seedy- and I have yet to turn on the FB news feed, but the algorithms do support populism- watch a PragerU video and the feed is full of other rightwing nonsense.
And all of it has the same empty lines.

I watched the Oxford Union Steve Bannon address- and it could have come from a left winger- the globalised corporate world has abandoned the little guy, and Trump is fixing it.
The on message is the MSM is lying
PC and activists are totalitarian = commies
either capitalism or socialism [commies] = freedom vs enslavement

and an over whelming anti intellectualism - where have we heard that before.

fredmb -> BluebellWood , 29 Nov 2018 11:25
True but there is still a case for having decent housing etc and training our own professionals as well and not hollow out professionals from less advantaged countries. When we took hundreds of nurses from the Philippines in 2000 and whole clinics there had to shut to terrible detriment of ill locals

[Jan 17, 2019] Critique or populism as providing simple solution to complex problems is deliberately overstated by political and media establishement. Lion share of the current nationalistic, anti-foreigner sentiments is due to reaction to neoliberalism in the USA

Jan 17, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

GBM1982 , 29 Nov 2018 08:56

"But populism has two chief characteristics. First, it offers immediate and supposedly obvious answers to complicated problems, which usually blame some other group along the way."

I think this point (simple solutions to complex problems) is often overstated. If you take the issue of immigration (an issue that has fuelled populism) , it actually shouldn't necessarily be that difficult to bring the number of new immigrants down, except that the political and media establishment pretend that it is.

Take Trump's plan to build a wall on the Mexican border. I see absolutely nothing wrong with this as it is ultimately every country's prerogative to defend its borders.

Ditto for intra-EU immigration (perhaps the main reason for Brexit): the EU acts as if this principle of free movement is sacred, but why should that be the case? Or Germany, where I live, where the constitution guarantees a right to asylum for those seeking refuge in the country. Again, this is spoken of as though it were cast in stone, when it really shouldn't be that difficult to amend. So I don't necessarily believe that solutions to problems always have to be difficult and complicated.

HippoMan -> PSmd , 29 Nov 2018 08:30
I agree that advances in people's abilities to interact with greater numbers of other people tend to usher in periods of social upheaval. A lot of the current nationalistic, anti-foreigner sentiments are the result of our initial reactions against unfamiliar influences coming from groups with whom we previously had relatively little contact.

Brexit, "Make America Great Again", and similar movements are the collective screams of resistance against dealing with unfamiliarity, learning new things, and growing. Over time, we will adapt, but this will probably require a generation or so, at minimum.


Of course, given the high pace of technological change, we are likely to be collectively bonded together even more tightly before we are able to adapt to the current state of the world. It won't be long before people will all be interconnected via implants, which means that each and every thing we do and every emotion we have will be sent out over the net.


It will be a brave new world.

[Jan 17, 2019] Populism is a range of political approaches that deliberately appeal to "the people," often juxtaposing this group against a so-called "elite."

In a way Populism is somewhat similar to Marxism: implicit message is that the class struggle in the societies is the key problem, which is completely true. American middle class was robbed from 1970th of a considerable chunk of its standard of living. So it is not surprising that the neoliberal elite ( the News Class of as they are called the US nomenklatura) now feels threatened and resorts to censorship, usage of intelligence agencies and mass surveillance, and other oppressive tactics to squash the dissent.
But in such cases the dissent grows stronger despise such an efforts and might turn, at some point, into insurrection against financial oligarchy as Marxists predicted.
The only problem is with Marxism is that they considered working class to the the next dominant class and this proved to be a false idea. That will never never happens.
Jan 17, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

JulesBywaterLees -> Jason1925 , 29 Nov 2018 07:50

Populism is a range of political approaches that deliberately appeal to "the people," often juxtaposing this group against a so-called "elite." There is no single definition of the term, which developed in the 19th century and has been used to mean various things since that time. Few politicians or political groups describe themselves as "populists", and in political discourse the term is often applied to others pejoratively. Within political science and other social sciences, various different definitions of populism have been used, although some scholars propose rejecting the term altogether.

the wiki page is a bit more expansive you should try reading it.

The left is also guilty of populist ideas- blaming the rich, or banking [when in the UK we get a lot of tax from international banking as a service].

The right has just seized on populism and mainly through social media- brexit and trump are proof its works- but the people behind the populist message are the same old tired neo con christian right of the Reagan era and the sad old far right conspiracy nut jobs. Their message failed in the past- but people like Rees-mogg can now seize on this technique.

Your misunderstanding of what socialism means indicates you swallow the new right wing propaganda. Poorly funded education will result in people without proper opportunity- S.Korea is not a socialist country but they spend a huge amount on education and reap the rewards. But they have a culture where children doing well academically is praised but can also have negative pressure consequences.

It is complicated and worth discussion but populism wants the easy message.

[Jan 17, 2019] No wonder the neoliberal establishment is horrified and looking for ways to censor and control content available online!'

Jan 17, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Writeangle , 29 Nov 2018 07:19

One of the better reports on populism I've see recently is ''European Disunion'' by Yascha Mounk, a lecturer on government at Harvard https://newrepublic.com/article/143604/european-disunion-rise-populist-movements-means-democracy .
A analysis by Harvard ''Trump, Brexit, and the Rise of Populism: Economic Have-Nots and Cultural Backlash'' found that the primary factor driving populism is a cultural backlash i.e. against [neo]liberal policies and immigration.
kbg541 , 29 Nov 2018 06:59
Populism is growing because wealth is being concentrated into the hands of the wealthy, at the expense of everyone else.

Generations, instead of doing better, through working are doing worse because governments are allowing individuals and corporations to reduce terms and conditions of the workforce.

Twenty years ago, many UK workers had company pension schemes and jobs that paid the rent & bills. Now, the pensions have largely dried up and as housing has got more expensive, and incomes have shrunk.

Those at the top are pushing those beneath them closer to a bowl of rice a day, and shrug at the social consequences as inevitable - and a necessary step to protect shareholder values and profits.

In essence, it is the same situation that gave rise to populism in the thirties.

Who do you blame for the fact that house prices have gone up?

Who do you blame for the fact that your pension is going to be smaller than your parents'?

Thing is the populist politicians are the very same people who cut your pension and made money out of it. They just want you to blame someone else.

Candidly -> 5nufk1n4prez , 29 Nov 2018 06:54
The Long Read: https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/nov/29/why-we-stopped-trusting-elites-the-new-populism

[Jan 17, 2019] We are disenfranchised by what the elites are saying because the elites control the narrative in a way that makes sure the power will always reside with them.

One of the main power weapons of the elite is the control over the information flows
Jan 17, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Albert Ravey , 29 Nov 2018 10:45

Some highlights from this thread (no names, no pack drill):

Populism is a kickback and correction to the forty years of political correctness where the white masses of Europe and America were forbidden by the liberal establishment to be their real selves

People are fed up with the elite consensus because of the failures of the elites.

Perhaps the reason that "populism" is thriving is that the liberal elites who ruled us in the entire post war period became complacent out of touch with those they were meant to represent.

there are millions of others whose voices have been ignored or silenced by the mainstream news

We are disenfranchised by what the elites are saying because the elites control the narrative in a way that makes sure the power will always reside with them.

The MSM has always been biased-

Why is democracy booming the article asks.
Well because the lies and bullshit of the liberal elite are there for all to see.

Take a look at what the MSM refuses to report, or what it deliberately distorts,

You can see the problem. It's like they are all reading from the same limited script which has been handed to them. Given the freedom to express our opinions, we are regurgitating what someone else has told us to say.

Maybe we should not be too pessimistic. The levels of opportunity for expression that the internet and social media have given us might currently have exceeded our ability to think critically about whatever bullshit we are being fed, but future generations may be better. After all, it's only a small step from doubting whatever mainstream thought tells you, to starting to wonder who is telling you to doubt those things and why and then to actually go back and think for yourself about the issues.

TheBorderGuard -> SomlanderBrit , 29 Nov 2018 10:44

... the white masses of Europe and America were forbidden by the liberal establishment to be their real selves.

Lifted straight from the pages of the Völkischer Beobachter , I suspect.

TheBorderGuard , 29 Nov 2018 10:43
Some people are more attracted to certainties than subtleties -- and I suspect such people are ideologues in general and populists in particular.
DanInTheDesert , 29 Nov 2018 09:46
Sigh.

So Corbyn and Trump are the same because they both have shirts. Well, color me convinced!

Like so many of these articles -- including the long but uninformative 'long read' on the same topic -- there is no mention of the failures of the elites.

Clinton sold us a false bill of goods. The Washington Consensus on economics would make the country richer and, after some 'pain', would benefit the working class. Sure you wouldn't be making cars but after some retraining you would work in tech.

This was a broken promise -- de industrialization has devastated the upper midwest. The goods are made in China and the money goes to Bezos. People are rightly upset.

The Washington Consensus on war sold us a false bill of goods. Instead of peace through strength we have seen a century of endless conflict. We have been caught in state of constant killing since 2001 and we are no safer for it. Indeed the conflicts have created new enemies and the only solution on offer is a hair of the dog solution.

People are fed up with the elite consensus because of the failures of the elites. Nowhere are the repeated failures of the elites, the decades of broken promises mentioned in the articles. Instead, those of us who prefer Sanders to Clinton, Corbyn to Blair are mesmerized by emotional appeals and seduced by simplistic appeals to complex problems. And they wonder why we don't accept their analyses . . .

TL;DR -- clickbait didn't get us here. The broken promises of the Washington consensus did.

[Jan 17, 2019] So why is "populist" now used as a derogatory term and populism seen as something to be feared? Part of this is that government and the MSM realise that developments brought by internet means that they have lost control of the narrative.

Jan 17, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

FallenApple , 29 Nov 2018 06:48

My Oxford English Dictionary defines a populist as "a member of a political party seeking to represent the interests of ordinary people."

Sounds good to me.

So why is "populist" now used as a derogatory term and populism seen as something to be feared?

Part of this is that government and the MSM realise that developments brought by internet means that they have lost control of the narrative.

Once only government pronouncements or newspaper commentary and propaganda could shape our views.

Newspapers in the UK could more or less bring down a government, such was their influence on the electorate.

Now we can search out information on the internet, fact-check for ourselves, listen to whom we want, and read a whole range of arguments and views.

No wonder the establishment is horrified and looking for ways to censor and control content available online!

samuelbear , 29 Nov 2018 06:22
Why is populism booming asks the writer - simple, because people feel that no-one's listening. Can it really be a surprise to The Guardian Opinion writers that people who have a zero hours contract, pay a high rent and have little job security won't vote for more of the same?
It's not a question as the writer suggests of 'if this wave of populism drifts into authoritarianism or worse' it's more a question of when - and when it does the liberal left will still be asking themselves - why?

[Jan 17, 2019] I've grown very sceptical over the years about the whole issue of asylum. To me, the idea that an individual can cross a border illegally without a visa, or without even a passport, and then suddenly become quasi legal be declaring that they wish to seek asylum is a bit of a farce

Jan 17, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

GBM1982 -> honeytree , 29 Nov 2018 10:25

I've grown very sceptical over the years about the whole issue of asylum. To me, the idea that an individual can cross a border illegally without a visa, or without even a passport, and then suddenly become quasi legal be declaring that they wish to seek asylum is a bit of a farce. The situation becomes even more farcical when failed asylum seekers still aren't deported. As for humanitarian and ethical obligations, I don't really buy into that either because the demographics of the world are such that the West is at risk of losing its very identity if it feels "obliged" to accept everyone seeking asylum and/or work from the world's more troubled regions. I see the admission of refugees as a generous gesture, not as an obligation.

[Jan 16, 2019] Tulsi Gabbard knew that Hillary Clinton was a real menace so she not only endorsed Bernie Sanders but quit her vice-chair post at the DNC in order to do so since the DNC laws insisted that the DNC stay neutral

Wall Street gives money to the Dems not to help Dems win; it's to make sure Wall Street doesn't lose.
Notable quotes:
"... I like Tulsi Gabbard a lot. She knew that Hillary Clinton was a real menace so she not only endorsed Bernie Sanders but quit her vice-chair post at the DNC in order to do so since the DNC laws insisted that the DNC stay neutral (if only she knew then what we know now). Also, it will be delicious to watch the Hillary mouthpieces and stooges - who contended that any criticism of Hillary Clinton was just down to her being female - attackdog Tulsi Gabbard, oblivious to their rancid hypocrisy. ..."
"... Warren's got many bridges and fences to mend with the US left but I think that she knows and that's why she's declared early. I think that she'll be the last progressive standing; that she should run with Sanders as her vice-president for 2020 and then with the now-of-age Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as vice-president for her second term. ..."
"... Tulsi Gabbard for president! Nobody's perfect but at least she isn't a lawyer! ..."
"... As well, such a law should permanently eliminate the revolving door through which many politicians scamper to become a lobbyist for Wall Street after he "retires" from politics and the law should block all former lobbyists from running for an office that would have a bearing on legislation that would affect the corporation for which he or she worked. ..."
"... Wall Street gives money to the Dems not to help Dems win; it's to make sure Wall Street doesn't lose. ..."
Jan 16, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Haigin88 , 15 Jan 2019 07:17

"... That will allow capitalists to focus their attention on candidates such as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who have shown a real willingness to abandon the traditional coziness of the Democratic party with the finance, insurance and real estate industries ......".

Yes and who's been on the end of media hit pieces recently? Not Booker, Harris, Gillibrand and the like but Sanders, Warren and Gabbard.

I like Tulsi Gabbard a lot. She knew that Hillary Clinton was a real menace so she not only endorsed Bernie Sanders but quit her vice-chair post at the DNC in order to do so since the DNC laws insisted that the DNC stay neutral (if only she knew then what we know now). Also, it will be delicious to watch the Hillary mouthpieces and stooges - who contended that any criticism of Hillary Clinton was just down to her being female - attackdog Tulsi Gabbard, oblivious to their rancid hypocrisy.

There actually is plenty to go on - Gabbard's links to Modi; her past comments about guns, about immigration, about gay rights when she was under the wing of her Dad's jaundiced outlook and her appalling comments about torture and that fictional 'ticking time bomb' scenario - but that's as nothing (and a lot of it probably has crossover appeal and shows an independent mind) compared to Hillary's decades of moral bankruptcy. Yet critiques of Clinton were inherently sexist, apparently.

They've never forgiven Gabbard for her righteous stand against the moral hazard of the Clintons. I think, and as others have said, that she's probably running for vice-president, at best, or to lay the groundwork for future runs and/or obtain a cabinet position. For 2020, Democrats will make it their business to take her down after they've invalidated Bernie Sanders. The current trick is beautiful in its simplicity. They shriek that Sanders will be divisive and their shrieking will be proof of that contention: quod erat demonstrandum. Sanders and Gabbard would have a much, much easier time in the general election than in the 'kill switch' Democratic primaries. Those primaries will be brutal beyond belief.

Warren's got many bridges and fences to mend with the US left but I think that she knows and that's why she's declared early. I think that she'll be the last progressive standing; that she should run with Sanders as her vice-president for 2020 and then with the now-of-age Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as vice-president for her second term.

Tiny Toy , 15 Jan 2019 11:35
Tulsi Gabbard for president! Nobody's perfect but at least she isn't a lawyer!
memo10 -> TempsdesRoses , 15 Jan 2019 11:25

ID,
Could you be a conservative projecting your desire for the Dems to select a more conservative candidate?

A progressive would stomp Trump in the rust belt if they ran on the issues where the public agrees with progressives. Medicare for all. No more bullshit foreign wars. Do something about higher education cost/debt. Decriminalize low-level pot offenses. Etc.

All it takes is disobeying the laws that corporate/Wall Street write for Dem candidates.

memo10 -> BoneyOCoonassa , 15 Jan 2019 10:58

I'm sure Wall Street will be quite happy to see the Republicans face some purer-than-pure left wing candidate at the next Presidential election.

Bernie would have cleaned Trump's clock in the 2016 general election and Wall Street knows it.

Trump would get curb-stomped by a genuinely left and competent candidate. It's the standard issue GOP-Lite Democrat that will have a harder time against him (although probably still win).

HobbesianWorlds , 15 Jan 2019 10:37
The best way to determine if one claims to be a Progressive is to fact-check the candidate's claim.

The first and foremost question that should be asked and researched: Does this candidate have as one of his or her top priorities to eliminate corporate/private/labor money in politics? This would require a major federal campaign finance reform law that would establish public funding for all campaigns, permanently bar corporate/labor union/private-entity money (including funding media-attack ads) from any political influence and require all broadcast/cable networks to allow every candidate equal air time to state his opinions, policies, promises, and to state why he believes he is the best candidate for the working class and/or corporations.

As well, such a law should permanently eliminate the revolving door through which many politicians scamper to become a lobbyist for Wall Street after he "retires" from politics and the law should block all former lobbyists from running for an office that would have a bearing on legislation that would affect the corporation for which he or she worked.

As well, such a law should bar any politicians or family members from purchasing or selling stocks in corporate entities that would be affected by the legislation on which the politician is working (insider trading).

Think about it. The lure of big bucks can, and does, corrupt politicians such that they will work mainly for the donor (corporate, labor, and/or private) and provide for just enough benefit politicians' the voters (America's working class) to make them think he cares most about them. Much of that money is hidden in super-pacs where the donor's identity is hidden. Too, super-pacs would have to be eliminated.

A Progressive should advocate for a large infrastructure project . Our bridges and highways are now in a state of disrepair. Other nations such as Japan now have high-speed bullet trains, the fastest so far is Shanghai Maglev and can travel 267.8 mph. The U.S. has none.

Poverty would be a major focus of Progressives. Corporations will pay as little as they can get by paying. So there must be a minimum wage boost to a living wage. To keep corporations from moving to a part-time labor force with less pay, part-time workers must make the same hourly wage as full time workers. As well, universal, proactive healthcare must become law (Medicare for all).

Another major way to eliminate poverty would be to reform the income tax structure such that those individuals whose income exceeds ~$10 million would be taxed at 70%. I would also suggest that every dollar exchanged on the Stock Exchange would be taxed at 3%.

Using a greater influx of money into the public coffers, education should be a top priority for lawmakers. College tuition in public schools would be no cost, thus providing completely tuition free higher education and allowing every student equal access. A major bill should be passed to provide money to modernize/upgrade all secondary schools to provide a better learning environment for study. Every primary school should have a child psychologist on staff. Every High School a psychologist as well as every public college.

There are other Progressive policies--such as reversing the conservative's trickle-down economics (also called supply-side economics) such that we return to demand-side economics--that would be highly beneficial to the working class and to the future intellectual strength of the U.S., especially by providing a course structure that equips students to face the quick shift of industry to electronics and robotics. Currently, those will little technical training are being left behind. We must end this or face a HUGE poorly educated working class that will have no place to work.

Quite likely, both the RNC and the DNC (Wall Street's favorite politicians) will be against such measures. They'd rather have more billionaires and an unfettered Wall Street than eliminate poverty. The only way, however, to have a truly just society is to push for and vote for a progressive government. But before any of the above can happen, we MUST eliminate corporate/private/labor money from our government.

BaronVonAmericano , 15 Jan 2019 10:37
The money is to ensure the rich do well whoever wins the general.

They do the same in congressional races. If the Democrats who win the primaries are in their pocket, it doesn't matter who wins the general .

Wall Street gives money to the Dems not to help Dems win; it's to make sure Wall Street doesn't lose.

[Jan 16, 2019] Neoliberal media will try to deral Sanders like they did in 2016

Notable quotes:
"... The NYTimes has already begun the exact same campaign for the 2020 cycle. ..."
Jan 16, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Atlant -> partoftheproblem , 15 Jan 2019 09:55

If he can only succeed in a positive environment then there's not much hope for him, he needs to be able to fight and prove he's got what it takes. As it is I'm not sure he's got it.

That's not what I said at all and you know it.

Last time, the only stories that the NYTimes and (mostly) the Guardian could manage to run were Bernie-negative stories. The NYTimes has already begun the exact same campaign for the 2020 cycle. By comparison, the Guardian has been providing balanced Bernie coverage.

Matthew Hartman -> Atlant , 15 Jan 2019 08:00
Do not count on the mainstream media to support him. They're already hard at work smearing him and he hasn't even announced yet. Half the time they dont even mention him as being a likely contender. It's Biden all day, all night. Might as well be Hillary again.

Expect 2020 to be quite contentious, possibly even more than 2016. That just means as a supporter of Bernie you'll have to work twice, maybe three times as hard. The corporate media is going to suppress and challenge him as much as possible. They don't even mask it anymore.

[Jan 16, 2019] Corporatism is the control of government by big business. This is what we have in the USA today. The main difference between corporatism and fascism is the level of repressions against opposition. Corporatism now tales forma of inverted totalitarism and use ostracism instead of phycal repressions

Jan 16, 2019 | profile.theguardian.com

ChesBay -> KMdude 15 Jan 2019 10:07

That is why we need a Constitutional amendment to get the money OUT of politics. Make bribery illegal. THEN, we will not need Wall Street, which doesn't serve MOST of the population of this country, and is mostly responsible for the wealth gap and lack of opportunities for most of the population.
ChesBay , 15 Jan 2019 10:05
I'm not fooled. These are not progressives, they are corporatists, beholden to their donors. They have no courage, no interest in serving their constituencies, but are only interested in the power and money. What our country , and the world, needs is radical change from the profit-first point of view. I won't support either one of them.
William Anthony , 15 Jan 2019 09:28
It comes as no surprise that Wall Street runs the US Government.

Benito Mussolini defined fascism as "Barely able to slip a cigarette paper between business and government."

The US is a de-facto fascism.

[Jan 16, 2019] The travesty of the US elections

These corporate-Dem candidates are not being forced to sell out to win elections. Quite the opposite in fact. They are risking losing their elections for the sake of selling out.
Jan 16, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

BaronVonAmericano , 15 Jan 2019 07:54

Surely, many will comment that Democrats have no choice but to take the money in order to be competitive. I have one truism for such folks to ponder: Why would you trust your allegiance to those who don't care if you win?

Basic logic: rich people win the general election either way, so long as the primary-winning Democrat is in their pocket (the GOP is always on their side). So this monetary affection is certainly more about fixing an no-lose general than it is about ousting Trump, or any Republican.

[Jan 16, 2019] Nobody's perfect but at least Tulsi Gabbard isn't a lawyer!

Jan 16, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Tiny Toy, 15 Jan 2019 11:35

Tulsi Gabbard for president! Nobody's perfect but at least she isn't a lawyer!

[Jan 15, 2019] "Truth is Treason in the Empire of Lies" - Ron Paul

Notable quotes:
"... "Truth is Treason in the Empire of Lies" - Ron Paul ..."
Jan 15, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

GuyCybershy -> -> BaronVonAmericano , 10 Dec 2016 17:0

"Truth is Treason in the Empire of Lies" - Ron Paul
greyford14 -> -> GuyCybershy , 10 Dec 2016 17:1
Be careful there, Ron Paul is an FSB agent of Putin, according to the Washington Post.
elias_ , 10 Dec 2016 17:0
At least Tucker Carlson is able to see through the BS and asks searching question.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRkeGkCjdHg

[Jan 14, 2019] Ship of Fools How a Selfish Ruling Class Is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution by Tucker Carlson

Jan 14, 2019 | www.amazon.com

Amazon Customer 5.0 out of 5 stars October 2, 2018

Don't drink and read

Don't drink wine and read this book, you'll get angry and make posts on social media that are completely accurate and your friends will hate you.

[Jan 13, 2019] Deep State neutered Trump: I have been FAR tougher on Russia than Obama, Bush or Clinton. Maybe tougher than any other President

He essentially became a Republican Obama, save Nobel Peace Price. If Obama was/is a CIA-democrat, this guy is a Deep State controlled republican. In any case he betrayed his voters in a way that resembles Obama betrayal. One has a fake slogan "change we can believe in" that other equally fake "Make [middle] America Great Again" (which means restoration of well-being of middle class and working class in my book, not the continuation of Obama foreign wars, and tax cuts for for corporations and super rich.
And that means that he lost a considerable part of his electorate: the anti-war republicans and former Sanders supporters. He might do good and not to try to run in 2020. He definitely is no economic nationalist. Compare his policies with Tucker Carlson Jan 2, 2019 speech to see the difference. He is "national neoliberal" which rejects parts of neoliberal globalization based on treaties and prefer to bully nations to compliance that favor the US interests instead of treaties.
And his "fight" with the Deep State resemble so closely to complete and unconditional surrender, that you might have difficulties to distinguish between the two.
Most of his appointees would make Hillary proud. That that extends beyond rabid neocons like Haley, Mattis, Bolton and Pompeo.
Notable quotes:
"... The Washington Post is without a doubt the most pro-establishment among all large mainstream publications, not only do they defend the narratives of the Deep State but actively attacks anyone who challenges them. ..."
"... Jeff Bezos owner of the Washington Post is also a contractor with the CIA and sits on a Pentagon advisory board all part of doing everything he can to cozy up and ingratiate himself to the establishment on which his empire is built. ..."
"... It's really sad that people in the public believe this stuff. It's insane and ridiculous. We're living in an Insane Asylum and the ones who should be there for the safety of themselves and others are walking around giving orders to Media and USG, fomenting war and making a mockery of laws and "normal behaviors. ..."
"... They flooded the news with the old Helsinki/Putin stuff to hide the real news. Lisa Page's testimony revealed that John Carlin, Mueller's former chief of staff was running the Russia investigation from the DOJ end, showing another conflict of Mueller's. Now Mueller is covering for two best friends, Comey and Carlin and he has to frame Trump to save them. ..."
"... The testimony also showed FBI David Bowditch was heavily involved, and Bowditch is now 2nd in command at the FBI and blocking the public release of witness testimony, and one reason for it is it reveals his involvement. ..."
"... It is also now revealed that John Brennan CIA had the dossier before the FBI, and the dossier was likely written by Nellie Ohr, who belonged to a CIA group, and then the dossier was laundered by Steele to look like foreign intelligence to get the Crossfire Hurricane investigation started on Trump. You would think it would be big news that Russians may have had nothing to do with the dossier but the media doesn't see it that way ..."
Jan 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Washington Post stating that he "has gone to extraordinary lengths to conceal details" of his discussions with Russian President Vladimir Putin - telling Fox News host Jeanine Pirro in a phone interview that he would be willing to release the details of a private conversation in Helsinki last summer.

"I would. I don't care," Trump told Pirro, adding: "I'm not keeping anything under wraps. I couldn't care less."

"I mean, it's so ridiculous, these people making up," Trump said of the WaPo report.

The president referred to his roughly two-hour dialogue with Putin in Helsinki -- at which only the leaders and their translators were present -- as "a great conversation" that included discussions about "securing Israel and lots of other things."

"I had a conversation like every president does," Trump said Saturday. "You sit with the president of various countries. I do it with all countries." - Politico

In July an attempt by House Democrats to subpoena Trump's Helsinki interpreter was quashed by Republicans.

"The Washington Post is almost as bad, or probably as bad, as the New York Times," Trump said.

When Pirro asked Trump about a Friday night New York Times report that the FBI had opened an inquiry into whether he was working for Putin, Pirro asked Trump "Are you now or have you ever worked for Russia, Mr. President?"

"I think it's the most insulting thing I've ever been asked," Trump responded. "I think it's the most insulting article I've ever had written."

Trump went on an epic tweetstorm Saturday following the Times article, defending his 2017 firing of former FBI Director James Comey, and tweeting that he has been "FAR tougher on Russia than Obama, Bush or Clinton. Maybe tougher than any other President. At the same time, & as I have often said, getting along with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. I fully expect that someday we will have good relations with Russia again!"

rumcho

Jeff Bezos paid $250 million for Washington Post, five years later he gets a government contract with the CIA for $600 million. Are you connecting the dots? You do the numbers. This is how fascism works. Bezos is a crony capitalist joker.

Anunnaki

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/01/the-trump-russia-scam-how-obama-enabled-the-fbi-to-spy-on-trump.html#more

is Trump waiting for Mueller to lay down his cards? Head him off at the pass and arrest Obama, Rice, Jarrett, Lynch, Comey, Rosenstein and McCabe all on day 1

best defense is a good offense. Make the narrative about Dem sedition not impending House impeachment hearings.

You are President, start acting like it. Make them fear you.

your re-election depends on Mike Obama not being your opponent.

Let it Go

WaPo, again?

The Washington Post is without a doubt the most pro-establishment among all large mainstream publications, not only do they defend the narratives of the Deep State but actively attacks anyone who challenges them.

Jeff Bezos owner of the Washington Post is also a contractor with the CIA and sits on a Pentagon advisory board all part of doing everything he can to cozy up and ingratiate himself to the establishment on which his empire is built. The article below delves into how WaPo is behind many of the big stories that manipulate America and moves the needle of public opinion in huge ways.

http://Washington-post-influence-and-power.html

MoralsAreEssential

It's really sad that people in the public believe this stuff. It's insane and ridiculous. We're living in an Insane Asylum and the ones who should be there for the safety of themselves and others are walking around giving orders to Media and USG, fomenting war and making a mockery of laws and "normal behaviors.

shadow54

They flooded the news with the old Helsinki/Putin stuff to hide the real news. Lisa Page's testimony revealed that John Carlin, Mueller's former chief of staff was running the Russia investigation from the DOJ end, showing another conflict of Mueller's. Now Mueller is covering for two best friends, Comey and Carlin and he has to frame Trump to save them.

The testimony also showed FBI David Bowditch was heavily involved, and Bowditch is now 2nd in command at the FBI and blocking the public release of witness testimony, and one reason for it is it reveals his involvement.

It is also now revealed that John Brennan CIA had the dossier before the FBI, and the dossier was likely written by Nellie Ohr, who belonged to a CIA group, and then the dossier was laundered by Steele to look like foreign intelligence to get the Crossfire Hurricane investigation started on Trump. You would think it would be big news that Russians may have had nothing to do with the dossier but the media doesn't see it that way.

Then there is the news that Fusion GPS worked with the Democracy Integrity Project and Knew Knowledge to run a fake Russian bots campaign against Roy Moore. The Democracy Integrity Project was started by Feinstein's aide and with New Knowledge wrote a report on Russian bots for the Senate Intelligence Committee. So the Senate Intelligence Committee hired creators of fake Russian bots to write a report on Russian bots.

[Jan 11, 2019] Facts does not matter in the current propoganda environment, the narrative is everything

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Look at Russiagate. An excellent recent article by Ray McGovern for Consortium News titled "A Look Back at Clapper's Jan. 2017 'Assessment' on Russia-gate" reminds us on the two-year anniversary of the infamous ODNI assessment that the entire establishment Russia narrative is built upon nothing but the say-so of a couple dozen intelligence analysts hand-picked and guided by a man who helped deceive the world into Iraq, a man who is so virulently Russophobic that he's said on more than one occasion that Russians are genetically predisposed to subversive behavior. ..."
"... That January 2017 intelligence assessment has formed the foundation underlying every breathless, conspiratorial Russia story you see in western news media to this very day, and it's completely empty. The idea that Russia interfered in the US election in any meaningful way is based on an assessment crafted by a known liar , from which countless relevant analysts were excluded, which makes no claims of certainty, and contains no publicly available evidence. It's pure narrative from top to bottom, and therefore the "collusion" story is as well since Trump could only have colluded with an actual thing that actually happened, and there's no evidence that it did. ..."
"... So now you've got Trump being painted as a Putin lackey based on a completely fabricated election interference story, despite the fact that Trump has actually been far more hawkish towards Russia than any administration since the fall of the Soviet Union. ..."
"... The narrative matrix of America's political/media landscape is a confusing labyrinth of smoke and funhouse mirrors distorting and manipulating the public consciousness at every turn. It's psychologically torturous, which is largely why people who are deeply immersed in politics are so on-edge all the time regardless of where they're at on the political spectrum. The only potentially good thing I can see about this forceful brutalization of the public psyche is that it might push people over the edge and shatter the illusion altogether. ..."
"... Trust in the mass media is already at an all-time low while our ability to network and share information that casts doubt on official narratives is at an all-time high, which is why the establishment propaganda machine is acting so weird as it scrambles to control the narrative, and why efforts to censor the internet are getting more and more severe. ..."
Jan 11, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

Earlier this week, President Donald Trump tweeted the following:

"Endless Wars, especially those which are fought out of judgement mistakes that were made many years ago, & those where we are getting little financial or military help from the rich countries that so greatly benefit from what we are doing, will eventually come to a glorious end!"

The tweet was warmly received and celebrated by Trump's supporters, despite the fact that it says essentially nothing since "eventually" could mean anything.

Indeed, it's looking increasingly possible that nothing will come of the president's stated agenda to withdraw troops from Syria other than a bunch of words which allow his anti-interventionist base to feel nice feelings inside. Yet everyone laps it up, on both ends of the political aisle, just like they always do:

How are such wildly different pictures being painted about the same non-event? By the fact that both sides of the Trump-Syria debate have thus far been reacting solely to narrative.

This has consistently been the story throughout Trump's presidency: a heavy emphasis on words and narratives and a disinterest in facts and actions. A rude tweet can dominate headlines for days, while the actual behaviors of this administration can go almost completely ignored. Trump continues to more or less advance the same warmongering Orwellian globalist policies and agendas as his predecessors along more or less the same trajectory, but frantic mass media narratives are churned out every day painting him as some unprecedented deviation from the norm. Trump himself, seemingly aware that he's interacting entirely with perceptions and narratives instead of facts and reality, routinely makes things up whole cloth and often claims he's "never said" things he most certainly has said. And why not? Facts don't matter in this media environment, only narrative does.

Look at Russiagate. An