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Who Rules America ?

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

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

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

Skepticism -> Political Skeptic

News Neoliberalism Recommended books Recommended Links The Guardian Slips Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment Neoliberal propaganda Libertarian Philosophy
Two Party System as Polyarchy Big Uncle is Watching You Media-Military-Industrial Complex Neo-conservatism National Security State Predator state New American Militarism
"Fuck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real place Who Shot down Malaysian flight MH17 Neoliberal war on reality American Exceptionalism Resurgence of neofascism as reaction on crisis of neoliberalism and neoliberal globalization Globalization of Financial Flows The Iron Law of Oligarchy
Pathological Russophobia of the US elite Fifth Column of Neoliberal Globalization  Color revolutions Compradors vs. national bourgeoisie Neo-Theocracy as a drive to simpler society Corruption of Regulators Neoliberal Compradors and lumpenelite
Corporatist Corruption: Systemic Fraud under Clinton-Bush-Obama Regime Harvard Mafia, Andrei Shleifer and the economic rape of Russia Elite Theory Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Bureaucracy Bureaucracy as a Political Coalition Groupthink
Social Justice Modern forms of slavery in the USA Ayn Rand and her Objectivism Cult  US Presidential Elections of 2016 Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton Myth about intelligent voter  
Ethno-lingustic Nationalism MSM Sochi Bashing Rampage Ukraine: From EuroMaidan to EuroAnschluss The Far Right Forces in Ukraine as Trojan Horse of Neoliberalism  Charlie Hebdo - more questions then answers   Corporatism
Casino Capitalism   Financial Skeptic Slightly Skeptical Look at Oil Price Slump Russian Ukrainian Gas Wars Energy returned on energy invested (EROEI) Understanding Micromanagers and Control Freaks
Ron Paul George Carlin Famous quotes of John Kenneth Galbraith Kurt Vonnegut Quotes Talleyrand quotes Somerset Maugham Quotes Otto Von Bismarck Quotes
Fighting Russophobia Overcomplexity of society New American Militarism Parasitism on Human rights children of Lieutenant Schmidt Skeptic Quotations Humor Etc

We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace — business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.

They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.

FDR. speech after the election (1936)

polyarchy: A system where the participation of masses of people is limited to voting among one or another representatives of the elite in periodic elections. Between elections the masses are now expected to keep quiet, to go back to life as usual while the elite make decisions and run the world until they can choose between one or another elite another four years later. So polyarchy is a system of elite rule, and a system of elite rule that is little bit more soft-core than the elite rule that we would see under a military dictatorship. But what we see is that under a polyarchy the basic socio-economic system does not change, it does not become democratized.

▬William I. Robinson, Behind the Veil, Minute 1:29:15


Due to the size an introduction was converted to a separate page
Who Rules America


 


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

Shota Rustavelli(1172–1216)

[Aug 08, 2016] Dont blame the masses

Notable quotes:
"... Because we interpreted the end of the Cold War as the ultimate vindication of America's economic system, we intensified our push toward the next level of capitalism, called globalization. It was presented as a project that would benefit everyone. Instead it has turned out to be a nightmare for many working people. Thanks to "disruption" and the "global supply chain," many American workers who could once support families with secure, decent-paying jobs must now hope they can be hired as greeters at Walmart. Meanwhile, a handful of super-rich financiers manipulate our political system to cement their hold on the nation's wealth. ..."
"... Rather than shifting to a less assertive and more cooperative foreign policy, we continued to insist that America must reign supreme. When we declared that we would not tolerate the emergence of another "peer power," we expected that other countries would blithely obey. Instead they ignore us. We interpret this as defiance and seek to punish the offenders. That has greatly intensified tensions between the United States and the countries we are told to consider our chief adversaries, Russia and China. ..."
www.bostonglobe.com
Because we interpreted the end of the Cold War as the ultimate vindication of America's economic system, we intensified our push toward the next level of capitalism, called globalization. It was presented as a project that would benefit everyone. Instead it has turned out to be a nightmare for many working people. Thanks to "disruption" and the "global supply chain," many American workers who could once support families with secure, decent-paying jobs must now hope they can be hired as greeters at Walmart. Meanwhile, a handful of super-rich financiers manipulate our political system to cement their hold on the nation's wealth.
Enrique Ferro's insight:
Moments of change require adaptation, but the United States is not good at adapting. We are used to being in charge. This blinded us to the reality that as other countries began rising, our relative power would inevitably decline. Rather than shifting to a less assertive and more cooperative foreign policy, we continued to insist that America must reign supreme. When we declared that we would not tolerate the emergence of another "peer power," we expected that other countries would blithely obey. Instead they ignore us. We interpret this as defiance and seek to punish the offenders. That has greatly intensified tensions between the United States and the countries we are told to consider our chief adversaries, Russia and China.

[Aug 26, 2016] In Trump We Trust E Pluribus Awesome! Ann Coulter

Notable quotes:
"... Donald Trump isn't a politician -- he's a one-man wrecking ball against our dysfunctional and corrupt establishment. We're about to see the deluxe version of the left's favorite theme: Vote for us or we'll call you stupid. It's the working class against the smirking class. ..."
"... He understands that if we're ever going to get our economy back on its feet the wage-earning middle class will have to prosper along with investors ..."
"... Trump that really "gets" the idea that the economy is suffering because the middle class can't find employment at livable wages ..."
"... Ms. Coulter says it more eloquently: "The Republican establishment has no idea how much ordinary voters hate both parties." Like me, she's especially annoyed with Republicans, because we think of the Republican Party as being our political "family" that has turned against us: ..."
"... The RNC has been forcing Republican candidates to take suicidal positions forever…They were happy to get 100 percent of the Business Roundtable vote and 20 percent of the regular vote. ..."
"... American companies used free trade with low-wage countries as an opportunity to close their American factories and relocate the jobs to lower-paying foreign workers. Instead of creating product and exporting it to other countries, our American companies EXPORTED American JOBS to other countries and IMPORTED foreign-made PRODUCTS into America! Our exports have actually DECLINED during the last five years with most of the 20 countries we signed free trade with. Even our exports to Canada, our oldest free trade partner, are less than what they were five years ago. ..."
"... Trade with Japan, China, and South Korea is even more imbalanced, because those countries actively restrict imports of American-made products. We run a 4x trade imbalance with China, which cost us $367 billion last year. We lost $69 billion to Japan and $28 billion to South Korea. Our exports to these countries are actually DECLINING, even while our imports soar! ..."
"... Why do Establishment Republicans join with Democrats in wanting to diminish the future with the WRONG kind of "free trade" that removes jobs and wealth from the USA? As Ms. Coulter reminds us, it is because Republican Establishment, like the Democrat establishment, is PAID by the money and jobs they receive from big corporations to believe it. ..."
"... The donor class doesn't care. The rich are like locusts: once they've picked America dry, they'll move on to the next country. A hedge fund executive quoted in The Atlantic a few years ago said, "If the transformation of the world economy lifts four people in China and India out of poverty and into the middle class, and meanwhile [that] means one American drops out of the middle class, that's not such a bad trade." ..."
Aug 26, 2016 | www.amazon.com

Donald Trump isn't a politician -- he's a one-man wrecking ball against our dysfunctional and corrupt establishment. We're about to see the deluxe version of the left's favorite theme: Vote for us or we'll call you stupid. It's the working class against the smirking class.

Frank A. Lewes

No pandering! The essence of Trump in personality and issues , August 23, 2016

Ms. Coulter explains the journey of myself and so many other voters into Trump's camp. It captures the essence of Trump as a personality and Trump on the issues. If I had to sum Ms. Coulter's view of the reason for Trump's success in two words, I'd say "No Pandering!" I've heard many people, including a Liberal tell me, "Trump says what needs to be said."

I've voted Republican in every election going back to Reagan in 1980, except for 2012 when I supported President Obama's re-election. I've either voted for, or financially supported many "Establishment Republicans" like Mitt Romney and John McCain in 2008. I've also supported some Conservative ones like Newt Gingrich and Rudy Giuliani. In this election I'd been planning to vote for Jeb Bush, a superb governor when I lived in Florida.

Then Trump announced his candidacy. I had seen hints of that happening as far back as 2012. In my Amazon reviews in 2012 I said that many voters weren't pleased with Obama or the Republican Establishment. So the question became: "Who do you vote for if you don't favor the agendas of either party's legacy candidates?" In November 2013 I commented on the book DOUBLE DOWN: GAME CHANGE 2012 by Mark Halperin and John Heileman:

=====
Mr. Trump occupies an important place in the political spectrum --- that of being a Republican Populist.

He understands that if we're ever going to get our economy back on its feet the wage-earning middle class will have to prosper along with investors, who are recovering our fortunes in the stock market.

IMO whichever party nominates a candidate like Trump that really "gets" the idea that the economy is suffering because the middle class can't find employment at livable wages, will be the party that rises to dominance.

Mr. Trump, despite his flakiness, at least understood that essential fact of American economic life.

November 7, 2013
=====

Ms. Coulter says it more eloquently: "The Republican establishment has no idea how much ordinary voters hate both parties." Like me, she's especially annoyed with Republicans, because we think of the Republican Party as being our political "family" that has turned against us:

=====
The RNC has been forcing Republican candidates to take suicidal positions forever…They were happy to get 100 percent of the Business Roundtable vote and 20 percent of the regular vote.

…when the GOP wins an election, there is no corresponding "win" for the unemployed blue-collar voter in North Carolina. He still loses his job to a foreign worker or a closed manufacturing plant, his kids are still boxed out of college by affirmative action for immigrants, his community is still plagued with high taxes and high crime brought in with all that cheap foreign labor.

There's no question but that the country is heading toward being Brazil. One doesn't have to agree with the reason to see that the very rich have gotten much richer, placing them well beyond the concerns of ordinary people, and the middle class is disappearing. America doesn't make anything anymore, except Hollywood movies and Facebook. At the same time, we're importing a huge peasant class, which is impoverishing what remains of the middle class, whose taxes support cheap labor for the rich.

With Trump, Americans finally have the opportunity to vote for something that's popular.

=====

That explains how Trump won my vote --- and held on to it through a myriad of early blunders and controversies that almost made me switch my support to other candidates.

I'm no "xenophobe isolationist" stereotype. My first employer was an immigrant from Eastern Europe. What I learned working for him launched me on my successful career. I've developed and sold computer systems to subsidiaries of American companies in Europe and Asia. My business partners have been English and Canadian immigrants. My family are all foreign-born Hispanics. Three of my college roommates were from Ecuador, Germany, and Syria.

BECAUSE of this international experience I agree with the issues of trade and immigration that Ms. Coulter talks about that have prompted Trump's rising popularity.

First, there is the false promise that free trade with low-wage countries would "create millions of high-paying jobs for American workers, who will be busy making high-value products for export." NAFTA was signed in 1994. GATT with China was signed in 2001. Since then we've signed free trade with 20 countries. It was said that besides creating jobs for Americans, that free trade would prosper the global economy. In truth the opposite happened:

American companies used free trade with low-wage countries as an opportunity to close their American factories and relocate the jobs to lower-paying foreign workers. Instead of creating product and exporting it to other countries, our American companies EXPORTED American JOBS to other countries and IMPORTED foreign-made PRODUCTS into America! Our exports have actually DECLINED during the last five years with most of the 20 countries we signed free trade with. Even our exports to Canada, our oldest free trade partner, are less than what they were five years ago.

We ran trade SURPLUSES with Mexico until 1994, when NAFTA was signed. The very next year the surplus turned to deficit, now $60 billion a year. Given that each American worker produces an average of $64,000 in value per year, that is a loss of 937,000 American jobs to Mexico alone. The problem is A) that Mexicans are not wealthy enough to be able to afford much in the way of American-made product and B) there isn't much in the way of American-made product left to buy, since so much of former American-made product is now made in Mexico or China.

Trade with Japan, China, and South Korea is even more imbalanced, because those countries actively restrict imports of American-made products. We run a 4x trade imbalance with China, which cost us $367 billion last year. We lost $69 billion to Japan and $28 billion to South Korea. Our exports to these countries are actually DECLINING, even while our imports soar!

Thus, free trade, except with a few fair-trading countries like Canada, Australia, and possibly Britain, has been a losing proposition. Is it coincidence that our economy has weakened with each trade deal we have signed? Our peak year of labor force participation was 1999. Then we had the Y2K collapse and the Great Recession, followed by the weakest "recovery" since WWII? As Trump would say, free trade has been a "disaster."

Why do Establishment Republicans join with Democrats in wanting to diminish the future with the WRONG kind of "free trade" that removes jobs and wealth from the USA? As Ms. Coulter reminds us, it is because Republican Establishment, like the Democrat establishment, is PAID by the money and jobs they receive from big corporations to believe it. Ms. Coulter says:

=====
The donor class doesn't care. The rich are like locusts: once they've picked America dry, they'll move on to the next country. A hedge fund executive quoted in The Atlantic a few years ago said, "If the transformation of the world economy lifts four people in China and India out of poverty and into the middle class, and meanwhile [that] means one American drops out of the middle class, that's not such a bad trade."
=====

Then there is immigration. My wife, son, and extended family legally immigrated to the USA from Latin America. The first family members were recruited by our government during the labor shortage of the Korean War. Some fought for the United States in Korea. Some of their children fought for us in Vietnam, and some grandchildren are fighting in the Middle East. Most have become successful professionals and business owners. They came here LEGALLY, some waiting in queue for up to 12 years. They were supported by the family already in America until they were on their feet.

Illegal immigration has been less happy. Illegals are here because the Democrats want new voters and the Republicans want cheap labor. Contrary to business propaganda, illegals cost Americans their jobs. A colleague just old me, "My son returned home from California after five years, because he couldn't get construction work any longer. All those jobs are now done off the books by illegals."

It's the same in technology. Even while our high-tech companies are laying off 260,000 American employees in 2016 alone, they are banging the drums to expand the importation of FOREIGN tech workers from 85,000 to 195,000 to replace the Americans they let go. Although the H1-B program is billed as bringing in only the most exceptional, high-value foreign engineers, in truth most visas are issued to replace American workers with young foreigners of mediocre ability who'll work for much less money than the American family bread-winners they replaced.

Both parties express their "reverse racism" against the White Middle Class. Democrats don't like them because they tend to vote Republican. The Republican Establishment doesn't like them because they cost more to employ than overseas workers and illegal aliens. According to them the WMC is too technologically out of date and overpaid to allow our benighted business leaders to "compete internationally."

Ms. Coulter says "Americans are homesick" for our country that is being lost to illegal immigration and the removal of our livelihoods overseas. We are sick of Republican and Democrat Party hidden agendas, reverse-racism, and economic genocide against the American people. That's why the Establishment candidates who started out so theoretically strong, like Jeb Bush, collapsed like waterlogged houses of cards when they met Donald Trump. As Ms. Coulter explains, Trump knows their hidden agendas, and knows they are working against the best interests of the American Middle Class.

Coulter keeps coming back to Mr. Trump's "Alpha Male" personality that speaks to Americans as nation without pandering to specific voter identity groups. She contrasts his style to the self-serving "Republican (Establishment) Brain Trust that is mostly composed of comfortable, well-paid mediocrities who, by getting a gig in politics, earn salaries higher than a capitalist system would ever value their talents." She explains what she sees as the idiocy of those Republican Establishment political consultants who wrecked the campaigns of Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz by micromanaging with pandering.

She says the Republican Establishment lost because it served itself --- becoming wealthy by serving the moneyed interests of Wall Street. Trump won because he is speaking to the disfranchised American Middle Class who loves our country, is proud of our traditions, and believes that Americans have as much right to feed our families through gainful employment as do overseas workers and illegal aliens.

"I am YOUR voice," says Trump to the Middle Class that until now has been ignored and even sneered at by both parties' establishments.

I've given an overview of the book here. The real delight is in the details, told as only Anne Coulter can tell them. I've quoted a few snippets of her words, that relate most specifically to my views on Trump and the issues. I wish there were space to quote many more. Alas, you'll need to read the book to glean them all!

Frank A. Lewes says: Bruce, I would also add that the Republican Establishment chose not to represent the interests of the White Middle Class on trade, immigration, and other issues that matter to us. They chose to represent the narrow interests of:

1. The corporate 1% who believe that the global labor market should be tapped in order to beat American workers out of their jobs; and that corporations and the 1% who own them should be come tax-exempt organizations that profit by using cheap overseas labor to product product that is sold in the USA, and without paying taxes on the profit. Ms. Coulter calls this group of Republican Estblishmentarians "locusts: once they've picked America dry, they'll move on to the next country."

2. Pretending to care about the interests of minorities. Of course, the Republican Establishment has even less appeal to minorities than to the White Middle Class (WMC) they abandoned. Minorities are no more interested in losing their jobs to foreigners or to suffer economic stagnation while the rich have their increasing wealth (most of which is earned at the expense of the middle class) tax-sheltered, than do the WMC.

The Republican Establishment is in a snit because Trump beat them by picking up the WMC votes that the Establishment abandoned. What would have happened if Trump had not come on the scene? The probable result is that the Establishment would have nominated a ticket of Jeb Bush and John Kasich. These candidates had much to recommend them as popular governors of key swing states. But they would have gone into the election fighting the campaign with Republican Establishment issues that only matter to the 1%. They would have lost much of the WMC vote that ultimately rallied around Trump, while gaining no more than the usual 6% of minorities who vote Republican. It would have resulted in a severe loss for the Republican Party, perhaps making it the minority party for the rest of the century.

Trump has given Republicans a new lease on life. The Establishment doesn't like having to take a back seat to him, but perhaps they should understand that having a back seat in a popular production is so much better than standing outside alone in the cold.

Frank A. Lewes says:
It's funny how White Men are supposed to be angry. But I've never seen any White men:

1. Running amok, looting and burning down their neighborhood, shooting police and other "angry White men." There were 50 people shot in Chicago last weekend alone. How many of those do you think were "angry white men?" Hint: they were every color EXCEPT white.

2. Running around complaining that they aren't allowed into the other gender's bathroom, then when they barge their way in there complain about being sexually assaulted. No, it's only "angry females" (of any ethnicity) who barge their way into the men's room and then complain that somebody in there offended them.

Those "angry white men" are as legendary as "Bigfoot." They are alleged to exist everywhere, but are never seen. Maybe that's because they mostly hang out in the quiet neighborhoods of cookie-cutter homes in suburbia, go to the lake or bar-be-que on weekends, and take their allotment of Viagra in hopes of occassionally "getting lucky" with their wives. If they're "angry" then at least they don't take their angry frustrations out on others, as so many other militant, "in-your-face" activist groups do!

[Aug 26, 2016] How Think Tanks Generate Endless War

Hillary election means new wars and death of the US servicemen/servicewomen. So Khan gambit is much more dangerous that it looks as it implicitly promoted militarism and endless "permanent war for permanent peace".
Notable quotes:
"... Information warfare uses disinformation and propaganda to condition a population to hate a foreign nation or population with the intent to foment a war, which is the routine "business" of the best known U.S. think tanks. ..."
"... There are two levels to this information war. The first level is by the primary provocateur, such as the Rand Corporation, the American Enterprise Institute and the smaller war instigators found wherever a Kagan family member lurks. They use psychological "suggestiveness" to create a false narrative of danger from some foreign entity with the objective being to create paranoia within the U.S. population that it is under imminent threat of attack or takeover. ..."
"... Once that fear and paranoia is instilled in much of the population, it can then be manipulated to foment a readiness or eagerness for war, in the manner that Joseph Goebbels understood well. ..."
"... Nevertheless, showing the success that our primary war provocateurs have had in fomenting hostility and possibly war is that less militaristic and bellicose Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), ostensibly working for "peace," have adopted this false propaganda theme uncritically. ..."
"... The Carnegie Moscow Center Foundation, which includes Russians on its staff, is a prime example. Lately, it has routinely echoed the more provocative and facially false accusations made against Russia by the outright militaristic and war instigating U.S. think tanks. An example is in a recent article of Carnegie, entitled: " Russia and NATO Must Communicate Better. " ..."
"... So fanatics like the U.S. Generals whom we've seen at the recent political conventions and even worse, General Breedlove, are encouraged to be ever more threatening to the world's populations. ..."
"... Recognizing that must then be coupled with recognition of a U.S. law passed in 2012 providing for military detention of journalists and social activists as the Justice Department conceded in Hedges v. Obama. Add to that what the ACLU recently compelled the U.S. government to reveal in the "Presidential Policy Guidance" and it is plain to see which nation has become most "authoritarian, nationalistic, and assertive." It is the United States. ..."
"... As this was when the Politburo was allegedly at its height in subverting and subjugating foreign countries as foreign policy, it should be exactly on point in describing current U.S. foreign policy. ..."
"... That U.S. think tanks, such as Rand and the American Enterprise Institute, put so much effort into promoting war should not come as a surprise when it is considered their funding is provided by the Military Industrial Complex (MIC) which President Eisenhower warned us about. ..."
Aug 21, 2016 | Defend Democracy Press

U.S. "think tanks" rile up the American public against an ever-shifting roster of foreign "enemies" to justify wars which line the pockets of military contractors who kick back some profits to the "think tanks," explains retired JAG Major Todd E. Pierce.

The New York Times took notice recently of the role that so-called "think tanks" play in corrupting U.S. government policy. Their review of think tanks "identified dozens of examples of scholars conducting research at think tanks while corporations were paying them to help shape government policy."

Unfortunately, and perhaps predictably, while the Times investigation demonstrates well that the U.S. is even more corrupt – albeit the corruption is better disguised – than the many foreign countries which we routinely accuse of corruption, the Times failed to identify the most egregious form of corruption in our system. That is, those think tanks are constantly engaged in the sort of activities which the Defense Department identifies as "Information War" when conducted by foreign countries that are designated by the U.S. as an enemy at any given moment.

Information warfare uses disinformation and propaganda to condition a population to hate a foreign nation or population with the intent to foment a war, which is the routine "business" of the best known U.S. think tanks.

There are two levels to this information war. The first level is by the primary provocateur, such as the Rand Corporation, the American Enterprise Institute and the smaller war instigators found wherever a Kagan family member lurks. They use psychological "suggestiveness" to create a false narrative of danger from some foreign entity with the objective being to create paranoia within the U.S. population that it is under imminent threat of attack or takeover.

Once that fear and paranoia is instilled in much of the population, it can then be manipulated to foment a readiness or eagerness for war, in the manner that Joseph Goebbels understood well.

The measure of success from such a disinformation and propaganda effort can be seen when the narrative is adopted by secondary communicators who are perhaps the most important target audience. That is because they are "key communicators" in PsyOp terms, who in turn become provocateurs in propagating the false narrative even more broadly and to its own audiences, and becoming "combat multipliers" in military terms.

It is readily apparent now that Russia has taken its place as the primary target within U.S. sights. One doesn't have to see the U.S. military buildup on Russia's borders to understand that but only see the propaganda themes of our "think tanks."

The Role of Rand

A prime example of an act of waging information war to incite actual military attack is the Rand Corporation, which, incidentally, published a guide to information war and the need to condition the U.S. population for war back in the 1990s.

A scene from "Dr. Strangelove," in which the bomber pilot (played by actor Slim Pickens) rides a nuclear bomb to its target in the Soviet Union. A scene from "Dr. Strangelove," in which the bomber pilot (played by actor Slim Pickens) rides a nuclear bomb to its target in the Soviet Union.

Rand was founded by, among others, the war enthusiast, Air Force General Curtis LeMay, who was the model for the character of Gen. Buck Turgidson in the movie "Dr. Strangelove." LeMay once stated that he would not be afraid to start a nuclear war with Russia and that spirit would seem to be alive and well at Rand today as they project on to Vladimir Putin our own eagerness for inciting a war.

The particular act of information warfare by Rand is shown in a recent Rand article: "How to Counter Putin's Subversive War on the West." The title suggests by its presupposition that Putin is acting in the offensive form of war rather than the defensive form of war. But it is plain to see he is in the defensive form of war when one looks at the numerous provocations and acts of aggression carried out by American officials, such as Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and General Philip Breedlove, and the U.S. and NATO military buildup on Russia's borders.

Within this Rand article however can be found no better example of psychological projection than this propagandistic pablum that too many commentators, some witless, some not, will predictably repeat:

"Moscow's provocative active measures cause foreign investors and international lenders to see higher risks in doing business with Russia. Iran is learning a similar, painful lesson as it persists with harsh anti-Western policies even as nuclear-related sanctions fade. Russia will decide its own priorities. But it should not be surprised if disregard for others' interests diminishes the international regard it seeks as an influential great power."

In fact, an objective, dispassionate observation of U.S./Russian policies would show it has been the U.S. carrying out these "provocative active measures" as the instigator, not Russia.

Nevertheless, showing the success that our primary war provocateurs have had in fomenting hostility and possibly war is that less militaristic and bellicose Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), ostensibly working for "peace," have adopted this false propaganda theme uncritically.

The Carnegie Moscow Center Foundation, which includes Russians on its staff, is a prime example. Lately, it has routinely echoed the more provocative and facially false accusations made against Russia by the outright militaristic and war instigating U.S. think tanks. An example is in a recent article of Carnegie, entitled: "Russia and NATO Must Communicate Better."

It begins: "The risk of outright conflict in Europe is higher than it has been for years and the confrontation between Russia and the West shows no sign of ending. To prevent misunderstandings and dangerous incidents, the two sides must improve their methods of communication."

Unfortunately, that is now true. But the article's author suggests throughout that each party, Russia and the U.S./NATO, had an equal hand in the deterioration of relations. He wrote: "The West needs to acknowledge that the standoff with Russia is not merely the result of Russia turning authoritarian, nationalistic, and assertive," as if Western officials don't already know that that accusation was only a propaganda theme for their own populations to cover up the West's aggressiveness.

Blaming Russia

So Americans, such as myself, must acknowledge and confront that the standoff with Russia is not only not "merely the result of Russia turning authoritarian, nationalistic, and assertive," but it is rather, that the U.S. is "turning authoritarian, nationalistic," and even more "assertive," i.e., aggressive, toward the world.

Suz Tzu wrote that a "sovereign" must know oneself and the enemy. In the case of the U.S. sovereign, the people and their elected, so-called representatives, there is probably no "sovereign" in human history more lacking in self-awareness of their own nation's behavior toward other nations.

So fanatics like the U.S. Generals whom we've seen at the recent political conventions and even worse, General Breedlove, are encouraged to be ever more threatening to the world's populations.

When that then generates a response from some nation with a tin-pot military relative to our own, with ours paid for by the privileged financial position we've put ourselves into post-WWII, our politicians urgently call for even more military spending from the American people to support even more aggression, all in the guise of "national defense."

Recognizing that must then be coupled with recognition of a U.S. law passed in 2012 providing for military detention of journalists and social activists as the Justice Department conceded in Hedges v. Obama. Add to that what the ACLU recently compelled the U.S. government to reveal in the "Presidential Policy Guidance" and it is plain to see which nation has become most "authoritarian, nationalistic, and assertive." It is the United States.

The Presidential Policy Guidance "establishes the standard operating procedures for when the United States takes direct action, which refers to lethal and non-lethal uses of force, including capture operations against terrorist targets outside the United States and areas of active hostilities."

What other nation, besides Israel probably, has a governmental "Regulation" providing for assassinations outside "areas of active hostilities?"

It should readily be evident that it is the U.S. now carrying out the vast majority of provocative active measures and has the disregard for others complained of here. At least for the moment, however, the U.S. can still hide much of its aggression using the vast financial resources provided by the American people to the Defense Department to produce sophisticated propaganda and to bribe foreign officials with foreign aid to look the other way from U.S. provocations.

It is ironic that today, one can learn more about the U.S. military and foreign policy from the Rand Corporation only by reading at least one of its historical documents, "The Operational Code of the Politburo." This is described as "part of a major effort at RAND to provide insight into the political leadership and foreign policy in the Soviet Union and other communist states; the development of Soviet military strategy and doctrine."

As this was when the Politburo was allegedly at its height in subverting and subjugating foreign countries as foreign policy, it should be exactly on point in describing current U.S. foreign policy.

That U.S. think tanks, such as Rand and the American Enterprise Institute, put so much effort into promoting war should not come as a surprise when it is considered their funding is provided by the Military Industrial Complex (MIC) which President Eisenhower warned us about. That this U.S. MIC would turn against its own people, the American public, by waging perpetual information war against this domestic target just to enrich their investors, might have been even more than Eisenhower could imagine however.

Todd E. Pierce retired as a Major in the US Army Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps in November 2012. His most recent assignment was defense counsel in the Office of Chief Defense Counsel, Office of Military Commissions. [This article first appeared at http://original.antiwar.com/Todd_Pierce/2016/08/14/inciting-wars-american-way/]

See also

[Aug 25, 2016] Farage at Trump rally: I wouldnt vote for Clinton if you paid me

Aug 25, 2016 | www.theguardian.com

Those who already think Clinton is too sleazy to vote for won't be voting for her, but those who think she is too sick might

philipsiron 46m ago 0 1 I would like to vote for Hillary because she's already harmless and looks friendly with her mild seizures, it's like nehi-nehi Indian dance. But I am so afraid of her corporate backers that they will exploit Hillary and Bill's weakness as ageing senior illuminati couple, how can you unite the Fed with CIA, FBI and US military, not too mention Wall Street.

!--

shockrah 54m ago 0 1 The real problem here is a political vacuum so huge you could fit trump's ego inside it. Just a guess but from what I've seen this last year about half of trump supporters are wwhat could be called die-hard racists. The one major failing of the workers movement that Sanders started in the US was an inability to pull off the 50% of trump supporters who are not fundamentally racist. There was no major appeal to the more rural agricultural communities by Sanders that I ever heard. They may only represent 20% of the population but they are the backbone of the US as they are unable to compete with large scale corporate farming they suffer the same ideological loss that the rest of the working class suffer from. If the progressive movement cannot or will not appeal to this group through small farming and organic farming subsidies then they will go with someone like trump even though he promises them nothing. They will, in the absence of an alternative political path just choose 'f**k you' for their candidate. Probably too late this time around but in the future the progressive movement needs to include these people or they will be the 'third rail' the left dies on. !-- Wynberg 1h ago 4 5 Dear Dorothy,

My husband is a liar and a cheat. He has cheated on me from the beginning and when I confront him, he denies everything. What's worse, everyone knows he cheats on me. It's so humiliating.
Also, since he lost his job 14 years ago, he hasn't even looked for a new one. All he does all day is smoke cigars, play golf, cruise around and shoot ball with his buddies and has sex with hookers, while I work so hard to pay our bills.
Since our daughter went away to college and then got married; he doesn't even pretend to like me, and hints that I may be a lesbian. What should I do?
Signed:
Confused

Answer..
Dear Confused:
Grow up and dump him.
You don't need him anymore!
Good grief woman, you're running for President of the United States! !-- stoneshepherd 44m ago 0 1 People here seem to be posting without thinking things through.

Do they really want another Clinton in the White House? Especially this warmonger?

Maybe they should try a dose of reality and read John Pilger's op ed over here https://www.rt.com/op-edge/356846-provoking-nuclear-war-media /

We shouldn't be sleepwalking into another disastrous war just to please the shareholders and CEOs of the major armament manufacturing companies.

[PS Please read Pilger's op ed before trolling this post]

!-- SerbCanada Ulmus Glabra 1h ago 0 1 Are you talking about Hillary and Bill Clinton? Your are describing Hillary and her politics of corruption, bad judgement; incompetence, job outsourcing and total disregard for American people. if anyone is remotely suitable to become POTUS it is her. Only those who really hate America will be happy with its further decline and will vote for Hillary. However, Trump will become America's next President.
Listen to his peaches - that would be time better spent than to spend time of defending Hillary, who soon be either behind the bars or forgotten. !-- unlywnted kieran2698 1h ago 1 2 After 40 years of EU lies they are more than imbued to being lied to by politicians - no wonder the people are utterly and totally disillusioned with the established parties who show such appalling contempt for the people and democracy. Nothing better explains the growing success of mavericks like Trump and Farage: frankly the people need them as a safety valve for their frustrations. !-- thinlizzie mkevinf 1h ago 1 2 Nigel is not making any threats to USA as Obama did in UK (you'll be in back of the queue). It was not Nigel who spoke about obama's ancestry. America has a tough choice Trump/Clinton. My brother lives in Florida - he says he wouldn't vote for Clinton. I voted UKIP and for LEAVE and think Nigel Farage will go down in history as one of the most important men in politics for a very long time. We supported him because he spoke for us and the other politicians stopped listening to us. These snidey nasty comments are typical of leftie guardian readers. After all - they're probably going to vote for Corby who hasn't a cat in hells chance of ever being PM! !-- Maitreya2016 MrIncredlous 1h ago 0 1 Yes, you're right. It's this sentiment that has pushed the proletariat into the arms of Trump and Farage. Funnily enough, during my time working with the EU there was a very strong push towards less democracy and more population management. Most of it is being done via education and other soft power platforms - reforming children's attitudes, self-awareness training, behavioral feedback and gender confusion. This is being done under the guise of tolerance, diversity and identity politics. It keeps the masses fighting amongst themselves while those in charge of them steal everything. !-- DanBlues 3h ago 3 4 Ok, let's forget that Farage was the only major political party leader to stand up for democracy.
We also should forget that, despite all the horrific personal abuse he suffered, he carried on year after year against the almighty power of the establishment and managed to win us our sovereignty back.
We definitely must forget that he is a libertarian and his party is the ONLY major political party that bans all previous members of racist parties from applying.
Now hand me some of that racism juice and point me to the bandwagon! !-- musolen 3h ago 2 3 Farage is an odious weasel but this is the first time I've ever agreed with him.

Clinton is about as dangerous as it gets and that includes that idiot Trump.

Her beliefs change with her lobbyist's wishes, she lies openly on camera and in office, puts donors and enormous backhanders before the electorate that voted for her, uses her Clinton Foundation as a cream skimming perk where all cash is welcome and Gov policy a Clinton Foundation sellable asset and entertains despots, juntas and murderous thugs using State Dept as a gun-for-hire.
All three, Farage, Trump & Clinton the world of politics could do without. Clinton however is the most mendacious and deadly prospect as POTUS for millions around the world.

!-- Karega 3h ago 2 3 I see the Bremain crowd still out for some revenge. And who would Hillary invite from "Brits?" Let's face it most Americans have no clue about other foreign leaders unless they are being splashed across their TV screens as some evil incarnates ready to be bombed by American bombs. Thus Guardian cheap shot at Farage as unknown is just cheap.
Indeed the whole reporting of that meeting between Farage and Trump is distasteful for a newsmedia like Guardian. Purely designed to belittle Farage and, of course, portray Trump as a non-starter in the race for White House.
Btw, i was going through list of media giants that have contributed and donated to the Clinton Foundation. Let me confirm whether Guardian or its associates/affiliates are on the list! !-- MelindaHaye 3h ago 2 3 Alternative media is so valuable.
The MSM is trying to make Hillary look popular at the few rallies she conducts when the reality is her crowds are tiny.
You then have Trump doing multiple rallies a day where he regularly fills large sports stadiums.

It just goes to show how corrupt the MSM is and how they manipulate footage to create false impressions.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-VzSG-2oYI

Lots of people are releasing stuff on this topic.

!-- Wobbly 4h ago 1 2 Neocons seek power through creating social division so can never win more than a small majority and only for a short time. Exhibit A: Tony Useless Abbott, worst PM in Australia's history. !-- camcitizen 4h ago 3 4 Isn't it strange to see so much bile and bitterness being directed towards Mr Farage? We've had the referendum and Brexit won. Please can the many complainers here show some respect to the millions who voted and who did so of the own volition (and without the nonsense of being under some spell cast by imaginary bogeymen!). Can those complaining not accept that after 40 years of effort to make the EU work people are entitled to say - sorry, its over - but hopefully we can still be friends. !-- inquisitor16 4h ago 1 2 Farage was a good choice for a support speaker. He is the one person in Europe who has produced a stunning electoral upset and then quit the scene. All the pollsters got it wrong.

It's distressing that some members of the audience knew nothing about the Brexit, despite efforts by The Guardian and many others to relieve their ignorance. However, might not the same criticism be applied to most American voters, of whatever ilk?

!-- Sailinghomeo 4h ago 4 5 Quote: "For the duration of my appointment as Secretary if I am confirmed, I will not participate personally and substantially in any particular matter involving specific parties in which The William J. Clinton Foundation (or the Clinton Global Initiative) is a party or represents a party, unless I am first authorized to participate," -- Hillary Clinton. <- The ethics pledge Hillary violated at least 85 times, but go ahead and believe that she won't ever do it again...

[Aug 25, 2016] Bernie Sanders' new 'revolution' rocked by revolt of its own as top staff head for the exits US elections

independent.co.uk
Already, however, the whole enterprise is in turmoil, thanks to the resignations of several of its top staff members even before it was off the ground, who were angered by the decision of Senator Sanders and his wife, Jane Sanders, to appoint his former campaign manager, John Weaver, as its top officer over their very clearly expressed objections.

Among those heading to the exits was Claire Sandberg, who was the digital organising director of the campaign and the organising director of Our Revolution. Her entire department of four people quit, in fact.

She and the others who joined the revolt, including Kenneth Pennington, who was to be the digital director of Our Revolution, were opposed to Mr Weaver's involvement both for reasons of personality clashes and because they felt he mismanaged the Senator's campaign in part by spending too much money on television advertising and failing to harness grassroots support.

They also contended that Mr Weaver would only exacerbate an additional concern they had with the new entity namely that it has been set up as a so-called 501(c)(4) organisation, which, because of its charitable status, is in theory not allowed to work directly with the election of political candidates and is able to receive large sums from anonymous donors.

A large part of the premise of Mr Sanders's campaign for president had been precisely to wean political campaigns from the flood of dark money that flows into them. That the Our Revolution entity has been set up precisely to take such money looked to them like a betrayal.

According to several reports a majority of the staff appointed to run the new outfit resigned as soon as the appointment of Mr Weaver was confirmed on Monday

[Aug 25, 2016] Trickle Down Election Economics How Big Money Can Affect Small Races naked capitalism

Notable quotes:
"... Here is an up-to-date look at the massive amount of money that has been donated to Super PACs in this election cycle: http://viableopposition.blogspot.ca/2016/07/super-pacs-2016-awash-with-cash.html ..."
"... The wealthiest Americans still firmly believe that political control belongs to them. ..."
"... "The Labour and time of the poor is in civilised countries sacrificed to the maintaining of the rich in ease and luxury. The Landlord is maintained in idleness and luxury by the labour of his tenants. The moneyed man is supported by his extractions from the industrious merchant and the needy who are obliged to support him in ease by a return for the use of his money. But every savage has the full fruits of his own labours; there are no landlords, no usurers and no tax gatherers." ..."
Aug 25, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Will Dippel , August 23, 2016 at 6:50 am

Here is an up-to-date look at the massive amount of money that has been donated to Super PACs in this election cycle: http://viableopposition.blogspot.ca/2016/07/super-pacs-2016-awash-with-cash.html

The wealthiest Americans still firmly believe that political control belongs to them.

Sound of the Suburbs , August 23, 2016 at 2:00 pm

Thinking about trickledown.

Do companies employ people to make its employees rich? No they employ people to make a profit, the productive output of all employees is split to take a profit for the company, cover costs and pay wages. The employee loses a slice of their productive output to the company for the company to take as profit.

The employee takes out less than he puts in.

Someone with a trust fund receives an income from their trust fund without the fund going down.

They take out more than they put in.

The system trickles up and assuming it trickles down to lower taxes on the wealthy has polarized personal wealth and is hitting global aggregate demand.

Adam Smith noted the system flowed upwards in the 18th Century.

"The Labour and time of the poor is in civilised countries sacrificed to the maintaining of the rich in ease and luxury. The Landlord is maintained in idleness and luxury by the labour of his tenants. The moneyed man is supported by his extractions from the industrious merchant and the needy who are obliged to support him in ease by a return for the use of his money. But every savage has the full fruits of his own labours; there are no landlords, no usurers and no tax gatherers."

Where did the idea of trickledown come from?
US billionaires after a long liquid lunch.

dk , August 23, 2016 at 2:54 pm

Across the country, the presence and influence of big money exerts a downward pressure on down-ticket candidates across the board. Steve Israel's sentiments are widely shared; without direct and committed backing from large (national-level) donors, candidates have to spend the greater part of their election efforts just to raise money, this of course eats into their constituent outreach. Candidates with expensive consultants/vendors and/or large staff may be under pressured to fundraise from within their own campaign. HRC's decision to forego a visit to Louisiana flood victims may be a case of in-house pressure; money can distort rational, not to mention compassionate, action.

And significant donations and/or political support can appear as if out of nowhere. I recently spoke with a candidate for D.A. who was surprised to hear his own voice coming out of his car radio; a national PAC had chosen to back him, and was buying local radio time. Since PACs can't (shouldn't) coordinate with formal campaigns, this isn't too unusual. But he has had to answer questions from media about why and how he got this support (they had interviewed him by phone some months earlier, with no further direct contact). His opponent has since dropped out, citing financial pressures and lack of sufficient contributions to continue. The opposing party is scrambling to find a replacement to meet the State's requirements for submission of candidate names, no luck so far; they could actually end up pulling an incumbent State Senator running for re-election to vacate one slot to fill another.

The flood of money in politics, including the involvement of PACs, also raises the stakes for prospective candidates, who are under increasing scrutiny from mainstream and independent media; outside money drives media attention directly and indirectly, in addition to media capabilities of well financed opposing candidates and parties. Money heats up the entire process, and the emotional and physical (and financial) pressure is considerable. This also leads to more self-funding candidates, and less opportunity for independents with lesser personal means. And the trend of antagonistic campaigning, long of polarizing vitriol and short on substantial issue discussion, is also driven by moneyed influences seeking traction of any kind, while bringing little or no substantial or broadly popular policy agenda to a contest.

The Sanders direct fundraising model may be evidence of a countercurrent. Bernie famously spent no time courting big donors, and was able to produce a formidable campaign war chest directly from his message and persona. But even while competing favorably with Hillary's campaign fundraising, Clinton benefited from massive PAC support which Sanders never matched. Sanders' campaign also had a hard time finding experienced campaign staff (and possibly other resources); there was considerable implicit (and some explicit) pressure within the Dem consultant stable to avoid opposing the Clinton (Money) Machine. Jobs and careers on the line, with repercussions long after this election cycle.

ekstase , August 23, 2016 at 8:08 pm

This is great. Debate your real political opponent, not the front man or woman.
Good luck to her.

[Aug 25, 2016] I wonder if the infomation about Jane Sanders tenure as the president of Burlington college was the dirt that the Clinton campaign was planning to use against Bernie before he endorsed you-know-who on July 12

Notable quotes:
"... And, pardon me for being a tinfoil-hatted conspiracy theorist, I wonder if this was the dirt that the Clinton campaign was planning to use against Bernie before he endorsed you-know-who on July 12. ..."
"... President Sanders was not to last long at BC and she left for still unknown circumstances soon after the purchase of the property. ..."
"... The next Presidents, Cjristine Plunkett, Mike Smith and Carol Moore then sold off large portions of the property to real estate developers and then, when the ship finally sank under increasingly hopeless and clueless leadership, all of whom could not increase enrollment or or raise any funds (in fact we were eventually told that the school had given up fund raising), Burlington College went into a relentless downward spiral which tragically and painfully closed its doors in May, 20016. ..."
"... It may ultimately have been the straw that broke the camel's back, and it looks terrible that Jane Sanders was at the helm and instrumental in making the decision, but it also sounds like it was a bold effort – that the Board of Directors signed off on – to change the school's fortunes, and one that unfortunately could not overcome years of struggle and financial instability. ..."
Aug 25, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Arizona Slim , August 24, 2016 at 2:32 pm

http://vtdigger.org/2016/08/23/state-taxpayers-pick-tab-burlington-college-student-records/

My comments on this link: Jane Sanders used to be president of Burlington College.

And, pardon me for being a tinfoil-hatted conspiracy theorist, I wonder if this was the dirt that the Clinton campaign was planning to use against Bernie before he endorsed you-know-who on July 12.

Katharine , August 24, 2016 at 3:04 pm

But if she left five years ago, it is difficult to see how she could be blamed for this specific problem. Whatever her role in the financial problems may have been (and I admit I don't understand that well), her successors were responsible for what was done subsequently, and if they knew they might have to close down should have taken steps to protect student records and ensure their future accessibility.

Anne , August 24, 2016 at 3:09 pm

This was a comment left on that article by someone named Sandy Baird:

Thank you for this reporting. The demise of Burlington College was not caused by Jane Sanders. The Board of trustees and the then President Jane Sanders bought the property from the Catholic diocese. President Sanders was an ambitious President and sought to increase the enrollment by creating substantial, innovative and effective programs, which included the Burlington College/Cuba Semester abroad and by increasing the profile of the school in the community and state. Jane's plan always was to create a thriving campus for a growing student body and for a unique college which had as its mission the "building of sustainable, just, humane and beautiful communities." However, President Sanders was not to last long at BC and she left for still unknown circumstances soon after the purchase of the property.

The next Presidents, Cjristine Plunkett, Mike Smith and Carol Moore then sold off large portions of the property to real estate developers and then, when the ship finally sank under increasingly hopeless and clueless leadership, all of whom could not increase enrollment or or raise any funds (in fact we were eventually told that the school had given up fund raising), Burlington College went into a relentless downward spiral which tragically and painfully closed its doors in May, 20016.

The school, the property and the beach will now be picked up by the developer, Eric Farrell and the beach goes to the City. In a final irony, Eric Farrell was awarded an honorary doctorate degree at the final graduation of the school in May when its founder, Stu Lacase gave the graduation address.

For what it's worth, here's another article from The Atlantic .

Burlington College was always a fragile concern. Its website notes that in the early days, it "had no financial backing, paid its bills when they came due, and paid its President when it could." Jane Sanders's plan to place a big bet on expansion in order to put the school on a more solid long-term footing was similar to decisions made by other college presidents, and sometimes those bets simply don't work out.

Lambert Strether Post author , August 24, 2016 at 3:39 pm

On the last quote, that's how I read it. Owning real estate on the Lake Champlain waterfront is not, ipso facto , a crazy thing to do. It sounds like the college just couldn't outrun trouble. I still don't think it's a good look, though.

Anne , August 24, 2016 at 3:50 pm

It may ultimately have been the straw that broke the camel's back, and it looks terrible that Jane Sanders was at the helm and instrumental in making the decision, but it also sounds like it was a bold effort – that the Board of Directors signed off on – to change the school's fortunes, and one that unfortunately could not overcome years of struggle and financial instability.

The college should have provided the transcripts before it locked the doors, but it looks to me like they wouldn't have been able to do it even then without the state's financial assistance.

If Jane had only known, she could have gotten the Board to approve a donation to the Clinton Foundation, right?

Katharine , August 24, 2016 at 4:52 pm

Looks terrible? Seriously? I'm sorry, but I can't raise my pulse at all because someone took a rational chance her successors were unable to carry through successfully.

As for providing the transcripts before locking the doors, that would have been problematic, as so many places want original transcripts from the institution and won't accept something that has come through the hands of the student. Those alumni are going to be dogged by that as long as they need transcripts unless the state or somebody funds permanent access.

afisher , August 24, 2016 at 6:56 pm

Amen, did anyone hear the screaming about this same scenario when small college had Ben Sasse as President of College? He left, others followed and undid some of his actions and eventually the small college suffered.

Apparently it is fine for some people to have these behaviors overlooked and not so for others. I believe there is a word for that – hmmm, I'm sure it will come to me eventually.

[Aug 24, 2016] Scaring voters with Putin is the cornerstone of Hillary electron campaign

She can not offer anything as she is "kick the can down the road" neoliberal candidate serving financial oligarchy, so playing fear card is her the only chance...
www.nakedcapitalism.com

UPDATE "'You can get rid of Manafort, but that doesn't end the odd bromance Trump has with Putin,' Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook said in a statement" [Washington Post]. That's our Democrats; gin up a war scare all to win Eastern Europeans in a swing state (Ohio). That's what this article, read closely, boils down to, read carefully. (I love Mook's "bromance," so reminiscent of the Clinton campaign's vile BernieBro smear.)

UPDATE "Republicans in North Carolina are pulling out all the stops to suppress the state's reliably Democratic black vote. After the Fourth Circuit court reinstated a week of early voting, GOP-controlled county elections boards are now trying to cut early-voting hours across the state. By virtue of holding the governor's office, Republicans control a majority of votes on all county election boards and yesterday they voted to cut 238 hours of early voting in Charlotte's Mecklenburg County, the largest in the state. 'I'm not a big fan of early voting,' said GOP board chair Mary Potter Summa, brazenly disregarding the federal appeals court's opinion. 'The more [early voting] sites we have, the more opportunities exist for violations'" [The Nation]. Bad Republicans. On the other hand, if the Democrats treated voter registration like a 365/24/7 party function, including purchasing IDs in ID states for those who can't afford them, none of this would be happening.

[Aug 24, 2016] Trump campaign is a similar to Brexit crusade by grassroots activists against "big banks and global political insiders". by those who feel disaffected and disenfranchised

Notable quotes:
"... Speaking to a local radio station before the joint rally, Farage urged Americans to "go out and fight" against Hillary Clinton. ..."
"... "I am going to say to people in this country that the circumstances, the similarities, the parallels between the people who voted Brexit and the people who could beat Clinton in a few weeks time here in America are uncanny," Farage told Super Talk Mississippi. "If they want things to change they have get up out of their chairs and go out and fight for it. It can happen. We've just proved it." ..."
"... It's not for me as a foreign politician to say who you should vote for ... All I will say is that if you vote for Hillary Clinton, then nothing will change. She represents the very politics that we've just broken through the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom. ..."
www.theguardian.com

...the British politician, who was invited by Mississippi governor Phil Bryant, will draw parallels between what he sees as the inspirational story of Brexit and Trump's campaign. Farage will describe the Republican's campaign as a similar crusade by grassroots activists against "big banks and global political insiders" and how those who feel disaffected and disenfranchised can become involved in populist, rightwing politics. With Trump lagging in the polls, just as Brexit did prior to the vote on the referendum, Farage will also hearten supporters by insisting that they can prove pundits and oddsmakers wrong as well.

This message resonates with the Trump campaign's efforts to reach out to blue collar voters who have become disillusioned with American politics, while also adding a unique flair to Trump's never staid campaign rallies.

The event will mark the first meeting between Farage and Trump.

Arron Banks, the businessman who backed Leave.EU, the Brexit campaign group associated with the UK Independence party (Ukip), tweeted that he would be meeting Trump over dinner and was looking forward to Farage's speech.

The appointment last week of Stephen Bannon, former chairman of the Breitbart website, as "CEO" of Trump's campaign has seen the example of the Brexit vote, which Breitbart enthusiastically advocated, rise to the fore in Trump's campaign narrative.

Speaking to a local radio station before the joint rally, Farage urged Americans to "go out and fight" against Hillary Clinton.

"I am going to say to people in this country that the circumstances, the similarities, the parallels between the people who voted Brexit and the people who could beat Clinton in a few weeks time here in America are uncanny," Farage told Super Talk Mississippi. "If they want things to change they have get up out of their chairs and go out and fight for it. It can happen. We've just proved it."

"I am being careful," he added when asked if he supported the controversial Republican nominee. "It's not for me as a foreign politician to say who you should vote for ... All I will say is that if you vote for Hillary Clinton, then nothing will change. She represents the very politics that we've just broken through the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom."

[Aug 24, 2016] Comments on US Military Website Explode in Ridicule After Top Commander Warns Russia, Syria

russia-insider.com

Hannibal Aug 23, 2016 4:15 PM

Comments on US Military Website Explode in Ridicule After Top Commander Warns Russia, Syria

"good luck with this guy, but i dont think so!"

"Guess Townsend likes to make wishes to the tooth fairy (Carter)"

"With this administration even if you took all of Iraq back they would lose it next day or give it away. - Don't be a fool."

http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/new-us-commander-iraq-vows-retake-...

[Aug 24, 2016] Paul Krugman The Water Next Time

Notable quotes:
"... The politicians are battling it out for mindshare in both the electorate and the donor class for related but different reasons. ..."
"... The electorate is not so committed to serving the masters of capitalism, big finance and large corporations and the ownership class as their petty oligarchs are, but that is why campaign finance needs a makeover. ..."
"... In both cases though brainwashing starts at an early age. It just does not pay well enough for the general electorate to be as rigid in their thinking as it does for politicians to be rigid in their blinking. That is why media coverage of public affairs needs a makeover. ..."
Economist's View
RC AKA Darryl, Ron -> DeDude...
The politicians and their electoral constituents are separate matters although there must obviously be a stratum within which political allegiance can be triangulated. The politicians are battling it out for mindshare in both the electorate and the donor class for related but different reasons.

The electorate is not so committed to serving the masters of capitalism, big finance and large corporations and the ownership class as their petty oligarchs are, but that is why campaign finance needs a makeover.

In both cases though brainwashing starts at an early age. It just does not pay well enough for the general electorate to be as rigid in their thinking as it does for politicians to be rigid in their blinking. That is why media coverage of public affairs needs a makeover.

ilsm -> mulp ... ,
Humpty,

Check the media........ and money!

It is a 'system' sustaining itself, and it is corrupt. I have known this since I was a kid.

[Aug 24, 2016] The US raises the stakes in Syria, sets up no-fly zones in Syria and threatens to shoot down any Russian/Syrian jets enter these no-fly zones

Notable quotes:
"... The USA has no business at all in Syria, was not invited in, and if it is allowed to get its way in this it will progressively control more and more Syrian territory until it succeeds in its objective of unseating and replacing Assad. Once more, it has no right to be there, and I'm sure Russia will pursue that angle at the seat of international law. ..."
"... The USA also has no right to impose no-fly zones arbitrarily on its own recognition in another sovereign nation. That's a UN decision, and they will never get that through the Security Council. If they try the R2P approach, who are they exercising their right to protect? ISIL? ..."
"... The problem is that once the US sets a military foothold in Syria there is nothing – outside of using military power – that Russia can do to oust the US from Syria. The international law does not apply to the US because it can break the international law without sanctions being used against it. If there is no punishment there is no incentive for adhering the law either. ..."
"... American Special Forces have already been caught wearing parts of Kurdish uniforms and badges ..."
"... On second reading, it's beginning to sound more like American bluster to me. The press tried to pin him down to no-fly zones or not, and he didn't want to back down but he didn't want to go quite that far so he said "Call it what you want". The USA has no authority to unilaterally impose no-fly zones in a sovereign country. It has to go through the UN, and Russia and China will veto it. The USA is not in Syria with the Syrian government's permission, and it has had what must be called very questionable success so far with 'fighting ISIS'. If it wants to 'protect its forces', it can leave, and the Syrian government will not miss it a bit. ..."
Aug 24, 2016 | marknesop.wordpress.com
karl1haushofer , August 23, 2016 at 10:06 pm

The US raises the stakes in Syria, sets up "no-fly zones" in Syria and threatens to shoot down any Russian/Syrian jets enter these "no-fly zones": http://theduran.com/us-pentagon-throws-full-support-behind-al-qaeda-syria-exclusion-zones-ready-shot-syrian-russian-planes/

This is all about securing that pipeline route that the West hopes that it can some day build from Qatar through Syria to Turkey. The US now claims that part of Syrian territory is their own and it will be used to build that pipeline.

marknesop , August 23, 2016 at 10:25 pm
There is one accurate statement in there. The last one in the article. It's endgame time.

The USA has no business at all in Syria, was not invited in, and if it is allowed to get its way in this it will progressively control more and more Syrian territory until it succeeds in its objective of unseating and replacing Assad. Once more, it has no right to be there, and I'm sure Russia will pursue that angle at the seat of international law.

But at the same time, Russia is legally in Syria, and I am sure it is not going to allow the USA to tell it where it can and cannot fly in Syria. If the USA is really ready to go to war in Syria, it is going to get it. And I don't think I have to point out to you the kind of logistic nightmare it would be, especially if it can no longer count on Turkey. And I find it hard to believe Erdogan will come on board with the USA carving out a Kurdish homeland right next door. Washington is getting desperate, and that's making it act crazy. Let's see what China says about it.

The USA also has no right to impose no-fly zones arbitrarily on its own recognition in another sovereign nation. That's a UN decision, and they will never get that through the Security Council. If they try the R2P approach, who are they exercising their right to protect? ISIL?

What's the USA got in Syria for anti-air systems? Russia has the S-400, and can cover most of Syria without even putting one of its own planes in the air.

karl1haushofer , August 23, 2016 at 10:32 pm
The problem is that once the US sets a military foothold in Syria there is nothing – outside of using military power – that Russia can do to oust the US from Syria. The international law does not apply to the US because it can break the international law without sanctions being used against it. If there is no punishment there is no incentive for adhering the law either.
marknesop , August 23, 2016 at 11:29 pm
Well, I guess we'll just have to see how it shakes out, won't we? I can tell you that if Syrian forces come knocking to drive out ISIS from other towns after Aleppo falls, and the USAF says it is going to stop them because its forces are mixed with ISIS in the town (remember, American Special Forces have already been caught wearing parts of Kurdish uniforms and badges) it is going to cut no ice with the Syrians – it's their country.

On second reading, it's beginning to sound more like American bluster to me. The press tried to pin him down to no-fly zones or not, and he didn't want to back down but he didn't want to go quite that far so he said "Call it what you want". The USA has no authority to unilaterally impose no-fly zones in a sovereign country. It has to go through the UN, and Russia and China will veto it. The USA is not in Syria with the Syrian government's permission, and it has had what must be called very questionable success so far with 'fighting ISIS'. If it wants to 'protect its forces', it can leave, and the Syrian government will not miss it a bit.

[Aug 24, 2016] Bill Kristol Republican Spoiler, Renegade Jew

Breitbart
Contrary to Kristol, far from being a non-interventionist, Obama conducted two interventions against dictators in Egypt and Libya with disastrous consequences. The intervention in Libya, which Kristol supported, has created two million refugees, hundreds of thousands of corpses, and a terrorist state. One might suppose that a little re-thinking of interventionism would be in order. Trump's readiness to rethink interventionism is hardly the same as Obama's strategy of retreat and surrender.

Contrary to Kristol's assertion, Trump is not opposed to all interventions against dictators. He has promised to do what it takes to destroy ISIS, which includes bombing its oil facilities and destroying its headquarters, and is obviously only possible with interventions in Syria and Iraq. Destroying ISIS would also be an action to prevent mass slaughter, despite Kristol groundless claim.

As for Trump proposing "another re-set with Putin's Russia," there was no re-set with Russia under Obama. Attempting a serious re-set - a re-set from strength - would seem reasonable and prudent, and would hardly be a repeat of Obama's policies. It would be just the opposite.

"Getting out of the nation-building business and instead focusing on creating stability in the world" is hardly an Obama policy, as Kristol suggests. Obama's intervention in Eygpt, put the Muslim Brotherhood in power; when the Egyptian military then overthrew the Brotherhood, Obama sided with the Brotherhood and alienated the most important power in the Middle East. These acts, together with Obama's withdrawal from Iraq and waffling in Syria, created a power vacuum that spread instability throughout the region.

"Avoiding nation-building, while focusing on creating stability" is a foreign policy any true constitutional conservative would support - unless that conservative was driven by an irrational hatred of Trump. Finally, Trump's promise to put American interests first and restore respect for America through rebuilding American strength can only be described as a "national retreat" by a very unprincipled - and careless - individual.

All these dishonesties and flim-flam excuses pale by comparison with the consequences Kristol and his "Never Trump" cohorts are willing to risk by splitting the Republican vote. Obama has provided America's mortal enemy, Iran, with a path to nuclear weapons, $150 billion dollars, and the freedom to develop intercontinental ballistic missiles to deliver the lethal payloads. Trump has promised to abandon the Iran deal, while Hillary Clinton and all but a handful of Democrats have supported this treachery from start to finish. Kristol is now one of their allies.

I am a Jew who has never been to Israel and has never been a Zionist in the sense of believing that Jews can rid themselves of Jew hatred by having their own nation state. But half of world Jewry now lives in Israel, and the enemies whom Obama and Hillary have empowered - Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood, Hezbollah, ISIS, and Hamas - have openly sworn to exterminate the Jews. I am also an American (and an American first), whose country is threatened with destruction by the same enemies. To weaken the only party that stands between the Jews and their annihilation, and between America and the forces intent on destroying her, is a political miscalculation so great and a betrayal so profound as to not be easily forgiven.

[Aug 24, 2016] Tragic mistake

Notable quotes:
"... In the Dutch "Telegraph" an article has been published in which it is announced that it was all a tragic mistake explained by low-skilled Buka operators who were under stress. ..."
"... Tomorrow in the Dutch "Telegraph" appears new material about the downing over the Donbas of the Malaysian Boeing MH-17. There has been made an announcement, in which experts are referred to, that states that the Boeing was shot down accidentally (!), that it was "a huge, tragic mistake" and that no one at all had intended to shoot down the Boeing, only those people who were manning the BUK had low skill and had found themselves in a stress situation. In short, they fired a rocket at the Boeing by mistake. ..."
"... What I find hard to believe is that if these accusations had been made against the separatist militia or the Russian military, then the tone of this discussion would have been otherwise. Such a tone, however is fully appropriate in the Western mass media when relating to Ukrainian anti-aircraft operatives who had been approximately deployed at that place and at that time. There are photos and videos. ..."
"... It would be profoundly astonishing to me if there was even the slightest move toward Ukraine accepting responsibility, because of all Poroshenko's accusatory rhetoric and the eager baying of the western press, the British being the worst of the lot. The west would have to eat too much crow, while Ukraine would be the object of both disgust for its deliberate deception and renewed lawsuits by relatives of the dead. They've gone way too far to reverse themselves now. Fascinating, nonetheless. ..."
Aug 24, 2016 | marknesop.wordpress.com
Moscow Exile , August 23, 2016 at 5:12 am
MH17 – сбили по "ошибке"

In the Dutch "Telegraph" an article has been published in which it is announced that it was all a tragic mistake explained by low-skilled Buka operators who were under stress.

Tomorrow in the Dutch "Telegraph" appears new material about the downing over the Donbas of the Malaysian Boeing MH-17. There has been made an announcement, in which experts are referred to, that states that the Boeing was shot down accidentally (!), that it was "a huge, tragic mistake" and that no one at all had intended to shoot down the Boeing, only those people who were manning the BUK had low skill and had found themselves in a stress situation. In short, they fired a rocket at the Boeing by mistake.

What I find hard to believe is that if these accusations had been made against the separatist militia or the Russian military, then the tone of this discussion would have been otherwise. Such a tone, however is fully appropriate in the Western mass media when relating to Ukrainian anti-aircraft operatives who had been approximately deployed at that place and at that time. There are photos and videos.

Moscow Exile , August 23, 2016 at 5:13 am
Over to you, Secretary of State Kerry…
marknesop , August 23, 2016 at 10:43 am
Extremely interesting, and quite a variation on what I thought would be the verdict; "We may never know". But is this actually stipulating that it was non-separatist Ukrainian personnel who were responsible? I don't see that – just 'stressed-out, poorly-trained Buka operators'. That could be anyone.

It would be profoundly astonishing to me if there was even the slightest move toward Ukraine accepting responsibility, because of all Poroshenko's accusatory rhetoric and the eager baying of the western press, the British being the worst of the lot. The west would have to eat too much crow, while Ukraine would be the object of both disgust for its deliberate deception and renewed lawsuits by relatives of the dead. They've gone way too far to reverse themselves now. Fascinating, nonetheless.

Moscow Exile , August 23, 2016 at 12:22 pm
But is this actually stipulating that it was non-separatist Ukrainian personnel who were responsible?

The translation reads:

Such a tone, however is fully appropriate in the Western mass media when relating to Ukrainian anti-aircraft operatives…

Are they classifying separatists as "Ukrainians" when using the term "Ukrainian anti-aircraft operatives"? Wouldn't they have written "Russian backed separatist anti-aircraft operatives" if they had meant those opposed to Kiev rule, or are the "Russian backed separatists" now recognized by the "Telegraph" as being Ukrainian citizens, which they are, of course de jure .

[Aug 23, 2016] The Populist Uprising Isn't Over-It's Only Just Begun Common Dreams Breaking News Views for the Progressive Community

www.commondreams.org

The likelihood is that the Clinton presidency will be tumultuous.

  1. No Honeymoon: On the left, there are fewer hopes about Clinton than about Barack Obama. The pressure will begin even before she takes office in what is likely to be a battle royal in the lame duck session of Congress as Obama tries to force through his TPP trade deal.
  2. New Energy: If the Sanders supporters stay engaged, there could be an organizational form – his OurRevolution and his institute – that can do what a political party should do: educate and mobilize around progressive issues; recruit and support truly progressive candidates. This insurgency may continue to grow.
  3. New Generation: It can't be forgotten how overwhelmingly Sanders won young voters. He not only won 3 of 4 millennial voters in the Democratic primaries, he won a majority of young people of color voting. Some of this was his message. Much of it was the integrity of someone consistent in his views spurning the big money corruptions of our politics. These young people are going to keep moving. They won't find answers in a Clinton administration. We're going to see more movements, more disruptions, and more mobilizations – around jobs, around student debt, about inequality, around criminal justice, immigration, globalization, and climate and more.
  4. New Coalitions: Sanders and Trump clearly have shaken the coalitions of their parties. Trump combined populism with bigotry and xenophobia to break up the Republican establishment's ability to use the latter to support their neoliberal economics. Sanders attracted support of the young across lines of race, challenging the Democratic establishment's ability to use liberal identity politics to fuse minorities and upper middle class professionals into a majority coalition. Clinton fended off the challenge, but the shakeup has only begun.
  5. New Ideas: The Davos era has failed. There is no way it can continue down the road without producing more and more opposition. This is now the second straight "recovery" in which most Americans will lose ground. Already the elite is embattled intellectually on key elements of the neo-liberal agenda: corporate globalization, privatization, austerity, "small government," even global policing. Joe Stiglitz suggests that the Davos era is over, but that is premature. What is clear is that it has failed and the struggle to replace it has just begun. And that waving the white flag because Trump is besmirching populism mistakes today's farce for history's drama.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.

Robert Borosage is the founder and president of the Institute for America's Future and co-director of its sister organization, the Campaign for America's Future.

[Aug 22, 2016] Bernie Sanders: The Ron Paul of the Left? Not Quite

May 29, 2015 | original.antiwar.com

Yet his real foreign policy record is closer to Hillary's than he likes to admit. Yes, he opposed the Iraq war – and then proceeded to routinely vote to fund that war: ditto Afghanistan. In 2003, at the height of the Iraq war hysteria, then Congressman Sanders voted for a congressional resolution hailing Bush:

"Congress expresses the unequivocal support and appreciation of the nation to the President as Commander-in-Chief for his firm leadership and decisive action in the conduct of military operations in Iraq as part of the ongoing Global War on Terrorism."

As the drumbeat for war with Iran got louder, Rep. Sanders voted for the Iran Freedom Support Act, which codified sanctions imposed since the fall of the Shah and handed out millions to "pro-freedom" groups seeking the overthrow of the Tehran regime. The Bush administration, you'll recall, was running a regime change operation at that point which gave covert support to Jundullah, a terrorist group responsible for murdering scores of Iranian civilians. Bush was also canoodling with the Mujahideen-e-Khalq, a weirdo cult group once designated as a terrorist organization (a label lifted by Hillary Clinton's State Department after a well-oiled public relations campaign).

Sanders fulsomely supported the Kosovo war: when shocked antiwar activists visited his Senate office in Burlington, Vermont, he called the cops on them. At a Montpelier public meeting featuring a debate on the war, Bernie argued passionately in favor of Bill Clinton's "humanitarian" intervention, and pointedly told hecklers to leave if they didn't like what he had to say.

As a Senator, his votes on civil liberties issues show a distinct pattern. While he voted against the Patriot Act, in 2006 he voted in favor of making fourteen provisions of the Act permanent, including those that codified the FBI's authority to seize business records and carry out roving wiretaps. Sanders voted no on the legislation establishing the Department of Homeland Security, but by the time he was in the Senate he was regularly voting for that agency's ever-expanding budget.

The evolution of Bernie Sanders – from his days as a Liberty Unionist radical and Trotskyist fellow-traveler, to his first political success as Mayor of Burlington, his election to Congress and then on to the Senate – limns the course of the post-Sixties American left. Although birthed in the turmoil of the Vietnam war, the vaunted anti-interventionism of this crowd soon fell by the wayside as domestic political tradeoffs trumped ideology. Nothing exemplifies this process of incremental betrayal better than Sanders' support for the troubled F-35 fighter jet, the classic case of a military program that exists only to enrich the military-industrial complex. Although the plane has been plagued with technical difficulties, and has toted up hundreds of billions of dollars in cost overruns, Sanders has stubbornly defended and voted for it because Lockheed-Martin manufactures it in Vermont.

[Aug 21, 2016] Can The Deep State Be Cured Zero Hedge

Notable quotes:
"... The "Obama Doctrine" a continuation of the previous false government doctrines in my lifetime, is less doctrine than the disease, as David Swanson points out . But in the article he critiques, the neoconservative warmongering global planning freak perspective (truly, we must recognize this view as freakish, sociopathic, death-cultish, control-obsessed, narcissist, take your pick or get a combo, it's all good). Disease, as a way of understanding the deep state action on the body politic, is abnormal. It can and should be cured. ..."
"... The deep state seems to have grown, strengthened and tightened its grip. Can a lack of real money restrain or starve it? I once thought so, and maybe I still do. But it doesn't use real money, but rather debt and creative financing to get that next new car, er, war and intervention and domestic spending program. Ultimately it's not sustainable, and just as unaffordable cars are junked, stripped, repossessed, and crunched up, so will go the way of the physical assets of the warfare–welfare state. ..."
"... Because inflated salaries , inflated stock prices and inflated ruling-class personalities are month to month, these should evaporate more quickly, over a debris field once known as some of richest counties in the United States. Can I imagine the shabbiest of trailer parks in the dismal swamp, where high rises and government basilicas and abbeys once stood? I'd certainly like to. But I'll settle for well-kept, privately owned house trailers, filled with people actually producing some small value for society, and minding their own business. ..."
"... Finally, what of those pinpricks of light, the honest assessments of the real death trail and consumption pit that the deep state has delivered? Well, it is growing and broadening. Wikileaks and Snowden are considered assets now to any and all competitors to the US deep state, from within and from abroad – the Pandora's box, assisted by technology, can't be closed now. The independent media has matured to the point of criticizing and debating itself/each other, as well as focusing harsh light on the establishment media. Instead of left and right mainstream media, we increasingly recognize state media, and delightedly observe its own struggle to survive in the face of a growing nervousness of the deep state it assists on command. ..."
"... Watch an old program like"Yes, Minister" to understand how it works. Politicians come and go, but the permanent state apparatchiks doesn't. ..."
"... The "deep state" programs, whether conceived and directed by Soros' handlers, or others, risks unintended consequences. The social division intended by BLM, for example could easily morph beyond the goals. The lack of law due to corruption is equally susceptible to a spontaneous reaction of "the mob," not under the control of the Tavistock handlers. There's an old saying on Wall St; pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. ..."
www.zerohedge.com

Submitted by Karen Kwiatkowski via LewRockwell.com,

So, after getting up late, groggy, and feeling overworked even before I started, I read this article . Just after, I had to feed a dozen cats and dogs, each dog in a separate room out of respect for their territorialism and aggressive desire to consume more than they should (hmm, where have I seen this before), and in the process, forgot where I put my coffee cup. Retracing steps, I finally find it and sit back down to my 19-inch window on the ugly (and perhaps remote) world of the state, and the endless pinpricks of the independent media on its vast overwhelmingly evil existence. I suspect I share this distractibility and daily estrangement from the actions of our government with most Americans .

We are newly bombing Libya and still messing with the Middle East? I thought that the wars the deep state wanted and started were now limited and constrained! What happened to lack of funds, lack of popular support, public transparency that revealed the stupidity and abject failure of these wars?

Deep state.Something systemic, difficult to detect, hard to remove, hidden. It is a spirit as much as nerves and organ. How do your starve it, excise it, or just make it go away? We want to know. I think this explains the popularity of infotainment about haunted houses, ghosts and alien beings among us. They live and we are curious and scared.

The "Obama Doctrine" a continuation of the previous false government doctrines in my lifetime, is less doctrine than the disease, as David Swanson points out . But in the article he critiques, the neoconservative warmongering global planning freak perspective (truly, we must recognize this view as freakish, sociopathic, death-cultish, control-obsessed, narcissist, take your pick or get a combo, it's all good). Disease, as a way of understanding the deep state action on the body politic, is abnormal. It can and should be cured.

My summary of the long Jeffrey Goldberg piece is basically that Obama has become more fatalistic (did he mean to say fatal?) since he won that Nobel Peace Prize back in 2009 . By the way, the "Nobel prize" article contains this gem, sure to get a chuckle:

"Obama's drone program is regularly criticized for a lack of transparency and accountability, especially considering incomplete intelligence means officials are often unsure about who will die. "

[M]ost individuals killed are not on a kill list, and the government does not know their names," Micah Zenko, a scholar at the Council on Foreign Relations told the New York Times."

This is about all the fun I can handle in one day. But back to what I was trying to say.

The deep state seems to have grown, strengthened and tightened its grip. Can a lack of real money restrain or starve it? I once thought so, and maybe I still do. But it doesn't use real money, but rather debt and creative financing to get that next new car, er, war and intervention and domestic spending program. Ultimately it's not sustainable, and just as unaffordable cars are junked, stripped, repossessed, and crunched up, so will go the way of the physical assets of the warfare–welfare state.

Because inflated salaries , inflated stock prices and inflated ruling-class personalities are month to month, these should evaporate more quickly, over a debris field once known as some of richest counties in the United States. Can I imagine the shabbiest of trailer parks in the dismal swamp, where high rises and government basilicas and abbeys once stood? I'd certainly like to. But I'll settle for well-kept, privately owned house trailers, filled with people actually producing some small value for society, and minding their own business.

Can a lack of public support reduce the deep state, or impact it? Well, it would seem that this is a non-factor, except for the strange history we have had and are witnessing again today, with the odd successful popular and populist-leaning politician and their related movements. In my lifetime, only popular figures and their movements get assassinated mysteriously, with odd polka dot dresses, MKULTRA suggestions, threats against their family by their competitors (I'm thinking Perot, but one mustn't be limited to that case), and always with concordant pressures on the sociopolitical seams in the country, i.e riots and police/military activations. The bad dealings toward, and genuine fear of, Bernie Sanders within the Democratic Party's wing of the deep state is matched or exceeded only by the genuine terror of Trump among the Republican deep state wing. This reaction to something or some person that so many in the country find engaging and appealing - an outsider who speaks to the growing political and economic dissatisfaction of a poorer, more indebted, and more regulated population – is heart-warming, to be sure. It is a sign that whether or not we do, the deep state thinks things might change. Thank you, Bernie and especially Donald, for revealing this much! And the "republicanization" of the Libertarian Party is also a bright indicator blinking out the potential of deep state movement and compromise in the pursuit of "stability."

Finally, what of those pinpricks of light, the honest assessments of the real death trail and consumption pit that the deep state has delivered? Well, it is growing and broadening. Wikileaks and Snowden are considered assets now to any and all competitors to the US deep state, from within and from abroad – the Pandora's box, assisted by technology, can't be closed now. The independent media has matured to the point of criticizing and debating itself/each other, as well as focusing harsh light on the establishment media. Instead of left and right mainstream media, we increasingly recognize state media, and delightedly observe its own struggle to survive in the face of a growing nervousness of the deep state it assists on command.

Maybe we will one day soon be able to debate how deep the deep state really is, or whether it was all just a dressed up, meth'ed up, and eff'ed up a sector of society that deserves a bit of jail time, some counseling, and a new start . Maybe some job training that goes beyond the printing of license plates. But given the destruction and mass murder committed daily in the name of this state, and the environmental disasters it has created around the world for the future generations, perhaps we will be no more merciful to these proprietors of the American empire as they have been to their victims. The ruling class deeply fears our judgment, and in this dynamic lies the cure.

Jim in MN Tallest Skil Aug 20, 2016 8:22 PM

I made a list of steps that could be taken to disrupt the Beast. It's all I can offer but I offer it freely.

https://www.scribd.com/document/67758041/List-of-Demands-October-6-2011

4:00 AM October 6, 2011

Kitchen Table, USA

LIST OF DEMANDS TO PROTECT THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA FROM FINANCIAL CATASTROPHE

I.CURB CORRUPTION AND EXCESSIVE POWER IN THE FINANCIAL ARMS OF THE US GOVERNMENT

A. FEDERAL RESERVE

1. Benjaman Bernanke to be removed as Chairman immediately

2. New York Federal Reserve Bank and all New York City offices of the Federal Reserve system will be closed for at least 3 years

3. Salaries will be reduced and capped at $150,000/year, adjusted for official inflation

4. Staffing count to be reduced to 1980 levels

5. Interest rate manipulation to be prohibited for at least five years

6. Balance sheet manipulation to be prohibited for at least five years

7. Financial asset purchases prohibited for at least five years

B. TREASURY DEPARTMENT

1. Timothy Geithner to be removed as Secretary immediately

2. All New York City offices of the Department will be closed for at least 3 years

3. Salaries will be reduced and capped at $150,000/year, adjusted for official inflation

4. Staffing count to be reduced to 1980 levels

5. Market manipulation/intervention to be prohibited for at least five years

7. Financial asset purchases prohibited for at least five years

II. END THE CORRUPTING INFLUENCE OF GIANT BANKS AND PROTECT AMERICANS FROM FURTHER EXPOSURE TO THEIR COLLAPSE

A. END CORRUPT INFLUENCE

1. Lifetime ban on government employment for TARP recipient employees and corporate officers, specifically including Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase

2. Ten year ban on government work for consulting firms, law firms, and individual consultants and lawyers who have accepted cash from these entities

3. All contacts by any method with federal agencies and employees prohibited for at least five years, with civil and criminal penalties for violation

B. PROTECT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE FROM FURTHER HARM AT THE HANDS OF GIANT BANKS

1. No financial institution with assets of more than $10billion will receive federal assistance or any 'arm's-length' bailouts

2. TARP recipients are prohibited from purchasing other TARP recipient corporate units, or merging with other TARP recipients

3. No foreign interest shall be allowed to acquire any portion of TARP recipients in the US or abroad

III. PREVENT CORPORATE ACCOUNTING AND PENSION FUND ABUSES RELATED TO THE GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS

A. CORPORATE ACCOUNTING

1. Immediately implement mark-to-market accounting rules which were improperly suspended, allowing six months for implementation.

2. Companies must reserve against impaired assets under mark-to-market rules

3. Any health or life insurance company with more than$100 million in assets must report on their holdings and risk factors, specifically including exposure to real estate, mortgage-backed securities, derivatives, and other exotic financial instruments. These reports will be to state insurance commissions and the federal government, and will also be made available to the public on the Internet.

B. PENSION FUNDS

1. All private and public pension funds must disclose their funding status and establish a plan to fully fund accounts under the assumption that net real returns across all asset classes remain at zero for at least ten years.

Winston Churchill -> Sam Clemons Aug 20, 2016 7:26 PM

Watch an old program like"Yes, Minister" to understand how it works. Politicians come and go, but the permanent state apparatchiks doesn't.

sinbad2 -> Winston Churchill Aug 20, 2016 7:58 PM

Sir Humphrey Appleby: You know what happens when politicians get into Number 10; they want to take their place on the world stage.

Sir Richard Wharton: People on stages are called actors. All they are required to do is look plausible, stay sober, and say the lines they're given in the right order.

Sir Humphrey Appleby: Some of them try to make up their own lines.

Sir Richard Wharton: They don't last long.

rlouis Aug 20, 2016 7:47 PM

The "deep state" programs, whether conceived and directed by Soros' handlers, or others, risks unintended consequences. The social division intended by BLM, for example could easily morph beyond the goals. The lack of law due to corruption is equally susceptible to a spontaneous reaction of "the mob," not under the control of the Tavistock handlers. There's an old saying on Wall St; pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered.

The failed coup in Turkey is a significant indication of institutional weakness and also vulnerability. The inability to exercise force of will in Syria is another. The list of failures is getting too long.

[Aug 21, 2016] Gaius Publius: You Broke It, You Bought It – A Sanders Activist Challenges Clinton Supporters

No progressives worth their name would vote for Hillary. Betrayal of Sanders made the choice more difficult, but still there no alternative. Clinton "No passaran!". Also "Clinton proved capable of coming to an agreement with Sanders. He received good money, bought a new house, published a book, and joined with Clinton, calling on his supporters to vote for her"...
Crappy slogans like "hold her feet to the fire" are lies. Has there ever been serious detail about that? I've seen this line over and over. Hillary is dyed-in-the-wool neoliberal and will behave as such as soon as she get into office. You can view her iether as (more jingoistic) Obama II or (equally reckless) Bush III. If she wins, the next opportunity to check her neoliberal leaning will be only during the next Persidential election.
Notable quotes:
"... ...was Clinton the better progressive choice against Sanders? Almost no Sanders-supporting Democratic voter would say yes to that. Not on trade, not on climate, not on breaking up too-big Wall Street banks, not on criminally prosecuting (finally) "too big to jail" members of the elite - not on any number of issues that touch core progressives values. ..."
"... It's time for progressives who helped Hillary Clinton beat Bernie Sanders in the primary to take the lead on holding her accountable. ..."
"... She's now appointed two pro-TPP politicians to key positions on her campaign  -  Tim Kaine as her Vice President and Ken Salazar to lead her presidential transition team. It's time for progressives who helped Clinton beat Bernie Sanders in the primary to take the lead on holding her accountable. ..."
"... The choice of Salazar is a pretty good sign that as expected we'll be seeing the 'revolving door' in full force in a Clinton administration. As head of the transition he'll have enormous influence on who fills thousands of jobs at the White House and federal agencies. ..."
"... It is really important to stop referring to "job-killing trade deals" and point out every single time they are mentioned that the TPP, TTIP and TISA are about GOVERNANCE, not about "trade" in any sense that a normal person understands it. ..."
"... TPP & its ilk, like NAFTA and CAFTA before them, are about world government by multinational corporations via their Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions. ..."
"... Regulatory arb, slice of corruption, and like shareholder value memes an equity burnishing tool… ..."
"... One thing I liked about Thom Hartmann was he relentlessly drove home the point that the US succeeded, grew, and became the dominant economic power in the world through the use of TARIFFS. Tariffs are necessary. ..."
"... The nafta-shafta deals relinquish the right to even think about tariffs. You don't have a sovereign nation any more. ..."
"... You can visit the prosperous Samsung-suburb of Suwon, Korea and see all the abandoned manufacturing space (where Korea was just a step on the path to Vietnam and Bangladesh). ..."
"... Information revolution automation is substituting machines for human intelligence. Here the race to the bottom is a single step, and these "trade" deals are all about rules of governance that will apply when people have been stripped of all economic power. ..."
"... merely infinite wealth and power for a thin oligarchy of robot/machine owners? ..."
"... Globalization and Technologization is a canard they use to explain the impoverishment and death of the working class. ..."
"... The fact that auto manufactures moved plants to low wage, nonunion, right to work states actually highlights the fact that labor costs drive the decision where to locate manufacturing plants. ..."
Aug 20, 2016 | nakedcapitalism.com

...was Clinton the better progressive choice against Sanders? Almost no Sanders-supporting Democratic voter would say yes to that. Not on trade, not on climate, not on breaking up too-big Wall Street banks, not on criminally prosecuting (finally) "too big to jail" members of the elite - not on any number of issues that touch core progressives values.

... ... ...

Becky Bond on the Challenge to Clinton Supporters

...Bond looks at what the primary has wrought, and issues this challenge to activists who helped defeat Sanders: You broke it, you bought it. Will you now take charge in the fight to hold Clinton accountable? Or will you hang back (enjoying the fruits) and let others take the lead? ("Enjoying the fruits" is my addition. As one attendee noted, the Democratic Convention this year seemed very much like "a jobs fair.")

Bond says this, writing in The Hill (my emphasis):

Progressive Clinton supporters: You broke it, you bought it

It's time for progressives who helped Hillary Clinton beat Bernie Sanders in the primary to take the lead on holding her accountable.

With Donald Trump tanking in the polls, there's room for progressives to simultaneously crush his bid for the presidency while holding Hillary Clinton's feet to the fire on the TPP .

And yet:

She's now appointed two pro-TPP politicians to key positions on her campaign  -  Tim Kaine as her Vice President and Ken Salazar to lead her presidential transition team. It's time for progressives who helped Clinton beat Bernie Sanders in the primary to take the lead on holding her accountable.

... ... ...

Bond has more on Salazar and why both he and Tim Kaine are a "tell," a signal of things to come from Hillary Clinton: "The choice of Salazar is a pretty good sign that as expected we'll be seeing the 'revolving door' in full force in a Clinton administration. As head of the transition he'll have enormous influence on who fills thousands of jobs at the White House and federal agencies."

... ... ...

Carla , August 20, 2016 at 5:40 am

It is really important to stop referring to "job-killing trade deals" and point out every single time they are mentioned that the TPP, TTIP and TISA are about GOVERNANCE, not about "trade" in any sense that a normal person understands it.

This is the evil behind the lie of calling these "trade" agreements and putting the focus on "jobs." TPP & its ilk, like NAFTA and CAFTA before them, are about world government by multinational corporations via their Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions.

That's what's at stake; not jobs. The jobs will be lost to automation anyway; they are never coming back. The TPP et al legal straight jackets do not sell out jobs, that's already been done. No, what these phony trade agreements do is foreclose any hope of achieving functioning democracies. Please start saying so!

sd , August 20, 2016 at 5:55 am

Question – If automation killed jobs, then why did manufacturing move to low wage states and countries?

Carla , August 20, 2016 at 6:25 am

I miss-typed above. Of course I meant TPP and not ttp.

Yes, WTO, NAFTA, CAFTA, etc., certainly killed jobs. However, those jobs are not coming back to these shores. In the higher wage countries, "good" jobs - in manufacturing and in many "knowledge" and "service" sectors - as well as unskilled jobs, are being or have been replaced with automated means and methods.

Just a few examples: automobile assemblers; retail cashiers; secretaries; steelworkers; highway toll collectors; gas station attendants. ETC. Here's what's happened so far just in terms of Great Lakes freighters:

"The wheelman stood behind Captain Ross, clutching a surprisingly tiny, computerized steering wheel. He wore driving gloves and turned the Equinox every few seconds in whatever direction the captain told him to. The wheel, computer monitors and what looked like a server farm filling the wheelhouse are indicative of changes in the shipping industry. Twenty years ago, it took 35 crew members to run a laker. The Equinox operates with 16, only a handful of whom are on duty at once."

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/21/travel/great-lakes-montreal-minnesota.html

TPP, TTIP and TISA are about GOVERNANCE, not trade, and only very incidentally, jobs. The rulers of the universe vastly prefer paying no wages to paying low wages, and whatever can be automated, will be, eventually in low-wage countries as well as here and in Europe. A great deal of this has already happened and it will continue. Only 5 sections of the TPP even deal with trade–that's out of 29. Don't take this on my authority; Public Citizen is the gold standard of analysis regarding these so-called "trade" agreements.

different clue , August 21, 2016 at 2:00 am

It took the OverClass several decades to send all those jobs away from our shores. It would take several decades to bring those jobs back to our shores. But it could be done within a context of militant belligerent protectionism.

Americans are smart enough to make spoons, knives and forks. We used to make them. We could make them again. The only obstacles are contrived and artificial political-economic and policy obstacles. Apply a different Market Forcefield to the American Market, and the actors within that market would act differently over the several decades to come.

Andrew , August 20, 2016 at 6:34 am

Automation hasn't eliminated those jobs yet. But it will. See Foxconns investment in automation to eliminate iPhone assemblers.

Skippy , August 20, 2016 at 6:37 am

Regulatory arb, slice of corruption, and like shareholder value memes an equity burnishing tool…

EndOfTheWorld , August 20, 2016 at 6:46 am

One thing I liked about Thom Hartmann was he relentlessly drove home the point that the US succeeded, grew, and became the dominant economic power in the world through the use of TARIFFS. Tariffs are necessary. They protect your industries while at the same time bringing in a lot of revenue.

The nafta-shafta deals relinquish the right to even think about tariffs. You don't have a sovereign nation any more.

casino implosion , August 20, 2016 at 6:07 pm

Sovereign nations are racist.

different clue , August 21, 2016 at 2:02 am

Really? Even multi-ethnic ones like Russia? Or America on a good day? Or Canada?

You might want to be careful with Davos Man Free-Trade hasbara like that. You could end up giving racism a good name.

Tom , August 20, 2016 at 6:50 am

Off-shoring was just a stop-gap measure until human capital could be completely removed from the equation.

Tom , August 20, 2016 at 7:55 am

I meant to include a link to this particularly shocking example from a few months ago:
Foxconn, Apple's Chinese supplier, is replacing 60,000 workers with AI robots.

John , August 20, 2016 at 10:07 am

Well then Apple can bring the all it's manufacturing back to the U.S. No need to be in China if they aren't using slave wage workers.

Tom , August 20, 2016 at 2:55 pm

Humans are just one line item on the list of expenses..

dk , August 20, 2016 at 8:20 am

^That.

Vastydeep , August 20, 2016 at 7:19 am

The first round of industrial revolution automation substituted machines for human/horse mechanical exertion. We reached "peak horse" around 1900, and the move to low-wage/low-regulation states was just a step on the global race to the bottom. You can visit the prosperous Samsung-suburb of Suwon, Korea and see all the abandoned manufacturing space (where Korea was just a step on the path to Vietnam and Bangladesh).

Information revolution automation is substituting machines for human intelligence. Here the race to the bottom is a single step, and these "trade" deals are all about rules of governance that will apply when people have been stripped of all economic power.

Will the rise of the machines lead to abundance for all, or merely infinite wealth and power for a thin oligarchy of robot/machine owners? TPP and it's ilk may be the last chance for we the people to have any say in it.

PhilU , August 20, 2016 at 10:00 am

Manufacturing is in decline due to Reagan's tax cuts and low investment. Globalization and Technologization is a canard they use to explain the impoverishment and death of the working class.

John Zelnicker , August 20, 2016 at 10:23 am

@Squirrel – Labor costs, as you say, are a driving force; they are not the only one. Notice that the products you mentioned are all large heavy items. In these cases the transportation costs are high enough that the companies want their production to be close to their final market. The lower cost of labor elsewhere is not enough to compensate for the higher shipping costs from those locations. In addition, the wage gap between the US and other places has narrowed over the past 20 years, mostly due to the ongoing suppression of wage gains in the US. Your examples are exceptions that do not falsify the original premise that a huge amount of manufacturing has moved to lower wage locations. And those moves are still ongoing, e.g., Carrier moving to Mexico.

The cost of manufactured goods has not fallen because the labor savings is going to profit and executive compensation, not reduced prices.

TimmyB , August 20, 2016 at 12:31 pm

The fact that auto manufactures moved plants to low wage, nonunion, right to work states actually highlights the fact that labor costs drive the decision where to locate manufacturing plants.

[Aug 21, 2016] Sanders gets 45% of the vote and leads them down Hillarys cattle chute for slaughter – not cooption, not marginalization, but the bolt gun to the head

Notable quotes:
"... All these elections are equally fake. At some point you're going to have to stop pecking B.F. Skinner's levers, because the pellets have stopped coming out. But there's no point reasoning with you till your extinction burst finally subsides. ..."
"... This is not a very good piece for several reasons, one being only in the nonsense universe of US mainstream discourse can Clinton be termed a 'centrist' or can someone be depicted as a bona fide 'progressive' and also be a supporter of Clinton. I wouldn't waste a moment trying to pressure 'Clinton progressives' on anything – there is no historical evidence she or Bill have ever had the slightest interest in the public interest. At best a 'Clinton progressive' might claim to be 'defending' some existing public good, but good luck there as well – as Trump is not the source of any real 'threat', that distinction belonging to the existing power elites (military, financial, corporate, legal, media etc.) Clinton serves. ..."
"... The idea that Clinton ever was 'open' to progressives reminds me of why the putrid Rahm Emmanuel could dismiss the left as a 'bunch of retards'. Time to make them eat those words by taking ourselves and our values and our thinking seriously enough we stop fearing not being taken 'seriously' by so loathsome a crew as the Clintons. ..."
www.nakedcapitalism.com
Mooooo , August 20, 2016 at 10:42 pm

Here in Temple Grandin's touchy-feely slaughterhouse, Sanders gets 45% of the vote and leads them down Hillary's cattle chute for slaughter – not cooption, not marginalization, but the bolt gun to the head, with lots of sadistic poleaxing straight out of an illegal PETA video. The surviving livestock are auctioned off for flensing through gleeful trading in influence. This we learn, is not beyond redemption. In some demented psycho-Quaker sense, perhaps. What the fuck WON'T you put up with?

In this psychotic mindset, Kim Jong Un's 99.97% victory proves he's like twice as worthwhile as any Dem. Write him in. Nursultan Nazarbayev, too, his 98% success speaks for itself. Write him in. All these elections are equally fake. At some point you're going to have to stop pecking B.F. Skinner's levers, because the pellets have stopped coming out. But there's no point reasoning with you till your extinction burst finally subsides.

Then we can talk about how you knock over moribund regimes.

Fiver , August 20, 2016 at 6:24 pm

This is not a very good piece for several reasons, one being only in the nonsense universe of US mainstream discourse can Clinton be termed a 'centrist' or can someone be depicted as a bona fide 'progressive' and also be a supporter of Clinton. I wouldn't waste a moment trying to pressure 'Clinton progressives' on anything – there is no historical evidence she or Bill have ever had the slightest interest in the public interest. At best a 'Clinton progressive' might claim to be 'defending' some existing public good, but good luck there as well – as Trump is not the source of any real 'threat', that distinction belonging to the existing power elites (military, financial, corporate, legal, media etc.) Clinton serves.

There are 3 critical issues 'progressives', Greens, lefties, libertarians and others must come together en masse to resist: TPP immediately, US foreign policy of permanent wars of aggression now involving the entire Muslim world and fossil fuels. Don't waste any time hoping to influence Clinton (you won't) or fretting about Trump. First TPP, then anti-War/anti-fossil fuels.

I am convinced TPP can be beaten – not with 'Clinton activists', but with a broad coalition of interests. And once it has been beaten, the supremely idiotic 'war on terror' is next up. Americans' votes and electoral desires have been ignored and suppressed. Other legitimate means therefore must be taken up and utilized to change critical policy failures directly.

The idea that Clinton ever was 'open' to progressives reminds me of why the putrid Rahm Emmanuel could dismiss the left as a 'bunch of retards'. Time to make them eat those words by taking ourselves and our values and our thinking seriously enough we stop fearing not being taken 'seriously' by so loathsome a crew as the Clintons.

[Aug 21, 2016] Dystopia Regarding Neoconservative, Neoliberal Newspeak

October 03, 2006 | Big Medicine

TEHRAN, Feb. 14 (MNA) -- Most of the neoconservatives in the United States advocate globalization and the neoliberal economic model. What's wrong with this picture?

At first glance, nothing is wrong with the statement because it is basically true. At second glance, everything is wrong with it.

Liberal and conservative used to be opposites. Now we have neoliberal neoconservatives. If the neocons are also neoliberals, how do we avoid confusion when using the words liberal and conservative?

It is natural for language to evolve, but when antonyms become synonyms, there is a problem.

The situation is similar to the Newspeak and doublethink of George Orwell's book 1984. Newspeak was a language meant to control people by decreasing their power of reasoning through oversimplification of the language and doublethink.

Orwell wrote: "Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them."

There are now countless examples of this in the English language.

In war, civilian casualties are called collateral damage. The use of the expression collateral damage allows people to avoid the unpleasantry of having to think about innocent civilians being killed.

Every country used to have a war ministry, but they all later changed the name to the defense ministry or the defense department. In 1984, it was called the Ministry of Peace, or Minipax in Newspeak.

Try this simple exercise. Imagine you are listening to the radio and the newscaster says: "The war minister has just issued a statement."

Now suppose the newscaster said: "The defense minister has just issued a statement." Notice how a change of one word changed your reaction.

Consider the many acronyms that have entered the language such as NATO, NAFTA, and CIA. Their complete names, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, North American Free Trade Agreement, and Central Intelligence Agency, contain the words treaty, free, free trade, agreement, and intelligence. On hearing these words, the mind naturally makes many free associations that cannot occur when the acronyms are used.

The neoliberal neocons themselves use a form of Newspeak.

The most glaring example of this is when neoliberal neocon officials in the United States tell citizens that they must take away some of their freedom in order to protect their freedom. Shades of Orwell's "freedom is slavery".

U.S. officials have spoken of the need to cancel elections in order to safeguard democracy if a serious crisis arises. Some have even gone so far as to suggest that in a national emergency the U.S. Constitution may have to be temporarily suspended in order to protect the civil liberties enshrined in that document.

Bizarrely, very few U.S. citizens are protesting. Apparently, they have already learned how to employ doublethink.

Language is being used to control people. People are actually subconsciously brainwashing themselves through the language they use.

The word neocon itself is Newspeak since its use in place of the longer form eliminates all the connotations of the words neoconservative and conservative.

Let's look at a few more quotes from 1984 to get a better understanding of what is happening today.

"To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again: and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself. That was the ultimate subtlety: consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed. Even to understand the word 'doublethink' involved the use of doublethink."

"The Ministry of Peace concerns itself with war, the Ministry of Truth with lies, the Ministry of Love with torture and the Ministry of Plenty with starvation. These contradictions are not accidental, nor do they result from ordinary hypocrisy; they are deliberate exercises in doublethink. For it is only by reconciling contradictions that power can be retained indefinitely. In no other way could the ancient cycle be broken. If human equality is to be for ever averted -- if the High, as we have called them, are to keep their places permanently -- then the prevailing mental condition must be controlled insanity."

"The purpose of Newspeak was not only to provide a medium of expression for the world-view and mental habits proper to the devotees of Ingsoc, but to make all other modes of thought impossible. It was intended that when Newspeak had been adopted once and for all and Oldspeak forgotten, a heretical thought -- that is, a thought diverging from the principles of Ingsoc -- should be literally unthinkable, at least so far as thought is dependent on words."

"Newspeak was designed not to extend but to diminish the range of thought, and this purpose was indirectly assisted by cutting the choice of words down to a minimum."

"But the special function of certain Newspeak words, of which oldthink was one, was not so much to express meanings as to destroy them."

"The intention was to make speech, and especially speech on any subject not ideologically neutral, as nearly as possible independent of consciousness."

"Ultimately it was hoped to make articulate speech issue from the larynx without involving the higher brain centres at all."

The advocates of globalization often use a form of Newspeak.

When government officials and economists say the economy of a Third World country is booming, despite the fact that they know the masses live in abject poverty, and the media repeat the lie, that is doublethink through Newspeak. Of course, the economy of the country in question is only booming for the globalist and local upper classes, and perhaps also for the middle classes, but somehow almost nobody questions the lie. And the neoliberal globalists are laughing all the way to the bank.

The acceptance of such a lie by the general public is an even greater real-life catastrophe than the fictional one described in 1984. Worse still, some people acknowledge that it is a lie but respond with apathy or slavish resignation in the belief that nothing can be done about the situation.

Do we want to live in dystopia, the worst of all possible worlds, the doubleplusungood of all possible worlds?

If not, we should watch our language and take care that we are still using our higher brain centers.

SOURCE: Mehr News

[Aug 20, 2016] Anabolic steroids taint Olympic competition, but its what they do to the human brain that is terrifying

Notable quotes:
"... studies in animals show that steroid-induced aggression is not impulsive, nor uncontrolled. Steroid-treated rats remain attuned to the context of the fight: who their opponent is and where the fight takes place. This suggests that anabolic steroids can promote not only spur-of-the-moment aggression, but also premeditated violence. ..."
"... "Anabolic" refers to their muscle-building properties. (Not all steroids are anabolic; cortisol is a steroid widely prescribed as an anti-inflammatory agent.) Despite a variety of pharmaceutical names (e.g. nandrolone, boldenone, dianabol), all anabolic steroids are derivatives of testosterone, the major steroid produced by the testes in men. ..."
"... It is estimated that as many as 3 million Americans have availed themselves of these outlets - far more than most people realize. Anabolic steroids are in high schools, fitness centers and "rejuvenation" clinics. A typical user is a young man in his late teens or early 20s. Among U.S. high school students, 4% to 6% of boys have used anabolic steroids, comparable to the rates of crack cocaine or heroin use. Among men in their 20s, that rate is even higher. ..."
"... Many anabolic steroid users show signs of addiction: They take more than intended and are reluctant to quit because of withdrawal symptoms and loss of muscle mass. In addition, heightened testosterone levels give users a sense of invulnerability and increase their risk-taking. The resulting behavior can endanger themselves and others: fighting, unsafe sex, drinking and driving, carrying a weapon. A Swedish study of anabolic steroid users showed high rates of death from homicide, suicide and drug overdose. ..."
"... Ruth Wood, chair of the department of cell and neurobiology at USC's Keck School of Medicine, studies the effects of anabolic steroids on brain and behavior. ..."
LA Times
The popular image of "road-rage" is a sudden and exaggerated response to a minimal provocation, like "The Incredible Hulk." But that's not how it works. Instead, studies in animals show that steroid-induced aggression is not impulsive, nor uncontrolled. Steroid-treated rats remain attuned to the context of the fight: who their opponent is and where the fight takes place. This suggests that anabolic steroids can promote not only spur-of-the-moment aggression, but also premeditated violence.

Some background information on anabolic steroids may prove useful. Steroids are organic molecules with rings that resemble chicken wire. "Anabolic" refers to their muscle-building properties. (Not all steroids are anabolic; cortisol is a steroid widely prescribed as an anti-inflammatory agent.) Despite a variety of pharmaceutical names (e.g. nandrolone, boldenone, dianabol), all anabolic steroids are derivatives of testosterone, the major steroid produced by the testes in men.

At normal levels, testosterone builds muscle and contributes to characteristic "masculine" behavior. Anabolic steroid users may boost their testosterone up to 100 times normal levels.

In 2011, testosterone was the most-common banned substance found in urine tests administered by the World Anti-Doping Agency. It remains a popular choice for doping by elite athletes because it is challenging to distinguish injected testosterone from naturally occurring sources.

Rank-and-file users choose testosterone because of its low cost and easy availability. Despite being declared controlled substances in 1991, anabolic steroids are widely available through personal trainers in gyms and can be purchased online from international sources.

It is estimated that as many as 3 million Americans have availed themselves of these outlets - far more than most people realize. Anabolic steroids are in high schools, fitness centers and "rejuvenation" clinics. A typical user is a young man in his late teens or early 20s. Among U.S. high school students, 4% to 6% of boys have used anabolic steroids, comparable to the rates of crack cocaine or heroin use. Among men in their 20s, that rate is even higher.

Anabolic steroid users may be loath to admit it, but for most the drugs are just a shortcut to bigger muscles. Still, some people defend their use as a "healthy lifestyle choice" that allows them to work out harder and recover faster.

My own research on the effects of anabolic steroids on brain and behavior show that there's nothing healthy about it. Many anabolic steroid users show signs of addiction: They take more than intended and are reluctant to quit because of withdrawal symptoms and loss of muscle mass. In addition, heightened testosterone levels give users a sense of invulnerability and increase their risk-taking. The resulting behavior can endanger themselves and others: fighting, unsafe sex, drinking and driving, carrying a weapon. A Swedish study of anabolic steroid users showed high rates of death from homicide, suicide and drug overdose.

Research into these behavioral changes was slow to accumulate because steroid use became prevalent only in the late 1980s. Though anabolic steroid abuse remains understudied, today there is real evidence of the risks from surveys of current users and clinical studies of volunteers, supplemented with research in animals. So instead of just worrying about doped athletes during each Olympic cycle, we should focus on how widespread the use of anabolic steroids is and how dangerous they are for any users - and even those around them.

Ruth Wood, chair of the department of cell and neurobiology at USC's Keck School of Medicine, studies the effects of anabolic steroids on brain and behavior.

[Aug 20, 2016] Trump predicts landslide support from black voters if he gets to seek a second term as president

Aug 19, 2016 | latimes.com

"You're living in poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs, 58% of your youth is unemployed. What the hell do you have to lose" by voting for Trump? the candidate asked. "At the end of four years, I guarantee I will get over 95% of the African American vote."

The statement – highly unlikely given how poorly Republicans fare among black voters – continues a theme the GOP presidential nominee has pounded this week as he courted African American voters. He said Democrats take black voters for granted and have ignored their needs while governing cities with large African American populations.

"America must reject the bigotry of Hillary Clinton, who sees communities of color only as votes, not as human beings worthy of a better future," he said of his Democratic opponent.

... ... ...

Trump argued that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's policies on issues such as immigration and refugee resettlement harm African Americans.

[Aug 20, 2016] Hillary Clinton Could Easily Push America into Open Conflict with Russia

nationalinterest.org
One especially disturbing trend in global affairs is the marked deterioration in relations between the United States and Russia. Much will depend on the outcome of the upcoming U.S. presidential election. Donald Trump has staked out a reasonably conciliatory policy toward Moscow. And in the highly improbable event that Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson emerged victorious, the United States would certainly pursue a less interventionist, confrontational foreign policy toward Russia as well as other countries.

But Trump and a handful of other dissenters have triggered the wrath of the foreign-policy establishment by daring to suggest that Washington's Russia policy may be unwise and that the two countries have important mutual interests. Most anti-Russian hawks are backing Hillary Clinton, and the implications of a Clinton victory are extremely ominous. When Russia annexed Crimea, Clinton compared Russian president Vladimir Putin to Adolf Hitler-a comparison so extreme that it drew dissents even from some usual supporters. Yet there is no doubt that she would take a very hard line toward Moscow. Among other things, Clinton recommended that the United States impose a no-fly zone in Syria despite the risk that it could mean shooting down Russian military aircraft that were operating at the request of the Syrian government. Anyone who is that reckless is not likely to retreat from confrontations in eastern Europe or other arenas. Indeed, she has already called for not only more financial assistance but more military aid to Ukraine.

... ... ...

Ted Galen Carpenter, a senior fellow in defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute and a contributing editor at the National Interest, is the author of 10 books and more than 600 articles on international affairs.

 Informed • 2 days ago

Congrats! The author discovered the obvious: Hillary is a warmongering neocon willing to pursue totally suicidal policy with Russia. She is not called “Mrs. WWIII” for nothing. If we are to survive, this monster should be nowhere near the White House.

Anthony Informed • 2 days ago

It's not her it's George Soros he's funding her and Merkel two of the most pathetic politicians I've seen especially dopey Merkel. Soros is also funding blm and a Arab version in israel look at the leaked emails. If you don't know sata... I mean soros then you should just type his name into Google he sold his own people out to Hitler and said it was the best thing he ever did enough said

Informed Anthony • 2 days ago

You might be right. Soros looks like he had died already, but he is as greedy as ever. Looks like he plans to bribe God almighty: otherwise why would he need so much money so late in his life? Soros or CIA must have something really damning on Merkel: she is consistently working against her own country for more than two years now. Hillary just follows the money, preferring the consensus between AIPAC and Saudis. The buyers and the goods they buy are all disgusting.

donnasaggia • 7 hours ago

We need to shift the analysis somewhat. While Russia (and this author) may (correctly) believe that fighting terrorism is a common interest of Russia and the US, the fact is, the US has no interest in fighting terrorism. Long ago Bush openly declared that he is not concerned about Osama bin Laden, and Obama continues to arm the so-called moderates, who are really a faction of al Qaeda. These neocon regime change wars are not about terrorism -- except in the sense that the US uses terrorist factions to attempt to overthrow legitimate leaders like Assad and Gaddafi. Rather than fighting terrorism, the US uses it as a weapon. The Russians are playing by one set of rules, but the US is using another.

Frank Blangeard • a day ago

There will be no 'second Cold War' because the United States never ended the first Cold War.
alan Frank Blangeard • a day ago
Amen, brother!
alan • a day ago
No other country on earth, save Israel, has legitimate interests or security concerns other than the United States. No spheres other than the western hemispheric one under the control of the US are ever to be considered acceptable. This arrogant hegemon is headed for a fall. Preferably, since I am an American I hope it will be a long slow peaceful one. Athens was as arrogant as the American empire. Athens was defeated by a coalition led by Sparta.
Joe Stevens alan • a day ago
Pride always comes before the fall. In this case, it will be a big fall!
ApqIA • 2 days ago
A needed countermeasure, a difficult one, even unlikely -- but it would stand a chance of deterring the US' insane ambitions.

A full military alliance between Russia and China, with integrated conventional and nuclear forces, that would consider an attack on one an attack on both, and a two-nation nuclear retaliation for any nuclear attack. The alliance could also offer membership to other threatened nations, such as Iran.

Would include technology transfers between the two partners, which among other things would assure China of adequate engines for its aircraft. Perhaps joint business ventures would ease Russian unease at losing business: they can sell armaments together.

The US points nuclear warheads at both nations, so the US constitutes a credible existential threat to both nations.

Its depraved, aggressive idea of global "leadership" is a threat to all humanity, and any and all measures to deter it are worth the effort.

Want evidence? Here's its OWN map of the world, divided into American military provinces.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/w...

This development would confront Washington with something like Hitchcock's "Birds" scenario -- how many "fronts" can the US fight in at once? scenario. The Eurasian land mass is a vast, impregnable fortress and US military planners already despair at Russian mobile nukes.

Unfortunately, only even greater insanity can really hope to deter the American lunatics and self-absordbed interventionists like Hillary.

ApqIA  -> Duane • a day ago

Georgia was a US-sponsored comic opera.

Syria was an attempt to use terrorists to get rid of Assad. Failing.

Ukraine was an attempt to get Ukraine in NATO, taking Crimea was a step to avoid a NATO base in the Black Sea.

Since before Pearl Harbor, the US has employed the tactic of creating a situation where an opponent has to choose an unacceptable outcome or use force.

What's the rate for a US-salaried troll?

Bilguun Khurelbaatar  -> ApqIA • 12 hours ago

Actually I believe that all those who call others as "Russian troll" are mostly Ukrainian trolls. It's easy to find them, they call everyone, even neutral minded people as putin troll, and all they demand is to arm Ukraine, nuke Russia etc...

Robert Willis • 18 hours ago

Excellent article. Hillary Clinton was instrumental in pushing for the Invasion of Iraq, which turned what was essentially a functional state into an ISIS hellhole. As Secretary of State, she was THE personality behind the destruction of Libya, now another Islamist breeding machine with a ruined economy & brutalized population. She has done everything in her power to destabilize Syria & has succeeded beyond her wildest dreams. Now millions of economic migrants are flooding into Europe, which will likely become a Caliphate under Sharia law within 100 years. Clinton's hands are soaked in blood of tens of thousands of men, women, & children. Her thirst for more is unquenchable. She is as much of a war criminal as her hero & good friend Henry Kissinger. All the media can do is scream endless unfounded accusations of Trump being a racist, yet they never mention a whisper of what Clinton has done & intends to do.

deliaruhe • 19 hours ago

"Unfortunately, given the growing probability of a Clinton victory in November, U.S.-Russian relations, already in bad shape, are likely to deteriorate further."

Hillary isn't exactly known for her wisdom and judgement (especially in her choice of role models and mentors--i.e., Albright and Kissinger), and she's very good at shooting herself in the foot on a regular basis (e.g., her Putin-as-Hitler hyperbole). She will soon become the imperial president of an empire in decline, and empires in decline are at their most dangerous.

I think this will end up being the saddest American election ever.

(Excellent article, by the way.)

Dank Lastname • 2 days ago

If Hillary dragged NATO into a war with Russia her incompetent leadership would see the collapse of the US and the Russian occupation of Eastern Europe.

Mikhailovich • 15 hours ago

When the money is your god and financial elite employs politicians to run the country, what else we can expect? It looks the American militarism can be tamed by efficient nuclear deterrent or other major power and there are no other way to avoid big war.

alan  -> JPH • a day ago

That's the tragedy of the situation. Trump has shown he is not a captive to the foreign policy consensus of the economic, social, and political elite of the New York-Wash DC beltway. He does not believe in intervention anywhere and everywhere. That I heartily endorse. On all other points he is totally unqualified and unacceptable. We are left with a war-mongering Neo-Con thug. When She takes office, begin the countdown---war is coming, a very big war

 

[Aug 20, 2016] Leaked Memo Shows Soros Pushed Greece To Support Ukraine Coup, Paint Russia As Enemy

Notable quotes:
"... Last week we reported on the DC Leaks hack of what was over 2,500 documents detailing how George Soros and his NGOs influence world leaders, drive foreign policy, and help to create unrest in sovereign nations, that many times leads to chaos and civil war. ..."
"... One country of part ..."
Aug 19, 2016 | Zero Hedge

Submitted by Alex Christoforou via TheDuran.com,

Last week we reported on the DC Leaks hack of what was over 2,500 documents detailing how George Soros and his NGOs influence world leaders, drive foreign policy, and help to create unrest in sovereign nations, that many times leads to chaos and civil war.

One country of particular focus for George Soros and his NGOs is Ukraine. It is now accepted fact that Soros was deeply involved in the Maiden protests in 2014 and the violent coup, that saw a democratically elected government overthrown in the name of "EU values". What is even more troubling, as revealed by the DC Leaks hack, is how Soros and his network of "non-profit organisations" worked to lobby EU member states into not only buying his Ukraine "Maidan" narrative, but to also disavow any ties and support for Russia.

Leaked documents show that George Soros was active in mapping out the Greek media landscape with generous grants, so as to further his Ukraine project, while also using his deep pockets to get Greek media to turn against the Russian Federation…in what can only be described as a well-funded and orchestrated smear campaign.

In one document entitled: "Open Society Initiative For Europe (OSIFE). Mapping the Ukrainian debate in Greece" (Ukraine and Europe-greece-tor ukraine debate mapping greece.docx), Soros offers a consultant a remuneration of $6,500 (gross) for "at least 15 full working days in carrying out this task" plus all expenses paid.

The aim of this task:

The consultant is expected to chart the main players in the Greek debate on Ukraine, outline the key arguments and their evolution in the past 18 months. Specifically, the report will take stock of any existing polling evidence provide a 'who is who?' with information about at least
– 6 newspapers,
– 10 audiovisual outlets (TV and radio),
– 6 internet sites,
– About 50 opinion leaders and trends in social networks[1].

Categorize the main strains of discussion and eventually identify different sides / camps of the discussion.

Provide a brief account of how Russia has tried to influence the Greek debate on Ukraine through domestic actors and outlets

Include a section with recommendations on
– What are the spaces OSF should engage and would most likely to have impact?
– What are the voices (of reason or doubt) that should be amplified?

Open Society Initiative For Europe (OSIFE) selected Iannis Carras for the Greek media mapping grant. The justification why he was chosen…

All contracts were for the same amount. We needed to find highly specialized researchers to map the debate on Ukraine in Europe, therefore we identified a shortlist of candidates in consultation with colleagues in the Think Tank Fund, OSEPI and in consultation with members of the OSIFE board and chose the most qualified who could produce the report in the time allowed. I n the case of Greece we agreed that Iannis Carras, an economic and social historian of Balkan and Russian relations with expert knowledge of Greece's NGOs and social movements, was the best suited to the task.

What is even more interesting is not the grant from OSIFE, but a letter from grant winner Carras to a person named Mathew (another Greek speaker???), outlining his plan in detail for pushing Soros' Ukraine agenda in Greece.

Of significance is how Carras tells Mathew about Greek society's overall suspicion of The Open Society after the roll in played in seeding unrest in Yugoslavia. Carras even tells Mathew to not mention The Open Society in Greece.

"Do you want your name to appear alongside mine on the paper? Do make comments on all of the below.

In general, and at your discretion, do not say you are doing this for Open Society because it is likely to close down doors. There's a lot of suspicion about Open Society in Greece, mainly because of its positions vis-à-vis the former Yugoslavia. As I am simultaneously writing an article for Aspen Review Eastern Europe that can be used as the organisation for which research like this is taking place."

Carras then goes on to outline his approach in manipulating Greek society, covering topics such as:

1. Media.
2. Political parties and think tanks
3. Opinion polls.
4. Business relations.
5. Religious and cultural ties.
6. Migration and diaspora.
7. Greece and Ukraine in the context of Greece's economic crisis.
8. Greece, Ukraine and the Cyprus issue.
9. Names and brief description of significant actors: a 'who is who?' with information on at least 50 opinion leaders

Carras notes how Russia has much goodwill in Greece, exercising "significant soft power". Carras notes that Greece is, at this moment, a weak player in the Ukraine debate and the Greek Foreign Minister Kotzias realises this.

Summary: I am working on the hypotheses largely born out by the interviews carried out so far that Russia has significant soft power in Greece though this does not easily convert into hard power (e.g. vetoing EU sanctions). Greeks are basically not very interested in Ukraine and the crisis there. They reflect and understand that conflict through their own economic crisis and their relations with Europe (nowadays primarily Europe and not US). To the extent that relations with Europe remain the focus and do not go off the rails, Greece will bark but will not bite. If they improve, Greece might not even bark (as can be seen with Greece's policy on Israel, Kotzias can be very much a realist).

Carras does warn that should Greece's economic situation deteriorate further, than Greece may very well look to Russia for support, and this has implications on the Ukraine plan.

If they deteriorate however, Greece will be looking to Russia for increased support and will alter its Ukraine policies accordingly. Do you agree with these hypotheses? Can you find confirmation for or against them in the media outlets examined?

Carras places extra emphasis on influencing the media in Greece, citing various large news outlets that the Soros NGO can target, including approaching left wing and right wing blogs.

This is the bulk of the work (we have to think about how to divide the work up). We have to provide a 'who is who?' with information about at least 6 newspapers, 10 audio-visual outlets (TV and radio) and 6 internet sites. Some of these will be obvious, but, even in these cases, change over time (at least eighteen months) is an important consideration. Here are some suggestions for newspapers: Kathimerini, Avgi, Ta Nea, Vima, Efymerida Syntakton, Eleutherotypia, Proto Thema, Rizospastis? etc. What else? Protagon? Athens Review of Books? (info on Kotzias). As for TV, we'll just do the main ones. What about left wing blogs? What about commercial radio stations? I think we should cover Aristera sta FM. Sky. What else? Anything from the nationalist and far right? My choice would be Ardin (already looking at this) which at least tries to be serious. Patria is even more unsavoury. I'll deal with the religious web sites in the culture and religion appendix. I think we should interview Kostas Nisenko ( http://www.kathimerini.gr/757296/article/epikairothta/kosmos/viaih-epi8e... ) and Kostas Geropoulos of New Europe to get into the issues involved… not at all sure though that it's advisable to talk to the Russia correspondents Thanasis Avgerinos, Dimitris Liatsos, Achileas Patsoukas etc. (I know all of them). Also if we come across articles with interesting information on any one of the topics, we should mail them to one another.

Attention is placed on influencing political parties. Carras sees this as a more difficult task, as parties in Greece would not be warm towards turning their back on Russia.

Who if anyone deals with Russia / Ukraine within each of the political parties? How important are political parties in formulating policies? (my hunch is totally unimportant). I must admit I have little idea of how to proceed with this one, but I have written to the academic Vassilis Petsinis and I hope I'll get to skype with him soon. Think-tanks are easier, and, I think, more important. I have already interviewed Thanos Dokos (director Greek foreign policy institute, ELIAMEP) in person.

Carras notes how he has approached various religious leaders, academics and actors, to gauge a sense of how deep Russia's influence and "soft power" runs in Greek society and culture.

So far I have interviewed by telephone Metropolitan John of Pergamum (one of the top figures in the inner circle of the Istanbul based Ecumenical Patriarchate). I have read Metropolitan Nektarios of the Argolid's recent book (2014), "Two bullets for Donetsk". I have tried but so far not succeeded in contacting Metropolitan Nektarios himself, and have started work on two of the main religious news websites romfea.gr and amen.gr .

With respect to culture I intend to contact Georgos Livathinos, leading director of Russian and other plays and Lydia Koniordou, actress. Also the management of the Onassis Centre, particularly Afroditi Panagiotakou, the executive vice-director who is quite knowledgeable in this field having travelled to both Ukraine and Russia.

In 2016 Greece and Russia will be hosting each other as the focus of cultural events in the two respective countries. I will be looking to understand the extent to which Russia's unparalleled cultural soft-power might translate into Greek policy making.

Greek military is the final point of influence, with Carras interviewing Ambassadors and policy decision makers.

Foreign policy and the Greek military. So far I have interviewed in person Ambassador Elias Klis (formerly ambassador of Greece to Moscow, advisor to the current Foreign Minister, advisor to the Greek Union of Industrialists. He is perhaps the single most important person for understanding Greek-Russian diplomatic relations at present). Ambassador Alexandros Philon (formerly ambassador of Greece to Washington, to whom I am related). Captain Panos Stamou (submarines, extensive contacts in Crimea, also secretary and leading light of the Greek-Russian historical association) who emphasised the non-political tradition of the Greek armed forces. Tempted to talk to Themos Stoforopoulos for a nationalist left wing view. I have also read foreign minister Kotzias' latest book. All of this has provided me with useful insights for appendices 7 and 8, and particularly for the connection to the Cyprus issue (which at the moment Greece is very keen to downplay).

Carras places an emphasis on Cyprus, perhaps recognising the islands affinity to support Russia and its large Russian diaspora community.

The recommendations will be for the medium and the short term, cited here based on interviews carried out so far. Medium term recommendations will include a cultural event (to be specified later) and a one-day conference on Ukraine and international law, citing precedents for dealing with the situation in Ukraine (particularly Cyprus). Recommendations may include capacity building for local Ukrainian migrant spokesperson(s). Short term recommendations will include an action pack on what Greece has at stake in Ukraine, and ways to narrate parallels in interactions between nation and empire vis-à-vis Greece / Ukraine. Think about whether these work / what else we might recommend?

Both of the documents are below...

[Aug 20, 2016] Anabolic steroids taint Olympic competition, but it's what they do to the human brain that is terrifying

Notable quotes:
"... studies in animals show that steroid-induced aggression is not impulsive, nor uncontrolled. Steroid-treated rats remain attuned to the context of the fight: who their opponent is and where the fight takes place. This suggests that anabolic steroids can promote not only spur-of-the-moment aggression, but also premeditated violence. ..."
"... "Anabolic" refers to their muscle-building properties. (Not all steroids are anabolic; cortisol is a steroid widely prescribed as an anti-inflammatory agent.) Despite a variety of pharmaceutical names (e.g. nandrolone, boldenone, dianabol), all anabolic steroids are derivatives of testosterone, the major steroid produced by the testes in men. ..."
"... It is estimated that as many as 3 million Americans have availed themselves of these outlets - far more than most people realize. Anabolic steroids are in high schools, fitness centers and "rejuvenation" clinics. A typical user is a young man in his late teens or early 20s. Among U.S. high school students, 4% to 6% of boys have used anabolic steroids, comparable to the rates of crack cocaine or heroin use. Among men in their 20s, that rate is even higher. ..."
"... Many anabolic steroid users show signs of addiction: They take more than intended and are reluctant to quit because of withdrawal symptoms and loss of muscle mass. In addition, heightened testosterone levels give users a sense of invulnerability and increase their risk-taking. The resulting behavior can endanger themselves and others: fighting, unsafe sex, drinking and driving, carrying a weapon. A Swedish study of anabolic steroid users showed high rates of death from homicide, suicide and drug overdose. ..."
"... Ruth Wood, chair of the department of cell and neurobiology at USC's Keck School of Medicine, studies the effects of anabolic steroids on brain and behavior. ..."
LA Times
The popular image of "road-rage" is a sudden and exaggerated response to a minimal provocation, like "The Incredible Hulk." But that's not how it works. Instead, studies in animals show that steroid-induced aggression is not impulsive, nor uncontrolled. Steroid-treated rats remain attuned to the context of the fight: who their opponent is and where the fight takes place. This suggests that anabolic steroids can promote not only spur-of-the-moment aggression, but also premeditated violence.

Some background information on anabolic steroids may prove useful. Steroids are organic molecules with rings that resemble chicken wire. "Anabolic" refers to their muscle-building properties. (Not all steroids are anabolic; cortisol is a steroid widely prescribed as an anti-inflammatory agent.) Despite a variety of pharmaceutical names (e.g. nandrolone, boldenone, dianabol), all anabolic steroids are derivatives of testosterone, the major steroid produced by the testes in men.

At normal levels, testosterone builds muscle and contributes to characteristic "masculine" behavior. Anabolic steroid users may boost their testosterone up to 100 times normal levels.

In 2011, testosterone was the most-common banned substance found in urine tests administered by the World Anti-Doping Agency. It remains a popular choice for doping by elite athletes because it is challenging to distinguish injected testosterone from naturally occurring sources.

Rank-and-file users choose testosterone because of its low cost and easy availability. Despite being declared controlled substances in 1991, anabolic steroids are widely available through personal trainers in gyms and can be purchased online from international sources.

It is estimated that as many as 3 million Americans have availed themselves of these outlets - far more than most people realize. Anabolic steroids are in high schools, fitness centers and "rejuvenation" clinics. A typical user is a young man in his late teens or early 20s. Among U.S. high school students, 4% to 6% of boys have used anabolic steroids, comparable to the rates of crack cocaine or heroin use. Among men in their 20s, that rate is even higher.

Anabolic steroid users may be loath to admit it, but for most the drugs are just a shortcut to bigger muscles. Still, some people defend their use as a "healthy lifestyle choice" that allows them to work out harder and recover faster.

My own research on the effects of anabolic steroids on brain and behavior show that there's nothing healthy about it. Many anabolic steroid users show signs of addiction: They take more than intended and are reluctant to quit because of withdrawal symptoms and loss of muscle mass. In addition, heightened testosterone levels give users a sense of invulnerability and increase their risk-taking. The resulting behavior can endanger themselves and others: fighting, unsafe sex, drinking and driving, carrying a weapon. A Swedish study of anabolic steroid users showed high rates of death from homicide, suicide and drug overdose.

Research into these behavioral changes was slow to accumulate because steroid use became prevalent only in the late 1980s. Though anabolic steroid abuse remains understudied, today there is real evidence of the risks from surveys of current users and clinical studies of volunteers, supplemented with research in animals. So instead of just worrying about doped athletes during each Olympic cycle, we should focus on how widespread the use of anabolic steroids is and how dangerous they are for any users - and even those around them.

Ruth Wood, chair of the department of cell and neurobiology at USC's Keck School of Medicine, studies the effects of anabolic steroids on brain and behavior.

[Aug 20, 2016] Washington Puzzled as Putin Doesn't Back Down The American Conservative

Notable quotes:
"... There is a mystery to the way Washington works-how an entire political class came to see as American policy that that Russia be humiliated at its own doorstep as logical, without ever reflecting upon whether this was a good idea in the larger scheme of global politics nor whether the West had the means and will to see it through ..."
"... Russia's leaders and diplomats have been telling America to butt out of Ukraine in unambiguous terms for a decade or more . Did American diplomats and CIA agents push for an anti-Russian coup d'etat in Kiev knowing that and pursue it anyway? The sheer recklessness of such an action would border on criminal-but oddly enough, no one who truly counts in Washington, Republican or Democrat, seems even to consider it even slightly misguided. ..."
September 4, 2014 | theamericanconservative.com

On hawkish autopilot, America's leaders ignore the obvious off-ramp to the escalating Ukraine crisis.

Consider an analogy to get a sense of how Russia might perceive America's Ukraine policy. It is imperfect of course, because unlike Russia, America has no history of being invaded, unless you count the War of 1812. But a comparison might be instructive nonetheless:

By 2034, China's power position has risen relative to America's. America has evacuated its East Asian bases, under peaceful but pressured circumstances. The governments of Korea and Japan and eventually the Philippines had, by 2026, concluded it was better off with a "less provocative" more neutral arrangement. The huge naval base at Subic Bay became home to a multilateral UN contingent. China's economy had been larger than America's for a while, though American per capita income is still somewhat higher. American technological innovation edge has largely disappeared, America still has a lot of soft power-people over the world prefer Hollywood movies to Chinese and America's nuclear arsenal exceeds the Chinese. But the countries are far more equal than today, and throughout much of the world it is assumed that China will be tomorrow's dominant "hyperpower."

A political crisis erupts in Mexico. Mexico has a freely elected but typically corrupt government, whose leading figures are linked to Wall Street and Miami Beach by ties of marriage and money. But many in Mexico-where anti-gringo nationalism remains a potent force-want to become the first "North American partner" in the China led Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere. Young Mexicans proclaim defiantly they are "people of color" and laud the fact non-white China is rising while America, country of aging white people, is in decline. Their sentiments, materialistic and infused with personal ambitions are so permeated with anti-American, anti-imperialist "third worldist" rhetoric that it is difficult for outsiders to sort out the true motivations. When the Mexican government, under American pressure, rejects a Chinese invitation for candidate membership in China's East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere, long prepared protests erupt in Mexico City.

The core group of protest leaders and organizers have been on the Chinese payroll for some time, as the heads of various civic action and popular democracy initiatives, many with an obvious anti-gringo flavor. Soon Chinese politicians and movie stars begin flocking to Mexico City to be photographed with the protesters. Thus encouraged, protester demands escalate, including not only the resignation of the government, Mexico's adhesion to the Chinese economic bloc, but a military alliance with China. The NSA captures a cell phone conversation of the Chinese ambassador discussing who will hold what posts in the next Mexican cabinet. Three days later, sniper fire of undetermined origin riddles the protestors and police, and any semblance of order breaks down. Mexico's president flees to Miami.

The above scenario parallels pretty directly the run-up to the Ukraine crisis, before Russia began to respond forcefully. One can of course see the ambiguities of right and wrong. Why should America have anything to say about whether Mexico has a revolution and joins an anti-American military alliance, some would ask. Mexico is sovereign, and should be able to join any international grouping it wants.

What is most striking about the Ukraine crisis is how much the Washington debate lacks any sense of how the issue might look to other interested parties, particularly Russia. Putin is analysed of course-is he, as Hillary Clinton suggested, following Hitler's playbook? Or is he merely an aggressive autocrat? Or perhaps he is "in his own world" and not quite sane? But in open Washington conversation at least, and perhaps even at the more reflective levels of government, all talk begins with the premise that Russia's leader is somewhere on the continuum between aggressive and the irrational. That he might be acting reactively and defensively, as any leader of a large power would be in response to threatening events on its doorstep, is not even part of the American conversation. Thus in the waning days of American unipolarism, America diplomacy sinks into a mode of semi-autism, able to perceive and express its own interests, perceptions, and desires, while oblivious to the concerns of others.

A rare and welcome exception to blindness was the publication in Foreign Affairs of John Mearsheimer's cogent essay on the Ukraine crisis, which with characteristic directness argues that Western efforts to move Ukraine in the Nato/EE orbit were the "taproot" of the present crisis. Prior to Mearsheimer, one could find analyses tracing how various neoliberal and neoconservative foundations had, with their spending and sponsorship of various "pro-Western" groups, fomented a revolution in Ukraine, but they were generally sequestered in left-liberal venues habitually critical of American and Western policies. In the Beltway power loop, such voices were never heard. The policy of pushing NATO eastward, first incorporating Poland and Bulgaria and then going right up to Russia's borders moved forward as if on mysterious autopilot. That such a policy was wise and necessary was considered a given when it was discussed at all, which was seldom. Was Obama even aware that a leading neoconservative, a figure from Dick Cheney's staff, was in charge formulating American policy towards Ukraine-with designs on igniting revolutionary regional transformation? One has to assume not; confrontation with Russia had not been part of Obama's presidential campaign or style, and since the crisis began his comments have always been more measured than the actions of the government he purportedly leads.

As Mearsheimer points out, there remains still a fairly obvious and quite attractive off-ramp: a negotiation with Russia which settles formally Ukraine's non-aligned status. There are useful precedents for this: Eisenhower's negotiation with Krushchev that brought about the withdrawal of foreign troops from Austria in 1955 is one, and so of course is Finland. No one who contemplates where the Ukraine crisis might lead otherwise-with a war that devastates the country or perhaps brings in outside powers to devastate all of Europe, or even explodes the entire northern hemisphere-could sanely consider Austria or Finland-prosperous and free countries-to be bad outcomes. Nevertheless the entire conversation in Washington revolves around measures to make Putin back down, and accept the integration of Ukraine into the EU and eventually NATO. People act baffled that he won't.

There is a mystery to the way Washington works-how an entire political class came to see as American policy that that Russia be humiliated at its own doorstep as logical, without ever reflecting upon whether this was a good idea in the larger scheme of global politics nor whether the West had the means and will to see it through. Because to see it through likely means war with Russia over Ukraine. (The West-leaning Ukrainians of course, be they democratic or fascist, want nothing more than to have American troops fighting beside them as they become NATO partners, a tail wagging the dog). America's policy makes sense only if it is taken for granted that Russia is an eternal enemy, an evil power which must be surrounded weakened and ultimately brought down. But very few in Washington believe that either, and virtually no one in the American corporate establishment does. So it's a mystery-a seemingly iron-clad Washington consensus formed behind a policy, the integration of Ukraine in the West, to whose implications no one seems to have given any serious thought.

Russia's leaders and diplomats have been telling America to butt out of Ukraine in unambiguous terms for a decade or more. Did American diplomats and CIA agents push for an anti-Russian coup d'etat in Kiev knowing that and pursue it anyway? The sheer recklessness of such an action would border on criminal-but oddly enough, no one who truly counts in Washington, Republican or Democrat, seems even to consider it even slightly misguided.

Scott McConnell is a founding editor of The American Conservative.

[Aug 20, 2016] Trip Reports from Sanders Delegates at the Democrat National Convention

Notable quotes:
"... Perhaps the most surreal point of the night is when a military leader speaks to how much butt we're going to kick once Hillary is elected, the Sanders delegates start the chant, "Peace, Not War", and the rest of the arena drowns this out with chants of 'U.S.A ..."
"... We discussed how it felt Orwellian, like the two minutes of hate in 1984. "Having chants of 'No More War' attempted to be drowned out by chants of 'USA' was baffling," Alan Doucette, Bernie delegate from Las Vegas, said. "To me, USA is a symbol of justice and equality and not warmongering and looking for excuses to go to war. That's what I want it to be and what it should be." ..."
"... "The most dislocating experience was General Allen's speech, with so many military brass on display, and the 'fight' between No More War and USA. That was chilling. Note, No More War is not: War Criminal! Or similarly 'disrespectful' stuff; it's simply a demand not to make our present worse with more 'hawkish' 'interventionist' 'regime change' wars and war-actions." ..."
"... The US 2016 election is different. You actually have a huge choice to make. Do you vote(or not vote) to support the Washington establishment, which is clearly pushing for war with Russia, or do you vote Trump who doesn't want such a war? Your choice. ..."
"... why would you even contemplate gambling that we can survive 4 years of Clinton without a nuclear war? ..."
naked capitalism
Militarism

Mark Lasser (CO): "Perhaps the most surreal point of the night is when a military leader speaks to how much butt we're going to kick once Hillary is elected, the Sanders delegates start the chant, "Peace, Not War", and the rest of the arena drowns this out with chants of 'U.S.A.'"

Carole Levers (CA): " I was harassed by five Hillary delegates who got in my face while I was sitting in my seat. They told me that we needed to quit chanting, go home, and that we did not belong there. They added that by chanting "No More Wars" we were disrespecting the veterans. I replied that none of us were disrespecting the veterans. We were honoring them by NOT WANTING ANY MORE DEAD VETERANS, killed in illegal wars for the profits of the wealthy. I reiterated that we were exercising our first amendment rights to which one replied that WE (Bernie delegates) had no rights. I was later shoved by a Hillary delegate into the metal frame of the seats."

Carol Cizauskas (NV): "We heard other Bernie delegates chanting "No more war" and then the "opposing team" of Hillary delegates thundering over those chants with "USA." It was darkly eerie. We discussed how it felt Orwellian, like the two minutes of hate in 1984. "Having chants of 'No More War' attempted to be drowned out by chants of 'USA' was baffling," Alan Doucette, Bernie delegate from Las Vegas, said. "To me, USA is a symbol of justice and equality and not warmongering and looking for excuses to go to war. That's what I want it to be and what it should be."

#SlayTheSmaugs (NY): "The most dislocating experience was General Allen's speech, with so many military brass on display, and the 'fight' between No More War and USA. That was chilling. Note, No More War is not: War Criminal! Or similarly 'disrespectful' stuff; it's simply a demand not to make our present worse with more 'hawkish' 'interventionist' 'regime change' wars and war-actions."

Lauren Steiner (CA): "[Clinton supporters] decided to chant with us when we chanted 'Black Lives Matter.' But for some reason, they found 'No More War' to be offensive and shouted "USA" right after. At first, I was puzzled by the fact that they were shouting exactly what Trump supporters shout at his rallies. Then, after all the bellicose speeches and the fact that they had so many Republicans endorsing Clinton, it hit me that perhaps it was because they were courting Republicans now. They didn't care about our support anymore."

Ike, August 18, 2016 at 1:02 pm

I am reading Primary Colors by Anonymous. It is entertaining as well as reaffirming a suspected baseline of conduct.

Lambert Strether, August 18, 2016 at 1:11 pm

Primary Colors (by Joke Line (Joe Klein)) is terrific. The movie is good too. I am so happy and amazed that I live in a world where John Travolta plays Bill Clinton in a movie.

Jeremy Grimm, August 18, 2016 at 1:31 pm

The harassment and dirty tricks pulled against the Sanders people - as described in these collected reports - leaves me wondering whether Sanders actually won the nomination. It would have been much more politic for the Hillary people to let the Sanders delegates blow off steam and wait until the nomination and end of the convention to circle the wagons in "unity". If Hillary clearly won the nomination then the stupidity and arrogance in team Hillary's treatment of the Sanders people speaks to a new level of disdain for the 99%. The business about the $700 hotels and the misinformation and lack of information provided from team Sanders raises other questions.

trent, August 18, 2016 at 2:17 pm

Wow, all those testimonials from the democrat convention are an eye opener, for some. Hillary's soft Nazism on full display for any of the still true believers. Yet the press calls trump the Nazi. Trump is crazy, but its almost an honest craziness compared to Hillary. She's nuts, but manipulates everything she can to hide it. I'll take out in the open crazy, easier to plan for.


EoinW, August 19, 2016 at 8:51 am

I haven't voted in years. In Canada, however, we've never been given a choice on anything. Doesn't matter if the election is federal, provincial or municipal, no issues just personalities.

The US 2016 election is different. You actually have a huge choice to make. Do you vote(or not vote) to support the Washington establishment, which is clearly pushing for war with Russia, or do you vote Trump who doesn't want such a war? Your choice.

But why would you even contemplate gambling that we can survive 4 years of Clinton without a nuclear war? Speculating on global warming or third party movements kind of lose their significance during a nuclear winter.

Patricia

This young woman turned it into a tale, "The Bullshittery of the DNC":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHD_bj5fXO0

[Aug 20, 2016] Trump is afraid the neoliberal imperial global order presided by the US is about to crash and thinks he will be able to steer the country into a soft landing by accepting that other world powers have interests, by disengaging from costly and humiliating military interventions, by re-negotiating trade deals, and by stopping the mass immigration of poor people. Plus a few well-placed bombs.

Notable quotes:
"... I think Trump is afraid the imperial global order presided by the US is about to crash and thinks he will be able to steer the country into a soft landing by accepting that other world powers have interests, by disengaging from costly and humiliating military interventions, by re-negotiating trade deals, and by stopping the mass immigration of poor people. Plus a few well-placed bombs ..."
"... Much has been written about the internet revolution, about the impact of people having access to much more information than before. The elite does not recognize this and is still organizing political and media campaigns as if it were 1990, relying on elder statesmen like Blair, Bush, Mitterrand, Clinton, and Obama to influence public opinion. They are failing miserably, to the point of being counterproductive. ..."
"... I don't think something as parochial as racism is sustaining Trump, but rather the fear of the loss of empire by a population with several orders of magnitude more information and communication than in 2008, even 2012. ..."
"... No one has literally argued that people should be glad to lose employment: that part was hyperbole. But the basic argument is often made quite seriously. See e.g. outsource Brad DeLong . ..."
"... The same thing has happened in Mexico with neoliberal government after neoliberal government being elected. There are many democratically elected neoliberal governments around the world. ..."
"... In the case of Mexico, because Peña Nieto's wife is a telenovela star. How cool is that? It places Mexico in the same league as 1st world countries, such as France, with Carla Bruni. ..."
"... To the guy who asked- poor white people keep voting Republican even though it screws them because they genuinely believe that the country is best off when it encourages a culture of "by the bootstraps" self improvement, hard work, and personal responsibility. They view taxing people in order to give the money to the supposedly less fortunate as the anti thesis of this, because it gives people an easy out that let's them avoid having to engage in the hard work needed to live independently. ..."
"... The extent to which "poor white people" vote against their alleged economic interests is overblown. To a large extent, they do not vote at all nor is anyone or anything on the ballot to represent their interests. And, yes, they are misinformed systematically by elites out to screw them and they know this, but cannot do much to either clear up their own confusion or fight back. ..."
"... The mirror image problem - of elites manipulating the system to screw the poor and merely middle-class - is daily in the news. Both Presidential candidates have been implicated. So, who do you recommend they vote for? ..."
"... I think you're missing Patrick's point. These voters are switching from one Republican to another. They've jettisoned Bush et. al. for Trump. These guys despise Bush. ..."
"... They've figured out that the mainstream party is basically 30 years of affinity fraud. ..."
"... My understanding is trumps support disproportionately comes from the small business owning classes, Ie a demographic similar to the petite bourgeoisie who have often been heavily involved in reactionary movements. This gets oversold as "working class" when class is defined by education level rather than income. ..."
"... Layman - Why are these voters switching from Bush et al to Trump? Once again, Corey's whole point is that there is very little difference between the racism of Trump and the mainstream party since Nixon. Is Trump just more racist? Or are the policies of Trump resonating differently than Bush for reasons other than race? ..."
"... Eric Berne, in The Structures and Dynamics of Organizations and Groups, proposed that among the defining characteristics of a coherent group is an explicit boundary which determines whether an individual is a member of the group or not. (If there is no boundary, nothing binds the assemblage together; it is a crowd.) The boundary helps provide social cohesion and is so important that groups will create one if necessary. Clearly, boundaries exclude as well as include, and someone must play the role of outsider. ..."
"... For a time, the balkanization of American political communities by race, religion and ethnicity was an effective means to the dominance of an tiny elite with ties to an hegemonic community, but it backfired. Dismantling that balkanization has left the country with a very low level of social affiliation and thus a low capacity to organize resistance to elite depredations. ..."
crookedtimber.org

Lupita 08.04.16 at 4:23 am 167

I think Trump is afraid the imperial global order presided by the US is about to crash and thinks he will be able to steer the country into a soft landing by accepting that other world powers have interests, by disengaging from costly and humiliating military interventions, by re-negotiating trade deals, and by stopping the mass immigration of poor people. Plus a few well-placed bombs .

Much has been written about the internet revolution, about the impact of people having access to much more information than before. The elite does not recognize this and is still organizing political and media campaigns as if it were 1990, relying on elder statesmen like Blair, Bush, Mitterrand, Clinton, and Obama to influence public opinion. They are failing miserably, to the point of being counterproductive.

I don't think something as parochial as racism is sustaining Trump, but rather the fear of the loss of empire by a population with several orders of magnitude more information and communication than in 2008, even 2012.

Layman 08.04.16 at 11:59 am

Rich P: "Neoliberals often argue that people should be glad to lose employment at 50 so that people from other countries can have higher incomes…"

I doubt this most sincerely. While this may be the effect of some neoliberal policies, I can't recall any particular instance where someone made this argument.

Rich Puchalsky 08.04.16 at 12:03 pm

"I can't recall any particular instance where someone made this argument."

No one has literally argued that people should be glad to lose employment: that part was hyperbole. But the basic argument is often made quite seriously. See e.g. outsource Brad DeLong .

engels 08.04.16 at 12:25 pm

While this may be the effect of some neoliberal policies, I can't recall any particular instance where someone made this argument

Maybe this kind of thing rom Henry Farrell? (There may well be better examples.)

Is some dilution of the traditional European welfare state acceptable, if it substantially increases the wellbeing of current outsiders (i.e. for example, by bringing Turkey into the club). My answer is yes, if European leftwingers are to stick to their core principles on justice, fairness, egalitarianism etc…

http://crookedtimber.org/2005/05/31/talking-turkey-over-welfare/

Lupita 08.04.16 at 2:42 pm

Large numbers of low-income white southern Americans consistently vote against their own economic interests. They vote to award tax breaks to wealthy people and corporations, to cut unemployment benefits, to bust unions, to reward companies for outsourcing jobs, to resist wage increases, to cut funding for health care for the poor, to cut Social Security and Medicare, etc.

The same thing has happened in Mexico with neoliberal government after neoliberal government being elected. There are many democratically elected neoliberal governments around the world.

Why might this be?

In the case of Mexico, because Peña Nieto's wife is a telenovela star. How cool is that? It places Mexico in the same league as 1st world countries, such as France, with Carla Bruni.

Patrick 08.04.16 at 4:32 pm

To the guy who asked- poor white people keep voting Republican even though it screws them because they genuinely believe that the country is best off when it encourages a culture of "by the bootstraps" self improvement, hard work, and personal responsibility. They view taxing people in order to give the money to the supposedly less fortunate as the anti thesis of this, because it gives people an easy out that let's them avoid having to engage in the hard work needed to live independently.

They see it as little different from letting your kid move back on after college and smoke weed in your basement. They don't generally mind people being on unemployment transitionally, but they're supposed to be a little embarrassed about it and get it over with as soon as possible. They not only worry that increased government social spending will incentivize bad behavior, they worry it will destroy the cultural values they see as vital to Americas past prosperity. They tend to view claims about historic or systemic injustice necessitating collective remedy because they view the world as one in which the vagaries of fate decree that some are born rich or poor, and that success is in improving ones station relative to where one starts. Attempts at repairing historical racial inequity read as cheating in that paradigm, and even as hostile since they can easily observe white people who are just as poor or poorer than those who racial politics focuses upon. Left wing insistence on borrowing the nastiest rhetoric of libertarians ("this guy is poor because his ancestors couldn't get ahead because of historical racial injustice so we must help him; your family couldn't get ahead either but that must have been your fault so you deserve it") comes across as both antithetical to their values and as downright hostile within the values they see around them.

All of this can be easily learned by just talking to them.

It's not a great world view. It fails to explain quite a lot. For example, they have literally no way of explaining increased unemployment without positing either that everyone is getting too lazy to work, or that the government screwed up the system somehow, possibly by making it too expensive to do business in the US relative to other countries. and given their faith in the power of hard work, they don't even blame sweatshops- they blame taxes and foreign subsidies.

I don't know exactly how to reach out to them, except that I can point to some things people do that repulse them and say "stop doing that."

bruce wilder 08.04.16 at 5:50 pm

The extent to which "poor white people" vote against their alleged economic interests is overblown. To a large extent, they do not vote at all nor is anyone or anything on the ballot to represent their interests. And, yes, they are misinformed systematically by elites out to screw them and they know this, but cannot do much to either clear up their own confusion or fight back.

The mirror image problem - of elites manipulating the system to screw the poor and merely middle-class - is daily in the news. Both Presidential candidates have been implicated. So, who do you recommend they vote for?

There is serious deficit of both trust and information among the poor. Poor whites hardly have a monopoly; black misleadership is epidemic in our era of Cory Booker socialism.


bruce wilder 08.04.16 at 7:05 pm

Politics is founded on the complex social psychology of humans as social animals. We elevate it from its irrational base in emotion to rationalized calculation or philosophy at our peril.


T 08.04.16 at 9:17 pm

@Layman

I think you're missing Patrick's point. These voters are switching from one Republican to another. They've jettisoned Bush et. al. for Trump. These guys despise Bush.

They've figured out that the mainstream party is basically 30 years of affinity fraud.

So, is your argument is that Trump even more racist? That kind of goes against the whole point of the OP. Not saying that race doesn't matter. Of course it does. But Trump has a 34% advantage in non-college educated white men. It just isn't the South. Why does it have to be just race or just class?


Ronan(rf) 08.04.16 at 10:35 pm

"I generally don't give a shit about polls so I have no "data" to evidence this claim, but my guess is the majority of Trump's support comes from this broad middle"

My understanding is trumps support disproportionately comes from the small business owning classes, Ie a demographic similar to the petite bourgeoisie who have often been heavily involved in reactionary movements. This gets oversold as "working class" when class is defined by education level rather than income.

This would make some sense as they are generally in economically unstable jobs, they tend to be hostile to both big govt (regulations, freeloaders) and big business (unfair competition), and while they (rhetorically at least) tend to value personal autonomy and self sufficiency , they generally sell into smaller, local markets, and so are particularly affected by local demographic and cultural change , and decline. That's my speculation anyway.

T 08.05.16 at 3:12 pm

@patrick @layman

Patrick, you're right about the Trump demographic. https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-mythology-of-trumps-working-class-support/

Layman - Why are these voters switching from Bush et al to Trump? Once again, Corey's whole point is that there is very little difference between the racism of Trump and the mainstream party since Nixon. Is Trump just more racist? Or are the policies of Trump resonating differently than Bush for reasons other than race?

Are the folks that voted for the other candidates in the primary less racist so Trump supporters are just the most racist among Republicans? Cruz less racist? You have to explain the shift within the Republican party because that's what happened.

Anarcissie 08.06.16 at 3:00 pm

Faustusnotes 08.06.16 at 1:50 pm @ 270 -

Eric Berne, in The Structures and Dynamics of Organizations and Groups, proposed that among the defining characteristics of a coherent group is an explicit boundary which determines whether an individual is a member of the group or not. (If there is no boundary, nothing binds the assemblage together; it is a crowd.) The boundary helps provide social cohesion and is so important that groups will create one if necessary. Clearly, boundaries exclude as well as include, and someone must play the role of outsider. While Berne's theories are a bit too nifty for me to love them, I have observed a lot of the behaviors he predicts. If one wanted to be sociobiological, it is not hard to hypothesize evolutionary pressures which could lead to this sort of behavior being genetically programmed. If a group of humans, a notably combative primate, does not have strong social cohesion, the war of all against all ensues and everybody dies. Common affections alone do not seem to provide enough cohesion.

In an earlier but related theory, in the United States, immigrants from diverse European communities which fought each other for centuries in Europe arrived and managed to now get along because they had a major Other, the Negro, against whom to define themselves (as the White Race) and thus to cohere sufficiently to get on with business. The Negro had the additional advantage of being at first a powerless slave and later, although theoretically freed, was legally, politically, and economically disabled - an outsider who could not fight back very effectively, nor run away. Even so, the US almost split apart and there continue to be important class, ethnic, religious, and regional conflicts. You can see how these two theories resonate.

It may be that we can't have communities without this dark side, although we might be able to mitigate some of its destructive effects.

bruce wilde r 08.06.16 at 4:28 pm

I am somewhat suspicious of leaving dominating elites out of these stories of racism as an organizing principle for political economy or (cultural) community.

Racism served the purposes of a slaveholding elite that organized political communities to serve their own interests. (Or, vis a vis the Indians a land-grab or genocide.)

Racism serves as an organizing principle. Politically, in an oppressive and stultifying hierarchy like the plantation South, racism not incidentally buys the loyalty of subalterns with ersatz status. The ugly prejudices and resentful arrogance of working class whites is thus a component of how racism works to organize a political community to serve a hegemonic master class. The business end of racism, though, is the autarkic poverty imposed on the working communities: slaves, sharecroppers, poor blacks, poor whites - bad schools, bad roads, politically disabled communities, predatory institutions and authoritarian governments.

For a time, the balkanization of American political communities by race, religion and ethnicity was an effective means to the dominance of an tiny elite with ties to an hegemonic community, but it backfired. Dismantling that balkanization has left the country with a very low level of social affiliation and thus a low capacity to organize resistance to elite depredations.

engels 08.07.16 at 1:02 am

But how did that slavery happen

Possible short answer: the level of technological development made slavery an efficient way of exploiting labour. At a certain point those conditions changed and slavery became a drag on further development and it was abolished, along with much of the racist ideology that legitimated it.

Lupita 08.07.16 at 3:40 am

But how did that slavery happen

In Mesoamerica, all the natives were enslaved because they were conquered by the Spaniards. Then, Fray Bartolomé de las Casas successfully argued before the Crown that the natives had souls and, therefore, should be Christianized rather than enslaved. As Bruce Wilder states, this did not serve the interests of the slaveholding elite, so the African slave trade began and there was no Fray Bartolomé to argue their case.

It is interesting that while natives were enslaved, the Aztec aristocracy was shipped to Spain to be presented in court and study Latin. This would not have happened if the Mesoamericans were considered inferior (soulless) as a race. Furthermore, the Spaniards needed the local elite to help them out with their empire and the Aztecs were used to slavery and worse. This whole story can be understood without recurring to racism. The logic of empire suffices.

[Aug 20, 2016] People, who argue Trump might start a nuclear war out of personal pique because he insults people on teevee might want to examine Clinton's bellicose foreign policy record and positions on, say, Israel, Iran, Ukraine, NATO expansion or the South China Sea

Notable quotes:
"... "People, who argue Trump might start a nuclear war out of personal pique because he insults people on teevee might want to examine Clinton's bellicose foreign policy record and positions on, say, Israel, Iran, Ukraine, NATO expansion or the South China Sea." ..."
"... Or, as Ian Welsh points out, her position on Syria. She seems to have advocated for a no-fly zone in Syria after Russia came in, which would presumably put us in the position of shooting down Russian warplanes or having a good chance of doing so. Maybe if she does take on Kissinger as an advisor he'll tell her that superpower conflicts have to be done through proxies or they're too dangerous. ..."
"... Gen. Wesley Clark standing off against Russians at Belgrade and the missile attack on the Chinese embassy and the bombing of Bulgaria. ..."
"... Under Obama, support for fascists in Ukraine, near war over chemical weapons in Syria, gunboat diplomacy in South China Sea, shift to preemptive war plans against North Korea, ground troops in Libya and other parts of Africa, and last but not least, blind support for the psychotic Saudi attack on Yemen. ..."
"... Democrat or Republican, it is the US system of government which is militarist and adventurist. It will not change if either Clinton or Trump is elected, the delusions of Putin et al. notwithstanding. It wouldn't change if Bernie or the rational libertarian of the month was elected either because they do not, didn't and never will stand for real change. Criticizing Clinton and Trump from the right will make sure there is not even a chance of political realignment. At this point, the question is whether that's the point? ..."
crookedtimber.org

Rich Puchalsky 08.13.16 at 9:12 pm 800

BW: "People, who argue Trump might start a nuclear war out of personal pique because he insults people on teevee might want to examine Clinton's bellicose foreign policy record and positions on, say, Israel, Iran, Ukraine, NATO expansion or the South China Sea."

Or, as Ian Welsh points out, her position on Syria. She seems to have advocated for a no-fly zone in Syria after Russia came in, which would presumably put us in the position of shooting down Russian warplanes or having a good chance of doing so. Maybe if she does take on Kissinger as an advisor he'll tell her that superpower conflicts have to be done through proxies or they're too dangerous.

For the larger question of whether these comment threads are a good place to campaign or advocate, I sort of come down in a different place than you do. If these comment threads were about good-faith argument, then sure this kind of advocacy might be bad, but I don't think that most people here are capable of good-faith argument even if they were attempting it (most of the time they aren't attempting it). In that case the comment threads serve an alternate purpose of seeing what kinds of beliefs are out there, at least among the limited group of people likely to comment on CT threads. Of course people can be kicked out if they habitually make the threads too difficult to moderate (or really, for whatever other reason an OP decides on), but the well has long since been poisoned and one more drop isn't really going to do much more damage.

stevenjohnson 08.14.16 at 6:13 am 833

Gen. Wesley Clark standing off against Russians at Belgrade and the missile attack on the Chinese embassy and the bombing of Bulgaria.

Under Obama, support for fascists in Ukraine, near war over chemical weapons in Syria, gunboat diplomacy in South China Sea, shift to preemptive war plans against North Korea, ground troops in Libya and other parts of Africa, and last but not least, blind support for the psychotic Saudi attack on Yemen.

None of which was unilaterally determined by Clinton who was nothing but Secretary of State, who does not determine foreign policy anyhow, or took place after her tenure. Renovation of the nuclear weapons stockpile isn't her doing either.

Democrat or Republican, it is the US system of government which is militarist and adventurist. It will not change if either Clinton or Trump is elected, the delusions of Putin et al. notwithstanding. It wouldn't change if Bernie or the rational libertarian of the month was elected either because they do not, didn't and never will stand for real change. Criticizing Clinton and Trump from the right will make sure there is not even a chance of political realignment. At this point, the question is whether that's the point?

[Aug 20, 2016] It is a perplexing and sorry phenomenon that deserves the attention of a first rate pundit like Frank

Amazon review of Thomas Frank's The Wrecking Crew... the word "conservative" was replaced by "neoliberal" as it more correctly reflect the concept behind this social process.
Notable quotes:
"... Neoliberal ideology is championed on behalf of corporate elites who have now secured total control, even ownership, of the federal government. ..."
"... Elites need federal government revenue transferred to their realm via fat government contracts and juicy subsidies. They want government without regulation, and they want taxation imposed on the masses without real representation, but not on them. ..."
"... Neoliberals drew up a long term strategy to sabotage and disrupt the liberal apparatus. There ensued a vast selling-off of government assets (and favors) to those willing to fund the neoliberal movement. The strategy was concocted as a long term plan - the master blueprint for a wholesale transfer of government responsibilities to private-sector contractors unaccountable to Congress or anyone else. An entire industry sprung up to support conservatism - the great god market (corporate globalism) replaced anti-communism as the new inspiration. (page 93) ..."
"... But capitalism is not loyal to people or anything once having lost its usefulness, not even the nation state or the flag ..."
"... According to Frank, what makes a place a free-market paradise is not the absence of governments; it is the capture of government by business interests. ..."
"... Neoliberals don't want efficient government, they want less competition and more profits - especially for defense contractors. Under Reagan, civil servants were out, loyalists were in. ..."
"... Contractors are now a fourth branch of government with more people working under contracts than are directly employed by government - making it difficult to determine where government stops and the contractors start in a system of privatized government where private contractors are shielded from oversight or accountability ..."
"... The first general rule of neoliberal administration: cronies in, experts out. ..."
"... Under Reagan, a philosophy of government blossomed that regarded business as its only constituent. ..."
"... Watergate poisoned attitudes toward government - helping sweep in Ronald Reagan with his anti-government cynicism. Lobbying and influence peddling proliferated in a privatized government. Lobbying is how money casts its vote. It is the signature activity of neoliberal governance - the mechanism that translates market forces into political action. ..."
"... Neoliberalism speaks of not compromise but of removing adversaries from the field altogether. ..."
"... One should never forget that it was Roosevelt's New Deal that saved capitalism from itself. Also, one should not forget that capitalism came out of the classical liberal tradition. Capitalists had to wrest power away from the landowning nobility, the arch neoliberal tradition of its time. ..."
www.amazon.com
Russell Ferrell

Format: Paperback

Thomas Frank's The Wrecking Crew is another classic. This work, along with his more notable What's The Matter With Kansas?, is another ground breaking examination into a major phenomenon of American politics by one of America's foremost social analysts and critics. While What's The Matter With Kansas? looked more at cultural behavior in explaining why Red State Americans have embraced corporate elitist ideology and ballot casting that militates against their own economic self-interest, even their very survival, this title deals more with structural changes in the government, economy, and society that have come about as a result of a Republican right wing agenda. It is a perplexing and sorry phenomenon that deserves the attention of a first rate pundit like Frank.

Neoliberal ideology is championed on behalf of corporate elites who have now secured total control, even ownership, of the federal government. The Wrecking Crew is about a Republican agenda to totally eliminate the last vestiges of the New Deal and Great Society, which have provided social safety nets for ordinary working class Americans through programs such as Social Security and Medicare. Corporate elites want to demolish only that part of government that doesn't benefit the corporation. Thus, a huge military budget and intrusive national security and police apparatus is revered, while education, health, welfare, infrastructure, etc. are of less utility for the corporate state. High taxes on the corporations and wealthy are abhorred, while the middle class is expected to shoulder a huge tax burden. Although Republicans rail against federal deficits, when in office they balloon the federal deficits in a plan for government-by-sabotage. (Page 261)

Elites need federal government revenue transferred to their realm via fat government contracts and juicy subsidies. They want government without regulation, and they want taxation imposed on the masses without real representation, but not on them. The big government they rail at is the same government they own and benefit from. They certainly do not want the national security state (the largest part of government) or the national police system to go away, not even the IRS. How can they fight wars without a revenue collection system? The wellspring of conservatism in America today -- preserving connections between the present and past -- is a destroyer of tradition, not a preserver. (Page 267)

Neoliberals drew up a long term strategy to sabotage and disrupt the liberal apparatus. There ensued a vast selling-off of government assets (and favors) to those willing to fund the neoliberal movement. The strategy was concocted as a long term plan - the master blueprint for a wholesale transfer of government responsibilities to private-sector contractors unaccountable to Congress or anyone else. An entire industry sprung up to support conservatism - the great god market (corporate globalism) replaced anti-communism as the new inspiration. (page 93)

Market populism arose as business was supposed to empower the noble common people. But capitalism is not loyal to people or anything once having lost its usefulness, not even the nation state or the flag. (page 100) While the New Deal replaced rule by wealthy with its brain trust, conservatism, at war with intellectuals, fills the bureaucracy with cronies, hacks, partisans, and creationists. The democracy, or what existed of it, was to be gradually made over into a plutocracy - rule by the wealthy. (Page 252) Starting with Reagan and Thatcher, the program was to hack open the liberal state in order to reward business with the loot. (Page 258) The ultimate neoliberal goal is to marketize the nation's politics so that financial markets can be elevated over vague liberalisms like the common good and the public interest. (Page 260)

According to Frank, what makes a place a free-market paradise is not the absence of governments; it is the capture of government by business interests. The game of corporatism is to see how much public resources the private interest can seize for itself before public government can stop them. A proper slogan for this mentality would be: more business in government, less government in business. And, there are market based solutions to every problem. Government should be market based. George W. Bush grabbed more power for the executive branch than anyone since Nixon. The ultra-rights' fortunes depend on public cynicism toward government. With the U.S. having been set up as a merchant state, the idea of small government is now a canard - mass privatization and outsourcing is preferred. Building cynicism toward government is the objective. Neoliberals don't want efficient government, they want less competition and more profits - especially for defense contractors. Under Reagan, civil servants were out, loyalists were in.

While the Clinton team spoke of entrepreneurial government - of reinventing government - the wrecking crew under Republicans has made the state the tool of money as a market-based system replaced civil service by a government-by-contractor (outsourcing). Page 137 This has been an enduring trend, many of the great robber barons got their start as crooked contractors during the Civil War. Contractors are now a fourth branch of government with more people working under contracts than are directly employed by government - making it difficult to determine where government stops and the contractors start in a system of privatized government where private contractors are shielded from oversight or accountability. (Page 138)

The first general rule of neoliberal administration: cronies in, experts out. The Bush team did away with EPA's office of enforcement - turning enforcement power over to the states. (Page 159) In an effort to demolish the regulatory state, Reagan, immediately after taking office, suspended hundreds of regulations that federal agencies had developed during the Carter Administration. Under Reagan, a philosophy of government blossomed that regarded business as its only constituent. In recent years, neoliberals have deliberately piled up debt to force government into crisis.

Watergate poisoned attitudes toward government - helping sweep in Ronald Reagan with his anti-government cynicism. Lobbying and influence peddling proliferated in a privatized government. Lobbying is how money casts its vote. It is the signature activity of neoliberal governance - the mechanism that translates market forces into political action. (Page 175)

It is the goal of the neoliberal agenda to smash the liberal state. Deficits are one means to accomplish that end.- to persuade voters to part with programs like Social Security and Medicare so these funds can be transferred to corporate contractors or used to finance wars or deficit reduction.. Uncle Sam can raise money by selling off public assets.

Since liberalism depends on fair play by its sworn enemies, it is vulnerable to sabotage by those not playing by liberalism's rules/ (Page 265) The Liberal State, a vast machinery built for our protection has been reengineered into a device for our exploitation. (Page 8) Liberalism arose out of a long-ago compromise between left-wing social movements and business interests. (Page 266) Neoliberalism speaks of not compromise but of removing adversaries from the field altogether. (Page 266) No one dreams of eliminating the branches of state that protect Neoliberalism's constituents such as the military, police, or legal privileges granted to corporations, neoliberals openly scheme to do away with liberal bits of big government. (Page 266)

Liberalism is a philosophy of compromise, without a force on the Left to neutralize the magneticism exerted by money, liberalism will be drawn to the right. (Page 274)

Through corporate media and right wing talk show, liberalism has become a dirty word. However, liberalism may not be dead yet. It will have to be resurrected from the trash bin of history when the next capitalist crisis hits. One should never forget that it was Roosevelt's New Deal that saved capitalism from itself. Also, one should not forget that capitalism came out of the classical liberal tradition. Capitalists had to wrest power away from the landowning nobility, the arch neoliberal tradition of its time.

[Aug 19, 2016] Whatever you tell yourself about the sacrifices US soldiers are making in your peacemaking wars in the ME, the overwhelming majority of those killed and wounded in modern US led military actions are not Americans

Notable quotes:
"... The problem with just sitting back and let you invade any country you like is that we all have to live in the world you make. You're certainly correct to point out that there are many things 'we foreigners' don't understand about America. ..."
"... What we do know is that whatever you tell yourself about the sacrifices US soldiers are making in your peacemaking wars in the ME, the overwhelming majority of those killed and wounded in modern US led military actions are not Americans. I fully believe that many Americans are intensely patriotic and love their country. I also believe that there are many subcultures within America that 'we foreigners' cannot understand. ..."
"... You believe your nation's commitment to its military is somehow special? Prove it. Instead we get American exceptionalism proudly on display. ..."
crookedtimber.org

kidneystones 08.03.16 at 12:37 am 87

84@ The problem with just sitting back and let you invade any country you like is that we all have to live in the world you make. You're certainly correct to point out that there are many things 'we foreigners' don't understand about America.

What we do know is that whatever you tell yourself about the sacrifices US soldiers are making in your peacemaking wars in the ME, the overwhelming majority of those killed and wounded in modern US led military actions are not Americans. I fully believe that many Americans are intensely patriotic and love their country. I also believe that there are many subcultures within America that 'we foreigners' cannot understand.

What is also clear from your comment is that you, and perhaps some others, believe that this love of country and rich tapestry of subcultures somehow makes Americans very, very special and beyond criticism.

We understand this much: Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor – 68 civilian casualties.

The US response: "..on the night of March 9-10, 1945…LeMay sent 334 B-29s low over Tokyo from the Marianas. Their mission was to reduce the city to rubble, kill its citizens, and instill terror in the survivors, with jellied gasoline and napalm that would create a sea of flames. Stripped of their guns to make more room for bombs, and flying at altitudes averaging 7,000 feet to evade detection, the bombers, which had been designed for high-altitude precision attacks, carried two kinds of incendiaries: M47s, 100-pound oil gel bombs, 182 per aircraft, each capable of starting a major fire, followed by M69s, 6-pound gelled-gasoline bombs, 1,520 per aircraft in addition to a few high explosives to deter firefighters. [25] The attack on an area that the US Strategic Bombing Survey estimated to be 84.7 percent residential succeeded beyond the wildest dreams of air force planners…

The Strategic Bombing Survey, whose formation a few months earlier provided an important signal of Roosevelt's support for strategic bombing, provided a technical description of the firestorm and its effects on Tokyo: The chief characteristic of the conflagration . . . was the presence of a fire front, an extended wall of fire moving to leeward, preceded by a mass of pre-heated, turbid, burning vapors . . . . The 28-mile-per-hour wind, measured a mile from the fire, increased to an estimated 55 miles at the perimeter, and probably more within. An extended fire swept over 15 square miles in 6 hours . . . . The area of the fire was nearly 100 percent burned; no structure or its contents escaped damage."

The survey concluded-plausibly, but only for events prior to August 6, 1945-that

"probably more persons lost their lives by fire at Tokyo in a 6-hour period than at any time in the history of man. People died from extreme heat, from oxygen deficiency, from carbon monoxide asphyxiation, from being trampled beneath the feet of stampeding crowds, and from drowning. The largest number of victims were the most vulnerable: women, children and the elderly."

The raids continue for all the 'best' military reasons…

"In July, US planes blanketed the few remaining Japanese cities that had been spared firebombing with an "Appeal to the People." "As you know," it read, "America which stands for humanity, does not wish to injure the innocent people, so you had better evacuate these cities." Half the leafleted cities were firebombed within days of the warning. US planes ruled the skies. Overall, by one calculation, the US firebombing campaign destroyed 180 square miles of 67 cities, killed more than 300,000 people and injured an additional 400,000, figures that exclude the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki." (My italics) http://apjjf.org/-Mark-Selden/2414/article.html

kidneystones 08.03.16 at 12:59 am

@ 86 Both my parents served. My grand-fathers served, and most of my uncles and great-uncles served – you know, the whole mess from being shot to dying in hospitals years after the war from gas attacks. And I served, nothing special about any of this.

You believe your nation's commitment to its military is somehow special? Prove it. Instead we get American exceptionalism proudly on display.

Should all the foreigners in your debt salute, or simply prostrate ourselves in awe?

We're done.

[Aug 19, 2016] The conditions that produced and enabled Trump are the Democratic Party betrayal or working classes, especially its transformation into another wing of neoliberal party of the USA under Clinton. People now view a vote for Hillary as a vote for more of the same - increasing disparity in wealth and income.

Sizeable numbers of Americans have seen wages decline in real terms for nearly 20 years. Many/most parents in many communities do not see a better future before them, or for their children.
Notable quotes:
"... Democracy demands that ballot access rules be selected by referendum, not by the very legacy parties that maintain legislative control by effectively denying ballot access to parties that will pose a challenge to their continued rule. ..."
"... I think the U.S. Party system, in the political science sense, shifted to a new state during George W Bush's administration as, in Kevin Phillip's terms the Republican Party was taken over by Theocrats and Bad Money. ..."
"... My understanding is trumps support disproportionately comes from the small business owning classes, Ie a demographic similar to the petite bourgeoisie who have often been heavily involved in reactionary movements. This gets oversold as "working class" when class is defined by education level rather than income. ..."
"... Racism serves as an organizing principle. Politically, in an oppressive and stultifying hierarchy like the plantation South, racism not incidentally buys the loyalty of subalterns with ersatz status. ..."
"... For a time, the balkanization of American political communities by race, religion and ethnicity was an effective means to the dominance of an tiny elite with ties to an hegemonic community, but it backfired. Dismantling that balkanization has left the country with a very low level of social affiliation and thus a low capacity to organize resistance to elite depredations. ..."
"... Watching Clinton scoop up bankster money, welcome Republicans neocons to the ranks of her supporters does not fill me with hope. ..."
crookedtimber.org

Glenn 08.02.16 at 5:01 pm

@William Meyer 08.02.16 at 4:41 pm

Legislators affiliated with the duopoly parties should not write the rules governing the ballot access of third parties. This exclusionary rule making amounts to preserving a self-dealing duopoly. Elections are the interest of the people who vote and those elected should not be able to subvert the democratic process by acting as a cartel.

Democracy demands that ballot access rules be selected by referendum, not by the very legacy parties that maintain legislative control by effectively denying ballot access to parties that will pose a challenge to their continued rule.

Of course any meaningful change would require a voluntary diminishment of power of the duopoly that now has dictatorial control over ballot access, and who will prevent any Constitutional Amendment that would enhance the democratic nature of the process.

bruce wilder 08.02.16 at 8:02 pm

I think the U.S. Party system, in the political science sense, shifted to a new state during George W Bush's administration as, in Kevin Phillip's terms the Republican Party was taken over by Theocrats and Bad Money.

Ronan(rf) 08.04.16 at 10:35 pm

"I generally don't give a shit about polls so I have no "data" to evidence this claim, but my guess is the majority of Trump's support comes from this broad middle"

My understanding is trumps support disproportionately comes from the small business owning classes, Ie a demographic similar to the petite bourgeoisie who have often been heavily involved in reactionary movements. This gets oversold as "working class" when class is defined by education level rather than income.

This would make some sense as they are generally in economically unstable jobs, they tend to be hostile to both big govt (regulations, freeloaders) and big business (unfair competition), and while they (rhetorically at least) tend to value personal autonomy and self sufficiency , they generally sell into smaller, local markets, and so are particularly affected by local demographic and cultural change , and decline. That's my speculation anyway.

bruce wilder 08.06.16 at 4:28 pm

I am somewhat suspicious of leaving dominating elites out of these stories of racism as an organizing principle for political economy or (cultural) community.

Racism served the purposes of a slaveholding elite that organized political communities to serve their own interests. (Or, vis a vis the Indians a land-grab or genocide.)

Racism serves as an organizing principle. Politically, in an oppressive and stultifying hierarchy like the plantation South, racism not incidentally buys the loyalty of subalterns with ersatz status. The ugly prejudices and resentful arrogance of working class whites is thus a component of how racism works to organize a political community to serve a hegemonic master class. The business end of racism, though, is the autarkic poverty imposed on the working communities: slaves, sharecroppers, poor blacks, poor whites - bad schools, bad roads, politically disabled communities, predatory institutions and authoritarian governments.

For a time, the balkanization of American political communities by race, religion and ethnicity was an effective means to the dominance of an tiny elite with ties to an hegemonic community, but it backfired. Dismantling that balkanization has left the country with a very low level of social affiliation and thus a low capacity to organize resistance to elite depredations.

bruce wilder 08.06.16 at 4:31 pm

Watching Clinton scoop up bankster money, welcome Republicans neocons to the ranks of her supporters does not fill me with hope.

[Aug 19, 2016] For decades already, neoliberalized centre-left parties all over the world have been engaged to varying extents in deregulation, privatisation, welfare state reduction, TTIP-style neoliberal globalism and now, most recently, austerity not to mention a slavish pro-US foreign policy

Clinton betrayal and sell out of Democratic Party to Wall Street was actually a phenomenon affecting other similar parties, especially in Europe. And not only in Great Britain, where Tony Bliar was a real copycat.
Notable quotes:
"... Ideology or political philosophy may matter to the skilled politician, but it matters less as a matter of conviction than as the précis of a novel's plot. It is like a key they use to encode rhetorical poses for the occasion, to signal that they understand the concerns of whatever group they are speaking to. ..."
"... It is one of the odd (to me) features of political attitude formation that so many people have amnesia where there should be some basic appreciation for what politics, at base, is about. (Politics is about who gets what, when, how, in Harold Lasswell's immortal title.) ..."
"... Neoliberalism is possibly the most important set of political phenomena -- certainly the most consequential -- in our generation's experience of political ideas and movements, and yet a common impulse is to deny it is exists or labels anything more meaningful than a catch-all "don't like it". ..."
"... I do think think there's something to the contention that a political re-alignment is underway and the iron hold that neoliberalism has on the Media discourse is rusting. Rusting or not, the structures of propaganda and manipulation remain highly centralized, so even if the rhetorical tropes lose their meaning and emotional resonance, it isn't clear that the structures of authority won't continue, their legitimacy torn and tattered but not displaced. Because there's no replacement candidate, yet. ..."
"... I agree, of course, that Marxism is obsolete. But, it does furnish a model of what an ideology can do to explain political economy and its possibilities, providing a rally point and a confession of faith. The contrast to our present common outlook highlights that several things are clearly missing for us now: one is economic class antagonism, the idea that the rich are the enemy, that rich people make themselves rich by preying on the society, and that fundamental, structural remedies are available thru politics. ..."
"... I do think there's a reservoir of inchoate anger about elite betrayal and malfeasance. The irony of being presented the choice of Trump and Clinton as a remedy is apparently not fully appreciated by our commenters, let alone the irony of rummaging the attic and bringing down Sanders, like he was a suit of retro clothes last worn by one's grandfather. ..."
"... Above, Layman reminds us that George W Bush sold himself as a compassionate conservative. Quite a few adults voted for him I understand. Supposedly quite a few did so thinking that dry drunk would be a good fellow to have a beer with. Because . . . I guess some pundits thought to tell them that that is what politics is about, having a guy in the most powerful office in the federal government that you identify with - a guy who cuts brush at his ranch with a chainsaw. ..."
crookedtimber.org

bruce wilder 08.11.16 at 5:33 pm 618

F Foundling @ 605: The 'self' one can rely on is mostly features of temperament and style, not policy. The 'brand' is also to a large extent about style, not substance, and it is subject to change, too.

The handful of politicians I have known personally have had fewer and lighter personal commitments to political policy preferences, than most, say, news junkies. They are trying to get political power, which rests at the nexus of conflicting forces. They have to put themselves at the crossroads, so to speak, and - maybe this is one of the paradoxes of power -- if they are to exercise power from being at a nexus, they have to be available to be used; they have to be open to persuasion, if they are to persuade.

Ideology or political philosophy may matter to the skilled politician, but it matters less as a matter of conviction than as the précis of a novel's plot. It is like a key they use to encode rhetorical poses for the occasion, to signal that they understand the concerns of whatever group they are speaking to.

T: If inequality remains the same or increases and growth remains low (and I believe they are very much linked) there will be new challengers from both the right and left and one of them will win. It did take a good 70 yrs to vanquish the robber barons.

If there's a perennial lodestar for politics, it is this: the distribution of income, wealth and power. Follow the money is a good way to make sense of any criminal enterprise.

F. Foundling: For decades already, so-called centre-left parties all over the world (can't vouch for *every* country) have been engaged to varying extents in deregulation, privatisation, welfare state reduction, TTIP-style neoliberal globalism and now, most recently, austerity (not to mention a slavish pro-US foreign policy).

Yes.

It is one of the odd (to me) features of political attitude formation that so many people have amnesia where there should be some basic appreciation for what politics, at base, is about. (Politics is about who gets what, when, how, in Harold Lasswell's immortal title.)

I suspect that William the Conqueror had scarcely summered twice in England before someone was explaining to the peasantry that he was building those castles to protect the people.

Neoliberalism is possibly the most important set of political phenomena -- certainly the most consequential -- in our generation's experience of political ideas and movements, and yet a common impulse is to deny it is exists or labels anything more meaningful than a catch-all "don't like it".

RP: A lot of what people seem to be talking about is Overton Window stuff. I'm not convinced.

I do think think there's something to the contention that a political re-alignment is underway and the iron hold that neoliberalism has on the Media discourse is rusting. Rusting or not, the structures of propaganda and manipulation remain highly centralized, so even if the rhetorical tropes lose their meaning and emotional resonance, it isn't clear that the structures of authority won't continue, their legitimacy torn and tattered but not displaced. Because there's no replacement candidate, yet.

By replacement candidate, I mean some set of ideas about how society and political economy can be positively structured and legitimated as functional.

I agree, of course, that Marxism is obsolete. But, it does furnish a model of what an ideology can do to explain political economy and its possibilities, providing a rally point and a confession of faith. The contrast to our present common outlook highlights that several things are clearly missing for us now: one is economic class antagonism, the idea that the rich are the enemy, that rich people make themselves rich by preying on the society, and that fundamental, structural remedies are available thru politics.

I do think there's a reservoir of inchoate anger about elite betrayal and malfeasance. The irony of being presented the choice of Trump and Clinton as a remedy is apparently not fully appreciated by our commenters, let alone the irony of rummaging the attic and bringing down Sanders, like he was a suit of retro clothes last worn by one's grandfather.

bruce wilder 08.11.16 at 10:36 pm

Lee A. Arnold: I don't think I've met anyone over the age of consent who doesn't know what politicians are all about.

Above, Layman reminds us that George W Bush sold himself as a compassionate conservative. Quite a few adults voted for him I understand. Supposedly quite a few did so thinking that dry drunk would be a good fellow to have a beer with. Because . . . I guess some pundits thought to tell them that that is what politics is about, having a guy in the most powerful office in the federal government that you identify with - a guy who cuts brush at his ranch with a chainsaw. How many times did Maureen Dowd tell the story of dog strapped to the roof on the Romney family vacation?

In my comment, you may have read "politician" but I actually wrote, "politics". And, I did not write that there was only inchoate anger. You added "only".

[Aug 18, 2016] The most powerful force in Presidential election 2016 is the sense of betrayal pervading our politics, especially among Democratic electorate

Notable quotes:
"... if neo-liberalism is partly defined by the free flow of goods, labor and capital - and that has been the Republican agenda since at least Reagan - how is Trump a continuation of the same tradition?" ..."
"... Trump is a conservative (or right populist, or whatever), and draws on that tradition. He's not a neoliberal. ..."
"... Trump is too incoherent to really represent the populist view. He's consistent w/the trade and immigration views but (assuming you can actually figure him out) wrong on banks, taxes, etc. ..."
"... But the next populists we see might be more full bore. When that happens, you'll see much more overlap w/Sanders economic plans for the middle class. ..."
"... There's always tension along the lead running between the politician and his constituents. The thing that seems most salient to me at the present moment is the sense of betrayal pervading our politics. At least since the GFC of 2008, it has been hard to deny that the two Parties worked together to set up an economic betrayal. And, the long-running saga of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan also speak to elite failure, as well as betrayal. ..."
"... Trump is a novelty act. He represents a chance for people who feel resentful without knowing much of anything about anything to cast a middle-finger vote. They wouldn't be willing to do that, if times were really bad, instead of just disappointing and distressing. ..."
"... There's also the fact Reagan tapped a fair number of Nixon people, as did W years later. Reagan went after Nixon in the sense of running against him, and taking the party in a much more hard-right direction, sure. But he was repudiated largely because he got caught doing dirty tricks with his pants down. ..."
"... From what I can tell - the 1972 election gave the centrists in the democratic party power to discredit and marginalize the anti-war left, and with it, the left in general. ..."
"... Ready even now to whine that she's a victim and that the whole community is at fault and that people are picking on her because she's a woman, rather than because she has a habit of making accusations like this every time she comments. ..."
"... That is a perfect example of predatory "solidarity". Val is looking for dupes to support her ..."
crookedtimber.org
Rich Puchalsky 08.12.16 at 4:15 pm 683
"Once again, if neo-liberalism is partly defined by the free flow of goods, labor and capital - and that has been the Republican agenda since at least Reagan - how is Trump a continuation of the same tradition?"

You have to be willing to see neoliberalism as something different from conservatism to have the answer make any sense. John Quiggin has written a good deal here about a model of U.S. politics as being divided into left, neoliberal, and conservative. Trump is a conservative (or right populist, or whatever), and draws on that tradition. He's not a neoliberal.

... ... ...

T 08.12.16 at 5:52 pm

RP @683

That's a bit of my point. I think Corey has defined the Republican tradition solely in response to the Southern Strategy that sees a line from Nixon (or Goldwater) to Trump. But that gets the economics wrong and the foreign policy too - the repub foreign policy view has not been consistent across administrations and Trump's economic pans (to the extent he has a plan) are antithetical to the Nixon – W tradition. I have viewed post-80 Dem administrations as neoliberals w/transfers and Repub as neoliberals w/o transfers.

Trump is too incoherent to really represent the populist view. He's consistent w/the trade and immigration views but (assuming you can actually figure him out) wrong on banks, taxes, etc.

But the next populists we see might be more full bore. When that happens, you'll see much more overlap w/Sanders economic plans for the middle class. Populists have nothing against gov't programs like SS and Medicare and were always for things like the TVA and infrastructure spending. Policies aimed at the poor and minorities not so much.

bruce wilder 08.12.16 at 7:47 pm 689

T @ 685: Trump is too incoherent to really represent the populist view.

There's always tension along the lead running between the politician and his constituents. The thing that seems most salient to me at the present moment is the sense of betrayal pervading our politics. At least since the GFC of 2008, it has been hard to deny that the two Parties worked together to set up an economic betrayal. And, the long-running saga of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan also speak to elite failure, as well as betrayal.

These are the two most unpopular candidates in living memory. That is different.

I am not a believer in "the fire next time". Trump is a novelty act. He represents a chance for people who feel resentful without knowing much of anything about anything to cast a middle-finger vote. They wouldn't be willing to do that, if times were really bad, instead of just disappointing and distressing.

Nor will Sanders be back. His was a last New Deal coda. There may be second acts in American life, but there aren't 7th acts.

If there's a populist politics in our future, it will have to have a much sharper edge. It can talk about growth, but it has to mean smashing the rich and taking their stuff. There's very rapidly going to come a point where there's no other option, other than just accepting cramdown by the authoritarian surveillance state built by the neoliberals. that's a much taller order than Sanders or Trump have been offering.<

Michael Sullivan 08.12.16 at 8:06 pm 690

Corey, you write: "It's not just that the Dems went after Nixon, it's also that Nixon had so few allies. People on the right were furious with him because they felt after this huge ratification that the country had moved to the right, Nixon was still governing as if the New Deal were the consensus. So when the time came, he had very few defenders, except for loyalists like Leonard Garment and G. Gordon Liddy. And Al Haig, God bless him."

You've studied this more than I have, but this is at least somewhat at odds with my memory. I recall some prominent attackers of Nixon from the Republican party that were moderates, at least one of whom was essentially kicked out of the party for being too liberal in later years. There's also the fact Reagan tapped a fair number of Nixon people, as did W years later. Reagan went after Nixon in the sense of running against him, and taking the party in a much more hard-right direction, sure. But he was repudiated largely because he got caught doing dirty tricks with his pants down.

To think that something similar would happen to Clinton (watergate like scandal) that would actually have a large portion of the left in support of impeachment, she would have to be as dirty as Nixon was, *and* the evidence to really put the screws to her would have to be out, as it was against Nixon during watergate.

OTOH, my actual *hope* would be that a similar left-liberal sea change comparable to 1980 from the right would be plausible. I don't think a 1976-like interlude is plausible though, that would require the existence of a moderate republican with enough support within their own party to win the nomination. I suppose its possible that such a beast could come to exist if Trump loses a landslide, but most of the plausible candidates have already left or been kicked out of the party.

From what I can tell - the 1972 election gave the centrists in the democratic party power to discredit and marginalize the anti-war left, and with it, the left in general. A comparable election from the other side would give republican centrists/moderates the ability to discredit and marginalize the right wing base. But unlike Democrats in 1972, there aren't any moderates left in the Republican party by my lights. I'm much more concerned that this will simply re-empower the hard-core conservatives with plausbly-deniable dog-whistle racism who are now the "moderates", and enable them to whitewash their history.

Unfortunately, unlike you, I'm not convinced that a landslide is possible without an appeal to Reagan/Bush republicans. I don't think we're going to see a meaningful turn toward a real left until Democrats can win a majority of statehouses and clean up the ridiculous gerrymandering.

Rich Puchalsky 08.12.16 at 9:18 pm

Val: "Similarly with your comments on "identity politics" where you could almost be seen by MRAs and white supremacists as an ally, from the tone of your rhetoric."

That is 100% perfect Val. Insinuates that BW is a sort-of-ally of white supremacists - an infuriating insinuation. Does this insinuation based on a misreading of what he wrote. Completely resistant to any sort of suggestion that what she dishes out so expansively to others had better be something she should be willing to accept herself, or that she shouldn't do it. Ready even now to whine that she's a victim and that the whole community is at fault and that people are picking on her because she's a woman, rather than because she has a habit of making accusations like this every time she comments.

That is a perfect example of predatory "solidarity". Val is looking for dupes to support her - for people to jump in saying "Why are you being hostile to women?" in response to people's response to her comment.

[Aug 18, 2016] The casuality figures suggests that a civil war between factions fighting on approxzimatly level playing field with civilians caught in the middle, sometimes deliberately killed and sometimes dying because of indiscriminate fire

crookedtimber.org

Donald 08.10.16 at 7:02 pm 541

I already answered your question RNB– the mainstream press, HRW, Amnesty, and various blogs. But if you look at the numbers released, they don't quite fit the narrative. For example

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2015/09/syria-civil-war-civilian-deaths/405496/

Note a couple of things from the Syrian Observatory figures. First, civilians are about a third of the total. The number of Syrian military dead plus associated militia is comparable to the number of civilian dead ( not counting the estimated group) and the rebel dead, adding up the different categories including outside forces, are smaller than the dead on Theproud government side.

This suggests a civil war between factions that are fighting on a roughly level playing field with civilians caught in the middle, sometimes deliberately killed and sometimes dying because of indiscriminate fire. American politicians including Clinton sometimes talk as though Assad's forces are doing all the killing. It also seems odd that we are told the rebels need outside help so they can stand to Assad. Obviously they have had plenty of outside help– the death toll is what it is because the war keeps dragging on, but to hear Americans talk you'd think it was outgunned rebels along with civilians being massacred year after year, yet it seems 50,000 regular Syrian military along with tens of thousands of pro regime militia have been killed by the poorly armed rebels.

In the much smaller scale Gaza War the bulk of the deaths were Palestinian civilians– maybe 1500. Hundreds of Hamas fighters were killed and dozens of Israeli soldiers. That's more the kind of ratio I would expect if the Syrian civil war fit into the framework given by American politicians and pundits.

RNB 08.10.16 at 7:18 pm

@542 It could be that Hillary Clinton would be willing to put MANPADS in the rebels' hands if they can be shut down if stolen and Trump would not. http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/04/20/the-u-s-wants-to-design-safer-anti-aircraft-missiles-for-syrias-rebels/

[Aug 18, 2016] neo-liberalism has been dying for over a decade. It's just that these transitions are a slow process

Notable quotes:
"... Increased border controls, concessions to anti-immigrant feeling, withdrawal by middle-tier Asian nations from the consensus, alternative institutions fostered by the BRICs, Brexit, revivals of western interest in industry policy, increasing questioning of the financial industry – all moves away from the platform. ..."
crookedtimber.org

Peter T 08.10.16 at 7:08 am

side comment:

neo-liberalism has been dying for over a decade. It's just that these transitions are a slow process (think of how most western countries are still adjusting to the fact that the 30-year growth spurt 1950-80 is well and truly over).

Increased border controls, concessions to anti-immigrant feeling, withdrawal by middle-tier Asian nations from the consensus, alternative institutions fostered by the BRICs, Brexit, revivals of western interest in industry policy, increasing questioning of the financial industry – all moves away from the platform.

It won't be fast, it won't be all (or mostly) in directions the left wants, it won't be a consistent or continuous change, but it is happening.

[Aug 18, 2016] Neoliberalism has a distorted or atrophied sense of the relationship between solidarity and the consent of the governed, between democracy and legitimacy, or more generally, between the individual and the collective. Neoliberals are happy to accept whatever loyalty up they are given by fools and suckers: they have no loyalty down at all and will never do the elementary political operations of repaying their base

Notable quotes:
"... People don't yet understand that this is just how neoliberals are. The two fundamental loyalties in a state party system have nothing to do with solidarity: they're loyalty up, and loyalty down. Neoliberals are happy to accept whatever loyalty up they are given by fools and suckers: they have no loyalty down at all and will never do the elementary political operations of repaying their base ..."
"... On solidarity: solidarity isn't about the (hierarchy of) relationships among politicians or political operatives. Solidarity is about membership, not leadership. ..."
"... Solidarity is the means to great common, coordinated efforts, that is to trust in leadership and that great solvent of political stalemate: sacrifice to the common good. ..."
"... Solidarity is a powerful force, sometimes historically an eruptive force, and though not by itself intelligent, not necessarily hostile to intelligent direction, but it calls on the individual's narcissism and anger not rational understanding or calculation. It is present as a flash in riots and a fire in insurrections and a great raging furnace in national wars of total mobilization. Elites can fear it or be enveloped by it or manipulate it cynically or with cruel callousness. Though it is a means to common effort and common sacrifice, it demands wages for its efforts and must be fed prodigious resources if it is long at work. ..."
"... What we've got here is a distorted or atrophied sense of the relationship between solidarity and the consent of the governed, between democracy and legitimacy, or more generally, between the individual and the collective ..."
"... If so, maybe we ought to try being a little more honest about what we're willing to pay as individuals for what we get as members of a group. Otherwise, it's hard to see how we can come to terms with our confusion, or survive the malignancies that being confused has introduced into all our group dynamics, not just the overtly political ones. ..."
crookedtimber.org

Rich Puchalsky 08.12.16 at 1:41 pm674

CR: "that strategy actually runs the risk of harming down-ballot Democrats running for office in Congress and state legislatures. It may help Clinton, but it's not good for the party."

It's Obama redux. Remember how he wanted to work with his friends across the aisle in a Grand Bargain that would bring moderation and centrist agreement to all things? He validated budget-balance mania during austerity and would have bargained away Social Security if he could have. He predictably lost the Congress in the first mid-term election and did nothing to build the party back up.

People don't yet understand that this is just how neoliberals are. The two fundamental loyalties in a state party system have nothing to do with solidarity: they're loyalty up, and loyalty down. Neoliberals are happy to accept whatever loyalty up they are given by fools and suckers: they have no loyalty down at all and will never do the elementary political operations of repaying their base or creating a party that will work for anyone else. This goes beyond ordinary political selfishness to the fact that they don't really want a populist party: that would push them to harm the interests of their real base.

And people don't react to this, fundamentally, because they don't really do politics outside of 4-year scareathons. Look at LFC's description above about how people should march if candidates don't follow through on their promises. Why aren't they marching now: why haven't they in the Obama years?

bruce wilder 08.12.16 at 6:39 pm 687

Rich Puchalsky @ 674

I am with you on your main thesis, but I thought I would offer this sidenote.

On solidarity: solidarity isn't about the (hierarchy of) relationships among politicians or political operatives. Solidarity is about membership, not leadership.

Solidarity can feel good. "We are all in this together, united." Or, it can feel constricting, as it demands conformity and senseless uniformity, obeisance to unnecessary authority. Resentments are its solvent and its boundary-keepers. Social affiliation and common rituals are its nurturers in its fallow times, which can be historically frequent and long. Solidarity is the means to great common, coordinated efforts, that is to trust in leadership and that great solvent of political stalemate: sacrifice to the common good.

Solidarity is a powerful force, sometimes historically an eruptive force, and though not by itself intelligent, not necessarily hostile to intelligent direction, but it calls on the individual's narcissism and anger not rational understanding or calculation. It is present as a flash in riots and a fire in insurrections and a great raging furnace in national wars of total mobilization. Elites can fear it or be enveloped by it or manipulate it cynically or with cruel callousness. Though it is a means to common effort and common sacrifice, it demands wages for its efforts and must be fed prodigious resources if it is long at work.

As American Party politics have degenerated, solidarity has come to have a fraught relationship with identity politics. In both Parties.

I don't see anything in the conceptual logic driving things forward. I see this state of affairs as the playing out of historical processes, one step after another. But, this year's "scareathon" puts identity politics squarely against the economic claims of class or even national solidarity. The identity politics frame of equal opportunity exploitation has Paul Krugman talking up "horizontal inequality". Memes float about suggesting that free trade is aiding global equality even if it is at the expense of increasing domestic inequality. Or, suggesting that labor unions were the implacable enemy of racial equality back in the day or that FDR's New Deal was only for white people. Hillary Clinton's stump speech, for a while, had her asking, "If we broke up the big banks tomorrow, . . . would that end racism? would that end sexism?"

It is convenient politics in several ways. First, no one can hold Clinton responsible for not ending racism and sexism any more than GWB could be held responsible for not winning the war on terrorism. These are perpetual struggles by definition.

Second, it combines the display of righteous do-good ism with a promise of social progress that might actually benefit directly the most ambitious, even if it leaves most people without support. People who have done well in the system, or who might expect to, can feel good about themselves. And, ignore the system or rationalize away the system's manifest shortcomings. The people who are complaining are racists! BernieBros! It is all about the loss of status being experienced by white men, and they shouldn't be heard anyway.

The moral righteousness of identity politics adds in an element that goes way beyond the lazy failure to hold politicians accountable or the tendency to explain away their more Machiavellian maneuvers. There's both an actual blindness to the reactionary conservatism of equal opportunity exploitation and a peremptory challenge to any other claim or analysis. If police practices and procedures are trending in an authoritarian direction, they can only be challenged on grounds of racist effect or intent. The authoritarianism cannot be challenged on its own merit, so the building of the authoritarian state goes on unimpeded, since the principle that is challenged is not authoritarianism, but a particular claim of racism or sexism.

William Timberman 08.12.16 at 7:45 pm 688
What we've got here is a distorted or atrophied sense of the relationship between solidarity and the consent of the governed, between democracy and legitimacy, or more generally, between the individual and the collective. I suppose you could argue that we've evolved beyond what we were when we first came to understand these relationships in the abstract (in the 18th century?), and that, accordingly, they can no longer be understood in the way we once thought we understood them.

If so, maybe we ought to try being a little more honest about what we're willing to pay as individuals for what we get as members of a group. Otherwise, it's hard to see how we can come to terms with our confusion, or survive the malignancies that being confused has introduced into all our group dynamics, not just the overtly political ones.

[Aug 18, 2016] Neoliberal rationality denied solidarity

crookedtimber.org
bruce wilder 08.12.16 at 11:38 pm 714
engels @ 706: Narcissism by definition involves a failure to connect with others whereas solidarity requires it. So I find the claim the two are linked more than a little baffling.

Narcissism gets a bad rap from its associations with attempts to pathologize normal human functioning. A healthy narcissism expressed in a pride in one's appearance, confidence in one's own capacities is nothing bad. People should seek and find ways to admire themselves and to be selfish - it is important to finding a center and balance.

Narcissism, strictly speaking, is not the failure to connect with others, but the failure to distinguish the self from others. In that sense, solidarity, which is identifying one's self with the group of which one is a member, is narcissistic. Un pour tous, tous pour un, as the Musketeers said.

Pathological narcissism may be hinted at in the form of parental praise used as a cliche in America in place of expressions of admiration: "I'm so proud of you." As if your achievements were somehow the speaker's achievements.

Pejorative uses of narcissism as a synonym for selfish tend to emphasize narcissism as excessive, but actual pathological narcissism is pathetic: it is the normal capacity to be self-centered broken: the beautiful woman insatiably seeking admiration but who cannot stand to be touched.

bruce wilder 08.13.16 at 12:34 am

F Foundling @ 705: In any case, [solidarity] doesn't need to be irrational or to have to do with narcissism (as suggested in 687) any more than acting in your own personal interests needs to be irrational or to have to do with narcissism.

Thank you for thoughtful remarks @ 705 and @694.

"Rational" and "irrational" can be a cause of great confusion. It is not some virtue I wish to ascribe, but, rather, to my mind, a matter of gamesmanship. As a strategy, not an ethic, solidarity is a way of committing one's self irrationally to not reconsider one's interests.

The rat, betraying solidarity, is rational and selfish and calculating. Upholding solidarity requires an irrational ethic to trump strategic reconsideration.

There can certainly be an element of enlightened self-interest in a commitment to solidarity. We hope this gift of the self to the community is not done stupidly or without some deliberate consideration of consequences.

But, in the game, in the political contest where solidarity matters, where elite power is confronted, solidarity entails a degree of passionate commitment and even self-sacrifice. Whether expressed as an individual act of "altruistic punishment" or the common unwillingness to cooperate with the powers-that-be in a labor strike, there has to be a willingness to bear costs and forego opportunities.

People have to be a bit mad to want justice.

bruce wilder 08.13.16 at 12:47 am 719

Appreciate Michael Pettis on the Trump phenomenon. He wrote this piece back in March and for reasons I cannot quite fathom he tried to tie in the Jacksonians - as if Donald Trump is some faded reprint of Andrew Jackson. But, ignore the part about the Jacksonians in American history and pay attention to what he says about his friend who is a supporter of Trump. It will complement Doug Henwood nicely, I suspect.

And, Pettis has nothing nice to say about Trump - so no fear!

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/03/michael-pettis-trump-and-the-re-emergence-of-the-jacksonians.html

F. Foundling 08.13.16 at 1:30 am

@ bruce wilder 718
> The rat, betraying solidarity, is rational and selfish and calculating. Upholding solidarity requires an irrational ethic to trump strategic reconsideration.

Well, this presupposes that pursuing one's self-interest as an end in itself is natural, self-evident and hence purely rational, whereas striving to further the interests of someone else as an end in itself or striving to adhere to ethical behaviour as an end in itself is abnormal and irrational. I see no particular reason to assume this view. Assessment of rationality is possible with respect to the choice of means to a given end, but not in the choice of the end itself. Second, even in terms of self-interest, it is far from clear in each particular case whether solidary behaviour will be beneficial or harmful to the individual on balance, and whether the forgoing of costs will not result in better opportunities in the long run (the various Prisoner's Dilemma scenarios and suchlike are anything but straightforward and depend on many variables).

On selfishness and solidarity again:

The way I see it, pursuing one's own interests is not selfishness, but just a matter of practical division of labour and responsibilities. Everyone deserves well-being equally, but by default everyone is entrusted with his own well-being – it's simply the most practical arrangement. To take an extreme and comical example, I can recognise that my digestion is objectively no more important/valuable than that of any other person, but in practice it is obviously most efficient that *I* should take it upon myself to chew the food that *I* will digest, and *others* should take care of the chewing of *their* food. :) Selfishness begins where you consider yourself and your needs to have greater value than others, which may result in potentially unethical choices where interests conflict (say, taking others' food, not sharing the food fairly, letting others starve, etc.).

In that sense, solidarity might be said to include a measure of this sort of responsiblity on a collective level. It is understood that if someone in my neighbourhood needs help, it's up to *me* to volunteer to help first, not to someone living in a different city altogether. This need not imply that I consider a person to be more valuable just because he lives closer to me, or that I should defend him if he wrongs someone living in a different city. The first would be extended personal responsibility, the second would be extended selfishness and narcissism, but both can be described as 'solidarity (at neighbourhood level)'.

[Aug 16, 2016] Notorious Russian arms dealer refused US offer for lighter sentence

marknesop.wordpress.com
et Al , August 15, 2016 at 12:00 pm
Intellinews.org: Notorious Russian arms dealer 'refused US offer for lighter sentence'

https://intelnews.org/2016/08/10/01-1956/

…In a newspaper interview on Tuesday, Bout's wife, Alla Bout, said her husband could have gotten away with a considerably lighter sentence had he agreed to testify against a senior Russian government official. Speaking to Moscow-based daily Izvestia, Alla Bout said her husband had been approached by American authorities after being extradited to the United States from Thailand. He was told that US authorities wanted him to testify against Igor Sechin, a powerful Russian government official, whom American prosecutors believed was Bout's boss. In return for his testimony, US prosecutors allegedly promised a jail sentence that would not exceed two years, as well as political asylum for him and his family following his release from prison. Alla Bout added that her husband's American lawyers were told by the prosecution that the 'merchant of death' "would be able to live in the US comfortably, along with his wife and daughter", and that his family could stay in America during his trial "under conditions". Alla Bout claimed she was told this by Bout himself and by members of his American legal team…
####

It goes to show how desperate Washington is, not to mention its extremely short term thinking. No one in their right minds in Russia would trust anyone in Washington worth a damn, and that has major implications for all sorts of state-to-state dealings running in to the future. If Washington thinks saying "It's all water under the bridge" will return relations back to normal just like that, then they are sorely retarded.

Patient Observer , August 15, 2016 at 6:25 pm
Speaks well of Bout's character and the profound corruption of the US legal system.

[Aug 16, 2016] A Yahoo story with a slightly balanced view on doping

marknesop.wordpress.com
Patient Observer, August 14, 2016 at 1:55 pm
A Yahoo story with a slightly balanced view on doping:

https://www.yahoo.com/news/team-usa-kicked-off-doping-011345417.html

In addition to shattering world records and breaking down barriers, the swimmers at the Rio Olympics have managed another feat of sorts: reigniting international sport's Cold War. On the self-proclaimed forces of good: swimmers from Western nations who broke unwritten Olympic etiquette by speaking out against competitors they deemed "drug cheats."

The story mentions that in track and field, the US has an extensive history of doping and concluded:

Americans may stack up medals on the track in Rio, but they'll have to table their righteousness on that podium.

[Aug 16, 2016] The culture of medals over morals disgusts me.

www.bbc.com
marknesop , August 15, 2016 at 6:56 pm

The culture of medals over morals disgusts me.

[Aug 16, 2016] Diary of an Ex-Neocon

Notable quotes:
"... If the New York Post is their Pravda , then The Weekly Standard is the neocons' Iskra , where the ideological twists and turns of the Party Line are explicated at some length ..."
"... The cynical might suspect that this last is a form of neoconservative special pleading, designed to spirit the war party intellectuals away from the scene when the Bush policy goes down in flames ..."
"... Robert Kagan and Max Boot are shilling for Hillary, with more of their comrades soon to follow-the former Scoop Jackson Democrats have come full circle, their survival skills fully intact. ..."
"... They "certainly won't disappear in the way that American communism or segregation have," says McConnell , and one big reason is because "Perhaps most importantly neoconservatism still commands more salaries-able people who can pursue ideological politics as fulltime work in think tanks and periodicals-than its rivals." Which means "the reports of the movement's demise"-and I've authored a few of those-"are thus very much exaggerated." ..."
"... McConnell isn't just an observer, with a keen eye for detail: he projects himself into these geopolitical conundrums, imbued with the sort of empathy that connects both himself and the reader to real human suffering, a quality that makes him a trenchant critic of U.S. policy in the Middle East. ..."
"... McConnell likes the Israelis, supports their right to nationhood, and yet insists that we treat them as a normal country, not a pampered child who throws tantrums to get what it wants. He is measured, rational, compassionate, and, most of all, very well informed. We find out many things along the way, such as the real nature of the "good deal" that Yasser Arafat rejected, and rightly so. ..."
The American Conservative
McConnell's wit, especially sharp when cutting up his former comrades, had me laughing out loud. Describing Fred Barnes's Rebel in Chief , a hagiography of George W. Bush, he writes : "For readers who might wonder what it is like to be a North Korean and required to read formulaic biographies of great helmsman Kim Il Sung and his son, an afternoon spent with Rebel in Chief should provide a proximate answer."

If the New York Post is their Pravda , then The Weekly Standard is the neocons' Iskra , where the ideological twists and turns of the Party Line are explicated at some length, and not without some elegance, as McConnell notes. The weekly's key role in diverting the Bush administration into Iraq after the 9/11 attacks is here laid out in all its Machiavellian sinuosity. And the distinctly Soviet air of the Kristolian style is illustrated quite nicely by McConnell's description of the magazine's covers, a typical one being "George W. Bush, gesticulating before an audience of troops, arm extended in a Caesarian pose. 'The Liberator,' the Standard headline proclaimed. Flatter the leader who will do your bidding."

Yet there is a bit more to the literature of the courtier than appears on the surface. Flatter the king, get close enough to whisper in his ear-and then, if necessary, bury the knife deep in his back. Barnes depicts Bush as the bold leader who defied "the crabbed views of experts. And lest we forget, it is Bush alone who has done this, not his advisors. The cynical might suspect that this last is a form of neoconservative special pleading, designed to spirit the war party intellectuals away from the scene when the Bush policy goes down in flames." Which is precisely what happened, as McConnell chronicles in detail.

The damage this political cult has done to the American polity, and to the Middle East, cannot even be calculated: how much, after all, is a human life worth? What about hundreds of thousands of lives? Yet they never seem to be finally defeated: as McConnell puts it , "if disrespecting the neoconservatives is emerging as a minor national sport, it should be enjoyed and tempered with realism." Sure, "the last few years have been difficult for the faction," but "they have other options." As they stream back into the Democratic Party after being steamrollered by Donald Trump- Robert Kagan and Max Boot are shilling for Hillary, with more of their comrades soon to follow-the former Scoop Jackson Democrats have come full circle, their survival skills fully intact.

They "certainly won't disappear in the way that American communism or segregation have," says McConnell , and one big reason is because "Perhaps most importantly neoconservatism still commands more salaries-able people who can pursue ideological politics as fulltime work in think tanks and periodicals-than its rivals." Which means "the reports of the movement's demise"-and I've authored a few of those-"are thus very much exaggerated."

Well, yes, that's unfortunately true. We've heard of the neocons' demise so many times that the prospect has now become somewhat hopeless: they just keep reincarnating themselves in another form. But that shouldn't stop us from hoping against hope.

In spite of this book's title, there is much more to it than the storied history of the neocons as seen from inside the tent. There are sections on Israel, the run up to the Iraq war, President Obama, reflections on history, Russia and NATO, racial politics, and more. McConnell is at his best when he writes in the first person: a trip through Syria and Palestine, detailed in " Divided and Conquered ," reveals a perception honed to the finest detail, and a sensitivity and compassion that invariably breaks through a reserved WASP-y persona. McConnell isn't just an observer, with a keen eye for detail: he projects himself into these geopolitical conundrums, imbued with the sort of empathy that connects both himself and the reader to real human suffering, a quality that makes him a trenchant critic of U.S. policy in the Middle East.

That critique is laid out in a long essay, " The Special Relationship With Israel: Is It Worth the Cost? " in which the history and consequences of our protracted and expensive patronage of the Jewish state is analyzed and detailed in ways you haven't seen or read before. McConnell likes the Israelis, supports their right to nationhood, and yet insists that we treat them as a normal country, not a pampered child who throws tantrums to get what it wants. He is measured, rational, compassionate, and, most of all, very well informed. We find out many things along the way, such as the real nature of the "good deal" that Yasser Arafat rejected, and rightly so.

At the end of a long " Open Letter to David Horowitz on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict ," in which the author takes apart the irascible pro-Israel fanatic's argument that the Palestinians aren't really a people and should just get lost, he writes; "David, I hope you know this letter is written in a spirit of friendly, even comradely, disagreement and that it comes from someone who has plenty of appreciation for everything you have done since you came out as a 'Lefty for Reagan' seventeen years ago, and who was an avid Ramparts reader a dozen years before that."

For my part, he gives Horowitz far too much credit, but that's an essential part of the author of Ex-Neocon : a gentleness that allows him to appreciate the talent and achievements of his ideological opposite numbers, even as he tears their arguments to shreds. His personality comes through in a way that is understated and yet strong. Here he is in Virginia Beach , canvassing for Obama during the 2012 election, riding around with a bunch of female volunteers, two black and one white:

It was a curiously moving experience. … I have led most of my life not caring very much whether the poor voted, and indeed have sometimes been aware my interests aligned with them not voting at all. But that has changed. And so one knocks on one door after another in tiny houses and apartments in Chesapeake and Newport News, some of them nicely kept and clearly striving to make the best of a modest lot, others as close to the developing world as one gets in America. And at moments one feels a kind of calling-and then laughs at the Alinskian presumption of it all. Yes, we are all connected.

So what was this ex-neocon, former campaign manager for Pat Buchanan's last presidential run, and former editor of The American Conservative doing canvassing for Barack Obama? You really have to read this book to find out.

Justin Raimondo is editorial director of Antiwar.com and the author of Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement .

[Aug 16, 2016] The ECHR has, on the other hand, green-lighted the lawsuits of MH-17 relatives against Ukraine

marknesop.wordpress.com
marknesop , August 14, 2016 at 1:19 pm

The ECHR has, on the other hand, green-lighted the lawsuits of MH-17 relatives against Ukraine , for "Failing to protect life" by taking the appropriate precautions to vector air traffic away from the war zone.

Which means Ukraine's actions will come under close scrutiny once again, and in this instance the plaintiffs have plenty of evidence, since it was broadly agreed at the outset that Ukraine bore responsibility for its own airspace.

Now, hopefully, there will be some questions asked about Ukraine's odd approach to record-keeping and its determination to control aircraft without any primary radars available.

[Aug 16, 2016] Thomas Frank Whats the Matter with the Democrats

Interesting presentation. Especially the idea why Clinton betrayed previous base of Democratic Party and sold it to Wall Street. Another interesting idea is that in meritocracy there is no solidarity.
Notable quotes:
"... Hillary For Prison 2016 ..."
Mar 30, 2016 | YouTube

Thomas Frank, Author, What's the Matter with Kansas? and Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People?

James Taylor, Ph.D., Director of African American Studies and Professor of Political Science, University of San Francisco-Moderator

Come hear the best-selling author of What's the Matter with Kansas? echo that question as it relates to the Democratic Party. Frank says liberals like to believe that if only Democrats can continue to dominate national elections, if only those awful Republicans are beaten into submission, then the country will be on the right course. But he says this view fundamentally misunderstands the modern Democratic Party. Frank says that the Democrats have in fact done little to advance traditional liberal goals: expanding opportunity, fighting for social justice, and ensuring that workers get a fair deal. Indeed, he argues that Democrats have occupied the White House for 16 of the last 24 years, and yet the decline of the middle class has only accelerated, Wall Street gets its bailouts, wages keep falling, and the free-trade deals keep coming.

In this critical election year, Frank recalls the Democrats back to their historic goals-what he says is the only way to reverse the ever-deepening rift between the rich and the poor in America. A former columnist for The Wall Street Journal and Harper's, Frank is the founding editor of The Baffler and writes regularly for Salon.

Kristin Lee, 2 days ago

Social mobility was stunted by the onslaught of neoliberalism, which simultaneously celebrates self-cultivation while pulling the ladder up on millions of people, burdening them with credit card and student debt, lowering the quality of public education, raising the costs of healthcare and devising clever Wall St strategies that raid commercial banks and now the SS fund. It's a theatre of cruelty, as Henry Giroux describes it. More to the point, it is economic fascism.
joanofarc33, 12 hours ago,
Well if Trump signals the death of the Republican Party then surely the Clinton dynasty will mark the death of the Dem party. The working class people of this country, the environment cannot survive another neoliberal Clinton and their TPP, this is endgame stuff right here. TPP means the inability to peacefully change the system.
Chet Roman, 1 month ago
Taylor states that Obama was the most progressive president between 2008 and 2010 and then the conservatives, Tea Party and others attached him. What utter nonsense. During that period of time Obama and the Democrats controlled both houses of the Congress and he did almost nothing to advance a "liberal" agenda. He wouldn't even allow single payer advocates a seat at the negotiating table and Obamacare was essentially drafted by a healthcare/insurance industry lobbyist. Obama gave a "free get out of jail card" to all the financial criminals on Wall Street. Obama chose James Rubin, son of #1 financial crook Robert Rubin, to fill all his administration's financial positions, Obama chose the very smart but incompetent knucklehead Larry Summers. Obama won "Ad Age Marketer of the Year" award for his 2008 campaign. That says it all; it was an ad campaign much like selling a breakfast serial that is just sugar and empty carbohydrates but tastes good. He was groomed and supported very early on by a couple of very wealthy families (Pritzkers and Crowns) and had the support of Wall Street. He received more funds from Wall Street than his opponent, John McCain, much more.

Bill Ayers

Hillary For Prison 2016

Penniless Punk

The word "union" wasn't simply attacked by the right. It was also eroded by the corruption within its own ranks. Unions lost power when NAFTA was enacted, so they simply kept collecting dues even though they couldn't do a fucking thing. If they had told their workers to strike, the company would have moved to another location and union popularity would go down anyway. No one wants to pay dues to someone who makes their family suffer only to lose the battle. So instead, unions sucked up to management and just kept collecting dues so the company would stick around here..where they CAN collect dues. They don't collect dues in Mexico or Canada. THAT's why the word "union" stinks anymore. It means "sell out who ignores the problems of their team mates to save their own skin."

New Concerned Leadership Needed.


[Aug 16, 2016] Panama Papers were released with intent to expose Vladimir Putin's supposed corruption, only for the release itself to backfire when the only connection to Putin turned out to be a childhood friend violinist.

Notable quotes:
"... "US security experts however are blaming the leak on Russian hackers, according to Bloomberg, in a similar reaction seen in the wake of the DNC leaks." ..."
marknesop.wordpress.com
More than 2,500 files from the raft of organizations run by billionaire George Soros have been leaked by hackers.

Saturday's leak, published by DC leaks, includes hundreds of internal documents from multiple departments of Soros' groups, predominantly the Open Society Foundations.

https://www.rt.com/usa/355919-soros-hacked-files-released/

marknesop , August 14, 2016 at 11:29 pm
Explosive. Early analysis says the leak shows his NGO's manipulating EU elections.

"US security experts however are blaming the leak on Russian hackers, according to Bloomberg, in a similar reaction seen in the wake of the DNC leaks."

Careful, boys; one day you'll go to the well and there won't be any more water. It's always the Russians.

Jen , August 15, 2016 at 12:55 am
Interesting that Soros' Open Society Foundations funds the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists which would explain why when the Panama Papers were released, there were no US individuals or companies named as clients of Mossack Fonseca. So the Panama Papers were released with intent to expose Vladimir Putin's supposed corruption, only for the release itself to backfire when the only connection to Putin turned out to be a childhood friend violinist.

[Aug 16, 2016] 3 minutes before they (and probably most other news) announced that a passenger jet was shot down, NSDC and Ukrainian Pravda announced that separatists suddenly now possess a Buk, which can reach a passenger jet.

marknesop.wordpress.com

Jeremn, August 15, 2016 at 7:07 am

Interesting Timeline of how the downing of MH17 was first reported in the Ukrainian media. Basically, the Ukrainian government spokesman announced that the rebels had a BUK, but just at the time the Malaysian flight was coming down.

"The headline at 17:26 EEST translates to "NSDC said that militants have equipment that can hit planes at a high altitude." The headline at 17:49 translates to "Source: A passenger jet was shot down in Donetsk region." So, it is interesting that an hour after MH17 crashed and 23 minutes before they (and probably most other news) announced that a passenger jet was shot down, NSDC and Ukrainian Pravda announced that separatists suddenly now possess a Buk, which can reach a passenger jet."

https://energia.su/mh17/en/article/1/

marknesop, August 15, 2016 at 10:20 am
Very interesting indeed, since it implies premeditation. And since it is one of the few Ukrainian statements which was decisively refuted by western intelligence.

[Aug 15, 2016] The True Story Of How War Broke Out In Syria

Notable quotes:
"... The CIA agents running the Deraa operation from their office in Jordan had already provided the weapons and cash needed to fuel the flames of revolution in Syria. With enough money and weapons, you can start a revolution anywhere in the world. ..."
"... In reality, the uprising in Deraa in March 2011 was not fueled by graffiti written by teenagers, and there were no disgruntled parents demanding their children to be freed. This was part of the Hollywood style script written by skilled CIA agents, who had been given a mission: to destroy Syria for the purpose of regime change. Deraa was only Act 1: Scene 1. ..."
"... The Libyans stockpiled weapons at the Omari Mosque well before any rumor spread about teenagers arrested for graffiti. The cleric, visually impaired and elderly, was unaware of the situation inside his Mosque, or of the foreign infiltrators in his midst. ..."
"... The weapons came into Deraa from the CIA office in Jordan. The US government has close ties to the King of Jordan. Jordan is 98% Palestinian, and yet has a long lasting peace treaty with Israel, despite the fact that 5 million of the Jordanian citizen's relatives next door in Occupied Palestine are denied any form of human rights. ..."
"... However, the US strategy was to create a "New Middle East", which would do away with safety in Syria; through the ensuing tornado, aka 'winds of change'. ..."
"... Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and then Syria were the stepping stones in the garden of the "Arab Spring". But, the scenario in the Syrian mission did not stay on script. It went over deadline and over budget. The final credits have yet to be rolled, and the curtain has yet to fall on the stage. ..."
"... Syrians were wondering how Western writers could take the side of the terrorists who were foreigners, following Radical Islam and attacking any unarmed civilian who tried to defend their home and family. The media was portraying the terrorists as freedom fighters and heroes of democracy, while they were raping, looting, maiming, kidnapping for ransom and murdering unarmed civilians who had not read the script before the shooting began in Deraa. ..."
"... Deraa was the opening act of tragic epic which has yet to conclude. The cleric who was a key character in the beginning scenes, Sheikh Sayasneh, was first put under house arrest, and then he was smuggled out to Amman, Jordan in January 2012. He now gives lectures in America near Washington, DC. Just like aspiring actors usually find their way to Hollywood, which is the Mecca of the film industry, Sheikh Sayasneh found his way to the Mecca of all regime change projects. ..."
Zero Hedge
Submitted by Steven Sahiounie via American Herald Tribune,

The day before September 11, 2001 was like any normal day in New York City. September 10, 2001 was unaware of the earthshaking events which would happen the next day.

Similarly, one might think the day before the violence broke out in Deraa, Syria in March 2011 would have been an uneventful day, unaware of the uprising about to begin.

But, that was not the case. Deraa was teaming with activity and foreign visitors to Syria well before the staged uprising began its opening act.

The Omari Mosque was the scene of backstage preparations, costume changes and rehearsals. The Libyan terrorists, fresh from the battlefield of the US-NATO regime change attack on Libya, were in Deraa well ahead of the March 2011 uprising violence. The cleric of the Omari Mosque was Sheikh Ahmad al Sayasneh . He was an older man with a severe eye problem, which caused him to wear special dark glasses, and severely hampered his vision. He was not only visually impaired, but light sensitive as well, which caused him to be indoors as much as possible and often isolated. He was accustomed to judging the people he talked with by their accent and voice. The Deraa accent is distinctive. All of the men attending the Omari Mosque were local men, all with the common Deraa accent. However, the visitors from Libya did not make themselves known to the cleric, as that would blow their cover. Instead, they worked with local men; a few key players who they worked to make their partners and confidants. The participation of local Muslim Brotherhood followers, who would assist the foreign Libyan mercenaries/terrorists, was an essential part of the CIA plan, which was well scripted and directed from Jordan.

Enlisting the aid and cooperation of local followers of Salafism allowed the Libyans to move in Deraa without attracting any suspicion. The local men were the 'front' for the operation.

The CIA agents running the Deraa operation from their office in Jordan had already provided the weapons and cash needed to fuel the flames of revolution in Syria. With enough money and weapons, you can start a revolution anywhere in the world.

In reality, the uprising in Deraa in March 2011 was not fueled by graffiti written by teenagers, and there were no disgruntled parents demanding their children to be freed. This was part of the Hollywood style script written by skilled CIA agents, who had been given a mission: to destroy Syria for the purpose of regime change. Deraa was only Act 1: Scene 1.

The fact that those so-called teenaged graffiti artists and their parents have never been found, never named, and never pictured is the first clue that their identity is cloaked in darkness.

In any uprising there needs to be grassroots support. Usually, there is a situation which arises, and protesters take to the streets. The security teams step in to keep the peace and clear the streets and if there is a 'brutal crackdown' the otherwise 'peaceful protesters' will react with indignation, and feeling oppressed and wronged, the numbers in the streets will swell. This is the point where the street protests can take two directions: the protesters will back down and go home, or the protesters can react with violence, which then will be met with violence from the security teams, and this sets the stage for a full blown uprising.

The staged uprising in Deraa had some locals in the street who were unaware of their participation in a CIA-Hollywood production. They were the unpaid extras in the scene about to be shot. These unaware extras had grievances, perhaps lasting a generation or more, and perhaps rooted in Wahhabism, which is a political ideology exported globally by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Royal family and their paid officials.

The Libyans stockpiled weapons at the Omari Mosque well before any rumor spread about teenagers arrested for graffiti. The cleric, visually impaired and elderly, was unaware of the situation inside his Mosque, or of the foreign infiltrators in his midst.

The weapons came into Deraa from the CIA office in Jordan. The US government has close ties to the King of Jordan. Jordan is 98% Palestinian, and yet has a long lasting peace treaty with Israel, despite the fact that 5 million of the Jordanian citizen's relatives next door in Occupied Palestine are denied any form of human rights. The King of Jordan has to do a daily high-wire balancing act between his citizens, the peace and safety in his country and America's interests and projects in the Middle East. King Abdullah is not only a tight-rope walker, but a juggler at the same time, and all of this pressure on him must be enormous for him, and Queen Rania, who is herself Palestinian. These facts must be viewed in the forefront of the background painted scenery of The Syrian Arab Republic, which has for the last 40 years had a cornerstone of domestic and foreign policy carved and set in the principle of Palestinian human rights and Palestinian freedom and justice.

The US policy to attack Syria for the purpose of regime change was not just about the gas lines, the oil wells, the strategic location and the gold: but it was about crushing that cornerstone of Palestinian rights into dust. To get rid of President Bashar al Assad was to get rid of one of the few Arab leaders who are an unwavering voice of Palestinian rights.

Deraa's location directly on the Jordanian border is the sole reason it was picked for the location-shoot of the opening act of the Syrian uprising. If you were to ask most Syrians, if they had ever been to Derra, or ever plan to go, they will answer, "No." It is a small and insignificant agricultural town. It is a very unlikely place to begin a nationwide revolution. Deraa has a historical importance because of archeological ruins, but that is lost on anyone other than history professors or archeologists. The access to the weapons from Jordan made Deraa the perfect place to stage the uprising which has turned into an international war. Any person with common sense would assume an uprising or revolution in Syria would begin in Damascus or Aleppo, the two biggest cities. Even after 2 ½ years of violence around the country, Aleppo's population never participated in the uprising, or call for regime change.

Aleppo: the large industrial powerhouse of Syria wanted nothing to do with the CIA mission, and felt that by staying clear of any participation they could be spared and eventually the violence would die out, a natural death due to lack of participation of the civilians. However, this was not to play out for Aleppo. Instead, the US supported Free Syrian Army, who were mainly from Idlib and the surrounding areas, invited in their foreign partners, and they came pouring into Aleppo from Turkey, where they had taken Turkish Airlines flights from Afghanistan, Europe, Australia and North Africa landing in Istanbul, and then transported by buses owned by the Turkish government to the Turkey-Aleppo border. The airline tickets, buses, paychecks, supplies, food, and medical needs were all supplied in Turkey by an official from Saudi Arabia. The weapons were all supplied by the United States of America, from their warehouse at the dock of Benghazi, Libya. The US-NATO regime change mission had ended in success in Libya, with America having taken possession of all the weapons and stockpiles formerly the property of the Libyan government, including tons of gold bullion taken by the US government from the Central Bank of Libya.

Enter the Libyans stage right. Mehdi al Harati, the Libyan with an Irish passport, was put in charge of a Brigade of terrorists working under the pay and direction of the CIA in Libya. Once his fighting subsided there, he was moved to Northern Syria, in the Idlib area, which was the base of operation for the American backed Free Syrian Army, who Republican Senator John McCain lobbied for in the US Congress, and personally visited, illegally entering Syria without any passport or border controls. In Arizona, Sen. McCain is in favor of deporting any illegal alien entering USA, but he himself broke international law by entering Syria as an illegal and undocumented alien. However, he was in the company of trusted friends and associates, the Free Syrian Army: the same men who beheaded Christians and Muslims, raped females and children of both sexes, sold girls as sex slaves in Turkey, and ate the raw liver of a man, which they proudly videoed and uploaded.

Previously, Syria did not have any Al Qaeda terrorists, and had passed through the war in neighboring Iraq none the worse for wear, except having accepted 2 million Iraqis as refugee guests. Shortly before the Deraa staged uprising began, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were in Damascus and being driven around by the President and First Lady. Pitt and Jolie had come to visit and support the Iraqi war refugees in Damascus. Brad Pitt was amazed that the Syrian President would drive him around personally, and without any body guards or security detail. Pitt and Jolie were used to their own heavy security team in USA. Pres. Assad explained that he and his wife were comfortable in Damascus, knowing that it was a safe place. Indeed, the association of French travel agents had deemed Syria as the safest tourist destination in the entire Mediterranean region, meaning even safer than France itself.

However, the US strategy was to create a "New Middle East", which would do away with safety in Syria; through the ensuing tornado, aka 'winds of change'.

Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and then Syria were the stepping stones in the garden of the "Arab Spring". But, the scenario in the Syrian mission did not stay on script. It went over deadline and over budget. The final credits have yet to be rolled, and the curtain has yet to fall on the stage.

We can't under estimate the role that mainstream media had to play in the destruction of Syria. For example, Al Jazeera's Rula Amin was in Deraa and personally interviewed the cleric Sayasneh at the Omari Mosque. Al Jazeera is the state owned and operated media for the Prince of Qatar. The Prince of Qatar was one of the key funders of the terrorists attacking Syria. The USA was sending the weapons, supplies and providing military satellite imagery, however the cash to make payroll, to pay out bribes in Turkey, and all other expenses which needed cold cash in hand was being paid out by the Prince of Qatar and the King of Saudi Arabia, who were playing their roles as closest Middle East allies of the United States of America. This was a production team between USA, EU, NATO, Turkey, Jordan, Israel and the Persian Gulf Arab monarchies of Saudi Arabia and Qatar primarily. The CIA has no problem with covert operations in foreign countries, and even full scale attacks, but the matter of funding needs to come from a foreign country, because the American voters don't care about killing people in Syria, but they would never agree to pay for it. As long as the Arabs were paying for the project, that was OK by Mr. John Q. Public, who probably was not able to find Syria on a map anyway.

Rula Amin and others of the Al Jazeera staff, and including the American CNN, the British BBC and the French France24 all began deliberate political propaganda campaign against the Syrian government and the Syrian people who were suffering from the death and destruction brought on by the terrorists who were pretending to be players in a local uprising. Some days, the scripts were so similar that you would have guessed they were all written in the same hotel room in Beirut. Onto the stage stepped the online media personalities of Robert Fisk, from his vantage point in Beirut and Joshua Landis from his perch in Oklahoma. These 2 men, sitting so far removed from the actual events, pretended to know everything going on in Syria. British and American readers were swayed by their deliberate one-sided explanations, while the actual Syrians living inside Syria, who read in English online, were baffled.

Syrians were wondering how Western writers could take the side of the terrorists who were foreigners, following Radical Islam and attacking any unarmed civilian who tried to defend their home and family. The media was portraying the terrorists as freedom fighters and heroes of democracy, while they were raping, looting, maiming, kidnapping for ransom and murdering unarmed civilians who had not read the script before the shooting began in Deraa.

There was one global movie trailer, and it was a low budget cell phone video which went viral around the world, and it sold the viewers on the idea of Syria being in the beginning of a dramatic fight for freedom, justice and the American way. From the very beginning, Al Jazeera and all the rest of the media were paying $100.00 to any amateur video shot in Syria. A whole new cottage industry sprang up in Syria, with directors and actors all hungry for the spotlight and fame. Authenticity was not questioned; the media just wanted content which supported their propaganda campaign in Syria.

Deraa was the opening act of tragic epic which has yet to conclude. The cleric who was a key character in the beginning scenes, Sheikh Sayasneh, was first put under house arrest, and then he was smuggled out to Amman, Jordan in January 2012. He now gives lectures in America near Washington, DC. Just like aspiring actors usually find their way to Hollywood, which is the Mecca of the film industry, Sheikh Sayasneh found his way to the Mecca of all regime change projects.

[Aug 15, 2016] American Pravda Did the US Plan a Nuclear First Strike Against Russia in the Early 1960s - The Unz Review

Notable quotes:
"... The American Prospect ..."
"... The American Prospec ..."
"... The American Prospect ..."
www.unz.com
I suggested that if he possessed any private information regarding so astonishing a possibility-that the Kennedy Administration might have considered a nuclear first strike against the USSR-perhaps he had a duty to bring the facts to public awareness lest they be lost to history.

He replied that he'd indeed found persuasive evidence that the US military had carefully planned a nuclear first strike against the Soviet Union in the early 1960s, and agreed about the historical importance. But he'd already published an article laying out the case. Twenty years earlier. In The American Prospect , a very respectable though liberal-leaning magazine. So I located a copy on the Internet:

I quickly read the article and was stunned. The central document was a Top Secret/Eyes Only summary memo of a July 1961 National Security Council meeting written by Howard Burris, the military aide to then-Vice President Lyndon Johnson, which was afterward deposited in the Johnson Archives and eventually declassified. The discussion focused on the effectiveness of a planned nuclear first strike, suggesting that 1963 would be the optimal date since America's relative advantage in intercontinental nuclear missiles would be greatest at that point. Galbraith's student, Heather A. Purcell, had discovered the memo and co-authored the article with him, and as they pointed out, this meeting was held soon after the US military had discovered that the Soviet missile forces were far weaker than previously had been realized, leading to the plans for the proposed attack and also proving that the first strike under discussion could only have been an American one.

This history was quite different from the deterrent-based framework of American nuclear-war strategy that I had always absorbed from reading my textbooks and newspapers.

Obviously no nuclear attack took place, so the plans must have been changed at some point or discarded, and there were various indications that President Kennedy had had important doubts from the very beginning. But the argument made was that at the time, the first strike proposal was taken very seriously by America's top political and military leadership. Once we accept that idea, other historical puzzles more easily fall into place.

Consider, for example, the massive campaign of "civil defense" that America launched immediately thereafter, leading to the construction of large numbers of fallout shelters throughout the country, including the backyard suburban ones which generated some famous ironic images. Although I'm hardly an expert on nuclear war, the motivation had never made much sense to me, since in most cases the supplies would only have been sufficient to last a few weeks or so, while the deadly radioactive fallout from numerous Soviet thermonuclear strikes on our urban centers would have been long-lasting. But an American first strike changes this picture. A successful U.S. attack would have ensured that few if any bombs fell on American soil, with the shelters intended merely to provide a couple of weeks of useful protection until the global radioactive dust-clouds resulting from the nuclear destruction of the Soviet Union had dissipated, and these anyway would have only reached America in highly attenuated form.

Furthermore, we must reassess the background to the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, certainly one of the most important and dangerous events of that era. If Soviet military analysts had reached conclusions similar to those of their American counterparts, it is hardly surprising that their political leaders would have taken the considerable risk of deploying nuclear warheads on intermediate range missiles close to American cities, thereby greatly multiplying their deterrent capability immediately prior to their point of greatest strategic vulnerability. And there was also the real possibility that their intelligence agents might have somehow gotten hints of the American plans for an actual nuclear first strike. The traditional view presented in the American media has always been that an unprovoked American attack was simply unimaginable, any Soviet paranoia notwithstanding, but if such an attack was not only imagined but actually planned, then our Cold War narrative must be significantly modified. Indeed, perhaps important aspects of the superpower confrontations of that era should be completely inverted.

Could such a momentous historical discovery have been so totally ignored by our mainstream journalists and historians that I'd never heard of it during the previous twenty years? Gossipy rumors of an additional JFK infidelity might periodically make the headlines, but why was there no discussion of serious plans to launch a non-defensive global thermonuclear war likely to kill many millions?

I have limited expertise in either analyzing nuclear warfare strategy or interpreting national security documents, so I could easily be making an error in evaluating the strength of the case. But in a later issue of TAP , William Burr and David Alan Rosenberg, scholars proficient in exactly those areas, published a lengthy rebuttal to the article , followed by a rejoinder from Galbraith and Purcell. And in my own opinion, the Burr/Rosenberg critique was quite unpersuasive.

In their arguments, they emphasized that the key document was found in the Vice Presidential archives, while the National Archives and those of President Kennedy himself are usually a far better source of important material. But perhaps that's exactly the point. The authenticity of the Burris document was never disputed, and Burr/Rosenberg cite absolutely no contradictory archival material, implying that the documentary evidence was not available to them. So the materials dealing with such an extraordinarily explosive proposal had either elsewhere not been declassified or might even have been removed from the main archives, with only the less direct Burris summary memo in a secondary location surviving the purge and later being declassified, perhaps because its treatment of the subject was much less explicit.

Meanwhile, a careful reading of the Burris memo seems to strongly support the Galbraith/Purcell interpretation, namely that in July 1961 President Kennedy and his top national security officials discussed cold-blooded plans for a full nuclear attack against the Soviet Union in roughly two years' time, when the relative imbalance of strategic forces would be at its maximum. The proposal seemed quite concrete, rather than merely being one of the numerous hypotheticals endlessly produced by all military organizations.

In a later footnote, Galbraith even mentioned that he subsequently had his interpretation personally confirmed by Kennedy's former National Security Advisor: "When once I asked the late Walt Rostow if he knew anything about the National Security Council meeting of July 20, 1961 (at which these plans were presented), he responded with no hesitation: `Do you mean the one where they wanted to blow up the world?'"

Once I accepted the reasonable likelihood of the analysis, I was shocked at how little attention the remarkable article had received. When I simply Googled the names of the authors "Galbraith Heather Purcell" I mostly discovered very brief mentions scattered here and there, generally in specialized books or in articles written by Galbraith himself, and found absolutely nothing in the major media. Possibly one of the most important revisions to our entire history of the Cold War-with huge implications for the Cuban Missile Crisis-seems to have never achieved any significant public awareness.

And there is also a sequel on this same topic. In 2001 military affairs writer Fred Kaplan published a major article in The Atlantic with the explicit title " JFK's First-Strike Plan." Drawing on a wealth of newly declassified archival documents, he similarly described how the Kennedy Administration had prepared plans for a nuclear first strike against the Soviets. His analysis was somewhat different, suggesting that Kennedy himself had generally approved the proposal, but that the attack was intended as an option to be used during a hypothetical future military confrontation rather than being aimed for a particular scheduled date.

The government plans unearthed by Kaplan are clearly referring to the same strategy discussed in the Burris memo, but since Kaplan provides none of the documents themselves, it is difficult to determine whether or not the evidence is consistent with the somewhat different Galbraith/Purcell interpretation. It is also decidedly odd that Kaplan's long article gives no indication that he was even aware of that previous theory or its differing conclusions, containing not a single sentence mentioning or dismissing it. I find it very difficult to believe that a specialist such as Kaplan remained totally unaware of the earlier TAP analysis, but perhaps this might possibly be explained given the near-total media blackout. Prior to the establishment of the Internet or even in its early days, important information ignored by the media might easily vanish almost without a trace.

Kaplan's long article seems to have suffered that similar fate. Aside from a few mentions in some of Kaplan's own later pieces, I found virtually no references at all in the last 15 years when I casually Googled it. Admittedly, the timing could not have been worse, with the article appearing in the October 2001 edition of the magazine, released in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, but the silence is still troubling.

The unfortunate fact is that when a massively important story is reported only once, with virtually no follow-up, the impact may be minimal. Only a small slice of the public encounters that initial account, and the lack of any repetition would eventually lead even those individuals to forget it, or perhaps even vaguely assume that the subsequent silence implied that the claims had been mistaken or later debunked. Every standard historical narrative of the 1960s that continues to exclude mention of serious plans for an American nuclear first strike constitutes a tacit denial of that important reality, implicitly suggesting that the evidence does not exist or had been discredited. As a consequence, I doubt whether more than a sliver of those seemingly informed Americans who carefully read the NYT and WSJ each morning are aware of these important historical facts, and perhaps the same is even true of the journalists who write for those esteemed publications. Only repetition and continuing coverage gradually incorporates a story into our framework of the past.

It is easy to imagine how things might have gone differently. Suppose, for example, that similarly solid evidence of plans for a devastating and unprovoked nuclear attack on the Soviet Union had been found in the archival records of the presidential administrations of Richard Nixon or Ronald Reagan. Is there not a far greater likelihood that the story have been heavily covered and then endlessly repeated in our media outlets, until it had become full embedded in our standard histories and was known to every informed citizen?

In some respects, these discussions of events from over a half-century ago have little relevance for us today: the individuals involved are now all merely names in our history books and the world is a very different place. So although the sharp differences between the Galbraith/Purcell analysis and that of Kaplan might engage academic specialists, the practical differences would today be minimal.

But what has enormous significance is the media silence itself. If our media failed to report these shocking new facts about the early 1960s, how much can we rely upon it for coverage of present-day events of enormous importance, given the vastly more immediate pressures and political interests which are surely brought to bear? If our mainstream histories of what happened fifty years ago are highly unreliable, what does that suggest about the stories we read each morning concerning the ongoing conflicts in Ukraine or the South China Sea or the Middle East?

Consider a particularly troubling thought-experiment. Suppose that the proposed nuclear attack on Russia had actually gone ahead, resulting in millions or tens of millions dead from the bombs and worldwide radioactive fallout, perhaps even including a million or more American casualties if the first strike had failed to entirely eliminate all retaliatory capability. Under such a dire scenario, is it not likely that every American media organ would have been immediately enlisted to sanitize and justify the terrible events, with virtually no dissent allowed? Surely John F. Kennedy would have been enshrined as our most heroic wartime president-greater than Lincoln and FDR combined-the leader who boldly saved the West from an imminent Soviet attack, a catastrophic nuclear Pearl Harbor. How could our government ever admit the truth? Even decades later, this patriotic historical narrative, uniformly endorsed by newspapers, books, films, and television, would have become almost unassailable. Only the most marginal and anti-social individuals would dare to suggest that

[Aug 15, 2016] Putin-Erdogan Meeting a Dud No Common Ground on Syria

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naked capitalism

PERIES: Ok. And, John, give us a sense of what Russia's interests are in this meeting. I mean, although it was downplayed, they did have the meeting with Erdogan, and they were the first to acknowledge and provide some support to Erdogan after the coup. We know that–

HELMER: –No support. No, no, that's not quite right. Russian policy is for stability on its borders, its neighbors. Russia does not consider its national interests, its security interests, its border stability, to be advanced if there are coups and revolutions in countries around the neighborhood, whether that's Ukraine, the US did sponsor a coup in Kiev in February 2014, whether it's in Iran, whether it's in North Korea, whether it's in China, or whether it's in Turkey. So the Russian position was, stability in the neighborhood. The Russian position was Mr. Erdogan is the elected, constitutional leader of that country, and what was happening was an attempt to kill him, overthrow him, so Russia's position was stability in the neighborhood. That was the Russian position. It was stated rather quicker than Mr. Kerry was capable of stating it when he was trying to put some money on whoever was the winner and wasn't sure who would be the winner.

But the Russian position is really simple. It's good neighbor policy if you like, but let me try and make it quick and short for you. First, Turkey should stop supporting and fueling and providing safe haven and supplies for groups that threaten Russia to the North, threaten Syria to the south. Threaten Iraq to the east. That means and end to support for ISIS, an end to support for the Chechen Rebellion in the Russian Caucasus. It means an end to support for Crimean Tatar opposition to Russia. It means an end Turkish support for the war against Armenia. That's number one. Number two, Russia has always for the last several hundred years, as long as there are ships, and as long as there's the sea, Russia wants free passage through the so-called Turkish straits, between the Black Sea, the Aegean Sea, and the Mediterranean. The Turks claim that it's a territorial war, they often claim that they lost several wars over this. Russia wants to see no expansion of NATO or enemy operations, naval operations, in the Black Sea, facilitated through the Bosphorus, through the Dardanelles, through the Turkish straits, at the behest and at the permission and the encouragement of the Turkish government. Those are security issues, right? No response from Erdogan. In fact, he said at the press conference, we didn't even talk about Syria, we'll talk about that a bit later in the afternoon. But as for that meeting, there is no record that anything was said, because as I said before the Russian Foreign Ministry has yet to acknowledge there was such a meeting. More important, on the [crosstalk] morning on the day Erdogan– HELMER: Well, let me go back a minute. On the morning of Erdogan's arrival in Saint Petersburg, there is a 30 minute interview that he gave to Russian state television, to the Tass News Agency, which he made a number of statements which he didn't repeat in his press conference. He called again for the overthrow of Bashar al-Assad. He again explicitly referred to support for the Crimean Tatars and their opposition to Crimea's accession, to the Russian Federation.

Those are two very big no-no's, negatives. Aggressive remarks to make on the eve of your arrival in Russia, so that there was nothing left to discuss when he got there. Instead there's a lot of talk about talking.

A lot of talk about talking about the future economic relations between the two countries. The revival of the two gas pipeline projects, the Turkish Stream and South Stream for Gazprom. The revival of the nuclear reactor project, which is Russia's building at Akkuyu. Talk about reviving investment, talk about improving visa conditions for Turkish workers in Russia.

On none of those things, none of those things was any agreement announced. All the sides did, all the presidents said at their press conference was that they agreed to continue talking. And for all Mr. Erdogan's dear friend Putin remark he kept making roughly, I timed him, every three to four minutes of the time he's in front of the camera, nobody believes it. And he didn't offer anything on which the Russian side could say we've reached a new stage.

He did, yes he apologized for the shoot down of the SU24, but he did not offer Turkish compensation for the murdered pilot, Captain Peshkov. It was very clear Russian policy that Turkey should pay compensation, just as it's been Turkish policy that Israel should pay compensation for the killing of Turkish citizens in the famous vessel incident off the Gaza coast several years ago. Turkey insisted on compensation from Israel. It took years, it's been achieved. Yet Turkey offers no compensation when Russia has insisted, on little issues, on big issues, Erdogan offered nothing.

PERIES: And John, what now? In terms of moving forward with these two countries who are very pivotal and very strategically located in terms of the Syrian conflict.

HELMER: Well, I wouldn't say that the direction is forward. From a Greek point of view, there is increasing chaos. From a Greek and Cyprian point of view, there is increasing chaos in Turkey, and around Turkey. And from one point of view, that's a small positive because it makes the Turkish army less capable of expanding aggressively east, south, or west.

There is not improvement on Turkey's readiness to reach a solution for the withdrawal of troops from Northern Cyprus, illegally there since the invasion of '74. There is no sign that Turkey will relent in its support for the overthrow of Syria. There is no sign that Turkey will do anything to remove the Chechen threat to Russia inside Turkey, so we're going to move sideways.

We're going to move, we will simply watch and see if Mr. Erdogan himself can survive. But the way he describes his survival is that he's the democratic leader of Turkey, well that's true.

He produces these street displays of public support, and at the same time he distrusts his own military forces so much that he not only purges the general, generals staff, he couldn't bring a military officer in his delegation to Moscow yesterday. Not one military officer does Mr. Erdogan trust enough to bring to the party in Moscow. Sorry, in St. Petersburg. The chief of the Russian General Staff was there but no Turkish counterpart officer. Steve H. , August 14, 2016 at 10:27 am

Instability seems to be the best description. Erdogan has so many horses attached to his cart it's hard to see what he wants. Beyond the billions stashed in the walls of his estates; I think it was Russia that released the phone calls with his son talking about moving the cash.

We know he wants the cash, but is he an Islamic sultan first, or is his main horse the Turkic language group, which pushes into the X-istans to the east? Or is he a Euro, or a Russian lackey?

Easier to see the view from Russia. No Islamic fundamentalism is a foundation stone. The Kurds have been better friends to Russia on this, and Russia reinforces success . That's close to a deal-killer for Erdogan. But he has to deal with the strategic fact that Russia can control the Black Sea by closing the Bosphorus unilaterally. Assad has managed to keep the same deal with Russia as the Kurds, so far. Erdogan has a lot of enemies to keep close. Does he have any friends?

RabidGandhi , August 14, 2016 at 12:31 pm

Funny, it's all speculation but I had the opposite thought.

Erdogan, allegedly in a position of weakness, runs to Mother Russia for help in his time of need. But as Helmer notes, he brought bupkis to the table: no concessions on Syria, on Chechen seperatist groups, on trade, or even bones of lesser contention like Nato troops in Cyprus or fruit trade. The most obvious conclusion should be that his "failed" trip to Moscow was more signalling than a desperate appeal for help. And at whom is Erdogan's signalling aimed? Well Helmer again tells us: the only ones who think it was a salient rapprochment are the Western Press: yes the same Western Press that are currently hyperventillating that the Russians Are Coming! To wit, if you are Erdogan and you thought Victoria Nuland was going to be the next US Secretary of State, what would be the best way to get the stuff you wanted? Especially when it comes to Cyprus, arms to kill kurds, the overthrow of Assad, leverage with the EU, escalation vs. Iran….

And on top of this, Erdogan has priors: he used the European press paranoia about immigrants to blackmail Merkl. He shot down a Russian fighter jet to ingratiate himself to Nato. And he's actively re-courting Israel. None of this indicates a realignment toward Russia– in fact his lack of concessions indicates the opposite.

Like I said, at this point we can only speculate, and I personally lean more to the possibility that Erdogan saw the possibility of the coup happening and realised it could be to his advantage. But if you look at his position before the coup: weak domestically, not fully accepted by the West… and compare that to what he gets from the coup: elimination of enemies in a purge and the ability to use the threat of a Putin-alignment to blackmail the US, I don't see how the self-coup theory has been knocked on the head.

PlutoniumKun , August 15, 2016 at 9:03 am

I think your theory is as likely as any. Its very hard to see what Erdogan is doing. I suspects its a situation where he has been too clever by half and has wrapped himself up in knots in his various schemes. But its also possible he is actively trying to create as much ambiguity and uncertainty as possible in order to extract as much as possible from his 'allies'.

Jagger , August 14, 2016 at 10:54 am

Seems Erdogan is playing hard ball negotiations. Hopes Russia needs him more than Turkey needs Russia. And certainly he is doing the same with the EU. Undoubtedly he is playing both sides against each other for the best deal he can get. Wonder if he is competent enough to play those sort of games with someone like Putin.

Although an alternative possibility is that Erdogan is completely out of his depth and burning bridges with everyone by making irrational demands on the EU, the US and Russia.

financial matters , August 15, 2016 at 12:15 am

Putin seems to be the most rational statesman in all this.

One of the best things about Trump, I think, is that he realizes this and wants to work with him rather than demonize him in support of imperialistic type goals.

Edward , August 14, 2016 at 11:49 am

If Erdogan can pretend to change his Syria policy while not doing so, he can also pretend to not change this policy while doing so. When is he deceitful and when is he honest? We may need more time for Turkey's new policies to become apparent. Does anyone know what policy Gulen or the coup plotters wants toward Syria?

makerowner , August 14, 2016 at 3:46 pm

Does anyone know what policy Gulen or the coup plotters wants toward Syria?

Seems to be about as confused as Erdogan's. This article on his website from 2011 is supportive of regime change, but this article from 2014 suggests that Gülenists within the media and the miltary/police/security organizations are against intervention in Syria.

Interestingly, this article from 2014 says almost the exact same things as we're seeing today about a Turkish rapprochement with Russia and Iran.

Synoia , August 14, 2016 at 12:41 pm

Erodgan wants to be the caliph of the new Ottoman Empire, with the support of the Salafis in Turkey, ISIS (or whatever) and Saudi Arabia.

As a supplier to ISIS for these reasons, he has no common ground with Russia, who wants an end to Muslim Unrest, because it fuels problems for the Russian like Chechnya, and the other Muslim states along the silk road.

Russia wants to ensure the Black Sea is no blockaded, because Sevastopol is their warm water port, and has been both very important and controlled by Russia for over 400 years.

Erdogan, one expects,is hoping for "approval" from the United States to invade Syria to "keep the peace," which would be a great step towards a unified Salafi empire.

The Middle East was, is, and will be the cockpit of the world for the foreseeable future.

Before considering events in the Middle East:

1. Know you history
2. Know your geography – look at the maps of borders for the last 1,000 years
3. Analyze ambitions in,and for, the Middle East

jo6pac , August 14, 2016 at 5:20 pm

The reset has started small steps but the just same it moving. The Russian tourist are coming back with announcement the airlines are approved to return Turkey.
http://atimes.com/2016/08/putin-erdogan-have-a-deal-on-syria/

This opens the door for others, about a month ago the Russians, Iran's, Syrians meet in Russia. They need to put aside their differences because Hillary coming back onto the world stage with every bat-shit-crazy neo-conn at her command. Turkey sees that also. They are all stronger together and throw in China in the back ground and who knows.

http://atimes.com/2016/08/iran-taps-into-turkish-russian-reset/

Then again what the hell do I know? Only time will tell.

different clue , August 14, 2016 at 5:41 pm

Erdogan awaits the results of America's election. He hopes that Clinton gets elected because Clinton shares Ergogan's goal of toppling Assad in order to install a Jihadi Cannibal Terrorist LiverEater government over all of Syria.

If Trump defeats Clinton ( unlikely I know), and if Trump then purges hundreds or thousands of pieces of radioactive Clintonite Filth out of the relevant parts of the Administrative Branch of Government ( even unlikelier) such that he can forcibly and semi-violently impose a "peace with Russia" policy upon an unwilling DC FedRegime Government; then Erdogan may eventually give up on getting Trump's support to topple Assad and install a Jihadi Terrorist government. What would Ergogan do then? Where would he turn?

Roland , August 15, 2016 at 1:47 am

I think that some of the other commentators here are overly disparaging of Erdogan.

Erdogan is a skilful and gutsy politician, with a large body of support in his country.

I mean, for God's sake, we just saw that man totally punk the old-line Kemalists in Turkish officer corps!

Late last year, despite the Syrian imbroglio and mounting tension with the Kurds, Erdogan won a convincing electoral victory. His party formed an outright parliamentary majority.

When Erdogan meets Putin, that is a meeting of peers.

I'll repeat the prediction I have already made a couple of times on this site: Erdogan is stringing Putin along until after the US election.

By the time Clinton is inaugurated in 2017, Erdogan will have finished purging the suspect elements in the Turkish officer corps. Turkey will then be ready to play an important role in the US-led escalation of the conflict against Syria and Russia.

But for the next 5-6 months, Erdogan wants to keep relations with Russia from going foul. That way the Russians might not want to make a more intense effort to help the Syrians recapture all of Aleppo.

It's a tough situation for Putin. If Russia steps up the offensive at Aleppo, it would be easy for Erdogan and Clinton to use that as a pretext for their own escalation. If Putin waits for 2017, Erdogan and Clinton are likely to escalate anyhow–they'll make whatever pretext they need.æ

Fiver , August 15, 2016 at 4:06 am

A reasonable argument, but if Putin knows anything, it's that he can't trust Erdogan, no matter what the truth vis a vis US involvement in the coup or who may have tipped off or otherwise saved Erdogan's regime. Erdogan was an utter fool to become involved in Syria, and like the Saudis and Saddam before him, allow his ego to be captured by dreams of wider regional power and influence under US auspices – in exchange, as always, for going to war against a US enemy. Anyone as encumbered as Erdogan is an ally to be kept close enough to be useful, but not within striking distance.

I think the meeting was likely very serious, and I expect Erdogan and Putin both were looking for something from the other indicating where there might be wiggle room vis a vis what everyone expects is coming under Clinton, but which may already be underway – a major influx of new rebels/ISIS into the fray in Syria amidst escalating calls for direct US intervention as per Libyan version of a 'no-fly zone'.

Too bad for Turkey. Had they not become involved in this disastrous regime-change operation, Erdogan could've maintained his balancing act with relative ease. The focus of his Government would've been the continued development of what has become a large, dynamic economy capable of playing the role of Bridge from the West to an East that included Russia.

I don't know how many rabbits can be left in Putin's hat. The US really wants its 30 years of war to transform all the regions attacked back into desert and I really don't expect Putin to go all the way to the wall to stop them. But he does want the world to know what's happening.

[Aug 15, 2016] The next NeoCon Presidency will produce another neocon disaster

www.nakedcapitalism.com
EoinW

That's a fair assessment. What I wonder is how much Erdogan's Islamic beliefs effect his judgement and how much his wanting to revive the Ottoman Empire effects it. Seems to me that betraying ISIS would have been an easy concession for him to make to Russia. Yet he's still determined to get rid of Assad and anyone who says that supports ISIS because ISIS is the only means of achieving that result. Does Erdogan continue as an ISIS ally because of: 1) ideologically they are two sides of the same coin? 2) The Saudis are sending him money he doesn't want to give up? 3) he wants continued chaos to have the opportunity to take advantage at Syria's or the Kurds expense? 4) he fears the US more than Russia? After all, America destroys countries, Russia uses diplomacy, which is less threatening.

Could go on endlessly with all these questions. I suspect the easiest conclusion to reach is that Erdogan is biding his time until the US election results. After all, you couldn't have a more starker choice: Clinton and full support for anything anti-Russian or Trump and a healing of relations, in which case being Russia's would be a good thing. I guess the fly in the ointment is a NeoCon Presidency producing another neocon disaster, meaning Russia kicks NATO's butt, including Turkey.

I can't help but note that what Erodgan offers to each party – Russia, the US and Europe – is negative. Doesn't that make it inevitable he ends up with no friends? For goodness sake, he only runs Turkey – and a divided Turkey! He's a few centuries too late for that to strike any existential fear into his adversaries. Overplaying his hand perhaps?

likbez

> I guess the fly in the ointment is a NeoCon Presidency producing another neocon disaster, meaning Russia kicks NATO's butt, including Turkey.

The next "neocon disaster" is the most probable outcome, but there one a countervailing factor to "new American militarism" (Bacevich) type of adventurism. The idea that the establishing and maintaining the global neoliberal empire by direct interventions is worth the price we pay as it will take the USA into the period of unprecedented peace and prosperity is now discredited. Prosperity is reserved to top one or ten percent and that factor can't be hidden any longer.

I think the US elite became split and a smaller part of Washington establishment started to understand that the US neocons overextended the country in permanent wars for permanent peace. In wars for extension of the global neoliberal empire. Much like Britain became exhausted from British empire project before.

It well might be that soon the impoverishment of the population and, especially, lack of job and shirking middle class, become an internal political instability factor that will force some changes.

With the total surveillance in place the elite has probably pretty decent picture of the mood of the population. And it is definitely not too encouraging for another reckless neocon experiment.

Also the power of MSM brainwashing started to wear down and neoliberalism as an ideology that keeps the current Washington elite in power is in crisis.

The USSR crushed approximately in 20 years after the communist ideology became discredited by the inability to raise the standard of living of the population. The same is happening with neoliberalism. If we count from 2008, neoliberalism probably still has another 12 years or three presidential terms. That means that if "this Trump" fails to be elected, the "next Trump" might be much more dangerous for Washington neocons.

In a way, emergence of Trump is a sign that the elite can't govern the old way and population does not want to live the old way. Degeneration of the US neoliberal elite is another factor. Looks at quality of presidential candidates - Hillary and the bunch of narrow minded fanatics they produced for Republican nomination as well as the level of Washington detachment from reality - "let them eat cakes" stance , Those factors will only increase internal political tension that already demonstrated itself in recent riots.

Situation with oil is also dangerous. Artificial suppression of oil prices destroys the US oil producers. They probably will manage to keep the prices low in 2016. Then what?

[Aug 14, 2016] Myths We Create in Order to Sleep at Night

www.counterpunch.org

This week we also published a terrific piece by John LaForge, which demolishes once and for one of America's most cherished lies: that the US simply had to drop two nuclear bombs on Japanese cities to end the war and save hundreds of thousands of US and Japanese lies. Even Curtis "Mad Bomber" LeMay knew this was bullshit. So did Ike, who sent word to Truman that he thought the plan was insane. You can see why the myth took root. What nation that sees itself a force of goodness and virtue and humanity could live with itself after incinerating two cities and unleashing nuclear terror upon the world?

[Aug 14, 2016] Alastair Crooke The Scott Horton Show

scotthorton.org

Alastair Crooke, a former British diplomat and founder of the Conflicts Forum, discusses how Washington's foreign policy hawks are trying to stall an Obama-Putin agreement on Syria until Hillary Clinton is (presumably) elected so the new Cold War with Russia can proceed unabated.

[Aug 14, 2016] Mike Morells Kill-Russians Advice

This is what "New American Militarism" the term coined by Bacevich is about. And it reflect dominance of jingoism among Washington bureaucrats -- war is a source of money and career advancement.
Notable quotes:
"... At the Center of the Storm: My Years at the CIA, ..."
"... he also reveals that Morell "coordinated the CIA review" of Secretary of State Colin Powell's infamous Feb. 5, 2003 speech to the United Nations – a dubious distinction if there ever was one. ..."
"... The Great War of Our Time ..."
"... It is sad to have to remind folks almost 14 years later that the "intelligence" was not "mistaken;" it was fraudulent from the get-go. Announcing on June 5, 2008, the bipartisan conclusions from a five-year study by the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Jay Rockefeller described the intelligence conjured up to "justify" war on Iraq as "uncorroborated, contradicted, or even non-existent." ..."
"... For services rendered, Tenet rescued Morell from the center of the storm, so to speak, sending him to a plum posting in London, leaving the hapless Stu Cohen holding the bag. Cohen had been acting director of the National Intelligence Council and nominal manager of the infamous Oct. 1, 2002 National Intelligence Estimate warning about Iraq's [nonexistent] WMD. ..."
"... The Great War of Our Time ..."
"... When the storm subsided, Morell came back from London to bigger and better things. He was appointed the CIA's first associate deputy director from 2006 to 2008, and then director for intelligence until moving up to become CIA's deputy director (and twice acting director) from 2010 until 2013. ..."
"... Reading his book and watching him respond to those softball pitches from Charlie Rose on Monday, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that glibness, vacuousness and ambition can get you to the very top of US intelligence in the Twenty-first Century – and can also make you a devoted fan of whoever is likely to be the next President. ..."
"... Let the bizarreness of that claim sink in, since it is professionally impossible to recruit an agent who is unwitting of being an agent, since an agent is someone who follows instructions from a control officer. ..."
"... However, since Morell apparently has no evidence that Trump was "recruited," which would make the Republican presidential nominee essentially a traitor, he throws in the caveat "unwitting." Such an ugly charge is on par with Trump's recent hyperbolic claim that President Obama was the "founder" of ISIS. ..."
"... Looking back at Morell's record, it was not hard to see all this coming, as Morell rose higher and higher in a system that rewards deserving sycophants. I addressed this five years ago in an article titled "Rise of Another CIA Yes Man." That piece elicited many interesting comments from senior intelligence officers who knew Morell personally; some of those comments are tucked into the end of the article. ..."
August 13, 2016 | Antiwar.com
Perhaps former CIA acting director Michael Morell's shamefully provocative rhetoric toward Russia and Iran will prove too unhinged even for Hillary Clinton. It appears equally likely that it will succeed in earning him a senior job in a possible Clinton administration, so it behooves us to have a closer look at Morell's record.

My initial reaction of disbelief and anger was the same as that of my VIPS colleague, Larry Johnson, and the points Larry made about Morell's behavior in the Benghazi caper, Iran, Syria, needlessly baiting nuclear-armed Russia, and how to put a "scare" into Bashar al-Assad give ample support to Larry's characterization of Morell's comments as "reckless and vapid." What follows is an attempt to round out the picture on the ambitious 57-year-old Morell.

I suppose we need to start with Morell telling PBS/CBS interviewer Charlie Rose on Aug. 8 that he (Morell) wanted to "make the Iranians pay a price in Syria. … make the Russians pay a price in Syria."

Rose: "We make them pay the price by killing Russians?"

Morell: "Yeah."

Rose: "And killing Iranians?"

Morell: "Yes … You don't tell the world about it. … But you make sure they know it in Moscow and Tehran."

You might ask what excellent adventure earned Morell his latest appearance with Charlie Rose? It was a highly unusual Aug. 5 New York Times op-ed titled "I ran the C.I.A. Now I'm Endorsing Hillary Clinton."

Peabody award winner Rose – having made no secret of how much he admires the glib, smooth-talking Morell – performed true to form. Indeed, he has interviewed him every other month, on average, over the past two years, while Morell has been a national security analyst for CBS.

This interview, though, is a must for those interested in gauging the caliber of bureaucrats who have bubbled to the top of the CIA since the disastrous tenure of George Tenet (sorry, the interview goes on and on for 46 minutes).

A Heavy Duty

Such interviews are a burden for unreconstructed, fact-based analysts of the old school. In a word, they are required to watch them, just as they must plow through the turgid prose of "tell-it-all" memoirs. But due diligence can sometimes harvest an occasional grain of wheat among the chaff.

For example, George W. Bush's memoir, Decision Points, included a passage the former president seems to have written himself. Was Bush relieved to learn, just 15 months before he left office, the "high-confidence," unanimous judgment of the U.S. intelligence community that Iran had stopped working on a nuclear weapon in 2003 and had not resumed work on such weapons? No way!

In his memoir, he complains bitterly that this judgment in that key 2007 National Intelligence Estimate "tied my hands on the military side. … After the NIE, how could I possibly explain using the military to destroy the nuclear facilities of a country the intelligence community said had no active nuclear weapons program?" No, I am not making this up. He wrote that.

In another sometimes inadvertently revealing memoir, At the Center of the Storm: My Years at the CIA, CIA Director George Tenet described Michael Morell, whom he picked to be CIA's briefer of President George W. Bush, in these terms: "Wiry, youthful looking, and extremely bright, Mike speaks in staccato-like bursts that get to the bottom line very quickly. He and George Bush hit it off almost immediately. Mike was the perfect guy for us to have by the commander-in-chief's side."

Wonder what Morell was telling Bush about those "weapons of mass destruction in Iraq" and the alleged ties between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda. Was Morell winking at Bush the same way Tenet winked at the head of British intelligence on July 20, 2002, telling him that "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy" of invading Iraq?

High on Morell

Not surprisingly, Tenet speaks well of his protégé and former executive assistant Morell. But he also reveals that Morell "coordinated the CIA review" of Secretary of State Colin Powell's infamous Feb. 5, 2003 speech to the United Nations – a dubious distinction if there ever was one.

So Morell reviewed the "intelligence" that went into Powell's thoroughly deceptive account of the Iraqi threat! Powell later called that dramatic speech, which wowed Washington's media and foreign policy elites and was used to browbeat the few remaining dissenters into silence, a "blot" on his record.

In Morell's own memoir, The Great War of Our Time, Morell apologized to former Secretary of State Powell for the bogus CIA intelligence that found its way into Powell's address. Morell told CBS: "I thought it important to do so because … he went out there and made this case, and we were wrong."

It is sad to have to remind folks almost 14 years later that the "intelligence" was not "mistaken;" it was fraudulent from the get-go. Announcing on June 5, 2008, the bipartisan conclusions from a five-year study by the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Jay Rockefeller described the intelligence conjured up to "justify" war on Iraq as "uncorroborated, contradicted, or even non-existent."

It strains credulity beyond the breaking point to think that Michael Morell was unaware of the fraudulent nature of the WMD propaganda campaign. Yet, like all too many others, he kept quiet and got promoted.

Out of Harm's Way

For services rendered, Tenet rescued Morell from the center of the storm, so to speak, sending him to a plum posting in London, leaving the hapless Stu Cohen holding the bag. Cohen had been acting director of the National Intelligence Council and nominal manager of the infamous Oct. 1, 2002 National Intelligence Estimate warning about Iraq's [nonexistent] WMD.

Cohen made a valiant attempt to defend the indefensible in late November 2003, and was still holding out some hope that WMD would be found. He noted, however, "If we eventually are proved wrong – that is, that there were no weapons of mass destruction and the WMD programs were dormant or abandoned – the American people will be told the truth …" And then Stu disappeared into the woodwork.

In October 2003, the 1,200-member "Iraq Survey Group" commissioned by Tenet to find those elusive WMD in Iraq had already reported that six months of intensive work had turned up no chemical, biological or nuclear weapons. By then, the U.S.-sponsored search for WMD had already cost $300 million, with the final bill expected to top $1 billion.

In Morell's The Great War of Our Time, he writes, "In the summer of 2003 I became CIA's senior focal point for liaison with the analytic community in the United Kingdom." He notes that one of the "dominant" issues, until he left the U.K. in early 2006, was "Iraq, namely our failure to find weapons of mass destruction." (It was a PR problem; Prime Minister Tony Blair and Morell's opposite numbers in British intelligence were fully complicit in the "dodgy-dossier" type of intelligence.)

When the storm subsided, Morell came back from London to bigger and better things. He was appointed the CIA's first associate deputy director from 2006 to 2008, and then director for intelligence until moving up to become CIA's deputy director (and twice acting director) from 2010 until 2013.

Reading his book and watching him respond to those softball pitches from Charlie Rose on Monday, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that glibness, vacuousness and ambition can get you to the very top of US intelligence in the Twenty-first Century – and can also make you a devoted fan of whoever is likely to be the next President.

... ... ...

As for Morell's claim that Russian President Vladimir Putin is somehow controlling Donald Trump, well, even Charlie Rose had stomach problems with that and with Morell's "explanation." In the Times op-ed, Morell wrote: "In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation."

Let the bizarreness of that claim sink in, since it is professionally impossible to recruit an agent who is unwitting of being an agent, since an agent is someone who follows instructions from a control officer.

However, since Morell apparently has no evidence that Trump was "recruited," which would make the Republican presidential nominee essentially a traitor, he throws in the caveat "unwitting." Such an ugly charge is on par with Trump's recent hyperbolic claim that President Obama was the "founder" of ISIS.

Looking back at Morell's record, it was not hard to see all this coming, as Morell rose higher and higher in a system that rewards deserving sycophants. I addressed this five years ago in an article titled "Rise of Another CIA Yes Man." That piece elicited many interesting comments from senior intelligence officers who knew Morell personally; some of those comments are tucked into the end of the article.

Read more by Ray McGovern

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He is a 30-year veteran of the CIA and Army intelligence and co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). McGovern served for considerable periods in all four of CIA's main directorates.

[Aug 14, 2016] It has been said that you can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time. Bernie Sanders wishes to fool all of the people, at least those who were once his loyal devotees, all of the time.

www.counterpunch.org
It has been said that you can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time. Apparently, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders wishes to fool all of the people, at least those who were once his loyal devotees, all of the time. This writer received an enthusiastic email from some organization talking about the next steps in Mr. Sanders 'revolution', and requesting that this writer hold a house party to watch a speech to be given by the senator, as part of the initiation of a new organization called 'Our Revolution'.

Well, there is certainly something revolting about all this, but it has nothing to do with a social change.

Mr. Sanders, that avowed socialist with a long and undistinguished career in what passes in the U.S. for public service (well-paid 'service', that is), lost all credibility with any but his most blindly loyal followers when, after months of railing against everything that Hillary Clinton stands for, even to the point of calling her unfit to be president, he put on a happy face and gave her a glowing endorsement at the Democratic Convention. Does this sound to the reader like a man of integrity? Does endorsing Miss Wall Street 2016 have that ring of revolutionary fervor? Does such glowing support of the Princess of Israel sound like part of revolutionary change

Methinks not. No, his support for Mrs. Clinton, and his forthcoming address about 'Our Revolution', seem to be the work of a career politician who wants to bask in whatever remains of the adulation of his naive and enthusiastic youthful followers, while at the same time enjoying all the perquisites of 'the good old boys' club'. The only thing he sacrifices along the way (in addition, of course, to self-respect, but who in elected office has that anyway?), is credibility. Oh, and integrity. And honesty. Well, maybe he does make many sacrifices to enjoy both the prestige of change agent and maintainer of the status quo. But really, does anyone do it better than he?

[Aug 14, 2016] Twenty silver coins for Bernie

Notable quotes:
"... Bernie had cashed in on the Revolution that he had betrayed, citing as evidence the purchase of a third ..."
"... I said there might be more to the story, like the fact that Bernie had signed a book deal (ala the Clintons) where he would tell the story of his Glorious Revolution (which ended up with him dumping his foot soldiers into the vaults of the very machine they were warring against.) And guess what? I was right. ..."
"... Los Angeles Times ..."
www.counterpunch.org

On Tuesday afternoon, my friend Michael Colby, the fearless environmental activist in Vermont, sent me news that Bernie Sanders had just purchased a new waterfront house on in North Hero, Vermont. I linked to the story on my Facebook page, quipping that Bernie had cashed in on the Revolution that he had betrayed, citing as evidence the purchase of a third house for the Sanders family, a lakefront summer dacha for $600,000.

This ignited a firestorm on Zuckerburg's internet playpen. People noted that Bernie and Jane lived a penurious existence, surviving on coupons and the kindness of strangers, and the house was just a cramped four-bedroom fishing shack on a cold icy lake with hardly any heat–a place so forsaken even the Iroquois of old wouldn't camp there–which they were only able to afford because Jane sold her dead parents' house.

I said there might be more to the story, like the fact that Bernie had signed a book deal (ala the Clintons) where he would tell the story of his Glorious Revolution (which ended up with him dumping his foot soldiers into the vaults of the very machine they were warring against.) And guess what? I was right.

Coming in November to a bookstore near you….Our Revolution by Thomas Dunne Books.

The love for Bernie is truly blind. It's also touching. I've never seen Leftists defend the purchase of $600,000 lakefront summer homes with such tenacity!

... ... ...

By the way, the median cost of homes sold in North Hero, Vermont so far this year is $189,000.

... ... ...

Fulfilling his pledge to Hillary, Bernie Sanders took to the pages of the Los Angeles Times to plead with his followers to get behind Clinton as the one person who could "unite the country" against Trump.

In the wake of this pathetic capitulation to the Queen of Chaos, our Australian Shepard, Boomer, drafted an Open Letter on behalf of all sheepdogs renouncing any association with Bernie Sanders. One of the signatories (a Blue Healer from Brentwood) swore, however, that she saw Sander's head popping out of Paris Hilton's handbag…

A friend lamented the fact that all of the fun and spirit had gone out of the election campaign since Sanders was "neutralized." Was Bernie neutralized? I thought that Bernie neutralized himself. And it was hard to watch. Like an x-rated episode of Nip/Tuck.

[Aug 14, 2016] Morell's claim that Russian President Vladimir Putin is somehow controlling Donald Trump is a claim of a career sycophant pandering to neocon lobby

"For Michael Morell, as with many other CIA careerists, his strongest suit seemed to be pleasing his boss and not antagonizing the White House" His loyalty is to qhoewver occupies White House, not necessarily to the truth. "Morell [was] at the center of two key fiascoes: he "coordinated the CIA review" of Secretary of State Colin Powell's infamous Feb. 5, 2003 address to the United Nations and he served as the regular CIA briefer to President George W. Bush. Putting Access Before Honesty" Rise of Another CIA Yes Man – Consortiumnews
Notable quotes:
"... Let the bizarreness of that claim sink in, since it is professionally impossible to recruit an agent who is unwitting of being an agent, since an agent is someone who follows instructions from a control officer. ..."
"... However, since Morell apparently has no evidence that Trump was "recruited," which would make the Republican presidential nominee essentially a traitor, he throws in the caveat "unwitting." Such an ugly charge is on par with Trump's recent hyperbolic claim that President Obama was the "founder" of ISIS. ..."
"... Looking back at Morell's record, it was not hard to see all this coming, as Morell rose higher and higher in a system that rewards deserving sycophants. I addressed this five years ago in an article titled "Rise of Another CIA Yes Man." That piece elicited many interesting comments from senior intelligence officers who knew Morell personally; some of those comments are tucked into the end of the article. ..."
August 13, 2016 | Antiwar.com

As for Morell's claim that Russian President Vladimir Putin is somehow controlling Donald Trump, well, even Charlie Rose had stomach problems with that and with Morell's "explanation." In the Times op-ed, Morell wrote: "In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation."

Let the bizarreness of that claim sink in, since it is professionally impossible to recruit an agent who is unwitting of being an agent, since an agent is someone who follows instructions from a control officer.

However, since Morell apparently has no evidence that Trump was "recruited," which would make the Republican presidential nominee essentially a traitor, he throws in the caveat "unwitting." Such an ugly charge is on par with Trump's recent hyperbolic claim that President Obama was the "founder" of ISIS.

Looking back at Morell's record, it was not hard to see all this coming, as Morell rose higher and higher in a system that rewards deserving sycophants. I addressed this five years ago in an article titled "Rise of Another CIA Yes Man." That piece elicited many interesting comments from senior intelligence officers who knew Morell personally; some of those comments are tucked into the end of the article.

Read more by Ray McGovern

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He is a 30-year veteran of the CIA and Army intelligence and co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). McGovern served for considerable periods in all four of CIA's main directorates.

[Aug 14, 2016] Spooks in the Grindhouse

Notable quotes:
"... Kill the Messenger ..."
www.counterpunch.org

It seems like I've known Nicholas Schou forever, though we just pressed flesh for the first time last year in the LBC. His ground-breaking reporting on the Contra-Cocaine network in southern California was crucial source material for a book that Cockburn and I wrote called Whiteout. Nick's own book on Gary Webb is excellent and it was turned into a fine movie, Kill the Messenger. Now Nick has published a new book, Spooked, a terrific and timely history of how the CIA manipulates the media and Hollywood (both useful idiots of the Agency). And, speaking of the devil, here Nick is telling us all about it in the latest installment of CounterPunch Radio with the indefatigable Eric Draitser.

[Aug 14, 2016] Professor Destroys CNN Anchor on Trump and Russia

Senator Joseph McCarthy shadow in Clinton campaign. Remember the famous phrase Have You No Sense of Decency
Aug 5, 2016 | YouTube

Neo McCarthyism witch hunt against Trump instead of debate of a proper national policy is a sign of corrupted neoliberal media. They want the preservation and expantion of thier global empire at any cost for american people.

Reckless branding of Trump as Russian agent is coming from Clinton campaign and it needs to stop

[Aug 14, 2016] The US/European/Saudi/Israeli policy in the ME and Central Asia can be summed up by one word: Destabilization

Notable quotes:
"... It is providing a steady stream of military-age Sunni males to sow ever more creative chaos (terrorism, crime and other forms of "cultural enrichment") in the European and American homelands. Obama and Hillary have been faithful servants of this policy. The architects of this policy will not allow it to be derailed by some big-mouth real-estate developer. ..."
"... Defense Intelligence Agency document declassified last year shows that the Obama administration was warned in August of 2012 that if it continued it's policies, a radical Islamic regime could form in eastern Syria. Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State at this time. ..."
"... So in my humble opinion, not only are Obama and Clinton the founders of ISIS, they are the parents that gave birth to his freak of nature known as ISIL/ISIS. ..."
"... Bush had to invade...of all countries....Iraq....while the perpetrators of 911 were in Afghanistan, and in the Saudi Royal family which bankrolled the 911 operation. The invasion and destruction of Iraq, the phony elections of leaders who walked away with pallets of US dollars, only handed Iraq to Iran through the Shii'ia imams ..."
"... Bush started a war in the wrong country, this makes him one of the worst presidents in History... ..."
www.yahoo.com

F. E. Dec, 8 hours ago

The US/European/Saudi/Israeli policy in the ME and Central Asia can be summed up by one word: Destabilization. Or what the neocon globalists call "creative chaos". What did it create? Artificially high oil prices to line the pockets of the House of Saud and the House of Bush. It created the conditions for ramping up heroin production from Afghanistan, pipelined through the DIA/CIA with military assets. (The US government is the largest drug cartel ever). It is providing a steady stream of military-age Sunni males to sow ever more creative chaos (terrorism, crime and other forms of "cultural enrichment") in the European and American homelands. Obama and Hillary have been faithful servants of this policy. The architects of this policy will not allow it to be derailed by some big-mouth real-estate developer.

Bill, 7 hours ago

Defense Intelligence Agency document declassified last year shows that the Obama administration was warned in August of 2012 that if it continued it's policies, a radical Islamic regime could form in eastern Syria. Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State at this time.

The report said "There is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria, and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition wants, in order to isolate the Syrian regime". Lt. General Michael Flynn said; "it was a willful decision to do what they're doing. Supporting Salafist's, Al Qaeda, and the Muslim Brotherhood". So in my humble opinion, not only are Obama and Clinton the founders of ISIS, they are the parents that gave birth to his freak of nature known as ISIL/ISIS.

Al, 14 hours ago

When America was attacked on 911, the world inhaled waiting for our response. It could have been anything from a nuke on Afghanistan's mountains where the Taliban and Al Qaeda came together with Osama, or an invasion of Afghanistan and the rounding up of all these thugs for hangings.

The world would never have said even a word, including Russia. But, no Bush had to invade...of all countries....Iraq....while the perpetrators of 911 were in Afghanistan, and in the Saudi Royal family which bankrolled the 911 operation. The invasion and destruction of Iraq, the phony elections of leaders who walked away with pallets of US dollars, only handed Iraq to Iran through the Shii'ia imams.

Bush started a war in the wrong country, this makes him one of the worst presidents in History...

[Aug 13, 2016] Inside The Head Of Trump Voters

Notable quotes:
"... individuals' innate psychological predispositions to intolerance ("authoritarianism") interacting with changing conditions of societal threat. The threatening conditions, particularly resonant in the present political climate, that exacerbate authoritarian attitudes include, most critically, great dissension in public opinion and general loss of confidence in political leaders. Using purpose-built experimental manipulations, cross-national survey data and in-depth personal interviews with extreme authoritarians and libertarians, the book shows that this simple model provides the most complete account of political conflict across the ostensibly distinct domains of race and immigration, civil liberties, morality, crime and punishment, and of when and why those battles will be most heated. ..."
"... But the latent authoritarianism within them is triggered when they perceive a threat to the stable moral order. ..."
"... It's at this point in the talk when Haidt surely began to make his audience squirm. He says that in his work as an academic and social psychologist, he sees colleagues constantly demonizing and mocking conservatives. He warns them to knock it off. "We need political diversity," he says. And: "They are members of our community." ..."
"... The discourse and behavior of the Left, says Haidt, is alienating millions of ordinary people all over the West. It's not just America. We are sliding towards authoritarianism all over the West, and there's really only one way to stop it. ..."
"... we can reduce intolerance and defuse the conflict by focusing on sameness. We need unifying rituals, beliefs, institutions, and practices, he says, drawing on Stenner's research. The romance the Left has long had with multiculturalism and diversity (as the Left defines it) has to end, because it's helping tear us apart. ..."
"... If we don't have a feasible conservative party, we open the way for authoritarianism. ..."
"... I don't think the center can hold anymore. It's too late. The cultural left in this country is very authoritarian, at least as regards orthodox Christians and other social conservatives. On one of the Stenner slides, we see that she defines one characteristic of authoritarians as "punishing out groups." Conservative Christians are the big out group for the cultural left, and have been for a long time. ..."
"... The threat to the moral order is very real, and not really much of a threat anymore; it's a reality. ..."
"... Haidt says that the authoritarian impulse comes when people cease trusting in leaders. Yep, that's where a lot of us are, and not by choice. ..."
The American Conservative
If you look back far enough in humankind's history, you will observe that you don't see civilizations starting without their building temples first. Haidt, who is a secular liberal, is not making a theistic point, not really. He's saying that the work of civilization can only be accomplished when a people binds itself together around a shared sense of the sacred. It's what makes a people a people, and a civilization a civilization. "It doesn't have to be a god," says Haidt. Anything that we hold sacred, and hold it together, is enough.

The thing is, this force works like an electromagnetic field: the more tightly it binds us, the more alien others appear to us, and the more we find it impossible to empathize with them. This is what Haidt means by saying that morality binds and blinds.

Haidt quizzes the 700-800 people in the hall about their Hillary vs. Trump feelings. The group - all psychologists, therapists, professors of psychology, and so forth - were overwhelmingly pro-Hillary and anti-Trump. No surprise there. But then he tells them that if they believe that they could treat without bias a patient who is an open Trump supporter, they're lying to themselves. In the America of 2016, political bias is the most powerful bias of all - more polarizing by far than race, even.

Haidt turns to the work of social psychologist Karen Stenner, and her 2005 book The Authoritarian Dynamic. The publisher describes the book like this (boldface emphases mine):

What are the root causes of intolerance? This book addresses that question by developing a universal theory of what determines intolerance of difference in general, which includes racism, political intolerance, moral intolerance and punitiveness. It demonstrates that all these seemingly disparate attitudes are principally caused by just two factors: individuals' innate psychological predispositions to intolerance ("authoritarianism") interacting with changing conditions of societal threat. The threatening conditions, particularly resonant in the present political climate, that exacerbate authoritarian attitudes include, most critically, great dissension in public opinion and general loss of confidence in political leaders. Using purpose-built experimental manipulations, cross-national survey data and in-depth personal interviews with extreme authoritarians and libertarians, the book shows that this simple model provides the most complete account of political conflict across the ostensibly distinct domains of race and immigration, civil liberties, morality, crime and punishment, and of when and why those battles will be most heated.

Haidt says Stenner discerns three strands of contemporary political conservatism: 1) laissez-faire libertarians (typically, business Republicans); 2) Burkeans (e.g., social conservatives who value stability); and 3) authoritarians.

Haidt makes a point of saying that it's simply wrong to call Trump a fascist. He's too individualistic for that. He's an authoritarian, but that is not a synonym for fascist, no matter how much the Left wants to say it is.

According to Haidt's reading of Stenner, authoritarianism is not a stable personality trait. Most people are not naturally authoritarian. But the latent authoritarianism within them is triggered when they perceive a threat to the stable moral order.

It's at this point in the talk when Haidt surely began to make his audience squirm. He says that in his work as an academic and social psychologist, he sees colleagues constantly demonizing and mocking conservatives. He warns them to knock it off. "We need political diversity," he says. And: "They are members of our community."

The discourse and behavior of the Left, says Haidt, is alienating millions of ordinary people all over the West. It's not just America. We are sliding towards authoritarianism all over the West, and there's really only one way to stop it.

At the 41:37 point in the talk, Haidt says that we can reduce intolerance and defuse the conflict by focusing on sameness. We need unifying rituals, beliefs, institutions, and practices, he says, drawing on Stenner's research. The romance the Left has long had with multiculturalism and diversity (as the Left defines it) has to end, because it's helping tear us apart.

This fall, the Democrats are taking Stenner's advice brilliantly, says Haidt, referring to the convention the Dems just put on, and Hillary's speech about how we're all better off standing together. Haidt says this is actually good advice, period. "It's not just propaganda you wheel out at election time," he says. If we don't have a feasible conservative party, we open the way for authoritarianism.

To end the talk, Haidt focuses on what his own very tribe - psychologists and academics - can do to make things better. They can start by being aware of their own extreme bias. "We lean very far left," he says, then shows a graph tracking how far from the center the academy has become over the past 20 years.

Haidt says we don't need "equality" - that is, an equal number of conservatives and liberals in the academy. We just need to have diversity enough for people to be challenged in their viewpoints, so an academic community can flourish according to its nature. But this is not what we have. According to the research Haidt presents, in 1996, liberals in the academy outnumbered conservatives 2:1. Today, it's 5:1 - and the conservatives are concentrated in engineering and other technical fields. Says Haidt: "In the core areas of the university - in the humanities and social sciences - it's 10 to 1 and 40 to 1."

The Right has left the university faculties, he said - and a lot of that is because they got tired of the "hostile climate and discrimination"

"People who are not on the left … are often in the closet," says Haidt. "They can't speak up. They can't criticize. They hear somebody say something, they believe it's false, but they can't speak up and say why they believe it's false. And that is a breakdown in our science."

Until they repent (my word, not his), university professors will continue to be part of the problem, not the solution, says Haidt. He ends by calling on his colleagues to "get our hearts in order." To stop being moralistic hypocrites. To be humble. To be more forgiving, and more open to hearing what their opponents have to say. Says Haidt, "If we want to change things, we need to do it more from the perspective of love, not of hate."

It's an extraordinary speech by a brave man who is a true humanist. Watch it all here, and read more about it.

Here's what I think about all of this.

I don't think the center can hold anymore. It's too late. The cultural left in this country is very authoritarian, at least as regards orthodox Christians and other social conservatives. On one of the Stenner slides, we see that she defines one characteristic of authoritarians as "punishing out groups." Conservative Christians are the big out group for the cultural left, and have been for a long time.

We are the people who defile what they consider most sacred: sexual liberty, including abortion rights and gay rights. The liberals in control now (as distinct from all liberals, let me be clear) have made it clear that they will not compromise with what they consider to be evil. We are the Klan to them. Error has no rights in this world they're building.

If you'll recall my blogging about Hillary Clinton's convention speech, I really liked it in theory - the unity business. The thing is, I don't believe for one second that it is anything but election propaganda. I don't believe that the Democratic Party today has any interest in making space for us. I wish I did believe that. I don't see any evidence for it. They and their supporters will drive us out of certain professions, and do whatever they can to rub our noses in the dirt.

I know liberal readers of this blog will say, "But we don't!" To which I say: you don't, maybe, but you're not running the show, alas.

The threat to the moral order is very real, and not really much of a threat anymore; it's a reality. As I've written in this space many times, this is not something that was done to us; all of us, Republicans and Democrats, Christians and non-Christians, have done this to ourselves. At this point, all I want for my tribe is to be left alone. But the crusading Left won't let that happen anymore. They don't even want the Mormons to be allowed to play football foe the Big 12, for heaven's sake. This assault is relentless. Far too many complacent Christians believe it will never hurt them, that it will never happen where they live. It can and it will.

There is no center anymore. Alasdair MacIntyre was right. I may not be able to vote in good conscience for Trump (and I certainly will not vote for Hillary Clinton), but I know exactly why a number of good people have convinced themselves that this is the right thing to do. Haidt says that the authoritarian impulse comes when people cease trusting in leaders. Yep, that's where a lot of us are, and not by choice.

This week, I've been interviewing people for the Work chapter of my Benedict Option book. In all but one case, the interviewees - lawyers, law professors, a doctor, corporate types, academics - would only share their opinion if I promised that I wouldn't use their name. They know what things are like where they work. They know that this is going to spread. That fear, that remaining inside the closet, tells you something about where you are. When professionals feel that to state their opinion would be to put their careers at risk, we are not in normal times.

The center has not held. I certainly wish Jon Haidt well. He's a good man doing brave, important work. And I hope he proves me wrong on this. I honestly do. Because if I'm right, there goes America. On the other hand, reasoning that this must not be true therefore it is not true is a good way to get run over.

[Aug 13, 2016] A Rush to Judgment on Russian Doping

Notable quotes:
"... These are strong words and accusations, not against the athletes, but against the Russian government. It seems the Russian Paralympic athletes are being collectively punished as a means to punish the Russian government. ..."
"... Another fact is that this problem exists in many if not all countries, especially since professional athletics is big business. WADA data shows that many countries have significant numbers of doping violations. ..."
"... In contrast with the accusations, the scientific data prepared by WADA indicates that Russian athletes have a fairly low incidence of positive drug tests in international certified laboratories. The biggest question is whether the Russian government has been "sponsoring" or somehow supervising prohibited doping. This has been repeated many times and is now widely assumed to be true. ..."
"... But the evidence is far from compelling. The accusations are based primarily on the testimony of three people: the main culprit and mastermind Grigory Rodchenkov who was extorting athletes and "whistle-blowers" Vitaliy and Yuliya Stepanov. The Stepanovs were the star witnesses in the "60 Minutes" feature on this topic. ..."
"... The "60 Minutes" story also failed to include the important fact that Vitaliy was directly involved in his wife's doping. ..."
"... Vitaliy even helps his wife with doping, procures the drugs, leads a kind of double life. ..."
"... If the IPC final number is accurate, it means the committee confirmed 11 Paralympic athletes who tested positive between 2012 and 2015 but had their positive tests "disappeared" to allow these athletes to compete. If that's true, these athletes should be suspended or banned. Instead of doing that, the IPC banned the entire 267-member Russian Paralympic team. ..."
"... The McLaren Report looks like a rush to judgment. The report was launched after the sensational New York Times story based on Grigory Rodchenkov and the "60 Minutes" segment based on the Stepanovs. Before he was half way done his investigation, Richard McLaren was advising the IAAF to ban the entire Russian team. ..."
August 11, 2016 | Consortiumnews

The West's anti-Russian bias is so strong that normal standards of fairness are cast aside whenever a propaganda edge can be gained, a factor swirling around the treatment of Russian athletes at the Rio Olympics, Rick Sterling says.

There is an ugly anti-Russian mood in various Rio Olympic venues. When the Russian swimmers entered the pool for the 4×100-meter Freestyle team event, they were loudly booed. When the Russian team barely lost third place, the announcer happily announced that Russian had been "kept off the medal stand".

Last Sunday, it was announced that the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) had decided to ban the entire Russian team from the upcoming Paralympics to be held in Rio in September. Next day, The Associated Press story opened as follows: "After escaping a blanket ban from the Olympics, Russia was kicked out of the upcoming Paralympics on Sunday as the ultimate punishment for the state running a doping operation that polluted sports by prioritizing 'medals over morals.'"

Is this true, exaggerated or false? In this article I will show how some big accusations based on little evidence have contributed to discrimination against clean Russian athletes and fostered a dangerous animosity contrary to the intended spirit of the Olympics.

The IPC made its decision to ban all 267 Russian Paralympic athletes largely on the basis of the World Anti-Doping Agency's July 16 McLaren Report and private communications with its chief author Richard McLaren.

IPC President Sir Phillip Craven issued a statement full of accusations and moral outrage. He said, "In my view, the McLaren Report marked one of the darkest days in the history of all sport." However, the McLaren Report is deeply biased. Here are some of the problems with the report:

  • –It relied primarily on the testimony of one person, the former Director of Moscow Laboratory Grigory Rodchenkov, who was implicated in extorting Russian athletes for money and was the chief culprit with strong interest in casting blame somewhere else.
  • –It accused Russian authorities without considering their defense and contrary information.
  • –It excluded a written submission and documents provided by a Russian authority.
  • –It failed to identify individual athletes who benefited but instead cast suspicion on the entire team.
  • –It ignored the statistical data compiled by WADA which show Russian violations to be NOT exceptional.
  • –It did not provide the source for quantitative measurements.
  • –It claimed to have evidence but failed to reveal it.

A detailed critique of the McLaren Report can be found at Sports Integrity Initiative, Consortiumnews, Counterpunch, Dissident Voice, True Publica, Global Research, Telesur, and other sites.

Collective Punishment

The IPC explanation of why they banned the entire Paralympic team boils down to the accusation that "the State-sponsored doping programme that exists within Russian sport regrettably extends to Russian Para sport as well. The facts really do hurt; they are an unprecedented attack on every clean athlete who competes in sport. The anti-doping system in Russia is broken, corrupted and entirely compromised. …

"The doping culture that is polluting Russian sport stems from the Russian government and has now been uncovered in not one, but two independent reports commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency. … I believe the Russian government has catastrophically failed its Para athletes. Their medals over morals mentality disgusts me. The complete corruption of the anti-doping system is contrary to the rules and strikes at the very heart of the spirit of Paralympic sport."

These are strong words and accusations, not against the athletes, but against the Russian government. It seems the Russian Paralympic athletes are being collectively punished as a means to punish the Russian government.

But what are the facts? First, it's true some Russian athletes have used prohibited steroids or other performance enhancing drugs (PEDs). The documentaries by Hajo Seppelt expose examples of Russian athletes admitting to taking PEDs, a banned coach clandestinely continuing to coach, and another banned coach dealing in prohibited drugs.

Another fact is that this problem exists in many if not all countries, especially since professional athletics is big business. WADA data shows that many countries have significant numbers of doping violations.

It is claimed that doping by elite athletes is pervasive in Russia but is this true? To answer that accurately would require an objective examination, not a sensation seeking media report. In the current controversy the accusations and assumptions rely substantially on individual anecdotes and testimony which has been publicized through media reports (ARD documentaries, "60 Minutes" report and New York Times stories) with very little scrutiny.

In contrast with the accusations, the scientific data prepared by WADA indicates that Russian athletes have a fairly low incidence of positive drug tests in international certified laboratories. The biggest question is whether the Russian government has been "sponsoring" or somehow supervising prohibited doping. This has been repeated many times and is now widely assumed to be true.

But the evidence is far from compelling. The accusations are based primarily on the testimony of three people: the main culprit and mastermind Grigory Rodchenkov who was extorting athletes and "whistle-blowers" Vitaliy and Yuliya Stepanov. The Stepanovs were the star witnesses in the "60 Minutes" feature on this topic.

The report was factually flawed: it mistakenly reports that Vitaliy had a "low level job at the Russian Anti Doping Agency RUSADA." Actually he was adviser to the Director General, close to the Minister of Sports and a trainer of doping control officers.

The "60 Minutes" story also failed to include the important fact that Vitaliy was directly involved in his wife's doping. According to Seppelt's documentary "The Secrets of Doping," "First, Vitaliy even helps his wife with doping, procures the drugs, leads a kind of double life."(5:45) Adding to the argument there may be a political bias in these accusations, all three witnesses (Rodchenkov and the Stepanovs) are now living in the United States.

The "proof" of Russian state-sponsored doping rests on remarkably little solid evidence. The principal assertion is that the Deputy Minister of Sports issued email directives to eliminate positive tests of "protected" athletes. McLaren claims to have "electronic data" and emails proving this. But he has not revealed the emails.

If the emails are authentic, that would be damning. How would the Ministry of Sports officials explain it? Do they have any alternative explanation of the curious directives to "Quarantine" or "Save" doping test samples? Astoundingly, McLaren decided not to ask them and he still has not shown the evidence he says that he has.

Tampering with Bottles?

Another controversial issue is regarding the opening and replacement of "tamper proof" bottles. The Rodchenkov account is that in the middle of the night, in cahoots with FSB (successor to KGB), they would replace "dirty" urine with "clean" urine. Rodchenkov says they found a way to open the tamper-proof urine sample bottles. But the Swiss manufacturer Berlinger continues to stand by its product and has effectively challenged the veracity of the Rodchenkov/McLaren story.

Since the release of the McLaren Report, Berlinger has issued a statement saying:

  • –To the statement in the McLaren investigation report that some such bottles proved possible to open Berlinger Special AG cannot offer any authoritative response at the present time.
  • –Berlinger Special AG has no knowledge at present of the specifications, the methods or the procedures involved in the tests and experiments conducted by the McLaren Commission.
  • –Berlinger Special AG conducts its own regular reappraisals of its doping kits, and also has its products tested and verified by an independent institute that has been duly certificated by the Swiss authorities.
  • –In neither its own tests nor any tests conducted by the independent institute in Switzerland has any sealed Berlinger Special AG urine sample bottle proved possible to open.
  • –This also applies to the "Sochi 2014" sample bottle model.
  • –The specialists at Berlinger Special AG are able at any time to determine whether one of the company's sample bottles has been tampered with or unlawfully replicated.

McLaren says he does not know how the Russians were opening the bottles but he knows it can be done because someone demonstrated it to him personally. In contrast with McLaren's assertions, Berlinger states unequivocally: "In neither its own tests nor any tests conducted by the independent institute in Switzerland has any sealed Berlinger Special AG urine sample bottle proved possible to open. This also applies to the 'Sochi 2014' sample bottle model."

If McLaren's claims are true, why has he not discussed this with the manufacturer? If McLaren's claims are true, isn't it of the highest importance to identify the weakness in the system so that doping test samples cannot be swapped?

McLaren further claims to be able to forensically determine when a "tamper proof" bottle has been opened by the "marks and scratches" on the inside of the bottle caps. His report does not include photos to show what these "marks and scratches" look like, nor does it consider the possibility of a mark or scratch resulting from some other event such as different force being applied, cross-threading or backing off on the cap.

In this area also, McLaren has apparently not had his findings confirmed by the Swiss manufacturer despite the fact that the company states: "The specialists at Berlinger Special AG are able at any time to determine whether one of the company's sample bottles has been tampered with or unlawfully replicated."

If the findings of McLaren's "marks and scratches expert" are accurate, why did they not get confirmation from the specialists at Berlinger? Perhaps it is because Berlinger disputes McLaren's claims and says "Our kits are secure."

The IPC decision substantially rests on the fact-challenged McLaren report. The IPC statement falsely claims that the McLaren bottle top "scratches and marks" expert has "corroborated the claim that the State directed scheme involved Russian Paralympic athletes."

Rush to Judgment

The IPC report includes data that purports to show widespread doping manipulation in Russia, saying: "Professor McLaren provided the names of the athletes associated with the 35 samples … and whether the sample had been marked QUARANTINE or SAVE." These 35 samples are presumably the same Paralympic 35 which are identified on page 41 of the McLaren Report as being "Disappearing Positive Test Results by Sport Russian Athletes."

There is no source for this data but supposedly it covers testing between 2012 and 2015. McLaren provided another 10 samples thus making 45 samples relating to 44 athletes.

It is then explained that 17 of these samples are actually not from IPC administered sport. So the actual number is 27 athletes (44-minus-17) implicated. However, in another inconsistency, the IPC statement says not all these samples were marked "SAVE" by Moscow Laboratory. That was only done for "at least" 11 of the samples and athletes.

If the IPC final number is accurate, it means the committee confirmed 11 Paralympic athletes who tested positive between 2012 and 2015 but had their positive tests "disappeared" to allow these athletes to compete. If that's true, these athletes should be suspended or banned. Instead of doing that, the IPC banned the entire 267-member Russian Paralympic team.

The McLaren Report looks like a rush to judgment. The report was launched after the sensational New York Times story based on Grigory Rodchenkov and the "60 Minutes" segment based on the Stepanovs. Before he was half way done his investigation, Richard McLaren was advising the IAAF to ban the entire Russian team.

The McLaren Report, with all its flaws and shortcomings, was published just a few weeks ago on July 16. Then, on Aug. 7, the IPC issued its decision to ban the Russian Paralympic Team from the September Rio Paralympics.

The IPC statement claims that the committee "provided sufficient time to allow the Russian Paralympic Committee to present their case to the IPC" before they finalized the decision. While the Russian Paralympic Committee appeared before the IPC, it's doubtful they had sufficient time to argue their case or even to know the details of the accusations.

In summary, the accusation of Russian "state sponsored doping" by McLaren and Craven is based on little solid evidence. Despite this, the accusations have resulted in the banning of many hundreds of clean athletes from the Olympics and Paralympics and are contributing to the ugly "ant-Russian" prejudice and discrimination happening at the Olympics right now.

This seems to violate the purpose of the Olympics movement which is to promote international peace, not conflict and discrimination.

Rick Sterling is an investigative journalist. He can be contacted at rsterling1@gmail.com

[Aug 13, 2016] Downing Street-controlled BBC disapproves the thawing of relations between Russia and Turkey

w_page_12.htmhttps:

Warren , August 12, 2016 at 4:00 pm

Downing Street-controlled BBC disapproves the thawing of relations between Russia and Turkey.

Russia and Turkey: An 'alliance of misfits'?

It was a gesture that ended a crisis. The leaders of Russia and Turkey met on Tuesday to shake hands and declare a formal end to an eight-month long war of words and economic sanctions.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-37045724

[Aug 13, 2016] In foreign events coverage the US neoliberal media always behaves like it is an arm of CIA. Such a disgusting bottom feeders. without any moral principles or courage to resist the government pressure

Notable quotes:
"... CBS can go shove itself in its own collective anus: http://rudaw.net/english/middleeast/syria/120820162 Daesh retreats from Manbij with 2000 civilian hostages. Some humanitarians. ..."
"... Good catch. I hope Assad knows better than to give any legroom to these monkeys, because the SDF is just a rebranded Free Syrian Army. Most are not even Syrian, but Libyan and other mercenaries. Washington keeps changing their acronyms, but the aim remains unchanged – the overthrow and replacement of Assad. ..."
marknesop.wordpress.com
Patient Observer , August 12, 2016 at 3:48 pm
Watching CBS news as I write :
– Rebels rescuing women and children and taking to hospitals (looking staged for cameras)
– Air strikes destroy only remaining hospitals (videos showing piles of medical equipment which did not appear to have been damaged by fire or blast)
– Syrian government would not respond to inquiries from CBS news about air strikes on hospitals in Aleppo. The reporter inferred that since the government did not deny the air strikes, they must be the perpetrators.

Amazing. Child beheaders are portrayed as rescuers of women and children and the forces trying to defeat them are labeled as murderers.

marknesop , August 12, 2016 at 5:35 pm
Remarkable. But a time-tested technique frequently used in the past to portray Palestinian violence against Israelis. And Hezbollah has been frequently accused as well of faking damage and deaths in order to cultivate sympathy. I guess everybody does it. But it is in western interests to portray 'rebels', especially pet 'rebels' like the White Helmets, as closet humanitarians and the Syrian government as the liver-eaters. I think a lot of observers just expect it now and automatically discount about half of what is said.
kirill , August 12, 2016 at 6:07 pm
CBS can go shove itself in its own collective anus: http://rudaw.net/english/middleeast/syria/120820162 Daesh retreats from Manbij with 2000 civilian hostages. Some humanitarians.

marknesop , August 12, 2016 at 6:39 pm

Good catch. I hope Assad knows better than to give any legroom to these monkeys, because the SDF is just a rebranded Free Syrian Army. Most are not even Syrian, but Libyan and other mercenaries. Washington keeps changing their acronyms, but the aim remains unchanged – the overthrow and replacement of Assad. After that, things will go one of two ways; Assad will be replaced by a compliant western toady who will let Washington have a free hand to dabble, or he will be replaced by someone ineffective who will lead the country to collapse, at which time the west will have to step in to save it.

[Aug 13, 2016] One wonders what makes them call themselves Democrats? Certainly not economic and political justice, peace, democracy, or integrity in governance

Arguments of Sanders supporters against Hillary are not perfectly applicable to Hillary vs Trump contest.
Notable quotes:
"... If Bernie does not get the nomination it will be the wilderness for the Democrats - no young voters no independents - unless they can conjure a principled candidate somehow from somewhere. ..."
"... You'll then cycle back to the lesser of two evils, that Democrats like Obama and Clinton are needed to help the poor blacks and minorities. To me this is a myth. The poor get fucked no matter what party is in office. ..."
"... What planet African Americans are doing "better off" on is unknown. What is known is that President Obama is about to leave office with African Americans in their worst economic situation since Ronald Reagan . ..."
"... Of course not. But when you have an issue you can continually put bandaids on the symptoms or you can perform a root cause analysis and then proceed to fix these root causes. The fact is that politicians are disinclined to put the needs of voters first, they tend to pay lip service to the needs of voters, while spending 60% of their time interacting with rich donors, who are very good are articulating their needs, as they hand over large sums of money. This system creates a log jam to reform. If we can return the immutable link to the voters interests, and congress them reform of economic distortions that support racism become far far easier. Motive of change and motives of votes become transparent. ..."
"... the world is divided in two, half who are nauseated by the above and the other half who purr in admiration at the clever way Clinton has fucked the public once again. As Mencken said democracy is that system of government in which it is assumed that the common man knows what he wants and deserves to get it good and hard. ..."
"... I don't believe her core statements. Sorry but as a person I just can't buy into the package. Both republicans and democrats on a vague macro level will try to lower unemployment but neither will talk about falling participation. Clinton had already proved she's probably as likely as Trump to get bullets flying. It's her judgement. She's part of the same old we need to intervene yet never understanding the real issues. I despise her unflinching support of Saudi Arabia. That policy is insane!!! Etc etc etc. ..."
"... I believe both parties represent essentially the same with small regional differences . ..."
"... One wonders what makes them call themselves Democrats? ..."
"... Certainly not economic and political justice, peace, democracy, or integrity in governance. ..."
"... Yes, it's been the single most shocking revelation of the entire election year for me as well. Not just the cynicism of the rank-and-file, but the arrogance and isolation of our corrupt Democratic party elite, many of whom still don't seem to grasp that a revolt by progressive Democrats and Independents is already under way. This is one of the forms it may take. ..."
"... Hilary Clinton has various comments that reveals somebody who certainly fits the psychopath spectrum. Among the lowest of the low was "We came, we saw, he died!" Accompanied by a cackle of laughter. This was announced in full view of the media and public when Gadhaffi was overthrown by US assistance. Are some Democrats so brainwashed that they think a woman president is the answer regardless of what kind of person that woman is? Since when do decent people in politics exult in death like this? Libya's murdered leader was no angel but Hitler he was not and as older people have told me, the deaths of Hitler and Stalin and the like were greeted publicly with muted and dignified relief by western representatives. ..."
"... Wake up Democrats. At least read a book called The Unravelling by an American journalist whose name I forget. This heartbreaking book says it all about the realities for the non privileged and non powerful in todays' America. ..."
"... If Clinton is the Dem nominee it does more than give me shivers. Heck, I view Hillary as demonstrably more dangerous with foreign policy. ..."
"... Both their economic/domestic policies do little or worse for the current situation. Both are untrustworthy and any rhetoric on policy is highly questionable (although Clinton is certainly the worst in this regard). About the only good thing between either is that Trump is willing to question our empire abroad, which is well overdue (meanwhile Clinton seems to want to expand it). ..."
"... Uh huh and your supporting a person: That voted for the Iraq War, destabilized Libya, Benghazi, gave tacit approval to a military junta in Honduras as Secretary of State, called black youth super predators, supports trade agreements that destroy our own manufacturing jobs, takes more money from special interests than her constituency, has made millions in speeches from the bank lobby and won't disclose the transcripts......yeah she's real HONEST. ..."
"... Money buys the influence to be selected as a candidate. Normally. 99% of the time. Sometimes a Huey Long populist breaks through the process and scares the fuck out of the power structures. But you know how candidates are selected. Poor smart people never get to run for president unless they build a populist power base. The existing political parties defer to donors. Donors like the Koch Brothers, who happily funded Bill Clinton and the DLC made their preferences clear. They didn't invest in a fit of altruistic progressivism. They wanted the DNC to swing right. And voila it did and Bill was anointed as the "one" to run. Don't be so naive. ..."
May 06, 2016 | www.theguardian.com

Kevin P Brown Carly435 , 2016-05-05 19:28:39

Robin is relentless is arguing AGAINST, but he is quite light on arguing for anything. It is an interesting question as to what he stands for.

His main argument is that zero information from "right wing" press is true. He seems unaware that at times, actual facts are presented or not presented or suppressed by either media outlet, depending on their corporate ownership and management slant of what should be reported. Me? I read everything and decide if something is a fact. It is strange that factual reporting about the actual many many FOIA lawsuits only gets printed in right wing press. They of course have an agenda, but does not negate the facts they report. Like Clinton being allowed to be deposed in a civil FOIA suit. That is a fact, with quotes from the Judge. CNN? I guess they couldn't afford to report this factual development.

When you only read the press looking for a partisan set of narratives, you end up being partisan and ill informed. When you read all the flavours of press in an desire to inform yourself, when your goal is not a narrative but factual accounts of the truth, then you can be better informed. So we have partisans, who only view Fox and we also have partisans who only view CNN. Both are as bad as each other. One must be capable of decreeing the motives of each, and discarding the nonfactual narratives, and then one can be fully informed.

Robin makes the assumption that facts only occur in his selected set of informational partisan sources. Why? Because he is partisan. This then enables him to argue against a narrative, rather than support his own narrative. He plays the neat trick of simply discarding any factual reporting from places like Breibart. One can see interesting lacks of coverage on google search.

Kevin P Brown RobInTN , 2016-05-05 19:19:20
"Libel is a method of defamation expressed by print, writing, pictures, signs, effigies, or any communication embodied in physical form that is injurious to a person's reputation, exposes a person to public hatred, contempt or ridicule, or injures a person in his/her business or profession."

So surely in America, Clinton with her wealth would take some legal action? I would if I had her money, and wealth. Interesting that she has not? Perhaps you could write to her and suggest she defend herself in a real and palpable way?

dutchview lsbg_t , 2016-05-05 18:17:57
Yes and a lot of the press are trying to bury the news about another Sanders success. When you look at how many voting districts he comes out top in, in is a large percentage. Clinton tends to get closer or take the district if their is a higher population density.

The influence of the super delegates is a scandal in a "democratic process".

Vladimir Makarenko digit , 2016-05-05 17:00:45
First I would be very careful taking what G gives, it is nowadays "fixing" news like Fox. Most reliable, if speaking about polls the word can be used, is results of metastudies:

Both give today's Clinton of 6% when Sanders is whopping 13+%

So when Hillary's shills preaching how easily she "beats" Trump, they lie. Only Bernie can do this or or see Oval Office moved to Atlantic City.

luminog simpledino , 2016-05-05 12:48:54
If Bernie does not get the nomination it will be the wilderness for the Democrats - no young voters no independents - unless they can conjure a principled candidate somehow from somewhere.

Clinton won't cut it and she won't beat Trump. Trump will out her on every crooked deal she has been involved in.

Kevin P Brown hillbillyzombie , 2016-05-05 12:23:14
You'll then cycle back to the lesser of two evils, that Democrats like Obama and Clinton are needed to help the poor blacks and minorities. To me this is a myth. The poor get fucked no matter what party is in office.

Is this is a Fox News plant article? yeah yeah, let's vote Clinton who promises a continuation of Obama's policies. Will Trump make this much worse? Maybe. Trump or Clinton will in my opinion do little to improve these issues quoted below. You have a different opinion. Great.

" http://www.blackpressusa.com/is-black-america-better-off-under-obama /

"Like the rest of America, Black America, in the aggregate, is better off now than it was when I came into office," said President Obama on December 19, in response to a question by Urban Radio Networks White House Correspondent April Ryan.

What planet African Americans are doing "better off" on is unknown. What is known is that President Obama is about to leave office with African Americans in their worst economic situation since Ronald Reagan . A look at every key stat as President Obama starts his sixth year in office illustrates that.

  • Unemployment. The average Black unemployment under President Bush was 10 percent. The average under President Obama after six years is 14 percent. Black unemployment, "has always been double" [that of Whites] but it hasn't always been 14 percent. The administration was silent when Black unemployment hit 16 percent – a 27-year high – in late 2011 .
  • Poverty. The percentage of Blacks in poverty in 2009 was 25 percent; it is now 27 percent. The issue of poverty is rarely mentioned by the president or any members of his cabinet. Currently, more than 45 million people – 1 in 7 Americans – live below the poverty line.
  • The Black/White Wealth Gap. The wealth gap between Blacks and Whites in America is at a 24-year high. A December study by PEW Research Center revealed the average White household is worth $141,900, and the average Black household is worth $11,000. From 2010 to 2013, the median income for Black households plunged 9 percent.
  • Income inequality. "Between 2009 and 2012 the top one percent of Americans enjoyed 95 percent of all income gains, according to research from U.C. Berkeley," reported The Atlantic. It was the worst since 1928. As income inequality has widened during President Obama's time in office, the president has endorsed tax policy that has widened inequality, such as the Bush Tax cuts.
  • Education: The high school dropout rate has improved during the Obama administration. However, currently 42 percent of Black children attend high poverty schools, compared to only 6 percent of White students. The Department of Education's change to Parent PLUS loans requirements cost HBCU's more than $150 million and interrupted the educations of 28,000-plus HBCU students.
  • SBA Loans. In March 2014, the Wall Street Journal reported that only 1.7 percent of $23 billion in SBA loans went to Black-owned businesses in 2013, the lowest loan of SBA lending to Black businesses on record. During the Bush presidency, the percentage of SBA loans to Black businesses was 8 percent – more than four times the Obama rate.
Kevin P Brown Kevin P Brown , 2016-05-05 12:16:44
"All the equations showed strikingly uni- form statistical results: racism as we have measured it was a significantly disequalizing force on the white income distribution, even when other factors were held constant. A 1 percent increase in the ratio of black to white median incomes (that is, a 1 percent decrease in racism) was associated with a .2 percent decrease in white inequality, as measured by the Gini coefficient. The corresponding effect on top 1 percent share of white income was two and a half times as large, indicating that most of the inequality among whites generated by racism was associated with increased income for the richest 1 percent of white families. Further statistical investigation reveals that increases in the racism variable had an insignifi- cant effect on the. share received by the poorest whites and resulted in a decrease in the income share of the whites in the middle income brackets."
Kevin P Brown hillbillyzombie , 2016-05-05 12:16:13
"What I said, and still maintain, is that the struggle against racism is as important as the struggle against other forms of oppression, including those with economic and financial causes."

We can agree on this statement. However, do we need to recognise that legislation alone will not solve racism. A percentage of poor people turn against the "other" and apportion blame for their issues.

http://tomweston.net/ReichRacism.pdf

Try reading this.

" that campaign finance and banking reform will fix everything"

Of course not. But when you have an issue you can continually put bandaids on the symptoms or you can perform a root cause analysis and then proceed to fix these root causes. The fact is that politicians are disinclined to put the needs of voters first, they tend to pay lip service to the needs of voters, while spending 60% of their time interacting with rich donors, who are very good are articulating their needs, as they hand over large sums of money. This system creates a log jam to reform. If we can return the immutable link to the voters interests, and congress them reform of economic distortions that support racism become far far easier. Motive of change and motives of votes become transparent.

"The various forms of discrimination are not separable in real life. Employers' hiring and promotion practices; resource allocation in city schools; the structure of transportation sys- tems; residential segregation and housing quality; availability of decent health care; be- havior of policemen and judges; foremen's prejudices; images of blacks presented in the media and the schools; price gouging in ghetto stores-these and the other forms of social and economic discrimination interact strongly with each other in determining the occupational status and annual income, and welfare, of black people. The processes are not simply additive but are mutually reinforcing. Often, a decrease in one narrow form of discrimination is accompanied by an increase in another form. Since all aspects of racism interact, an analysis of racism should incorporate all its as- pects in a unified manner."

My thesis is this: build economic equality and the the pressing toxins of racism diminish. But yeah dismiss Sanders as a one issue candidate. he is a politician, which I acknowledge. He has a different approach to clinton who will micro triangulate constantly depending on who she in front of. I find his approach ore honest. Your mileage may vary.

" money spent on campaigns does not correlate very highly to winning"

No but overall money gets to decide on a narrow set of compliance in the candidates. But it still correlates to winning. Look at the Greens with no cash. Without the cash, they will never win. Sanders has proved that 1. We do not need to depend on the rich power brokers to select narrowly who will be presented as a candidate. 2. He has proved that a voter can donate and compete with corporate donations. I would rather scads of voter cash financing rather than corporate cash buying influence. ABSCAM was a brief flash, never repeated to show us what really happens in back rooms when a wad of cash arrives with a politician. That we cannot PROVE what happens off the grid, we can and should rely on common sense about the influence of money. 85% of the American people believe cash buys influence. The only influence on a politician should be the will of the people. Sure, corporates can speak. Speech is free. Corporate cash as speech is a different matter. It is a moral corruption.

"most contributions come after electoral success"

Yes part of the implied contract of corporates and people like the Koch Brothers: Look after us and we will look after you. We will keep you in power, as long as you slant the legislation to favour us over the voters.

You do realise the Clinton Foundation bought the assets of the DLC, a defunct organisation. Part of the assets are the documents and records that contain the information about the Koch Brothers donations and their executives joining the "management" of the DLC. Why would a Charity be interested in the DLC documents? Ah it is a Clinton Foundation. Yeah yeah, there is no proof of anything is there. No law was broken. Do I smell something ? Does human nature guide my interpretation absent a clear statement from the Foundation of this "investment"?? Yes.

We have to start SOMEWHERE. Root causes are the best place to start.

Democrat or Republican, Blacks and Whites at the bottom are thrown in a race for the bottom and this helps fuel the impoverishment of both. It is fuel to feed racism. My genuine belief.

digit Vladimir Makarenko , 2016-05-05 12:07:33
Sorry, I mean, here .
buttonbasher81 o_lobo_solitario , 2016-05-05 12:06:44
Why is it wrong for democrats to pick their own party leader? Also Obama beat Hilary last time so what's Bernies problem now? Also why moan about a system that's been in place for decades now, surely the onus was on Sanders to attract more middle of the road dem voters? Finally I'm sure republicans would also love to vote in Sanders, easy to demolish with attack ads before the election (you'll note they've studiously ignored him so far).
Longasyourarm Genpet , 2016-05-05 11:47:49
the world is divided in two, half who are nauseated by the above and the other half who purr in admiration at the clever way Clinton has fucked the public once again. As Mencken said democracy is that system of government in which it is assumed that the common man knows what he wants and deserves to get it good and hard.
Longasyourarm nemesis7 , 2016-05-05 11:44:57
explain to me why the blacks and Hispanics vote for her because it is a mystery to me. She stands for everything they have had to fight against. So you have a 1%er-Wall St.-invade Iraq-subprime-cheat the EU-Goldman Sachs-arms dealing-despot cuddling-fuck the environment coalition. And blacks and Hispanics too? Are they out of their minds?
Eric L. Wattree , 2016-05-05 09:19:27
BERNIE SANDERS - OR ZIG AGAINST ZAG
.
If the American people don't come to their senses and give Bernie Sanders the Democratic nomination, we're going to end up with a choice between Zig and Zag. Zig is Donald Trump, and Zag is Hillary Clinton. To paraphrase Mort Sahl back in the sixties, the only difference between the two is if Donald 'Zig' Trump sees a Black child lying in the street, he'd simply order his chauffeur to run over him. If Hillary 'Zag' Clinton saw the kid, she'd also order her chauffeur to run over him, but she'd weep, and go apologize to the NAACP, after she felt the bump.
.
WAKE UP, BLACK PEOPLE!!!

IF YOU DON'T, YOU'LL BE SORRY - AGAIN.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1057244620990215&set=a.136305753084111.28278.100001140610873&type=3&theater

Kevin P Brown hillbillyzombie , 2016-05-05 08:20:53
Giving aid to the Republicans? If you honestly believe that any criticisms I have is worse than what I discuss, you need to give up politics and get a hobby. Trump will for example use her FOIA/email issues like a stick to beat her with. This is not Soviet Russia where we all adopt the party line. I'm not not ever have been a member of the Democratic Party. I COULD have been this year. Now? Never. The solution to the nations problems will come from outside this party.

I prefer neither. You love fearmongering about how worse it will be under trump. Hmmm. I don't buy that tale. Take Black family incomes. In the toilet. Under either party it goes south. Abortion? Like slavery nothing ...... Nothing is going to change. It's too late to change that one. But it's a useful tool to make us believe ONLY Clinton can protect us. Economically the Democrats are essentially the same as the Republicans, more of the same corporate welfare. Would Clinton cut Social Security? Maybe. I don't believe her core statements. Sorry but as a person I just can't buy into the package. Both republicans and democrats on a vague macro level will try to lower unemployment but neither will talk about falling participation. Clinton had already proved she's probably as likely as Trump to get bullets flying. It's her judgement. She's part of the same old we need to intervene yet never understanding the real issues. I despise her unflinching support of Saudi Arabia. That policy is insane!!! Etc etc etc.

You believe a black family gays and women will sing Kumbaya under Clinton and all will be well.

I believe both parties represent essentially the same with small regional differences .

SavvasKara irishgaf , 2016-05-05 05:32:13
It would be perhaps remotely marxist if he said comrades. But even that was used by democrats, socialists and even fascists and nazists so I would say that no, there is nothing marxist about it. One of his central messages is that we need to come together and improve our society, that we are all the same, without race or religion, with the same needs and fears as humans.

I even disagree with people saying that he promotes class struggle, he is talking about fair share and he is an ardent supporter of following the laws even when they are against his ideology, which is something that radicals do not tend to do. Radicals do not give a damn about laws and neither do Marxists or far-right wingers, fascists etc. Those groups believe in changing the society through struggle into a model that fits their idea of the world whatever that may be. He simply states his beliefs and suggests laws to adjust the society to human needs, to eat, to live, to prosper in an equal footing.

Carly435 RobertHickson2014 , 2016-05-05 05:28:00

It is a rather sad commentary on how the bar of integrity and honesty has been so lowered that it doesn't even faze them

One wonders what makes them call themselves Democrats? Their stance on gun and abortion issues? Certainly not economic and political justice, peace, democracy, or integrity in governance.

Yes, it's been the single most shocking revelation of the entire election year for me as well. Not just the cynicism of the rank-and-file, but the arrogance and isolation of our corrupt Democratic party elite, many of whom still don't seem to grasp that a revolt by progressive Democrats and Independents is already under way. This is one of the forms it may take.

Carly435 RobertHickson2014 , 2016-05-05 05:06:51
Recharging is always a good idea ... and never more so than in an election year as turbulent, crazy, uplifting, disillusioning, energizing, maddening and fascinating as this one. I'll also be away (for weeks) toward the end of this month.

Before you go, here's Carl Bernstein's interview with Don Lemon, in case you missed it:

http://www.breitbart.com/video/2016/05/03/bernstein-there-will-be-very-damaging-leaks-from-hillary-email-investigation-her-actions-reckless-and-entitled /

nemesis7 , 2016-05-05 03:24:50
Hilary Clinton has various comments that reveals somebody who certainly fits the psychopath spectrum. Among the lowest of the low was "We came, we saw, he died!" Accompanied by a cackle of laughter. This was announced in full view of the media and public when Gadhaffi was overthrown by US assistance.
Are some Democrats so brainwashed that they think a woman president is the answer regardless of what kind of person that woman is? Since when do decent people in politics exult in death like this? Libya's murdered leader was no angel but Hitler he was not and as older people have told me, the deaths of Hitler and Stalin and the like were greeted publicly with muted and dignified relief by western representatives.

Add to that the continual lies that are being aired in public and this is why the USA has lost its way.

Hillary will not see that one criminal in the financial world of the USA will face justice for their mafia-like actions and destruction of billions of dollars and assets while stealing the savings of Americans and non Americans. President Obama hasn't done it and he is not the buddy Hilary is to these people.
And since when does the USA have the ethical superiority to attack countries like Russia for cronyism etc? This is unbelievable - a presidential nominee candidate is being investigated by the FBI and she doesn't stand down?

Wake up Democrats. At least read a book called The Unravelling by an American journalist whose name I forget. This heartbreaking book says it all about the realities for the non privileged and non powerful in todays' America.

I recall David Bowie's beautiful song This Is Not America. The Bernie supporters understand that, all power to him, those who think like him, and his supporters.

macktan894 RobInTN , 2016-05-05 02:29:31
Please. She lost that race in South Carolina when her husband, along with Geraldine Ferraro, called Obama being president a fairy tale and an affirmative action candidate, respectively. You can't win with only minority support, but you can't win without any of it if you are a Dem. Up until SC, the Clintons had minority support in the bag--most black people had never heard of Obama. Things changed real fast.
Allan Barr , 2016-05-05 02:21:15
Like its not obvious? There is now no paper trail to enable ensuring computer votes are true. A man on the moon can now ensure who is going to be President, that was said by a premier computer security expert.

Along with extensive disenfranchisement, numerous ways its pretty clear these outcomes are preordained. Guess I am not going to be voting for either of the two appointed runners, its pointless. I will vote for Bernie when its time in California.

Carly435 RobertHickson2014 , 2016-05-05 02:05:34
And to branch out a bit, there are so many empty stock phrases to choose from in her 2016 campaign alone, including "I'm with her" and "Breaking down barriers" courtesy of her 2008 campaign manager, Mark Penn. Speaking of Penn, there's a hilarious little passage in "Clinton, Inc" (p. 65) which describes Penn running through possible campaign slogans for 2008. "Penn began to walk through all the iterations of Hillary slogans: Solutions for America, Ready for a change, Ready to lead, Big challenges, Real Solutions; Time to pick a President... but then he seem to get a little lost...Working for change, Working for you. There was silence, then snickers as Penn tried to remember all the bumper stickers which run together sounded absurd and indistinguishable. The Hillary I know."....

Oy. ^__^

But to pick out my favorite Hillary statement of the week, in honor of her close associate and fellow gonif, Hillary superdelegate, Sheldon Silver, who recently got 12 years in the slammer:

https://www.americarisingpac.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/clinton-sheldon-silver-meme1.jpg

Some background:

https://www.americarisingpac.org/sheldon-silver-critical-to-hillary-clinton-political-machine /

In 2000, Silver was integral in Clinton's Senate campaign. According to The New York Times, Silver helped Hillary lobby members of the state assembly for their support

So I guess the former speaker of the NY assembly is just gonna have to vote for Hillary from behind bars, instead of at the DNC? How "super-inconvenient."

John W , 2016-05-05 01:42:54
Sanders is also leading in the West Virginia polls, which is the next primary. He just might be able to squeak out a victory.
Robin Crawford Rouffian , 2016-05-05 01:07:15
If Clinton is the Dem nominee it does more than give me shivers. Heck, I view Hillary as demonstrably more dangerous with foreign policy. Both use identity politics as a decisive issue- which only is a distraction from their lack of policy.

Both their economic/domestic policies do little or worse for the current situation. Both are untrustworthy and any rhetoric on policy is highly questionable (although Clinton is certainly the worst in this regard). About the only good thing between either is that Trump is willing to question our empire abroad, which is well overdue (meanwhile Clinton seems to want to expand it).

If it's between those two I vote Green and take the 'Jesse Ventura' option: vote anyone not Dem or Rep. Both parties are two corrupt subsidiaries of their corporate masters.

nomorebanksters Jonah92 , 2016-05-04 23:43:43
You are obviously misinformed about Bernie Sanders:

https://votesmart.org/candidate/key-votes/27110/bernie-sanders#.VypxWXopDqA

Most effective senator for the last 35 years and as Mayor or Burlington stopped corporate real estate developers from turning Burlington into Aspen east coast version.

She voted for the Iraq war, being investigated by the FBI for her emails, there was Benghazi, turning Libya into a ISIS hotbed, allowed a military junta to assassinate a democratically elected president in Honduras and said nothing, takes $675k from Goldman for 3 speeches and refuses to disclose the transcripts because she KNOWS it'll hurt her, voted for trade deals that's gutted manufacturing in the USA....should I go on?

Kevin P Brown hillbillyzombie , 2016-05-04 23:10:01
So please please explain how Hillary Rodham Clinton is going to wave a wand and fix racism? I already know she will not fix poverty, she will slap a few ersatz bandaids onto bills that won't pass and like the spoiled child will seek praise every time mommy gets him to shit on the potty. You might recall a guy called Martin Luther King. he had some words about economic fairness and poverty.

"" In the treatment of poverty nationally, one fact stands out: there are twice as many white poor as Negro poor in the United States. Therefore I will not dwell on the experiences of poverty that derive from racial discrimination, but will discuss the poverty that affects white and Negro alike . "

nihilism: the rejection of all religious and moral principles, often in the belief that life is meaningless. The belief that nothing in the world has a real existence.

You love that word but rejection of the dysfunctional state of DNC politics is NOT nihilism. Moral corruption around campaign finance is real. Moral corruption around money and lobbyists is real. The desire to fix this, this is real. Seeking real change is not nihilism. But yes, if it pleases you to continue in every other post with this word, do so. It's misuse says more about you than Sanders.

nomorebanksters TehachapiCalifornia , 2016-05-04 23:04:08
Please tell me exactly how much HRC has done for the U.S.? I'm from NYC and when she brought her carpet bagging ass here and as a 2 term senator she pushed 3 pieces of legislation thru. If you look at Bernie Sanders voting record:

https://votesmart.org/candidate/key-votes/27110/bernie-sanders#.VypxWXopDqA

He's been one of the most effective senators in Congress and has been able to get things done with cooperation from both sides of the aisle.
So tell me again, what's she done that's so notable?

nomorebanksters nolashea , 2016-05-04 22:57:13
Uh huh and your supporting a person: That voted for the Iraq War, destabilized Libya, Benghazi, gave tacit approval to a military junta in Honduras as Secretary of State, called black youth super predators, supports trade agreements that destroy our own manufacturing jobs, takes more money from special interests than her constituency, has made millions in speeches from the bank lobby and won't disclose the transcripts......yeah she's real HONEST......riiigggghhhhttttt....
Kevin P Brown hillbillyzombie , 2016-05-04 22:31:08
"Are you really sure that money buys votes"

Money buys the influence to be selected as a candidate. Normally. 99% of the time. Sometimes a Huey Long populist breaks through the process and scares the fuck out of the power structures. But you know how candidates are selected. Poor smart people never get to run for president unless they build a populist power base. The existing political parties defer to donors. Donors like the Koch Brothers, who happily funded Bill Clinton and the DLC made their preferences clear. They didn't invest in a fit of altruistic progressivism. They wanted the DNC to swing right. And voila it did and Bill was anointed as the "one" to run. Don't be so naive.

[Aug 13, 2016] Russian official sources said there would be a step-by-step reduction of sanctions against Turkey

Notable quotes:
"... The only phrase that I've heard that sticks in my mind and think that is important was that before the talks, Russian official sources said there would be a "step-by-step" reduction of sanctions against Turkey. ..."
"... As others have pointed out, Erdogan from being the principle backer of Jihadis in Syria (save Saudi Arabia and the UAE), needs to somehow cover his own back as the Jihadis will come for him. Not that I am sympathetic, but not black and white. ..."
marknesop.wordpress.com
et Al , August 12, 2016 at 10:06 am
I don't know what to make of the InSultin' Erdogan and Pootie Poot meet. There's been BS called from both sides, from swapping the West for Russia to Russia not gaining anything.

The only phrase that I've heard that sticks in my mind and think that is important was that before the talks, Russian official sources said there would be a "step-by-step" reduction of sanctions against Turkey. Now excuse me if I don't understand english properly, but such a phrase implies that one side (in this case Russia), takes the first step and lifts in part or limited sanctions against Turkey. Then it is for Turkey to reciprocate some way. Then Russia lifts another 'step' etc. etc.

Some anal-ists have been crawing that " Russia done got no-thing *" and that Russia was economically desperate to renew trade relations with Turkey, and you have to wonder what else they have been smoking.

As others have pointed out, Erdogan from being the principle backer of Jihadis in Syria (save Saudi Arabia and the UAE), needs to somehow cover his own back as the Jihadis will come for him. Not that I am sympathetic, but not black and white.

* Yee-haw, pass the moonshine paw!

[Aug 13, 2016] Canadian politicians, making political mischief in order to gain electoral capital with the Ukrainian diaspora (who made Canada what it is dontcha know), have turned the country into a camp of morally offended Russophobes

marknesop.wordpress.com
dpsimpson2014 (Dave) , August 12, 2016 at 11:03 am
Canada: The 'former' politeness capital of the world. Canadian politicians, making political mischief in order to gain electoral capital with the Ukrainian diaspora (who made Canada what it is dontcha know), have turned the country into a camp of morally offended Russophobes. I often wonder how they got away with this as the 'average Canadian' has no real reason to adopt these sentiments, let alone put them on display. It might be that they (our politicians) are using our sense of 'politeness', (referring to a generally believed Canadian pretense toward 'justice in social relations') against us.

If you told Canadians they have to send their sons and daughters to Afghanistan to protect Western (American) geopolitical dominance and business interests they would mostly tell you to go to perdition. So just tell them it's so Afghan girls can go to school and they'll agree to that, even happy to oblige.

And there is no choice in the matter. Where I live in Etobicoke I had to chose between two candidates. The Tory came to my door telling me that V. Putin was the biggest evil facing us today."Of course you believe that Ted", I told him, "you wouldn't last longer than a spit bubble in your caucus if you didn't, but I know you are spouting warmongering drivel."

The liberal came talking junk ( like liberals do) about our mutual respect for sentiments of goodwill and after he's elected I see him grinning like a hamster on Demerol standing with Andriy Parubiy and Nadiya Savchenko as his new best friends.

Nice one Boris. You couldn't resist your 'inner Pole' from getting the better of you. I guess even Neo-Nazis can have a 'goodwill ambassador'.

So Canadians have been lured into believing that their frontier forged community ethics, (it was a northern frontier by the way, not a western one) compels them to call out the no-so-nice actors (Russians in this case) that are doing the wrong things. Except in our case we're behaving in the wrong way because we willingly believe the wrong things.

[Aug 13, 2016] Banning Russia's paralympians from Rio 2016 sends a terrible message about the rights of disabled people

Doping scandal is a larger problem the Russian athletes, who is this case are simply scapegoats. It is an international problem of huge proportions, which essentially is a cancer of professional sport in general, not only Olympics in particular.
marknesop.wordpress.com
et Al, August 12, 2016 at 10:46 am
Independent: Banning Russia's paralympians from Rio 2016 sends a terrible message about the rights of disabled people
http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/rio-2016-russian-paralympic-team-banned-disablility-rights-sends-terrible-message-russian-putin-a7185791.html?google_editors_picks=true

Throughout the Soviet period, disabled people were largely banished. In Russian cities, even now, you see the elderly amputees being wheeled to a begging pitch on a trolley

Mary Dejevsky

…To my mind, such a blanket ban is an outrage. It is not just illogical, but unjust and grievously short-sighted.

I personally considered even the partial IOC ban on Russia as too harsh on the grounds that a higher standard of proof was effectively set for Russians compared with their non-Russian peers. But the treatment of Russia's Paralympians takes the pillorying of Russian sport to a whole new level…

…The team as a whole is being made to answer for the sins of the Russian state – or, to be more accurate, its still largely Soviet-era sports establishment….
####

OK, how long do you guys think it will be before we hear that "Mary Djevsky has left the Independent by mutual agreement with the paper"? She's a bit all over the place herself, but in general I like reading her pieces despite the casual generalizations she makes.

[Aug 12, 2016] Russian athletes are demonized as the villains of the Rio Olympics

The problems is with Olympic sport as whole. It became too politicized to be of value. The achievements displayed by athletes now are such that you suspect systematic doping program to be mainstream and revelations about individual athletes doping are just the tip of the iceberg. It might be a time to replace Olympic games with something else.
Notable quotes:
"... "It's something not usually heard at the Olympic Games. Booing. Loud, sustained booing. The rain of fury is directed at a common enemy: Russian athletes. The contingent, clouded and shrouded by drug scandal, has quickly emerged as the villains of these Rio 2016 Games. Like Cold War days of old, the Russians are once again the global bad guys. ..."
"... After avoiding a full Olympic ban, some wondered how fans and fellow athletes would treat Russian athletes. That answer came quickly. At the opening ceremony, even athletes from pariah nations were given polite applause. But fans interrupted the global Kumbya moment to let the Russians know their presence wasn't welcome." ..."
"... " It's kind of sad that today in sports in general, not just in swimming, there are people who are testing positive and are allowed back in the sport, and multiple times. I think it just breaks what sport is meant to be and that pisses me off." ..."
"... "We in Australia have been less than impressed with the efforts in America, and if you were to do a survey of the athletes, they'll tell you the country that's the major problem." ..."
"... "They came to me and asked me to participate in a project in which they wanted to give athletes what they called ATP injections – that's aginicent triphosphate. That's the fuel that muscle cells actually operate on and I refused on the basis that i thought it was unethical to give people things in a non-medical fashion for non-treatment, but just to see if it would help performance. I also thought that even if that substance wasn't directly named or on the IOC list, that it was at least aimed in the direction of doping." ..."
"... "They've got the facilities, they've got the research, they've got the motivation to be using drugs across the board in many different sports." ..."
"... The Orange County Register ..."
"... "The World Anti-Doping Agency steered the Stepanovs to a reporter at the German television network ARD. Their tapes became the centerpiece of this documentary which aired in December 2014 and sent shockwaves through the world of sports." ..."
"... "The report released Monday was the result of a 10-month investigation by an independent commission of WADA. Its inquiry stemmed from a December 2014 documentary by the German public broadcaster ARD , which drew on accounts from Russian athletes, coaches and antidoping officials, who said that the Russian government had helped procure drugs for athletes and cover up positive test results." ..."
"... "Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov, the director of the Moscow lab whom Monday's report accused of having solicited and accepted bribes, dismissed the suggestions. "This is an independent commission which only issues recommendations," he said. "There are three fools sitting there who don't understand the laboratory." ..."
"... "Conte, who spent four months in prison for his role in the affair, said he has offered to provide expert insights to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), only to be turned down. "I've made myself available, put forward names, addresses, websites, protocols… but you know what they told me? That we can't trust someone who's been sentenced ," he added." ..."
"... Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for Russian president Vladimir Putin, said Tuesday that "as long as there is no evidence [of state-sponsored doping in Russia], it is difficult to consider the accusations, which appear rather unfounded." How do you respond to that? ..."
"... That doesn't surprise me. He and others have said that before. But I would expect that won't be the same refrain by the end of the week once they have a chance to study the report. When you draw the connections across the board about what's going on, you can't just say this is just a few isolated people or some of the old coaches dictating out of the Soviet era and nobody else. ..."
"... Dmitry's correct. We don't have any evidence of a systematic, state-wide doping mechanism. If we did, we would have published it and so we have to go on the inference. But across a vast country [with] all sorts of different training camps, it has to be somehow state supported but we can't actually describe for you how that operates. We can only draw the inference. We've given them a chance to reform, so why don't you reform and join the rest of the world instead of fighting it. ..."
"... " The IP did not seek to interview persons living in the Russian Federation …. I did not seek to meet with Russian government officials and did not think it necessary…" ..."
"... on no grounds but their nationality ..."
"... "Additionally, no reliance can be made on the McLaren Report as evidence, as it is not complete, it has secret parts that were not shared with or available to the Athlete and there was no date of the sample taking in the information provided by Mr. McLaren." ..."
"... "FISA applied the criterion and was satisfied that the Athlete was 'clearly implicated' by the McLaren Report and was therefore excluded from the Rio Games." ..."
"... "Additionally, Mr. McLaren, in his amicus curiae, while not providing the emails on grounds of confidentiality, revealed to the Panel the exact date and times of the message from the Moscow laboratory that the screen of the Athlete's A sample revealed positive for the prohibited substance GW 1516 and the response from the Deputy Minister to change the positive into a negative, following the DPM. While these additional details were not before FISA (primarily due to the lack of time) they have been considered by the Panel in this de novo procedure". ..."
"... "I have to respect (the track authorities') decision even if it is something I don't necessarily agree with," King said. "No, do I think people who have been caught doping should be on the team? They shouldn't. It is unfortunate we have to see that. ..."
"... "In the United States, it is a matter of law. If you are not under a ban, regardless of what you may have served in the past, you are fully eligible to be on the team." ..."
"... "For one, a blanket ban on Russian athletes would likely have been derailed by numerous legal hurdles. The Court of Arbitration for Sport, among others, would likely overturn a universal ban that included athletes who haven't been implicated in doping. ..."
"... "We were mindful of the need for justice for clean athletes," IOC vice-president John Coates told reporters. "We did not want to penalize athletes who are clean with a collective ban and, therefore, keeping them out of the Games." ..."
marknesop.wordpress.com

According to the CBC – the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, a Crown corporation and the official voice of the nation – Russian athletes are "emerging as the villains of the Rio Olympics". And maybe it's just me, but the tone seems approving, self-righteous…judgy. As if the official mouthpiece of Canada is delighted to sign on to the Get Russia program offered by its southern neighbour and business partner to all its toadies and would-be chambermaids.

In a word, this is disappointing. I used that word because I didn't want to start swearing so early, although I'm sure we'll get to it.

Just so we're clear – whose interests does it serve for Canada to enthusiastically sign on to booing and hooting like howler monkeys whenever Russian athletes step up to compete, like we were English football hooligans? Canada's? How?

In fact, as everyone who is not thick as a BC pine knows, it serves Washington's interests, because the USA wants Russia isolated and alone and friendless because it is pissed off at it for other things, and the more disrespect and ignorance and rudeness it gets from the former politeness capital of the world, the better Uncle Sam likes it. WADA is going after every medal Russia ever won, and it is not even looking at anyone else. And that entire effort rests on the credibility of two people; one who was convicted of doping herself and barred from competition for two years for it, and her husband who knew and did nothing about it while he worked for the national anti-doping agency.

We'll get to that.

"It's something not usually heard at the Olympic Games. Booing. Loud, sustained booing. The rain of fury is directed at a common enemy: Russian athletes. The contingent, clouded and shrouded by drug scandal, has quickly emerged as the villains of these Rio 2016 Games. Like Cold War days of old, the Russians are once again the global bad guys.

After avoiding a full Olympic ban, some wondered how fans and fellow athletes would treat Russian athletes. That answer came quickly. At the opening ceremony, even athletes from pariah nations were given polite applause. But fans interrupted the global Kumbya moment to let the Russians know their presence wasn't welcome."

Disappointing. Disappointing to see how easy it is to get people who probably are reasonably nice under ordinary circumstances to get on board with the mob mentality, because it's kind of fun. Why is the western audience (because that's who it is, mostly – the North Americans, the Australians and the English) booing the Russians? Because the whole nation is implicated in a doping scandal.

Is that all it takes to make otherwise-sensible people make one-syllable sounds of disapproval simultaneously, in a deliberately-insulting fashion? Good. Let's hear a long, sustained 'boooooo….." for the cheatingest nation on the planet – the United States of America.

Worldly-wise 19-year-old American 100-meter backstroke champion Lilly King unloaded on silver-medalist Russian Yulia Efimova, calling her a drug cheat and sounding off to reporters that the 'twice-banned' Russian athlete should not be allowed at the games; Efimova was booed by the crowd every time she appeared on the pool deck. World-class jackass Michael Phelps, American team leader, went further as he applauded King's rudeness; " It's kind of sad that today in sports in general, not just in swimming, there are people who are testing positive and are allowed back in the sport, and multiple times. I think it just breaks what sport is meant to be and that pisses me off."

That so, Michael? All about self-discipline, are you? Did you learn that in rehab? "I honestly didn't care about my training" leading up to the 2012 London Olympics; wasn't that you? Is that what sport is meant to be? Isn't this you, with a bong in your face? What's up with that, voice of clean sports?

While we're having this heart-to-heart, Michael, let me tell you what pisses me off. Hypocrisy.

Before the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney even started, Dr. Wade Exum – former director of the US Olympic Committee's (USCOC) drug-testing program – announced that more than half of all US athletes caught doping prior to the Atlanta games (1996) suffered no penalty whatever and were permitted to compete at those games, where some of them won medals. At the time, ally Australia's opinion of America's drug-testing efforts was decidedly negative.

"We in Australia have been less than impressed with the efforts in America, and if you were to do a survey of the athletes, they'll tell you the country that's the major problem."

And let me tell you this – that same country is still the major problem. It has hit upon the novel approach that rather than control the athletes and what they are taking, you control the testing process and develop performance enhancements which are ever harder to detect. Within months of Exum's joining USOC in 1991, the organization came to him with a proposal to trial a new injection 'just to see if it enhances performance'.

"They came to me and asked me to participate in a project in which they wanted to give athletes what they called ATP injections – that's aginicent triphosphate. That's the fuel that muscle cells actually operate on and I refused on the basis that i thought it was unethical to give people things in a non-medical fashion for non-treatment, but just to see if it would help performance. I also thought that even if that substance wasn't directly named or on the IOC list, that it was at least aimed in the direction of doping."

Other Australians were less circumspect in their criticism. Sean Murphy, chair of the Australian Olympic Committee at the time, said, "They've got the facilities, they've got the research, they've got the motivation to be using drugs across the board in many different sports."

There was no World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) then; it was founded by Dick Pound in 1999 and he served as president until 2007. But WADA and Dick Pound were certainly around in 2003, when Exum released more than 30,000 pages of documents to Sports Illustrated and The Orange County Register, documents which proved beyond doubt that American athletes and champions such as Carl Lewis and Mary Jo Fernandez tested positive for banned substances in American screening but were allowed to compete anyway. USOC called Exum's accusations 'baseless'. Were they? Evidently not – here's Carl Lewis's reaction: So I was doping, who cares?

That's the accused, ladies and gentleman. It sounds awfully like a confession to me. What does that mean? That the United States Olympic Committee was comprised of and headed by liars, whose word on anything to do with the clean performance of American athletes was not and is not to be trusted. It also screams "State-sponsored doping program" in chrome letters 18 feet high; USOC is the national authority for Olympic sport, and of the top ten doping scandals of all time in Track and Field, six are Americans.

Can anybody tell me the last time the United States did not send a team to the Olympics because it was awarded a blanket ban for doping? That's right – never. Nor has any identifiable component of its team, such as Track and Field, been banned from competition, despite ample evidence of doping which was covered up by American sports organizations and its Olympic Commission. But Mr. Clean, Dick Pound, was adamant that Russia be banned completely from competition at Rio, and was vocal in his disappointment that only the Track and Field team was denied the opportunity to compete, including world champion gold medalist Yelena Isinbayeva, who has never, ever failed a drug test conducted by any authority. What a disgrace. But Dick Pound was one of the three members of the 'Independent Commission' appointed to investigate Russia's alleged state-sponsored doping program.

Let's go back to the Sydney Games, 2000. That event was dogged by allegations that American athletes had used performance-enhancing drugs to win medals. Rubbish, said USOC. An investigation was ordered. Enter Professor Richard McLaren, who headed the probe

Boom. The BALCO Scandal hit, three years later. The Bay Area Laboratory Cooperative, headed by Victor Conte, whipped up performance cocktails for American athletes. He admitted to it, and implicated dozens of athletes. Perhaps the most well-known was Marion Jones, who won 5 medals at the Sydney Olympics, 3 of them gold. Marion Jones vehemently denied any involvement with drugs, and sued Conte for defamation. Not until 2007 did she finally admit tearfully that it was all true, and was awarded 6 months in jail for lying to federal investigators, as well as being stripped of her medals. Regina Jacobs was also netted, and awarded a 4-year suspension from competition; the same year the BALCO scandal broke, she set a world record in the indoor 1500 meter. Alvin Harrison, who won a gold and a silver for the USA at the Sydney Olympics; he was not stripped of any medals until 2008, when a teammate admitted he had used performance-enhancing drugs. Michelle Collins, the 2003 world-record holder for the 200-meter indoor sprint. She was banned from competition for 8 years, threatened to take the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) to court, and they backed down and cut her suspension to 4 years. The current head of USADA is the alliteratively-named Travis T. Tygart, who bayed like a hound for a Russian national ban at Rio. 'Cause, you know, enough is enough.

Kevin Toth, a US shot-putter who was United States Track and Field (USATF) Athlete of the Week in April that same year; he got a 2-year suspension. John McEwen, 2-year suspension. Dwain Chambers, a British sprinter – think word got around about the USA's new line of undetectable performance enhancers? He was the top European performer at his Olympic debut at – you guessed it – the Sydney Olympics; 2-year suspension. Calvin Harrison, identical twin brother of the previously-named Alvin Harrison, gold medalist at Sydney in the 4oo-meter relay – 2-year suspension. We could go on with this for quite a while, but I think you get the point.

Here's what I bet you didn't get, though. Professor McLaren's investigation did not catch any of those people. They were all exposed by the BALCO scandal and press releases like those generated by Exum. McLaren's investigation wrapped up in 2001, and a year after that USATF was still suppressing the case files and refusing to reveal the name of an American athlete who had been cleared to compete at the Sydney Olympics and had won a medal for the USA. USATF defied an order and threats of de-registration from IOC president Dr. Jacques Rogge. What was done about it? Fuck all, as you probably knew.

Professor McLaren was the public voice of the 'Independent Commission' that recommended a complete national ban for Russia at Rio. The third member was Gunter Younger, a former head of a Bavarian cybercrime division, who was just appointed as WADA's new head of Intelligence and Investigations this past June. Younger headed the actual investigation into Russian doping, and was 'given a free hand' by Dick Pound to use the covert recordings from the German television ARD documentary which initially broke the story of Russian doping.

Well, sort of. Actually ARD was steered onto the story by WADA, who had acquired the services of the whistle-blowing Stepaonovs, Yulia (nee Rusanova), a doper athlete and her urine-testing husband with the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA). WADA told Valery Stepanov that it did not have the power to investigate inside Russia. So WADA steered the Stepanovs to ARD with their story, which was released as a documentary and which WADA then pounced on as evidence of 'a culture of cheating'.

"The World Anti-Doping Agency steered the Stepanovs to a reporter at the German television network ARD. Their tapes became the centerpiece of this documentary which aired in December 2014 and sent shockwaves through the world of sports."

WADA does not mention this elsewhere, and the rest of the world is led to believe that the ARD documentary was the clarion call which inspired WADA's investigation.

"The report released Monday was the result of a 10-month investigation by an independent commission of WADA. Its inquiry stemmed from a December 2014 documentary by the German public broadcaster ARD, which drew on accounts from Russian athletes, coaches and antidoping officials, who said that the Russian government had helped procure drugs for athletes and cover up positive test results."

But WADA considers the Stepanovs 100% credible. It has to – that's the only evidence it has. Grigory Rodchenkov, the former director of the Moscow laboratory, was not always on board, and as recently as November 2015 described the Independent Commission as 'three fools'.

"Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov, the director of the Moscow lab whom Monday's report accused of having solicited and accepted bribes, dismissed the suggestions. "This is an independent commission which only issues recommendations," he said. "There are three fools sitting there who don't understand the laboratory."

Yet only months later he was in the WADA camp and singing like a canary. Perhaps the revelation that Vitaly Stepanov recorded 15 hours of their conversations without his knowledge inspired a conversion. Oddly enough, that is generally illegal in Canada, and cannot be used as evidence except in exceptional circumstances. There is a blanket exemption, though, for consent, and this is implied if the person making the recording is a party to the conversation. Still, it kind of makes Rodchenkov sound like the kind of guy who will say anything. Just to give you an idea how ridiculous that is, Victor Conte – the executive in charge of BALCO – offered after the scandal broke to act as an expert assistant to WADA (probably as an effort to plea-bargain; he served four months in prison).

"Conte, who spent four months in prison for his role in the affair, said he has offered to provide expert insights to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), only to be turned down. "I've made myself available, put forward names, addresses, websites, protocols… but you know what they told me? That we can't trust someone who's been sentenced," he added."

But they can trust someone who just got through saying the Investigative Commissioners were three fools who don't have any power to do anything and don't know what the fuck they're talking about, when he suddenly says, Yesiree, boss, it was exactly like you said. I'm a crook. And you know who else is a crook? The whole Russian government. Uh huh.

Which brings me to my favourite part – the legal implications. The McLaren Report is careful not to name names for public consumption, because WADA fears getting sued by individuals. As well it might. So McLaren prefers to leave the oomph of his report to a statement that it proves there is a state sponsored doping program in Russia which is known and countenanced by the highest levels of government. And he's said that, on a number of occasions, and the press has dutifully repeated it. It's basically the most damaging finding of the McLaren Report.

Which is why it would be odd for him to say that WADA has no evidence of a state-sponsored doping program. Like he did here, after the report came out.

CBCSports.ca: Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for Russian president Vladimir Putin, said Tuesday that "as long as there is no evidence [of state-sponsored doping in Russia], it is difficult to consider the accusations, which appear rather unfounded." How do you respond to that?

McLaren: That doesn't surprise me. He and others have said that before. But I would expect that won't be the same refrain by the end of the week once they have a chance to study the report. When you draw the connections across the board about what's going on, you can't just say this is just a few isolated people or some of the old coaches dictating out of the Soviet era and nobody else.

Dmitry's correct. We don't have any evidence of a systematic, state-wide doping mechanism. If we did, we would have published it and so we have to go on the inference. But across a vast country [with] all sorts of different training camps, it has to be somehow state supported but we can't actually describe for you how that operates. We can only draw the inference. We've given them a chance to reform, so why don't you reform and join the rest of the world instead of fighting it.

The 'Independent Commission' did not question or interview any Russian athletes or officials except for the Stepanovs and Grigory Rodchenkov. " The IP did not seek to interview persons living in the Russian Federation …. I did not seek to meet with Russian government officials and did not think it necessary…"

And, you see, that's a problem. Because athletes on the Track and Field team who have never failed a drug test were banned, by association, from competing, on no grounds but their nationality. Others were banned in highly ambiguous circumstances, just because their names appeared in McLaren's testimony. Like Russian rower Ivan Balandin, whose appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) is featured here. The whole case is worth reading, as there are many juicy bits, but the upshot was his appeal was rejected on the grounds that he had made out he was unfairly denied the chance to compete because the McLaren Report fingered him for doping, which was not the case – he was fingered as 'ineligible' because one of his samples had allegedly tested positive, except McLaren did not even know when the test was allegedly administered, that information helpfully being provided by the UK, the second-most-Russophobic of the western countries. I'm damned if I can see the difference, but I'm not a lawyer. Anyway, I'd just like to draw your attention to page 7, where we read,

"Additionally, no reliance can be made on the McLaren Report as evidence, as it is not complete, it has secret parts that were not shared with or available to the Athlete and there was no date of the sample taking in the information provided by Mr. McLaren."

But on the same page, it reports, "FISA applied the criterion and was satisfied that the Athlete was 'clearly implicated' by the McLaren Report and was therefore excluded from the Rio Games." Wha…wha…what??? The reference which did not meet evidentiary standards was relied upon in the decision?

Oh, dear; on Page 11…"Additionally, Mr. McLaren, in his amicus curiae, while not providing the emails on grounds of confidentiality, revealed to the Panel the exact date and times of the message from the Moscow laboratory that the screen of the Athlete's A sample revealed positive for the prohibited substance GW 1516 and the response from the Deputy Minister to change the positive into a negative, following the DPM. While these additional details were not before FISA (primarily due to the lack of time) they have been considered by the Panel in this de novo procedure".

FISA and the Panel both made decisions based on evidence furnished by McLaren that they never examined or even saw. There just wasn't time. McLaren's report provides the evidence of a state-run doping program, except he doesn't have any evidence of that and says so, although he does and it's secret and he hasn't shown it to anyone.

Bullshit. From start to finish. No western athlete would have to put up with a ban on competition just because he or she was American or Canadian or Dutch, and he or she would damned sure not be told to accept a ban where he or she had not even seen the evidence against him or her because it was secret.

Which brings us back to the hooting and booing like the audience at a taping of the Arsenio Hall Show. On the occasion of Ms. King flipping out on Ms. Efimova, some reports of the incident recount the rest of the conversation – in which the reporter asked Ms. King if she thought American doper athletes like Justin Gatlin and Tyson Gay should be allowed to compete. To her credit, she didn't flinch, and said absolutely not.

"I have to respect (the track authorities') decision even if it is something I don't necessarily agree with," King said. "No, do I think people who have been caught doping should be on the team? They shouldn't. It is unfortunate we have to see that.

You could almost smell the controlled fury in the response rushed out by USATF:

"In the United States, it is a matter of law. If you are not under a ban, regardless of what you may have served in the past, you are fully eligible to be on the team."

Which describes Ms. Efimova's circumstances to a 'T'. What would be the American response to an Olympics audience which booed loudly every time Gay or Gatlin took the field? Low-class? You bet.

And that brings us back to the beginning, to the article which started the whole post. An associated article on the same page offers, "Analysis: Why a Full Olympic Ban on Russia Never Had a Chance". Why not? Because it would have been illegal.

"For one, a blanket ban on Russian athletes would likely have been derailed by numerous legal hurdles. The Court of Arbitration for Sport, among others, would likely overturn a universal ban that included athletes who haven't been implicated in doping.

"We were mindful of the need for justice for clean athletes," IOC vice-president John Coates told reporters. "We did not want to penalize athletes who are clean with a collective ban and, therefore, keeping them out of the Games."

Totally oblivious to fairness, apparently, are the Olympic crowds booing like a bunch of fourth-graders, and getting across the message so helpful to Washington that 'you Russian cheaters are not welcome here', fattened on non-stop propaganda from the world's biggest cheater and seasoned by the McLaren Report which proves Russia has a state culture of cheating, except it doesn't.

WADA argued for a total ban. Travis Tygart of USADA argued for a total ban, because it would likely mean more medals for Americans. Neither of them gives a tin weasel whether it would be legal or not. Because that's the way things are done now – you just smash ahead by brute force and momentum, and hope that everyone mistakes action for justification.

And that's what you're cheering for when you boo the Russians. I'm ashamed of you.

There will be a price exacted for this later. I will be surprised if Russia does not take WADA to court, and even if it does not, the angry split between WADA and the IOC is evident. The McLaren Report does not prove anything it purports to prove, and it will not stand up to a challenge. At a minimum, WADA should be moved out of Canada to the USA, whose policies and interests it serves, depriving that country of an opportunity to internationalize its own initiatives.

God speed the plough.

[Aug 12, 2016] Sanders is now backing Wall Street, the neocons and the TPP. Whether he plays Gorbachov or this is Stockholm syndrome shame on him!

Notable quotes:
"... That means backing Wall Street, the neocons and the TPP. Shame on him! He told his followers to think of pie in the sky in the decades it will take to take over the Democratic Party from below, from school boards, etc. ..."
"... What on earth is revolution if it doesn't include either remove the rot in the Democratic Party, the Wall Street control, or start another party? It had to be one or the other. Here was his chance. I think he missed it. ..."
"... He did miss his chance. Some people were suggesting that he should walk and form his own party. Particularly how the party treated him. ..."
"... The Democrats and the Republicans together have made it almost impossible for a third party to get registered in every state. To run in every state. To get just all of the mechanics you need because of all the lawsuits against them. The Green Party is the only party that had already solved that. Apart from the Libertarian Party. ..."
"... The oligarchs have joined the Republicans and the Democrats are now seen to be the same party, called the Democratic Party. Here was his chance to make an alternative. ..."
"... I believe Hillary's the greater evil, not Trump, because Trump is incompetent and doesn't have the staff around him, or the political support that Hilary has. ..."
"... I have known Hillary Clinton for 25 years. I remember her, as you do, as a great first lady who broke precedent in terms of the role that a first lady was supposed to play as she helped lead the fight for universal health care. ..."
"... I served with her in the United States Senate and know her as a fierce advocate for the rights of children, for women and for the disabled. ..."
"... Hillary Clinton will make an outstanding president and I am proud to stand with her tonight! ..."
"... Raymond Shaw is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life. ..."
"... I agree with Hudson that HRC is the greater threat. I also agree with him that Bernie makes no sense. What the hell did Bernie have to lose? He could have accepted the prez nomination with the Greens. In fact, he should have run third party from the git-go. By sucking up to the dems that politically raped him, Bernie is exhibiting a variation of Stockholm syndrome. ..."
"... Bernie's problem in the end is that he couldn't see that in order to gain power in the Democratic Party (i.e., in order to dislodge the Clintons), the Left might (probably would) have to lose an election. ..."
"... The Democratic PoC (Party of Clinton) had to be shown as a party that could not win an election without its left half. He wrongly saw the powerless Trump as the greater threat, something that could only be done if he still at least marginally trusted Hillary to ever keep her word on anything. He will come to see that as his greatest mistake of all. ..."
"... Bernie reminds me of Gorbachev. Both clearly saw what the problem was with their respective societies, but still thought that things could be fixed by changing their respective parties. Bernie it seems, like Gorbachev before him, can not intellectually accept that effective reforms require radical action on the existing power structures. Gorbachev could not break with the Communist system and Bernie can not break with the Democratic party. ..."
"... I have known Hillary Clinton for 25 years. I remember her, as you do, as a great first lady who broke precedent in terms of the role that a first lady was supposed to play as she helped lead the fight for universal health care. ..."
"... I served with her in the United States Senate and know her as a fierce advocate for the rights of children, for women and for the disabled. ..."
"... Hillary Clinton will make an outstanding president and I am proud to stand with her tonight! ..."
"... Raymond Shaw is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life. ..."
www.nakedcapitalism.com

PERIES: Let's turn to Sanders's strategy here. Now, Sanders is, of course, asking people to support Hillary. And if you buy into the idea that she is the lesser of two evils candidate, then we also have to look at Bernie's other strategy – which is to vote as many people as we possibly can at various other levels of the elections that are going on at congressional levels, Senate level, at municipal levels. Is that the way to go, so that we can avoid some of these choices we are offered?

HUDSON: Well, this is what I don't understand about Sanders's strategy. He says we need a revolution. He's absolutely right. But then, everything he said in terms of the election is about Trump. I can guarantee you that the revolution isn't really about Trump. The way Sanders has described things, you have to take over the Democratic Party and pry away the leadership, away from Wall Street, away from the corporations.

Democrats pretend to be a party of the working class, a party of the people. But it's teetering with Hillary as it's candidate. If ever there was a time to split it, this was the year. But Bernie missed his chance. He knuckled under and said okay, the election's going to be about Trump. Forget the revolution that I've talked about. Forget reforming the Democratic Party, I'm sorry. Forget that I said Hillary is not fit to be President. I'm sorry, she is fit to be President. We've got to back her.

That means backing Wall Street, the neocons and the TPP. Shame on him! He told his followers to think of pie in the sky in the decades it will take to take over the Democratic Party from below, from school boards, etc.

Labor unions said this half a century ago. It didn't work. Bernie gave up on everything to back the TPP candidate, the neocon candidate.

What on earth is revolution if it doesn't include either remove the rot in the Democratic Party, the Wall Street control, or start another party? It had to be one or the other. Here was his chance. I think he missed it.

PERIES: I think there's a lot of people out there that agree with that analysis, Michael. He did miss his chance. Some people were suggesting that he should walk and form his own party. Particularly how the party treated him. But there is another choice out there. In fact, we at the Real News is out there covering the Green Party election as we are speaking here, Michael. Is that an option?

HUDSON: It would have been the only option for him. He had decided that you can't really mount a third party, because it's so hard. The Democrats and the Republicans together have made it almost impossible for a third party to get registered in every state. To run in every state. To get just all of the mechanics you need because of all the lawsuits against them. The Green Party is the only party that had already solved that. Apart from the Libertarian Party.

So here you have the only possible third party he could have run on this time, and he avoided it. I'm sure he must of thought about it. He was offered the presidency on it. He could of used that and brought his revolution into that party and then expanded it as a real alternative to both the Democrats and the Republicans. Because the Republican Party is already split, by the fact that the Tea Party's pretty much destroyed it. The oligarchs have joined the Republicans and the Democrats are now seen to be the same party, called the Democratic Party. Here was his chance to make an alternative.

I don't think there will be a chance like this again soon. I believe Hillary's the greater evil, not Trump, because Trump is incompetent and doesn't have the staff around him, or the political support that Hilary has. I think Bernie missed his chance to take this party and develop it very quickly, just like George Wallace could have done back in the 1960s when he had a chance. I think Chris Hedges and other people have made this point with you. I have no idea what Bernie's idea of a revolution is, if he's going to try to do it within the Democratic Party that's just stamped on him again and again, you're simply not going to have a revolution within the Democratic party.

Butch In Waukegan ,, August 10, 2016 at 9:51 am

Sanders' convention endorsement:

I have known Hillary Clinton for 25 years. I remember her, as you do, as a great first lady who broke precedent in terms of the role that a first lady was supposed to play as she helped lead the fight for universal health care.

I served with her in the United States Senate and know her as a fierce advocate for the rights of children, for women and for the disabled.

Hillary Clinton will make an outstanding president and I am proud to stand with her tonight!

Sanders' campaign was premised on exactly the opposite. How can anyone now take Bernie seriously?

Raymond Shaw is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life.

crittermom ,, August 10, 2016 at 12:18 pm

Okay. I know this comment will bring forth much backlash, but I'm gonna put it out there anyway since my 'give-a-shitter' was severely cracked over 4 yrs ago (when 2 sheriff's deputies evicted me from my home while I had been current on my pymts when the bank foreclosed and the response from EVERY govt agency I contacted told me to "hire a lawyer", which I couldn't afford, with one costing much more than I owed on my home of 20 yrs). I had bought my first house by the time I graduated h.s. and had owned one ever since until now.

My 'give-a-shitter' completely shattered this year with the election, so here goes:

So it seems we are offered 3 choices when we vote. Trump, Hillary or Green.

To someone who is among the 8-10 MILLION (depending on whose figures you believe) whose home was illegally taken from them by the banksters, I would welcome a 4th choice since none of the 3 offered will improve my life before I die.

The consensus seems to be that it'll take decades to create change through voting.

I'm a divorced woman turning 65. I don't feel I have decades to wait, while I am forced to live in a place that doesn't even have a flush toilet because it's all I can afford. To someone my age with no degrees or special skills, the job market is nonexistent, even if I lived in a big city (where I couldn't afford the rent).

When I see reports of an increase in new homes being built, I'd love to see a breakdown showing exactly how many of those homes will be primary residences and how many are second (or third, or fourth) homes.

There are 4 new custom homes being built within a half mile of me.
None will be primary residences. All will be 'vacation' homes.

Yet if we're to believe the latest figures, "the housing market is improving!"
For whom?

Yes, I'm extremely disappointed that Bernie bailed on us. I doubt either of us will live long enough to see the change required to change this govt and save the planet with our current choices this election.

I fear the only thing that this election has given me was initially great hope for my future, before being plunged into the darkness of the same ol', same ol' as my only choices.

I was never radical or oppositional in my life but I would now welcome a revolution. I don't see me living long enough to welcome that change by voting. Especially with the blatant voter suppression and all else that transpired this election.

While the govt and political oligarchs may fear Russia & ISIS, if they met 8-10 million of us victims of the banksters, they would come to realize real fear, from those within their homeland.

Most are horrified when I offer this view, saying I'd be thrown in prison.
Hmmm…considering that…I'd be fed, clothed, housed-and I'd have a flush toilet!

Gads, I'd love to see millions of us march on Washington & literally throw those in power out of their seats onto the lawn, saying "enough is enough"!

So I guess my question is, does anyone else feel as 'at the end of their rope' as I do?
Can you even truly imagine being in my position and what you would do or how you would feel?

Yes. I screamed, cried, and wrote Bernie's campaign before his endorsement speech was even completed, expressing my disappointment, after foregoing meals to send him my meager contributions.

My hopes were shattered and I'm growing impatient for change.

backwardsevolution ,, August 10, 2016 at 1:48 pm

crittermom/Bullwinkle – here's one of the articles by Chris Hedges on Bernie Sanders:

"Because the party is completely captive to corporate power," Hedges said. "And Bernie has cut a Faustian deal with the Democrats. And that's not even speculation. I did an event with him and Bill McKibben, Naomi Klein and Kshama Sawant in New York the day before the Climate March. And Kshama Sawant ,the Socialist City Councilwoman from Seattle and I asked Sanders why he wanted to run as a Democrat. And he said - because I don't want to end up like Nader."

"He didn't want to end up pushed out of the establishment," Hedges said. "He wanted to keep his committee chairmanships, he wanted to keep his Senate seat. And he knew the forms of retribution, punishment that would be visited upon him if he applied his critique to the Democratic establishment. So he won't."

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/07/15/chris-hedges-on-bernie-sanders-and-the-corporate-democrats/

Lambert Strether ,, August 10, 2016 at 3:34 pm

I don't get what's wrong with not ending up like Nader.

And if Sanders saved the left from another two decades of "Nader Nader neener neener!" more power to him, say I.

backwardsevolution ,, August 10, 2016 at 8:55 pm

Fair enough. I don't know enough about Nader to care. To me, it was just the about-face that Bernie did, going from denouncing Hillary (albeit not very strongly) to embracing her. I think if I had been one of his supporters who cheered him on, sent him money, got my hopes raised that he would go all the way, I would have been very disappointed. Almost like a tease.

crittermom ,, August 10, 2016 at 8:51 pm

Thanks for that link.

I'd wanted Bernie to run as an Independent more than anything, but I can understand him wanting to keep his Senate seat and chairs. Without them, he has no power to bring change.
I had believed he had a good chance to win, whipping a big Bernie Bird to both parties and changing things in my lifetime, running Independent.

I now realize just how completely corrupt our political system is. Far worse than I ever could have imagined. Wow, have my eyes been opened!

I'm beginning to think this election may just come down to who has the bigger thugs, Trump or HRC.

EndOfTheWorld , August 10, 2016 at 5:04 am

I agree with Hudson that HRC is the greater threat. I also agree with him that Bernie makes no sense. What the hell did Bernie have to lose? He could have accepted the prez nomination with the Greens. In fact, he should have run third party from the git-go. By sucking up to the dems that politically raped him, Bernie is exhibiting a variation of Stockholm syndrome.

Benedict@Large , August 10, 2016 at 7:26 am

Bernie's problem in the end is that he couldn't see that in order to gain power in the Democratic Party (i.e., in order to dislodge the Clintons), the Left might (probably would) have to lose an election.

The Democratic PoC (Party of Clinton) had to be shown as a party that could not win an election without its left half. He wrongly saw the powerless Trump as the greater threat, something that could only be done if he still at least marginally trusted Hillary to ever keep her word on anything. He will come to see that as his greatest mistake of all.

Roger Smith , August 10, 2016 at 11:34 am

Very well stated++

Another Anon , August 10, 2016 at 7:27 am

Bernie reminds me of Gorbachev. Both clearly saw what the problem was with their respective societies, but still thought that things could be fixed by changing their respective parties. Bernie it seems, like Gorbachev before him, can not intellectually accept that effective reforms require radical action on the existing power structures. Gorbachev could not break with the Communist system and Bernie can not break with the Democratic party.

diptherio , August 10, 2016 at 11:33 am

Bernie is too nice for his own good. He should have used the DNC machinations as an excuse to go back on his promise to endorse. "I made that promise on the assumption that we would all be acting in good faith. Sadly, that has proved not to be the case."

But no, he's too much of a politician, or too nice, or has too much sense of personal pride…or had his life and his family threatened if he didn't toe the line (not that I'm foily). Whatever his motivations, we don't get a "Get out of Responsibility Free" card just because one dude made some mis-steps. If that's all it takes to derail us, we're so, so screwed.

Reply
perpetualWAR , August 10, 2016 at 11:42 am

No, Bernie is exhibiting behavior of a man whose family was theatened. There's no other explanation for his pained face at the convention.

Griffith W Jones , August 10, 2016 at 5:30 am

I also agree with Hudson and EndOfTheWorld that HRC is the greater threat and that Sanders makes no sense.

Sure, the Dems probably threatened to kick him off of Congressional Committees and to back a rival in Vermont.

So what! With his tenure and at his age, what's really to lose? If he couldn't face off someone in his home state, it's probably time to retire anyway. And it's not like he was ever in it for the money.

The best he gets now is mild tolerance from his masters. "Give me your followers and lick my boots." What a coward, could have made history, now he's a goat.

Fortunately, his "followers" have more integrity…

Eman , August 10, 2016 at 5:33 am

It's actually not so surprising given his long history of working within the mainstream system, simply along its fringes. I think many may have been falling into the '08 Obama trap of seeing what they wanted to see in him.

As a senator he's had plenty of opportunities to grandstand, gum up the works, etc, and he really never does. Even his "filibuster" a few years back wasn't all that disruptive.

Reply
backwardsevolution , August 10, 2016 at 5:37 am

EndOfTheWorld- totally agree with you. I just shake my head at Bernie. Diametrically opposed to Clinton, he suddenly turns around and embraces her! What? I will never understand that.

"America needs an ineffective president. That's much better than an effective president that's going to go to war with Russia, that's going to push for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, that's going to protect Wall Street, and that's going to oppose neoliberal austerity."

He's right too. I am absolutely terrified of Hillary Clinton becoming President. She strikes me as having psychopathic tendencies. I mean, just look at the scandals she and Bill have been involved in, and then when she gets caught, she lies, feigns ignorance, deflects, blames others, lies some more. Power and money are her goals.

She has called Putin "Hitler", said she wants to expand NATO, and again said she wants to take out Assad. Well, how is she going to do that when Russia is in there? God, she is scary. I just hope that there's a big Clinton Foundation email leak to finish her off.

Trump is out there, but at least he wants to try to negotiate peace (of course, if war wasn't making so many people rich, it would be stopped tomorrow). He's questioning why NATO is necessary, never mind its continual expansion, and he wants to stop the TPP.

God, I'd be happy with even one of the above. Hillary will give us TPP, more NATO, more war, and a cackle. Please, if anyone has some loose emails hanging around, now is the time!

Butch In Waukegan , August 10, 2016 at 9:51 am

Sanders' convention endorsement:

I have known Hillary Clinton for 25 years. I remember her, as you do, as a great first lady who broke precedent in terms of the role that a first lady was supposed to play as she helped lead the fight for universal health care.

I served with her in the United States Senate and know her as a fierce advocate for the rights of children, for women and for the disabled.

Hillary Clinton will make an outstanding president and I am proud to stand with her tonight!

Sanders' campaign was premised on exactly the opposite. How can anyone now take Bernie seriously?

Raymond Shaw is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life.

backwardsevolution , August 10, 2016 at 1:33 pm

Butch – "…she helped lead the fight for universal health care." Did she now? Here's a good quote on how she felt about universal health care:

"Hillary took the lead role in the White House's efforts to pass a corporate-friendly version of "health reform." Along with the big insurance companies the Clintons deceptively railed against, the "co-presidents" decided from the start to exclude the popular health care alternative – single payer – from the national health care "discussion." (Obama would do the same thing in 2009.)

"David, tell me something interesting." That was then First Lady Hillary Clinton's weary and exasperated response – as head of the White House's health reform initiative – to Harvard medical professor David Himmelstein in 1993. Himmelstein was head of Physicians for a National Health Program. He had just told her about the remarkable possibilities of a comprehensive, single-payer "Canadian style" health plan, supported by more than two-thirds of the U.S. public. Beyond backing by a citizen super-majority, Himmelstein noted, single-payer would provide comprehensive coverage to the nation's 40 million uninsured while retaining free choice in doctor selection and being certified by the Congressional Budget Office as "the most cost-effective plan on offer."

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/05/27/feel-the-hate/

That whole article deals with the "fake liberalism" exhibited by the Clinton's and Obama. It says they only "pretend" to care.

Perhaps Yves could highlight Hillary's disdain for single-payer healthcare on another post. Thanks.

Lambert Strether , August 10, 2016 at 3:35 pm

Hillary Clinton: Single-payer health care will "never, ever" happen CBS

[Aug 12, 2016] Robert Fitrakis Sanders May Have Lost Due to Election Fraud

www.defenddemocracy.press

Defend Democracy Press

FITRAKIS: Well one of the obvious things in this election was the visible hijacking of Bernie Sanders voters. Bernie brought in what political scientists would call an asymmetrical entrance of new voters. He went out and got a lot of people that hadn�t voted previously and at first emerged in New York City, in Brooklyn where you had 126 thousand people. Overwhelmingly new voters supporting Bernie that were purged at the last second from the voting rolls. And that�s being investigated but it turned out to be a clerk said to have Republican leanings. But just prior to the purge, the daughter of a Clinton super delegate had bought property from her. A million and a half dollars over the street value that wasn�t even being listed. So at least it calls into question, whether it was an old fashioned Tammany Hall bribe for purging voters.

So it�s what me and my co-author Harvey [Wasserman] call vote stripping, right? I think before this is all through the leaks by the Democratic National Committee, you�ll find that somebody had access to those databases and were targeting the Bernie people to purge them.

NOOR: And can you talk about what the tactics were that were used in order to target these Bernie supporters and as youre saying, discount their votes?

FITRAKIS: Well, you simply purge them from the voting rolls. And that can be done in a variety of ways depending upon the state. In most states people dont realize it but you privatize with companies, the voter databases. And also you have often these poll books. Many of them are electronic that are also created by proprietary companies.

So the US is the only democracy in the world that allows private for profit partisan companies those that actually make contributions as did Dominion, the remnants of [Depolled] that went out of business for worldwide fraud following the 04 election and Hart Intercivic. So Hart Intercivic and Dominion both made contributions to the Clinton foundation. So you wonder, when a candidates running for president, why are voting machine companies making donations to their campaigns?

So we allow these private, for-profit partisan companies to count our vote, to set our databases with secret proprietary software that nobody can look at. It violates every principle of transparency. And the only person on a high level willing to talk about this is Jimmy Carter, who says to Der Spiegel that America has a dysfunctional democracy and that we dont meet minimum standards of transparency.

... ... ...

So all the evidence says were the absolute worst. But youve got this enculturation. Youve got two parties and both historically corporate capitalists parties, particularly since the Koch brothers decided we needed a DLC following the 84 election that they wanted a corporate wing of the Republican Party and they got that in 1992 in the form of Bill Clinton and Al Gore, which were both DLC people. Two corporate capitalist free trade parties. People wouldnt even, many people think Sanders was very progressive and he was and he spoke as a democratic socialist.

But Jerry Brown in 1992 called for a 50% cut in the U.S. military. I mean, thats territory. But George Herbert Walker Bush actually talked about a peace dividend. We dont even talk anymore about nearly half of the money on planet earth beings spent in the U.S. military. And weve got soldier arguably or advisers in 181 out of 203 nations no one wants to say in great detail. And Sanders was touching on all these issues that that appears to be imperialism.

But these the Stein campaign has enormous room to actually talk about what is happening in the United States. She asked people on the stage at this convention actually used the correct term, imperialism. And they actually do talk about a rigged election system. Because its systematically rigged when you bring these private contractors in and then they say its a computer glitch. In 2004 [D Bolt] two weeks before the election, accidentally glitched 10,000 voters in the city of Cleveland who were going to vote 95% for John Kerry.

I dont believe those are glitches. I believe private contractors in this privatization has allowed big money to come in in the form of the corporation. And theres an old axiom, theres not much money in counting vote but theres a lot of money in the voting results.

[Aug 12, 2016] Michael Hudson: Clintons Red-Baiting Distracts from Failure to Address Inequality, War-Mongering as Trump Flails

This lesser evilness trap is a standard trick inherent in two party system setup, designed to prevent voting for third party candidate and essentially limiting public discourse to selection between two oligarchy stooges. Moreover Hillary is definitely greater evil. Invoking of Nader to justify voting for Hillary is pure neoliberal propaganda designed to get the establishment candidate (who has significant and dangerous for any politician, to say nothing about POTUS, health problems) into White House. that why neoliberal MSM are baking non-stop at Trump, trying exaggerate any his misstep to galactic proportions. ...
Notable quotes:
"... Michael, in a recent article that you penned on your website, you argued that Hillary Clinton's campaign is using a very clever strategy in that it is trying to associate criticism of Clinton with support for Trump and therefore support for Russia, which in the end is anti-American ..."
"... Trump opposes the neocon line toward Russia, and because he criticizes NATO, Russia benefits. Therefore Putin must have stolen the leaks and put them out, to make America weaker, not stronger, by helping the Trump campaign by showing the DNC's dirty tricks toward Bernie's followers. ..."
"... Most of all, Hillary is still the war candidate. Trump already has said, "Look at what she did to Libya." By displacing Libya, she turned its arms cache over to terrorist groups that have become ISIS, Al-Nusra, and the other terrorist in the Near East. So she's the Queen of Chaos. Finally, she's the candidate of Wall Street, given the fact even the Koch Brothers have said they're not going to back Trump, they're going to back Hillary because she's on their side. George Soros and most other big moguls and billionaires are now siding with the Democratic Party, not Trump. ..."
"... She is a candidate of Wall Street and she is as you say, now being supported even by the neocons. They're holding fundraisers for her. And the Koch brothers and so on. ..."
"... Trump will win if he can make the election all about Hillary, and Hillary will win if she can make the election all about Trump. ..."
"... "America needs an ineffective president. That's much better than an effective president that's going to go to war with Russia, that's going to push for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, that's going to protect Wall Street, and that's going to oppose neoliberal austerity." ..."
"... I am absolutely terrified of Hillary Clinton becoming President. She strikes me as having psychopathic tendencies. I mean, just look at the scandals she and Bill have been involved in, and then when she gets caught, she lies, feigns ignorance, deflects, blames others, lies some more. Power and money are her goals. ..."
"... I'm sure he will quash TPP, renegotiate nafta and be less belligerent with Russia. But what will happen when he and his non-government-indoctrinated team of advisers finally see every bit of redacted and "confidential" information that has been routinely hidden from the public and lied about for decades? ..."
"... The loss of sovereignty inherent in the "trade" agreements and incoherent Middle East policies, to name a few "strategies" this country is pursuing, have a larger purpose. We private citizens have just not been privy to it. How private citizen Trump will proceed if he is elected and comes to know the government's deepest, darkest secrets is anybody's guess. ..."
"... I think its a safe assumption that if Trump is elected he will be carefully 'minded' to ensure he can't gain access to information that would upset the applecart. ..."
"... As for Donnie taking down TPP and being the peace candidate, I think people should sit down and take a few deep breaths. As a New Yorker who's observed him for his entire public life, and as a 90 second scanning of his career demonstrates, the man cannot be trusted to speak truthfully about anything ..."
"... You're right. He'll make a good court jester. That's about it. as for "the man cannot be trusted to speak truthfully about anything" reminds me of someone who gets on TeeVee and does that well. And he really didn't have any experience but he got himself good handlers and others who ran the country. ..."
"... Exactly right! Trump is dangerous…to the establishment. And the establishment is what we have to get rid of. ..."
"... As flawed a character as Trump is, he still represents our last chance to challenge the establishment. It won't be a pretty presidency – but it will be entertaining – however the alternative is the ultimate horror show. Plus you are gambling that Clinton won't start a nuclear war and end the human race. Why would anyone in their right mind touch that wager? ..."
"... It is unlikely that Trump will be able to deport more people than Obama's record breaking administration. ..."
"... Obama actually ended up rejecting Clinton's continuous advice for more more more military intervention. ..."
"... I agree with you that Trump is not likable, and an unknown. The problem is that the known is despicable. Neither, let me repeat, neither candidate should be anywhere near this close to the White House. ..."
"... You have obviously chosen the despicable hateful war mongering devil you know. Others are willing to roll the dice with the guy who has incoherently at least given a nod to the idea that war with Russia is not a smart plan, and that our current military choices are not effective – not to mention a far more coherent case that our trade policy is screwed up and needs to be changed. ..."
"... Trump wants to stop "illegal" immigration so that poor Americans can have jobs. Illegals lower wages (because American employers pay them less), they increase rents (supply and demand), and they cost a fortune in medical and educational costs. He's for "legal" immigration when the country needs more workers. I don't think that is being racist, although he doesn't have a very nice way of saying things. ..."
"... Muslim immigration stopped until they can be properly vetted? That's just being prudent and careful, but again he could say things in a much kinder way. ..."
"... He's a wild man, but at least he's upfront about it. I see her as being a narcissist that just hides it better than he does. She could get us all killed. ..."
"... While Trump is upfront (yikes, I know), I see Hillary as the secretive, conniving, manipulative, scheming, backstabbing type. When someone slights Trump, out comes his response right back at them. It's over. But I would not want to cross her. I see her as cold, with very, very little conscience. I mean, would you ever have tried to pull off the scandals she has been involved in? No. She seeks power and money, and look out if you ever got in her way. She never says she's sorry, not really. Most you get out of her is she made a "mistake". ..."
"... Her outright aggression towards Russia, Syria, Libya, Ukraine should give you a hint of what lurks inside. And she doesn't attack these countries to better the U.S. She's doing it solely for her own person gain: money into the Clinton Foundation, business for her speech-giving husband, all to further the Clinton's. ..."
"... IMO, a very dangerous person, a very dangerous couple. And she has said, if she's elected, she will put Bill Clinton in charge of "economic affairs"! Can you just imagine what more deregulation will do for the banks? He repealed Glass-Steagall and brought us the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, as well as NAFTA. Get ready to hear a "huge" sucking sound if Hillary is elected. The place will be gutted. ..."
"... Perhaps with a hateful, racist, despicable con man trying to tell them what to do, congress just might re-assert its authority instead of acting as a rubber stamp. Which is the LOTE – Trump antagonizing congress into gridlock or HRC manipulating them into moar war? ..."
"... It sounds like you're talking about HRC when you're talking about Trump. She coined the term "super predators" so they could enrich the private prison industry by filling the jails with black people, she has waged wars against brown people in the middle east for no particular reason except corporate profits and power, no respect for their theocracies or the delicate balance that "supposed" tyrants there accomplished that had enduring peace there (some may argue). Where has Trump exhibited such hatred and racism? His policies? What policies? No one that has worked for him ever described him as hateful, racist or despicable. Stop believing the propaganda on TV. ..."
"... You might think Obama doesn't like us, the 99%, but Hillary probably hates us. Pay attention, the most "effective evil" is the evil to fear. ..."
"... If it's not close in my state, I will vote 3rd party. If it is close, I'll vote for Clinton over Trump. There is a good interview with Chomsky on this on youtube which I'm too lazy to look up right now. ..."
"... "Hillary took the lead role in the White House's efforts to pass a corporate-friendly version of "health reform." Along with the big insurance companies the Clintons deceptively railed against, the "co-presidents" decided from the start to exclude the popular health care alternative – single payer – from the national health care "discussion." (Obama would do the same thing in 2009.) ..."
"... Beyond backing by a citizen super-majority, Himmelstein noted, single-payer would provide comprehensive coverage to the nation's 40 million uninsured while retaining free choice in doctor selection and being certified by the Congressional Budget Office as "the most cost-effective plan on offer." ..."
"... That whole article deals with the "fake liberalism" exhibited by the Clinton's and Obama. It says they only "pretend" to care. ..."
"... clinton is the more effective evil for another reason; she is respected by other neoliberals who rule the world in other countries. even if trump wanted to pass the TPP, TTIP and TISA, the intense dislike of him would make it easier to reject the bills in countries like Canada, Australia, the EU. A Hillary presidency would just about guarantee they'd sign. ..."
"... it's common knowledge that the current "rigged" system, as Donald Trump keeps calling it, has been instrumental in bringing American politics and government to their present state of dysfunction at local, state and national levels. Americans hate and despise this elitist system; everyone is disgusted with the political donor class whose billions of dollars underwrite the election-rigging televised attack ads that dominate it. ..."
"... At the Demo Convention Bernie Sanders neatly pinpointed the topics with which this bogus system is obsessed: "Let me be as clear as I can be. … This election is not about political gossip. It's not about polls. It's not about campaign strategy. It's not about fundraising. It's not about all the things the media spends so much time discussing." ..."
"... Do you see it as possible that empowered citizens will truly be willing to take on big capital, even when big capital goes to war on them? I'm skeptical ..."
"... The evil to fear is the most effective evil. Hillary IS both sides of the aisle and Congress will allow her all her neocon neoliberal desires, Trump is neither side of the aisle and would be ineffective because he doesn't belong to the neoliberal neocons, he's not an insider and obviously won't play their games. ..."
"... Oh heck yes. This is a fight that has been going on for decades with battles like the War Powers Act and Nixon's impeachment. Supposedly the Founding Fathers didn't want an all powerful chief executive and thought that Congress would be the dominant force. But in modern times, even before Clinton v Trump, we already had gone much too far in the direction of a caudillo. Internally one person with a bully pulpit will never be able to change the current course and overseas presidents have a frightening amount of power that they can wield and then dare Congress to do something about it afterwards. ..."
"... HRC has got the big corporate money behind her, the media too. Trump is fighting an uphill battle. If you watch CNN, which I watch very little of, they spend almost the whole time pulling apart what Trump has said, and very, very little press on Hillary's email, the Clinton Foundation, etc. ..."
"... They are going after Trump with all that they have. They want the status quo to remain, and they are very worried that he might change it. Hillary is Wall Street, multinational corporations, arms dealers, weapons manufacturers, the military-industrial complex ..."
"... "When you join the dots to Trump also preaching a policy revolt against the insatiable corporate jaws feeding on trillions of dollars of public budgets in Washington, the meaning becomes clear. But that connected meaning is blacked out. In its place, the corporate media and politicians present an egomaniac blowhard bordering on fascism who preaches hate, racism and sexism. ..."
"... He is on record saying he will cut the Pentagon's budget "by 50%". No winning politician has ever dared to take on the military-industrial complex, with even Eisenhower only naming it in his parting speech. ..."
"... Trump also says that the US "must be neutral, an honest broker" on the Israeli-Palestine conflict – as unspeakable as it gets in US politics ..."
"... Hillary and her team will try to paint Trump as a lover of Putin, as a racist, bigot, bring the narrative down to this only. This way, no one ends up talking about the corporate elites she represents. Good, read some more, crittermom, and open your eyes even more. There's a lot more going on than meets the eye. ..."
"... Recently I asked a wise person I know what historically follows an oligarchy (which is what I believe we have been in for awhile now). He told me that an oligarchy is usually followed by a dictatorship. ..."
"... A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy". ..."
"... How could Trump become a dictator? Congress will be hostile. Judiciary will be hostile. Pentagon will be hostile (didn't you see all those generals and admirals, in uniform, literally lining up behind Clinton?) Civil administration will be sullen, uncooperative, and leaking like crazy. ..."
"... Trump does not have his own freestanding parallel state organization, ready to move in and take over the bureaucracy and the armed forces. It would be physically impossible for Trump to attempt a mass purge. ..."
"... Just think: if you elect Trump, you would actually get to see the US Constitution's fabled "checks and balances" come into play for once in your life! ..."
"... How could Trump become a dictator? ..."
"... This is complete rhetorical garbage, the same kind of nonsense displayed when he is shock quoted and only the narrative supporting text is copied (such as the convenient omission that the fabled day in which Clinton could be assassinated would be "horrible"). It also fits well with the Democrats' habit of burying themselves instead of putting up a fight. ..."
"... While Trump is a buffoon who might lead us into bad situations as he stumbles around, Hillary Clinton displays an undeniable and proven malice aforethought that he does not. ..."
www.nakedcapitalism.com

... ... ...

PERIES: So Michael, in a recent article that you penned on your website, you argued that Hillary Clinton's campaign is using a very clever strategy in that it is trying to associate criticism of Clinton with support for Trump and therefore support for Russia, which in the end is anti-American . Now, this type of association game, which is supposed to make it difficult for Sanders supporters to criticize Clinton, what implication does this have on the overall politics in this country?

HUDSON: Well, it certainly changed things in earlier elections. The Republican convention was as is normal, all about their candidate Trump. But surprisingly, so was the Democratic convention. That was all about Trump too – as the devil. The platform Hillary's running on is "I'm not Trump. I'm the lesser evil."

She elaborates that by saying that Trump is Putin's ploy. When the Democratic National Committee (someone within it, or without) leaked the information to Wikileaks, the Democrats and Hillary asked, "Who benefits from this"? Ah-ha. Becaue Trump opposes the neocon line toward Russia, and because he criticizes NATO, Russia benefits. Therefore Putin must have stolen the leaks and put them out, to make America weaker, not stronger, by helping the Trump campaign by showing the DNC's dirty tricks toward Bernie's followers.

Then Assange did an Internet interview and implied that it was not a cyberwar attack but a leak – indicating that it came from an insider inn the DNC. If this is true, then the Democrats are simply trying to blame it all on Trump – diverting attention from what the leaks' actual content!

This is old-fashioned red baiting. I saw it 60 years ago when I was a teenager. I went to a high school where teachers used to turn in reports on what we said in class to the FBI every month. The State Department was emptied out of "realists" and staffed with Alan Dulles-type Cold Warriors. One couldn't talk about certain subjects. That is what red-baiting does. So the effect at the Democratic Convention was about Hillary trying to avoid taking about her own policies and herself. Except for what her husband said about "I met a girl" (not meaning Jennifer Flowers or Monica Lewinski.)

The red baiting succeeded, and the convention wasn't about Hillary – at least, not her economic policies. It was more about Obama. She tied herself to Obama, and next to Trump = Putin, the convention's second underlying theme was that Hillary was going to be Obama's third term. That's what Obama himself said when he came and addressed the convention.

The problem with this strategy is it's exactly the problem the Republicans faced in 2008, when voters turned against George Bush's administration. Voters wanted change. And they do today. Hillary did not say "I'm going to have hope and change from the last years of Obama." She said, in effect, "I'm not going to change anything. I'm going to continue Obama's policies that have made you all so prosperous." She talked about how employment is rising and everyone is better off.

Well, the problem is that many people aren't better off than the last eight years. Ten million families have lost their homes, and most peoples' budgets are being squeezed. Obama saved the banks not the economy. So Trump's line and the Republican line in this election could well be: "Are you really better off than you were eight years ago? Or, are you actually worse off? Where are all your gains? You're further in debt. You're having more difficulty meeting your paychecks, you're running up your student loans. You're really not better off and we're going to be the party of hope and change."

Hillary can't really counter that with the policies she has. Trump and the Republicans can say that even though she disavowed the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the trade agreement with Europe, all the Democratic representatives that voted for the TPP have won re-nomination, and it's still on the burner.

Most of all, Hillary is still the war candidate. Trump already has said, "Look at what she did to Libya." By displacing Libya, she turned its arms cache over to terrorist groups that have become ISIS, Al-Nusra, and the other terrorist in the Near East. So she's the Queen of Chaos. Finally, she's the candidate of Wall Street, given the fact even the Koch Brothers have said they're not going to back Trump, they're going to back Hillary because she's on their side. George Soros and most other big moguls and billionaires are now siding with the Democratic Party, not Trump.

What did Hilary actually say at the convention besides "I'm not Trump, Trump is worse." She's trying to make the whole election over her rival, not over herself.

PERIES: Okay, so everything you say about Hillary Clinton may be true, and it's more in your favor that it is true. She is a candidate of Wall Street and she is as you say, now being supported even by the neocons. They're holding fundraisers for her. And the Koch brothers and so on. So when we opened this interview we were talking about what the Bernie Sanders supporters should now do, because Trump is starting to appeal like he's the candidate of ordinary people. So what are they to do?

HUDSON: Well, if the election is between the most unpopular woman candidate in America and the most unpopular male candidate, the winner is going to be whoever can make the election fought over the other person. Trump will win if he can make the election all about Hillary, and Hillary will win if she can make the election all about Trump. It looks like she's able to do this, because Trump is even more narcissistic than she is.

backwardsevolution , August 10, 2016 at 5:37 am

EndOfTheWorld- totally agree with you. I just shake my head at Bernie. Diametrically opposed to Clinton, he suddenly turns around and embraces her! What? I will never understand that.

"America needs an ineffective president. That's much better than an effective president that's going to go to war with Russia, that's going to push for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, that's going to protect Wall Street, and that's going to oppose neoliberal austerity."

He's right too. I am absolutely terrified of Hillary Clinton becoming President. She strikes me as having psychopathic tendencies. I mean, just look at the scandals she and Bill have been involved in, and then when she gets caught, she lies, feigns ignorance, deflects, blames others, lies some more. Power and money are her goals.

She has called Putin "Hitler", said she wants to expand NATO, and again said she wants to take out Assad. Well, how is she going to do that when Russia is in there? God, she is scary. I just hope that there's a big Clinton Foundation email leak to finish her off.

Trump is out there, but at least he wants to try to negotiate peace (of course, if war wasn't making so many people rich, it would be stopped tomorrow). He's questioning why NATO is necessary, never mind its continual expansion, and he wants to stop the TPP.

God, I'd be happy with even one of the above. Hillary will give us TPP, more NATO, more war, and a cackle. Please, if anyone has some loose emails hanging around, now is the time!

Katniss Everdeen , August 10, 2016 at 7:30 am

I honestly don't think there's any way to predict what Donald Trump will do if elected. He's effectively a private citizen who, all of a sudden, will have access to every government secret and lie, and no culpability for any of it. It's almost impossible to imagine what that would be like.

And it's what makes him so "dangerous."

I'm sure he will quash TPP, renegotiate nafta and be less belligerent with Russia. But what will happen when he and his non-government-indoctrinated team of advisers finally see every bit of redacted and "confidential" information that has been routinely hidden from the public and lied about for decades?

The loss of sovereignty inherent in the "trade" agreements and incoherent Middle East policies, to name a few "strategies" this country is pursuing, have a larger purpose. We private citizens have just not been privy to it. How private citizen Trump will proceed if he is elected and comes to know the government's deepest, darkest secrets is anybody's guess.

PlutoniumKun , August 10, 2016 at 8:09 am

I think its a safe assumption that if Trump is elected he will be carefully 'minded' to ensure he can't gain access to information that would upset the applecart. I doubt he would be able to get much done as there would be an establishment consensus to keep him firmly under wraps. He would mostly busy himself with jetting around meeting foreign leaders and he might actually be quite productive at that.

jrs , August 10, 2016 at 2:02 pm

or he'll pass what he campaigns on which is standard Republican policy (sometimes) through an entirely Republican legislature duh. So tax cuts, cuts to regulation etc.. Really he's campaigning on these things and they CAN pass a Republican congress.

Michael Fiorillo , August 10, 2016 at 3:49 pm

Yes, if Donnie is elected, we'll see some form of a Regency; that's what Pence is there for. Donnie will be Clown Prince, while more traditionally evil Republican/DC technocrats "run" things. It would be a re-doing of the Reagan/Bush-Baker and Bush/Cheney dynamic, as seen on reality TV.

As for Donnie taking down TPP and being the peace candidate, I think people should sit down and take a few deep breaths. As a New Yorker who's observed him for his entire public life, and as a 90 second scanning of his career demonstrates, the man cannot be trusted to speak truthfully about anything. Does he lie exactly the way Hillary does? Of course not, she's the accomplished professional, while Donnie spins plates and tries to misdirect by finding someone to insult when they fall and shatter.

Vote for Hillary or not (I most likely won't, but can't predict much of anything in this all-bets-are-off opera buffa), but by believing anything Donnie says, you risk being the chump he already thinks you are.

oh , August 10, 2016 at 4:29 pm

You're right. He'll make a good court jester. That's about it. as for "the man cannot be trusted to speak truthfully about anything" reminds me of someone who gets on TeeVee and does that well. And he really didn't have any experience but he got himself good handlers and others who ran the country.

EoinW , August 10, 2016 at 8:28 am

Exactly right! Trump is dangerous…to the establishment. And the establishment is what we have to get rid of.

When was the last time a political candidate in any country was as hated by the establishment as Trump is? That's all you need to know. As flawed a character as Trump is, he still represents our last chance to challenge the establishment. It won't be a pretty presidency – but it will be entertaining – however the alternative is the ultimate horror show. Plus you are gambling that Clinton won't start a nuclear war and end the human race. Why would anyone in their right mind touch that wager?

Pat , August 10, 2016 at 10:32 am

It is unlikely that Trump will be able to deport more people than Obama's record breaking administration. Something, that for all her rhetoric, there is no reason to believe that Clinton will change. As for waging war, we have a whole lot of information that for all his massive drone wars and interventions in the Middle East, Obama actually ended up rejecting Clinton's continuous advice for more more more military intervention.

I agree with you that Trump is not likable, and an unknown. The problem is that the known is despicable. Neither, let me repeat, neither candidate should be anywhere near this close to the White House.

You have obviously chosen the despicable hateful war mongering devil you know. Others are willing to roll the dice with the guy who has incoherently at least given a nod to the idea that war with Russia is not a smart plan, and that our current military choices are not effective – not to mention a far more coherent case that our trade policy is screwed up and needs to be changed.

Once again, people are choosing from known despicable, unknown possibly lesser possibly greater despicable, and unlikely to win third parties or write ins – everyone can only do that for themselves.

MikeNY , August 10, 2016 at 10:53 am

That's fair.

backwardsevolution , August 10, 2016 at 12:43 pm

One New York reporter (sorry, I don't have the link) said that he has watched Trump his whole life and he said, though he could say many bad things about Trump, racism wasn't one of them. He said he had never in all his years of watching him known Trump to be racist in any way.

Trump wants to stop "illegal" immigration so that poor Americans can have jobs. Illegals lower wages (because American employers pay them less), they increase rents (supply and demand), and they cost a fortune in medical and educational costs. He's for "legal" immigration when the country needs more workers. I don't think that is being racist, although he doesn't have a very nice way of saying things.

Muslim immigration stopped until they can be properly vetted? That's just being prudent and careful, but again he could say things in a much kinder way.

He's a wild man, but at least he's upfront about it. I see her as being a narcissist that just hides it better than he does. She could get us all killed.

backwardsevolution , August 10, 2016 at 1:23 pm

While Trump is upfront (yikes, I know), I see Hillary as the secretive, conniving, manipulative, scheming, backstabbing type. When someone slights Trump, out comes his response right back at them. It's over. But I would not want to cross her. I see her as cold, with very, very little conscience. I mean, would you ever have tried to pull off the scandals she has been involved in? No. She seeks power and money, and look out if you ever got in her way. She never says she's sorry, not really. Most you get out of her is she made a "mistake".

Her outright aggression towards Russia, Syria, Libya, Ukraine should give you a hint of what lurks inside. And she doesn't attack these countries to better the U.S. She's doing it solely for her own person gain: money into the Clinton Foundation, business for her speech-giving husband, all to further the Clinton's.

IMO, a very dangerous person, a very dangerous couple. And she has said, if she's elected, she will put Bill Clinton in charge of "economic affairs"! Can you just imagine what more deregulation will do for the banks? He repealed Glass-Steagall and brought us the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, as well as NAFTA. Get ready to hear a "huge" sucking sound if Hillary is elected. The place will be gutted.

Lambert Strether , August 10, 2016 at 3:37 pm

Needs a link, especially on a key point like that!!

backwardsevolution , August 10, 2016 at 8:24 pm

Okay, I'm pretty sure I saw it at Counterpunch. I think I can probably find it. Thanks.

Michael Fiorillo , August 10, 2016 at 4:05 pm

That's preposterous about Donnie not being racist. When the Central Park Five (released from prison and compensated by the state for false impisonment) were arrested, Donnie took out full page ads for days in the NYC papers, all but calling for those (innocent) boy's lynching. He was raised in an explicitly racist milieu – his father arrested at a KKK tussle in Queens in the 1920's, and successfully sued by the Nixon DOJ for his discriminatory rental policies…) and has a long history of saying ignorant, absurd and racist things about "The Blacks."

shinola , August 10, 2016 at 10:56 am

"Clinton is awful, but that doesn't mean it's a better idea to elect a hateful, racist, despicable con man"

Perhaps with a hateful, racist, despicable con man trying to tell them what to do, congress just might re-assert its authority instead of acting as a rubber stamp. Which is the LOTE – Trump antagonizing congress into gridlock or HRC manipulating them into moar war?

TedWa , August 10, 2016 at 11:25 am

It sounds like you're talking about HRC when you're talking about Trump. She coined the term "super predators" so they could enrich the private prison industry by filling the jails with black people, she has waged wars against brown people in the middle east for no particular reason except corporate profits and power, no respect for their theocracies or the delicate balance that "supposed" tyrants there accomplished that had enduring peace there (some may argue). Where has Trump exhibited such hatred and racism? His policies? What policies? No one that has worked for him ever described him as hateful, racist or despicable. Stop believing the propaganda on TV.

Hatred and racism is exhibited in leaders by being a war monger and gutting this nation with the TPP and lousy trade deals that sell off our national sovereignty and democracy. You might think Obama doesn't like us, the 99%, but Hillary probably hates us. Pay attention, the most "effective evil" is the evil to fear.

MikeNY , August 10, 2016 at 12:03 pm

I am with Noam Chomsky on this. If it's not close in my state, I will vote 3rd party. If it is close, I'll vote for Clinton over Trump. There is a good interview with Chomsky on this on youtube which I'm too lazy to look up right now.

But as Pat said above, everyone must make up his or her own mind.

TedWa , August 10, 2016 at 12:21 pm

Of course my friend, you have to vote your conscience is the way I've always felt. You have to be able to live with your vote.

lyman alpha blob , August 10, 2016 at 1:47 pm

Has there ever been any evidence that this type of strategic voting has ever done any good whatsoever or ever had its intended result? Just speculation but I'm guessing that only a very few of the very politically astute would even bother. I say vote your conscience regardless and let the chips fall where they may.

Not the voters fault that this is the best the two major parties could come up with.

Tyler , August 10, 2016 at 9:35 am

Speaking of revolution, I emailed Chomsky yesterday and he replied. The below is my message to him.

Professor Chomsky,

In the last years of his life, Martin Luther King, Jr. organized the Poor People's Campaign, which essentially planned to occupy Capitol Hill. The campaign still happened after his death, but not enough people showed up for it to have a great impact.

I've begun to advocate what would essentially be a continuation of the Poor People's Campaign, but with a broader focus on the numerous crises facing humanity: climate change, poverty, illegal wars, etc.

Would you possibly be interested in providing rhetorical support for this action?

Thank you so much for your efforts to make a better world.

The below is Chomsky's reply.

It was a wonderful and very important initiative, cruelly undermined by his assassination. I hope you manage to revive it.

MikeNY , August 10, 2016 at 4:09 pm

Bravo! Chomsky and MLK are two of my heros, as I think they are for many here.

backwardsevolution , August 10, 2016 at 1:33 pm

Butch – "…she helped lead the fight for universal health care." Did she now? Here's a good quote on how she felt about universal health care:

"Hillary took the lead role in the White House's efforts to pass a corporate-friendly version of "health reform." Along with the big insurance companies the Clintons deceptively railed against, the "co-presidents" decided from the start to exclude the popular health care alternative – single payer – from the national health care "discussion." (Obama would do the same thing in 2009.)

"David, tell me something interesting." That was then First Lady Hillary Clinton's weary and exasperated response – as head of the White House's health reform initiative – to Harvard medical professor David Himmelstein in 1993. Himmelstein was head of Physicians for a National Health Program. He had just told her about the remarkable possibilities of a comprehensive, single-payer "Canadian style" health plan, supported by more than two-thirds of the U.S. public. Beyond backing by a citizen super-majority, Himmelstein noted, single-payer would provide comprehensive coverage to the nation's 40 million uninsured while retaining free choice in doctor selection and being certified by the Congressional Budget Office as "the most cost-effective plan on offer."

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/05/27/feel-the-hate/

That whole article deals with the "fake liberalism" exhibited by the Clinton's and Obama. It says they only "pretend" to care.

Perhaps Yves could highlight Hillary's disdain for single-payer healthcare on another post. Thanks.

Lambert Strether , August 10, 2016 at 3:35 pm

Hillary Clinton: Single-payer health care will "never, ever" happen CBS

vidimi , August 10, 2016 at 9:52 am

clinton is the more effective evil for another reason; she is respected by other neoliberals who rule the world in other countries. even if trump wanted to pass the TPP, TTIP and TISA, the intense dislike of him would make it easier to reject the bills in countries like Canada, Australia, the EU. A Hillary presidency would just about guarantee they'd sign.

Steve Sewall , August 10, 2016 at 11:08 am

I love Michael Hudson. But like everyone commenting here he is needlessly thinking inside the crumbling box of America's existing top-down, money-driven system of political discourse. So what is it that keeps us from thinking outside this godawful box? I think we're all so deeply and habitually embedded in the mode of being status quo critics that we're unable to enter the problem-solving mode of finding alternatives to it. But to make government work in America, we need to think in both modes.

So let's think outside the box for a minute. After all, it's common knowledge that the current "rigged" system, as Donald Trump keeps calling it, has been instrumental in bringing American politics and government to their present state of dysfunction at local, state and national levels. Americans hate and despise this elitist system; everyone is disgusted with the political donor class whose billions of dollars underwrite the election-rigging televised attack ads that dominate it.

At the Demo Convention Bernie Sanders neatly pinpointed the topics with which this bogus system is obsessed: "Let me be as clear as I can be. … This election is not about political gossip. It's not about polls. It's not about campaign strategy. It's not about fundraising. It's not about all the things the media spends so much time discussing." Yet like all presidential candidates this year Bernie didn't take the next, logical step: he didn't call for the creation of a new political discourse system. (Note that Hillary alone among the top three candidates never, ever has a bad word to say against the current system.)

OK, so what might a new system look like? First off, it would be non-partisan, issue-centered and deliberative. And citizen-participatory. It would make citizens and governments responsive and accountable to each other in shaping the best futures of their communities. That's its core principal.

More specifically, the format of a reality TV show like The Voice or American Idol could readily be adapted to create ongoing, prime-time, issue-centered searches for solutions to any and all of the issues of the day. And of course problem-solving Reality TV is just of any number of formats that could work for TV. Other media could develop formats tap their strengths and appeal to their audiences.

I'm from Chicago, so here's how it could take shape in the Windy City .

Thanks to the miracle of modern communications technologies, there's nothing to stop Americans from having a citizen-participatory system of political discourse that gives all Americans an informed voice in the political and government decisions that affect their lives. Americans will flock in drove to ongoing, rule-governed problem-solving public forums that earn the respect and trust of citizens and political leaders alike. When we create them, governments at local, state and national levels will start working again. If we don't, our politics will continue to sink deeper into the cesspool we're in now.

Left in Wisconsin , August 10, 2016 at 3:59 pm

Do you see it as possible that empowered citizens will truly be willing to take on big capital, even when big capital goes to war on them? I'm skeptical, unless there is a real socialist-ish movement out there educating and politicizing. In other words, while the political system is indeed broken, the economy is also broken and it is hard to see "empowered" citizens fixing the economy. What I think would happen is the politicians elected by these empowered citizens would be opposed by big business and the politicians they own, nothing good would get done, and there would be a business-financed media drumbeat that more democracy has been "proven" not to work.

I don't think our political problems can be solved simply be electing better politicians – though of course we do need better politicians.

TedWa , August 10, 2016 at 11:40 am

The evil to fear is the most effective evil. Hillary IS both sides of the aisle and Congress will allow her all her neocon neoliberal desires, Trump is neither side of the aisle and would be ineffective because he doesn't belong to the neoliberal neocons, he's not an insider and obviously won't play their games.

Roger Smith , August 10, 2016 at 1:28 pm

I have not had nearly the hardship you have had crittermom and I have not lived as long either, but at 27, and being someone who has been discontent with social structure since middle school, I have absolutely had enough. Genetics, environment, the combination of internal-external factors, whatever it was I have always had a very ("annoying" and sarcastic) curiousity or oppositional approach to things, especially things people do not question and accept as is (religion, government…).

Growing older has only led me to greater understanding of the pit we reside within and how we probably will not get out. This election season in particular has been ridiculously… indescribable. The utter incompetence of our selfish administrations is finally coming to a head and people are completely oblivious, pulling the same stale BS that we have seen every four years since before I was born.

Bernie totally blew it but, outside your hardship, don't ever think you effort was a waste. For once an honest candidate appeared who was backed by the policies we need and you supported that (as I did). That is the most we can do at this point. Bernie the man should absolutely be criticized because he wanted a "revolution" then sold out to the Junta instead of biting back when it would have really sent a message to the people and high rollers. He wasn't willing to sacrifice what was necessary to make a stand. Instead he sided with the people that have made careers sacrificing citizens like you–and that is terrible. The reality these people live in and teach to others is such a lie.

Roger Smith , August 10, 2016 at 1:40 pm

These circumstances constantly remind me of the closing passage from Robert A. Heinlein's All You Zombies" :

The Snake That Eats Its Own Tail, Forever and Ever. I know where I came from-but where did all you
zombies come from?

I felt a headache coming on, but a headache powder is one thing I do not take. I did once-and you all went away.

So I crawled into bed and whistled out the light.

You aren't really there at all. There isn't anybody but me-Jane-here alone in the dark.

I miss you dreadfully!

Carolinian , August 10, 2016 at 12:30 pm

America needs an ineffective president .

Oh heck yes. This is a fight that has been going on for decades with battles like the War Powers Act and Nixon's impeachment. Supposedly the Founding Fathers didn't want an all powerful chief executive and thought that Congress would be the dominant force. But in modern times, even before Clinton v Trump, we already had gone much too far in the direction of a caudillo. Internally one person with a bully pulpit will never be able to change the current course and overseas presidents have a frightening amount of power that they can wield and then dare Congress to do something about it afterwards.

So despite his potty mouth there's something to be said for Mr. Trump Goes to Washington. By the time he figures out how to be caudillo it may be time for another election.

backwardsevolution , August 10, 2016 at 9:07 pm

crittermom – HRC has got the big corporate money behind her, the media too. Trump is fighting an uphill battle. If you watch CNN, which I watch very little of, they spend almost the whole time pulling apart what Trump has said, and very, very little press on Hillary's email, the Clinton Foundation, etc.

They are going after Trump with all that they have. They want the status quo to remain, and they are very worried that he might change it. Hillary is Wall Street, multinational corporations, arms dealers, weapons manufacturers, the military-industrial complex. Who would have thought that the guy running for the right wants to keep jobs in America, wants to stop wars, and the one on the left is for the monied class! Right is left and left is right. Upside down world.

The following article is old now, from April, but it gives you an idea of "Why the Establishment Hates Trump" and what he is planning on doing. Watch them go after him; they will vilify him.

"When you join the dots to Trump also preaching a policy revolt against the insatiable corporate jaws feeding on trillions of dollars of public budgets in Washington, the meaning becomes clear. But that connected meaning is blacked out. In its place, the corporate media and politicians present an egomaniac blowhard bordering on fascism who preaches hate, racism and sexism.

But the silenced policies he advocates are more like jumping into a crocodile pit. He is on record saying he will cut the Pentagon's budget "by 50%". No winning politician has ever dared to take on the military-industrial complex, with even Eisenhower only naming it in his parting speech.

Trump also says that the US "must be neutral, an honest broker" on the Israeli-Palestine conflict – as unspeakable as it gets in US politics.

Big Pharma is also called out with "$400 billion to be saved by government negotiation of prices". The even more powerful HMO's are confronted by the possibility of a "one-payer system", the devil incarnate in America's corporate-welfare state."

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/04/05/why-the-establishment-hates-trump/

Hillary and her team will try to paint Trump as a lover of Putin, as a racist, bigot, bring the narrative down to this only. This way, no one ends up talking about the corporate elites she represents. Good, read some more, crittermom, and open your eyes even more. There's a lot more going on than meets the eye.

MLaRowe , August 10, 2016 at 10:53 pm

So I don't usually post here, just mostly read what other folks have to say.

Recently I asked a wise person I know what historically follows an oligarchy (which is what I believe we have been in for awhile now). He told me that an oligarchy is usually followed by a dictatorship.

So if that is the case is Trump going to take us into the land of dictatorship (which I believe is highly likely) or are any of us going to be able to tread water for a little longer with HRC (who I agree is ugh a non-choice but hopefully the lesser of the two evils).

Looking this up I found the concept of the Tytler Cycle. Interesting and scary. This is off wikipedia:

Two centuries ago, a somewhat obscure Scotsman named Tytler made this profound observation: "A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy".

Anyway can someone refute this for me so I can sleep tonight? Thanks, in advance.

flora , August 10, 2016 at 11:03 pm

Sounds a bit too deterministic.

Roland , August 11, 2016 at 4:51 am

@ MLaRowe

How could Trump become a dictator? Congress will be hostile. Judiciary will be hostile. Pentagon will be hostile (didn't you see all those generals and admirals, in uniform, literally lining up behind Clinton?) Civil administration will be sullen, uncooperative, and leaking like crazy.

Trump does not have his own freestanding parallel state organization, ready to move in and take over the bureaucracy and the armed forces. It would be physically impossible for Trump to attempt a mass purge.

So exactly how the hell would Trump impose his will on the American masses? Answer: No Way.

President Trump can only be a relatively weak president.

Just think: if you elect Trump, you would actually get to see the US Constitution's fabled "checks and balances" come into play for once in your life!

Roger Smith , August 11, 2016 at 10:48 am

How could Trump become a dictator?

Thank you! The same question I have been asking repeatedly throughout this charade. Everyone's favorite line is "Trump will be a dictator [be afriad]!" The obvious question… how ?!

How is Trump going to have the same or any more power within or over the system than any president before him?? What is a reasonable strategy with which he could upend and create domination over this system with? This is complete rhetorical garbage, the same kind of nonsense displayed when he is shock quoted and only the narrative supporting text is copied (such as the convenient omission that the fabled day in which Clinton could be assassinated would be "horrible"). It also fits well with the Democrats' habit of burying themselves instead of putting up a fight.

Roger Smith , August 11, 2016 at 10:42 am

I have felt for a long time but have struggled to put into words the deep, strong aversion I have towards Clinton (et al.)and that I feel any time I read about her or see her. There is a phrase in the song Art War , by the Knack, that caught my ear; what I originally heard as, "malice of forethought". To me this represents the idea that terrible, harmful, far-reaching, incompetent decisions are made completely on purpose. After doing some research I discovered that the phrase is actually "malice aforethought", related to murderous intent in legal definitions. A second, more appropriate definition here is "a general evil and depraved state of mind in which the person is unconcerned for the lives of others". This represents my internal shuddering exactly – a sort of willful, deadly incompetence.

While Trump is a buffoon who might lead us into bad situations as he stumbles around, Hillary Clinton displays an undeniable and proven malice aforethought that he does not.

[Aug 11, 2016] Breedlove Network Sought Weapons Deliveries for Ukraine

High level military commanders are more politicians then commanders. And if they belong to neocons this is a dangerous and potentially explosive combination. Especially if State Department is fully aligned with Pentagon, like happened under Secretary Clinton tenure.
Notable quotes:
"... He had exaggerated Russian activities in eastern Ukraine with the overt goal of delivering weapons to Kiev. ..."
"... "I think POTUS sees us as a threat that must be minimized,... ie do not get me into a war????" Breedlove wrote in one email, using the acronym for the president of the United States. How could Obama be persuaded to be more "engaged" in the conflict in Ukraine -- read: deliver weapons -- Breedlove had asked former Secretary of State Colin Powell. ..."
"... Breedlove sought counsel from some very prominent people, his emails show. Among them were Wesley Clark, Breedlove's predecessor at NATO, Victoria Nuland, the assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs at the State Department, and Geoffrey Pyatt, the US ambassador to Kiev. ..."
"... One name that kept popping up was Phillip Karber, an adjunct assistant professor at Georgetown University in Washington DC and president of the Potomac Foundation, a conservative think tank founded by the former defense contractor BDM. By its own account, the foundation has helped eastern European countries prepare their accession into NATO. Now the Ukrainian parliament and the government in Kiev were asking Karber for help. ..."
"... According to the email, Pakistan had offered, "under the table," to sell Ukraine 500 portable TOW-II launchers and 8,000 TOW-II missiles. The deliveries could begin within two weeks. Even the Poles were willing to start sending "well maintained T-72 tanks, plus several hundred SP 122mm guns, and SP-122 howitzers (along with copious amounts of artillery ammunition for both)" that they had leftover from the Soviet era. The sales would likely go unnoticed, Karber said, because Poland's old weapons were "virtually undistinguishable from those of Ukraine." ..."
"... Karber noted, however, that Pakistan and Poland would not make any deliveries without informal US approval. Furthermore, Warsaw would only be willing to help if its deliveries to Kiev were replaced with new, state-of-the-art weapons from NATO. Karber concluded his letter with a warning: "Time has run out." Without immediate assistance, the Ukrainian army "could face prospect of collapse within 30 days." ..."
"... In March, Karber traveled again to Warsaw in order to, as he told Breedlove, consult with leading members of the ruling party, on the need to "quietly supply arty ( eds: artillery ) and antitank munitions to Ukraine." ..."
"... In an email to Breedlove, Clark described defense expert Karber as "brilliant." After a first visit, Breedlove indicated he had also been impressed. "GREAT visit," he wrote. Karber, an extremely enterprising man, appeared at first glance to be a valuable informant because he often -- at least a dozen times by his own account -- traveled to the front and spoke with Ukrainian commanders. The US embassy in Kiev also relied on Karber for information because it lacked its own sources. "We're largely blind," the embassy's defense attaché wrote in an email. ..."
"... At times, Karber's missives read like prose. In one, he wrote about the 2014 Christmas celebrations he had spent together with Dnipro-1, the ultranationalist volunteer battalion. "The toasts and vodka flow, the women sing the Ukrainian national anthem -- no one has a dry eye." ..."
"... Karber had only good things to report about the unit, which had already been discredited as a private oligarch army. He wrote that the staff and volunteers were dominated by middle class people and that there was a large professional staff that was even "working on the holiday." Breedlove responded that these insights were "quietly finding their way into the right places." ..."
"... In fact, Karber is a highly controversial figure. During the 1980s, the longtime BDM employee, was counted among the fiercest Cold War hawks. Back in 1985, he warned of an impending Soviet attack on the basis of documents he had translated incorrectly. ..."
"... He also blundered during the Ukraine crisis after sending photos to US Senator James Inhofe, claiming to show Russian units in Ukraine. Inhofe released the photos publicly, but it quickly emerged that one had originated from the 2008 war in Georgia. ..."
"... The reasons that Breedlove continued to rely on Karber despite such false reports remain unclear. Was he willing to pay any price for weapons deliveries? Or did he have other motives? The emails illustrate the degree to which Breedlove and his fellow campaigners feared that Congress might reduce the number of US troops in Europe. ..."
"... General Breedlove's departure from his NATO post in May has done little to placate anyone in the German government. After all, the man Breedlove regarded as an obstacle, President Obama, is nearing the end of his second term. His possible successor, the Democrat Hillary Clinton, is considered a hardliner vis-a-vis Russia. ..."
"... What's more: Nuland, a diplomat who shares many of the same views as Breedlove, could move into an even more important role after the November election -- she's considered a potential candidate for secretary of state. ..."
"... The now famous and appropriate quote from President Eisenhower: ..."
"... In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. ..."
"... The idea of NATO as a defence organisation, following the 2nd World War was quite rational. The history of this organisation however, has shown, how a well meant intention can be misused to force through policies, which have nothing to do with the original purpose. Currently it would appear to have no other role, than to provide high ranking army officers with well paid employment, which can only be justified by way of international conflicts. In the absence of conflict, NATO would have no other cause for existence. ..."
"... The Cold War continues, only the enemy is not the Soviet Union but Russia. Ever since the war against Napoleon Russia has emerged as a threat to certain European interests, at first liberal and nationalist interests. After the Bolshevik Revolution the enemy was still Russia, now revitalized with extreme Bolshevik ideology. Hitler used this effectively to target liberals, leftists and especially Jews. ..."
"... After the fall of Communism nothing has really changed. The West is still urged to resist the Russian threat, a threat invented by Polish, Baltic, and Ukrainian nationalists and perhaps Fascists. Donald Trump alone seems impervious to this propaganda. Let's at least give him credit in this case, if not in many others. NATO has become a permanent anti-Russian phony alliance, financed by America. ..."
"... These people are hell-bent to bring the world to the brink of war, with lies and excuses about fear of Russian attacks. So Poland was willing to step into the conflict with Ukraine and deliver lethal armament? All the while afraid of Russia invading it? ..."
"... Philip Breedlove is a war monger and should be fired from his position. The efforts of the group around him seeking to secure weapons for the Ukraine to intensify the conflict must have happened with Breedlove's knowledge and support. If not, then he is not capable to meet the demands of his job and should be dismissed for incompetence. Either way, this guy is unacceptable. ..."
"... Ms. Nuland is the same us official recorded by Russian intelligence trying to manipulate events in Ukraine before the overthrow of the president and all the tragic events that followed. That she is still working for US state dept. is puzzling to say the least. ..."
"... Very simple, he is attempting to INVENT a NEW ROLE for NATO, as it is well known in the domain of sociology: any organization strives for survival, especially when it becomes OBSOLETE. ..."
"... nato Breedhate? ..."
"... SPON was always parotting him. And SPON member Benjamin Bidder and many other SPON guys were foaming at the mouth with war rhetoric all the time in 2014-15. Shame on those fools. Finally, with this contribution you are approaching your real job. And this is to distribute information instead of propaganda. ..."
SPIEGEL ONLINE (SPON)
The newly leaked emails reveal a clandestine network of Western agitators around the NATO military chief, whose presence fueled the conflict in Ukraine. Many allies found in Breedlove's alarmist public statements about alleged large Russian troop movements cause for concern early on. Earlier this year, the general was assuring the world that US European Command was "deterring Russia now and preparing to fight and win if necessary."

The emails document for the first time the questionable sources from whom Breedlove was getting his information. He had exaggerated Russian activities in eastern Ukraine with the overt goal of delivering weapons to Kiev.

The general and his likeminded colleagues perceived US President Barack Obama, the commander-in-chief of all American forces, as well as German Chancellor Angela Merkel as obstacles. Obama and Merkel were being "politically naive & counter-productive" in their calls for de-escalation, according to Phillip Karber, a central figure in Breedlove's network who was feeding information from Ukraine to the general.

"I think POTUS sees us as a threat that must be minimized,... ie do not get me into a war????" Breedlove wrote in one email, using the acronym for the president of the United States. How could Obama be persuaded to be more "engaged" in the conflict in Ukraine -- read: deliver weapons -- Breedlove had asked former Secretary of State Colin Powell.

Breedlove sought counsel from some very prominent people, his emails show. Among them were Wesley Clark, Breedlove's predecessor at NATO, Victoria Nuland, the assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs at the State Department, and Geoffrey Pyatt, the US ambassador to Kiev.

One name that kept popping up was Phillip Karber, an adjunct assistant professor at Georgetown University in Washington DC and president of the Potomac Foundation, a conservative think tank founded by the former defense contractor BDM. By its own account, the foundation has helped eastern European countries prepare their accession into NATO. Now the Ukrainian parliament and the government in Kiev were asking Karber for help.

Surreptitious Channels

On February 16, 2015, when the Ukraine crisis had reached its climax, Karber wrote an email to Breedlove, Clark, Pyatt and Rose Gottemoeller, the under secretary for arms control and international security at the State Department, who will be moving to Brussels this fall to take up the post of deputy secretary general of NATO. Karber was in Warsaw, and he said he had found surreptitious channels to get weapons to Ukraine -- without the US being directly involved.

According to the email, Pakistan had offered, "under the table," to sell Ukraine 500 portable TOW-II launchers and 8,000 TOW-II missiles. The deliveries could begin within two weeks. Even the Poles were willing to start sending "well maintained T-72 tanks, plus several hundred SP 122mm guns, and SP-122 howitzers (along with copious amounts of artillery ammunition for both)" that they had leftover from the Soviet era. The sales would likely go unnoticed, Karber said, because Poland's old weapons were "virtually undistinguishable from those of Ukraine."

       A destroyed airport building in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk        : Thousands were killed in fighting during the Ukraine conflict.      Zoom AFP

A destroyed airport building in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk : Thousands were killed in fighting during the Ukraine conflict.

Karber noted, however, that Pakistan and Poland would not make any deliveries without informal US approval. Furthermore, Warsaw would only be willing to help if its deliveries to Kiev were replaced with new, state-of-the-art weapons from NATO. Karber concluded his letter with a warning: "Time has run out." Without immediate assistance, the Ukrainian army "could face prospect of collapse within 30 days."

"Stark," Breedlove replied. "I may share some of this but will thoroughly wipe the fingerprints off."

In March, Karber traveled again to Warsaw in order to, as he told Breedlove, consult with leading members of the ruling party, on the need to "quietly supply arty ( eds: artillery ) and antitank munitions to Ukraine."

Much to the irritation of Breedlove, Clark and Karber, nothing happened. Those responsible were quickly identified. The National Security Council, Obama's circle of advisors, were "slowing things down," Karber complained. Clark pointed his finger directly at the White House, writing, "Our problem is higher than State," a reference to the State Department.

... ... ...

'The Front Is Now Everywhere'

Karber's emails constantly made it sound as though the apocalypse was only a few weeks away. "The front is now everywhere," he told Breedlove in an email at the beginning of 2015, adding that Russian agents and their proxies "have begun launching a series of terrorist attacks, assassinations, kidnappings and infrastructure bombings," in an effort to destabilize Kiev and other Ukrainian cities.

In an email to Breedlove, Clark described defense expert Karber as "brilliant." After a first visit, Breedlove indicated he had also been impressed. "GREAT visit," he wrote. Karber, an extremely enterprising man, appeared at first glance to be a valuable informant because he often -- at least a dozen times by his own account -- traveled to the front and spoke with Ukrainian commanders. The US embassy in Kiev also relied on Karber for information because it lacked its own sources. "We're largely blind," the embassy's defense attaché wrote in an email.

At times, Karber's missives read like prose. In one, he wrote about the 2014 Christmas celebrations he had spent together with Dnipro-1, the ultranationalist volunteer battalion. "The toasts and vodka flow, the women sing the Ukrainian national anthem -- no one has a dry eye."

Karber had only good things to report about the unit, which had already been discredited as a private oligarch army. He wrote that the staff and volunteers were dominated by middle class people and that there was a large professional staff that was even "working on the holiday." Breedlove responded that these insights were "quietly finding their way into the right places."

Highly Controversial Figure

In fact, Karber is a highly controversial figure. During the 1980s, the longtime BDM employee, was counted among the fiercest Cold War hawks. Back in 1985, he warned of an impending Soviet attack on the basis of documents he had translated incorrectly.

He also blundered during the Ukraine crisis after sending photos to US Senator James Inhofe, claiming to show Russian units in Ukraine. Inhofe released the photos publicly, but it quickly emerged that one had originated from the 2008 war in Georgia.

By November 10, 2014, at the latest, Breedlove must have recognized that his informant was on thin ice. That's when Karber reported that the separatists were boasting they had a tactical nuclear warhead for the 2S4 mortar. Karber himself described the news as "weird," but also added that "there is a lot of 'crazy' things going on" in Ukraine.

The reasons that Breedlove continued to rely on Karber despite such false reports remain unclear. Was he willing to pay any price for weapons deliveries? Or did he have other motives? The emails illustrate the degree to which Breedlove and his fellow campaigners feared that Congress might reduce the number of US troops in Europe.

Karber confirmed the authenticity of the leaked email correspondence. Regarding the questions about the accuracy of his reports, he told SPIEGEL that, "like any information derived from direct observation at the front during the 'fog of war,' it is partial, time sensitive, and perceived through a personal perspective." Looking back with the advantage of hindsight and a more comprehensive perspective, "I believe that I was right more than wrong," Karber writes, "but certainly not perfect." He adds that, "in 170 days at the front, I never once met a German military or official directly observing the conflict."

Great Interest in Berlin

Breedlove's leaked email correspondences were read in Berlin with great interest. A year ago, word of the NATO commander's "dangerous propaganda" was circulating around Merkel's Chancellery. In light of the new information, officials felt vindicated in their assessment. Germany's Federal Foreign Office has expressed similar sentiment, saying that fortunately "influential voices had continuously advocated against the delivery of 'lethal weapons.'"

Karber says he finds it "obscene that the most effective sanction of this war is not the economic limits placed on Russia, but the virtual complete embargo of all lethal aid to the victim. I find this to be the height of sophistry -- if a woman is being attacked by a group of hooligans and yells out to the crowd or passersby, 'Give me a can of mace,' is it better to not supply it because the attackers could have a knife and passively watch her get raped?"

General Breedlove's departure from his NATO post in May has done little to placate anyone in the German government. After all, the man Breedlove regarded as an obstacle, President Obama, is nearing the end of his second term. His possible successor, the Democrat Hillary Clinton, is considered a hardliner vis-a-vis Russia.

What's more: Nuland, a diplomat who shares many of the same views as Breedlove, could move into an even more important role after the November election -- she's considered a potential candidate for secretary of state.

bubasan 07/28/2016

Upon reading this article, I am reminded of Dwight D Eisenhowers Farewell speech to the American Public on January 17, 1961. So long as we continue the PC mentality of NOT Teaching History, as it really was, we are going to repeat past mistake's. The now famous and appropriate quote from President Eisenhower:

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.

Inglenda2 07/28/2016

The idea of NATO as a defence organisation, following the 2nd World War was quite rational. The history of this organisation however, has shown, how a well meant intention can be misused to force through policies, which have nothing to do with the original purpose. Currently it would appear to have no other role, than to provide high ranking army officers with well paid employment, which can only be justified by way of international conflicts. In the absence of conflict, NATO would have no other cause for existence.

PeterCT 07/28/2016

Why is Breedlove so fat? He is setting a bad example to his troops. Show all comments

turnipseed 07/29/2016

The Cold War continues, only the enemy is not the Soviet Union but Russia. Ever since the war against Napoleon Russia has emerged as a threat to certain European interests, at first liberal and nationalist interests. After the Bolshevik Revolution the enemy was still Russia, now revitalized with extreme Bolshevik ideology. Hitler used this effectively to target liberals, leftists and especially Jews.

After the fall of Communism nothing has really changed. The West is still urged to resist the Russian threat, a threat invented by Polish, Baltic, and Ukrainian nationalists and perhaps Fascists. Donald Trump alone seems impervious to this propaganda. Let's at least give him credit in this case, if not in many others. NATO has become a permanent anti-Russian phony alliance, financed by America.

90-grad 07/31/2016

Quite detailed article. Not being published in the german website. How to describe these people, basically just trying to ignite bigger conflicts, or even war. Hardliner, hawks, to me not strong enough. These are criminals of war, and they should be named accordingly. These are exactly the kind of persons, who helped Bush to invade Irak, basing on false informations to the public. And their peace endangering activities help politicians like H.Clinton to keep the peoble in fear, solely to their own benefit. Disgusting!

huguenot1566 07/31/2016

Extremely disturbing

I don't even know here to begin. Breedlove, Karber, Clark all Americans, seemingly on their own without Obama's permission, trying to exaggerate or fabricate evidence in order to start a war with Russia and the danger to the world is profoundly terrifying (Iraq 2003). The US Embassy in Ukraine saying they were in the dark and therefore relying on information from a college professor, Karber, who still thinks we're in the Cold War along with Clark who was retired & meddling in an unofficial capacity as far as the story implies tells me they should be brought up on charges. And Breedlove is supposed to follow orders not make up his own policy & then try & manufacture evidence supporting that policy to start war. If the US Embassy in Ukraine says they were in the dark then clearly they were fishing for info to proactively involve themselves in another nation & region's personal business. Congress & the U.S. military should investigate as these actions violate the U.S. Constitution. Thankfully, Germany and NATO is able to say no. It tells Americans that something isn't right on their end of this.

verbatim128 07/31/2016

Look who was crying wolf!

These people are hell-bent to bring the world to the brink of war, with lies and excuses about fear of Russian attacks. So Poland was willing to step into the conflict with Ukraine and deliver lethal armament? All the while afraid of Russia invading it? We, public opinion and most Western peace-loving folk, are played like a fiddle to step into the fray to "protect" and further some age-old ethnic and nationalistic rivalries. Time to put an end to this.

gerhard38 08/01/2016

Fucking war monger

Philip Breedlove is a war monger and should be fired from his position. The efforts of the group around him seeking to secure weapons for the Ukraine to intensify the conflict must have happened with Breedlove's knowledge and support. If not, then he is not capable to meet the demands of his job and should be dismissed for incompetence. Either way, this guy is unacceptable.

aegiov 08/01/2016

Ms. Nuland is the same us official recorded by Russian intelligence trying to manipulate events in Ukraine before the overthrow of the president and all the tragic events that followed. That she is still working for US state dept. is puzzling to say the least. good reporting. thank you.

titus_norberto 08/02/2016

The Front Is Now Everywhere, indeed...

Quote: 'The Front Is Now Everywhere', yes indeed, we can go back to the Wilson administration, he invented the League of Nations and his nation did not even joined.

There is a folly in American presidents, they believe they can solve worlds problems, especially in the Middle East, with two invariable results:

1- utter failure plus CHAOS; and

2- utter disregard for DOMESTIC GOVERNANCE.

Now, the fact that the front is NOW 2016 everywhere is the result of failure one. Donald Trump is the result of failure two. There is another aspect to consider, what is General Breedlove doing ? Very simple, he is attempting to INVENT a NEW ROLE for NATO, as it is well known in the domain of sociology: any organization strives for survival, especially when it becomes OBSOLETE.

vsepr1975 08/03/2016

nato Breedhate?

w.schuler 08/09/2016

Fat Bredlove is a war monger

This is true and it was obvious from the very beginning. But SPON was always parotting him. And SPON member Benjamin Bidder and many other SPON guys were foaming at the mouth with war rhetoric all the time in 2014-15. Shame on those fools. Finally, with this contribution you are approaching your real job. And this is to distribute information instead of propaganda.

[Aug 11, 2016] Is Trump Wrecking Both Parties - The New York Times

Amazing: neoliberalism -- the social system under which everybody in the USA lives is not mentioned onece. This looks like Politburo in the USSR prohibit mentioning communism by name. Clinton health problems, reckless gingoism and neocon domonance in forigh policy also are not discussed. As oif they do not exist. The fact that Demorats lost owrking class was by design as Clinton sold the party to Wall Streeet, counting that blue color workers has nowhere to go. Which was rthe case until 2016 election (actually the king of bait-and-switch Obama striggled in 2012 and if Republican have has better candidate he would be a toast). Betraysl of New Deal hangs like a curse of neoliberal Democtatic Party. Those sucher need to pay for the betrayls and it might that time has come. .
Notable quotes:
"... In case you weren't convinced Democrats are becoming the cosmopolitan elite party. ..."
"... They abdicated too easily to market fundamentalism and bought in to its central tenets. Worse still, they led the hyper-globalization movement at crucial junctures. The enthroning of free capital mobility – especially of the short-term kind – as a policy norm by the European Union, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the IMF was arguably the most fateful decision for the global economy in recent decades. ..."
"... Instead of serving as the political arm of working and middle class voters seeking to move up the ladder, the Democratic Party faces the prospect of becoming the party of the winners, in collaboration with many of those in the top 20 percent who are determined to protect and secure their economic and social status. ..."
"... increasingly disconnected from working-class America. I mean that in a very specific sense. Our residences are increasingly segregated by class. Our schools are increasingly segregated by class. Our extended families are increasingly separated by class. ..."
"... working-class whites, based in the South and West and suburbs and exurbs everywhere. They will favor universal, contributory social insurance systems that benefit them and their families and reward work effort - programs like Social Security and Medicare. ..."
www.nytimes.com

... ... ...

On Aug. 7, Lee Drutman, a senior fellow at New America, a center-left Washington think tank, posted some of the findings from an Aug. 1 CNN survey on Twitter with a succinct comment:

In case you weren't convinced Democrats are becoming the cosmopolitan elite party.

... ... ...

"The voice of the left - especially the old social democratic left - has lost force in recent years," Ian Buruma, a professor of democracy, human rights, and journalism at Bard College, wrote me in an email.

This is partly because leftwing parties since the 1960s began to switch their attention from working class struggle to identity politics.

There is, Buruma went on,

a common anxiety about the effects of globalism, multinational corporate power, immigration. More and more people feel unrepresented. When they complained about immigration or the bewildering changes effected by a global economy, such people were too easily dismissed as racists and bigots. Now they blame the "liberal elites" for all their anxieties.

Dani Rodrik, a professor of international political economy at Harvard, is even harsher in his critique of contemporary liberalism. "Economists and technocrats on the left bear a large part of the blame," Rodrik writes, in an essay, " The Abdication of the Left ," published in July by Project Syndicate.

Rodrik does not let up:

They abdicated too easily to market fundamentalism and bought in to its central tenets. Worse still, they led the hyper-globalization movement at crucial junctures. The enthroning of free capital mobility – especially of the short-term kind – as a policy norm by the European Union, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the IMF was arguably the most fateful decision for the global economy in recent decades.

Left policy makers and analysts, Rodrik writes, face

the paradox that earlier waves of reforms from the left – Keynesianism, social democracy, the welfare state – both saved capitalism from itself and effectively rendered themselves superfluous.

If [neo]liberal public policy intellectuals are unable develop "a clear program to refashion capitalism and globalization for the twenty-first century," Rodrik warns, "the field will be left wide open for populists and far-right groups who will lead the world – as they always have – to deeper division and more frequent conflict."

If current trends continue, not only will there be a class inversion among the white supporters of the Democratic Party , but the party will become increasingly dependent on a white upper middle class that has isolated itself from the rest of American society.

Instead of serving as the political arm of working and middle class voters seeking to move up the ladder, the Democratic Party faces the prospect of becoming the party of the winners, in collaboration with many of those in the top 20 percent who are determined to protect and secure their economic and social status.

In an interview published by Vox.com on Aug. 8, Robert Putnam, a professor of public policy at Harvard, described the consequences of the emergence of "liberal cosmopolitans, really the upper and middle class of America," who are

increasingly disconnected from working-class America. I mean that in a very specific sense. Our residences are increasingly segregated by class. Our schools are increasingly segregated by class. Our extended families are increasingly separated by class.

Writing in Politico magazine in May , Michael Lind, also a fellow at New America, argues that this cultural conflict created the political environment that made the Trump phenomenon possible in the first place:

Most culture-war conflicts involve sexuality, gender, or reproduction. Social issues spurred a partisan realignment by changing who considered themselves Democrats and Republicans. Over decades, socially conservative working-class whites migrated from the Democratic Party to join the Republican Party, especially in the South. Socially moderate Republicans, especially on the East Coast, shifted to the Democratic coalition.

The result, in Lind's view, is an emerging Republican Party dominated by

working-class whites, based in the South and West and suburbs and exurbs everywhere. They will favor universal, contributory social insurance systems that benefit them and their families and reward work effort - programs like Social Security and Medicare. But they will tend to oppose means-tested programs for the poor whose benefits they and their families cannot enjoy.

This shift, Lind points out, will powerfully alter the Democratic coalition, too. The Democrats will become

even more of an alliance of upscale, progressive whites with blacks and Latinos, based in large and diverse cities. They will think of the U.S. as a version of their multicultural coalition of distinct racial and ethnic identity groups writ large. Many younger progressives will take it for granted that moral people are citizens of the world, equating nationalism and patriotism with racism and fascism.

From this vantage point, Trump and the pro-social insurance populist right that has emerged in much of Europe are as much the result of the vacuum created by traditional liberal political parties as they are a function of the neglect of working class interests by conservatives.

  • Matthew Carnicelli is a trusted commenter Brooklyn, New York 5 hours ago

    Tom, I keep reading these elite analyses of the political restructuring that the Drumpf campaign is allegedly ushering in - and yet fail to see where the actual institutional support for these policies will come from within the Republican Party.

    Paul Ryan is still talking down Social Security and Medicare, and he is considered the GOP's intellectual leader. Drumpf was recently quoted as agreeing with Ryan's critique of Social Security.

    The conservative think tanks like AEI and Heritage still have Social Security and Medicare within their crosshairs - and are still peddling the same old supply side snake oil, as is Drumpf with his tax plan. And Drumpf's plan can only be paid for by savage cuts in every other area of the Federal budget.

    The problem with this entire argument is that Drumpf believes in nothing but "winning" - and will say absolutely anything to win, anything at all, even if it has a snowball's chance of hell of finding support with the Republican Party.

    If Drumpf managed to win the Presidency, his single term (and he would only get one) would either be the mother of all political train wrecks - or a complete and utter repudiation of everything he ran on as a candidate, aside from the racism, xenophobia, and collective insanity that has overtaken the right.

    As a person far more comfortable parsing zeitgeist, let me suggest that it's a terrible idea to draw conclusions while in the middle of a wave that you've yet to even identify.

    HDNY is a trusted commenter New York, N.Y. 3 hours ago

    The Times has reverted to its previous position of pretending that Bernie Sanders and his millions of supporters don't exist. This article pretends all Democrats are willful Clinton supporters and that Republicans are forced between choosing Donald Trump's Republican Party or Hillary Clinton's Democratic Party.

    The Times' editors' refusal to give credibility to the Sanders campaign actually shows their complicity in making the Democratic Party more elitist, more corporate and Wall St. oriented, and less involved with the needs of the poor and lower middle classes. Now they are bequeathing that emphasis to Trump, still refusing to acknowledge the impact of the Sanders campaign and its supporters.

    What's even odder is that the article points out the Republican 'Reformocons', a group that made a far less significant impact on this election than did Bernie Sanders.

    The good points made in this article are lost by painting the American political scene with such a broad brush. The Times needs to pay more attention to what's really happening in this country.

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  • Paul Wortman East Setauket, NY 2 hours ago

    "A pox on both their houses." What we have seen over the past 30 years is the end of the social balance between Big Business, Big Government and Big Labor. Today it we have one force--that of the corporate goliaths--in control of government through their funding of politicians who have worked to eliminate labor as a force. If their is one critique on the Bernie Sanders left and the Donald Trump right, it's been the almost total disenfranchisement of working Americans. While the focus is on trade agreement written in secret by corporations, it needs to focus of workers who can bargain collectively to ensure they share in their productivity gains and whose rights are protected from the "race-to-the-bottom" trade agreements. Both political parties have failed here and neither the new Trump right nor the Sanders left have put forward a real pro-worker, pro-Big Labor agenda. If workers are left behind, as we've seen in the rise of communism in the past, we have immense social unrest. And, until we remove the corporate choke-hold on Big Government by getting money out of politics, we will continue to move away from the balance of social forces essential to a viable democracy toward an oligarchy either by an autocratic Trump or a Wall Street corporate Clinton.

  • !--
  • [] /* nyt-a: af3b7ff59cdf0dc56a854b483a262268 */var NYTD=NYTD||{};NYTD.Abra=function(t,n,e){"use strict";function o(e,o){var u=n[e]||{};u[1]?r("ab-expose",e,u[0],o):o&&t.setTimeout(function(){o(null)},0)}function u(t){var e=n[t]||{};return e[0]||null}function r(n,e,o,u){f+="subject="+n+"&test="+encodeURIComponent(e)+"&variant="+encodeURIComponent(o||0)+"&instant=1&skipAugment=true\n",u&&p.push(u),c||(c=t.setTimeout(a,0))}function a(){var n=new t.XMLHttpRequest,o=p;n.withCredentials=!0,n.open("POST",e),n.onreadystatechange=function(){var t,e;if(4==n.readyState)for(t=200==n.status?null:new Error(n.statusText);e=o.shift();)e(t)},n.send(f),f="",p=[],c=null}var s,i,c,l=[],f="",p=[];for(s in n)i=n[s],i[0]&&l.push(s+"="+i[0]),i[1]&&r("ab-alloc",s,i[0]);return l.length&&t.document.documentElement.setAttribute("data-nyt-ab",l.join(" ")),u.reportExposure=o,u}(this,{"www-article-sample":["1a",1],"EC_SampleTest":["variantB"]},"//et.nytimes.com"); var require = { baseUrl: 'https://a1.nyt.com/assets/', waitSeconds: 20, paths: { 'foundation': 'article/20160804-120751/js/foundation', 'shared': 'article/20160804-120751/js/shared', 'article': 'article/20160804-120751/js/article', 'application': 'article/20160804-120751/js/article/story', 'videoFactory': 'https://static01.nyt.com/js2/build/video/2.0/videofactoryrequire', 'videoPlaylist': 'https://static01.nyt.com/js2/build/video/players/extended/2.0/appRequire', 'auth/mtr': 'https://static01.nyt.com/js/mtr', 'auth/growl': 'https://static01.nyt.com/js/auth/growl/default', 'vhs': 'https://static01.nyt.com/video/vhs/build/vhs-2.x.min' }, map: { '*': { 'story/main': 'article/story/main' } } }; !-- require.map['*']['foundation/main'] = 'foundation/legacy_main'; window.magnum.processFlags(["limitFabrikSave","moreFollowSuggestions","unfollowComments","scoopTool","videoVHSCover","videoVHSShareTools","videoVHSLive","videoVHSNewControls","videoVHSEmbeddedOnly","allTheEmphases","freeTrial","dedupeWhatsNext","trendingPageLinks","sprinklePaidPost","headerBidder","largeLedeXXL","standardizeWhatsNextCollection","onlyLayoutA","simple","simpleExtendedByline","collectionsWhatsNext","shareToolsUnderHeadline","mobileMediaViewer","whitelistInterstitial","storyPrint","podcastInLede","MovieTickets","requestTragedyAd","MoreInSubsectionFix","seriesIssueMarginalia","serverSideCollectionUrls","multipleBylines","minimalAds","adDisclaimer","bleedtransitions","inlineAdStyles","fabrikWebsocketsOnly","storyFlexFrames","translationLinks","phaseOneAds","updateRestaurantReservations"]); require(['foundation/main'], function () { require(['auth/mtr', 'auth/growl']); });
  • James Lee Arlington, Texas 3 hours ago

    The main conclusion of the studies cited by Professor Edsall seems to center on the inability of either political party to mobilize the long-term support of the white working class. The Republicans remain in thrall to corporate America, as reflected in Paul Ryan's stubborn attachment to discredited supply-side nostrums. The Democrats, although still committed to a higher minimum wage and the social safety net, focus their policies on helping the middle and professional classes.

    The main responsibility for this situation falls on the Democrats. The GOP never represented the interests of the working class, but FDR's party had achieved political dominance by doing so. In the 1960s, LBJ made the momentous decision to stake his party's future on support of the civil right's revolution, a choice he believed would alienate the white south for a generation.

    At the same time, however, he launched his war on poverty, a program with the potential to unite the interests of black Americans with those of the white working class, in the south as well as elsewhere. The failure of that ambitious initiative, caused in part by the diversion of resources and political energy to the war in Vietnam, soured the Democratic leadership after 1968 on expensive programs designed to help the very groups gloabalization would threaten.

    The Clintons won in 1992 by jettisoning their party's social democratic agenda. Even Bernie Sanders paid attention mainly to the needs of the middle class.

  • !--
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  • Eloise Freehold 2 hours ago

    We certainly hope so. Neither party represents the vast majority of citizens. Instead both major parties represent the interests of the elite, the financial elite, which populate the spectrum of what passes for political thought from extreme liberals, such as Soros, Holloywood and Ivy League tax-free endowments to extreme conservatives, such as Kochs and Limbaugh. From taxation, to trade policies to criminal justice applications to protection of banksters, the major parties are complicit in and responsible for the appalling state of our affairs. A wreck of an election that tarnishes their brands and ushers in alternatives is perhaps too much to expect; it is not however too much to hope for.

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  • Kim New York 2 hours ago

    Recking? More like exposing. No secret the Dems' all-inclusive rhetoric is just that RHETORIC. The party has abandoned the working class. Once American "middle class" was the pride of the world. But what was that "middle class"? It was working class with good jobs and homes, and with the opportunity of yet better life for their children. The only thing lacking was universal health care and inclusion of POC.
    But it never happened. After achieving this amazing success of turning working class into middle class, US has been steadily moving away from that ideal. Both parties have abandoned the working class. Even if the cue came from Reps, Democratic Leadership Council associated Dems (such as Clintons) have been outdoing Reps in the area of "free trade"(=losing manufacturing jobs), dismantling safety net in form of welfare, to make things worse reforming foster care to make taking children away from impoverished working class biological families easier. Dems have been paying lip service to idea of universal healthcare, affordable medications, affordable college, yet rely on the money from these industries. While Democratic rhetoric is inclusive of minorities, and they sponsor special programs for minorities, still not enough to offset the effect their policies on minorities ho are disproportionately represented in the working class. Externally Dems have been pursuing same imperialistic politics as Republicans. Clinton asking Kissinger for endorsement puts a seal on that.

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  • rareynolds Barnesville, OH 2 hours ago

    I am also puzzled by this column. The young want a New Deal type society. Also, it seems to me the much vaunted self-interest of the newly affluent Democrats would include shoring up the fortunes of the working class so as to increase the tax base to finance a more comfortable infrastructure and also to avoid having their own heads blown off by the mob.

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  • Chris Berlin 2 hours ago

    Yes, Donald Trump is wrecking both parties.

    The Republican Party for obvious reasons, but they've had it coming for a long time and deserve and need to be crushed.
    The Democratic Party almost got crushed as well in 2016, equally deserved, and only survived by rigging the nomination process for the status quo candidate, quelling the populist reform movement. The military industrial complex and Wall Street have now completely moved over to the traditional blue collar Democratic Party.

    There is a good chance the traditional Republican Party will not recover from the 2016 election, becoming a long-time minority party at the presidential election level.

    The base of the Democratic Party, Latinos, Blacks and young people might finally realize that electing Wall Street, elite Democrats is not the answer to the critical issues facing the nation.
    Once white working class people, equally disaffected with trade deals that ship their jobs overseas, with endless wars and military conflicts that are supported by both parties, join forces with the democratic base in 2020, there is a real prospect for a political realignment that could revolutionize American politics for decades to come.

    Thank you, Mr.Edsall, for this this very perceptive analysis of what is happening in the 2016 election.

  • !--
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  • Marc Kagan NYC 1 hour ago

    As a first response, Bernie Sanders obviously would have been the remedy to the kind of Clintonite Democratic Party you are describing.
    Because there is a path toward a social, economic and cultural justice coalition that appeals to the working class and the casts swaths of college-educated who, due to financial pressures, are effectively working-class themselves.
    So close this year. Will we have another chance?

  • !--
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